WWF Monday Night RAW 03-30-98
Live from Albany, NY
Airdate: March 30, 1998
Attendance: 11,202 (sold out)
Hosted by Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Kevin Kelly, & Jerry “The King” Lawler
With Austin as WWF champion, what will Vince do about it? Where does DX go from here? And what’s the latest with the NoD? Let’s find out!
To begin the show, Vince McMahon approaches the ring with a title belt and introduces the NEW WWF champion—Stone Cold Steve Austin. As Austin enters the ring, he exchanges title belts with Vince by dropping the older one on Vince’s foot. OUCH! He celebrates with the Albany faithful to a HUGE ovation. While Vince tries to “clear up any misinterpretation” about Austin’s becoming WWF champion, he’s “proud” of Austin.
Austin knows that Vince “hate(s)” him, and the feeling’s mutual. When Vince calls him a “swell guy,” Austin teases and intimidates him about saying “I love you.” Austin plans to do things his way. After Vince asks him if he’ll do things “the easy way or the hard way,” Austin asks for clarification. The easy way is “to adapt,” while the hard way is Vince’s way. To consider this ‘tough decision,” Austin requests ten seconds and then decides to Stunner Vince to another tremendous ovation. JR punctuates the moment by stating that Austin will “never be employee of the month.” HA!
Promo airs for the replay of WrestleMania XIV.
Match 1: LOD2000 (w/ Sunny) versus Los Boricuas
Summary: Showcase match for the repackaged Road Warriors.
According to JR, the WWF tag team titles have been vacated, yet that will be rectified later in the show.
Backstage, Kelly states that Vince has called the police on Austin.
WWF Attitude Era promo airs.
In the locker room, Kelly states that Austin “ain’t going anywhere.” Perhaps if the WWF gave him a company phone, they’d be able to keep track of him.
Match 2: Kurrgan (w/ Jackyl) versus Chainz
Summary: Showcase match for Kurrgan.
After the match, Kurrgan drags Chainz backstage with the Paralyzer still applied.
Backstage, Albany’s finest have arrived at the Pepsi Arena.
Mankind shills Jakks action figures.
Vince leads the police to “the first red door on the right” to arrest Austin.
Match 3: “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/ Tennessee Lee) versus Aguila
Summary: Jarrett should have sold the moonsault rather than treat it like a miss.
After the match, Blackman hits the ring and uncorks a bicycle kick to Jarrett. He clotheslines Jarrett over the top rope to the floor and saunters after Lee. As Jarrett blindsides him, Blackman wants another shot at him.
Backstage, police lead a handcuffed Austin who rips Vince a new one before being taken to jail.
RAW is sponsored by 1-800-COLLECT and WWF: The Music Volume 2.
Vince, escorted by Commissioner Slaughter and Gerald Brisco, enters the ring to a chorus of boos and cuts a promo on Austin.
Backstage, Rock runs down Shamrock and apologizes to Faarooq. But is he being sincere?
Match 4: The Rock & Faarooq (w/ the Nation of Domination) versus Ken Shamrock & Steve Blackman
Summary: More storyline than match as you will see.
Afterward, Faarooq grabs the microphone and calls out Rock. Upon Rock’s return, Faarooq takes him down, and they brawl. The remainder of the NoD separates them along with WWF officials. As Faarooq calls Rock back to the ring, the NoD turns on Faarooq. Rock returns and supplies Faarooq with a Rock Bottom. He then stands over Faarooq while referring to himself as the “ruler” of the NoD.
10-321 WWF REWIND: Pete Rose cuts a promo on Boston but gets tombstoned by Kane.
HHH and Chyna approach the ring without Shawn Michaels. When he addresses the topic of Mike Tyson, HHH informs Michaels that he “dropped the ball.” He takes control of the faction, calls tonight the “genesis of DeGeneration-X,” and has formed an army. To join his army, HHH mentions “the Clique” and points to the entrance.
Suddenly, Sean Waltman, formerly Syxx in WCW, appears. Holy colossal transactions, Batman! He and HHH hug in the aisle, and Waltman joins HHH and Chyna in the ring. HHH subtly calls Waltman’s role in WCW as an “indentured servant” and hands him the microphone.
Waltman informs Hulk Hogan “you suck, pal.” Wow! Next, he emphatically yet euphemistically states that Eric Bischoff kisses Hogan’s ass. He answers HHH’s call as a partner then says that Kevin Nash and Scott Hall “would be standing right here…if they weren’t being held hostage by WCW.” He then tells Bischoff to “put that in your pipe and smoke it.” Uh…
HOT TAKE: The good: Waltman was both figuratively and literally wasted in WCW. His rejoining the WWF should elevate his career. The bad: Using drug references/being impaired by drugs is what got you fired in the first place, Waltman. Without question, this was pure water cooler material.
BOP-IT WWF SLAM OF THE WEEK: Sable powerbombs Luna.
Unforgiven will be LIVE on PPV on 4/26. Order NOW!
Vignette featuring Val Venis airs. He’s COMING if you catch his drift.
Prior to the next match, Luna emerges and wants a rematch. Sable accepts, but Luna demands a stipulation—an evening gown match at the PPV. Winner with the most clothes on wins. Sable emphatically accepts to a large ovation.
Match 5 (non-title): WWF Light Heavyweight champion Taka Michinoku versus “Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/ Sable)
Summary: Showcase match for Mero.
After the match, Dick Togo, Mens Teioh, and Sho Funaki jump the steel railing and attack Michinoku. Upon powerbombing him, they senton-splash Michinoku. JR plays coy and wonders who they are.
Prior to the next match, Cornette introduces NWA World champion Dan “The Beast” Severn.
Match 6 for the NWA World tag team titles: The Headbangers (champions) versus the Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette)
Summary: Absolutely ZERO heat for this match as the Albany faithful sought popcorn during it.
After the match, Severn enters the ring and hooks a belly-to-belly suplex to Thrasher. Next, he hits a double underhook suplex to Mosh. Methinks the Headbangers are TOAST.
Austin calls JR for his one phone call, refers to Vince as a “sorry son-of-a-bitch,” and threatens him.
While the ring crew sets up the cage, Kane and Paul Bearer emerge at the entrance. Bearer cuts a promo on Undertaker and challenges him to an inferno match at the PPV.
Promo #2 airs for the replay.
Match 7 for the vacant WWF tag team titles (steel cage): The New Age Outlaws versus Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
Summary: Extremely rushed cage match with more storyline than match.
Afterward, HHH and Waltman join NAO in the cage and double-team Cactus. HHH delivers a Pedigree to Cactus. I hope Cactus is hungry because crotch chops are being served. As they position Cactus in the corner, Waltman deals Cactus a Bronco buster. HHH blasts Cactus with a chair, and a new “army” is formed.
Conclusion: The transformation of DX from a two-man faction to a four-man army in addition to Waltman’s explosive WWF return make a huge statement. To say the least, so does the interaction between Austin and McMahon. To top things off, Rock has assumed leadership of the NoD. Great RAW, and I wholehearted recommend it.
By the way, if you really wanted to watch a wrestling show, this was NOT it.
Could it finally overcome Nitro in the ratings?
TV Rating: 3.80
Who won? Nope, with Piper/Hogan on top, Nitro edged RAW 4.2 to 3.8. The gap has closed considerably, and WCW threw the kitchen sink to beat RAW this week. RAW seems much fresher with their new format, and the soap opera style may work to the WWF’s advantage. How will WCW counter next week?
Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 04-06-98!
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