WWF RAW is WAR 05-11-98
Live from Baltimore, MD
Airdate: May 11, 1998
Attendance: 8,069 (sold out)
Hosted by Jim Ross, Michael Cole, & Jerry “The King” Lawler
What’s the update for the title match at the PPV? How will McMahon stack the deck against Austin this week? What will happen when Sable and Mero confront one another on live TV? Who’s the new guy? And what antics is DX up to now? Let’s try to digest this stuff, and hopefully indigestion won’t set it.
Mr. McMahon approaches the ring and grabs a microphone. As he announces that Austin will compete in a tag team match TONIGHT, Mr. McMahon introduces a well-put-together Dude Love. JR mentions that Dude even “has his teeth in.” HA! While the Baltimore faithful chanted “Aus-tin,” Dude touts his skills and promises to become “the future (WWF) champion.” Now, he’s “found (his) smile” and hugs Mr. McMahon. Methinks a certain wrestler living in San Antonio might be crying.
Mr. McMahon introduces the special guest timekeeper for the title match at the PPV, and Gerald Brisco heads to the ring. Next, Mr. McMahon announces the special guest ring announcer—Pat Patterson. In one final surprise, Mr. McMahon unveils the special guest referee—no one.
Mr. McMahon makes another attempt at an introduction, but again no one answers. When Mr. McMahon goes backstage, Patterson reveals the special guest referee using Bret Hart’s catchphrase. Since obviously it’s not Bret due to his being in Kansas City, it’s Mr. McMahon wearing a buff referee shirt. The deck is truly stacked against Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly (not “Mr. Magnificent,” RSG-ites) tries to interview an arriving Sable but gets rebuffed.
DX INVADES WCW: In Smyrna, GA, DX arrives in its Jeep at WCW headquarters to mock the competition. According to JR, WCW attorney Nick Lambros called 9-1-1 on them.
Backstage, Kelly awaits Austin’s arrival but gets newcomer Al Snow instead. Wearing a J.O.B. Squad t-shirt, Snow receives directions into the building while talking to Head--a mannequin head that shares HELP ME across the forehead with Snow.
Match 1: Vader versus Barry Windham (w/ Jim Cornette & Midnight Express)
Summary: Vader returns in his quest for revenge against Kane.
After the match, the Midnight Express try to attack him, but Vader prevails.
SLAM OF THE WEEK: From last week, Austin stunned Patterson before he could get nailed by a chair.
During the break, Kelly interviews Austin revealing the news that was detailed earlier. Austin refutes all of it and steals the microphone from him.
RAW is WAR is sponsored by Burger King, M&Ms, US Army, and WWF: The Music Volume 2.
Match 2: Road Warrior Hawk (w/ Animal & Sunny) versus Skull (w/ 8-Ball)
Summary: Did I miss something?
On the replay, 8-Ball replaced Skull, and DoA’s switcheroo scored them the victory.
DX INVADES WCW: DX heads to downtown Atlanta to visit CNN Center. In truly wacky fashion, they request a visit with “Ted” (a.k.a. Ted Turner) and believe they’ll be granted an appointment.
Edge vignette airs.
Earlier today, Bradshaw gave Taka Michinoku a driving lesson with a cigar to boot; however, Kaientai ambushed them.
Match 3: Jeff Jarrett (w/ Tennessee Lee) versus Faarooq (w/ Steve Blackman)
Summary: An appetizer for the Faarooq-Rock match for the IC title at the PPV.
After the match, the NoD fights with Faarooq until Jarrett whips Blackman with nunchucks.
Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa was shown in attendance.
Austin approaches the ring to a huge ovation but doesn’t give a “rat’s ass” about Mr. McMahon’s special guests for the main event at the PPV. As Austin calls him out, Mr. McMahon appears on the Titantron alongside Brisco and Patterson.
Mr. McMahon could confirm who neither his partner nor opponents will be. Instead, they mimic the three wise monkeys that Speak No Evil, See No Evil, and Hear No Evil. Austin dismisses their shenanigans to a great response.
Montage of vignettes by Val Venis airs.
Prior to the next match, Sable grabs the microphone and calls Mero out.
Match 4: Sable versus “Marvelous” Marc Mero
Summary: Mero’s transference of all his heat to Sable had been completed at the expense of his career. Nevertheless, it got a tremendous pop and elevated Sable.
Suddenly, Undertaker appears at the broadcast table scaring the BEJEEZUS out of Lawler and JR. He wants a piece of Lawler who backtracks faster than a politician who mistakenly denigrates some of his constituents.
As Undertaker levels him, he tosses Lawler into the ring and chokeslams him. Before Undertaker can tombstone Lawler, Kane and Paul Bearer emerge. Bearer will prove that he’s Kane’s father NEXT WEEK. The lights return, and Undertaker grabs and tombstones Lawler to the delight of the Baltimore faithful.
Over The Edge ‘98 will be LIVE on PPV on 5/31. Order NOW!
With Lawler gone, Snow returns, and some ECW fans chant “head” in his honor. While talking to Head, he places a headset on her. HA! Security tries to remove him expeditiously, yet Snow persuasively requests “to see Vince.” Instead, Snow jumps into the ring waving Head before leaving through the Baltimore faithful.
DX INVADES WCW: Outside the CNN Center, DX launches a bomb to destroy it. Much like their act, it’s completely fictitious and unnecessary.
In the arena, DX emerges and heads to the ring. XPac misquotes a James Cagney line like an idiot. When he mentions Eric Bischoff, XPac only wants him to “be a man.” HHH, with a CNN badge near his crotch, tries to excite the Baltimore faithful, but Owen kills his buzz. As Owen challenges HHH, he summons the NoD to join him.
1-800-COLLECT REWIND: From last week, Chyna fed Skull a huracanrana, got bumped down to the floor, and dealt Hawk a shot from southern Virginia.
Match 5 (non-title): WWF European champion HHH (w/ DX) versus Owen Hart (w/ the Nation of Domination)
Summary: Prelude to the six-man “war” between the factions at the PPV.
Dustin Rhodes emerges with an oil barrel while carrying his Goldust outfit. As he pours gasoline onto it, he torches the outfit with a lit pack of matches. He calls out Mr. McMahon about his lack of dignity as well as the loss of his family. According to Rhodes, “Goldust dies tonight.” Not a worthwhile worked shoot.
Prior to the next match, we revisit last week’s main event.
During Kaientai’s entrance, Yamaguchi invokes some Japanese attitude.
Match 6 (3-on-2): Terry Funk & 2 Cold Scorpio versus Kaientai (w/ Yamaguchi)
Summary: Fantastic workrate for a disjointed match. Bradshaw/Michinoku versus Kaientai is truly Shotgun Saturday Night material. Methinks this opposed Glacier on TNT.
Backstage, Mr. McMahon talks to someone off-camera who’s supposedly Austin’s partner tonight.
Outside the arena, Snow’s denied entry. HA!
NoD emerges and heads to the ring. While Rock calls him out, Austin walks backstage.
As Austin approaches the ring, Mr. McMahon announces himself as Austin’s tag team partner. This must be in response to Bischoff’s challenge. Needless to say, but McMahon is rather buff.
Match 7: Nation of Domination (w/ Owen, Kama, & Mark Henry) versus Stone Cold Steve Austin & Mr. McMahon
Summary: Another false finish as expected due to the storyline. Otherwise, it was a decent match.
Afterward, Austin escapes the triple-team, but Dude Love storms the ring to clothesline him. The ring fills up with wrestlers and the Baltimore faithful goes APESHIT just before the show ends.
Conclusion: Wild finish to a show that contained two pinfalls and zero submissions in seven matches. I realize that the WWF is becoming more soap-opera-oriented, but the name on the marquee still says WRESTLING. Regardless, the Austin machine is rolling despite all the efforts by Mr. McMahon and his entourage. Seeing Rock-Austin in the main event was a nice treat.
While the DX/WCW stuff was a hot mess, the DX-NoD feud is boiling hot. Also, Undertaker’s revenge against Lawler wraps a bow on the Bearer/Lawler “discussion” from last week. In the interim, what in the blue fuck is Goldust Dustin Rhodes doing? Finally, Sable’s ascension came with a heavy price.
I found this episode to be more entertaining than last week’s despite the DX nonsense, so it gets my endorsement.
Could it finally overcome Nitro in the ratings?
TV Rating: 4.72
Who won? Yes! The explosive main event along with the episode-long tease of the “Who’s it gonna be?” propels RAW to defeat Nitro this week. It’s no coincidence because Nitro hadn’t been regularly scheduled for a few weeks; however, Nitro did itself no favors with less than appealing matches such as Glacier versus Sick Boy.
Next week, Nitro and RAW go unopposed due to the NBA playoffs again.
Stay tuned for WCW Thunder 05-14-98!
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