WWF RAW – January 19th, 1998

WWF Raw — Selland Arena — Fresno, CA

Tonight’s WWF Raw opens with news of two deaths: Vince’s stepmother Juanita, and The Undertaker, who was locked in a casket and burned to death by Kane last night.

Too much Marge, and not enough Schott! It’s WWF Raw is War. The night kicks off Paul Bearer entering to Undertaker’s music. It seems Kane’s “reunion” with the Undertaker was just a ploy to allow Kane to interfere and burn Taker alive… which he could have done anyway. If Taker had known Kane wasn’t on his side, would he have worn a fireproof suit to the match? With glee, Bearer recalls Kane pouring gasoline “all over the Undercasket — Undertaker’s casket”. But when Paul says The Undertaker will never return, Taker’s big dong gives him the surprise of his life.

As four druids roll a casket down the aisle, Jim Ross mentions that when WWF officials extinguished the fire and opened the casket last night, The Undertaker had disappeared. The fact that one of their Superstars wasn’t murdered on camera last night seems too important to conceal for the first ten minutes of this show — talk about burying the lede.

But it’s not the Undertaker in this new casket — it’s Kane, whom Paul presents as the last surviving member of The Undertaker’s family. Great, now D-X can call him a nugget, too.

After the break, Triple H runs down Owen Hart, while Shawn Michaels feigns sympathy for The Undertaker, vowing to find the Phenom tonight.

The three Apocalypse Disciples take on three Domination Nation members: Faarooq, Kama, and D’Lo Brown. Last night, the Nation squandered a five-man presence in the Rumble, fighting each other instead of ensuring victory. Skull, it turns out, was the missing 22nd entrant from last night’s Rumble, having been attacked by the Nation after being mistaken for Stone Cold. We saw the beatdown on camera — it wasn’t that bad.

Kama, Cole tells us, is a local high school basketball legend. D’Lo, says Kevin Kelly, has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few months. Faarooq, says Jim Ross, is a former college football great and perhaps the best athlete in the WWF. And as for the DOA, they like motorcycles.

D’Lo misses a moonsault on one of the bald bikers before a brawl breaks out in the ring. The referee throws out the match, which was, admittedly, running a bit long (nearly five minutes). The Rock and Mark Henry join the fight, but the sides even up when Ken Shamrock and Ahmed Johnson run in. “Ahmed Johnson has never looked better!” says Kevin Kelly as a rib.

Before WWF Raw goes to break, Jim Ross hints at a snag in the Mike Tyson negotiation. Also, a hearse pulls into the arena.

Vic Venom himself tells you why you should subscribe to WWF RawMagazine, where you can get the dirt, the shoots, etc.

Tom Brandi, now wearing an Italian flag on his trunks, faces “arch rival” Marc Mero again. As always, Sable accompanies Marc to the ring, despite everything Marc has done over the past three months. Mero makes Sable put on a robe proclaiming her his property before Jim Ross reminds us what a disappointment Marc has been so far in the WWF.

Mero insists Sable take off his robe, but Brandi sneaks up from behind, moves Sable aside, and punches him. Brandi hits a dropkick and a clothesline, already eclipsing his thirteen-second Royal Rumble appearance from last night. Tom’s fiery offense sparks loud chants of “Sable! Sable!” At ringside, a man in a suit delivers Sable flowers, which makes Mero instantly jealous.

After leaving the ring to stomp on the flowers, Mero gets thrown back into the ring by Brandi, who has the match well in control. Brandi sunset flips Mero but visibly lets go of the pin before Marc actually kicks out. Sable steps onto the apron, distracting the referee and allowing Marc to punch Brandi in his cannolis. One TKO later, and Mero picks up the pinfall.

Backstage, D-X looks to ambush The Undertaker, but when they open up the back of the hearse, a bunch of women pop out and pull them into the corpse transportation vehicle for some make-out time. Chyna looks annoyed.

When WWF Raw returns, Shane McMahon exits his limo with Mike Tyson, who Kevin Kelly says is a big fan of Stone Cold. Or “Cold Stone”, as Mike called him last night.

In the ring are the Quebecers, returning as a team after more than three years, who face Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. Jack immediately throws Pierre into the steps while Jacques (now nearly as hefty as his partner) squares off with Charlie. The Quebecers prove a superior team during the opening minutes, cutting off Chainsaw, until Cactus Jack steps in and puts the mandible claw on the referee.

Cactus counters a double stun-gun with a double noggin-knocker before a second referee officially calls for a DQ. The fighting continues, with Funk launching off the second rope to the outside, and with Jacques launching Pierre over the top rope onto Jack. Cactus finally restores order with his barbed wire baseball bat.

Backstage, D-X tries to get info on the Undertaker from the minis, giving Triple H an excuse to make short jokes and Mexican jokes.

In NWA action, Blackjack Bradshaw faces Jeff Jarrett, who is trailed by Jim Cornette and the Rock ’n’ Roll Express. Cornette vows to put the WWF, an “outlaw organization”, back under NWA authority. I’m sure there are one or two people who understand what he’s talking about. Repeated interference by the Rock ’n’ Roll Express can’t stop Bradshaw, but an errant clothesline by his partner Windham can; Jarrett picks up the victory in a traditional 3:41.

Jim Ross, meanwhile, critiques Jeff Jarrett’s ring attire as “goofy” and says it looks like he’s representing the Aztec Nation. After the bell, the NWA contingent gangs up on Bradshaw before Barry Windham breaks up the assault… then clotheslines Bradshaw again. The New Blackjacks explode! Do I smell WrestleMania main event?

In the D-X dressing room, Shawn Michaels rambles insincerely in frustration at not finding the Undertaker before the lights go out.

As per annual tradition, Vince McMahon briefly honors Martin Luther King at the top of the hour before “We’re All Together Now” opens the WarZone.

The Undertaker’s music hits again; in the darkness, a cloaked figure descends from the rafters. The figure steps into the ring, but when the lights go up, D-X’s theme plays. It’s Shawn Michaels, who strips out of The Undertaker’s robe. He is soon joined by Triple H and Chyna, who carry a grill with them.


Triple H makes weiner jokes, while Shawn Michaels makes dead-Undertaker jokes. As Shawn makes a phallus out of a hot dog and two marshmallows, Triple H offers Owen Hart a European title shot next week. He also disparages future mentor Ric Flair’s Space Mountain.

Michaels finally addresses his next challenger, Stone Cold Steve Austin, a former tag team and Intercontinental champion with “only one more mountain to climb”. Except the European title, of course. D-X throw uncooked hot dogs and marshmallows into the crowd to end the segment.

Earlier tonight, Mike Tyson hung out with the Legion of Doom until Sunny showed up and offered herself up. The LOD thought that was pretty cool. “What a rush” joked Animal.

Los Boricuas face Owen Hart, Taka Michinoku, and the Head Bangers in eight-man action. Hart has come a long way since challenging for the WWF title three weeks ago. Wrestlers tag in and out until Owen Hart puts Jesús in the Sharpshooter for the victory. After the match, Owen accepts Triple H’s challenge.

Backstage, the Nation of Domination shmooze with Mike Tyson.

When WWF Raw returns, The Rock is already in the ring awaiting his opponent Ahmed Johnson. Ahmed attempts to charge into the ring but gets winded on the way in. Rocky takes immediate control, but Ahmed puts on the brakes when the IC champ attempts a suplex. Ahmed signals for the Pearl River Plunge, but Mark Henry, who has come to ringside, smashes Johnson in the back loudly with a chair. The Rock hits the Rock Bottom to win the match. Ken Shamrock, who seemingly won the IC title last night before the ref discovered a planted set of brass knuckles, makes the save.

Backstage, Mike Tyson hangs out with Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. The ear jokes write themselves. Therefore, I won’t actually be writing any.

When WWF Raw returns, Tyson compares biceps with Chyna in D-X’s locker room.

The Godwinns face The New Age Outlaws for the WWF tag team titles. The Outlaws try to ingratiate themselves to the challengers, carrying a plush pig to the ring and wearing overalls. Road Dog says that he and Billy are “still loyal to Southern Justice”, which sounds like a good name for a faction. A good name, not a good faction, mind you.

The Godwinns are having none of it, attacking the Outlaws before the bell. Meanwhile, a fan continues to use a noisemaker to simulate the groans of a large mammal. Soon, Henry strips off Billy’s overalls. Is this the origin of Mr. Ass?

Phineas attempts a gutwrench powerbomb on Billy but ends up dropping him on his face somehow. The Godwinns isolate Gunn for several minutes, “just violating the New Age Outlaws” in Jim Ross’s disturbing words. Jerry Lawler fantasizes about punching out Mike Tyson as the Godwinns continue their onslaught to the fans’ audible displeasure. At last, with the referee distracted, Billy hits Phineas with the stuffed pig and scores the pin. After the match, Henry tears open the pig, revealing a brick.

On the WWF Superstar Line, Jim Ross wonders whether it will be a “macho week” for the WWF. I can’t be sure, but I suspect he might be hinting at Randy Savage’s return to the company. Vince McMahon comes down the aisle to boos, much to Jerry Lawler’s amusement, before the break.

Vince promises “the biggest announcement ever in World Wrestling Federation history”, then introduces “The Baddest Man on the Planet”, Mike Tyson. Iron Mike gets booed even louder than Vince. “Mike Tyson in a WWF ring”, says Lawler. “Who woulda thunk it?” Let’s just hope Buster Douglas doesn’t knock him out before WrestleMania.

Vince asks Mike his favorites from the WWF, and Tyson replies with Bruno Sammartino and Nikolai Volkoff. No Cold Stone? That’s a snub. Vince starts to make an announcement regarding Tyson and “March twenty-nine”, but Stone Cold interrupts the proceedings.

WWF suits fill the ring to get between Tyson and Austin, who poses in the corners. McMahon, feigning cordiality, asks Steve why he’s here. Austin says he wants a piece of Mike Tyson’s ass in the most heterosexual way possible. Mike Tyson might be the “Baddest Man on the Planet”, but Stone Cold declares himself “the world’s toughest son of a bitch”. Kudos to the network censors for muting the word, “tough” but not the word, “bitch”. Austin then flips off Tyson, who shoves him and starts a pull-apart brawl. Sarge, Dave Hebner, Shane McMahon, and Gerald Brisco restrain Austin as Vince McMahon yells that he “ruined it”. Vince tries to kick Stone Cold away before order is restored.

When WWF Raw returns for the last time tonight, replays air of the brawl where “literally all hell broke loose” in Jim Ross’s words. Backstage, Vince is apologetic, while Mike Tyson and his camp demand Austin. Tyson yells a homophobic slur at the camera as WWF Raw goes off the air.

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