WWF Raw – March 2nd, 1998

WWF RAW — March 2nd, 1998 — Gund Arena — Cleveland, OH

Too much smudge, and not enough shine! It’s time for WWF Raw is War, airing live for the first time in a month (which means no Truth Commission or Quebecers). D-X is out first, leading the announcers to wonder what they meant when they said WrestleMania would be X-rated. Triple H says that at WrestleMania, he’s going to go through Owen Hart like a hot knife through butter. Hunter splitting Owen in half? No wonder it’s X-rated.

Shawn Michaels tells Mike Tyson that he’s going to make him an offer he can’t refuse, then threatens him if he says no. Shawn then addresses Stone Cold at about three-quarter speed, drawing Austin to the ring. Before the two can go at it, the lights go out. Paul Bearer calls out Austin on behalf of Kane, and when the lights come back on, D-X is gone. Austin then grabs a headset and vents his frustrations to the announcers.

Jim Ross hypes the latest WrestleMania celebrity—we don’t know who she is or what she’ll do, but she does have bad hair according to her silhouette.

Mike Tyson and fellow boxing great Shane McMahon step out of their limo as WWF Raw goes to break.

The New Age Outlaws arrive in neck braces and Florida Marlins T-shirts reading, “Indians Sux” [sic] and “Marlins rule”, respectively. In tears, Road Dog shares traumatic camcorder footage of last week’s attack by Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. Thanks to a doctor’s note from “Mrs. Horshack”, the Outlaws have the night off… or so they think.

Instead, Sgt. Slaughter, who never saw Welcome Back Kotter because he was serving his country in Vietnam, comes onto the Titantron and tells them they will defend their titles tonight. In fact, right now.

DOA Bald ride to the ring on their beautiful Titan motorcycles to face Road Dog and Billy Gunn. Michael Cole erroneously calls the Harris Twins “identical twins” despite the nipple thing. The two teams brawl in and out of the ring until the Outlaws whip 8-Ball into the ringside dumpster. Cactus Jack and Chainsaw then pop out of the trash receptacle, causing the Disciples of Apocalypse to win by countout in 1:23. Cactus’s music plays.

Michael Cole narrates the ongoing Sable-Mero-Goldust-Luna drama. Now, with his partnership with Goldust finished, Marc Mero walks for miles along this pit of danger. That is to say, he walks alone.

This week’s WrestleMania Millennium Moment is Salt ’n’ Pepa’s performance at WrestleManiaXI, which WWE has since erased from history to avoid paying royalties.

In the crowd, a guy name Chuck fantasizes about Sable fantasizing about him. Mero gets a pop from the crowd, only to turn around and see it’s because of Sable. The Marvelous One makes Sable go to the back, behind the off-model WWF logo. Mero faces his old nemesis Tom Brandi, whom he called a “jobber” months earlier. Brandi, already in the ring, obviously still takes exception to that.

Mero weathers an early Brandi onslaught and appears to have Tom defeated with a TKO. However, Brandi lands on his feet and counters with a sit-out front suplex that should win him the match. Inexplicably, though, Brandi covers him with just one arm, allowing Mero to kick out.

Luna, who has come to ringside wearing a pink… thing, trips Brandi, diverting the referee’s attention so that Mero can punch him in the groin (Brandi, not the referee).

After Mero wins with a TKO, Luna kisses him, which Marc doesn’t think is too marvelous. Luna, says Jim Ross, is no Tara Lipinski. What does that mean? I literally have no idea what that is supposed to mean!

What does that mean? I literally have no idea what that is supposed to mean!

Goldust rushes to the ring and blindsides Mero, whom he double-teams with Luna until Sable makes the save. She and Marc then argue until Sable knocks him on his butt.

Owen Hart defends the European title against Mark Henry in match presented by both Twix and Jakks Pacific’s new Legends line of action figures. Imagine you’re Jeff Jarrett, and you’ve wrestled for eleven years, all in the action figure era, and Freddy Blassie gets a figure before you do.

The Nation of Domination tries accompanying Henry to the ring, but Commissioner Slaughter rushes out to send them away. Owen can’t budge Mark Henry until he knocks him out of the ring with a spinning heel kick. Chyna, who JR says is “more dangerous than Paula Jones on the witness stand”, then appears on the ramp. She momentarily distracts Hart, allowing Mark Henry to sneak up on him. Henry manhandles Owen for the rest of the match, except for a few failed Sharpshooter attempts by Owen.

Finally, Henry misses a charge to the corner, allowing Hart to hit a series of moves from the top rope, capping it off with a sharpshooter. Mark Henry doesn’t submit, so Chyna steps onto the apron, leading Hart to release the hold.

Mark Henry then puts Hart in a bearhug, but Chyna gives him a low blow to award Henry the match, but not the title. An irate and confused Michael Cole demands to know why Chyna did what she did. “Because I can”, says Chyna. Are these Chyna’s first non-Spanish words on television? I don’t feel like re-reading my previous columns, so I’ll say yes.

After the commercial break, Vince McMahon has some friendly words backstage with Mike Tyson as fans boo the rapist.

The championship trio of NWA Tag Team Champions The Headbangers and WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku face The Rock ’n’ Roll Express and Barry Windham. The Headbangers tell the Midnight Express that it’s the 90’s baby, and that they’ve got two words for them: “Beat it!” D-X hasn’t used their own “two words” for months, so I guess the phrase is public domain now. Taka calls Jim Cornette (who JR says is having “more problems than our beloved President”), a “jackass”.

The action starts out fast-paced, then ends. Cameras miss the finish, which has to be replayed after the match: Thrasher intercepted Jim Cornette and hits Bob Newhart with his tennis racket, then pins him. At two minutes long, this match was barely long enough for Jim Ross to squeeze in a Titanic reference (as in, the NWA is sinking).

We’re All Together Now” kicks off WWF Raw’s second hour. Fans boo Vince McMahon as he introduces Mike Tyson, whom they also boo. Tyson’s theme music is by Big Daddy Kane (Shirley Crabtree in a red mask). Fans pop when Vince mentions Stone Cold Steve Austin, then boo when he asks for respect. Before Tyson can talk, D-Generation X march to the ring as officials impotently beg them away.

Shawn Michaels gets in Tysons face and challenges him, calling him “boy” for added racism points. Tyson and Michaels send their entourages out of the ring, then get into a finger-pointing and shoving match. Mike offers Shawn a free shot, so Michaels rips off Tyson’s shirt, revealing a D-X shirt underneath. The gang celebrates in the ring as Tyson gleefully bounces his arms across his crotch. D-X taunts Vince McMahon as Jim Ross questions enforcer Tyson’s impartiality.

After WWF Raw returns from break, Tyson celebrates in D-X’s locker room.

The undefeated Steve Blackman takes on his third consecutive member of the Nation of Domination, Kama. Can the blackbelt defeat the Supreme Fighting Machine? Once again, Commissioner Slaughter gives the rest of the Nation the boot. This could actually prove detrimental to Blackman, who has beaten Faarooq and The Rock thanks to Nation interference gone wrong, as shown in replays. Where was Slaughter the past two weeks? Probably serving his country in Vietnam.

The two fighters open their match with chain wrestling before shifting to authentic martial arts techniques like roundhouse kicks, clotheslines, and planchas. Unwisely, Kama launches off the second rope for an axe handle smash, which Blackman counters with a kick to the face. Blackman applies a submission move that’s half LeBell lock, half abdominal stretch, but Faarooq and The Rock run in to break it up and cause a disqualification. The two Nation rivals hit their finishers on Blackman until Ken Shamrock runs in and cleans house. Regardless, Faarooq makes a fashion statement with a leather baseball cap.

WWF Raw returns from commercial with a Southern gentleman in the ring. It’s Robert Fuller, the former Col. Robert Parker, who introduces “Double J” Jeff Jarrett. It took the WWF five months to revert Jarrett back to the schtick he said he hated in his worked shoot promo. Double J says the NWA couldn’t promote him properly, but “Tennessee Lee” can. That’s T-E-Double-N, E-Double-S, Double-E, L-Double-E. The one good thing about this promo is that Jarrett and Lee provide a great example of the difference between rhotic and non-rhotic Southern accents.

Flash Funk rushes to the ring for a battle of musical genres. Both Double J and Double F have their hair tied back in ponytails. Flash Funk tries his 450 splash, but the similarly-endowed Robert Fuller crotches him on the top rope, allowing Jeff Jarrett to win with the Figure Four. Jim Ross compares Jarrett to “The Nature Boy” before adding, “Buddy Rogers”. Jarrett celebrates with his old country theme and Fargo strut.

Sexy sax music plays as an unidentified woman in the shadows speaks candidly about her 14-year love affair. She then leans into the light, revealing herself as Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers. The disgraced newscaster will appear at WrestleMania 14, joining disgraced baseball player Pete Rose and disgraced boxer Mike Tyson. An excited Jerry Lawler hopes to hook up with Flowers, forgetting they’re the same age.

In the parking lot, Michael Cole attempts to get an explanation from Mike Tyson. “Shut up, pinhead” says Tyson.

WrestleMania 14’s logo now labels it “X-raided”, with “rated” misspelled so no one thinks it’s an actual p0rno.

Michael Cole narrates a video package of the Legion of Doom’s apparent breakup, complete with lots of clips of them getting dumped in the trash. He then recounts the Road Warriors’ mythic past, wherein they met at age 8 on the mean streets of Chicago (despite growing up in Minnesota and having a three-year age gap).


WWF Raw heads into its main event with a close-up of the one-eyed monster. No, Tennessee Lee isn’t appearing again.

Paul Bearer, with Kane, calls out Stone Cold Steve Austin, who immediately gets jumped by D-X, who leave him lying. It looks like there won’t be a main event tonight, but then again, they only ever called it a “confrontation”. Austin then storms off looking for D-X.

After another commercial, Bearer asks Kane to get “the bail”. “Get the what?” asks Lawler. “The bell”, clarifies Ross. Kane approaches timekeeper Mark Yeaton but instead pulls out a fan from the audience who looks like Drake Younger. He beats up Drake Older, then drags Yeaton into the ring to give a ten-bell salute for the deceased Undertaker. The timekeeper tolls the bell unenthusiastically before Kane chokeslams and Tombstones him.

Bearer calls out all the fans who “laughed at the fat man”, then teases another Tombstone for one lucky person in the audience. Before we can find out whom, the Undertaker’s dong interrupts the proceedings. With the ring bathed in blue light, Bearer assures Kane that he really did murder his brother, then blames JR for playing the music.

On stage lies a coffin. Lightning appears to strike it, blowing off its lid and revealing The Undertaker. “Sit up, Mark” screams Lawler as Taker does exactly that.

The Undertaker, who was buried with a wireless microphone, tells Kane that “you cannot destroy that which does not wish to perish”, which I don’t think is true. Kane blows up the stage with pyro, but Taker is unfazed (though his mic starts cutting out). He challenges his brother to close out WWF Raw.

Discuss This Crap!