WWF RAW – March 30th, 1998

It’s the night after the Attitude Era’s first WrestleMania, and WWF Raw opens with a strangely cheery piece of stock music to go with the highlights.

Too much Garvin, and not enough Skaaland! It’s time for WWF Raw!

Vince McMahon comes to the ring (to a chorus of boos) holding the new WWF title. Out is the winged eagle belt, in is the eagle that also has wings but not like the winged eagle had wings. Meanwhile, Jim Ross hints at a “major announcement” from DX tonight (although their last “major announcement” turned out to be Chyna getting implants).

Vince McMahon addresses the crowd, who won’t quiet down, making Vince think the mic doesn’t work. It turns out it does work, as the crowd pop huge when he introduces Steve Austin. Stone Cold arrives with the winged eagle belt, which he promptly throws at Vince’s feet, literally. As McMahon sells, Austin grabs the new belt.

McMahon now says he’s proud of Stone Cold’s title win and says he could become the greatest WWF champion ever—if they work together. But Austin refuses to be molded. “What you see, Vince, is what you get” (or WYSVIWYG, as web designers know it). McMahon says he doesn’t hate Stone Cold because he’s “incapable of hate”. Also, he’s a genuine human being, a swell guy, he loves him, he’s a hell of a guy… but Austin insists Vince repeat that last part. “She’s totally flat. Shrunken chesticles.” But Austin meant the “I love you” part, which Vince reluctantly repeats while insisting it was just a figure of speech.

Love him or not, Austin won’t do what McMahon tells him, so Vince gives him an easy way/hard way ultimatum. After considering the proposal for ten seconds, Austin gives McMahon the Stunner.

When WWF Raw returns, Vince McMahon sells his surgically repaired neck backstage as his stooges Slaughter and Brisco tend to him.

The Legion of Doom, sporting their new motorcycle helmets, come to the ring with Sunny to face the lesser two Boricuas. Within seconds, the LOD demolish Jesús with the Doomsday Device for the victory. After the match, Sunny announces the winners, the “LOD 2000”, a combination of twisted steel and sex appeal. It’s hard to believe now, but the “twisted steel” referred to Animal and Hawk.

Backstage, Kevin Kelly announces that Vince McMahon has called the police on Steve Austin.

A WWF Attitude promo then airs featuring Freddie Blassie, Killer Kowalski, Ernie Ladd, and Gorilla Monsoon putting over the new guys.

When WWF Raw returns, Kevin Kelly tells us that the DOA tried to “smarten up” Steve Austin (not with David Duke literature, but by telling him the cops were coming). Behind Kelly, jobbers Brian Walsh and Roy Raymond recover their match earlier tonight against the aforementioned Disciples. According to Kevin, Austin said Vince “doesn’t have the balls” to throw him out, which, as Kelly repeatedly reminded the announcers, was a quote (so please don’t yell at him for it).

Kurrgan faces the odd Disciple out, Chainz. In the audience, one fan alleges that Kurrgan is his father, while another holds a sign declaring that “Kain [sic] fears Pete Rose”. Remarkably, the fan actually corrected his own spelling, writing a big “K” over the original “C”, and he still managed to spell it wrong.

To put across exactly how important this match is, Jim Ross spends it discussing the dumpster controversy from last night’s tag match before being interrupted by a split screen of Vince McMahon waiting in the parking lot. Kurrgan wins with the Paralyzer, “a devastating claw maneuver” (in Michael Cole’s words). Jackyl yells at Ross that “this is your fault”; if he means the match itself, this could be grounds for slander charges.

Mankind is on the therapist’s couch talking about how he’s been abused… in toy form! It’s the new WWF Slammers figure series from Jakks Pacific.

Back on WWF Raw, Vince leads police into the arena and points them to Austin’s locker room.

Tennessee Lee introduces Jeff Jarrett, who rides in once again on his horse, who was absent from WrestleMania last night. Tonight, Double J faces Águila, who last night challenged Taka Michinoku in a match never mentioned on WWF Raw until now. Lee joins the commentary time and talks about how great Jarrett is—Jeff should have an album named to that effect. While Tennessee Lee teases a big surprise he’ll announce next week, Águila makes a brief comeback, hitting a twisting moonsault that Jarrett is supposed to avoid but doesn’t. Regardless, Jarrett wins with the Figure Four in two and a half minutes.

Steve Blackman then runs in and clears Jarrett from the ring, then sets his sights on Tennessee Lee. Thanks to some stalling tactics by Lee, Jarrett sneaks up from behind, dispatches Blackman, and hightails it with Lee.

Backstage, police arrest Austin, who makes one last lunge at Vince while handcuffed. As the cops carry Stone Cold off, Jim Ross comments that less than 24 hours after winning the title, he’s going to jail. Beat that, RVD!

After the break, McMahon walks to the ring again, this time to express his regret for having to give Austin a “24-hour cooling-off period”.

Next on the WarZone, Triple H promises a big announcement and an “X-rated ending”. D-X will drop the whole “X-rated” catchphrase like it did “X marks the spot”.

WWF Raw 253

Plus, the tag team titles will be decided in a steel cage.

But first, The Rock thanks Faarooq, who last night rushed to the ring and did not help The Rock out of Shamrock’s ankle lock. Rocky says the Nation will be at its strongest after tonight. Doesn’t Faarooq find this the least bit ominous?

We’re All Together Now” opens WWF Raw’s second hour, which kicks off with The Rock, fresh off his successful IC title defense (via reverse decision). Rocky, surrounded by the Nation, limps to the ring. He and Faarooq face Steve Blackman and Ken Shamrock, whom Jim Ross suggests should take an anger management class. Imagine that—an anger management class on a wrestling show!

The Rock demands that he start the match against Shamrock, then tags Faarooq. Despite the lack of Dwayne Johnson, the action is fast and furious, but Faarooq ends up getting isolated from his corner. Finally Faarooq busts Ken’s spine and crawls to his partner, who in turn short-arms Faarooq and leaves. Rocky walks up the ramp while Faarooq is pinned off camera.

The Nation leader (for now) calls The Rock back out to the ring, where fisticuffs ensue. It takes three Nation members, two referees, and two stooges to separate them. Faarooq then calls Rocky back in but gets triple-teamed by the rest of the Nation. Maivia then declares himself “ruler of the Nation” and tells Faarooq to go “back to Haiti where you come from” (which is news to everyone, including Faarooq). Jerry Lawler calls the coup a Boris Yeltsin situation in reverse. He couldn’t just say Julius Caesar, lest the viewers think the show was pre-taped (two thousand years in advance).

Kane’s Tombstone to Pete Rose last night is tonight’s 10-321 WWF Rewind.

Back on WWF Raw, Jim Ross analyzes the Nation footage, showing The Rock raising his eyebrow to D-Lo as a signal to beat up Faarooq.

Triple H and Chyna come to the ring without Shawn Michaels but with pyro in the shape of an X. Hunter blames Shawn Michaels for trusting Mike Tyson, then says he’s going to take charge of D-X. Tonight is “the genesis of D-X”, says Hunter, starting this moment, from now, from this moment on, this will be the moment starting now.

This means the formation of the D-X Army, starting with his Clique buddy, whom he refers to only as “Kid”. Kid’s first order of business is to inform Hulk Hogan, who said Syxx couldn’t cut the mustard, that he sucks and has no room to talk about anyone’s mustard-cutting aptitude. Also, Eric Bischoff is a brown-noser, and Hall and Nash are hostages of WCW. It’s true; Nash could no-show the company’s biggest ever event, and Hall could make only sporadic appearances due to substance issues, and WCW still wouldn’t stop paying them. It’s hell.

The Kid says D-X is ready to “rip ass” on the WWF, and it starts tonight. D-X is ready to fart all over the company, telling everyone to “suck it”. Ew.

I mean, it’s always ew. But ewww.

Jim Ross says the Kid is full of “P & V”; he means piss and vinegar, but by censoring himself it sounds much filthier.

The Bop It Slam of the Week is Sable’s powerbomb to Luna Vachon at last night’s WrestleMania.

WWF Unforgiven: In Your House, sponsored by 10-321, is next month. And if everything in the preceding sentence doesn’t already place this event firmly in 1998, the off-model WWF logo certainly does.

A vignette airs of a man in bed, watching himself on video. The film’s title? Live Hard. The gentleman introduces himself to the ladies as Val Venus. So is he an astronaut or a movie star? He also claims to be blessed with a gift “no other male on this planet has ever, ever been blessed with”. So he’s a space alien? Even more confusingly, the WWF has misspelled his name as, “Val Venis”. Jim Ross is flabbergasted.

Marc Mero comes to the ring with Sable, whose outfit makes Jerry Lawler hoot and squeal. Luna then crashes the party, challenging Sable to a rematch, which Sable accepts. Does that mean another mixed tag match with Marc and Goldust? Luna explains that the match will be an “evening gown match”, where you have to strip your opponent to her bra and panties to win. So I’m assuming no Marc or Goldust. At least no Marc. “Bra and panties?” asks a confused Jim Ross, preemptively stealing Lawler’s catchphrase. Luna calls Sable a slut twice before walking off.

Taka Michinoku, Mero’s opponent, jumps Marc, but The Marvelous One uses his size to regain the advantage, then chokes Taka with his wrist tape just because he can. Sable chastises Mero, but with the referee distracted, Mero gets Taka right in the family jewels and pins him. Sable, whom a horny Lawler begs to take her clothes off, argues with Marc all the way up the ramp. Meanwhile, JR worries about his Mama, who just heard them say “bra and panties” on television.

Three men then jump the railing and assault Taka. “Three Oriental men”, specifies Jim Ross. The denim-clad Light Heavyweights leave just as quickly as they came.

WWF Raw returns in the middle of a Jim Cornette promo as he introduces Dan “The Beast” Severn, the NWA Heavyweight Champion. Now on commentary, Cornette vows that his New Midnight Express will beat the Headbangers within five minutes. That’s a safe bet, considering that no match tonight will last that long. The announcers inform us that this match, which featured no televised entrances or advertisement, is for the prestigious NWA Tag Team titles. They also tell us that D-X will welcome another new member tonight (and Chyna already has two implants, so this won’t be another fake-out).

Oh, and the Midnights win the titles with a Rocket Launcher.

After the match, Cornette sends Severn, looking like a swole John Stossel, into the ring to suplex the Headbangers. Give me a break!

Steve Austin then calls Jim Ross from jail (probably not for the last time). The call plays over the PA as Austin threatens Vince McMahon ahead of next week’s WWF Raw.

Referees are setting up the blue bar cage when the lights go out. It’s Kane, with Paul Bearer. While the announcers, hoping to draw viewers for the encore presentation, have tried to be as vague as possible tonight when discussing last night’s action, Paul Bearer boasts that Kane kicked out of two Tombstones. But last night, a new wrestling stipulation came to him in a dream. No, not an evening gown match (that was Jerry Lawler’s dream), but an inferno match, where you must set your opponent on fire.

As Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie make their way to the ring, footage airs of Terry Funk either getting a massage or getting his bruised hip checked out by medics. Either way, Mick Foley is captivated. Lawler suggests the purple mark was caused by Foley kissing and biting Funk’s buttocks.

The Road Dogg, who as of last night has an extra G in his name, wears a JOB Squad shirt on the way to the ring, although no such group exists yet. He calls his opponents, “hardcore pieces of beep” [sic] before he and Mr. Ass (another nickname debuted last night) enter the cage. But Foley and Funk, unlike the ring crew member who quickly bails out of the ring, will not be taken by surprise.

Jim Ross finally explains the supposed controversy of last night’s match, where Jack and Charlie locked the New Age Outlaws into a non-official trash receptacle to win the match. While he resents the Outlaws’ litigiousness in overturning the result, he admits that Billy Gunn is hung…

…upside down. Soon, the former champions tie Terry to the cage by his neck with handcuffs. Still, Cactus Jack fights on with a double DDT.

D-X then runs down to the ring, where the Kid hits Foley repeatedly in the head with a chair over the cage wall. The Outlaws deliver a spike piledriver on a chair to Foley before Road Dogg does the worm and pins him.

Post-match, the newest members of D-X take “Suck It” a little too literally; the Kid rams his crotch right into Cactus Jack’s face, while Billy Gunn climbs the ropes until his junk is eye-level with Funk.

So to recap, at the beginning of the night, the Nation had five members and D-X had two. Now, the Nation has four members, D-X has five, and Val Venis has one gigantic one.

Final tally:

1 JR’s Mama (Year total: 2)

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