WWF Raw – April 13th, 1998

WWF Raw – April 13th, 1998 – CoreStates Center – Philadelphia, PA

This week’s WWF Raw opens with replays of Steve Austin ripping off his suit and smacking Vince McMahon in the crotch, accompanied by cinematic stock music. Tonight, Stone Cold says he’ll settle his issues with the boss once and for all tonight. I’d hope so, because all this unprofessional bickering must be murder on the TV ratings.

Too much fünf, and not enough zwei! Es ist Zeit für WWF Raw!

Immediately, Steve Austin comes to the ring to settle things “with one Vince McMahon”. Hear that? Only one Vince McMahon. Vince, Sr. isn’t invited! Austin threatens to stop the show until Vince (Junior) shows his face. McMahon reluctantly steps through the curtain with Patterson, Brisco, and, despite Stone Cold’s assurances that he won’t hit him, two policemen in riot gear. Austin responds with a vague threat regarding batons against the officers.

Steve wants to know his opponent at the next pay-per-view, but Vince says he hasn’t decided yet. Austin isn’t buying it. Their problems, says Steve, aren’t rooted just in their lack of communication, but also that Vince won’t accept Steve for who he is. Vince’s impossible expectations for Steve stem from his own unfulfilled desires to be the champion.

WWF Raw

Therefore, Austin challenges Vince to a match tonight, with the WWF title on the line—a match Stone Cold boasts he could win with one hand behind his back. The alternative is for Austin to beat up McMahon backstage. Vince has 30 minutes to decide, and to make sure the boss doesn’t bail, Stone Cold has preemptively beaten up his limo driver and slashed the tires.

After the break, Patterson and Brisco urge their boss to accept Austin’s challenge. “You broke the rest of them,” says Gerald Brisco. “Break him!”

“Break it down!” says D-X’s music in apparent agreement with Brisco. D-Generation X’s arrival is unscheduled, as viewers are supposed to see the WWF’s first-ever chain match, pitting—get ready for it—the Disciples of Apocalypse vs.—get ready for it again—Los Boricuas. Two of them, at least. The DOA is so used to wrestling the Boricuas every week that, even when faced with a real grievance (motorcycle urination), they can’t break the habit.

In this match, each man is chained not to an opponent, but to a ring post. Not that anybody’s watching this match. Instead, the cameras focus on D-X beating up Chainz— not the chains used in the match, but Brian Lee—on the outside. The degenerates then run in and, with the help of there socios, beat up the bald bikers in the ring. This leads the referee to throw the match out after two minutes, fifteen seconds.

As D-X chokes out Skull and 8-Ball, fans chant in vain for the “LOD”. Sorry, folks. If you want the LOD 2000 to come to the rescue, you have to call them by their proper name. D-X gets Savio and Jose Estrada to do the D-X crotch chop, only for Chyna to sneak up from behind and golpearles los cojones.

Backstage again, cameras catch Vince and his guys still discussing the Austin situation, this time with Shane McMahon, who urges his dad to turn down the fight.

As part of his job duties, Michael Cole plugs a t-shirt for the man who is about to beat up his boss. The limited edition “Wanna Raise SOME HELL?!”/“HELL YEAH” t-shirt costs $25, plus $6 shipping and handling. That’s sixty bucks in today’s money.

Cole’s promotional duties continue, this time for the US Army, which still prefers to route potential recruits through a hyperlink on the WWF’s AOL site, rather than just going to its own website. Though Brian Christopher’s theme plays throughout both the ad copy and the replay of Chainz being stretchered out, it’s Vince McMahon who walks through the curtain.

Interrupting a scheduled Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor vs. Pantera & Águila match, Vince clears the ring and grabs a mic. “For over fifty years”, McMahon begins, “the World Wrestling Federation has been a part of my heritage.” I thought he was going to say, “the revolutionary force in sports entertainment”. Vince says hopes to pass on his WWF heritage to his “son and daughter and their [respective] children”. While the WWF has always been about honor and integrity, Steve Austin has neither (and no will whatsoever, no will whatsoever).

Sometimes, Vince says, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do (and so does Vince). Thus, Vince says “Oh hell yeah” to fighting Steve Austin “in this ring tonight”. Notice he doesn’t say, “in this very ring” as he later would; it could be a trick! The fans cheer, and Patterson and Brisco slap hands, but the announcers say it’s a stupid idea. “He has no chance,” says Michael Cole. “No chance.” So that’s what he’s got?

Just when it seems that light heavyweight tag match is actually going to happen, Jim Ross takes it upon himself to put a stop to the Austin-McMahon match. But he doesn’t interrupt the match after all, simply leaving the announce desk to talk to Vince backstage. Before he can make it up the ramp, though, the lights go out.

“Not Kane!” says Michael Cole. And he’s right. It’s not Kane, it’s The Undertaker. “Finally, some sanity tonight”, says a relieved Cole about the guy who thinks he’s a zombie. Taker promptly chokeslams three of the four light heavyweights (Brian Christopher ditches his partner), too Cole’s horror. Like Austin before him tonight, Undertaker threatens to hold the show hostage until Kane answers him.

When WWF Raw returns, Kevin Kelly shows us footage of Jim Ross and Shane McMahon trying in vain to dissuade Vince.

Back in the ring, The Undertaker is long gone, replaced by Tennessee Lee, who introduces Double J. As Jarrett walks to the ring (no horse this time), promotional fliers drop from the ceiling. Cameras linger on two fans holding up the promotional materials, but apart some brief flashes of cameras, it’s far too dark to actually see anything.

Jeff Jarrett begins his match by stomping Taka Michinoku (who is his opponent; otherwise that would be quite an odd way to start a match). Promo cards continue to shower the ring as Steve Blackman appears on the split screen. Blackman says Double J can bet his “bottom dollar” (pardon his language) that he’ll get his revenge, whether it be tonight or at the Sawyer Brown concert at Unforgiven.

In the audience, a fan holds signs touting Savio Vega over Goldberg and celebrating Hulk Hogan’s 100th birthday. That’s a lot of trips across the International Date Line, brother.

Taka makes a comeback with a flying bodypress, but his efforts are hindered by the slippery 8x10s littering the canvas. Also impeding Taka as of late is “Club Kamikaze”, the trio of Japanese wrestlers who once again attacked Michinoku this past Saturday night. Taka attempts a dive off the top rope onto the outside, but Tennessee Lee gets in his way. As they lock eyes, Funaki attacks Taka from behind, causing a disqualification. As the Philly fans chant, “bWo”, Club Kamikaze get in their shots and flee, allowing Jeff Jarrett to slap the Figure Four on Taka.

Backstage, Steve Austin says he’s not surprised Vince McMahon accepted his offer, since he didn’t give him much choice.

When WWF Raw comes back from break, Patterson and Brisco give McMahon, now in his workout gear, pointers for his match.

As Jim Ross reiterates what a bad idea this is, unfamiliar rap music plays over the PA. It’s Faarooq’s new theme. The former Nation leader walks to the ring with taped ribs. With the occasional Double J flier still fluttering down from the ceiling, Faarooq challenges The Rock…

…who, backed by the rest of the Nation, tells him to “smell what The Rock is gonna cook”, which is that he’s going to “lay the smack down” on him. And, adds Rocky, there are only two things Faarooq can do about it: nothing, and like it. Faarooq responds with the Nation salute, which Rocky laughs about until Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman walk out with the Black Power salute. A brawl ensues which, thanks to Faarooq bringing “the Calvary”, is a fair fight. Dave Hebner, Commissioner Slaughter, and some referees step in as WWF Raw heads to break.

Terry Funk, now going by his birth name but using Cactus Jack’s theme music, comes to the ring to call his former partner, in so many words, a yellow-bellied egg sucker. Therefore, he’s going to “put Funk in everyone’s faces” with a new tag team partner. This partner is hardcore, but nobody knows it because of Vince’s stupid ideas. This partner? Flash Funk. Get it? They have the same last name. “He looks a little cold to me, King,” says Jim Ross about the once and future 2 Cold Scorpio.

The same fan who earlier held the anti-WCW signs now has an even more embarrassing sign for Vince McMahon. “Two Words: Thank You”. Also, “Who’s Goldberg? Nothing.”

The Quebecers, the Funks’ opponents tonight, isolate Funk. That is, Terry. Funk—that is, Flash—tags in and scores some quick offense before PCO takes control again. Scorpio then dodges the Tower of Quebec and hits a 450 to pick up the win for him and his new partner, Terry Funk. Move over, Cactus! (Mick Foley would eventually get his revenge on Scorpio, writing that he had a gigantic penis. Thankfully, he didn’t get sued over it.)

Before WWF Raw can turn into WWF WarZone, Luna walks down the aisle and grabs a mic. The anticipation for their evening gown match is “worse than PMS”, except her only “flow” is adrenaline. Luna dares Sable to meet her in the ring right then and there as the WarZone intro plays.

We’re All Together Now” ushers in WWF Raw’s second hour, where “Sable” answers Luna’s challenge. It is, in fact, Goldust in drag. Luna immediately gets to work stripping “Sable”, who expresses “her” displeasure on the microphone. With Goldust now wearing just a girdle, the real Sable shows up and tears at Vachon. “Somebody’s gonna be stripper to their bra and panties in Greensboro”, says Jim Ross before apologizing to his Mama.

Back on WWF Raw, Jerry Lawler laughs in anticipation of Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon, which he says will be the greatest thing he’s ever seen.

Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman come to the ring for a “non-title tag team match”. When you see who their opponents are—NWA Tag Team Champions The New Midnight Express—you’ve got to wonder whether the “non-title” stipulation might have been Ken and Steve’s idea. Ken limps to the ring, then stares down UFC rival Dan Severn. The NWA Champion exits the ring on referee’s orders.

Bombastic Bob, whose moniker Jim Ross eventually refuses to utter, squares off with Steve Blackman. Fans come alive only to boo a botched huracanrana. The announcers aren’t any more interested, using the match time to discuss tonight’s main event. Jerry Lawler says Vince could win tonight and become champion, but Jim Ross says the WWF isn’t the place for old guys wrestling. All four men end up brawling in the ring; the babyfaces eventually clear the ring, at which point the referee immediately throws out the match.

Vince McMahon, backstage surrounded by sycophants, says he’s not afraid of the US government, Ted Turner, or Stone Cold.

Once again, The Undertaker disrupts a tag match no one really cares about, though he’s one match too late. This time, it’s the Headbangers who get their match pre-empted. Mosh and Thrasher try to fight off the Dead Man, but still eat his finishers. At last, Kane arrives with Paul Bearer, who demands Taker fight Kane next week on their parents’ graves.

As WWF Raw goes to a commercial, Stone Cold carries his title through the hallways. A cable runner realizes he’s in the shot and ducks down behind a railing so no one notices.

Val Venis cuts a promo with some pixelated ladies, whom he’s casting in his new film, “Lust in Space”.

D-X, looking as cool as you possibly can with your t-shirt tucked into your jeans, come to the ring to answer a challenge from Owen Hart. The former European champion wants to know exactly who his opponent will be; Triple H describes a lewd essay contest held among the D-X members, which was won by Billy Gunn. Mr. Ass therefore gets the match. However, Owen has backup: LOD 2000, who earlier tonight couldn’t be bothered to help DOA avenge their piss-bikes.

Backstage, Vince McMahon warms up with resistance band.

WWF Raw returns with Gunn vs. Hart already under way. It can’t be easy for Gunn to wrestle with his former manager and mistress, Sunny, at ringside, but he does control the action at the moment. Controlling the commentary is Triple H, who buries LOD 2000 as dinosaurs whose new get-up is designed to sell action figures and cover up for their diminished in-ring ability. X-Pac then calls Owen Hart, “Owen Fart”.

Owen Fart turns Gunn upside with an enzuigiri, then pulls at his trunks to show the audience why they call him, “Mr. Ass”. (Answer: Because his nickname was, “Bad Ass”, but “Mister” is more formal). “Doesn’t Owen know,” says Triple H, “Crack is not good for you?” Continuing the hits, he says the LOD’s manager is named, “Skanky” and makes strained oral references. Owen puts Billy in a Sharpshooter until Chyna gets up on the apron. Gunn knocks Owen to the outside, where he and LOD stare down D-X.

After a commercial—the last commercial, says Ross—Owen is in control until Gunn turns it around with a Rocker Dropper (later the FameAsser). Gunn hits Owen with a powerslam and poses, only to be schoolboyed for the 1-2-3. As Hart celebrates and D-X protests, Jim Ross tells them to “suck it” and Hawk chops his crotch (Hawk’s, that is).

Jerry Lawler hypes up the massive physique of Vince McMahon, who power-struts to the ring with his stooges. Meanwhile, Jim Ross panics that a Vince McMahon hospitalization would ruin the company. Shane McMahon, who at age 52 would tear his quad wrestling The Miz, begs his 52-year-old father once more not to go through with this match. Speaking of the McMahon family, Jerry Lawler says Linda is upset that McMahon can’t perform sexually ever since last week’s Stone Cold low blow.

Vince McMahon tries on the WWF belt for size before handing it off to the referee. After a staredown with Austin, Vince slaps the champion across the face. Then, grabbing the mic, the boss says he’s going to hold Stone Cold to his word when he said he could beat Vince with one hand tied behind his back. Gerald Brisco does the honors with a length of rope.

After a lot of stalling, Dude Love comes to the ring to interrupt the match before it can even begin. On WWF Raw? Yes, believe it. Dude Love calls Vince, “Uncle Vinny” and his “McMain man”, but warns the boss about Austin putting him on his “A-Double-S”. Not in the mood, Vince shoves the down the Dude, who gets back up and tries to lock in the Mandible Claw. When Austin approaches, the Dude slaps it on the champion, then dances the Charleston.

A disgusted McMahon leaves with his entourage while the Dude continues to pummel Vince’s would-be opponent. The Dude taunts McMahon, who has to be restrained by officials. After a brief comeback, Austin gets beaten down some more by Foley as WWF Raw signs off.

It’s this segment that would help WWF Raw snap WCW Nitro’s 83-week winning streak, and it’s a good thing, too. Otherwise, Eric Bischoff’s podcast name wouldn’t make sense.

Final tally:

1 Jr’s Mama

Year total: 3

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