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WWF RAW- June 8, 1998
by Doc Allen
In memory of Junkyard Dog.
Taped in Rockford, Illinois. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler.
Mr. McMahon and the Stooges come to the ring dressed in tuxedos. They're here to reveal The True Vince McMahon: a man of generosity and caring. Vince expects to be named "Humanitarian of the Year" before the night is over. Stone Cold is cordially invited to this very prestigious ceremony.
King of the Ring Qualifier:
The Godfather (with the Nation of Domination) vs. Ken Shamrock
This is the first time we've seen "The Godfather" on Raw. He hasn't yet evolved into the colorful, dancing fool yet, but he's got a cigar and pimp hat. He meets Shamrock for a slugfest. Shamrock hits a running crossbody for 2. Godfather counters a rana with a powerbomb. Shamrock looks for an ankle lock but Godfather gets a rope break. Godfather hits a shoulder block, but Shamrock trips him into the grapevine ankle lock for the quick submission at 2:43. Decent short match, *.
Winner: Ken Shamrock
Dan Severn runs in to protect Shamrock from any Nation retaliation.
DX hang out in New York City to promote Summerslam. They goof around with pedestrians, make racist jokes towards street vendors, and talk one young lady into flashing the camera. "Revolutionary?"
Marc Mero (with Jacqueline) and Jeff Jarrett (with Tennessee Lee) vs. Steve Blackman and Faarooq
Fans chant "Sable" while Mero enjoys a hot start against Faarooq. Dominator by Faarooq! Blackman tags and goes after the arm, but Mero pokes the eyes. Jarrett tags, but Blackman outmaneuvers him into a roundhouse kick. Jarrett answers with a side Russian leg sweep. Blackman recovers and hits a power slam. The match breaks down, Faarooq and Blackman butt heads in double reverse whips. Blackman uses Jarrett to knock Mero from the apron and gets the quick pin at 3:15. Another decent short match. They managed to set up Mero vs. Jarrett in the KOTR tournament without doing anything goofy, *¼.
Winners: Steve Blackman and Faarooq
DX continue bothering people in NYC.
King of the Ring Qualifier:
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Owen Hart (with The Nation of Domination)
The refs stop the rest of the Nation from coming to ringside, Owen shrugs it off like no big deal. They lock up and trade wristlocks. Scorpio runs into Owen's leg lariat. Baseball slide dropkick by Owen, followed by a slingshot crossbody to outside! Scorpio comes back, Owen cuts him off with a German suplex. Neckbreaker by Owen followed by a flying elbow gets 2. Owen dives into Scorpio's boot. Scorpio hits a spinning kick for 2, then a powerbomb. Scorpio misses the moonsault! Owen chopblocks Scorpio's bad knee. Owen applies a vicious Sharpshooter for the quick submission at 5:16. Overwhelming decent TV match from two guys with great chemistry, **¼.
Winner: Owen Hart
The Undertaker arrives, sadly no longer in casual sweatpants. I'll always remember the Sweatertaker, let's leave the memories alone.
Darren Drozdov vs. Chainz
Droz scores first with a shoulder block. Droz hits a second shoulder block and then reverses a hip toss. Droz sends Chainz outside with a dropkick. Chainz returns with a big boot for 2. Power slam by Chainz, but he misses a flying knee drop. Droz misses a Stinger Splash and Chainz makes him pay with a Death Valley Driver to win at 2:50. Flat match, ½*.
Undertaker strolls in to chokeslam Chainz. Chokeslam for Droz too. The lesson here is that both guys are total jobbers.
Back from commercials, Undertaker is still pacing around the ring when Mr. McMahon and the Stooges appear on the Titantron, apparently completely ignoring him and going on with their night. Taker storms off to do something about it.
D-Generation X come to the ring to a babyface ovation. They run through their catchphrases and try to handle some business with the Nation, but they're interrupted by LOD 2000 and Sunny. LOD demand a title shot now. Triple H tells them to calm down before they suffer an aneurysm, they'd be happy to give them a shot. DOA ride in on their bikes and complain about LOD cutting them in line. Triple H says they can't fight everyone at once, so why don't they all s*ck it instead. Sgt. Slaughter arrives and books a triple threat match for later.
Meanwhile, Undertaker destroys the catering department.
Edge video package portraying him as a mysterious, handsome, tormented young man.
Mark Henry vs. Vader
Vader doesn't take kindly to Henry's disrespect and hits a body avalanche. Henry counters with a gigantic scoop slam. Elbow drop by Henry pops the crowd. Henry slows things down with body shots. Vader answers with another avalanche and a monstrous power slam. Henry reverses the Vader Bomb with a power slam! The Undertaker shows up to chokeslam Henry for the DQ at 2:40, ruining a perfectly good hoss fight. Chokeslam for Vader! The crowd mostly pops, but you can hear some scattered booing out there too. I don't blame them, I wanted a finish too, *½.
Winner via DQ: Mark Henry
Video highlights of Sable losing her job at Over the Edge.
King of the Ring Qualifier:
D'Lo Brown vs. Dan Severn
D'Lo slaps the face, which earns him a barrage of strikes from Severn. They lock up, Severn reverses into a waistlock takedown. Spin heel kick by D'Lo, but he gets carried away taunting, and Severn grabs him for a belly to belly suplex. Severn lights Brown and hits a German suplex. Severn applies a nasty Bow and Arrow submission to win at 2:56. Pretty boring, but that finisher ruled, ¾*.
Winner: Dan Severn
Owen Hart tries a run-in but Severn sends him running.
Music video commemorating the career of Sable. I think this was intended to draw sincere sympathy from the viewers, but is far too cheesy in a 90's pop-rock sort of way.
Val Venis vs. Dustin Runnels
Val cuts a goofy promo comparing himself to Dennis Rodman. Dustin has fallen backwards into a JTTS role pretty quickly after ditching his Goldust persona. Dustin still manages to show some fire with a rapid back body drop and clothesline outside. Dustin slams Val's face into the steps. Dustin hits an armdrag and goes to work on Val's arm. Venis comes back with a back suplex. Dustin escapes a chinlock, but Val reverses his sleeper with a jawbreaker. Val works a camel clutch, but Dustin breaks free with a questionable low blow. Atomic drop, uppercut, and clothesline by Dustin. Flying clothesline by Dustin gets 2, so does a bulldog. The Undertaker runs in to ruin another match by dishing out chokeslams at 5:37. The crowd seems more irritated this time. Really solid TV match until the Russo finish, *½.
Doc Hendrix hosts Slam Jam. DX interrupt to hose him down with Super Soakers, available now at your local toy store.
WWF Tag Team Championship:
The New Age Outlaws © (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, with Chyna) vs. LOD 2000 (Hawk and Animal, with Sunny) vs. DOA (Skull and 8-Ball)
Before the bell, we're interrupted by footage of Undertaker kicking Sgt. Slaughter's @ss backstage. After commercials, Triple H and X-Pac make themselves comfortable on the stage with cue cards containing sexual innuendo jokes. Bell rings, Hawk enjoys a hot start with power slams, but then misses an elbow drop on Gunn. 8-Ball tags and drops Hawk with a big boot. Road Dogg catches 8-Ball with jabs, 8-Ball answers with a hard clothesline for 2. DOA hit Dogg with double big boots. Road Dogg pokes Skull's eyes and accidentally tags in Hawk. Hawk powerslams Skull, who pops up to eat an enziguri. Hawk gives Skull a neckbreaker for 2. Hawk tags Gunn in with a slap, Gunn puts the boots to Skull. Gunn's drop toe hold sets Skull up for Road Dogg's Shake, Rattle, and Roll knee drop. The Outlaws scheme to force DOA and LOD back in as legal men. Animal slaps Road Dogg for a tag, Skull low blows Dogg and hits a sidewalk slam for 2. Road Dogg thumbs the eyes and forces another tag to LOD, giving the Outlaws another break. LOD are wise to the Outlaws' games and force them back into the ring. Dogg and Gunn are whipped into each other, and somehow find themselves as the legal men and are forced to fight. Road Dogg lies down for Gunn to easily pin him at 7:41. That might be the most hilarious finish to any match, ever. I don't want to say nice things about a DOA match, but this was a lot of fun, with lively action, quick tags, and top tier mindgames by the champs, ***.
Winners and still WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws
Local authorities arrive at the arena, something must be happening.
Al Snow and Head crash commentary. Snow gets caught up arguing with Head, and the police take him away.
Our main event segment is Mr. McMahon's "Humanitarian of the Year" award ceremony. Vince and the Stooges return to the ring. Meanwhile, the police militia has surrounded The Undertaker backstage. Back in the ring, Kevin Kelly introduces special guest, WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin, who is sarcastically wearing a black tie over his usual attire. Special guests include former New York Giant, George Martin, who thanks Vince for his donation, despite it being far less than they expected. Former Chicago Bears player, Darnell Autry, thanks Vince , even if there was trouble with his check. Martin and Autry both put Austin over as their favorite WWF star, which Austin sells with a perfect smirk in Vince's face. Vince humbly accepts the awards, thanks the fans, and extends friendship towards Stone Cold. Austin pulls a wad of cash out of Vince's pockets and hands it to Martin, and declares Vince to be the "Jackass of the Year." The lights go out and Undertaker's druids wheel out a casket. Mankind climbs out from under the ring, Kane pops out of the casket, and they put the boots to Austin. They throw Austin into the casket and stand tall while Kane's pyro explodes.
Final Thoughts: These shows continue to serve as fantastic comfort food for me. If you're not nostalgic for this era, there isn't that much to sink your teeth in, other than the amusing and well crafted main event talking segments. Recommended to those looking for some goofy entertainment and an escape from real life.
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