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WWF Raw Is War - January 11, 1999
by Scrooge McSuck
- Originally broadcasted live on the USA Network on, you guessed it, January 11th, 1999. That would be be only the 6th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw. Seems less impressive when you think about that. Anyway, we're coming from the Compaq Center in Houston, TX, and we're only 13 days away from the most predictable Royal Rumble in WWE History! I don't usually look forward to watching Raw's over-loaded with Russo booking, but without a viewable version of the 2007 Royal Rumble, I have to settle for THIS... pray for me.
- Michael Cole (back when he REALLY sucked) and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling all the 2-minute piss-break matches, unless otherwise noted. Yes, I'm feeling a bit douchey today, sorry... actually, that might be a GOOD thing when having to deal with shitty television shows from 1999.
- NEW WWF Champion Mankind is here to celebrate putting butts in the seats, having "won" the WWF Championship from The Rock, "last week", with a little more than just a little help from Corporate Thorn, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. It's not long until The Rock interrupts the celebration, demanding his title back. After some back-and-forth, Mankind relents and gives the Rock his rematch at the Royal Rumble... in an I QUIT MATCH. Oh, and there's going to be a Corporate Royal Rumble, tonight, IN THAT VERY RING, featuring the members of the Corporation (Duh) and D-Generation X. Winner gets to be the 30th entrant of the Royal Rumble Match in Anahiem, CA on January 24th.
- "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is HERE, and he's WALKING!
The New Age Outlaws (w/ Chyna) vs. Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra):
Winner eventually gets a shot at the Tag Team Championships, presently held by the Big Boss Man and Ken Shamrock. I wonder if Jarrett knew the only reason he had any heat was due to the desperate WWF audience wanting to see Debra's boobs? Last Sunday on Heat, Debra forced Boss Man to cop-a-feel, allowing Jarrett to roll him up for the victory. Gunn and Owen start. Owen does his fancy counter out of a wristlock and pounds away. Whip to the corner and Gunn with a press slam. Jarrett takes a slam as well, and gets worked over by Road Dogg. THIS IS FOR STEALING WITH MY BABY TONIGHT! Michael Cole pimps the debut of Gillberg... oh come on. Road Dogg with an inverted atomic drop, but Jarrett pretends he doesn't have balls and brings him down with a single-arm DDT. Owen goes for the Sharpshooter, but Road Dogg kicks away. We get the worst double dropkick spot in history, building up Gunn's "hot" tag. He must be throwing a party, cause there's plenty of punch for everyone! Fame-Asser to Owen, but Debra hops on the apron to earn her paycheck. It doesn't work on Billy (yeah, right), so Debra shows some EXTRA leg to Chyna (huh!?), and somewhere in all the chaos, Owen pins Road Dogg at 4:36. What the hell just happened?! It looks like Owen hit Road Dogg with a spinning heel kick for the pin. Match was watchable, but it's a shame we didn't even get a clean camera shot on the finish.
- Tony Garea is HERE to inform Gillberg he's up... and it's Light-Heavyweight Champion Duane Gill doing his best (worst?) Goldberg impression, complete with obviously canned "Gillberg" chants and "pyro" from the J.O.B. Squad (pyro being child-like sparklers). Nice of someone to hold the camera on a "WCW Sux" sign for a good 15-seconds as this is all happening. Sadly, we don't get him selling the fire extinguisher putting the pyro out. He does choke on the smog, so kudos for that. "Gillberg doesn't want to know who's next... Gillberg wants to know who's first?" Luna Vachon comes out to accept the challenge. Gillberg misses the spear. He goes for a suplex, but Luna counters, landing on top. She drops a leg, heads to the top, and finishes with a splash at 1:03. Did I mention Gillberg was the reigning Light-Heavyweight Champion? I did? Oh... suddenly, in a well timed instance to help change the subject, Tori the Stalker (and no, not Torrie Wilson) comes in to attack Luna, because she had a lesbian crush on Trish, or something. I don't know, it was a confusing (and stupid) angle.
- Last week on Monday Night Raw is War Zone, Shawn Michaels was laid out and put through a car windshield by the Corporation. That's what happens when you skip out on paying your dealer. Last night on Sunday Night Heat, JOSE LOTHARIO was in attendance, and got physically assaulted by Vince McMahon and the Stooges. I didn't even know he made another appearance after the 1997 Royal Rumble.
- Val Venis comes out, makes the moves on a girl in the front row that turns out the be Ken Shamrock's sister, and gets his ass handed to him by the World's Most Dangerous Man. Then we get Billy Gunn in his second appearance of the night, and he makes crude gestures at Shamrock's sister, too. It's a two-for-one special tonight when it comes to Shamrock Ass-Kickings, but Val Venis helps make the save, possibly in an effort to have a cute porno version of Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. Shamrock is so pissed off, he's giving Billy Gunn a shot at the Intercontinental Title at the Royal Rumble. Screw winning matches, show ass to your enemy and you'll get what you want. In Billy Gunn's defense, I would hit it, too.
- Steve Austin and Mankind are TALKING! We're halfway into the show, and yet we've had one REAL match. People really miss the Attitude Era?
WWF European Championship Match:
X-Pac © vs. Al Snow:
I personally believe the Hardcore Title had more prestige than the European Title. Honestly, what WAS the European Title? Some belt invented to put Davey Boy Smith over in a tournament nobody watched? Al Snow gets a title shot despite losing every match since November, and he's got no Head, thanks to Goldust. There's an angle that went nowhere... I know, I'm surprised. Snow grabs a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder. X-Pac with a hip toss, followed by a dropkick. He goes for the Bronco Buster, but Snow rolls to the floor. Snow with headbutts to the chest, followed by a tilt-o-whirl back breaker. Snapmare and chinlock, because 3-minute matches need chinlocks. X-Pac with a spinning heel kick, followed by a flipping clothesline. Snow ducks another clothesline and counters with a powerslam, for two. Snow to the top rope, but he misses a moonsault. X-Pac knocks Snow into the corner with a heel kick, and it's Bronco Buster time (cough:gay:cough). Here comes Goldust, teasing Snow with head, and giving it to him. X-Factor connects, and X-Pac retains at 2:55. Post-match, Goldust gives Al Snow Head, again. He's not doing a good job of giving him Head, because Al Snow keeps coming for more... match was what you would expect, a rushed mess.
- Vince McMahon is PEP-TALKING KAAAAANE~!
WWF Championship Match:
Mankind © vs. Kane:
Yes, this makes a lot of sense, considering we just set up the big Title Match at the Royal Rumble. That was only an hour ago, and we're supposed to expect this to be anything more than a trap to weaken Mankind in the days leading up to that match? Kane attacks before the bell, slamming Mankind into the ring steps. Mankind ducks under a shot to the face, and returns the favor of introducing Kane to the "steel", including a drop toe hold. Kane recovers, hanging Mankind up across the top rope. Whip to the corner, Mankind meets Kane with an elbow, and pounds away. Kane counters a charging whatever with a Spinebuster. Whip to the ropes and Kane with a big boot. Kane with choking as I beg for this match to end. Mankind comes out of nowhere with a Piledriver. He sends Kane to the floor with a baseball slide and goes for another Piledriver, but Kane counters, dropping Mankind incredibly awkwardly onto the ring steps. It only gets a two count. Kane to the top rope with his signature flying clothesline. He goes for a Chokeslam, but the referee casually ignores a low blow, and Mankind plants him with a double-arm DDT. He whips out Mr. Socko, but Kane's mask might not be wide enough for that to work. He still sells it, because... I don't know, dirty spooge socks are a practically weapon in wrestling. Kane escapes and connects with the Tombstone Piledriver, but the Rock runs in for the Disqualification at 6:04, because THAT MAKES SENSE! Rock levels Kane with a chair, then whacks Mankind with it, because, hey, why the fuck not? Suddenly, Steve Austin's Music Plays and Steve Austin runs out, allowing Mankind to recover and scare Rock away, unharmed. OK... match was just stuff happening.
Triple H (w/ Chyna) vs. Edge:
Hey, it's a Main Event anywhere in the world... in about 6-years. I wonder how long it took Michael Buffer's people to get WWF and Triple H to stop ripping off his "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" routine. Lockup, and Edge quickly starts pounding away in the corner. Triple H fights back with his own rights, including the classic mounted punches in the corner spot nobody is allowed to do anymore. Edge drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle and connects with a heel kick. Whip to the ropes and Edge connects with a clothesline. Whip is reversed, and this time it's a one-man flapjack for a two count. Edge misses a dive to the corner, allowing Hunter to make the big comeback. Whip to the ropes and a running high knee connects, followed by the signature knee to the face for a two count. Hunter goes for the Pedigree... near the corner, but Edge counters and slingshots him to the buckle. Swinging neckbreaker is countered, and a Pedigree finishes Edge off at 2:54. Suddenly, Christian and Gangrel show up and it's BLOODBATH TIME... for the Road Dogg? How the hell did that happen?! I guess DX ran out during the blackout, but that makes as much sense as, I don't know, Road Dogg winning the Intercontinental Title in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania XV.
- The Undertaker makes his return from being buried alive (again), this time as some bizarre cult leader who sacrifices Dennis Knight at the top of the entrance ramp, and later rebranding him "Mideon." He's also got the Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq) as his ass-kicking henchmen. What the unholy f*ck was this? Oh, and let's not ignore the burning cro.... Undertaker Symbol.
- D'Lo Brown is in the ring with Terri Runnels, and offers his servitude because he caused her to have a miscarriage (of Justice). Mark Henry comes out, Chyna comes out, stuff happens, and hey, look, Chyna has a friend named Sammi she wants to hook up with Mark Henry. Yeah, we all know this one "you've got a penis!" HA HA HA HA... Vince Russo and his penis loving. It never gets old (SARCASM! SARCASM! SARCASM!).
- Awesome training montage of Vince McMahon, including running in the snow and chasing chickens. Someone get me Rocky IV, NOW!
The Corporate Rumble Match:
As mentioned at the top of the broadcast, winner of this match gets to be the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble Match, LIVE, ON PPV, on January 24th. Only Corporation and D-Generation X members are allowed to participate, and we're never actually told specifically who is or isn't, just that anyone is allowed to compete. Ken Shamrock
is #1 (not even bothering to wear his ring attire, just sweats and a Raw is War shirt), and Billy Gunn
is #2. I wonder how they came up with the order of entrants. Shane McMahon joins the broadcast table for this one. Yay. Shamrock knocks Gunn off the apron and suicide dives OVER THE TOP ROPE, but, I dunno, I guess it doesn't count as an Elimination. Or does it. He slams Gunn into all the ringside furniture as we're officially informed of Shamrock being Eliminated. #3 is the Big Boss Man
, looking to pound that Ass. Gunn ducks a clothesline and hits a diving forearm. #4 is Test
, with New Age Outlaws music... BOTCHAMANIA IS RUNNING WILD! I guess they saw a talentless goof with long blonde hair and thought Billy Gunn was somehow going to enter the match twice. Test with a running boot, his only good move at the time.
#5 is X-Pac to even the numbers. Boss Man swats him away like a mosquito and chokes him out. Test sends Gunn to the floor with a hip toss at 3:57. Pumphandle Powerbomb on X-Pac. #6 is Road Dogg, and he quickly starts slugging it out with Test. Can Road Dogg pass the Test? If it's for Wellness Violations at the time, my money is on no. #7 is Corporate KAAAANE~!, and he has to be the odds on favorite! Corporate Kane quickly works over Road Dogg and clotheslines him out at 6:35. #8 is Triple H, possibly rounding out the field. Heel miscommunication leads to Kane tossing Test at 7:35, Triple H and X-Pac clothesline Kane out at 7:40, and Boss Man tosses X-Pac at 7:43, leaving Boss Man and Triple H. Suddenly, Vince McMahon comes out as (unofficial) entrant #9, looking jacked beyond belief for a man in his mid 50's. Triple H and Boss Man continue to battle it out near the ropes, allowing McMahon to sneak in and toss them both at 9:12 for the win... but wait, Chyna enters at #10, another entrant in a series of unofficial entrants. Here comes Steve Austin to create a distraction, allowing Chyna to attack from behind and toss out McMahon for the REAL victory at 10:52. Notice McMahon almost ripping his head off his shoulders getting hung up on the bottom rope during his elimination. After watching him no-sell two torn quad muscles at the 2005 Royal Rumble, I am 100% sure McMahon is some kind of an unstoppable Superman. Match served it's purpose and set up the historic "first woman to ever compete in a Royal Rumble Match."
Final Thoughts: As much as we can complain about how boring and predictable the current state of WWE is, at least we're promised at least one good match per show, compared to a trainwreck like this, where 5-minute matches seem too long, there's too much focus on backstage segments, and an endless stream of terrible angles. D'Lo/Terri Miscarriage! Mark Henry feels up a Tranny! Ministry of Darkness Undertaker sacrificing Dennis Knight! Gillberg! Jobbing the Light-Heavyweight Champion, using a comedy gimmick, to a woman! Corporate Kane! Goldust wanting Head from Al Snow! Ryan Shamrock! Yeah, f*ck the Attitude Era and anyone who dares say it's better than what we've got now.
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