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WWF RAW- February 16, 1998
by Samoa Rowe
Written in May 2021. Follow me on Twitter @SamoaRowe.
From the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Kevin Kelly, Michael Cole, and eventually Jerry Lawler.
The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) vs. The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre)
Hawk knocks down Jacques and showboats, allowing Jacques to kip up for an ambush dropkick. Jacques gets carried away showboating with more kip ups, and Hawk makes him pay. Pierre and Animal run the ropes until Pierre maneuvers into a shoulder block. Animal answers with a body slam, and the Quebecers regroup while fans chant "USA!" The Quebecers cheap shot Animal, and Pierre delivers a somersault senton off the apron. The New Age Outlaws roll a dumpster to the ring, and the ref somehow misses them throwing Hawk in. The Outlaws sit on the lid to keep Hawk in while the Quebecers pick apart Animal. Double clothesline by Animal, but there's no one there for a hot tag. Animal finally notices the Outlaws sitting on the dumpster and connects the dots. LOD chase out the Outlaws, leaving the Quebecers to enjoy a countout victory at 6:13. Surprisingly good physical battle before the amusing non-finish. At least they used to put effort into their dumb TV finishes. This same match booked by 2021 standards would have gone through a commercial and ended when the Outlaws' music blasted and a Quebecer rolled up Animal.
Winners via countout: The Quebecers
Hype video for Chyna, presenting her as tough as the men. Despite all this, she's suing Steve Austin for emotional distress.
Ken Shamrock vs. Sniper (with Recon and The Jackyl)
Shamrock controls the early action and throws Sniper out. Sniper returns for a head scissors, but Shamrock counters into a side headlock. Sniper grabs the ropes to break a grapevine ankle lock. Sniper clotheslines Shamrock out and Recon picks up the scraps. Shamrock rebounds with a crossbody block, but Sniper hits a clothesline and sidewalk slam for 2. Suplex by Sniper, but he misses an elbow drop, which leads to Shamrock rallying. The ankle lock ends it at 5:13. Decent match with a rare clean finish.
Winner: Ken Shamrock
The Jackyl berates Sniper and then slaps him. Sniper retaliates with a shove to the back of Jackyl's head. Recon tries to play peacekeeper, but Jackyl is more amused than anything. He'd made it pretty clear on commentary that he views Recon and Sniper as child-like simpletons who he could manipulate, so he's not sweating this.
Jim Ross asks Recon if there's been a communication breakdown in the Truth Commission. Recon denies it, but Sniper angrily disagrees.
Jerry Lawler interviews Marc Mero and Sable in the ring. Jerry asks if the happy couple is splitting up. Mero says he's sick of being portrayed as the bad man. He tells a sob story about when he was in the hospital by himself he had to turn on Raw to see Sable in an Austin t-shirt. Mero complains about Sable's provocative attire and popularity, but insists that she's under his control. Jerry reminds Marc that Sable pushed him recently, and he dismisses it as a mistake. They're interrupted by a bouquet delivery for Sable and Mero demands to know who's sending her gifts. Sable is flattered that someone is thinking about her, for a change, and storms off.
James E. Cornette rants about the fans not properly appreciating his efforts to bring traditional wrestling back to the WWF. He is appalled by the fickleness, and he's going to teach us all what real wrestling is, and we're going to like it with a smile on our face. Is this still a worked promo or a recent episode of his podcast?
NWA Tag Team Championship:
The Rock N Roll Express © (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, with James E. Cornette) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher)
NWA referee Tommy Young is officiating. The Headbangers enjoy a hot start until Morton hangs Mosh on the ropes. The RnR Express properly work Mosh over in their corner. Mosh hits a double DDT for some separation. Hot tag for Thrasher and he hits Morton with a power slam for 2. The Headbangers hit a wild and dangerous flapjack on Morton. They follow with the Stage Dive, but they get disqualified for throwing the interfering Gibson over the top rope at 4:09. Womp, womp.
Winners via DQ: The Rock N Roll Express
Stone Cold Steve Austin marches to the ring in a fanny pack. Jim Ross asks him about the Chyna situation. Austin says she found out the same lesson that everyone does: you don't mess with Stone Cold, and she's lucky that he was in such a good mood. Austin hopes HBK is getting into good shape for Wrestlemania, but the @ss-whooping will be the same either way. Austin drops some more catchphrases and poses in J.R.'s cowboy hat to an adoring audience.
WWF European Championship:
Owen Hart © vs. NWA North American Champion Jeff Jarrett (with James E. Cornette, Barry Windham, and The Rock N Roll Express)
Referee Earl Hebner preemptively ejects Cornette and friends, presumably because he watches this show every week. Owen clotheslines Jarrett out and then hits a flying crossbody for 2. Cornette manages to slip back to trip Owen and hit him with the racket. Jarrett capitalizes with a swinging neckbreaker. Owen takes a timeout and Cornette attacks. Owen chases Cornette into the ring, and Jarrett hits an opportunistic DDT for 2. Jarrett kicks out of a backslide pin and hits a clothesline. They both go down with stereo shoulder tackles. Owen pulls Jarrett's crotch into the ring post and then hits a missile dropkick. Inverted atomic drop by Owen and then an enziguri. Cornette rescues Jeff from a Figure Four and the match is thrown out at 5:29. This had great energy and crowd heat.
Winner via DQ: Owen Hart
Owen manages to put Cornette into a Sharpshooter long enough to badly hurt his knee.
Hype video for the hot young up and coming star... Dok Hendrix. He's here to play guest ring announcer. Kane marches in and puts Hayes down with a chokeslam and Tombstone piledriver.
Sunny comes out to play guest ring announcer and is spared from Kane.
Aguila and WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku vs. Brian Christopher and Pirata Morgan
Hot start for Aguila, who overwhelms Morgan and quickly hits a corkscrew plancha. Christopher begs for a tag but Taka tears through him and hits an Asai moonsault. Christopher rakes the eyes and hits Taka with a brutal sunset flip powerbomb off the apron. Taka looks to have been knocked loopy, and Christopher hits an ill-advised missile dropkick aimed right at his head. German suplex by Christopher and it's nice knowing this match is 23 years old and Taka is alright. Taka makes a comeback against Morgan and hits a top rope rana for 2. Morgan counters with a powerbomb, but then misses a diving splash. Aguila removes Christopher with a spinning heel kick, and Michinoku finishes Morgan with his driver at 5:37. Fun match, but a brutal night for Taka.
Winners: Taka Michinoku and Aguila
WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock congratulates himself for retaining his title at No Way Out and has gifts for his Nation of Domination brothers. He hands out gold watches to Kama Mustafa, D'Lo Brown, and Mark Henry. He gifts Faarooq a framed portrait of himself. Faarooq angrily throws the picture down, but before Rock can react, Steve Blackman arrives for action.
Faarooq (with the Nation of Domination) vs. Steve Blackman
Blackman lights Faarooq up with stiff kicks, but Faarooq swats away a dropkick. Blackman misses a running crossbody and eats a Dominator. Faarooq is distracted by Rock holding up his portrait. Faarooq tries to use the picture as a weapon, but Rock yanks it back, and Blackman wins via roll-up at 1:35. Nothing match and goofy angle, 90 seconds is a relief.
Winner: Steve Blackman
Faarooq finishes destroying the picture and The Rock has to be held back from an attack.
Michael Cole interviews D'Lo Brown outside the Nation's locker room, but it's hard to hear him over all the yelling inside.
Goldust (with Luna Vachon) and Marc Mero vs. Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie
Goldust locks up with Charlie and plants a kiss on his lips. That fires Funk up and he pummels Goldust into a tag. Mero unloads while the fans chant for the absent Sable. Cactus tags in and hits a shoulder block. Foley and Funk make quick tags and hit Mero with a double drop toe hold. Goldust gets a tag and gives Funk the bionic elbow, but the crowd is distracted by Sable's return. Luna destroys Sable's bouquet while Mero holds her back. Meanwhile, Cactus swings a chair at Goldust, and Charlie gets an easy pin at 4:17.
Sable and Luna attempt a catfight to end the broadcast.
Final Thoughts: Silly episode of Raw, but everything just kept moving so quickly, nothing had a chance to overstay its welcome or become tedious. These shows give a certain comfort when you know what an uninteresting match will probably be over in less than 5 minutes, and not make you wait through a commercial break before getting to whatever dumb finish is planned. This format catered to casual fans and is an underrated part of the WWF's ratings success through this period.
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