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WWF RAW- March 30, 1998

by Samoa Rowe

Stone Cold! Stone Cold!

Written in June 2021. Follow me on Twitter @SamoaRowe.

It's the night after Wrestlemania 14, which means we're officially in the Stone Cold era, and Shawn Michaels has wrestled his final match until 2002.

From the Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York. Our hosts are Jim Ross and Michael Cole (and later Jerry Lawler).

Mr. McMahon comes to the ring with the new WWF World Championship and the fans hate his guts. He puts on a brave face and introduces the new champion, Stone Cold Steve Austin, to a monstrous ovation. Vince talks out of both sides of his mouth and declares pride that Austin is champion, and with Vince's mental prowess, they can work together. Austin isn't buying any of this, because he and Vince obviously hate each other, and he's not going to pretend otherwise. Vince says he doesn't hate anyone and awkwardly says that he's a hell of a guy and loves him. Austin takes exception to Vince's use of the word "love" and demands that he explain himself. Austin sarcastically says he loves Vince too, and now that the sentimental BS is out of the way, he's going to do things his own way and make Vince's life a living hell, because no one tells Stone Cold what to do. Vince says Austin can do things "the easy way" and be flexible and adapt to his wishes, or he can do things "the hard way" which is too horrible to even discuss. Kick, Wham, Stunner, and the hard way it is. This is easily one of the greatest opening Raw segments ever.

The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal, with Sunny) vs. Los Boricuas (Jesus Castillo and Jose Estrada)

LOD unleash complete carnage and finish with the Doomsday Device at 0:35! The fans are pleased with this result.
Winners: The Legion of Doom

Kevin Kelly is hanging out in the security office and informs us that Mr. McMahon has ordered the arrest of Stone Cold.

Kurrgan (with The Jackyl) vs. Chainz

Chainz goes for a headlock and gets tossed off. Kurrgan hits a slow motion back body drop. Meanwhile, Mr. McMahon and the stooges are looking for Stone Cold in the parking garage. Back to the pesky match, Chainz runs into a clothesline. Kurrgan misses a turnbuckle splash and Chainz hits a running boot. Kurrgan answers with a big boot and finishes with the Paralyzer at 2:14. Bad match, but they quickly move on to the next thing, DUD.
Winner: Kurrgan

Mr. McMahon welcomes the police to the Pepsi Arena.

Jeff Jarrett (with Tennessee Lee) vs. Aguila

Aguila turns his back on Jarrett and gets blindsided. It's all Jarrett from there. Aguila tries to make something happen with back flips into a spin heel kick. Aguila hits a flipping arm drag into a lariat. Jarrett fails to properly dodge Aguila's corkscrew press, but still finishes with the Figure Four at 2:38. Bad squash, DUD.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett

Steve Blackman runs in for the ambush on Jarrett, but he gets dropped out onto his back.

The police have Austin in their custody, but he still manages to lunge at Mr. McMahon.

Mr. McMahon, Sgt. Slaughter, and Gerald Brisco come to the ring to further address the Stone Cold situation. Vince feels that 24 hours in the slammer will help Austin cool off. Mr. McMahon stands by his choice and drops the mic.

Triple H and Chyna talk to the camera, D-X is coming to an X-rated end.

Backstage interview with the Nation of Domination. The Rock is still the Intercontinental Champion due to Ken Shamrock getting disqualified for kicking too much @ss. The Rock owes Shamrock an @ss-kicking, but first, he puts Faarooq over for his leadership.

The Nation of Domination (IC Champion The Rock and Faarooq, with Mark Henry, Kama Mustafa, and D'Lo Brown) vs. Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman

Bell rings, and Rock and Faarooq are already arguing. Rock pretends to want the start against Shamrock, stalls heavily, and then makes an unwanted tag. Faarooq goes after Shamrock with body shots and a power slam. Shamrock fires back with his own body shots and big kick. Blackman tags, misses a bicycle kick, and eats Faarooq's suplex. Blackman dodges an elbow drop and hits a martial arts kick. Shamrock takes a cheap shot at Rock and continues dominating Faarooq. Spinebuster by Faarooq buys enough time for a tag, but Rock leaves him hanging. Shamrock's belly to belly finishes it at 4:25. Why can't the Nation ever get along? *. Winners: Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman

Faarooq has finally had enough of Rock's nonsense and orders him to return for an @ss whooping. Rock returns for a pull apart brawl. Faarooq doesn't want to stop fighting, and the other Nation guys turn on him! The fans couldn't care less about that swerve. Faarooq eats a Rock Bottom.

D-Generation X, now only consisting of European Champion Triple H and Chyna, come to the ring to share some big news! Shawn Michaels dropped the ball when he insisted on trusting Mike Tyson, so Triple H is picking up the ball and leading a new DX Army. He introduces the newest member, X-Pac, to a pretty big pop. X-Pac directly tells off Hulk Hogan, and claims that Kevin Nash and Scott Hall would be here with them if they had their way. Based on this promo and fan reaction, you'd think X-Pac would go on to be a major star. Instead, this run would lead to the phrase "X-Pac Heat."

Val Venis is introduced for the first time while watching p0rn in bed. He's watching his own flick and seems impressed with himself. He's going to penetrate the WWF and make all the ladies squeal in delight.

WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku vs. Marc Mero (with Sable)

Luna shows up before the bell to challenge Sable to a match. Sable agrees to any match, so Luna sets up an evening gown match. Mero doesn't like the sound of that one bit. The bell finally rings, and Taka gets a hot start with running spin heel kicks. Mero cuts him off with a powerbomb. Mero chokes with medical tape, and turns to give Sable orders, and nearly gets rolled up. Mero hits a low blow and TKO to win at 1:36. This was a whole lot of nothing. Sable, the babyface, is heading into a match where if she loses, the fans can see her nearly naked, which is what they seem to want, so... they want her to lose? DUD.
Winner: Marc Mero

Taka is ambushed by three Japanese gentlemen, who would later be revealed to be Sho Funaki, Dick Togo, and Men's Teioh.

NWA Tag Team Championship:
The Headbangers © (Mosh and Thrasher) vs. The New Midnight Express (Bob Holly and Bart Gunn, with James E. Cornette and Dan Severn)

The Headbangers control the early action and hit Holly with a double back drop. Mosh atomic drops Holly onto Gunn, but the Midnight Express stumble into a tag and work over Thrasher. Hot tag to Mosh, and he cleans house in adequate fashion, but I'm ready to get this over with. The Midnight Express cut him off with the Rocket Launcher and win the titles at 4:00. This is the exact kind of match that Cornette would be complaining about on his podcast today, DUD.
Winner and new NWA Tag Team Champions: The New Midnight Express

Cornette unleashes Severn and he destroys the Headbangers with suplexes.

Stone Cold calls in from jail to throw some shade on Vince.

The ring crew needs time to set up the goofy blue cage, so Kane and Paul Bearer come out to kill some time. They're not too bothered by Kane's loss to Undertaker at Wrestlemania, because Kane managed to kick out of the Tombstone piledriver. They challenge the Dead Man to an Inferno match at Unforgiven.

WWF Tag Team Championship (Steel Cage Match):
Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie vs. The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg)

The titles are vacant after Cactus and Charlie got stripped for reasons. They brawl at the bell. Gunn gets hung up on the cage for some easy shots. Charlie has a ruptured kidney but still manages to take Gunn down, but Road Dogg ambushes with blatant choking. The Outlaws handcuff Charlie to the cage, freeing them up to double team Cactus with a flapjack into the steel. Cactus answers with double DDT's! Cactus catapults Gunn into the cage, and reverses a hard Irish whip on Road Dogg. Cactus crotches Gunn on the ropes, but DX runs in for the distraction. They pass in a chair, and the Outlaws finish Cactus with a spike piledriver at 4:37! They didn't have a second to lose, and they made the most of it, **½.
Winners and new WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws

DX welcome the Outlaws to the fold with a gang beatdown on Cactus and Charlie.

Final Thoughts: You know what, the way this episode reset the show after Wrestlemania with the era-defining Vince/Austin confrontation and evolution of DX is nothing short of genius. That's right, I said genius. It's this sort of genius that's been missing in the WWE for 20 years and change. Yeah, the wrestling itself was pretty much dreck, but it doesn't matter when the stories on top are this good.

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