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.
Kevin Kelly is hanging out in the security office and informs us that Mr. McMahon has ordered the arrest of Stone Cold.
Mr. McMahon welcomes the police to the Pepsi Arena.
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.
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.
Taka is ambushed by three Japanese gentlemen, who would later be revealed to be Sho Funaki, Dick Togo, and Men's Teioh.
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.
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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