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WWF RAW- June 1, 1998
by Doc Allen
Live from Chicago, Illinois. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler.
Highlights from last night's Over The Edge main event, with an amusingly maniacal voice-over by Mr. McMahon. He proclaims Austin to be the most undeserving and cold-hearted WWF Champion in history.
Show opens with Mick Foley in the ring, apologizing for Dude Love's recent actions. He brings out Mr. McMahon to apologize for hitting him with a chair and hopes that he can be #1 contender again soon. Vince balks at being asked to forgive a miserable failure of a WWF superstar and human being. He demands that Foley get down on his knees. Foley's kids are watching at home, so Mick refuses and admits that it felt pretty good hitting Vince with a chair. Mr. McMahon dares Mick to do it again, but reminds him that he's financially dependent on the WWF. Vince won't fire Austin because he makes him richer, but Foley on makes him sick, so his services are no longer required. Vince dances around to Dude Love's theme while Foley hangs his head in shame.
LOD 2000 and Droz gather weapons in the alley.
Kevin Kelly wants a word with Droz, who tries and fails to puke on him. LOD 2000 and Sunny interrupt, and Animal is amused that there's puke on Kelly's shoes. Chainz rides in on a motorcycle and the Street Fight promptly begins.
LOD 2000 (Animal, Hawk, and Darren Drozdov, with Sunny) vs. DOA (8-Ball, Skull, and Chainz)
It's a chaotic brawl in the driveway to the arena. Neither team has a clear advantages as weapons go flying. Sunny arms herself with a lead pipe and retreats to the outskirts. Chainz and Droz are the last two guys standing, but The Undertaker arrives in casual sweats, and beats them both up. Taker puts on some shades and casually walks away. The fight just kind of ends at 4:00. DUD.
A very satisfied looking Val Venis greets the fans and makes penis innuendos.
Val Venis vs. Papi Chulo
Venis aggressively hits a back elbow and pummels Chulo to the mat. Camel Clutch by Val is, um, enhanced with some hip gyrating. Vertical suplex by Val, who then blocks Chulo's springboard crossbody. The crowd is totally restless. Chulo's comeback attempts keep getting thwarted, but he manages a back heel kick. Val counters a crucifix attempt and finishes with the Money Shot at 3:34. Subpar squash that lost the crowd, ¼*.
Winner: Val Venis
The Undertaker must be pretty confident to wear sweatpants in public and he's here in the ring, demanding Mr. McMahon. While he credits Vince for giving him an opportunity and allowing him to be himself, he resents that he was used to slay the giants and freaks that Vince knew the handpicked champions couldn't beat. All of Vince's favorites left him for WCW, but Taker remained loyal, only to see Kane and Paul Bearer drag his family's tragedies all over TV. Undertaker is sick of waiting and demands a shot at the WWF title. Mr. McMahon arrives and demands to know what Taker has done for him lately. He orders Undertaker to fight Kane yet again for a shot at the gold.
Over the Edge clips reveal that Marc Mero tricked Sable into a rollup to send her packing from the WWF. Mero comes to the ring for his match and gloats that he sent Sable back to the kitchen, where she belongs. Mero unveils Jacqueline as his newest valet.
King of the Ring Qualifying Match:
Steve Blackman vs. Marc Mero (with Jacqueline)
Mero scores first with body shots, but Steve lights him up with martial arts attacks. Jacqueline consoles Mero with a big hug. Blackman continues his relentless assault and hits an elbow drop to the spine. Blackman hits a front slam and then a backbreaker. Snap suplex by Blackman, then a pump kick, but Mero gets a rope break. Jacqueline distracts while Mero hits a low blow. Mero hits a Samoan drop and then a surprising Shooting Star Press for the win at 2:54. Simplistic match that nonetheless establishes what Mero and Jacqueline are all about going forward, ½*.
Winner: Marc Mero
Footage of Stone Cold appearing on Mancow's Morning Madhouse. Mr. McMahon called in for another round of verbal sparring.
Edge, the mysterious, complex hunk, will be here soon.
Six Man Elimination Match:
D-Generation X (European Champion Triple H and WWF Tag Team Champions Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, with X-Pac and Chyna) vs. The Nation of Domination (IC Champion Rocky Maivia, Owen Hart, and D'Lo Brown, with Mark Henry and Kama Mustafa)
Sgt. Slaughter preemptively kicks out the extra DX and Nation members. HHH and D'Lo trade fire. HHH hits a knee lift and tags Road Dogg in for the Shake, Rattle, and Roll elbow drop. D'Lo hits Dogg with a spinebuster for 2. Gunn tags and hits D'Lo with jabs. Piledriver by Gunn finishes D'Lo at 1:29. The Rock storms in, but Gunn pokes his eyes to trap him in DX's corner. Rock catches Road Dogg with a Rock Bottom to pin him at 2:25. Gunn scoop slams Rock to regain control. Owen gets a blind tag and hits Gunn with a missile dropkick for 1. DDT by Gunn, but he misses a corner splash and eats Owen's spin heel kick to get pinned at 3:45. Chyna struts back out as they cut to commercials. They return with HHH getting a visual pinfall on Owen, but Rock had the ref distracted. Rock and Owen give HHH the old wishbone treatment. Rock hits the Peoples' Elbow for 2. HHH hits a facebuster, and Pedigree to finish Rock at 7:13. Owen and HHH duke it out. Ken Shamrock runs in to assault Owen and draw the DQ at 7:47, thus negating the entire match. They usually come up with any excuse to avoid pinning anyone cleanly, and this time they made four guys take rapid pinfalls to set up a DQ. We're sliding into Full Russo territory, *.
Winner via DQ: Triple H
A brawl immediately follows, with Dan Severn getting involved. Order is restored before Triple H and Ken Shamrock start going at it.
The Undertaker ponders the meaning of life in his sweats.
Mr. McMahon is spotted having a friendly conversation with Paul Bearer and Kane, even getting Kane to shake his hand. That doesn't bode well for Undertaker.
King of the Ring Qualifier:
Jeff Jarrett (with Tennessee Lee and Southern Justice) vs. Faarooq
Lee reintroduces the Godwinns as Southern Justice, because Northerners don't know how to appreciate Southern gentlemen. Faarooq gets a hot start, gets distracted by Lee, and misses a falling headbutt. Jarrett capitalizes, but Faarooq responds with a clothesline. Jarrett repeatedly attacks the face to gain control. Faarooq comes back with a scoop slam and leg drop for 2. Vertical suplex by Faarooq also gets 2. Jarrett trips Faarooq off the ropes but then eats a powerbomb. Southern Justice distract the ref while Lee passes a leather strap to Jarrett, for a weapon shot and easy pinfall at 3:20. I know if you're going to give a heel new backup, they really have to win via interference right away, but having both KOTR qualifiers go down this way sure feels like overkill, ½*.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Video package painting Mr. McMahon as a charitable saint. It's funny, fast forward ten years or so, they'd be airing unironic versions of these videos on Raw almost every week.
WWF Light Heavyweight Championship:
Taka Michinoku © (with Justin Hawk Bradshaw) vs. Sho Funaki (with Kai En Tai)
Taka cuts off Funaki's ambush with a soaring crossbody to outside. Tornado DDT by Taka is reversed into an atomic drop! Taka blocks a German suplex and nails a rana. Funaki misses a clothesline and hits Dick Togo instead. Taka capitalizes with an Asai moonsault. Al Snow and Head goof around in stereotypical Japanese garb at ringside. Meanwhile, Funaki swats away Taka's missile dropkick and hits a vertical suplex. Funaki misses a flying elbow and Taka double stomps the back of his head. The Michinoku Driver ends it at 3:10. This was lots of fun while it lasted, *½.
Winner and still WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Taka Michinoku
Paul Bearer rants about how confident Kane is when facing The Undertaker again.
Al Snow berates Head for screwing up yet again. Head is wearing some outrageously offensive glasses that makes it look like he has Asian eyes. Let's move on, shall we?
Mr. McMahon joins commentary for giggles.
King of the Ring Qualifier:
Mark Henry vs. Terry Funk
Funk connects with some early chops and a neckbreaker. Funk hits a sneaky low blow and unleashes more chops. Hard clothesline by Henry, then an elbow drop. Funk looks for a Vader Bomb to outside, but Henry counters with a throw into the ring post. Funk answers with a hard Irish whip into the steps. Funk gets carried away with a blatant chair shot that somehow doesn't get him DQed. Funk hits a glancing Asai moonsault and lands on the guard rail. Back to the ring, Henry hits a headbutt and splash for only 2. Scoop slam by Henry gets another nearfall. Funk kicks out of a leg drop, so Henry hits a power slam and big splash to win at 4:57. This wasn't pretty, but ended up being a fun brawl, **.
Winner: Mark Henry
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin marches to the ring to his typical monstrous ovation. He stares down Vince and takes a seat on the opposite end of commentary.
#1 Contenders Match:
Kane (with Paul Bearer) vs. The Undertaker
Undertaker has finally changed out of his sweats
, so you know he means business. The referee ruins Taker's hot start, allowing Kane to fire back. Taker goes after Paul and is ready to haul Kane back to the ring for (not quite yet) Old School. Kane no-sells and hits a chokeslam. The action cools off as Kane dishes out methodical punchy/kicky offense. Kane misses an elbow drop, Undertaker gets up for a slugfest. Chokeslam by Undertaker, followed by a side Russian leg sweep and leg drop for only 2. Kane whips Undertaker into the referee, Taker answers with a Tombstone Piledriver for a visual 3 count. Mick Foley runs in wearing a Mankind mask and gives Undertaker the Mandible Claw. Taker knocks Mick down and turns around to clothesline Kane. Taker has to knock Foley down yet again and this time eats Kane's Tombstone Piledriver and gets pinned at 6:28! Overbooked nonsense, but it was fun, **.
Kane steps up to Austin and makes the belt gesture as his pyro explodes. Kane strolls off, leaving Austin with lots to think about. Meanwhile, Undertaker and Foley brawl in the aisle. And that's a wrap!
Final Thoughts: Not the sharpest episode of Raw from this timeframe, but a decent enough reset for the build to King of the Ring. It's easy to overlook the show's flaws when it's taped in front of a loud, sold-out crowd in Chicago. Still, I think I'd recommend this one to completionists only.
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