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WWF RAW- June 15, 1998

by Doc Allen


Live from San Antonio, Texas. The Hell in a Cell is hanging over the ring. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler.

It's been a long two or three weeks, but Sable has returned to the WWF! She gets a monstrous ovation and "Sable!" chants. She thanks Mr. McMahon for bringing her back and invites him to the ring. Sable reads aloud a written statement from Vince, which portrays him as the humanitarian of the year, and clears him of responsible for any recent bad luck suffered by Stone Cold. Right on cue, WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin storms to the ring, flips Vince off, and escorts Sable out of the ring before things get ugly. Vince scurries away and pleads with Austin not to react with physical violence. He then blames Undertaker for setting up Austin last week. The Undertaker joins the party and argues that he challenged Austin like a man. Vince is a liar who manipulates the minds of those weaker than him, but he will never manipulate The Undertaker! Next out are Kane, Paul Bearer, and Mankind, to accuse Undertaker of acting, and to challenge them all to a tag team Hell in a Cell match later tonight. Welcome to 1998, where they put on HIAC matches with less than two hours' notice, because WCW Nitro must die!

King of the Ring Qualifier:
Vader vs. Intercontinental Champion The Rock (with The Nation of Domination)

The ref smartly tosses The Nation before the bell. Vader eggs on the "Rocky Sucks!" chants before locking up. Rock slaps the face, Vader responds with a mean head butt. Corner splash by Vader, then a splash off the second rope for 2. Rock comes right back with a DDT for 2. Vader then kind of just falls onto Rock for a nearfall. Rock no-sells again and slams Vader down for the Peoples' Elbow. Vader hits a pair of splashes, but then Rock clotheslines him outside. Mark Henry sneak attacks Vader with a big splash. Rock Bottom ends it at 4:40. Mindless back and forth action make this a snoozer, *.
Winner: The Rock

Road Dogg holds class for D-Generation X in their dressing room. Triple H and X-Pac must fight later in a KOTR qualifying match.

Edge, the mysterious, complicated, handsome, and soft spoken, young man is on his way to the WWF. I wonder how grateful Adam Copeland was that Sean Morely got saddled with the p0rn star gimmick and not him.

Darren Drozdov vs. Jeff Jarrett (with Tennessee Lee)

Droz shows his rookie colors by turning his back to play to the fans, and Jarrett makes him pay. Marc Mero and Jacqueline show up to grill J.R. for answers about why Sable is back. Meanwhile, Droz and Jarrett go through the motions. Jacqueline hits on Lee and gets slapped for his trouble. Jarrett tries to talk down Lee, and Mero gives him a low blow. Droz gets the easy pin at 2:13. I think everyone got over except the guy who won the match, DUD.
Winner: Darren Drozdov

Val Venis is coming next. Also, he'll be on television.

Val Venis vs. Chainz

Val is full of confidence (among other things) but runs into a big boot and lariat. Chainz hits rapid running elbow drops. Val dodges a head of steam and flapjacks Chainz onto the ropes. Vertical suplex by Venis, then a side Russian leg sweep. Val fills time with basic offense until he misses a corner splash and eats a back suplex. Back body drop by Chainz, Val answers with a power slam. Chainz blocks the Money Shot, Val blocks a superplex, and finishes with the Money Shot at 4:36. The fans were awfully polite to this pedestrian heel vs. heel match, *¼.
Winner: Val Venis

Kevin Kelly wants to know if The Undertaker can trust Steve Austin. Undertaker can't trust Austin, but he's bee forthcoming about wanting a shot at Austin's title and can be trusted.

Back in the classroom, Triple H politely says he will not lay down for X-Pac in their match. X-Pac chuckles and tells HHH to get down on his knees for him. This nicely sets up a match between two friends.

Marc Mero (with Jacqueline) vs. Dustin Runnels

Dustin seems to have lost his push when he burned the Goldust attire. He scores first with an armdrag. Southern Justice and Tennessee Lee show up at ringside while Jarrett joins commentary. Dustin grabs a hammerlock, but Mero pulls his hair and throws him outside. Mero hits a double sledge off the apron and an Irish whip into the steps. Dustin comes back with his uppercut from the canvas and then a lariat. Atomic drop by Dustin, but Mero answers with an avalanche rana! Jarrett threatens to attack, but Sable saunters in. Mero gets overwhelmed by all the distractions and Dustin finishes him with a bulldog at 4:09. So now the stage is set for Jarrett vs. Mero in the KOTR by making them both losers. The action here was solid, but no one cared, *½.
Winner: Dustin Runnels

X-Pac and Triple H are now arguing in the classroom. Chyna demands they go wrestle each other like men.

Kevin Kelly interviews Dustin Runnels about finally winning a match. Dustin thanks Jesus Christ and takes off.

King of the Ring Qualifier:
X-Pac vs. European Champion Triple H

X-Pac tries to steal it with an instant inside cradle. Triple H grins but eats an enziguri. X-Pac dominates until Triple H whips him into a knee lift. Chyna marches down the ramp and throws X-Pac into the ring like a lumberjack. HHH takes control with a clothesline. X-Pac absorbs a ton of punishment before nailing a spinning heel kick. Chyna throws HHH back into the ring, because fair is fair. Triple H recovers with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Facebuster by Triple H, then a clothesline to outside. The Rock interrupts with a promo from the balcony to distract HHH. Owen Hart attacked X-Pac off-camera, injuring his knee. Triple H accepts a countout victory at 5:14. Interesting up until the copout finish, *½
Winner: Triple H

Al Snow (with Head) come out dressed like Avatar. Jerry Lawler demands to know what's going on. Snow angrily mocks Lawler for missing the point of the stunt. Snow wants a citizen's arrest for Vince (for trying to kill his career) and another for Lawler's lewd conduct. Lawler thinks Head is the source of all Snow's problems, but Al takes exception and attacks. Snow gives a referee the Snowdriver. Snow hits Lawler in the manhood with Head and beats up security too. Snow gets outnumbered and runs away through the crowd (not before hitting Lawler with Head on more time). This was funny, but I don't remember this going anywhere.

Michael Cole's Livewire commercial is interrupted by DX and supersoakers. Yes, it's a toy commercial.

Michael Cole asks Steve Austin if he trusts the Undertaker. Austin doesn't trust anyone, so no, and also Undertaker shouldn't trust him either.

The Nation of Domination (Owen Hart and Mark Henry) vs. Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock

Sgt. Slaughter tosses Godfather and Rock before the bell. Shamrock goes right after Hart and hits a crossbody bock. Shamrock blocks a dropkick, but Owen hits an enziguri instead. Shamrock escapes a chicken wing, but Owen kicks him in the groin. Henry tags and gives Shamrock a power slam. Second slam by Henry gets 2. Henry misses a head of steam, and Severn tags in for a belly to belly suplex! Severn throws Henry down for a tight armbar. Henry escapes, but Severn is ready for Owen and hits a German suplex. Spin heel kick by Owen give control back to The Nation. Owen misses a missile dropkick and takes Henry down. Shamrock gets the hot tag and runs wild. Owen reverses a rana into the Sharpshooter, but DX run in to attack both teams for the Russo finish at 4:45. Good while it lasted, the crowd was hot for Shamrock, **.
No Contest

Vader runs in to feed Owen to Shamrock, then joins in the attack on the Nation. Triple H and The Rock find each other in the chaos. Referees eventually restore order after I stop paying attention.

#1 Contender Tag Team Royal Rumble:

They're impulsively throwing a Royal Rumble onto TV, Nitro is doomed! I give WCW 3 more years, tops. LOD 2000 come out first, but are joined by Kane and Mankind (with Paul Bearer) by surprise. New teams supposedly join every 30 seconds. Back from commercials, they're brawling like they tend to do in Rumble matches. The New Midnight Express join the match while LOD almost eliminates Kane with double clotheslines. Kane choke slams Hawk and feeds him to the Midnight Express. The Headbangers are out about 15 seconds later. Everyone continues standing around and DOA joins the match well before 30 seconds pass. Nothing happens, and Golga and Kurrgan are the next team. Bart Gunn gets tossed for the first elimination. Too Much are next. Nothing happens again, and Steve Blackman and Faarooq join the crowded ring. Bradshaw and Taka Michinoku join the match as DOA get tossed off-camera. Terry Funk and 2 Cold Scorpio are the final team and join the punching/kicking competition. Funk clotheslines Kurrgan over the ropes. The Headbangers throw Too Much out. Kane press slams Mosh out of the ring. Kane knocks out Blackman, Mankind throws out Hawk. We're down to Funk and Scorpio vs. Mankind and Kane. Funk brings in a chair and cracks Kane on the head. Mankind clotheslines Funk onto the apron and hits an unprotected chair shot. Meanwhile, Kane gives Scorpio a Tombstone Pileriver and then boots a chair into Funk to eliminate him at 8:28. I try to be as positive as I can be when reviewing wrestling, but this flatout stunk. They couldn't stick to the stipulations and 90% of this was time filler, *.
Winners: Kane and Mankind

Hell in a Cell Match:
Mankind and Kane (with Paul Bearer) vs. WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker

Taker's music hits but the Dead Man is MIA. Austin is forced to go it alone and throws Mankind into the steel door. Kane tackles Austin and they brawl onto the ramp. Paul locks himself into the Cell and safely hides in the ring while his guys give Austin a 2 on 1 assault. The Undertaker emerges through the canvas and drops Paul with a big boot. Kane and Mankind desperately try to get into the Cell to no avail while Undertaker continues the assault. Kane tries to claw his way in through the roof. Undertaker bloodies Paul's face. Austin dismantles Mankind, and then climbs up to attack Kane on the ceiling. The fans LOVE this. The show just ends at 5:12. Not really a match, just a series of angles happening around the Cell. Also, it didn't end up mattering much at all if Austin and Undertaker trusted each other, they kind of just did their own thing to whoever got in their way.
No Contest

Final Thoughts: There wasn't enough nostalgic charm to save this episode from mediocrity. Give this one a pass.

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