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Raw History: Episode 263 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 143

December 10, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episode 263 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 143  

Raw History
Episode #263
June 8th, 1998 | Metro Centre in Rockford, Illinois | Attendance: 8,000

WWF Champion: Steve Austin (1) since 3/29/98
WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Rock (2) since 12/8/97
WWF European Champion: Triple H (2) since 3/17/98
WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (2) since 3/30/98
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: TAKA Michinoku (1) since 12/7/97

IN MEMORY ~ A short tribute was shown for the Junkyard Dog, who passed away in a car accident the previous week.

RAW! Jim Ross and Michael Cole hosted.

Mr. McMahon, Pat Patterson, and Gerald Brisco walked down to the ring in tuxedos. Vince thanked the crowd and announced that he was there as a humble man, here with caring in his heart. He put his successes over in condescending manner before saying he’d be honored tonight as the Humanitarian of the Year later tonight. In a surprise, Vince invited Stone Cold Steve Austin to the ceremony tonight.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Kama w/ The NOD vs. Ken Shamrock
Why does Commissioner Slaughter pick and choose randomly when to eject the stables? No Rock with the Nation here. Kama was notably larger and used that to his advantage. Even when Shamrock got an opening with a submission, Kama was large enough to easily get to the ropes. Kama fought him off a bit but still tapped to the Ankle Lock rather quickly in 2:43. Not long enough to get anything going. However, I did like the story they tested out in the short time. [*]

The NOD jumped Shamrock, only to quickly get sent packing by the arrival of Dan Severn. Dan and Ken had a staredown and commentary hyped the possibility of them meeting in the finals. I mean, that would’ve been a cool route to go.

FRIDAY NIGHT ~ Clips aired from WWF’s house show in Madison Square Garden.

DX IN NEW YORK ~ DX walked the streets of Manhattan to promote SummerSlam. To do so, they got women to show their tits and made some racially insensitive jokes.

Faarooq and Steve Blackman vs. Jeff Jarrett and Marc Mero w/ Jacqueline and Tennessee Lee
I still say they should’ve made Faarooq and Blackman an oddball team who attempts to teach each other about their respective lifestyles. Imagine Faarooq taking Blackman on a tour of one of those ghettos he always talked about. Or Blackman teaching Faarooq karate. Lots of chants for Sable. The match didn’t get a ton of time to get situated. Blackman lit up Jarrett a fair amount, while Faarooq and Mero were kind of just there. Mero paid attention to Jackie outside, leading to Jarrett getting thrown into him and allowing Blackman to roll Jarrett up and win at 3:26. [¾*]

DX IN NEW YORK ~ Back to back segments (surrounding a commercial break) of DX up to their usual antics.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Owen Hart vs. Scorpio
This time, the Nation was ejected before the bell. There’s serious potential considering the guys involved. Thankfully, they were given time to impress. It opened at a quick pace and stayed that way outside of a short arm wringer. Scorpio showcased his strength with a powerbomb. However, he missed a moonsault and Owen went to work on the leg. A Sharpshooter later and Owen picked up the win in 5:17. A solid little match, though the crowd sat on their hands for it. [**¼]

The Undertaker arrived and shoved security during his search for Vince.

Chainz vs. Droz
This was joined in progress because nobody cared. During this match, they announced the Undertaker vs. Mankind in the second ever Hell in a Cell at King of the Ring. Chainz won via DVD in 2:55. [¼*]

Undertaker walked out during the finish. He chokeslammed both men out of anger. He wanted Vince, but only got a video of him on the Titantron prepping for the ceremony.

D-Generation X arrived for their usual promo stuff. They got interrupted by LOD 2000 and Sunny, who wanted a Tag Team Title shot. HHH surprisingly said it would be fine if they met the New Age Outlaws for a match and they just had to ask. This caused the DOA to come out, saying it would be BS if LOD got the shot. One of the bald dudes yelled and stumbled over his words. DX huddled up and told both teams to “Suck it.” That triggered the arrival of Commissioner Slaughter to book a Triple Threat match for the titles tonight.

In the back, Undertaker was destroying equipment out of frustration.

VIGNETTE ~ Edge did random stuff while the lyrics to his future theme were spoken.

WAR ZONE! Jerry Lawler replaced Cole.

Mark Henry vs. Vader
HOSS FIGHT! Give me mid 90s Vader against 2011 Henry and it would be interesting. Henry couldn’t be slammed, but was able to slam Vader. The two big men brawled and had a fight fitting of their styles. Of course, Henry was winded within sixty seconds. Vader slammed him, only to leap into a powerslam off the middle rope. Undertaker walked out as they brawled and chokeslammed both men like they were jobbers. No contest at 2:45. It was surprisingly fun while it lasted. [*¼]

KABOOM OF THE WEEK ~ Steve Austin destroys Dude Love with a chair shot.

OVER THE EDGE ~ We got video of Marc Mero outsmarting Sable and rolling her up to beat her.

King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Dan Severn vs. D-Lo Brown
Commentary hyped tickets for Fully Loaded going on sale. This match exposed the holes in Dan’s game. He needed to just run through people or be in a tag where he could hide his weaknesses. He looked awkward as hell doing the traditional wrestling things like bumping and running the ropes. Dan eventually trapped Brown in a bow and arrow submission to win in 3:10. Awkward, but decent.[¾*]

I could be wrong, but that might be the hold that puts D-Lo in his infamous chest protector. Owen Hart came out to jump Severn. Ken Shamrock, selling the ankle from earlier, limped out to chase him away.

VIDEO PACKAGE ~ I totally forgot they did this! They ran a ridiculous farewell video for Sable. It’s more absurd than Shawn Michaels’ “Tell Me A Lie.” Think about that.

Dustin Runnels vs. Val Venis
This one got a fair amount of time. No offense to Dustin, but he’s incredibly bland when he isn’t Goldust. That’s just how it’s been for his entire career. Val had a moment where he backed Dustin to the corner and felt him up a bit. It was similar to what Goldust used to do. The match bored me for 6:00ish until Undertaker chokeslammed the world again. You couldn’t have done this earlier? [*]

WWF Tag Team Championship: The New Age Outlaws [c] w/ Chyna vs. DOA vs. LOD 2000 w/ Sunny
Before the bell, Undertaker was shown beating up Sgt. Slaughter backstage. Apparently, Sarge didn’t give up Vince’s location. HHH and X-Pac stayed atop the ramp with some comedic signs. The Outlaws were game to bump for their opponents. Meanwhile, their opponents were just no selling for everyone. There were dumb decisions in this, too. Hawk was in control and just tagged to Billy. Why take your team out of the match when the first fall wins it? Ah, this is the famous episode where Dogg and Gunn got tagged in to face each other. They were told to fight, which is pointless. Somehow, DOA and LOD didn’t gather what this meant. Dogg laid down so Gunn could cover him and steal this in 7:38. Funny finish. Shows how dumb the non-DX teams were. [*½]

Outside, a ton of cops pulled up to the arena.

Al Snow and Head, in a tuxedo shirt, came up to the booth for the main event segment. Snow said he trusted Lawler, but Head didn’t. Security took him away.

Kevin Kelly hosted the festivities. George Martin and Darnell Autry were in the ring. Vince and the Stooges were introduced. Then, the special guest, Steve Austin, showed up in his normal vest and cutoff jeans, but with a tie around his neck. Classic. The ceremony noted how Vince’s donation was much less than originally agreed upon, that the check bounced twice, and that Vince didn’t come to visit the children. Martin noted that his favorite Superstar is Stone Cold, which caused Austin to break into a huge grin at Vince. Backstage, all the cops surrounded Undertaker and prevented him from making it to the ring. Vince began putting himself over for a while on the microphone. Commentary kept saying how something seemed to be up. While Vince spoke, Austin picked his pocket and pulled out $1200. Austin called Vince the “Jackass of the Year” and gave the cash to Autry. The Undertaker’s music hit and out came druids with caskets. JR clearly could tell it was a setup of some sorts. While the lights were out for this, Mankind came out form under the ring and attacked Austin. Kane came out of the casket and joined in on the assault. Vince loved it. They rolled Austin into the casket and closed the lid. Kane did his fire taunt and the show ended.

Reliving Nitro
Episode #143
June 8th, 1998 | The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan

WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan (4) since 4/20/98
WCW United States Champion: Goldberg (1) since 4/20/98
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Vacant since 6/4/98
WCW Television Champion: Fit Finlay (1) since 5/4/98
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4) since 5/17/98

LAST MONDAY ~ Sting joined the Wolfpac. Nothing makes sense.

HOUR NUMBER ONE! Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Larry Zbyszko hosted.


EARLIER TODAY ~ Mike Tenay got words from fans about Sting joining the Wolfpac. Some fans thing it’s where Sting belonged. They also believed DDP would join next.

The Wolfpac made their way to the ring. It’s the first look at Sting in the red and black paint. Kevin Nash opened the promo by saying he wants to recruit DDP to the Wolfpac. However, the vote to get him in wasn’t unanimous. He looked at Randy Savage when he said that. At least someone in this storyline remembers past rivalries. Nash had some microphone issues as Hulk Hogan and the nWo Hollywood took over a soundboard in the stands. Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Bret Hart, and Dennis Rodman were the crew tonight. Rodman hit the pyro machine and Hogan had a good laugh. Hogan was losing his voice.

Backstage, Konnan had a microphone and interviewed JJ Dillon. That’s odd. He wondered if JJ would do anything to stop the nWo Hollywood. JJ said, “Fuck responsibility,” and told the Wolfpac to do something about it.

Jerry Flynn vs. Yuji Nagata w/ Sonny Oono
Flynn is WCW’s choice for a “hot opener” again. Commentary focused on everything but this match. The highlight was that Chavo Guerrero Jr. officially lost his mind and challenged Goldberg for tonight. The wrestlers rolled around and did a bunch of nothing until Nagata won via Nagata Lock in 4:12. Poor Nagata was forced to wrestle dull matches against guys like Flynn. [½*]

Tony Schiavone stood by for an interview with Chris Jericho. Jericho opened by calling him “SKEE-A-VONE.” Classic. Jericho read a personalized letter from Ted Turner. It started by praising Jericho and felt like something Chris may have mocked up himself. Ted agreed that Dean Malenko shouldn’t be champion. However, due to Jericho’s insistent whining, Ted agreed with JJ Dillon’s assessment of, “tough luck.” Ted said Dean would remain champion and that his legal precedent would be like his wrestling career: little known and unfortunate. Ouch. Jericho believed someone messed with the letter because of the conspiracy. He cried. He’s incredible.

THUNDER ~ The Giant defended the Tag Titles with Brian Adams. They lost to DDP and Lex Luger, but the title change won’t be held up because Adams isn’t a champion. Why let the match happen in the first place, then? The titles are vacant.

Horace and Reese w/ The Flock vs. Juventud Guerrera and Van Hammer
This is odd. Juvi brought fire from the start. I liked the spot where his dive to the outside got caught by Reese, only for Hammer to use a plancha to finish the job. Yes, Van Hammer did a plancha. From there, Juvi got stuck playing the face in peril. It made sense given his size. Hammer got the mild tag, but made the mistake of bringing Juvi back in. As he brawled with Horace outside, Reese caught Juvi and beat him with a choke bomb in 8:04. How did this get so much time? Yikes. To be fair, it wasn’t awful and had some solid moments. [*¾]

nWo Hollywood kicked it in some kind of VIP room with random women. They made jokes at Nash’s expense and Hogan said he’d call his lawyer about getting reimbursed for paying for the powerbomb fines Nash got earlier in the year. CONTINUITY! Hogan also said he’d introduce the world to the second biggest man in Hollywood later. This went on way too long.


Tony Schiavone interviewed JJ Dillon about the Tag Team Title controversy. At least JJ explained why the match happened on Thunder, saying he wasn’t in the building. Negligent, but still an explanation. At the Great American Bash, Sting will face the Giant in a singles match. The winner gets to pick a partner to be Tag Team Champions with.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Scott Putski
During his entrance, Eddie said he’d have Sunday off because Goldberg will take out Chavo tonight. Putski had the power advantage to start. Eddie was too good and smooth to let that stand. However, he was still game to bump for Scott on some solid looking power based offense. Eddie always did things like that. As Eddie got going, Chavo arrived. He snuck in to hit Eddie, who basically fell over the top to the outside. That got us a DQ at 4:34. The offense was surprisingly good in this one. [*½]

Putski got in Chavo’s face for ruining the match. Chavo apologized, then got in a sucker punch when Scott looked away, and then he ran off.

Kevin Nash and Konnan cut a promo backstage. Well, really it was just Nash. He said that he could pay Hogan back with the profits from all the Wolfpac shirts getting paid. Nash also made fun of them for having so many guys share one bottle of booze.

Eric Bischoff, the Giant, and some women cut a promo from the stands. They just talked a lot about how Giant would squash Sting at the Great American Bash.

Time for more talking as Tony Schiavone introduced Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, and Konnan for an interview. Why is there so much Konnan on this show? Also, the Wolfpac are treated like faces, yet this promo was all heel. They spoke about how Goldberg is afraid of that first loss. Hennig promised to put a mark on his record at some point. Konnan did his babyface crowd stuff and then said he’d beat Goldberg, too. Sure you will.

Match Six in Best of Seven Series: Booker T [2] vs. Chris Benoit [3]
If Booker loses, it’s over. Lots of grappling to start as neither man was looking to make the critical first mistake. Like most of this series, this felt like a very level playing field, as if these guys were evenly matched. However, it was Booker who gained the first advantage, which caused Benoit to take a breather. He got an opening when Booker missed a cross body and hit the ropes. Benoit took control from there. He hit the diving headbutt, but it backfired as he hurt himself more as he came up slightly short. Stevie Ray angrily walked out. He hyped up Booker, triggering a rally. Still, Booker wasted time with the SPINAROONIE and Benoit took advantage. They clearly knew each other well. As Benoit stomped on him, Booker pulled him into a sweet little sunset flip to force a decisive seventh match at 11:14. Their best match of the series so far. I dug the story of Booker having Benoit’s number, only to make a mistake and look to be on the verge of a loss. His brother fired him up and he still had to pull out a lucky new move to win. [****]

A frustrated Benoit attacked Booker after the match until Stevie Ray ran him off.


In the VIP room, Hogan did a strong Randy Savage impersonation and implied that Kevin Nash was gay. For some reason, the room has cleared out other than Hogan and Bret Hart. Suddenly, they introduced Elizabeth, who sat between them and kissed both on the cheek. THE PLOT THICKENS!

WCW Television Championship: Fit Finley [c] vs. Norman Smiley
It’s hard to fully rate this match because it was technically good, but nobody cared. Like, the match featured solid in ring work and a fair amount of grappling. But, it falls under the “if a tree falls and nobody is around” kind of theory. The fans chanted “boring” and did everything but pay attention. Finley retained via Tombstone in 5:43. I guess. [**]

HOUR NUMBER THREE! Bobby Heenan replaced Zbyszko at some point.

Tony Schiavone brought out Sting for his first promo in a long time. He had the Wolfpac theme, the new face paint, and was suddenly back to cutting promos like old Sting. He spoke about how he was a nice guy during the first Great American Bash, but now he’s better and cockier. Just like he did back then, he’ll take down a giant at the Great American Bash. He’s way too over the top now that he’s back to talking and acting. It’s not good.

Schiavone stayed out for another interview. WCW had a big problem pacing shows and laying them out. This time, it was a Roddy Piper promo. He got his usual cheap pop, making them famous way before Mick Foley. He was all over the place, but seemed to make a gay joke towards Dennis Rodman. When he mentioned Savage being insane, that brought out the Macho Man. There was next to nothing to this promo. They just argued again and agreed to work together for the tag match and then fight after. Savage wanted to fight tonight. nWo Hollywood interrupted from the stands, with Hogan calling them sissies. They brought out Liz, who made out with Bischoff while Hogan said they didn’t need Viagra up there. Savage said he got over Liz a long time ago, but that he would never get over Hogan or Piper. Savage and Piper began brawling as nWo Hollywood laughed.

LAST WEEK ~ We got clips of the stuff Chris Jericho went through.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Dean Malenko [c] vs. Disco Inferno
Dean was in a foul mood as commentary mentioned how Jericho angering him is a bad idea. Disco got in some offense, but wasted time dancing and shaking his booty. AND BOOGIE OOGIEOOGIE! Sorry. Dean caught a spinning heel kick and slapped on the Texas Cloverleaf to win in 2:22. Not awful, but it was just there. [¾*]


Back in the luxury box, Hogan introduced Scott Steiner as the new “big” nWo member. I mean, he was already a member, wasn’t he? They showed clips of Hogan introducing Steiner to his co-stars on a shitty movie he was making. Then, Steiner joined them in the luxury box.

WCW United States Championship: Goldberg [c] vs. Chavo Guerrero Jr.
We’re at a wild 98-0. Chavo charged at Goldberg, only to get caught and launched across the ring. Goldberg continued to wreck him and hit a massive Spear. Jackhammer ended this in 1:21. A blast of a squash. [*¾]

Time for the main event talking segment. The Wolfpac came out and wanted their answer from DDP. Tony Schiavone stood by the stage for DDP’s answer. DDP put over how the Wolfpac feels like a good place to be now that they got Luger and Sting. He seemed on the verge of accepting until Hogan and Rodman snuck up behind him and beat him down with chairs. It took the Wolfpac FOREVER to make the save.

Raw MVP: Owen Hart
Nitro MVP: Booker T & Chris Benoit
Nitro LVP: Hulk Hogan

Raw Rating: 4.3
Nitro Rating: 4.0

The final score: review Average
The 411
Raw: Another above average episode, but one that lacked something to make it great. Undertaker’s rampage didn’t fully work for me, and the same goes for the DX segments. I thought most of the matches were serviceable. Owen/Scorpio was fun. The closing segment worked, but it continues to feel like the episodes that aren’t live are missing something. 6.0

Nitro: I give Nitro the slight edge this week for one reason. Benoit vs. Booker. It was such a great match that it belongs to be on a winning show. The rest of the episode had ups and down. Way too much nWo stuff. They were in like, every other segment. Chavo was fun and Goldberg killed it, as usual. 6.5


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Monday Night War, Nitro, RAW, WCW, WWE, Kevin Pantoja