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Raw History: Episode 265 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 145

December 24, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episode 265 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 145  

*I would like to preface this by saying that I am dropping Nitro from these reviews. They originally began as me going through the history of Raw and I added Nitro when it debuted. However, I simply no longer have the time for that. Their 2.5 hour runtime is exhausting with everything else going on in my life. There are a few more of these completed, but after the 8/3/98 episode, I am going back to just Raw. Thank you all for reading. 

Raw History
Episode #265
June 22nd, 1998 | Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas | Attendance: 10,891

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

LAST WEEK ~ Undertaker and Steve Austin joined forces to have a war with Mankind and Kane inside Hell in a Cell.

RAW! Jim Ross and Michael Cole hosted.

Vince McMahon came out and introduced Kane, who was set to speak for the first time. Vince told Kane that winning the WWF Title at King of the Ring will be the greatest day of his life. He dropped the bombshell that this match will be a first for the WWF. A First Blood match! That’s a stroke of genius considering Kane wears a mask. Kane added one stipulation due to how confident he is. Using a voice box, he said that if he didn’t win, he would set himself on fire. I never liked that addition because it made the outcome obvious. Paul Bearer, watching from his home and seen via satellite, was livid.

TONIGHT ~ Road Dogg vs. Kane; Billy Gunn vs. Mankind!

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Ken Shamrock vs. Mark Henry
As always, the Nation tried to accompany Henry, only to get ejected. Henry used his power to overwhelm Shamrock in the early stages. They played a lot of the traditional big man/little man style match. Shamrock fought through several bear hugs and nailed a hurricanrana. Henry escaped for a breather, bringing Vader to ringside to hit him with an avalanche. Inside, Shamrock won via belly to belly suplex in 4:37. At least they attempted to tell a story. [*¾]

Edge was shown in the crowd. He debuts tonight!

COMMERCIAL ~ DX promote the Super Soaker 3000.

Dustin Runnels vs. X-Pac w/ Chyna
Now that X-Pac can wrestle again, I feel like he’ll be in action each week. During X-Pac’s entrance, Dustin spent time praying. Not excited about reliving this character. Pac worked this at a quick pace early, showing exactly what made him special in the 90s. He also happened to be the guy to slow the pace, which was odd. Dustin only took control for a short bit. Chyna tripped him up before he could hit the bulldog, allowing X-Pac to win with the spinning heel kick in 5:32. It could’ve been better but the match was laid out oddly. Still, it’s good to have X-Pac around. [**]

PAUL BEARER’S HOME ~ Paul got asked about Kane’s declaration earlier. He said Kane will do exactly as he says, but he won’t have to because he’ll win.

HELL IN A CELL ~ Clips aired from the first HIAC and this Sunday’s was previewed.

Jerry Lawler brought out Al Snow to talk with no worry of getting ejected. Snow and Head came out, hopping the guardrail dressed as old women. That was their disguise. Basically, Lawler didn’t have a meeting set with Vince for Al. Instead, it was a contract for a match at King of the Ring. He and Head will face Too Much. If Snow wins, he gets his meeting but if he loses, he’s gone. Snow debuted the “pin me, pay me” phrase and said he’d lay down like he’s been doing since birth. He called out Too Much to pin him now, but attacked them with Head and ran through the crowd.

Edge was shown by the stage.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Jeff Jarrett w/ Tennessee Lee vs. Marc Mero w/ Jacqueline
The winner faces Ken Shamrock in the Semi-Finals on Sunday. “Sable” chants, which tells you how over these guys are. I’m not trying to disrespect them, as I think both had a place in this era. Mero used big offense early, including a powerbomb and moonsault. The managers both got involved as Lee distracted the referee and Jacqueline tripped Jarrett. Mero hit a low blow and delivered the TKO, but the official was stuck with the argument between managers. Sable showed up to a massive pop and her rack somehow looks bigger than usual. It was enough of a distraction for Jarrett to win with a DDT in 4:31. I liked the dual cheating managers. [*¾]

WWF REWIND ~ Austin and Kane brawling on top of the cell last week.

WAR ZONE! Lawler replaced Cole on commentary.

Kane vs. WWF Tag Team Champion Road Dogg
Billy Gunn was kicked out just before the bell. For a company that relied a lot on interference spots, they were getting rid of a lot of people. Though Dogg is a heel, DX is popular and Kane isn’t yet so he was the de facto babyface. Kane mostly dominated other than a few hope spots for Dogg. He stopped a Chokeslam with a low blow, but Kane shrugged it off and hit one anyway. Tombstone finished this after 4:04. Mostly a squash but an entertaining one. [*]

PAUL BEARER’S HOME ~ Paul updated us on the fact that he’s at home to heal from the beating last week, which we already knew. Undertaker failed in silencing him because he knew about Taker’s plot. Lights began flickering and Bearer shrugged it off. We then heard a scream and Undertaker was in the house. He yelled that he didn’t forget where Bearer lived and proceeded to beat the shit out of him. Like, Taker was laying in the shots. He destroyed the house and Paul before the feed cut out.

Edge vs. Jose Estrada
The in-ring debut of Edge. He got the entrance through the crowd and quick cuts to his Titantron. The match is nothing and Edge used a somersault plancha to the outside. It knocked out Jose and gave Edge a countout win in 1:05. Strange. [NR]

Mankind attempted to calm down a furious Kane who was losing his shit after what happened to his dad. Kane screaming into his voice box thing was odd.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Dan Severn vs. Owen Hart
With time, this could’ve been cool. Unfortunately, it wasn’t given much. Severn took him down with a German suplex, only for Owen to come back with the enziguri that wrecked HBK. After taking a belly to belly suplex, Owen got a chair. Like a dummy, he threw it in the ring. That allowed Dan to take it. While the ref stopped him, X-Pac came out and whacked Owen with a chair. Once inside, Dan won with the bow and arrow in 2:59. Meh. [*¼]

Following the break, the Nation called out DX for a fight. The factions brawled a bit until officials separated them, but the leaders were in action next.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock vs. WWF European Champion Triple H w/ Chyna
We had this match about a month ago and will again for the next few years. It’s odd that Chyna got to stay at ringside. Rock jumped HHH before the bell to gain the early upper hand. From there, they wrestled a relatively even match. Unlike their early 1997 matches, this one had an invested crowd. You could see both men growing into their characters and showing a lot of personality. That helped this match along. Chyna got involved and hit Rock with a DDT for a near fall. Surprised that spot happened if it wasn’t the finish. Rock came back and used a low blow, followed by a fisherman suplex (?) to win in 8:08. Solid little match. They’d obviously go on to have better. [**½]

As soon as this ended, DX hit the ring to jump Rock. That brought out the Nation for another pull apart brawl.

Backstage, Kane was still screaming into his voice box and Mankind consoled him.

In the ring, Mankind sat down for a promo. It’s cool to see him facing away from the hard camera. Nobody does that anymore. As he cut the promo, the cell lowered around him for a dope visual. He spoke about his long history with the Undertaker and called him a coward for attacking Bearer. Mankind said Undertaker should be behind bars but instead, he’ll take him out on Sunday and promised a surprise we would never forget.

WWF Tag Team Champion Billy Gunn vs. Mankind
Early on, Chyna ran out and jumped Mankind. She works harder than Mean Gene on Nitro. Surprisingly, the referee didn’t call the DQ, even though she beat on him in front of him. Other than that, it’s a mostly straightforward back and forth affair. Gunn used his athleticism, while Mankind was his reckless self. He countered the piledriver and won with the Mandible Claw in 5:40. As soon as Mankind won, he headed to the back. Decent. [**¼]

Backstage, Mankind couldn’t find Kane.

Sable came to the ring to introduce Steve Austin. He showed Sable how to flip the bird to Vince McMahon, sending her backstage to do it. Alone now, Austin told Kane that he accepted the stipulations and isn’t hard to find if he’s a marked man. Kane appeared and did his arm taunt thing. Instead of fire from the turnbuckles, “blood” fell from the rafters and covered Austin. Someone must’ve liked the visual as they’d use it often for the Brood. Kane told Austin that the blood on him would be for real on Sunday. Cheesy, but cool way to end the show.

Reliving Nitro
Episode #145
June 22nd, 1998 | Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida | Attendance: 8,749

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: Sting (3) and Kevin Nash (6) since 6/14/98
WCW Television Champion: Booker T (5) since 6/14/98
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Chris Jericho (4) since 6/14/98

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

Commentary hyped the DDP & Karl Malone/Dennis Rodman & Hulk Hogan match at Bash at the Beach. Two dudes who had just played against each other in back to back NBA Finals would now meet in a wrestling match. That’s pretty cool.

Mean Gene introduced DDP for an interview in the ring. DDP said he was tired of Hulk Hogan’s ways. At one point, Hogan worked hard, but now he’s lazy and living off his star name. DDP’s not wrong. He said he wants it badly now, the way Hogan did during his rise. DDP said Rodman was a great marketer, but he’s a dead man in the ring. Good stuff. Straight to the point promo from DDP.


Disco Inferno vs. Len Denton
A kid in the front row was a MASSIVE Disco Inferno fan judging by his dance moves and excitement. WCW really didn’t care about openers at this time. I don’t feel like looking it up, but this could’ve been when they were on at 8 and Raw wasn’t on until 9, so they could just kill time for an hour. Anyway, Disco won in a relative squash at 3:27. [NR]

Mean Gene was back, this time to interview Kevin Greene. He sucked up to the Jacksonville crowd and put over Jaguars’ quarterback Mark Brunell. Greene talked about almost nothing but football, making this a pointless segment. He put over Goldberg, which brought out Curt Hennig and Rick Rude. As they talked smack, the Giant showed up and whacked Greene from behind, taking him out. There was no rhyme or reason for any of this. As the nWo left, Greene got up and called Giant “fat boy” before charging at him going into commercial. We found out that they had to be separate by wrestlers and security backstage. JJ Dillon booked them against each other in our main event.

Tokyo Magnum vs. Yuji Nagata w/ Sonny Oono
Another match that got time but was honestly a squash. Magnum didn’t have much experience and Nagata dominated, winning with the Nagata Lock in 4:24. [NR]

In the back, Stevie Ray jumped Chris Benoit. Benoit is scheduled to face Bret Hart tonight.

VIGNETTE ~ Raven moans about his childhood again.

Horace and Sick Boy w/ The Flock vs. Public Enemy
Was WCW just not even trying for this first hour? Talk about filler. This was given way too much time. Public Enemy aren’t set to work traditional tags and their opponents aren’t very good, either. Rocco Rock took the heat segment and it was a dull one. Johnny Grunge got the hot tag and it all led to a STOP sign spot. Horace swung at Johnny and hit Rocco as he loaded up. Johnny no sold it. The referee saw all this and did nothing. Horace ended up hitting himself with the sign to lose in a ridiculous 8:16. Trash. [DUD]

Mean Gene brought out Bret Hart for promo time. Bret coming out to the nWo music is always weird. He hit Gene with the, “Let me tell you about a man named Shh” line. Then, he spoke about his past with Benoit and blamed the fans for corrupting his mind. Benoit was a good Canadian until the American fans ruined him. I appreciate Bret still being pro-Canada.

TONIGHT SHOW ~ A few days ago, The Tonight Show was host to the altercation between Karl Malone and Hogan/Rodman.


WCW United States Championship: Goldberg [c] vs. Rick Fuller
We’re at 101-0. Fuller is a big boy. It doesn’t matter. Goldberg ran through him in 1:29. [NR]

EARLIER TODAY ~ Mike Tenay spoke with fans about the Bash at the Beach stuff.

The Wolfpac came down to the ring to kill some time. Kevin Nash put over Goldberg for some reason, but got a pop for using a South Park reference. Konnan shouted a lot. Sting issued a challenge to anyone who wanted a shot at the Tag Team Titles. That was it.

More from the fans outside.


Alex Wright vs. Eddie Guerrero
Chavo came out to mess with Eddie during his entrance. The idea behind Eddie’s matches is that he’s off his game since losing to Chavo. That was the case here. He’d get something going and mess up to stop his own momentum. I like it. Of course, Chavo returned to distract his uncle and allow Wright to win via neckbreaker in 4:57. There were good ideas in this, but the execution held it back. [**]

After the match, Chavo proved who insane he was. He told Alex Wright, “Bye, German guy.” He then started talking about Monopoly and sang his name to the tune of B-I-N-G-O.

Bobby Heenan replaced Zbyszko at some point.

Konnan vs. Riggs w/ Lodi
Two of my least favorite guys to get consistent TV time. As over as Konnan is, the crowd didn’t seem too interested in this match. Konnan won a dull match with the Tequila Sunrise in 4:47. [½*]

PRESS CONFERENCE ~ Footage aired from the press conference for Bash at the Beach. Karl Malone called both opponents cowards, while Rodman said he was tired of always beating Malone.



Steve McMichael vs. Stevie Ray
Mongo is out for revenge for his buddy Benoit. It’s his first Nitro match in a while after suffering a broken arm. This was another match to have the problem of going too long. These are two guys who need to work in quick bursts. Instead, they were tasked with working a full match and it was just boring. They just clubbed on each other. Stevie tried using a chair at one point, so Benoit came out and took it from him. Before he could use it for vengeance, Booker showed up to take the chair from him. No contest around 6:00 I guess. [¼*]

nWo Hollywood hit the ring to brag a bunch. Eric Bischoff said life without Randy Savage is great and Liz agreed. Hogan said DDP was only famous because his wife was in Playboy and leads the Nitro Girls. He also called him “little PP.” Hogan also called Rodman the greatest basketball player in the world and that Malone was just a loser.

Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit
A first time ever match. Some early grappling proved to be even. Bret showed more arrogance than usual, like not going for pins when he has the chance. It opened the door for Benoit to retaliate with his aggressive strikes. That’s a department where Benoit had a clear upper hand. They worked through a commercial break. Thankfully, WCW gave this time. They’d usually give this three minutes and give 12 to a trash match. Bret grew frustrated that Benoit wasn’t going down easily. Benoit began with the German suplexes. When Bret blocked the third, Benoit transitioned to an awesome Dragon suplex. He got two on a superplex and the fans were fully locked in. Bret fought out of the Crippler Crossface, so Benoit pulled him back to the center of the ring. Unfortunately, here came Stevie Ray. While he distracted the ref, Bret used a foreign object to clock Benoit in the head. He faked getting pinned by Benoit and kicked out before winning with the Sharpshooter since Benoit was out at 12:20. That was going great until the cheap finish. I enjoyed the counter wrestling and Benoit’s comeback. [***½]

The Giant vs. Kevin Greene
This got the serious Michael Buffer treatment. Greene rushed to the ring for a fight and brawled instantly. They just did that for 1:13 before Hennig and Rude hit the ring for a DQ attack. [NR]

Disciple, Brian Adams, and Vincent joined in on the beat down of Kevin Greene. Then, the fans erupted as Goldberg came out and wrecked Vincent with a Spear. Disciple and Adams also got to taste Spears inside, before the rest of the guys left. Green laid down a challenge to team with Goldberg against Giant and Hennig at Bash at the Beach.

Raw MVP: The Rock
Raw LVP: Kane
Nitro MVP: Chris Benoit
Nitro LVP: Horace

Raw Rating: 4.3
Nitro Rating: 4.0

The final score: review Average
The 411
Raw: There are several solid matches, almost nothing bad, and multiple storylines were advanced. I felt this was a good episode and an easy watch, while working as a strong go home show. That’s all I usually ask for. 7.5

Nitro: The first hour, other than the DDP segment, felt like a total wash. There are some good bits in there, like getting Goldberg in the main event scene, the Benoit/Bret match, and Chavo being weird. But, there was a severe lack of Jericho, the cruiserweights, and instead we got shitty stuff with dull guys (Konnan, PE, Horace, etc.) 5.5


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