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Raw History: Episode 266 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 146

December 31, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episode 266 and Reliving Nitro: Episode 146  

King of the Ring Results
The Headbangers and TAKA Michinoku def. Kaientai in 6:41 [**¼]
King of the Ring Semi-Finals: Ken Shamrock def. Jeff Jarrett in 5:29 [*¾]
King of the Ring Semi-Finals: The Rock def. Dan Severn in 4:25 [½*]
Too Much def. Al Snow and Head in 8:27 [¼*]
X-Pac def. Owen Hart in 8:30 [***]
WWF Tag Team Championship: The New Age Outlaws [c] def. The New Midnight Express in 9:54 [**½]
King of the Ring Finals: Ken Shamrock def. The Rock in 14:09 [***]
Hell in a Cell: The Undertaker def. Mankind in 17:38 [****¼]
WWF Championship First Blood Match: Kane def. Steve Austin [c] in 14:52 [***¼] 


Raw History
Episode #266
June 29th, 1998 | Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio | Attendance: 16,505

WWF Champion: Kane (1) since 6/28/98
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

We’re 24 hours removed from a stunning King of the Ring where Mankind was nearly killed and Kane won the WWF Title via controversial means.

LAST NIGHT ~ Still images of Austin/Kane were shown.

RAW! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were on commentary.

Vince McMahon, flanked by Gerald Brisco and Sgt. Slaughter, strutted to ringside looking smug. The WWF Title sat in a glass case in the ring. Vince put over how our new champion has never taken a sip of alcohol, used profanity, or any obscene hand gesture. That man is a true role model. It’s Kane, who came out with Paul Bearer. Paul spoke and focused on how Undertaker is in Kane’s shadow. Vince went to put the title on Kane’s waist, but the glass shattered and out came Stone Cold to a huge ovation. Austin cut straight to the point. He admitted he got busted open, but noted that it was the Undertaker who did it, not Kane. Austin was here to get his WWF Title rematch. Vince said it was up to Bearer. Austin berated him and Paul said it would be up to Kane. Kane simply nodded in agreement and we’ve got out main event. I’ve always loved this moment. Kane wasn’t some chump. He didn’t cower. He accepted the match like a man.

Droz vs. Steven Regal
I have zero recollection of Regal debuting here. Sable performed his ring introduction at the request of Mr. McMahon. She then joined commentary so they could focus on almost everything other than Regal. The crowd didn’t care either. Regal dominated and wore down the rookie before hitting the butterfly suplex and Regal Stretch to win in 4:42. [*]

Michael Cole interviewed the 1998 King of the Ring, Ken Shamrock, in the ring. A shining example of why Ken shouldn’t have been a talking character. He opened with a cliché and cut a dull promo with almost no change in tone throughout. Shamrock gave The Rock props for fighting him like a man last night but said their past issues are far from over. Owen Hart interrupted to bring up his 1994 KOTR win. HHH then interrupted to say they should have a match to determine the KING OF KINGS (BOW DOWN TO THE…) since he also won in 1997. Shamrock butchered this entire thing as he had to clarify the match like four times and continued to poorly deliver it all. It’s not good.

Brawl for All: Marc Mero vs. Steve Blackman
Holy shit, it’s the BRAWL FOR ALL! For those who don’t remember, this monumentally bad idea was a “shoot” style fight that mixed grappling with boxing. You got points for landing punches, takedowns, etc. This disaster of a match went all three rounds and the crowd booed it from the start. I believe I heard “we want wrestling” chants. People who come to a wrestling show don’t want to see boxing. Who knew? Blackman won by decision. Not a wrestling match, so no rating, but it sucked. [NR]

SLAM OF THE WEEK ~ Chyna hit Owen Hart with a DDT last night.

Kevin Kelly and his awful goatee interviewed Kane, Paul Bearer, and Mankind backstage. He wanted to know why Kane agreed to the rematch. Kane said he did it because he is a braver champion than his brother ever was and that he knows he can beat Austin. How is Mankind even standing after last night?

The Undertaker arrived but it was kind of dark outside and commentary acted like they couldn’t tell it was him.

Dick Togo w/ Yamaguchi-San vs. Val Venis
Val made sexual baseball innuendos before the bell. As soon as the match began, Dustin Runnels came down to join commentary. He spent the time talking about how we all need prayer and putting Jesus over. No, not the Los Boricua member. As Dustin left, Val had the Money Shot cut off. He hit a butterfly suplex and nailed the Money Shot anyway, winning in 3:00. There wasn’t much attention paid to the match. [½*]

Post-match, Val flirted with Yamaguchi-San’s wife, who was sitting in the front row. Kaientai showed up to attack him, but he put them down with a steel chair.

Edge brooded in the rafters.

Michael Cole interviewed Austin about his confidence going into tonight. He doesn’t feel like he lost since Kane didn’t bust him open. He then kicked Cole out of his locker room.

WAR ZONE!

King of Kings Match: Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart vs. WWF European Champion Triple H w/ Chyna
By all rights, HHH should win this. Shamrock jumped Owen during his entrance. HHH was happy to let that go on for a bit. They wrestled through a commercial break and even had a mildly creative double sleeper hold spot. Owen hit a missile dropkick and the bell randomly rang for some reason. It caused confusion from the fans as Owen put on the Sharpshooter. That set up a barrage of spots where they kept breaking up each other’s finishers. HHH totally DESTROYED Ken with a vicious powerbomb. Owen seemed on the verge of a win until Chyna low bridged him. They argued outside until Shamrock went out after him. During this time, The Rock hit HHH with the Intercontinental Title. Shamrock got back in the ring and covered to win in 9:39. Damn, Rock. You can’t even make sure your buddy wins? Anyway, this was relatively fine. They had a few ideas but bits didn’t seem to come together the way they wanted. [**¾]

DX arrived to attack Rock, causing the Nation to join the fight. Meanwhile, Owen put Shamrock in a modified Figure Four on the ring post like his brother used to do. Officials had to break it up.

The Undertaker headed to the ring for an interview with Michael Cole. He was here to give a confession. Undertaker admitted that he went after Austin last night because he couldn’t let his little brother set himself on fire. That triggered the arrival of Mr. McMahon. He insinuated that Undertaker did what he did because he thinks he can beat Kane for the title, while knowing he can’t beat Austin. Vince called Taker the most evil devil placed on Earth and told him not to interfere in the WWF Title match.

KABOOM OF THE WEEK ~ Mankind’s infamous first fall from the Hell in a Cell.

Brawl for All: Bradshaw vs. Mark Canterbury
Not again. I had hopes this would be shorter than the first due to Mark getting walloped early. Sadly, it lasted all three rounds. Lots of “boring” chants. Bradshaw won by decision. Nobody liked it. [NR]

LOD 2000, sans Sunny, came to the ring and got on the mic. Animal said they had a big surprise for everyone. It was to bring out their old manager, Paul Ellering. I love the Authors of Pain. The DOA interrupted a Hawk promo on their lame motorcycles. It turns out, Ellering was back to manage Skull and 8-Ball, not the LOD. WHAT A TWIST! LOD took a beat down.

Kevin Kelly asked Undertaker if he planned on heeding Vince’s warning not to get involved in the main event. Undertaker said nobody orders him around.

WWF Championship: Kane [c] w/ Paul Bearer vs. Steve Austin
Due to a staph infection, Austin had his elbow heavily bandaged. Somewhere, a little CM Punk winces. The fans were MOLTEN for this. Kane and Austin wailed on each other from the opening bell and had a brawl that the fans ate up. Of course, the pace slowed a bit and Kane took control. He wore Austin down for a while. Kane hit the Chokeslam shortly after Undertaker strolled to ringside. Kane stared down his brother before trying the Tombstone. Austin slipped free of a Tombstone but Kane blocked the Stone Cold Stunner. Austin fought him off and successfully hit the Stunner to win back the title after 8:28. Got a bit too slow in the middle, but a hot crowd helped this brawl. [***]

Austin punctuated his celebration by dropping Undertaker with a Stunner. As he left up the ramp, Kane and Undertaker sat up at the same time and stared him down for an awesome ending visual.

EXTRA ATTITUDE ~ Undertaker took out his brother and left him lying.


Reliving Nitro
Episode #146
June 29th, 1998 | Ice Palace in Tampa, Florida | Attendance: 10,900

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

OUTSIDE ~ An 18 wheeler that supposedly has DDP and Karl Malone is shown on its way.

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

NITRO GIRLS!

Mean Gene introduced Kevin Greene for an interview by the stage. He hyped the tag match at Bash at the Beach and called Goldberg the best wrestler to come through WCW in 30 years.

Horace w/ Lodi vs. Kanyon
The mat tonight is much darker than usual. Anyway, this was typical Kanyon. He showed off his impressive array of innovative offense. However, the stunning moment was Horace hitting a goddamn tope suicida. EXCUSE ME? Outside of that spot, Horace was dull. He stayed on offense for too long before Kanyon hit the Flatliner to win in 4:07. Extra points for the surprising dive spot. [*½]

The Flock hit the ring and Kanyon fought them off. He wasted time celebrating, allowing them to get the advantage. Raven cut a promo to tell Kanyon that he was all alone and hit the Evenflow.

For some reason, the Nitro intro played now.

DDP called in to say he and Karl Malone were on their way.

In the nWo Hollywood locker room, they all wore chains around their necks and held crowbars. Hogan said he got the first shot at Malone when he showed up. This is kind of a crime, isn’t it?

Who needs wrestling? Stevie Ray made his way out for an interview with Mean Gene. He basically just said he had a problem with Chris Benoit and Mongo, saying he wanted a tag match against them tonight. When Gene questioned if Booker would agree to this, Stevie said Booker does whatever he says.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Little Dragon
The surprising on 6/29/98 continue as this happens to be an Ultimo Dragon student. He’d go on to find fame as Dragon Kid in Dragon Gate. He got to show off a few moves, but this was mostly booked to be a major squash for Eddie. He dominated. However, he kept stopping to look around, unsure of when Chavo might appear. It happened when he went for the Frog Splash. Chavo appeared with his famous horse, Pepe, who was making his Nitro debut. He rode around on him and told Eddie to keep his head up. Eddie won a tug of war for Pepe, but got rolled up to lose in 4:24. A squash, but one that advanced a storyline and was somewhat entertaining. [*]

Backstage, Chris Jericho condescendingly motivated Ultimo Dragon to beat Dean Malenko and offered him a shot at the Cruiserweight Title on Thunder if he succeeded.

The Giant w/ Curt Hennig and Rick Rude vs. Judo Suwa and Sumo Fuji
Giant squashed two more Ultimo Dragon students with a double Chokeslam in 0:47. The highlight was Curt Hennig high fiving Wade Boggs in the audience. [NR]

Hennig got on the mic to run down Goldberg and Kevin Greene. Greene came out and charged the ring. The nWo guys were happy about that but as soon as Goldberg arrived, they bailed.

Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff came out for some promo time. Not much from this segment, as it was just Hogan throwing out a bunch of threats to DDP and Karl Malone. The only good part was him calling Dennis Rodman “Black Jesus.” Hogan also called DDP “DDT.” Typical Hogan liking the sound of his own voice promo.

HOUR NUMBER TWO!

Davey Boy Smith and Jim Neidhart vs. Lex Luger and WCW World Tag Team Champion Sting
The Hart Foundation against the Wolfpac could’ve been an intriguing battle in the 90s. Alas, it’s a throwaway match. The main reason is because Bulldog and Neidhart are nothing in WCW. In fact, the majority of this match was Sting and Luger showing them up. It was one sided with only a bit of trouble for the Wolfpac. They randomly stopped to have a pose down so commentary could run down the bodies of the other team compared to Luger. Sting got a mild tag and won with the Scorpion Death Drop in 8:06. An overly long match where the Wolfpac got to look far superior to former WWF guys.[¼*]

Reese w/ Lodi vs. Saturn
Honestly, this match was totally uninteresting until the finish. Reese wore him down until Saturn came back and hit an impressive Death Valley Driver to win in 2:29. [NR]

The Flock came out to jump Saturn while Raven gave us another sermon. He said everything bad in Saturn’s life, including the end of their friendship, is Saturn’s fault. Evenflow, “Quote the Raven,” you know the deal.

LAST WEEK ~ Kevin Greene’s interactions with the nWo were shown.

NITRO GIRLS! Bobby Heenan replaced Zbyszko.

Brad Armstrong vs. El Vampiro
Seriously? A lot happened on this date and I had no clue. It’s the WCW debut of Vampiro. Heenan was straight up like, “I know nothing about this man.” Honesty is the best policy. The crowd was dead for this. Vampiro won with the Nail in the Coffin in 2:26. Apparently, he doesn’t show up again until 1999. [NR]

Alex Wright and Disco Inferno vs. Shimo Nobunaga and Tokyo Magnum
Lots of Japanese talent on this episode. Nobunaga, like Dragon Kid/Little Dragon earlier, would find fame in Dragon Gate as CIMA. This had the incredible moment where Tokyo sneakily joined in on the dancing with Disco and Alex. The match was decent fun with some fast paced action. Since Disco and Alex aren’t guys like Hogan, they didn’t need to just squash their opponents. Still, Wright got the win with a neckbreaker in 4:30. Not bad. [**]

Dean Malenko vs. Ultimo Dragon
Their opening exchanges were filled with stalemates. They clearly knew each other fairly well. As they progressed, we got mat work before it advanced over into more high impact offense. Dragon went for the super rana but Dean cut it off. He turned it into his super gut buster. Before he could capitalize, we heard Jericho’s voice. He made some insincere jokes and said this is the city where Dean’s dad is buried. Dean immediately bolted and chased him to the back, losing via countout in 4:35. Good action, lame finish. [**¼]

HOUR NUMBER THREE!

THUNDER ~ We got clips of Arn Anderson talking Chris Benoit. Chris wanted to keep the Four Horsemen alive, but Arn said he was done with it.

Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael vs. Harlem Heat
I feel like this is something from 1996. Harlem Heat was listed as Booker T and Stevie Ray, showing they aren’t that united. Benoit and Stevie had the aggressive moments of the match. Booker had his knee targeted, which was set up back at the Great American Bash. Stevie and Mongo had a lackluster hoss battle for a bit. Eventually, it all led to Bret Hart running in to hit Booker with a chair. Mongo didn’t see it but still covered to win in 5:01. Another match with a dead crowd and they didn’t do much to wake them up. [*¼]

Chris Jericho and Ultimo Dragon argued backstage because Jericho went back on his word to give Ultimo a title shot.

WWF gave us the Brawl for All, so WCW countered with their own bad segment, “nWo Late Hour.” Eric Bischoff hosted with Elizabeth on the couch. There was a band, an expensive looking set, and everything. Eric’s guest was Scott Steiner and they told some truly lame jokes about Karl Malone. We’re talking the bottom of the barrel being scraped for content. It was a terrible segment.

Mean Gene interviewed Booker T by the stage. Booker called out Bret Hart and issued a challenge to him. Stevie Ray interrupted to say that when they were a team, they would have attacked Bret instead of whining about it. Booker said he wanted to do it in the ring like a man. Bret surprisingly walked out and made fun of the way Booker said “ask” before agreeing to face him at Bash at the Beach for the TV Title. A year removed from being the top guy in WWF, Bret’s in a midcard feud in WCW. Half a year removed from the Montreal Screwjob and he’s in this position.

Backstage, Hogan and Bischoff said they don’t expect DDP and Malone to show.

NITRO GIRLS! New girl Whisper got some time to solo dance on a chair. She is the future Mrs. Shawn Michaels.

WCW United States Championship: Goldberg [c] vs. Glacier
This got Michael Buffer treatment. Wow. As this started, we heard that DDP and Malone pulled up to the building. A minute later, we hear that was false and they’re still a few blocks away. The fans were finally up for something on this show. Goldberg won with the Spear and Jackhammer in 2:16. Glorious squash. [NR]

Hogan and Bischoff returned for main event talk time. They went right into calling DDP and Malone cowards for not showing up. Hogan actually told viewers not to tune into the PPV because it would be a one-sided beating. Good way to sell the show, brother. While they blabbed, the truck arrived. nWo Hollywood waited with crowbars. DDP and Malone exited the truck with steel chairs and entered the arena. Wait. WHERE DID THE NWO GO? They were literally just right there! DDP and Malone got into the ring as Hogan kept talking trash, saying his boys in the back would take them out. Uh, about that. A scared Hogan threw Bischoff to the wolves. When he was taken care of, Hogan got left with Malone. Malone clotheslined and slammed him to a huge pop. nWo Hollywood finally showed up to help Hogan up. Also, DDP and Malone threw the chairs away before the action, so having them was pointless. DDP got on the microphone to put over the PPV match. They called him “Denise Rodman” and Malone said at the PPV, “Size does matter.” What does that mean? Anyway, the nWo would FEEL THE BANG and that’s how the show ended. The crowd ate up the segment but it didn’t make much sense.

Raw MVP: Steve Austin
Raw LVP: Brawl for All
Nitro MVP: Goldberg
Nitro LVP: Eric Bischoff

Raw Rating:
 5.4
Nitro Rating: 4.1

5.0
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Raw: I wanted to like this episode so much more. The main event is solid and memorable, while the Triple Threat match is pretty fun. However, the show also has a pointless Ellering swerve, Ken Shamrock’s horrible promo work, and the terrible Brawl for All stuff. 5.0

Nitro: Another middle of the pack show from Nitro. They continue to do a few things right (Goldberg, the Chavo angle, Jericho, Booker) but a lot of other stuff misses the mark. This episode felt like they threw a bunch of stuff there to kill time until the big DDP angle. 5.0

legend

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