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Raw History: Episodes 288 and 289 – The Undertaker ‘Crucifies’ Austin

May 11, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episodes 288 and 289 – The Undertaker ‘Crucifies’ Austin  


Raw History
Episode #288
November 30th, 1998 | Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland | Attendance: 11,006

WWF Champion: The Rock (1) since 11/15/98
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock (1) since 10/12/98
WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (6 and 3) since 8/30/98
WWF European Champion: X-Pac (2) since 10/18/98
WWF Hardcore Champion: Mankind (1) since 11/2/98
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Duane Gill (1) since 11/23/98
WWF Women’s Champion: Sable (1) since 11/15/98

VIDEO PACKAGE ~ The show opened with a recap of Undertaker hitting Steve Austin with a shovel, causing Austin to blackout at a house show. Last week, Undertaker attempted to embalm him until Kane made a random save. Austin noted that Undertaker and Paul Bearer had hell to pay.

RAW IS WAR! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler hosted.

MOMENTS AGO ~Bearer and Undertaker conversed backstage.

The Headbangers and Insane Clown Posse came out to start the show. Weird. Meanwhile, Austin arrived in a cutoff shirt and shorts even though it was November in Baltimore. He carried a shovel and headed straight for the ring. Also not happy with these scrubs starting the show, he laid them all out with Stunners. Austin delivered a straightforward promo, promising to crack Undertaker with that shovel before the night is over.

TONIGHT ~ Mark Henry goes on a date with Chyna. Mankind defends the Hardcore Title in a Ladder Match against Big Bossman. The Rock goes one on one with Al Snow.

JR plugged TV Guide covers with Austin and Undertaker. He threw in a jab about having to settle for retired guys and the “Austin wannabe” Goldberg if you didn’t get them.

Non-Title Match: The Brood w/ Christian vs. WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws
There’s an ongoing angle where the Outlaws were being recruited by the Corporation. The match felt way rushed but did have one standout highlight. Billy Gunn randomly busted out a middle rope powerbomb on Edge. As soon as that happened, the Corporation strolled out for a closer look. Christian used a title to interfere for the DQ finish in 2:56. Accelerated stuff but action packed so it was fun.[**]

Post-match, the Corporation jumped the Brood as the Stooges and McMahons courted the Outlaws some more.

Backstage, Austin continued his search for Undertaker. He got jumped from behind by the Deadman and shoved into a freeze. Don’t know why he was looking in one. Undertaker locked him in.

WWF REWIND ~ Austin beating up the scrubs to start the show.

Mark Henry said he had confidence issues, so he asked D-Lo to join him on his date.

The Undertaker and Paul Bearer came out to cut a promo. Now that he’s handled Austin for the evening, he called out Kane to end this. Kane hit the ring and they brawled to less of a reaction than usual. Most likely because people were over this feud. Undertaker planted him with a Tombstone to win out. Paul Bearer sent out a bunch of orderlies but Kane got up and escaped.

Back to Mark Henry’s date. When D-Lo complained that he wasn’t dressed for the evening, Henry gave him a nice jacket, shades, and a chauffeur hat. The idea was that D-Lo would drive them around for the date. Being the good friend he is, he agreed. After a commercial, they got to the hotel and Chyna refused to accept Henry’s gift of flowers. She also had no idea why D-Lo was their driver.

X-Pac came out and demanded to speak with Shawn Michaels to find out why he cost him his match against The Rock last week. Shawn got in his face and threatened to send him packing to the “money pit in Atlanta.” When X-Pac threatened to fight him, Shawn said he wasn’t an active wrestler. Shawn booked him to defend the European Title against Ken Shamrock later tonight. This segment was short and interesting, though I wish X-Pac got the chance to talk more. Shawn left to the DX theme because he was DX before it was cool.

Chyna was annoyed that the flowers Henry got for her cost just a $1.99.

Backstage, Austin had escaped the freezer.

Goldust vs. Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra McMichael
Owen Hart was on commentary. He said he was retired and NOT the Blue Blazer. In a bit of continuity, they showed how these guys brawled a few weeks ago in the locker room. The match didn’t do much and was very basic. Goldust was in control for the most part and hit the Curtain Call, but Jarrett got his foot on the rope. Goldust went for Shattered Dreams but Debra got in the way. She tempted him with her puppies but it was a distraction that allowed Owen to jump him for a DQ in 3:26. [*]

The Blue Blazer ran out and instead of helping Owen, he attacked him. He revealed himself to be Steve Blackman. Officials had to stop him.

Backstage, Austin and Undertaker were shown walking around on a split screen.

SLAM OF THE WEEK ~ Al Snow hit Ken Shamrock with Head.

WAR ZONE!

WWF Hardcore Championship Ladder Match: Mankind [c] vs. Big Bossman
The first ever ladder match in Raw history. Shawn Michaels was on commentary. The competitors brawled outside for a few moments. Within a minute or so, Mankind was already doing the weird slow climb stuff. Like, you aren’t worn down yet buddy. Mankind used Socko to gain the upper hand and knock Bossman off the ladder. He got close to winning, only for The Rock to come out with this weird look of a windbreaker top and his trunks. He knocked Mankind off the top and helped Bossman climb. A Rock Bottom kept Mankind down and Bossman won the title in 6:11. Super rushed. It had no time to be anything and was typical Russo fare. [*½]

Backstage, Undertaker found Kane and they fought in an empty room. Undertaker won out again and set up to put him in a body bag. He sent Bearer to get the orderlies. Austin showed up and broke a shovel on Undertaker’s face.

Non-Title Match: WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Duane Gill vs. Marc Mero
This was in Duane Gill’s hometown. Mero said if he couldn’t beat that jobber Gill, he’d quit. Gill was accompanies by a pee wee football team from the area. Mero dominated this until the Blue Meanie interfered. He had just debuted on Heat the night before. Gill won in 2:08 and it was Mero’s final TV appearance. [NR]

Paul Bearer sent the orderlies to get Kane.

Back to the date where Mark Henry read Chyna a poem. She just drank more booze. He said they were going dancing. There’s so much stuff being thrown at us in one episode.

WWF European Championship: X-Pac [c] vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock w/ Shawn Michaels
Shawn was introduced as the Corporate Commissioner. A bit heavy handed there. To remind you that matches don’t matter in Vince Russo’s world, we cut to the McMahons talking with the New Age Outlaws backstage within the first minute. Shamrock beat on X-Pac and kind of dominated most of this. X-Pac rallied to set up the Bronco Buster. He hit the X-Factor but Michaels distracted the referee. Big Bossman showed up to hit X-Pac with a nightstick. But then Triple H returned to a huge pop to attack Shamrock for the DQ in 4:47. The match was fine until all the shenanigans. However, the HHH pop got a great reaction and made for a cool moment when you consider Shawn was in the ring. [**¼]

Backstage, Bearer got the orderlies to take the body bag away.

On the date, Henry is breaking things down on the dance floor. He pulls Chyna up with him and she seems to be having something of a good time. Henry left to the bathroom and it was hard to hear because of the dubbed over music. A random guy hit on Chyna, leading her to knock him out. Henry returned and beat up that dude’s friends. He threw one guy across the bar. The dude hitting on Chyna was a putrid actor.

Tiger Ali Singh w/ Babu vs. Val Venis w/ The Godfather and Hos
Val cut a pre-match promo calling Babu a monkey and telling Godfather to spank him if he got involved. Yuck. The match was a lot of nothing while the Hos flirted with Babu. As Val got near a win, Terri and Jacqueline strolled down. Terri hit Val with a low blow for a DQ finish in 2:58. That match sucked and we’re now batting 1.000 in terms of run-ins. [DUD]

As if enough isn’t already happening, the Acolytes made their Raw debut by attacking Singh and Babu. The Jackyl was their manager at this point.

Elsewhere, Bearer waved bye to the ambulance carrying Kane. Of course, Kane and Austin watched on a monitor as it was the Undertaker who was taken away.

Shane McMahon came out to teach Sable a lesson in humility. He made her come out and model the WWF Attitude cologne. She squirted it in his face. Ha. There’s a joke there.

Non-Title Match: Al Snow vs. WWF Champion The Rock
Another strange Rock theme. The crowd wasn’t invested in this. The show has dragged and Al Snow wasn’t exactly a major star. He did get in a close call with a cheap shot from Head. Rock killed me by hitting the Corporate Elbow onto Head. He won with the Rock Bottom in 4:57. This match happened. Rock was entertaining. [*¾]

The Corporation beat on Al Snow after Mankind showed up to get revenge from earlier. The JOB Squad made somewhat of a save.

Our final segment saw Paul Bearer run into Steve Austin backstage. Kane was hiding in the freeze Austin was trapped in earlier. For reasons. They brought Bearer to the ring and teased murder. Seriously. They spoke of embalming him, stabbing him, and setting him on fire. They settled for dragging him into the street and throwing him headfirst down a manhole cover. What? When you tease murder, that’s a weird way to go.

EXTRA ATTITUDE ~ I must have missed it but The Rock was somehow in the ring with Steve Austin. I didn’t care to go back because the show sucked and this wasn’t important. Austin hit Rock with the Stunner a few times and drank beer. He faked like he was gonna drink with Rock only to hit another Stunner. Shane McMahon showed up and had the same thing happen. It went on for far too long.

MVP: Mark Henry
LVP: Tiger Ali Singh

Capital Carnage Results
Gangrel def. Al Snow in 5:51 [**]
The Headbangers def. LOD 2000 in 3:21 [¼*]
Val Venis def. Goldust in 5:33 [**½]
Tiger Ali Singh def. Edge in 2:32 [½ *]
Christian and Sable def. Jacqueline and Marc Mero in 4:49 [*¾]
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Ken Shamrock [c] def. Steve Blackman in 6:51 [**]
Triple H def. Jeff Jarrett in 6:55 [**½]
WWF Tag Team Championship: The New Age Outlaws [c] def. D-Lo Brown and Mark Henry in 10:11 [**¼]
WWF Championship: The Rock [c] def. X-Pac in 12:34 [***¼]
Steve Austin def. Kane, Mankind, and The Undertaker in 16:05 [***]


Raw History
Episode #289
December 7th, 1998 | New Haven Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut | Attendance: 9,000

WWF Champion: The Rock (1) since 11/15/98
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock (1) since 10/12/98
WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (6 and 3) since 8/30/98
WWF European Champion: X-Pac (2) since 10/18/98
WWF Hardcore Champion: Big Bossman (1) since 11/30/98
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Duane Gill (1) since 11/23/98
WWF Women’s Champion: Sable (1) since 11/15/98

LAST WEEK ~ Steve Austin got revenge on The Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Undertaker was taken away by orderlies and Bearer was stuffed into a sewer. Oh, Attitude Era. Big Bossman also won the Hardcore Title.

RAW IS WAR! Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler hosted. Jim Ross’ mother had passed away, so he missed this show. The news led to him suffering another Bell’s Palsy attack. He won’t be back until March.

Triple H, Chyna, and X-Pac came out to find out where the New Age Outlaws stand after their conversations with the Corporation. The Outlaws came out in suits and drank bottled water, complete with polite spitting to the side. Road Dogg introduced them as the Corporate Outlaws and then brought out Commissioner Shawn Michaels. Shawn called himself the founding father of DX (Cole: I disagree) and said HHH owed him for the gimmick infringement. HHH responded by saying he had to carry Shawn when he was holding the WWF Title he didn’t deserve. A pissed off Shawn booked Triple H and X-Pac against Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock tonight. As the Outlaws and Michaels reached the top fo the ramp, the McMahons and the Stooges shook their hands.

TONIGHT ~ Steve Austin teams with Mankind to take on The Undertaker and The Rock.

Backstage, Triple H told Chyna to watch their back in the match tonight. Uh, doesn’t she already do that?

D-Lo Brown w/ Mark Henry vs. Jeff Jarrett w/ Debra McMichael
On Heat, Goldust challenged Jarrett to a Striptease Match. If Jarrett wins, Goldust will strip but if Goldust wins, Debra strips. D-Lo and Jarrett will go on to have a feud next summer. Here, they’re mostly just killing time. There’s not a lot to the match other than a Jarrett cross body I wasn’t expecting. Goldust eventually walked out wearing a trench coat. He flashed her when she got on the apron to distract D-Lo. That distracted Jarrett enough for D-Lo to win via rollup in 4:17. The match was kind of just there, though there was a cool moment or two. [*½]

Backstage, Austin spoke with Tony Garea about how much he was upset with things lately. I guess there was a point to this.

A WWF cologne ad ran.

LAST THURSDAY ~ Vince McMahon spoke at Oxford University in England.

The Brood w/ Christian vs. The Headbangers
It was clear they wanted Gangrel to be the star. He was always involved in the matches. The Brood duo started well enough but fell into quick trouble. We got a DQ when Luna Vachon ran out followed by Babu and Tiger Ali Singh. Why? Anyway, this went 2:06 and was barely a match. [NR]

The Oddities ran out to beat on the Headbangers, while Luna kicked Babu’s ass outside. I have no idea why he and Singh were out there.

Somewhere backstage, Mankind caressed chairs and said he would never leave their side. This segments make no sense.

WWF REWIND ~ Austin and Kane threw Bearer into the sewer. Man, the WWF was really proud of that for some reason.

Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and The Rock got in Paul Bearer’s face to make sure The Undertaker would be a good partner tonight.

Goldust vs. Owen Hart
Why book Goldust here when he was just in a segment? Last night on Heat, Owen announced he was coming out of retirement to face Steve Blackman at Rock Bottom. And yet, he’s wrestling here. These guys had some solid back and forth. It was similar to the D-Lo/Jarrett match, but a bit more interesting and crisp. It led to Debra coming out for her own trench coat trick. It distracted Owen more than it did Goldust, allowing a school boy win in 4:17. That’s a DQ and two distraction finishes tonight. [*¾]

EARLIER THIS WEEK ~ The WWF Superstars spoke with fans from the UK ahead of the Capital Carnage PPV. They used British Bulldog’s theme for part of it.

The Godfather and Val Venis came out with Hos for a tag match. Instead of wrestling, Godfather said he was in the holiday spirit. He offered up the Hos to someone in the crowd. They picked a short, fat dude named Bob and got both women for free.

The Acolytes w/ The Jackyl vs. The Godfather and Val Venis
The aggressive Acolytes came out for a fight. The teams brawled outside and both got counted out in 0:57. That happened. [NR]

JVC KABOOM OF THE WEEK ~ Austin hitting Undertaker with a shovel last week.

WAR ZONE!

That triggered the arrival of Steve Austin to a huge pop. He spoke about Undertaker’s desire to sacrifice him. For that, Austin will show no mercy at Rock Bottom. Undertaker’s music hit and he spoke over the speakers as his symbol rose in front of the Titantron. He promised to sacrifice Austin tonight and the symbol went up in flames. Really basic segment here. I’m over the feud, but the visual of the flaming symbol was cool.

Backstage, Mankind walked around talking to himself upset with Austin for not considering him a friend. I guess.

Steve Blackman vs. Tiger Ali Singh w/ Babu
I thought we were done with Tiger after his odd appearance earlier. No such luck. Blackman won a quick match with a pump kick in 2:13. It was short enough to be inoffensive. [½*]

The Blue Blazer charged out and tripped on the ramp. Blackman beat him up until Owen Hart made the save and locked Blackman in the Dragon Sleeper.

Because we haven’t had enough backstage segments tonight, we now saw Mankind walk into Austin’s locker room.

Droz w/ Animal vs. Mark Henry w/ D-Lo Brown
Why was there a million segments last week and no closure to the Henry/Chyna date? This got more time than the previous match but not much happened until the end. Chyna came out and laid out Droz instead of Henry like most fans expected. Henry hit the splash and won in 3:27. [¾*]

The Outlaws talked strategy with the Corporation. Seriously, these segments mean nothing.

No Holds Barred Match: WWF Hardcore Champion Big Bossman and WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock vs. Triple H and X-Pac w/ Chyna
Triple H’s first Raw match in a long time. The teams brawled instantly and fought around the ring and up the ramp. For some reason, this involved tags, ref distractions, and all sorts of nonsense that you don’t need in a No Holds Barred match. It makes no sense. The Outlaws and Shawn Michaels came down around the time HHH got a hot tag. Billy Gunn went to hit him with a chair, only to nail Shamrock. SWERVE, BRO! What was the point of that? And this ended in a DQ or no contest or something in 8:18. [*¾]

DX celebrated in the back.

Steve Austin entered his locker room to find a garbage bag gift from Mankind. It was filled with beer.

Mankind and Steve Austin vs. WWF Champion The Rock and The Undertaker
Here was a tag match that worked a bit better. It featured a hot crowd and some intense moment from the feuds involved. Austin and Taker went right at each other before the bell even rang. Now, there’s nothing special about this match, as it mostly featured the brawling style we’re used to from this era. Of course, it wasn’t allowed to have a real finish. The Corporation interfered to give us a DQ in 8:17. Solid fun but there’s not much to note because nothing significant happened. [**¼]

Post-match, Bossman handcuffed Mankind to the ring post but that barely meant anything. The focus was on Undertaker and Austin. Their brawl led to druids coming out and tying Austin up to Undertaker’s symbol. The symbol was raised in the air, with Austin sacrificed as an Undertaker voiceover said he had taken his mind, body, and soul. A cheesy as hell ending, but one I have a soft spot for because it’s one of the most memorable from my childhood.

MVP: Triple H
LVP: The New Age Outlaws

3.2
The final score: review Bad
The 411
#288: This was a drag to get through. It is clear that Vince Russo has taken over the reins of the show. Only one match had a clean finish and that one had a ref bump. It’s too much. Plus, there are too many backstage segments and a ton going on in the worst way. Nothing gets time to breathe. The sewer, orderlies, embalming and most of this Austin/Taker feud is awful. [3.0]   #289: A slight improvement on last week. Still kind of a wreck though. Nothing seems to be working. I don’t mind the Henry/Chyna stuff. However, the Outlaws angle was pointless, Taker/Austin is dragging, Rock/Mankind feels unimportant, the Brood are kind of just there. The list goes on and on. This was a completely skippable episode. [3.5]
legend

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