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Raw History: Episodes 292 and 293 – Shane Trains Vince McMahon For the Rumble

May 31, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
Shane McMahon Vince McMahon RAW 12-28-98
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Raw History: Episodes 292 and 293 – Shane Trains Vince McMahon For the Rumble  


Raw History
Episode #292
December 28th, 1998 | Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York | Attendance: 11,928

WWF Champion: The Rock (1) since 11/15/98
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock (1) since 10/12/98
WWF Tag Team Champions: Big Bossman (1) and Ken Shamrock (1) since 12/14/98
WWF European Champion: X-Pac (2) since 10/18/98
WWF Hardcore Champion: Road Dogg (1) since 12/21/98
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Duane Gill (1) since 11/23/98
WWF Women’s Champion: Sable (1) since 11/15/98

LAST WEEK ~ Shane McMahon was left in control and things went south until Kane joined the Corporation.

RAW IS WAR! Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on commentary. Cole called Raw an “action adventure” TV series.

The Corporation was shown arriving. Vince said he would make everyone involved in Shane’s issues last week pay. That includes firing Commissioner Shawn Michaels when he arrived. They entered the boiler room in search of Mankind. He burst out with a sneak attack but the numbers were too great. It was dark in there, so this was all hard to see. Vince spoke with venom as he said Mankind would get a Hardcore Title match as an “early Christmas present’ tonight. Shane informed Vince that the opening contest was already scheduled to be Road Dogg defending the Hardcore Title against Val Venis. Vince was all, “OH YEAH? WATCH THIS!”

WWF Hardcore Championship: Road Dogg [c] vs. Val Venis
Both guys got to do their opening spiels, so Vince wasn’t in a hurry. Or they were far away. Anyway, this match barely got going before the Corporation showed up. Test attacked Val and this was somehow a DQ in 1:50. It’s a hardcore match. [NR]

DX hit the ring to save their buddy and cleaned house. Vince made Road Dogg/Mankind official. Vince said all the DX members would pay for embarrassing the Corporation last week. Vince went nuts, saying he would fire Shawn Michaels the way he wish he could fire everyone in the crowd.

TONIGHT ~ Big Bossman gets a European Title shot against X-Pac. Billy Gunn takes on The Godfather. Triple H faces Ken Shamrock for the IC Title.

Backstage, Al Snow was still wearing the bloodbath gear from last week.

Elsewhere, Vince told Kane to go after someone in DX tonight. The Stooges made fun of Kane behind his back.

Al Snow vs. Edge
No Brood with Edge and he used his original theme. Interesting. This was another match that didn’t get much time to develop. Within a short period of time, Snow kind of dominated. The Brood hit the ring after Edge got hit with Head. Then the JOB Squad came out. It was a cluster and a DQ I guess at 2:50. [NR]

SLAM OF THE WEEK ~ Sable winning the Women’s Title at Survivor Series.

Backstage, X-Pac spoke with Dennis Knight of Southern Justice. Apparently, they’re friends even though Knight was against Pac in the summer. Okay.

We’re set for Sable to defend the Women’s Title. The still not yet named Tori hopped in the ring and handed her a rose. Security took her away. Her real opponent, Spider Lady, hit the ring and attacked her. She whipped her with a belt until the Oddities came out for the save. George “The Animal” Steele is apparently with them now. The Spider Lady was revealed to be Luna Vachon. She shouted that this was about what she deserved. Props to Luna for really laying it in with those belt shots.

WWF European Championship: X-Pac [c] vs. WWF Tag Team Champion Big Bossman
The first of three title matches tonight. Four were scheduled but Sable’s match didn’t happen. Wait. When commentary said this, were they counting the opener? The crowd was way behind X-Pac for this. He’s a good sympathetic babyface, but Bossman’s offense was boring as well. Good old fashioned bearhug city in this one. After X-Pac rallied and hit the Bronco Buster, Test came out. Val Venis followed and attacked him for retribution from earlier. Bossman saved Test and somehow, that was a DQ in 5:13. Bossman hit Val, not the other way around. Anyway, there was potential but the heat segment was too dull in this. [*¾]

The four men brawled after the match.

VIGNETTE ~ Yes! We got our first vignette of Vince McMahon training with Shane for the Royal Rumble. These are some of the best skits the company did. “YOU GOTTA EAT LIGHTNING AND CRAP THUNDER!” “I HATE AUSTIN!” Classic.

Goldust and Steve Blackman vs. Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart w/ Debra
Two midcard feuds that have been kind of joined for the past few weeks come together for a tag. Jarrett and Owen showed off some decent tag offense as they worked over Goldust. Blackman got the hot tag and was put in the Sharpshooter. Cole said Owen invented the move. He’s stuck in that 1994 feud mindset. Owen broke the hold when Dan Severn walked out in a neck brace. He apologized and backed away from Dan. As soon as he got back in the ring, Blackman rolled him up to steal this in 3:17. It was a match, but not a very entertaining one. [*¼]

WAR ZONE!

Triple H and Chyna walked towards the ring backstage.

Outside, the Acolytes randomly beat up Dennis Knight and threw him in the trunk of a car before driving off. Oh. That’s why he was there. For an angle. Commentary said Knight claimed that “he” told him to be at Raw tonight.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Ken Shamrock [c] w/ The Corporation vs. Triple H w/ DX
Triple H noted how Albany was where DX started. For those wondering, he means the incarnation that formed the day after WrestleMania. The action in this match is solid. It’s difficult to take Shamrock seriously because he’s been booked like a chump. People complain about the booking of champions in the present, but it was awful here. The crowd was molten for this, as always for Corporation stuff to this point. Shamrock put on the Ankle Lock, but Triple H made it to the ropes. Of course he did. Nothing Shamrock does matters. He refused to release the hold and got DQed in 6:26. Good stuff with a rocking crowd. [***]

DX and the Corporation immediately began brawling due to the finish. Kane stood outside and didn’t want to get involved. The Stooges scolded him until he went in. DX exited to avoid Kane.

WWF REWIND ~ Billy Gunn won the IC Title last week. Oh wait, no he didn’t.

NJPW nerd Kevin Kelly interviewed Gunn about the feud with Shamrock becoming personal. Shamrock interrupted and they braked at each other until Shamrock walked off.

D-Lo Brown and Mark Henry were out next so Henry could apologize to Chyna for what he did with PMS last week. He got down on his knees to beg for forgiveness. PMS interrupted to say they weren’t done with Henry. Brown called them ring rats. Cue the DX theme for the arrival of Chyna. Surprisingly, Chyna backed Henry, telling PMS to stay away from her man. I mean, if he’s your man, why did he hook up with these two? Anyway, Terri bailed but Jackie stuck around so Chyna shoved her on her ass. Actually, that was a pretty solid segment and it didn’t take up too much time.

The McMahons and the Stooges had a private meeting backstage. Then, the Corporation searched for someone elsewhere.

1998 ~ A video package recapped 1998.

Backstage, the Corporation jumped the Godfather as the Hos screamed in terror. Godfather was scheduled to face Billy Gunn.

Billy Gunn vs. Kane w/ The Stooges
Shane McMahon came out and replaced the now injured Godfather with Corporate Kane. Sadly, it’s not the slacks wearing Corporate Kane we got in 2014. Surprisingly, Kane brought out a big move in this one. He hit a draped Gunn with a big flying clothesline. After a clothesline sent both men outside, Ken Shamrock ran out to attack Billy. He slapped on the Ankle Lock for a bit and then Kane added a Tombstone. Instead of winning there, the Stooges shouted for Kane to do it again. He did and they wanted a third, but DX arrived to make the save and give this a DQ finish in 3:54. The match itself was kind of just there but I liked what this did as a story. [*½]

Shawn Michaels finally arrived at the arena. I haven’t mentioned it yet, but commentary has talked about him getting fired way too much. It has been horribly irritating.

WWF Hardcore Championship: Road Dogg [c] vs. Mankind
The Rock joined commentary for this one. This is a match type that fits both men. Despite being friends, they held nothing back and made good use of the stipulation. They had some creative ideas for spots, including a Russian leg sweep and a leg drop with a chair. Mankind took one of his signature back bumps on the ramp at one point. How that man is walking over twenty years later is beyond me. I like that they found a toolbox under the ring. That makes sense over the eventual endless barrage of cookie sheets and kendo sticks being under there. The Rock hilariously threatened Michael Cole by saying he’d rip his face off and wipe his ass with it. Mankind hit an elbow through a table in the crowd, but The Rock got up from commentary and hit him with the Rock Bottom. Dogg covered and retained in 9:08. That was a really fun main event. They had a quality brawl with some creative moments. Mankind lost but the feud with Rock was furthered. [***¼]

Jerry Lawler literally mentioned the firing of Shawn Michaels in EVERY SINGLE SEGMENT. Shut up. Vince came out to do the deed. Shawn obliged when Vince called him out. He didn’t seem too concerned. Vince showed footage from March when Shawn said Vince needed him and he berated him during a DX promo. Vince proceeded to fire him and said he didn’t lay down for anybody. Shawn said nothing and hit him with Sweet Chin Music. He simulated humping Vince, which we all know Vince probably loved since it was Shawn, before being run off by the Corporation.

EXTRA ATTITUDE ~ The Corporation helped Vine to his feet. They forced Kane to hold the ropes for Vince. The owner took out his frustrations on Pat Patterson and beat him up outside.

MVP: Mankind
LVP: Jerry Lawler


Raw History
Episode #293
January 4th, 1999 | Worcester Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts | Attendance: 10,668

WWF Champion: The Rock (1) since 11/15/98
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock (1) since 10/12/98
WWF Tag Team Champions: Big Bossman (1) and Ken Shamrock (1) since 12/14/98
WWF European Champion: X-Pac (2) since 10/18/98
WWF Hardcore Champion: Road Dogg (1) since 12/21/98
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Duane Gill (1) since 11/23/98
WWF Women’s Champion: Sable (1) since 11/15/98

RAW IS WAR! Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler hosted. Quite the famous episode of Raw here.

VIDEO PACKAGE ~ Last week, Shawn Michaels got fired as Commissioner and gave Vince Sweet Chin Music for it. A video aired showing highlights from his career, saying his run with the WWF could be over tonight.

The video was interrupted by Vince shouting for them to get that sentimental crap off the screen. The Corporation made their way out to the ring. Once inside, Vince said anyone who had anything to do with Shane’s emotional scarring would be punished by him. He was cut off by the Titantron showing Shawn Michaels arriving at the arena. Shawn came right out to the stage and did the Undertaker throat cut taunt at the Corporation. He brought the cavalry with him and out came DX to a huge pop. Shawn announced that his contract is ironclad and Vince set it up for he wouldn’t answer to anyone, including Vince himself. He could only be out at Commissioner if he quits. Shawn showed a video of Vince entering the Royal Rumble, officially becoming a WWF competitor, meaning Shawn now had control over him. Shawn changed Vince’s Rumble number to #2, meaning he starts with Stone Cold. To end the segment, Shawn promised that he’ll leave the arena and get him a “Stone Cold” surprise before the night is over. Good opening segment. Shawn turned the tables on Vince and the crowd loved it.

TONIGHT ~ Road Dogg defends the Hardcore Title against Al Snow.

Non-Title Match: WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Blackman
They really gave up on the idea of this being any kind of money match. Shamrock has been booked like a chump and nobody cares about Blackman. Dan Severn and his neck brace strolled out to put all the MMA style guys out there at once. The match was kind of a lot of nothing. Shamrock hit a belly to belly and got distracted when he yelled at Severn and then hit him off the apron. Billy Gunn showed up and hit him with the Fameasser, allowing Blackman to win in 3:26. Why is Severn even out there? There’s already too much going on. [¾*]

WWF REWIND ~ Literally the attack Billy Gunn just did moments ago. Lame.

That was all to set up a Gunn/Shamrock brawl backstage until officials pulled them apart.

Mankind came out to a slightly remixed version of his theme. He hilariously spoke about saying “suck it” without a “please” in front of it for the first time, kicking the McMahon family’s asses, and hitting Pat Patterson in the balls last week. He also dropped his now famous “Foley is good” line that eventually became the title of his second book. Mankind demanded Vince come out so he could get a WWF Title shot. Vince showed up simply to run down Mankind for not being worthy of being champion. Instead, he booked him against Triple H in a Royal Rumble Qualifying match. The caveat being that Shane McMahon will be the guest referee.

Backstage, Chyna spoke with her friend Sammi, who debuted on Heat last night.

Goldust vs. Mark Henry
It’s funny to see Henry still sporting his Nation gear despite that group having disbanded forever ago. Anyway, both guys are kind of working face so the crowd wasn’t sure who to cheer. Henry mostly dominated here outside of one or two Goldust moves. Chyna and Sammi appeared on stage, distracting Goldust. He hit what eventually became the Edge-o-Matic and instead of winning with it, hit Shattered Dreams and got disqualified in 3:46. Dumb finish to a bad match. [½*]

The women came to the ring and Chyna said her night with Henry was amazing. She said she wasn’t enough woman for her so she brought along Sammi to take a load off his mind. Henry fainted at the news.

We got footage of Dennis Knight, formerly Phineas Godwinn, hung up by some chains in a dark location.

The Godfather vs. Test 
This stemmed from the Godfather getting attacked by the Corporation last week. Terrible theme for Test. For a former bodyguard of a rock band, they gave him some generic county style stuff. This was barely a match. Val Venis came out for a closer look. Test and Godfather brawled outside until the match was thrown out at 1:59. Val jumped Test and they had to be pulled apart. [NR]

Backstage, Shawn Michaels was back on friendly terms with DX. We knew this earlier.

SLAM OF THE WEEK ~ Mankind beat up Rock and Shane two weeks ago.

WAR ZONE!

Royal Rumble Qualifying Match: Mankind vs. Triple H w/ Chyna
Not much to this match again. The crowd was less into cheering them and more sitting on their hands waiting for whatever shenanigans were coming. As soon as HHH rolled up Mankind, Shane counted fast and gave him the win in 2:55. [NR]

Triple H got on the microphone to say that this was business and that he was willing to take a chance at the Rumble and the WWF Title any way he could. However, he hit Shane with a Pedigree and left him as a victim for Mankind. Mankind put Shane in a submission hold and threatened to break his shoulder. Vince and Stooges came out to demand he break the hold. Mankind said he wanted a title shot tonight and not at the Rumble. Vince agreed to the match and to a No DQ stipulation to save his son. The Rock came out and argued with Vince about agreeing. He didn’t care what would happen to Shane.

D-Lo Brown vs. Edge
Two solid young wrestlers at this time. No Brood with Edge again for some reason. No Henry with Brown because he was busy with Sammi. D-Lo busted out the running powerbomb as a highlight. He missed the old Bret Hart middle rope elbow before catching a flying Edge with an awesome Sky High. PMS strolled out and Terri slipped off the steps when D-Lo got close to her. That gave us a no contest as the referee checked on her in 4:57. [**]

This is indeed the truly awful miscarriage angle. Classic bad, controversial stuff from Vince Russo. Just like the Droz substance abuse angle. It all went nowhere, served zero purpose, and was in bad taste.

Shane, Kane, and the Stooges came out. The Stooges put a sign on Kane’s back earlier plugging the Brisco Brothers’ Body Shop. He still had it on. Shane immediately booked Kane in a handicap match. AGAINST THE STOOGES! Vince came out and said this was punishment for the Stooges not helping Shane two weeks ago. Kane destroyed the Stooges. It wasn’t a match. Kane went after Shane but got stopped when they threatened to send him back to the insane asylum.

Dennis Knight was still in trouble, but the Acolytes arrived to take him away. They said “he” was ready for them.

WWF Hardcore Championship: Road Dogg [c] vs. Al Snow
Snow was still wearing the bloodbath stained gear from a few weeks ago. He hid by the stage and jumped Road Dogg during his entrance. That set the stage for another fun hardcore match. Road Dogg’s early into his reign but it’s fun. Damn shame was Vince Russo pulls with Dogg and the title come WrestleMania. Snow went through a table on a missed moonsault and took some brutal cookie sheet shots to the face. The fight went backstage and involved random objects like beer kegs. It took things a step further and went outside into the snowstorm. It made for a cool visual that we don’t get often. The champion used a piledriver on crates to retain in 8:38. That was a blast. Probably the best early Hardcore Title match because it was so fun and wacky. Might be the best Road Dogg singles match too. [***¼]

The Acolytes threw Dennis Knight into a smoky room and he let out a scream.

Shawn Michaels left to get the “Stone Cold” surprise. Interestingly, he told DX that he would see them later. Triple H chuckled when he was out of earshot and said, “Maybe, maybe not.” Intrigue. As Shawn was outside, he heard someone call him. Returning from break, Shawn was a bloody mess on the hood of his car. During the break, the Corporation attacked him. Was DX in on this? Shawn was taken out via stretcher.

WWF Championship No Disqualifications Match: The Rock [c] w/ The Corporation vs. Mankind w/ DX
The Rock is officially in jumpsuit era. This was after his gyno surgery. He was vicious right from the start. Within a minute or so he not only used the steel stairs as a weapon, but he smashed Mankind’s head under them. I don’t know why, but I find it funny that Test was the guy who held the WWF Title at ringside. Rock tried his spot where he talks trash on commentary, only for it to backfire as Mankind beat him up and did it back to him. I liked DX being there because it prevented the Corporation from just jumping Mankind. Despite the stipulation, Rock hit Mankind with the title behind the referee’s back. Mankind hit the Double Arm DDT onto the title for two. Big kickouts. When Mankind put on the Mandible Claw, Shamrock hit him with a chair. Billy Gunn attacked him and it set off a huge DX/Corporation brawl at ringside. Stone Cold’s music hit to what might be the biggest pop in wrestling history. He came down, clocked Rock with a steel chair, and Mankind won the title in 8:48 to a thunderous ovation. A fun match that gets a boost from me for being historic. [***¼]

Seriously, the ovation for this whole thing is wild. Mankind celebrated with the title and DX as Austin flipped off the Corporation. Road Dogg gave Mankind one of his intro spiels and Mankind ended things by telling Vince how good this felt. Shane hilariously just yelled at him. No words, just screaming. Mankind dedicated the win to his kids and did a celebratory lap around the ring to close the show.

MVP: Mankind
LVP: Vince Russo/Terri

7.8
The final score: review Good
The 411
#292: An enjoyable show to end a great year. I found most of the segments to be somewhat fun and they furthered along angles. Jerry Lawler made this episode insufferable at parts with his constant talk about the Shawn Michaels firing. [7.5] #293: To get the bad out of the way, there’s the Terri miscarriage angle. There’s nothing even remotely redeeming about it. I also didn’t care much for the matches in the first hour. However, almost everything else rules. The opening segment is strong, every Mankind segment worked, there’s a surprisingly good Hardcore Title match, and that ending is legendary. [8.0]
legend

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