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Raw History: Episodes #294 and #295: Chyna Wins Corporate Battle Royal, More

June 12, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Raw History: Episodes #294 and #295: Chyna Wins Corporate Battle Royal, More  


Raw History
Episode #294
January 11th, 1999 | Compaq Center in Houston, Texas | Attendance: 12,585

WWF Champion: Mankind (1) since 1/4/99
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!

DX came out to open the show and introduce the WWF Champion of the World, Mankind! It was the debut of the theme that would get slightly modified and become his most famous one. Foley even put over having new music. Vince, Shane, and The Rock watched backstage in horror. Foley told the story of how he had never had the look to be in the WWF but thanked Jim Ross for giving him the opportunity. He also thanked Steve Austin, which got a pop from the Texas crowd. He said that his dream wasn’t just to be WWF Champion, but to main event WrestleMania. He wants to tear the house down with Austin. Vince, Shane, and Rock interrupted to announce the Corporate Rumble. DX and Corporation members will compete in a Royal Rumble style match with the winner getting the #30 entry. Rock ran down Mick and said Austin was the only reason he was champion. Rock wanted a rematch and Mankind kept denying it to the delight of the crowd. That included Rock adding stipulations like no DQ, no countout, and no Corporation at ringside. When Rock quit trying, Mankind accepted at the word “quit,” wanting an I Quit match. No stopping the match for excessive blood loss. Vince decided Mankind might not be champion by the Rumble because he’ll defend it against Kane tonight. Mankind ended with a “Can you smell what the Sock is cooking?” A 21 or so minute segment. Way too long, but it was mostly entertaining because Mankind and Rock are charismatic as hell.

Stone Cold arrived at the Compaq Center.

Number One Contender’s Match: Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart w/ Debra vs. The New Age Outlaws w/ Chyna
Earlier tonight, the Outlaws had a discussion on how to handle the Debra distraction situation. On a recent Heat, Debra used her T&A to distract the Big Bossman and give Jarrett and Owen a win over the Tag Champs. Why didn’t that just grant them a title shot? Like most matches in this era, this one felt rushed. They managed to do a decent amount of stuff due to it, though. Billy got about as hot a tag as you can get in a match of this length. He hit the Fameasser on Owen and crotch chopped Debra when she flashed her bra. DUH DEBRA. HE’S AN ASS MAN. She tried using her ass to distract Chyna and Gunn came to help, leaving Dogg to fall to an Owen spinning heel kick in 4:34. A solid little tag. [**¼]

Non-Title Match: WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Gillberg vs. Luna Vachon
IT’S THE DEBUT OF GILLBERG! Easily the best WCW parody this company ever did. “WHO’S FIRST?” Gillberg missed a Spear at the bell and his failed Jackhammer led to Luna falling on him. She won with a Bigelow splash in 1:02. Highly entertaining squash. [NR]

After the match, the yet to be named Tori jumped in the ring to attack Luna. Security tossed her.

LAST NIGHT ~ Vince McMahon had a confrontation with Jose Lothario over the Shawn Michaels attack. When Jose badmouthed Vince, he got his ass kicked. Shawn will have an operation for it tomorrow.

Dennis Knight ran up to commentary to say that “he” was here tonight and that it will be beautiful. The Acolytes strolled out to take him to the back.

Val Venis came out for a match. After his usual schtick and grind, he spotted a woman in the front row. Val went over to flirt with her, which led to Ken Shamrock running out and beating the hell out of him. He threw him into the steel steps and ring post. Shamrock yelled something about his sister, revealing that the woman in the front row was his sister. Shamrock was done, only for Billy Gunn to reappear. He mooned Ken’s sister, which again triggered a Shamrock fight. Classic 1999. So much stuff going on in one segment that just feels thrown at a wall. In the end, Shamrock agreed to face Gunn for the title at Royal Rumble but warned that he was looking to end him.

Backstage, Mankind and Austin had a conversation we couldn’t hear.

WWF European Championship: X-Pac [c] vs. Al Snow
If you were expecting Snow to win the title here, those hopes were dashed when he came out wondering where Head was. He was clearly distracted. When X-Pac hit the Bronco Buster, Goldust came out with Head. He hit Snow with it and X-Pac won with the X-Factor in 2:54. Did this need the Goldust run in? Snow was already on the verge of losing. Do the angle after. [*]

Al Snow immediately got up instead of selling (and people say things like this were done better in this era) to go after Goldust. It didn’t go well.

Vince scolded Kane for wanting to face Mankind alone and demanded he get the job done.

WAR ZONE!

WWE Championship: Mankind [c] vs. Kane
As usual, these two know how to brawl. They battled as soon as Mankind arrived and fought around the ringside area. When this moved inside, Kane took control as commentary plugged a Stone Cold appearance in Las Vegas. Mankind fought off a flying clothesline before using a low blow and the Double Arm DDT. He went for Socko but Kane survived. He hit the Tombstone and had this won until Rock ran down to break up the pin, causing a DQ in 6:02. Solid enough brawl for the time given. [**]

Rock grabbed a steel chair and clocked both men. Stone Cold showed up and Rock kept him at bay with the chair. Mankind got up and chased him away. Mankind handed Austin the chair only to eat a Stunner. Kane got up and was hit with one too. The crowd are this up but it wasn’t a great look for our new champion.

Backstage, Rock yelled at Vince that he interfered to keep his title match intact.

Edge vs. Triple H w/ Chyna
Two future World Champions (with a combined 25 or so reigns) and Hall of Famers. There’s not a ton to this one. Edge was surprisingly clean throughout this, not using any underhanded tactics. He had a neckbreaker countered into a Pedigree and that was all in 2:55. [*¾]

The Brood immediately hit the ring and jumped Triple H as the lights went out and began flickering red. DX apparently ran out to help and poor Road Dogg was the one to end up with the bloodbath.

As ominous music played, the Acolytes came out to the stage with Dennis Knight laid on a table. GONG. The Undertaker’s music hit as he walked out in a hooded robe and sat on a chair in the shape of his symbol. Paul Bearer was there too. A pre-recorded Undertaker promo played over the speakers where he spoke about great evil, his ministry, and stuff like that. It went on forever and the crowd was restless. He eventually got up and cut himself. The blood dripped into a cup and he made Knight drink it, rechristening him as Mideon. Weird stuff.

D-Lo Brown came out with PMS. He’s doing their bidding since he caused Terri’s “miscarriage” last week. They wanted him to fight Mark Henry. Henry came out in regular clothes, not wanting to fight his friend. Jacqueline pushed D-Lo into him, causing a shoving match. Terri hit him with a low blow, but Chyna and Sammi arrived to make the save. Backstage, they tended to a hurt Mark.

Corporate Rumble
Shamrock and Gunn were first and second. The intervals in this were short due to time constraints. The Corporation mostly held a 2 on 1 advantage. The Corporation has Shamrock, Bossman, Test, and Kane enter, while DX had HHH, X-Pac, and the Outlaws. When Triple H entered eighth, commentary hyped him as the final entrant. It came down to him and Bossman when the buzzer randomly went out. Vince McMahon stalked out with his muscles showing as another entrant. HHH begged for a shot at Vince but Bossman tried throwing him out. Vince entered and dumped them both out to win. He ripped his shirt like Hogan in celebration when the buzzer went off again. CHYNA was the real final entrant! She laid out the Stooges for trying to stop her. Stone Cold came down and Vince went after him. The distraction allowed Chyna to send him flying over the top for the win in 10:49. A MASSIVE POP. Chyna is number 30. The match wasn’t good but the surprise Vince entrant gaining all that heat being built into the Chyna surprise for a huge ovation was masterful. Extra points for that. [**½]

MVP: Vince McMahon
LVP: The Undertaker


Raw History
Episode #295
January 18th, 1999 | Montagne Center in Beaumont, Texas | Attendance: 7,454

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

The show opened with a short tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

RAW IS WAR! It’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble! Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler hosted.

As soon as Lawler said Stone Cold had no chance to win the Royal Rumble, the glass shattered and Austin arrived for an interview with Michael Cole. Of course, he just took the microphone from Cole and made this his own. Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of Austin’s better promos. He just did a lot of recapping of what we already knew. His number, Vince’s number, the $100,000 bounty, and that he was going to throw out 29 pieces of trash to win for a third straight year. Nothing to this other than to build the Rumble. Crowd was hype for it.

TONIGHT ~ Road Dogg defends the Hardcore Title against Gangrel! And Chyna faces the Stooges in a handicap match!

Backstage, Road Dogg looked for weapons to use in his match tonight.

WWF Hardcore Championship: Road Dogg [c] vs. Gangrel
Road Dogg vs. Big Bossman is official for the Rumble. There’s some meaning behind this match because Dogg took a bloodbath last week. Looking for revenge, Dogg took the fight to Gangrel and they brawled in the crowd. I don’t get why he looked for weapons backstage because he didn’t bring any with him. A table got brought into play and Gangrel powerbombed him through it. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? And it only got a near fall. Another table got propped up outside and Gangrel was laid on it. It took three moves, two off the apron and one off the top, to put Gangrel through it. A flying chair shot led to Dogg retaining in 5:54. All sorts of goofy fun. It had some impressive spots though it barely made sense. [**¾]

Steve Austin was shown backstage.

Billy Gunn vs. Test
Kind of odd hearing the Outlaws theme in back to back matches. The issue with this is that Test was incredibly green at this point and Gunn isn’t exactly the guy you call to carry him. Test did a bunch of nothing, working this at a methodical pace. Gunn picked up on a mistake and hit the Fameasser, but out came Ken Shamrock to beat up Billy and cause a DQ in 5:13. As I said, this was slow and plodding. [*¼]

Shamrock’s attack on Gunn saw things go outside and over to the announce table. Shamrock applied the Ankle Lock for almost a minute and that sets up the story of Billy’s bad ankle for the next few weeks. Michael Cole jumped from being worried about Gunn to plugging a WWF Super Bowl commercial instantly. Ridiculous lack of segueing.

Backstage, Gunn continued to sell the ankle as a doctor looked at it.

Kevin Kelly interviewed Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart about coming from out of nowhere to be the top contenders for the Tag Team Titles. Jarrett mentioned all the teams they’ve beaten. They get their shot next week. Shamrock and Bossman showed up to jump them. HEEL VS. HEEL! IT’S COOL, BRO! Officials had to break up this fight.

VIGNETTE ~ Vince McMahon training highlights. He also said that he wanted his hands on Austin as badly as Austin wanted to fight him. This was the debut of the famous Vince McMahon Stunner.

As if there weren’t enough random attacks already tonight, Bossman brawled with Mankind ahead of their match tonight. Talk about a lack of creativity.

Dan Severn vs. Steve Blackman
8 days ago on Heat, Severn attacked Blackman instead of Owen and removed his neck brace. Blackman came out firing but the crowd didn’t care about any of it. Severn hit a low blow at the 2:30 mark to get DQed. He locked in the Dragon Sleeper until officials broke it up. [NR]

Austin was shown backstage again and commentary wondered why he was still there. Uh, he works there, guys.

Mankind and Bossman brawled some more backstage.

VIDEO PACKAGE ~ They ran a great hype video for Mankind vs. The Rock at Royal Rumble.

WAR ZONE!

Non-Title Hardcore Match: WWF Tag Team Champion Big Bossman vs. WWF Champion Mankind
Bossman and Mankind fought from the back to the ring, where the match officially got underway. The idea for this match was to have Bossman soften Mankind up for The Rock. He possibly gave Mick a concussion when he dropped him on an open steel chair with a back suplex. Mankind rallied and put on the Mandible Claw. The Rock ran in (notice that trend tonight) and hit him with a chair. Inexplicably, that caused a DQ in 5:17. You couldn’t have had your WWF Champion win and then do the Rock attack? Protecting Bossman is important, huh? [*½]

A Rock Bottom on the steel chair was added.

Mark Henry tried talking to Chyna, but she blew him off.

Austin was still backstage.

SLAM OF THE WEEK ~ Chyna winning the Corporate Rumble.

The Corporation spoke backstage. Vince demanded Kane do what he was told, as he was scheduled to face The Rock later in the evening.

Chyna came out demanding Mark Henry come clean about something. Mark’s mother was shown in the crowd. He admitted he and Chyna never did anything, but Chyna still aired the “footage.” It showed her friend Sammi last week with Mark. She wanted to make him feel better, so she began kissing and seducing him. However, things came to a halt when Mark realized Sammi was actually a man. Chyna told him she would never sleep with him and nailed him with a low blow. Weird segment and it cut the legs off an angle the fans were enjoying.

During the break, Mark’s mom disciplined him.

The Stooges discussed their strategy against Chyna tonight. Gerald Brisco put himself over as a great amateur wrestler, while Patterson mentioned being the first Intercontinental Champion.

Al Snow vs. Goldust
This feud is over Head. The winner got possession of Head. There wasn’t much to this match. Snow had to work from behind as Goldust kept control throughout. It just didn’t last very long and never really got going. Snow won with La Magistral in 3:36. It was kind of sloppy and didn’t do anything for me. Goldust then attacked Snow, hit Shattered Dreams, and left with Head anyway. So why did the match happen? [¾*]

Stone Cold was STILL THERE!

More arguing from the Stooges bout who should pin Chyna.

In a weird red robe, the newly named Mideon ran out to commentary talking about something happening in seven days. Out came the Acolytes, druids, Paul Bearer, and The Undertaker. The stage was set up with the throne again. Undertaker spoke about Mideon being lost in the politics of corruption or something like that. He promised another sacrifice coming in six days at the Royal Rumble.

Chyna vs. Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson
Shoutout to the Stooges for doing their best to make this entertaining. It had no right or reason to be but I popped when Patterson did an airplane spin and when he tried to low blow Chyna. When Chyna found herself in trouble, Sable came out to a big pop. I don’t really get why. Luna Vachon interrupted and attacked her anyway. Brisco busted out a People’s Elbow before throwing powder in her eyes. The old geezers spent time groping her, which was blurred out on the Network. Chyna fought back and won with two DDTs in 6:19. Sports entertainment, baby. Nothing in terms of pure wrestling here, but some fun antics. [**]

Stone Cold was still walking around backstage.

The McMahons promised The Rock that Kane will do exactly what he’s told to do.

WWF REWIND ~ The Rock attacking Kane and Mankind during their WWF Title match last week.

Kane vs. The Rock w/ The Corporation
Shawn Michaels ordered this match on Heat, so we got a recap of the beating he took a few weeks back at the hands of the Corporation. Vince threatened to have Kane sent to an insane asylum if he didn’t lay down for The Rock. Kane declined, so Rock chop blocked him and the Corporation jumped him. Rock was wearing street clothes, still trying to hide his boob surgery. Once the match got started, it was a brawl. They fought outside by the announce table and Rock was in control. Kane rallied after the Corporate Elbow but the Corporation hit the ring for a DQ in 4:50. Decent but more focused on the angle than anything. [*¾]

As the Corporation beat up Kane, Mankind ran out with a chair. He hit Test and Bossman before backing The Rock up the ramp. Stone Cold showed up behind Rock and flipped him off. That was underwhelming. All that talk about him still being at the show and only for that?

MVP: Mankind
LVP: Steve Austin

5.5
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
Ep. #294: You know what? That was an easy show to get through. It certainly had issues (Undertaker’s promo, some of the messy overbooked angles, PMS), but it mostly moved along nicely and built to the Rumble. I could’ve done with better matches, however none were really bad. [7.0] Ep. #295: One of the weaker shows in a while. It reeked of a lot of the things that the company struggled with in 1999. A lot of stuff was thrown at the wall and didn’t make sense. Undertaker is talking in tongues, Chyna & Mark Henry came to a lackluster end, the IC Title picture is way too crowded, there were a million clips of Austin that built to nothing, etc. [4.0]
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RAW, WWE, Kevin Pantoja