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Raw History: Episodes #296 and #297 – Rock Battles Triple H in an I Quit Match, More

July 5, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
WWE Raw 1-25-1999 Triple H Rock
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Raw History: Episodes #296 and #297 – Rock Battles Triple H in an I Quit Match, More  

*These reviews will be taking a break while I focus on the WrestleMania Retrospective Series.

Royal Rumble 1999 Results
Big Bossman def. Road Dogg in 11:52
WWF Intercontinental Championship: Ken Shamrock [c] def. Billy Gunn in 14:24
WWF European Championship: X-Pac [c] def. Gangrel in 5:53
WWF Women’s Championship Strap Match: Sable [c] def. Luna Vachon in 4:43
WWF Championship I Quit Match: The Rock def. Mankind [c] in 21:48 [****]
Mr. McMahon won the Royal Rumble in 56:38 [**]


Raw History
Episode #296
January 25th, 1999 | America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona | Attendance: 13,538

WWF Champion: The Rock (2) since 1/24/99
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

LAST NIGHT ~ Still images and audio clips from the Royal Rumble, which was won by Mr. McMahon.

RAW IS WAR! Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler hosted.

The corporation stood in the ring and Shane introduced the Royal Rumble winner, Vince McMahon. They all celebrated hard as Vince said he was going to WrestleMania and that he kicked Stone Cold’s ass. Vince congratulated The Rock for winning the WWF Title and awarded him the $100,000 bounty for coming out to “watch” Vince throw Austin out. Vince claimed Rock was probably having trouble sleeping with the knowledge that he’ll face Vince at WrestleMania. However, Vince signed away his title shot earlier today and said he holds the rights to name Rock’s Mania opponent at a later date. Via satellite, Steve Austin interrupted from San Antonio, Texas. Vince believed Austin was in another state out of humiliation and shame. Austin said he’s going to WrestleMania and reveals that he’s at the home of WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels. HBK informed everyone that if the Royal Rumble winner is unwilling to go WrestleMania, the runner up takes his place. Convenient. Vince was speechless. Austin offered to put up his WrestleMania title shot if Vince agreed to face him in a match at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. If Vince wins, Austin is out of Mania. It’ll be a Steel Cage match. Vince accepted because he’s a wild man. A lengthy and convoluted segment. It was their way of getting Austin to Mania without winning another Rumble.

TONIGHT ~ Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart get a Tag Team Title shot!

An armored truck pulled into the arena, apparently carrying The Rock’s bounty. Vince assured him it would be delivered in cash.

Billy Gunn w/ Chyna and Triple H vs. Goldust
Before the bell, Triple H challenged The Rock to an I Quit Match for the WWF Title. I was wondering why he was also accompanying Gunn. Quick action here, complete with Gunn mooning Goldust to a pop from the ladies. I’ll never understand why this gimmick was over. I’m gonna say it’s the DX association because it dies a painful death when they split. Goldust’s music hits and out came The Blue Meanie in Goldust attire, but in blue instead of gold. Bluedust hit Goldust with Head and Gunn won via piledriver in 2:03. Too rushed to be much of anything. It was here for the angle. [NR]

Mankind arrived with a huge bandage on his head. How is he even walking?

The Oddities were in the ring. That included George “The Animal” Steele. The Rock came out to talk and basically kicked them out. They politely obliged. Rock ran down Triple H, saying he wouldn’t have lost to him back at SummerSlam if it wasn’t for Chyna. He got interrupted by Mankind attacking the armored car guards (don’t think that would be possible in real life but okay) and stole a bag of the money. He came out to the stage and started giving out the money to the fans. Mankind admitted that he was out cold at the end of the match last night, but he never said he quit. He physically couldn’t. Mankind proceeded to show a video from Heat a while back where he had a verbal exchange with Shane McMahon and shouted, “I QUIT” three times. That same exact verbiage was how he quit last night, proving it was dubbed over audio and not a real quit. Mankind challenged Rock to an Empty Arena Match during Halftime Heat for the WWF Title. Rock accepted so his money wouldn’t keep getting tossed around. Kind of takes any tension out of the Rock/Triple H match tonight.

Mideon talked to the commentary team and promised evil was coming tonight.

Droz vs. George Steele
Once again, The Oddities left as soon as they arrived. They just left George to fight on his own. Droz was in the checkered shorts gear he was mostly known for. Droz threw him into an exposed turnbuckle to win in 0:47. [NR]

WAR ZONE!

During the break, the Stooges got the Tag Team Champions to drink water laced with saltpeter to resist Debra’s temptations.

Backstage, Debra got interviewed about their attempts and said no man can resist her. Mark Henry showed up to flirt with her, having learned nothing from his encounter with Chyna last week.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock [c] vs. Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart w/ Debra
Bossman ignored Debra at the bell, showing that the Stooges were onto something. The crowd chanted “Nugget” at Owen because there’s no babyface to actually root for. The Owen/Shamrock interactions were the one highlight from an in-ring standpoint. The story revolved around Bossman and Debra. When the champs were in control, Debra revealed her bra. Shamrock still wasn’t distracted. The Blue Blazer eventually showed up and hit Shamrock with a guitar, giving Owen the win in 4:38. Nothing much as a match, but it had something of a story and didn’t take up too much time. [*½]

Post-match, Kevin Kelly interviewed the winners. Owen said this proved he isn’t the Blue Blazer.

Shane McMahon came out with the Stooges. He claimed that Kane apologized for his behavior last night but he wanted Kane to do it in front of everyone. Kane said “I apologize,” but Shane wanted him to do it on his knees. This all got interrupted by X-Pac to the surprise of many. He questioned why Kane takes this crap and offered him a spot in DX to a huge pop. Kane responded with a Chokeslam and Shane followed up by hitting X-Pac with the Bronco Buster. I liked this segment and it did well to set up two future angles in X-Pac vs. Shane, as well as his team with Kane.

Somewhere dark, the Ministry of Darkness spoke. We couldn’t hear.

Earlier today, PMS forced D-Lo Brown to buy feminine products for them. He was embarrassed. This is why they ran that awful miscarriage angle? So they could run these bad jokes?

Val Venis revealed his latest film, titled “Sister Act.” Copyright laws, dude. Wait. That was the name of it during the preview. He actually showed off, “Shaving Ryan’s Privates.” Not the kind of porn I’d wanna see. Then, the name said “Sister Act” again. I don’t get it. Also, I love how it was starring “Ken Shamrock’s Sister” and not Ryan Shamrock. The video was just them entering the shower together.

Test vs. Val Venis
This match barely got going when Ken Shamrock ran in and hit Val with a chair. Test won with the Pumphandle Slam in 1:23. [NR]

Shamrock and Test beat on Val until Billy Gunn made the save. He cleaned house, only for Val to attack him. Rude!

Hardcore Match: Al Snow and Road Dogg vs. Edge and Gangrel
I thought they had already figured out that the best tandem was Edge and Christian. I wish Road Dogg would’ve done the full on Outlaws intro with Al Snow as if he was Billy. The idea here was that Snow and Dogg really enjoy Hardcore matches and wanted revenge for bloodbaths. They jumped The Brood during their entrance and it set up a ton of backstage brawling. It was literally just four dudes wailing on each other with weapons. No real structure or anything like that. Gangrel surprised me with a leg drop through a table. The finish saw Bluedust give Al Snow Head and everyone fell through a table. Dogg apparently landed on his opponents and won in 5:44. That was a thing that happened. [*]

Kevin Kelly interviewed the winners. Al Snow challenged Road Dogg to a Hardcore Title match since they had fun out there. Dogg accepted, only for them to get jumped by the Ministry. That included their new member, Mabel.

WWF Championship I Quit Match: The Rock [c] vs. Triple H w/ Chyna
I was going to question putting this match on the night after the Rumble because a title change is unlikely. However, it was changing hands quickly in this era, so it was plausible. These two always had great chemistry. It came across here with a fair amount of action, some solid spots, and great personality bits thrown in from everyone. I did think that a few things missed the mark, like HHH threatening to choke Rock with a cord if he didn’t quit and then not doing it when Rock refused. Weird. I dug him using the bell hammer and hitting a pair of Pedigrees. He went for a third on the table, but the Corporation showed up. They had Kane lift Chyna for a Chokeslam and threatened to do it if Triple H didn’t quit. He quit, giving Rock the win in 9:08. Fun match even with its flaws. [***]

Post-match, Triple H checked on Chyna. He dared Kane to fight him, only for Chyna to sneak up and low blow him, turning on Triple H and DX. The Corporation beat on Triple H as Vince welcomed her to the group with a hug. Good ending.

MVP: The Rock
LVP: The Oddities

Halftime Heat Results
WWF Championship Empty Arena Match: Mankind def. The Rock [c] in 17:22 [****]


Raw History
Episode #297
February 1st, 1999 | Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona | Attendance: 6,986

WWF Champion: Mankind (2) since 1/31/99
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock (1) since 10/12/98
WWF Tag Team Champions: Jeff Jarrett (1) and Owen Hart (4) since 1/25/99
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 NIGHT ~ Mankind won the WWF Title back from The Rock in a really fun Empty Arena Match during Halftime Heat.

Backstage, Shane McMahon told the Corporation that his dad was on assignment in Texas, so he was in charge. He was pissed that Big Bossman, Ken Shamrock, and Test had no idea where Kane was. As they walked off, PMS bumped into Bossman. He scolded them.

RAW IS WAR! Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler hosted.

Shane led the three Corporation members in attendance down to the ring. He then immediately sent them to the back because he didn’t need to hide behind bigger guys like X-Pac does. Why make them walk with you? You literally just told them to follow you to the ring. Shane announced that Vince was in Victoria, Texas to provoke Steve Austin. If Austin attacked Vince, his contract would be void. Shane asked for the Steel Cage to be lowered down as a preview for St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. In a cool scene, X-Pac was waiting on top of the cage as it lowered. DX brawled with the Corporation in the back. X-Pac beat on Shane until Chyna found a way to get into the cage. X-Pac still hit Shane with a spin kick but took a low blow from Chyna. She then held X-Pac in place so Shane could beat on him to end the segment. The X-Pac visual ruled and I liked that this was a different angle to open with.

The WWF Super Bowl commercial was shown here.

At a bar in Victoria, Texas, Vince went over his plan with the Stooges. They were hilariously incognito by dressing as cowboys. Vince asked the bartender for Austin and she responded in the ultimate stereotypical Texan fashion. He had no luck here.

Billy Gunn vs. Val Venis
Ken Shamrock joined commentary for this. He could barely refrain from getting involved. The camera missed it completely, but Gunn mooned Venis at the bell. Shamrock yelled a lot on commentary about how he makes decisions for his sister. He got all the heat in the match. He also apparently promised Ryan that he wouldn’t lay a hand on Val. The match was given a decent amount of time, with both guys showing strong character work. Val began to grind, triggering Shamrock to hit him with a chair, causing a DQ in 4:52. He didn’t lay his hands on Val. The match was decent. [**]

Shamrock was taken away by officials after Gunn chased him off. Val got up to see Gunn with the chair, so he took it and hit Gunn in his bad leg.

Using some of the $100,000 meant for The Rock last week, Mankind purchased Max Mini. Max had no mask. He’s literally buying humans. That isn’t a babyface move.

The Rock called Vince to complain about Mankind. We got bad split screen effects for it, which is a weird presentation choice.

Kevin Kelly brought out Debra for an interview. Oh, no. These were awful during her WCW run. Thankfully, she didn’t get to say much before Mark Henry came out to flirt. That led to Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart jumping him from behind. There are a lot of attacks in this era.

Backstage, Mankind gave Kurrgan financial advice and some cash to invest.

Big Bossman vs. D-Lo Brown w/ PMS
Before the match, PMS told D-Lo that they were far from done with him and called out Big Bossman so he could teach him a lesson. In a wild stat, these guys were in the final four of the Rumble along with Vince and Austin. D-Lo had this won with the Lo Down but Terri distracted the referee. Bossman then won with the Bossman Slam in 2:45. [½*]

PMS laughed up the ramp. Bossman went to attack D-Lo more but Mark Henry made the save. He recovered from that earlier assault well.

VICTORIA ~ The Stooges used fake Texas accents to hit on random women and Patterson took a low blow for his troubles. Vince came up to say he found Austin.

Blue Meanie came out to dance because a USA Network executive wanted to see how dancing men would do as a TV segment. Horribly executed setup. Goldust jumped Meanie and hit him with Shattered Dreams.

In the back, a doctor checked on D-Lo. Henry told D-Lo the miscarriage wasn’t his fault. The doctor revealed that Terri was never pregnant. SHOCKER.

Droz vs. Kurrgan
Droz got on the mic and demanded The Oddities leave. He used a broom handle as a cheap shot, followed by a flying shoulder block to win in 1:42. [NR]

Another post-match beat down because those are apparently not getting old. The Oddities ran Droz off.

VICTORIA ~ Vince and the Stooges ate barbecue while waiting for Austin. Vince complained about the food and Brisco chastised the waitress for serving it to him, even though he had his face covered in sauce. The woman dumped beans on his head. All these jokes are one note.

WAR ZONE!

The Brood vs. The Ministry of Darkness w/ Paul Bearer
Lawler said the Brood was a force that could compete with the Ministry. Um, they’ve done nothing since forming. The Undertaker was scheduled to compete but just sat in his big chair on the stage. The Acolytes ran in for a DQ at 2:05 before anything of note could happen. [NR]

The Ministry beat up The Brood. Officials showed up, but The Brood kicked them out and continued to take their beating. Gangrel got hung up by a noose. It looked like an initiation.

Mankind bought Debra a sweater to cover up her cold puppies.

Mankind came to the ring for a promo to celebrate being WWF Champion again. He was quickly interrupted by The Rock, who said he wouldn’t have won if it wasn’t for a forklift. Rock wanted his bounty back, but Mankind said it was down to about $72,000 only. Mankind did agree to grant Rock a rematch. Rock proposed the first Last Man Standing Match in WWF history and Mankind accepted. It goes down at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Good segment to set up the match and further this feud.

VICTORIA ~ Vince explained his plan to provoke Austin as they arrived at the place he’s supposedly at. It involved the Stooges getting beat up by Austin. However, the guy Vince found was just another bald dude with a shotgun. He didn’t fire, but he told Vince that Austin was at a nearby bar.

Hardcore Match: The Acolytes vs. Al Snow and WWF Hardcore Champion Road Dogg
I like this idea. This worked for Dogg and Snow last week, so try again ahead of their PPV match. This was immediately a big brawl. The Acolytes were in their element here. Bradshaw was launching the steel stairs all over the place. Faarooq was hitting everyone hard. The opposition brought out a bunch of weapons. The fight went all the way to the back and even outside. Thank goodness this was in Arizona. Outside, Snow and Faarooq went at it, while Dogg and Bradshaw were in the ring. Viscera showed up and took out Snow, allowing Faarooq to hit the ring. A tandem powerbomb through the table gave the Acolytes the win in 6:40. That was garbage fun and I dug it. [**¾]

After the match, Undertaker’s music hit and three druids joined the Ministry in the ring. They had their hoods removed to reveal the Brood. I get that they fit in with the group’s theme, but I would’ve liked it more if they ran a babyface Brood against a heel Ministry.

Outside, Road Dogg argued with Al Snow about the result of the match. Dogg attacked him with a chair from behind like a heel.

VICTORIA ~ Vince found Austin at a bar. He berated him and dared him to fight, but Austin was calm. He chose to leave and wait until the PPV, but left Vince and the Stooges with the Victoria residents who he had been talking trash about.

Steel Cage Match: Kane vs. Triple H 
Wait. I thought the Corporation couldn’t find Kane earlier. Anyway, you could only win via escape. Kane oddly did his fire turnbuckle taunt DURING THE MATCH. Seems unsafe. He was in control for most of this until Triple H made the babyface comeback. The fans rallied behind Triple H and when Kane nearly won, X-Pac ran down and slammed the cage door into his face. That got a big pop. Chyna showed up to even the score, only for Triple H to kick her down and escape, winning in 12:28. Back to back weeks with solid main events by HHH. This had a hot crowd and told a fine little story. [***]

Chyna got on the microphone after the match and told Kane to let DX have their moment because they won’t after their tag match at the PPV. Flat finish. It should’ve just ended with DX celebrating.

MVP: Triple H
LVP: PMS

6.5
The final score: review Average
The 411
#296: I liked some of the angles set up during this show. The main event was strong and stuff for Austin/McMahon was put in place. However, most of the show was promos and none of them were memorable or even that interesting. If your show is going to rely on that, it needs to deliver. [6.0] #297:  A step up from last week. I thought Mankind was entertaining in each segment, and we had some pretty good stuff in the ring. They did run attacks too often and the Vince segments were corny until the end, but the show moved along nicely and was enjoyable. [7.0]
legend

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RAW, Raw History, WWE, Kevin Pantoja