20 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWF RAW REPORT (3/30/98): Austin-McMahon rivalry heats up, X-Pac and New Age Outlaws added to DX, plus Jarrett, LOD, Cactus Jack

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


The following article was published 20 years ago this week in the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter. To access over 30 years of Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter archives chronicling the wrestling industry one week at a time, check out PWTorch VIP membership info HERE


KELLER’S WWF RAW REPORT
MARCH 30, 1998
ALBANY, N.Y.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

(3.8 rating)

[Q1: 4.3]… The show opened with a short Wrestlemania montage highlighting Steve Austin’s title victory and newspaper clipping from that day… Jim Ross and Michael Cole introduced the show from ringside. As Vince McMahon walked to the ring with the new WWF Title belt, Ross said Hunter had a major announcement regarding Degeneration X and said there may be a rift in DX. Fans chanted “Austin” at McMahon. He complained about the mic not working, saying he couldn’t hear himself. He said he was pleased to introduce the new WWF Champion. Austin came out with the belt over his shoulder and seemed confused by McMahon holding the other belt. He took the new belt from McMahon and put it over his shoulder. McMahon said he wanted to “clarify” his past statements about not wanting Austin to become champion. McMahon said that if they work together, some day Austin may become the best champion of all time. Austin said he knows McMahon hates him and that he won’t be molded. McMahon said he is incapable of hate and finds him a “swell guy.” He said, “I love you. You’re a hell of a guy.” Austin made McMahon repeat that he loves him. McMahon reuttered it under his breath, so Austin made him say it again into the mic. McMahon said it again, but said it was just a figure of speech. Austin laughed, then said, “Okay, hotshot, I love you, too.” He then said now that they got all the sentimental crap out of the way, he plans to give him more gray hairs and raise more hell than ever. “Nobody, especially Vince McMahon tells Steve Austin what to do, and that’s the bottom line.” McMahon said they can do it the easy way or the hard way. Austin asked McMahon to define that. McMahon said, “Flexibility and adaptability is the key to business.” He said the hard way is being forced into doing it his way, anyway. Austin asked to have ten seconds to think about this very important decision. Austin thought for a minute. He then kicked McMahon in the gut and gave him a stunner. The crowd popped huge. He asked the fans to give him a “hell, yeah” if they wanted him to do it the hard way. Austin returned to the back with a smile on his face the whole way back…

[Q2: 3.9]… After a commercial they showed McMahon being helped from the ring and being tended to in the back. He sold it hilariously… (1) Legion of Doom (w/Sunny) beat Los Boricuas (Jose & Jesus) at 0:33. Ross said the LOD earned a tag title shot at the next PPV by virtue of their win the night before at Wrestlemania. Sunny announced the winners as “LOD 2000.” She said LOD is now a mix of sex appeal and twisted steel… They went backstage where Kevin Kelly said McMahon called the police and ordered them to arrest Austin… (2) Kurrgan (w/Jackal) beat Chainz with the Paralyzer Claw at 2:08. Early in the match they went to a split screen of McMahon, Sgt. Slaughter, and Gerald Brisco waiting outside the arena for the police to arrive. Kurrgan didn’t release the hold and instead dragged Chainz to the back… They went outside the arena again to show the police car arriving as they cut to a commercial…

[Q3: 3.7]… After a commercial, they showed McMahon leading the police around backstage. He swaggered toward Austin’s locker room and instructed them to arrest him… (3) Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) beat Aguila at 2:37 with the figure-four. Tennessee Lee then introduced Jarrett, then helped out on color. Lee said he would have a surprise next week on Raw. Steve Blackman attacked Jarrett after the match… They went backstage and showed four cops dragging Austin away. Austin said, “That’s a hell of a rib.” He checked McMahon into lockers in the hall. McMahon told Austin, “You’re going where you belong”… After a commercial they showed Austin being shoved into the police car and telling McMahon, “You haven’t seen the last of me.” Then McMahon, accompanied by Brisco and Slaughter, came back to the ring. Fans booed. Again, McMahon asked them to show him a little respect. “Perhaps in the state of the mind that Mr. Austin is in, perhaps a 24 hour cooling off period is appropriate. I didn’t want to have to do that. I gave Mr. Austin a choice. He selected his choice. Dammit I selected mine.” He then did his best Liam Gallagher impression and threw the mic into the air and walked away…

[Q4: 4.0]… They showed Hunter and Chyna backstage. Hunter said the WWF would take an X-rated change tonight. There was no sign of Shawn Michaels, not to mention absolutely no mention of him by the announcers… They went to an NOD promo. Rocky, with the cheesy new Intercontinental Title belt, credited Faarooq with bringing him into the NOD and pledged to him that from now on the NOD would be strong and united… The Warzone opening montage aired at 10 minutes before the top of the hour. Fan signs included: “Rehab for Life, Razor,” “Easy-E is NAMBLA for Life,” and “Syxx is DX’s Lucky Number”… Then they replayed (again) Austin giving McMahon the stunner, plus replayed the re-debut of LOD 2000 and Austin being arrested… (4) Ken Shamrock & Steve Blackman beat Faarooq & Rocky Maivia (w/D-Lo, Kama, Mark Henry) when Shamrock pinned Faarooq at 4:20. Ross said Shamrock may need some anger management counseling. As the match started, Rocky insisted to Faarooq that he start the match for his team. Rocky was still limping from the night before. At 3:50, when Faarooq couldn’t reach Rocky for a tag, Rocky returned to the back. They didn’t go long enough after Rocky left to make it seem as if his departure meant anything to NOD losing the match. Afterward Faarooq asked The Rock to return. He did, and they brawled briefly. The other NOD members separated them. When The Rock left again, the other NOD members attacked Faarooq from behind. The Rock returned to the ring and proclaimed he is the real leader of the NOD. Are they going to change NOD’s music now since Faarooq is pretty much the lead singer?…

[Q5: 4.3]… The DX introduction of Sean Waltman took place. (See cover story)…

[Q6: 3.9]… A video montage aired on Val Venis. He lay in bed watching a promo video saying, “I’m good.” He said he was previewing his latest flick, “Live Hard.” He said Bruce Willis may be good, but he’s better. “When I penetrate the WWF, all the ladies all across the country will be screaming in delight.” A young version of Rick Rude’s womanizer gimmick. Well done. Love the subtle spelling of his last name… (4) Marc Mero (w/Sable) beat Taka Michinoku (whose new belt looks cheaper than the ones they sell at the arenas) at 1:32 with the TKO. Talk about killing off the light-heavyweight division in one two-hour show. Before the match Luna came out onto the rampway and said she wanted a special match with Sable, an evening gown match where the winner is the one with the most clothes left on after the match. Luna said she would strip Sable to her bra and panties, “if you wear any, you little slut.” Sable said she kicked her ass before and would be glad to do it again.” After the match Men’s Teoh, Tsuyoshi Funaki, and Dick Togo came out through the crowd and attacked Taka. Ross said he didn’t know who the men were…

[Q7: 3.0]… (5) The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) beat The Head Bangers at 3:57. Cornette introduced Dan Severn before the match. He said on commentary that since everybody was shooting, he wanted to bring in a shooter. He said Severn is the only human being to be the UFC’s Triple Crown winner having won the tournament, superfight, and heavyweight title. Cornette said Severn also beat Shamrock. Ross pointed out that Shamrock beat Severn, too, so they are 1-1. Cornette said Severn is also the NWA Hvt. Champion and has never lost a pro wrestling match. Severn just stood at ringside and did his Al Gore impression. Cornette ordered Severn to attack the Bangers after the match… Austin called Ross and Lawler at ringside. He said he didn’t call a lawyer, he called to say that since giving McMahon a stunner isn’t punishable by a death penalty, McMahon’s ass would be his. He said he might even pay McMahon a house call… As they built the cage for the main event tag match, Paul Bearer and Kane came out. Ross said that Kane may have lost the match, but he dominated Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Bearer challenged Undertaker to step into the ring with Kane one more time, but the loser would have to “catch fire.” Ross clarified the ring would be surrounded by fire, which Bearer didn’t make clear… They showed Terry Funk backstage getting the welt on his hip tended to. Lawler said it was the world’s biggest hickey given to him by Cactus Jack…

[Q8: 3.2]… (7) The New Age Outlaws beat Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie at 4:40 to capture the held-up WWF Tag Team Titles.. Road Dogg wore Al Snow’s “J.O.B. Squad” t-shirt that read on the back, “Pin me, Pay me” with a body outline lying on the mat. The Outlaws chained Funk by the neck to the cage. Cactus gave the Outlaws a double-DDT and then climbed the cage. Hunter, Waltman, and Chyna ran to the ring. Waltman gave Cactus a chairshot leading to the pin. Road Dogg covered Cactus in unique fashion. After the match Waltman gave Cactus the Bronco Buster in the corner. Lawler said the Outlaws are the newest additions to DX. They climbed the cage together to end the snow…


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 20 YEARS AGO FLASHBACK: 20 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (3-23-98): Austin vs. Rock headlines Raw, plus Bradshaw, Windham, Jeff Jarrett, Midnight Express, Cactus Jack

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