20 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (4-13-98): Tons of Austin-McMahon back-and-forth at start and end of show, plus Jarrett, Funk, DX, Owen, Patterson & Brisco

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


Steve Austin (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

The following was published in PWTorch Newsletter 20 years ago this week. Read all of these Raw reports in our comprehensive back issue section of the PWTorch VIP website with Raw reports dating back to the first program through this week. GO VIP HERE


KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT
APRIL 13, 2018
PHILADELPHIA, PA.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

TV Rating: 4.6

[Q1: 4.2]… The show began with a new “WWF Attitude” opening stamp. Pretty cool… Footage then aired of the “new and improved” Steve Austin-Vince McMahon angle. The voiceover teased that Austin would settle his problems with the boss once and for all “tonight on Raw is War!”… Jim Ross announced the sellout crowd of 16,000 and said it was at the “Coors” State Center. Ross can’t stop plugging Coors after all of those Coors-sponsored WCW Clash events. Ross then said Austin sometime during the show would settle his differences with McMahon. Before he could take his next breath, Austin’s music started and he came to the ring. Austin asked McMahon to “bring his ass out” to the ring. He promised not to hit him. He told the fans somebody ought to have a beer for him because if he’s gonna wait, he’s gonna drink while doing it. He threatened to sit in the ring until he came out. He said he wasn’t going to put up with McMahon telling him what to do and how to act anymore. McMahon finally began to come out. McMahon poked his head out of the curtain and hesitantly began to walk to the ring. He had Gerry Brisco and Pat Patterson by his side. Before walking down the rampway he had two security officers wearing riot gear accompany him to the ring (indy wrestlers Donnie B. and Gino Caruso).

Austin interviewed McMahon, demanding to know from him who his opponent is going to be at the next PPV. McMahon said, “I haven’t made up my mind yet. It takes great deliberation.” Austin listed all of the things McMahon doesn’t like about him. Austin said it sounds as if McMahon wants to be the WWF champion himself. McMahon asked, “Where are you going with this?” Austin said, “A couple of weeks ago when you came down with this new belt, I’m sure before I took this belt from you I’m sure you walked around in your house with your little pajamas on and you had this belt strapped around your waist and you said to your wife, ‘Honey, how do I look as the World Champion.’ She probably said you look like a jackass because you do.” Austin then announced that he was willing to put the WWF Title on the line. Austin added, “Look at me when I’m talking to you. Don’t turn your back on me, because even though I gave you my word I wouldn’t hit you, I just might knock your damn head off you.” Austin then said he wanted to wrestle McMahon for the belt. He asked the crowd if they wanted to see the match. They applauded wildly. McMahon said he didn’t want the match. Austin said he could beat McMahon with one hand tied behind his back. Austin said the easy way would be wrestling him later, but the hard way “means hand picking one of the cameramen, I’m gonna take him backstage to your office, and I’m going to beat your ass in front of the world anyway.” Austin told McMahon he’d give him 30 minutes to make up his mind. Austin said if he thinks he’s going anywhere, he’s not because his limo driver has been beat up and he has four flat tires. Austin left and McMahon looked so worried he was on the verge of tears. Great segment…

[Q2: 4.2]… After a commercial, Gerry Brisco and Pat Patterson told McMahon he has only one thing to do, and that is “break him like you broke the rest of them.” … Degeneration X came to the ring next. They didn’t do the rapid-fire cuts between live action and the DX video. The announcers wondered what DX was doing at ringside for the chain match…

(1) DOA fought Los Boricuas (Savio Vega & Jose Estrada) to a no contest in a chain match at 2:15. Ross outright said DX “whizzed” and “urinated” on DOA’s bikes last week. DX attacked Chainz at ringside, piledriving him on a chair on the rampway. After that, DX attacked 8-Ball and Skull in the ring. Los Boricuas helped DX in the attack. DX surrounded Los Boricuas after the match and gave them a crotch chop salute. Just as Boricuas bought into the tribute, Chyna gave them low blows from behind. DX attacked them with chairs, too… They cut back to the locker room where Shane McMahon joined Vince, Pat, and Gerry. Shane was trying to talk his dad out of it. Shane said if Vince got into the ring with Austin, it would be just as dangerous as when he (Shane) rode a motorcycle 120 miles an hour. Vince said, “Yeah, you could’ve been killed.” As Shane continued to discourage Vince, Vince said, “Are you saying I can’t take Austin?” Shane said, “This is crap. I’m totally against it.”… In a nice touch, they did list sponsors for the show while airing a live shot of the outside of the Core State Center…

After a commercial they showed Chainz being stretchered to the back… Vince came back out as four wrestlers were already standing in the ring ready to be in a tag match. McMahon said for over 50 years the WWF has been part of his heritage, from his grandfather, his father, and he, and he hoped it would carry on to his son and daughter and each generation thereafter. He said, “The WWF has always been about honor and integrity, qualities that are sorely lacking in our current WWF champion.” McMahon looked up and said, “I know the decision I’m about to make tonight won’t sit well with those who have preceded me, but nonetheless, sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” He gulped and said, “In answer to the question will I fight Stone Cold Steve Austin in this ring tonight, the answer is Oh Hell Yeah.” The crowd popped. Ross and Cole said McMahon has no chance. Ross said, “Vince is getting some bad advice. If this happens, it is going to rip this company apart. I can’t believe Pat Patterson and Gerry Brisco, two WWF officials, are condoning this. Has everybody lost their mind, for god’s sakes?” Brisco and Patterson greeted McMahon on the rampway and congratulated him on his decision.” McMahon told them, “I can’t take it anymore.” Ross took off his headset and said he was going to do what he could to make sure the match wouldn’t happen. Ross walked to the back… The lights in the arena then went out just as the tag match was about to start. Rather than Kane, it was Undertaker who walked out. He chokeslammed Pantera and Aguila as Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor laughed. He then chokeslammed Taylor as Christopher fled. He then gave Taylor the tombstone. At least they didn’t have Christopher get squashed, too. Undertaker grabbed the house mic and said, “Kane, it’s time your big brother shows you what evil is all about. No longer are you the hunter. Now you are the hunted. This night will go on like an eternity until you show your face”…

[Q3: 4.2]… The Starburst Slam of the Week was Austin giving McMahon the Stone Cold Stunner two weeks earlier on Raw… They went backstage to Kevin Kelly who said nobody, not Ross or Shane, would be able to convince McMahon to back down from the match. He introduced footage shot during the commercial. Ross and Shane argued with Jerry and Pat. McMahon walked and said, “I’ve made my decision.” He told Shane to go to his car, get his bag, and bring it to him. McMahon threw off his coat. Shane said, “This is the dumbest decision you’ve ever made.” Vince said, “It may be.” Vince sternly told Ross, “Go do your job. Thank you very much”…

(2) Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) fought Taka Michinoku to a no contest at 2:35. Lee introduced Jarrett as hundreds of Jarrett leaflets fell from the ceiling. They went back to Steve Blackman in the locker room. Cole asked him if he’d be getting his revenge on Jarrett on Raw. Blackman said he might tonight, he might next week, or he might wait until the PPV, but his revenge “would be sweet.” Ross rejoined Cole on commentary. Lee then joined in on color briefly. All of the leaflets in the ring had to make wrestling somewhat dangerous. A fan in the crowd held up a sign that said, “Savio Vega would squash Goldberg.” Another fan sign from the same fan read, “Happy 100th Birthday Hulk Hogan.” Club Kamikaze, as the Japanese threesome have been dubbed, attacked Taka. Jarrett applied the figure-four after the match, then strutted a minute later… They went backstage to Austin who said he isn’t surprised McMahon made the choice his did because he was getting his ass whooped either way…

[Q4: 4.6]… After a commercial break they showed Patterson and Brisco teaching McMahon how to wrestle, coaching him on how to defend himself against Austin. They “taught him” how to take Austin down. Patterson said, “Boy, Vince, is he in for a surprise.” Hilarious stuff. Ross and Cole then expressed their disbelief again. Faarooq’s new music began to play and he came out with taped ribs. Ross stressed that the McMahon-Austin match could take place at any moment in the final hour and fifteen minutes of the show. Faarooq said he would make it short and sweet. He told Rocky he has to do more than attack his ribs to take him out. He said he gave Rocky the chance of a lifetime when he let him join the DOA, but he would give him another big chance — that being a fight with him later that night. “I’ll give you another chance to finish kicking my ass tonight so come on out here.” Rocky said Faarooq was good at ordering them around like he was the champ, but “The Rock is the champ.” He said, “Try your best and smell what the Rock is going to cook tonight in Philadelphia. The Rock has a very big hand and you know what that means. That means he’s going to lay the smack down on you whenever he damn well pleases. There are only two things you can do about it — nothing and like it.” He told Faarooq to get ready for his final thrill. Ken Shamrock and Blackman came out from behind Rocky, Mark Henry, D-Lo Brown, and Kama Mustafa. They charged the NOD. A brawl broke out with everyone… They replayed Cactus Jack telling the crowd last week it will be a long time before they see Cactus Jack again…

(3) Terry Funk & Too Cold Scorpio beat The Quebecers at 2:14. Jerry Lawler joined Ross and Cole on commentary. Before the match Funk, who has dropped the Chainsaw Charlie monicker, announced he has a new partner. He said Cactus Jack was quitting because fans were chanting “Austin, Austin.” Funk said he didn’t give a damn what the fans chanted because he was going to put “Funk in the fans’ faces.” He said his partner is hardcore, but McMahon has never given him a chance. Flash Funk then walked out, renamed Too Cold Scorpio. Fans chanted, “ECW, ECW.” The same fan held up a sign, “Hey, Raven, what about me?” Funny. Ross called Too Cold “a blue chipper who just needs a chance.” At 2:00 Too Cold moved out of the way of the Quebecers’ finisher and then hit the 450 splash for the win. Ross said, “What a way to launch his new career here in the WWF. I like it. It’s about time.” Cole said, “He’s been held down too long’…

[Q5: 4.4]… They were about to cut away to a commercial, but Luna walked out at the top of the second hour. Luna said the anticipation of fighting Sable at Unforgiven is “worse than PMS.” She said her flow of (pause) adrenaline is so strong she wanted to settle things right there. Ross said he didn’t know if Sable was there, but they would find out in 30 seconds. The Warzone opening then aired… Instead of Sable walking out, Goldust walked out in drag dressed like Sable. Lawler said, “Sable must have had a big Easter dinner last night.” Goldust called Luna a bitch. Luna began ripping at Sable’s clothes. She said, “You’re hurting me. Stop,” but then changed her tune and said, “Let me help you. You just got me naked. That’s it, I’m taking my pumps off and I’m going to whoop some butt.” The real Sable then ran to the ring and threw Luna across the ring by the hair. Three referees pulled them apart and Goldust helped Luna flee the scene. Ross said, “Someone is going to be stripped to her bra and panties in Greensboro. I’m sorry, Mama, I had to say it”… After a commercial, they showed Austin backstage putting on his wrestling boots in the locker room…

(4) Ken Shamrock & Steve Blackman fought The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette, Dan Severn) to a DDQ at 3:43. Shamrock and Severn had a nose-to-nose staredown in the ring before the match. Ross talked about their 1-1 record in the Octagon. Severn was ordered to return to the back. Ross mocked the ME’s nicknames, “Bombastic” and “Bodacious.” Ross said he wouldn’t call them that anymore. Bob Holly went for a huracanrana on Blackman, but it didn’t go smoothly. Ross and Lawler talked more about the McMahon-Austin match. Ross said McMahon is 52 years old. “We’re not the organization that lets the old guys wrestle all the time,” Ross said. The ref called for the bell because the wrestlers weren’t following his instructions during a four-way brawl. Strange finish… They went backstage again where Vince was wearing a warm up suit and getting a pep talk from Patterson and Brisco…

[Q6: 4.7]… After a commercial break, Kevin Kelly asked McMahon if he is afraid of his match against Austin. McMahon said he had butterflies. “But afraid?” he said. “I proved I wasn’t afraid of the United States government. I’m sure as hell not afraid of Ted Turner and Time-Warner. I’m not afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. And I sure as hell am not afraid of Stone Cold Steve Austin.” Great pithy promo… Undertaker came out again. The Head Bangers were in the ring for their match, but they went after Undertaker first. Undertaker fought off both of them and tombstoned them. Ross said Undertaker was taking it too far. The lights went out again. Ross said it must be Kane, calling him the most evil human being in the history of the WWF. Paul Bearer and Kane came out. Bearer said that next week Undertaker would face Kane, but not in the ring — in the cemetery on the graves of their parents. He said they would leave Undertaker there to go to hell where he belongs… They showed Austin backstage with the belt over his shoulder walking to the entryway… The latest Val Venis skit aired. He was sweaty, wearing a towel. A digitized image of a naked lady walked away in the background. He said, “I’ve got a rocket in my pocket that will take each and every one of you women on the face of this planet to new and exciting heights. He sat on the couch next to two women. He said, “Let’s call this Venis Envy.” He added, “Ladies, when I explode inside the WWF, let’s just say that Val Venis will give it his all inch by inch.”

[Q7: 4.7]… DX came to the ring. Owen then came out and said over the house mic one of them was going to get their ass kicked. He asked who would have the guts. Hunter said he had everyone in DX write a 500 word essay on why they wanted to kick Owen’s ass. Hunter talked about each of their essays, including one by Chyna. He said Road Dog wrote his on Zig Zags (rolling paper). He said the winner by far was “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn because of the clear, professional, plastic binder it came in. He said the illustrations of Owen with a small barnyard animal were great. “Tonight’s ass kicker will be Mr. Ass.” LOD 2000 and Sunny came to ringside to even the odds for Owen… They showed McMahon backstage working his biceps with a flex-band…

(5) Owen Hart pinned Billy Gunn at 8:36. Hunter and X-Pac did color commentary. They mocked LOD 2000. Hunter said 2000 is the age they are approaching. He said their outfits look like plastic Depends. Hunter said, “They’re hoping their merchandise will carry them over the next few years because their in-ring abilities died in about ’85, I think.” X-Pac asked, “What are LOD doing standing over there with their thumbs up their asses? What’s that all about?” No bleeps. Ross scolded X-Pac for his language. X-Pac added, “What do they have in common with Owen Fart?” Lawler joked, “Ross likes to keep things serious.” X-Pac hilariously added, “Hey, Jim, I hear Owen was a 12-time All-American? Who cares?” Ross said DX are upsetting everybody in the WWF. X-Pac said that’s their M.O. When Owen yanked down the back of Gunn’s tights exposing his ass, X-Pac said, “Oh, that’s real fun family entertainment.” Hunter said, “Doesn’t he know crack isn’t good for you.” Hunter called Sunny, “Skanky.” He added, “Sunny is over there doing what she does best. She’s got a little head, ah, in her hands, holding the helmets, or somethin’ somethin’.” When Hunter made a move toward Owen at ringside, LOD stepped in. They cut to a commercial five minutes into the match. When Lawler said Hunter and X-Pac should slap Ross if he didn’t shut up, Ross said, “‘It’s the other guys who do that” (i.e. the NWO). Ross stressed that there were no more commercial breaks and they would stay with the McMahon-Austin match until the end. Owen cradled Hunter for the win. LOD mocked DX with crotch chops…

[Q8: 6.0]… They went backstage to Vince with Brisco, Patterson, and Sgt. Slaughter leading McMahon toward the entryway. The ring announcer introduced McMahon as the “voice of the WWF for 25 years.” He said he weighed 242 pounds. McMahon did a hilarious macho strut to the ring. Ross kept stressing “bad advice.” He said, “Patterson needs some Chap Stick. He’s been kissing McMahon’s ass so long.” Shane McMahon walked out alone afterward. He entered the ring and tried one last time to talk his father out of it. Brisco held up his hands as McMahon threw some practice punches. Ross said, “Who’s gonna run this company after this? I just bought a house. I’ve got a mortgage to pay off.” Austin then came out. Ross ripped on the “yes men” and “hangers on” who convinced him to take the match. Ross said McMahon already fired him twice and he might again. McMahon held the title belt and put it up to his waist before the match. They stared nose to nose before the match. McMahon could barely hold himself back. Before the match began McMahon said, “You said you could beat Vince McMahon with one arm tied behind your back. You said that. Now let’s see if you’re a man of your word.” McMahon held up a rope and asked Brisco to tie Austin’s hand behind his back. Lawler laughed, “Stone Cold, you have been had.” McMahon said the “Stunner” arm should be tied. He shouted, “Come on, hot shot. Cinch it up. You got any guts? Let’s find out.” Austin agreed. McMahon said, “That’s not tight enough. Cinch it up!” Fans chanted, “Vince is dead! Vince is dead!” Austin laughed.

Austin asked the fans if they wanted him to whip his ass with one arm, give him a “Hell yeah!” They screamed “Hell yeah!” McMahon said, “If you think Vince McMahon can beat Stone Cold Steve Austin’s ass with one arm tied behind his back, give me a hell yeah.” The crowd chanted, “Hell no!” McMahon was outraged. Brisco put a mouth piece in McMahon’s mouth. Just as they were about to lock up, Dude Love’s music began playing. Dude came out and said, “Can’t we all just get along. I gotta level with you Philadelphia. The Dude does not feel a whole lot of love tonight.” He said he is the one cat who can bring peace to the Warzone. Dude said he was going to put the veto to the match. “Vince McMahon writes the checks that lets the Dude live the kind of life the Dude likes to live. Uncle Vinnie, you are my McMainMan.” Dude then turned on McMahon, saying Austin is going to put him on his ass. McMahon shoved Dude down. “You just made the world’s biggest mistake,” Dude said. He tried to put the Mandible Claw on McMahon, but McMahon blocked it. When Austin stepped in, Dude put it on him. McMahon was led toward the back by the officials, but had to be held back from going back to the ring. Dude taunted McMahon, then went after Austin again. He rammed Austin into the security railing and brawled on the announcers’ table to end the show…


NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS 1998 FLASHBACK: 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

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