20 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (9-14-98): Undertaker vs. Mankind, Rock vs. Kane, Jarrett vs. Road Dogg, Triple H vs. Owen, Austin vs. Shamrock, X-Pac & Chyna vs. Henry

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


The following report was originally published 20 years ago in the Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter…


WWF RAW IS WAR
SEPTEMBER 14, 1998
SAN JOSE, CALIF.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

4.0 rating

[HOUR ONE]

[Q1: 3.9]… The show opened with Steve Austin walking with determination to the ring. Jim Ross screamed that Vince McMahon, Undertaker, and Kane had entered the ring just before going on the air. McMahon told Austin he is sick and tired of seeing him with the WWF Title belt. He said most fans know he has a master plan to get the belt off of Austin, but what no one knows is that he has struck a deal with Undertaker and Kane. He said they have agreed to watch his back and if Austin touches him, “they’ll annihilate you.” McMahon added that as part of the match stipulations, Kane and Undertaker are prohibited from beating each other. He said rather than being a Triple Threat match, it’s more “two-on-one.” McMahon told Austin he is doing this because he “refuses to do business” and won’t do things “the easy way” like Kane and Undertaker. McMahon got in Austin’s face and told him to remember, “McMahon didn’t screw Stone Cold. Rather, Stone Cold screwed Stone Cold.” Austin hit McMahon in the face. Undertaker and Kane went after Austin with stomps and a double chokeslam as McMahon got up and cheered them on. McMahon then got on all fours and yapped in Austin’s face just as Austin often does to his fallen opponents. Lawler said McMahon will be more smug and cocky than ever. Undertaker said into the house mic, “Austin, nothing personal. It’s just business.” McMahon then broke the news to Austin that he would have to defend the title against Ken Shamrock later…

[Q2: 3.6]…

(1) Jeff Jarrett pinned Road Dog (w/Bad Ass, X-Pac) at 3:05.

Road Dog and Bad Ass did their mic work before the match. Before the match they showed footage of Jarrett and Road Dog together when Dog was Jarrett’s roadie. They also showed Jarrett lip syncing, “With My Baby, Tonight.” At 2:30 Southern Justice came to ringside and attacked Road Dog. Bad Ass knocked out Dennis Knight with the guitar, but back in the ring Jarrett destroyed Road Dog with the guitar and scored the pin. Good action… They showed Kane and Undertaker walking together backstage, then showed clips of Shamrock on Sunday Night Heat challenging Austin… After a commercial break they showed Road Dog coughing and having a tough time catching his breath from the guitar shot to the throat. He was loaded into an ambulance… Backstage The Rock was telling The Nation what to do. Owen Hart, D-Lo, and Mark Henry didn’t seem pleased with Rocky ordering them around. He told them to “mind their candy-asses”…

[Q3: 4.1]…

(2) Rocky Maivia beat Kane (w/Undertaker) at 6:10.

None of the other Nation members came to ringside to stand where Rock ordered them to. At 2:45 Kane flew off the top rope onto Rock in center ring. Ross compared it to his “big brother Undertaker.”At 4:40 Rock scored a nearfall, but Kane came right back with an attempted powerslam. When he lifted Rock, his feet hit the ref and he went down. Rock escaped Kane’s grip and slammed him, then followed with the People’s Elbow which got a huge pop. Undertaker entered the ring and attacked The Rock. The crowd booed, which set up a strange dichotomy of Undertaker as the heel and Rocky as the babyface. As Undertaker beat up Rock at ringside, Mankind entered the ring and nailed Kane with the sledgehammer. Rock covered Kane and a groggy ref made a three count… After a commercial, Mankind accepted the challenge. He said it was unfortunate he ran into the end of a sledgehammer, but added, “I didn’t look that good to begin with”… In the ring, Dustin Runnels talked about the WWF being stained with smut and sex. Dustin said, “He’s coming, and when he gets here, you will repent, I promise you.” Val Venis walked out onto the stage and introduced his latest video, “The Preacher’s Wife.” The video showed Val lying in bed smoking a cigar. Out of the covers popped Marlena. The crowd cheered. Ross screamed, “That’s Dustin’s wife!” Dustin looked on in shock, then dropped to his knees and cried. Val said, “I guess getting on your knees, Dustin, runs in the family”…

[Q4: 4.0]…

(3) Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna, X-Pac) pinned Owen Hart at 5:27 to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title.

At 5:00 Chyna and Henry faced off. X-Pac jumped onto Henry’s back, but Henry flipped him to the mat. Chyna then hit Henry, knocking him to his knees. As Owen turned his attention to ringside, Hunter surprised him with Pedigree for the win. Afterward Henry challenged X-Pac and Chyna to a two-on-one match later in the show… They showed Mankind backstage throwing things into a trash bin while singing…

[Q5: 4.0]…

(4) Undertaker (w/Kane) fought Mankind to an apparent no contest at 7:30.

They blasted each other with tables during the opening minutes of the match. At 5:10 Undertaker swung at Mankind with a sledgehammer and probably would have crushed his skull had Mankind not ducked. Kane then threw Mankind into the timekeeper’s table. Undertaker swung again at Mankind with the sledgehammer, but Mankind moved again. Mankind nailed Undertaker with a chair. Mankind charged Undertaker in the corner with a chair, but Undertaker raised his boot and drove the chair into Mankind’s face. Undertaker then tombstoned Mankind into a chair in the corner. He then reached for the sledgehammer. Ross screamed, “You’ve done enough!” As he wound up, The Rock popped out of the dumpster at ringside and clipped Undertaker from behind. Rock then dragged Mankind out of the ring and threw him into the crowd, out of harm’s way. Ross screamed, “Thank God the Rock was in the dumpster!”…

[Q6: 3.7]…

(5) Edge fought Gangrel to a DCO at 3:40.

Gangrel rose through the floor of the stage through a ring of fire. Ross talked several times about how there must be a personal issue between Edge and Gangrel dating back to before they entered the WWF. He said he doesn’t know for sure, but would love to get the story. Edge took a nasty bump over the top rope at 3:00 when he flew at Gangrel and Gangrel moved out of the way and shoved him to the mat. Gangrel then gave Edge a DDT-type move and then poured “blood” over him as the ref called for a double countout. Gangrel told the fallen Edge, “My blood is flowing through your veins.” Ross and Lawler wondered what he meant by that…

[Q7: 3.8]…

(6) Mark Henry pinned X-Pac & Chyna (w/Hunter) when Henry pinned Chyna at 3:58.

Chyna asked X-Pac to let her start the match. X-Pac agreed, but the ref strongly encouraged X-Pac to start the match. The crowd booed. A minute into the match D-Lo came to ringside. Jarrett and Southern Justice then walked down the rampway. At 1:45 when X-Pac couldn’t get Henry up for a suplex. Chyna entered the ring and together they successfully suplexed Henry. Henry kicked out of a double pin attempt. At 2:45 Chyna tagged in and tackled Henry to the mat. She then threw a punch and tagged out to X-Pac. X-Pac nailed Henry with a jump spin wheel kick followed by the Bronco Buster. When D-Lo grabbed Chyna’s leg, X-Pac slidekicked him. Chyna came off the top rope, but Henry caught her and turned it into a powerslam. Henry and D-Lo celebrated on the rampway. Chyna got up and Ross was amazed at her recovery time, saying she’s hurting more than she’s letting on with her poker face… As they plugged the night gown match, Lawler said, “If you can’t get up for this match, you do need Viagara”… They showed a clip of the last “underwear” match on Raw – Howard Finkle vs. Harvey Wippleman. It was too embarrassing to air then, and too embarrassing to air clips of now… (7) Sable beat Jacqueline (w/Marc Mero) at 1:46. Jackie choked Sable and threw her to the mat. Sable came back and began beating on Jackie who was on her back on the mat. Jackie almost came out of her gown. Sable threw Jackie and she covered up and pulled up her top again. Sable then gave Jackie the SableBomb and ripped off her nightgown. Just as Sable was about to leave the ring, she stopped and instead disrobed down to her black negligee…

[Q8: 4.9]…

(8) Steve Austin fought Ken Shamrock to a no contest at 12:05 when Undertaker and Kane interfered thus Austin retained the WWF Title.

Austin entered the ring and immediately went after Shamrock. Austin dominated offense with a straight forward mat wrestling attack. There wasn’t much of a storyline for the announcers to talk about to try to fend off viewers from tuning in the Goldberg vs. Sting match on Nitro. At 8:00 Austin went to his third chinlock of the match. At 8:30 Austin threw Shamrock over the top rope and swung him toward the stairs at ringside. Shamrock, though, reversed the whip and sent Austin’s knee into the stairs. At 10:30 Shamrock applied the Boston Crab. Austin crawled to the ropes to break the hold. Austin then hit Shamrock with a low blow. They both collided in mid-ring with simultaneous flying clotheslines. At 12:00 Undertaker and Kane entered the ring. Undertaker chokeslammed Shamrock while Kane threw Austin out of the ring. The Rock and Mankind ran to the ring to attack Undertaker and Kane. Austin grabbed a chair and nailed Kane and Undertaker. McMahon watched from the stage. Austin went after him with the chair as the show went off the air…

FINAL THOUGHTS: The lines between babyfaces and heels in the WWF are getting muddier. Backstage Rock was clearly playing the heel as he ordered around Owen Hart, Mark Henry, and D-Lo Brown. But during the match, the fans were cheering Rock against Kane and especially against Undertaker. The week before SummerSlam, Undertaker established himself as a babyface for beating up McMahon and further established that role after he lost to Austin but acted as a sportsman afterward. But then when Mankind attacked Kane, the crowd cheered. Undertaker challenged Mankind in a way that set up Undertaker as a heel. In the main event, Austin appeared to be playing a more heelish role than Shamrock. Now Raven’s Flock isn’t the only angle that requires a big flow chart to keep track of who’s aligned with whom and who the fans are cheering. With so many babyfaces and no top heel opponents for Austin, could McMahon be setting up Austin as a subtle heel again and plan to have Hunter, Shamrock, and even a babyface Rocky feud with him?… It seemed the WWF, in order to avoid a charge of sexism or objectifying women, showed a clip of the Howard Finkle vs. Harvey Wippleman underwear match from a few years ago on Raw. Then after Sable took off her own nightgown, Ross stressed that Sable is “proud of her physique.” Yeah, that’s it… Raw’s line-up Monday was better than most PPVs…


NOW CHECK OUT THIS FLASHBACK: 15 YRS AGO – KELLER’S WWE RAW REPORT (9-8-03): Steve Austin’s “State of Raw” address, Orton & Goldberg vs. Triple H & Flair, plus RVD, Kane, Storm, Trish, Steiner, Bischoff

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