Sunday, September 10, 2006

WWF Raw Is War (14.09.1998)

Yet more unmarked tape to DVD transferring leads to me to this:

- We kick things of with an episode of The Love Shack, Dude Love's talk show. But the Dude isn't here, rather Mick Foley is. Mick's upset you see because last week Mr. McMahon named The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust as the number one contended to Steve Austin's WWF Title since Dude Love failed to get the job done at Unforgiven. Vince eventually strides out to tell Foley to quit whining and complaining and books a match tonight with Foley against his mentor Terry Funk telling him that he needs to beat Funk to earn back his number one contender status. Austin shows up and chases everyone away.

- Last week, Owen Hart kicked Ken Shamrock in the nuts and joined extremist black power group The Nation Of Domination. You know, because Owen is African-Canadian and all that.

Owen Hart & WWF Intercontiental Champion The Rock vs. Steve Blackman & Faarooq

Commisioner Slaughter comes down to send D'Lo Brown, Mark Henry and The Godfather to the back to ensure there's no interference. He should be so lucky. Owen pairs off with Blackman to start which is pretty good whilst Rocky and Faarooq go at it. That isn't so good. Blackman takes over things and looks out of his depth, messing up a legscrew. Owen looks bored at times, though I can't imagine he was particularly excited with his new gimmick and career prospects at this point. Faarooq hits a sweet piledriver on The Rock but comes back with a DDT and that allows Owen to get the heat segment in on Faarooq. Faarooq of course gets the desperation spinebuster and the hot tag to Blackman (though the crowd is somewhat tepid) and Blackman comes in with some intense martial arts stuff. That's the cue for a run-in from Jeff Jarrett who distracts Blackman long enough for his future tag team partner to get the spinning wheel kick and the pin. Solid match. **1/2

Next we go to an hilariously overblown 1980's video package on stooge Gerlad Brisco, narrated by Vince McMahon himself who even manages to work in a plug for the Brisco Brother's Bodyshop but fails to make the expected Pat Patterson "rear end work" joke. "Everything I have in the world I owe to Vince MaycMayn" notes a gushing Brisco.

- Edge promo. He's coming to try and make Raw entertaining 8 years from now.

- D-Generation-X hit the ring for purile promo time but that gets interrupted by LOD 2000 leading to some amusing back and forth banter from Hawk. "If you're Mr. Ass then Road Dogg is Mr. Hole, you two make a fine pair. Hunter - I guess that makes you Mr. Nose and Chyna, well, you're just Mr." Guffaw. "Why don't you talk to THIS?" enquires X-Pac. "I can't see it" responds The Hawkster. Hawk also brings up something about dingleberry's from an old man's sweaty buttcrack but the gist of it is that he wants the upcoming New Age Outlaws vs. DOA match switched into a DX vs. DOA & LOD 8-man tag. DX accepts.

- Last week, Paul Bearer had shocking news for The Undertaker - Kane is Bearer's son!

- Also last week, Dan 'The Beast' Severn broke all ties with his manager Jim Cornette.

Dan Severn vs. Savio Vega

According to Jim Ross, Vega is a "catch-as-catch-can master". It's more like catch-as-catch-can't though as Severn puts Vega away with an armbar choke in about 30 seconds.

- Backstage, Jerry Lawler is prepping for an interview with Paul Bearer but the camera accidentally gets left on instead of going to break and Lawler, unaware any of this is being broadcast, goads Bearer into telling him about the time he "nailed" The Undertaker's mother and "slipped her the salami". Bearer was 19 at the time and apparently quite studly. So now you know.

- Back from the commercial break a solomn Jerry Lawler apologises for the previous segment going out.

- Last week, Sable publicly challenged Marvellous Marc Mero. This week, she worked out at the gym.

Marc Mero vs. Jeff Jarrett

Steve Blackman rushes the ring and jumps Jarrett to get revenge for Jarrett's earlier run-in before this one can even get started. gives Mero the count-out win so whatever.

Ted Arcidi vs. Barry O

No, really. You see, minus the American TV commercials, Raw didn't run long enough to fit with the UK TV commercials so each week at the end of the first hour they'd throw in a 'classic match' for us lucky Brits to digest, and the result was this. So it's March 8th, 1986 at the Boston Gardens and local boy Arcidi is making his debut against the uncle of a certain 'Legend Killer'. Power move from Arcidi, stall, O runs around the ring to lure Arcidi in, gets in some token offence, Arcidi slaps on the bearhug and that's all she wrote. Always nice to hear Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes announcing mind. Better than having to put up with Michael Cole during that first hour. Incidentally, Arcidi will be participating in the WWF vs. NFL Battle Royal at WrestleMania 2 so y'all might want to check that out.

D-Generation-X (WWF European Champion Triple H, WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws & X-Pac) vs. The Disciples Of Apocolypes (8-Ball & Skull) & The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

Back in the present day, it's eight man tag team time and to ensure it stays that way, Commissioner Slaughter throws LOD's manager Sunny out of the arena. He then demands that Chyna leave also but it transpires that she's wrestling and X-Pac is the one leaving (he was recovering from a neck injury at the time and they saved his big comeback match for a bout with Owen Hart at the King of the Ring). The little mopeds that The New Age Outlaws ride down to the ring to poke fun at DOA's motorbikes is pretty funny (and memorable since it was featured on the cover of the first wrestling fanzine myself and a friend attempted to construct when he first got a PC).

Anyway, Jerry Lawler on commentary makes some cutting edge viagra jokes - "stuck in my throat, stiff neck, yadda yadda" whilst DOA wear out the male population of DX until Billy
gets a Rocker Dropper and Chyna comes in with a hurracanrana on Skull. Commercials.

Back with more DOA clubbering and Hawk finally gets in on a hot tag and he takes out the DX males by himself. Hawk lowers his head though and that gives Chyna a chance to come back in with a few kicks and she goes up top. Hawk knocks her to the floor but that brings in DX and Chyna gets back in with a low-blow to puts Hawk down. She goes after DOA on the outside giving DX the chance to come in for a 3-on-1 beatdown on Hawk. Heat segment on Hawk next before he gets the hot tag to 8-Ball. I take it Animal must be injured or something since he never gets in but as I type that, an argument with him and Skull leads to a big brawl and their team just dissolves from there. The suits come out to break it up and no decision is ever registered.

- Classic "time has not silence the crowd" Attitude promo.

- During the break, the brawl between between the LOD and the DOA continued backstage.

Goldust vs. Kane

It's a battle of the freaks that I struggle to pay attention before The Undertaker runs down and goes after Paul Bearer. That draws Kane out long enough for the count-out win for Goldust.

- The WWF's Slam Of The Week: The Undertaker gives Barry Windham a tombstone piledriver.

- AWESOME promo on the history of the Funk/Foley relationship. They hang out at a Raw taping and we see clips of Funk and Cactus in ECW. Bombs, barbed wire and explosions from IWA-Japan make their American TV debut next as Foley and Funk are loaded into an ambulance following the King of the Death Match tournament. "Wasn't that fun!" exclaims Mick. He says that was the first time he called anywhere looking for work, just so he could have the chance to wrestle his idol. Following that, he went to the WWF in search of championship glory. Funk's alter-ego Chainsaw Charlie soon showed up because "he loves Cactus Jack". They totally
should have played this promo before the ECW One Night Stand match. It's absolutely awesome. Next we go to the cage match from earlier this year where Foley & Funk lost the tag team titles back to The New Age Outlaws and the new DX was formed. Now Foley wants to walk alone, and the King of the Hardcores sold out by turning into corporate ass-kisser Dude Love. Funk says he loves him like a son but if he has to beat him up then he will. This whole video gave the match a huge sense of importance, like a pay-per-view main event. Just absolutely fantastic.

- Meanwhile, Val Venis is coming. Just ask Jenna Jameson.

Mick Foley vs. Terry Funk

FUN FACT: This is the first ever match in which Mick Foley was announced under his real name and real home town. Stone Cold Steve Austin joins us on commentary and Pat Patterson is unexpectedly announced as the special guest referee. They start by bashing each others brains in with steel chairs as Austin's microphone breaks so he steals Lawler's then just decks The King for good measure. Into the crowd they fight and it's Tupelo, 1982 as we hit the concession stands. The vendors take a pounding then the weapons come out. Funk goes up to the stands and hits a completely barmy moonsault onto Foley on the floor. As a 14 year old kid watching this I was completely blown away, espcially by the fact that Funk could pull out a moonsault like that at his age. They then go through the table on the concrete floor and there's popcorn and candy everywhere. Under the bleachers they go and this is just absolutely wild as we hit the commercials.

Backstage, more tables get destroyed and more garbage goes flying but Patterson's counts look dubiously slow. Production cases begin rolling as we come back to the arena and they fight down the ramp. They both know how tough each other is so they've only just started to bother going for pins. The announce table gets torn up and Foley drops a chair assisted elbow off the ring apron onto Funk who's on the table. Foley decides this is an opportune time to get in Austin's face which the crowd is really hyped for. Austin hilariously apologises for his langauge at this point as usually he swears a lot more. Double arm DDT from Foley would normally do it but this is Terry Funk so it only gets two. Foley then finally scores the pin with a piledriver on a steel chair. Crazy brawl that cemented Foley as a threat to Austin after he'd already blown his big shot at the pay-per-view and led to a previously unexposed 14 year old kid gaining a new respect for tough old bastard Terry Funk. ***1/2.

-Post match, Foley continues the punishment so Austin gets in his face about it and throws beer in Foley's eyes. Patterson then pushes Austin who shoves him into the waiting arms of a blinded Mick Foley who slaps the Mandible Claw on Patterson by mistake. The timing these guys had was just great since that didn't look hokey in the slightest.

So now Austin's ready to fight and of course since this is just Raw, Mick leaves. Patterson tastes a Stone Cold Stunner instead before the Dude Love music hits and Mr. McMahon arrives, bringing things full circle as forgives Foley and presents him with his Dude Love tights and a pair of strippers. Everyone then does a HORRIBLE dance which is probably the single funniest thing Vince McMahon has ever done. Even Austin completely cracks up on camera at Vince's less-than-slick moves. Just tremendous entertainment and a fine piece of storytelling.

- Overall then, the show wasn't so great but the Foley/Funk match was made out to be a pretty big deal and was almost what you'd call "pay-per-view quality" in that if you'd paid money to see it, it would definitely have been worth it. The storytelling aspect was just great as everything came full circle and was really entertaining. The rest of the show was just filler but it mostly still had a purpose and moved feuds along and such and the eight-man tag wasn't too bad of a match so on the whole it was useful waste of 90 minutes but nothing I'd worry about tracking down if you've got the Mick Foley's Greatest Hits and Misses DVD (which features the Foley/Funk bout plus Vince's hilarious dancing session).


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