The show opens with a clip from Survivor Series. Shane McMahon shows his true colors.
Cut to the arena where the ring announcer introduces the "owners" of the WWF - Vince and Shane McMahon (along with the three stooges). RAW is live from the Ruff Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Vince thanks the crowd for their "warm Kentucky reception" then goes on to gloat about how he and Shane fooled the fans and everyone else. He describes a "damn fool" as someone who doesn't "pucker up and kiss the bosses a$$..." Then he introduces the Rock (who is presumably not a fool by Vince's definition). Maivia saunters down to the ring, WWF Title belt in hand. He embraces Vince and Shane in turn. The stooges are grinning so that their faces look about ready to break. The Rock answers his critics who have accused him of selling out - "...the Rock didn't sell-out, he just got ahead..." and then calls th fans a bunch of "trailer park trash." As he continues his rant he includes Steve Austin in that definition. The crowd shouts him down with a "Bullsh*t" chant. He goes on to complain about the chants that used to accompany him ("Rocky Sucks!" and "Die, Rocky, Die!") - he transforms his signature gesture and move into the "Corporate Eyebrow" and the "Corporate Elbow." Vince takes the microphone and asks, "So what is it like to kiss McMahon's a$$?" Shane says he likes it, the Rock agrees. Vince then directs our attention to the TitanTron, where to his chagrin we get a shot of Steve Austin arriving at the arena. Eventually he gets what he wants which is a montage detailing the entire conspiracy in which Shane, the Rock and Vince cooperated to pull the wool over all our eyes over the last few weeks. Shane takes the mic and leads us through the "screwing of Stone Cold..." at Survivor Series. Suddenly the glass breaks and here comes Austin with a murderous look in his eye. He goes right to the ring but deigns not to turn his back on the 7 of them in the ring. He has his own footage to roll. It shows Shane saying that Austin would get a title shot tonight on RAW, Vince says he nullified that ruling - but Austin produces a contract to that effect. He also mentions that he has gotten a judge to stipulate that the contract is binding and then shows video of the judge himself making his ruling. Cut to commercial.
DX (minus HHH and Chyna) come to the ring for a 6-man tag match.
NAO/X-Pac vs. The Oddities (Golga/Kurrgan/Giant Silva) (w/Luna/ICP) - Billy starts with Kurrgan and has to get the Dog into the act to take the big guy down. Billy leaves the ring and Road Dg gets squashed. Golga in tagged in and continues the assault on the weak-link of the DX team. He squashes RD in the corner then misses an elbow drop. Billy comes in and attacks Golga while RD is still in the ring, which brings Kurrgan back in. One of the clowns goes for a leg drop from the top but hits Golga and causes him to be pinned. The two Oddities faction are arguing as they leave the arena. The Headbangers run out and punk the Road Dog in the aisle. Meanwhile, Mankind has arrived and he is looking for Vince. Cut to commercal.
In the back somewhere, Vince is discussing the situation with his stooges. He wants someone to go deal with Foley before he can cause trouble. He sends Pat Patterson.
Ken Shamrock comes to the ring - Ross tells us that Shamrock is not scheduled to compete on the program tonight. Shamrock rants about getting screwed at Survivor Series by the Bossman. He calls the Bossman out for a match tonight. He even puts up the IC Title to sweeten the pot.
Val Venis vs. Mark Henry (w/D-Lo Brown) - Henry comes in swinging and has an immediate effect but then is felled by a short clothesline. He comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex then follows Venis out to the floor and rams his back into the post. Back in the ring he takes a couple of punches then rakes Val's face. Venis kicks it into high gear and is all over his oversized opponent, but then their is a whip and Mr. Cheese runs into a wall. Henry is making his comeback when Chyna appears on the platform. Henry is distracted and rolled up for a pin. Afterward, Henry invites Chyna to dinner and then recites a poem he has written for her. D-Lo is in tears as Henry finishes his soppy verse. Chyna turns and leaves. It still seems to me that Henry is the one who is committing harrassment - but what do I know..? Cut to commercial.
Patterson is back and says he couldn't find the boiler room, where Mankind was supposed to be. Brisco says he can find it and sets out to do so.
Goldust/Steve Blackman vs. Jeff Jarrett/Blue Blazer (w/Debra McMichael) - Ross claims that the Blue Blazer is Owen Hart - hard to tell because he keeps his cape on so as not to show Owen's distinctive barrel chest. Jarret and Goldust start and Jarret gets creamed. Then Blackman tags in and blows the advantage. The Blazer comes in and hands the initiative back to Blackman - meanwhile Goldust and Jarrett are brawling on the outside. Back in the ring. Blackman is pinning the Blazer. He threatens to remove the mask of his opponent - but here comes Owen Hart to join the frey and help beat on Blackman until Goldust chases them away.
Brisco is back and says he was afraid to enter the boiler room because there were "weird noises" coming from it. Slaughter calls him a "wuss" and says he'll go get Mankind. Vince retires to a corner with the Rock to discuss the Title match. Cut to commercial.
Slaughter is back and he has failed as well. He says that Mankind is "out of his mind" - he suggests that the three of them go. Vince seconds that motion and the stooges set out once more.
Steven Regal vs. The Godfather (w/his garden impliments) - for a change only one of these women is particularly skanky (I hear he uses local talent for these appearances). He gives Regal the usual choice. Then throws is a special deal - all three free for the night in honor of Regal's "working man" status. Regal elects to "take the broads" as he so colorfully puts it. He escorts the ladies up the aisle - but is stopped when the Godfather yells out a homophobic slur. Gosh this is all so uplifting - I think I'll vomit. Out back, Kane is tearing up the production crew. Cut back to Vince's dressing room where he is sending the Bossman out to face Shamrock. Cut to commercial.
Ken Shamrock vs. The Big Bossman - Ray Traylor's record hasn't exactly been to fine so far during this tour of the WWF. I doubt that he will do anything to straighten that out tonight. Bossman rolls into the ring and right into Shamrock's boots. He downs the big guy then grabs the discarded night stick. Unfortunately for him the referee blocks his swing, he is distracted and blindsided by his opponent. The fight goes out to the floor where Shamrock turns the tables. Back in the ring the match goes into see-saw mode with the Bossman pulling ahead. The referee gets between them one too many times and gets coldcocked by the Bossman. As they go back to brawling, the ref recovers and ends the match - but nt the fight. It takes several officials including Tony Garea to separate the combatants. The McMahons appear suddenly on the platform and stride down to the ring. Vince is asking, "What the hell are you doing..?" He enters the ring and starts trying to recruit Shamrock to his service. Shamrock shakes Vince's hand then is reluctantly pursueded to shake the Bossman's hand as well. Cut to commercial.
Kane is outside the arena now and beating up on bystanders.
The Brood (Gangrel/Edge w/Christian) vs. LOD 2000 - LOD starts out by double back-dropping Gangrel then Droz takes the in-ring position. He is quickly out-maneuvered as the Brood runs a double-team number on him. Animal gets in and downs Edge - but then Hawk shows up on the platform and starts climbing the scaffolding around the TitanTron. Droz and Animal leave the ring to check out what he is up to and get counted out. Cut to commercial.
Hawk is ranting from the rafters as we return. Animal is trying to talk him down. Even Paul Ellering is concerned and he tries to reason with the troubled athlete. Hawk tells him to "go to hell" but Ellering keeps talking, pleading with him to come down before he gets hurt. Droz starts to climb the scaffold. He raches the top and seems to be trying to reason with Hawk but then reaches out and shoves him. Hawk falls off the back of the rigging behind the big screen (onto an airbag, I assume) and we cut to commercial.
We see a replay of the incident. In the back, Paul Ellering and the DOA are among the people gathered around as an ambulance pulls away.
Sable comes to the ring for an interview with Michael Cole. She dedicates her Title to all the fans of the WWF. Shane McMahon shows up to protest her dedication. He claims that his father is the one who "made Sable..." They trade insults then we go to commercial.
We see the stooges dressed up in football helmets and shoulder pads to search for Mankind. They enter the boiler room yelling, "Mick...we love you..." He attacks them with a vengence using a trashcan lid and other assorted artifacts. Cut to another part of the building where Steve Austin is ppacing in preparation for his Title match. Cut to commercial.
The McMahons and their bodyguards come down to the ring. Vince rants about Steve Austin's dealing with the legal system. The crowds shouts him down so he insults them.
Steve Austin vs. The Rock - WWF Title match - Austin lays into the Champ as soon as he hits the ring. Maivia takes it for a bit then slides out of the ring to safety. He tries to leave the arena but Austin runs him down with a clothesline in the aisle and then tosses him back into the ring. Back inside he continues his assault. Ross gets in a good line when the King says that Vince looks like he's going to have a heart attack. Ross says, "That's impossible." The fight goes to the outside where Austin grabs a chair but gets kicked in the gut before he can wield it. Maivia uses a headphone cable to choke his opponent but as soon as Austin gets free he is right back on him. Maivia gets a backdrop on the floor before both men roll back into the ring. Inside he grabs a sleeper but Austin turns into it and escapes. Maivia knocks him down and then delivers the "Corporate Elbow." He grabs a reverse chinlock with Austin lying on the mat. Austin fights to his feet and takes a clothesline. Maivia fails to get the pin. Outside, mankind is trying to get at McMahon but is waylaid and ganged up on bu Bossman and Shamrock. In the ring, Austuin is making a comeback. He goes for a Stunner but it is blocked. The Rock goes for the Rock Bottom but Austin fights out of it with elbow smashes. Austin gets the Stunner but Shamrock drags the referee out of the ring before he can make the count. Now the Undertaker is approaching the ring with Paul Bearer and a shovel in his hand.The Undertaker and the referee re-enter the ring while Austin is battling Shamrock who is up on the apron. UT brains Austin with the shovel and the match is thrown out. Ross yells, "Why? Why?..." over and over as we fade to black.
Two things of significance happened Sunday night.
The least of them, although it could be seen as a major milestone, was that a person of color was crowned as the WWF World Champion. The Rock is of mixed parentage, Samoan and African American, and is therefore the first non-white competitor to ascend to this lofty position within the World Wrestling Federation hierarchy since its inception in 1962. WCW broke this barrier in August of 1992 when Ron Simmons (Faarooq) won their World Title. Since then, no major US promotion has elevated a non-caucasion to its highest award.
The more important development, in my view, was that the WWF showed that it could mount a major program, with entertaining content, without resorting to questionable storylines and sensationalism for its own sake.
No spousal abuse, no porn stars as wrestlers, no references out-of-wedlock pregnancies, etc. It was a breath of fresh air in what has become an increasingly dreary aspect of the WWF product. Instead there was the high drama of Rocky Maivia's and Shane McMahon's heel turns and the pathos of the disillusionment of Mick Foley.
Genuine soap opera stuff without being offensive. If only they would see fit to adhere to that standard...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions