Coming out of Durham, New Hampshire’s Whitmore Center, Jim Ross opens this week’s broadcast just as the Undertaker’s bell rings out through the crowd. He introduces Kevin Kelly, also at the announcers’ table, and Michael Cole, waiting in ring to interview the Undertaker. JR also reminds us of Kane’s “tormenting” of the Undertaker, which has been going on for several weeks now.
Michael Cole opens up the interview by mentioning that next month’s Pay Per View, the 1998 Royal Rumble, will see the Undertaker taking on Shawn Michaels for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. We’ve seen that before though, right? That’s why this one’s a casket match!
Undertaker says he’s fought Michaels on two occasions, but that nothing was settled except that he can beat Shawn Michaels “at will.” He says Michaels will have to “look into the eyes of the Reaper.” Which I guess means the Undertaker, so I guess we can add that to his list of nicknames. Cole mentions that it is specifically a casket match, and Undertaker says his history in that kind of match is “legendary,” mentioning that he’s only lost one ever, and that it took ten of the WWF’s top wrestlers to put him in there. He doesn’t think D-X can swing that many people. Right after he says Michaels will rest in peace, the lights go out, and my new favorite sound, Kane’s organ, can be heard.
Kane slowly walks to the ring, followed closely by Paul Bearer, and the announcers wonder if they’ll finally have it out right here. Kane gets in the ring, they stand face to face, and Paul Bearer takes the mic.
Bearer: “Well, well, well … what a beautiful family portrait this is. A happy holiday portrait. The only thing that’s missing, Undertaker, is your parents! The parents that you murdered! And here in front of you is your brother, the brother that you sat under the Christmas tree with, yes, and opened presents and watched the train go round … remember? He suffered for twenty years, and it’s all your fault! Oh, the agony of all the WWF superstars, that they are going through right now is all your fault! Oh the list is growing, day by day. I’m gonna give you one more chance, dead man! One more chance! One more chance to step up to the plate, one more chance to be a man for all your legions of the night! You must face your brother! Yes, you must face him!”
And with that, Kane draws back and slaps Undertaker across the face, sending ‘Taker reeling. He goes for another slap, but this time, Undertaker grabs his arm and holds it, staring into Kane’s eyes before slowly walking away. Kane lifts his arms, then slams them to his sides, sending flames shooting up from the ring. The show takes a break.
After the commercial, Jerry Lawler walks to the announcers’ table, which has already filled up a bit with Michael Cole taking a seat there. He talks to JR, saying, since JR tried to teach Taka Michinoku some English words last week, he’d teach him some Japanese now. He says Taka Michinoku is “sukoshii,” which means “small,” and King is “okii” which means big. And “that tempura shrimp is in okii trouble tonight.” JR gets confused, and says he’s an Okie! Yuk-yuk-yuk! Michinoku hits the ring, and the match begins.
WWF Light-Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku vs. Jerry “the King” Lawler (non-title)
A “burger king” chant starts the match off, and then Taka gets reversed out of a headlock and tossed across the ring. King uses his 45-lb. Advantage well, muscling his way out of several attacks, but Taka’s speed advantage does him well as he escapes several attacks as well. Taka kicks him in the butt several times, then dropkicks him out of the ring for that springboard plancha. Here’s a 1-800-COLLECTTM Double Feature!
Back in ring, King makes a move for momentum with, as JR says his “first drop-kick of the ’90s.” Taka takes control, but when he goes for a moonsault off the turnbuckle, Lawler rolls out of the way. He continues pounding on Taka with some big moves while JR mentions he was wrestling before Taka was born. While King continues, the announcers discuss several things in store for the rest of the show: Austin has a surprise of some sort for the Rock, Vince McMahon and Owen Hart will have their first face-to-face since the “controversial happenings at Survivor Series.”
Anyway, King seems to be in control of the match, delivering his “legendary piledriver” on Taka, but then, rather than going for the cover, he goes up to the second rope for a driving fist. Taka rolls out of the way, then throws King into the Michinoku Driver for a cover, but just before he gets a three-count, Brian Christopher flies into the ring and pulls him off! The ref disqualifies King whil Christopher wails on Taka. Michinoku fights back and starts to send Christopher out of there, but then King recovers and grabs Taka from behind. He holds him steady while Christopher winds up, and at the last second Taka slips away so King can make out with Christopher’s fist!
Christopher flips out, King cries, and Taka claps and jumps up and down in celebration of outsmarting the Lawler family.
Backstage, Hawk and Animal stand by to give their thoughts on their match later in the night against D-Generation X. Animal says “it ain’t gonna be pretty!”
Hawk: “Well, this is gonna be different! We’ve never had the opportunity in our whole stinkin’ life to wrestle the likes of D-X: Michael Bolton before the haircut, Fabio, and Ru Paul! Ohh, what a rush!”
After a commercial, the Nation of Domination walk to the ring, Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia wearing a fanny pack instead of his title belt, for some reason. Footage of Stone Cold forfeiting the belt to Rocky plays while a “Rocky sucks” chant begins. Rocky introduces himself as the new “undisputed champion, the people’s champion, and the best damn intercontinental champion there ever was.”
Faarooq: “And you know what?”
Rock: “Hey, hey, the champ is talking. The champ unfortunately is a very unhappy man. And that’s for the simple fact that that gutless, thief in the night Stone Cold Steve Austin stole the Rock’s intercontinental title. No no no no no no no, he stole our Intercontinental belt! … I order you to come out here and give the Rock what is rightfully his, the intercontinental belt!”
Stone Cold’s music plays, and he walks out to the top of the ramp, mic in hand, but no belt to be seen.
Austin: “If I heard you right, yer back there callin’ Stone Cold Steve Austin out, yer ordering me out to the ring. If you ain’t been watchin’, son, you don’t order Steve Austin to do a damn thing! You oughta know I do what I want, when I want, the same with your little buddies right there, hell I ran my damn truck all over their asses! Rocky, I whipped your ass, you stole the belt from me, because that’s exactly what you are: a piece of trash … I forfeited that belt to ya, because for once in my life, I was in a good mood, and I had some mercy on your junkie ass! You want your little – hey shut up, stop moving your damn mouth, I’ll sow your damn lips closed! You gonna find out where your little belt’s at,
just go, grab yourself a little monitor, stick around, because I got somethin’ to show ya. You gonna understand, Rock, when you mess with the three one six, yer in over your head, you just don’t know any better!”
Austin leaves. Rock says Austin’s calling all the shots like he’s the Rock, but he doesn’t “have it like that.” He says Austin has one hour to give the belt back, or the Nation will come find him and beat the shit out of him.
The show cuts to a promo for Ken Shamrock, where he talks about a bunch of shit that should be bad ass, but he says it in the wimpiest voice, so he just sounds like he’s in therapy talking about how he used to be homeless and never knew his dad. Wimp.
Dude Love enters the arena to roaring applause. Last week he beat Bad Ass Billy Gunn in a singles match, only to have Road Dogg join Gunn in assaulting him with a chair. Speaking of whom, their music begins, but this time Gunn has the mic, and he ruins Dogg’s already classic intro.
Gunn: “Oh, you didn’t know? You better recognize! Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, the greatest tag team to ever step into the ring: the D-O-Double-G Jesse James, and the Bad One Billy Gunn. The World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Champions! Well, in case you didn’t know, the Dogg strapped a chair around his head. This week, the Dogg is gonna finish you once and for all!”
Gunn, in forgetting how to spell “dog,” just changed his partner’s name for good.
Dude Love vs. WWF Tag Team Champion Road Dogg Jesse James (with Bad Ass Billy Gunn)
Dude attempts to start it off, but James evades his first strike. Then they lock up and head back and forth a bit, Dogg seeming to have an advantage. Gunn has joined the announcers, and Cole mentions that Austin has apparently left the building, which seems odd. JR says to Gunn that he and James have been called a lot of names, but the most appropriate, to him is “the New Age Outlaws,” which seems like an odd thing for someone to just call some guys.
Gunn: “Hey Ross, you know what, you’ve finally had a good idea. I kinda like that ‘New Age Outlaws’ thing. I’m glad I came up with that.”
Well, there we have it. We’ve finally got something to call these guys. Dude continues to have his hands full, and Gunn gets up to make things worse. The Dudester slides out of the ring, socks him in the mouth, but then Dogg catches him off the apron with a punch of his own, and Gunn goes to work with several kicks into his midsection while the ref yells at Dogg for no reason.
Gunn rolls Love back in the ring and heads back to the announcers’ table and generally acts drunk (“you’re great, you’re great”). Love takes several more hits from James, and just as it looks like it’s lights out for him, he becomes Mankind and catches Road Dogg in the Mandible Claw! James falls out of the ring, and Dude Love/Mankind starts yanking his hair out, then heads out of the ring to get hardcore on his opponent. First order of business, he slams Road Dogg head-first into the railing, and then punches Gunn in the head.
Dude goes back in the ring and sends a knee into James’ face, crumpling the Outlaw in the corner, then crumpling himself and rocking back and forth as Mankind is known to do.
Dude starts stomping the mat, signaling for Sweet Shin Music, and as soon as Dogg gets to his feet, the music begins, a prelude to a double-arm DDT. Road Dogg goes down for the pinfall, and Gunn decides its time for a mirror image of last week, grabbing a steel chair with which to take vengeance on his partner’s opponent.
Dude is ready this time, kicking him in the stomach, and Cactus Clotheslining Gunn out of the ring. They head up the ramp and Road Dogg catches up, “evening” up the odds enough for a clear Outlaws advantage. They double-suplex Dude/Mankind, kick him over to the edge of the platform, and start attempting to push him over the edge. He fights them back, two referees whining at them all to stop being entertaining, and then Gunn tries to hip-toss Dude over the edge to no avail. Dude knocks both men down, but then Bad Ass DDT’s him into the steel. All three men are laid out, and a few more referees come out to try and settle things.
Just as Dude gets to his feet and it looks as though things are indeed settling, Gunn and James slam a referee into him, sending him flying off the staging into an A/V table!
He doesn’t move, and the Outlaws wonder if he may be dead. And lay several more kicks into him. They celebrate and the show takes a break while a pair of referees wonder if the Dudester may be … the Deadster.
The show takes a break, during which Dude is revived and helped onto his feet to much applause.
Former United States Olympian weightlifter Mark Henry walks to the ring, wearing what seems to be his usual bedroom attire: a black t-shirt and black boxer-briefs.
Mark Henry vs. the Brooklyn Brawler
As a resident of the fair city of Brooklyn, New York, I must always root for my neighborhood hero, the Brooklyn Brawler. [He’s wearing a Yankees shirt, so I’m on board too. ~Adam]
He loses immediately. Henry displays massive power in tossing the Brawler around the ring, focusing on his lower back and finishing him off with a bearhug. I honestly think this may be the last we see of my locale’s most famous son.
As Henry’s muted sax music plays him out of the ring-area, the announcers recap Owen Hart’s recent return to the WWF after having been missing in action following the events of Survival Series regarding his brother, Bret.
After a reset, it’s time for Owen and Vince McMahon to confront each other. McMahon is first to the ring, and JR – joined by Jim Cornette, who has replaces Cole and Kelly – updates us on Austin’s process; he’s continuing to drive East, followed closely by a camera crew. McMahon’s mother is in the crowd.
Though it looks as though she spelled her son’s name wrong. I might also point out that it’s the same name as her husband.
McMahon: “Owen Hart, I know you are here tonight. You’ve been spotted. Owen Hart, I know you can hear my voice, wherever you may be in this arena, and I must inform you that you’ve been endangering, indeed, the safety, certainly of our ring-side fans with your antics, as of late. … You’ve been crawling over ring-side fans coming into the ring, interfering in matches with Shawn Michaels, and make no mistake, I don’t give a damn about Shawn Michaels, it’s just that you are endangering the safety of ring-side fans by coming in and coming out. That will not be tolerated. I know you can hear me. I’d like to remind you, Owen, you are still under contract to the World Wrestling Federation, and as such, I am ordering you to appear in this ring right now!”
Owen walks down through the crowd, receiving several pats on the back from the fans on his way, and comes to the ring, waiting a few moments before coming through the ropes to meet his boss.
McMahon: “What’s this all about and who do you think you are?”
Owen: “Who do I think I am? Who the hell do you think you are? You think I owe you a goddamn apology? I don’t owe you a goddamned thing! I’m sick and tired of trying to please everybody around here, and the bullshit stops right here!”
McMahon lowers the mic and presumably tells Owen to watch his language, then brings the mic back up.
Owen: “Now my brother Bret, and Neidhart, and Bulldog, they did what they had to do, and now it’s time for me to do what I have to do, and that is remain right here in the World Wrestling Federation! Now I spent nine years breakin’ my back, day after day, to earn a reputation in this company, and nobody and I mean nobody, is gonna run me outta this company, and you know exactly who I’m talkin’ about!”
McMahon: “Oh yeah, I’ve a real good idea who you’re talkin’ about. You’re talkin’ about self-professed showstopper, right? You’re talkin’ about the icon, you’re talkin’ about WWF Champion Shawn Michaels, and isn’t that really what it’s all about, Owen? Huh? Isn’t that what this whole thing’s all about? You attempting to gain the only title that’s alluded you in your career here? It’s all about the WWF title, isn’t it?”
Owen: “How stupid are you? Is that what you think this is about? You think I give a damn about a worthless title? A piece of leather with tin on it? This is real life, Vince, my life, my reputation, my respect, my dignity! And McMahon, don’t you get me wrong. I’m not askin’ you, I am tellin' you exactly what I am going to do. And that is … and that is: make Shawn Michaels life a living hell.”
McMahon: “Let me tell you–“
Owen: “Now, you listen to me for a second. You can call me the sole survivor, you can call me the black sheep, I really don’t give a shit. Shawn Michaels, this is not a game, this is real life! And you started it, and now it’s time for this ‘little nugget’ to end it!
McMahon: “Alright, now let me tell you what I’m going to do, Mr. Hart. I believe we have some uniformed security that I’d like to ask to come to the ring. And the reason I’d like to ask for uniformed security, Mr. Hart, is to make sure that again, we do not endanger the safety of any of our ringside fans, because next week, right here, you’re gonna come into the ring down the ramp like every other WWF superstar, and you’re gonna compete in this ring, just like every other WWF superstar. You’re not gonna run over any other ringside fans, alright?”
While McMahon explains this, the camera cuts to multiple police officer-looking “uniformed security” guards, who come to the ring and stand near Owen. One makes to grab his arm, but Owen shakes him off, and steps toward McMahon.
He steps closer and closer, staring at McMahon with an angry look in his eyes, before suddenly grabbing him by the collar, and saying a few choice words to him which the microphone doesn’t pick up. He releases McMahon, and leaves through the crowd, followed closely by the policemen. The show takes a break.
When it returns, we get a recap (and of course a replay) of Marc Mero berating Sable while making her come to the ring dressed in a potato sack, then Sable mishearing Mero and disrobing herself instead of him, revealing that she was wearing some weird bikini thing that was incredibly revealing and also kind of creepy (it made her boobs look like giant spiders). This also caused Mero to lose the match against Sal Sincere (my favorite wrestler) who he had also berated, and identified by his real name, “Tom Brandi.” Brandi’s in the ring, for some reason.
The Sultan walks to the ring led by the Iron Sheik.
Tom Brandi vs. The Sultan (with the Iron Sheik)
The Sultan lays into Brandi, and JR and Cornette tell us Austin has arrived at “an abandoned bridge” somewhere outside Durham, NH. Cornette wonders if he’s going to jump. Brandi gets an advantage for a few moments, then gets piledrivered for a two-count. Sultan sticks his fingers up Brandi’s nose.
A massive clothesline flips Brandi on his ass, and the Sultan follows that up with a backbreaker and several lazy covers. Brandi manages a surprise DDT, but even more surprisingly, it just slams Sultan right onto his protective facemask, so he pops back up “like a Pop-Tart,” according to JR, and continues steamrolling Brandi. Well, almost. Brandi drops Sultan with a swinging neckbreaker, and then turns his sights on the Iron Sheik. He grabs Sheik by the collar, and then slides out of the way when Sultan attacks him from behind, allowing Sheik to absorb the blow.
Brandi rolls Sultan up for the pinfall. Maybe his second win ever! Not one to allow such a streak without punishment, Mero appears and punches Brandi in the dick. He stomps Brandi into the mat, and I’m sure Tom regrets dropping his near-perfect persona of Salvatore Sincere now.
Mero swings at the ref, who ducks, and the crowd chants “Sable.” Mero grows more and more jealous.
After a break, the Nation of Domination appears again. Austin’s time is up. We see another package recapping Austin’s recent conflicts with the Nation, as well as McMahon, who flew off the handle after the show went off the air last week, grabbing a chair and having to be held back from getting the shit kick out of him by Austin.
Rocky takes the mic and says, according to his Rolex, Austin’s time is up. He calls Austin gutless and says the Rock and the Nation will be coming for his belt.
The show cuts to the remote feed.
Austin: “Well, as you can see it’s a beautiful night, you got the moon shining bright up there, you got the cars going back and forth over there, but then you ain’t got no one on this bridge but Stone Cold Steve Austin, with the Intercontinental Championship belt! Rock, when I gave this belt to you, I did just that. You didn’t have to earn a damn thing. Well, tonight, son, if you wanna find it, I got a few things that I’ll give you first. If yer gonna find it, yer gonna need a few objects. Yer gonna need a little mask, so that you can see under the water [he throws it off the bridge], yer gonna need yer little snorkel [he throws this as well], hell, son, you might even need a little regulator, because yer gonna have to go deep, so I got yer ass a little oxygen tank, and I really doubt there’s any oxygen in this thing [throws it] but nonetheless there the damn thing is.”
Austin: “And I tell you what, Rock, take yer little flippers [throws them] cause you probly can’t swim worth a damn either! Here’s a cell phone, when you find the damn thing, dial my number [tosses it], here’s your pager, when you page me, tell me you found yer little belt, I’ll page you back, put the three-one-six, and give you the big thumbs up! [He tosses the pager]. Rock, you’re the biggest piece of trash I ever saw. It hurts me to do this but I really don’t give a damn about you or the WWF, so I’ll see your little belt later! [He tosses the Intercontinental belt into the water.] And that’s the bottom line, because the three-one-six said so! You piece a’ trash!”
Rocky is upset. The show takes a break (and also advertises a special “holiday” edition of Raw – heh). After replaying Austin tossing the belt into the Piscataqua River, a pre-recorded segment of Vince McMahon editorializing into a camera, called “The Cure for the Common Show,” is played.
McMahon says they’re consciously “opening the creative envelope” and focusing even more on the “entertainment” aspect of “sports entertainment.” He says the audience is tired of having their intelligence insulted by boring stories like “good guys vs. bad guys,” and that “surely the era of the superhero that tells you to say your prayers and take your vitamins is definitely passe.” He also encourages parental guidance, and is proud of the “outrageous, wacky, and wonderful world of the WWF.” Yes, he does say “wacky.” He thanks the audience for boosted ratings.
Then throws it in their fucking faces by sending Los Boricuas out in full force, rapping worse than ever before. Steve Blackman also comes to the ring, wearing a karate gi, for his second WWF match ever. The ref sends away the rest of Los Boricuas, as Jose is the only one scheduled to compete. He attacks while Blackman isn’t paying attention.
Steve Blackman vs. Jose
Blackman quickly turns the tide in his favor with a cross-body block, followed by some karate punches and kicks, or whatever. Jose gets the shit kicked out of his fucking face for several minutes. Cornette mentions that Blackman had an interview interrupted by Los Boricuas at Survivor Series (which everyone forgot), and that’s why he wants to be a wrestler. Because some wrestlers were mean to him. Or something.
He throws Jose into a German suplex and holds it for a pinfall. The show cuts to D-Generation X, and JR asks them about their tag match against the Legion of Doom and Owen Hart’s comments.
Michaels: “Boy oh boy, that Owen Hart sure seemed to be mad at somebody, and that somebody was me! Well, Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels is not that hard to find. I’m the guy that stole all the gold around the waists of your family members.”
Triple H says Michaels got rid of Bret Hart and the British Bulldog, and he got rid of Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart, so it should be Chyna’s turn to get rid of Owen, right? Michaels says it can’t be her (because she’s a dumb girl), so it should be one of them again. And they shoot for it. Helmsley takes scissors and Michaels takes paper, so Michaels will have to destroy Owen. Oh, and they’ll beat the Road Warriors.
After a break, they come to the ring. JR reminds us that Owen Hart has been escorted from the building, but he could totally come back, right? Right. I guess.
The Hawk and Animal stomp into the ring and greet the crowd.
D-Generation X (Hunter Hearst Helmsley & Shawn Michaels with Chyna) vs. the Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)
Triple H and Michaels shoot to see who starts it off, and Michaels is it, up against Animal. They lock up, and Animal throws Michaels away. They repeat that exchange, and when it looks like they’re going for a third, Michaels kicks Animal in the stomach, and then gets shoulder-blocked to the mat, and punched in the face by Hawk on his way back up. Michaels escapes to his corner and tags in Helmsley.
He catches Animal in a headlock but gets pushed into the ropes and slammed onto his back. He gets up, twists Animals arm and tags in Michaels for some good continuation. Animal fights him off and Michaels escapes outside the ring, only to get clotheslined immediately by Hawk, who then throws him back into the ring. And then Animal clotheslines him back over the top rope and into the crowd barrier. A pretty fantastic trip.
Helmsley tries to help him up, and ends up having to keep him from just crawling up the ramp and out of the match. Back in the ring, Helmsley tags in, and Animal takes control and tags in Hawk for a nice clothesline. Hawk wails on Triple H for a bit, but after a cheap shot by Michaels, Road Warrior momentum immediately ceases completely. Now that the ref realizes they’re cheating, he immediately starts yelling non-stop at Animal, allowing for more and more double-team maneuvers by D-X. Michaels tags in and continues baiting Animal, which draws the referee’s attention away from the match he’s supposed to be calling. Eventually, they stop bothering to distract the ref, and just fucking explode on Hawk.
After a break, Michaels sends Hawk into a neutral corner, then runs after him, knocking himself off his kilter, and finally allowing Hawk to tag in Animal, who, in classic Animal fashion, clears the ring of any competition, powerslamming everyone in sight. This would normally be time for a Doomsday Device, but Billy Gunn appears at ringside, and Hawk goes after him. Then, from behind comes Road Dog with what seems to be a rag soaked in chloroform though it’s not totally clear what the liquid is, and he puts it over Hawk’s face.
Meanwhile, Animal has Michaels in electric chair position for the Doomsday Device, but seeing no Hawk, he drops Michaels and continues pounding his opponents. Chyna decides this has gone on long enough, and while Animal attempts to knock Michaels’ and Helmsley’s heads together, she comes up behind Animal and hits him in the nuts.
The ref sees it, and disqualifies D-X. Chyna takes one of Michaels’ championship belts and slams it into Animal’s back, and the Outlaws roll an unconscious Hawk in the ring. Billy Gunn takes out an electric shaver and goes to work removing Hawk’s “mohawk” (but I think it should really be called a “duhawk” or something, since it’s two strips, not one, right?).
Michaels and Helmsley laugh along with the Outlaws, who decide removing just one half of Hawk’s “mohawk” is enough.
Michaels sees if the Outlaws want to have some fun. And they do. The four of them (without Chyna) grab Animal, and slam him from the apron through the announcers’ table.
JR and Cornette are not pleased. But the Outlaws and D-X are! Helmsley and James hold Hawk’s legs down back in the ring so Gunn can drop a leg on him from the top rope, and he actually starts foaming at the mouth, presumably because his mohawk was the only part of his immune system fighting back the rabies. Hawk again is held, this time for a flying elbow from Shawn Michaels. They spend some time giggling with each other in the ring, and then the Outlaws leave, Michaels scratching his chin and complimenting them.
Michaels: “Not bad!”
Written by Duhawk David (Wm.) Murray with help from Trihawk Adam Littman