The Best And Worst Of WWF Raw Is War 8/10/98: Chop ‘Til You Drop

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Previously on the Best and Worst of WWF Raw Is War: Mr. Yamaguchi-san made good on his promise to choppy-choppy Val Venis’ pee-pee for sleeping with his wife, taping it, and playing it on a big screen in a packed arena on a live prime time wrestling show. Brother was asking for it. Also, Kane and Undertaker are still in cahoots, and only Vince McMahon seems to have the inside scoop.

Previously on Sunday Night Heat: Undertaker dressed up like Kane again to get the jump on Mankind, and Pacific Blue‘s Jamie went undercover … porno style!

If you haven’t seen this episode, you can watch it on WWE Network here. Check out all the episodes you may have missed at the Best and Worst of WWF Raw Is War and Best and Worst of WWF Monday Night Raw tag pages. Follow along with the competition here.

Hey, you! If you want us to keep doing retro reports, share them around! And be sure to drop down into our comments section to let us know what you thought of these shows. Head back to a time long forgotten when Raw was fun to watch, and things happened!

And Now, The Thrilling Conclusion Of Choppy-Choppy Your Pee-Pee

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On Sunday Night Heat it’s awkwardly announced by club-going fun-haver Shane McMahon that Val Venis and John Wayne Bobbitt will be having a “joint press conference” on Raw to discuss Venis getting his pee-pee choppy-choppied by Yamaguchi-san and Kaientai. It ends up being a normal in-ring promo from Val that Bobbitt’s barely involved in instead of a “press conference,” much less a “joint” press conference, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

In case you’re too young to remember, John Wayne Bobbitt became culturally infamous in 1993 when his then-wife Lorena used an eight-inch carving knife to cut off his penis, then drove away and tossed it into a field. She was later found not guilty due to insanity “causing an irresistible impulse to sexually wound John,” and the incident became national news. Bobbitt was a guest on Howard Stern, late night talk show hosts and sketch comedy shows went crazy with dick-chopping jokes, and having your penis cut off became the topic of an MCI commercial. Bobbitt started a band called “The Severed Parts,” and even starred in a porn called John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut. So of course he’s a great idea for a guest star when your wrestling show has just done an angle where a guy got his cock lopped off with a samurai sword.

But here’s the thing: while pop culture often portrayed John as the victim of a hilarious crime — you can see it in his “ain’t I a stinker” pose in the Raw graphics — Lorena didn’t cut off his penis because she was “crazy” or “insane.” The full story is that John routinely abused her, and the crime was committed because he’d just raped her. And this wasn’t an isolated incident, it was an observable pattern. In ’94 he was charged with striking his new girlfriend and spent 15 days in jail for battery. He got re-married in the early 2000s and was charged with battery three times. So bringing him onto your wrestling show to help a guy in a dick-chopping angle kinda sorta turn heel is one of the low key grossest things WWE’s ever done. Keep in mind this is around the time the company was trying to do an angle with an actual murderer because they thought it could get them better ratings than whatever Jim Powers match WCW was running on the other channel.

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On top of all that, it’s just a really bad segment. Bobbitt wheels babyface porno adulterer Val Venis to the ring in a wheelchair with an ice pack on his crotch, because I guess you still need to ice a severed penis wound a week later? The crowd has come prepared with lots of “penis rhymes with Venis” signs, which I’m sure they thought were brilliant.

And hey, who better to emcee a joint press conference between two dudes with lost penises than JERRY THE KING LAWLER, who is truly in his element making jokes like, “not trying to cut you short or anything!” We’re talking Game of Thrones seasons 7-8 quality Tyrion and Varys dialogue here. Big Crotch John stumbles through his dick jokes, with lines like:

“Oh we had a great time, we live on the edge, you know. We went out for a cuppa beers, Val ordered a club soda with a slice and the bartender wanted to cut us off.”

Val informs us that the only way to kill a boa is to cut off the head, but that us ladies better take a raincheck on those snakeskin boots, because he’s … totally fine. He illustrates this by trying to rip off some tearaway slacks, not being able to get them all the way off, and doing the rest of the promo with his pants around his ankles.

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If you’re wondering how he’s fine, he attributes it to a “cold butcher’s block” causing “shrinkage,” and his good friend John Wayne Bobbitt “cutting the lights” at the right time. I don’t know why John Wayne Bobbitt of all people was wandering around backstage at Raw, or how he got the lightswitch when a big part of the bit was security not being able to get into the room until the last moment, but maybe there was some kind of Die Hard scenario with a dickless ’90s celebrity manipulating the electrical grid.

Val then seemingly turns heel (kind of?) by dumping Mrs. Yamaguchi-san, proclaiming that “no woman is worth the trouble” she’s brought him. Her breakup face is 0.8 on the Maria Kanellis Scale, and after Val tells her to “hit the bricks” and tells a Japanese woman “adios,” he tosses her a single double-A battery.

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and I thought John Wayne Bobbitt was the one who handled the battery

Vince Russo at his finest, ladies and gentlemen. Literally the only enjoyable thing about the bit is Jim Ross’ call of the battery.

“What’s she gonna do with that?? Oh. Oh, well.”

To summarize the angle, a Canadian porn star decided to become a pro wrestler, and entered into his first professional feud with a group of much smaller Japanese men by sleeping with their manager’s child bride. He then rubbed it in the guy’s face for weeks until dude retaliated by trying to cut off his penis with a samurai sword, and the porn star was only saved because a popular alleged rapist from five years ago was standing near the light switch. When he survived intact, he brought the manager’s wife to the ring, made a bunch of dick jokes, and then literally told her to go fuck herself while everyone cheered.

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Cahoots

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Be A Star

Sunday Night Heat ended with The Undertaker once again dressing up in his Kane suit to bash Mankind’s brains in, so Raw opens with Foley in the ring asking to speak with Vince McMahon, who he believes is the one man who has always told him the truth. I mean, there was that angle two months ago where McMahon lured him into becoming Dude Love and doing his dirty work with lies about making him WWF Champion and the face of the company, but sure, whatever.

Mr. McMahon, in perfect form, declares that he “detests” people who need help, and that, and I’m quoting here, “the mere sight of the infirmed and the invalid make my stomach turn.”

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WWE proudly partners with Make-A-Wish

He does end up telling Foley the truth, though: that The Undertaker and Kane are a billion percent in cahoots, and that they don’t give a shit about him or his well-being. Could Foley not tell that from the fact that they keep smashing him in his brains with furniture? This of course brings out Paw Bear and his infirm, invalid son Kane, and Paw drops one of my favorite promo opening lines ever:

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when you hit publish on your Raw review

McMahon gets accused of using people and trying to poison their minds, which causes him to get that face and tone he gets whenever anyone challenges him on something in real-life interviews. He declares that Undertaker and Kane are “one in the same,” then tries to physically remove Kane’s mask to prove it’s the Undertaker. “That’s not your son … that’s a SON OF A BITCH!”

When Vince touches Kane’s mask, the lights go out. When they come back on, Kane has transmogrified into Undertaker. So … Vince is right, I guess? Regardless, Mankind attacks Undertaker, Undertaker lays him out and punches out Paul Bearer, and Vince gets chased to the back. Anything can happen in the WWF, folks, and you’re gonna wanna stay tuned for tonight’s four-corners Tag Team Championship main event! One of the tag champs is Shang Tsung, apparently!

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The main event is a lot of fun, full of great late-90s style action, and touches on a lot of cool story points, including:

  • Owen Hart gets jumped before the match by Ken Shamrock, who tries to break his ankle and does enough damage to get him carried out. Nation MVP D’Lo Brown ends up taking his spot, giving D’Lo another big stage on which to shine. The Rock, who is really becoming something special in front of our eyes, gets “Rocky sucks” chants just for existing
  • Back in June, the New Age Outlaws won a triple threat tag team match by one Outlaw pinning the other. Because of this, there’s now an “Outlaw rule” for triple threat and four-corners tag matches that says you can’t win by pinning your own partner. Progress! Addressing plot holes!
  • Mankind doesn’t want to stand in Kane’s corner, so he tries to stand over with The Rock, which of course pisses off The Rock. Those two are really going to get to know each other soon.
  • Kane doesn’t do much for the entire match, but shows up at the very end to hit ONE chokeslam on the Undertaker — not even a Tombstone, but a chokeslam; his special, not his finisher — and wins the Tag Team Championship. Taker then immediately sits up and no-sells it, which causes Steve Austin to be all, “????” BECAUSE CAHOOTS, YOU GUYS.

So not only does the main event of Raw progress the A-story of the show, it gives all four teams involved in the match something to do. The Nation are dealing with Shamrock and his crew and have light beef with everyone else. The Outlaws bucked the system and got a rule named after them. Mankind is skeptical of Kane and hates the Undertaker, and now he’s tag champs with one while his partner’s in league with the other. Austin and Undertaker are three weeks away from a WWF Championship match at SummerSlam, and just lost the Tag Team Championship because Undertaker’s playing some bullshit behind-the-scenes mind games.

This is how you do it, folks. Everything in its right place.

Pretty Obvious, Guys: The D-X ‘Split’

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The other major story going on right now is the dissension among the members of Determined Excellence. Triple H and X-Pac have been in each other’s faces for the past few weeks over the Intercontinental Championship and who deserves to face The Rock, and it’s apparently splintered the group’s allegiances so much that they arrive to the arena separately. The best of these is young boy Michael Cole asking Chyna for “a word” on what’s been going on, Chyna saying she’ll give him two, and then shoving him into a car. Sadly it was in park at the time, and not being driven by Rikishi.

Eventually they all come to the ring and pretend to be at odds, only to reveal that the “D-X split” they’ve been teasing is them mooning everybody. A split, get it? Like your ass crack? Chyna interrupts before they can shoot the moon, however, and declares that if anybody’s going to initiate a D-X split, it’s going to be her.

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break it down

Worst: Blue Balls Of Fear

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Continue the “butts and sex crimes” theme of the episode, Vader elects to “take the hoes” instead of wrestling The Godfather. Jim Ross: “Hoes from Omaha! What do they call them, Oma-hoes?” You probably think “Ho-maha” would’ve been better wordplay, but it falls apart when you try to make it plural.

Anyway, Bart Gunn (who came down to ringside to scout The Godfather for their upcoming Brawl For All match) is upset that he’s not going to get to watch a match and punches out Vader, then slides into the ring and double-legs Godfather. Referees end up breaking them apart, and Godfather apparently reneges on his Hoes For Peace arrangement and leaves with his women, leaving Vader looking like a horny loser who just got punched out of a foursome by the worse half of the Smoking Gunns.

Speaking Of Brawl For All

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We get two more Brawl For all fights this week, and it feels like they should’ve just run the entire tournament in Nebraska because Omaha … kinda likes it? The better of the two fights is The Droz vs. Savio Vega, and the crowd actually pops for a late-match takedown (!). Crazy. It’s almost like a large portion of wrestling fans will accept and try to enjoy anything if they know their boos can’t change anybody’s mind.

The lesser of the two fights is Bradshaw vs. Marc Mero, which goes to the tournament’s first OVERTIME and really highlights how tired pro wrestlers will get if they’re asked to be boxers for ten minutes. Drozdov tied in his first round fight and Mero straight up lost his, but both men advanced because their opponents, Road Warrior Hawk and Steve Blackman respectively, were too injured to fight. Shout-out to WWF creative for adding what amounted to a boring woodchipper to the middle of their shows to make everyone look clumsy, unskilled, and fragile.

Worst: End Of The Road

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Here’s Road Warrior Hawk getting scared by his own fireworks and falling off the ramp, because he’s working a danger-zone addict gimmick that reflects his own real-life danger-zone addictions. I can only type this paragraph so many times in a row, so just watch that GIF for a while and remember this is one half of the most legendary, accomplished, and popular team of an entire era.

They’re supposed to wrestle Sunday Night Heat specialists Southern Justice, but it quickly turns into a 2-on-1 beatdown of Animal until The Droz makes the save. Spoiler alert: the story is that Drozdov is enabling Hawk’s addictions to take his spot on in the Legion of Doom, even though Droz came into the company as was immediately made the third member of the Legion of Doom. This becomes a 3-on-2 fight when Jeff Jarrett gets involved, debuting his Don’t Piss Me Off catchphrase via decorative guitar.

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“Don’t piss me off” sticks around for a while, even though they couldn’t put the word “piss” on action figures and had to change it to, depending on which figure you’re buying, “don’t t*ck me off” — with “tick” censored — or the even less threatening, “don’t make me mad!” The struggles of a company who want to sell merch to kids but also can’t come up with a catchphrase that isn’t about cussing or sucking dicks.

In Case You Don’t Enjoy Either Of Those Things …

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If they can’t make your catchphrase “suck a dick, dumbshits,” the World Wrestling Federation’s other favorite thing is working in childish insults as acronyms. Remember when the Parents Television Council got mad at the level of violence and sexuality on the show, so WWF made a heel group of prudes called the “Right To Censor” with the same initials? Remember when Rosey was a “Super Hero In Training” so they could subversively call him “shit?”

Anyway, here’s Dustin Runnels telling us we should watch a nature documentary instead of rotting our minds with sexy pro wrestling, on behalf of the “Evangelists Against Television, Movies & Entertainment.” “EAT ME.” Get it? Do you get their funny joke for adults? This would all peak with Vince Russo joining TNA and starting “Sports Entertainment Xtreme” and finally souring every remaining living human being on the joke.

Worst: The Hair Up There

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got any topical cream for that topical burn?

Finally we have the WWF in-ring debut of Jacqueline, who loses to newly babyface Oddity Luna Vachon’s most devastating move: the top rope hair splash.

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missed it by that much

What’s double funny about this is that Sable is the ring announcer for a match involving the two women she’d spent the year feuding with over bikini dominance and general sexual deviancy. JR mentions that Sable and Luna have “made peace,” which is at least an attempt to explain why regular kayfabe domestic abuse victim Sable would suddenly be pals with the woman who once handcuffed her and smeared makeup all over her face just because that woman’s taken a job at a traveling freak show.

Note: This is a great opportunity for you to hear the terrible dubbed-over cartoon circus song they gave the Oddities since they can’t use the Insane Clown Posse’s IP on WWE Network.

Next Week:

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A wild vampire appears, Val Venis sprays his ex-girlfriend with a flesh-colored Super Soaker, and Sable and Jacqueline take a step down from bikini contests to settle their differences in an arm wrestling match. Plus, Kane and The Undertaker finally do the Fusion Dance. All this next week, when Raw continues to be war!