Previously on the Best and Worst of WWF Raw Is War: Mankind won an empty arena match for the WWF Championship during halftime of the Super Bowl by using a bag of popcorn and a forklift, Vince McMahon went to Texas to find Stone Cold Steve Austin and almost got shot to death, and The Undertaker strangled some vampires until they agreed to be on his team.
If you haven’t seen this episode, you can watch it on WWE Network here. Check out all the episodes of classic Raw 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.
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And now, the Best and Worst of WWF Raw Is War for February 13, 1999.
Welcome To SkyDome, Where Every Human Being In Canada Brought Posterboard
Welcome to Toronto’s SkyDome for a true moment in history: the largest crowd in history (41,432) for Monday Night Raw in its 27 years on television, aired on Saturday night because it got preempted by the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It’s also real Attitude Era hours out here, which means roughly 41,429 of the people in attendance brought signs. You’d think it was a goddamn posterboard convention. You could blot out the sun with arrows and Toronto would just raise their signs and cheer for Road Dogg in the shade.
In case you were wondering, the winner of that year’s dog show was a Papillon with the extremely normal name of CH. Loteki Supernatural Being. Dog breeders name dogs like Square names Kingdom Hearts games. Tell me you’d be surprised if the next mobile game was called, “Kingdom Hearts: Loteki Supernatural Being.”
Best: The Corporate Gauntlet Gets Thrown Down (Again)
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House is in six days tomorrow night, so they’re ratcheting up the tension between the Corporation and Austin-gun, which as far as I can tell is only Steve Austin with Mankind and D-Generation X sometimes working as sellswords. Don’t get that confused with Austin-gunn, which is totally different.
Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mankind are supposed to have a match later in the night to “tear each other apart,” weakening them for Mr. McMahon and The Rock respectively at In Your House. McMahon guaran-damn-tees us that he wants his cage match with Stone Cold to be his true moment of victory, so any member of the Corporation or McMahon family who interferes “in the slightest way,” he’ll “fire every damn one of ya, and you’ll never again work for the World Wrestling Federation.” Spoiler alert for both In Your House and King of the Ring, but McMahon got a lot of mileage out of the technicality, “nobody currently on my team will interfere.” He also makes himself the special guest referee for Austin vs. Mankind, because even mildly good news sends 1999 Vince McMahon soaring confidently toward the sun on wax wings.
McMahon’s reading of the rules for the match is so funny. He says they should gouge each other in the eyes, encourages the use of chairs and tables and “assorted other furniture” — what, does he want Mankind to hit Austin over the head with a loveseat? — and says, “kicks to the groin, quite frankly, would be appreciated.” He wants to see somebody’s ass kicked.
In a rare moment of WWE babyfaces not being complete dolts, Austin tells McMahon that it’s actually McMahon’s ass that will be kicked, because this match is bullshit and not really for anything, so they might as well body him and throw it out. Austin can’t hit Vince or he’ll be fired, so he gets Mankind — well, Mr. Socko, technically — to choke him out instead. The Corporation hits the ring to make the save, but Austin and Mankind’s stats are buffed from defeating Vince so they fight them off. McMahon, unhappy that his brilliant plan to put himself in the ring with two guys who want to kick the crap out of him didn’t work, books Austin in a new main event: facing, “each and every member of the Corporation,” (except The Rock) in a Corporate Gauntlet.
This version of the Corporate Gauntlet is great, because it knows what it’s supposed to be. Instead of trying to win, each member of the team’s simply out there to do as much damage to Austin as possible to soften him up for Vince. Every time Austin’s able to fight back and make a cover, a new member shows up to cause a disqualification and cheap shot him. That gives them an immediate advantage, and after this has happened five times (including the Big Boss Man attacking him repeatedly with a nightstick), Mr. McMahon himself “enters the match” and takes the pin. If you weren’t personally invested in seeing this 53-year old jacked businessman get thrown off a cage before, you are now.
You’re The Man Now, Dog
Early in the night, D-Generation X shows up to hype the crowd with their unique mix of singalongs and first draft dick jokes, and Toronto loves them. When Road Dogg starts talking you’d think the Pope just jogged in with a t-shirt gun. Triple H, who had been dutifully supported by Chyna for two years, delivers a rousing speech of mixed metaphors about how she sucks because she’s a woman.
“You wanna be a man? You wanna play in a man’s world? Well here’s your big chance, baby. Only problem is, Chyna, you’re stepping up to the plate, but you’re not carrying a bat! As a matter of fact, you can’t even draw a walk, ’cause you’re not playing with any balls! Chyna, you think you’re my equal, well at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre let’s find out who’s arrow [points at dick] hits the mark!“
Yeah, Chyna got fired from the nutsack factory for not having a nutsack, and Triple H is going to win at baseball archery! [dick point] [dick point] [dick point]
Worst: And He Didn’t Even Make A Joke About Loving The “BJs”
This comes up again later (surprise!) when Chyna randomly shows up and punches X-Pac in the bat and balls for doing well against Kane. X-Pac matches where he’s in there against a much bigger, much stronger opponent who can launch his quick little light ass around the ring are always worth the watch. Pac and Kane had a special kind of chemistry on top of that, which is why they ended up more or less creatively chained together for a while. Triple H makes the save and Chyna’s like, “I’m hardcore, I’ll take ’em both,” but Kane drags (and then carries) her to safety. She looks like a total bad-ass, sure, but she should learn how to wear the right gloves before she [chops at dick] chokes up on the bat!!
Val Venis’ Death Wish Continues
Val Venis can only get an erection outside of his work in adult film if the situation is dangerous, and might end with him being mutilated. As mentioned we saw him hook up with Mr. Yamaguchi-san’s wife and almost get his [dick chop] dick chopped off and almost end up as Terri Runnel’s baby daddy in association with a gaslighting girl gang, and now he’s taking Ken Shamrock’s sister Ryan to the hotel at the SkyDome and hooking up with her in full view of WWF cameras. He then comes to the ring to talk about it with Ryan on his hip, which — get this — causes the constantly infuriated murder machine who gets punched in the brain for a living to hit the ring and flip the fuck out on Val. Who knew pulling a co-worker who is also a former MMA champion’s sister out of the crowd, making a porno with her, showing that porno on a big screen at work, and bringing her to all your shared work events would end badly for him?
Shamrock’s fury is so great, in fact, that he suplexes a couple of referees, puts one of them in the ankle lock, and even headbutts Earl Hebner. You deserve it, clap clap clap-clap-clap. Because of this, Hebner runs backstage and narcs to the announce team that no World Wrestling Federation official will work Shamrock’s match on Sunday. If that happens, Shamrock will be forced to forfeit the Intercontinental Championship. That doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense — if they don’t have a referee they can’t have the match, which would mean Shamrock would just stay the champion, right? It’s not like each guy has to bring his own referee to the match or he loses — but the day is quickly saved by the one, Bill Ass, volunteering for the job. I guess he was empowered by Mr. McMahon’s terrible decision to be the special guest referee for a match feature two guys that hate him.
The three of them brawl around backstage for the remainder of the show, and I can’t help but reiterate that 100% of Val Venis’ work problems would be solved if he just kept his homemade sex tapes to himself.
Best: Droppin Bows
If you’d like to see a fun little match you probably didn’t even know existed, check out The Rock vs. Steve Blackman from this episode. Rock’s supposed to be the world’s most dastardly and violent heel, but the crowd loves him, because of course they do. He’s peak Track Suit Rock here, and lets us know what his eventual dominant face run will look like by hitting the Rock Bottom, but actually winning the match with the People’s Elbow. I always enjoy top heels winning matches against talented undercard guys without having to cheat their asses off. You shouldn’t be at that level if you aren’t good enough to EVER win on your own. There’s gotta be some kind of standard or the “sports” part of sports-entertainment just becomes bad entertainment.
Best: The Young Bucks
If you want to see the most 1999 thing imaginable, here’s Jesus Shuttlesworth wearing a bright yellow LUGZ shirt while sitting front row for an Attitude Era show in the SkyDome. That’s Ervin Johnson, Jerald Honeycutt, and Robert Traylor with him, by the way. Michael Cole calls Traylor “Ray Taylor,” which is wrong in every direction, but maybe he thought Ray Allen went to Raw with the Big Boss Man. It’s interesting that they’re in Toronto but the Milwaukee Bucks are the team in the crowd. Maybe the Raptors drove to Buffalo and went to Nitro instead.
Best/Worst: Mark Henry Meets A Gorgeous Lady Of Wrestling
The most historically significant part of this week’s Raw is that it’s the WWE debut of Hall of Famer Ivory, more notably (to me) known as former G.L.O.W. Champion Tina Ferrari. I’m giving it a “Best” because Ivory’s fantastic and makes everything she’s involved with better, and a “Worst” because she debuted as … well, a glorified version of one of The Godfather hoes.
Here’s D’Lo Brown to explain:
“Mark, I know you like looking at eye candy, I know you like looking at pretty things, but I’ve got someone that’ll do exactly what you want, I’ve got someone that’ll do anything WHEN you want it, and Mark my man, she’ll do it any WHERE you want it. And guess what, brother? She’s all yours.”
Raise your hand if you remembered Ivory came into WWE as a prostitute to make sure Debra McMichael didn’t give Mark Henry any boners.
Also On This Episode
The actual Hoes (including this gorgeous woman who has me in a real The Office Chair Model situation) have an even worse night than Ivory, as they’re at ringside to watch Mideon and the newly named and be-geared Viscera maul their friendly pimp. Mideon spends most of the minute-22 trying to show Michael Cole an eyeball in a jar and convince him to “accept the purity of evil,” which sadly doesn’t work. Congratulations on wrestling in a sweatsuit and being named after guts, Dark Mabel!
The fiend Bluedust causes a vomit-inducing distraction (pictured) that causes Goldust to face the ultimate indignity and get pinned by Gillberg. This begins Gillberg’s epic undefeated streak in WWE. After the match, Goldust is attacked in darkness and covered in Smurf jizz, which the announce team excitedly refers to as a “bluebath.” Cole is just like, “it’s Bluedust’s take on the Brood, anyway, moving on,” like he didn’t just watch the bootleg wrestling version of an animated Beatles villain cause a psychologically manipulative wrestling Oscar statue to lose a match to a tiny old man dressed like Bill Goldberg and then use vampire magic to cover him in player two Pepto Bismol. Wrestling is weird.
Al Snow hopes to show the Road Dogg how hardcore he is by going full Fight Club and wrestling himself in a hardcore match. He sprays himself in the face with a fire extinguisher (pictured), cookie sheets himself in the face, slams his own head into the announce table, and hits a picture-perfect Charlotte Flair moonsault:
After the match (?), fellow Job Squad member Bob Holly shows up and tries to get him to stop bludgeoning and impaling himself on shit. Snow resists, first with shoves and then with a punch, which triggers Bob Holly’s dormant bloodlust and turns him into the Bob we all know and have no particular affection for, Hardcore Holly. The shifting of focus to Holly ends up giving us arguably the greatest Hardcore Champion ever, one of the best Women’s Champions ever, and some A+ scale gags. HOW DO YOU LIKE HIM NOW?
Finally, here’s Kevin Kelly interviews The Droz, seen here wearing an enormous furry bucket hat that borders on being a shtreimel, and asks the hard hitting questions. “Everybody loves the Oddities, why do you have such a problem with them?” First of all, speak for yourself. Second of all, you’re cool with the fact that he straight-up murdered a suicidal alcoholic on Raw by shoving him off the TitanTron, but being kind of an asshole to Kurrgan is a bridge too far? Anyway, Droz punches him in the face, which is how every Kevin Kelly interview should end.
It’s time for St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House, featuring:
- Stone Cold Steve Austin taking Vince McMahon to a cage-shaped woodshed
- the super secret debut of Netflix sitcom star who once died in a rooftop monster truck battle with Hulk Hogan
- the thrilling conclusion to Dust vs. Dust
- a Last Man Standing match between The Rock and Mankind, which Rock definitely would’ve won at the Royal Rumble
- Bill Ass wearing stripes and showing butt while a severe cuckolding fetishist challenges for the Intercontinental Championship
- more of the Corporation vs. D-X
- a hardcore match in the Mississippi River
All this and more, next week. Until then, drop down into our comments section to let us know what you thought of this episode, give us a share on social media to get more people reading about how the Attitude Era actually went down, and try not to leave the curtains open and the camera on if you’re about to throw it in Stipe Miocic’s sister.