Previously on the Best and Worst of WWF Raw Is War: The Undertaker failed to win the WWF Championship from Stone Cold Steve Austin after a nut-punch counter to Current School that somehow made them respect each other. Also, Jeff Jarrett got his hair cut but not really, and the Insane Clown Posse began their run of being cut from WWF television due to 20-year old grudges.
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 Saturday Night from September 5, 1998.
Worst: Someone Brought Their Child To A Wrestling Show Dressed Like This
Shout-out to whatever therapist is currently trying to figure out what this 25-year old’s major malfunction is and has no idea there’s footage of it in high definition on WWE Network. I was going to ask who’d buy front row tickets to Raw and spend the whole show holding up their child in a vest and underpants, but it’s probably the same people who cheer when Genar-ation X “brakes” it down.
Out-of-context note about this week’s Raw: If you’re wondering why it’s “Raw Saturday Night” and doesn’t have the same date as the week’s corresponding WCW Monday Nitro, it’s because WWE wasn’t always a global television juggernaut and used to get preempted by dog shows and tennis tournaments. Here’s a sample of what USA Network ran opposite The Ultimate Warrior scaring Hulk Hogan with smoky stinky teleportation.
I bet Sting was a really big fan of Rafter.
Best: Vince McMahon Turns Raw Into The Blue Brand
It turns out that SummerSlam didn’t go the way Vince McMahon had intended, and he’s hatched a “Mackly-avellian” plan for the next pay-per-view, Breakdown. He got the idea from watching Stone Cold Steve Austin on, “the hot, new talk show, that cutting edge talk show, ‘Regis & Kathie Lee,'” which for the record was never “cutting edge” and had been on the air for 10 years. I tried to find footage of the appearance, but it only seems to exist in GIF form now, so enjoy Regis Philbin in a t-shirt you’ll never forget.
Anyway, the problem is that Undertaker sent Kane to the back during the SummerSlam match like a “damned fool” and showed Austin respect afterward, causing Austin to go on Live! and say Undertaker earned HIS respect. The first part of Vince’s plan, apparently, is to make sure Kane and Undertaker don’t turn into handshaking indie workers by — and I’m not joking here — calling Kane, “retarded,” and saying they’ve turned into, “two putrid pussies.” The crowd is like OH SHIT BOY YOU’RE GONNA DIE FOR THAT, and Jim Ross’ call of, “WHAT in the HELL is he saying?” is masterful.
This succeeds in bringing out Kane and Undertaker in a power-walk to chase him into the crowd, and causes them to keep returning and actively ruining every segment of the show to prove they aren’t — again, Vince’s words, not mine — retarded pussies. And I do mean every segment.
Kane And Undertaker’s Bogus Journey
Up first, Kane and Undertaker return to destroy everyone involved in a Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman vs. Disciples of Apocalypse match, which is otherwise only notable for Paul Ellering wearing an airbrushed shirt that says THE WEB RULES Y2K on the front and THE NET RULES Y2K on the back. Precious Paul really had a Repo Man understanding of the Internet.
DOA quickly bails thanks to their Biker Sense warning them of Undertaker’s presence, and Taker incapacitates Blackman with a Goldbergian knee-bar, called, “that UFC-like submission hold,” by JR. Welcome to your eternal, strip-mall dojo understanding of MMA holds, Undertaker! This definitely “strikes TERRA” in the hearts of the roster, disproving an earlier point from McMahon.
They’re so into wrecking the entire show that they even do run-ins over top of other people’s run-ins. For example, Val Venis vs. Vader is about to end with Bradshaw showing up to throw hands with Big Bull, but says nuts to that and bails when Kane and Undertaker wander back out. I’d like to believe Kane showed up to murder Val Venis for the lazy, “I’m like the family dog … I’m loyal, obedient, and COME ON COMMAND,” sub-Joel Gertner pre-match speech. We didn’t even find out who Val was unsanitarily dry-humping in the toilets before the match! I bet it was JBL’s wife!
I hope you’re into reading the same paragraph about how Kane and Undertaker showed up and beat everyone up because Vince called them retarded, because you’re gonna read it like six more times.
Don’t think it’s just the matches, either. This week’s Tiger Ali Singh Hates You Stupid Americans segment involves him offering to pay someone money to “tongue kiss” his man-servant Babu for five seconds. Only, get this, Babu has been eating sardines! Vince McMahon 100% masturbated to this, possibly live, in case you’re wondering.
The woman Tiger Ali picks out of the crowd is one of the most beautiful American women he’s ever seen, and she’s only wearing slightly more clothes than the Stone Cold Steve Austin baby, so he ups the prize money from $500 to $600. Because he’s the Million Rupee Man, he gets distracted in the middle of counting out the seconds and makes her French him forever, because jokes.
Anyway, Kane and Undertaker show up and kill them.
Thankfully, the very real wrestling fan who was not brought in from the local strip club without even being asked to change clothes to do humiliating PG-13 sex stuff on a wrestling show escapes the ring without a chokeslam.
Up next is a Headbangers vs. Southern Justice match that actually goes to a finish interrupted, because even Kane and the Undertaker aren’t interested in having to watch 10 seconds of it while they walk from the stage to the ring. Instead, they go backstage with Kane’s Mankind-murdering sledgehammer and try to find Vince McMahon, who they believe will be hanging out in an office marked “Mr. McMahon” while two 7-foot tall supernatural monsters hunt him down.
Finding only an empty office, they decide to wander back out to the ring and ruin a D’Lo Brown vs. X-Pac match. Luckily for them, Jeff Jarrett and his absolutely not shaved head have already interfered and chased Pac off, leaving D’Lo a’lone.
There’s actually a pretty great character bit here buried under the attacks that’ll become later, with The Rock showing up to put himself between D’Lo and his attackers, but D’Lo running away instead of helping Rock fight them. Rock is very close to figuring out that he’s outgrown the Nation of Domination and doesn’t need low-level running buddies to do his dirty work anymore, because the ladder match at SummerSlam made him a star in people’s eyes. Enough of a star, in fact, that he can turn face heading into Survivor Series ’98.
And by, “turn face,” I of course mean, “convince us that he’s turning face so we treat him like he’s Stone Cold Steve Austin and cheer for him to defeat Vince McMahon’s mackly-vellian planning in the Deadly Game tournament only to be extremely, hilariously disappointed at the end.” But we’ll get to that soon enough.
In other Nation news, the only match featuring important people that doesn’t get interrupted on the entire show is a New Age Outlaws vs. Mark Henry and The Rock tag team match, which ends when Chyna bumrushes Mark Henry and punches him to death for trying to kiss her before SummerSlam. It ends in a disqualification and the great visual of Billy Gunn and Road Dogg having to hold her back, suggesting again that The Rock should probably up the quality of henchmen he hangs out with.
Marc Mero and Edge continue their grudge from SummerSlam in a one-on-one match that ends quickly when Gangrel attacks Edge. Gangrel and Edge have a lot of interpersonal Interview with the Vampire Kirsten Dunst shit to work out that they aren’t ready to talk about yet, but again, we’ll get to that.
As Mero’s leaving, he’s — stop me if you’ve heard this one before — attacked by Kane and the Undertaker. The announce team gets real up in arms about Kane and Undertaker possibly attacking Jacqueline next, apparently having never watched her time as Kevin Sullivan’s Girlfriend From The Neighborhood or that unforgettable (read: completely forgettable) Disco Inferno feud in WCW.
Realizing that wandering out to the ring to beat up people like Marc Mero probably isn’t going to lure Vince McMahon out of hiding, Kane and Undertaker spend the next 15 minutes or so walking around backstage, hurling random production people into the Raw chain-link fence and abandoned branded barrels art design. They manage to miss out on:
- An Al Snow sit-down interview with Jim Ross where he bickers with a mannequin head for five minutes that tries to be the Mankind sit-down, but doesn’t work because it’s Al Snow and not Mick Foley
- The Oddities pinning The Legion of Doom because Drunk Hawk won’t stop picking fights with the Insane Clown Posse, which is an unbelievable and depressing combination of words and results
- Too Much defeating Los Boricuas, featuring La Boricua Jesus wearing some of the most unflattering ring gear you’ll ever see. He’s wearing cargo pants and a weird singlet top that was CLEARLY not made for him, as it’s got a deep plunging front so his boobs constantly fall out and a DIY racerback. Did he lose his luggage, and Golga was the only guy backstage with another singlet lying around?
Kane and Undertaker resume their ruination of an entire Raw in time for the Scorpio vs. Jeff Jarrett main event, which also ends in random disqualification when X-Pac interferes and chases Jarrett away. From the way this episode’s booked, you’d think Vince McMahon had randomly declared matches need to end in disqualification with someone being chased away, leaving their opponent alone, so they don’t have to run wrestling during commercials.
Scorpio is left alone, and Mr. McMahon finally re-materializes just in time to get his jollies watching the Brothers of Destruction kill Scorp with an Indytaker.
Vince has succeeded in turning Kane and The Undertaker into mindless, unstoppable beasts again, and they’re playing right into his hands. They notice that he’s standing pretty close to them when they’re done putting Scorpio in a grave, so they chase him away again to end the show.
And that is literally the entire episode.
The U.S. Open on the USA Network (and Raw Saturday Night) continue as Kane and The Undertaker finally take a goddamn chill pill, full matches from SummerSlam are shown to fill time, and Genar-ation X brakes it down against Kaientai of all people in the main event. Are … are you guys making me want to see what Warrior’s doing on Nitro?