Craig Wilson & Jamie Lithgow
‘Monday Night Wars’ continues with the episodes of Raw and Nitro from 15 June 1998. Raw is headlined by Austin and The Undertaker teaming up to face Mankind and Kane within a Hell in a Cell. Over on Nitro Randy Savage faced Diamond Dallas Page in a cage match in the show’s main event.
All this and more as Monday Night Wars continues…
The show opens with footage from last week’s ending featuring Kane and Austin. We see there is a cage hanging from the ceiling.
First out is Sable to a great pop. She announces that Vince is responsible for her return which prompts boos from the crowd. McMahon asks her to read a prepared statement from him regarding the alleged “conspiracy theory” against Austin which hopes that clears up the alleged conspiracy. As McMahon was about to leave the ring, Austin’s music played and he walked out. Austin chased McMahon as the boss begged him to listen to reason. He told Austin it was Undertaker who set him up. The Undertaker then walked and he confronted Austin, saying that no matter how plausible McMahon’s conspiracy is, “You know and I know it’s a damn lie.” Undertaker told Austin he asked for a title shot, but did so face-to-face with respect. The lights in the arena then went out and Kane’s music started. Mankind, Kane, and Paul Bearer then walked out. He challenged Austin & Undertaker to a tag team match against Kane & Mankind in the Hell in the Cell cage later that night.
King of the Ring qualifier first as The Rock faces off against Vader. Maivia is accompanied by the rest of the Nation but they get sent to the back by Slaughter. Throughout the match JR and Cole discuss how Vader was embarrassed by his performance at the last PPV. Maivia gets the win at the four and a half minute mark with a Rock Bottom.
Funny DX segment as they discussed how to watch out for each other’s moves. Road Dogg warned HHH that X-Pac’s kicks can’t hiss his nose. Hunter replied “I don’t have a big nose.”
Singles action as Jeff Jarrett faces off against Darren Drozdov. Marc Mero, who Jarrett faces at King of the Ring, made his way out and demanded to know why Sable was back in the WWF. Quick match which ends with Drozdov getting the pinfall after Mero hits a low blow on his King of the Ring opponent.
Next up Val Venis defeated Chainz at the four and a half minute mark with a Money Shot. Not much in this one at all.
X-Pac and Triple H faced up to each other backstage. Hunter said he couldn’t “lay down for X-Pac.” X-Pac said he was getting serious, Hunter said he seriously needed a breath mint.
Dustin Runnels beat Marc Mero in another nothing match. This one was littered with outside distraction as Jarrett, Tenneesee Lee and Southern Justice all come out early doors but it’s Sable’s distraction that cost Mero the bout. With Mero distracted, Runnels hit a bulldog for the victory.
Another KoTR qualifier next as DX’s Triple H and X-Pac face each other. This was a very good encounter with X-Pac looking particularly good and Triple H raising his game also. In the end, Trips gets the count-out win after Owen Hart crotches X-Pac on the guardrail at ringside.
Afterwards, Al Snow hit the ring in his old Avatar ring costume – head also wears the Avatar mask. Lawler interviewed Snow before taking a head shot to the gut.
Kevin Kelly interviews Austin backstage and asks him if he can trust the Undertaker, which gets a no.
Tag action next up with Owen Hart and Mark Henry teaming up to go against Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn. Pretty good, as you’d expect, with plenty of suplexes. This goes to a no contest with Triple H and The New Age Outlaws attack Owen and Henry. As they flee, Vader attacks Mark Henry.
A tag team Royal Rumble took place next with the winners becoming number one contenders. Kane and Mankind won by last eliminating Terry Funk and Too Cold Scorpio. Also in the match, where teams entered every 30 seconds, were LOD 2000, Midnight Express, Head Bangers, DOA, Kurrgan & Golga, Too Much, Faarooq & Steve Blackman and Taka Michinoku & Bradshaw.
Main event time. Kane and Mankind were already in the ring as the cage is lowered with Mankind giving a promo about his King of the Ring match against The Undertaker. Bearer said he didn’t think Austin & Undertaker would accept their challenge. Finally Austin’s music began and he made his way out to the ring. Mankind and Kane invited him into the ring but Austin waited for his partner who didn’t come out, despite his music playing several times. In the end, Kane and Mankind took the fight to Austin on the outside as Bearer locked the cage so no one could get to him. The Undertaker then came through the ring and attacked Bearer. Kane tried to rip the cage roof off as Austin climbed the cage to beat on Kane on the roof. The crowd went wild as the show ended.
* KOTR Qualifying Match: WWF IC Champion the Rock pinned Vader
* Droz pinned Jeff Jarrett
* Val Venis pinned Chainz
* Dustin Runnels pinned Marc Mero
* KOTR Qualifying Match: WWF European Champion Triple H defeated X-Pac via count-out
* Kane & Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) won a 10-team tag team Royal Rumble match
* WWF World Champion Steve Austin & the Undertaker fought Kane & Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) to a no contest in a Hell in a Cell match.
Nitro hailed from Long Island, New York and fresh from The Great American Bash the fans were pumped up. News from the Bash is that Sting now controls the tag titles and can select a partner of his choice, Booker T is once again TV Champ, Curt Hennig and Rick Rude swerved Konnan and jumped ship to nWo Hollywood, and Randy Savage and Roddy Piper did manage to get along as a team, but fell short against Bret Hart and Hollywood Hogan. Now let’s head to Nitro…
The show opened immediately with a hardcore tag match between Public Enemy, Hugh Morrus and The Barbarian – a nice change of pace and helped get the crowd even more hyped
Randy Savage came out to a babyface reaction from not only the fans but also the commentators. Addressing Diamond Dallas Page, Savage said that if DDP could beat him in a cage match later in the show then he would prove himself worthy of joining the Wolfpac – Savage is the only member of the Wolfpac with reservations over DDP, due to their storied rivalry.
Chris Benoit called out Booker T, who came out with his brother Stevie Ray. Rather than fisty cuffs, Benoit and Booker shook hands and exchanged compliments. Benoit went as far to say that he had Booker’s back, which a jealous Stevie Ray took exception to. The big man attacked Benoit, while Booker tried to restrain him. The lesser spotted Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael made the save. Afterwards Benoit held up four fingers – the sign of The Horsemen – to probably the pop of the night.
DDP accepted Savage’s challenge of a cage match, with membership of the Wolfpac at stake. Turning his attention to Hollywood Hogan and Dennis Rodman, DDP alluded to having a new partner…
Roddy Piper – he’s the commissioner, remember – made the cage match official, and booked himself the referee…
Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan made a rare appearance on American soil. Representing nWo Hollywood’s international contingent, the IWGP tag champs defeated jobber tandem High Voltage.
Sting teased who he would pick to be his tag partner, but said that he would reveal their identity just before their title defence against Harlem Heat later in the show – The contenders are Lex Luger, Konnan and Kevin Nash.
Rick Rude and Curt Hennig said that they turned on the Wolpac and joined nWo Hollywood for the money. They also cut a promo on Goldberg before Hennig reminded us of his reputation for betrayal but stated that he would never swerve Rude. Everyone, including Rude, raised their eyebrows at that statement…
JJ Dillon reluctantly handed the Cruiserweight Title over to Chris Jericho, under the condition he defend it against Dean Malenko within 30 days. Jericho then bad mouthed Malenko’s late father, prompting the pair to brawl all over the backstage area – FYI, the Cruiserweight Title was held up prior to The Great American Bash with the winner of Jericho v Malenko to be named champion. The match spilled backstage and even outside with the official decision announced as a Chris Jericho win, by DQ. Thus, as winner of the match, Jericho is once again Cruiserweight Champion.
The Giant completed his entrance and managed to defeat Chris Adams while smoking a cigarette.
Hogan came out and dared DDP to ‘step up’. Apparently he and Dennis Rodman have signed up to a match against DDP and a partner of his choice at Bash at The Beach.
To the surprise of nobody, Sting introduced Kevin Nash as his championship tag team partner. Nash made reference to Curt Hennig, saying that he is now ‘the hunted’.
Sting and Nash retained against Harlem Heat after Stevie Ray was too pumped up and too cocky.
Scott Steiner furthered his new ‘Hollywood’ gimmick by wearing shades, a suit and name dropping actors. His promo was largely aimed at his injured brother.
The cage match main event between Savage and DDP effectively became a triple threat, when referee Roddy Piper got into it with both men. That was until nWo Hollywood managed to raise the cage and attack all three men. Onceall the bad guys were in the ring the cage – which had a roof – was lowered to prevent the Wolfpac getting in. As Nitro went off the air Kevin Nash found the ‘cage up’ button and the Wolfpac entered the ring for a big rumble.
* The Public Enemy defeated Hugh Morrus and The Barbarian
* Chris Benoit defeated Fit Finlay
* Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Masahiro Chono defeated High Voltage
* Kanyon defeated Sick Boy
* The Giant defeated Chris Adams
* WCW Tag Team Title Match: Kevin Nash & Sting (c) defeated Harlem Heat
* Diamond Dallas Page vs Randy Savage – No Contest
Raw: 4.3 Nitro: 4.0