Welcome to Part 28 of the WWF Attitude Series. In this part, it’s time to take a look at the historic WWF RAW is WAR from April 13th 1998, featuring a showdown between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon.
83 weeks is a long time. And it was 83 weeks that the World Wrestling Federation could not win a head to head battle in the Monday Night Wars against World Championship Wrestling. From June of 1996 to this date, April 13th 1998, every time WCW Nitro and WWF RAW is WAR went head to head, well WCW scored the win.
Notthis time. WWF had been building momentum pretty much ever since the Royal Rumble and onto the road to Wrestlemania 14, with Wrestlemania 14 being a commercial success. WCW on the end had been losing momentum after the botched finish of the anticipated Hollywood Hogan and Sting match at StarrCade 1997. These two events lead to WWF slowly gaining some headway, while WCW lost it.
The date of April 9th 1998 is one that did a lot of damage however. The day where Ric Flair was hyped to show up on WCW Thunder, but did not show up. His son, Reid, had been in an amateur wrestling tournament and Flair had requested the time off weeks and weeks ago. Yet, apparently notice was not good enough for WCW or more importantly to Eric Bischoff. So when Flair didn’t show up, despite letting everyone know for some time that he would be unavailable for that date, Bischoff decided to sue Ric Flair for breach of contract. He vowed to put Ric Flair and his family on the streets.
All over an appearance on WCW’s second most important show. And people wonder why I call Eric Bischoff a scumbag. It should be pointed out that Flair gave proper notice, for said tournament to watch his kid wrestle. And he was under a verbal agreement at the time in WCW, as they were going to hash out a new contract. So there was no contract per say to breach and verbal agreements do not hold up as well in a court of law.
Nitro this night, was not really all that much to right home about. Another Kevin Nash against Sting WCW Championship Match took place, with Randy Savage interfering, as he would make Spring Stampede after all. Bret Hart(remember him?), showed up and made the save. Bret Hart’s character in WCW would take a turn for the weird the next week, but we’ll get to that later.
That brings us to WWF RAW is WAR for April 13th 1998. On WWF RAW is WAR for April 13th 1998, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon will step into the ring with each other. On this night, professional wrestling will never be the same again. On this night, it would be the beginning of the end for WCW. On this night, the world of wrestling as we know it has changed forever. This is Part 28 of the WWF Attitude Era Series.
WWF RAW is WAR 4/13/98
Stone Cold Steve Austin is out to kick things off, saying that he’ll hold up the show unless he sees Vince McMahon. Austin wants to know who his opponent is for Unforgiven but McMahon is mute on the issue. Austin accuses Vince of only viewing one man appropriate to hold the WWF Championship and he challenges Mr. McMahon to a match, saying that he could beat him with one arm tied behind his back. He says that either McMahon can take the challenge and fight him like a man or Austin can just kick his ass anyway. Austin took out the limo so Mr. McMahon has a choice. The challenge has been made, Austin versus McMahon for the World Wrestling Federation Championship tonight and there’s no turning back now.
Mr. McMahon considers his options backstage.
DOA battled Los Boricuas to a no contest.
Hey, it’s this match again. It’s a chain match. And there’s a no contest when DX runs in and beats up the DOA. Then they lay out the Boricuas.
Shane McMahon shows up in the back, to try and talk his father out of taking the match, which Vince interprets as his son thinking that he can’t take Austin and Mr. McMahon gets a little riled up. Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson assure their boss that he can beat Austin, thus falling into their role, as McMahon’s yes men. A role carried on today by John Laurinaitis.
Out comes Vince McMahon and he accepts the challenge. He will take down Austin tonight for the good of the company. It’s on now, Austin against McMahon for the WWF Championship still to come tonight!
Too Much were going to take on Mr. Aguila and Pantera, but the Undertaker shows up to decimate them all and throw out a challenge to Kane for later.
Jim Ross tries to protest Vince McMahon’s decision but Vince yells at Ross to shut up and do his job. He also sends Shane to fetch his gear bag.
TAKA Michinoku defeated Jeff Jarrett(w/Tennessee Lee) via disqualification when Klub Kamikaze ran out.
Steve Blackman wants a piece of Jarrett, but the trio of Togo, Teioh, and Funaki, dubbed Klub Kamikaze rush out and attack TAKA. Needless to say they would not be Klub Kamikaze for long due to the racial undertones of said name. Jarrett beats up TAKA. Match barely got off the ground.
Stone Cold has a few words, saying that McMahon was going to get beaten either way, so it’s just as well that he has the match.
Faarooq challenges the Rock and the Nation of Domination. Faarooq looks to be about ready to be on the wrong side of a four on one attack but Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman run out to help even things a little bit. Blackman and Shamrock have some unfinished business with
Terry Funk is back, as himself and no longer Chainsaw Charlie. He calls out his partner, the former Flash Funk, who is now back to Too Cold Scorpio as he was in WCW and ECW.
Terry Funk and Too Cold Scorpio defeated the Quebecers
This was a most enjoyable tag team match to showcase a new tag team of Funk and Scorpio. Scorpio scores the pin with a 450 Splash, which is likely the first clean pin he’s gotten in ages, so this new tag team is already working out for him.
Goldust is out in drag dressed up as Sable. Luna mocks Sable and rips at some of Goldust’s clothes, showing a bit more of Dustin Rhodes than we all wanted to see. Out comes Sable and we have a catfight as these two ladies will square off in an Evening Gown Match at Unforgiven 1998.
Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman battled the New Midnight Express to a no contest.
The staredown between former UFC rivals Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock was the big part of this match but both teams battled each other, until the referee threw out this match for both teams ignoring his instructions.
Vince McMahon is not afraid of anything. He wasn’t afraid of the United States Government, he’s not afraid of Ted Turner, and he’s sure as hell not afraid of Stone Cold Steve Austin. He’s going to show Austin what for tonight.
The Undertaker beats up the Headbangers and once again calls out Kane. Paul Bearer and Kane pop up, with Bearer inviting Taker to battle Kane in the cemetery where the “parents” of Undertaker and Kane are buried.
Val Venis is still coming.
DX is out for more fun and calls out Owen Hart. Owen wants a match with any member of DX and Billy Gunn is up for the challenge. Owen brings out LOD 2000 and Sunny to watch his back in case the other members of DX try something.
Owen Hart pinned Billy Gunn.
Not too bad of a match, compared to a lot of the other in ring action tonight with Owen Hart picking the win with a fluke roll up. Owen gets another chance at the European Championship against Triple H at Unforgiven 1998 with Chyna suspended above the ring in a steel cage and LOD 2000 get another crack at regaining the WWF Tag Team Titles against the New Age Outlaws.
Shane tries to talk his pops out of the match again but Mr. McMahon will not be denied.
It’s now time for the WWF Championship match with Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. A bit of stalling, with McMahon mock posing with the belt. The battle is teased but Vince reminds Austin of his promise of fighting McMahon with one arm tied behind his back. And McMahon wants the stunner arm. The arm is tied tight behind his back and they are ready to rock, it is about time for Austin and McMahon going at it for the WWF Championship, it’s going to happen.
DUDE LOVE, DUDE LOVE BABY!
Out comes Mick Foley who quit last week as Cactus Jack but he’s back as Dude Love. Dude asks if they can all get along? There is only one cat that can bring peace back to the War Zone and that’s Dude Love. Dude and Austin are former partners and McMahon signs the checks, and Dude is not going to let these two tear each other apart. Vince is not happy with Dude Love getting involved and he shoves Dude down.
Dude goes after McMahon saying that he’s made a huge mistake. He asks like he’s going to attack McMahon but turns and Mandible Claw applied on Stone Cold Steve Austin!
We’ve been swerved and Austin is being battered, unable to defend himself properly due to one arm being tied behind his back. Was this the plan after all? McMahon leaves, with Foley yelling like a crazed man and battering Austin. Austin is being put out like a light with that mandible claw, one arm tied behind his back. The WWF Champion has been obliterated by the crazed mad man known as Mick Foley, under the guise of his most harmless persona, Dude Love.
From an in ring standpoint, not the best show but it was a great show storyline rise. And RAW is only going to pick up leading into Unforgiven. That’s where we go to Part 29 of the WWF Attitude Series.