We’ll continue our trek through the WWF Attitude Era, as the Road to Wrestlemania 14 continues for WWF RAW is WAR from February 23rd 1998. WWF RAW from 2/23/98 was a taped show, taped on February 17th 1998 and really was just a transition show until the live March 2nd 1998 RAW is WAR which would be big.
World Championship Wrestling had their Superbrawl VIII event, where Sting won the WCW World Championship from Hollywood Hogan in the main event, with a little help from Randy Savage. This was revenge for Hogan pretty much costing Randy Savage his match with LexLuger earlier that night, so the NWO was falling apart. The Steiner Brothers and the Outsiders had one final round for the WCW Tag Team Titles, where the Outsiders recaptured the belts, after Scott turned on Rick. Diamond Dallas Page held onto the United States Title against Chris Benoit in a spectacular match and Chris Jericho kept his Cruiserweight Title, forcing Juventud Guerrera to unmask in the process. Also Goldberg continued his streak with a win over Brad Armstrong and Booker T triumphed against both Rick Martel and Perry Saturn.
The next time, was to set up Hollywood Hogan against Randy Savage in a Steel Cage Match at Uncensored, the next WCW Pay Per View. Also Scott Hall would finally get his WCW World Title Shot against Sting that he won in World War 3 back in November. The NWO beat down Sting in the ring, as well as Randy Savage, before Lex Luger made the save. Scott Steiner bleached his hair and began the Big Poppa Pump that we know of today.
Meanwhile in the WWF, RAW is WAR had gone to the dogs the previous Monday Night. However, they would back with three huge championship matches, with the LOD getting one final crack against the New Age Outlaws for the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Titles, the Headbangers getting a return match from two nights against the Rock N Roll Express for the NWA Tag Team Titles, and Owen Hart putting the European Title on the line against Marc Mero. This is WWF RAW is WAR 2/23/98, Part 20 of the WWF Attitude Era Series
WWF RAW is WAR 2/23/98
A look at the Legion of Doom and their slow and steady decline over the recent past couple of weeks. Tonight they have a chance to right all of the wrongs and win the WWF Tag Team Titles they lost from the New Age Outlaws.
The New Age Outlaws retained the WWF Tag Team Titles over the Legion of Doom
Not that bad. LOD had the match won but Hawk was a bit too slow to get out of the ring, which caused Animal to not be too happy to say the least. Billy Gunn cheapshots Hawk and then a shot with one of the tag team title belts puts Hawk down for the pin. Then afterwards, LOD really get into a shoving match, as security is out before things get too ugly. This could be the end of the once proud Legion of Doom.
Ken Shamrock defeated Jeff Jarrett(w/Jim Cornette)
Shamrock and Jarrett have a perfectly acceptable match, until Cornette gets involved with the tennis racket. Shamrock avoids Jarrett and the tennis racket connects right in the face of Jeff Jarrett, allowing Ken Shamrock to put the Ankle Lock on for the academic win. After the match, Jeff Jarrett is not too happy about Cornette blasting him with the Racket and we are going to have a parting of the ways.
Animal is backstage, saying that Hawk was like a brother but now he has no brother. Hawk is not happy about this and they continue their brawl. The Legion of Doom have crumbled before our very eyes.
The Truth Commission defeated the Disciples of the Apocalypse.
A bad, bad, match, but what do you expect. Kurrgan gets the win handily. Sniper goes after the Jackly but gets beaten down, as does Recon. The Truth Commission have split up. The third break up of the night, I’m sensing a theme.
DX are via satellite but next week, they will be live and in living color on RAW is WAR.
TAKA Michinoku defeated Barry Windham via disqualification.
Windham destroys the WWF Lightheavyweight Champion but suddenly Kane comes out, with Paul Bearer. Windham smartly leaves before he can get killed. This week’s Kane victim is TAKA, who gets violently trashed and Tombstoned. Paul Bearer cuts a promo and a challenge is laid out for a match between Kane and…Stone Cold Steve Austin for next week. Kane took out the Undertaker, he took out Vader, and now Austin is next on his list.
The New Age Outlaws are happy at the break ups of the Legion of Doom but the joy is short lived as the buzzing of the chainsaw. The Outlaws try and flee but this does not work, as they back into the dumpster, with Chainsaw Charlie wielding a chainsaw andCactus Jack with a baseball bat. Eventually the Outlaws manage to flee, just by the skin of their teeth and with their lives, but this is not over between the New Age Outlaws, Cactus Jack, and Chainsaw Charlie.
It’s time for the American Dream. Just a common man! Sitting there and eating ham! Or however the song goes. However it is not Dusty, obviously, rather Dustin Rhodes aka Goldust. It’s Dustydust and he’s wearing the polkadots. The best Dusty Rhodes impression, at least vocally, goes to Tom Zenk. Best one physically, toss-up between Dustin and Jeff Jarrett towards the end of WCW.
Bradshaw defeated Dustydust.
Dustydust does not get too far on the offense, before Bradshaw plasters him with the clothesline and that be all mon. Dustydust questions this plan. Back to Goldust next time. It’s a shame that we didn’t see Hogandust, Machodust, and Flairdust as was rumored but sadly was not to be.
Hawk angrily stores off.
Steve Blackman pinned the Rock(!!!???!!!)
Fairly passable encounter until the end, when D’Lo Brown tries to throw the nunchucks down but Blackman catches them and faster than you can say “Cowabunga”, Blackman nails Rock for the pin. Steve Blackman owns a victory over the Rock! I just want to point that out for historical purposes. Faarooq leaves the ring, with the Nation of Domination leaving with him, leaving the Rock stranded.
Luna Vachon promises pain for Sable if she gets involved again tonight. Things are beginning to heat up.
The destruction of Vader at No Way Out via Kane.
The Headbangers won the NWA Tag Team Titles over the Rock N Roll Express.
Earl Hebner is the referee this week and this match is under WWF rules, even though the NWA Tag Team Title titles are the line. Jim Cornette threatens to file a complaint with the NWA Board of Directors. A shot with the racket causes Mosh to fall on top of Ricky Morton and that gets the three. Match was fine, that finish just bugs me in principle. The Headbangers are the new NWA World Tag Team Champions. If Ole Anderson was dead, he would have rolled over in his grave.
The road to Stone Cold Steve Austin so far to his Wrestlemania 14 WWF Championship match with Shawn Michaels. Long stuff, this is what we call filler boys and girls.
Owen Hart defeated Marc Mero to retain the WWF European Title.
I enjoyed this match, as it was nice, simple, and had a decisive victor. Mero nearly won the belt with the TKO but Owen counters, to plant Mero with the DDT. Sharpshooter and Mero tries to escape but Owen has the hold on too tight and Mero submits. Owen Hart keeps the belt and will defend against Triple H at Wrestlemania 14.
The real story is that Luna Vachon makes her way out, to get her hands on Sable but Sable is not going to take this lying down. In comes Marc Mero and Goldust but Mero gets snippy with Goldust, for putting his hands on Sable, to pull her off of Luna, so we have some heat there. Mero and Goldust begin to brawl! So much for that tag team! Goldust pulls Luna from the ring, as Sable yells for Luna to get back into the ring. Goldust holds her back and we have insanity to end RAW between these two women, with the men in Marc Mero and Goldust being dragged into the battle.
RAW was a rather by the numbers taped show. But next week we’ve got big people showing up. Mike Tyson, DX will be here, and so will Stone Cold Steve Austin. Stone Cold Steve Austin will face Kane for the first time ever. Well in theory at least. Join us for Part 21 of the WWF Attitude Era Series for the live March 2nd 1998 RAW.