Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Monday Night Raw
Date: June 14, 1999
Location: Centrum, Worcester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
So everything has changed (again) with Vince McMahon being revealed as the Higher Power. Yes believe it or not, Vince is the big bad all over again and he’s fighting against CEO Steve Austin, who is right there to balance him out. We’re also coming up on King of the Ring and that means things could get even nuttier than usual in a hurry. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of last week’s events, followed by a look at what Vince put his family (mainly Stephanie, even back then) through to stick it to Austin.
Austin has officially taken over Vince’s corporate parking spot.
Earlier today, Austin went to the corporate headquarters. After telling a bunch of people with wheelbarrows to hang on a second, he goes in to talk to his secretary. He’s not happy with how she answers the phone and wants it to be “who the h*** is this and what the h*** do you want?” Austin shows her how it’s done and tells whoever it is that he’s fired Vince. She can barely keep from laughing and likes the new direction.
Here’s the Corporate Ministry (with its more than ten members) for a chat. Vince couldn’t believe that there could be anything worse than Steve Austin as the WWF Champion but now he’s the WWF CEO. Last week was supposed to be the culmination of three months of the greatest plan in the history of the company, but sometimes plans go awry (ignore the fact that the plan was to get the title off of Austin and have Vince in control, WHICH WAS ALREADY THE CASE THREE MONTHS AGO).
There are some who think the Corporate Ministry is going to dissolve but that’s not happening tonight. They’re setting their sights on the future, starting at the King of the Ring. Austin has challenged Vince and Shane to a handicap match so the McMahons accept, albeit with a stipulation. They’ve been debating various things and Vince likes a Dog Pound match. What’s a Dog Pound match? Well that would be a dog collar match and we’ll see one tonight between Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.
Shane thinks King of the Ring is like David vs. Goliath, so let’s have a David vs. Goliath match tonight with X-Pac vs. Big Show. As for the handicap idea, let’s have the Acolytes vs. Kane. Vince has one more idea for the Austin match: a Blind Date match, which means a blindfold match tonight between Test (blindfolded) vs. Big Boss Man, who will be able to see clearly. Or maybe King of the Ring should be a straitjacket match. We can preview that with Ken Shamrock in the straitjacket against Jeff Jarrett.
This brings out Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco with Pat asking why Vince is going so nuts over Stephanie (Patterson’s goddaughter) dating Test. Pat says Vince and Shane can go to h*** and Brisco tells them to get their own coffee on the way. Vince puts them in a match against Mideon and Viscera. My goodness this is the Russoiest opening segment Russo ever put together. How many gimmick matches were just thrown together by the evil heel stable who were in cahoots the whole time?
Debut of the Rock’s Chef Boyardee ad.
Back at the office, Austin meets Vince’s aides but has them all bring him beer. One tells him that there’s a board meeting in five minutes but he doesn’t like board games.
Road Dogg vs. Billy Gunn
Dog pound match, which is a dog collar match under a different name because it makes Russo think he’s smart. Dogg is ready to fight but here’s Gunn in a neck brace, which JR says he didn’t see earlier today. The threat of Kane coming out scares Gunn enough to reveal that he was faking (that would be a ten second angle) so Gunn decks Dogg in the face with the chain and chokes him over the rope.
Another chain to the head gets two despite the bell never ringing. Dogg, the only one with the collar on, punches away and gets in a chain shot of his own, but here’s for the save. A chain to Dogg’s crotch is enough to set up the Fameasser for the pin. Gimmick with a different name, fake injury, not adhering to the rules, interference, low blow for the win. Why yes it is 1999.
Post match Chyna chokes with the chain and leaves Dogg laying. Oh and Gunn pulls down his pants to reveal the thong because it’s funny I guess.
Shamrock arrives and is told that he’ll be chaperoned by cops.
We look back at last week’s Rock vs. HHH cast match with Undertaker running in and beating Rock down.
Here’s Rock (it’s so strange to hear something other than IF YOU SMELL at the start of his song) for a chat. Rock talks about Undertaker coming out here and rolling his eyes back in his head. Is that supposed to impress Rock? What would really impress him is a title match with Undertaker at King of the Ring.
Rock tells Undertaker what he can do with his head and eyes but here’s Undertaker (with Paul Bearer holding the mic for him) to say that sing-a-long time is over. The match is on and the rhyme time is over. Since that’s too easy, here are Vince and Shane to say hang on a minute. Vince thinks the only electrifying things about Rock are his shirts so Rock has to win a non-title match tonight to earn the shot. What in the world was scheduled for this show coming in? That’s what, five matches announced tonight?
We’re STILL not done yet though as Shane says there will be a stipulation for the match…which we’ll find out five minutes before it starts. In other words, they probably don’t know what it was yet and Russo needs to invent something BRILLIANT BRO to really make it great.
Jeff Jarrett and Debra are walking through the back when someone runs by carrying a chain. This seems to have nothing to do with anything else.
Women’s Title: Ivory vs. Debra
Debra is defending with Jarrett at ringside. They waste no time in starting the catfight and JR admits that it won’t be any good. Cue Nicole Bass less than ten seconds in and Ivory chokes with his scarf. Debra does it as well so Jarrett gets on the apron for no logical reason, allowing Bass to chokeslam Debra, giving Ivory the pin and the title.
It’s not quite Becky vs. Ronda vs. Charlotte:
During the break, Patterson tried to leave but Brisco told him to stay and fight.
Test vs. Big Boss Man
Test is blindfolded and Boss Man isn’t. You get the idea: Boss Man hits him, Test can’t see, a tackle takes Boss Man down, a nightstick shot disqualifies Boss Man less than a minute in.
Post match Stephanie comes in to call Boss Man off and he relents.
Austin went in to Human Resources and found a guy in an Austin tie. He sends one of the specialists off to get him beer and tells the guy to read the magazine (an orientation manual) because he might come back for a quiz. Maybe a question like what does Austin 3:16 means. The guy knows what it means so Austin gives him some charisma lessons and they go off for further adventures.
X-Pac vs. Big Show
Believe it or not, there’s no stipulation. Hang on though as Big Show says this isn’t happening. X-Pac says yes it is because he’s a man who fights for a living. A single kick earns X-Pac a trip to the floor and here’s Kane less than ten seconds in. Kane takes X-Pac’s place but X-Pac wants to do it. That earns him a right hand from Kane but X-Pac kicks him down as well. Kane knocks Show outside so Show walks away as this was a segment instead of a match.
Shamrock gets put in the straitjacket and promises to beat up everyone who put him in.
Recap of the Austin shenanigans.
Recap of the opening segment.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Ken Shamrock
Non-title with Shamrock in a straitjacket. Shamrock is wearing pants and wrestling boots with the jacket for a very weird visual. A knee bar and triangle choke with the legs only have Jarrett in trouble and Shamrock takes him down with something like the ankle lock in a rather impressive display. A shoulder block sets up a choke with the legs to make Jarrett tap clean. So yeah, Shamrock just made the Intercontinental Champion tap clean while wearing a straitjacket.
Post match Vince comes in and steals the key for the straitjacket.
On GTV, Billy Gunn is getting a certain area shaved but there’s a blemish. No one can know about this. I’m sure someone found this hilarious.
Pat Patterson/Gerald Brisco vs. Mideon/Viscera
The Stooges coming out to Real American gets me every time. They both grab chairs but here’s the Mean Street Posse to lay them out. Mideon and Viscera come in for the big beatdown.
Austin goes to accounting and wants to see some numbers. There are some losses, mainly due to things Austin has done over the years. Some of Vince’s salary is going to Mick Foley for medical bills and Shane’s salary is now the beer budget.
Tag Team Titles: Kane vs. Acolytes
Kane is challenging on his own. The fight starts on the floor with Kane sending Faarooq inside where Bradshaw has to make a save. Bradshaw comes in and takes a side slam followed by the top rope clothesline. They head outside with Kane being sent into various things before pummeling him inside. Faarooq gets caught by the throat but Bradshaw gets in some chair shots, setting up a belly to back suplex/neckbreaker combination for the pin.
Rating: D. How bad is it that this was the best match of the night? They didn’t have much time but they had more than a minute and a half and there was no stupid gimmick to make the whole thing a waste of time. At least they didn’t have the champs lose clean either, which is more than Jarrett can say.
Post match X-Pac comes in to save Kane from a worse beating.
Austin has manure brought into Vince’s office to improve the smell.
Here are Vince and Shane to take issue with the manure and announce the stipulation. At King of the Ring, we’re going to take the combined power from all three of them and hang it above the ring for a ladder match. As for tonight, Rock’s stipulation…will have to wait as here’s a free Shamrock to suplex Shane and send Vince running.
During the break, Vince left the arena.
Undertaker vs. The Rock
Hang on though as we have a stipulation.
Undertaker vs. HHH vs. The Rock
Non-title. They waste no time with the double teaming with Rock being sent outside
and over the announcers’ table. Back in and Undertaker punches away for two as we’re waiting on the issues or the interference. Rock’s right hands don’t get him very far and the jumping knee to the face cuts him off again. They fight up the ramp with Rock punching away to a little avail but Undertaker uppercuts him down.
It’s back to ringside as Rock gets double teamed even more, this time with some stomps from HHH. Back in and more right hands set up Old School but HHH accidentally crotches Undertaker (because STAND OVER THERE is too complicated) and gets catapulted into the corner. Naturally that’s a ref bump (in a No DQ match) but Undertaker is back in with a chokeslam.
Rock pops up and sends them into each other though, setting up a Rock Bottom and the People’s Elbow (knocking HHH off the apron in the process) for no count. Another referee comes in for two with Chyna making the save. The first referee counts two with HHH making another save but Chyna trips Undertaker by mistake. Undertaker goes after Chyna so HHH makes the save, earning a Stunner over the ropes. The Rock Bottom gives Rock the pin and the title shot.
Rating: D+. It was just a brawl for the most part and that’s not enough to really make something like this work. You knew that Rock was going to win here but I’m not sure if I like the lack of interference or general screwiness or not. While it’s nice to see something actually go a little bit calmer, it was expected the whole way and then never went down. That’s a little disappointing.
Post match Undertaker yells at Chyna so HHH steps in and a fight ends the show.
Overall Rating: D-. The Russo Train is still rolling along with a series of gimmick matches to set up another gimmick match at King of the Ring. Of course very little was actually done for King of the Ring but this time was always about the TV. However, the TV was pretty terrible with nothing worthwhile in the ring and only some moderately amusing bits with Austin. In other words, it may have been fun at the time when you never knew where things were going but it really, really doesn’t hold up.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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