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Thread: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    WWF Raw is War/Warzone
    December 29th, 1997
    Nassau Coliseum
    Uniondale, New York


    The last Raw is War of 1997 starts with a quick look back on what happened last week, the opening interaction from D-X, where Michaels and Helmsley informed McMahon that they were going on strike due to the WWF being an unsafe working environment due to Owen Hart’s repeated attacks on them. We hear how Michaels wants to speak with Owen man to man, but if that doesn’t happen, they refuse to allow themselves to be attack from behind again. We see some of the hijinks the pair got up to backstage, but they’re caught off-guard as Owen interrupts a match between Goldust and Ahmed Johnson to assault referee Earl Hebner, the man in the stripes during Michaels’ match with Bret Hart back at Survivor Series. Hebner is the latest man to suffer at Owen’s hands, but when D-X race to the ring, Hart escapes through the crowd, the latest incident where Owen has escaped D-X’s grasp, leaving a furious Shawn Michaels in the ring. Usual Raw opening video follows, before we head into the arena for the opening pyro display and a tour of the crowd, while we hear from our announce team Jim Ross and Michael Cole, who welcome us to the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, and there’s a real buzz in the air for this one tonight. Bulding on the opening video, Ross reminds us that ”…Vince McMahon has relaxed the security here tonight, he wants to speak with Owen Hart, man to man in that very ring…”, with Cole informing us that a camera is set up backstage at the entrance way, waiting for the moment Owen arrives to the arena tonight.

    And sure enough, entering the arena without music is Vince McMahon, although the silence is quickly filled with jeers by the crowd. In recent weeks we’ve seen Vince simply smile and politely nod at these boos, but this week he turns to the two men accompanying him, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, to express his annoyance. Cole confirms that given the recent attacks Vince has suffered at the hands of both Owen Hart and Steve Austin, Patterson and Brisco are out here as his protection, although J.R. wonders exactly what kind of impact the two veterans could have. Upon receiving a mic, Vince wants to get to straight to business, a direct message to Owen of ”…I don’t know if you’re here in the arena tonight Owen, but I’m sure you’re out there somewhere, I’m sure you can hear me right now. But I have had enough, I want to speak with you in this very ring tonight, man to man…”, the crowd going wild for that prospect. Vince reminds us that he has relaxed the security measure around the arena tonight, not that they were working anyway, all Owen has to do to gain entry into the Nassau Coliseum is walk in the front door and find his way down to this ring. Vince also reminds us of how he’s told Owen that he’d rather Owen stayed at home and sat out his contract, but ”…as I keep saying, everything I do is for the benefit of the WWF fans. You people have made it pretty clear you want to see Owen back working in a WWF ring, but the only way that’s ever going to happen is if Owen steps into this ring tonight…”, while also pointing out that if Owen fails to do so, his WWF career will almost certainly be over.

    ”So Owen, it’s up to you. You have less than two hours to make your decision and-“, but just like that, Vince is interrupted… by D-Generation X! It’s not Owen Hart, instead heading to the ring comes Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna, the trio who have been left furious over Owen’s actions in recent weeks. The commentators talk us through last week’s strike action, while also mention how Michaels offered up his WWF Championship as a way of drawing Owen into a confrontation with him. As D-X enter the ring, McMahon can’t hide the frustration and anger from his face, while Michaels looks as smug as ever. Michaels grabs a mic and wants to let McMahon know that he’s not the only one who wants to be in the ring with Owen Hart. For weeks now, Owen has toyed with D-X, coming through the crowd, attacking them, avoiding them, always managing to sneak away. The asked him nicely, they even bought him a ticket, but Owen just refuses to listen. Well Michaels has had enough, he wants to get his hands on Owen too, and ”…if anybody’s gettin’ in this ring with Owen Hart tonight, it ain’t gonna be you ‘Vin man’, it’s gonna be ‘The Heartbreak Kid’…”, another show of defiance from D-X towards Vince. Michaels knows that McMahon doesn’t want Owen back in the ring, he just wants the attacks to stop. D-Generation X are the ones to make that happen, they want to help Owen finish his WWF career in the right way… and end his career doing it. ”So Owen, I don’t want ya’ to listen to what old man McMahon here has to say, you listen to ‘The Showstopper’. I don’t wanna get you in this ring ta’ talk… I wanna get you in this ring ta’ fight. And if I gotta… I’ll put up this WWF Title ta’ do it!”, another statement from Michaels that infuriates Vince.

    ”Now, wait just a minute…” warns Vince, pointing out that Michaels doesn’t have the authority to make a match like that. After all, Vince is in charge right now while Sgt. Slaughter recovers from his injuries, he’s the only one who can sign off on something like that. And like he keeps on saying, he’s got no intention of letting Owen compete in the WWF again. ”And if Owen ever decides to show up here tonight… I’ll tell him that right to his face…”, while McMahon also warns that if he gets his way, tonight will be the last night we ever see Owen Hart in a WWF ring. And another problem Vince has lately is the fact that D-Generation X seem to be running around the WWF like they own the place. According to McMahon, D-X have a real problem with authority, they have a real issue with following the rules, and while they might have gotten away with that under Slaughter, Vince refuses to let it happen anymore. Vince discusses the problems he’s had to deal with in recent weeks, such as ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and his cruel behaviour, and that’s what lead to Austin having to repeatedly defend his Intercontinental Title, including in the Fatal Four Way tonight. Two weeks ago, he tried to send D-X a message by making them face The Legion of Doom. And when The New Age Outlaws got involved, they were punished by being forced to defend their World Tag Team Championships in a Steel Cage last week. When Vince has a problem, he deals with it in his own way, so ”…I would hope that you two realise by now that you don’t want to have a problem with me. ‘Cause if you do Mr. Michaels and Mr. Helmsley… I can make life very difficult for both of you…”, a comment which actually draws a small pop from the crowd.

    Of course D-X act like they’re scared, but Vince continues, pointing out that those who agree with him and do things his way are rewarded, such as the opportunity that awaits Terry Funk tonight. ”That’s the kind of relationship I imagine for D-Generation X and Vince McMahon moving forward…”, with Vince pointing out that he can use his powers to make good things happen for D-X. There can be an end to things like Buried Alive Matches for Michaels, there doesn’t need to be any more incidents with Owen Hart, he can promise Michaels the main event of WrestleMania XIV… but only if D-Generation X agree to start playing by his rules. Michaels sarcastically taps his chin as if he’s thinking about it, before he, Helmsley and Chyna ask for a moment to huddle and think about things, but when they break from the huddle, Helmsley has the mic and very defiantly states ”Vince… your offer? We thought about it… and we got two words for ya’…”, with the crowd even joining in with the shout of “Suck it!”, much to McMahon’s annoyance. D-X don’t need McMahon’s help, they do what they want, when they want, with Helmsley telling Vince that the main event of WrestleMania XIV is already sewn up, as Helmsley vows to win the Royal Rumble and it’ll be he and Michaels for the WWF Championship. ”So you can take your little deal… and shove it. We want Owen… and we’ll do whatever it takes to get ‘im.... Besides, according to Helmsley, everybody knows Vince doesn’t really care about these fans, all he cares about is ratings. ”Owen Hart and Vince McMahon? Nobody’s watchin’ that. But D-Generation X and Owen Hart, in the same ring? That’s ratings Vinny!”, so McMahon would be wise to give D-X what they want.

    But of course, all of that just serves to annoy the WWF Chairman. D-X have made it clear, they won’t follow McMahon’s rules, so Vince is just going to have to punish them. ”I warned you before Michaels, the only reason you’re the WWF Champion right now… is because of me. I gave you that title, and I warned you… that I could take it away from you…”, and if that’s what Vince has to do to get things his way, then that’s what’s going to happen. Vince repeats, he’ll be speaking with Owen man to man tonight, but under no circumstances will Owen be competing in this ring again, especially not for the WWF Championship. But if Michaels is so intent on defending his title… then that’s exactly what’s going to happen. ”So since you’re both looking for something to occupy yourselves with tonight… how about the two of you defend your titles?”, and suddenly the smug looks on Michaels and Helmsley’s face start to drop. For Triple H, he’ll be defending his European Championship against ”…a man who has yet to be defeat since his arrival here in the WWF. You’ll be defending that European Title… against Tazz!”, although again sarcasm and fake fear is the response from Helmsley. As for Michaels, he too will be defending the WWF Championship tonight ”…against a man… or a monster… who also has yet to taste defeat here in the WWF. You’re gonna defend your WWF Title… against Kane!”, with Michaels flipping out while the arena goes wild for the prospect of that matchup. Michaels and Helmsley both plead with Vince to changes his mind, but instead McMahon has a final stipulation for them, adding ”…all D-Generation X members are banned from ringside!”, which even draws a furious response from the usually stone faced Chyna.

    ”You two… and the rest of the WWF are going to learn, that there’s a wrong way… and then there’s my way. And I don’t care who it is, if you don’t do it my way… you will face the consequences…”, and with that Vince makes his exit, leaving a furious and worried looking D-Generation X behind. Michaels, Helmsley and Chyna once again gather in conference, clearly trying to figure things out, while our commentators put over the monumental announcement from McMahon hyping up the fact that the last Raw of 1997 is ”…set to have three title matches tonight! What a way to end the year here on Raw is War!”, and indeed we cut to the announce desk where J.R. and Cole hype the rest of the show, Legion of Doom taking on Los Boricuas, Marc Mero and Steve Blackman one on one, Mark Henry is in action against Goldust, and of course, the three huge title matches, Triple H and Tazz for the European Title, Shawn Michaels and Kane for the WWF Championship, and the huge Fatal Four Way Match for the Intercontinental Title, ‘Stone Cold’ defending the gold against Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock and Terry Funk. What an end to 1997!

    *Commercial*

    Back from commercial, and we’re backstage near the wrestler’s entrance way as J.R. explains to us that Kevin Kelly is standing by, waiting for Owen Hart to arrive. Indeed, Kelly himself reiterates that, promising to be there all night to try and catch a word with Owen the second he arrives at the arena… and wouldn’t you know, the door suddenly bursts open… but in walks ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin! A massive pop from inside the arena, and Kelly tries to catch a word with the Intercontinental Champion, but Austin just barges past Kelly and heads for the locker rooms, a caught off guard Kelly reminding us that he’ll be here until Owen turns up, at which point he’ll let us know.

    Back into the arena, where The Legion of Doom make their entrance, with ’Road Warrior’ Hawk and ’Road Warrior’ Animal striding to the ring with an intense look on their faces. At this point we see footage of the assault Hawk and Animal subjected The New Age Outlaws to backstage last week, with Cole also reminding us that on Shotgun Saturday Night, The Outlaws said they would give LoD one last chance at the World Tag Team Championships… but that they also had a surprise in store for Hawk and Animal tonight, the speculation rife as to what that could be. Their opponents are Los Boricuas, with Savio Vega leading out Miguel Perez Jr., Jesus Castillo Jr. and Jose Estrada Jr., all four rapping along with their entrance music, but the chat from the commentators is all about The Outlaws and what they could possibly have in store here tonight.

    Match One: Tag Team Match
    Los Boricuas
    vs. The Legion of Doom


    We get this one underway with Hawk and Savio, and as you’d expect, Hawk is all power early on, selling very little and just tossing Vega around the ring. A dropkick gets Hawk an early near fall, before he and Animal start unloading with double clotheslines and double back body drops for further two counts. Hawk is running the ropes when Estrada reaches in to grab a foot, and from that distraction, Vega manages to land a jumping high kick that allows Los Boricuas to gain control. Vega and Perez now work to isolate Hawk, punishing him with stomps, keeping him trapped in the Boricuas’ corner, before Vega sends Hawk to the floor and then picks a fight with Animal… and the distraction allows the other three Boricuas members to lay in with a beating. Hawk is rolled back in and hangs in their to kick out at two, and he again has to kick out as Vega hits a stiff backbreaker and Perez lands a running senton. Perez then looks for a sommersault legdrop… but he misses… and that allows Hawk to tag in Animal. Bursting into the ring, Animal unloads with hard clotheslines, flying shoulderblocks, before he takes Perez up with a gorilla press… then sends him flying down on top of Estrada and Castillo! With the rest of Los Boricuas down on the floor, Savio is helpless as Animal takes Vega up onto his shoulders… and then Hawk flies with the doomsday device… and Animal goes for the cover to get the easy 1… 2… 3!

    Winners: The Legion of Doom @ 03:17

    The sheer power of Hawk and Animal is too much for Los Boricuas to overcome as The Legion of Doom pick up the victory. The pair celebrate in the ring… but not for long as we hear somebody shout ”Hey, O.L.D.! I hope you two can hear us down there. You might need ta’ turn up your hearin’ aids down there boys!”, and sure enough on the stage are The New Age Outlaws… and Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are wearing the Road Warrior spikes! Somehow, Dogg and Gunn have stolen the shoulder pads of Hawk and Animal, and they’re parading around on the stage wearing them in an act of total mockery. ”I think you two might be gettin’ forgetful in your old age, you seem to have misplaced a few things here…” laughs Road Dogg, before he continues to run down LoD, calling them has-beens and relics. ”You two are makin’ a lotta noise about wantin’ a title shot. If we’ve gotta beat you one more time to finally get you to leave us alone… then at the Royal Rumble, you got it! But if ya’ want these spikes back… then come and get ‘em!”, and with that, The Outlaws turn and sprint backstage… and sure enough, Hawk and Animal dive from the ring and sprint up the ramp, chasing after them! LoD are after The Outlaws… but we’ll have to wait to find out if they catch them!

    *Commercial*

    Back from commercial, and the camera is running alongside Hawk and Animal, following them as they work their way through the backstage area, barging random backstage workers out of the way, nearly running over Kevin Kelly as they burst through the door into the parking lot… where we see The Outlaws jumping into a nearby car! Gunn jumps into the driver’s seat, while Road Dogg sticks his head through the sunroof, yelling ”Too slow old timers! Ha ha! Let’s go Billy!”… but as Billy tries to turn over the ignition… the car won’t start! Dogg screams and shouts for Gunn to get them moving… but it’s not happening… and then Hawk SMASHES THE CAR’S REAR WINDOW WITH A WRENCH! An almighty crash as Hawk smashes the window in, before he and Animal scramble to drag Gunn and Dogg from the car… and the brawl is on! The Legion of Doom are beating the holy hell out of The New Age Outlaws in the parking lot, with Hawk hurling Billy into the door of another car, while Road Dogg hits a thumb to the eye of Animal then charges… back body drop onto the hood of a car! The Legion of Doom are hammering The Outlaws for the second week in a row, but there not finished yet, hammering the champions… until we finally get a group of referees and agents sprinting into the scene to try and separate the two teams, and we hear ”Get ‘em outta here! Stop it! Enough!” from an enraged Vince McMahon! Vince starts ordering for the brawl to come to an end, telling various people to drag the four men apart, but it takes an age to finally separate them all. McMahon is furious, screaming for the mayhem to stop, before he yells ”I said there wasn’t gonna be anymore hardcore matches in my arena, and I’m stickin’ by that. But if you four wanna kill each other… then go ahead. At the Royal Rumble, it’s gonna be The New Age Outlaws and The Legion of Doom… in a Parking Lot Brawl! Now get the hell outta here, all of ya’!”, the camera lingering on the furious look on Vince’s face a little longer, before we finally cut away.

    Back into the arena, where Doc Hendrix is in the ring, ready to conduct an interview. Hendrix mentions the vicious assault that ‘Blackjack’ Bradshaw laid into his former partner, ‘Blackjack’ Windham’, with after their defeat to The New Age Outlaws last week. Hendrix calls it a brutal attack, one which has ripped The New Blackjacks apart. And with that in mind, Hendrix introduces us to his guest at this time… ’Blackjack’ Bradshaw? Well, it’s the man we’ve known as ‘Blackjack’ Bradshaw who comes out, but he looks far different than what we’ve seen in recent months. Gone are the cowboy hat, the black waistcoat and tights, and also gone is the black handlebar moustache. Instead, this Bradshaw is dressed in a sharp suit, he’s had his hair cut, he looks a far more sophisticated man compares to what we’re used to. As Bradshaw enters the ring, he still has that scowl on his face, and it intensifies as Hendrix starts by calling him ‘Blackjack’ Bradshaw once again. Hendrix wants to know why Bradshaw did what he did last week, pointing out that ”…The Blackjacks was something that was important to both you and Windham’s family. Windham took you under his wing, he helped you both in and out of the squared circle… and then you turned your back on him. I just wanna know… why?” First things first, Bradshaw threatens to put Hendrix on his ass if he ever refers to Bradshaw as ‘Blackjack’ ever again. His name is John Bradshaw, and he’s sick and tired of being a ‘Blackjack’. Back in the 1970s when his uncle ‘Blackjack’ Lanza and ‘Blackjack’ Mulligan were The Blackjacks, it was alright to pretend to be a cowboy. ”But this is the ‘90s, and I ain’t playin’ cowboys no more!”

    The man now known as John Bradshaw admits that there’s two reasons why he did what he did last week. The first one is he’s sick and tired of being given ridiculous gimmicks to work with. ”I busted my ass fightin’ all over the world to finally get a shot in the WWF, and when I got here, what did they give me? They made me a mountain man called Justin ‘Hawk’, they gave me Uncle Zebekiah as a manager and they made me brand people with a brandin’ iron. And as you’d expect… it got me nowhere…”, with Bradshaw then admitting the same thing happened with The New Blackjacks gimmick. Just because his Uncle was in the original Blackjacks, somebody in the WWF thought teaming he and Windham together to form a new version would be successful. ”Once again, just ‘cause I’m from Texas, they said put a hat on ‘im, grow a moustache, they were big in the ‘70s, it’ll work again…”, but instead Bradshaw felt humiliated. Simply put, Bradshaw is tired of playing a cowboy, he’s tired of old fashioned gimmicks, he’s tired being forced to look like a joke. Instead, it’s time people got to know the real Bradshaw. ”I might have to play a cowboy, they might want me to be a redneck… but I’m actually a pretty sophisticated guy. I like playin’ the stock market. I read the Wall Street Journal. I study finances, I study politics. There’s a lot more to me than a cowboy hat and a cowbell… and I’m gonna start showin’ ya’…” But don’t get Bradshaw wrong, just because he’s into politics and business, that doesn’t mean he’s not the tough guy he portrays on TV. That’s the only part of his gimmick that’s true, the fact that he’ll kick the ass of anybody of who crosses him.

    And that’s why he did what he did last week. Bradshaw was simply fed up being in a team with Windham, he carried that team for so long and he was tired of it. ”Look back at all the wins The New Blackjacks were gettin’. You look at those matches… and you tell me who it was that was puttin’ guys away with that big ol’ clothesline…”, with Bradshaw listing a few of the teams The New Blackjacks beat, pointing out that he was the man who scored the winning pinfall in all of those matches. Bradshaw carried the team, but Windham constantly let him down, but Bradshaw was willing to stick with the team as long as they had a chance at becoming World Tag Team Champions. But they’ve had two chances now, both times they came up short, and that meant there was no reason for the pair to team anymore. The idea that Windham took Bradshaw under his wing is a damn joke, it was Bradshaw doing all the work, and he was sick and tired of it. ”So now… now I’m my own man. I’m doin’ things my way, I ain’t playin’ cowboy no more… and you’re lookin’ at the latest man to enter the 1998 Royal Rumble!”, a comment which draws jeers from the fans. But then suddenly those jeers turn to a buzz of anticipation, as coming down the ramp… that’s Barry Windham! Bradshaw’s former partner is headed for the ring, he too having ditched the moustache, although he’s still wearing the black waistcoat and tights. Entering the ring, Windham gets right in Bradshaw’s face, clearly annoyed with what Bradshaw has had to say. ”Last week… you spit right in the face of The Blackjacks…”, with Windham claiming Bradshaw ruined the legacy of the two men who shared the name.

    Windham lets everybody know that the of the original Blackjacks, not only was ‘Blackjack’ Lanza Bradshaw’s uncle, but ‘Blackjack’ Mulligan was Windham’s father. The New Blackjacks was brought about to honour the legacy of those great men, men who were World Tag Team Champions, something Windham hoped would happen for him and Bradshaw. They were close, real close to becoming champions, but Bradshaw has no respect for tradition, he’s too arrogant, too wrapped up in himself. ”But you understand this boy… there ain’t no way you ever carried me!”, with Windham letting everyone know about his history as a wrestler. He’s a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, he fought at the first WrestleMania, he’s been a two time World Tag Team Champion before, while Bradshaw hasn’t won a damn thing since he’s been here in the WWF. And don’t try and blame on bad gimmicks, as this time last year, Windham was known as ‘The Stalker’, but he never let that hold him back. ”And if you think I’m gonna let anythin’ hold me back from kickin’ your ass, you got another thing comin’!” And with that, Windham issues a challenge to Bradshaw, he wants a match with Bradshaw to teach him a lesson. Hendrix puts it to Bradshaw, will he accept the challenge? Bradshaw thinks about it, but points out that he already kicked Windham’s ass last week, he doesn’t need to prove anything to him. But since the sight of Windham with his cowboy hat on disgusts him, Bradshaw says if Vince McMahon agrees to it, he’ll give him his match… next week. ”But you mark my words Windham, next week is the last time I’ll ever be in the ring with a joke like you…”, and then Bradshaw swings a cheap shot… but Windham ducks… and rocks Bradshaw with a big right hand! Windham nails another two rights, keeping Bradshaw off balance, before he comes off the ropes… looking for the BIG CLOTHESLINE… but Bradshaw drops down and rolls from the ring to safety. The crowd jeers loudly as Bradshaw scrambles to the ramp, adjusting his suit and tie as he does so, while in the ring, Windham stares a hole through his former partner, the two set to do battle next week on Raw.

    *Commercial*

    We return backstage to see Marc Mero and Sable walking along the corridors, with Mero a few steps ahead of Sable… and that’s because Mero is making Sable carry his bags into the arena tonight. Mero strolls along, telling Sable to hurry up, but she struggles under the weight of the two heavy bags on her shoulders. Mero continues to complain about Sable, reminding her that she’s his property, a real smug look on his face as he says it… but when Mero enters his dressing room, that smug look quickly disappears… as waiting for them in the room is a massive bouquet of red roses and an even bigger heart-shaped box of chocolates than last week… and of course they’ve been left there for Sable. ”Are you kiddin’ me! Who the hell is this guy?!” shouts Mero, but just like every other week, Sable shouts back that she doesn’t know, she has no idea who is sending her these gifts… but the smile on her face suggests she’s enjoying all of the attention. ”Oh, you’re enjoyin’ this huh? Well let’s see how ya’ like this…”, and Mero grabs the flowers, hurling them again the wall, before he does the same with the box of chocolates! Sable screams at Mero stop it, but Mero is enraged once again, showing he hates the fact that Sable is getting attention from a secret admirer… and we still don’t know who that secret admirer is.

    Back into the arena, and the lights go out, the beat breaks in and here comes Tazz for his first title opportunity here in the WWF. As we heard earlier tonight, Vince McMahon made this match for the European Championship, and Cole makes the logical point that if Tazz wins tonight, then he could be defending the European Title against Lance Storm at the Royal Rumble. And here comes Triple H, and per the orders of Vince McMahon earlier tonight, he’s riding solo, no Chyna anywhere to be seen. Helmsley looks pretty pissed off about having to take this match tonight, but J.R. warns him not to be as arrogant as he was earlier, as Tazz has been impressive in his short time here in the WWF, and McMahon could easily get his wish by seeing the European Championship changing hands right here if Helmsley doesn’t treat his opponent with the respect he deserves.

    Match Two: European Championship Match
    European Champion Triple H vs. Tazz


    Continuing his impressive performances since making his debut, Tazz starts at a fierce pace, using takedowns and suplexes to keep the champion off balance. Helmsley fires back with stiff right hands in the corner, but Tazz strikes back with a bridging German suplex for the first near fall of the contest. Tazz stays on the attack, hammering Helmsley in the corner, and after an Irish whip across, Tazz races in… only to smack shoulder first into the ringpost! An opening for Helmsley, and he goes on the attack, laying in with punches, knees and stomps to the shoulder and arm, wringing it around the ropes, before he gets near falls from a stiff clothesline and a jumping knee. Helmsley shoots Tazz off the ropes, slapping on a sleeper hold… but Tazz quickly breaks free with a side suplex! Trips tries to beat Tazz to the punch, but Tazz starts nailing release German suplexes, tossing Helmsley around the ring, before he looks to lock on the TAZZ-MISSION… NO! Tazz’s arm is in too much pain, Helmsley is able to break free… and he levels Tazz with a DDT! Here’s a cover… but Tazz just gets a shoulder up! Helmsley can’t believe it, he thought the match was over, and he gets in the ref’s face to protest… and that means Tazz can catch him from behind… TAZZ-MISSION! Tazz slaps on his deadly submission hold, he’s going to put Triple H and become the new European Champion… but all of a sudden, Jim Cornette is up the apron, screaming about something at the referee… and that means the ref doesn’t see Lance Storm sneak into the ring… and SMASH TAZZ WITH THE EUROPEAN TITLE! Tazz is down and out, Storm exits the ring, Cornette drops down from the apron and that means Helmsley can pick up the easy 1… 2… 3.

    Winner: And STILL European Champion, Triple H @ 05:11

    What a great effort from Tazz, impressing everyone with how close he came to becoming the new European Champion if it wasn’t for Lance Storm and Jim Cornette. From the top of the ramp, Storm and Cornette watch as Tazz rolls on the canvas in pain, the pair pointing back at the ring and laughing, while Triple H quickly rolls to the outside and grabs his title, the look of relief on his face showing exactly how tough the match was and how lucky he is to still hold his title.

    *Commercial*

    In the medical room we see The New Age Outlaws looking a little worse for wear after the beating they took earlier from The Legion of Doom. Billy Gunn is stretched out on a massage table, pleading for help, while Road Dogg is slumped on the floor against the wall, grabbing his neck in pain. Both men complain to the doctor in the room, telling him them need some kind of pills or something to take away their pain… when into the room walks Shawn Michaels? The WWF Champion has entered the room, shoving the doctor aside as he clearly wants to speak with The Outlaws. ”Listen, you two… you impressed ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ these last few weeks. You got a lotta spunk, you’re a real pair and D-Generation is always lookin’ to expand… if ya’ know what I mean?” Intrigued, Road Dogg asks Michaels exactly what he has in mind… but we’re not going to find out, as Michaels shoves his hand over the camera lens and yells for the camera to leave the room, and that’s where we cut back to ringside.

    For another match, this time it’s Goldust who is being wheeled down the ramp in his wheelchair by his ’Nurse’. Just like week, our commentators question what was on the papers that Marlena serves Goldust with two weeks ago, although J.R. does point out that we may get the answer later tonight as Marlena is scheduled to take part in an interview once we enter the Warzone. Out next comes Mark Henry, the man who has been on quite the impressive winning streak as of late, and both J.R. and Cole both over how dominant Henry has been, so much so that he clearly caught the eye of The Nation of Domination after they tried to recruit him last week. Henry of course turned that offer down, and that’s just lead to further problems within The Nation, and Henry’s dealings with them may not be over yet.

    Match Three:
    Goldust
    w/ ‘Nurse’ vs. Mark Henry


    Straight from the bell, Henry is all power, repeatedly bowling Goldust over with body blocks, squashing him in the corner before Goldust is sent flying with a massive press slam. Massive shots to the face, but from an Irish whip, Henry lowers his head… and Goldust drops down and smacks Henry with an uppercut! Goldust manages to take control, laying in with wild forearms to the head, before he finally takes Henry down by clipping the knee. Goldust targets the leg, dropping knees and elbows across the knee, before he works it over using the ropes. Goldust tries to wring on the leg… only for Henry to shove Goldust hard into the corner. The big man lumbers back to his feet, but again Goldust is on the attack, smacking more wild fists before he goes for a running bulldog… but Henry hangs on… and hurls Goldust across the ring! Henry now starts to build offence, sending Goldust crashing from corner to corner, before he again sends Goldust off the ropes… into a big back body drop! Goldust staggers to the corner… and Henry charges in with a corner splash! Goldust is on dream street, and as he stumbles forward, Henry is ready and waiting… for a massive FALLING POWERSLAM! Goldust is planted, Henry hooks a leg… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Mark Henry @ 04:26

    Yet another strong win for Henry as he puts Goldust away, bursting back to his feet to celebrate his win and roar into the camera. Henry looks very impressive right now, put this is perhaps the biggest name he’s knocked off so far since his return to action in the WWF, and the commentary team put that over big time. Hour one has come to an end, but we’ve still not heard of anything regarding Owen Hart, so we quickly cut back to Kevin Kelly standing by at the entrance to the arena for an update. ”We’re still waiting for Owen Hart to arrive tonight, we’ll get the news to you as soon as-“ and once again, Kelly is interrupted by the door bursting open… and this time it’s Owen Hart! Owen is here, he’s shown up to the arena, and Kelly quickly tries to grab a word with him, but Owen just keeps on walking and shouts ”I’m headin’ straight for that ring, and that’s where I’ll say what I gotta say!” For the first time since Survivor Series, we’re going to hear from Owen Hart… and that’s coming up next when we enter the Warzone!

    *Commercial*

    We see the usual opening video for the second hour, and then we head back into the arena for another pyro display. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler has joined J.R. on commentary, and they put over how we’ve already had one title match tonight with Triple H retaining the European Championship, but we’ve got another two huge title matches to come, Shawn Michaels defending the WWF Title against Kane, and the Fatal Four Way for the Intercontinental Championship featuring ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock and Terry Funk, with Lawler guaranteeing we’ll have a new Intercontinental Champion tonight. But suddenly there’s a roar from the crowd, coming out without music, it’s Owen Hart, he’s heading down the ramp to the ring and the crowd is going nuts over it! ”Bah Gawd, the Nassau Coliseum is about to blow it’s roof! I never thought I’d see Owen Hart ever walk down the ramp and enter a WWF ring again, but he’s here and I can’t wait to hear what he’s gotta say!”, a sentiment shared by everyone in the arena. Stepping through the ropes, Owen asks for a microphone, and after he pauses to let the “Owen! Owen!” chant from the crowd die down, he gets right to business, saying ”Vince! Ya’ said ya’ wanted to talk to me. Well I’m right here in the middle of your ring… so get your ass out here!”, another massive cheer from the crowd. Owen paces the ring, waiting for Vince… and sure enough, here comes Vince McMahon into the arena, and just like earlier tonight, Vince has a little company along with him for protection… only this time it’s Terry Funk who is accompanying the WWF Chairman to the ring. ”He sold his soul to Vince McMahon, and now look at ‘im, he’s nothin’ more than a lackey…” says Ross about Funk, but the very fact Funk is with McMahon is the main reason for the smug look on Vince’s face as he enters the ring and receives a mic.

    ”Owen, nice to see you…” is about all the formalities we get, as Vince is as keen as Owen is to get down to business. For over a month now, Owen has been turning up uninvited to WWF arenas, repeatedly coming through the crowd, endangering WWF fans in the process, and attacking not only WWF superstars but also WWF officials. And while these fans may cheer Owen’s actions, backstage, there’s a real sense of fear amongst WWF employees. ”We’ve had people go on strike, I’ve had to pay medical bills, Earl Hebner has been going to psychiatrist sessions, all on my expense, as a direct consequence of your actions Owen...”, although the smirk on Hart’s face suggests he isn’t really bothered about it. Vince feels Owen is being incredibly selfish, he’s put so many people’s health at risk, he causes undue panic and worry, and quite frankly, McMahon isn’t going to stand for it anymore. He wants Owen to try and understand exactly what he’s saying to him. Owen isn’t welcome here in the WWF anymore. For that matter, the entire Hart family aren’t welcome here in the WWF anymore. Back at Survivor Series, Vince did what he had to do to protect his business, but at first, he was willing to not let what happened with Bret effect his relationship with the rest of The Hart Foundation. But when Neidhart and Bulldog said they wanted to leave for WCW, he couldn’t risk that happening with Owen too. ”I mean, truth be told Owen… I also thought that you were the most talented of the Hart family. You were always my favourite to work with, you never caused me any problems, the boys in the back, they loved all the ribs you used to pull. I can never let a talent like you walk out on me and join WCW…”, and there’s actually a hint of sincerity in all that McMahon says here.

    Vince was willing to let Owen sit at home, collect on his contract, he could spend time with his wife and kids, he could life a great life, getting paid to do nothing… but when the attacks started to happen, that all changed. ”You put your hands on my, you assaulted me, and I might’ve done you a favour by not involving the authorities, but right there and then, that was the moment your career in this business was finished for good!”, as due to Owen’s attack, Vince was now holding him in contempt of contract, forcing him to sit at home for nothing. But of course, the attacks kept on coming, more and more people were put in danger. These attacks have to stop, and that’s why Vince asked Owen to speak with him tonight. ”Let me make this clear. You will never compete in a WWF ever again… and if you ever show up at a WWF arena ever again, I will sue you, I will sue your whole family, I’ll sue your brother for assaulting me in Montreal, I’ll sue Stu, I’ll sue Helen, I’ll sue your whole damn family, until you finally get the message that your career is over!”, Vince getting mega heat for those comments. But if there one regret Vince admits to having through all of this, and he’s sure it’s a regret that Owen shares, is that Owen’s WWF career has come to an end… without Owen ever becoming WWF Champion. A wry smile crosses Owen’s face, but with McMahon having said his bit, Owen starts to reply, talking about what his motives are for his actions this last month or so. ”Vince, at Survivor Series… you ripped the heart outta the Hart family. You screwed my brother Bret, you refused to let me outta my contract, so now… I’m gonna spend the rest of my career tryin’ to screw you!”, which draws another loud response from the fans.

    Owen knows how much Vince hates him right now, he hates what Owen has been doing to his company and to D-X, but Owen really doesn’t care anymore. He and his brother gave the best years of their careers to Vince and the WWF, only for Vince to bring it all crashing down. For years, Owen, Bret, Bulldog and Neidhart, they gave their blood and their bodies for the WWF, and this was the thanks they got. ”You disrespected my whole family, and I’m not gonna take it anymore…”, and that means Vince can threaten all the lawsuits he wants, Owen is going to keep interrupting WWF events week after week, he’s going to continue to assault WWF employees, he’s going to make life a living hell for Vince McMahon. Security won’t stop him, D-Generation X won’t stop him, Terry Funk won’t stop him, nothing’s going to stop Owen from getting revenge on Vince and the WWF for what they’ve done. But… there might be one thing that could stop Owen from making all these attacks. Owen admits that he’s been watching from afar, he’s seen the antics of D-X in recent weeks, he knows Vince dislikes them almost as much as he dislikes Owen. ”And I’ll admit, that me never winnin’ the WWF Championship… that’s somethin’ I’ll always regret. But I promise you Vince, the last thing I ever do in a WWF ring… is gonna be to break Shawn Michaels in two. So how ‘bout you give me the chance to do both at the same time? How ‘bout you give me a match, me and Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship? And if Shawn Michaels beats me… I’ll retire from wrestling.”, a comment which stuns the crowd and catches Vince completely off guard.

    ”Let’s face it Vince, you hate me, you hate D-X, why not deal with one o’ your problems. Either I’ll be the WWF Champion, and D-X won’t be runnin’ things around here anymore… or I’ll retire, I’ll never work in WCW, I’ll never set foot in a WWF arena, you’ll never see me again…”, the crowd giving a very mixed response, but Vince is certainly intrigued. He ponders, thinking it over, before he admits that he agrees with Owen, he doesn’t like him, he doesn’t like D-X either. ”And if you’re tellin’ me that the only way to finally kill off the Hart family once and for all is to let D-X deal with it… then alright. Alright, you got your match! You and Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship… and it’ll be at the Royal Rumble!”, a sensational announcement from McMahon! Vince goes one step further, telling Owen that he can come back to work, he can start appearing on WWF television, he’s free to enter and leave WWF arena, after all, it’ll only be for another couple of weeks, as Vince is so confident that ”…at the Royal Rumble, just like he beat your brother Bret, Shawn Michaels is going to beat you, and your career… is over…”, a chilling sense of finality for Owen. But for now, Owen should enjoy the last three weeks of his career, but Vince has a warning for him. Just because he’s made the match for the Rumble, Vince won’t be held responsible if D-X decide they want to get their hands on Owen earlier than that. After all, like Owen said, D-X do what they want, and if they want to jump Owen, then nobody will be there to protect him. ”Your family isn’t here anymore Owen, you don’t have anybody watching your back anymore. You’re the sole survivor, you’re ‘The Black Hart’… and you’ve got a target on your back…”, another ominous message from Vince.

    But let’s put all of that aside right now, Vince is sure the next few weeks will be some of the best of Owen’s WWF career. He can go out, he can enjoy himself, he can entertain the fans, he can put it all on the line, as he already knows he’s working on borrowed time. ”So Owen, all that’s left to say is… best of luck. You’re gonna need it!”, and with that, Vince has the audacity to offer Owen a handshake. Ross can’t believe it, after all he’s done to the Hart family, Vince wants to shake Owen’s hand. Owen looks at Vince’s hand, almost in disbelief, before he simply shakes his head and turns towards the ropes… and then Terry Funk steps forward and grabs Owen by the arm, spinning him around! ”Shake the man’s hand, son…” is heard over the camera, with the crowd baying for blood, wanting Owen to attack, but Owen shows a strange sense of calm as he slowly nods… and sure enough, he shakes Vince’s hand, much to the delight of the WWF Chairman… but as Vince tries to pull away… Owen pulls him back in! Hart and McMahon are eye to eye, the fury in Owen’s soul clear for all to see, but Funk moves back in again… so OWEN NAILS TERRY FUNK WITH A STIFF RIGHT HAND… then he tackles him down to the canvas! Owen is on top of Funk, hammering him with those wild rights and lefts that we’ve seen in recent weeks, and in a panic, Vince starts waving to the back… and here comes Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco and a host of referees and agents… but just as usual, Owen sees them coming, rolls from the ring and hops the guardrail and sprints through the crowd! The fans are going insane, Vince is furious, and J.R. makes the call that ”Owen Hart is back in the WWF and he’s goin’ to the Royal Rumble to face Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship!”, a match of epic proportions that this crowd in Long Island can’t wait to see.

    *Commercial*

    When we return, Michael Cole is at the interview set, ready to speak with The Nation of Domination. As usual Kama Mustafa and D’Lo Brown are more in the background, while Faarooq and The Rock are more prominent. Obviously in recent weeks, there’s been a lot of arguments within The Nation, and that was highlighted again last week as they argued during an attempted recruitment of Mark Henry, and Cole wants to know exactly what the problem is. Faarooq goes to answer, but Rock pulls the mic towards him, telling Cole to know his role and shut his mouth. Forget about the problems in The Nation, the more important thing is that the entire Nation of Domination is entered in the Royal Rumble Match, and ”…The Rock expects you Kama, you D’Lo, and you Faarooq, the three of you know your roles… and you all help the Rock win the Royal Rumble, go to WrestleMania and bring the WWF Championship back to The Nation…”, but before that ridiculous notion can be explored any further, Faarooq yanks Cole’s hand back his way, annoyed as he says ”You just askin’ for me to whoop yo’ ass, ain’t ya’ boy?!”, a comment which shocks the other Nation members. Rock needs to remember one thing, Faarooq is the leader of The Nation, when he wants Rock, Kama and D’Lo to fall in line, they better do it, and that means at the Royal Rumble, if The Nation are going to work together to help one of their members win, it’s going to be Faarooq as the leader who gets that benefit. And as for the problems in The Nation, Faarooq knows exactly who to blame for them, it’s all down to The Rock and his problem with authority.

    ”So you better realise that yo’ ass needs to start fallin’ in line before-“, but Rocky quickly interrupts, this time snatching the mic clean out of Cole’s hand. As far as Rock is concerned, if there’s any problems in The Nation, it’s all because of the leadership Faarooq is currently providing. After all, Faarooq promised The Nation he would beat Ken Shamrock at In Your House, and what happened? ”Ken Shamrock made your monkey ass tap out, and it was The Rock would had to bring the pride back, it was The Rock who beat Ken Shamrock’s trailer park ass…”, although Rocky neglects to mention the assist he got from Jeff Jarrett that night. And last week, Rock listened to Faarooq make an embarrassing recruitment pitch to Mark Henry, that’s why Rock stepped in, and if Faarooq hadn’t interrupted him, he guaran-damn-tees Henry would be a member of The Nation right now. ”But how ‘bout this Faarooq, if you’re really the leader of The Nation, how ‘bout you beat Mark Henry’s candy ass next week, and you show him what his fat ass is missin’ out on?” The request catches Faarooq off guard, but he never backs down from a fight, so he agrees, he’ll go to Vince and make the challenge for a match with Henry next week. This pleases The Rock, but he warns Faarooq that ”…you’ve embarrassed The Nation a lot these last few weeks, so you make sure you get the job done this week… by any means necessary!”, and stealing Faarooq’s spot, this week it’s Rock who calls for the salute, with Kama and D’Lo quickly following, although Faarooq pauses… and then with a stern glare on his face, he too salutes, showing that The Nation are united as one… but the power may be starting to shift.

    Back into the arena, and out comes the WWF Champion Shawn Michaels, and much like Triple H earlier tonight, Michaels has no company along with him. Michaels is set to defend the WWF Championship right here, but Lawler points out that McMahon already made the match for the Royal Rumble between Michaels and Owen Hart, although J.R. wonders that if Kane wins right here, we might see Kane and Owen at the Rumble instead. And then the lights in the arena go out, then there’s an almighty explosion as Kane and Paul Bearer enter the arena. Kane was the first man entered in the Royal Rumble Match, and he’s unleashed hell on the WWF ever since, taking out other Rumble participants, fulfilling the prophecy of destruction that Bearer warned us about. ”But J.R., can you imagine what life would be like with Kane as the WWF Champion!?”, a chilling thought for everyone involved here tonight. Michaels looks petrified, and we’re just about to get underway before we hear ”Wait! Hold on a second there…”, and stepping through the curtain comes Vince McMahon. McMahon tells us that when he made this match earlier in the evening, he had no idea what proposition Owen would make to him regarding the WWF Championship. And since Vince is determined to see Shawn Michaels face Owen Hart for the WWF Championship at the Royal Rumble ”…Shawn, you owe Owen Hart, as you will no longer be defending your WWF Championship against Kane…”, with Michaels dropping to his knees and dramatically thanking the heavens for this reprieve. But, Vince isn’t quite finished yet, as seeing as he still wants Michaels to be punished, and that’s why ”…this match, is now a Non-Title Match. And Mr. Bearer, if you’re so confident that Kane is going to win the Royal Rumble… then consider this a WrestleMania warmup match…”, and with a sick smirk on his face, McMahon retreats backstage, and much to Michaels dismay… the bell rings and the match is underway!

    Match Four: Non-Title Match
    WWF ChampionShawn Michaels vs. Kane w/ Paul Bearer


    Almost immediately Michaels tries to reason with Kane, begging him to reconsider, but the monster simply cocks his head to the side. Michaels then tries to head outside and reason with Paul Bearer, but Bearer isn’t interested… and Michaels doesn’t see Kane grab him from behind… and then hurl the WWF Champion back into the ring! Kane heads back inside and starts unloading with massive shots to the throat, before he sends Michaels upside down into the corner… and as the champion staggers back, Kane is waiting… for a massive press slam! Michaels hits the canvas hard, again praying and begging for mercy, even grabbing the referee by the collar, begging him to call off the match… and then suddenly there’s a commotion from the crowd… as The New Age Outlaws are racing down to the ring! Road Dogg and Billy Gunn slide into the ring… and they jump Kane from behind! A blatant disqualification as the tag champs hit Kane with a chop block and stomp away at him, and the referee has no choice but to call for the bell!

    Winner: Via disqualification, Kane @ 01:18

    An absolute mockery of a match as The Outlaws make the save for Michaels, beating Kane down… but just as they think they’ve got Kane down… he sits up! Kane sits up, Michaels and The Outlaws are frozen… but they all charge… only for Michaels to turn and dive from the ring at the last split second… leaving Gunn and Dogg to run into shots from Kane! Michaels dives from the ring, grabs his WWF Title and leaps over the guardrail, sprinting through the crowd, trying to run straight out of the arena, while in the ring, Kane nails Gunn with a boot to the face, then he slaps a hand around Road Dogg’s throat… CHOKESLAM TO ROAD DOGG! But Kane’s not done there, as he scoops up Gunn… TOMBSTONE TO BILLY GUNN! Kane has singlehandedly decimated the World Tag Team Champions, but he wasn’t quite able to carry out Vince McMahon’s wishes, Shawn Michaels managed to escape, but he stopped to watch the mayhem taking place in the ring… and that means he doesn’t see Owen Hart sneak up from behind… and HAMMER MICHAELS DOWN ONTO THE CONCRETE! Owen Hart, he’s jumped Michaels from behind, he’s laying in with a beating on the concrete floor! The crowd are going nuts once again as Owen catches Michaels completely off-guard, Triple H and Chyna are nowhere to be found, he’s beating the hell out of the WWF Champion! Finally Owen decides he’s done enough, but as he gets back to his feet, he grabs the WWF Title, and the crowd are going absolutely insane as Owen Hart stands over the WWF Champion… with the championship in his hand!

    *Commercial*

    In the backstage area, Ken Shamrock is doing some stretches, getting himself ready for the Fatal Four Way tonight, with the commentators hyping the match and Shamrock’s chances of becoming Intercontinental Champion tonight.

    Kevin Kelly is now on interview duties, and he’s speaking with Marlena, the estranged wife of Goldust. Like our commentators have been wondering for weeks, Kelly wants to know what was on the papers that Marlena’s lawyer served to Goldust and his ‘Nurse’. As much as it pains Marlena to admit, Goldust is no longer the man she married. Something has happened to him in recent weeks, this ‘Nurse’ he has looking after him has some kind of hold over him. ”I know that before Survivor Series, me and Dustin, we were having some problems, but I always hoped we could work things out. But… somethin’s happened. Dustin… isn’t Dustin anymore.”, with Marlena also admitting that she felt like she had to take drastic action. She doesn’t blame Goldust, instead she blames the ‘Nurse’, and if Goldust is to have any chance of making a recovery, Marlena knows she has to get Goldust away from his ‘Nurse’ and into a proper medical facility where he can get the help he really needs. ”That’s why two weeks ago Kevin, I took the decision to go to my lawyer… and start proceedings to have Dustin committed to a psychiatric facility, where he can get the help he needs…”, Marlena almost in tears as she says that. It might be too late to save their marriage, but Marlena still loves the man behind the bizarre paint, and that means that as long as she has some kind of legal tie to him, she’ll do all she can to help her husband. And the first part of that has to be to break the hold the ‘Nurse’ has over him, and having Goldust committed was the only way she could think of to make that happen.

    ”I really didn’t want to do it, I just honestly felt like I had no other choice…”, with Marlena confirming that the ‘Nurse’, whoever she might be, has until the last Raw before the Royal Rumble to voluntarily take Goldust to the medical facility, or they’ll come to take Goldust away. Either way, Marlena is sure that her husband will finally get the medical help he needs. And talk of the devil, from off screen Goldust, with his bag of popcorn in his hand, is wheeled into the shot by ’Nurse’, causing Marlena to shake her head in disgust. Marlena wants to know who is behind the mask, while showing concern for her husband at the same time, but all she gets is the silent treatment, Goldust eerily looking off into the distance, while ‘Nurse’ hands Marlena a letter in a gold envelope. Marlena opens the enveloped and finds a single sheet of paper. She looks confused, not quite understanding as she reads out loud ”They make take our lives…?” while Goldust emphatically shouts ”But they’ll never take our freedom!”, and apparently that his way of telling Marlena that ‘Nurse’ won’t hand him over. Marlena is of course frustrated, and she’s had enough, she wants to know who the ‘Nurse’ is, she wants to know who is behind the mask and she wants to know now… so Marlena starts grabbing at the surgical mask, trying to rip it free, all the while Goldust sits in his wheelchair, munching popcorn and watching it happen… which means he sees ‘Nurse’ shove his wife away… and then SLAP MARLENA HARD ACROSS THE FACE! A stringing shot to Marlena’s face, one which causes her to cry out and slump into Kelly’s arms, and with his wife practically in tears, Goldust is wheeled away by his ‘Nurse’ as this interview comes to an end.

    We cut away to a shot of Jeff Jarrett sat on a chair in the dressing room, lacing up his boots, with Lawler once again hyping up the upcoming Fatal Four Way for the Intercontinental Championship. Ross then adds that when we return from commercial, he has ”…a historic announcement regarding Mike Tyson and the WWF, ya’ don’t wanna miss this one folks, when we return to Monday Night Raw!”

    *Commercial*

    We return to a brief video hyping the upcoming WWF pay per view, the 1998 Royal Rumble, with the voiceover encouraging everyone to buy the event on Sunday January 18th.

    In the arena, Jim Ross is stood in the ring with a mic in his hand, ready to make that historic announcement he mentioned earlier. ”Ladies and gentlemen, it has been the talk of the sports and entertainment world as of late. I’m sure you’ve all heard the rumours that the World Wrestling Federation is in negotiations… with ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’, ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson!”, which naturally draws a massive buzz of interest from the crowd. At this time, that’s all they are, negotiations, however Vince McMahon has been engaged in talks over the last week with Tyson’s manager, Don King, about Tyson appearing in some capacity at WrestleMania XIV. ”And if negotiations are successful, then I’ve no doubts that WrestleMania XIV will be the biggest WrestleMania of all time!”, but before the crowd can respond… Marc Mero starts heading for the ring… and of course that means there’s a massive roar for Sable, who is dressed to impress this week. Clearly the ultimatum she gave Mero last week about being able to wear what she wants worked, although as we saw earlier tonight, Mero is still forcing Sable to do his dirty work for him. Mero and Sable step into the ring, and Mero wants to talk about the announcement J.R. has just made. Mero scoffs at the prospect of Tyson coming to the WWF, claiming the whole deal is a waste of money and wanting to know ”…why is Vince bringin’ in a second-rate boxer like Tyson when he’s got ‘The Marvellous One’ right here?”, a comment which draws an incredulous shake of the head from Ross. Mero kicks J.R. out of the ring, saying he can take it from here, before he changes subject, wanting to discuss Sable’s secret admirer.

    Mero is still clearly annoyed by it all, and he wants answers. Sable might say she doesn’t have any idea who the secret admirer is, but Mero isn’t buying it. ”You can tell me you don’t know who the guy is, but I know you know and I want an answer!”, with Mero demanding Sable tell him who it is. Sable asks if she can have the mic to explain herself, but Mero refuses, laughing as he states ”Nobody gives a damn what you’ve gotta say, Sable. Nobody wants to hear from you!”, although the roar of the crowd suggest otherwise. Without the mic, Sable simply shrugs her shoulders and shakes her head when Mero asks her again, which leads to a bold move from the frustrated Mero. ”Whoever this so called ‘secret admirer’ is… I want you to get your ass out here… right now!”, and after a few seconds of silence, some music starts to play… it’s Steve Blackman? Lawler is shocked, he can’t believe it, Steve Blackman is Sable’s secret admirer… well, no, not quite. Ross quickly points out that Blackman is actually scheduled to face Mero in a match right here, so he might not be answering Mero’s call here. It’s also pointed out that Bart Gunn isn’t here tonight, with Gunn taking a week off due to the beating he suffered at the hands of Kane last week. And sure enough, when Blackman enters the ring, Mero can’t quite believe that Blackman would be Sable’s secret admirer, and when he asks Blackman quickly assures him ”…I’m not out here as Sable’s secret admirer… I’m out here to kick your ass!” And with that, Blackman strikes Mero with a chop to the chest that knocks the mic clean from Mero’s hand, and this match is underway…

    Match Five:
    'Marvelous' Marc Mero
    w/ Sable vs. Steve Blackman


    And Blackman is all over Mero early on, dominating with strikes to the chest and kicks to the body, before a roundhouse elbow sends Mero spiralling to the floor. Blackman takes the fight outside, but Mero hides behind Sable, using her a shield, and with Blackman distracted, Mero lands a cheap shot that lets him gain control. Blackman is shoved into the ringpost, and Mero heads back into the ring, demanding the referee counts, more than happy to take the cheap victory via countout… but Blackman manages to crawl back into the ring. Mero now looks to press home his advantage, teeing off on Blackman in the corner with well-placed shots to the body, before he gets a near fall from a stiff backbreaker. Mero slaps on a headlock, trying to wear Mero down, but soon he’s distracted by the catcalls of the crowd towards Sable… and of course Sable is loving it as she starts waving and blowing kisses towards her legions of fans. Mero releases his grip and heads to the ropes, telling the fans to shut up while also berating Sable. The pair engage in a brief argument that only comes to a stop when Blackman spins Mero around… and socks him with a massive right hand! Blackman goes on the attack, more kicks and chops, before he sends Mero off the ropes… into a bicycle kick to the face! Mero is down and in trouble, but he begs off, crawling to the ropes, looking for mercy… and while Blackman hesitates and is ushered away by the referee, Mero reaches into his tights… and grabs a pair of brass knucks! But Sable caught him, and she’s quickly up on the apron to protest, trying to warn the ref to take away the foreign object… all the while, Mero swings… but Blackman catches him by the hand… and spins him into a dragon sleeper! Mero desperately tries to fight it… and he manages to break free with a LOW BLOW! Sable unwittingly provides the distraction, Blackman crumples in pain, and after hiding the knucks, Mero grabs Blackman… and hits the TKO!! Blackman is done for, and Mero gets the easy three count to pick up the victory.

    Winner: Marc Mero @ 04:33

    Inadvertently, Sable has provided an assist to Mero, her protests lead to the distraction which Mero took advantage of. Mero quickly rolls from the ring, but Sable is furious with him, angry at his underhand tactics, but Mero doesn’t care, telling Sable to know her place as he grabs her by the hand and leads her back up the ramp, while we go to a commercial.

    *Commercial*

    We’re back from the final commercial of the night, and Sunny has received a promotion of sorts as tonight she’s the guest ring announcer for our main event. During the commercial she has already welcome Ken Shamrock and Jeff Jarrett, while we return during her introduction of Terry Funk, the grizzled veteran heading down the ramp for a title shot that J.R. again says ”…Funk sold his soul to get…”. And with Funk in the ring, all that’s left is for the glass to shatter and for the Intercontinental Champion ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin to make his entrance. Striding down the ramp, Austin isn’t waiting for anything, he tosses his title aside and rips off his waistcoat… to roll inside the ring… and Austin starts throwing bombs at Funk, kicking this one off in a wild way!

    Intercontinental Championship Fatal Four Way Match
    Intercontinental Champion ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Terry Funk


    Austin is hammering Funk, Shamrock is rocking Jarrett, this one is off to a crazy start, haymakers landing… Jarrett is knocked through the ropes… Funk goes flying over the top rope! All four men are on the outside, with Shamrock nailing Jarrett against the barricade, while Austin smashes Funk off the announce desk… and then tackles him across it! Austin and Funk are brawling amongst the commentary team, while Shamrock hurls Jarrett back into the ring, sending him flying with a suplex for the first near fall of the match. Shamrock continues his attack, but on the outside, Austin leaves Funk down and out and heads back into the ring… where he tackles Shamrock to the canvas! Now it’s Austin and Shamrock who brawl, trading wild lefts and rights, until Shamrock starts unloading with kicks… and he sends Austin flying with another suplex! Shamrock looks to come off the ropes… only for Funk to low bridge him! Shamrock tumbles to the floor, and we now have a spell of the match where Shamrock and Funk batter each other on the outside, while Jarrett looks to take control over Austin. It doesn’t last long though as Austin fights back, stomping a mudhole and driving the point of the elbow into Jarrett’s chest. More near falls, Austin nearly puts Jarrett away with a bigtime clothesline, Shamrock hits a hurricanrana on Austin for a long two count, and Funk is now back in the ring, almost becoming champion after he hits Shamrock with a DDT.

    The match continues along, Austin being double-teamed by Jarrett and Funk before Shamrock is then subjected to the same treatment. Just when Jarrett thinks the partnership is going well, the wily veteran Funk turns on him, rocking Jarrett with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Funk is in control of the match, heading outside to smack Shamrock with a steel chair, before he delivers the same to Jarrett, leaving just he and Austin to battle it out. Austin strikes first, rocking Funk, taking him down with the Lou Thesz press… but Funk rallies, avoiding a stunner attempt to level Austin with another DDT. Funk then grabs the chair, lines it up… he’s looking for a PILEDRIVER ON THE STEEL CHAIR… NO! From the crowd… it’s Cactus Jack!! Mick Foley is here in his Cactus Jack persona… and he tackles Terry Funk to the canvas! ”Mrs. Foley’s baby boy is back on Long Island!” screams J.R. as Cactus grabs the chair… and CRUSHES IT OVER FUNK’S HEAD! A sickening blow as Funk collapses through the ropes to the floor, but Cactus isn’t done yet, following Funk outside… CACTUS CLOTHESLINE OVER THE BARRICADE! Cactus is hammering Funk, the pair brawling through the crowd, but back in the ring, Austin is going at it with Jarrett, the pair trading right hands, until Jarrett lands three in a row and rears back… but Austin ducks… kick… STUNNER! Jarrett eats a stunner, Austin goes for the cover… 1… 2… Shamrock makes the save! Shamrock keeps his hopes alive, and now it’s he and Austin who are going at it, Shamrock shooting Austin off the ropes… Lou Thesz press! Austin mounts Shamrock, hammering him with right hands, but when both men are back on their feet… Shamrock catches Austin with the BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! Shamrock hooks the leg… 1… 2… Austin gets a shoulder up! Shamrock was so close, and now he looks to slap on the ANKLE LOCK… NO! Austin kicks Shamrock into the ropes… and he rebounds into a kick… STUNNER! Austin hits a stunner on Shamrock… but Jarrett is back in the ring… to CRUSH THE GUITAR OVER AUSTIN’S SKULL!! The guitar shatters over Austin’s head, and then he drops on top of Shamrock… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: And NEW Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Jarrett @ 11:19

    We’ve got a new Intercontinental Champion! Jeff Jarrett has stolen the title from Austin in a match full of controversy. Mick Foley has returned for Terry Funk, and in amongst all the mayhem, Jarrett has robbed Austin of his title. Jarrett can barely move as he rolls away from Shamrock and is handed the title, while Austin is down and out on the canvas. Jarrett hugs the title dearly, heading to the corner to climb to the second rope, celebrating with the crowd who shower him with boos. Jarrett continues to pose for the fans… heading to all four corners… but by the time he’s made it all around the ring, he doesn’t realise that Austin is back on his feet… STUNNER! Austin gets his own back by nailing Jarrett with a stunner! The celebration is over, Austin has crashed Jarrett’s part, Austin flipping Jarrett the double bird, and as he storms off from the ring and heads up the ramp, J.R. makes the call ”…what a way to end 1997! We’ve got a new Intercontinental Champion, but ‘The Rattlesnake’ has his sights on the Royal Rumble! We’ll see ya’ in 1998!”, and that’s how another episode of Raw comes to an end.

    -----

    Current card for WWF Royal Rumble 1998:

    30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
    Confirmed Entrants: (18)
    Ahmed Johnson, Bart Gunn, D’Lo Brown, Faarooq, Goldust, John Bradshaw, Kama Mustafa, Kane, Kurrgan, Lance Storm, Savio Vega, Steve Blackman, ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Taka Michinoku, Tazz, Terry Funk, The Rock and Triple H

    WWF Championship Match:
    WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
    If Owen loses, he must retire from professional wrestling.

    World Tag Team Championships Parking Lot Brawl:
    World Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Legion of Doom

    Lance Storm vs. Tazz

  2. #42
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Some quick thoughts on the latest episode of RAW.

    Owen Hart - He has been booked wonderfully yet again and it is a criminal that Owen never got his revenge on Michaels due to backstage politics and Michaels eventual first retirement. This is a story arc that is really changing the shape of this project. I'm happy that Owen gets Michaels at the Rumble and this change of events will keep Michaels in the WWE past Wrestlemania with the Casket Match not happening here.

    Stone Cold - So he drops the IC title here tonight but looks to be nailed on to win the Rumble. There's not many post-Montreal projects in history and I think Stone Cold's journey after that moment up until Wrestlemania is a big reason why. It's importance to the WWF is too high and he kind of needs to become that face of the company by dethroning Michaels. Wonder what happens to his rematch though?

    Jeff Jarrett - So Jarrett steals the title. I can easily see Jarrett going into a little min feud with Shamrock over the title. I'm hoping it's a transitional reign and eventually Shamrock/Rock/Triple H lead the IC division through 1998.

    Cactus Jack - He's back!!! If anybody is going to bring the Hardcore out of Funk now it's going to be Jack. Love the role reversal with Jack now the hardcore enthusiast and Funk mellowed out.

    Kane - He's going to tear up the Rumble but The Undertaker is definitely costing him the chance to headline Mania.

    The Nation - Power is definitely shifting towards The Rock... expecting The Nation to beat down on Faarooq very soon. Eventually I see Mark Henry joining them as well... probably as a turn on a face Faarooq.

    John Bradshaw - This is definitely interesting. It seems a bit early for this gimmick change and I'm keen to see how this actually effects the future of The Acolytes and a possible Ministry Of Darkness down the line. I always like to look ahead and little things like this have a Butterfly Effect on the future of the business, much like Michaels not facing Taker in a Casket Match at the Rumble.

    The Nurse - Is it Luna like in reality. Can't wait for the crazy cow to go nuts if it is. She sure as hell gave Marlena a slap.

    New Age Outlaws - With Michaels possibly sticking around aligning them with DX before Wrestlemania isn't a bad idea. DX are always one for the numbers game although Michaels could portray tonight as a moment where he used Road Dogg and Billy Gunn for his own needs.

    Sable/Mero - The secret admirer angle is going down well. Jealousy is really getting to Mero which shows how scared he is to lose her. My money is on the admirer being Val Venis. Something just came to me that makes him ideal for the role.

    Overall another great show IMac and I love how smoothly the promos feel. Vince especially has been magnificently written. Keep up the good work.


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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Whoa. This was one majorly noteworthy show. Three title matches, a title change and a huge Rumble main event being made. Huge show to close out the year.

    Feels about the right time to pull the trigger on making Michaels/Hart official for the Rumble. You’ve got plenty of legs out of the run-ins from Owen over the last month, it never got stale or tired, but now feels like the perfect point to move onto the next stage of the feud. Expected the angle to be dragged out to the end of the night with Vince initially saying Owen had two hours to make his choice, so it was a pleasant surprise - in keeping with Owen’s character being unpredictable since the screwjob - for the issue to be cleared up by the middle of the show.

    And it’s high stakes indeed. To the point where Owen HAS to win at the Rumble, which has increased the intrigue for the match even beyond where it was already. It’s built well to this point too, as it really would’ve taken Owen to offer up his career in exchange for a title shot given Vinces proclamation a few weeks ago. Glad you done that, rather than just have Vince go back on his word. It also makes that title match completely unpredictable. Before the retirement stipulation, I’d have assumed this would’ve just been Michaels filler feud before getting to WrestleMania, with little doubt over him winning - now, it’s a 50/50 toss up. Excellent stuff.

    Have to admit, whilst it makes sense to move the I.C title off Austin, it would’ve been great to see him hold the title right through to WrestleMania, taking on Shawn or Owen in a Champion vs. Champion match, winning the World title and then relinquishing the I.C belt. That said, this was probably the best way to move the belt off Austin, without him having to actually eat a pinfall, and the finish to that four way was immense. Jarrett as champion was a surprise, as it was looking like Funk could’ve been the chosen one to take the title. Hopefully Double J kicks on as I.C Champ, and he already has a ready-made feud in the works with Shamrock.

    Very surprised that Cactus Jack returned this soon. Didn’t expect to see him re-emerge until the Rumble at least to kick start his angle with Funk for WrestleMania. I cant wait to see Vinces reaction to the inevitable Hardcore brawls that Foley will look to try to drag Funk into, and what you do with Funk refusing to engage with the Hardcore wrestling.

    That said, I wasn’t as keen on McMahon signing the Parking Lot Brawl at the Rumble, and despite the reasoning that it isn’t happening in his ring, I would’ve rather seen Vince force the four to participate in a ‘traditional’ match, and maybe adding stakes if either team didn’t adhere to the rules of a regular match in order to hammer home his distaste for the garbage brawls.

    Liking the mystery admirer angle with Sable, as it gives Mero more opportunity to get more jealous and possessive of his valet. Should lead to a debut for another new face to the show hopefully, continuing the influx of new talent. In the other ‘mystery’ angle ongoing, I’m enjoying what you’ve got going on with Goldust, Marlena and ‘Nurse’ right now. It’s been fun to follow, and I look forward to the reveal of whoever the ‘Nurse’ is.

    Still not getting into Tazz in the WWF though, but despite his loss to Triple H, you gave him an out due to the interference from Cornette and Storm - which, if I haven’t said it already - is an awesome fit for both Cornette and Storm. It feels like Tazz needs the win more out of that feud with Storm, but Storm feels like the character with a bigger upside right now, so the booking going forward will be interesting.

    Interesting promo from Bradshaw, with the first hint of an early JBL character. No complaints from me on that direction, as it’s easily the most entertaining and over gimmick Bradshaw ever had, and from watching the shows at this time, he really could’ve been a bigger player had he had a gimmick worth talking about, being at probably his peak, at least in terms of mobility and in-ring work. Hopefully you will go all out on a JBL gimmick, and I like the slow build toward that eventuality. Bradshaw shitting on the Justin Hawk gimmick is something I personally didn’t care for. Felt a little too much of an insider ‘shoot’ promo, though those promos were of the time period, and would’ve preferred if you’d had him focus on the Blackjacks team, and being forced to team with Windham, as that reasoning is something to get the teeth into.

    It looks like Faarooq’s days as leader of the Nation are numbered sooner or later - and let’s hope it’s sooner. Would appear to be building toward him being dumped out and setting up a Rock match at WM maybe. The Nation may be losing a member, whereas with DX, it looks like that group will be adding the NAO to their ranks. After the hints in the last few weeks of Michaels being impressed with them, they showed their worth here for him, and I’m pleased you didn’t give away a big match with Kane, who should be simply killing guys until he meets Taker.

    Not exactly a blow by blow piece of feedback, just typed up what came to mind first, but I think I covered everything I wanted to say on the show. You’re doing some excellent work in this thread right now, and long may it continue.

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Shotgun Saturday Night
    January 3rd, 1998
    Nassau Colliseum
    Uniondale, New York


    The first broadcast of 1998 means the new year is ushered in by an episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, and as usualMichael Cole and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler are behind the announce desk. Cole wishes us all a happy new year and then discusses the last sight of 1997 we saw in the WWF, with Jeff Jarrett robbing ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin of the Intercontinental Championship on Raw last Monday. Lawler of course takes great delight in this, hoping Austin had a miserable new year after losing his title while also stating that Austin’s 1998 is going to go exactly the same way that his 1997 ended. The other controversial moment from that matchup was the dramatic return of Mick Foley in his Cactus Jack guise, targeting the man who put him out of action, Terry Funk, with both Cole and Lawler admitting they can’t wait to hear from Foley this Monday on Raw.

    Our first match sees The Can-Am Express take on The Headbangers in tag team action. Furnas and LaFon are noticeably taken aback by the bizarre antics of Mosh and Thrasher, and it shows as The Headbangers get the win after 03:22, Mosh pinning LaFon after The Headbangers combine to hit their stage dive double team finisher.

    At the interview set, Kevin Kelly is ready to conduct an interviews, and he’s speaking with The Rock. One note of interest is that Rock is all by his lonesome here, and Kelly quickly asks where the rest of The Nation are. Rock scoffs at the question, telling Kelly to know his role and shut his mouth, as The Nation aren’t here tonight by Rock’s request. Faarooq has ran his mouth about how he’s the leader of The Nation, but he couldn’t get the job done against Ken Shamrock back at In Your House: D-Generation X. But Rocky did beat Shamrock, saving The Nation from the embarrassment Faarooq inflicted on them. Rock is flying solo tonight because he wants to prove to the rest of The Nation that he can get the job done on his own. Rocky doesn’t even know who his opponent is tonight, but he doesn’t care, he’s going to kick his candy ass and get another win for The Nation… but Rocky can only hope that Faarooq can get the job done against Mark Henry on Raw tomorrow night. If not, it’s just another example of how Faarooq isn’t fit to be the leader of The Nation anymore.

    For our second match tonight, the crowd are stunned to see The Brooklyn Brawler make his way down to the ring, although as Lawler points out, we are on Long Island so it’s not been a far journey for The Brawler to make to be here tonight. The comedy effect quickly disappears as the always serious Steve Blackman comes out. Brawler tries to put up a fight, but Blackman is just too good for him, using his educated feet to land a string of kicks before he puts Brawler away with a dragon sleeper, causing Brawler to pass out after 02:34 for a convincing victory.

    Doc Hendrix is here for the first Royal Rumble update of 1998, and he starts by giving us a rundown of the card thus far. On Raw last Monday it was confirmed that we’ll see Shawn Michaels defend the WWF Championship against Owen Hart, a match sure to be filled with hatred as Owen looks for revenge for what happened to his brother Bret at Survivor Series. Vince McMahon may have banned hardcore wrestling from inside any WWF arena, but he’s agreed to let The New Age Outlaws and The Legion of Doom settle their issues once and for all in a Parking Lot Brawl for the World Tag Team Championships. Lance Storm and Tazz, two of the newest prospects here in the WWF will do battle as part of Jim Cornette’s crusade to bring ‘real wrestling’ back to the fore. And of course, there’s the Royal Rumble Match itself, 30 men with the chance to become the number one contender and go on to WrestleMania XIV to challenge for the WWF Championship. So far, 19 participants have been announced for the match, but Hendrix has another three for us tonight. The former ‘Blackjack’, Barry Windham has been confirmed, as has Mark Henry, imagine trying to get him over the top rope to the floor. The final announcement for tonight is that ‘Marvellous’ Marc Mero is in the Rumble, could his golden gloves see him, and the lovely Sable of course, go all the way to the main event of WrestleMania? You’ll need to join us on pay per view to find out.

    Our third match tonight is another tag team affair, as The Disciples of Apocalypse square off against The Godwinns. Cole reminds us that D.o.A. lost to Los Boricuas last week, so naturally they’re looking to get back on track this week against Henry and Phineas. But unfortunately, despite having the upperhand into the closing moments, Skull and 8-Ball suffer yet another defeat, but not without controversy as with the referee’s back turned, Henry cracks the metal slop bucket off of Skull’s… erm, skull, giving The Godwinn’s the win at the 04:12 mark. Post match, 8-Ball checks on his partner, not quite believing they let this one slip away, but when Skull explains what happened, 8-Ball grabs the referee by the shirt, berating him for missing the crucial call of the match, the frustration of this little losing streak clearly getting to the fan favourite biker gang.

    We return to a brief video hyping the upcoming WWF pay per view, the 1998 Royal Rumble, with the voiceover encouraging everyone to buy the event on Sunday January 18th.

    A little hype for this Monday’s Raw before our main event, with Cole letting us know that already announced for the show, the former Blackjacks collide as John Bradshaw and Barry Windham go one on one, Mark Henry will battle Faarooq, Marc Mero will take on Flash Funk, while there’s a huge matchup on tap as Cactus Jack makes his in-ring return, taking on the bizarre and deranged Goldust, a real meeting of the minds according to Lawler. Plus, we’re going to hear from ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin after he lost the Intercontinental Title, Sunny has a major announcement to make and both Owen Hart and Shawn Michaels are scheduled to be in attendance for the first Raw of 1998!

    Onto the main event, out comes The Rock, just as he said, by himself, no Nation of Domination members anywhere to be found. His opponent is revealed as Taka Michinoku, which of course draws an arrogant scoff from Rocky, totally dismissing the young Japanese high flyer. It costs Rock though, as Taka uses his speed and aerial advantage to send Rock flying around the ring, putting Rock in trouble on several occasions. Eventually though, Rocky avoids a top rope moonsault from Taka, putting the youngster away with a rock bottom after 03:52… but Rocky is clearly flustered, with Cole calling him lucky to get the win. Lawler quickly dismisses this, stating that Rock did exactly what he said he would do, he went out and won without any presence of The Nation, and it’s on the sight of a victorious Rock that the first Shotgun Saturday Night of 1998 comes to an end.

    Newswire

    Return for Vader Imminent

    It’s understood that Vader is scheduled to return to the WWF in the next few weeks having been absent for some time. Vader hasn’t been seen on WWF television since December 15th, where he took part in a sit down interview with Michael Cole. The interviews, in which Vader discussed how he was embarrassed with himself and would be taking a leave of absence, came just one week after Vader was humiliated on Raw by D-Generation X. The real reason for the absence was that backstage, the feeling has been that Vader’s face turn, which started back in July 1997, has saw a weakening of the Vader character. Whether Vader returns as a face or a heel remains to be seen, but expect him to return and receive a push, while having his character be presented in a far more serious fashion. The upcoming return would also suggest there are plans afoot for Vader to play a role at WrestleMania XIV and be featured at the show.

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Shotgun feels a lot more important this week with The Rock in action, going it alone, continuing his ongoing issues with Faarooq in the process by getting the job done on his own. While I agree it was the right idea to scrap the Light Heavyweight title, it’s one drawback is that Taka is completely out of the picture right know without a direction. I hope you can find a role for him eventually at some point, forming an exciting tag team with someone that can talk, or as a underdog in the lower mid card battling for the European belt even.

    Brawler getting a match in NY state is a nice touch too.

    Some good additions to the Rumble too in Henry & Mero, while Windham should be decent fodder for a quick elimination.

    Also, that’s promising news on Vader. Hoping he can get a monster push in the future

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Like Wolf says, Shotgun felt really important this week - all about The Rock. I sense the big Nation split is coming during the Rumble match.

    Continues to be a great read, iMac. Looking forward to RAW.

    BROOOOKS ... BROOKS WILL TEAR YOU APART AGAIN! #SUFC

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    WWF Raw is War/Warzone
    January 5th, 1998
    New Haven Coliseum
    New Haven, Conneticut


    It’s a new year, yes it is! Goodbye 1997, hello 1998, and we’re getting straight into it, as after the usual opening video, we head into the arena for the always impressive pyro display. Amongst the pyro and ballyhoo, we go for a tour of the arena as Jim Ross and Michael Cole welcome us all to the New Haven Coliseum. Cole promises us that the WWF is kicking 1998 off with a bang, running down tonight’s card which includes Barry Windham and John Bradshaw, Mark Henry up against Faarooq, while J.R. shills the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view, reminding us all of the 30 Man Royal Rumble Match and the collision for the WWF Championship between Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart. Ross hypes up the fact that we expect to hear from both Michaels and Hart tonight, as well as the two top contenders for the Rumble, Kane and the now former Intercontinental Champion, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. ”1998 is gonna get off to a wild start here in the WWF…” and perhaps it doesn’t get any wilder than Cactus Jack, who makes his way into the arena for tonight’s opening bout. We see footage from last week’s main event where Mick Foley returned, targeting Terry Funk and brawling with Funk through the crowd, costing Funk a chance at the Intercontinental Title in the process. ”And ya’ better believe it took twenty of Nassau County’s finest to separate those two last week!” bellows Ross, while Cole wonders if Funk has maybe bitten off more than he can chew by unleashing the Cactus persona of Foley. Jack’s opponent tonight is Goldust, who as usual is wheeled down to the ring by his ’Nurse’, with Cole reminding us that she slapped Marlena last week. ”Who is this ‘Nurse’? Who’s behind that surgical mask?” asks Ross, but we’ll need to wait for an answer as Cactus goes on the attack as soon as Goldust enters the ring…

    Match One:
    Cactus Jack
    vs. Goldust w/ ‘Nurse’


    This one is nothing short of a brawl from the get go, Foley and Goldust trading wild and rights until Cactus gains control, tagging Goldust before a cactus clothesline takes the fight outside. Goldust is hurled into the steel steps, the barricade, then gets his face smashed off the announce desk, Cactus giving out a “Bang! Bang!” to the delight of the crowd. The opening minute or so is an absolute mugging, Cactus taking out all his frustrations on Goldust, but finally Goldust manages to mount some offence, using a distraction from ‘Nurse’ to shove Foley into the steps. Back in the ring, Goldust uses his unique style to keep Jack grounded, connecting with a bulldog and an atomic drop for a two count. Goldust then pummels Foley in the corner, but when he lines Jack up for the SHATTERED DREAMS, Goldust takes too much time… and Jack avoids him in the corner… then hits a running bulldog! Cactus goes on the attack, driving his knee into the face in the corner, hitting a piledriver for a long two count, before Cactus lines Goldust up for the DOUBLE ARM DDT… NO! At the last second, ‘Nurse’ jumps up onto the apron, distracting Cactus and the referee… LOW BLOW FROM GOLDUST! Cactus slumps to the canvas, crippled, but then all of a sudden, there’s a commotion from the crowd… as Goldust’s estranged wife Marlena is headed for the ring… and she yanks ‘Nurse’ off the apron… CATFIGHT! Marlena and ‘Nurse’ scratch and claw at each other, ripping out hair, drawing the attention of Goldust who yells at them to stop… but then Marlena reaches out and pulls the surgical mask… it’s Luna Vachon!! Luna Vachon, she’s been the nurse all along, Marlena is stunned, Luna desperately tries to cover her face as she scurries up the ramp, Marlena giving chase… but then from behind, here comes Cactus… DOUBLE ARM DDT!! Goldust is planted, Cactus hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Cactus Jack @ 05:27

    Cactus Jack puts Goldust away, but as he gets back to his feet and yells out “Bang! Bang!”, he doesn’t see Terry Funk slide into the ring… and SMACK A STEEL CHAIR OFF CACTUS’ SKULL!! But Foley is still on his feet… ANOTHER CHAIR SHOT… AND A THIRD FINALLY PUTS FOLEY DOWN!! Sickening thuds as steel meets skull, but Funk has laid out Foley, the crazed veteran snarling as he stands over the fallen Cactus… but Funk isn’t done yet, as he places the chair on the canvas, drags Foley back up… ”Gawd almighty, no! Don’t do this!” screams J.R. as Funk lines Cactus up for a PILEDRIVER ONTO THE STEEL CHAIR… NO! Cactus counters with a back body drop, saving himself… and now he goes on the attack, rocking Funk with right hands… before a Cactus clothesline takes both men over the top rope to the floor! Cactus and Funk now brawl on the floor, with Cactus hurling Funk into the steel steps before he then rolls Funk on top of the Spanish announce desk. The crowd buzz with anticipation as Cactus climbs onto the apron… then he launches himself… CACTUS ELBOW THROUGH THE SPANISH ANNOUNCE TABLE!!! New Haven is going nuts as Foley sacrifices his own body to drive Funk through the announce desk, leaving carnage at ringside. Funk is down and out, and somehow Jack drags himself back to his feet, celebrating with the crowd. Cactus’ music rings out, Foley has just kicked off 1998 in incredible fashion, but as he heads backstage and Ross and Cole try to sort out the mayhem, the camera focuses in on Funk… and he’s laughing? ”He’s laughing! Terry Funk, he’s been broken in half, but he’s laughin’ about it!”, and it’s on that ringing laughter of Funk that we head to our first commercial.

    *Commercial*

    We return to a video package from during the break, with Cole and Ross talking over footage of Funk being helped backstage by three referees, but he continues to laugh over what happened, the camera hearing Funk say ”I’m gonna get it, Mick. I’m gonna get it outta ya’ Mick!”, with our commentators only speculating as to what that might mean.

    Out of the video, tons of heat as D-Generation X head into the arena, although Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna aren’t alone… as The New Age Outlaws are by their side. Billy Gunn and Road Dogg are decked out in D-X gear, the tag champs looking like part of the family, with Ross and Cole quickly putting two and two together by pointing out that after helping Michaels avoid a severe beating at the hands of Kane last week, The Outlaws have been welcomed into the D-X fold. In the ring, Michaels grabs a microphone and is quick to admit that the ring is a little bit crowded this week. It’s true, D-Generation has undergone an expansion of sorts, or as Michaels puts it ”D-X just keeps on gettin’ bigger and better. D-X is lookin’ a lil’ bit swollen this week… and that’s ‘cause the eagle eyed of ya’ out there might notice we’ve got two new members. And I ain’ talkin’ about Chyna’s new double d’s!” , with Helmsley quickly chipping in that ”We all know what Santa brought Chyna for Christmas!”, which leads to much pointing and laughter at Chyna’s chest. Getting down to business, Michaels wants to officially welcome The New Age Outlaws to D-Generation X, saying that last week, even though Michaels didn’t need or want their help, Gunn and Road Dogg earned their stripes when they attacked Kane from behind. ”You two proved you belong in D-Generation X, and if anybody was gonna make D-X swell up… I’m glad it’s you two…”, which draws more laughs and hugs from the five in the ring but jeers from the crowd.

    With that out of way, Michaels now wants to talk about the unfair punishment D-X has been receiving from Vince McMahon these last few weeks. Triple H was forced to defend the European Title against Tazz last week, Michaels had to face Kane, it seem like McMahon has some kind of vendetta against them. And to top it all off, it was McMahon who agreed to Owen Hart’s request for a WWF Title match at the Royal Rumble. ”And if ya’ ask ol’ ‘HBK’, it’s just a lil’ bit convenient that Vinny Mac signed off on that one…”, with Michaels trying to insinuate that there’s some kind of relationship between Vince and Owen, something which J.R. labels as preposterous. McMahon doesn’t like D-X because they don’t wear suits, they aren’t corporate ass kissers, they rebel against authority, and it drives McMahon crazy that Michaels is his WWF Champion right now. ”You don’t like me Vin Man… but lemme tell ya’, at the Royal Rumble… you ain’t takin’ this title away from D-X!” No matter what type of matches McMahon wants to put him in, like he always does, Michaels will find a way to come out on top. And as for the rest of the WWF, and especially Owen Hart, if they thought D-X was strong when it was just Michaels and Triple H, they haven’t seen anything yet. D-X has the WWF Championship, the European Championship and the Tag Team Championships, they are the most dominant force in the WWF today. ”And if anybody tries to get in our way… they’ll wind up down south, just like Bret Hart… and just like Owen Hart will be after the Royal Rumble…”, and there’s nothing Vince McMahon can do about that.

    But speak of the devil, here comes Vince McMahon, taking a big risk walking into the ring with the collective might of D-X. But indeed he does, and he asks for a mic, wanting to make a few things clear to Michaels. Vince heard what Michaels said about him not liking D-X, and that’s something Vince fully agrees with. ”You’re absolutely right Mr. Michaels, I don’t like D-Generation X. I find you rude, I find you offensive, and quite frankly, you aren’t the kind of man I want as my WWF Champion…” Of course Vince practically handed Michaels the title at Survivor Series, something which Vince calls a necessary evil. He needed to get the title away from Bret Hart, he had to protect his company, and it Michaels who benefited from that situation. But there is no way that he and Owen are in partnership, no chance of a conspiracy between the two. ”I tried to be reasonable with Owen, I tried to let him sit at home on a fat contract, and what happened? I was assaulted by that punk. I might not like D-Generation X… but I assure you, I don’t like Owen Hart either.” At the Royal Rumble, McMahon hates to admit, but he needs Michaels. He wants rid of Owen once and for all, and he’s tasked Michaels with getting the job done. But at the same time, Vince is tired of hearing about conspiracies and about people being screwed, he wants the title match at the Rumble to go smoothly. ”So to ensure there will be no outside interference from any of your D-X brethren… I personally will be at ringside to make sure everything is called straight down the middle!”, a comment which draws a mixed response from the crowd but an angry glare from the champion.

    There will be no interference, there will be no screwjobs, this one is going to be settled fair and square. ”And after the Royal Rumble, I’ll either wind up with Owen Hart out of my company… or with Owen Hart as my WWF Champion. Now I know which one I’d rather have, and I hope that if everything goes to plan… you and me could maybe discuss D-Generation being just a little more… corporate… in the future?”, and with that McMahon offers Michaels a handshake… but there’s no way Michaels is taking him up on it. One more time, they’re D-X, they don’t go corporate for anybody. Michaels will do McMahon’s dirty work, he’ll get rid of the Hart family from the WWF once and for all and retain his WWF Championship… but he’ll never be in McMahon’s pockets. ”I’m sorry to hear that Mr. Michaels, but one day… I think you will. I think one day you’ll learn to do things my way. But until then, how about we all see D-Generation X in action tonight? How about… the WWF Champion, Shawn Michaels teams up with the WWF Tag Team Champion The New Age Outlaws… to face Owen Hart and The Legion of Doom in a Six Man Tag Team Match!?” What an announcement from McMahon, a huge match set for tonight, and after one final warning about Michaels doing things in a more corporate fashion, Vince heads for the ramp. Our main event is set for tonight, but what about the announcement from McMahon, ”…he’ll be at ringside for the WWF Championship Match at the Royal Rumble, what could that mean for the fate of the WWF Championship?!”, but that’s a question to be answered down the road.

    *Commercial*

    We’re back, but we’re in the parking lot of the arena, the camera watching as a long, black car pulls up to the rear entrance of the building. The driver’s and passenger’s doors swing open… and out steps Kane and Paul Bearer! ”Oh my God J.R., Kane and Paul Bearer… they’ve arrived here in New Haven in a hearse! What could this mean?”, but J.R. and nobody else has an answer as Kane and Bearer silently leave the frame of the shot and we cut away.

    To a backstage corridor, where The Nation of Domination are walking along. Faarooq leads the way with D’Lo Brown and Kama Mustafa nearby, while The Rock brings up the rear, wearing sunglasses and flashing a smirk in contrast to the serious faces of his colleagues. The quartet approach a dressing room, Faarooq opening it and ushering Kama and D’Lo inside… but when Rocky goes to enter, Faarooq puts a hand on his chest. ”Hold up a minute, boy. You ain’t comin’ in ‘ere tonight, you gonna learn not to disrespect me no more. You still wanna be in The Nation, yo’ ass is changin’ in the corridor tonight!” Rocky is of course furious, saying there’s no way a man like he ever changes in a corridor and demanding to get in. ”Hell, The Rock oughta have his own damn dressin’ room, instead o’ sharin’ wit’ the likes o’ you!” But Faarooq is adamant, Rocky isn’t coming in tonight, ”You gonna learn yo’ place, boy! I’m the leader o’ The Nation, not some punk ass kid! Now I’mma get changed, then I’mma whup Mark Henry’s ass tonight! And if you don’t do exactly what I tell ya’ to do, yo’ ass is gonna get whupped too!”, and with that Faarooq slams the door in Rocky’s face. Rock is fuming, screaming all kinds of insults at the closed door, but realising it’s pointless, he instead crouches down and unzips his bag, coming to the realisation that he’ll be changing alone in the hallway tonight as we head back into the arena.

    Into the arena for match number two, with John Bradshaw entering the arena. Dressed in a sports jacket with a white cowboy hat, the change in image has been dramatic for Bradshaw these last couple of weeks, as has his change in attitude. ”We found out last week this is a very sophisticated man, but make no mistake, he’s tougher than a two dollar steak when he steps in that ring…” is the opinion of Ross of the new style Bradshaw. His opponent is of course Barry Windham, and as Windham heads down the ramp, Cole lists his accomplishments from his NWA days… but Cole is cut off as Bradshaw heads to the outside… and this one is under way in a hurry!

    Match Two:
    Barry Windham
    vs. John Bradshaw


    And it’s just a brawl on the floor, the referee having very little control as the pair slug it out, showing the hatred between the two competitors. Finally in the ring, they continue to trade clubbing blows, until finally Bradshaw lands a trio of knees to the midsection and then a big boot to the side of the head. Windham is down in the corner, Bradshaw raining down with stiff rights and stomps to the face, before he goes for a hard Irish whip across… but Windham bursts from the corner with a clothesline! Windham now gains control, landing a string of uppercuts and then getting a near fall from a scoop slam. Windham then heads to the second rope, leaping… with a FLYING LARIAT… but Bradshaw counters… with a powerslam! Windham survives the pin attempt, but he’s in trouble as Bradshaw goes on the attack, connecting with a fallaway slam and a swinging neckbreaker. One last desperate attempt to fight back from Windham as he swings tired right hands, but Bradshaw hits a thumb to the eye… comes off the ropes… with the MASSIVE CLOTHESLINE! Bradshaw turns Windham inside out, hooks the leg… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: John Bradshaw @ 03:48

    An impressive win for Bradshaw, he quickly puts his former partner away with that dreaded clothesline that has done so much damage this last month or so. ”What a young stud this Bradshaw is. I might not like ‘is attitude, but this kid’s got a real bright future ahead of ‘im if he keeps winnin’ like that…” Indeed Bradshaw looks a million bucks after this win, snarling down on his opponent, even laying in with a pair of cheap stomps to Windham’s chest, fully emphasising his win tonight. And as we head for a commercial, Cole yells out ”When we return, we’re gonna hear from Owen Hart. You don’t wanna miss this interview folks!”

    *Commercial*

    Back to the arena where Doc Hendrix is already stood in the ring, and he brings out Owen Hart for an interview. Owen of course gets a fantastic welcome from the crowd, and once that dies down, Hendrix wants to know what Owen’s frame of mind is less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble and his WWF Championship opportunity. Owen admits he can’t wait to get to San Jose on January 18th, a chance to put the disappointment of last year behind him by finally becoming WWF Champion. For nearly ten years Owen has worked for Vince McMahon and the WWF, but 1997 was by far the toughest of those years. He saw his family forced out of the WWF by D-Generation X, his brother humiliated infront of the world, and that’s why he needs to become WWF Champion, ”…for myself, for my family and so I can finally come out of the shadow of my brother, Bret…” Owen is proud of his big brother, he was a great champion, and at the Royal Rumble, Owen is going to follow him by becoming champion for the first time to bring back the pride to the Hart family. ”Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels, you mighta screwed my brother Bret back at Survivor Series, but at the Royal Rumble, there’s gonna be no screwjob, and I’m takin’ that WWF Championship away from you!”, a defiant statement that draws a huge roar from the crowd. But the cheers quickly turn to boos… as Vince McMahon is headed for the ring.

    Tentatively, Vince steps through the ropes, motioning that he doesn’t want any trouble from Owen as they cross paths while McMahon takes the mic from Hendrix and ushers him from the ring. Seeing as he had a few words for D-X earlier, McMahon admits he also wants to get a few things off his chest with regards to Owen. For all the weeks Owen has assaulted WWF employees, himself included, Vince does actually have some respect for Owen. ”I mean, you saw your family humiliated, your career was practically over… but you kept on fighting, Owen. Week in, week out, I might not’ve liked your methods, but you kept showing up… and you kept on fightin’... and that impressed me, Owen.” The comments catch Owen off guard a bit, but McMahon continues to say Owen has always impressed him. And Owen’s right, he always has been in Bret’s shadow, it’s time he stepped up and became WWF Champion in his own right. ”To the fans, you might’ve always been the second Hart, but for me… you were always number one…” According to Vince, Owen was always the better wrestler, always the easier to do business with, he always preferred him over Bret, although it doesn’t look like Owen is buying it at all. But despite all of that, Owen would never be Vince’s choice for WWF Champion. He’s never been a great talker, he’s never been very marketable, he’s never really been the guy to lead the company. ”I dunno Owen, you’ve just always lacked… ‘it’… haven’t you?”, although the boos in response from the crowd suggest they disagree.

    But then again, what’s the alternative? D-Generation X? Shawn Michaels as the face of the WWF? A man whose sophomoric antics and lewd behaviour are embarrassment to the business. Is that who Vince would want as his champion? ”I’ll admit Owen, I don’t like you. I don’t like D-Generation X and Shawn Michaels. But maybe, after what I heard from Michaels and Triple H earlier tonight… maybe… I could tolerate you as the WWF Champion.”, which draws a smirk and a shake of the head from Owen. Vince continues, pointing out how Owen is a consummate professional, he doesn’t curse, he’s a real family man, he’s a respectable guy and a credit to the business. ”Hell Owen… you’re just like me!”, which bring more jeers from the fans. Although if Owen were to be successful and become WWF Champion, he’d need a chance in image, of course. No more leather jacket, no more jeans, he’d need to wear a suit, he’d need to work on his public image. He’d also need to do more public appearances, he’d need to represent the WWF in the right way, and he’d need to work very closely with Vince to do so. ”So Owen, if you manage to beat Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble and become the WWF Champion, I hope you won’t be as foolish as Michaels was earlier… and that you’ll agree to do things a little more corporate? And just like earlier, McMahon offers Owen a handshake… but with a fire in his eyes and disgust on his face, Hart just shakes his head, much to the pleasure of the fans.

    ”Lemme make somethin’ clear to you Vince, I’ll never shake your hand… and I’ll never be the WWF Champion you want!” The perks of being WWF Champion, it’s never been about that for Owen, all he wants is to kick Michaels’ teeth down his throat. He might never have been WWF Champion, but Owen’s never been jealous of his brother Bret, he’s proud of everything Bret accomplished. But now he’s the last Hart standing, he’s ready to be WWF Champion in his own right. And when he becomes WWF Champion, he’ll do it in his own way. ”That’s not a wise decision to make, Owen…” warns Vince, who reminds Owen what happened to the last member of the Hart family who tried to do things his own way. If Owen really wants to be the WWF Champion, Vince can make that happen… or he can make sure it doesn’t happen. ”It’s your choice Owen. Shawn Michaels has already made his… don’t make the same mistake. You agree to do things my way… and all your dreams can come true.” And… for a split second, it looks like Owen is thinking about it, and the smirk on Vince’s face grows, until Owen responds with… ”Vince… you can kiss my ass!”, which draws a massive pop from the crowd. ”You get in my way at the Royal Rumble, you won’t just be firing me… you’re gonna have to send me to jail. ‘Cos I promise, you try and screw me like you screwed Bret… you’re gonna end up with more than a black eye!”, and with that Owen slams the mic down on the canvas and heads for the ropes.

    With a rueful shake of the head, Vince watches Owen leave the ring and head up the ramp, while J.R. makes the call ”McMahon is 0 for 2 tonight! He tried to convince Michaels to do things his way, he tried to convince Owen, but nobody wants to do business with the owner of the WWF!”, and it’s on the sight of a crestfallen WWF Chairman that we head to another commercial.

    *Commercial*

    We’re back and Kevin Kelly is standing by ready to interview Cactus Jack. We hadn’t seen Mick Foley for weeks until he returned last week in his Cactus Jack persona, and naturally Kelly wants to know why. The reason why is simple, Terry Funk broke the body and the spirit of Dude Love back at In Your House: D-Generation X, and that’s why Foley had to come back as Cactus Jack. ”Terry Funk, you wanted this and now you got it. But just remember… I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to go there!”, Foley admitting he didn’t want to be Cactus Jack again, but he had to. He had to dig down deep into the darkest place in his soul to find the only man crazy enough to battle Terry Funk. ”And now that Cactus Jack is entered in the 1998 Royal Rumble, I might just do a lil’ more than make life hell for Terry Funk…”, with Jack hinting that he could be heading to WrestleMania for a title shot in the near future. Kelly then poses a follow up question with ”Well, Mr. Jack, obviously you’re known around the world for the lengths at which you’ll go to in the various hardcore matches you’ve been involved in… how do you feel about Mr. McMahon banning hardcore matches in WWF arena’s given what happened back at In Your House? Cactus has heard that kind of talk before, wrestling promoters across the world have told him to stop going to such lengths. But Foley never listened to those warnings before, and he’s not going to start now. He wants to finish Terry Funk once and for all, he needs to go to the dark place in his mind to do it, ”…so if Mr. McMahon doesn’t want hardcore wrestlin’ in his company… it’s too damn late for that, Vinny! I’m gonna kick Terry Funk’s ass, and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. Bang bang!” More defiance against Vince McMahon, and with the double guns salute, Jack exits and we head back into the arena.

    To see Mark Henry heading down the ramp. As Henry is walking to the ring, we see footage reminding us of the offer The Nation of Domination made to him two weeks ago to join them, only for Henry to unceremoniously turn them down. Cole questions if that was a smart move by Henry given the strength in numbers The Nation have, but Ross is adamant that Henry has been so impressive in recent weeks that he clearly doesn’t need any help. Speaking of The Nation of Domination, Faarooq leads out D’Lo Brown and Mark Henry, and having had the humiliation of changing in the hallway earlier, The Rock is there too, although he rather sheepishly brings up the rear, clearly still stinging from what Faarooq subjected him to earlier.

    Match Three:
    Faarooq
    w/ The Nation of Domination vs. Mark Henry


    While Faarooq has the experience advantage, Henry has a clear strength advantage, and he shows this early on as he shoves Faarooq away from tie ups and bounces him around with shoulderblocks. Henry’s inexperience shows though, as he allows himself to be distracted when Kama jumps up onto the apron, allowing Faarooq to club him from behind and target that surgically repaired knee with a chop block. With the big guy down, Faarooq rains down with stomps and elbows, before he tries to soften up the knee with more targeted elbows. Faarooq then uses his foot to shove Henry under the bottom rope, drawing the eye of the ref as Kama and D’Lo lay in with boots, while again Rocky is reluctant to get involved, watching his colleagues do the dirty work before D’Lo and Kama muscle Henry back into the ring. Faarooq struggles to move Henry about, but he impresses everybody by powering Henry up for standing spinebuster for a near fall, before he then looks to wrap Henry’s leg into a submission hold… only for Henry to kick him away… shoulder first into the ringpost! Slowly back to his feet, Henry goes on the attack, smashing forearms to the face, before going for an Irish whip to the corner… massive avalanche… but it only gets a two. Henry appears to be building momentum, and that draws D’Lo up onto the apron… but a stiff right from Henry sends him flying… only for Faarooq to strike from behind with a bulldog. Henry is down, Faarooq heads to the second rope… looking for a flying shoulderblock… Henry counters… POWERSLAM! A huge powerslam from Henry, he hooks a leg… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Mark Henry @ 04:37

    Another big win for Henry as he puts Faarooq away, much to the amusement of The Rock. Indeed, as Henry heads to the outside to celebrate with the fans, D’Lo and Kama slide into the ring to tend to their fallen leader, while Rocky just stands, shakes his head and laughs. Kama motions for Rock to get into the ring to help with Faarooq, but Rock waves them off, heading for the back with a look of sheer disgust on his face. ”A huge win for Mark Henry, but things just keep goin’ from bad to worse for The Nation! We’ve got so much more to come, join us in the warzone when we return, we’re gonna hear from ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin!” , and that’s how hour one comes to an end.

    *Commercial*

    And we start hour two with another opening video and pyro display, and of course Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler has joined J.R. at the announce desk. We get a quick recap on what we’ve already seen tonight, Cactus Jack driving Terry Funk through the Spanish announce desk and Vince McMahon trying to garner favour with both Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart, only for both men to reject his advances. ”But what about what’s still to come tonight…”, we’ve still to see Marc Mero, and of course Sable, taking on Flash Funk, Steve Blackman one on one with Lance Storm, and then there’s our huge main event, a Six Man Tag featuring Shawn Michaels and The New Age Outlaws against Owen Hart and The Legion of Doom. Plus, there’s more on Mike Tyson’s negotiations with the WWF, and we’re all set to hear from Steve Austin. And just like that, the glass shatters, here comes ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, the former Intercontinental Champion marching to the ring. Austin isn’t dressed to compete tonight, but the crowd is still rabid for the appearance of ‘The Rattlesnake’.

    In the ring, Austin calls for a mic, having to wait for the New Haven crowd to die down a bit before he starts to speak. Naturally Austin first of all wants to discuss his losing of the Intercontinental Championship last week, pointing out ”…it took three sons o’ bitches to finally take that damn belt off of me…”, as well as a guitar shot to the skull before Austin was finally beaten. Jeff Jarrett might be the new Intercontinental Champion, and Austin might be entitled to a rematch, but instead, Austin is choosing to waive his right to that match. ”You can keep that damn belt, you can be the Intercontinental Champion, but that’s only ‘cos ol’ ‘Stone Cold’ got bigger fish ta’ fry!” That’s right, Austin has been Intercontinental Champion, and now he has his sights set on becoming the WWF Champion. And that means winning the Royal Rumble and going to WrestleMania XIV to face the WWF Champion, whoever that turns out to be. ”So let ‘Stone Cold’ tell each and ev’ry one of the 29 other superstars in the Royal Rumble that y’er on my list, and I’m fixin’ to throw each and ev’ry one of ya’ over the top rope!” Austin reminds us all that he won the Royal Rumble last year, but he didn’t get the job done by going to WrestleMania and becoming WWF Champion. But this year he’s going all the way, so ”If ya’ wanna see ol’ ‘Stone Cold’ win the Royal Rumble and go to WrestleMania to become tha’ WWF Champion, gimme a hell yeah!” BANG!

    But there’s no hell yeah, there’s an explosion of fire… and Kane and Paul Bearer are heading for the ring! ”What a confrontation this could be…” warns J.R. as he Lawler discuss the fact that Bearer has been proclaiming Kane will win the rumble as the next step in their plan to burn the WWF to the ground. Although confused, Austin isn’t intimidated, he stands his ground as he and Kane go nose to nose, but Bearer places a hand on Kane’s chest, motioning him back slightly. ”Well, well, well… how foolish you are, Mr. Austin…”, as Bearer claims Austin is mistaken in believing he can win the Royal Rumble, not when Kane is entered in the match. After all, Kane is the most dominant force the WWF has ever seen. For years, his brother The Undertaker was the phenom of the WWF, he was the force that held this company together. But Kane showed up and he buried his brother alive, and with it, he buried the very soul of the WWF. Kane and Bearer are determined to destroy the WWF, they want to burn it to the ground, and they’re going to do it at WrestleMania. But to get to WrestleMania, to see their prophecy of Kane becoming WWF Champion come true, they have to win the Royal Rumble first. ”And that means takin’ 29 other souls… and throwin’ them over the top rope, straight into the fires of hell. And that includes you too, Mr. Austin, you must suffer that fate!” Bearer admits that Austin is an impressive competitor, he too is a strong force of destruction here in the WWF. But he’s no match for Kane, and when judgment day comes on January 18th, ”…your dreams Mr. Austin will go up in flames! Oh yes!”

    Austin can’t help but laugh and smirk as Bearer shrieks, wanting to know if he heard Bearer right when he called Austin a threat to win the rumble. Bearer nods in agreement, and again Austin laughs, almost insulted by being called a threat. ”A threat? I ain’t no threat son, I’m the son’bitch who’s gonna win the Royal Rumble, and I’m gonna toss his big red ass over tha’ top rope ta’ do it!”, a comment which draws a massive cheer from the fans but a simple turn of the head from Kane. Kane might have impressed everybody when he buried The Undertaker alive, but he didn’t impress Austin, Austin doesn’t give a rat’s ass who Kane might have buried, all that matters to ‘Stone Cold’ is winning the Royal Rumble. And if Kane tries to stand in Austin’s way ”…I’ll open up a can o’ whup ass on ya’ and walk it dry!” Austin is going to WrestleMania, he’s going to be the WWF Champion, and a freak like Kane isn’t going to stop that. Austin does what he wants, when he wants, he’ll keep raising hell and drinking beer, and nobody is going to stop him. ”You raise hell while you can Mr. Austin, ‘cos hell is where you’re headed…” warns Bearer, especially after Kane gets hold of him. This year the Royal Rumble isn’t 30 men, it’s 29 men, 29 mere mortals and one monster. And that one monster is the most dominant force the WWF has ever seen, a monster hellbent on bringing this company to its knees. The Undertaker dared to stand in their way and he wound up being buried six feet under. If Austin thinks he’ll be the one to stop the monster, then he’ll wind up buried next to The Undertaker.

    But Austin just smirks and laughs it off, he isn’t intimidated, fire doesn’t scare him, neither does a fat bastard like Paul Bearer. ”Ya’ might run y’er mouth, ya’ might think this big mute bastard is gonna win the Royal Rumble, but keep talkin’ and ol’ ‘Stone Cold’ is gonna put a foot up y’er ass!”, and the threat towards Bearer instantly snaps Kane into life as he steps forward to get in Austin’s face… and ‘The Rattlesnake’ strikes! Austin swings a right hand, he and Kane are trading shots in the middle of the ring! The crowd goes wild, it’s Austin and Kane, hammering each other back and forth, until Kane hits a shot to the throat, catching Austin off guard. Austin stumbles away, but Kane moves in, nailing two more shots before he goes for the Irish whip… Austin ducks a clothesline… kick… STUNNER! Austin hits a stunner... but KANE IS STILL ON HIS FEET! Nobody can believe it, the stunner didn’t take Kane down… and now Kane slaps a hand around Austin’s throat… CHOKESLAM! A CHOKESLAM TO AUSTIN! ”Oh my God, Austin hit Kane with the stunner and it didn’t even faze ‘im. I can’t believe it!” yells ‘King’ as Austin is left planted on the canvas… and then Kane sets off another burst of flames from the turnbuckles. Kane and Bearer now quickly make their exit, having laid out perhaps Kane’s biggest obstacle in winning the rumble, and we’re all wondering ”What the hell does this mean for the Royal Rumble? Can anybody stop Kane!?” as we head for a commercial.

    *Commercial*

    But when we return, J.R. quickly tells us ”Folks during the commercial break, our cameras followed Kane and Paul Bearer backstage…”, and we see the pair heading towards the hearse they drove to the arena in earlier tonight… only for Austin to jump Kane from behind… SMACKING HIM ACROSS THE BACK OF THE HEAD WITH A STEEL CHAIR! For the second straight week there’s mayhem in the parking lot as Austin rears back… a SECOND CHAIR SHOT OFF THE SKULL… AND A THIRD… AND A FOURTH! Austin is wearing up that chair over Kane’s head, but somehow, the monster only drops to a knee. Hearing what’s going on, Bearer waddles over from the drivers side… but he takes a boot to the gut from Austin… and then Austin hurls Bearer into the side of the car! Bearer hits the desk, but Austin quickly has him back up, opens a rear door… and tosses Bearer into the back of the hearse! Austin then scrambles over to the drivers door and shouts ”We’re goin’ for a lil’ ride you stupid fat bastard!”, before he turns the keys in the ignition… and drives off! AUSTIN HAS JUST KIDNAPPED PAUL BEARER AND DRIVEN OFF IN THE HEARSE!! Kane makes a desperate attempt to claw at the automobile, but it’s no use, Austin tears out of the parking lot and heads for the exit. The camera focuses on the red lights at the back of hearse fading off into the distance, while Kane simply stands and watches his mentor disappearing into the night, unsure of what to do next as ‘King’ yells ”Where is Austin takin’ Paul Bearer!?”, but we’re just going to have to wait to find out.

    In the arena, the crowd are instantly on their feet, not for Marc Mero but of course for the beautiful Sable, who waves to her adoring public, much to Mero’s annoyance. Lawler isn’t his usual delighted self to see Sable though, he’s still too worried about Paul Bearer to really pass comment. Flash Funk is out to a solid pop from the crowd, and only now does J.R. pick up the story of this match, with Funk taking on Mero, a man who has been distracted in recent weeks by trying to figure out the identity of Sable’s secret admirer, something which could cost him right here.

    Match Four:
    Flash Funk
    vs. Marc Mero w/ Sable


    Mero is full of his shadow boxing, but Funk quickly cuts him off with a stiff right hand to get us underway. Funk gains the upperhand, but his Irish whip to the corner is reversed… only for Funk to hurdle to the top rope… corkscrew moonsault! This is the tone of the first minute or so, Mero trying to mount offence only for Funk’s speed to give him the advantage… until Mero hits a thumb to the eye and then a stiff right hand to take control, much to the frustration of Sable at seeing Mero using nefarious means. Mero lands an elbowdrop and a spinebuster for near falls, but Funk quickly regains control, smacking Mero with right hands before he plants him with a double underhook suplex. With Mero down and in perfect position, Funk heads outside and climbs to the top rope… looking for the 450 SPLASH… but Mero desperately reaches up, grabs the referee… and shoves him into the ropes… causing Funk to lose his balance and crotch himself on the top rope! Once again Sable is enraged, but Mero doesn’t care, moving quickly to climb to the second rope… FRANKENSTEINER! Funk crashes to the canvas, Mero dives on top… and gets the 3 count!

    Winner: Marc Mero @ 03:46

    Nefarious means once again delivers a win for Mero, much to Sable’s annoyance who just shakes her head as Mero celebrates in over the top fashion. And Mero isn’t done there as he kicks Funk out of the ring and is handed a microphone. For weeks now, Sable has been getting attention from a so-called secret admirer. Mero is pretty sure Sable knows who it is, despite what she says, but since Sable won’t give him an answer, Mero is having to take matters into his own hands tonight. ”So right now, I wanna know who this punk is. Whoever the secret admirer is, I want you to bring your ass out here right now so I can knock you out! C’mon, get out here!” barks Mero up at the entrance way… but there’s nobody there. Sable continues her protest, telling Mero he’s going crazy, but as their argument rages on, suddenly there’s a buzz from crowd… and Mark Henry walks out onto the stage? ”What the…? You? You’re the secret admirer!? asks Mero, to which Henry nods his head. Henry confirms it was he three weeks ago who let Sable out of that locked locker room, it was him two weeks ago who sent Sable the single red rose, and it was he last week who left the flowers and chocolates for Sable. Henry doesn’t get why Sable is with a guy like Mero, he hates seeing the way Sable is treated by him, she could do better. Simply put ”…Sable, you fine. You deserve better than a jerk like ‘im. So I’m standin’ here as a gentleman… and I’m askin’ you Sable… if you’d go out on a date wit’ me?” The crowd are stunned, Mero is furious, while Sable… blushes and smiles? Sable actually looks like she’s kind of flattered and she’s considering it, but Mero quickly gives Henry her answer by yelling ”You think you even got a shot with a girl like Sable? Not a chance. And lemme’ remind you, you’re my property Sable, so there’s not a chance in hell you’re goin’ anywhere with that loser!”

    But as we’ve seen in recent weeks, Sable isn’t a walkover, she’s her own women, so she snatches the mic away from Mero. She can make up her own mind on Henry’s proposal, she doesn’t need Mero to answer for her. ”Mark, I’m flattered, the gifts were so sweet… but unfortunately I’m-“ but now it’s Mero snatching the mic away, enraged that Sable would say she’s flattered by what Henry has to say. He’s nothing but a loser, he’s not a golden gloves boxer like Mero, he’s accomplished nothing in his life, why would Sable even be impressed by what Henry has to offer given she has Mero. ”Lemme make this clear for ya’ you stupid jackass, the answer is n-“, but this time it’s Sable’s turn to take away the mic. Once again, Sable can speak her own mind, she can answer for herself, so ”…Mark, I’d love to go out for dinner with you…”, which brings a massive smile across Henry’s face. Mero nearly flips out, screaming there’s not a chance in hell he’ll let Sable out of his sight. But then, Henry has an idea. He knew Mero wouldn’t be happy about all this, but he’s got another proposal to make, this time for Mero. ”How ‘bout this? How ‘bout at the Royal Rumble, you and me Mero, we go one on one. And if I beat you? You let me take Sable out for dinner…”, which Mero is again furious about, but Sable is clearly in favour of it. ”Alright, alright. You got your match. At the Royal Rumble, I’m gonna knock you out, I’m gonna show everybody what a loser you really are, and there ain’t a chance you’re goin’ on a date with my property!” Despite the abuse, both Henry and Sable seem pretty pleased with the outcome, and Henry wraps the segment up by saying ”Sable, I’mma take you out somewhere real nice. And after our date, you ain’t gonna want nothin’ to do with that punk. ‘Cos after all… ev’rybody needs a lil’ taste… of ‘Sexual Chocolate’!” Once again Sable is blushing, barely able to take her eyes off of Henry, while Mero just screams and berates her, but the match is set, it’ll be Mero and Henry one on one at the Royal Rumble, and if Henry wins… he gets to go out on a date with Sable!

    *Commercial*

    We return to a brief video hyping the upcoming WWF pay per view, the 1998 Royal Rumble, with the voiceover encouraging everyone to buy the event on Sunday January 18th.

    From the video, J.R. starts to speak over the arena PA system, giving us an update over the ongoing discussions between the WWF and Mike Tyson. There isn’t much to report, talks continue between both parties to try and strike a deal that would see Tyson appear on WWF programming in the run up to WrestleMania XIV. But there is one big announcement here, that being ”…we understand that next week on Raw, Mike Tyson’s manager, the legendary promoter Don King, he’ll be here next week, just six days before the Royal Rumble!” And hopefully King will be here next week to iron out the fine points and announce a deal has been struck for Tyson to appear on WWF broadcasts. ”Forget Mike Tyson, what about ‘Stone Cold’ and Paul Bearer! Where the hell are they?!” asks ‘King’, but J.R. can only admit that the WWF have a camera crew chasing Austin and the hearse down the nearby Interstate-95, but they have no idea where Austin is headed.

    But we can’t worry about that right now as we have another match, this time Steve Blackman is in action, heading to the ring with his partner Bart Gunn. We haven’t seen Gunn for a couple of weeks after he was decimated by Kane, but he’s back here tonight and he’ll need to have Blackman’s back in this upcoming matchup. That’s because Blackman’s opponent is Lance Storm, which of course means Jim Cornette is in attendance too. The commentators discuss Storm’s upcoming Royal Rumble match against Tazz, while we see footage from last week where Tazz looked like he was seconds away from beating Triple H to become the new European Champion, only for Storm to cost him. ”You always gotta watch that Jim Cornette. He swings that tennis racquet better than Pete Sampras!”, but will that be enough for Storm to continue his recent undefeated streak?

    Match Five:
    Lance Storm
    w/ Jim Cornette vs. Steve Blackman w/ Bart Gunn


    A lot of chain wrestling to kick start this one, Storm using a series of takedowns and headlocks to keep Blackman grounded, much to the chagrin of the crowd. Storm sticks to his guns though, continuing to keep Blackman on the canvas as he starts to work the leg… but once Blackman is able to get back up, the pace of the match quickens, Blackman landing kicks, elbows and chops that sting Storm’s body. More kicks from Blackman, but Storm answers back with a dragon screw, regaining control. Storm connects with both German and northern lights suplexes, as well as an elbow from the second rope, and of course he distracts the ref just long enough for Cornette to reach in and land a cheap shot. Storm continues to work the leg, but when he goes for the Boston crab, Blackman kicks him away. Blackman now mounts a comeback, more kicks and chops, before Blackman gets a long two count from a fisherman suplex. Sensing his client might be in trouble, Cornette jumps onto the apron to protest to the referee… but that just draws Bart over to that side of the ring… and he yanks Cornette down to the floor… KNOCKOUT LEFT HAND TO CORNETTE! Gunn absolutely flattens Cornette to the delight of the crowd, but in the ring… Blackman’s attention was drawn to the goings on at ringside… and Storm takes him down from behind with a schoolboy… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Lance Storm @ 05:29

    Another win for Lance Storm, he takes advantage of the commotion at ringside to grab the win, but as he groggily has his hand raised by the referee, he doesn’t see Tazz slide into the ring behind him… and CATCH STORM WITH THE TAZZMISSION! There’s no escape for Storm, he’s been caught in Tazz’s deadly submission hold… and Cornette is still down on the floor out cold! Tazz has the hold on tight, swinging wildly from side to side, and then he takes Storm down… and TAZZ MAKES STORM PASS OUT! Tazz has just choked out Lance Storm! Lawler can’t believe it, calling Tazz a coward for the sneak attack from behind, demanding we get help out here for both Cornette and Storm, but we head to commercial with J.R. pointing out that Tazz has to be the favourite for the match scheduled for the Royal Rumble.

    *Commercial*

    Back from commercial and Sunny is already making her way down the ramp to the ring. One point of interest as pointed out by J.R. is that instead of the usual short, skimpy dresses we’ve seen her in when she’s been conducting ring announcer duties, tonight Sunny is dressed in a much smarter business suit. The skirt is short though, and the puppies are clearly on display from the low-cut jacket, so at least Lawler is still happy. Grabbing a microphone, Sunny is as flirtatious as always, asking the crowd what they think about her new look, and of course the response is unanimously positive from the number of wolf-whistles she receives. But the new look isn’t just for show. For weeks Sunny has been paraded out here to do ring announcing, but as far as she’s concerned ”…that’s just a waste of my obvious… talents.”, which of course is said in an extremely seductive manner. But apparently Sunny hasn’t just been out here to do the introductions for a match every week, she’s actually been out here scouting talent. Or, more specifically, she’s been out here scouting for a new client. ”I know you all remember the countless teams I lead to tag team gold here in the WWF.” Indeed, The Bodydonnas, The Godwinns, The Smoking Gunns, they all became champions thanks to Sunny. Throughout her time here in the WWF, Sunny has always been surrounded by gold… and she wants that again. ”And remember… what Sunny wants… Sunny gets!” And with all that in mind, Sunny has found her latest client.

    He’s a multiple time champion, he’s impressed Sunny, and of course, he’s impressed with her. ”So ladies and gentlemen, I want to introduce to all of you my new client… he is the NEW Intercontinental Champion… ‘Double J’… Jeff Jarrett!” And sure enough, here comes Jeff Jarrett down the ramp, matching Sunny in that he’s dressed in a sharp suit, sunglasses on, the Intercontinental Title slung over his shoulder and his guitar in his hand. In the ring, Jarrett and Sunny show that this is strictly business as they share a handshake, before Sunny gives the mic over. Jarrett can’t help but laugh, admitting that he feels on top of the world right now. He’s the new Intercontinental Champion, he’s got himself a smoking hot new manager, ”Ain’t I great?!” he boasts to the crowd, feeling like things are finally going his way. For weeks Austin avoided him, he was robbed of the chance to become Intercontinental Champion, but last week, he finally made it happen, he finally got the gold. But this is just the beginning, as now he’s joined forces with Sunny ”…there ain’t nothin’ that’s gonna stop ol’ ‘Double J’ from goin’ to the very top!”, and Jarrett is convinced he’ll get there with Sunny’s help. She’s always been the manager of champions, now she’s working with Jarrett, and while he might have just won the Intercontinental Championship, it’s the WWF Championship he has his sights on. And that’s why tonight is a double announcement. Not only are Jarrett and Sunny the new power couple here in the WWF, but Jarrett also wants to let us know ”…that you’re lookin’ at the latest entrant in the 1998 Royal Rumble Match… and you’re lookin’ at the winner and the man who’s goin’ to WrestleMania to become the WWF Champion!”

    And with that, Jarrett and Sunny think this segment is over, but… here comes Ken Shamrock! Shamrock strides down the ramp, a foul look on his face, but the crowd are delighted to see him, giving him a great welcome. Naturally, given how last week’s main event ended, Shamrock isn’t exactly pleased with Jarrett, feeling as if he stole the Intercontinental Title from Shamrock’s grasp. Shamrock bid his time, he respectfully challenged Austin for the title, only to have Jarrett and Terry Funk get in his way. ”So if you think that just ‘cause you hooked up with this slut that I’m done with the you and the Intercontinental Title, you’re dead wrong buddy!”, a comment which draws a shocked gasp from Sunny and a roar from the crowd. Shamrock wants Jarrett, he wants to become Intercontinental Champion, but he’s also got a little announcement of his own. ”You’re not the only guy who’s signed up for the Royal Rumble Match!”, Shamrock informing us all that he too will compete for the chance to go to WrestleMania XIV. But Shamrock isn’t just going to the Royal Rumble to compete for the chance to become number one contender, he wants to pull double duty that night. ”So if you can take your balls outta Sunny’s purse for just a second… then I’m challengin’ your ass to a match at the Royal Rumble for the Intercontinental Title!”, which gets another loud response from the fans. Sunny franticly shakes her head, clearly thinking it’s a bad idea, but the insult to Jarrett’s manhood seems to have caught a nerve, as Jarrett is thinking it over.

    ”You want a shot at me and my Intercontinental Title?” asks Jarrett, with Shamrock again repeating that Jarrett stole the belt last week, that he knows he can beat Jarrett, but more importantly, Jarrett knows it too. Shamrock’s ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’, he can make anybody tap out, and he wants Jarrett to be next, and he wants it to happen at the Royal Rumble. ”That is unless you’re too much of a bitch to get in the ring with me?”, and that one really stung Jarrett. Turning his back briefly, Jarrett talks it over with Sunny, the two seeming to be in disagreement about it, but then suddenly… out of nowhere… JARRETT SWINGS HIS GUITAR… NO! At the last split second, Shamrock ducks it, grabs Jarrett from behind… belly-to-back suplex! Shamrock takes Jarrett down, then he grabs an ankle… ANKLE LOCK! Shamrock goes for the ankle lock on Jarrett… but SUNNY JUMPS ON SHAMROCK’S BACK! Desperately Sunny tries to break Shamrock’s grip, Shamrock releases the ankle… but then he TOSSES SUNNY OVER HIS SHOULDER ONTO THE MAT!! Sunny hits the canvas hard, Jarrett is free, scrambling from the ring with his Intercontinental Title in his hands, stumbling up the ramp to safety! In the ring, Shamrock leans against the ropes, roaring and staring a whole through Jarrett, the crowd going wild as his music plays. ”I guess that means Jarrett accepts! Jarrett and Shamrock, one on one at the Royal Rumble for the Intercontinental Title! Bah’ gawd what a war that’s gonna be!” cries J.R. as the match does indeed seem set… but then… ”Wait… what?! Folks… our camera crew’s caught up with ‘Stone Cold’! We’ve got footage with Austin-“

    And then we cut to it, we see ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, he’s left the hearse he was driving… but he’s dragging the bloody and bruised Paul Bearer out of the back of the hearse! It’s dark outside, but we can just about make out that Austin has driven down to the coast, he’s stopped by a body of water. ”Get over here ya’ fat bastard!” Austin barks at Bearer, although Bearer just whimpers and pleads with Austin for mercy. Austin isn’t the forgiving type though, instead he nails Bearer with a pair of right hands before he knocks him over with a boot to the gut. ”Get that camera over ‘ere! Kane, ya’ stupid burnt bastard, ya’ think ya’ can come out an’ pick a fight wit’ ol’ ‘Stone Cold’? Nuh uh!” You mess with ‘Stone Cold’, bad things happen, and since Bearer is the man in control of Kane, bad things are about to happen to him. ”Y’know how ya’ deal wit’ fire? Ya’ pour water on it! Ya’ see this right here? This is the Long Island Sound. And this is what ol’ ‘Stone Cold’ thinks of your big red ass Kane!”, and with that, Austin… he HURLS PAUL BEARER INTO THE LONG ISLAND SOUND! The rotund Bearer flaps and flails in the drink, desperately crying out for help, but Austin just smirks and turns back to the camera to say ”You’re lookin’ at the winner of the 1998 Royal Rumble right ‘ere, and that’s the bottom line, ‘cause ‘Stone Cold’ says so!”, and after flipping a double bird to the camera, Austin jumps back into the hearse, slams the door behind him and then speeds off into the night! The camera watches Austin leave, then it turns back to the pitch black, no doubt freezing water, searching for Bearer, but all we hear are his squeals and screams as we cut to another commercial.

    *Commercial*

    Back from our last commercial tonight, straight back into the arena where Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco are heading down the ramp to the ringside area. All our commentators want to talk about though is the chaotic scenens we just saw from Austin, with even J.R. wondering if Austin went too far, while Lawler screams ”Too far?! He coulda killed Paul Bearer! What if he drowns? Austin needs to be arrested, he needs to be thrown in jail!” But of course, the show must go on, and that means our main event. Out first comes D-Generation X, with Shawn Michaels leading out Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, Triple H and Chyna, although when the five D-X members make it down to ringside… McMahon informs Triple H and Chyna that they are banned from ringside tonight! ”What?! No! Mr. McMahon… what are ya’ doin’?” asks Lawler, surprised by the strangely face manoeuvre from McMahon, but he’s adamant, Chyna and Helmsley are out of here, with Patterson and Brisco ushering them back up the ramp. Michaels is furious, as are Triple H and Chyna, who don’t go without a protest, but eventually things settle down as they disappear backstage. Here comes Owen Hart and The Legion of Doom, the three of them coming out together in a show of unity, but even though McMahon has done them a favour tonight, Owen still gives the WWF owner a long glare before he enters the ring.

    Main Event: Six Man Tag Team Match
    D-Generation X
    vs. Owen Hart and The Legion of Doom


    Owen is keen to start this one with Michaels, but the WWF Champion ducks out, encouraging Road Dogg to get the match underway. But when Michaels then decides to throw some trash talk at Hart, Dogg takes advantage, landing a few cheap shots… but when he goes for an Irish whip off the ropes, he eats a spinning heel kick. Owen hammers Dogg, causing him to scramble to his corner to tag in Billy… but the other half of the tag champs suffers the same fate, not laying a hand on Owen before Animal gets the tag. Gunn is isolated, Animal and Hawk taking their frustrations out on him, brutalising him, but Gunn catches a break when Michaels drills Hawk with a knee to the back as he comes off the ropes… allowing Billy to nail him with a dropkick. Now it’s Hawk who is isolated, D-X keeping him away from his corner as they look to ware him down, Gunn hitting a pilerdrive, Dogg connects with shake, rattle and roll while Hawk needs Owen to make the save after Michaels lands the flying elbow drop. The WWF Champion continues to work on Hawk, coming off the ropes for the flying forearm smash… but Hawk catches him… fallaway slam! Both men are down, Hawk is crawling for his corner… Michaels desperately tries to stop him… but Hawk tags Owen! Hart leaps over the top rope, hammering Michaels with right hands, before going for an Irish whip… overhead belly-to-belly! Hart is rolling, smacking Michaels with a dropkick and an enzuigiri, the WWF Champion is in trouble, and that brings Dogg and Gunn into the ring to jump Owen… but here comes Hawk and Animal! A brawl breaks out in the ring, the referee has lost all control, but amongst the mayhem, Michaels charges at Owen… and gets a back body drop to the floor! Michaels is down on the outside, while in the ring, Road Dogg is taken up onto Animal’s shoulders… Hawk flies… DOOMSDAY DEVICE! Road Dogg is wiped out, and now Billy is taking down by Owen… SHARPSHOOTER! Owen slaps Billy into the sharpshoot, the ref hasn’t got a clue who the legal man is… and that means when Billy starts tapping… the referee calls for the bell!

    Winners: Owen Hart and The Legion of Doom @ 07:33

    Owen’s done it, he’s grabbed the win over D-X! On the outside, Michaels can’t believe it, scrambling away from the ring in search of safety, leaving Road Dogg and Billy Gunn behind. In the ring, The Outlaws are down and out, Owen celebrates with Hawk and Animal, but he quickly turns his eyes back to Michaels, staring a whole through the WWF Champion who cowers on the stage. At ringside, McMahon and his associates nod in approval, it was a clean match, no interference, a decisive winner, exactly what McMahon was looking for… but Owen is naturally sceptical, his eye catching the smile on McMahon’s face, but Owen isn’t buying it. ”Owen! Owen! Owen Hart! Owen got the win over Michaels and D-Generation X!” is the call from J.R., while Lawler can’t believe it, stunned at the outcome of our main event. The camera continues to switch between the worried looking Michaels, the defiant Hart and of course the sneaky looking McMahon, and that’s the last sight we see as we fade to black.

    -----

    Current card for WWF Royal Rumble 1998:

    30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
    Confirmed Entrants:
    Ahmed Johnson, Bart Gunn, Barry Windham, Cactus Jack, D’Lo Brown, Faarooq, Goldust, Jeff Jarrett, John Bradshaw, Kama Mustafa, Kane, Ken Shamrock, Kurrgan, Lance Storm, ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero, Mark Henry, Savio Vega, Steve Blackman, ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Taka Michinoku, Tazz, Terry Funk, The Rock and Triple H

    WWF Championship Match:
    WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
    If Owen loses, he must retire from professional wrestling.

    Intercontinental Championship Match:
    Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Ken Shamrock

    World Tag Team Championships Parking Lot Brawl:
    World Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Legion of Doom

    Lance Storm vs. Tazz

    Marc Mero vs. Mark Henry
    If Henry wins, he gets a date with Sable.

  8. #48
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    Rasky's Avatar

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Soooooo.... Turns out I never posted my thoughts to the last Raw of 1997. I'll be reading the first show of 1998 to leave a review of sorts soon!

    No better time to finally get a review up than the last Raw going into the new year! ~

    Raw Is War Review:

    That opening segment perfectly captured the Hart / McMahon / DX storyline. A story that has been the star of this project. All different characters with different intentions, and it adds a lot of intrigue to what you have. I'm not sure how I feel about Kane and Tazz both being undefeated and getting title shots. Both men losing their streaks may not be the best idea, but I will see the actual results as I keep on reading. Overall, I enjoyed the segment and it made for some compelling television you put out there. Hopefully Owen shows up!

    Nice win for LOD to set up that Rumble match with New Age Outlaws. Hawk breaking the car window with a wrench sounds bad ass. Glad you went that direction rather than Animal and Hawk just moping around in the ring from Road Dogg and Billy Gunn's comments. Parking Lot Brawl should add something different to the Royal Rumble, so I'm excited for that match.

    Like Syk said, bringing in the John Bradshaw gimmick so early on is an interesting choice. I think it does work really well with the reasoning you put behind it. Windham getting up in the face of his opponent really gets him going as a face standing up for himself. I don't have much to say about this, but I like the idea you have going here.

    It sucks Tazz lost, I was really hoping the championship would be put on him. Storm & Cornette's interference helps the case of ending Tazz's undefeated streak and HHH will be able to get some heat by boasting about the win. It'll be interesting if you use the lose to add a layer on the character of Tazz rather than just the normal "You cost me a championship match and my undefeated streak" route. Kane keeping his streak going with the DQ win is okay, nothing I can be mad about.

    That Owen / McMahon opening segment was awesome and gave me everything I wanted from both of them. Plus, that attack on Michaels after his match with Kane. I can see Owen losing at the Royal Rumble, and writing him off of WWF television before everything in real life. But I really want to see Hart beat the hell out of Michaels and take the championship. You'd have such a big babyface under your belt with the win, and Michaels is someone you can pair off with just about anyone. Especially during his DX days. This will be the huge moment of the Rumble no matter what way you do it that's for sure.

    I'm not reading too much into the Nation of Domination distension you have going on. If anything, I can see Farooq leaving the group and having a quick feud with Rocky. Don't think it would get to Mania.

    Cactus Jack!! The one interference in any match tonight that I'm genuinely happy about seeing. Bringing him and Funk together will be an awesome story that I think will come to a head at Wrestlemania.

    Jarrett as the IC Champion was the surprising choice like I said before. I'm not a super big fan of his, but that doesn't mean I'm against the victory. The ending worked well, and there's no way Shamrock will be happy next week that he ate the pinfall.


    "If you're gonna do it..."

  9. #49
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Sounds like a stacked show, with all the big players at the Royal Rumble set for an appearance.


    A little surprised that ‘Nurse’ did end up being Luna. Not a disappointment or anything like that, as Luna was a good fit as valet for the oddball Goldust character, just hoping there’s some reason for Luna donning the surgical mask for weeks to hide her appearance. Glad Cactus got the win here after his big return last week, and the post match stuff was Funk was crazy as hell. Not sure what Mr. McMahon will make of Funk getting hardcore with Foley, and I can only imagine that with what he said after the break, Funk is only engaging this type of wrestling with Cactus in order to ‘get’ the Hardcore crazy side out of Foley.


    From watching a lot of ‘97 Raws this past year or so, I really found myself finding DX irritating, and not in a good way. However, I much prefer your booking of the group in this thread, with a little less of the stupid hijinx, but still including the double entendres when the opportunity arises - and the jokes on the new members of DX being Chyna’s new tits was funny, as well as the NAO making DX ‘swell up’. And with the Outlaws officially in the group now, DX looks a dominant stable with all that gold.


    I’ve enjoyed the interactions between McMahon and DX throughout this thread too, with DX - much like Austin - being the polar opposite of what McMahon wants from a WWF superstar. Good to see McMahon just drive home the point again that Michaels getting the belt at Survivor Series being a ‘necessary evil’ as it could be a genuine question to ask of Vince, that if he doesn’t like DX and what it represents, then why would he gift wrap the title to HBK. Vince being at ringside for the title match at the Rumble sounds suspicious, and plants the seeds for Montreal Part II, adding yet another layer of intrigue for that HUGE title match at the Rumble. Also - that main event tonight is massive too. Good thinking to team HBK with the NAO out of the gate, firmly establishing the tag champs as part of DX.


    Unexpected turn of events with Rock and Faarooq. It’s probably about time that Faarooq re-established control of the group, I guess, and he did it the old fashioned way. A little surprised Rock didn’t retaliate in some way later in the night, and just sulked, but you just know something is bubbling up here, as there’s no way Rocks ego will take that kind of figurative bitch-slap. Made sense that Rock just walked out after Faarooq lost to Henry, with no interest in tending to his leader after humiliating him earlier.


    Getting excited with this transformation for Bradshaw. Perfunctory win here, which should probably blow off the Windham issue. Expecting big things for Bradshaw in the Rumble.


    The Owen interview served as a good follow up to the earlier DX/McMahon conversation. Was wondering what was going on with Vince sucking up to Owen initially, and then he twisted the knife a little. Loving the McMahon character in this thread, trying to convince everyone to be the champion he desires, whilst here comparing himself to Owen as a family man and a consummate professional. That closing line from Owen was tremendous too, with the Montreal call back with the black eye. I do wonder with both Michaels and Owen telling Vince to stick it essentially, if maybe there’s a swerve coming where one or the other winds up seeing into the corporate image presented to them by Vince; be it a marriage of convenience with DX or a case of Owen selling out. Such an intriguing situation you’re weaving together here. Really enjoying this angle, and legitimately could see about half a dozen ways it could turn out at the Rumble.


    Was interested in how you’d move Austin on from the Intercontinental title picture, and although I’m still somewhat disappointed we wont be getting the Champion vs. Champion match at WrestleMania, it makes all the sense in the world to move Austin on if he isn’t going to have the belt. Transitioning right on to the Rumble with Austin, and as he said himself - he has bigger fish to fry. Appropriate phrasing, given the showdown with Kane. It’s pretty clear these are the two leading contenders for the Rumble, but I didn’t expect Austin and Kane to be butting heads like this, interacting with one another. A welcome surprise though, and the action between Kane and Austin was shocking too, with Kane not going down to the Stunner. Kane looks absolutely unstoppable right now, and it’ll be interesting to see if Austin can eliminate Kane from the Rumble himself, or if a surprise appearance/distraction from Taker costs Kane.


    Austin then getting payback for the Chokeslam and abducting Bearer in the hearse was classic Austin - as was him tossing Bearer into the Long Island Sound. Glad to see you doing this kind of thing was Austin, as it was this kind of stuff that - IMO - helped send Austin over the top as a mega star, doing things you‘d never expect from anyone at that time.


    I’ll be honest, my initial thought about the secret admirer for Sable the other week was that it was going to be a way to introduce Val Venis into the thread. But Mark Henry, going the Sexual Chocolate route works for me. As much as Henry ruled later in his career as a serious act, 1998 just wouldn’t be the right time to pull that gimmick off. Given his position on the card too, it’s best to go with the woman loving side of his character. Should be a fun undercard feud for the Rumble too, and I look forward to the progression of the Mero/Sable angle when Henry winds up taking her out on a date. This was fun.


    Good continuation of the Tazz/Storm rivalry, keeping it bubbling this week ahead of their match at the Rumble. Good to see Tazz doing what he does best here too, looking much more like the killer he was in ECW.


    Jarrett and Sunny as a combination sounds good to me, as she should definitely have a bigger role than what she did at this time. Makes sense for Shamrock to be the first challenger, given they had been fighting over the title shot before hand. Looks a solid feud over the belt brewing here.


    Makes sense for Owen to get the win in the main event, building him as a credible threat for the title at the Rumble. Good to finish here with a big match too, as it was very much a promo heavy show it felt. Looking forward to the go-home edition of Raw now, and how everything builds to the Rumble - and btw, that card looks excellent. Everything has intrigue - there’s no filler on that card.

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Shotgun Saturday Night
    January 10th, 1998
    New Haven Coliseum
    New Haven, Connecticut


    Another episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, and as usual it’s Michael Cole and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler handling the commentary duties for tonight’s broadcast. Last Monday saw one of the most controversial moments in WWF history as ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin kidnapped Paul Bearer and hurled him into the Long Island Sound, and naturally that’s what Cole and Lawler want to discuss. Lawler is furious, in disbelief at what happened, demanding Austin be thrown in jail for his actions and fired from the WWF. Cole admits that Austin may have went too far in his actions, and also lets us know that Bearer was fished out of the water by local police officials and taken to a medical facility. As we speak, Bearer is at home recovering from his ordeal, and ”…from what we understand, Paul Bearer will NOT be in State College, Pennsylvania for Raw this Monday night…”. Again Lawler is angry, pointing out that this means on Raw next week we’re going to have an enraged Kane running around… without any direction from Bearer. And who knows what that could lead to?

    We kick off the in-ring action with The Disciples of Apocalypse taking on The Headbangers in tag team action. Cole and Lawler discuss the recent losing streak D.o.A. have been on, with Skull and 8-Ball hoping to bring that run to an end tonight. Unfortunately though, Mosh is able to sneak in a school boy on Skull after Skull’s distracted by a ringside brawl between Thrasher and 8-Ball at the 05:04 mark. Post match, after 8-Ball has hurled Thrasher into the steel steps, D.o.A. viciously assault Mosh in the ring, planting him with a double chokeslam much to the shock of Cole and the crowd. Lawler has it sussed straight away though, the fan favourites have had enough of losing and have snapped. That’s right folks, a heel turn here on Shotgun Saturday Night that could have future implications for the tag team division.

    After a commercial, our cameras follow Skull and 8-Ball backstage until Kevin Kelly chases after them, trying to get an interview. Like all of us, Kelly can’t believe what he’s just seen, demanding to know why D.o.A. snapped like that at The Headbangers after losing what was a pretty competitive matchup. Annoyed by the question, Skull grabs Kelly by the shirt, screaming at him that he and 8-Ball are fed up getting screwed and losing matches in such a cheap fashion. They’ve had enough of it, it’s time they started letting everybody know who they are, and it started with The Headbangers tonight. New Age Outlaws, Legion of Doom, both of you teams are on notice, The Disciples of Apocalypse aren’t messing around anymore, they want the tag team titles, and they’ll kick the crap out of anybody who stands in their way.

    Match number two sees the leader of Los Boricuas Savio Vega take on youngster Scott Taylor. Vega is joined at ringside by his cronies Castillo, Estrada and Perez, but the veteran doesn’t even need the numbers advantage to get the win here, putting Taylor away with the spinning heel kick at 03:36 for a convincing victory.

    Another Royal Rumble update, which means it’s time to hear from Doc Hendrix again in the studio in Stamford. Hendrix first of all discusses the latest match added to the card, the battle between Marc Mero and Mark Henry, with that special stipulation where if Henry beats Mero, he gets to go out on a date with Sable. And of course, Hendrix makes a big deal out of the fact that it was Sable herself who pushed so hard for the stipulation to be added. Clearly things aren’t going well in the Mero camp right now, and it could get even worse if the impressive Henry is able to pull off the victory. We also have the Intercontinental Championship Match agreed upon between the new champion, Jeff Jarrett and his challenger, Ken Shamrock. Jarrett has swung a pretty guitar since he came back to the WWF, but Hendrix wonders if that, and the presence of Sunny at ringside, will be enough for Jarrett to retain his gold in just eight days’ time. Hendrix also reminds us that Shamrock and Jarrett will both be pulling double duty that night, as both have been entered in the 1998 Royal Rumble Match. With the announcements of Shamrock and Jarrett, that takes us to 24 confirmed entrants so far, and another two will be confirmed next week on Shotgun Saturday Night. That’s right, just one night before the Royal Rumble itself, four tag teams, The Can-Am Express, The Headbangers, The Godwinns and The Disciples of Apocalypse will do battle in a Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match, with both members of the winning team being entered in the Royal Rumble. That would take us to 26, but as for the other four spots… you’ll just need to join us on pay per view to find out who they’ll be.

    Tonight’s third bout is another tag team affair, this time The Can-Am Express do battle with Bart Gunn and Steve Blackman. Lawler points out that Gunn and Blackman are a strange pairing, two men who have both been focusing on singles action lately, although Cole also points out that they’ve been relatively successful in their short time together as a team. That vein continues tonight as they grab yet another win, with Gunn using his devastating left hook to knockout LaFon after 04:36.

    We return to a brief video hyping the upcoming WWF pay per view, the 1998 Royal Rumble, with the voiceover encouraging everyone to buy the event on Sunday January 18th.

    As usual, just before our main event, Cole and Lawler hype up the upcoming episode of Raw. Scheduled to take place are Bradshaw one on one with Ken Shamrock, The Rock looks to restore some pride for The Nation against Mark Henry, Lance Storm will face Bart Gunn and we’ve got a huge main event lined up, as Owen Hart, the man who will challenge for the WWF Championship at the Royal Rumble takes on the European Champion, Triple H, with Hart no doubt looking to send a message to WWF Champion Shawn Michaels in that one. Plus, a major announcement regarding Mike Tyson and the WWF is set to take place, as Tyson’s promoter, the legendary Don King, will be appearing on Raw! And of course… what on earth could happen between ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Kane? Join us this Monday to find out!

    Our final match tonight sees Tazz square off against Brian Christopher, a match that has Lawler extremely worried about the wellbeing of Christopher, although he never explains why. Despite the incredible bias shown by Lawler on commentary, Brian takes a bit of a beating, and Tazz makes quick work of him, putting Christopher away with the Tazzmission after 04:06. Lawler screams that Tazz should be disqualified for an illegal choke hold, but the result stands, leading to Cole to speculate that Tazz is a dangerous competitor who could easily choke out Lance Storm at the Royal Rumble, bringing this episode of Shotgun Saturday Night to a conclusion.

    Newswire

    Quebecers Returning to WWF; Tag Team Wrestling on the Rise

    Former three time WWF Tag Team Champions The Quebecers will soon be returning to the company in an attempt to further bolster the tag team division within the World Wrestling Federation. Jacques Rougeau and Carl Oulette had last been seen working for World Championship Wrestling as The Amazing French Canadians before being released by the company in mid-1997. Looking to bring in more solid hands for their tag team division, the WWF has moved to snap the duo up and they will soon be re-debuting on WWF television. Although not considered to be major players moving forward, Rougeau and Outlette will be looked at as useful veterans who can help get other teams over. Steve Blackman and Bart Gunn have impressed many backstage officials with their recent work, suggesting they will be in line for a future opportunity for a title run. Several superstars without storylines or prominent pushes at the minute will also be looked towards and paired up in the near future in an attempt to help re-establish the tag team division within the WWF, a fact that reportedly has delighted Jim Cornette and Michael Hayes whenever the subject is brought up backstage or in creative meetings.

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    WWF Raw is War/Warzone
    January 12th, 1998
    Bryce Jordan Center
    State College, Pennsylvania


    We’re just six days away from the Royal Rumble, and as usual we’re welcomed to the first hour of Raw is War by Jim Ross and Michael Cole, although in a rather unusual move, we’re in the parking lot. The reason becomes clear as suddenly, a hearse speeds towards the camera and slams on the breaks, screeching to a halt. The door quickly flies open… it’s ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin! Austin, the man who commandeered that hearse last week, kidnapped Paul Bearer and then hurled him into the Long Island Sound has drove the hearse here to the arena in State College tonight. ”Austin! Austin! ‘The Rattlesnake’ is here! And he’s brought that hearse with ‘im! Bah Gawd, what’s gonna happen if Austin and Kane come together?!” Who knows J.R., we’ll need to wait to find out. Cue the usual opening video, before we head into the arena to hear from the raucous crowd. There’s no pyro display tonight, as instead, we see Howard Finkel stood in the middle of the ring, ready for an announcement. ”Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome at this time, the owner of the World Wrestling Federation, Mr. Vince McMahon, and the greatest boxing promoter in the world today… Don King!” And sure enough, Vince McMahon and Don King start heading for the ring, to boos admittedly, while being flanked by McMahon’s associates, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, and a posse of black men dressed in dark suits, presumably here on King’s behest. Cole and J.R. are excited by the presence of King being here tonight, as everyone is dying to hear how the negotiations between the WWF and Mike Tyson have been going.

    McMahon takes the mic from Finkel, waiting for the jeers of the crowd to die down a bit, before he starts to speak. Tonight is a historic night for the WWF, a night in which McMahon and Mr. King will make an announcement which will change the WWF forever. But before that, first Vince would like ”…to express my sincere gratitude to a fellow great promoter in the world of sports and sports entertainment. Negotiations were tough, the were long and arduous at times, but in the end… two great business minds came together and worked out a deal to benefit not only Mr. Tyson, not only the World Wrestling Federation… but also for each and every one of you, the WWF fans.”, although the fans aren’t exactly enamoured with Vince’s sincerity. Nonetheless, McMahon confirms that he and King have spent many weeks working on a deal to bring ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’, Mike Tyson, to the WWF for a series of appearances. Well, it’s good news, as the talks have gone well, and indeed Mike Tyson is on his way to the WWF, a comment from McMahon which actually does draw a pop from the crowd. ”And I can confirm, that Mr. Tyson will be in attendance at WrestleMania XIV in Boston on March 29th… but he will also be in attendance this Sunday in San Jose for the 1998 Royal Rumble!”, which again draws a pretty reasonable cheer. But the question on everybody’s mind is… why? Why is Tyson coming to the WWF? What purpose will he serve? What does he hope to achieve? For the answer to those questions, it’s over to Don King.

    McMahon hands King the mic, and Tyson’s promoter addresses the crowd. Mike Tyson has conquered the world of boxing, he’s been the heavyweight champion, he’s knocked out countless opponents. And while Tyson might be suspended from boxing right now, he’s heard a lot about the athletes here in the WWF, he’s heard them talk about how tough they are, how dangerous they are, but that doesn’t impress a man like Tyson. ”So Mr. Tyson is comin’ to the WWF… and make no mistake about it, he’s lookin’ for the-“ Wait a minute… the glass has shattered! The crowd are going nuts… here comes ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin! Austin has just interrupted Don King, McMahon is furious, what the hell is Austin doing out here? In the ring, King and his entourage are on guard, McMahon is seething, while Austin smirks and brushes past them all, looking for a microphone. ”You’re Don King, huh? You’re ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson’s manager, right? Well lemme tell ya’ somethin’, son. I’m ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and I don’t give a rat’s ass about you or Mike Tyson!” Instantly McMahon is on the defence, but King is incredulous, furious at the insult. But as far as Austin is concerned, it’s six days to the Royal Rumble, it’s six days before he wins the Rumble and goes to WrestleMania to challenge for the WWF Championship, and we don’t need to be talking about Mike Tyson. ”Ya’ call Tyson ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’? Well you’re lookin’ at the toughest sunnova bitch in the WWF right ‘ere, so you and Mike Tyson can go kiss my ass!” McMahon can’t believe it, trying his best to calm King down, reassuring him that Austin speaks for himself only, not the WWF. The WWF is proud to be associated with an athlete the calibre of Tyson, McMahon can’t wait to see him this Sunday at the Rumble.

    As for Austin, McMahon is infuriated. ”What the hell’s the matter with you? Why are you so rude? Why are you so insulting to my guests? Who the hell do you think you are, Austin?!” Once again, Austin has been disrespectful to McMahon, but there’s something he needs to realise. McMahon is the boss around here, Commissioner Slaughter is out of action right now, McMahon is calling the shots, and he’s warned Austin about his actions in the past. And while they’re both here, McMahon wants to know what on earth Austin was thinking last week in the stunt he pulled with Paul Bearer. ”You stole a hearse, you kidnapped Paul Bearer… and then you took another human being… and threw him into the Long Island Sound? You nearly drowned him, you coulda killed him! Have you no conscience? Where are your ethics, your morals?” And as for the Royal Rumble? If Austin thinks he has any chance of winning the Rumble and going to WrestleMania… then he’s going to be sorely mistaken. McMahon will never allow a beer-swilling thug like Austin the chance to headline WrestleMania… and he’ll certainly never allow someone like Austin to be his WWF Champion. ”Or to put it another way Austin, this Sunday at the Royal Rumble… you’ve got no chance in hell of being victorious.”, McMahon says with a sneer on his face. But Austin just smirks at the comment, he’s going to win the Royal Rumble, and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it. And furthermore, Austin has a message for everybody in the back. ”I’m tellin’ each and ev’ry one o’ ya’, ol’ ‘Stone Cold’ is puttin’ each of ya’ on notice. ‘Stone Cold’ is fixin’ to open up a can o’ whoop ass on all of ya’ tonight, I’m takin’ ya’ all out. I will win the Royal Rumble, and that’s tha’ bottom line, ‘cause-“ Oh no… the lights go out in the arena… and then everything turns red… by God, it’s Kane!

    Kane, ‘The Big Red Machine’, the monster is heading for the ring… and like we heard on Shotgun Saturday Night, there’s no Paul Bearer! Austin of course crouches over, waving Kane on, he’s ready for him, but McMahon is struck with fear… and when Kane steps over the top rope… Austin charges… the fight is on! ”Bah Gawd! Austin and Kane! Austin and Kane!”, wild rights and lefts and fly, and pretty soon Don King’s entourage are drawn into the fight, Austin and Kane hitting anybody who moves, while McMahon, Patterson and Brisco franticly try and usher King from the ring to safety. Austin and Kane are battling though, swatting people aside to get to each other… and it’s Kane and Austin going at it again! Desperately, McMahon starts waving from the foot of the ramp, ushering about ten or fifteen police officers down the ramp and into the ring in a hopeless attempt to stop this madness! The crowd are going wild, they’re loving the carnage and the mayhem, bodies are flying all over the place, Austin and Kane are nailing anybody who stands between them, McMahon is crestfallen on the floor, he can’t believe what we’re seeing… a stunner to a policeman… a chokeslam to one of Don King’s entourage… ”Jesus Christ! They’re gonna need the national guard to keep these two apart! What a way to kick off Raw!”

    *Commercial*

    Back from the commercial, we see video highlights of the chaotic brawl between Austin and Kane, seeing footage of the bodies flying around the ring and the brief moments that Austin and Kane managed to get their hands on each other. The brawl was someone subdued during the commercial, but as Cole points out, ”We had police officers, we had Don King’s security, it must’ve took close to thirty men to separate Austin and Kane!”, and what could that mean for this Sunday’s Royal Rumble? We then fly to the parking lot, where McMahon is escorting a furious looking Don King back to his limo. McMahon is incredibly apologetic, repeating that Austin doesn’t speak for him or the WWF, ”I’m just… I’m so sorry Mr. King, I hope we’ll still be seeing Mr. Tyson this Sunday at the Royal Rumble?” King is furious though, feeling he’s been embarrassed by Austin tonight, vowing that indeed, Tyson will fulfil his obligation, he’ll be there this Sunday in San Jose, but ”…we’re gonna see how much of a damn that hooligan Austin gives about ‘The Baddest Man on the Plant’. Good day to you, Mr. McMahon!”, and with that, King slams the door of his limo shut and his driver screeches out of the arena. McMahon watches the limo go, almost in relief that his deal with Tyson is still intact, but the look on his face quickly turns to a furious scowl, clearly enraged by Austin’s actions… but it’s on the face of McMahon that we’re going to leave this situation… for now.

    Back into the arena and The Legion of Doom make their entrance, with ’Road Warrior’ Hawk and ’Road Warrior’ Animal striding down the ramp. The commentators finally get a chance to hype tonight’s card for us, we’ve still got Ken Shamrock one on one with John Bradshaw and Lance Storm taking on Bart Gunn later tonight, plus that huge main event, Owen Hart squaring off with the European Champion, Triple H. Out next come The Disciples of Apocalypse, with Skull and 8-Ball riding motorcycles down to the ring. We then see footage from Shotgun Saturday Night, where D.o.A. lost to The Headbangers, only to brutalise Mosh and Thrasher after the bell in a move that Ross describes as ”…a real change in attitude for D.o.A., a real nasty streak comin’ out from Skull and 8-Ball.”

    Match One: Tag Team Match
    The Disciples of Apocalypse
    vs. The Legion of Doom


    Animal and Skull get this one underway, and as you’d imagine it’s a bruising start to the match, both men trading stiff shots until Animal gains the upperhand with a running clothesline. Skull is isolated as L.o.D. look to work him over, Animal planting him with a scoop slam and Hawk connecting with a fist drop from the second rope. Hawk then sends Skull off the ropes, but a blind tag brings 8-Ball into the match behind Hawk’s back... and when he turns he eats a big boot to the face! Now it’s Hawk who’s kept away from his partner, D.o.A. wearing him down with double big boots to the face and a stiff backbreaker from Skull. 8-Ball works over Hawk in the corner, but when he sends him across and follows in... Hawk gets a boot up... then levels 8-Ball with a clothesline. Hawk then crawls for his corner... here comes Animal! Animal explodes into the ring, using jumping shoulderblocks to take both opponents down, before he sends Skull off the ropes... right into a powerslam! Animal goes for a cover... but 8-Ball breaks it up, and now all four men are going at it in the ring! Animal brawls in the corner with 8-Ball, Skull has the upperhand on Hawk... until he swings and misses with a clothesline... and Hawk sends him over the top rope to the floor! 8-Ball is left all alone, Animal shoots him off the ropes... back body drop! L.o.D. have the advantage... and now Hawk is heading to the top rope... while Animal takes 8-Ball up onto his shoulders... DOOMSDAY DEVICE!! Hawk gets all of it, 8-Ball goes flying, here’s the cover... 1... 2... 3!

    Winners: The Legion of Doom @ 04:30

    Another good win for Hawk and Animal ahead of their title match this Sunday. But there’s no time to celebrate though, as while the victorious pair have their hands raised, we hear noise coming from the big screen… ”Yoo-hoo! Up here ya’ pair o’ old bastards!”, yip it’s The New Age Outlaws. We see that Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are in the parking lot, which is proving to be a popular setting tonight. The champs stand next to a battered, broken down old car, with Billy holding a tire iron while Dogg has a baseball bat in his hands. Why are they in the parking lot? Well they’re getting ready for this Sunday’s parking lot brawl, of course. ”And ya’ see, this ol’ car right here… this is very apropos…”, because it’s beat up, broken down, best years behind it… just like Hawk and Animal, according to Road Dogg. He feels that he and Billy, they’re the future of tag team wrestling, while Hawk and Animal, they’re the past. ”Hell, it shouldn’t be L.o.D., it oughta be O.L.D.!”, which of course The Outlaws find hilarious. This Sunday at the Rumble, The Outlaws are putting an end to the careers of The Legion of Doom. Hawk and Animal might’ve been great champions in the past, but they ain’t gonna be champions in the future. ”So boys, after we whip your asses this Sunday, I hope you two can catch a ride right on into the retirement home!” But the laughter comes to a halt, as in the ring, Animal now has a mic in his hands. He’s tired of the talking, he’s tired of seeing Road Dogg and Billy run their mouths. They might think they’re funny, they might think they’re clever, but this Sunday… they’re in for a world of pain. Tell ‘em Hawk. ”I just got one thing to say. This Sunday… we’re gonna chew you up… and spit you out! Aw… what a rush!” Cue hype mode from Cole, it’s going to be a war this Sunday in San Jose, The Outlaws and The Legion of Doom in a Parking Lot Brawl for the World Tag Team Championships. Which team will survive and leave the Royal Rumble as champions?!

    *Commercial*

    We return from commercial to a quick video, highlighting a great moment from past Royal Rumbles. Our first moment tonight takes us back to 1995, when Shawn Michaels became the first man in WWF history to enter the Royal Rumble Match as entrant number one and be the last man standing at the end, dramatically hanging on to earn his shot at becoming WWF Champion at WrestleMania XI.

    Another video, this time from earlier today. As we are on the campus of Penn State University, D-Generation X decide to take a tour of the campus. We see Shawn Michaels and Triple H stood outside ‘Beaver Stadium’, and of course the pair laugh their heads off at this, cracking off jokes such as ”I bet they really gotta pack ‘em in tight in that place!” and other horrible lines, but as usual Chyna just stands with her arms folded and shakes her head. The New Age Outlaws are there too, and Road Dogg and Billy Gunn get their shots in too, with Dogg stating ”Y’know they opened this stadium in 1960? ‘The Road Warriors’ are so old they’d won about three or four tag titles by then!”, again to much over the top laughter. We then cut to a frat house, where D-X interrupt a gathering between fraternity guys and sorority girls. ”Hey Hun’er! Y’know what I love best about college? College chicks!”, at which a bevy of young women crowd around the WWF Champion. Helmsley then catches the eye of one particular young lady, asking about how her education is going. When she admits that she’s spending too much time partying and is failing some of her classes, Helmsley offers to help her out. ”The next time you’re gettin’ a F, you let Professor Helmsley know and I promise you’ll at least get the D!”, which again draws childish laughter from the European Champion. Michaels then brings this attempt at humour to an end as he points at the camera, his D-X colleagues by his side, declaring that D-X are going to spend the rest of the afternoon partying in the frat house, as Michaels is so sure he’ll win this Sunday, he can afford to let his hair down a bit. ”But don’t worry, this Sunday, D-Generation X is gonna be like a college chick the night before finals… we’re gonna be doin’ it all night long!” And thankfully, the D-X tour of the Penn State campus comes to an end.

    Cut back into the arena, where Doc Hendrix is stood in the ring with a microphone in his hand. And he wastes no time, ”Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you… Cactus Jack!” And here he comes, Mick Foley’s alter-ego Cactus Jack, deranged as ever as he heads for the ring, intimidating Hendrix as he approaches him, but of course a little “Bang! Bang!” has the crowd cheering for Jack. It’s been two weeks since Cactus returned from the brutal injuries he suffered back at In Your House: D-Generation X at the hands of Terry Funk. But now Cactus is back, he’s entered in the Royal Rumble, but Hendrix wants to know ”Jack, now that you’re back… what’s next between you and Terry Funk?” Cactus starts by admitting that back at In Your House, he, or Dude Love to be more specific, took one hell of a beating at the hands of Terry Funk. They battered each other, they brutalised each other, they ravaged their bodies… but that’s what Mick Foley and Terry Funk always do. For years, they’ve ripped each other to shreds, and In Your House was no different. But… there was maybe one, important, crucial difference. ”Y’see, at In Your House, you punished Dude Love, a cat who wants nothin’ but peace on Earth. But now… now you’re dealin’ with Cactus Jack. And I’ll want to do… is ‘cause pain.” After In Your House, Foley went home to Long Island, he rested up, but he also took a long, hard look at himself. Dude Love, he isn’t going to cut it in the WWF anymore. If Foley is going to survive, if he’s going to endure what Terry Funk will throw at him then he knew he had to go to the deepest, darkest part of his mind… and that’s Cactus Jack. ”I didn’t want to do this, Terry. I didn’t want to bring him back. But you wanted Cactus Jack… and now you’ve got ‘im.”

    But then, on the titan-tron, we hear… laughter. Sick, grizzly laughter… and the sight of Terry Funk. But it’s Terry Funk in a very dark, dimly lit room. But before we figure out where Funk is, he of course has something to say. Funk may have assaulted Foley back at In Your House, he may have put Foley into the hospital... and that means he may have caused Foley to look within himself to unleash Cactus Jack. But… Funk’s not done yet. ”I know you ain’t back yet, Mick. The fraud, the bastard I see stood in the ring right now, that’s not the real Mick Foley. That’s not the man who scarred my body with barbed wire. That’s not the man who set me on fire. Where is that man, Mick? Where is he!? Maybe that man’s lost forever. Maybe that man sold his soul to the WWF machine? Maybe the real Mick Foley is lost… forever? Or maybe… maybe Funk just needs to work a little bit harder to find him. But then again, Foley points out that if anybody sold their soul… it was Terry Funk. Weeks ago, he called Foley a whore, a prostitute to the WWF fans. ”But as soon as Vince McMahon offered you a title shot… you turned your back on your roots, Terry. You denounced hardcore wrestling, but if it wasn’t for hardcore wrestling… you wouldn’t even be here today. You’d have been forgotten about a long time ago, if it wasn’t for what we did to each other, what we did to our bodies, that’s why you’re here today!”

    Well, if that’s true… then Funk’s made fools out of all of us. He might have said that to McMahon, he might’ve gave McMahon what he wanted… but that doesn’t mean he’s turned his back on his hardcore ways. ”You know ol’ Terry, Mick. I can be whoever Vince McMahon wants me to be if it makes me a buck or two.” McMahon isn’t the issue, the issue is that Foley has gone soft, and Funk hoped the beating he took at In Your House would go one of two ways. Either is would bring back the real Mick Foley… or it would put Mick Foley out of the WWF for good. But instead? ”I’ve got this chicken-shit fraud ‘Cactus Jack’ outta it. That ain’t good enough, Mick. That ain’t what I want!” But the chicken-shit comment clearly struck a never, as Foley screams into the mic that he’ll give Funk exactly what he wants… if he comes down to the ring right now! Although the crowd scream and buzz with anticipation, Funk just laughs and shakes his head. He’s not coming down to the ring, he’s not going to give the people what they want. But instead… he wants Mick to come find him. ”I’m right here… and I’m waitin’ for ya’, Mick. I’m waitin’ for ya’… to see if that ol’ Mick Foley is still inside ya’. And if he is… you’ll come back here and you’ll find me. Or when you whored yourself out to those people… did ya’ sell ev’ry last bit o’ guts that ya’ had?” The challenge has been made then, Funk is somewhere in the building, he’s ready and waiting for Mick Foley… and Foley’s on his way! Cactus Jack, he brushes past Hendrix, he rolls from the ring and he sprints up the ramp! ”God, is… Cactus Jack, he’s on his way back there! He’s lookin’ for Terry Funk! What… we need a camera back there!” But instead, we cut to commercial on the sight of Foley disappearing backstage through the curtain… but seemingly on his way for another battle with Terry Funk.

    *Commercial*

    Back from commercial, Kevin Kelly is ready for an interview with Tazz, whose appearance draws a cheer from the fans. Kelly wants a quick word about this Sunday when Tazz will take on Lance Storm, who of course will have Jim Cornette in his corner. Full of intensity, Tazz admits that ever since he arrived in the WWF, Cornette has had a problem with him. He isn’t your classic wrestler, he’s a brawler from the streets, he doesn’t go out to put on a clinic, he just goes out there to choke people out. And that’s what’s going to happen this Sunday, ”…I’m gonna make that punk Storm pass out in the middle of ‘dat ring!” Kelly then asks a follow up question, he wants to know about Cornette. Why does Tazz think Cornette has it in for him, why has he made Tazz the focal point of his crusade to take wrestling back to a more traditional style? Tazz doesn’t know… and he really doesn’t give a crap. All Tazz knows is that if Cornette comes anywhere near him this Sunday with that tennis racquet of his, then ”…I’m gonna make him pass out like the little bitch that he is!” And with that emphatic statement, this interview is over.

    Into the arena and John Bradshaw is headed for the ring, still clean shaven, still sporting that white cowboy hat and sports jacket combo. While he may have ditched the ‘Blackjack’ look, Ross points out that Bradshaw is still one tough, rugged Texan, who looked very impressive in his victory over his former partner Barry Windham last week, while Cole comments that ”Bradshaw could be a real dark horse this Sunday in the Royal Rumble Match…” His opponent tonight is the always dangerous Ken Shamrock, who wears a mean glare on his face as he heads for the ring. This is the man J.R. has high hopes for this Sunday, he thinks Shamrock could not only become Intercontinental Champion with a win over Jeff Jarrett, but he could easily then earn himself the chance to go to WrestleMania to face the WWF Champion. We’re ready to get this one underway, but then… here comes Shamrock’s opponent this Sunday, the Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett, who of course is joined by his business partner Sunny. The crowd goes wild for a glimpse at Sunny, while Shamrock is irate to see the pair heading for the announce desk. When they get there, Jarrett, ever the gentlemen, takes the only seat and makes Sunny stand, before he slips on the headset. ”Cole, J.R., you two shut your mouths, ol’ ‘Double J’ is gonna handle this one fellas!” Demanding to know why Jarrett is out here, J.R. fires the question at him, but Jarrett just calls it a scouting mission, pointing out that as a big football guy, Ross should know all about that. Shamrock continues to shout down at Jarrett though… and that allows Bradshaw to jump him from behind! ”Y’see, that’s how stupid Shamrock is! And that’s why he ain’t got a chance this Sunday…”

    Match Two:
    John Bradshaw
    vs. Ken Shamrock


    Bradshaw looks to start the match fast, hammering Shamrock with stiff right hands and boots, looking to deliver some early punishment. Shamrock strikes back though, smacking Bradshaw with hard rights of his own, before he takes Bradshaw up and down with a snap suplex. Shamrock starts striking with kicks to the legs, but a knee to the gut from Bradshaw changes things, allowing the big Texan to nail a swinging neckbreaker for an early near fall. More stiff shots are exchanged, Bradshaw eventually gaining the upperhand, but when he sends Shamrock into the ropes and looks for a boot to the body… Shamrock catches it… and takes Bradshaw down with a dragon screw! Shamrock looks like he’s about to start softening up Bradshaw’s leg, prepping him for the ankle lock maybe, but then… all of a sudden… the lights go out in the arena! And then… the eerie music starts to play… and there’s an almighty explosion… and Kane starts heading down the ramp! ”What… what’s he doin’ comin’ out here? J.R., what’s goin’ on?” as Jarrett speaks for all of us, not least of all Shamrock who stares through the red glare of the arena with a confused look on his face. Kane reaches the ring, steps over the top rope… and then almost out of instinct, Shamrock races at him… but he gets caught in round the throat… CHOKESLAM! Shamrock is planted with a chokeslam, but now Bradshaw is staggering back to his feet… and he walks right into a TOMBSTONE! Shamrock is planted, so too is Bradshaw, the referee’s seen enough, he’s throwing this one out and heading for the hills!

    Winner: No Contest @ 02:28

    ”Good Gawd almighty! What the hell’s the meaning of this? What the hell is Kane doing?!” He’s doing whatever he wants, he’s causing chaos and mayhem and nobody seems capable of stopping him. Shamrock is down, Bradshaw is down, the referee has headed for the hills, Jarrett admits that he’s staying in his chair, he’s not going anywhere near the ring when that monster is in it. Kane does his usual setting off of the flames from the turnbuckles, and just before we cut to commercial, J.R. makes perhaps the most ominous call of his career when he screams ”There’s no Paul Bearer! There’s nobody to control this monster! There’s nobody who can stop Kane!”

    *Commercial*

    Another highlight from Royal Rumbles of yesteryear, this time it’s last year’s edition, 1997, where ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is eliminated by Bret Hart… only for a brawl between Mankind and Terry Funk causing a distraction for the referees, allowing Austin to sneak back into the ring. Austin then eliminates Vader, The Undertaker and Hart, winning the Rumble. Incensed by what just happened, Hart throws a temper tantrum, screaming at Vince McMahon at the commentary desk, but it’s Austin’s name who goes down in the history books as the victor.

    Straight back into the action as The Nation of Domination enter the arena. The Nation has been shown signs of fracture in recent weeks, and it shows again here as The Rock takes the lead tonight, he and D’Lo Brown trash talking and jawing with the ringside crowd, while Kama Mustafa and the leader of The Nation, Faarooq, bring up the rear. Cole reminds us that this match has a lot at stake for The Nation, in particular Rocky, who promised victory tonight after Faarooq failed last week. ”And if Rock delivers tonight, then his claim for being leader of The Nation gains a lot of credibility, wouldn’t you say?” Why yes Michael, we would. His opponent is Mark Henry, who has been tearing it up since his return from injury over a month ago. All five men involved here are entered in the Royal Rumble, with J.R. pointing out ”It could take The Nation and then some to get the big 500 lbs-er over the top rope this Sunday…”

    Match Three:
    Mark Henry
    vs. The Rock w/ The Nation of Domination


    As usual, Rocky approaches this one with arrogance and disdain, dismissing the threat of Henry. That all changes once Henry smacks Rocky with a few right hands and bowls him over with a bodyblock. Rock scrambles to the floor to regroup with Kama and D’Lo while Faarooq watches on, but once he’s back in the ring, he catches Henry with some stiff right hands… only for Henry to hurl him into the corner! A body avalanche and a pair of elbow drops from Henry get him a near fall, leading Henry to come off the ropes… but Kama reaches in, grabbing Henry by the foot… and the distraction allows Rocky to take Henry down with a chop block! The big men is grounded, allowing Rock to lay in with stomps to the body, before he starts to wear down Henry’s knee. After a two count from a DDT, Rocky continues to apply pressure to the leg, before he comes off the ropes… right into a powerslam! Henry plants Rocky, goes for a cover… 1… 2… Rock barely gets a shoulder up! Henry starts to build momentum, bowling Rock over, landing more elbow drops… but then Henry and the crowd’s eyes are drawn to the entrance way… as here comes Marc Mero out from the back! Henry motions Mero forward, ready for a fight, but as Mero is making his way down the ramp… Sable is chasing after him! A huge pop from the crowd, a lick of the lips from Henry, but Sable’s here to stop whatever Mero has in mind as she grabs him from behind and starts yelling at him! Mero screams back ”I told you to stay back there!”, but Sable doesn’t care, she’s out here to stop Mero getting involved Henry’s match… but in the ring, Rocky uses the distraction to sneak up from behind… take Henry down with a schoolboy… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: The Rock @ 05:18

    Once again, The Rock manages to get a win where Faarooq failed… and Faarooq can’t believe it! While Kama and D’Lo quickly join Rocky in the ring to celebrate with him, Faarooq lingers on the outside, just shaking his head in disbelief, pointing up at the stage where Mero stands and gloats. The crowd then lets out a cheer as Sable comes out onto the stage, screaming at Mero, wanting to know what he’s doing… and that draws everyone’s attention, which means we all miss… ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin coming through the crowd and rolling into the ring… he spins D’Lo… kick… STUNNER! Kama is first to react… STUNNER!! And now Rocky wonders what the hell is going on… STUNNER!! Austin is going crazy here, he’s laid out The Nation of Domination, apart from Faarooq who wants nothing to do with it. There’s double birds for everyone, before Austin drops down, climbs over the barricade and goes back through the crowd, bringing the first hour of the show to an end with the call ”Bah gawd! Austin! Austin! Anythin’ Kane can do, Austin can do better! We’ll see ya’ after the break in the Warzone!”

    *Commercial*

    Hour two kicks out with the usual second opening video, before we go straight into the arena to see that hour two is starting the same way as hour one, with Vince McMahon heading for the ring, flanked by Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco to the sound of jeers from the crowd. Thankfully McMahon’s mood seems to have softened a bit since the way his announcement with Don King was so rudely interrupted, something which the now on commentary Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler calls a disgrace. ”I hope Mike Tyson bumps into ‘Stone Cold’ this Sunday at the Rumble. I’d love to see Austin lose an ear or somethin’…” J.R. quickly hypes the rest of tonight’s show, telling us we’ve still to see Lance Storm and Bart Gunn, Goldust one on one with Barry Windham, while our huge main event pits Owen Hart against the European Champion, Triple H. In the ring, Brisco grabs a mic and hands it to McMahon, who starts by letting us all know he hopes this part of the show goes a little more smoothly and without interruption unlike earlier tonight. This Sunday, the 1998 Royal Rumble, not only will we see 30 WWF superstars compete in the Royal Rumble Match, but also, the WWF Championship is on the line. And McMahon would like to speak with the man who will challenge for that title this Sunday. ”So allow me to bring out here, ‘The Survivor’… ‘The Black Hart’… the man who could be WWF Champion this Sunday… Owen Hart!” Here he comes, Owen Hart, to a warm welcome from the Penn State crowd. As he enters the ring, Owen glares at McMahon, clearly still wary and not trusting the man who screwed his brother out of the title he challenges for this Sunday in what J.R. calls ”…the biggest opportunity of Owen Hart’s career!”

    In an effort to sooth the tension, McMahon offers Owen a handshake and a smile, but a quick shake of the head from Hart shows he’s not in the mood for pleasantries. ”Alright, have it your way. Now allow me to welcome into the arena the man who will face you Owen this Sunday… he is the WWF Champion… ‘The Heartbreak Kid’… Shawn Michaels!” Sure enough, here comes Shawn Michaels, but he’s not only… D-Generation X is here for this showdown as well. Michaels leads Triple H, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn down the ramp, while Chyna brings up the rear with the gold adorning her broad shoulders. In the ring, D-X are their usual sophomoric selves, with Billy and Road Dogg playing with McMahon’s hair and tie while Michaels and Helmsley smirk and shadow box in Owen’s direction. Looking to kick off the discussion, McMahon reaffirms to everyone what’s at stake this Sunday. It’s Shawn Michaels defending the WWF Championship against Owen Hart, but of course, McMahon reminds us all of the stipulations involved, namely ”D-Generation X are banned from ringside. Indeed, all outside interference is banned from ringside, and I personally will be at ringside to ensure that happens. And of course, not only are you competing for the WWF Championship Mr. Hart… you’re competing for your career. As if you lose this Sunday… you, Owen Hart… must retire from the sport of professional wrestling.” Hart’s face barely flickers as it’s all laid out for him, while again Michaels smirks. McMahon turns to Owen, giving us a brief rundown of his career, starting off in Calgary in his father’s dungeon, coming to the WWF, becoming the King of the Ring, multiple time tag champion, two-time Intercontinental Champion ”…but it all could be over, it could all come to an end this Sunday… at the Royal Rumble.”

    A sobering thought, but as McMahon points the mic at Owen, Michaels quickly snatches it away. ”Whoa, whoa, hold on there Vin-man. Nobody wants to hear from this loser, everybody wants to hear from ‘The Heartbreak Kid’, so step aside there junior…” says Michaels as he waves Owen away. Indeed, the WWF Champion has issue with what McMahon has said. Could? Could Owen’s career come to an end this Sunday? There’s no question about it, it all ends for Owen Hart at the Royal Rumble. The only reason Michaels wanted Owen back in the WWF, the only reason he goaded him into returning was ”…so I can kick your sorry ass to the kerb… just like I did your brother, Bret.” Michaels is adamant, he didn’t need McMahon’s help in Montreal, and he won’t need it this Sunday in San Jose either. As for Owen’s career, Michaels admits that Owen has done a lot here in the WWF. Intercontinental Champion, Tag Team Champion… but never quite the big one. And it’s never going to happen either, because Michaels isn’t giving up his title any time soon. ”Ya’ had a nice run Owen… but I’m gonna send your ass back to Calgary to cry with your brother Bret over the fact that no matter how hard you tried… ya’ never quite won the big one, did ya’?” And it’s that lack of success over Owen’s career that means his career is coming to an end in just six days’ time. Michaels doesn’t need any help from D-Generation X, he doesn’t need McMahon, because he’s ‘The Showstopper’, ‘The Icon’, ‘The Main Event’, and having already sent Bret, Bulldog and Niedhart packing from the WWF… Owen is the last Hart standing. ”But just like the rest of your family… you ain’t got what it takes to beat ‘The Heartbreak Kid’.”, which of course draws smug laughs all round from D-X.

    McMahon now turns the mic towards Owen, who of course has a few words in response. He sees Michaels stood out here with his posse, his bunch of punks who follow his every word. They’re all champions, they all have each other’s back, but the only reason Michaels has D-X ”…is ‘cause you’re scared. You’re not man enough to beat me, or anybody else, one on one.” Michaels might be the WWF Champion, an achievement Owen has never managed, but this isn’t the same Owen Hart. ”The old Owen Hart… I left that guy behind in Montreal. You… and don’t think I forgot about you, McMahon… you two screwed my brother, you screwed my family, and now as far as the WWF is concerned… I got nothin’ left. But that makes me more dangerous than I’ve ever been!” For Owen, he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain this Sunday. He either beats Michaels and becomes WWF Champion… or he loses and he goes home to be with his family. Either way, Owen’s a winner as far as he’s concerned. But the real question for Owen right now isn’t for Michaels or D-X… he wants to speak with McMahon. For Owen, it’s a little bit convenient that although D-X are banned from ringside this Sunday… Vince will be there watching up close. And we all know what happened the last time Shawn Michaels stepped into the ring with a member of the Hart family while Vince McMahon was at ringside. ”So I wanna know Vince, I want your word… that there’s not gonna be any screwjobs this Sunday at the Royal Rumble!”, which draws a pop from the crowd and a nervous gulp from McMahon.

    But McMahon slowly nods, taking back the mic, and he assures us all that he only did what he had to do in Montreal, he did what was best for everyone in the WWF. But this Sunday, it’s different. Back at the Survivor Series, McMahon was worried about Bret taking the WWF Championship to WCW, which was something unthinkable that he couldn’t allow happen. But Owen? Vince knows he has Owen under an iron clad contract for a long time to come. He knows Owen isn’t going to WCW, he’d spend years tied up in red tape in courtrooms if he ever tried it. That and the fact that ”…unlike your brother, Bret… I’m really not sure you can even beat Shawn Michaels and become the WWF Champion.” For Vince, what’s more likely to happen is that instead of Owen becoming WWF Champion and then trying to join his family in WCW… Owen’s career will come to an end this Sunday. ”Because what Mr. Michaels has said about you never becoming WWF Champion… that isn’t just to brag or insult you. It’s a fact, Owen. You’ve had your opportunities in the past to become WWF Champion… and you just couldn’t take them.” And that’s why McMahon doesn’t think we’ll see a new WWF Champion this Sunday… despite how much he wants to see one. The smirk on Michaels’ face quickly turns to annoyance, as McMahon repeats he doesn’t like D-Generation X, he doesn’t like their sophomoric behaviour, he doesn’t appreciate their crude language. ”Quite frankly Shawn… you’re not my ideal choice to be WWF Champion.” But then again… neither is Owen. McMahon lays it all out, neither champion nor challenger this Sunday are the man Vince wants to be the face of his company… ”But as always, I will persevere and I will do what is best for the future of the WWF and its fans.” If that means working with Michaels or Owen as champion, then so be it, but one day, McMahon hopes he finds a champion ”…with outstanding integrity, impeccable morals… a true champion we can all get behind. It won’t be either of you… and it certainly won’t be anyone like ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin…” , with the mention of ‘The Rattlesnake’ drawing a massive pop.

    At this point, Triple H now grabs the mic, annoyed at what Vince had to say. D-X doesn’t give a damn what a corporate suit like McMahon thinks of them, but they won’t stand by while Vince disrespects the WWF Champion like this. ”This man, ‘The Icon’, ‘The Main Event’… he saved you and your company’s ass back at Montreal. He went out and did what had to be done, he wouldn’t lay down for nobody! Just like he won’t lay down for you this Sunday, Owen…” Triple H also has a few words for Hart ahead of their match tonight. It might be a non-title match, but that doesn’t matter to Helmsley, even if the title was on the line he’d still beat Owen easily. ”’Cause y’see, when I’m standin’ tall, you’ll always… come up a little short, if ya’ know what I mean?! Infact, what d’ya say, Shawn? How ‘bout I beat this little bitch so bad, he doesn’t even make it to the Rumble this Sunday?” And of course, that comment draws Owen towards Helmsley, the two going nose to nose, but McMahon quickly grabs the mic back and orders them to stop. ”Y’see, that. That right there. That’s what I’m talkin’ about! We don’t need that language, we don’t need that vulgarity! I don’t want that in my WWF! And that’s why I don’t want any of you to be my World Wrestling Federation Cham-“ BANG! OUT OF NOWHERE… MICHAELS NAILS MCMAHON WITH SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Everybody is stunned, Michaels just laid out the chairman of the WWF… but without a moment’s hesitation, Owen lunges… and TACKLES MICHAELS TO THE FLOOR!! Owen lands wild lefts and rights, catching the shocked D-X off guard, but he knows the numbers game is against him so he quickly rolls from the ring to escape Helmsley, Gunn and Dogg. On the outside, Hart scrambles up the ramp, but in the ring, as Helmsley helps Michaels back to his feet, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn look down at Vince… almost in disbelief at what just happened! ”Bah Gawd! The WWF Champion… he just kicked the WWF Chairman’s head off! What the… what the hell is goin’ on? What is Shawn Michaels thinkin’?!”

    *Commercial*

    Another Royal Rumble moment, this time from 1989, where The Warlord enters the match… only to then be eliminated two seconds later! Warlord sets the record for the shortest time in a Royal Rumble Match, a record that still stands to this day, leaving Warlord both embarrassed and furious at how quickly he left the match.

    Backstage, Michael Cole is standing by with The Nation of Domination, and even though Kama Mustafa and D’Lo Brown are in attendance, it’s Faarooq and The Rock everyone wants to hear from. Cole initially wants to ask Faarooq something, but Rocky quickly cuts him off, telling Faarooq ”The Rock’ll handle this one…” Quite frankly, The Rock is sick and tired of cleaning up the mess made by Faarooq and the rest of The Nation. The Nation was embarrassed by Ken Shamrock… so Rock had to beat him to set things straight. The Nation was embarrassed by Mark Henry… so again, Rocky had to step up and ”…kick his fat, roodi-poo candy ass to save The Nation again!” Of course Rock ignores the outside interference that helped him win both of those matches, but he continues, pointing out that every time he promises a victory, he delivers. And that’s why ”…The Rock thinks… no, no, no… The Rock knows he oughta be the leader of The Nation of Domination and that The Nation should be helpin’ The Rock win the Royal Rumble this Sunday!” But of course, that doesn’t suit Faarooq, who tells Rock to shut up. He’s had enough of Rock’s attitude, he’s sick and tired of Rocky acting like he’s above The Nation and it’s time the youngster fell in line. ”You wanna be the leader of The Nation? Yo’ ass ain’t even gonna be in The Nation no mo’ you keep actin’ like a damn fool!” The Royal Rumble, it’s every man for himself, it doesn’t matter if it’s Kama, D’Lo, Rock or Faarooq, all that matters is that someone from The Nation makes it to WrestleMania and becomes the WWF Champion. ”As for bein’ the leader of The Nation… boy, you ain’t ready to be a leader, and until yo’ ass starts listenin’ to Faarooq… you ain’t never gonna be ready…” With a stern stare, Faarooq turns and walks off, leaving Rocky, Kama and D’Lo behind, a mix of frustration and annoyance on all of their faces before we head back into the arena.

    Time for another match, here comes Lance Storm and Jim Cornette, with Lawler complaining about the fact that last week, Bart Gunn nailed Cornette with that knockout left hand, something Cornette was furious about once he finally woke up. Out next comes Bart Gunn, and of course Steve Blackman is by his side. Both these men have had run-ins with Kane over the last few weeks, and that’s a pretty ominous sign according to J.R. given the way Kane is running wild tonight in Paul Bearer’s absence. ”If Kane comes back out here, don’t you hide behind me J.R., you oughta go try reason with ‘im. I’ve heard he has some experience with barbecue too…”

    Match Four:
    Bart Gunn
    w/ Steve Blackman vs. Lance Storm w/ Jim Cornette


    As is the norm with Storm, he starts the match by trying to work Gunn down to the canvas, using armdrags and double-leg takedowns in an attempt to keep Gunn grounded. Bart breaks free though, managing to tag a few quick lefts, before he shoots Storm off the ropes... but Storm ducks a clothesline... to hit a falling neckbreaker for an early two count. Gunn finally mounts some offence when he lands a running crossbody, following up with a stiff backbreaker for another near fall. Gunn shoves Storm to the corner, landing some uppercuts, which prompts Cornette to jump up onto the apron to complain to the ref about hair pulling... and the distraction allows Storm to hurl Gunn to the corner... shoulder first into the ringpost! Sensing a weakness, Storm immediately grounds Gunn and targets the left arm, driving his knee into the shoulder, using an armbar to cause damage, brilliant strategy according to Lawler as Storm could takeaway that deadly left handed knockout. Gunn tries to escape the armbar, but Storm has it locked in tight, but eventually Bart kicks out a foot and reaches the ropes. Both men are back on their feet, trading punches, but then Bart lands three lefts in a row and goes for an Irish whip... double clothesline leaves both men down! Cornette and Blackman urge the combatants back to their feet, but then... the lights go out... the ominous music hits... there’s a burst of pyro... ”Aw’ good Gawd, not again...” here comes Kane! The monster unhinged is heading down the ramp, looking to claim another two victims! Bart is first to figure out what’s going on, he rises to his feet and charges... right into a boot to the face! Storm staggers up... right into a CHOKESLAM! Blackman is now in the ring, looking to hit the bicycle kick... but Kane avoids it... CHOKESLAM TO BLACKMAN! And now Kane reaches down, drags Bart to his feet... scoop him up... TOMBSTONE!! It’s carnage in the ring once again, the referee is out of here, Kane’s brought another match to a premature end.

    Winner: No Contest @ 03:47

    It’s happened again, Kane has struck and has left a trail of devastation! Fire explodes from the corner of the ring, Gunn, Storm and Blackman are all down on the canvas, Cornette is cowering behind the announce desk, nobody can tame this monster! Kane has singled-handily laid out five men tonight with ease, and that prompts J.R. to scream ”Who the hell could stop this man? What’s this gonna mean for this Sunday? How can anybody stop Kane from winnin’ the Royal Rumble?!”

    *Commercial*

    ”Terry!? Where are ya’?! Terry!? Where you hidin’, Funk!?” We’re back straight to see Cactus Jack searching the backstage corridors of the Bryce Jordan Center, clearly on the hunt for Terry Funk. Cactus kicks doors open, sticking his head in, but behind each door lies disappointment for Foley… and we’re all left frustrated as the camera watches Foley wonder along the corridor, shouting ”Funk!? Where are ya’? Funk!!?”… but this confrontation isn’t going to happen… yet.

    To the arena we go, and Barry Windham is already making his way down the ramp, the big hoss looking to rebound from his defeat to his former partner Bradshaw last week. His opponent is the always bizarre Goldust who as always is wheeled down the ramp in a wheelchair, although the surgical mask is gone for Luna Vachon after her identity was revealed last week. To keep us up to date with this storyline, Ross reminds us that one month ago, Marlena and her lawyer presented Luna with papers, and we see footage of this taking place and the lawyer warning Luna she had thirty days to comply. ”Well folks, those thirty days are up… and we still have no idea what was on those papers Marlena served Luna with…” J.R. points out, while Lawler speculates, we’re still no close to the truth.

    Match Five:
    Barry Windham
    vs. Goldust w/ Luna Vachon


    Windham clearly has a point to prove here as he starts like a house on fire, using several high impact moves off the ropes to knock Goldust down time after time. Clotheslines, shoulderblocks, hip tosses, it’s a fast paced start from Windham, which prompts Goldust to roll to the floor to try and break the momentum. Windham heads outside, hurling Goldust into the steel steps, but with Goldust down on the floor, Windham allows himself to be distracted by the snarling Luna... which allows Goldust a chance to drive his knee into Windham’s spine... sending him crashing into the ring post! Now it’s Goldust who has control, back in the ring for a two count, before he heads to the second rope, waits for Windham to rise... bulldog connects! Goldust goes for another cover... 1... 2... Windham gets a shoulder up... and then the crowd start to rise once more... as coming down the ramp... it’s ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin... and he’s got a chair in his hands! Austin slides into the ring... SMACKS THE CHAIR OFF GOLDUST’S SKULL! Windham staggers back to his feet... CHAIR SHOT TO WINDHAM!! Austin lays out both men, once again tonight our referee has to throw the match out and call for a no contest!

    Winner: No Contest @ 02:44

    Austin! Austin! Austin has struck again, laying out both Goldust and Windham! Both are treated to the double bird from ‘The Rattlesnake’, before he calls for a mic. Keeping it short and sweet, Austin warns that even though Kane is a big ol’ son of a gun, anything he can do, Austin can do better. Austin is rolling into the Royal Rumble, he’s going to WrestleMania and ”Kane, Mike Tyson, Vince McMahon, I don’t give a rat’s ass! Y’er lookin’ at the winner of the Royal Rumble right here, and that’s tha’ bottom line… ‘cause ‘Stone Cold’ said so!” The glass shatters again, Austin heads to the corner and calls for beers to be chucked his way, toasting the crowd in the only way he knows how. More beer, more drinking, Austin is on fire right now, and of course that prompts J.R. to ask ”If there’s one man who can stop that monster Kane from goin’ to WrestleMania… is it ‘The Rattlesnake’? Is ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin gonna win the Royal Rumble!?”

    *Commercial*

    Final Royal Rumble moment of the night, this time from 1996, where Shawn Michaels makes a triumphant return from injury. Having been out of action for over a month, Michaels enters the Rumble at number 16, eliminating mammoth foes such as Vader and Yokozuna, before he makes it to the final two with his old friend Diesel, delivering some sweet chin music to send ‘Big Daddy Cool’ tumbling over the top rope to the floor to seal Michaels’ second consecutive trip to the main event of WrestleMania.

    Backstage, Goldust is back in his wheelchair, Luna Vachon pushing him along with a sneer on her face. They head through a set of double swing doors and enter the parking lot… but then Luna puts on the breaks, as stood before her… it’s Marlena! Goldust’s estranged wife, the women who has been desperate to get her husband back stands before Luna Vachon and Goldust… with a team of what looks like psychiatric nurses! Four men dressed in all white, one of them carrying a straitjacket, stand behind Marlena, who smirks at Luna. ”Thirty days, Luna. You had thirty days to obey that court order and hand over my husband so he can get the help he needs. Well now your thirty days are up… and I want my husband back!” Luna is furious, screaming and screeching that she won’t hand Goldust over… so Marlena orders the nurses to take him! Luna tries to resit… but then she and Marlena get into it… and they start pulling hair! Catfight! CATFIGHT!! Luna and Marlena start rolling on the floor, backstage agents quickly race into the scene to try and separate them, but in amongst the commotion… the psych nurses wheel Goldust away towards a waiting van! The hair pulling and rolling about on the floor continues, the screams get louder, the pleas for the two women to let go of each other intensify… and then Goldust yells out ”I must be crazy to be in a loony bin like this!” as he’s loaded into the van and the doors slam shut behind him. The camera then cuts back to Marlena and Luna, still clawing at each other on the floor, but we’re leaving the catfight here as we cut away.

    ”Funk!? Funk!? Where you hidin’ ya’ ol’ bastard?!” Yip, it’s Cactus Jack, clearly still on the hunt for Terry Funk. Much like earlier, Cactus continues to barge doors open, sticking his head into the room to check, but each time he comes up empty. Foley continues to move through the arena, but then he stops… and he stares intently at a door. A door Foley seems to recognise, one he has a affinity with… and when he slowly opens the door… pauses… and then steps inside, we soon see why… we’re in the boiler room! ”Funk! I know you’re in here, Funk! Where are ya’?” calls out Foley, but there’s no response, so Cactus slowly starts to creep his way through the dimly lit room. Checking behind pipes, looking in store cupboards, Cactus checks every nook and cranny, continuing
    to call out for Funk… until he stops once again, his eyes fixated on something nearby… and again the camera pans… to see the mask he once wore as Mankind… pinned to the wall! A nail has been driven right through the leather of the mask, holding it to the wall… and Foley is stuck, frozen, just staring at it, wondering what on earth this symbol could mean… BANG! Foley gets blindsided… by Terry Funk! Funk has came out of the shadows, cracking Foley across the side of the head with a lead pipe!

    ”I warned ya’, Foley. I warned ya’ I was gonna get it outta ya’!” yells Funk before he drops down, hammering Foley with stiff right hands before he places the pipe across Jack’s throat, choking him with it. Foley coughs and splutters, Funk screaming at him, before Funk finally releases his grip, drags Cactus to his feet… and then hurls him into an electrical box! Funk is relentless, hammering Foley, inflicting all kinds of pain and punishment… but he’s doing all with a sick smile on his face and the occasional burst of laughter. ”I told ya’, Mick. I know it. I know it’s in there…” shouts Funk, before he delivers stomps and stiff right hands to the face. Funk then grabs a nearby two by four… and CRACKS IT ACROSS CACTUS’ SPINE!! ”This is hideous! This is nothin’ short of an ambush! Get some help back there, dammit!”, but with the agents busy dealing with the Marlena and Luna catfight, there’s nobody to help Foley right now. More shot by Funk, who then grabs Cactus by the hair, yanking his head off the floor… and we see that Cactus Jack has been BUSTED OPEN! Blood pours down Foley’s face, but Funk just continues to smile and laugh, before he mutters ”Ya’ see what I gotta do, Mick? Ya’ see what ya’ made me do?” before there’s one more laugh… and then Funk let’s go, Foley’s head thudding off the concrete floor. The mind games, the ambush, Funk has done a number of Cactus Jack tonight, and he’s left Foley a bloody, battered mess on the floor of the boiler room, causing J.R. to again plead ”For Gawd sakes! Somebody get back there! Somebody help Mick Foley!”

    But we aren’t going to find out about Foley’s condition tonight, as instead we go to a split screen, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The New Age Outlaws and Chyna on one side, while the lone figure of Owen Hart is on the other. Everyone is heading through the backstage area, which of course means our main event is up next, when we return!

    *Commercial*

    Back from commercial, and Hart is out first, walking confidently down the ramp, but Lawler quite rightly points out that ”Owen’s really gonna be in trouble with all five members of D-X bein’ out here…”, perhaps denting that confidence just a bit. Out next comes the collective might of D-Generation X, with Helmsley leading the way, Michaels talking into his ear as they do… but then all of a sudden… Vince McMahon runs down the ramp and cuts D-X off… and he starts pointing… he’s kicking the rest of D-X out of the arena! Michaels is furious, The Outlaws plead their case, but McMahon is adamant, he wants D-X out of here. ”I guess Mr. McMahon wants no interference here tonight, just like he wants no interference this Sunday. You gotta admit, that’s a pretty impartial thing for McMahon to do…” Ross begrudgingly agrees, and now Pat Pattersonand Gerald Brisco have joined McMahon, gesturing and ordering D-X backstage… but amongst all of the commotion of seeing his colleagues ejected, Helmsley doesn’t see Owen leave the ring, race up the ramp… and HAMMER TRIPLE H FROM BEHIND! Owen takes the fight to Helmsley, a double-leg takedown causing Helmsley to crash onto the ramp and allow Owen to rain down on him with wild rights and lefts! D-X are enraged, Michaels desperate to help his friend, but McMahon and his associates steps in-between, again ordering D-X backstage, which means Michaels can only stand and stare… as Owen drags Triple H back down the ramp… then hurls him into the steel steps! Helmsley is taking a real beating, until finally Owen sends Trips under the bottom rope, and this match can finally, officially, get underway.

    Main Event: Non-Title Match
    European Champion Triple H vs. Owen Hart


    But then punishment continues as Owen is relentless, taking out months of frustration as he pummels Helmsley in the corner, using his boot to choke Triple H, pushing the patience of the referee to the limit on several occasions. The fight spills back outside, Helmsley having his face smashed off of the announce desk, then the European Champion is shot into the barricade, before he sent back into the ring. No pinfall attempts from Owen, he wants to hurt Helmsley, he’s out for revenge, but in an act of desperation, Helmsley reaches up from the ground and grabs the referee by the shirt, but when Owen shoves the ref aside… Helmsley nails him with a LOW BLOW! The ref never saw it, Owen is crippled on the canvas, and now finally Helmsley manages to land some offence, getting near falls from a neckbreaker and a jumping knee, before he starts to unload with vicious right hands. Another near fall from a spinebuster, but when Helmsley goes for an Irish whip, Owen reverses… and catches Helmsley with a spinning heel kick! A snap suplex puts Helmsley down, allowing Owen to head to the top rope… but again Helmsley grabs the ref, this time shoving him into the ropes… causing Owen to crotch himself on the top turnbuckle! Helmsley moves in, looking for a superplex… but Owen uses a string of rights to the body to knock him down… then comes off the top rope with a victory roll! 1… 2… Triple H kicks out, but both men burst to their feet… Helmsley catches an Owen boot… ENZIGUIRI!! Helmsley is down, Owen grabs him by the legs… steps… twist… SHARPSHOO-NO! ”Aw’ Gawd, not again!” The lights have gone out… yip… here comes Kane! One more time, Kane is heading to the ring with a purpose, climbing up onto the apron… stepping over the top rope… but here comes Owen! Owen takes the fight to Kane, tagging him with right after right, franticly trying to fight off the monster… but Kane lands a shot to the throat… then takes Owen up… CHOKESLAM! Helmsley is back on his feet… TOMBSTONE!! For the third time tonight, Kane has unleashed mayhem on the WWF, causing yet another match to be thrown out by the referee.

    Winner: No Contest @ 05:33

    ”Good Gawd almighty! This has gotta stop!”, but there’s nobody who can stop Kane, he’s been a one man wrecking crew tonight, he’s laid out the combatants of yet another match… but wait… here comes ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin!! Austin! He’s racing down the ramp, he slides into the ring… and HE’S TAKING THE FIGHT TO KANE!! Austin and Kane! Austin and Kane! ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ rattles Kane with right after right, staggering the monster… until one shot to the throat from Kane sends Austin stumbling across the ring… but Austin charges… LOU THESZ PRESS TAKES KANE DOWN!! ”It’s a pier six brawl in the home of Penn State University!” screams J.R., and it seems like nothing is going to stop Austin and Kane from tearing each other apart… until Vince McMahon bursts onto the stage, and he starts waving to the back… and pretty soon… the ENTIRE WWF ROSTER races down to the ring! D’Lo Brown of The Nation is one of the first men to hit the ring to try and separate Austin and Kane… kick… STUNNER! A stunner to D’Lo! Savio Vega is next into the ring... CHOKESLAM! Eventually the numbers finally add up and they manage to keep Austin and Kane at separate sides of the ring, but it’s taken over twenty WWF superstars to finally keep Austin and Kane apart. ”I’ve never seen anythin’ like this in my life! All hell has broken loose! Who’s goin’ to win the Royal Rumble!? Who’s goin’ to WrestleMania?!” One last look at the ring, where a furious Vince McMahon is up on the apron, desperately pleading with Austin and Kane to stop… but then Austin breaks free… and makes ONE FINAL BURST ACROSS THE RING AT KANE!! The brawl is on again, bodies are flying, fists are landing from all angles, and it’s amongst the mayhem and carnage that this episode of Raw has to go off the air.

    -----

    Current card for WWF Royal Rumble 1998:

    30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
    Confirmed Entrants (24):
    Ahmed Johnson, Bart Gunn, Barry Windham, Cactus Jack, D’Lo Brown, Faarooq, Goldust, Jeff Jarrett, John Bradshaw, Kama Mustafa, Kane, Ken Shamrock, Kurrgan, Lance Storm, ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero, Mark Henry, Savio Vega, Steve Blackman, ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Taka Michinoku, Tazz, Terry Funk, The Rock and Triple H

    WWF Championship Match:
    WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
    If Owen loses, he must retire from professional wrestling.

    Intercontinental Championship Match:
    Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Ken Shamrock

    World Tag Team Championships Parking Lot Brawl:
    World Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Legion of Doom

    Lance Storm vs. Tazz

    ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero vs. Mark Henry
    If Henry wins, he gets a date with Sable.

  12. #52
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Shotgun Saturday Night
    January 17th, 1998
    Bryce Jordan Center
    State College, Pennsylvania


    The night before the 1998 Royal Rumble means another episode of Shotgun Saturday Night, Michael Cole and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcoming us to the show just 24 hours ahead of our first pay per view of the year. There’s excitement and anticipation in the air ahead of what is always one of the most exciting nights in the WWF calendar, and of course the big talking point is who is going to win the Royal Rumble and book themselves a spot in the main event of WrestleMania XIV? Cole is of the opinion that ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is the favourite, while Lawler thinks anyone betting against Kane is out of their mind, nobody can stop that monster. They also discuss the WWF Championship Match between Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart and that crucial stipulation that outside interference of any kind is banned during this match, and Vince McMahon himself will be there at ringside to ensure this is enforced. McMahon clearly dislikes both Hart and Michaels, especially given the way both men have assaulted Vince in recent weeks, but Lawler knows McMahon is a man of his word, he always does what is best for the WWF and it’s fans, and that means he’ll make sure this one goes down without and controversy… and that’ll mean the end of Owen’s career. The pair also hype tonight’s show, reminding us that another two spots in the Rumble will be determined in the tag team fatal four way, a huge opportunity awaits tonight for one of the four teams involved.

    The opening bout of the show pits Taka Michinoku against Salvatore Sincere... although we’re informed this man no longer wishes to be known as Sal Sincere, instead he now competes under his real name of Tom Brandi. The big Italian gives a good showing of himself, but what Taka lacks in size in comparison to Brandi, he more than makes up for it in terms of speed and agility. Brandi lands a few high impact moves, but he’s caught out when Taka flies from the top rope with a headscissors takedown then smacks Brandi with a shinning wizard for the three count after 03:19. After the match, Brandi groggily gets back to his feet but offers Taka a handshake in congratulations, which Taka accepts, showing perhaps a different side to the man now known as Tom Brandi.

    In the ring, Kevin Kelly calls out Ken Shamrock for an interview segment, looking to hear Shamrock’s thoughts ahead of the Royal Rumble. It’ll be a bust night for Shamrock as he not only will be one of the thirty men competing in the Rumble, he is also of course challenging Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental Championship beforehand. Kelly asks Shamrock how he’s feeling ahead of the match with Jarrett, and of course Shamrock is extremely confident. He’s been chasing Jarrett for weeks now, he’s desperate to get his hands on him and snap Jarrett’s ankle in two. But Shamrock’s not only thinking about the Intercontinental Title, he’s got his eyes on a bigger prize too, namely winning the Royal Rumble and going to WrestleMania to become the WWF Champion. This however brings out Jeff Jarrett and Sunny, who both have plenty to say in response to Shamrock. ‘Double J’ warns Shamrock not to look past him, saying he’s out to prove he’s the best Intercontinental Champion there’s ever been, and it all starts with his first title defence tomorrow night. Shamrock might have impressed everybody when he fought in the UFC, but he doesn’t impress Jarrett, he’s a nobody in this industry and Jarrett’s going to prove that at the Rumble. But of course, all that talk from Jarrett just angers Shamrock, who naturally challenges Jarrett to put up or shut up... right now! Shamrock starts to step towards Jarrett, only for Sunny to step inbetween, berating Shamrock for his attitude... and the distraction allows Jarrett to strike... SMASHING THE GUITAR ACROSS SHAMROCK’S SKULL!! Shamrock is blindsided by Jarrett, the challenger for the Intercontinental Title is down, Kelly immediately motions to the back that we need help in the ring for Shamrock. Of course Jarrett and Sunny are delighted, Jarrett headed to the corner to gloat to the crowd, as it’s the Intercontinental Champion who strikes first with the Royal Rumble just 24 hours away.

    Back from commercial and it’s time for our second match, this time Flash Funk goes up against Kurrgan. Kurrgan is of course joined by the rest of The Truth Commission, Sniper, Recon and their leader The Jackyl, and the big man puts on an impressive display, making Funk pass out with the devastating nerve hold after just 01:52. Jackyl is full of praise for his monster, and Cole and Lawler wonder if maybe one man could indeed go toe to toe with someone like Kane... could it maybe be Kurrgan?

    Another Royal Rumble update from Dok Hendrix, who informs us that as it stands, we’ve confirmed twenty four of the names set to compete in the 1998 Royal Rumble, with another two names set to be revealed in the main event of tonight’s show to bring us to twenty six. Who will the other four men be? You’ll need to tune in to find out. But Hendrix really wants to talk to us tonight about the fact that Mike Tyson will be there tomorrow night in San Jose. Speculation has been rife all week that Tyson is not just coming to San Jose to be a spectator, he’s actively on the lookout for none other than ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin after the way Austin disrespected both Tyson and his manager Don King after King’s recent appearance on Raw. It has the potential to be an explosive situation, especially if Tyson and Austin are to come face to face at any point during the broadcast. It promises to be an unbelievable night, it’s the 1998 Royal Rumble and it’s live only on pay per view!

    Match number three pits Ahmed Johnson against Los Boricuas member Miguel Perez Jr.. While Johnson is in the Rumble, Los Boricuas will be represented by their leader Savio Vega, who Cole guesses isn’t at ringside tonight as he’s busy preparing with Estrada and Castillo backstage. With Perez riding solo, he’s no match for ‘The Pearl River Powerhouse’, with Johnson dominating the match until he eventually puts Perez away at 03:31 with the Pearl River Plunge. Post match, Johnson roars to the crowd, Cole claiming he’s never seen Ahmed look any better than he does now, could he be a dark horse to win the Rumble?

    We return to a brief video hyping the upcoming WWF pay per view, the 1998 Royal Rumble, with the voiceover encouraging everyone to buy the event tomorrow night live on pay per view!

    One final shill job for tomorrow night from Cole and Lawler, it’s the 1998 Royal Rumble, which of course means the Royal Rumble Match and the chance to go to WrestleMania XIV and become the WWF Champion. Right now it’s too close to call, Cole is backing ‘Stone Cold’ to win while Lawler can’t see past Kane. Other contenders our commentary team think have a chance at going all the way are The Rock and Triple H, but of course, anything can happen in the World Wrestling Federation. There’s also three championships on the line, a brutal Parking Lot Brawl scheduled... and Mark Henry could become the luckiest man on Earth by earning himself a date with Sable! Make sure you check it out, live tomorrow night on pay per view!

    And our main event, the Tag Team Fatal Four Way which pits The Can-Am Express against The Disciples of Apocalypse, The Godwinns and The Headbangers, with two spots in the Rumble up for grabs. It’s a wild affair, all four teams keen to tag into the match with plenty of near falls. The finish sees the referee briefly lose control of the match as all eight men enter the ring, but as The Headbangers and The Godwinns brawl on the outside, Skull boots Phil LaFon over the top rope to the floor. That means Doug Furnas is left to face a double team, and that eventually does it for him as Skull and 8-Bal connect with a double chokeslam to get the win after 06:22 to book their places in the Rumble. As D.o.A. celebrate in the ring, the brawl between The Godwinns and The Headbangers rages on, but we’ve now got another two big, angry bruisers entering the fray, the recent change in attitude for Skull and 8-Ball paying off as we get ready for the 1998 Royal Rumble!

    Prediction Template

    30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
    Confirmed Entrants (26):
    Ahmed Johnson, Bart Gunn, Barry Windham, Cactus Jack, D’Lo Brown, Faarooq, Goldust, Jeff Jarrett, John Bradshaw, Kama Mustafa, Kane, Ken Shamrock, Kurrgan, Lance Storm, ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero, Mark Henry, Savio Vega, Skull, Steve Blackman, ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Taka Michinoku, Tazz, Terry Funk, The Rock, Triple H and 8-Ball + Four Surprise Entrants

    WWF Championship Match:
    WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
    If Owen loses, he must retire from professional wrestling.

    Intercontinental Championship Match:
    Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Ken Shamrock

    World Tag Team Championships Parking Lot Brawl:
    World Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Legion of Doom

    Lance Storm vs. Tazz

    ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero vs. Mark Henry
    If Henry wins, he gets a date with Sable.


    1. Predict the winners of each match
    2. Predict the match order.
    3. Predict the longest match.
    4. Predict the shortest match.
    5. Predict the four surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble Match.

  13. #53
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Prediction Template

    6. 30 Man Royal Rumble Match:
    Confirmed Entrants (26):
    Ahmed Johnson, Bart Gunn, Barry Windham, Cactus Jack, D’Lo Brown, Faarooq, Goldust, Jeff Jarrett, John Bradshaw, Kama Mustafa, Kane, Ken Shamrock, Kurrgan, Lance Storm, ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero, Mark Henry, Savio Vega, Skull, Steve Blackman, ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Taka Michinoku, Tazz, Terry Funk, The Rock, Triple H and 8-Ball + Four Surprise Entrants
    The build up on Raw for this, and the constant one-upmanship between Kane and Austin was superb. Delighted you're having guys pull double duty here too, given the relative lack of main event level star power on the roster (despite it being a great roster of talent), and I expect a lot of the undercard rivalries will collide again in the Rumble. Plenty of other issues that should collide and explode here, with Cactus/Funk, Rock/Faarooq, Shamrock/Jarrett, Tazz/Storm, Henry/Mero all currently feuding. I fully expect Bradshaw to dump Windham, and I'm predicting either a long stay in the match for the Texan or potentially a spotlight as one of the final four. The big question for me is if Austin/Kane is the final two - as it looks like it could and probably should be - or if we get a Taker appearance to screw over Kane. Even though the thought of Tyson screwing him over is running through my head, I'm going to say Steve Austin wins this (I dont care if it is mirroring real life - this needs to happen) and eliminates Kane last to do it. Taker can come back in a few weeks time to kick-start the Kane feud. Bradshaw and One of the surprise entrants rounds out the final four IMO.


    5. WWF Championship Match:
    WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
    If Owen loses, he must retire from professional wrestling.
    The added stipulation makes this a very difficult one to call. Obviously, there's the chances of Michaels winning and having Owen renege on his deal to retire and instead continue to wreak havoc as an uninvited guest on Raw etc, but given how Vince essentially wrote Owen off on Raw, and how hot he's been in this thread, Owen Hart walks out with the WWF Championship for me.


    1. Intercontinental Championship Match:
    Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Ken Shamrock
    Whilst I'm pretty sure Jarrett leaves with the belt, I'm torn as to whether he wins the match or gets himself DQ'ed or counted out to retain his title. Going to say Jeff Jarrett steals the win here, thanks to Sunny, in order to make their alliance mean something, and make her look like a worthwhile addition to his act.


    3. World Tag Team Championships Parking Lot Brawl:
    World Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Legion of Doom
    The stipulation should favour the rugged veterans, but as Road Dogg and Gunn have just officially joined up with DX, I think a win for The New Age Outlaws here is the smartest idea going forward.


    4. Lance Storm vs. Tazz
    Personally, I'd prefer Storm to go over, as it feels like he's got more to offer, but I think Tazz needs the win more to get some momentum.


    2. ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero vs. Mark Henry
    If Henry wins, he gets a date with Sable.
    The money is in Mark Henry winning here. He has to. He bloody better. Because I cant wait for the inevitable datenight vignettes between Henry and Sable, and the jealous reaction from Mero.


    1. Predict the winners of each match DONE
    2. Predict the match order. DONE
    3. Predict the longest match. RUMBLE MATCH (If that's cheating, then it's Michaels/Hart)
    4. Predict the shortest match. MERO/HENRY
    5. Predict the four surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble Match. Going for one ECW arrival, one WCW arrival and two legends; ROB VAN DAM, GEORGE THE ANIMAL STEELE, MR. PERFECT, KAMALA

    EDIT; I forgot about VADER ffs. Vader to be a surprise entrant and to fuck jobbers up.

    Cant wait for this. Really intrigued by that WWF Championship match especially. Royal Rumbles are always a fascinating read.
    Last edited by Wolf Beast; 01-07-2018 at 03:26 PM.

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    WWF 1998 Royal Rumble
    January 18th, 1998
    San Jose Arena
    San Jose, California


    We of course start the first pay per view of 1998 with a video package, the theme of which is ‘Desperation’. We’ve got two men tonight, desperate to be World Wrestling Federation Champion. One man desperate to avenge his family, to put years of heartbreak behind him and finally fulfil his destiny. But, he’ll need to put his very career on the line in order to do so. A second man, desperate to stay champion, desperate to prove once again why he is the main event. And then of course, thirty men, all of them desperate to grab the opportunity of a lifetime, to win the Royal Rumble and go on to WrestleMania and the chance to become WWF Champion. Which man, or monster for that matter, will be desperate enough? Which man will outlast twenty-nine other superstars to achieve their dreams? Which man will win... the 1998 Royal Rumble?! From the video, we head into the arena, the crowd tonight are jacked, the noise inside the arena is deafening as we tour the crowd, seeing the various signs the fans have brought with them, lit by the always impressive fireworks display. Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcome us to the show, we’re jam-packed to the rafters in San Jose tonight ahead of what could be the launching pad for one man’s career... and the end of Owen Hart’s. Of course both men are full of speculation, just who could win the Royal Rumble and earn himself a spot in the main of WrestleMania XIV? And who would the winner face, who will be the WWF Champion by the time we get to Boston? Ross is convinced it’ll be Owen Hart, he’s battled back from the tragedy his family suffered in Montreal and he’ll become the WWF Champion tonight. Lawler meanwhile isn’t convinced, Shawn Michaels always finds a way to come out on top, he’ll still be the WWF Champion when it’s all over, and ”...that means tonight is the end for Owen Hart and the Hart family here in the WWF!”, a comment which draws a squeal of delight from Lawler as he says it. We’ve also got the Parking Lot Brawl, Jarrett and Shamrock for the Intercontinental Title and Marc Mero taking on Mark Henry, and if Henry wins, he gets to take Sable out for dinner, and what Lawler wouldn’t give for a chance at that. And as usual, we say hello to our Spanish and French announce teams. Hola amigos!

    We quickly cut to one of the skyboxes in the arena and we get our first glimpse of the wildcard in tonight’s proceedings, Mike Tyson is in the building tonight, his sight on the screen drawing a loud but very mixed response. Tyson, who gives a quick wave to the fans, is sat next to his advisor, Don King, the owner of the WWF Vince McMahon, who’s appearance draws nothing but heat, and a young man who we are introduced to as Shane McMahon, Vince’s son. It’s an honour to have the former world champion in the building tonight says J.R., but Lawler doesn’t care about that, he just ”...can’t wait to see Tyson get his hands Austin. I wanna see ‘im bite an ear off or somethin’, I wanna see what happens when ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ goes face to face with that ingrate Austin!”

    A brief moment of silence, then the arena is bathed in orange and the beat gets louder and louder until it flatlines, that can only mean one thing, this is Tazz! For the second pay per view in a row, Tazz gets things underway, being welcomed into the arena with a thunderous pop from the crowd. Tazz has been a wrecking force since he arrived in the WWF, making several opponents pass out to the deadly Tazzmission, although Lawler feels ”...that Tazzmission oughta be banned! It’s nothin’ but an illegal choke hold, I’d like to see that angry midget try that one on me!”, although J.R. admits several people would also like to see him subjected to the Tazzmission. Out next comes Lance Storm, the always serious newcomer joined by his manager Jim Cornette. It was Cornette who brought Storm to the WWF, determined to bring about a revival of real wrestling, a time when men where men and ”...a dwarf like Tazz woulda been laughed outta every arena he stepped foot in!” according to Lawler. Despite his choice of manager, Storm has impressed J.R. in his brief time in the WWF, causing many an opponent to submit, and given both men’s ability when it comes to holds and submissions, we could easily see someone tap out in this one...

    Match One:
    Lance Storm
    w/ Jim Cornete vs. Tazz


    As a man out to prove a point, Tazz wastes little time in trying to get his hands on Storm, only for Storm to duck his head through the ropes, stalling, visibly frustrating Tazz early on. Tazz continues to call Storm forward, but Storm continues to frustrate Tazz… until finally he gets caught… German suplex! Now Tazz goes on the attack, smacking forearms and uppercuts, before he shoots Storm off the ropes… overhead belly-to-belly! Storm staggers to his feet… clothesline sends him tumbling to the floor! The action spills outside in a hurry, Tazz hurling Storm into the steel steps, but when he sends Storm back into the ring and tries to follow… Cornette grabs Tazz by the foot… allowing Storm to hit a dropkick… that sends Tazz flying from the apron into the barricade! Back outside again, this time it’s Storm on the offensive, sending Tazz face-first off the announce desk, before the action heads back into the ring and Storm gets the first near fall from a swinging neckbreaker. Storm now enjoys a period of control, targeting Tazz’s left knee, dropping elbows across it, driving his own knee into it, clearly softening Tazz up for the Calgary Crab. More damage to the knee as Storm drags Tazz to the corner… and smashes the knee off the ringpost! The referee admonishes Storm, but it only serves as a distraction… allowing Cornette to smack TAZZ’S KNEE WITH THE TENNIS RACQUET! Tazz struggles back to his feet, limping badly, and the attacks to the knee continue, a chop block and a step toehold doing more damage. Storm then slaps on a kneebar, trying to hyperextend the leg… but eventually, Tazz feeds off the cheers of the crowd, reaching for the ropes… and he finally gets there to break the hold! Storm has to release, but he’s soon back on the attack, tagging Tazz with shots before he sends Tazz to the corner and follows in… into a boot to the face… then Tazz hits a falling clothesline! Both men are down, Cornette willing Storm to his feet, and Storm makes it back up first… but his right hand is blocked… Tazz smacks an uppercut… and another… and a third, before he hits an exploder suplex! 1… 2… Storm kicks out, but Tazz is building momentum, smacking forearms and headbutts, before Storm is sent off the ropes… release overhead suplex! Storm staggers back to his feet… northern lights suplex! 1… 2… Storm barely kicks out! Cornette looks worried, and rightfully so as Tazz is motoring here… and he has Storm in his sights, waiting for him to rise… TAZZMISSION! TAZZMISSION! Tazz locks on his deadly submission move, Storm desperately tries to fight it, arms flailing… but with his man in danger, Cornette slides into the ring… and SMACKS TAZZ ON THE BACK WITH THE TENNIS RACQUET!! Right infront of the referee, a blatant disqualification by Cornette, the referee has no choice but to call for the bell and this one is over prematurely!

    Winner: Via Disqualification, Tazz @ 07:11

    Cornette may have saved Storm and caused the DQ in the process... but having let go of Storm, Tazz starts to work back to his feet... and now he’s staring down Cornette! Fear grips Cornette’s eyes, the crowd is baying for blood, they want to see Tazz get his hands on Cornette... but Cornette turns to run... Tazz grabs him by the jacket... yanks him in... TAZZMISSION! TAZZMISSION TO CORNETTE!! The San Jose crowd are going nuts, Tazz has Cornette locked into the Tazzmission... but Storm nails Tazz from behind, causing Tazz to break the hold! Quickly, Storm gathers himself and grabs Cornette, the two bundling themselves from the ring to the floor to then scamper up the aisle. Tazz grabs the back of his head, leaning against the ropes, fury in his eyes as he stares up the aisle at Storm and Cornette, who look relieved to have gotten out of the ring unharmed. Tazz is enraged though, screaming and threatening the pair, warning them he’ll get his hands on them one day, with J.R. making the call of ”There’s gonna be hell to pay when Tazz gets his hands on Lance Storm and Jim Cornette!”, but we’ll need to wait for part two of this one as we cut elsewhere.

    To the parking lot we go where Kevin Kelly is standing by. Kelly informs us that he’s awaiting the arrival of a certain ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin to the arena tonight, with Kelly hoping to grab a word with Austin not only about the Rumble but also about the fact that Mike Tyson is here tonight. Kelly will be in the parking lot waiting, he’ll bring us Austin’s thoughts as soon as he gets here... but then Kelly pauses... and a look of fear grips him... as a hearse is pulling into the parking lot, and that can only mean one thing... Kane is here... and so is Paul Bearer! Paul Bearer, who’s been absent from television ever since Austin hurled him into the Long Island Sound on Raw a few weeks ago is back, he’s here in San Jose tonight! Nervously, Kelly tries to grab a word with Bearer, asking him how he’s feeling now he’s back by Kane’s side. But Bearer isn’t interested in questions, he just has a very simple message for ‘Stone Cold’. ”Mr. Austin... when you threw me in that cold, dark water... you sealed not only your fate... but the fate of the entire World Wrestling Federation! Tonight... we send you Mr. Austin and the WWF... straight to hell!” And with a sneer from Bearer and an ominous stare from Kane, the two head inside the building, leaving a visibly shaken Kelly to watch them go before we head back inside the arena.

    It’s time for match number two, and that means Mark Henry is making his entrance. Henry has been infatuated with Sable in recent weeks, and J.R. and Lawler talk us through a brief highlight reel of his feud with Sable. From then night Mero locked Sable in her dressing room to stop her from being at ringside, only for Henry to be revealed as the mystery man who set her free, to the challenge being made and the stipulation being added that if Henry can get the win here, he’ll be able to take Sable out on a date, we see footage showing us all of this, including Mero and Sable arguing on the stage during Henry’s match with The Rock last Monday, the distraction causing Henry to lose. ”This kid’s a big ol’ freight-train once he gets rollin’, but ya’ have to wonder... what’s the deal with the whole ‘Sexual Chocolate’ thing anyway?” A good question J.R., it’s a notion that Lawler thinks is ridiculous, although he admits that if Henry does win, he’s give up his crown if it meant swapping places. Here comes ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero, and of course there’s a massive pop as Sable is by his side, wearing yet another tight, revealing outfit. Mero is as usual annoyed about the attention Sable gets, and when they get to the ring, Mero yells at her to ”Get over there and don’t move!”, before he starts talking trash at Henry. ”Mero’s gotta hit and run here tonight, he might be a golden gloves boxer, but he don’t want this one turnin’ into a slugfest...”, which may be the case, but as the trash talking continues... Henry smacks Mero with a big right hand! This one’s underway in a hurry...

    Match Two:
    ‘Marvellous’ Marc Mero
    w/ Sable vs. Mark Henry


    And the right hands continue to land, Henry tagging Mero until he shoots him off the ropes… into a big back body drop! Mero is reeling, staggering to the corner, where more rights smack him in the face, before Mero is fired across the ring… and Henry engulfs him with a corner splash! Mero stumbles forward… big clothesline knocks him down, allowing Henry the chance to send a quick wave and a wink in Sable’s direction, which of course causes Sable to smile and shake her head… but it also allows Mero to finally get some offence in as he lands a pair of shots to the gut. Mero looks to build on this with more shots and boots, but when he comes off the ropes… Henry takes him up in the air… GORILLA PRESS SLAM… OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR! Henry quickly follows outside, but again Sable catches his eye, causing Henry to lose focus… and Mero takes advantage… driving Henry face first into the ringpost! Looking for the cheap win, Mero gets back into the ring and leaves Henry down, the ref’s count making it to 7… 8… 9… Henry just makes it back under the bottom rope! But Mero is all over him, attacking Henry with elbowdrops and legdrops, using his boot to choke Henry, trying to keep the big man grounded. Henry manages to make it back to his feet… but Mero quickly takes him back down with a DDT for a two count. Another near fall for Mero from a top rope dropkick, but when he points at Sable and tells her Henry’s finished, he then tries to muscle Henry up for the TKO… and of course, Henry’s too heavy, causing Mero to stagger away feeling at his back. Mero then charges… but he gets caught… in a BEARHUG! Henry squeezes the life out of Mero, who flails his arms desperately… and he catches the referee in the face! The ref recoils away, rubbing his eye, which means he doesn’t see Mero break the hold… using a LOW BLOW! Henry is crippled, down on the mat, but Sable… she jumps up onto the apron! Protesting, she lets the referee know what happened, but he missed it… but now Mero is over, yelling at Sable to get back down on the floor… but while this is going on, Henry is back on his feet… fury on his face! Mero eventually turns… Henry smashes him with a bodyblock! And another… and a third, before Mero is sent off the ropes… Mero tries a crossbody… he gets caught… FALLING POWERSLAM! Henry then comes off the ropes… RUNNING SPLASH! Mero is crushed, Henry has the cover… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Mark Henry @ 06:22

    He did it, Mark Henry has beat Marc Mero... and that means he gets to take Sable out on a date! The crowd erupt, Henry is on his knees in the ring, fists pumped in the air, while Sable... she’s actually stood at ringside smiling about it all! With Mero still down, Henry is back on his feet to have his hand raised by the referee, before he looks and points at Sable, yelling at her ”I see you tomorrow night, baby! You gonna get a taste tomorrow night!” before he winks at her and then heads for the ropes. Sable now slides into the ring and tries to help Mero back up, but instead Mero has a temper tantrum, slapping his hands off the canvas, while Sable... she just keeps on staring at Henry and smiling. ”I... I think she’s excited, J.R.! I don’t think Sable wants to wait for tomorrow night!” But I’m afraid we’ll all just have to wait and tune in to Raw tomorrow night to see how this one plays out.

    Up to the skybox with Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, Don King and of course our special guest tonight, Mike Tyson. The four men are enjoying a break in-between the action, inside their suite they enjoy some food and beverages. Michael Cole then slowly approaches Tyson, hoping to grab a quick interview with him. Cole asks Tyson how it feels to be here live at the Royal Rumble, and naturally Tyson responds positively, admitting he’s excited to be here, he’s a big WWF fan and he’s been looked after well by Vince and Shane. Cole then asks him about ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and the comments Austin made towards Tyson and King. Naturally, Tyson didn’t appreciate the disrespect Austin showed towards him, but ”…I’m a big ‘Cold Stone’, I mean ‘Stone Cold’ fan, but I ain’t happy with what he said about me…”, with Tyson promising that if he and Austin ever come face to face, he’ll knock Austin out. Cole then tries to speak with Vince, asking him for his thoughts on the WWF Championship Match later this evening. McMahon reiterates that there’s no love lost between him and both Owen Hart and Shawn Michaels, pointing out ”…in recent weeks I’ve been assaulted by both men, I’ve been insulted by both men, quite frankly, I don’t care who wins the WWF Championship tonight. Either I rid myself of that degenerate Shawn Michaels as WWF Champion… or I rid myself of Owen Hart from the WWF altogether.” Cole then wants to ask how McMahon plans to enforce the no outside interference stipulation he’s added to the match, but Vince is more evasive here, responding with ”Listen Michael, all you and the WWF fans need to know is that I promised we’d have a fair fight and a clean finish tonight, and that’s what I intend to deliver. Now, if you’ll excuse me… Mr. Tyson, Mr. King, enjoy the rest of the show. I’m afraid I have some other business to attend to right now…” Vince then heads for the exit of the skybox, leaving Shane to swap some small talk with Tyson and King, but that’s where this segment comes to an end.

    Back into the arena, and here comes Ken Shamrock, a furious scowl on his face as ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ heads to the ring for a shot at the Intercontinental Title. As Shamrock is walking down the aisle, Lawler and J.R. discuss footage from an in-ring interview between Shamrock and Jeff Jarrett two nights ago on Shotgun Saturday Night, where thanks to a distraction from Sunny, Jarrett was able to smash his guitar across Shamrock’s skull. ”I don’t know how smart that was of Jeff to hit Shamrock with the guitar though. I think he mighta made a very angry man even angrier…” It certainly looks that way, ‘King’. As Shamrock paces in the ring, we quickly cut to the interview set where Dok Hendrix is ready to grab a last-minute word with Jeff Jarrett and Sunny. Hendrix’s questions is along the same vein as Lawler’s comment, why did Jarrett assault Shamrock with the guitar, and has he simply made ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ even more dangerous ahead of tonight. Jarrett looks incredulous at the question, warning Hendrix ”Don’t piss me off, Hendrix. I don’t give a damn how upset Shamrock is, I don’t give a damn how dangerous you think he is, the fact of the matter is that I am the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, and I’m gonna prove it to that slapnut right here tonight. And you can choke on that you washed up hasbeen!” With a shove of Hendrix, Jarrett barges past him, leading he and Sunny off the set. In the ring, Shamrock has been pacing like a caged animal, and he’s ready to burst when Jarrett finally makes his entrance. Shamrock is desperate to get the match underway, but Jarrett makes him wait, warning the referee to get Shamrock back, before he finally steps into the ring and we get this one underway…

    Match Three: Intercontinental Championship Match
    Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett w/ Sunny vs. Ken Shamrock


    Once we get started, the opening moments see both men countering in and out of headlocks and hammerlocks, Jarrett crowing every time he gets the upperhand. Shamrock shoves Jarrett away from a standing headlock, knocking him over with a shoulderblock, and now Shamrock goes on the attack, tagging Jarrett with kicks and uppercuts before he sends Jarrett flying a snap suplex for an early near fall. Shamrock gets further near falls from a jumping spin kick and the hurricanrana, but when Shamrock shoots Jarrett off the ropes, he lowers his head… and Jarrett strikes with a swinging neckbreaker! Now Jarrett manages to take over, laying in with stomps to the midsection, before he uses the ropes to choke Shamrock. With Shamrock prone on the middle rope, Jarrett comes off the ropes and drops his weight across Shamrock’s back, getting him a two count. Jarrett is in control now, continuing to work the neck and throat before he then looks to take a page out of Shamrock’s book, working over Shamrock’s leg. Well placed elbowdrops do damage, as does more work against the ropes, Jarrett looking to soften Shamrock up perhaps for the figure four later in the contest. A powerslam and a flying fistdrop get Jarrett further near falls, before he again goes back to the leg, dropping more elbows and legdrops to the knee. Shamrock is then locked in a grounded headlock, but he manages to work his way back to his feet, smacking elbows to the gut in an effort to break free… but Jarrett lands forearms to the back of the head, then he sends Shamrock off the ropes… into a SLEEPER HOLD! Jarrett wraps his arms around Shamrock’s neck dead-centre of the ring, Sunny yells in delight, she’s convinced this one is over. And sure enough, Shamrock slowly starts to fade, down to a seated position on the canvas, the referee moving in to check, raising the arm once… twice… but on the third attempt, Shamrock hangs in there! The San Jose crowd now rally behind Shamrock, urging him back to his feet, and when he gets there… Shamrock breaks the sleeper with a side suplex! Jarrett tries to stay in control, but his right hands have no effect, they just spur Shamrock on as he lets out a roar… then starts unloading on Jarrett! Uppercuts, kicks, chops, Shamrock’s offense is wild, before he sends Jarrett off the ropes… big back body drop! Jarrett is reeling, Shamrock hits another hurricanrana, then he hoists Jarrett up… big vertical suplex! Here’s a cover… 1… 2… Jarrett gets a shoulder up! Shamrock stays in control though, more kicks, more uppercuts, then he ducks a desperate Jarrett swing… belly-to-back suplex! Jarrett is down… Shamrock grabs an ankle… he’s going for the ANKLE LOCK… WAIT! On the outside, Sunny has grabbed Jarrett’s guitar… she slides it into the ring… but Shamrock sees it coming… he intercepts the guitar! SHAMROCK HAS THE GUITAR… HE SWINGS AT JARRETT… NO! The referee takes the guitar away at the last moment, saving Shamrock from a potential disqualification… but amongst the commotion… Jarrett catches Shamrock with an INSIDE CRADDLE! 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: And STILL Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Jarrett @ 09:43

    Jarrett wins it, he somehow manages to retain the Intercontinental Title despite being hammered for the majority of the match! Jarrett quickly escapes the ring while Sunny runs to the grab the belt, joining her client in the aisle as the pair quickly stumble away. In the ring, Shamrock can’t believe it, his head in his hands, wondering how in the hell this one got away from him… and as his eyes lock on the smug Jarrett, Shamrock is furious, letting out a scream of fury… but sadly, Shamrock’s chance at the gold has came and went.

    Backstage, we join an argument in progress between Marc Mero and Sable, with Sable seemingly walking away from Mero as he shouts after her. ”Sable?! Sable?! What the hell was that?! You’re laughin’ at me? You think that’s funny!?”, but Sable just keeps on walking, until finally Mero catches up and grabs her by the arm. Mero is furious, telling Sable once again she’s his property, she needs to show him more respect. As far as Mero is concerned, Henry is a loser, he got lucky tonight, and ”This little date you two think you’re goin’ on, not a chance! It ain’t gonna happen!” But Sable is adamant, she’s can do whatever she wants, whether Mero likes it or not, she will be on that date with Henry tomorrow. That just leads to more shouting from Mero, until he finally states ”Y’know somethin’? I’m in the Royal Rumble tonight, I’m gonna earn my shot at the WWF Championship at WrestleMania… and I don’t need you out there distractin’ me. When I’m in the Rumble, you better keep your ass in the dressin’ room. Now c’mon, let’s go…” Mero walks off and assumes Sable is following behind him, but the camera lingers on Sable as he just shakes her head angrily until she mutters the words ”We’ll see about that…”, and then she too walks off and we cut away.

    To a dressing room where we see Terry Funk getting ready for the Rumble, the grizzled veteran wrapping tape around his fists. Funk doesn’t say anything, he just continues wrapping that tape tight… but then his eyes are drawn off camera… and we soon see why… Vince McMahon has entered the room… and he doesn’t look happy. Funk doesn’t say anything, he just flashes McMahon a firm look, but Vince quickly kicks off the conversation, rather sarcastically asking if Funk is wrapping his fists in so much tape because he thinks he’s in for a brawl tonight. No, this is the Royal Rumble, this isn’t some hardcore brawl, this isn’t what Funk subjected Cactus Jack last Monday on Raw. ”You gave me your word, Funk. You promised me, no more hardcore matches, no more violence in my arenas. In return, I promised you opportunities, and I came through on my end, I gave you your shot at the Intercontinental Title. So what the hell was that all about last Monday?” Well, y’see, a Fatal Four Way for the Intercontinental Title, that wasn’t really what Funk had in mind when McMahon promised him opportunities. He might be middle-aged and crazy, but he still knows when he’s being played by a wrestling promoter. ”I’m too long in the tooth for that kinda thing, Vince. Once that title was off Austin… you didn’t give a rat’s ass about ol’ Terry, did ya’?” So if McMahon isn’t going to give Funk what he wants… he won’t play by McMahon’s rules. But nobody threatens Vince McMahon, nobody. ”We had a deal, Funk. You better start living up to your end of the bargain. This issue between you and Foley, you want to end it? Fine, let’s end it. But you two end it the old-fashioned way, in the ring, one on one. Not in boiler rooms or in hardcore matches.” And with one final warning, Funk is told McMahon won’t tolerate his recent actions any longer. He needs to think long and hard about the gratuitous violence he brings to the WWF, or he might not be needed around here much longer. With that, McMahon turns and leaves the dressing room, but a wry smirk crosses Funk’s face as he just sits back down and goes back to wrapping his fists.

    Cut to a shot of the announce desk, where Ross admits he doesn’t believe for a second Terry Funk will take heed of McMahon’s warning, although Lawler points out it’s not a smart idea to make an enemy of McMahon right now. But McMahon’s desire to reduce violence in the WWF, and the ban of hardcore style matches in WWF arenas, is what’s led to this next matchup. It’s the Parking Lot Brawl between The New Age Outlaws and The Legion of Doom for the World Tag Team Championships. We then see a video package highlighting this long feud between these two teams, going way back to the end of November when The Outlaws beat L.o.D. to become the new champions. The two teams continued to cross paths over the next few weeks, although Road Dogg and Billy Gunn always managed to sneak away. A turning point came when The Outlaws attacked Hawk and Animal during a match again Shawn Michaels and Triple H, helping D-X to the victory and then joining in with a postmatch beatdown. A backstage brawl allowed Hawk and Animal to gain a measure of revenge, but a line was crossed when Gunn and Dogg stole the famous Road Warrior spikes… but they got caught in the parking lot, leading to another brawl and tonight’s matchup. These two teams keep going back and forth, but they’re finally going to end this rivalry tonight!

    Cut to the parking lot, where we see The New Age Outlaws exiting the building, both Road Dogg and Billy Gunn carrying tyre irons, calling for Hawk and Animal to come out and face them… but then suddenly, a screech of rubber is heard… and a black pickup truck comes to a hault just inches from running The Outlaws over… it’s ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin! Austin is here, and of course Kevin Kelly races into the screen to grab a quick word with Austin. But Austin isn’t in the mood to talk as he retorts with ”You wanna word with ‘Stone Cold’? How ‘bout you kiss my ass! And what the hell d’you two want?” Despite having the numbers advantage, and despite being furious at how close Austin came to hitting them with his truck, The Outlaws know this Austin means business tonight, so they decide to let it slide, just like Austin thought as he barges past them into the building. Road Dogg and Gunn now try to catch their breath and get back to the matter at hand… but from behind, it’s The Legion of Doom! ’Road Warrior’ Animal and ’Road Warrior’ Hawk take advantage of the distraction from Austin, hammering the champs from behind… and this one is underway!

    Match Four: World Tag Team Championships Parking Lot Brawl
    World Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Legion of Doom


    And the action is hard-hitting right from the get go, with Hawk and Animal hurling Road Dogg and Billy into various cars parked nearby, then giving the champions a real beating with a string of stiff right hands and boots to the body. Hawk pairs off with Billy while Animal targets Road Dogg, but the early moments see The Outlaws in a world of pain, continually assaulted and having their heads and bodies bounced off the hoods of cars. The champions finally get some offence in when Billy tags Hawk with a right hand, then a kick to the side of the head, before a string of stomps leave Hawk grounded. This allows Billy to rescue Road Dogg, the champs double-teaming Animal, hurling him into the door of a car before they start laying in with punches to the head... but here comes Hawk, grabbing Road Dogg from behind... and using a hiptoss to launch Road Dogg spine first onto the hood of a car! Hawk climbs on top, hammering Dogg with right hands... but Billy quickly makes the save, dragging Hawk away. Billy tags Hawk, then he looks for a PILEDRIVER ONTO THE CONCRETE... NO! Hawk counters... BACK BODY DROP ONTO THE CONCRETE! The champions are in trouble, the challengers continue the attack, taking out of months of frustration by hammering The Outlaws, Road Dogg again being smashed into the hoods of cars as Billy writhes on the floor. Gunn manages to pick himself up, and he breaks up a double-team on Road Dogg, dragging Hawk away and shoving him into the grill of a truck. Billy backs up... then charges... but Hawk counters... flapjack onto the hood of the car! We see a quick shot of Road Dogg and Animal brawling, but Hawk grabs a wrench... swings... but Billy avoids it, Hawk smacks the car, leaving a dent in the hood... and that allows Gunn to drill a few rights and boots to the body. Hawk is down on a knee, Billy grabs a door handle... and SMASHES THE DOOR OFF OF HAWK’S SKULL! Hawk is down, and Billy leaves him to go and help Road Dogg, the champions now double-teaming Animal. They pummel him with rights onto the hood of the car, then The Outlaws follow up, all three men standing on the hood... DOUBLE SUPLEX ONTO THE ROOF OF THE CAR!! Animal crashes down onto the roof of the car, partially caving it in, and it’s here we finally have the first pinfall attempt... 1... 2... Animal barely gets a shoulder up off the roof of the car! Both challengers are down and hurt, but now the champions open the door of the car Animal is on top of, drag him down... then toss him into the car, shut the door... and Road Dogg fumbles about with keys... LOCKING ANIMAL IN THE CAR!! Animal has been locked in that car, The Outlaws taunting him from the outside, while inside, Animal scrambles, trying every door, desperately looking for an escape... but right now, he’s trapped and the champions start to target Hawk.

    Hawk takes a real beating now, repeatedly smashed into cars, he takes a shot from the wrench to the midsection, then The Outlaws find another car and use a seatbelt from it to choke Hawk. The camera cuts back to Animal, still trying to find a way out, kicking doors and windows, but he just can’t break free. The double-team continues, The Outlaws hooking Hawk up... DOUBLE SUPLEX... HAWK CRASHES ONTO A WINDSCREEN!! The windscreen cracks, Hawk slumps to the concrete, and Billy goes for a cover... 1... 2... Hawk gets a shoulder up! Looking to finish the match off, Billy clambers up onto the roof off a car, while Road Dogg drags Hawk up... but at that moment, we cut back to Animal... who KICKS A WINDOW OUT, finally allowing him to leave the car... and it’s just in time as The Outlaws look for a SPIKE PILEDRIVER ONTO THE CONCRETE... NO! Animal clobbers Road Dogg, then he reaches up... takes Gunn up into a GORILLA PRESS SLAM... ONTO THE ROOF OF A CAR!! A loud thud as Billy caves in the roof of the car, but now Animal targets Road Dogg, clubbing the back of his head before he hurls Road Dogg towards a car… BREAKING THE SIDE WINDOW! Animal just broke the car window with Road Dogg’s skull, the champions are reeling, Animal is cleaning house and now he turns back to Billy, dragging him off the floor... SCOOP SLAM ONTO THE HOOD OF A CAR! Animal goes for a cover… 1… 2… Gunn barely gets a shoulder up! Hawk is back into the match now, helping Animal lay in with the beating on Gunn, before Hawk heads to the trunk of a car, popping it open… and he pulls out a spare tire! Hawk grabs the wheel… and TOSSES IT OFF OF GUNN’S HEAD! Road Dogg is back up too, but he walks right into a boot from Hawk that doubles him over… then Hawk finds a tire iron… smacks it off Dogg’s spine… then Road Dogg is sent flying across the hood of a car, tumbling to the floor below. Looking to finally finish things off, Animal drags Billy to his feet while Hawk starts to clamber up onto the roof of a car… and it all comes together as Animal takes Billy up onto his shoulders… DOOMSDAY DEVICE… NO! Road Dogg scrambles into the car Hawk is standing on, opens the sunroof… reaches up and grabs Hawk by the foot! Animal is waiting for his partner to fly… but Hawk is trapped, stuck in the sunroof opening! This allows Gunn to fight his way off of Animal’s shoulders… landing right next to a wrench, which he picks up… and SMACKS THE WRENCH OFF OF ANIMAL’S SKULL!! A sickening thud of metal on skull as Animal collapses to the concrete, Billy falls on top of him… 1… 2… 3!

    Winners: And STILL World Tag Team Champions, The New Age Outlaws @ 10:42

    Unbelievable, The Outlaws retain, and after weeks of dodging the challengers, they’ve finally secured a victory that surely brings this feud to a conclusion. Although neither Road Dogg or Gunn look like winners right now, they crawl along the parking lot floor, clutching the title belts, looking to make it back to the safety of the arena. The camera cuts to the down and out Hawk and Animal, both ‘Road Warriors’ looking exhausted after the beating they gave out and received, the match clearly taking a toll on both men. The parking lot is a mess, there appears to be no winners here given the state of all four men, but The Outlaws are still officially the tag champs as we head elsewhere.

    Back up to the skybox where once again Michael Cole is hoping to grab a word with Mike Tyson. Cole tentatively approaches Tyson in his seat, still sat next to Shane McMahon and Don King, wanting to know how Tyson feels about the show so far. Tyson admits he’s enjoying being here, he’s disappointed that The Legion of Doom never won the tag titles as he’s a big ‘Road Warriors’ fan, but he’s having fun tonight. Tyson then turns to McMahon, and in a strange move, he tells Shane he’d like to be a bit closer to the action. Shane doesn’t quite understand, pointing out their great seats, the free food and champagne, not sure what else Tyson could want. ”I wanna be down in the front row for the Royal Rumble. I wanna look that punk Austin right in his eyes...” Caught off-guard, Shane stumbles over his words, King immediately jumps in and tells Tyson that’s not a good idea, but Tyson is adamant, he wants a seat in the arena for the main event tonight. ”Down there. I wanna be down there, I wanna see it all...” Again McMahon stutters, but he soon throws his hands up and tells Tyson he’ll need to make a phone call, he’ll try his best to sort it, and when Shane gets up out of his chair and leaves, the camera stays locked in on an intense looking Tyson before we go back to the announce desk.

    And our commentary team, Lawler in particular, look stunned by that announcement from Tyson. ”He- Tyson, he… he wants to be in the front row? He wants to be in the front row for the Royal Rumble?!” It’s a situation that has the potential to explode, but right now, it’s time for one of the most high-stakes matchups in WWF history. Up next, it’s the WWF Championship, Shawn Michaels defending the title against Owen Hart. ”Let’s remind you of the stipulations here. Vince McMahon himself will be at ringside to ensure there will be no outside interference of any kind. And of course, if Owen Hart is unsuccessful, if he can’t beat Shawn Michaels and become WWF Champion, then unfortunately… Owen Hart would have to retire.” The stakes could not be higher, and we then see a video package showing us how we got to this point. Of course we start back at Survivor Series, that infamous night in Montreal, where Bret Hart was screwed by Michaels and McMahon. Then there came the mocking of the Hart family by Michaels… until the Raw before In Your House: Degeneration X, when Hart make a shock return, assaulting McMahon before escaping through the crowd. These assaults continued night after night, Michaels, Triple H, even referee Earl Hebner, anyone involved in that night in Montreal became a target for Hart. McMahon initially tried to use security to keep Owen out of his arenas, but Michaels continued to goad Hart, much to McMahon’s annoyance. Eventually Hart and McMahon would meet face to face in the ring, McMahon admitting that while he’d never let Owen walk to WCW, he also didn’t want him back in the WWF. Hart then offered his career for one shot at Michaels and the WWF Championship, a match which McMahon and Michaels both agreed to. McMahon would admit he couldn’t stand either man, which lead to a shocking moment where Michaels would smack McMahon with sweet chin music, despite Owen’s fears over another McMahon screwjob, but with a title and a career on the line… just how on earth is this one going to play out?

    Quickly cut to the locker room where Dok Hendrix is standing by with D-Generation X members Triple H, Chyna and of course the WWF Champion Shawn Michaels. Hendrix wants some last-minute thoughts from Michaels, in particular about the stipulation that all outside interference is banned from tonight’s title match. Ever the arrogant champion, Michaels states it doesn’t matter that D-X are banned from getting involved tonight, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ doesn’t need anybody to beat Owen Hart. ”I didn’t need Triple H or Chyna to your your brother packin’ in Montreal, and I sure as hell didn’t need Vince McMahon either. Tonight, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ brings your little run here in the WWF to an end. And McMahon, you even think about stickin’ your nose in my business tonight… I might put your ass into retirement too!” And after a good-luck hug from Helmsley and Chyna, Michaels exits the locker room and we head back into the arena.

    The camera cuts to Howard Finkel, who introduces us to the match and again runs down the stipulations. He then brings out Vince McMahon, still without any entrance music, although the chorus of boos from the crowd quickly fills the silence. McMahon enters the ring and heads to the corner, shaking his head in annoyance as the crowd continues to rain down on him. We then cut backstage and see the challenger, Owen Hart walking through the backstage area, past the gorilla position, before he enters the arena to a tremendous response from the fans. ”This is the biggest opportunity of Owen Hart’s career, but it comes with an unbelievable risk. Either Hart becomes the WWF Champion right here tonight, or his career in this great industry is over…” A sobering call from J.R., although Owen looks like a man full of focus and determination ahead of his chance at greatness. Backstage again, this time it’s Shawn Michaels cutting a lonesome figure as he heads through the corridors, then into the arena. Full of brash and vigour, Michaels sets off a massive pyro display in the ring, before he turns to McMahon… and flips him a middle finger! ”Make no mistake about it folks, there is no bias towards either champion or challenger here tonight. These three men have their issues, they have their contentions, and it all comes to a head right here!”

    Match Five: WWF Championship Match
    WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart
    At ringside: Vince McMahon
    (If Owen Hart loses, he must retire from professional wrestling.)


    The bell rings, the crowd roar in anticipation, this one has a real big-fight feel to it, but naturally both men are wary of the presence of McMahon at ringside, especially Owen, who points and yells a warning in Vince’s direction. The pair tie-up several times, neither man able to gain the upperhand, both becoming frustrated, so much so that when Owen grabs a handful of hair, Michaels demands a break, which the ref provides… then he slaps Owen hard across the face! Owen lunges in response, but Michaels quickly ducks between the ropes, smirking as the referee has to usher Owen away. Another lockup, Owen gets a headlock, but Michaels shoves him into the ropes… then knocks the challenger down with a shoulderblock. Michaels looks to quicken the pace… only for Owen to use his momentum to launch Michaels over the top rope to the floor! This one quickly heads outside, the pair brawling around ringside with McMahon watching on. Michaels shoves Owen against the barricade, strikes with chops, then he charges… but Owen counters… back body drop into the crowd! This title match is being taken into the fans, but referee Mike Chioda is counting both men… 6… 7… 8… wait… McMahon is ordering Chioda to stop the count, he wants to let them go at it! ”McMahon’s stoppin’ the count! He wants to see a winner, one way or another. There ain’t gonna be no fast counts or cheap endin’ in this title match, folks!” With J.R.’s sly dig at WCW over with, the action continues, Owen shooting Michaels against the walls of the arena’s ice hockey rink, pummelling Michaels with stiff uppercuts, the champion trying to scramble away to safety. The pair trade blows, working their way through the crowd until they wind up near the entrance way, where Michaels’ face is smashed off the set, then Hart hooks Michaels up… SUPLEX ON THE FLOOR! Hart is hammering Michaels right now, and after hearing the pleas of the referee, the action finally returns to the ring… but not before Hart and McMahon share a tense look at each other as Owen re-enters the ring. We actually get something resembling a wrestling match now as Owen snaps off a backbreaker and a dropkick for near falls, but when he shoots Owen to the corner and follows in… Michaels sidesteps… Owen smacks shoulder first off the ringpost! A painful impact for Hart, and now Michaels moves to take advantage, hammering Owen in the corner with rights and boots, before he sends Owen off the ropes… flying clothesline! Hart is down, Michaels has a lateral press… 1… 2… Hart gets a shoulder up. Michaels slows the pace of the match way down, using more stomps to the body, before he starts to target the shoulder with stomps, then he delivers a stiff shoulderbreaker for another near fall. More stiff rights to the jaw, before Michaels sends Owen to the corner and follows in… Owen gets a boot up to the jaw! Here comes Hart, tagging Michaels, before he comes off the ropes… spinning heel kick… but Michaels drops to the canvas… and Hart crashes and burns! A painful landing on the mat for Hart, the champion is back in control and again goes to work on that damaged shoulder.

    After driving his knee into the shoulder, Michaels starts to light Hart up with chops to the chest, before he drops the challenger with an inverted atomic drop. Michaels heads to the second rope, waits for Owen to rise… double axe handle finds the mark, Michaels goes for another cover… 1… 2… but Hart hangs in there. Michaels continues to apply pressure, more stomps to the body, more shots to the shoulder, before Hart is planted with a scoop slam and Michaels heads to the top rope… FLYING ELBOW! Michaels connects, goes for the cover… 1… 2… Hart barely gets a shoulder up! Frustration starts to grow in the champion, but he quickly sends Owen into the ropes… then catches him in a sleeper hold! Michaels tries to make Hart pass out, but Owen struggles and fights it… then breaks free with a jawbreaker! Now Hart starts to attack, tagging Michaels with right hands, then he takes the champion up and down with a gutwrench suplex for a near fall. Owen stays in control, more shots and kicks, then he sends Michaels upside down into the corner! The champion staggers out… spinning heel kick! Owen hooks the leg… 1… 2… Michaels just kicks out in time! Hart is rolling now, roaring to the crowd, looking to try and put Michaels away as he heads to the top rope… MISSILE DROPKICK! Owen connects, another cover… 1… 2… Michaels barely hangs in there! The champion is in trouble, Owen is looking to put him away… but wait… jeers start coming from the fans… as The New Age Outlaws are heading for the ring! Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, still banged up from their match earlier, they’re limping down the aisle… but McMahon sees them coming… and he cuts them off! McMahon and Chioda stop them in the aisle, ordering The Outlaws to get to the back, and here comes Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco to help get the tag champs out of the arena. In the ring, Owen’s attention is drawn to the commotion at ringside… and desperately, the crowd try to alert him… as Triple H has slid into the ring… and he NAILS OWEN WITH THE EUROPEAN TITLE! ”You gotta be kiddin’ me! The Outlaws, they’re just the distraction, Helmsley just laid out Owen! Don’t let it end this way…” With the damage done, Road Dogg and Billy both nod and agree to head back up the aisle, but in the ring… Michaels drapes a hand across Owen’s prone body… the referee slides back into the ring… 1… 2… NO! Owen kicks out! Somehow, someway, Owen Hart is still in this one… but there’s confusion on McMahon’s face, what the hell happened when he was dealing with The Outlaws?

    As for the kickout, Michaels is furious, berating the referee, demanding the three count, but the ref confirms it was just a long two. Frustrated, Michaels instead heads to the corner… and he starts tuning up the band! Stomp after stomp, Michaels is willing Owen back to his feet… and every so slowly, he makes it back up… here comes Michaels… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! Somehow, Owen ducks it… then goes for a kick… no! Michaels catches the foot… ENZUIGIRI! Owen smacks Michaels on the back of the head, crawls and lays an arm across the champion’s chest… 1… 2… THR-NO! Michaels gets a shoulder up, much to everyone’s disbelief! Owen dejectedly runs a hand through his hair, but he’s soon back up… and he’s looking to put the champion away as he grabs a foot… steps… twists… SHARPSHOOTER… NO! Michaels manages to kick Owen away… and OWEN CRASHES INTO THE REFEREE! Mike Chioda is down, Owen wiped him out, the crowd stunned by the latest twist in this match. From ringside, McMahon looks like the last man standing right now, a concerned look on his face as he tries to speak to Chioda in an attempt to revive him. Michaels is the first competitor to his feet, seeing Owen and the referee down… and the champion decides to head outside… shove the timekeeper aside… and grab a steel chair! ”What the hell’s the meanin’ of this?” asks Ross as Michaels staggers past the announce desk, but Michaels ignores and heads back through the ropes. From the outside, McMahon is heard warning Michaels not to use the chair, but the champion shrugs it off and again waits and calls for Owen to rise… but before Michaels gets the chance to swing, McMahon slides into the ring… Owen staggers back to his feet… but as Michaels rears back… VINCE GRABS THE CHAIR FROM MICHAELS’ HAND! Michaels can’t believe it, turning and yelling ”’The fuck are you doin’?” at McMahon, but Vince is adamant, this one is going to end without controversy, but out of nowhere… MICHAELS CLOCKS VINCE WITH A RIGHT HAND! McMahon is down, but here comes Owen from behind… double leg takedown… SHARPSHOOTER! OWEN HART HAS SHAWN MICHAELS IN THE SHARPSHOOTER… AND MICHAELS IS TAPPING… BUT WE’VE NO REFEREE! Owen Hart has the WWF Champion begging for mercy in the middle of the ring… but we’ve no referee! Chioda is down, McMahon is down, Michaels is franticly tapping out… but the match continues! Eventually out of frustration, Owen releases the hold, and then he sees McMahon down on the canvas. Giving the WWF Chairman a shake, Owen shoves him into the corner and yells ”Get another referee out here!”, but McMahon is too dazed to respond. Owen then turns to Chioda, trying to shake some life back into him… but now Michaels is back on his feet again… Owen turns… SWEET CHIN MUSIC… NO! For the second time, Owen ducks it… and now Michaels is between Hart and McMahon… Vince has that chair back in his hands… he lunges and SWINGS THE CHAIR AT MICHAELS… MICHAELS DUCKS… ”Aw’ Gawd, no!”… VINCE MCMAHON… HAS JUST NAILED OWEN HART WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!! ”I don’t believe it! Was that an accident, Ross?!” cries Lawler, the shock on McMahon’s face suggests it was… but then Vince is SMACKED BY A SECOND RIGHT HAND FROM MICHAELS! Vince is down, Chioda is finally showing signs of life… just in time for Michaels to drop down on top of Hart… 1… 2… ”No! Kick out, Owen! Kick out!”… 3!!

    Winner: And STILL WWF Champion, Shawn Michaels 19:18

    ”Gawd, no! No! Not like this!” But sadly yes, Michaels has somehow escaped again, he’s retained his title… and it’s all thanks to Vince McMahon! Furious about what just happened, McMahon angrily runs a hand through his hair then slams it on the canvas, looking up from the floor as Michaels celebrates in the ring. Determined to avoid controversy, McMahon has seemingly caused just that, he’s accidently once again handed the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels… and he’s just ended the career of Owen Hart in the process! ”I can’t believe it! I mean, Vince… I think he was goin’ for Michaels! I think he was…” And straight away, Lawler poses the question… we saw Michaels duck… but was it really Michaels McMahon was swinging at? ”I… I honestly don’t know, ‘King’. All I know is that Shawn Michaels is somehow still the WWF Champion… and Owen Hart’s career has come to an end…” Having survived, Michaels rolls to the outside, where he comes face to face with McMahon, a smug grin on the champion’s face. Vince is speechless, just shaking his head in disbelief at what happened, but Michaels is full of it now, giving Vince a crotch chop before he heads up the aisle. McMahon is furious, muttering under his breath as Michaels leaves, before he turns back to look at Owen. Hart is still down on the canvas, barely moving, and it seems like McMahon is about to head back into the ring… but instead he has seconds thoughts as Vince turns his back and walks up the aisle to nuclear heat from the fans.

    After a few moments of silence, and the disappearance of McMahon backstage, the crowd soon turns to cheers as Owen starts to come back around. ”Listen to these people. Listen to this crowd, the standin’ ovation they’re givin’ Owen Hart right now. This ain’t what we came to see tonight, this ain’t how we wanted this to end, but these people are showin’ their respect to a great competitor…” With an ironic smirk, Owen sits up, realising that his chance has came and gone… just like his career. With the crowd still applauding him, Hart slowly rolls towards the ropes and drops down to the floor, before he gives the crowd a wave and starts the slow trudge back up the aisle. ”I don’t like this punk, in a way I’m glad he’s not the WWF Champion right now… but I don’t think anybody wanted to see his career end like that. It was a mistake… well, at least I think it was a mistake… from Vince McMahon that’s brought Owen’s career to an end…” Once he reaches the entrance way, Owen pauses, taking one last look at the crowd, before he gives them a final wave and slowly limps backstage, disappearing from sight… and from the WWF… forever.

    But the show must go on, and that means a quick video package to hype up the Royal Rumble Match. Of course the focus of the video is on the two main contenders in the match, namely ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Kane. We see the pull apart brawls they’ve been involved in, the infamous moment when Austin sent Paul Bearer flying into the Long Island Sound, , as well as the numerous matches both men interrupted last Monday on Raw. Other contenders are also looked at, such as Cactus Jack, Terry Funk, The Rock and Triple H, before we’re reminded that the chance of a lifetime awaits the winner, the main event of WrestleMania XIV!

    We head back into the arena for the match… no, wait… we instead see at ringside… Shane McMahon is leading Mike Tyson and Don King, and of course a posse of security guards, through the fans towards the front row. ”I can’t believe it! He’s gonna do it! Mike Tyson is gonna be in the front row for the Royal Rumble!” That’s right ‘King’, but it comes at a price, as Shane orders some of the security guards to remove three ringside fans from their seats! The (obviously planted) fans initially protest, pointing out they paid for their seats, but when Tyson threatens them, their opinions quickly change. The security ushers the three fans away, leaving the seats free for Tyson and company to sit down, but J.R. is disgusted, stating ”I can’t believe Mike Tyson just had three payin’ WWF fans kicked outta the front row so he could take their seats! What a classless act from Tyson…”, but ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ clearly doesn’t care as he settles down with some popcorn to see how this one unfolds.

    Howard Finkel is ready to make the call as ”It’s now time for the 1998 Royal Rumble Match!” Finkel runs through the rules of the match, then he introduces entrant number one… it’s Triple H! Not a good draw for the European Champion, but as Lawler points out ”It’s been a pretty good night for D-X so far, if Helmsley goes all the way here it could become a great night!” Pacing the ring with a scowl on his face, Helmsley awaits entrant number two… Ken Shamrock! Unsuccessful earlier tonight in his quest to become Intercontinental Champion, Shamrock has an early chance to make amends by earning a spot in the main event of WrestleMania…

    Main Event:
    The Royal Rumble Match


    The bell tolls, we’re underway, the opportunity of a lifetime up for grabs. Helmsley and Shamrock spend some time circling each other, feeling out the early moments, until they tie up. The hitting is stiff from these two, trading hard right hands, stinging chops to the chest, but Shamrock manages to gain control after he shoots Helmsley off the ropes into a jumping spin kick that sends Helmsley sprawling to the corner. Shamrock moves in, striking with kicks and more chops, before he sends Trips down with the hurricanrana. It’s here we get out first elimination attempt, Shamrock trying to muscle Helmsley over the top rope, but Triple H hangs on until eventually he manages to elbow his way free. Helmsley then applies some pressure… but the first ninety seconds of the contest are up, and that means it’s time for another participant to join the fray… Entrant Number 3: D’Lo Brown. The first of four members of The Nation of Domination, D’Lo races down to the ring, keen to get involved, and he immediately joins Helmsley in targeting Shamrock, the pair laying in with stomps to the body as Shamrock writhes on the floor. Helmsley steps back and lets D’Lo attack, watching on as D’Lo nails Shamrock with a running powerbomb… only for Helmsley to then smash Brown from behind, stomping down on him and using his boot to choke D’Lo against the ropes. This time it’s Triple H who tries to muscle D’Lo over the top rope, but D’Lo wraps arms and legs around the ropes, clinging on, which ultimately prompts Helmsley to abandon the tactic and drill Brown with a few stiff right hands. Shamrock is back in things now, he goes back to work on Triple H, connecting with more kicks to the legs and body, before he takes Helmsley down with a snap powerslam. Shamrock then works over D’Lo, lighting him up with hard uppercuts across the jaw in the corner, before he then tries to force D’Lo up and out, but D’Lo hangs in there… and it’s time for another entrant… Entrant Number 4: Tazz! Business is about to pick up as Tazz, still snarling at the way things ended for him in his match with Lance Storm earlier tonight, methodically paces down the aisle to the ring. D’Lo charges, but Tazz sees him coming… overhead belly-to-belly! Helmsley attacks… another overhead belly-to-belly! D’Lo is back on his feet, but he runs into a stiff pair of headbutts, before Tazz starts unloading with uppercuts. In the corner, Tazz tries to force D’Lo out, lifting by the leg to push him up, but Brown wraps limbs around the top rope, surviving for now. Helmsley and Shamrock pair off again, Helmsley sticking the boots into Shamrock on the canvas, before he uses the second rope to choke Shamrock in an attempt to wear him down. The pairs continue to go at it, nobody seemingly close to an elimination, but then the timer ticks down once again... Entrant Number 5: Barry Windham. The former Blackjack heads down the aisle, cowboy hat adorning his head, cowbell in his hand, looking to earn a chance to add WWF Championship glory to his previous NWA accomplishments. Windham is a hoss, clubbing anything that moves, landing stiff smacks to the back of D’Lo’s head and neck, before he shoots Brown off the ropes... up and down with a flapjack! Now he splits up the brawl between Helmsley and Shamrock, throwing elbows at anyone who gets close enough, before he shoots Triple H to the corner... and follows in with a big clothesline! Windham then turns and sees D’Lo staggering back up... big time lariat! Windham nearly takes D’Lo’s head off, but then Tazz attacks, grabbing Windham from behind... release German suplex!

    Five men in the ring right now, but nobody has an elimination so far, but here comes our next participant... Entrant Number 6: Kurrgan. ”Business has just pick up...” is the call from J.R. as the monster Kurrgan, accompanied by The Jackyl slowly paces down the aisle, Jackyl shouting words of encouragement in his ear as he does. Kurrgan steps over the top rope, but Shamrock takes the fight to him... big chop to the top of the head! Windham charges... right into a two handed chokeslam! Triple H has a go... but he gets ragdolled into the corner! But here comes Tazz, striking with forearms and uppercuts, rocking the big guy, and he goes for an Irish whip... Kurrgan reverses... big boot to the face! Five men are down and out, Kurrgan is standing tall, roaring to the crowd as The Jackyl marvels at the damage his monster has done. But it’s already time for someone else to enter the fray... Entrant Number 7: Mark Henry! With a beaming smile on his face after his success earlier tonight, ‘Sexual Chocolate’ jogs as fast as he can down to the ring, sliding under the bottom rope... and he goes toe-to-toe with Kurrgan! The two big men standoff from one another, Henry not surprisingly looking a little bit intimidated, but when Jackyl order Kurrgan to attack, Henry blocks a chop... lands a right, and another, a string of big shots from Henry, then he comes off the ropes... jumping shoulderblock... sends Kurrgan tumbling into the ropes! Henry makes his move, trying to muscle Kurrgan backwards over the top rope... and now here comes Shamrock, Tazz and Windham to lend a hand... and slowly, achingly... they finally get Kurrgan over the top rope to the floor! Elimination Number 1: Kurgan It may have taken four men, but the monster Kurrgan has been eliminated, much to the dismay of The Jackyl. Henry now goes after the other combatants, bowling over Windham, Tazz and Helmsley, before he renews rivalries with Nation of Domination member D’Lo, Brown lands a few quick right hands, but when he comes off the ropes... Henry takes him up with a gorilla press... and launches him to the floor! Elimination Number 2: D’Lo Brown Henry is a wrecking machine right now, knocking Tazz and Shamrock down with hard rights, before he pairs off with Helmsley in the corner, the pair trading stiff blows to the body before Henry tries for the third elimination in quick succession, Helmsley is teetering on the top rope... but when he falls he lands on the apron and quickly rolls back in. The clock has counted down once again... Entrant Number 8: The Rock! ”This is my pick right here J.R.!” yells out Lawler as Nation of Domination member number two makes his entrance. With all the arrogance in the world, Rocky starts tagging Tazz with hard rights, talking trash in-between, but he swings once too often... and Tazz starts rallying back, landing shot after shot to Rocky, before coming off the ropes... into a Samoan drop! Rocky quickly lays in with the boots, before he lands a few cheap slaps to the back of Tazz’s head. Windham is next to be on the receiving end, Rocky smacking him against the ropes, but again the youngster is too cocky, and Windham rallies back, before he comes off the ropes... looking for that big lariat... but Rock sidesteps... and uses the momentum to send Windham flying out of the ring! Elimination Number 3: Barry Windham

    Instant impact from Rocky, who then goes back to work on Tazz, laying in with more boots, before he then starts to land right hands on Shamrock. Helmsley has taken control over Henry, drilling stiff shots to the big man’s midsection against the ropes. Helmsley backs up, then charges… right into a back body drop over the top rope… but Helmsley lands on the apron! Henry looks to smash Triple H down to the floor… but Trips lands a thumb to the eye, allowing him to get back through the ropes and survive once again. Time for someone else to join us, and it’s Entrant Number 9: Skull. Not much of a response for The Disciples of Apocalypse member, but the big man goes right to work, drilling elbows and knees to Shamrock before he and Helmsley start to double team Henry. Rocky is wearing down Tazz in the corner, trying to force him out, until Skull breaks it up, smacking Rock with a hard shot before he engulfs Tazz with a corner splash. Triple H is trying to suplex Shamrock out of the ring, Rock knocks Henry down with a clothesline… but here comes another competitor, it’s Entrant Number 10: ??? The crowd is unsure of who this man is, but J.R. is on the case to tell us ”That’s Tajiri! Tajiri, the man they call ‘The Japanese Buzzsaw’, we haven’t seen him in the WWF since last summer. He’s been a big star in Japan and Mexico, I guess now he’s here in the WWF to see if he can go to WrestleMania!” The men currently in the ring are also unsure of the newcomer, but Rocky is first to attack… right into a spin kick to the gut! Helmsley has a go… kick to the side of the head sends him to the corner! Here comes Tajiri… handspring back elbow! Skull races in with a big boot… Tajiri ducks through the ropes to avoid it… then wraps Skull up in the tarantula! Skull is all tangled up, until Tajiri finally releases the hold, then Henry has a go, but he takes a dropkick to the knee, then Tajiri comes off the ropes… shining wizard! Skull tries again, swinging and missing with a clothesline… green mist to the face! Skull is blinded, swinging wildly, until a dropkick to the back from Tajiri… sends him sprawling from the ring! Elimination Number 4: Skull Tajiri is lighting up the Rumble so far, but when he turns back to the ring… he runs into a stiff clothesline from The Rock! The excitement is over as Rock brings an end to Tajiri’s run, but here comes our next entrant… Entrant Number 11: Terry Funk! The man berated by Vince McMahon earlier tonight for his hardcore ways is heading for the ring… but before he enters, Funk starts rummaging around under the ring… and he starts tossing steel chairs into the ring… and he grabs a trash can!

    Sliding into the ring, Funk takes the trash can… and crushes it off of Shamrock’s skull! Then Helmsley eats the trash can… and so does Rocky! Funk then grabs a chair… shot to Henry’s skull! Then there’s one for Tajiri! But when Funk swings at Tazz, Tazz ducks… release German suplex! The veteran is folded up, but as Lawler points out ”He’s done exactly what Mr. McMahon told ‘im not to do. He’s made the Royal Rumble hardcore!” Funk staggers back to his feet… steel chair shot from Tazz! With Funk down, the combatants start to pair off again, Helmsley and Rocky trying to force Henry over the top, while Shamrock and Tajiri trade kicks to the legs and shots to the head… here we go again though, as Entrant Number 12: Steve Blackman ‘The Leathal Weapon’ makes his entrance, and he too starts unloading with kicks to anymore who gets in his way, before he smacks Helmsley with a bicycle kick to the jaw! Blackman then goes to work on Henry, while over in the corner… Terry Funk is for some reason climbing to the top rope… moonsault onto the prone Triple H! A crazy move from the deranged Funk, and now Shamrock takes the chance… to launch Helmsley over the top rope… no! Once again, Triple H somehow manages to hang on and land on the apron! The corners and sides of the ring fill up with general brawling and elimination attempts, but nobody is looking like being eliminated just now… and that’s the cue for someone new to join us… Entrant Number 13: Cactus Jack! Oh my… here comes Cactus… and he makes a beeline for Terry Funk! The old rivals trade wild right and lefts, until Cactus finally gets the upperhand, then he grabs the steel chair… another sickening chair shot to Funk’s skull! Funk staggers backwards to the ropes… here comes Cactus… Cactus clothesline… eliminates both men! Eliminations Number 5 and 6: Terry Funk and Cactus Jack Foley just showed he doesn’t care about WrestleMania or the WWF Championship, he’s just here for Terry Funk! And now the fight between these two rages on as Cactus drags Funk up… and hurls him across the announce desk! And now Foley dives on top of Funk, hammering him on the floor! ”Good Gawd almighty! Cactus and Funk! These two are gonna kill each other out here!” We’ve got extra referees racing down from the back to try and separate the pair, and it’s at this point that the camera cuts to Mike Tyson, who from the grin on his face is clearly loving the brawl taking place just ten feet away from him. The mayhem at ringside rages on, but it’s that time again… Entrant Number 14: Ahmed Johnson. ‘The Pearl River Powerhouse’ heads down the aisle, but his entrance is overshadowed by the Foley and Funk chaos, the referee’s struggling but slowly managing to drag the two away from each other, Funk left a broken man on the floor while Cactus is escorted back up the aisle. Johnson enters and starts landing shots, before he shots Helmsley off the ropes… into a spinebuster!

    Again the action is pretty nondescript, pairs working to eliminate each other, but nobody really coming close… and the clock counts down once again… and then the lights go out… Entrant Number 15: Kane! Oh dear. ”Uh… I changed my mind, J.R., that’s my new pick right there!” ‘The Big Red Machine’, lead to the ring by Paul Bearer steps over the top rope… and it’s a standoff. Nobody wants to be first to attack… until finally Shamrock steps up… shot to the throat! Here comes Tazz… he suffers the same fate! Rock has a go… boot to the face! Blackman tries it… but Kane grabs him by the throat… and hurls him over the top rope! Elimination Number 7: Steve Blackman Here comes Ahmed… boot to the midsection… then he gets launched to the floor! Elimination Number 8: Ahmed Johnson Now it’s Mark Henry’s turn… and the big guy lands a few shots, staggering Kane, then he comes off the ropes… bodyblock… but Kane’s still standing! Henry tries again… but Kane grabs him by the throat… and shoves Henry backwards over the top rope! Elimination Number 9: Mark Henry Tajiri is on the top rope, and he flies at Kane… but Kane catches him by the throat… chokeslam! Tajiri is planted, and it’s easy for Kane to scoop him up… and dump him onto the floor! Elimination Number 10: Tajiri And just like that, Kane has eliminated five men, an absolutely dominant display from ‘The Big Red Machine’. But now Tazz and Shamrock combine to take the fight to Kane, staggering him, rocking him with hard shots… and we’ve got another entrant, Entrant Number 16: Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler!? Jerry Lawler is in the Rumble, but as the camera turns to the announce desk, there’s fear and reluctance in Lawler’s eyes. ”Uh… I, uh… I don’t think I wanna get in there with Kane. Can… can J.R. take my spot?”, but the referee’s are adamant, Lawler has to get in there. As he slowly takes off his headset, trudges up the ring steps, Lawler clearly doesn’t want any part of this, and the look of fear gets worse as Kane shows incredible power to send both Shamrock and Tazz flying to the canvas. Slowly Lawler steps through the ropes… but Kane sees him coming… and Lawler immediately starts to beg off, even pleading with Paul Bearer to show some mercy. The other four competitors are all down, there’s no one to help Lawler… but he’s wasted so much time in getting into the ring, the clock has already ticked down… glass shatters… Entrant Number 17: ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin!! Austin! Austin! ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ is here… and he's making a beeline for Kane! Austin shakes off his waistcoat, rolls under the bottom rope… and the fight is on! Austin and Kane! Austin and Kane! Wild rights and lefts are being traded, until Austin ducks a big right and comes off the ropes… Lou Thesz press! Austin is raining down on Kane… but then Lawler tries to sneak up from behind… but Austin grabs him… and sends Lawler flying from the ring! Elimination Number 11: Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler

    Austin now starts to stomp a mudhole in Kane, flipping both he and Bearer the double bird, but then Austin is clubbed from behind by Helmsley, who shoves Austin into the corner and gains the upperhand, tagging Austin with right hands… but Austin quickly reverses… and then he unloads on Helmsley! Triple H is reeling, cuahgt against the ropes, Austin rears back… clothesline sends Helmsley to the floor! Elimination Number 12: Triple H The European Champion is finally eliminated after over twenty minutes, but Austin doesn’t stop there, he starts tagging Rocky, then he goes after Shamrock, stomping another mudhole in the corner. Things quieten down again, Kane choking Tazz against the turnbuckle, Austin beating the life out of Rocky across the ring, and we’re got another entrant coming in, as Entrant Number 18: Faarooq The leader of The Nation makes his entrance, and he takes the fight to Shamrock, before he clubs Austin from behind, which of course does The Rock a favour. Rocky starts directing traffic, standing back and encouraging Faarooq to attack Austin. Faarooq glares at Rock and then orders him to do some work, and despite an ignorant smirk, Rock obliges. Tazz and Shamrock are both working over Kane in the opposite corner, trying to muscle him out, but Kane wraps an arm around the top rope, refusing to be eliminated. Another man is about to join us, here comes Entrant Number 19: Savio Vega. The Leader of Los Boricuas is up next, sliding into the ring and tackling Rocky to the mat, hammering him with rights and lefts. Tazz is his next target, smacking him with the spinning heel kick, which allows Vega to drag Tazz up and toss him over the top rope… but Tazz lands on the apron and hangs in there. Once again everyone starts to pair off, Shamrock going at it with Kane, Austin being worked over by Faarooq and Rock, who for now at least seem to be on the same page. Austin starts to rally, tagging Faarooq and Rock, backing them off, until he knocks Rock down with a big right, then he starts laying into Faarooq with boots. Shamrock is teetering, close to elimination by Kane, but another superstar is heading for the ring… it’s Entrant Number 20: [B]Goldust[B], but… he’s dressed in his face paint… and a surgical gown?! ”What in the world is this?” asks J.R., as Goldust, who has Luna Vachon with him, rolls into the ring and starts landing shots… but nobody can quite understand why Goldust is dressed this way, until Lawler puts it all together and wonders if ”…maybe Goldust managed to escape from that mental institution?” Nonetheless, Goldust takes the fight to Austin, working him over in the corner, while Tazz is now the object of Kane’s attention. Shamrock is stuck with Rock and Faarooq, The Nation members still managing to keep it together, taking turns to do some damage. Before Faarooq gives the order to get Shamrock eliminated. He and Rock try to muscle Shamrock over… but as Shamrock struggles, Rocky… he seems to get too big a grip of Faarooq’s tights… and then Shamrock and Faarooq go over the top rope… Shamrock lands on the apron… but Faarooq tumbles to the floor! Elimination Number 13: Faarooq It looks like The Rock has just eliminated Faarooq… and Faarooq is furious about it! The leader of The Nation starts shouting back up at Rocky, who is adamant he had nothing to do with Faarooq being eliminated, he was trying to get Shamrock out, but Faarooq isn’t buying it, badmouthing Rocky, desperate to get back in the ring and gets his hands on him… until Austin clocks Rock from behind and Faarooq is ordered to leave.

    Another newcomer is about to join us, here comes Entrant Number 21: 8-Ball, the second Disciple of Apocalypse charging down the aisle. As he slides into the ring, 8-Ball goes straight after Austin, clubbing him with stiff shots, working Austin over in the corner. Rock puts his argument with Faarooq behind him and helps 8-Ball assault Austin, Tazz is taking the fight to Kane while Shamrock reverses a Savio Irish whip… and sends Vega flying with an overhead belly-to-belly! But then Goldust smacks Shamrock from behind, tagging him with hard right hands… but suddenly Goldust stops, looks back up the aisle… here comes Marlena with a host of psychiatric nurses! The nurses that took Goldust away last Monday on Raw are back, clearly Goldust has escaped and now they’re here to take him back… but Goldust sees them coming… and leaps over the top rope! Elimination Number 14: Goldust Goldust has eliminated himself, and now he and Luna are leaping over the barricade and racing through the crowd to escape! Marlena yells for the nurses to chase after him, following Goldust as he disappears into the fans… and now here comes Entrant Number 22: ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero. Mero joins the party, throwing that left jab at Austin and Shamrock, while Kane and 8-Ball square off on each in the corner. Mero and Tazz then renew their rivalry, while Savio takes over the beating of Austin, smacking him with hard rights before he rears back and swings… Austin ducks underneath… kick… stunner! Savio eats a stunner, staggering back to the ropes, Austin charges… clothesline sends Savio over the top rope! Elimination Number 15: Savio Vega But immediately, Austin is clobbered from behind by The Rock, who starts laying in with the boots on the canvas to ‘The Rattlesnake’. Kane is drilling Tazz in the opposite corner, Mero throwing comical left hands as if he’s helping Kane, while Shamrock is taking a pounding from 8-Ball, but when 8-Ball backs up and charges in… Shamrock counters with the hurricanrana… that sends 8-Ball sprawling out of the ring! Elimination Number 16: 8-Ball That’s both Disciples of Apocalypse out of here, but time for another participant, Entrant Number 23: John Bradshaw. The big ol’ angry Texan strides down the aisle, looking like a man determined to make a big impact here. Bradshaw hammers Mero and Shamrock as they come close to him, then he goes after Rocky, clubbing him hard shots to the back of the head before he drives his boot into the throat. Bradshaw then turns towards Tazz, while Kane and Austin pair off. Bradshaw takes a pair of rights from Tazz, but he quickly drills a knee into the midsection, before he shoots Tazz off the ropes… big clothesline! Bradshaw damn near takes Tazz’s head off, but Tazz quickly rolls to the side of the ring, making it difficult for Bradshaw to eliminate him. Bradshaw is just looking for someone to fight with, so he heads to the corner and starts laying in to both Austin and Kane.

    Mero is throwing those jabs again, this time at Shamrock, and he impressively takes Shamrock down with the swinging side slam. Mero is back on his feet, more shadow boxing, looking proud of himself, but the clock is ticking down once again… 3… 2… 1… roar… ”What!? No! That… she can’t be in the Rumble!” That’s right, it’s Entrant Number 24: Sable! Mero’s jaw nearly hits the floor, he can’t believe it, Sable is headed down the aisle, dressed in ring gear, clearly looking ready to compete here. Mero just screams and shakes his head, furious, but Sable’s really going through with this, she’s somehow talked her way into being the first woman to enter a Royal Rumble Match. Mero just keeps shouting at here over and over, she can’t be in the Rumble, he’s not allowing her to, ordering Sable to leave the ring… Sable slaps Mero hard across the jaw! Mero is shocked… and then out of nowhere… Tazz clotheslines Mero to the floor! Elimination Number 17: ‘Marvellous’ Marc Mero Sable caused the distraction, Mero has been eliminated! Mero can’t believe it, slamming his hands off the apron, screaming back up at Sable in the ring… and that of course means Sable has her back to the action… and here comes Bradshaw… to dump Sable out of the ring! Elimination Number 18: Sable Sadly for Sable, she doesn’t last long, but once again, she’s taken all the attention away from Mero, which is driving Mero nuts as the pair continue to argue with each other as they make their way back up the aisle. Everyone pairs off again, a few people teetering close to elimination, but another man is ready to join us, Entrant Number 25: Bart Gunn. As Gunn makes his entrance, Lawler points out ”We’re gettin’ down to that time J.R. where the luck of the draw can be so important…”, and Gunn has a great chance with that deadly left hand of his. A few right jabs from Gunn to get him started, before he bowls Shamrock and Tazz over with clotheslines. Gunn then takes the fight to Bradshaw, putting Bradshaw down with a dropkick. Gunn then takes the fight to Kane, rocking the big monster with left hands, but he soon pays for it as Kane smacks Gunn with a shot to the throat and then starts to choke him in the corner. The clock ticks down again, time for someone else to join us, Entrant Number 26: Vader! It’s Vader, he’s made his return! ”The big ol’ grizzly bear, Vader! I dunno know ‘bout you ‘King’, but I think he looks a little leaner, he sure looks meaner, Vader could be a serious contender here…” In the ring, Vader starts bowling people over with bodychecks, then he lines up Austin, rocking him with those clubbing blows to the side of the head, before Austin is sent off the ropes… another bodyblock! Shamrock is then targeted, but Shamrock fights back, looking for the belly-to-belly suplex… no! Vader breaks the grip with a pair of shots to the side of the head, causing Shamrock to stagger away… and then Vader sends Shamrock over the top rope! Elimination Number 19: Ken Shamrock A great effort from Shamrock, starting the match at number two and lasting over thirty minutes, but he’s finally been eliminated by the returning Vader.

    Time for another entrant… Entrant Number 27: Kama Mustafa. The final Nation of Domination member joins us, sliding into the ring and seeing Rocky in trouble with Austin in the corner, but Kama quickly saves him, clubbing Austin from behind. Vader is hammering anything that moves, Bradshaw and Tazz bearing the brunt of his punishment, while Kane takes a moment to recover, before he goes after Vader, the two monsters trading massive right hands with each other until Vader comes off the ropes… bodyblock… has no effect! Vader tries again… but this time runs into a big boot to the face! Again no one is really close to being eliminated, but we’ve got a newcomer joining us, Entrant Number 28; Taka Michinoku! The exciting, high-flying Taka sprints down to the ring, leaps up onto the top rope… and enters the match with a flying crossbody to Bradshaw! Bursting back to his feet, Taka smacks a trio of forearms to Kama’s jaw, before he comes off the ropes… spinning heel kick! Taka races at the ropes, jumps, bounces… tornado DDT to Bart! Taka is like a house on fire, tagging Bradshaw and then Tazz, but when he races at Kane… he runs into a massive boot to the face! Kane cuts Taka off, but his brawl with Vader quickly resumes, while Austin mixes it up with Bradshaw. Tazz is taking the fight to Kama, smacking uppercuts against the ropes, but he doesn’t see Rock come up from behind… and Tazz gets dumped over the top rope! Elimination Number 20: Tazz Tazz is out, and that means Rocky is currently the man who’s been in there the longest. But as Rocky rests in the corner and Kama takes a beating from Austin, someone else is joining us, Entrant Number 29: Lance Storm. With Jim Cornette by his side, Storm heads down the aisle… but he crosses paths with Tazz who is heading back up the aisle… and that means the fight is on again! Tazz and Storm are going at it for the second time tonight, but here comes Cornette with the tennis racquet… he swings… but Tazz ducks… and Cornette smacks Storm with the tennis racquet! Storm goes down… and now Tazz has Cornette… Tazzmission! Tazzmission to Cornette! Cornette flails desperately, but there’s nobody to help him, he’s stuck in the middle of the aisle in the Tazzmission! It doesn’t take long for Tazz to make Cornette pass out, and once he has, Tazz quickly tosses Cornette aside, happy to have gotten some retribution but this rivalry clearly isn’t over yet. Back in the ring, Vader engulfs Bart in the corner, while Kane is choking the life out of The Rock. Austin brawls with Kama and Bradshaw, before he gets an assist from Taka. Lance Storm finally manages to make it into the ring, but he looks groggy as he’s welcomed to the match by Austin… Lou Thesz press! Austin hammers Storm, then he stomps a mudhole, before he picks Storm up… and hurls him out of the ring! Elimination Number 21: Lance Storm Storm’s shot at winning the Rumble has been ruined by Tazz, but just like that, it’s time for our final entrant…

    Entrant Number 30: Jeff Jarrett! ‘Double J’, and of course Sunny head for the ring, Jarrett beaming after surviving the threat of Ken Shamrock to his Intercontinental Title earlier tonight. We’ve got nine men left in this one, our Royal Rumble winner is in the ring, and it could be Jarrett as he confidently goes to work on Taka, laying in with a beating in the corner before he scoops Taka up and tries to muscle him over the top rope, but Taka hangs onto the top rope. In one corner Bradshaw works over Austin, in another Kama and Rocky work together to soften up Vader before they try and muscle him out, while near the ropes, Bart is hammering Kane with everything he’s got… and then he rears back for the big left hand… no! Kane ducks underneath… back body drop… and Bart Gunn is eliminated! Elimination Number 22: Bart Gunn Another elimination for Kane, but he quickly goes looking for action, laying into Jarrett with shots to the throat. Kama and Rocky continue to work over Vader, but the big man starts to fire back, landing fists and elbows to The Nation members, before he sends Rock sprawling with a massive right, then he grabs Kama by the head… and tosses him over the top rope! Elimination Number 23: Kama Mustafa Vader gets rid of Kama, but across the ring, Bradshaw is still working over Austin, softening him up, before he backs up… looking for the big clothesline… but Austin low-bridges the top rope… and sends Bradshaw spiralling to the floor! Elimination Number 24: John Bradshaw Two quickfire eliminations, the field has been cut down to six! Jarrett immediately jumps on Austin, keeping him down in the corner, laying in with knees and stomps to the body, Rock again takes a chance to grab some air in the corner, while Kane is brawling with Vader up against the ropes. Taka starts to take the fight to Rocky, lighting him up with chops to the chest, before Taka comes off the ropes… back body drop… no! Taka lands on the apron, knocks Rock away with a hard right, then slings himself onto the top rope… springboard dropkick! Looking to quicken the pace, Taka comes off the ropes again… but runs into a Samoan drop! Taka is planted, all of his momentum crushed, and Rocky quickly drags Taka up… and sends him flying to the floor! Elimination Number 25: Taka Michinoku Our last five competitors remain, with Rock now working together with Jarrett to lay into Austin, while against the ropes, the battle rages on between Kane and Vader. Vader is throwing those clubbing forearms to the side of the head, but they don’t seem to be having much effect, so he decides to come off the ropes… bodyblock… but Kane is still standing. Vader tries again… again Kane stands his ground. Vader tries a third time… but Kane avoids him… then slaps a hand around Vader’s throat… up and down with the chokeslam! Vader is planted, and although it takes an age, Kane finally manages to drag Vader up… then muscle him over the top rope! Elimination Number 26: Vader

    We’re down to the final four, and we again cut to a shot of Mike Tyson, a smile on his face as he watches on, clearly enjoying the action right infront of him. Kane is willing stand back and let Rock and Jarrett work over Austin, but Austin starts to fire back, right hands alternating to Jarrett and Rock, until he manages to knock them both down… only for Kane to drill Austin with a boot to the face… that sends Austin through the ropes but not over them! ”Austin has not been eliminated. He went through the ropes, not over the top, Austin’s still in this thing!” is the call from J.R., but Lawler quickly points out that Austin has landed right infront of Tyson, Shane McMahon and Don King. Using the barricade to drag himself back up, Austin and Tyson come face to face, the two staring intently at each other. Tyson holds out his hands, not wanting any trouble, but of course, Austin can’t resist… he flips Tyson the double bird! Tyson is furious, but Shane and the security pounce, holding Tyson back as he tries to get at Austin. Austin slides back into the ring, where Rocky and Jarrett are again working in unison, this time against Kane… but from behind, Austin spins Jarrett around, tagging him with right hands, coming off the ropes… Lou Thesz press! Austin takes Jarrett down, hammering him with right hands, before he gets back on his feet and calls for Jarrett to rise… kick… stunner! A stunner to Jarrett, Austin charges… clothesline sends Jarrett to the floor! Elimination Number 28: Jeff Jarrett But just like that, Austin is nailed from behind by The Rock, who starts choking Austin in the corner with his boot. Paul Bearer barks orders at Kane from ringside, telling Kane to help Rock, the two of them now working over Austin. They drag Austin up against the turnbuckle, looking to force him out… but Austin fights it, throwing everything he’s got at Kane and Rock in an effort to break free… Kane eats a a right hand and staggers away, allowing Austin to focus on The Rock… Austin ducks a right hand… kick… stunner! Stunner to Rocky, here comes Austin… launching The Rock to the floor! Elimination Number 28: The Rock An unbelievable effort from The Rock, but he’s out of there, we’re down to Austin and Kane! Kane quickly clocks Austin from behind, laying in with stomps, before he drops down to choke Austin against the canvas.

    Kane is in control, shoving Austin into the corner where he starts to unload with shots to the throat and kicks to the midsection. Austin breaths hard, while the camera cuts back to Tyson, still seething after being disrespected by Austin again, the camera picking him up yelling ”Throw him outta there, Kane!” Kane stays on the attack, signalling that the end could be near as he draws a thumb across his throat, then he takes Austin from the corner to the centre of the ring, scoops him up… looking for a TOMBSTONE… NO! Austin kicks and fights it, dropping down the back, then he spins Kane around… kick… STUN-NO! Kane shoves Austin into the ropes, but he swings and misses with a right hand… kick… STUNNER! STUNNER! AUSTIN HITS THE STUNNER ON KANE! Kane is finally down, planted in the middle of the ring, Austin roars to his feet… and he locks eyes with Mike Tyson once again! Tyson is still being held back by Shane and the security, but Austin doesn’t give a damn… he flips Tyson another double bird! But Tyson loses it… TYSON JUMPS THE GUARDRAIL AND CHARGES AT THE RING! Security is hot on his tail, grabbing Tyson… but not before Tyson manages to grab Austin by the foot from down on the floor! Austin tries to free himself, looking to take the fight to Tyson, but over ten security guards grab hold of Tyson and drag him back towards his seat… but in the mayhem… ”Oh my Gawd, Kane’s sat up! Kane’s sat up! Steve, behind you…” Austin doesn’t realise it, during the chaos at ringside, Kane has gotten back on his feet… and he grabs Austin by the throat… shoves him backwards over the top rope… no! Austin survives, landing on the apron… but then Kane charges with a big boot to the face… that SENDS AUSTIN FLYING TO THE FLOOR!! Elimination Number 29: ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin

    Winner: Kane @ 58:49

    The unbelievable has happened, hell has arrived in the WWF as Kane has just won the Royal Rumble! Shock and awe fills the arena, Tyson wanted to be in the front row, but now he’s cost Austin the chance to go to WrestleMania… and has he just unleashed the WWF’s worst nightmare in the process? ”Good Gawd almighty, Tyson… he’s cost Austin! Tyson cost Austin… and he’s just damned us all to hell doin’ it!” In the ring, Bearer can’t help but shriek in delight as Kane sets the four corners of the ring ablaze, while on the floor, Austin can’t believe it, staring back up at the ring, cursing in Tyson’s direction, furious about what just took place. Tyson decides he’s seen enough, he takes off from his seat, leaving a stunned Shane McMahon behind, but the real story here is that Austin has been robbed… and Kane is going to WrestleMania! ”I… I just can’t believe it. The prophecy has came true, Paul Bearer warned us all, he told us all along Kane would win the Royal Rumble… and now he’s goin’ to WrestleMania to burn this company to the ground! The WWF is on it’s knees right now, what the hell’s gonna happen tomorrow night on Raw?!” You’ll need to tune in to find out.

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  15. #55
    Walking With Elias
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Feels like I’ve been waiting for this for forever. You could say I was ‘desperate’ for it.

    Enjoyable opener. Even despite a DQ finish, it still felt pretty satisfying and furthers things between Storm and Tazz. Some might not like kicking off the show with a DQ, but if it adds to the angle - which I felt this did - I don’t personally see a problem with it. I’ve been vocal about not loving the use of Tazz so far, but he was kept strong here and the TazzMission looks deadly. The continued argument from Lawler that it’s an illegal chokehold makes it look even more dangerous, and can give Cornette an ‘out’ for interfering in the match, with him arguing it’s an illegal choke too.

    I know it’s briefly recapped so there’s a level of detail missing, but it read as if Mero recovered way too quickly from the press slam to the floor - unless Henry being distracted by Sable ate up much more time than it appeared. Henry winning had to happen, but liked the teases of him losing by count out and with the low blow putting him in trouble. Expected Sable to factor in on the finish, and she didn’t disappoint. I cant wait for the skits on Raw for this ‘date’ between Henry and Sable.

    Cold Stone. That iconic line just HAD to be in there somewhere from Tyson lol. Wonder what other ‘business’ McMahon could be attending right now…

    The leg work makes sense from Jarrett, given his use of the Figure Four, but parts of this match just felt like it was the opener happening again with the leg work. It’s probably an overly critical point for me to make, as Jarrett and Storm both have leg based submission holds, but still, would’ve preferred a different story to the match. Glad Sunny played a part in the finish, makes her feel like a difference maker and an important addition to Jarretts character. If being nit picky (again), I’d have preferred Jarrett to get a school boy with tights or to use the ropes to get the three. Hopefully we see them clash again in the Rumble, as I don’t think this issue is settled at all. I found the post match write up a little confusing, as it made it sound like Jarrett was dominated for the match of the match, but to me, Jarrett dominated a fairly long portion of the match with the leg work and the sleeper.

    The Sable/Mero stuff is always entertaining.

    Good follow up on the Funk/Vince alliance which was dropped fairly suddenly, but this interaction makes sense. Vince was clearly only using him to help get the I.C title off Austin, and Funk is too long in the tooth not to see what Vince was playing at. I guess that alliance is dead and buried.

    The Kane/Austin arrivals were both entertaining in their own right throughout the night. Good to see Bearer is alive and well after his swim the other week. Loved Austin’s short and sweet promo, and the fact the NAO were both too scared to confront him when he called them out.

    Little surprised the parking lot match was the longest to this point as I had anticipated a short 3-4 minute match here. Impressive write up too given there’s only so much you can do in a parking lot, and I found it rather entertaining - much more than I’d anticipated it would be - with you using the environment to its fullest. The spot where Road Dogg locked Animal in the car was tremendous, and the finish was creative too, with Road Dogg tripping Animal through the roof to prevent the Doomsday Device. Surprisingly, my favourite match of the night so far … but we’ve got the two biggies still to come.

    Tyson wanting to be ringside for the Rumble? I mentioned in my predictions (side bar here; I was disappointed that there weren’t more predictions posted. A lot of people clearly read this thread, & while I understand it takes time to write up feedback, predictions can literally take two minutes (unless you want to expand on your predictions). I know predictions aren’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but at least it shows the thought is there. Sorry, rant over.) that I’d considered the possibility of Tyson screwing over Austin, and now, I’m wishing I’d followed that feeling.

    The brief pre-match interviews from this era are such a great touch and something I’d love to see brought back today. Pleased you’re doing them here.

    You’re right - there is a big fight feel to this match, and it’s all down to your booking of this entire angle. Was glad you took the award for storyline of the year with this as it’s the best thing I’ve read in a long time and the match I’ve anticipated most for this - or any - show possibly ever. It’s such a tough thing to book a match where the outcome feels so up in the air and hard to predict (imo) and you’ve captured that the moment you added the retirement stipulation. I’m jealous of how good this entire angle has been.

    Glad we had J.R getting his routine dig at WCW here, always a staple of late 90’s PPV events. Makes sense for Vince to stop the count out a) he wants a winner & b) makes it look like he’s on the up and up not wanting a screw job. Bit of a weird match in a way, as I kinda glossed over the middle portion of the match, just waiting to get to the meatier stuff, knowing it won’t be ending until things break down to some degree. Even though the action would obviously be great between Owen and Shawn given their in ring abilities, we’re all here for the controversy this time.

    The false finish with the Triple H run in off the NAO distraction was great. The ref bump had to come, didn’t it? What followed was a seamless sequence from you that flowed perfectly. Vince stopping Shawn from using the chair and getting clocked to Owen having the visual submission win. The writing for the finish was top notch too, and the question mark hanging over Vince if he meant to take out Owen. Disappointed Owen lost, but this clearly positions things for Owen to come back on a rampage despite being “retired”. Intrigued also if Vince did hit his intended target, as you’d assume he didn’t after HBK punched him. Surely, he was aiming for Michaels … right?? Right?? ... but I guess we’ll have to wait and find out.
    This one certainly didn’t disappoint. Controversy had to be expected, and you delivered in spades.

    Clearly positioning Tyson as an out and out heel anyway, forcing the three “fans” out of their seats. Lol, such a great dick move.

    Triple H & Shamrock kicking the Rumble off isn’t too shabby at all. Bar Tazz, the next few entrants were pretty much the dregs of the match, though the spotlight for big Kurrgan was nice, and it taking the other six guys to eliminate him makes him look good. Pleased you also had Lawler pick half a dozen guys in typical King fashion during this too.

    Feels like the ring got pretty crowded in the first half of the match with the eliminations few and far between, though Funk making things hardcore was a highlight, and should really place Mr. McMahon. A little disappointed Cactus eliminated himself and Funk so quickly after entering, even if he was never winning the match. The brawl between them was to be expected and was a decent continuation of their feud.

    Kane’s arrival instantly picked business up, explaining why the ring had been filled up in the first half of the match, and for a moment I thought he might get his record for eliminations three years early by dominating everyone in sight, dumping all the jobbers (though I counted four, not five). The Lawler reaction to being the next entrant after Kane was the funniest thing on the show. Brilliant piece of comedy & I chuckled at him trying to give his spot to J.R. Him also taking the entire period to get in the ring was clever too, and you set the scene perfectly for Austin to enter and face off with Kane. Lawler was brilliant here again, trying to sneak up on Austin and paying the price. A great sequence, and you‘d instantly envisage this being one of those Rumble moments that gets replayed every year or two.

    Triple H had a good run too, and here, it felt like you settled things down a little after an action packed period from Kane’s entry to Austin coming in. LOL’ed at Goldust attire here and you managing to further the institution angle in this match. Rocky shadily eliminating Faarooq (he definitely meant it) was expected, but still good to see. Had expected Bradshaw to be an earlier entrant for a long impressive run, so him getting #23 was a surprise. But nowhere near the surprise of Sable in the Rumble as the first woman to ever be in the match. Great stuff, and her aiding toward the elimination of Mero would surely be another one of those moments replayed for years. Bradshaw being the one to eliminate Sable was a good choice too, and makes him look like an even bigger dick.

    Bloody knew Vader would be in this! It only occurred to me a day or so after I posted my predictions. Felt stupid for not picking him as a surprise entrant. On the whole, the four surprise entrants did not disappoint. Lawler brought the comedy, Sable was a shocker, Vader got to make a big comeback. Plus Tajiri got to make a good impression, getting an elimination in the match.

    Was initially frustrated you had Tazz last so long but still get eliminated before Storm was out there, but I should’ve known not to doubt you. Their interaction as they met on the aisle was better than what I could’ve imagined if they‘d collided in the ring & Tazz playing a huge role in Storms elimination was good, and much more memorable than if he had just tossed Storm out of the ring during the match. Points for Tazz choking out Cornette too.

    Nice little run for Taka, being there for the final stages. Hope to see him used more in the coming weeks as a useful midcarder for exciting matches. Interesting final four, as that tends to indicate which guys are going to be a big deal in the coming year. Promising sign for Jarrett being in the final four, and glad you gave Rock a hell of a showing, like he had in real life. Quietly, Rock had a great showing, as it felt like he eliminated a fair share of guys. But - this match was all about Kane and Austin, and it probably would’ve been a tad anticlimactic if anyone else had been in the final two. They spent nearly the same amount of time in the ring as each other, eliminated the same number of people - they were equal to one another right to the end. This finish certainly wasn’t anticlimactic. Tyson getting involved after his encounter on the outside with Austin will obviously be the biggest talking point, and the thought of Tyson vs. Austin actually happening is exciting to say the least. How you intend on booking that match will be fascinating to see. Hate to say it, as the title should be the most important thing … but Tyson vs. Austin is the biggest thing you could possibly do, and a different route to take to make Austin the mega-star he will become.

    That said, Kane’s performance shouldn’t be overlooked, being dominant throughout the match, dumping out all the big guys, and looking every bit the monster when he sat up off the stunner. Tyson may have been the reason Austin didn’t win the match, but that piece of commentary from J.R at the very end was absolutely perfect on Kane, and something that will certainly send a chill down the spine of the WWF. Never expected this outcome, and the following weeks on Raw ought to be some rollercoaster of a ride, as I don’t expect Kane to challenge HBK at WrestleMania. Be interesting to see if Kane gives up his title shot, or if he loses it somehow, or - most likely - Taker comes back and wins the belt from Michaels. Surely Taker vs. Kane happens at WrestleMania?? A likely triple header of main events in Taker vs. Kane, some kind of Owen vs. Shawn/Vince and some incarnation of a match between Austin and Tyson = a WrestleMania for the ages.

    Don’t be waiting so long to get Raw up. This was all kinds of great, really exciting times in this thread.

  16. #56
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    I was excited for this pay-per-view and you did not disappoint at all.

    Loved the idea of "desperation" as the theme to the pay per view. It adds some more to the importance of your two main event matches.

    I cannot stand Storm and Cornette! I was really hoping to see Tazz finally give Lance Storm a beating and end this feud. I can't be angry with the ending scenario though. Wolf Beast said it best that it was well done to add into the angle rather than an easy booking decision. Some nice work to get heat on Cornette and Storm while keeping Tazz as strong as possible. And I can even imagine myself going wild for Cornette being choked out. I wonder if some sort of stipulation match will bring this to a close.

    Oh man. Henry gets his date with Sable! I don't think that Mero even had a chance to win this contest, and I'm sure this relationship will be over in due time.

    I'm a fan of the ending to Jarrett and Shamrock. Sunny adds a little more to his character of trying to keep his championship, and I think she is perfect for that roll. Love how Shamrock came off too. An absolute monster throughout and the anger building up ended up costing him the match. Not a big fan of JJ at all, so I hope this whole thing ends with Ken taking the belt eventually.

    I liked the tie together of Steve Austin getting there right before the Parking Lot Brawl. I thought it was something small but a nice addition overall.

    Into the actual match, I thought it was well-executed with some build up to potentially career-ending moves. You found a way to not overuse each part of the environment and make everything significant to the brawl. Kudos for that. The wrench to the back of the head is a nasty image and a damn good way to finish off the match. I loved everything about this and felt like it was exactly what this feud needed.

    The match I'm most looking forward to: Michaels and Hart. I thought Vince McMahon being ringside added a lot to this match up. From stopping the count, ensuring there was no interference from The New Age Outlaws, and the ending of the match. A really well-written end to the match also. I'm interested to learn the true colors of Vince McMahon after being in such a precarious for this match up. Kudos on all of that because sometimes something like this can ruin a match.

    The actual match itself was everything I expected out of it. The desperation theme felt like it was inside of there. Owen not staying down even after the European Championship shot. Shawn avoiding the Sharpshooter only to tap out to it once it was officially locked on. I don't see this angle being over no matter what the stipulation of this match was.

    Time for the Royal Rumble match. I was not expecting a Kane victory at all but I was instantly on board with it. He had a real nice run coming in halfway through the Rumble and winning it all. JR's last line to close out the show really puts the future of the WWF in perspective, but I cannot see him facing Michaels at Wrestlemania. No idea what could be happening next.

    Besides Kane, really liked the Tajiri appearance with the mention of all he has done. The brawl around the ring between Cactus Jack and Terry Funk. Cornette being put in the Tazzmission once again. Sable eliminating Marc Mero was awesome and basically confirms those two are done. And of course, Mike Tyson screwing over my pick to win - Steve Austin. I can already picture Austin and Tyson being a Wrestlemania headliner and you have to do it!

    Overall, this event is everything I wanted it to be. Some early match of the year contenders for me here as well as show of the year. Well-written from top to bottom and the Road to Wrestlemania is on.


    "If you're gonna do it..."

  17. #57
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    I've been reading since the beginning but this is my first review, and I couldn't have picked a better time to review! Must say that I love the theme of desperation for the event.

    Mike Tyson being at the show and being introduced to Shane McMahon was fun, looking forward to seeing Austin and Tyson together.

    I must commend you on the way you write Jim Cornette, he is a dastardly heel and knows how to draw heat, even just from reading it. I predict a no holds barred showdown in the near future between Tazz and Lance Storm with Tazz getting revenge on both Storm and Cornette, only time will tell though. Liked seeing Tazz get Cornette in the Tazzmission but it obviously wasn't long enough lol

    Ominous warning from Paul Bearer...interested to see what's going to go down later in the evening.

    Loved seeing Sable try to help Mark Henry by letting the referee know what Marc Mero did, I can only presume that the relationship between Mero and Sable is not long for this world. Looking forward to seeing how to write this "date" between Henry and Sable.

    Very interested in the fact that Vince kind of dodged the question as to how he's going to enforce the no outside intereference, could we be seeing an early version of The Corporation?

    Actually kind of surprised to see Jarrett retain the title and it would have been great to see Shamrock hit Jarrett with the guitar. I imagine Shamrock will capture the title in the very near future.

    Ugh...Marc Mero is a piece of shit. Enough said.

    Just like Jim Ross, I highly doubt Terry Funk is going to heed Vince's warning.

    The Parking Lot Brawl was a fun match, I figured the Outlaws were gong to be retaining the titles but it surely took a lot out of all 4 men.

    Tyson wants to be in the front row for the Royal Rumble match...this can only be a good thing.

    Good to see Vince keep his promise to limit intereference but that dastardly Triple H just couldn't leave well enough alone. The ending sequence of this match was absolutely fantastic! Michaels punching Vince, tapping out to the Sharpshooter, Vince clobbering Owen with the chair and getting socked with a right hand again, wow. Sad to see Owen lose but I have a funny feelig that this isn't the last we've seen of him.

    Ah the Royal Rumble, my favorite match of the year, whether it's in real life or in a BTB and this one did not disappoint. Loved seeing Sable cause Mero's elimination and Kane absolutely dominate. Somewhat saw Tyson costing Austin the Rumble but did not anticipate Kane being the winner! I honestly don't see Kane vs. Michaels being a WrestleMania headlining match, especially in 1998. Time will only tell I suppose!

    Overall the Royal Rumble event was fantastic and I can't wait to see what happens next!

  18. #58
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Somehow, someway, I have finally caught up with this thread. With that being said, I couldn’t skip leaving some feedback on the Rumble considering how good the build up has been.

    Just a small thing to touch on to begin with, but I already enjoyed the ‘Desperation’ theme of the opening video package. Works an absolute treat considering the Rumble winners reward and the HBK/Owen title match. Awesome stuff.

    I marked out for the appearance of Mike Tyson so early in the show. The build up for Tyson really kicked into gear with Don King showing up on Raw… I’m so excited to see how different you make his role in this thread as opposed to what he actually did in real life. Hey, welcome Shane McMahon to the thread as well. Good to show Tyson early though as now the commentators can just speculate about when or if he will get involved in something all night.

    Honestly, I thought the booking was rather inspired from the get go pitting Storm and Tazz against each other as they are basically polar opposites. My only initial concern was because they are both just debuting; whoever comes out of this feud better is on the up, but whoever comes out of this worse kind of stalls before really getting started. Anyway, a pretty good choice for the opener and the match went along pretty well. Tazz comes out of this looking fantastic as the only time Storm was really able to get the advantage was thanks to interference from Cornette. The DQ ending is a bit touchy on a PPV, but as Wolfy said, I don’t really mind it if it continues the angle and isn’t a main event calibre match. The Tazzmission is really being built as a deadly submission which is smart as well. I feel like you’ve only scratched the surface with this feud so I’m glad it’s continuing past the Rumble. Good start to the show.

    Nothing much in this interview instead hyping Kane and Bearer’s arrival. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I LOVE how they constantly show up in the hearse. I feel like it reminds us of their beef with The Undertaker even if they are currently busy with other things. Good to see Bearer back as well.

    Mero/Sable angle has been progressing well and the inclusion of Mark Henry has been a fun little twist. This is a standard little mid card angle that would happen in this timeframe, so glad to see you staying true. I really liked the constant use of Sable throughout this match as she is really is the centre piece. Both men got distracted by her throughout, but it eventually lead to Henry getting the win. LMAO at Henry telling Sable she is going to get a taste. Solid enough match but this one is all about the awesome angle progression. Once again, as Wolfy mentioned, really looking forward to seeing highlights of the Henry/Sable date.

    LOVE that you included the Cold Stone line from Tyson here, it’s iconic. You played it pretty similar to IRL with Tyson being a fan of Austin’s, however the added drama of Tyson threatening to knock out Austin is all kinds of awesome. Vince McMahon’s part of this was just standard hype for the WWF Championship match tonight. Good stuff.

    Typical heel Jarrett promo really. Also, I like Sunny taking Debra’s place just because it gives her something meaningful to do… And JJ was at his best with a female valet.

    It still seems strange to me that Jeff Jarrett of all people dethroned Stone Cold… Anyway, after the attack on Shotgun it made sense for Shamrock to be eager to get things going, and JJ stalling was a nice touch. From there though, I actually felt like you the way the match started didn’t suit the build up. Shamrock’s character is a temper ridden lunatic and he was just attacked at Shotgun, is eager for the match to start… And then he begins by engaging Jarrett in chain wrestling? Doesn’t make any sense to me at all and felt really off. Once Shamrock started using his striking arsenal though, it made the match feel more like the way I thought it should. Jarrett’s leg based offense makes sense for the Figure Four, however I’m still not sure if I’m completely sold on the ending. I thought this was an important moment for Sunny to actually show what she can bring, and I just didn’t think this hit the mark. Early on in a partnership, she should be showing her worth, but instead she threw the guitar in, and Shamrock intercepted. If anything, it’s just pure luck that the ref pulled the guitar away; otherwise JJ would have been lights out. Not sure this is the way the first real bit of Sunny interference in a Jarrett match should have gone. Not the biggest fan of the method, but Jarrett getting a rather fluke victory sets things up nicely for this to continue, which I have no issues with at all.

    Mero and Sable argument was fine; it’s only a matter of time until they implode. I’m curious as to how you book the blow off and whether it will take place at Mania. For some reason I always had a soft spot for Mero though, so please don’t bury him after the point.

    A really interesting promo here between Funk and Vinnie Mac. I was probably a little shocked that it took you so long to follow this up, as Vince not coming to Funk earlier shocked me a little. Still though, a really fun segment here and this VERY short alliance is taking a turn for the worst. Loved that Funk straight up called Vince out on only wanting the IC belt off of Austin. Looking forward to seeing how this develops…

    Epic arrival from Austin here, and I liked the way that lead to LOD getting the early advantage in the beginning of this match…

    Parking Lot Brawl was amazing. As Wolfy mentioned, so many of the spots in here were creative as. Trapping Animal in the car, using the sunroof against Hawk as well as throwing the wheel at Billy is a couple to mention. Match would have been brutal, the only thing is maybe for the type of match it is it would have got a little hard to stay interested in for ten minutes. Still though, awesome match, and a great clean win for the Outlaws, which is what they eventually needed coming out of this feud. Really good stuff here.

    Tyson wanting to be at ringside makes things at the Rumble extremely interesting. The fact that King and Shane were going against it makes it feel like that much more of a bigger deal as well.

    Shawn Michaels promo was pretty standard hype for the match, although that line about putting McMahon into retirement as well was killer.

    WWF Championship match was everything it needed to be and more. The beginning with Michaels being a bit of a pain, before they brawl around the arena was great. Made sense to add that in due to the hatred between the two. The false finish with The Outlaws distraction allowing Triple H to interfere was sensational. HBK weasels another victory but Owen had a visual submission, and got popped from McMahon. A really good match, but I can’t wait to see what is to come from here for Owen and Vince… I can’t honestly believe that Owen is done. A nice couple of paragraphs to give Owen a nice farewell, however the next paragraph just saying “the show must go on” made you seem like an insensitive prick haha.

    LMAO at Tyson threatening fans and stealing their seats, that is awesome.

    Considering I’m a D’Lo Brown fan, the first three entrants of the match were all pretty awesome. I was more than happy with the start of the Rumble. It felt like nothing really eventful happened within the first 5 entrants which is probably around 7-8 minutes of action, and that to me is a problem. Sometimes these things can have a lull in the middle, but I’d want something happening in the early stages to get everybody pumped for the rest of the match.

    LOL at Henry jobbing as fast as he can to the ring… That’s not very fast, especially in 98. I was a little surprised that you had Kurrgan eliminated so quickly, considering he has been dominating on Shotgun for awhile now. Still, it was the standard everybody gang up on him spot so he saves face. Brown getting thrown makes Henry look really good, and Rocky coming in and making quick work of Whindham makes things feel like the match is starting to pick up a little.

    Oh wow. Tajiri making an appearance is awesome, unexpected and not completely unrealistic either. A nice showing early from him which I enjoyed (big fan of his, just read my ECW), expecially with the elimination of Skull. Really happy Funk started throwing weapons into the ring as well, I thought that was a nice touch in the irl 98 Rumble, and it worked well again in 2001.

    The weapon shots as well as the entrance of Cactus Jack leading to the double elimination was a brilliant passage. Really looking forward to seeing McMahon’s reaction to Funk basically ignoring everything that he had been told.

    After Jack and Funk were gone, the action being not so remarkable is okay because you need to space out your big time moments… And your next one is Kane. That elimination spree was epic, Lawler not wanting any part of it was hilarious, and the Austin/Kane face off, leading to Lawler getting eliminated anyway was all perfect.

    As Wolfy mentioned, a really good showing for Triple H, and Rocky eliminating Faarooq was awesome, continuing that fun who is the leader of The Nation angle. Really well done.

    Goldust running away from Melina and the mental institution was a fun angle to continue to make this Rumble stand out.

    Sable/Mero angle was brilliant. Vader returning and having lost weight is great, really hoping you give him the push that he rightfully deserves. Ken Shamrock gets a really good showing to, lasting over 30 minutes which is all fine and dandy for his future. One thing I have realised is whilst you do have a lot of good talent; there is also some serious shitty talent on this roster you’ve had to deal with in the Rumble… Good job on still making this a fun read.

    Awesome moment with Tazz and Storm meeting down the ramp. The brawl was great as was Cornette finally getting chocked out. Sets things up for this feud to continue into Feb.

    From here, it felt like things flowed along nicely with entrants and eliminations and what an interesting final four. Austin/Kane were givens, Jarrett and Rock not so much, but I dig it. What a showing by The Rock by the way, awesome for him mobbing forward.

    The ending with Tyson finally getting involved and costing Austin the match was sensational. You’ve gone all in on this Kane push and I LOVE it. I’m glad he won the Rumble just so it wasn’t so predictable. Really good stuff…

    A fantastic pay per view and one that should make everybody’s 2018 awards log. Kane as the Rumble winner is an interesting choice and I look forward to see how things change heading into Mania. Either way, awesome work here throughout, not just this show, but the entire thread. I’m really happy I caught up… And good job on writing a fantastic Rumble… Which may just be the hardest match to write.









  19. #59
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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    Royal Rumble Review

    - First off it was great to see Mike Tyson at the Rumble. Immediately there's a big time feel about the show.

    - Starting with Storm and Tazz was the right move. These two in the project at all is a great move, both were very good in 1997-1999 and hopefully they can be a part of the Intercontinental title scene for the next few months. As for the match itself the finish was done very well and protects both men fora future match between the pair.

    - The match between Mark Henry and Sables' husband... I mean Marc Mero did everything it needed to do. It's interesting that Sable stays with Mero despite the fact she hates being with him. A wife's love I guess? Will definitely be tuning in to see what happens on Henry and Sable's date.

    - I know it's 1998 but three matches on the spin that ended with interference. With Michaels/Hart coming up I expect that to be the majority of them. Can't we have a nice clean match? Haha! Jarrett hangs onto his title as Shamrock's temper gets the better of him. I'm definitely wondering what happens with Shamrock and the IC title because in reality he wins it at Wrestlemania.

    - Not much else I can say about the tag team match other than it was definitely the right call made. The NAO are the fresh act and need to keep the division going whilst the Legion Of Doom for all their credibility and success are heading down the ladder around this time. I'm looking forward to seeing who the next challenge is for Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.

    - Hart and Michaels was everything that you would expect from the pair. I can't believe that the WWF didn't run the Michaels/Hart feud, but that's Shawn Michaels and his ego for you. The finish was done brilliantly and I for one hope that this isn't the end of Owen Hart in the WWF. I have more on this at the end because the Rumble leaves a lot of questions to be answered. McMahon's involvement definitely adds to the storyline and Vince has now screwed two Hart's not just out of the WWF Title but also the WWF itself.

    - Finally we reach the Rumble match. Always good to start with a couple of possible iron men and with Triple H and Shamrock you've got that. Like many others I'm a big fan of Tajiri and it was nice to see him in the match. Let's talk Funk and Cactus. Cactus was always going to show up and I'm really excited to see what happens between the pair. With No Way Out Of Texas coming up I wonder if they will go at it then or save it for Wrestlemania.

    - Continuing with the Rumble and Kane showed his hand big time by eliminating Johnson, Henry and Blackman with ease. No mean feat is that. Loved The King not wanting to face Kane before Austin comes in and now the Rumble is heating up. The Mero and Sable, and the Goldust stories told in the Rumble were awesome and Sable makes history by being the first ever woman to enter the Royal Rumble. Also The Rock eliminating Faarooq adds fuel to the fire that's been burning between them.

    - I really liked what happened with Tazz and Storm. Continuing their storyline and finally Tazz gets some revenge on Cornette for what happened earlier tonight. As for Vader it was nice to see him come back looking better and stronger and I think he could be a possible opponent for Kane in between here and Wrestlemania, much like real life. The final moments were outstanding and Tyson's involvement causes all sorts of shockwaves. Kane winning the Rumble was different and the fact you had Taker/Michaels last month instead of here allowed for him to be in it.

    - An awesome show and I'm very keen to see where you go next. Surely we can't have Michaels versus Kane as it's two heels but I'm not happy to see Kane lose his title shot earned at the Rumble. Bad enough he had a one night WWF Championship reign in reality. All hinges on whether The Undertaker returns. I can't see him returning to face Michaels before he goes for vengeance on his brother although beating Michaels is a surefire way to facing Kane. As for Michaels I could definitely see him getting tangled into a match with McMahon but Owen hart's shadow still looms, especially as Austin/Tyson is too big an opportunity to let go and is surely the only way to push Austin through the roof in this timeline.

    Overall an excellent show. A bit interference heavy but it is WWF 1998 so I guess it's the norm but other than that nothing really to complain about as a ton of storys got progressed without any, barring maybe Owen Hart's, looking final. Keep up the good work mate!!!

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    Re: World Wrestling Federation: The Montreal Fallout

    WWF Raw is War/Warzone
    January 19th, 1998
    Selland Arena
    Fresno, California


    We of course start with a very dark, dramatic video showing still images from last night’s Royal Rumble event. We hear Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler talk us through the two most controversial moments of last night’s show, starting of course with the finish to the WWF Championship Match between Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart. We see images of Owen surviving a sneak attack from Triple H, we see the aftermath of Michaels’ right hand to Vince McMahon, and of course the shocking moment when Vince swung a chair at Michaels… only to catch Owen instead, handing the victory to Michaels and bringing Owen’s career to an end in the process. We then see the finish of the Royal Rumble Match, where Austin is knocked through the ropes, landing infront of the Mike Tyson who is sat in the front row. Austin and Tyson come face to face, a scuffle breaks out, and later when Austin is in the final two with Kane, Austin puts Kane down with a stunner, only to then flip Tyson the double bird… and it costs him. Tyson tries to storm the ring, he’s held back by his entourage, but the distraction allows Kane the chance to get back to his feet, dumping Austin over the top rope to win the chance to go to WrestleMania to challenge for the WWF Championship… and perhaps condemn the World Wrestling Federation to the very depths of hell as he does so. We then get the usual Raw opening video, before we head into the arena for the pyro display and a tour of the signs of the crowd. Michael Cole and Jim Ross welcome us to tonight’s show, with J.R. calling last night ”…the darkest night in WWF history!”, while Cole admits there is a real nervous tension in the air in the locker room tonight. Cole is about to run down the card tonight, but then… the lights in the arena go out, and that can only mean one things… here comes Kane and Paul Bearer! Kane cuts an ominous figure as he paces down the ramp, while Bearer shrieks and has a maniacal laugh for the nearby camera, something which prompts Ross to call him ”…the most hideous, evil man I’ve ever witnessed…”, although Cole warns him not to say that too loudly.

    Bearer is handed a microphone, and he starts with ”Well, well, well… it looks like the fat man was right once again!” With a smug look on his face, Bearer brags about how for weeks he warned us all that Kane was going to win the Royal Rumble. And guess what? Last night, Kane did exactly that, he outlasted twenty-nine other superstars to win the Rumble. He also reminds us that he warned us all that if The Undertaker didn’t face him, Kane was going to destroy him. And look what happened there, Kane wound up burying The Undertaker alive and now he’s gone forever. But of course, all of this could have been avoided. All of the pain and suffering that the WWF has been through, and is going to go through in the near future, it all could have been avoided if The Undertaker and the ppwers that be of the World Wrestling Federation had just listened to them. ”Poor ol’ Sgt. Slaughter, stuck in a hospital bed somewhere back in whatever flea-ridden town he comes from, a cripple… all because he wouldn’t listen and give us our match with The Undertaker.” And when they couldn’t have The Undertaker, Kane simply went out and took him. And once they’d dealt with The Undertaker, that glorious night at In Your House: D-Generation X, once they’d buried The Undertaker alive, the rest of the World Wrestling Federation had to be punished. That’s why Kane entered the Royal Rumble, that’s why he’s going to WrestleMania to become the WWF Champion, because nobody wanted to listen to them. ”And y’know, there was the lil’ girl I saw sat in the front row last night. She had tears runnin’ down her cheek, she knew right there and then that the World Wrestlin’ Federation as she knew it… was never gonna be the same again…” That little girl knew Kane was the most destructive, unstoppable force anyone had ever seen, and now he was going to WrestleMania to become the WWF Champion… and there was nobody left to stop him.

    Bearer then begins to speak about ‘Stone Cold’, the mere mention of Austin’s name drawing a roar from the crowd. Bearer just laughs and wags a finger, smirking about the fact that after burying The Undertaker, Austin was the last hope to stopping Kane. ”Austin, he was you’re your hero, wasn’t he? He was the one you all knew was gonna beat Kane, he was the one you were all countin’ on to save the day!” But look what happened. He couldn’t keep Kane down, he couldn’t stop the monster, and now he’s just another casualty. Austin tried and failed, just like so many have tried and failed. They’ve buried The Undertaker, they’ve been beaten ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and now all that remains… is the WWF Champion, Shawn Michaels. Michaels may have his D-X cohorts in his corner, he may be ‘The Icon’, ‘The Showstopper’, ‘The Main Event’… but he’s no monster. He’s just a mere mortal. And Kane will take great pleasure in running through every D-X member until at WrestleMania XIV, when it’s just Michaels and Kane, one on one in the ring, the gold on the line. ”And then… it will all come true. The prophecy will finally become a reality. We will win the World Wrestlin’ Federation Championship, and we will burn this company to the ground. All of this… all of this will go up in flames!” But again, it didn’t have to be like this. All of this could have been avoided if one man had stepped in and made a decision. All of this could have been avoided if one man, once Sgt. Slaughter had been hospitalised, had decided to listen to Bearer and do the right thing. ”Vince McMahon… don’t think you haven’t played a part in all of this. Don’t think there isn’t blood on your hands too…”

    When Slaughter went on the shelf, Vince assumed control of the company. He could have given them the match they wanted, McMahon could have given them The Undertaker. But they had to matters into their own hands back in December, and they had to do it again last night at the Royal Rumble. ”That’s why you can say your prayers, you can hope and wish for a miracle… but you’re all out of luck, McMahon. Your company, your World Wrestlin’ Federation will fall at our feet…” And why does Bearer know this will happen? How does he know what the future will hold for the WWF? Because every promise he’s made so far has came true. ”I promised Kane was still alive, I promised he was comin’ to the WWF for revenge… and he did. I promised we were gonna get The Undertaker, one way or another… and we did. And I promised that Kane was gonna win the Royal Rumble, I promised he would be the last man standin’… and he was.” And now? Now Bearer is promising that Kane is going to WrestleMania, he’s going to become the WWF Champion. ”And if the fat man says it… then you know it’s gonna happen!” So enjoy this time. Enjoy the World Wrestling Federation as you know it, because it won’t be here for much longer. Sixty-nine days. Sixty-none days until we’ll all be in Boston for WrestleMania. That means there’s sixty-nine days until Kane becomes the WWF Champion… and he burns this company to nothing but ashes. Sixty-nine days until the prophecy is fulfilled, until Bearer is once again proven right, until all the wrongs of Kane’s life, his painful childhood, the battles just to stay alive, sixty-nine days until all of that… becomes a distant memory.

    And what a glorious night it will be. Bearer can see it already. ”There’s Shawn Michaels, laid out in the middle of the ring. There’s Kane, standing above him, the WWF Championship in his hands. Each corner of the ring, ablaze, the building surrounded by the very fires of hell. Oh yes! What a sight that is!” And it’s not jut some crazy dream, it’s not just the ramblings of a mad man. Oh no. For you see, Paul Bearer… he saw it in a vision. He saw all of this, just as he’s told us, all of it, he’s seen if before. ”At WrestleMania, it ain’t gonna be just one lil’ girl cryin’ in the front row. It’ll be thousands of fans, men, women, children, all of ‘em in tears, beggin’, prayin’ for a hero to save ‘em all!” But there’s nobody coming… because there’ll be nobody left. They’ve buried The Undertaker, they’ve beaten ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, all that remains between the World Wrestling Federation and eternal damnation is Shawn Michaels and D-Generation X. And does anybody really think they can stop a monster like Kane? No, no. There’s nobody left who can save us now. ”You all have a one way ticket straight to hell! I just hope that you’ll all enjoy the ride… as much as we will.” And with one final, maniacal laugh, Bearer tosses the microphone aside, Kane lifts his hands high in the air… and the turnbuckles explode once again. ”The ring is engulfed in flames. Could this be symbolic, J.R.? Could this be the future of the WWF right before our very eyes?” Well J.R. isn’t sure Michaels, but bah’ Gawd he hopes not. With his ominous message delivered, Bearer points Kane towards the ramp, the pair making their exit, leaving our commentary team to wonder aloud if indeed WrestleMania XIV from the Fleet Center in Boston will be the night the WWF is brought to it’s knees by a crazed madman and his monster. We’ll just need to wait and find out, won’t we?

    Amongst the doom and gloom, there is a show tonight, and J.R. and Cole decided to tell us all about it. Bart Gunn and Steve Blackman are in tag team action, Cactus Jack is going to take on the leader of Los Boricuas, Savio Vega, Vader is in action after returning to the WWF at the Royal Rumble last night, Tazz is set to go one on one with the big Texan John Bradshaw and the newcomer Tajiri, the man they call ‘The Japanese Buzzsaw’ will make his singles debut here in the WWF tonight against the Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Jarrett. ”And ladies and gentlemen, he’s not here yet, but we hope to hear from ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin after what happened between he and Mike Tyson last night. And of course, we’re gonna hear from the WWF Champion, Shawn Michaels, after the controversial fashion in which he not only defended his title last night, but brought the career of Owen Hart to an end in the process…” It’s one hell of a show we’ve got lined up, joins us after this commercial to see how it all unfolds.

    *Commercial*

    We come straight back from commercial to footage from during the break, and emerging from a black pickup truck is ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin! Looking in a foul mood, Austin keeps his hat pulled down low over his eyes as he heads past the camera into the arena, but J.R. gives the call ”Austin is here, this situation could explode tonight if we hear from ‘The Rattlesnake’…” I’m sure at some point we will. From the footage, we cut to the D-Generation X locker room, where Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn all sit around in a circle on chairs, while Chyna looks imposing as she stands nearby. For some reason, Michaels appears to be crying some very dramatic and over the top tears, while the other do their best to console him. Ross asks the question, looking for Michaels’ thoughts on his WWF Championship defence last night against Owen Hart… but before he can really finish the question, Michaels lets out a wail, revealing that he’s faking the whole situation. Triple H has a box of Kleenex in his hands, passing it over to Michaels, who takes one out and uses it to blow his nose in a ridiculous fashion. ”’Ew, God. What the hell you been doin’ with these Kleenex, Hun’er?”, which of course draws a sheepish yet sarcastic oops from the European Champion. Michaels states that he’s deeply saddened by what happened last night, he’s just so upset about the fact that he’s sent yet another member of the Hart family packing from the WWF. ”Gimme another one o’ those Kleenexes…”, which brings another ridiculous blow of the nose. Through his fake tears, Michaels tells us all that he can’t believe it, Owen’s gone, he’s really gone, and he’s never coming back. ”And that is why tonight, in that very ring, I personally will say so long to the career of Owen Hart. But right now? I’m just too gosh darn upset to say talk about what happened…” Cue more Kleenex. Michael Cole then chips in, asking Michaels for his thoughts on what Paul Bearer had to say earlier… and just like that, the fun and games are over. Michaels gets serious, a look of fear grips his eyes, he’s clearly worried about the prospect of facing Kane, but for now, Michaels just says ”I uh… I got nothin’ to say about Kane right now. This interview’s over…” And with that, Chyna steps forward and puts a hand over the camera lens, shoving the cameraman backwards which is our cue to cut away.

    Back into the arena, where Bart Gunn and Steve Blackman are headed for the ring. Gunn and Blackman were both in the Royal Rumble last night, but now it’s back to tag team action for this team who in a short period of time have proven they belong in the hunt to be challenging for tag team gold here in the WWF. Their opponents are The Godwinns, with both Henry O. Godwinn and Phineas I. Godwinn both headed down the ramp with slop buckets in hand. The big, rugged hog-farmers look ready to do some damage tonight, and Cole points out this will be a real test for Gunn and Blackman tonight to try and get past the former tag team champions.

    Match One: Tag Team Match
    Bart Gunn
    and Steve Blackman vs. The Godwinns


    The one’s a slugfest from the get-go, with Henry and Bart trading stiff shots until Bart rocks Henry with a dropkick. Blackman enters the ring and starts unloading with kicks to the body, chops to the chest and a roundhouse kick to the head. Phineas tags in, but he suffers a similar fate, Blackman sending him flying around the ring with hiptosses and armdrags, but when Bart tags back in and looks to run the ropes, he runs into a knee to the small of the back from Henry… and then a big clothesline from Phineas! The Godwinns now look to isolate Bart from Blackman, working him over in the corner before they try to soften Bart up using a backbreaker from Henry and a neckbreaker from Phineas. Henry smacks Bart with a big boot to the face for a near fall, then he brings Phineas back into the ring. Phineas shoots Bart to the corner and then follows in… but Bart sidesteps… and Phineas smacks into the turnbuckle! Phineas turns… right into a powerslam! Slowly Bart crawls for his corner… and Blackman gets the tag! Blackman bursts into the ring, rocking both Godwinns with kicks, before he takes Phineas down with a DDT for a long count. Henry clubs Blackman from behind, but Bart is quickly back up to take the fight to Henry, tagging him with left hands before he sends Herny off the ropes… into an impressive sidewalk slam! Henry is back on his feet… and he gets smacked with the KNOCKOUT LEFT HAND! Henry is down and out… but he’s not the legal man, Phineas is, and he grabs Bart from behind… looking for the SLOP DROP… but here comes Blackman… BICYCLE KICK! Blackman rocks Phineas, hooks a leg… 1… 2… 3!

    Winners: Bart Gunn and Steve Blackman @ 04:41

    Another win for Gunn and Blackman, a hard-fought victory over arguably one of the toughest and meanest teams here in the WWF. As Bart and Blackman celebrate in the ring, the camera zooms in on the pair and picks up Bart shouting ”Outlaws, we’re comin’ for ya’. We’re comin’ for the gold!” J.R. and Cole both think that the duo have a legitimate claim at being the next team to challenge The New Age Outlaws for the titles, and Ross admits he’d love to see these two young teams get it on at some point in the near future. We’ve got to go to another commercial, but Ross invites us all to stay tuned, as ”…when we return, we’re gonna see what happened when Mark Henry became the luckiest man on planet earth when he got to take Sable out on a date!”

    *Commercial*

    Back from commercial we hear a voiceover from Cole who introduces us to the video mentioned prior to the break. We open to see a nervous looking Mark Henry walking along a hotel corridor, a bouquet of red roses in his hands. Henry stops outside one of the doors, pausing as he carefully runs a hand through his hair, adjusts his tie and lets out a big puff of breath, before he knocks on the door. After a few seconds wait, Henry’s jaw nearly hits the floor as Sable answers, looking incredible in a low-cut black dress that doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Henry manages to compose himself and the pair exchange pleasantries, before Henry offers Sable the flowers. Sable is taken aback by Henry’s kindness, telling him how sweet he is, before she closes the door behind her. ”You ready to go have some fun, Mark?”, to which Henry states he can’t wait and the pair walk out of the shot as the camera stays focused on the hotel room door. Fast forward to a restaurant, where Sable and Henry are shown to their seats by the maitre d, and of course Henry is the perfect gentlemen as he pulls Sable’s chair out for her to sit. Both Henry and Sable are handed menus before the matre d tells them ”Your waiter will be with you shortly…” As they look over the menu, some small talk is exchanged, until Henry starts to tell Sable how thankful he is for agreeing to come out on a date with him. Sable smiles and congratulates Henry on his victory over Marc Mero last night, telling Henry …you did great last night. I was so glad you won, I was really looking forward to this.” Henry then brings up the fact that last night Sable stunned everyone when she became the first women to ever enter the Royal Rumble Match. Sable admits it took a lot of convincing of the WWF officials to allow her to enter the match, and that she did it to prove to Mero that she can do anything she wants, regardless of what he says. With that, the waiter appears and asks if he can get them some drinks… but there’s something shifty about this waiter. He keeps his head turned away, he does his best to make sure neither Sable or Henry get a good look at him… and then it becomes clear. It’s ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero in a disguise! Wearing a blonde wig and a pair of glasses, Mero has somehow got hold of a waiters uniform and is going to be serving Sable and Henry tonight! With their eyes buried in the menus, Sable and Henry don’t realise, carrying on as usual, with Henry ordering some champagne to get them started. Mero says he’ll get the champagne right away and leaves them to consider their meals, but Sable has a quizzical look on her face as she watches the waiter leave, even going as far as to ask Henry ”Does that waiter look familiar to you?” Henry shakes if off, saying he’s never seen the guy before, and it seems that Sable agrees… but she’s not sure about something as we cut away.

    Back into the arena and to the ring where Jim Ross is standing by, ready to discuss another controversial moment from last night’s Royal Rumble, and do so he needs to bring out The Nation of Domination. And when they enter the arena, it’s clear the split between Faarooq and The Rock is starting to widen, as Rocky leads the way, jaw-jacking to the crowd with D’Lo Brown, while a good few paces behind is Faarooq and Kama Mustafa, Kama trying to get Faarooq to relax but Faarooq is clearly still angry at what happened last night. And right on cue, Cole talks us through a video from earlier today, where in their locker room, an argument breaks out between Rock and Faarooq about last night. Although Cole is talking and most of the words exchanged take place during a shouting match, the camera does manage to hear Faarooq yell at Rocky ”I’mma put my foot in yo’ ass for what you did last night, boy!”, while D’Lo and Kama desperately try to separate the pair and stop the argument breaking into a fight. Cole speculates whether or not Rock deliberately eliminated Faarooq, or was it simply an accident? Maybe we’ll find out right here. In the ring, Ross stands in the middle of Rock and Faarooq, the tension between the pair clear for all to see, and J.R. starts his questioning by admitting that something is clearly going wrong within The Nation right now. ”It seems that ever since that night in Montreal, back at Survivor Series, that’s where the problems all started for The Nation…” Ross points out that the night after was the first time we heard of problems between Faarooq and Rock, with perhaps Rocky feeling aggrieved by Faarooq’s status as the leader of The Nation. ”And many people say that ever since Survivor Series, you’ve been lookin’ to establish yourself as the new leader of The Nation, Rock. And perhaps last night… it all came to a head…”

    Ross then directs the four Nation members to the big screen, where footage from the Royal Rumble plays showing us the moment when Faarooq and Rock try to eliminate Ken Shamrock from the Rumble, but as Rocky tries to muscle Shamrock over the top rope, he also grabs a handful of Faarooq’s tights and shoves him over too. Shamrock lands on the apron… but Faarooq tumbles to the floor! From the video we go back to the ring, where Rock smirks and shakes off the incident, but the glare from Faarooq towards the youngster shows he’s clearly not happy about it. So J.R. wants to know, what’s going on with The Nation? How can they resolve their issues? And ultimately, and perhaps the most important question, ”Just who is the leader of The Nation of Domination right now?” Rocky goes to speak into the mic as Ross holds it towards him, only for Faarooq to quickly snatch it from J.R.’s hand, drawing a scowl from Rock, but the veteran makes it clear he’ll be speaking first. ”Boy, you just tryin’ to make me whup yo’ ass, ain’t ya’?” Faarooq wants Rock to remember one thing. Last summer, when Rock was injured, when nobody wanted to know him, when the fans were chanting “Die Rocky, die!”, there was one man who reached out to The Rock. There was one man who made The Rock feel wanted, who let him know there was a family waiting for him when he was healthy again. That man was Faarooq, that family was The Nation of Domination. ”I brought ya’ in, I taught ya’ everythin’, I made ya’ a star, I showed ya’ how to fight for what ya’ believe in. And for what? For yo’ punk ass to start questionin’ me? That ain’t gonna happen, boy!”

    Indeed, Faarooq has had enough. He’s had enough of The Rock’s smart mouth, he’s had enough of Rocky undermining him, of not following his command. And as for the Royal Rumble? ”Last night at the Rumble? Last night was the last straw, boy.” So Faarooq has an ultimatum for The Rock. It’s time for him to make a decision. He either decides to fall in line right now, to declare once and for all that Faarooq is the leader of The Nation and that Rocky will follow his every word. Because if he doesn’t? ”I’mma whup yo’ ass right outta this ring, right outta this buildin’, and right outta The Nation o’ Domination!” So what’s it going to be, Rock? Ross points the mic at Rocky, who of course can’t help but smirk and shake his head. ”You want an answer from The Rock, huh? You want The Rock to fall in line? You want The Rock to say you’re the leader of The Nation? Well The Rock has a real simple question for ya’. Why?” Why should Rocky do any of that, when he doesn’t feel like he believes any of it? After all, you look back on Survivor Series, during their match it was Faarooq who was the first member of The Nation eliminated. The Rock? He was the final member of The Nation left standing, he was seconds away from beating Ken Shamrock that night. And speaking of Shamrock, Faarooq was the one who decided he would get revenge on Shamrock at In Your House: D-Generation X. But he lost to Shamrock, he embarrassed The Nation. But The Rock? He beat Shamrock on Raw. Same thing happened with Mark Henry. Henry disrespected The Nation when he turned down their offer to join them, he embarrassed The Nation, but when Faarooq tried to get some revenge and restore their pride, what happened? He lost again. But The Rock? He beat Mark Henry, he restored the good name of The Nation? ”Y’see time and time and time again, The Rock stands and watches your candy ass fail to get the job done. But The Rock? The Rock always gets the job done, The Rock always keeps The Nation on top.”

    And with all that in mind, that’s why The Rock feels like he should be the leader of The Nation. He always has to fix Faarooq’a problems, he’s the one who always gets the job done while Faarooq just embarrasses The Nation. And The Rock is sick and tired of following someone who does nothing but fail. ”And last night, Royal Rumble, The Rock threw your monkey ass over the top rope because he knew you didn’t have what it takes to go to WrestleMania. If the you, Kama, D’Lo, if you three had got behind The Rock and helped him like he told ya’ to, The Rock is goin’ to WrestleMania right now.” But instead? The Nation went for it every man for himself, they allowed themselves to get distracted, and that’s why The Rock couldn’t quite go all the way. But no more. The Rock isn’t doing this anymore. ”The Rock says Kama, D’Lo, you two need to choose. You need to choose who you’re gonna follow. You either follow Faarooq and you keep on failin’… or you follow The Rock, and The Rock will take The Nation to places it’s never been before!” Ross instantly turns towards Kama and D’Lo, looking for them to give some indication of what side they’re on. But Kama and D’Lo are hesistant, admitting they’d rather The Nation stayed together as they are right now… and Faarooq isn’t waiting, he grabs the mic from J.R. once again and yells ”No! The boy asked you a question, and I want an answer right now. Who ya’ wit’? Who’s ya’ leader? Me or this punk right here?!” Fired up, Faarooq starts yelling and pointing fingers, putting pressure on Kama and D’Lo to make up their minds… but then Rocky steps in and grabs the mic. He wants everyone to wait a second, telling Faarooq to back off. ”Kama, D’Lo, The Rock says he wants nothin’ more than to be the leader of The Nation. But The Rock knows this is a big decision for you two, so he’s gonna wait… and you can tell The Rock your pick next week on Raw. The Rock is gonna wait and let you two decide…” Faarooq is still angry though, getting in Rocky’s face, but Rock just holds his hands up and heads for the ropes, adamant that we’ll hear the decision next week. Confusion reigns in the ring, Faarooq is furious, Kama and D’Lo just throw their hands up and shrug, while J.R. tries to wrap things up, telling us all that it looks like we’ll just have to wait to find out what the future has in store for The Nation of Domination.

    *Commercial*

    Back from commercial, Kevin Kelly is standing by at the interview set, but he looks pretty uncomfortable… as his guest at this time is Terry Funk. Looking as deranged as ever, Funk stares menacingly at Kelly, clearly making the interviewer uncomfortable, but Kelly manages to stutter his way through a question, asking Funk about the crazy brawling we’ve seen between he and Cactus Jack these last few weeks, especially what happened between the two at the Rumble. Funk has a dry laugh, before he very wryly says ”I’m gettin’ there, ain’t I? I’m startin’ to get it outta ol’ Mick, ain’t I?” Y’see, ever since Funk came to the WWF, he wanted to show Foley what an embarrassment and a sell-out he’d become. He had to hurt Foley, he had to take him to the very bottom before he slowly builds him back up. ”But he ain’t there yet. Last week in that boiler room… that was just a small part of the pain and the torture I’m gonna put Mick Foley through. Until one day, I final get him to-“ But suddenly, Funk comes to a stop and looks off-camera, and the frame soon pans to reveal… Vince McMahon has entered the scene. With a serious scowl on his face, McMahon looks at Funk with disgust and asks ”What the hell was that? Huh? What the hell was all that about at the Rumble? I warned you, no more violence, no more hardcore stuff, and what did you do? For the first time in WWF history, you brought weapons in my Royal Rumble!” McMahon berates Funk, reminding him of their agreement from a month ago, McMahon lived up to his end of the bargain, he gave Funk his Intercontinental Title shot, but he expected Funk to fall in line.

    Instead? ”Things are gettin’ worse around here. You’re startin’ to get completely out of hand. And Foley? Ever since he came back we’ve had nothin’ but mayhem. And I’m sick and tired of you draggin’ my show into the gutter.” As far as McMahon is concerned, it all stops here. And if Funk isn’t going to fall in line and do what McMahon tells him to do… then he’s going to have to teach him a lesson. Funk’s going to have to learn there’s only one way to do things around here in the WWF, and that’s the Vince McMahon way. ”Now I’m gonna deal with Foley in my own time, but as for you? Tonight, you’re gonna learn what happens when you disobey me. Tonight, you’re gonna go one on one… with ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’, Ken Shamrock!” A big time pop from inside the arena for the announcement of the match, but Funk is unmoved, he just keeps staring at McMahon with those cold, deranged eyes of his. And he has one final warning for Funk. If there’s any weapons, any steel chairs, any trash cans involved… there’s going to be hell to pay. ”Am I makin’ myself clear here, Terry?” There’s a dry smile on Funk’s face as he slowly rubs his jaw and nods his head, telling Vince he hears him crystal clear. But if McMahon thinks putting him in the ring with someone like Shamrock is supposed to be a punishment, then he couldn’t be more wrong. ”Shamrock deals in pain and punishment… just like I do. And believe me, Vince, I don’t need weapons to hurt somebody… includin’ you.” Funk takes a step forward as he says that, causing McMahon to nervously gulp, but Funk just smirks and decides he’s seen enough, walking out of the frame. McMahon lets out a sigh, then he too turns to leave, but as he does, Kelly blurts out that he has a question for McMahon. Kelly wants to know if Vince has anything to say about the controversy surrounding last night’s WWF Championship Match between Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart, btu before Kelly can go any further, Vince interrupts him and says ”I don’t have any comment on Owen Hart or what happened at this time, but I promise you Kevin, before the night is over… I will address what happened what happened last night.” And with a quick smile, McMahon brings the interview to an end by leaving the scene, Kelly watching him go as we head elsewhere.

    Into the arena where Tazz makes his entrance, cutting an intimidating figure as always. Tazz gave a great showing in the Rumble last night according to Cole, but both commentators want to talk about his match against Lance Storm, which was brought to an abrupt end by Jim Cornette and his tennis racquet. Tazz gained a measure of revenge later in the evening though, assaulting Storm and Cornette as Storm made his entrance into the Rumble. ”Clearly the situation between Tazz and Storm is far from over…” But we’re going to have wait for a resolution to that one as Tazz’s opponent tonight is John Bradshaw, the big Texan heading for the ring in his sports jacket. Ross states this is a big opportunity for Bradshaw, if he’s able to get the win over Tazz tonight this could go a long way to proving Bradshaw belongs in the singles ranks here in the WWF. ”This is gonna be a slobberknocker, that’s for sure!”

    Match Two:
    John Bradshaw
    vs. Tazz


    Bradshaw looks to take the fight to Tazz early, using shoulderblocks and stiff right hands to knock Tazz down, but Tazz quickly starts to gain the upperhand, using a waistlock to take Bradshaw down Tazz then rocks Bradshaw with a belly-to-back suplex, which frustrates Bradshaw, causing him to roll to the floor and kick the steel steps in annoyance. Back in the ring, Tazz again gains the upperhand with a German suplex, but when Bradshaw retreats to the corner and Tazz follows in, Bradshaw is able to avoid a charge… and Tazz smacks the ringpost shoulder first! This gives Bradshaw a chance to take control, and he roughs Tazz up with shots and boots, using his foot to choke Tazz against the ropes before he gets a near fall from a powerslam. Tazz tries to mount a comeback, tagging Bradshaw with rights to the body, but when he comes off the ropes and goes for a running crossbody, Bradshaw catches Tazz… fallaway slam! Bradshaw quickly floats over into the cover… 1… 2… Tazz gets a shoulder up! Frustrated once again, Bradshaw gets in the referee’s face, yelling at him, but the ref stands firm and confirms the two count. Turning back to the action, Bradshaw clubs a pair of forearms to the back of the head, but when he goes for the Irish whip, Tazz reverses… overhead belly-to-belly! Tazz now looks to build momentum, snapping off headbutts, before he hooks Bradshaw up… Tazz-plex! Tazz lands the exploder suplex, goes for the cover… 1… 2… Bradshaw barely gets the shoulder up! Tazz is motoring now though, and he waits for Bradshaw to rise, looking to hook him up… TAZZMISSION… NO! Bradshaw fights free, doubling Tazz over with elbows to the midsection… then he comes off the ropes… RUNNING LARIAT… NO! Tazz ducks underneath… then he takes Bradshaw down with a rollup… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Tazz @ 04:16

    A big time victory for Tazz who managed to survive the onslaught from Bradshaw to put him away. As Tazz celebrates in the ring, Bradshaw quickly rolls to the outside, kicking the steel steps in frustration as he trudges back away down the side of the ramp… and that’s because Lance Storm and Jim Cornette have stepped out onto the stage. Very quickly Cornette makes it clear to Tazz that he and Storm aren’t done with him yet. ”You jumped up lil’ midget, you put your hands on me at the Rumble, you cost Lance Storm the chance to go to WrestleMania when you’d already been eliminated, and nobody gets away with treatin’ us like that!” Enraged, Cornette wants Tazz to know that Storm is furious with him, and that the newcomer from Calgary is especially upset about how his first ever Royal Rumble appearance was ruined before it even got started. ”So that’s why we’re up here, and we’re doin’ it the ol’ fashioned way. Y’see, not only am I sick an’ tired o’ guys like you with your wannabe-UFC stuff, I’m sick an’ tired of you punks comin’ into the WWF and not payin’ your dues and not payin’ the proper respect.” As far as Cornette is concerned, Tazz is a nobody, he doesn’t deserve a shot here in the WWF and he certainly doesn’t have any right to put his hands on the greatest manager this business has ever seen. ”So right here, right now, I’m layin’ out the challenge to ya’. Next week, you and Lance Storm one more time! We’re gonna make you wish that you’d never crawled outta that cesspool they call ECW. Lance is gonna tie you up so tight, you’re gonna be beggin’ and screamin’ for mercy. But I promise ya’ this, you might want mercy… but we ain’t gonna give to ya’…” So Cornette looks for Tazz to accept, and Tazz quickly calls for a mic, before he bellows into it ”You want a rematch? You got it! But at the Rumble? I let the two o’ you survive. Next week? You ain’t gonna be so lucky!” Well there you have it, it looks like this intense rivalry is going to come to a head next week, it’s going to be Lance Storm and Tazz one on one, right here on Raw is War!

    *Commercial*

    Back to the interview set and this time Dok Hendrix is holding the stick, ready to speak with Ken Shamrock. Shamrock is another who gave a great showing during last night’s Rumble, but Hendrix wants to know how Shamrock’s feeling about the fact that Vince McMahon wants him to do his bidding tonight by teaching Terry Funk a lesson. Shamrock takes offence to that remark, stating he does nobodies bidding but his own. He admits he’s disappointed by the fact that he didn’t win the Rumble last night and that he’ll gladly take his frustrations out on Funk tonight. ”But lemme make one thing clear. I ain’t gonna kick Funk’s ass ‘cause McMahon wants me to. I’m gonna kick his ass… ‘cause I like kickin’ ass. And I nobodies bitch, Hendrix, you understand?” Flustered, Hendrix nods and comes close to an apology, before he moves on to a second question, this time about Shamrock’s thoughts on Owen Hart being forced into retirement last night. ”Ken, I know you spent a lotta time up in Calgary with the Hart family, I know you’ve got a lotta respect for the Hart family, you gotta be disappointed to see Owen havin’ to retire last night?” Shamrock confirms that he did indeed spend a lot of time up in Calgary in the infamous Hart dungeon when he was training to be a wrestler, he’s spent so many days and nights working with Bret Hart and his father Stu, and he gained a ton of respect for the entire Hart family during that time. ”And if ya’ ask me, what those punks in D-Generation X have done to Bret, Owen, the Hart family… it’s a damn disgrace. So Shawn Michaels, D-X, you bunch of degenerates, any time any o’ you wanna step in the ring with me… then I’ll be right here waitin’ for ya’…” And with that ominous warning of sorts, Shamrock stares hard at Hendrix and then makes his exit, the intensity of ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ clear for all to see.

    Time for another matchup, this time Los Boricuas are striding down the ramp, with Jose Estrada Jr., Jesus Castillo Jr.[/B] and Miguel Perez Jr. all supporting their leader Savio Vega in his match tonight. Vega is rapping away at his entrance music, but in the ring, all the singing comes to a stop… as Cactus Jack makes his entrance! With a bang-bang for the crowd, Cactus rolls under the bottom rope and chases all four members of Los Boricuas in the ring, looking like a man possessed. It was a brief appearance for Cactus in the Rumble last night as he purely entered the match to get his hands on Terry Funk, eliminating both himself and Funk just mere moments after he entered. ”You gotta believe that sooner or later, Funk and Cactus are gonna have to settle this. I know McMahon might not wanna see it, but Cactus and Funk could cause the WWF to implode if they don’t settle this thing one way or another!”

    Match Three:
    Cactus Jack
    vs. Savio Vega w/ Los Boricuas


    As the bell rings, it’s clear what Savio’s tactics are, as Estrada jumps up onto the apron, trying to distract Foley, which allows Vega to gain the early upperhand as he tags Cactus from behind. Savio starts to unload with chops against the ropes, but when he goes for an Irish whip, Savio lowers his head… and Foley connects with a swinging neckbreaker. In the corner, Cactus pounds Vega with hard rights until Savio is on the canvas, before he steps back and races in… running knee to the head! Savio rolls to the outside, but Cactus is right back on top of him, hurling Vega into the steel steps, before Cactus climbs back up onto the apron… cactus elbow! Foley comes crashing down on Savio, but when he rolls Vega back into the ring and tries to get back in himself, Perez grabs Foley by the foot, holding him just long enough for Savio to hit a dropkick… that sends Foley spiralling down to the floor! Vega then distracts the referee, allowing for a three-on-one beatdown to take place, until Los Boricuas finally rolls Cactus back into the ring so Savio can get a near fall. Vega gets further near falls as he hits a dropkick against the turnbuckle and a standing spin kick, but when he hurls Foley into the corner and follows in, Cactus gets a boot up… then explodes from the corner with a running bulldog! Jack is back on his feet first, tagging Vega with right hands, before he levels Vega with a big clothesline! Cactus looks like he’s signalling for the mandible claw… but this time Castillo jumps up on the apron, causing the distraction… and here comes Savio… Foley sidesteps… Vega crashes into Castillo, sending him flying to the floor! Vega is staggered and he turns back to Foley… kick… DOUBLE UNDERHOOK DDT!! Vega is planted, Cactus hooks a leg… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Cactus Jack @ 03:41

    Foley puts Savio away, but almost immediately after the bell rings… Estrada, Perez and Castillo storm the ring and jump Foley! A three on one beatdown breaks out, Los Boricuas really putting the boots into Foley as a measure of revenge for Savio’s loss. Vega quickly is back on his feet and he joins in with the beating, before he starts barking orders, telling his charges to get Foley to the outside. More stomps cause Cactus to roll and flop onto the floor, but when Los Boricuas head outside, Foley quickly crawls under the ring… and when he emerges again… he’s got a BARBED WIRE BASEBALL BAT IN HIS HANDS!! ”Good Gawd almighty! Foley’s got that bat wrapped in barbed wire. Get the hell outta here!” Immediately Los Boricuas start backing off, holding up their hands, warning Cactus to be careful, but Foley doesn’t care… as he swings at Vega’s head… but at the last second, Savio ducks… and Foley cracks the bat off the ringpost! Having dodged that attempt, all four of Los Boricaus turn and sprint up the ramp… and Foley is giving chase! Waving the barbed wire baseball bat like a madman, Foley gives chase up the ramp, but Los Boricuas disappear behind the curtain, but Foley is right on their trail. ”God, what a way to end Raw is War! Mick Foley, Cactus Jack… he’s runnin’ around backstage with a barbed wire baseball bat! What the hell is gonna happen next? Find out when we enter the Warzone!”

    *Commercial*

    Hour two kicks off as we head into the Warzone, another opening video and another pyro display as we head back into the arena. Ross welcomes us to the second half of the show and introduces us to Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler who has joined him at the commentary desk. Ross hypes the rest of tonight’s show, we’ll see Vader and the Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett both in action tonight, plus that match announced by Vince McMahon, Terry Funk and Ken Shamrock one on one. We’ve of course yet to hear from Shawn Michaels and D-Generation X, and remember, ‘Stone Cold’ is here tonight and he looks to be in a foul mood. It’s Austin who Lawler wants to talk about, admitting he’s delighted that Austin didn’t win the Rumble and isn’t going to WrestleMania, but at the same time ”…I’m a little worried about what Paul Bearer had to say about Kane and WrestleMania earlier tonight. I mean, I’m glad Austin ain’t goin’ to WrestleMania, but I don’t wanna see WrestleMania goin’ up in flames!” All thoughts of Austin and Kane are brought to an end though as D-Generation X make their way down the ramp. It was quite the night for the group last night given that Billy Gunn and Road Dogg finally saw off the Legion of Doom to retain their tag titles, Triple H had an impressive showing in the Rumble and of course, Shawn Michaels retained the WWF Championship. Consequently, the group are dripping in gold, especially Chyna who carried the European and WWF Championships over her broad shoulders. Much like earlier, the boxes of Kleenex are out once again, with Michaels especially vocal in his wailing and crying of fake tears, something which J.R. describes as ”…a disgusting, total lack of respect from these degenerates. What kind of way is this to act just one night after you ended a man’s career. It makes me sick…”

    But it only gets worse once Michaels is handed the microphone, his dramatic whining and howling and over the top blowing of his nose drawing heat from the crowd but causing Gunn and Dogg to buckle in laughter. Michaels is adamant though, he can’t believe it, he’s done it again, he ruined yet another career of a member of the Hart family. ”I mean, first I send that whiny crybaby Bret runnin’ down south to the geriatric’s home… and now I’ve sent baby brother Owen packin’ back to Calgary. I can’t believe it! How do I keep doin’ this? Why does this keep happenin’ to me!?” But wait… Michaels knows why. It’s because he’s ‘The Showstopper’, ‘The Icon’, ‘The Main Event’, he’s the best damn wrestler in the world today and he told us all this was going to happen. He warned Owen Hart not to return to the WWF, and when he did, he warned him to stop messing with his business. Every time Owen came through the crowd and attacked him, Michaels warned everyone it was going to end in tears. And look what happened, Michaels can’t stop crying! ”And when are you people gonna realise that when ya’ mess with ‘The Heartbreak Kid’, I always come out on top! Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Owen Hart… y’see any of ‘em around here anymore? Nuh uh. ‘Cause they took on D-Generation X… and they got burned.” And this should be a warning for the rest of the WWF. There’s too many guys in the back runnin’ their mouths, talkin’ like they could be the one to final take the WWF Championship away from Michaels. But the sooner they learn that D-X is too damn strong, and Michaels is just too damn good, the easier it’s going to be when Michaels pins their shoulders to the mat. ”And maybe I’ll send each and ev’ry one o’ ya’ to the bottom of a grave… or to the retirement home.”

    And with that in mind, Michaels has an exclusive for all of us. ”I got the scoop on this one. I want ev’ryone ta’ look at the titan-tron to see the last ever sight of Owen Hart in the WWF. Roll it!”” And sure enough, a video starts to play showing us Owen Hart leaving the arena last night, dressed in street clothes, carrying his bag through the parking lot, clearly heading towards his car. Owen has his head down, dejected, but he’s being chased by Michael Cole, who is looking for some final words from Owen. But try as he might, Cole gets nowhere, every question he asks is ignored by Hart… until finally, Owen stops, grabs Cole by the jacket and yells in his face ”It’s finished! It’s over! I got nothin’ left to tell ya’!” Hart then shoves Cole aside and continues to trudge towards his car, the camera lingering on Owen as he fades into the distance, the last image we’ll ever see of ‘The Black Hart’. But then it’s back to the ring, more fake tears, the Kleenex box is being passed around again, and D-X continue to mock the situation as Michaels revels in the fact that he’s brought Owen’s career to an end. ”But then… then there’s WrestleMania. And… and there’s Kane…”, and there’s also a little bit of fear in Michaels’ eyes at the prospect of what awaits him. It’s true that Kane won the Rumble, it’s also true that he’s booked himself a spot in the main event of WrestleMania opposite Michaels. But the rest of that stuff Paul Bearer was saying earlier? All that talk about beating Michaels, becoming WWF Champion, bringing the WWF crashing down in flames? Yeah, none of that’s going to happen. Not while Michaels is running the show. And if Kane was smart, he’d look at what happened to his brother and not even bother showing up at WrestleMania. ”I already buried ‘The Deadman’… and I got no problem in buryin’ your big red ass too…”, although from the look on Michaels’ face, you’d almost get the feeling that he doesn’t really believe all that.

    As for tonight, it looks like D-Generation X has a few more loudmouths they’re going to have to take care off. Michaels then hands the mic over to Road Dogg, who has a few words for Bart Gunn and Steve Blackman. ”It looks like ol’ Jay and Silent Bob think they oughta get a shot at these titles, Billy. But uh, hey… ain’t Bart supposed to be your brother or somethin’?” More laughs from D-X, but Billy takes over and points out that he and Bart may have won the tag titles together in the past, Billy was always the better man in The Smoking Gunns. And if Bart and his new partner Blackman think they’ve got any chance of taking these titles away from The Outlaws, they’ll find out real quick that there’s a reason why The Outlaws are part of the hottest group in professional wrestling today. ”And let’s face it, if we can send a team like The Legion of Doom straight to the retirement home, then you two jackasses ain’t gonna be a problem…” Triple H now gets on the stick, and he wants to talk about the other issue that’s came to light tonight, namely that of Ken Shamrock. While it’s a real nice story to hear that Shamrock has so much time and respect for the Hart family, that just goes to show how much of a loser he really is. Helmsley points out that Shamrock was trained by the Hart family, a family that D-X have singlehandedly ran out of the WWF these last few months. ”And uh… when ol’ Stu was busy stretchin’ you out in that Dungeon… was the old man always on top? Or do you just prefer bein’ on the bottom?” Either way, Helmsley warns Shamrock that if he runs his mouth about D-X again, then Helmsley is gonna personally make sure that it’s the last words Shamrock ever says.

    And now back to Michaels who wants to wrap things up by discussing what happened at the Rumble, in particular the role that Vince McMahon played in it all. ”I warned ya’ Vin-man, don’t stick your nose where it don’t belong. It’s one thing to stand at ringside and watch ‘The Showstopper’ do his thing… but to get into the ring with a steel chair? That’s where ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ draws the line…” Too many times lately McMahon has involved himself in Michaels’ business, and Michaels is getting pretty fed up with it. Last week on Raw, Michaels thought he made himself clear when he nearly kicked McMahon’s head off his shoulders and told him to stay out of things. But Vince couldn’t help himself, he just had to get involved last night. And look what happened. McMahon wound up getting knocked flat on his ass. And then he had the nerve to try and hit Michaels with a steel chair? ”What’s it gonna take old man for you to realise that D-Generation X will never conform, we will never bow down to you, we ain’t goin’ corporate anytime soon?” McMahon might not like D-X, he might not like their choice or language, he might not like their actions, but there’s nothing he can do about it. D-X are on top, they’re the ones calling the shots here in the WWF, and McMahon has to get to used to it. Infact, the entire locker room has to get used to it. Anybody who tries to stop him has found out the hard way that Michaels is the man around here, he’s the one with all the stroke. ”And if there’s anybody back there… and especially you, Vin-man… that doesn’t like it, then we got two words for ya’…” Michaels lets the crowd yell out the “Suck it!”, but his message is pretty clear, he’s had enough of people running their mouth and sticking their nose in his business, and Michaels and the rest of D-X are going to do something about it. What will that something be? We’ll need to wait to find out…

    *Commercial*

    We return to a brief video hyping the upcoming WWF pay per view, No Way Out, with the voiceover encouraging everyone to buy the event on Sunday February 15th.

    We go back to the restaurant from earlier where Sable and Mark Henry are now enjoying their meal. Obviously as a big guy, Henry is enjoying his food, while Sable just smiles and tells Henry how much she’s enjoying his company tonight. The suspicious looking waiter who we know to be ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero in disguise enters the scene with a pitcher of water, again being very careful in how he positions his body as he pours water into Sable and Henry’s glasses so that neither gets a good look at his face. Excuse me, waiter? Can we get some more wine over here?” asks Henry, to which Mero nods in agreement and then scurries off. Alone once again, Henry and Sable restart their conversation, with Sable telling Henry she’s really enjoying herself tonight, it’s just what she needed right now given everything that’s been going on between her and Mero right now. Henry wants to talk about that some more, wondering what Mero’s problem is. After all, he looked Sable in a dressing room, he screams at her, berates her, tells her what she can and can’t do or can or can’t wear, Henry just doesn’t get it. ”I mean, Mero man... what’s his problem?” At this point our waiter returns to the scene, but he hovers in the background, struggling to get the cork out of the bottle of wine, but also making sure he listens to every word that’s being said. With a sigh and a solemn look on her face, Sable admits she’s not sure why Mero is so jealous of her and why he always wants the attention to be on him. ”It’s almost like he’s scared to let anybody else be the star. And to be honest... I think I’m just about done with him...” Just as Sable says that, Mero is shocked by the statement and winds up pulling the cork out of the bottle... and wine goes everywhere... and spills all over Henry’s suit! Henry bursts to his feet, drenched in wine, stunned at what’s just happened, and he instantly turns to the waiter and demands to know what he’s doing. Mero apologises profusely, telling Henry he’ll get him a towel to try off, but again, everything is so shifty as Mero does his best to hide his face. As Mero runs away to get the towel, Henry just grabs a napkin and tries to wipe some of the wine from his clothes, while Sable... she’s not buying any of this, that inquisitive look on her face once again as she looks off camera in the direction Mero left and slowly says ”...I’m sure I know that waiter from somewhere...”, but with Henry too busy dealing with wine stains, he ignores the comment, and we’re left with Sable looking confused and irritated with what’s going on as we head back to the arena.

    Back into the arena, and it’s time, it’s time, it’s Vader time! For the first time in well over a month, ‘The Mastodon’ is back on Raw after his return last night during the Rumble. Once again J.R. points out how impressive Vader looks, he’s lost a little weight, he looks lean and mean and is ready to make an impact here in the WWF once again. His opponent tonight is the monster Kurrgan, who is joined by the rest of The Truth Commision as The Jackyl leads Recon and Sniper into battle. ”It took five men to eliminate Kurrgan last night from the Royal Rumble, such is the size of this monster. There ain’t many tougher ways for Vader to make his return to the WWF than against Kurrgan right here...” says J.R. who does his best to put Kurrgan over. There’s nothing but disgust and disdain for The Jackyl though, who preaches his message and tries to recruit new followers at ringside but is mostly met with derision.

    Match Four:
    Kurrgan
    w/ The Truth Commission vs. Vader


    Vader comes out the blocks fast in this one, looking to club Kurrgan with those big forearms as the big man tries to cover up. Kurrgan withstands the initial onslaught, enabling him to fire back with chops to the head and the neck, but Vader ducks underneath a big right hand and comes off the ropes… bodyblock… but Kurrgan stays on his feet! Another bodyblock… just staggers the big man… but a third finally puts him down! Vader then looks to come off the ropes again, but Sniper reaches in and grabs a foot… and the distraction costs Vader as Kurrgan makes it back to his feet… and catches the turning Vader with a big boot to the face! Using his massive hands, Kurrgan chokes Vader in the corner, then he takes ‘The Mastodon’ down again with a Russian legsweep, but when Kurrgan comes off the ropes and looks for a legdrop, Vader rolls… and Kurrgan hits the canvas! Both men back on their feet, but Vader goes back to work, landing more of those clubbing shots to the side of the head, before he sends Kurrgan to the corner… big splash against the turnbuckle! Kurrgan staggers forward… and Vader shows incredible strength to plant him with a powerslam! Sensing victory, Vader heads to the corner, climbs to the second rope… VADERBOMB! Jackyl can look on with despair as Vader stays on top for the cover… 1… 2… 3!

    Winner: Vader @ 02:43

    Vader gets the win, but as soon as the bell rings, Jackyl starts dishing out orders... and Sniper and Recon slide into the ring and jump Vader! Seeking revenge, Jackyl sets his troops on Vader, laying into him with a flurry of stomps to the body... but Vader starts fighting back! Getting back to his feet, Vader starts clubbing Sniper and Recon with stiff right hands... before he knocks Recon down with a clothesline, then he takes Sniper up... gorilla press slam... over the top rope to the floor! Sniper hits the floor hard, and then Vader turns back to Recon, slamming him down to the canvas... before he climbs to the second rope... VADERBOMB! Vaderbomb to Recon! Kurrgan is down, Sniper is down, Jackyl is terrified on the outside, but Vader’s not finished... he climbs to the second rope again... a SECOND VADERBOMB TO RECON! Now we’ve got referee’s and agents in the ring, trying to stop this madness, and in a moment of insanity... VADER STRIKES ONE OF THE REFEREE’S! ”Aw’ c’mon now, Vader. That’s gonna be a fine or a suspension right there...”, but Vader doesn’t care as he shoves referees aside and chases agents away... and then he climbs to the second rope one more time... THIRD VADERBOMB! Recon is absolutely crushed, Vader has lost it, he’s just dismantled the entire Truth Commision... and the crowd are loving it, giving him a big pop. The referees and agents demand Vader leaves the ring, ‘The Mastodon’ threatening them once again, but what an impact Vader has made on his return to the WWF!

    *Commercial*

    We’re back, and Michael Cole is stood at the interview set with a visibly frustrated and upset Marlena, who looks as if she’s struggling to hold back tears. Cole wants to know what the situation is with Goldust, as it appears that during the Royal Rumble ”...Goldust somehow managed to break out of the psychiatric medical facility he was taken to last week in order to compete in the Royal Rumble last night.” Obviously the psych nurse and Marlena came down to ringside in order to help him, but Goldust eliminated himself and then fled through the crowd, causing everyone to wonder what on earth is going on with ‘The Bizarre One’ right now. Marlena also wants to know what’s going on as she admits she hasn’t heard from Goldust- ”No, wait. Let’s cut the Goldust and Marlena stuff for a second. Let’s get real here. My name is Terri Runnels, Goldust is my husband Dustin, we have a daughter together but... we haven’t been a family for a long time now.” Terri admits they went through a real rough patch towards the end of 1997, and things have only gotten worse ever since Luna Vachon entered the fray. Terri is convinced that Luna has done something to Dustin, she’s brainwashed him, she’s caused him to change. ”I don’t even feel like Dustin is my husband anymore. He’s not the same man I married...” While Terri always knew Dustin was a bit out there and a bit weird, he expressed himself as Goldust and then went back to being the family man she knows and loves. But lately? The weirdness has gotten way out of hand, she’s seriously worried about him, like he’s about to snap or go over the edge. So much so that as his legal partner, she arranged for the psych nurses to come and take Goldust away so he could get the help that he needs.

    ”But... as we all saw last night, Dustin... he managed to escape. Well... I think somebody helped him escape... and I think you know exactly who I’m talkin’ about...” says Terri in reference to Luna. Goldust hasn’t been seen since last night, Terri has no idea where he is, but she’s desperate to speak with him and help him. ”Dustin... if you’re listenin’ to me right now, please... please come home. I miss you, Dakota misses you, we can forget about all of this I can help you get better...” But just as Terri finishes saying that line, from off camera... Luna Vachon approaches. With a snarl on her face, Luna tells Terri she needs to forget about Goldust and leave him along. According to Luna, Goldust doesn’t want Terri anymore, he doesn’t need her, he’s got Luna now to take care of him. Terri isn’t interested though, demanding to know where Goldust is and what Luna has done with him. But Terri shouldn’t worry about him, Luna has him somewhere safe, somewhere where those psych nurses can’t take him away again. Terri offers to call off the nurses, she just wants her husband back... but Luna just laughs. And laughs. And laughs some more. ”What don’t you understand, bimbo? Your husband, he isn’t yours anymore... he’s mine!” And in a fit of rage, Terri lunges and grabs the maniacal Luna by the hair... and Luna grabs back... they start yanking and pulling... catfight! For the second Monday in a row, Luna and Terri are having a catfight backstage! They quickly knock Cole over, the interviewer scrambling away as the two ladies roll about on the floor, knocking over parts of the interview set, ripping and pulling at each other’s hair and clothes... until we finally get some referees and agents to step in, trying to separate them. The kicking, screaming, scratching and clawing continues, but eventually, the referees manage to get the two away from each other, but as Luna is being dragged away, the camera turns to Terri to hear her yell out one last time ”Gimme back my husband!” before we head back into the arena.

    Time for another match, and here comes Jeff Jarrett, the Intercontinental Champion entering the arena to a big pop, but the pop is clearly for Sunny who is dressed in a low-cut business suit that appeals to that key 18-30 demographic. Jarrett managed to escape the Rumble with his title intact last night after he picked up the win over Ken Shamrock, but of course all Lawler wants to talk about is how good Sunny looks right now. His opponent tonight is the newcomer Tajiri, the Japanese sensation who lit up the Royal Rumble with his surprise appearance. He’s made a name for himself in Mexico and Japan, now he’s here in the WWF. Not a lot known about this Tajiri, but one thing from his appearance last night stood out to Lawler. ”What’s the deal with that green mist? That stuff oughta be illegal, he oughta be on the next flight back to whatever backwater part of Japan he came from…”

    Match Five: Non-Title Match
    Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett w/ Sunny vs. Tajiri


    With his low centre of gravity and the off-putting way he stares, Tajiri has Jarrett rattled early on, several times Jarrett backs away from Tajiri’s kicks to the safety of the ropes, telling the ref to get Tajiri back. We finally get a lockup, and as you’d expect, Jarrett uses his size advantage to overpower Tajiri, taking him down with a waistlock and keeping him grounded with a headlock. Back to a vertical base, Jarrett comes off the ropes with a shoulderblock and arrogantly starts to strut, but when he reaches down to grab Tajiri… Tajiri smacks him with a kick to the side of the head! Tajiri quickens the pace, connecting with a handspring back elbow and a leg lariat, but when goes for an Irish whip to the corner, Jarrett reverses and follows in… Tajiri ducks through the ropes… Jarrett hits the turnbuckle… then locks Jarrett into the tarantula! Sunny screams, Jarrett yells out in pain and Tajiri takes every inch of the ref’s five count before he finally releases the hold. Tajiri strikes with more kicks, but when Tajiri comes off the ropes… Jarrett nails him with a stiff clothesline! Jarrett now starts to take control, nailing a textbook dropkick and a swinging neckbreaker for near falls, before Jarrett shoots Tajiri off the ropes… into a sleeper… no! Tajiri fights it… and breaks free with a jawbreaker! Tajiri mounts a comeback, landing more kicks to the body, but Jarrett reverses an Irish whip to the corner… but he gets caught… TORNADO DDT! Jarrett is planted, Tajiri goes for the cover… 1… 2… Jarrett gets a shoulder up! Tajiri quickens the pace again… springboard moonsault! 1… 2… Jarrett barely kicks out! Looking to finally put Jarrett away, Tajiri lines him up for the ROUNDHOUSE KICK… NO! Jarrett ducks underneath, then he grabs Tajiri from behind… REVERSE RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP! ”That’s a move Jarrett calls the stroke! What an impact…” And it’s enough for Jarrett to get the 1… 2… 3.

    Winner: Jeff Jarrett @ 05:01

    A gutsy effort from Tajiri, but he comes up in short in his WWF singles debut as Jarrett just has too much for him. The kicks he took has clearly riled Jarrett though, so much so that when Sunny enters the ring, Jarrett tells her to grab his guitar. ”Aw’ c’mon now, there’s no need for this…”, but it’s happening, Jarrett calls for Tajiri to rise… then he winds up and swings… GUITAR SHOT… NO… GREEN MIST! Tajiri sprays the green mist right in Jarrett’s eyes! Jarrett drops the guitar, flailing his arms wildly, blinded by the mist, and now Tajiri lines him up… kicks to the midsection drops Jarrett to his knees… then a ROUNDHOUSE KICK TO THE HEAD! What an impact from Tajiri, he’s just laid out Jeff Jarrett! Sunny is furious, screaming at Tajiri, but ‘The Japanese Buzzsaw’ just gives her a sick smile that totally creeps her out. ”Sunny! Sunny! Get away from that little creep. Come over here, I’ll protect you…”, but J.R. ignores Lawler’s pleas and puts over how impressive the newcomer from Japan has looked tonight.

    *Commercial*

    One last time we go back to the restaurant to see Sable and Mark Henry, who it looks like have come to the end of their meal. As Henry takes one final mouthful and puts his fork back on his plate, Sable sits back in her chair, smiling, sipping from her wine glass, a content look on her face. Henry leans back and lets out a sigh, patting his belly to show he’s full, before he too starts to sip on his wine. Some small talk about the food is exchanged, before Sable once again thanks Henry for the meal, she’s had a great night and really enjoyed herself. ”Well the night don’t have to end here, baby...”, with Henry offering to take Sable out for some drinks. At this point the disguised ’Marvellous’ Marc Mero re-enters the scene, scurrying around the table as he collects cutlery and lifts plates. As for Henry’s offer of partying the night away, Sable reluctantly shakes her head. ”Listen Mark, I really had a great time with you tonight. But I’m sorry, this can’t last any longer than tonight. I... I’m still married to Marc, and even though we’re having our problems right now... I can’t get involved with anybody else right now. I’m sorry. Henry is naturally disappointed, but he understands and tells Sable it’s cool... but then suddenly, Mero yells out, delighted to hear Sable say she’s still with him! Ripping off his disguise, Mero shouts ”Yes! I knew it! I told ya’ you were mine!”, but Sable is furious, screaming at Mero that she knew something was going on with their waiter. Henry gets up out of his seat, getting right in Mero’s face, demanding to know what’s going on, but Mero tells him to get out of the way before he grabs Sable by the wrist and tells her they’re leaving... only for Henry to smack Mero with a big right hand! Henry is rocking Mero, then he scoops him up... and SLAMS MERO THROUGH THE DINNER TABLE! Mero writhes on the floor in agony, while Sable stands above him, screaming at him, letting him know exactly how upset she is that he’s tried to ruin her night. But once she’s composed herself, Sable takes Henry by the arm and says ”C’mon Mark, let’s go get that drink...” and with that, Sable and Henry leave, the camera staying focused on Mero as he continues to roll around on the floor in pain, calling out for Sable to come back as we head elsewhere.

    We cut to the announce desk, where Lawler can’t believe what he’s just saw, claiming ”Sable just stood and watched her husband get slammed through a table!”, while J.R. reminds us all that Sable is her own woman, she became the first woman to ever enter the Royal Rumble last night and if Mero thinks he can tame her, he’s sorely mistaken. The music of Ken Shamrock interrupts which brings ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ down to the ring. A brief loss of concentration cost Shamrock the Intercontinental Championship last night, but he did himself proud with his performance in the Rumble. Tonight though, Shamrock is being asked to do Vince McMahon’s bidding, but Ross warns us all ”...Shamrock ain’t no lackey, he ain’t no pawn. He’s a dangerous, dangerous athlete, he’ll treat this match like any other, he’s out to win and he’s out to do some damage, no matter who the opponent is...” And of course Terry Funk is out next, middle-aged and crazy, slowly stalking his way down the ramp. Ross reminds us all of the way in which Funk brought weapons into the Royal Rumble, which prompts Lawler to admit ”I think McMahon is right, there’s no place for this crazy stuff that Funk and Cactus Jack get up to in a Royal Rumble. I think it’s those two who oughta be committed, not Goldust...”

    Main Event:
    Ken Shamrock
    vs. Terry Funk


    The bell tolls, but Funk remains rooted in the corner, a deranged look on his face as he stares across at Shamrock and yells “C’mon!”, almost begging Shamrock to attack. The two finally lock up, and Shamrock starts unloading with kicks to the body and uppercuts to the jaw, sending Funk back to the ropes… but the veteran keeps on calling for Shamrock to hit him, even offering up his chin… so Shamrock obliges… with a kick to the side of the head that sends Funk through the ropes to the floor! Shamrock follows outside, sending Funk into the guardrail, hurling him into the steel steps, before he smashes Funk face-first off the announce desk. Back in the ring, Shamrock continues the assault, more kicks to the body, but when Shamrock drags him up, Funk grabs the referee out of desperation… but as Shamrock tries to drag Funk away, Funk flicks his heel… right into a lowblow! The ref had his back to it, but Shamrock is down and hurt, and now Funk gets the chance to take control. Funk is vicious in his attack, aiming stiff jabs to the jaw, chops to the chest before he gets a near fall from a vertical suplex. A neckbreaker and a brainbuster get Funk further near falls, and with Shamrock struggling, Funk decides he’s going to go for a PILEDRIVER… NO! Shamrock counters with a back body drop, saving himself! But men are slow back to their feet, but Shamrock beats Funk to the punch, smacking him with uppercuts, ducking a Funk swing… hurricanrana! Shamrock retakes control, landing more kicks to the body, taking Funk down for a two count with a belly-to-back suplex, before he bursts to his feet and roars to the crowd, waiting for Funk to rise… BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEX! Shamrock plants Funk… and now he hooks him up… ANKLE LOCK! ANKLE LOCK! Shamrock slaps Funk in the ankle lock… wait! Sprinting down the ramp to the ring… it’s D-Generation X! Road Dogg and Billy Gunn lead the way, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna close behind… and The Outlaws hit the ring first… and they jump on Shamrock! The referee has no choice but to call for the bell!

    Winner: Via Disqualification, Ken Shamrock @ 05:58

    D-Generation X have stormed the ring, and now they’re beating the life out of Ken Shamrock! It’s a four-on-one mugging, Shamrock taking an absolute beating, and Lawler quickly figures out that ”This has gotta be payback for what Shamrock said earlier...” And sure enough, Michaels unleashes a vicious assault on Shamrock, laying in with the boots, dropping down to choke him, all the while Chyna and The Outlaws do their best to keep referees and agents from entering the ring. Helmsley drags Shamrock up and holds him in place, allowing Michaels to lay in with stiff right hands, and now Funk is back on his feet, he too tagging Shamrock, Funk and Michaels taking turns to lay in with hard rights to the head. ”For Gawd’s sake, we need some help out here, we need... wait! It’s-Cactus Jack! Here comes Cactus...” Indeed, Cactus Jack is heading to the ring... and he’s got the BARBED WIRE BASEBALL BAT WITH HIM!! Foley rolls under the bottom rope, but the five D-X members see Foley coming, all of them getting out of harm’s way, but Funk has his back to Foley... and CACTUS SMACKS THE BARBED WIRE OFF OF FUNK’S SPINE!! Funk cries out in pain, a grimace on his face as he slowly turns... BARBED WIRE BAT TO THE SKULL!! Funk is down, blood streaming from his forehead, while Foley turns with the bat corked on his shoulder, daring D-X to come back to the ring. Michaels orders his troops to back down, despite Helmsley wanting to go back for more, but the crowd is going wild as Cactus Jack stands tall in the ring, a bloody and battered Terry Funk down on the canvas as we head to our final commercial.

    *Commercial*

    Our final segment of the night sees us return to the arena, where Vince McMahon is already making his way down the ramp towards the ring. ”Welcome back to the Warzone everyone. It’s now that time, it’s time to hear from the owner of the World Wrestlin’ Federation to get his side of the story over what happened last night. We know Owen Hart’s career has come to an end, but it came to an end not at the hands of Shawn Michaels... but at the hands of that man there, Vince McMahon. I can’t wait to hear what he’s gotta say about it...” In the ring, a very solemn looking Vince asks for a mic, but before he can say anything, he has to wait for the nuclear heat he’s taking from the crowd to die down. On a couple of occasions, McMahon motions and asks for quiet, but eventually he has to give up waiting for quiet and just do his best to speak over the fans. ”I’ve come out here tonight as I’d like to address the controversy surrounding what transpired last night at the Royal Rumble during the WWF Championship Match between Shawn Michaels and Owen Hart. Now I-“ GLASS SHATTERS! Wait a minute, here comes ’Stone Cold’ Steve Austin! Vince is interrupted, the crowd is going nuts as Austin strides down to the ring, grabbing a microphone and coming face-to-face with McMahon. Vince shouts at Austin to get out of the ring, this is his time to speak, but Austin just flips a middle finger at him, telling Vince ”I don’t give a damn what you gotta say, Vince. And I don’t give a rat’s ass about Owen Hart. What I do care about, and I what I wanna hear an answer about, is that the fact o’ the matter is, that stupid sunnova bitch Mike Tyson cost me the Royal Rumble last night!”, which draws another roar from the crowd.

    McMahon is visibly frustrated, taken aback by Austin, with ‘The Rattlesnake’ pointing out he had Kane down, he had him beat, only for Tyson to jump the guardrail and try to enter the match, which wound up costing Austin. Now Austin isn’t one to whine or complain, he just wants the chance to make things right. ”So I want two things from you, ya’ sorry lookin’ bastard. One, you gimme a match with that big, red freak Kane for the chance ta’ go ta’ WrestleMania and become WWF Champion. And two... you gimme Mike Tyson in this ring, anytime, anywhere so I can open up a can o’ whupass on his sorry ass and walk it dry!” Still enraged, McMahon informs Austin that Tyson isn’t here tonight, nor is he scheduled to be on Raw next week either. And besides, Tyson’s suspension from boxing means he’s not allowed to participate in a match in a WWF ring, no matter how badly Austin wants it. But Austin isn’t talking about a match, he’s looking for a fight, he wants to give Tyson an ass-kicking he’ll never forget. As much as McMahon the promoter knows that Tyson and Austin in the ring together is a huge money draw and a ratings guarantee, Vince rather smugly informs Austin once again that Tyson is prohibited from any physical participation due to his suspension. And as a matter of fact, Vince is surprised that Austin would dare want to mess with ‘The Baddest Man on the Planet’ after what happened last night. ”Now while Tyson flew home after the Royal Rumble last night, I spoke with him on the phone, I spoke with Don King earlier today, and I think you need to be aware of something, Mr. Austin, and that is that Mike Tyson... is furious with you right now.” While the threat just draws a smirk from Austin, McMahon carries on, reminding Austin that it was he who initiated all of this, he who goaded Tyson, he who insulted Tyson last night. ”And it cost you dearly. It cost you the chance to go to WrestleMania and become the WWF Champion, and that’s a chance you’ll never get again...” says an extremely smug McMahon.

    So if Tyson isn’t going to be here tonight or next week, Austin instead is going to focus on Kane. ”That big red bastard, for the first time in the whole damn match, somebody put ‘im on ‘is ass, and that was ‘Stone Cold’. So what I want from ya’ is a match, any kinda match, but I want that WrestleMania shot on the line so that I can whup his big red ass and get my title shot...” But before McMahon can respond... the lights in the arena go out... then we’re bathed in red... and there’s an explosion of fire! Here comes Kane! The reprehensible Paul Bearer is there as well, with a microphone in his hand, he too looking almost as smug as McMahon did a few moments ago. ”Mr. Austin... you don’t seem to be hearin’ Mr. McMahon there quite right, so lemme spell it out for ya’. Y’see, last night at the Royal Rumble, you were the last great hope for the World Wrestling Federation. And guess what? You failed!” Whether Austin likes or not, he can cry and whine and moan to the sun goes down, but he had his shot last night and he couldn’t get the job done. Kane won the Rumble, he proved once and for he is the most dominant force in the WWF today, and there’s not a damn thing Austin or anybody else can do about it. Kane is going to WrestleMania, he’s going to become WWF Champion and Austin will just have to watch along with everybody as Kane brings this company crashing down around them. ”You had your chance Mr. Austin, but you, just like everybody else had to find out the hard way that you can’t beat my monster, Kane! Nobody can! And as for your request for a match, well... I don’t think I can make it any easier. The answer is no. No match, no second chances, no way to stop Kane on his path of destruction...”

    But for Austin, that ain’t good enough. ”I know he’s a mute, I know he hides behind a mask, but I didn’t have that big red sunnova bitch down for bein’ a chicken-shit lil’ bastard too!” Kane immediately steps forward, but Bearer drags him back, knowing that Austin is just trying to goad Kane into a fight. But Bearer won’t allow that, he’s too smart to fall into Austin’s trap. He repeats one more time, there will be no match with Kane’s WrestleMania shot on the line, Austin’s just going to have to get used to the fact that he tried and failed to stop Kane, like so many others have. But stubborn as a mule, Austin just refuses to take that. ”Well, I guess if McMahon ain’t gonna gimme my match, and if your fat ass ain’t gonna gimme my match... then I’m just gonna have to walk up there and beat it outta Kane’s ass!” Here he comes, Austin dives through the ropes and starts to run up the ramp, the fight is on... no! Wait, Kane raises his hands... then brings them down... and a WALL OF FLAMES ERUPTS ON THE RAMP!! Austin stops at the last second, nearly running headfirst into the flames, but as the fire rages infront of him, Austin franticly searches for a way to get to Kane... but he’s can’t, he’s trapped behind a wall of flames! ”Do we make ourselves clear, Mr. Austin? No match for you! No WrestleMania for you! You, and the rest of the World Wrestling Federation... are gonna burn in hell!” Bearer then lets out a maniacal laugh, before he and Kane turn and head backstage, but the wall of fire rages on, keeping Austin from giving chase. Lawler admits this is the craziest thing he’s ever seen, there’s fire coming from the middle of the ramp, and it’s stopping Austin from getting his hands on Kane and Paul Bearer. ”I’ve never seen anythin’ like this in my entire life. What the hell’s gonna happen? Kane and Paul Bearer, they’re on a collision course with WrestleMania... and I don’t think there’s anybody who can stop ‘em!” And with that line from J.R., this show come to an end, the lasting image being that of Austin staring through the fire, cursing under his breath, desperate for one last chance at Kane, but seemingly... his hopes are going up in flames.

    -----

    Current card for WWF No Way Out 1998:

    NO MATCHES ANNOUNCED YET




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