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[1998-06-29-WWF-Raw] Steve Austin vs Kane


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  • 2 months later...

Two of the biggest title change pops of the 90’s occur with in a week of each other in 1998.

 

The first is Austin regaining his title from Kane the night after King of the Ring. While the storyline wasn’t great, it was hardly ill-conceived. Kane defeated Austin in a first blood match after Undertaker hit Austin with a chair while the referee was knocked out. Austin had a legitimate gripe the next night on Raw and because Vince (and Paul Bearer) are both made out to be cowards when they aren’t gloating, they both pass the buck. Austin demands a rematch from Vince, who says he is fine with it if Paul Bearer is okay. The same thing happens as Paul Bearer says he is fine with it as long as Kane is okay. The Yearbook joins the match in progress and it certainly doesn’t look like anything special but the reaction for Austin winning the title back is great. It would be out of this world if Ric Flair didn’t return later in the year and Austin didn’t get maybe the biggest pop of the attitude era on January 4, 1999 (taped December 28, 1998).

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Last few minutes. Undertaker shows up at ringside. Austin pins Kane to retain the title and gets an awesome reaction. Austin gives Undertaker a stunner to close out the show. It's starting to look like Austin may have to contend with Undertaker and Kane as a duo. The WWF is still on a roll!

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I was in attendance for this and, though, WrestleMania 14 + the next night's RAW might be the best 1-2 punch the WWE ever produced in 48 hours, I'd put King of the Ring 98' and this RAW from Cleveland being a personal favorite. Elsewhere on this episode, Brawl-For-All debuted. In hindsight, this was an awful idea, but it's another cool thing to say "I was there" to. Similar to the Brawl-for-All, Regal debuted in the WWE in this episode - again, it didn't lead to anything great really, but at the time, it was a big deal to me and my friends (who loved him in WCW and thought he was going to be a much bigger deal in WWE).

 

In terms of other "1-2 punches" of PPV + RAWs/Nitros, I'd be interested to hear what other times people remember as being really remarkable. Obviously, in this case, plenty of credit goes to King of the Ring 98' (which was the type of show where, when it was done, you called everyone you knew and asked them "Did you see that?!?"), but this RAW was really just an awesome continuation of it and great way to start building towards SummerSlam. (Fancy that - you can actually build towards a PPV more than 3 weeks ahead of time.)

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  • 2 weeks later...

This worked out as an effective way to split up a long Austin title reign. The KOTR result was a big shock and also during the rematch I felt sure there would be a run in. At this point the title had only changed hands once in the history of Raw. So it was a great moment for the fans as Stone Cold regains the gold.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I do think they at least made the Kane title reign kind of cheap and set up the biggest feud of the summer in Taker vs. Austin but this felt a little bait and switch to me. It almost felt like the progression from the old days when the title would be held up. Still, Austin gets an enormous pop when he wins and the WWF is heading into the summer with some good set up.

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  • 1 year later...

WWF World Heavyweight Champion Kane vs Steve Austin - WWF RAW 6/29/98

 

I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. I thought this was a very energetic match. I was impressed with Austin's performance. I loved his urgency. It was a full court press and he never let up on Kane. The clothesline off the apron was a great example of this. Kane had such a presence at this point that everything looks credible. Early on his heat segment was energetic but it did get chinlocky. Liked the Bearer shoe shot to Austin. Kane gets his choke slam to create some drama but Austin reverses Tombstone into Stunner. No comeback just Stunner. Fine. Stunners Undertaker as a receipt for the chair shot at KOTR.

 

Good angle. Good energy. HUGE POP! Good match ***

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  • 3 weeks later...

Good Lord, that pop for the 3-count might just be the loudest in the history of Raw. Just an electric atmosphere, even if a reset button got hit in some ways. Austin faces off with Undertaker afterward and pays him back for KOTR with a Stunner, and there's your SummerSlam main event. If it's a reset button, it's the most progressive reset button in the history of...I don't know where I'm going with this. The WWF is at a point where quibbling over individual booking decisions is fruitless because the company is so scorching hot and the top characters (and that includes Ross) so compelling that it doesn't really matter. The Only Rule Is It Has to Work.

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  • 2 months later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1998-06-29-WWF-Raw] Steve Austin vs Kane

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