The WWE Network announced that they’re adding the “ENTIRE FIRST YEAR” from the Attitude era to the on-demand library. That covers Episode 239 (December 22, 1997) through Episode 293 (January 4, 1999). What will you see in those 55 episodes?
1. LOTS OF KEN SHAMROCK
If I quizzed you and asked who you thought wrestled the most matches during this stretch of Raw, you might have guessed The Rock, New Age Outlaws, Headbangers or Jeff Jarrett. But actually, it was the “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock. Following a victory over Vader at IYH 15 (Cold Day in Hell), Shamrock started regularly wrestling on Raw in June 1997. By the beginning of the “Attitude Era”, Ken was regularly submitting opponents with ankle-locks and getting himself firmly entrenched in a feud with the Nation. Later, Shamrock would transition into wrestling against the Rock (including the finals King of the Ring 1998), a stint as the Intercontinental Champion and lots of “shoot-fighting” battles involving old UFC rival Dan Severn (8/17/1998 and 8/24/1998) and Steve Blackman.
2. ROSTER FOOTNOTES
Want to see Babu (Pablo Marquez/El Puerto Rican) working as Tiger Ali Singh’s valet? Raw 11/30/1998.
How about ECW’s Jimmy Cicero? Raw 1/12/1998.
Perhaps you’re itching for Piratita Morgan? Raw 2/16/1998.
Maybe you run the world’s only Achim Albrecht fan site. You’ll want to tune in for 7/27/1998 Raw when Brakkus kills Jesus Castillo in under a minute.
3. WHAT IS A GOLDUST?
Amazingly, in 2015, Goldust is still wrestling weekly on WWE television. In the “Attitude Era: Year One” collection you’ll be treated a host of “Attitude Era” Goldust moments including:
- The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (TAFKA Goldust) – December 1997 through April 1998 including when he dressed up as a Christmas Tree and fought with Vader (Raw 12/22/1997)
- Dustin Runnels – after burning his jumpsuit, we met “Dustin Runnels” who ran “Evangelists Against Television, Movies and Entertainment” (EATME). His lone Raw win (as Runnels) was pinning Marc Mero on the 6/15/1998 Raw episode.
- Goldust – back to his old tricks in October 1998, Goldust would spend the last portion of the Attitude Era Raws fighting the likes of Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart/Blue Blazer. A more memorable moment includes the 12/7/1998 Raw where Debra flashes Goldust but he still manages to pin Owen Hart.
4. THE QUINTESSENTIAL CHARACTER – VAL VENIS
He’s a porn star. His name is Val Venis. He wears a towel. He makes “movies”.
I’d argue that Venis is the exemplification of the Attitude Era. Vignettes for his debut began airing on 3/30/98 though he didn’t make his in-ring debut until 5/18/98 Raw where he defeated Scorpio. His first loss on Raw was in a gauntlet match against Kaientai. Arguable, this would be during his biggest feud in the WWF – Val Venis versus Dick Togo, Mens Teioh, Sho Funaki, Taka Michinoku (who turned on Val on 8/3/98 Raw) and Mr. & Mrs. Yamaguchi-san. Five years after the infamous Bobbitt incident, Venis’ career will always be synonymous with “We choppy choppy your pee pee”.
5. NWA TITLES ON WWF TELEVISION
Jim Cornette’s influence on the product is evident with appearances from NWA North American Title (who will win? Tune in to Jeff Jarrett vs. Barry Windham on the 1/5/1998 Raw) NWA Tag Team Titles (is the over-the-top rule in effect? Find out on 2/16/1998 Raw where Rock ‘n’ Roll Express battles the Headbangers) and the NWA World Champion (Dan Severn, who appears with that belt AND the UFC Heavyweight Title for his match against Owen Hart on 9/27/1998 Raw).
6. BRAWL FOR ALL
Injuries! Midcarders! Violence!
Held between 6/29/1998 and 8/24/1998 Raw, be sure to catch all of the action as…
- Danny Hodge as a guest referee! (6/29/1998)
- Road Warrior Hawk managing to get a draw with Droz (7/6/1998)
- Savio Vega gets his only Raw singles win! (7/6/1998)
- Steve Williams beating up Pierre (7/20/1998)
- Crowd chanting boring at Bart Gunn (7/27/1998)
- The Godfather making it the semi-finals despite losing in the opening round to Dan Severn (7/13/1998, 8/3/1998, 8/17/1998)
- Bradshaw being humbled (8/24/1998)
7. THREE FACES OF FOLEY
The culmination of this “season” of Raw was Mick Foley winning the WWF World Championship on the 1/4/1999 Raw.
This season brings you an entire year of Foley antics:
- You’ll see Cactus Jack with partner Terry Funk destroying the Quebecers on 3/9/1998 (and feuding forever with the New Age Outlaws).
- You’ll see Mankind teaming with Kane to battle Steve Austin & the Undertaker in the least important Hell in a Cell match ever (6/15/1998 Raw).
- You’ll see Dude Love beat Steve Blackman with an abdominal stretch due to Vince McMahon antics on 4/20/1998 Raw.
- You’ll even see Mick Foley as “Mick Foley”. He and Terry Funk beat the ever-lovin’ tar out of each other as Steve Austin chuckles on commentary during a terrific “no holds barred, falls count anywhere” bonanza on the 5/4/1998 Raw.
Witness Regal’s debut (6/29/1998 Raw vs. Droz) and his brief return in November 1998. Sadly, his 11/9/98 Raw match with Golga did not air because Regal accidentally unmasked John Tenta during the bout.
9. WWF LEGENDS
Do you like Sgt. Slaughter? (9/21/1998 Raw, Boot Camp Match against Al Snow)
What about Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco? (5/18/1998 Raw, handicap Streetfight against Steve Austin)
George Steele teams with Taka Michinoku (WHAT?) to battle Father/Son Jerry Lawler & Brian Christopher on 12/29/97 Raw.
You can even enjoy Tony Garea receiving a chokeslam on the 11/2/98 Raw match during Goldust/Regal.
10. EDGE & CHRISTIAN
Before they totally reeked of awesomeness, Edge & Christian were young bucks in the WWF. Finally, we can relive the glory of Jose Estrada versus Edge (6/22/1998 Raw), the Brood (Gangrel/Edge/Christian) battling X-Pac & the New Age Outlaws (11/2/1998 Raw) and that time that Duane Gill won the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship on Raw (11/23/1998 Raw) beating Christian.
11. LOVELY LUNA
Luna had an important 1998 as she seconded TAFKA Goldust (1/12/98 Raw, dressed as a Dudette to Goldust’s Dude Love), battled Sable (3/17/98 Raw) and Jackie (8/10/98 Raw) and joined the Human Oddities (so she could be ringside for the technical DOA vs Kurrgan/Golga classics such as 9/12/98 Raw). For extra intergender fun, witness Luna defeating Matt Knowles on the 4/6/1998 Raw.
Flash Funk joins the JOB Squad and becomes Scorpio. (Fun fact: Scorpio teamed with both members of APA in 1998. Enjoy the randomness of Bradshaw/Flash Funk versus Jeff Jarrett/Barry Windham on 2/2/1998 Raw and the Faarooq/Scorpio vs. DOA goofiness on 7/27/1998 Raw).
Dennis Knight goes from a pig farmer Phinneas Godwinn (winning via DQ over the Quebeccers on 2/9/98 Raw) to one-half of Southern Justice (see Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor lose on the 9/12/98 Raw).
Charles Wright evolves from a fighting machine named Kama (showing up as late as 6/8/98 Raw to lose a King of the Ring qualifying match to Ken Shamrock) to become The Godfather (who fought Tiger Ali Singh to a no contest on the 11/23/98 Raw).
You’ll discover that Essa Rios is not much more successful whether he’s Papi Chulo (fighting Val Venis on 6/1/98 Raw) or Aguila (losing to a figure-4 from Jeff Jarrett on the 3/30/98 Raw).
ATTITUDE ERA WRESTLENOMICS
And lastly, here’s some Raw Wrestlenomics for the Road…
12/22/97 through 1/4/99 Raw Records
25 or more matches
- Ken Shamrock: 24-10-8 = 71% win
- The Rock: 18-15-8 = 55% win
- The Road Dogg: 19-17-5 = 53% win
- Mick Foley: 20-11-8 = 65% win (Mick Foley, Mankind, Cactus Jack, Dude Love)
- Billy Gunn: 17-17-5 = 50% win
- Jeff Jarrett: 13-26 = 33% win
- Owen Hart: 15-19-4 = 44% win (Owen Hart, Blue Blazer)
- Marc Mero: 12-18-2 = 40% win
- Steve Blackman: 19-9-2 = 68% win
- Headbanger Mosh: 11-13-3 = 46% win
- D-Lo Brown: 8-11-7 = 42% win
- Sean Waltman: 11-11-4 = 50% win
- Goldust: 8-13-5 = 38% win (TAFKA Goldust, Goldust, Dustin Runnels)
- Headbanger Thrasher: 11-12-3 = 48% win
- 8-Ball: 10-7-8 = 59% win
15 or more matches
- Triple H: 12-7-5 = 63% win
- Kane: 13-4-7 = 76% win
- Mark Henry: 9-9-5 = 50% win
- Skull: 9-5-9 = 64% win
- Val Venis: 17-2-4 = 89% win
- Faarooq: 7-12-3 = 37% win
- Steve Austin: 8-3-8 = 73% win
- Road Warrior Animal: 2-12-5 = 14% win
- Droz: 3-10-5 = 23% win
- 2 Cold Scorpio: 8-9-1 = 47% win (Scorpio, Flash Funk)
- Road Warrior Hawk: 3-10-4 = 23% win
- Terry Funk: 8-8-1 = 50% win (Terry Funk, Chainsaw Charlie)
- Taka Michinoku: 8-7-2 = 53% win
- The Undertaker: 6-4-6 = 60% win
- Charles Wright: 3-6-7 = 33% win (Kama, the Godfather)
- Bradshaw: 9-4-2 = 69% win (Bradshaw, Justin Bradshaw)
- Edge: 6-5-4 = 55% win
9 or more matches
- Vader: 6-4-4 = 60% win
- Kurrgan: 8-5-1 = 62% win
- Dan Severn: 8-3-2 = 73% win
- Brian Christopher: 3-9-1 = 25% win
- Gangrel: 3-8-2 = 27% win
- Chainz: 4-6-2 = 40% win
- Mark Canterbury: 4-5-2 = 44% win (Henry Godwinn, Mark Canterbury)
- Barry Windham: 3-6-1 = 33% win
- Al Snow: 4-6 = 40% win
- Golga: 4-5-1 = 44% win
- Savio Vega: 2-5-2 = 29% win
- Bob Holly: 3-4-2 = 43% win (Bombastic Bob, Bob Holly)
- Bart Gunn: 5-2-2 = 71% win (Bodacious Bart, Bart Gunn)
- Dennis Knight: 4-3-2 = 57% win (Phinneas Godwinn, Dennis Knight)
- Dick Togo: 4-4-1 = 50% win
4 or more matches
- Pierre: 3-5 = 38% win
- Scotty 2 Hotty: 1-5-1 = 17% win (Scott Taylor, Scotty 2 Hotty)
- The Big Bossman: 3-2-2 = 60% win
- Jacques Rougeau: 3-4 = 43% win (Jacques)
- Sho Funaki: 4-2-1 = 67% win
- Essa Rios: 2-3-1 = 40% win (Papi Chulo, Aguila)
- Mens Teioh: 4-2 = 67% win
- Jesus Castillo: 1-5 = 17% win
- Ricky Morton: 1-4 = 20% win
- Robert Gibson: 1-4 = 20% win
- Tom Brandi: 0-4 = 0% win
- Miguel Perez: 0-4 = 0% win
- Sable: 2-1-1 = 67% win
- Recon: 1-3 = 25% win
- Tiger Ali Singh: 0-2-2 = 0% win
- Jackie: 1-3 = 25% win
- Jose Estrada: 0-3-1 = 0% win
- Sniper: 1-3 = 25% win
- Pantera: 2-0-1 = 100% win
- Chyna: 0-1-2 = 0% win
- Luna: 2-0-1 = 100% win
- Steven Regal: 1-0-2 = 100% win
- Duane Gill: 2-0 = 100% win
- Violent J: 0-1-1 = 0% win
- Brakkus: 1-1 = 50% win
- Shaggy 2 Dope: 0-1-1 = 0% win
- Test: 1-0-1 = 100% win
- Shawn Michaels: 0-2 = 0% win
- Giant Silva: 1-1 = 50% win
- Pat Patterson: 0-1-1 = 0% win
- Vince McMahon: 0-0-2
- Steve Williams: 1-1 = 50% win
- Christian: 0-1-1 = 0% win
- Gerald Brisco: 0-1-1 = 0% win
One Shot Stars
- George Steele: 0-1 = 0% win
- Piratita Morgan: 0-1 = 0% win
- Viscera: 0-1 = 0% win
- Jimmy Cicero: 0-1 = 0% win
- Lance Diamond: 0-1 = 0% win
- Matt Knowles: 0-1 = 0% win
- Shane McMahon: 0-1 = 0% win
- Sgt Slaughter: 0-1 = 0% win
- Ahmed Johnson: 0-1 = 0% win
- Jerry Lawler: 1-0 = 100% win