The SmarK Rant for WWF Sunday Night Heat – 08.02.98
Huh. So now this is a thing on the Network. The first 52 episodes dropped yesterday, so that gives me yet another show to add to the rotation. This show didn’t air in Canada until much later in the run, so I have no particular memories about it. I’m not 100% sure about the taping schedule or if it was actually another live show, but that would be kind of crazy if so. This first episode appears to have been taped in Anaheim after RAW, though.
Hosted by Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and the debuting Shane McMahon, who is introduced proudly by Vince.
Jeff Jarrett v. Edge
This was the weird in-between period for Jarrett, managed by Robert Parker (sorry, “Tennessee Lee”) before the haircut at Summerslam changed him for good. Edge attacks to start, but Jarrett dumps him and follows with a baseball slide. Back in, Jarrett debuts THE STROKE and Edge mostly no-sells it, but Jarrett goes up and gets a bodypress, which Edge reverses for two. Jarrett puts him down with a DDT and stomps away, but Edge comes back with rolling vertical suplexes for two. Shane McMahon might be one of the worst commentators I’ve ever heard. He just NEVER. SHUTS. UP. “Wham! Suplex! HOW ABOUT THAT, KINGFISH?” Jarrett takes Edge to the floor, but they head back in and Lee accidentally trips Jarrett and Edge gets the pin at 3:59. That’s a marathon for the Attitude Era. So JJ took a simple bump and got pinned? What a geek. *1/2
D-Generation X joins us, and HHH wants to know if we’re ready to suck it. The crowd answers in the affirmative. So tomorrow night on RAW, X-Pac has to wrestle his best friend HHH and the winner gets the Rock for the IC title at Summerslam. X-Pac reaffirms that they’re prepared to suck it, in case we forgot after the beginning of the promo. Considering the attention span of the crowds at this point, it’s not out of the question. So HHH prompts a pair of women in the front row to flash him, and Shane is all about that. Can you even imagine the sponsor nightmare they’d have if they tried that today? The girls were clearly plants, since they were conveniently ready with shirts that opened in the front and had no bras on. Also, they were attractive women at a wrestling show in 1998.
Meanwhile, in Droz’s World, he relates a story about working out in the Performance Center with Mark Henry and accidentally puking on him.
Darren Drozdov & The Headbangers v. Kaientai
Actually, Droz would have been a better fit with the Bangers than the LOD. We are unfortunately reminded that last week’s RAW featured Wally Yamaguchi threatening to “Choppy choppy your pee pee”. Mosh controls Funaki (who is wrestling in jorts and a hoodie at this point) in their corner while Val Venis makes out with Mrs. Yamaguchi at the entrance-way. Droz comes in and gets double-teamed by Togo and Teioh, and we take a break. Back with Togo hitting a legdrop on Thrasher for two. JR lets us know that “the nice man from human resources” asked Lawler to leave during the break, presumably after the flashing sequence. Funaki misses a flying elbow and Droz gets the hot tag, resulting in Kaientai getting whipped into each other before Droz finishes Terry Boy with a powerbomb at 3:56. Another grueling marathon, although in fairness listening to Shane ramble like a cokehead on commentary made the match feel twice as long. * And then we get a bizarre angle at ringside, as Val Venis hits on one of the actresses from Pacific Blue and Mario Lopez jumps the railing and attacks him.
Meanwhile, on RAW, Vince McMahon tries to put Sable in her place, but she flips him off and reveals a bikini. ATTITUDE ERA, ladies and gentlemen.
European title: D-Lo Brown v. Ken Shamrock
Shamrock beats on him to start with kicks, but D-Lo backdrops him to the floor in a gentle bump and Mark Henry tosses him back in. Meanwhile, Dan Severn and Steve Blackman head down to ringside because there’s just NOT QUITE ENOUGH bullshit going on throughout this show. D-Lo goes up with an elbow off the middle rope for two, but Severn runs in for the DQ at 2:47. DUD
Meanwhile, Bart Gunn shows some moves to another Pacific Blue actress after knocking out Dr. Death on RAW. Not to be confused with the Pacific Blue actress at ringside earlier, as apparently there were multiple ones on the show. Astonishingly, a quick check of IMDB reveals that a show about bicycle cops in Miami ran for 5 seasons on USA. I guess it paid better than porn.
The Rock & Owen Hart v. Kane & Mankind
Winner of this one gets a tag title match against Austin & Undertaker next week on RAW. By the way, you can tell it’s the 90s because people in the audience have signs advertising their pager numbers. Rock gets double-teamed in the heel corner and Kane slugs away and chokes him out while Owen sneers on the apron. He tried to be a tough guy, but he just couldn’t grow his beard in! Rock comes back with a hurricane DDT for two and the crowd is just kind of booing both teams and not reacting to anything. Kane with a flying clothesline on Rock and we take a break. Back with Rock beating on Mankind, but Owen comes in and gets beat up by Kane. Big boot, but Owen goes for the knee and follows with the enzuigiri and missile dropkick for two. Kane puts him down with a chokeslam and tries the tombstone, but Rock breaks it up and everyone brawls outside, including Mankind, who is “the Mayor of Parts Unknown” according to JR. See, Kane isn’t the only one with political aspirations. Anyway, Owen Hart beats the count at 6:47 to win the match, so Owen & Rock get a tag title shot. Match went nowhere and had a lame finish. *1/2
Next week: No idea, but hopefully Shane, and the show in general, CALMS THE FUCK DOWN.
But hey, you can’t say it was boring.