The SmarK Rant for WWF Sunday Night Heat – 10.04.98
Your hosts are Shane McMahon & Jim Cornette
X-Pac v. Owen Hart
HHH does his spiel from a wheelchair due to the knee injury they were pretending he didn’t have, and Billy Gunn is MIA due to D-X drama. Kind of crazy that all of the D-X members were champions at this point. So this was right after Owen piledrove Dan Severn and began the storyline that would lead to the end of his life. X-Pac chases Owen with a dropkick, and Owen is depressed and not into the match at all. In storyline. X-Pac chops away in the corner, but misses the charge, and Owen gets all mopey and decides to walk away, just because he may have paralyzed Dan Severn. X-Pac chases him back in and rolls him up for the pin at 3:00, and Owen just sulks to the back. I hated everything about this storyline, frankly. 0 for 1.
Michael Cole shoves a microphone in HHH’s face and asks “The obvious question is where is Billy Gunn?” Um, I’d say the obvious question is “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU IN A WHEELCHAIR?”
Meanwhile, Vince McMahon recovers in the hospital, having paid for a satellite link out of his own pocket. This of course stemmed from the famous Zamboni attack on RAW the week before, which ended with Vince telling off the Brothers of Destruction and getting his leg broken in the process. Vince flipping them off and getting caught in the act is such a masterful Vince moment. The entire recap is worth a point in itself. So Vince, who is in excruciating pain, still manages to cut a promo on Steve Austin from his hospital bed. In a great touch, the heart monitor beeps faster as Vince gets more worked up. 1 for 2. Of course, this would lead to one of the greatest segments in the history of the show the next night.
Funaki v. Matt Hardy
Funaki puts Matt down with a dropkick, but Matt gets a tilt-a-whirl slam to put Funaki on the floor, and he follows with a dive. Back in, Matt with a slam, but the middle rope elbow misses. Funaki grabs a headlock, but Matt reverses into a Razor’s Edge and tries a Lionsault, but that hits the knees. Funaki suplexes him and goes up with a diving headbutt to finish at 2:05. Not much to this one, but you could see the Hardys getting ready to break through to the next level. 2 for 3.
The Headbangers v. Kurgan & Golga
Kurgan boots Mosh down and has a dance-off with Thrasher. Golga avalanches him and drops an elbow for two, but misses a charge and gets double-teamed in the Banger corner. ICP interferes and Golga sits on Mosh for the pin at 2:30, however. It was like 18 on 2! How is that supposed to be a babyface move? 2 for 4.
Meanwhile, meet a REAL MAN’S MAN, Steven Regal.
Ken Shamrock & Mankind v. DOA
Alleged Nazi #1 gets a sideslam on Shamrock for two and DOA drops elbows on him, but Ken gets a bodypress on Alleged Nazi #2 for two and it’s over to Mankind. Mick gets double-teamed in the corner while Shamrock shrugs it off. Meanwhile, Steve Austin tries to break into the director’s production truck with an axe. Mankind plays face in peril and it’s more boring offense, but he crawls for the corner and Ken short-arms him. And then Jim Cornette actually explains the term “short-arm” on commentary! Mick goes after Ellering and gives him the Claw, but Shamrock hits his own partner with a chair and a bald guy pins him at 4:48. That’s some terrible teamwork. 2 for 5.
Meanwhile, Austin is DISGUSTED by the sight of Vince McMahon’s remote link from the hospital, so he takes his axe and cuts the wire himself.
The Rock v. Jeff Jarrett
Rock attacks and slugs Jeff down, and a back elbow gets two. Jeff goes up with a clothesline and chokes him out on the ropes, but misses a dropkick and Rock slugs away in the corner. Meanwhile, Steve Austin terrorizes Shane on commentary until Vince breaks in via the phone for a promo battle. Dennis Knight pulls out Rock for some abuse on the floor, but Jeff tries a flying bodypress and Rock rolls through for two. Jarrett with a clothesline for two, but Rock suplexes him for two. Jarrett slugs away in the corner, but Rock comes out with a clothesline and gets the DDT. He goads Knight into interfering and then hits Jarrett in the nuts behind the ref’s back, and the People’s Elbow gets two before Knight runs in for the DQ at 6:20. Heel beatdown follows, but Austin storms in and beats some ass to make the save, setting up a staredown with the Rock that would be paid off at Wrestlemania. 2 for 6.
I continue to enjoy this show, but this one wasn’t much.