–Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are in the booth and they are taped from Portland, Maine. SummerSlam is only a day away!
–Footage of the end of RAW where Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels had an altercation after Ramon saved Michaels from a beatdown at the hands of Sid.
–Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are doing commentary and they are kicking off a new set of tapings in Portland, Maine. According to the historyofwwe.com the tapings drew a crowd of 4,683 fans.
–Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary that are in St. Louis, Missouri.
–Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett cuts an in-ring promo against the Undertaker for their King of the Ring qualifying match later tonight, saying that he will be a “shoo in” for the tournament. Jarrett’s promo is interrupted by the lights flickering.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are concluding the tapings in Binghamton, New York.
–A video package quickly highlights the various WrestleMania’s. It is notable that celebrities are emphasized in this package instead of wrestlers, partly due to the fact that Hulk Hogan, competing in WCW, was in the main event of most of them.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Hartford, Connecticut. The Hartford Civic Center is probably the worst WrestleMania venue in history since it lacks the history and size of its predecessors and successors. Its selection is an illustration of the problems that the company was experiencing the mid-1990s.
–A limousine pulls into the backstage area and Pamela Anderson walks out. She goes to her locker room as WWF wrestlers, led by Dink of all people, hoot and holler. What? You expected respectful manners out of a group of wrestlers?
As a side note, when you have been watching tons of television tapings from Liberty, New York in a high school gym for weeks on end it really makes you appreciate the bigger venue that this show is in and it makes everything seem more important.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are on the mic and they are live from Tampa, Florida. What is hilarious about the opening is that Vince tries to introduce the Spanish announce team and Hugo Savinovich just stays seated with his back to the camera.
–Boyz 2 Men sing “America the Beautiful” to kick off the show. They receive a Cena-like mixed reaction.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
–A video package recaps the Rock winning the WWF title in a ladder match against Mankind on last week’s show.
–Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
–Vince McMahon comes out to hype tonight’s Inferno Match between the Undertaker and Kane. He welcomes Paul Wight to the ring, who is booked to be the guest referee at WrestleMania. Cole is trying to get Wight over as “The Big Nasty,” so I guess it is good that “The Big Show” name was chosen instead. WWF Champion The Rock also comes out, quickly getting into a verbal confrontation with Wight, telling him to “Know his role.” McMahon’s efforts at playing peacemaker get nowhere until Mankind marches onto the stage and volunteers to referee the WrestleMania main event, as well as referee a Rock-Wight encounter tonight. Wight then proceeds to challenge the Rock to a match, which the Rock gladly accepts and he says he will put the WWF title on the line too.
by Logan Scisco
recaps how the Undertaker tried to embalm Steve Austin alive on last week’s
show. The Undertaker and Paul Bearer are
shown talking backstage moments before the show went on the air.
“The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Baltimore, Maryland.
shown arriving at the arena with a shovel.
The Headbangers and the Insane Clown Posse are already in the ring, so
Austin proceeds to give all of them – save Shaggy 2 Dope – a Stunner. Getting on the mic, Austin promises to use
his shovel against the Undertaker. A
throwaway segment and I am never a fan of one guy taking out tag teams. 0 for
shown getting ready for his date with Chyna.
D-Lo Brown tries to make sure he looks good.
and the Undertaker being on TV Guide. He
reminds viewers that if they cannot find them they will have to settle for the
“retired” Hulk Hogan or the “Austin wannabe” Goldberg. Austin is still looking for Vince in the
back. He runs into Stephanie McMahon,
who is not identified as such, and she says she has not seen Vince around.
Contest: The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag
Team Champions) defeat Gangrel & Edge (w/Christian) by disqualification
when Christian hits Billy Gunn with a tag team title belt at 2:56:
was attempting to recruit the Outlaws and they appear on the ramp to watch the
match. Typical 1998 accelerated tag team
match here, although a young Edge shows off by doing a super hurricanrana on
the Road Dogg and taking a powerbomb off the second rope from Billy Gunn. After Christian runs interference to prevent
a Gunn piledriver, the Big Bossman and Ken Sharmock run in and beatdown the
Brood. So are the Brood faces or heels
at this point? I am so confused with
continues to search for the Undertaker backstage, checking out several
freezers. Predictably, he walks into one
to investigate, but gets locked in by the Undertaker and Paul Bearer.
giving Stunners to the Headbangers and Violent J earlier in the show is the
Glover Rewind segment.
nervously excited for his date and he asks D-Lo to accompany him to give him
confidence. D-Lo reluctantly agrees to
comes out and calls out Kane because we definitely need to see more of
that. They briefly battle over whether
someone will be eternally damned before the Undertaker gives Kane a Tombstone. Paul Bearer brings some orderlies from a
mental institution to the ring, but Kane beats up a couple of them before
walking through the crowd. Sadly, this
ridiculous angle would continue. 0 for 2
that he is not dressed right for Mark Henry’s date, but Henry has a jacket for
him and a pair of sunglasses. However,
he hands him a chauffeur hat next, meaning that D-Lo needs to drive Henry’s
limo. That was a good comic twist on
that sketch. After the commercial break,
Chyna is not happy to see Henry at the hotel and she refuses to accept the
flowers Henry offers her. She is puzzled
that D-Lo is the chauffer, which is pretty funny.
and calls out Shawn Michaels, angry about Michaels costing him his match
against the Rock last week. Michaels
threatens to “send him back to that money pit in Atlanta,” but refuses to fight
him because he is not an active wrestler.
He books X-Pac to face Ken Shamrock, with the European title being on
the line. He exits to D-Generation X’s
music because “he was DX before DX was cool.”
At least this was short, but they did not give X-Pac a lot of mic time
here. 0 for 3
Chyna arrive at their date location, where Chyna pulls out the price tag for
Henry’s flowers (they are $1.99).
the freezer shows that Austin has escaped.
Henry botches the pronunciation of Perrier water.
“Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra McMichael) via disqualification when Owen Hart
interferes at 3:26:
blasted Goldust with a guitar and the two had a locker room fight. Owen Hart is on guest commentary for the
match and he tries hard to keep a straight face when talking about the
Henry-Chyna date with Lawler. By itself,
this match has very little heat. Goldust
dominates, with Jarrett only avoiding defeat when Debra puts his foot on the
rope after a Curtain Call. Debra gets in
the way of Shattered Dreams and her distraction leads to Owen attacking Goldust
from behind. This show is falling into a
really bad habit over the last few episodes of having no clean finishes. Rating: *¼ (0 for 4)
the Blue Blazer appears to help attack Goldust, but suddenly the Blazer turns
on Owen. The Blazer unmasks to reveal
Steve Blackman to arguably the biggest pop Blackman has received up to this
point in his career.
shows Austin looking for the Undertaker backstage, while Paul Bearer and the
orderlies look for Kane.
Ken Shamrock in the head with Head on last week’s show is the Medievil Slam of
Championship Ladder Match: The Big
Bossman defeats Mankind (Champion) to win the title at 6:11:
some of Mankind’s moves since he says Mankind is going to try to outdo him in
the match type that made him famous. If
you hate the slow climb, you will not like this one as Mankind does it within
the first several minutes where it makes no sense to do it. When Mankind appears set to win, the Rock
interferes and the Bossman wins. Of all
the WWF ladder matches up to this point, this was clearly the worst. Everything was rushed and there was not a lot
of wrestling between the climb spots. Rating:
* (0 for 5)
Paul Bearer think they have found Kane.
After the break, the Undertaker and Kane fight in a dark room in the
arena. The Undertaker comes out on top
and tells Bearer to get the orderlies as he tries to put Kane in a body
bag. However, Austin comes out of the
darkness and breaks his shovel over the Undertaker’s head. You can see where this is going…
Match: Duane Gill (Light Heavyweight
Champion w/The Pasadena Chargers) pins “Marvelous” Marc Mero after the Blue
Meanie tosses Mero off the top rope at 2:08:
that he will never appear again. The
youth football team that Gill coaches comes to the ring, since he is wrestling
in his hometown. As expected, Mero
manhandles Gill, but the Blue Meanie interferes and Gill wins. This was Mero’s last in-ring appearance on
orderlies to get Kane.
Chyna a poem and she proceeds to guzzle down lots of alcohol. He says that they need to go dancing after
Championship Match: Ken Shamrock (Intercontinental
Champion) defeats X-Pac (Champion) via disqualification when Triple H
interferes at 4:47:
until interference runs its course again.
X-Pac hits the X-Factor, but Shawn Michaels distracts the referee and
the Big Bossman clocks X-Pac. However,
when Shamrock applies the ankle lock, Triple H runs in, which gets a pretty
sizable pop. This warrants a point for
Triple H alone as I am a mark for surprise returns. Rating: ** (1 for 6)
place the filled body bag on a stretcher and strap it in.
because, well of course, but Chyna does not want to dance. Henry leaves for the restroom, leaving an
opportunity for some guys to hit on Chyna.
She does not take kindly to that, leading to her clocking one of them
and Henry beats up another. This was
fun, especially when Henry threw a guy across the bar.
Godfather & Hos) beats Tiger Ali Singh (w/Babu) via disqualification when
Terri Runnels interferes at 2:58
just going nowhere and doing very little for either guy. That still beats today’s product where guys
wrestle each other with little backstory, but some Attitude Era feuds never
seemed to click and this is one of them.
The hos neutralize Babu, while PMS comes out and interferes in the bout. What a mess this was, and this was our fourth
disqualification finish of the evening.
We are also six-for-six when it comes to run-in finishes.
the Acolytes, who recently debuted elsewhere on WWF programming, destroy Tiger
Ali Singh and Babu. Why have these guys
beat up Singh and Babu and not a face team, though? The Jackyl was the initial manager of the
Acolytes as well, but that did not last long.
is supposed to take Kane to the mental facility departs, but Steve Austin and
Kane are shown watching footage of the whole thing in the back. One guess who was in the body bag and is
headed for the mental health facility.
comes out to say that Sable is about to learn a lesson in humility. She comes out and models WWF Attitude
cologne, which costs $19.99 (plus $4 shipping & handling). Shane asks to smell it and tries to do so all
over Sable, but she squirts it in his face.
You see, it is all funny! 1 for 7
Match: The Rock (WWF Champion) defeats
Al Snow (w/Head) with the Rock Bottom at 4:57:
music. It is slightly better than the
disco theme they tried to give him a month earlier, but the beat for this theme
is one of those generic numbers you would get on the No Mercy video game. It just does not add to the atmosphere or fit
the Rock at all. Compared to other RAW
main events of this period, this has only a fraction of the expected crowd
reaction, an indication that tonight’s show has not delivered. The Rock hilariously delivers the Corporate
Elbow to Head after a ref bump, which wakes up the crowd, and then beats Snow
clean. Snow does get a visual pin on the
Rock by hitting him with Head in between all of that. Rating:
*½ (1 for 8)
the Rock, Ken Shamrock, and the Big Bossman beatdown Al Snow and Mankind. The JOB Squad finally makes a save.
into Austin backstage when he tries to unlock the freezer Austin was placed in
earlier. The freezer opens to reveal
Kane and they haul Bearer out to the ring.
Austin prevents Kane from immediately beating up Bearer or getting a gas
can. Instead, he opts to cut Bearer’s
shirt and tie with a pair of scissors and teases stabbing him. Austin aborts that idea too and they take him
outside and open a manhole cover. They
shove Bearer down into the sewer head-first to close the show. How is that punishment worse than killing
someone? 1 for 9
last few months, but this show is beginning to illustrate how Russo is getting
a little too much creative control for his own good. Every match, save for the WWF title match at
the end, had a run-in finish and the majority had disqualification finishes. I do not mind DQ endings, but if you use them
too much throughout the show it really burns out the crowd and gets
irritating. Some of these other angles
are also getting really ridiculous.
Austin throwing a guy down a sewer?
The hos gawking over Babu?
Medical orderlies going after Kane?
Things are really going off the rail.
by Logan Scisco
recaps all the major happenings on last week’s show: Steve Austin and the Rock fighting for the
WWF title and Ken Shamrock joining the Corporation.
“The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Columbus,
Ohio. Ross lets us know that Austin suffered
a blackout in San Jose, California at a WWF event.
McMahon and the stooges come out. Vince
says he had nothing to do with the Undertaker’s attack on Austin at the end of
last week’s show. He says he is naming a
new WWF commissioner in order to please the fans and that this new commissioner
will not answer to him unless it deals with Austin. Vince then goes into 1996 mode in welcoming
out Shawn Michaels as the new commissioner, which gets a mixed reaction. Michaels proceeds to book a WWF title match
between the Rock and X-Pac, which shocks Vince, and Michaels gives the
D-Generation X crotch chop on his way out.
Having Michaels back adds some extra energy to the show, so this was a
good booking decision. 1 for 1
interviews the Insane Clown Posse and the Oddities. The ICP is facing the Headbangers tonight,
but the ICP says that they are not ready to wrestle, so Kurrgan and Golga need
to take their place. Kurrgan and Golga
defeat Kurrgan & Golga (w/Luna Vachon, Giant Silva & The Insane Clown
Posse) when Mosh pins Golga with a schoolboy at 1:30:
in light of their heel turn. They are
sporting the same look and doing the same act.
Golga has also started doing this weird move where he pulls his shirt up
before doing a corner splash, which somehow makes the move more dangerous. You do not have to be a genius to see a heel
turn coming from the ICP here – for the second time in a month – as Violent J
gets knocked off the apron by Golga, which leads to the finish. After the match, they beat down the Oddities
and cut Luna’s hair.
Kane’s recent path of destruction, highlighting how he tried to set the Brood
on fire several weeks ago.
beats The Blue Blazer with a pump kick at 2:57:
the commentary makes it tough to decipher if it is genuine or piped in. It is clear early in the match that the
Blazer is not Owen Hart because he does not hit the right octave on Owen’s “woo!” He also botches the enziguri. Blackman wins a messy bout, but when he goes
to unmask the Blazer he gets attacked by Owen Hart. So who is the Blazer?!?!
of Austin blacking out at a house show in San Jose, which Ross says was a
byproduct of getting hit in the head with a shovel by the Undertaker on last
Vince McMahon are shown exchanging words backstage.
Edge (w/Christian) beat Mark Henry & D-Lo Brown when Gangrel pins Henry
after a schoolboy at 7:08:
best entrance in the company at the time.
Gangrel and Edge showcase some nice double team moves, including a
double DDT off the second rope, but their timing needs work. Ross makes sure we know that Henry is a “400
pounder who can dunk a basketball.” D-Lo
nearly botches his running powerbomb on Edge, another warning sign that he
needed to eliminate that move from his arsenal.
Everyone tries really hard in this match to get over, incorporating some
fun moves, but Gangrel’s sloppy ring work is exposed relative to the other
three guys. This match gives us our
second distraction finish of the night, as Chyna comes out and distracts Henry. Rating: **½ (2 for 2)
Chyna says she will go on a date with Henry and Henry falls to the canvas in
joy. He gives D-Lo a hug and in a nice
touch, D-Lo screams because of his “chest injury.”
doctors at the medical facility that he is tired of being there, but they tell
him he has a severe concussion and needs to take a few weeks off. He is given a sedative and is told he can
leave the facility in the morning.
nailing Austin with a shovel, with added sound effect, is the JVC Kaboom! of
shown talking with D-Generation X, carrying on like old times.
Marc Mero to a no-contest at 3:57:
fired her on Sunday Night Heat after she accidentally cost him a match against
the Big Bossman. These two cannot seem
to have a match without women involved as Terri Runnels struts out to the ring
in a skimpy outfit followed by Jacqueline.
Goldust sets Mero up for Shattered Dreams, but gets low blowed by
Jacqueline and Terri comes in and finishes the move on Mero. This is the beginning of Terri and Jacqueline’s
PMS faction, which gave us Meat. Sad to
see two guys of Goldust and Mero’s caliber wasted like this. Rating: ** (2 for 3)
an autograph for one of the medical attendants and tells Ross that the
Undertaker has hell to pay and is not going to make it to the Buried Alive
match at Rock Bottom.
title match on last week’s RAW is the Glover Rewind segment.
Match for the Hardcore Championship:
Mankind (Champion) beats Ken Shamrock & The Big Bossman when Mankind
pins Shamrock after Al Snow clocks Shamrock with Head at 8:26:
and Shamrock prevented Mankind from getting to Vince McMahon in the main event. This is one of those “conspiracy”-style
matches where it is a de facto handicap match designed to take Mankind’s
Hardcore title. Things look bleak for
Mankind before the JOB Squad comes to his aid and help him pull out the win. These Hardcore matches were more fun than
later incarnations because it was before the genre became really cartoonish
with weapons. Rating: *** (3 for 4)
Mankind tries to go after Vince McMahon on the ramp, but gets attacked by
Shamrock and the Bossman.
hearse outside of Austin’s medical facility.
The Undertaker and Paul Bearer then smother Austin with chloroform. The Undertaker tells Austin that he is about
to go on his last ride. After the
commercial break, the Undertaker and Bearer put Austin in the hearse and speed
away. How they got his body through
security I have no idea.
Championship Match: Dwayne Gill pins
Christian (Champion w/Edge & Gangrel) to win the title after Scorpio hits
Christian when a slingshot splash at 2:26:
in ages. Christian manhandles Gill, but
makes the cardinal sin of continuing to pick his shoulders up off the mat, which
he ends up regretting later when the JOB Squad intervenes. If the light heavyweight title had any
credibility it was gone after this match.
As a side note, Gill would remain champion until briefly returning to
the company to job it to the debuting Essa Rios in February 2000. That match was where Lita immediately drew
all the attention away from Rios by giving Gill a moonsault after the bell.
interviews Gill, who enjoys a piped in crowd pop as he says that this victory
is one of the greatest moments of his life.
in a deserted field where an empty grave is located. Paul Bearer commands the Undertaker to dig
the grave deeper. Steve Austin stirs
back to life to try attacking Bearer, but the Undertaker puts him in a
chokehold and they reapply the chloroform.
The Undertaker decides that burying Austin alive is too good for him, so
he decides to embalm him instead.
scheduled to be the Godfather-Tiger Ali Singh, who used to have a feud going
that has been forgotten about. Before
the bell, Stephen Regal urges Singh not to take the deal with the hos and they
double team the Godfather before Val Venis makes the save. This gives us the origin of the “Supply &
Demand” tag team. Oh, and Venis also
gets the hos because he evened the odds.
For some reason I think that would still not muster John Cena to make a
save on a show today.
shown arguing with the Corporation yet again.
After the commercial break, he also talks with Earl Hebner, probably in
a nod to Montreal.
Match: Scorpio & Bob Holly (w/Al
Snow & Dwayne Gill) beat The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag Team Champions) when
Scorpio pins Billy Gunn after Mankind clocks Gunn with a leaf blower at 5:23:
an “O-H-I-O” chant and reminding the fans at home that “Michigan sucks.” A camera edit gets rid of a botch, but aside
from that this match is pretty good. We
get yet another run-in finish, though, as Mankind interferes as payback for the
JOB Squad helping him out earlier and gives them a win over the tag team
champions. Crowd was not happy with the
finish. So, does this mean that the JOB
Squad “are in contention” for a title shot now?
Rating: ** (4 for 5)
Ken Shamrock and the Big Bossman hit the ring to beat up Mankind and the
Outlaws beat up the rest of the JOB Squad.
The stooges then try to recruit the Outlaws into the Corporation after
the match, talking to them as they head to the back.
up to a funeral home.
to get your D-Generation X football jersey for $39.99 (plus $9 shipping and
Steve Austin on an embalming table.
After commercial, the Undertaker tells Austin that he is going to
experience the worst pain of his life.
The Undertaker chants a lot of stuff in tongues, but when he goes to
stab Austin, Kane breaks in and makes the save.
Bearer tries to finish the job, but Austin blocks him and crawls
away. This was interesting and kept
viewers following the show, but how did Kane find out Austin was abducted? That is a plot hole I cannot overlook. 4 for
Match: The Rock (Champion) defeats X-Pac
with the Corporate Elbow at 8:32:
making this a one-on-one encounter. On
paper, one would think this was a great chance to keep building X-Pac as a
talent worthy of the upper midcard and put over the Rock as a heel, but they
have to rush lots of this because of time.
It really picks up during the last three minutes, with some near-falls
that the crowd completely buys into.
Ross’s commentary helps with that.
But what would tonight be without one last twist, especially with Russo
booking, so Michaels takes a chair from the Rock and blasts X-Pac, thereby
putting the Rock over. Rating:
**½ (5 for 7)
Michaels celebrates with the Corporation as the New Age Outlaws brawl with The
Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock.
and run-in finishes on this show, but at the very least they advanced some new
stables and angles. We can debate whether
those new stables and angles were any good, but they did give the show some
positive momentum. Some criticized the
HBK turn at the time, saying that they burned through it way too fast, but just
going with the flow of the storylines, I do not mind. I guess I am just a fan of the crash TV model
in some respects, but I can see where some people would hate this show if they
never cared for the Austin-Undertaker feud, hated the HBK heel turn, and/or
hated PMS and the JOB Squad. I really
miss the crowd dynamics of some of these shows as well, as the WWF staged
several of them in college towns and RAW came off as a party and celebration
more than a wrestling show. We do not
get that anymore outside of NXT (and little wonder that people actually like it).
by Logan Scisco
highlights the confrontation between Steve Austin & the Undertaker and Kane
& Mankind on last week’s show.
commentary and they are taped from Austin, Texas. Tonight is the go home show for the King of
comes out and invites Kane to the ring.
Paul Bearer is sitting at home, recovering from the Undertaker’s attack
on last week’s show. McMahon tells Kane
that it is his destiny to be WWF champion and that a victory over Steve Austin
at the King of the Ring will erase his awful childhood. McMahon announces that Kane is challenging
Austin to a first blood match at the King of the Ring, and Kane speaks for the
first time and proclaims that if he does not win the WWF title, he will set
himself on fire. The only question that
remains is whether Austin will accept the challenge. Kane’s announcement was so outrageous and out
of left field that I have to give this a point.
1 for 1
to get your D-Generation X home video.
It can be yours for $14.95 (plus $4 shipping & handling)!
the Ring First Round Contest: Ken
Shamrock defeats Mark Henry with a belly-to-belly suplex at 4:35:
the ring, but they are dispatched to the locker room yet again by WWF
officials. Henry concentrates his attack
on Shamrock’s back, but Shamrock rallies and when Henry is knocked to the
floor, Vader attacks him to get revenge for last week, and Shamrock advances to
face the winner of the Marc Mero-Jeff Jarrett match in the semi-finals. I’m impressed by Henry’s development to this
point. He’s not participating in *****
matches and his skills are still limited, but he is showing better awareness of
how to work around his limitations. Rating:
**½ (2 for 2)
Kevin Kelly that he is going to climb the top of the mountain and win the King
of the Ring.
sitting in the audience. He makes his
beats Dustin Runnels with a spinning heel kick at 5:31:
Christian gimmick. Runnels is the 1998
version of Tito Santana and is putting over all the talents that bookers have
longer term plans for. He nearly
finishes X-Pac off, but when he goes for a bulldog, Chyna trips him and that
allows X-Pac to earn his first victory since returning to the company. After the match, Runnels offers a handshake,
but X-Pac refuses the gesture. Rating:
**½ (3 for 3)
Bearer from his home via satellite and Bearer promises to be at the King of the
Ring with his son.
Lawler, who’s crown was taken by Snow last week, rants about Al Snow after the
commercial break and invites him into the ring.
Snow comes to the ring through the crowd and is dressed like an old
woman. Lawler says that if he gets his
crown back that he will give Snow an appointment with Vince McMahon. After Lawler gets his crown back, Snow
receives a contract, not an appointment, that books him and Head in a tag match
against Too Much. If Snow wins, he gets
an appointment with McMahon, but if he loses, he has to leave the company. Snow says that McMahon just wants him to do
another job on pay-per-view and says they might as well do the match now. Too Much rushes the ring, but Snow takes care
of them with Head and leaves. This is a
good example of a storyline that went over the heads of most of the audience,
who were not of the smark persuasion. 3 for 4
First Round Match: “Double J” Jeff
Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) pins “Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/Jacqueline) with a DDT
after Sable distracts Mero at 4:30:
history and Jarrett nearly causes Mero to tear his ACL by botching a powerbomb
near the ropes. For all intents and
purposes, Mero should have gone over here, since he was still getting heat for
the Sable feud, but Vince Russo’s affinity for Jarrett wins out and he moves on
to face Shamrock at the King of the Ring.
Rating: *½ (3 for 5)
Kevin Kelly that he will become the King of the Ring this Sunday.
fight with Kane on top of the Hell in a Cell on last week’s show is the
Cinnaburst Rewind segment.
to do commentary for the second hour.
Road Dogg with a Tombstone at 4:04:
one of their members in a singles match and they do not lose credibility. This is a prolonged squash as the Road Dogg
just manages a few token blows. Rating:
½* (3 for 6)
reiterates his promise to be at the King of the Ring and the Undertaker
suddenly shows up and destroys him for the second week in a row. The live feed to Bearer’s home goes out
before we can see the end of the beating.
The Undertaker has a great line before commencing the beating: “Do you think I’ve forgotten where you
via count out at 1:08:
it where a red hue covers the screen.
The debut go as planned, though, as Edge breaks Jose’s neck with a
somersault plancha and prematurely ends the match. Edge would never do that move again as a
result of the incident.
his locker room after finding out that the Undertaker has attacked his
father. Mankind tries to restrain him in
First Round Match: Dan Severn beats Owen
Hart via submission to a modified bow and arrow at 2:59:
no psychology behind them. Owen’s
attempt to bring a chair into the ring distracts the referee and X-Pac gives
Owen a SICK chair shot to the back of the head that enables Severn to
advance. Owen would requires staples to
close that gash. Severn will face the winner
of the Rock-Triple H first round match at the King of the Ring. The “dream final” of Ken Shamrock and Severn
also stays alive.
commercial break, the Nation is in the ring and the Rock challenges
D-Generation X to a fight. DX comes out
to engage them, but WWF officials prevent a fight from breaking out.
First Round Match: The Rock defeats
Triple H (w/Chyna) with a fisherman’s suplex at 8:08:
the Rock and Chyna are more over than Triple H is as well. Chyna tries to interfere several times to
give Triple H the match, but the Rock keeps kicking out. What I really like about this match is that
it doesn’t have to end in a finisher, as the Rock gives Triple H a low blow and
uses a move he’s never used before to win.
Rating: **½ (4 for 7)
the Nation and DX brawl as WWF officials flood the ring to break things up.
trying to comfort Kane some more in the locker room.
commercial break, Mankind is in the ring and the Hell in a Cell lowers as he
cuts a promo against the Undertaker for King of the Ring. He recaps his feud with the Undertaker and
chastises the Undertaker for attacking Paul Bearer the last several weeks. He claims that the Undertaker’s punishment
will be within the cell and not the bars of a prison. A great promo by Foley that put some fire
into a match that was quickly becoming an afterthought on the card. 5 for
Ass” Billy Gunn (w/Chyna) with the Mandible Claw at 5:38:
attacks Mankind on the floor, which somehow isn’t enough to draw a
disqualification. This features your usual
Foley spots and is an exciting brawl, where tries to counter Foley’s use of
weapons and aggressive style. However,
that isn’t enough as his piledriver is reversed into a slingshot into the post
and Mankind finishes him off. Rating:
*** (6 for 8)
to the locker room, but can’t find Kane.
and welcomes out WWF Champion Steve Austin.
Austin sends Sable to the locker room to give Vince McMahon the
bird. Austin is wearing his cool
baseball jersey shirt and accepts the first blood stipulation at the King of
the Ring. He promises to bring some
cookout food for when Kane sets himself on fire after failing to win his
title. Kane walks out and signals for
“blood” to drop into the middle of the ring and drench Austin. This leads to a crowd chant for Austin to
kick Kane’s ass and that plays us out. 7 for 9
mixed with some above average ring work.
We now have new odds stacked against Austin as it will be difficult for
him to make Kane bleed and retain his title and the Undertaker continues his
quest to destroy Paul Bearer. We also
got more of a reason to care about the Hell in a Cell match between the
Undertaker and Mankind, something that the company has been pushing
aggressively the last two weeks since they likely realized that they needed a
greater hook for a show that only had five pre-announced matches.
by Logan Scisco
beatdown of Steve Austin at the end of last week’s show is replayed.
and they are live from San Antonio, Texas.
Hell in a Cell is hanging above the ring, but Ross does not know why.
and introduces Vince McMahon, who brought her back to the WWF. A wrestling company not sticking with a
retirement stipulation? No! McMahon has Sable read a prepared statement
that denies his use of charitable organizations to get back at Steve Austin and
promising to bring those who attacked Austin to justice. McMahon kisses Sable on the cheek, but before
he can leave, Austin comes out with his sights set on beating up McMahon. McMahon begs Austin to listen to reason and
says that the Undertaker arranged Austin’s beating on last week’s show. See, the cops that were called on him just gave
the Undertaker an excuse not to back Austin up.
The Undertaker proceeds to come out and calls McMahon a liar. Before the Undertaker can beatdown McMahon,
though, the lights go out and Kane and Mankind show up with Paul Bearer in
tow. Bearer piles onto the Undertaker
accusations by claiming that the Undertaker worked with him on last week’s plan. Bearer then challenges Austin and the
Undertaker to a tag team match in the cell against Kane and Mankind and argues
that the entrance ramp that separates them is the “highway to hell.” The Sable part of this segment was
nonsensical, but McMahon begging for his life and planting the seeds of an
Undertaker-led conspiracy was nice storytelling. 1 for
the Ring Qualifying Contest: The Rock
beats Vader with a Rock Bottom at 4:40:
bout, just like last week’s show. Cole is
still calling the Rock the “co-leader” of the Nation, which makes no sense now
that Faarooq is no longer in the group.
Looking back at things now, I wish they had given Vader more time off
and then had him come back as part of Paul Bearer’s faction. It would have gelled with Vader’s post-match
promo at Over the Edge about needing to re-evaluate his career. They also could have booked Vader to go to
the semi-finals and face Ken Shamrock in a rematch of their Cold Day in Hell
encounter. The Rock knocks Vader out of
the ring, where Mark Henry attacks him and gives him a splash, and that allows
the Rock to advance into the tournament and face Triple H or X-Pac in the first
round. Rating: ** (2 for 2)
gives a scouting report to Triple H and X-Pac on how they can beat each other.
pins “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) after Marc Mero gives Jarrett a
low blow at 2:15:
rants about Sable’s return to the company.
Jacqueline and Lee get into a confrontation on the floor, which
distracts Jarrett and results in Mero giving his future King of the Ring
opponent a low blow. Droz takes advantage to notch his biggest win to date.
Triple H and X-Pac why they are going to stage the Match of the Year tonight.
Chainz with the Money Shot at 4:37:
with the directionless Chainz. They gave
this match too much time since the crowd could care less about Chainz and the
booking team wasn’t going to do anything with him after this match. Rating: *½ (2 for 3)
tells Kevin Kelly that he can’t trust Steve Austin, but Austin can trust him
since his intentions of wanting a WWF title shot at clear.
X-Pac that he can’t lay down for him since it’s the King of the Ring. X-Pac says that he doesn’t need to take a
dive and wishes Triple H the best of luck.
beats “Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/Jacqueline) with a bulldog at 4:08:
Southern Justice walk out during the match and Jarrett runs Mero down on
commentary. After Mero hits a super
hurricanrana, Jarrett distracts the referee and Sable walks out to distract
Mero, enabling Runnels to score the upset.
Classic Russo overbooking of that match, but I have to give them credit
for making the Mero-Jarrett first round match much more than TV filler. This is Runnels first win since ditching the
Goldust gimmick. Rating: ** (3 for 4)
H and X-Pac that it’s time for their match.
interviews Dustin Runnels, who says he is happy with ending his losing streak
and that he needs to thank Jesus Christ for his victory.
Lawler joins Ross to do commentary for the second hour of the show.
Qualifying Match: Triple H defeats X-Pac
by count out at 5:15:
company following WrestleMania XIV.
Triple H is also defending his King of the Ring title. Chyna plays the role as a one woman
lumberjack, tossing both guys into the ring and keeping the action flowing. The Rock distracts Triple H by cutting a
promo in the crowd and that allows Owen Hart to crotch X-Pac on the guardrail
and disable him. Triple H checks on his
friend after the Rock’s promo and does not want to take a count out win, but
X-Pac tells him to get in the ring and take the victory. Standard match, but it was well booked in
that it did not make X-Pac look weak on his return, advanced the DX-Nation
storyline, and pushed the King of the Ring as a big deal. Triple H will now face the Rock in the first
round. Rating: ** (4 for 5)
chokeslam spree on last week’s show is the JVC Kaboom! of the Week.
with his old Avatar mask and Lawler confronts him in the ring. Snow says that the Avatar gimmick was a dumb
idea cooked up by Vince McMahon (which it was) and he says that he is going to
make two citizens arrests: McMahon for attempted murder of his career and
Lawler for lewd conduct. Lawler tries to
throw Head into the crowd, but that leads to Snow attacking him and giving a
referee in the ring a Snow Plow. Snow
beats up a security guard and proceeds to flee into the crowd. They are really turning their wheels with
Snow right now and they need to get to the point. 4 for
Michael Cole that he can’t trust the Undertaker because the Undertaker wants
his WWF title.
Mark Henry beat Ken Shamrock & Dan Severn via disqualification when
D-Generation X interferes at 4:41:
and Shamrock doesn’t even acknowledge his partner’s presence after making his
entrance. This is also a preview of the
King of the Ring first round, as Shamrock will face Henry and Severn will face
Owen in upcoming tournament matchups.
Everyone looks good in this match, which features some fun technical
sequences between Owen and his face opponents, and Owen manages to put Shamrock
in the Sharpshooter, but DX interferes before Owen can get him to submit. Rating: **¼ (5 for 7)
the Nation runs out to fight DX and Vader runs out to assist DX and attack Mark
Henry. WWF officials have to separate
to get your “Don’t Trust Anybody” Steve Austin t-shirt for $25 (plus $6
shipping & handling)!
Rumble to Determine the #1 Contenders to the WWF Tag Team Championship: Kane & Mankind (w/Paul Bearer) win after
eliminating Terry Funk & 2 Cold Scorpio at 8:30:
and thirty second entry times are used, so the action is fast and furious. Just like the WrestleMania XIV battle royal,
when one member of a team is eliminated, their partner must also leave the
match. Kane & Mankind are surprise
entrants and enter as the second team, facing LOD 2000, who draws number
one. Other participating teams are the
New Midnight Express, the Headbangers, the Disciples of Apocalypse, Kurrgan
& Golga, Too Much (Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor), Faarooq &
Steve Blackman (who seemingly love to tag together despite not wrestling that many matches as a team), Taka Michinoku & Bradshaw, and Terry Funk & 2 Cold
Scorpio. The eliminations come slowly
and then accelerate once all of the teams have entered the match. Funk tries to use a chair to help his team
win a title shot, but that doesn’t account for Mankind, who uses the chair to
wear out Funk and eliminate him. Putting
Kane & Mankind in the match acted as a spoiler, since no other team could
possibly beat them, but the closing sequence with Funk and Scorpio was fun
while it lasted. 6 for 8
commercial break, Hell in a Cell lowers around Kane and Mankind in the ring for
the main event. Of course, the WWF isn’t
giving away that tag match on free TV, so we get a wild brawl instead between
Austin and the heels after the Undertaker does not show up when announced. As Austin fights his opponents on the ramp,
Paul Bearer locks himself in the cell, but the Undertaker climbs out from underneath
the ring and beats him to a bloody pulp.
After Austin decimates Mankind, he climbs to the top of the cell to
fight with Kane and that plays us out.
The crowd loved every moment of this.
7 for 9
the “Highway to Hell” storyline with the Undertaker accused of plotting behind
Steve Austin’s back. Since the
Undertaker had not been a heel since early 1992, the possibility that he might
turn was a big deal at the time. The
midcard is also developing nicely, although the Al Snow storyline is beginning
to wear thin.
by Logan Scisco
stacked the deck against WWF Champion Steve Austin at Over the Edge and the end
of last week’s show where Austin and McMahon were in a tag team match against
the Rock and D-Lo Brown.
Michael Cole are in the booth and they are live from Nashville, Tennessee.
Patterson, and Gerald Brisco walk out and McMahon announces that his “devastating
clothesline” gave Steve Austin a mild concussion. He announces that for Austin’s protection he
is barred from the arena. Austin shows
up and tells the security guard that he is coming into the building one way or
the other. Dude Love walks out, in a
suit of course (it’s so weird seeing Foley with slicked back hair in this
role), and promises that Over the Edge will be a special night for everyone
that hates Austin. McMahon then calls
out Dustin Runnels, who has a bad knee due to knee surgery, and then books him
to face Love. The stipulation is that if
Runnels wins he will become the number one contender to the WWF title and get
the Over the Edge title match against Austin, but if he loses he will have to
work for thirty days without being paid.
The heat for this segment is off the charts and the great thing about
the Austin-McMahon angle was its ability to elevate, albeit temporarily, some
of those who were involved in it. 1 for 1
is shown helping someone covered in a sheet out of a van and escorts them into
the arena. The security guard checks to
make sure it’s not Austin and lets them in.
Contest: Val Venis beats 2 Cold Scorpio
with the Money Shot at 6:10:
is why vignettes work before debuting a character. It’s sad how quickly the WWF gave up on the
Funk-Scorpio team because the tag division was really devoid of talent at this
time. It’s not really clear if Venis is
a face or a heel, so that leads to the crowd being unsure of how to react to
Scorpio’s role in the match. Even though
you anticipate a squash, this ends up as a very competitive match whereby
Scorpio is playing the 1998 version of Tito Santana. It’s too long for a debut, though, and the
crowd loses interest despite the match being technically proficient. Venis also didn’t really show a lot of
dimensions to his character to distinguish him from a generic wrestler. Scorpio misses a moonsault and Venis takes
advantage to win. Rating: ** ¼ (2 for 2)
Austin into the building, he assaults him.
to the ring and calls out McMahon and his stooges. He proposes a three-on-one fight between them
and McMahon hilariously backs out by saying that he does not show up to a
street fight in a tweed jacket. The
stooges cut small promos on Austin and McMahon decides to book a two-on-one
street fight and won’t tell Austin which two of them he will fight. This had a lot of great back and forth,
probably capped by Patterson denying that he sucked and Austin saying that he
thought he did as a small inside reference.
3 for 3
for Edge is aired. We must embrace the
Edge and let go….
disguised man that he is there to protect him and not to get makeup or enjoy
the other amenities backstage.
and calls out Marc Mero and proposes an amicable split. Mero says that’s not possible because she
signed a contract two years ago that made her his property. Ross makes a hilarious comment about how the
Emancipation Proclamation ended contracts like that. Mero demands that she get into his corner for
his match with Terry Funk tonight.
“Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/Sable) with a DDT at 4:01:
referee down while pounding on Mero in the corner. Mero hits a low blow, but Sable hops on the
apron to tell the referee about it, allowing Funk to surprise Mero with a DDT
and win. Predictable ending and this was
too rushed to really draw anyone in.
Funk recovering seconds after Mero’s TKO to get to the finish was also
ridiculous. Rating: *¼ (3 for 4)
arrive at the arena to arrest Steve Austin.
Rewind segment is the Undertaker destroying Jerry Lawler on last week’s show.
investigate whether Lawler’s disguised man is Steve Austin. They realize it is not and move on.
1-900-737-4WWF to hear about the recent fortunes of a former WWF television
Skull beat LOD 2000 when 8-Ball pins Animal with an illegal switch at 2:39:
at Over the Edge, Chainz & Skull face DOA so as not to give that match away
for free. Based on Ross’s commentary,
this feud is quickly turning into nearly every other LOD feud since the summer
of 1997 where the storyline is “can these old guys still fight?” Things get really sloppy when all hell breaks
loose and 8-Ball sneaks in out of the crowd to give the DOA another win via
illegal switch. I’m over that finish and
this feud at this point. After the
match, the LOD demand a six man match against the DOA next week and they will
bring a mystery partner with them.
Celebrity Deathmatch features Steve Austin.
that Paul Bearer is using DNA testing to confirm that he is Kane’s father. Kane wears a ski mask at the medical clinic
as his DNA is being taken because he has awful burns on his face (allegedly).
to do commentary and Ross makes fun of him by saying that he’s a grown man
wearing a crown carrying around another man in a blanket. Lawler unveils the man to be Al Snow and says
that he has promised Snow a meeting with Vince McMahon. Snow wants his meeting with McMahon immediately
and won’t shut up on commentary, so Lawler relocates him to the first row.
Match for the WWF Championship: Dude
Love (w/Gerald Brisco & Pat Patterson) defeats Dustin Runnels at 2:19
know that his odds aren’t very good.
Runnels is wearing an “FU” shirt, which is a piece of Goldust
merchandise so I guess he hasn’t fully ditched the character after all. After some quick brawling, Runnels hits the
bulldog, but Brisco distracts the referee and that allows Love to apply the
Mandible Claw (or Love Handle if you prefer) to win. 1997-1998 has not been a good year for
Goldust. He lost his wife for thirty
days to Brian Pillman and now he doesn’t get paid for thirty days. With this quick match, which made Runnels an
afterthought, they’ve pretty much destroyed his new, non-Goldust persona’s
credibility. This may have happened
because Runnels had knee surgery done just prior to this show.
come to Steve Austin’s locker room and arrest him. After the commercial break, McMahon and his
stooges come to Austin’s locker room and gloat as he’s taken away.
Mens Teioh (w/Yamiguchi –San & Funaki) wrestle The Headbangers to a double
disqualification at 5:30:
the ring and the flow of this bout, like many of Kaientai’s matches is disjointed
between some nice tag team moves.
Eventually, Funaki gets into the ring to assist a beatdown of Thrasher
and that triggers Bradshaw and Taka Michinoku running out to the ring and
triggering a double disqualification.
What a waste of time this was. Rating:
½* (3 for 5)
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Vader Bomb on Barry Windham on last week’s show is the Slam of the Week.
Bearer and Kane at the DNA facility are shown.
Bearer doesn’t like needles and he’s hilarious in this segment with his
crack of “I’m going to show people I’m Kane’s daddy!” at the end.
Championship Match: The New Age Outlaws
(Champions w/Chyna) beat The Rock & Owen Hart when The Road Dogg pins the
Rock at 4:48
Outlaws and Triple H will face Owen Hart, Kama Mustafa, and D-Lo Brown. The crowd works up a cool “Rocky sucks” chant
to match the beat of the Nation’s theme music as the Nation heads to the
ring. Looking back at this feud, I have
no idea why I rooted for DX since their sophomoric antics do not translate well
at all sixteen years later. DX and the
Nation brawl before the bout and it takes a commercial break to settle things
down. Owen has incorporated a new piece
of his gimmick where he bites his opponent’s ears and draws blood. Faarooq gives the Rock a piledriver behind
the referee’s back when all hell breaks loose and the Outlaws manage to retain
the titles. If this was given ten
minutes it would’ve been very good since all of the guys in this match had good
chemistry with each other. Rating:
** (4 for 6)
shown sitting in the police cruiser and Ross wonders why they haven’t taken him
to jail yet. The answer comes after the
commercial break as Austin gives an “apology” to the security guard (Austin
just tells the guard he’s so stupid he didn’t let him into the arena and flips
him off) and walks off as a free man.
the doctor who conducted the DNA test on Paul Bearer and Kane that Bearer is
Kane’s father. When the lights go out
for Kane’s entrance, Ross jokes with Lawler than the Undertaker has appeared
behind them. Bearer tells the Undertaker
that his mother was a whore and the Undertaker charges the ring. When the Undertaker gets beaten down, Vader
makes the save and brawls with Kane as the Undertaker chases Bearer to the
locker room. The crowd is really into
seeing Bearer get destroyed by the Undertaker, which is a testament to how well
he played this role. 5 for 7
Fight with Sergeant Slaughter as Guest Referee:
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin wrestles Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco to
a no contest at 4:16:
work” at the Brisco Brothers Body Shop (which Brisco wears a t-shirt
advertising). Patterson has a t-shirt
emphasizing his first Intercontinental title reign. The fact that Slaughter is referenced as “Sergeant”
and not “Commissioner” Slaughter anymore is telling as the WWF is trying to
streamline its authority figures.
Slaughter takes offense at Austin’s banter before the match and he
clotheslines Austin from behind to give Brisco and Patterson the advantage. After Austin gives Patterson and Brisco a
pair of Stunners, Slaughter tries to put him in a Cobra Clutch, but Austin gets
out and gives him a Stunner. Dude Love
runs out and he and Austin brawl when a fan in a Steve Austin mask comes out of
the crowd and hits him with a chair (coupled with a funny strut by McMahon that
mimics Austin’s head bob). Austin doesn’t
sell it and the fan is soon revealed to be Vince McMahon. After a brief fight, Love puts Austin in the
Love Handle and McMahon and his cronies triumph as we go off the air. Rating: ½* (5 for 7)
Love-Dustin Runnels, this show still had its fun moments. Ross and Lawler’s banter throughout the
second hour is fantastic and really brings the show up another notch. There was not a great deal of angle
advancement on this show, but that didn’t matter because the Nashville crowd
was hot for everything and treated the main event like WrestleMania VI. The feud with Love is one of Austin’s more
underappreciated programs and it was a vital part of making Austin a
by Logan Scisco
narrates a video package recapping the events of last week’s show, where Steve
Austin escaped the show with the WWF championship.
Michael Cole are in the booth and they are taped from Richmond, Virginia.
out to do the Love Shack, but is not wearing his Dude Love gear. He complains about not getting an immediate
rematch with Steve Austin after Unforgiven and says Vince McMahon is trying to
get rid of him by booking him to face Terry Funk in a no holds barred match
tonight. He says he won’t wrestle in the
Dude Love outfit anymore and he demands McMahon come out because “Cactus Jack”
wants answers. McMahon comes out and
says that the match with Funk is a reward, not a punishment, because triumph
comes through adversity and that if Foley wins decisively he will become the
number one contender of the WWF title. Steve
Austin then suddenly comes out and tears down the Love Shack. McMahon came off as a master manipulator here
and his talk about triumph and sacrifice channeled the best evangelical
preachers in America. 1 for 1
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poster for $44.95 (plus $9 shipping & handling)!
Contest: The Rock & Owen Hart (w/The
Nation of Domination) beat Steve Blackman & Faarooq when Owen pins Blackman
with a spinning heel kick at 6:20:
before this bout and I find it humorous that Faarooq still doesn’t have a
unique entrance theme for his face character.
Faarooq hits the Dominator just forty seconds into the match, which Cole
hilariously calls as “WOW!”, but Owen breaks the fall. Blackman’s storyline arc is crazy at this
point, as he’s a proxy for Shamrock in his Nation feud and engaged in a lame
feud with Jeff Jarrett. This match features
the first official call of the People’s Elbow, thereby giving the Rock’s whacky
elbow drop a name. This match has really
good energy and Blackman’s multiple feuds intersect here (which is why that can
be a nice piece of booking) when Jarrett interferes and causes Blackman to be
pinned by Owen. Rating: **½ (2 for 2)
video package hyping Gerald Brisco. This
is pretty funny in light of Brisco being put in the Austin-McMahon feud and
Brisco makes clear that everything he has he owes to McMahon. I love subtle stuff like this.
Edge vignette, which sees him beating up a random man on the street and riding
a subway alone.
cuts a generic promo and WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws prepare to
defend the titles against the Disciples of Apocalyse, but LOD 2000 comes out
and challenges DX to an eight man tag pitting DOA and the LOD against Triple H,
the Outlaws, and X-Pac. Hawk and DX go
back and forth in a comic exchange of questioning each other’s manhood which
shows that the parties involved don’t really like each other (which is why this
gets a point from me). The DOA can’t be
happy that the LOD has hijacked their tag team title shot. 3 for
defeats Savio Vega via submission to an armbar at 1:34:
Severn’s style critiqued by the WWE today, since it is definitely not “WWE
style.” Severn hits some suplexes,
survives some Savio chops, and then puts Savio away with an armbar.
Paul Bearer are captured, supposedly off-camera, chatting in the locker room
and Bearer recaps how the Undertaker/Kane’s mother seduced him when he was
nineteen. When we get back from
commercial, Lawler apologizes to viewers for having the conversation broadcast
over the air. Lawler and Bearer were
great in this segment and the whole thing came off like a natural conversation
and not stiff like today’s segments. It’s
amazing what you can do when you let people play to their natural
personalities. By the way, this was
still during a “TV-PG” era! 4 for 4
Sable training for her match, which the WWF is billing as a “public
confrontation”, with Marc Mero next week.
Mero versus “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) does not occur:
attacks Jarrett. The beatdown is quite
weak, but it keeps advancing that feud while protecting Mero for his confrontation
with Sable next week.
Apocalypse illegal switch against the New Age Outlaws on last week’s Raw is the
Playstation Slam of the Week.
Ross for commentary as we enter hour two.
wrestle LOD 2000 & The Disciples of Apocalypse to a no contest when the
LOD-DOA partnership disintegrates:
continuing the ejection of seconds tonight, and X-Pac follows since Chyna is
wrestling with Triple H and the Outlaws thereby making this the first match she
is wrestling against other men in the company.
The crowd loves Chyna and it’s pretty amazing in retrospect how over she
was. With women’s equality becoming an en vogue topic these days, I’m surprised
the WWE hasn’t made another attempt to bring in Kharma or another sizable woman
again and run a similar angle. The
storyline that the announcers keep selling is that the DOA aren’t happy with the
LOD taking their title shot away, but that has some logic gaps because why didn’t
the DOA just complain to Commissioner Slaughter and get their title shot
reinstated? An argument over the hot tag
emerges in the face corner and that turns into a brawl to end this. Decent little match, but the most interesting
parts were when DX was in control. Rating:
** (5 for 5)
and DOA brawling backstage during the commercial break is shown.
Bearer) wrestles The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust to a no contest at 1:52:
earlier and now we get a pairing between these two, which is also unusual. Luna has seemingly been divorced from Goldust
at this point, with the Evening Gown match blowing off their partnership. Kane is wearing a bandage on his right hand
to sell his loss in the Inferno match at Unforgiven. Kane manhandles Goldust, but the Undertaker
runs out and attacks Bearer over the comments Bearer made about his mother
earlier in the show. Kane and the
Undertaker then engage in the THIRD pull apart brawl on the show tonight. Doesn’t Russo know of any other finish?
a month ago where he bid goodbye to the Cactus Jack character is the Cinnaburst
recaps the history between Mick Foley and Terry Funk.
introduces us to the set of his latest video “Val Venis: Soldier of Love” and Jenna Jameson makes a
Match with Pat Patterson as Guest Referee:
Mick Foley defeats Terry Funk with a stump piledriver on a chair at 14:12:
and Pat Patterson is inserted at the last second as the guest referee. Austin’s mic malfunctions, reminding long
time fans of Jim Ross’s mic problems at In Your House: Buried Alive in 1996, and he gets pissed off
and decks Lawler. Foley puts a new twist
on the concession stand brawl by taking out the vendor and giving him a
suplex. The vendor and Foley also take a
moonsault from Funk. However, Funk
argues that his neck is hurt and the match to stop, but Foley continues the
attack. For all intents and purposes,
this was a squash for Foley and that fits the storyline to make him the number
one contender for Austin’s title. Funk
took an insane beating in this match and it had some brutal spots, but the
squash aspect of it overwhelmed putting on a more competitive match. I also found it difficult to relate to Funk
continually kicking out of some of Foley’s moves near the end, probably because
Funk had not been built into a big threat during his WWF run so you knew he was
going to lose anyway. Rating:
*** (6 for 6)
Foley smashes Funk’s head repeatedly into a chair and Austin comes into the
ring and tosses a beer into Foley’s face, causing Foley to inadvertently put
Patterson in the Mandible Claw.
Patterson then tries to hit Austin with a chair, but Austin counters it in
time with a kick and Stunner. The Dude
Love music then comes on and McMahon comes out dancing with the Dudettes. Foley re-embraces his older character and
McMahon dances like a fool to the music by the entrance.
crazy brawls, there were lots of fun moments that made the show engaging and
memorable. Chyna’s participation in the
tag match, the vendor getting destroyed by Funk and Foley, the Bearer segment
with Lawler, and McMahon’s opening promo and crazy dancing at the end were the
highlights of the show. This show also
had a great storyline arc of McMahon getting Foley back on his side and
convincing him to go back to a gimmick that he trashed earlier in the show.
by Logan Scisco
narrates a video package that recaps last night’s Unforgiven pay-per-view. Tonight, Vince McMahon will make a decision
about WWF Champion Steve Austin’s future.
Cole are in the booth and they are live from Hampton, Virginia.
D-Generation X preparing for their “invasion” of WCW Monday Nitro, who are
running Nitro in Norfolk tonight, which is about fifteen minutes from where Raw
is being hosted, is shown.
Contest: Ken Shamrock & Owen Hart
wrestle The Rock & Mark Henry (w/The Nation of Domination) to a no contest
show circuit prior to this RAW and they were a ranked tag team in the Apter
magazines, so I was excited to see them wrestle here. However, Owen turns on Shamrock and ditches
his lackluster four month run as a face.
Owen works better as a heel, so I fully approve of this move. Owen Pillmanizes Shamrock’s ankle, which
works to write Shamrock out of next month’s pay-per-view. The beatdown, which extends to Steve Blackman
and Faarooq when they try to make saves, was excellent. (1 for 1)
Love Shack and gloats about beating Steve Austin last night. He proposes stripping Austin of the title and
having the WWF put him against Shawn Michaels for the title or hosting a
tournament or just giving it to him.
Very solid promo work for Foley, which included some classic heel
cockiness. 2 for 2
1-900-737-4WWF to find out if a new manager is headed to the WWF!
declares war against WCW in Norfolk. WCW
fans cheer when Triple H asks them if Eric Bischoff sucks.
Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship:
Terry Funk & 2 Cold Scorpio beat The Headbangers via
disqualification when Thrasher pushes the referee at 3:14:
tag team championship opportunity since neither team has accomplished much of
note in recent weeks, but the WWF tag ranks are really thin at this point. This match is non-stop action from the bell,
with Funk moonsaulting the other three men as they brawl on the arena floor. The finish is lackluster, but both teams keep
fighting after the bell and at least this match made the tag team titles seem
important. Rating: ** (3 for 3)
any of the WCW fans got free tickets for tonight’s Nitro. X-Pac says high to Scott Hall and Kevin Nash
and Triple H demands that they let them go.
Dude Love off of Sawyer Brown’s stage at Unforgiven last night is the
Cinnaburst Rewind segment.
walks out and says he knows Austin was trying to hit him with the chair at the
end of last night’s Unforgiven pay-per-view, which draws a huge cheer from the
crowd. He says he is not going to fire
Austin yet and that Austin will defend the WWF title tonight against Goldust
with Gerald Brisco as the guest referee.
McMahon announces that if Austin lays a finger on Brisco that he will be
fired and stripped of the WWF title. Brisco says he will be impartial tonight
and is not afraid of Austin. McMahon
closes by saying that any wrestler in the company would be a better
representative with the title than Austin right now. It’s a McMahon promo, so does it really need
a rating? 4 for 4
gate to the arena to keep D-Generation X from entering the arena with their
vehicle. I wish WCW had let them in and
then had Scott Norton and Meng and kick their ass.
Jarrett’s “musical performance” and altercation with Steve Blackman at
Unforgiven last night are shown.
J” Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee) via disqualification when Kamikaze interferes
the upper hand until Kamikaze hits the ring and attacks him. Taka Michinoku tries to make the save, but
also gets beaten down. This time a
fourth man is with Kamizake, but he is masked and his identity is unknown.
out to replace Cole on commentary for hour two.
interviews Dude Love, who is irate that he has not been given the title. Love confronts McMahon, who doesn’t
appreciate Kelly and the camera man being around and goes all Ronald Reagan on
them by saying that he is paying for the equipment and for them to shut it off.
Match: The Disciples of Apocalypse (w/LOD
2000, Chainz & Sunny) beat The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag Team Champions
w/D-Generation X) when 8-Ball pins Billy Gunn after an illegal switch at 3:35:
back-and-forth in the booth versus the awful Ross-Cole team and it’s amazing
that it took so long for the WWF to just ditch Cole off the RAW
broadcasts. Even more surprising that
they kept him around as Ross’s replacement.
The DOA dominate much of the match and when Billy Gunn hits Skull with a
piledriver, 8-Ball makes an illegal switch and gives the DOA their first win in
ages. To show how much heat the Outlaws
generated up to this point, the crowd goes nuts for the victory. Rating: *½ (5 for 5)
beats Barry Windham with the Tombstone in 59 seconds:
company by this point. The sad thing is
that THIS would’ve been a RAW main event if this was 1996. It shows you how far the company has come
since then. The Undertaker sends Barry
off to WCW with this squash.
the Undertaker calls out Kane, who comes out after the commercial break with
Paul Bearer. Bearer begs the Undertaker
for a truce and as he recounts the events of last night he reveals that Kane is
his son. Excellent promo work from
Bearer here and I always say he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his part
in this feud in 1997-1998. 6 for 6
plancha on Kane and Vader at Unforgiven is the Castrol GTX Slam of the Week.
interviews The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust and Luna Vachon. Goldust says that he is a pure man that would
be a great representative of the company.
Dude Love ambushes Goldust yelling “That’s my shot!” and WWF officials
have to pull him off of Goldust.
comes back out and Triple H tells DOA that no one steals his buzz. As Scott would say, “I love shoot comments
that aren’t supposed to be…” Triple H
issues an open challenge to any member of the locker room that wants to face
him for the European title. Skull walks
out, but Dan Severn walks past him and into the ring as Jim Cornette tries to
convince him not to fight Triple H.
Cornette makes the mistake slapping Severn, which leads to Cornette being
placed in an armbar and choke.
Unfortunately, this allows Triple H to get away. This could’ve MADE Severn, but they pulled
back. This makes Severn a face now.
Austin tells Michael Cole that he’ll defend the WWF title and says that Vince
McMahon isn’t going to get rid of him.
to get your copy of the WrestleMania XIV video tape and a lifesize Steve Austin
poster for $44.95 (plus $9 shipping & handling)!
vignette says that all men have “Venis envy” when compared to him.
out and calls Sable to the ring. Mero
says that Sable humiliated him at Unforgiven last night when Luna took her
evening gown off. Sable counters that
she enjoyed the experience and she challenges Mero to a match on RAW in two
weeks. She leaves before Mero answers
her challenge. This was pretty poor
considering the past segments between these two, but that’s because they let
Sable dominate all the mic time. 6 for 7
shakes Gerald Brisco’s hand backstage and says that he will enjoy watching him
referee tonight’s main event.
Match with Gerald Brisco as Guest Referee:
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (Champion) and The Artist Formerly Known as
Goldust (w/Luna Vachon) wrestle to a no-contest at 8:40:
the timekeeper to further stack the deck against Austin. Brisco dares Austin throughout the match to
hit him and counts quick falls for Goldust, but Austin resists and proceeds to
wrestle one of the faster-paced 1990s Goldust matches you will ever see. Ross actually acknowledges that if Austin
loses the title that the crowd will riot, to which Lawler has a funny jab about
being there for crowd control. Austin
hits a Stunner after a mule kick, but Brisco pulls a Nick Patrick and stops at
two because something is allegedly in his eye.
Dude Love then runs in and brawls with Austin. McMahon tries to take advantage of the
opportunity in a brilliant callback to the previous evening by trying to hit
Austin with the WWF title belt, but ends up KO’ing Brisco and that ends the
match. This is one of those
underappreciated gems from the Attitude Era, but it’s a wild and fun match that
foreshadowed the Austin-Dude Love rematch that is to come at Over the Edge. It’s also Goldust’s best match in ages. Rating: *** (7 for 8)
X and their “invasion” of WCW has been overhyped by subsequent WWE videos about
the Monday Night Wars. However, some of
the segments were funny, like having a WCW fan claim that he didn’t pay for his
ticket and then asking for the company to free Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. The main event was fantastic as well and
Austin really had his working boots on in his first run with the title. The only missed opportunity was sidestepping
a Honky Tonk Man moment with Triple H and the European title with Dan Severn,
but you can’t always get what you want.