September Classics: Mankind vs. Ken Shamrock vs. The Rock – Breakdown 9/27/98

This was set up the week before on RAW with the three men shown here involved in a triple threat match for a shot at the WWF Championship, but it was ruined by the interference of The Undertaker and Kane. It wasn’t until Sunday Night Heat, one hour before the show, that we all would find out that it was a cage match. RUSSO-RIFFIC! The match itself is a pretty good one…..and check out how over The Rock is.

Mankind vs The Rock vs Ken Shamrock by therock38


So I was digging around on YouTube, and shortly before Montreal, Ken Shamrock had RAW matches against both Bret and Shawn… not only are both matches well above average for a Shamrock TV match (not surprising), but both matches end with a distracted ref missing it as Shamrock forces Bret and Shawn to tap (more surprising). Were there main event plans for Shamrock at the time? Because otherwise it's kinda weird to have him pretty decisively beat (even if technically both matches ended in DQs) two of the three biggest stars in the company within a week or two of each other. 

If there were plans, what happened to derail them? 

Well I mean, he DID main event the December PPV against Shawn, and there were vague notions of putting the belt on Shamrock when the whole Bret thing was going down, but the PPV match was weak enough that I don't think anyone would continue to push Shamrock at that level.  

Ken Shamrock

Hey Scott,
I've been watching old 1997-1998 Raw is Wars and PPVs lately. Has there ever been a less charismatic wrestler that was pushed as much as Ken Shamrock? It seems like they REALLY wanted to push him first as a face, then as a heel, but no one bought into him despite his history in the UFC. He was terrible on the mic and just bland in the ring. Your thoughts?

Well Ken and Tito Ortiz went on to draw the biggest UFC buyrate of all-time to that point, one which beat almost every wrestling PPV in history as well, so I wouldn't say he didn't have charisma.  Shocking as it sounds, I think it was more just that WWF didn't know how to use him correctly.  
By the way, for those wondering, Impact is coming this afternoon, as I finally got a chance to go see Amazing Spider-Man last night.  LOVED IT.  I just wish we didn't have three other Spider-Man movies preceding it treading the same territory, because this would have blown me away if it was the first one done.  But I loved that it was pretty much dead on to the Ultimate Universe comics and Andrew Garfield totally nailed that spirit of Peter Parker and wisecracking Spider-Man.