September 9, 1998
Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Commentators: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Jumping in to the Attitude Era for a bit…
Edge vs Owen Hart
Two Canadians starting off the show had the crowd buzzing. Owen was in full Nation of Domination “Nugget” mode here while Edge was a 24 year old rookie. Nice power slam to Edge by Owen on the floor. Owen did a good job of leading this match. It wasn’t amazing, but did a good job of warming up the crowd. The biggest moment in the match is future World Champion Christian showing up for the first time.
Winner: Owen pinned Edge with a roll up after Christian appears.
- Dok Hendrix and Sables boobs hype the superstar line for $1.69 per minute. If Sable wore that outfit and answered the phones I’m sure they could have bumped the price up a little. Dok acted like he messed his pants Louis CK style.
Too Much vs Al Snow and Scorpio
Ah, here is 1998 WWE wrestling. Match was as unmemorable as…wait what was I talking about? The highlights of the contest are the pop Head gets and the jokes about Brian being Lawler’s son. I can honestly say this shouldn’t have been on a show they wanted people to pay for. One of the damaging parts of Vince Russo being anywhere near a product is sometimes shit didn’t have a point.
Winner: Al pinned Scott after the Snow Plow.
- Michael Cole interviews Undertaker and Kane about the screwing to occur later.
Marc Mero w/ Jacqueline vs Droz
After that last “barn burner” this was a crowd killer. There were some chants for Sable and then a lot of murmuring from the audience. Poor Droz never did really put it together in the ring before his tragic injury and Mero was never the same after his knee went kaput. Pretty nice shot by Jackie off the top with her high heel and a scary Shooting Star by Marc were the only two bright spots in this mess. Yeah, the Attitude Era wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Winner: Mero pinned Droz after the Marvelocity Shooting Star Press.
- Promo for the Degeneration-X “Down Here” t-shirt, only $25 plus shipping!
- Baby Bradshaw with a fired up promo calling Vader a fat bastard and then this gem “It’s survival of the fittest not fattest.” If he would have said that to 1992 Vader they wouldn’t have found his body.
Anything Goes, Falls Count Anywhere: Vader vs Bradshaw
They seemed to spend a lot of time mocking the weight of Vader on commentary. This is more concerning since he looked the same as when they signed him, and for years following. This was mostly just two big guys hitting each other, but they were doing it hard as hell. Both men got to kick out of a finisher and look like bad asses. This did its job. Bradshaw would go on to bigger and better things and Vader sadly was on his way down.
Winner: Bradshaw after 2 Clotheslines from Hell and a neck breaker.
- Kevin Kelly is with Dr. Tom Pritchard and Jason Sensation. Jason does OK impressions to make predictions. Man I am glad they showed this. I can probably sleep really well tonight knowing Jason Sensation can’t do a Jeff Jarrett impression. Glad Twitter wasn’t around then for him to make suicide threats yet.
D-Lo Brown vs Gangrel
If Gangrel ever learned to wrestle, his entrance and character would have carried him up the card. D-Lo was the original member of the Shield, rocking the vest/ chest protector. The best part of the match was them actually acknowledging a Hulk Hogan sign in the crowd…and then mocking it. Gangrel took his first loss and celebrated it by spitting what definitely isn’t blood because he definitely wasn’t a vampire into Mark Henry’s face. After that he killed D-Lo with his sweet DDT finisher. Blah match but fun segment to fill time. The mid card in 90’s WWE was brutal at times.
Winner: D-Lo picked up the win after the Sky High which JR always called the Lo-Down.
- Raw recap of Triple Threat Number 1 Contender setup.
- Michael Cole interviews a statue, which in a shocking twist, turns out to be Ken Shamrock. Ken has -4 mic skills and makes 90’s Michael Cole seem like the exciting one.
- Dok apparently finished trying to grope Sable and interviews the Rock who gives a beta-Rock promo.
- Kevin Kelly interviews Mankind who knocks his promo out of the park even while making a Bill Clinton joke.
Triple Threat Cage for #1 Contender to WWE Championship: Ken Shamrock vs Mankind vs The Rock
Shamrock with no pop, Mankind with some pop and Rock with all the pop. The triple threat cage made for an interesting dynamic, but seemed like a hard one to execute. There were a couple of cool spots like the double abdominal stretch, and Mankind trying to earn his future hip replacement by missing an elbow from the top of the cage. The match itself was fun and the crowd was into it but it doesn’t hold up very well in retrospect. It also had the distinction of making Mankind seem like a complete and total moron by not trying to pin Ken after that brutal shot to the head. The slow build to Rock turning heel keeps rolling along here.
Winner: The Rock pinned Ken after Mankind nailed him with a chair and tried to climb like a moron.
- Judgment Day commercial…only 3 weeks away. I don’t miss the prices of these shows.
- Shamrock loses his shit after the loss. He was normally so stable though!
Val Venis w/Terri vs Dustin Runnels
This was during Dustin’s exciting run after Goldust where he tried to save the souls of the audience by boring them to death before they could sin. Val lived up to his sinning gimmick by banging Terri on film and then showing it repeatedly to Goldust. One of the biggest pops of the night was for Terri’s stripper outfit. That sums up the Attitude Era better than I ever could. Match was pretty basic with Val forgetting to kick out at one point. He was probably being distracted by some asshole with an air horn through this entire thing. I remembered two things after this match; the first is I hate air horns and second, people loved Bill Clinton jokes.
Winner: Val pinned Dustin after the Money Shot.
- Val and Terri make out in the ring after the match and made me slightly uncomfortable.
- Recap of the attack of DX on Sunday Night Heat.
6-man Tag: Jeff Jarrett and Southern Justice vs Degeneration-X (X-Pac and Road Dogg/Billy Gunn)
Jeff was working out the kinks of his “Don’t piss me off” heel character so he was still a little boring. DX was super over and X-Pac did a great job taking a shit kicking for most of the match. Jarrett nailed X-Pac with a guitar near the end, looking to give him an eye injury. I didn’t mention Southern Justice due to them being Southern Justice and not adding anything helpful.
Winner: DX after Billy hit Knight with the Famouser.
- Recap of the main event angle and Austin catching McMahon alone on Heat.
Triple Threat/WWE Championship: (C) “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs Kane vs Undertaker
Before I start, I just want to say that Undertaker’s music was awesome during this time frame. The entire purpose of this match was to screw Austin out of the title in the cheapest way possible while still giving the fans hope he could pull it off. They accomplished that goal and I have no idea how, Undertaker and Kane could only pin Austin, and essentially making it 2 on 1, plus the Stooges were there to make sure it happened. The obvious fight over who got to pin him happened but they built it properly and started the slow burn to WrestleMania with this one match. Plus Austin looked like a super hero in the loss and could only make them more money chasing the belt and raising hell. The match wasn’t great, but the story was and that’s all that matters in making money.
Winner: Kane and Undertaker, after a double choke slam and double pin.
- After the match the “Bullshit” chant starts up and McMahon leaves with the belt after flipping Austin off. Then he went home and swam in his Scrooge McDuck money vault with all the money he just made.
Overall Thoughts: The entire setup of this show was to build to Survivor Series and then on to WrestleMania. The under-card meant nothing outside of Rock’s match and delivered on the lowered expectations they had. The upper card wasn’t spectacular in the ring, but the story they delivered was top notch. Overall you would have to call this particular show a success. The Attitude Era was awesome at the time but to look back at the wrestling hurts man.