WWF In Your House: Over the Edge (May 1998)
by Scrooge McSuck
- Last month at WWF Unforgiven, the WWF Championship Match ended under dubious circumstances, with Steve Austin knocking Mr. McMahon out cold with a steel chair and counting his own pin-fall on Dude Love before the decision was officially declared as a Disqualification victory for the challenger. To solve this dilemma, a rematch has been ordered, and this time, a special referee who can handle the demands of such a match will be appointed. That man… is Vince McMahon. How will Steve Austin get himself out of this predicament?!
- Originally presented on Pay-Per-View on May 31st, 1998 from the Wisconsin Center Arena in Milwaukee, WI. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are at ringside to call all the action, unless otherwise noted. I can safely say it was at this point I completely stopped giving a crap about WCW and was all in with WWF… until a short-defection in September-October 1999, but then it was back to the WWF for good.
LOD 2000 (w/ Sunny & Droz) vs. DOA (w/ Chainz):
(Hawk & Animal vs. Skull & 8-Ball)
Hell of a choice for an opener. PPV debut for Darren “Droz” Drozdov, a.k.a Puke. Yep, two nicknames. Russo. Drozdov’s claim to fame was puking on a football during a live NFL telecast. Not 100% sure, but this is probably Sunny’s last PPV appearance until WrestleMania 25. Everyone, including Droz and Chainz, brawl at the bell. Animal with the diving shoulder tackle on 8-Ball. 8-Ball comes back with a swinging neck breaker and leg drop. Animal with a leg-whip and headbutt to the lower abdomen. Hawk and Skull tussle as J.R. reminds us how old the LOD are. Skull with a side slam for a one count. Hawk no-sells a crappy piledriver and lays Skull out with a clothesline. Hawk with his signature neck breaker and fist drop. Animal back in… with a chinlock. Hawk with a slam and leg drop for two. He heads to the top rope and misses the clothesline, landing on the floor in the process. Hawk plays face-in-peril, but not well. You want to know something sad? 8-Ball and Skull are more watchable than they were as Eli and Jacob Blu. Think about that one. Skull slows things down (more) with a chinlock. I know which is which because they have their names stitched onto their jackets. Hawk avoids an elbow drop and its hot tag time to Animal. He puts the boots to both DOA and comes off the ropes with a double clothesline. Heck breaks loose and the DOA make an illegal switch, but Droz cheap shots 8-Ball from behind, and Animal finishes him off with the Power-Slam at 9:57. LOD won a PPV match in 1998! ľ* I’ve seen worse from both teams, but that doesn’t mean this was good. Pretty poor match, especially for an opener.
- The Rock and Faarooq have a physical confrontation that may put the Intercontinental Championship match, scheduled for later in the show, in jeopardy.
“Lethal Weapon” Steve Blackman vs. “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/ Tennessee Lee):
They really had a hard-on in trying to get that Double J gimmick over, didn’t they? He gets the most minimal reaction as you can imagine. I think Jarrett is responsible for Blackman’s first pinfall loss, so there you go. He hits Jarrett with a baseball slide, press slams him back in the ring, and comes off the top with a missile dropkick. Whip to the ropes and Jarrett comes back, slamming Blackman face-first to the canvas. Blackman avoids a charge and takes Double J over with a German suplex for a near fall. Tennessee Lee creates a distraction, allowing Jarrett to surprise Blackman with a clothesline. Suddenly we see Al Snow, dressed in a poncho, join the Spanish announce team. Jarrett with a dropkick for two. Blackman gets an elbow up on a charge, but a splash meets knees. Blackman bridges out of a cover and takes Jarrett over with a back slide for two. Security takes Snow away while Jarrett regains control with a sleeper. Blackman counters, but Jarrett counters that with a back suplex. Blackman counters a suplex with his own. He goes for another splash, and again it meets knees (kind of). Blackman with a spinning heel kick and elbow drop for two. Bicycle Kick connects, but Lee hops on the apron for another distraction. Blackman with a roll up for two. Jarrett tries using one of Blackman’s glowing ninja sticks, but Blackman blocks and whacks him instead for two. Lee with a cheap shot with a stick, and Jarrett covers for three at 10:18. ** OK match, but they could’ve easily trimmed this down a bit. The best part of the match was watching Tennessee Lee’s antics at ringside trying to get this snoozer over.
Sable’s Representative vs. “Marvelous” Marc Mero:
Last week on Monday Night Raw, Mero offered Sable to find anyone she can, and if that person wins, he’ll terminate her personal services contract to him, but if Mero wins, then Sable has to leave the WWF FOREVER. Sable comes out, dressed to compete, and you got it right, the big mystery surprise opponent is… SABLE. SWERVE! What, did you expect Savio Vega? Marc Mero feigns pity on Sable’s willingness to compete with him for her freedom, so he willingly lays down for her… and then he cradles her like the scumbag he is, and ends Sable’s career at 0:31. SWERVE! Mero celebrates like he just won the WWF Championship. Heck of a little twist there… except for the fact Sable’s departure from the WWF lasted all of TWO WEEKS. SWERVE! You just got to love Vince Russo.
Taka Michinoku & Bradshaw vs. Kaientai (w Yamaguchi-San):
This is one of them fancy “bonus” matches thrown together the day of the show. PPV debut for the trio of Sho Funaki, Mens Teioh, and Dick Togo, Japanese imports to feud with Taka over the Light-Heavyweight Title. Who knew Funaki of all people would maintain a WWE career for nearly a decade? Kaientai is quickly cleared from the ring, followed up by Bradshaw launching Taka over the top rope onto them. Teioh with a side headlock and shoulder tackle, followed by a clothesline. Bradshaw tags in, and again Kaientai bail. Taka with a tornado DDT on Togo for two. Bradshaw catches Teioh going for a plancha, and Taka comes off the top with a moonsault on Funaki! Togo with a reverse Powerbomb on Taka to take control. Funaki with a delayed suplex for two. Teioh with a butterfly suplex for two. Togo with a somersault senton. Taka escapes a nerve hold, but gets taken over with a snap power-slam for two. Funaki and Teioh with a double-team DDT for two. Togo with a senton bomb, but no cover. Taka escapes a sleeper and comes off the ropes with a diving forearm. Kaientai with a unique boston crab/camel clutch/basement dropkick triple team spot. Bradshaw eventually gets the hot tag and fights off all three at once, because Light-Heavyweights can’t hang. Power-Slam to Teioh and a Powerbomb on Funaki. Togo goes low, but Bradshaw fights them off again. He clobbers Funaki with a lariat and takes Teioh over with a Tiger Suplex. Taka tags in and hits the Michinoku Driver, but heck breaks loose. Teioh with a double choke slam and Togo with a senton bomb for three at 9:55. **1/2 Heatless match, but non-stop action and really made Kaientai look like the first real threats to Taka’s Championship.
- It’s halfway into the show that I notice a broken down car in the entrance set that has the Brisco Brothers Body-Shop advertised on it. Cute.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Rock teases no-showing the match, but Commissioner Slaughter threatens to strip him of the Title and award it to Faarooq. Rock hobbles to the ring, sporting a neck brace. Faarooq shows no mercy, attacking him before the bell and crotching him on the security rail. Whip to the corner and Faarooq with a pair of clotheslines. Rock tries taking a walk, but Faarooq throws him back in the ring. Rock takes control with a clothesline and elbows across the throat. Rock with a slam and the People’s Elbow, which gets a better (baby-face) reaction since Unforgiven, but it only gets two. Rock gets the better of a slugfest with a little help of a thumb to the eye. Faarooq comes back out of nowhere with a slam and headbutt for two. Rock ducks under a clothesline and connects with a DDT for two. J.R. incorrectly says Mickey Mantle broke the home run record in 1961 after Lawler questioned whether or not ROGER MARIS should have an asterisk next to his name. We get a blown pinfall count, or at least it seemed blown until a replay shows Rock get his tippy toe on the rope. Faarooq pounds away in the corner until Rock sweeps the legs and rolls him up (with feet on the ropes) for three at 5:09. Post-match, Faarooq lays Rock out with two more piledrivers until the Nation makes the save, and that brings out DX. * Nothing much to this one, and the feud between Faarooq and Rock was quietly dropped since nobody gave a damn about Faarooq in 1998.
The Rock © vs. Faarooq:
Mask vs. Mask Match: Vader vs. Kane (w/ Paul Bearer):
Seriously? Baby-face Vader was such an awful idea. If you’ll recall, Kane “injured” Vader at No Way Out (in real life, Vader needed surgery on a loose plate around his eye-socket), and Vader is back for revenge. Slugfest to start. Kane gains the upper-hand and connects with a short-arm clothesline. Vader comes back with a boot to the face and a pair of avalanches. Kane counters a suplex with his own, but misses an elbow drop. Vader with a short-clothesline and an elbow between the legs. Kane blocks a whip attempt and hits another clothesline. Kane with a slam, followed by the flying clothesline. Vader starts no-selling and it turns into another slugfest. More punching, more clotheslines. Kane with a snapmare and elbow across the throat. Kane slows things down even more by applying the dreaded claw to the face. Kane with a choke-slam, but Vader manages to roll to the floor. He finds an over-sized wrench and bashes Kane over the head with it. Back inside, Vader with an avalanche and clothesline. He goes for the moonsault, but Kane sits up to avoid it. Kane casually connects with the Tombstone and its good for three at 7:21. Post-match, they unmask Vader, and Paul Bearer prances around with it, mocking him. Vader then gives an interview, calling himself… and I quote, “a big, fat, piece of shit.” Russo. ˝* Match was almost as bad as it reads, which is a real shame since it could’ve been a decent brawl. Obviously, the selling point of Vader’s unmasking is the freak-show appeal of his surgical scars, but I didn’t notice anything out of the norm, so hey, remember when Vader used to wrestle all the time without a mask back in WCW? Looks the same.
- We waste PPV time with Jerry Lawler ripping off Mad Dog Vachon’s prosthetic foot. I guess it worked so well at IYH: Good Friends, Better Enemies that it was worth doing again?
Triple H & The New Age Outlaws (w/ Chyna & X-Pac) vs. Owen Hart, D’Lo Brown, and Kama Mustafa (w/ Mark Henry):
Since Unforgiven, DX has started embracing the baby-face role, and did I mention launched an attack on WCW Monday Nitro? Owen Hart turned in a manner almost identical as Mark Henry, teaming up with Ken Shamrock against the Nation, and then stabbing him in the back mid-match. Triple H and the Outlaws do their standard routine of ’98. Road Dogg and D’Lo start while we get the traditional “what time is it in the UK” exchange, with the curveball being this show taking place in the Central Time Zone. Gunn surprises Owen with a clothesline and takes him over with a press slam. Owen counters a second attempt and connects with a spinning heel kick. Gunn escapes a Sharpshooter attempt and tags out to Hunter. He hits the running high knee and a tilt-o-whirl back breaker for two. Road Dogg with a snapmare and leg drop for two. Owen blatantly goes low on Triple H and tags out to Kama. Jim Ross makes sure to reference his nickname, the Godfather, a name he would officially adopt a few weeks later. Now it’s D’Lo’s turn to take a beating. Gunn with a suplex for two. Hunter with a back breaker and knee drop for two. Road Dogg gets to play face-in-peril. Owen with a piledriver for two. Neck breaker and elbow drop gets two. There’s no need for a lengthy chinlock in a 6-Man Tag, but we get one anyway. Road Dogg teases a comeback until being planted with the Sky High. Owen with the Enziguri of Doom, but the Sharpshooter is interrupted by HHH. Kama in with another rest-hold. D’Lo with a moonsault for two. Billy Gunn with the hot tag. He unloads on everyone and now all heck breaks loose. Gunn with the Rocker Dropper on Brown. Spike Piledriver onto a Championship belt, but there’s still no referee in the ring. Owen sneaks up from behind, hits Hunter with the Pedigree onto the belt, and covers for three at 18:35. *1/2 Painfully dull match, but at least Owen finally got a pinfall victory over Triple H, even if it meant turning heel and cheating outrageously.
- “Dok Hendrix” (Michael Hayes) is backstage with Mr. McMahon, who states that only by his hand will this upcoming Championship Match end.
WWF Championship Match:
Special circumstances du jour: Pat Patterson is the special ring announcer (who gets a long-winded intro via cue cards read by The Fink), Gerald Brisco (of Brisco Brothers Body Shop) is the special time keeper (with an even longer introduction), and last but not least, Mr. McMahon himself is the special referee. Is Dude wearing DENTURES?! Just as the match is about to start, the Undertaker makes a surprise appearance to stand in Austin’s corner and act as an enforcer for potential shenanigans. McMahon breaks up a lockup in the corner, so Austin flips him off. Love with a shoulder tackle for a fast two count. Undertaker was damn-near in the ring for that one. They trade side headlocks, with obvious McMahon bias. Austin with a boot to the midsection, followed by a snapmare. Dude’s teeth fall out and Austin gives them a stomping for good measure. Whip to the ropes and Austin with the Thesz Press. He sends Dude to the floor with a clothesline, but a whip to the steps is reversed. Back inside, Dude with a Russian leg sweep for two. All the while, Undertaker keeps giving McMahon death glares. Austin with a swinging neck breaker and a trio of clotheslines. Whip across the ring is reversed and Dude applies the Mandible Claw. Austin hip tosses him over the top rope to escape, and actually hangs him in the ropes in the process. They brawl on the floor, with Dude hip throwing Austin over the Spanish announcers table. Suddenly we’re informed this match is “No Disqualification.” Dude chokes with the cables at ringside until Austin launches himself and Dude into Gerald Brisco. Austin pounds away on the time-keeper’s table and clotheslines Dud over the security rail! Austin uses Brisco as a door mat and lays Dude out with another short-clothesline.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin © vs. Dude Love:
Back in the ring, Austin with choking across the middle rope, but the seated splash misses. Dude uses a baseball slide to knock Austin to the floor, then follows him out with a swinging neck breaker on the concrete. Now it’s “Falls Count Anywhere” and Dude covers for two. Dude with a back slide for two. Austin is back up and runs down Dude with a clothesline. He slugs away until taking a back drop onto one of the junk cars in the entrance set. Dude with a charge, and now he takes a Hot Shot onto another car for a near fall. Austin goes for a Stunner, but Dude shoves him off. Dude comes off the car hood with a sunset flip for two. Austin (sporting a crimson mask) with another flurry of offense, but a piledriver is countered with a back drop on the concrete. Dude with a snap suplex, but he wanders off. He climbs on top of another car and meets concrete going for the Cactus Elbow. Austin punts Dude back to the ring area and throws him into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Patterson trips Austin up, allowing Dude to level him with a clothesline. Dude sends Austin into an exposed turnbuckle, but doesn’t cover. Dude with the running knee to the face and another shot to the buckle. Austin escapes a chinlock, but again meets the buckle, and this time Dude covers for a two count. Dude with a pair of chair shots and a Double-Arm DDT for two. Austin kicks the chair back into Dude’s face and hits another clothesline. Austin with the chair, and he KO’s Dude with a baseball swing, but Vince won’t count. Dude with the chair, Austin ducks, and McMahon is down and out! Austin with the Stunner! He covers, but Patterson stops another referee from counting! Dude with the mandible claw… Patterson tries counting, but Undertaker stops him and puts him through the English announcers table with a Choke-Slam! Brisco tries counting, and Undertaker puts him through the Spanish table! Austin goes low to escape the Claw, hits the Stunner, then uses Vince’s lifeless arm to count three at 21:27! ****1/2 The pinnacle of over-booking, with a well-told story, the triumph over adversity, and just a kick-ass brawl from beginning to end. Despite the complete stacking of the deck, Austin found a way to win within the realm of making sense, and not insulting the viewers.
Final Thoughts: With the exception of probably the best Main Event from this particular era, the rest of Over The Edge is an incredibly weak show with tons of padding, both in the form of heatless undercard matches and needlessly embarrassing a “local” legend by taking advantage of his handicap for the sake of shock value. Kane is spinning his wheels in a lame angle with Vader, the Rock is wasted working with the incredibly un-over Faarooq, and the hottest babyface act outside of Austin put on the most pedestrian Six-Man Tag you could find. The undercard gets a strong recommendation to avoid, but the Main Event is good enough to drag it to Thumbs in the Middle.
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