- Dammit, I should've called dibs on the 1998 SummerSlam. Oh well, I'm sure this show will be just as strong from top to bottom as that card was. To get me all pumped up, I'm actually going to watch the episode of Sunday Night Heat that preceded it!
Or not. I forgot, in 1999 the WWF was ran by what could best be described as a mental patient with the attention span of a 4 year old with severe ADD, so we are in the few week stretch where zero original wrestling content was used on Sunday Night Heat. Considering how bloated the WWF's undercard was at the time, I find it a bit laughable NOT to feature some of the lesser used guys on a night where more fans than usual would probably be watching their B-Show (until Smackdown! debuted a week later on UPN.)
- Originally presented on Pay-Per-View on August 22nd, 1999, from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN, and sponsored by Chef Boyardee (MMMM! BEEFY!). Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are at ringside to call all the action, unless otherwise noted. Pre-PPV prediction for Jerry Lawler "Puppy" references: 11.
- The recently introduced to the WWE audience Chris Jericho talks down to his new gopher, "Harold" Finkel.
Jarrett attacks before the bell, but D'Lo quickly takes over with a hip toss and forearm. Whip and a Powerslam gets two. Jarrett jumps into a modified Sky High, but it only gets two. D'Lo slips out of a sleeper and takes Jarrett over with a suplex. Jarrett catches him coming off the turnbuckles with... something botched, then dropkicks him to the floor. They brawl on the floor, and they continue to be a bit off, with D'Lo missing the post, and having to redo the spot. NEVER REDO THE SPOT. Jarrett works the arm and takes Brown down with a single-arm DDT. Jarrett with mounted punches until D'Lo counters with a modified snake eyes. He plants Jarrett with the Running Ligerbomb (I miss that move...), but is too hurt himself to cover. D'Lo with a tilt-o-whirl slam, jumping heel kick, scoop slam, and the funky head-bobbin' leg drop for two. Brown heads to the top rope, missing a senton splash. Jarrett grabs the guitar, Debra hops on the apron. Mark Henry runs in to pull the guitar away from Jarrett, then smashes it over D'Lo in a heel turn that actually made sense, but only because they teased it. Jarrett covers for three and BOTH Titles at 7:28. Debra and Jarrett celebrate, meaning Debra "turned face" only to reveal she was really still a heel, only to turn face for real a couple of weeks later. Russo. **1/2 They were a bit sloppy at times, and most of the heat up until the final couple of minutes was for Debra, but this was perfectly acceptable, if incredibly short.
Fall #1: Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz (w/ Gangrel)
At least Russo knew that this combination would start it off hot. The Hardyz were technically the "New Brood", but screw that. Who would've guessed all four of these guys would launch into such great success, both in tag teams and as singles workers? Anyone else ever notice that Fink almost always introduced Edge & Christian as "Christian and Edge"? All four mean brawl to kick it off. Edge takes Matt down with a Russian leg sweep, followed by a double-team hip toss for two. Christian with a spinning heel kick (missing by a good foot or so). Gangrel with a cheap shot and Matt rolls him up for two. The Hardys face plant Christian and the shirts come off... TO ZERO REACTION. That only pops the crowd when people know you. Springboard splash from Jeff gets two. Jeff with Poetry in Motion, and Matt puts Christian down with a clothesline for a near fall. Jeff with the senton bomb, but Edge breaks the cover. Christian recovers and takes both Hardys down with a reverse DDT. Edge gets the hot tag and cleans house. The action spills to the floor and Edge SPEARS Jeff in the middle of his security wall run! Christian with a twisting plancha onto Gangrel, and Matt jumps onto the pile with a moonsault. Back in the ring, Edge face plants Matt and Christian drops an elbow for three at 5:01.
Fall #2: Edge & Christian vs. Mideon & Viscera:
Ugh... this should suck. Viscera sends Christian to the buckle and takes him down with a Samoan Drop. Mideon tags in for a pair of double elbows. Mideon with a lazy slam and knee drop for two. Who knew being PHINEAS GODWINN brought better workrate out of Dennis Knight? He misses something from the second rope. Edge works over both men, but runs into a rolling heel kick from Viscera. Whip to the corner, Viscera accidentally splashes Mideon. A double dropkick and shoulder tackle sends Viscera to the floor, and a Spear finishes Mideon at 7:36.
Fall #3: Edge & Christian vs. Droz & Prince Albert:
Edge quickly sends Albert to the floor with a clothesline, but Droz puts him down and stomps away. Whip to the ropes and Droz with a jumping back elbow. Edge avoids a charge from Albert and pounds away. Albert counters a whip and connects with an oddball neckbreaker, TKO/F5 style. Droz gets dumped to the floor, and Christian follows with a sloppy plancha. Christian clips the knee of Albert, allowing Edge to fall on top for a two count. Downward Spiral gets three at 9:39.
Fall #4: Edge & Christian vs. The Acolytes:
The Acolytes hit the ring before the three count completed. Faarooq takes Christian to the floor, leaving Edge with Bradshaw. Edge to the top rope for a missile dropkick. Edge with mounted punches, and Bradshaw counters with a Powerbomb for two. Edge with a spinning heel kick on Faarooq, but Bradshaw cuts off the hot tag. Bradshaw with a back suplex on Edge for two. Edge slips out of a Dominator and takes Faarooq down with a DDT. Christian gets the hot tag and connects with a pair of dropkicks. He heads to the top, but Faarooq crotches him on the turnbuckle. He still has it in him to take Bradshaw down with a DDT. Heck breaks loose again and Bradshaw kills Christian with the Clothesline From Hell at 14:38.
Fall #5: The Acolytes vs. Hardcore & Crash Holly:
After building up Edge and Christian, we're given heel vs. heel as the final fall of the match... now that I think of it, was E&C the only face team of the six involved?! I know we're in "Shades of Grey", but all the other teams were clearly established as heels, even by Russo standards. Either way, the crowd DIED once Edge and Christian were eliminated. Faarooq with the Dominator on Crash, but Hardcore makes the save. Double shoulder tackle from the Acolytes gets two. Crash tags back in and continues to get worked over. The Holly Cousins keep arguing, and Faarooq finally ends the match by planting Hardcore with a Spinebuster at 17:31. I never really knew how I should rate these kinds of matches (gauntlet style), so ** for the whole thing. Edge and Christian carried the workload, but they weren't exactly "great" workers yet, and other than the opening fall, the rest of the competition was either incredibly sub-par workers or the crowd had zero interest.
- Road Dogg comes out and winds up having a verbal showdown with the man that's going to save the WWF, Y2J, Chris Jericho. Hmm.... from cutting promos on the Rock to the ROAD DOGG. Did Jericho already get buried or am I looking too into things? They babble back and forth, so I walk away for a beverage, hoping the next match starts.
Test stalks Shane at ringside and brings him down with a simple but effective tackle. Into the ring, Shane returns the favor, but Test quickly over-powers him. Test sends Shane into the steps, but misses his attempt at a curb stomping. Shane gets some offense in, but jumps into the arms of Test and planted with a Powerslam. Test pie-faces various Posse members, then press slams Shane onto the pile, knocking them all over with the couch. Backstage, Stephanie looks on, approvingly. Test hops into the crowd to continue the punishment, but the Posse get involved for a three-on-one beating while Shane looks on. Gas hands Shane a MSP mailbox, and Shane delivers. Next weapon of note? A framed picture of Shane and the Mean Street Posse. That too is smashed over the head of Test. Backstage, Stephanie looks on, "concerned." Back in the ring, Shane puts Test down with a diving elbow. He heads to the top rope, missing a corkscrew moonsault. Test counters a head scissors with a Powerbomb, but Rodney keeps the referee from making a timely count. Test goes for a running boot, but Shane ducks and referee Mike Chioda takes it like a man. Why a ref' bump in a Street Fight? It's all legal. The Posse attack, set up Test across the Spanish Announcer's Table, and Shane drops the elbow from the top rope for your Holy Sh*t Bump of the Night™. Backstage, Stephanie looks on, "shocked."
For reasons unknown, despite being a Street Fight with tons of ringside brawling, Chioda starts counting them out?! Pete Gas interrupts the count, while Rodney and Joey Abs roll Test and Shane back in. They revive Shane with the Magic Water straight out of Hyrule, and he covers for two. Pete Gas tries to KO Test, but hits Shane by mistake, and Test covers for two. Rodney with a cast blow to Test, and it's another two count. The Posse's excessive interference is countered by the return of THE STOOGES! Who knew PAT PATTERSON AND GERALD BRISCO would get major face pops in 1999!? Test boots a chair into the face of Joey Abs, Shane misses a charge to the post, and Test plants him with the Pumphandle Slam! Test to the top rope, and the flying elbow drop finishes Shane off at 12:13! **** I'm going all in with the 4-stars, because it wasn't just a great brawl, but the storyline actually made sense, and to my surprise, had a satisfying (and correct) finish without a stupid swerve. Something I always appreciated after this match: The continuity kept between Shane and Test throughout the years following this, including stuff like in 2000 despite Test and Stephanie's break up when Test was a heel in T & A but still working as a hired goon for the McMahon's enemies, and then turning heel to join Shane's Invasion Alliance in 2001.
Mankind finally comes back to life, and joins Helmsley in stomping a mudhole in Austin. Double clothesline connects. Helmsley with a spinning toe hold while Mankind drops the leg... for two! Mankind's double-cross means it's on! He sends Hunter to the floor with the Cactus Clothesline, but a somersault from the apron meets nothing but the floor. And people wonder why he retired (mostly) at 33 years old? The action spills into the crowd, which was the style at the time. You couldn't get the little white ones on account of the War, so all you could get were those big yellow ones... Whoops, sorry. Amusing myself with Grandpa Simpson quotes. Austin counters a Pedigree, and sends him to the floor on a slingshot. Stunner on Mankind, but Hunter breaks the cover with a chair. Mankind takes a shot to the head, and true to his word, Ventura doesn't count because of the methods used. To be fair... it's a No DQ match. Shane McMahon runs in to argue with Ventura on Helmsley's behalf and gets knocked out with the Stunner. Ventura pulls Shane off the canvas and dumps him over the top rope as a message for his father. Back to the actual match... Austin and Helmsley knock each other out on a double clothesline. Mandible Claw on both men, but it's broken with a low blow. Austin with the Stunner on Helmsley, but Mankind breaks the count. Pedigree on Austin! Mankind knocks Hunter silly, Double- Arm DDT's Austin, and covers... for three at 16:23?! What the hell?! I guess strong rumors suggest Helmsley was booked to go over, but Ventura's involvement meant demands from him including raising a babyfaces arm in victory. Don't fret, Triple H fans: He wins the title the next night on Raw. *** This was fine for what it was, but the Attitude Era "Main Event Style" hasn't aged well with me, and they seemed too reliant on senseless brawling, with the occasional cute spots like unlikely alliances formed and a hot closing minutes.
Final Thoughts: There's some bone-headed booking choices and a handful of really bad matches, but SummerSlam '99 is somehow better than I remember it being. Shane McMahon vs. Test is a great brawl and one of the only good storylines at the time, and the undercard has some decent wrestling, but my God, the over-booking of everything just makes you want to drill a hole in your skull to relieve the pressure mounting from the headache developed. Other than the Street Fight, there's nothing here to really go out of your way to see, either for historical significance or match quality. Strong Recommendation to Avoid.