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WWF Sunday Night Heat- September 20, 1998

by Scrooge McSuck

- Last week on Sunday Night Heat, Kane and The Undertaker continued their path of destruction by easily handling the D.O.A. Mankind, Ken Shamrock, and The Rock were watching each others backs, Val Venis and Terri Runnels continue to torment the former Goldust, Gangrel wants Edge to come back home, and Al Snow is reinstated by defeating Sgt. Slaughter on Monday Night Raw. Also, apologies for my weak effort in the 9-20-98 episode. I'll try and get back on my A-Game for this one. With the Breakdown PPV only an hour away, what can the WWF offer on Heat before the biggest PPV of September 1998?

- Originally broadcasted, live, from the home of WWF Breakdown, the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Shane McMahon and Jim Cornette are on commentary, unless otherwise noted. There's a Steel Cage hanging over the ring, and they are unsure of why it's there.

- Mr. McMahon, along with Stooges Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, makes his way to ringside to adress the audience. He wants to apologize to Ken Shamrock, The Rock, and Mankind for their Triple Threat #1 Contender's Match being interrupted due to the intereference of The Undertaker and Kane. Vince washes his hands on the situation, and offers them another shot at the #1 Contenders spot, but this time it will take place inside of the ominous Steel Cage. Not a bad way to try and hook on-the-fence people to order the show. Personally, I've only ordered ONE PPV in my life by being swayed with less than an hour before it was to broadcast (that would be the 1998 King of the Ring, by the way).

More business on the mind of Mr. McMahon: If anyone has the nerves to interfere in the WWF Championship Match, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will automatically be stripped off the Title. The crowd chants "Austin" to cheese off McMahon. McMahon's only regret is that Breakdown has to take place in Canada (OOOH, that one hurt). Vince GUARANTEES Steve Austin will not leave the ring as the WWF Champion. This might be the first time he's ever made a guarantee.

Golga (w/ The Oddities) vs. Mosh (w/ Thrasher):

I'm not ashamed to say that I was always a mark for babyface Oddities. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a fun opening card act. Last Monday on Raw, the Headbangers beat down the Oddities and ripped up Golga's Cartman Doll. NOT THE CARTMAN DOLL! You can shave off half of his beard, but you do NOT mess with a man's Cartman doll. Why the one-on-one match, and not a standard Tag? Mosh avoids a sneak attack and pounds away with rights. Golga shoves him off and lays into him in the corner before taking him over with a hip toss. Golga with a series of elbow drops. He gets tripped hitting the ropes, allowing Mosh to take over. Thrasher with cheap shots behind the referee's back. Mosh with a snapmare and second rope leg drop for only a one count. Whip to the ropes, Golga catches a body press and counters with a front powerslam. The Vertical Splash finishes him off at 2:02. Thrasher comes in, but Kurrgan and Silva with Powerbombs on the Headbangers to clear the ring. Nothing match, but the crowd seemed surprisingly lively.

- Michael Cole is backstage, blowing his lines ("Triple H of Degeneration H."). Apparently Triple H was attacked in the locker room, with his knee being bashed with a pipe. Did someone watch the episode of the Simpsons, where Moe whacks Mr. Burns in the leg to try and knock him out of the game, only for it to heal a previous injury?

- Mark Henry, the scheduled opponent for Triple H at Breakdown, comes to ringside for whatever reason. I know no one was buying Breakdown for the IC Title Match, but pulling a bait-and-switch THIS close to the PPV... feh. Mark Henry was looking forward to this match to impress his girlfriend... CHYNA. I think she might oppose that one. Mr. McMahon comes to ringside to offer Mark Henry another match on Heat, a Non-Title Match against another Champion, inside the Steel Cage, to make sure it's reinforced. The Champion? "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Someone is stacking the deck.

Sho Funaki & Mens Teioh (w/ Yamaguchi-San) Matt & Jeff Hardy:

Looks like Kaientai are finally allowed to wear ring attire, instead of someone's left-overs from their used pile of Gym clothes. Matt and Jeff get the Jobber Introductions, and look quite awful and out of place with their pre-got-over look. Jeff and Funaki start. Teioh with a cheap shot from the apron, and Jeff responds with a dropkick. Matt sends Teioh to the floor and follows with a sucide dive. Funaki with a running dropkick on Jeff, followed by an elbow. Teioh sends him to the buckle and comes off the top with a body press for two. Kaientai with a double clothesline. Funaki with a diving forearm in the corner followed by a bulldog takedown. Jeff ducks under another clothesline and hits both Kaientai with a dropkick. Matt gets the "hot" tag, and connects with a pair of clotheslines. Hardys with a pair of monkey flips, dropping Teioh on top of Funaki. Jeff goes for a suicide senton, but Kaientai avoids it, and he goes SPLAT on the arena floor. Funaki with a snap suplex. We get heel miscommunication from Kaientai. Matt plants Funaki with a front powerslam, and they come off the top with a leg drop/splash combo for three at 3:38. I'm half-surprised by that finish. Decent, but very sloppy. Jeff's insane bumps would become a natural habit.

Billy Gunn vs. Skull & 8-Ball (w/ Paul Ellering):

Looks like Gunn is being punished for willingly teaming with Steve Austin on Raw in a match against the Undertaker and Kane. While it's technically a Triple Threat, this is going to be nothing more than a Handicap Match for Mr. Ass. If X-Pac or Road Dogg interfere, they will be removed from the PPV. Gunn quickly goes to work on 8-Ball, then drops Skull with the Fame-Asser. It doesn't take long for the numbers game to catch up on him. DOA with a double powerslam, followed by a double big boot. They drop a series of elbows. 8-Ball with a powerslam and Skull with a leg drop. Whip to the ropes and they bowl over Gunn with a double elbow. 8-Ball covers, but pulls Gunn off the canvas at two. Skull with a one-man flapjack for the three count at 3:22. I don't know how a three minute match could feel so long, but it did. Since the match is technically over, X-Pac and Road Dogg run down to clear the ring. Suddenly Jarrett and Southern justice come out and put a beating on DX.

- Vince McMahon, along with the Undertaker and Kane, come to the ring for the Steel Cage Match. Mark Henry's music hits, but he doesn't show up. The camera cuts backstage, where Chyna is trying to kick his ass, but Mark has more trash talking for her. She bashes him with that same lead pipe and forces Henry to kiss her ass. Meanwhile, back in the ring, the guy in charge of checking the cage removes his hat and hair, and it's STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN! He's got the door locked and pounds away on McMahon, then climbs out as Undertaker and Kane make their way into the ring. We end the show with a lengthy video package hyping the Main Event, and more words from McMahon, promising the demise of the Rattlesnake.

Final Thoughts: I have to say, I'm surprised so much effort was put into hyping the Main Event, even on the show leading into the PPV. Most of the air-time was dedicated to the angle, and the overall enjoyment from this episode comes from that. The matches presented really didn't mean much, which was the unfortunate point of the Russo Era. The Hardy's made their Sunday Night Heat debut, DOA continues to stink up the ring, and we have oddly put together angles with teams like the Headbangers and Oddities, but when a solid angle is being presented and takes up the majority of broadcast time, I have to say I can look forward to watching these shows.

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