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WWF In Your House: OverFully Loaded (July 1998)

by Scrooge McSuck

- I think it is safe to say that this show was as meaningless as No Way Out, as the entire purpose since King of the Ring was to build up SummerSlam and the Main Event between Steve Austin and the Undertaker for the WWF Championship. If memory recalls correctly, the strongest push “match” judging by the commercials… is a “Bikini Contest”. Yes, Vince Russo somehow convinced everyone to advertise a 5-minute T & A segment and charge $29.95 for it. You just have to love the Attitude Era!

- Originally presented on Pay-Per-View on July 26th, 1998 from the Selland Arena in Fresno, CA. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are at ringside to call all the action, unless otherwise noted.

Val Venis vs. “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/ Tennessee Lee & Southern Justice):

PPV debut for (the undefeated) Val Venis, who’s character development is simple and to the point: Adult Film star. I could’ve sworn he was being introduced as a heel, but he’s fighting Double J, so… shades of grey! Southern Justice is the (needlessly) repackaged Godwinns, but I guess we should be happy they’re no longer hillbillies. They’re thrown from ringside before the bell, and then out of nowhere comes Yamaguchi-San, who has beef with Venis over sleeping with his (allegedly under-age) wife. Venis with a drop toe hold and some grinding. Criss-cross sequence ends with Venia missing a body press, but recovers quickly to hot shot Jarrett for two. Venis with knees to the midsection and a Russian leg sweep. Jarrett with a boot to the chest and a Powerbomb. He sends Venis to the floor with a clothesline, allowing Lee to get a cheap shot in. Back in the ring, they exchange chops until Jarrett plants Venis with a brutal DDT. Whip to the ropes, and Jarrett grabs a sleeper. Venis quickly escapes and grabs one of his own, but Jarrett counters with a back suplex. Venis slips out of a suplex and takes Double J down with a belly-to-belly. Venis with the comeback, including an inverted atomic drop and running clothesline. Fisherman Suplex gets two. Venis meets boot on a charge, then meets the buckle. Jarrett with a flying body press for two. Whip to the ropes and Venis with a Power-Slam. He heads to the top rope, but Jarrett interrupts. The referee gets bumped somehow, Lee crotches Venis across the top rope. Jarrett with a super-plex, but the Figure-Four is countered with a small package for two. Venis knocks Jarrett into Lee, and rolls him up for three at 7:51. **1/4 Solid opener, but the norm for the time. Post-match, Venis mouths off to Yamaguchi, who has plans for Venis… tomorrow on Raw.

X-Pac (w/ Chyna) vs. D’Lo Brown (w/ The Godfather):

D’Lo is the new European Champion, having won it via fluke (and outrageous outside interference) from Triple H on Raw, but this is Non-Title. D’Lo is sporting the chest-protector, courtesy of Dan Severn in a King of the Ring Qualifying Match. Lockup, D’Lo with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. X-Pac escapes a headlock and sends D’Lo into the corner with an arm drag. X-Pac with another arm drag, followed by a jumping heel kick. Whip to the ropes, and D’Lo retaliates with his own heel kick for a near fall. D’Lo catches another heel kick, but X-Pac follows up with a jumping front kick. X-Pac ends up crotching himself on the turnbuckle and D’Lo follows with a clothesline for two. D’Lo grabs a chinlock to slow things down. D’Lo with a snapmare and leg drop for two. D’Lo misses a charge, and X-Pac misses a spinning heel kick. D’Lo with a slam, followed by a second rope elbow drop for two. X-Pac escapes a chinlock with a jaw-buster, but staggers into a stiff clothesline. D’Lo to the top, missing a moonsault. X-Pac with a flurry of rights and a spinning heel kick. He hits the Bronco Buster, without the showmanship antics. Godfather with a cheap shot, and D’Lo with the Sky-High for three at 8:28. Wait… the Champion WON a Non-Title Match? I owe myself a quarter. **1/2 Another match that was technically good, but really didn’t do anything for me to make it stand out.

- Edge is hanging around. You think you know him?

Bradshaw & Terry Funk vs. Faarooq & Scorpio:

In a pre-match interview, Funk declares he will be having his last match (in the WWF), win, lose, or draw, pissing off his partner. Kind of stereotypical to have the two Texans vs. the two black guys. This is how far Faarooq has fallen in less than two months. I don’t even remember when Scorpio dumped the Flash Funk name. Bradshaw and Scorpio start. They’re both in the Brawl for All, Tournament, don’t you know? Scorpio with a dropkick and clothesline, but Bradshaw no sells and drops him with an elbow. Whip to the ropes and Scorpio with a hurricanrana take-down. Faarooq tags in and pounds on his future life-partner. Bradshaw to the top with a diving shoulder tackle for two. Funk with a snap neck breaker for two. Faarooq with a boot to the midsection and back breaker for two. I almost called Faarooq “D’Lo.” I’m awful. Faarooq catches Bradshaw off the top with a Power-Slam for two. Scorpio with a front-slam, but gets crotched along the turnbuckle. Bradshaw follows him up and connects with a super-back-suplex for two. Bradshaw with a power-bomb for two. Funk tosses Scorpio to the floor and whips him into the security rail. Funk actually goes for a springboard splash, but… I don’t even know. It kind of hits, I guess. Funk with a roll up for two. Scorpio with a lame twisting splash for two. Flying leg drop gets two. Scorpio to the top and the 450 splash finishes at 6:53. Post-match, Bradshaw lays out his partner, setting the standard of turning on your partner after a whole one match, then lays out Scorpio and Faarooq. ¾* Total Shotgun Saturday Night fodder.

Vader vs. Mark Henry:

This isn’t going to be pretty… Vader is just dropping more and more down the card, now being featured in a meaningless match against the 5th most over member of the Nation. I guess they did a Tug-of-War on Shotgun earlier in the week. They collide in the center of the ring, with neither man budging. Henry goes for a slam, blows it, then slams Vader on the second attempt. Whip to the ropes and Henry with a shoulder tackle. Henry with a double sledge for two. Jumping elbow drop and leg drop for two. Whip to the ropes, Henry goes for a sunset flip, but Vader counters with a sit-down splash, followed by a traditional splash for two. Vader charges into the corner with an avalanche, followed by a short-clothesline. They take it to the floor, with Henry being launched like a missile into the steps. Back in the ring, Vader plants Henry with a slam. He heads to the second rope and comes down with a splash for two. Whip is reversed and Henry finishes with a Power-Slam and Big Splash at 5:04. ½* Not good at all, but it was kept reasonably short. The Nation is now 2-0 tonight, with two more matches to go.

- We get an in-ring segment teasing a future match between Kane and Mankind and the New Age Outlaws for the Tag Team Championship. How many times have they used this PPV to sell upcoming episodes of Monday Night Raw? Russo.

LOD 2000 vs. D.O.A. (w/ Paul Ellering):

(Hawk & Animal vs. Skull & 8-Ball)
Last Monday on Raw, they’ve begun the angle where Hawk’s “acting strangely”, which eventually morphed into “Hawk is battling personal demons” which then lead to Hawk’s attempted suicide. Russo. I don’t know why they dug up Ellering, but nobody cares. Animal and Skull start. Animal is quickly trapped in the wrong corner and pounded on. DOA with a series of elbow drops. Whip to the ropes, and Animal comes back with a clothesline. Hawk to the top with his own double clothesline. Animal with a dropkick. Whip to the ropes and the LOD hit their version of the Hart Attack for two. Hawk with his signature neck breaker. Animal with a slam and elbow drop for two. Hawk meets the post on a charge, making him your personal-demon-battler in peril. Ellering constantly gets cheap shots in while the crowd takes a nap. Skull with a snapmare and leg drop for two. Hawk escapes a chinlock, but gets tripped by Ellering. 8-Ball with a big boot for two. Skull with a back breaker for two. Hawk with clotheslines and the hot tag to Animal. Diving shoulder tackle to 8-Ball and a back suplex to Skull. They set up and hit the pansy version of the Doomsday Device, but Skull makes the save. Ellering with another distraction, and 8-Ball plants Animal with a DDT for three at 8:51. ½* These two just keep having matches that are worse each time out. How is that possible?!

- Mr. McMahon and his Stooges come out to announce that if the Undertaker doesn’t show up, a suitable replacement will team with Steve Austin. That man is… THE BROOKLYN BRAWLER. What, were you expecting Savio Vega? Actually, that would be light-years better.

Dungeon Match: Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart:

Special referee for this is Dan “The Beast” Severn, a highly touted shoot fighter with the personality of a brick wall. As mentioned in the Over the Edge review, Owen turned heel by double-crossing Shamrock during a tag match and “broke his ankle.” Yes, this match was actually filmed in the Hart family house and in the famous “Dungeon.” I guess Bret Hart wasn’t home. Owen with a double leg pick. Shamrock counters and goes for the arm. They both attempt leg locks, with little success. Shamrock kicks Owen into one of the walls and takes him down with a hip throw. Owen goes low and hits a spinning heel kick. Shamrock gets to taste the wall, which is your basic hard-wood paneling. Owen with a german suplex and more mounted punches. Owen uses a hanging pipe to take Shamrock down with a hurricanrana. Shamrock sends him into a rack of weights and back to the wall. Shamrock goes for his own hurricanrana, but Owen counters with a powerbomb. Owen puts Shamrock’s head through the ceiling and applies the Sharpshooter. Shamrock counters, but Owen avoids the Ankle Lock. Severn gets bumped, Owen KO’s Shamrock with a dumbbell, then uses Shamrock’s unconscious arm to tap out for the victory at 5:00. That was so cheap. **1/2 Hard to rate a worked shoot fight, but this was entertaining and something completely different. That’s 3-0 for the Nation, with one more to go…

WWF Intercontinental Championship; 2 out of 3 Falls Match:
The Rock © vs. Triple H (w Chyna):

They make sure to constantly remind us this has a 30-minute time limit. To be fair, they would actually advertise matches having time limits, but the way they hammer it home makes this result obvious. Hunter does a mild form of the water spit, so you can see his entrance evolving by the month. DX and the Nation accompany their respective leaders, but are eventually barred from ringside.

Fall #1: Rock pounds away to start. Whip to the ropes, Rock with a boot to the chest and a clothesline for two. Hunter comes back with a pair of clotheslines, followed by an elbow. Chyna gets a cheap shot in for the hell of it. Hunter goes for the Pedigree, but Rocky counters. They brawl up the aisle for whatever reason. Back to the ring area, Hunter gets thrown into the steps. Rock with a clothesline for two. Hunter with a swinging neck breaker and suplex, followed by the knee drop for two. Whip to the corner, giving Hunter a chance to work in the Harley Race bump. Mark Henry shows up to splash Helmsley, because “barred from ringside” means “only for 5-minutes.” Billy Gunn runs out, but the damage is done. Rock with a belt shot, but even 1998 Triple H doesn’t job that easily. Swinging neck breaker gets two. Rock grabs a chinlock to further slow things down, which I guess makes sense in the structure of the match. Hunter escapes, but that pesky clothesline is the bane of his night. To the floor, Rocky chokes away with some cables. Back inside, the Layin’ The Smackdown DDT gets two, then another chinlock. Helmsley comes back with the running high knee. Whip is reversed, and Rock takes him down with a hot shot. Here comes the Godfather, but the Outlaws cut him off. It’s just a ruse to allow D’Lo to show up, but Hunter catches him coming. The distraction still works, as Rock connects with the Rock Bottom for three at 20:23.

Fall #2: After a one-minute rest period (thus cutting the match down even more to make it obvious where we’re going with this one), Rock dumps Hunter to the floor and puts the boots to him. He sends Hunter to the rail, but Hunter bounces back with a clothesline. Rock with a sweep of the legs and a slingshot that magically twisted Hunter in mid-air, since he would’ve been nowhere near anything to make contact with. Rock with a slam, and the People’s Elbow gets two. Whip to the ropes and Hunter comes back with (another) clothesline. Chyna and D’Lo create ANOTHER distraction, allowing X-Pac to sneak in and hit the X-Factor. Hunter covers but it only gets two. Helmsley with a chair, but Rock fights it away from him and accidentally KO’s the referee. Chyna gets in the ring for a ball shot, followed by a DDT on the chair. Helmsley covers for three at 26:34.

Fall #3: We’ve got little more than two minutes left after the rest-period. Hunter immediately goes for another cover, but there’s no referee in the ring?! Hebner shows up and finally counts two. They brawl on the floor, again, because that makes sense. Back inside, Hunter with the face-buster and a clothesline for two. Rock catches him with a Samoan drop for two. They trade blows. Rock goes for the Rock Bottom, but Hunter counters with the Pedigree, and the bell rings at 30:05 because the Time Limit has expired. Who didn’t see that coming?! Post-match, we get the obligatory brawl between DX and the Nation. **1/2 Had moments of being really good, but then they clearly didn’t know how to get 30-minutes out of each other, the finish was beyond telegraphed, and the excessive run-ins were out of hand. You have to love the Attitude era!

- The Undertaker is doing his best impression of Bret Hart, by finally showing up.

- Bikini Contest featuring Sable and Jacqueline (with Marc Mero). We actually get a video package hyping this trash, AND a “Tale of the Tape.” Jacqueline goes first, and her “nip slip” (which had to be intentional) is censored, contrary to the live PPV broadcast. Sable follows with her famous “hand-prints on the boobs” look, and the fans declare her the winner. In typical Russo style, we get a bullshit finish even in a Bikini Contest, with Vince McMahon personally over-turning the decision the next night because Sable technically wasn’t wearing a bikini (top).

WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
Kane & Mankind © (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Steve Austin & The Undertaker:

Steve Austin is the reigning WWF Champion, and scheduled to defend against Undertaker at SummerSlam, but here, they’re the partners who hate each other. As for Kane and Mankind, they’ve completely squashed the tag team division and won the titles from the New Age Outlaws a couple of weeks before this PPV. Undertaker has a new remix of his theme music. We get a brawl in the aisle, with Kane/Austin and Undertaker/Mankind paired up. Austin chooses to start with a rude hand gesture directed at his partner, and pounds away on Mankind. Kane tags in, putting a hurt on Austin. Whip to the ropes and Austin comes back with a Thesz Press, followed by the F-U Elbow. Kane escapes a Stunner attempt and bails. Austin tracks him down with a clothesline in the aisle. ‘Taker tags in with a series of shoulder tackles and Russian leg sweep. He flips off Austin, conveniently allowing Kane to tag out. ‘Taker with an avalanche and Old School™ to Mankind. Kane gets the blind tag and plants ‘Taker with a Choke-Slam. Mankind with the running knee to the face, followed by a double-arm DDT for two. ‘Taker gets sent to the floor and laid out with a clothesline. Austin from out of nowhere with a forearm to Mankind, knocking him off the apron, onto the Spanish announcers table.

Back in the ring, Undertaker surprises Mankind with a DDT of his own. Austin with the tag and unloads on both Kane and Mankind. Seated splash and an unprotected chair shot on Kane gets two. Whip is reversed and Kane puts Austin down with a big boot. He tosses Austin to the floor, allowing Mankind to get some cheap shots (not cheap pops) in. Kane with a smother-hold, 12 years before he tried making that his finisher of choice. Austin tries fighting back, but runs into an elbow. Austin escapes a chinlock from Mankind and comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Kane regains control and connects with a Choke-Slam. He goes for the Tombstone, but no chance in hell is Austin taking that. He hits the Stunner, and Mankind comes in with the Mandible Claw. Austin with the Stunner to him, too! After a long tease, Undertaker willingly tags in and finishes Kane off with the Choke-Slam and Tombstone Piledriver at 17:26. Undertaker leaves with both Tag Titles, because why not? *1/2 Not much to this one, with minimal interesting action and such an over-whelming feeling of a lackluster chapter to advance us to the next chapter… Spoiler: Kane and Undertaker are now in cahoots, because Russo.

Final Thoughts: Not a fun show to sit through. The Main Event is a filler situation to get us to SummerSlam, and it wasn’t fun, like the meaningless tag at No Way Out. The undercard features too many crappy finishes, from Owen using Shamrock’s lifeless arm to tap out, to the excessive run ins and Time Limit finish of the Intercontinental Championship, and even the very bottom of the undercard with Bradshaw turning on his partner of 1-match and then doing nothing with him for months to follow it up? Even the Bikini Contest, a completely subjective form of “entertainment”, ended up having a bullshit finish! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!? There’s a few decent matches, but nothing stands out as a positive. Strong Recommendation to Avoid.

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