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WWF SummerSlam 1998
by Samoa Rowe
August 30, 1998
-From New York, NY. Our hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
-Full disclosure: this was the first WWF pay-per-view that I ever watched start to finish. My buddy in junior high taped it and was kind enough to let me borrow it. I watched the tape twice within the same week, it was my crash course into the Attitude Era.
-Val Venis addresses the crowd (or at least the ladies) on the microphone before his match. ďI came, I saw, and I came again.Ē
DíLo Brown © vs. Val Venis
Brown is sporting an unnecessary chest protector, worth some extra heel heat. DíLo gleefully no-sells chest shots and gains an unfair advantage. Venis delivers some rapid fire offense towards the back and head, prompting Brown to take a break. The pace quickens and Venis counters into a spinebuster for 2. The camera catches Edge in the crowd, checking out the match. They impressively trade back and forth offense, both men have extremely well-defined personalities and move sets to match. Val survives a Texas Cloverleaf and avoids a flying back senton! Val rallies but DíLo counters the Money Shot with a sit-out power bomb! DíLo nails a DDT for 2 and is starting to show frustration. Brown blocks a superplex but flies into a power slam counter! Double arm suplex by Venis and a scoop slam sets up the Money Shot, but DíLo counters! Brown slips up a power bomb and awkwardly drops Val on his head. Brown tries again and hits a running power bomb. The Lo Down misses! Venis rips off the chest protector and nails a power slam. Val puts the chest protector on and ignores the refereeís orders to remove it. The ref accidentally crotches Venis on the top rope, but he recovers to drop DíLo with an atomic drop. Venis shoves the referee down and gets disqualified at 15:20. Take away the botch and add a better finish and youíve got a great opener. As such, it gets about *** anyway.
Winner via DQ: DíLo Brown
-Venis teachers the referee a lesson, delivering the Money Shot to a nice pop from the NYC fans.
-Michael Cole is on location in the garage, as Mankind surveys the damage to the corporate limousine.
Kai En Tai (Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Menís Teioh, and Dick Togo, with Yamaguchi-San) vs. The Oddities (Kurrgan, Golga, and Giant Silva, with Luna Vachon and the Insane Clown Posse)
Ah nuts, they cut out the Oddities entrance with ICP rapping. That was going to be my guilty pleasure of the evening, but I suppose Youtube was invented for a reason. Taka gets a few token shots in on Golga before the slaughter begins. Golga goes on a head-butting spree. Golga fills a show with water and splashes it in Takaís face. Kurrgan gets on his knees to fight Funaki and soon delivers a power slam. Kae En Tai attempt to quadruple team Kurrgan and he swats them all away rather hilariously. Giant Silva tags and Ka En Tai flee the ring. Taka cowardly tags in Togo, who charges into a choke slam. Silva knocks all four opponents over like a house of cards and stacks them in the corner and Irish whips them all into a slump. Silva press slams Taka onto the rest of the team, and I have to begrudgingly admit this is stupid fun. Golga suffers a double suplex by Teioh and Funaki, followed by four flying splashes. The gang attack on Golga can only last so long as he retaliates with a quadruple clothesline! Kurrgan gets the hot tag and decimates Kae En Tai. Luna power slams an interfering Yamaguchi, while Silva and Kurrgan hit double choke slams, allowing Golga the pinfall at 10:08. This was so very stupid, but so very entertaining, **.
Winners: The Oddities
-Earlier, on Sunday Night Heat, Jeff Jarrett and Southern Justice cut Howard Finkelís hair.
Hair vs. Hair:
Jeff Jarrett (with Southern Justice) vs. X-Pac (with Howard Finkel)
Fink is an honorary member of DX and gets to do the fireworks entrance with X-Pac. Hot start, with X-Pac nailing a spin-heel kick and clearing the ring. X-Pac nearly slips on the springboard body press to the floor. Fearing for his hair, Jarrett drives X-Pac into the ring post. Jarrett is in the driverís seat and slows things down to pick apart his greasy opponent. Tornado DDT by X-Pac but Jarrett catches him in a sleeper. X-Pac reverses, but misses a flying cross body. Jarrett applies a Figure Four, which X-Pac barely survives. A second Figure Four is blocked and X-Pac hits a back suplex. Back heel kick by X-Pac leads to the Bronco Buster! X-Pac rolls through a cross body for a pin attempt and then catches Jarrett with a sit-out power bomb! They exchange pinning predicaments and Jarrett blocks the Bronco Buster with a low blow. Jeff knocks Fink off the apron but turns around to the X-Factor! Southern Justice save the match, but X-Pac steals the guitar and smashes it over Jarrett! X-Pac gains the pinfall at 11:10! Call me crazy, but everything about this match just worked, ***.
-The New Age Outlaws, the Headbangers, and Droz assist in holding Jarrett still for his haircut.
-Doc Hendrix is on location for the Lionís Den match between Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart. They have an MMA style cage set up somewhere in the lobby.
-Michael Cole interviews Intercontinental Champion The Rock about his cheap shot to the knee of Triple H recently. Rock is feeling good about facing a one legged man in a ladder match and will prove heís the Peoplesí champ.
Marc Mero and Jacqueline vs. Edge and Sable
Sable introduces her mystery partner to be none other than the mysterious Edge. The men start things off and it doesnít take long for Edge to overwhelm the veteran, Mero. Jackie tags and wants a piece of Edge, but instead she gets an aggressive Sable. Jackie flees to Mero, and the men resume their exhibition. Sable gets a hot tag and plows through Jackie. Mero gets in Sableís way and suffers a low blow. Jackie saves Mero from a Sable Bomb and traps Sable in enemy territory. Sable scores a TKO, but Mero assists, but a miscue causes Jackie to knock Mero off the apron. Edge charges in for a running dive onto Mero. Jackie jumps Edge but ends up getting spanked. Edge gets some near falls but Mero comes back with a Samoan Drop. Edge trips Mero on the ropes and tags in Sable for the top rope hurricanrana! Edge arranges for Jackie to fall into a head butt on Meroís nether region. Edge slams Sable onto Mero for the victory at 8:24. This wasnít bad, it contained enough bells and whistles to keep things in the ** range.
Winners: Sable and Marc Mero
-Michael Cole interviews Mankind about his plans for the evening since tag team partner, Kane, isnít at the building. Mankind doesnít want to disappoint the fans so heís going to get his ass kicked all over Madison Square Garden one way or another. Vince McMahon talks Mick down and encourages him to defend the tag titles all by himself.
Lionís Den match:
Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart (with Dan Severn)
As mentioned before, the Lionís Den is basically a modified MMA octagon set up in the MSG theatre. This is a novel approach, but I bet the fans left behind in the arena are pretty bored. Bell rings and Shamrock tackles Owen into the cage and goes after the arm. Owen returns the favor and nails a spinebuster. Unlike most faux-MMA fights, this one has enough pro wrestling elements to remain interesting (low blows, choking with a t-shirt, etc). Shamrock even connects with a springboard off the cage wall! They make sick use of the wall too, with Owen delivering a brutal snake eyes variation. Shamrock springboards one time too many and Owen counters with a power slam. Owen suplexes Shamrock into position for the Sharpshooter! Shamrock pulls himself up the cage to break the hold and nails a DDT. Shamrock walks the cage again to escape a chokehold and reverses into the ankle lock! Severn refuses to throw in the towel and Owen has to tap at 9:14. This was so much better than it had any right to be, **ĺ.
Winner: Ken Shamrock
-Michael Cole interviews WWF Champion Steve Austin backstage. Austin respects Undertaker but heís willing to take any cheap shot necessary to hang on to the gold.
WWF Tag Team Championship (Falls Count Anywhere):
Mankind © vs. The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg)
Mankindís partner, Kane, is MIA, so heís going it alone. The Outlaws bring a dumpster to ringside, but Mankind fights them off with his steel tray. Gunn and Mankind joust with steel chairs, but the numbers game catches up with Foley. The dumpster is full of weapons and Foley ends up taking several ill-advised shots to the head. Mankind dumps Gunn over the ropes so he can deal with one Outlaw at a time, but the double team continues at ringside. Mankind hip tosses Gunn into a table but the Outlaws strike back with a neck breaker combo. They power bomb Foley onto two standing chairs for only a 2 count! A spike piledriver onto a title belt ends the massacre at 5:16. Unnecessarily violent little match here, *Ĺ.
Winners and new WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws
-The Outlaws decide to celebrate by putting Mankind into the dumpster. The celebration continues, but Kane emerges from the dumpster wielding a sledgehammer. Kane appears to be crushing Mankind with the hammer while the Outlaws scurry from the arena. What a twist.
Intercontinental Championship (Ladder match):
The Rock © (with Mark Henry) vs. Triple H (with Chyna)
The DX band is here to play Triple H to the ring, and they sound horrible. They slug it out and block each otherís finishers. They brawl up and down the aisle, fighting for control of the ladder. Rock is the first to set the ladder up for the climb, but HHH knocks him down with a flying ax handle. HHH swings the ladder at Rock and cracks it over his ribs. Rock pulls HHH off the ladder, aggravating his knee injury in the process. Rock viciously works over the knee, using the ladder to add further punishment. Rock bridges the ladder on the barricade and ring steps for a disgusting atomic drop variation. Rock nearly gets the belt, but HHH limps in to knock him down. Rock gets the better of HHH on the floor, countering the Pedigree with a back drop onto the ladder. Henry passes a sturdy second ladder to Rock, but Chyna helps HHH back to the ring. Chyna knocks down Henry, and HHH shoves Rock off the ladder yet again. Triple H baseball slides the new ladder into Rockís face, busting him open. HHH climbs, but is unceremoniously knocked back down. They both reach the top but Rock shoves HHH off into another ladder, but HHH uses his momentum to bounce back and knock Rock down. Chyna hands Triple H a chair, allowing him to hammer the ladder into Rockís chest. Rock slams Triple H onto a ladder and delivers the Peoplesí Elbow! HHH gets caught in the Rock Bottom! Rock climbs but HHH pulls him down by the tights and hits the Pedigree! HHH has powder thrown into his eyes by Henry, but he tries to climb anyway. Rock meets HHH at the top but Chyna runs in for the low blow! HHH retrieves the title at 26:00! This was a deliberate brawl rather than a crazy spot-fest, which worked well for these two guys, ****.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Triple H
-Exclusive home video footage shows Rock limping to the back and refusing medical attention. Rock cuts a promo for the camera. No matter what Triple H does, Rock is still the Peoplesí champ!
Stone Cold Steve Austin © vs. The Undertaker
For 1998, this is the ultimate WWF main event pairing. Neither man shows any fear as they trade shots. True to his word, Austin pulls the tights for a roll-up, and applies a hammerlock. Taker fights back with a suplex but misses an elbow drop. Austinís momentum is halted when Taker hangs him in the ropes. Undertaker picks apart Austinís back. Stone Cold retaliates by working over the knee. Austin pulls Taker off the ropes and stomps a mud hole when Kane appears. Taker orders Kane to leave, which he surprisingly does. Taker halts Austinís momentum with a choke slam. Austin recovers and directs the brawl into the stands. Undertaker hits a back drop on the concrete! Back to the ring, Undertaker blocks the Stunner and drives Austin spine-first into the ring post. Taker sets Austin on the Spanish announce table and delivers a flying leg drop! The table didnít break! Undertaker can smell victory, but Austin is showing signs of life. They both go down after duel clotheslines. Austin starts throwing bombs and lands the Thesz press! They have a miscue where a Stunner counter results in a goofy neck breaker. Taker nails a choke slam and leg sweep and is ready to finish it. Taker walks the ropes but Austin delivers a low blow and Stunner for the win at 20:47. It wasnít always pretty, but this was a classic Attitude Era main event featuring two of the top guys at the height of their popularity, ***Ĺ.
Winner and still WWF Champion: Steve Austin
-Undertaker shows Austin respect by handing him the WWF title. Austin is left alone to celebrate, but Kane appears by Takerís side and they stare the champion down.
Final Thoughts: This show encompasses everything that people loved about the Attitude Era. Austin, Undertaker, Rock, DX, Mankind, and Kane all felt fresh and exciting during this time. This is a start to finish enjoyable show, big thumbs up here.
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