WWF Title: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane vs. The Undertaker, Steel Cage Match: Ken Shamrock vs. The Rock vs. Mankind, D-Generation X vs. Southern Justice, Falls Count Anywhere: Vader vs.... See full summary »
WWF Title: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane vs. The Undertaker, Steel Cage Match: Ken Shamrock vs. The Rock vs. Mankind, D-Generation X vs. Southern Justice, Falls Count Anywhere: Vader vs. Bradshaw, Owen Hart vs. Edge, The J.O.B. Squad vs. Too Much, D'Lo Brown vs. Gangrel, Marc Mero vs. Darren Drozdov Written by
Slight drop in standard, but some good with the bad
Austin lost the title to.... no one. The Rock won a No.1 contender's match that was cancelled out by the end of the show, Vader wrestled his final PPV match in the WWE, while Gangrel and Christian made their PPV debuts on a decent show.
The night started off with a match that sounds good on paper: Owen Hart vs Edge. But Edge in 1998 was not the Edge that would be arguably WWE's best worker in later years. They go back and forth for most, but in the end it's a random appearance at ringside by Edge's soon to be tag partner Christian, making his first appearance in the WWE, that distracts Edge and enables Owen to pin him.
Next up saw Al Snow, partnered by Scorpio, continue his rivalry with Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor in a tag match. Snow is eventually able to clobber Taylor with head in a low blow unseen by the ref and get the pin. A bit of revenge for Too Much's astonishingly screwy victory over Snow and head at an earlier PPV.
Our next match disappointingly didn't include Sable as Marc Mero, accompanied by Jacqueline defeated Droz. Poor Droz, featured in the 1999 documentary "Under the Mat" as Puke, would go on to become a quadriplegic after an horrendous in ring accident in a match with D Lo Brown. Here he lost to an out of favour Marc Mero, a sure sign the WWE had no big plans for him.
This was followed by the final chapter (to my knowledge) of Vader's astonishing fall from prominence since headlining Summerslam just two years prior as he lost to future WWE Champion, but current lower mid carder Bradshaw in an uneventful Fall Count Anywhere match following a clothesline from hell.
The next match saw D Lo Brown in action and defeating Gangrel in a poor match. I could never get into Gangrel. D Lo had good nights and bad nights, but needed a decent opponent to have a decent match.
After all of the filler, we now came to the first big match of the night with The Rock, Ken Shamrock and Mankind going at it in a steel cage match to determine the No.1 contendership. The match ends with the Rock pinning Shamrock as Mankind attempts to climb out of the cage. The Rock was still leader of the Nation of Domination at this stage, but the crowd is clearly starting to get behind him. This was also the match that more or less kicked off the Rock vs Mankind feud that would dominate the summer months, make the WWE millions and millions of dollars and pull some of the highest ratings in the so called Monday Night War.
Nest match was another filler one as Dustin Runnels, with his preacher gimmick fought Val Venis, accompanied by Runnels' wife Terri and lost. This was not a particularly good match, but looking back on these, Venis was a better worker than I remember him being. Not to say he was great, or even good, but he knew what he was doing.
Next match saw DX defeat Jeff Jarrett and Southern Comfort in a six man tag match. Nothing really memorable.
This left the main event in which Steve Austin put his WWE Title on the line against his two biggest threats: Kane and the Undertaker. The story here was that Kane and the Undertaker could only win by pinning Austin, while Austin could pin either. Jim Ross called it a "glorified handicap match." After stopping each other from pinning Austin several times, and having Austin nearly beat them as a result, Kane and Undertaker choke slammed Austin and pinned him simultaneously. McMahon came to ringside and grabbed the belt, saying he didn't care who won, Austin had lost and the belt was his. So how to sort out this mess. Guess we'd wait until Judgment Day to find out.
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