Thursday, 23 May 2019

PPV Review: WWF Over The Edge 1999

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - In Memory of Owen Hart
May 23rd, 1999
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri, United States.

Honestly, I've been dreading this one. 

Since I first set out to review every WWF/WWE PPV between Wrestlemania 1 and Wrestlemania 30, I knew a day would come when I'd have to make a difficult decision:

Do I review WWF Over the Edge 1999 or not?

As we started working our way through Attitude Era reviews, I spent a lot of time thinking about this one event. I even mentioned it in my Over the Edge 1998 review.

Part of me wanted to skip over it. Yes, I'd set up to review *every* PPV, but surely nobody would blame me for leaving this one out. I felt that to review it might be disrespectful to the memory of one of my all-time favourite performers:

2 Time Slammy Award-Winning King of Harts, The Rocket Owen Hart.

It was on this show that Owen lost his life.

He went into the arena expecting to entertain the fans as only he could, to go onto Raw, and then probably to go home and see his wife and children. Instead, the Kemper Arena would be the last place Owen would end up going whilst he still drew breath.

I feel very emotional just writing that and, if I'm honest with you, I think that's the real reason that I didn't want to do this review.

I just didn't want to deal without how upset it was going to make me. Indeed, how upset it *is* making me before we've even rung the opening bell.

I loved Owen about as much as its possible for a fan of pro wrestling to love a pro wrestler. So far, I've reviewed 15 years' worth of pro wrestling pay per views and I can say with no amount of hyperbole that Owen's performance was always one of the highlights of any show he happened to be on.

The King of Harts always made me smile, and it's for this reason that I ultimately decided to go ahead and write the review.

The more I think about it, the more I think it's disrespectful to Owen's legacy if I leave this one out because to leave it out would be to pretend like it never happened. It would basically mean just skipping over it, not acknowledging the fact that Owen Hart literally gave his life to make fans like me smile one last time and not taking the time to pay tribute to him.

So I'll write the review in tribute to, and out of respect for, Owen.

Regular Retro Pro Wrestling readers will know that this is usually the part of the review where I stick some ads. There'll be no advertising in this review. This is simply a review of the show, and a tribute to one of the greatest of all time.

With that, let's head to the Kemper Arena for Over the Edge 1999.

Am I Evil? Yes I am

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross
We began tonight's show with one of the company's typically stylish opening videos. This one featured The Undertaker hanging around a bunch of fire and using as many different adjectives as he could possibly think of to tell us how evil he was.

Honestly, the whole video lasted about a minute, but it felt like 'Taker used the word 'evil' at least a hundred times.

The point of all this was that Evil Undertaker was promising to beat Stone Cold Steve Austin for the title, not because he was a better wrestler but because he was -you guessed it- very, very evil.

This took us to our commentators, Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler. The iconic duo reminded us of what just happened in the main event of Sunday Night Heat:

Vince McMahon took on Mideon (seriously) by orders of Shane McMahon, which had resulted in Vince getting beaten up to the point of being injured.

Vince and Shane were both supposed to be the special guest referees for the Undertaker vs. Stone Cold main event, so Shane's reasoning here was that if he could render Vince unable to perform his referring duties then he (Shane) could be the sole referee and help Corporate Ministry leader The Undertaker to win the title.

With that, it was down to the ring for our opening contest.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Kane & X-Pac vs. D'lo Brown & Mark Henry (w/ Ivory)

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - X-Pac teamed with Kane to face Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown
Remember that time when Kane & X-Pac were one of the hottest acts on the card and rumours flew around that The Big Red Machine would start wearing green and black?

That was kind of fun, right?

Probably more fun than this long opening match which failed to ever come out of second gear.

Though not bad, it could have benefited from being at least five minutes shorter.

The sole highlight was Kane leaping off the top rope onto D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry on the outside.

Speaking of Kane, it was his chokeslam to Henry (who for reasons that I forget was wearing suit pants and shoes) that won the match.
Your Winners and Still Tag Team Champions: Kane & X-Pac 

Out in the back, Michael Cole promised that he'd give us more information about Vince McMahon's condition as soon as we had it.

Pierre isn't Real

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Kevin Kelly interviews Hardcore Holly
Next, we went to Kevin Kelly, who was standing by for an interview with Hardcore Holly.

In preparation for his upcoming Hardcore Title match, Holly reminded reigning champion, Al Snow, that his 'friends' Pierre and Head were not real, but that the beating he was about to give Snow definitely was.

This started off as a strong promo for Holly, but halfway through it felt as though he completely forgot what he was supposed to say. Either that, or he was running on a finite amount of charisma that dried up as he spoke.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow (w/ Head) vs. Hardcore Holly 

In case you'd forgotten, Pierre was a stuffed reindeer head that Snow had been carrying around with him.

Holly had destroyed the reindeer on Raw, but Al brought it with him anyway and used it to waffle his opponent in the opening moments of the match.

From there, we got your typical WWF hardcore match with an obligatory brawl out into the concession stands. There, champ and challenger proceeded to throw funnel cake and popcorn at each other, selling the deadly food items like they were Triple H's sledgehammer.

Though not quite on a par with the creativity of their earlier effort back at XX, this bit was at least mildly entertaining.

Sadly, once they both got back to the ring, all the life seemed to just drain out of both the competitors and the live crowd.

After a few more minutes of not very much happening, the champion powerbombed his opponent through a table, fell, head-first into Holly's nuts, and got the three count.
Your Winner and still WWF Hardcore Champion: Al Snow 

Out in the back, Michael Cole interviewed Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, who confirmed that an ambulance had been sent for Mr. McMahon. Patterson was convinced that McMahon's ankle was broken, but Brisco didn't seem quite as concerned.

Mixed Tag Team Match
Jeff Jarrett & World Wrestling Federation Women's Champion Debra vs. Al Snow & Nicole Bass

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Debra teamed with Jeff Jarrett to face Al Snow & Nicole Bass
Despite her being the WWF Women's Champion, JR told us that this was Debra's first actual match.

Was this the first time in history that somebody had been a pro wrestling champion before their debut match?

Here, the southern beauty teamed up with Jeff Jarrett to take on the unique paring of Val Venis and Nicole Bass.

Anyway, this one wasn't altogether too bad.

Naturally, Venis and Jarrett did the bulk of the work, while the inevitable cat-and-mouse between Debra and Nicole actualy proving to be reasonably entetaining.

At one point, the women's champion even struck her larger foe with Jarrett's guitar, but that wasn't enough to get the job done.

After a few minutes of decent action, Val flew off the top with the Money Shot and picked up the win for his team.
Your Winners: Val Venis & Nicole Bass

Post-match, Nicole woman-handled Val and gave him a long, deep kiss. Despite being clearly violated, the wrestling porn star seemed to very much enjoy having Nicole's tongue down his throat.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Mr. McMahon was shown being taken away on a stretcher whilst Shane McMahon mocked him.

D-O-G-G or P-U-SS?

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Mr Ass faced Road Dogg
Up next, former New Age Outlaws partners Road Dogg and Mr. Ass would go at it.

Backstage, Road Dogg cut a garbled promo in which he didn't really say anything but did manage to spell out the word 'puss,' inferring that while he was the D-O-G-G, his former partner was, yes, a pussy.

In response, Mr. Ass told Kevin Kelly that he'd spent the past few years carrying Road Dogg 'like a bad case of the clap but all of that was now over.

Although Road Dogg's promo wasn't great, this was actually compelling stuff that got you interested in seeing these two go at it.

Road Dogg vs. Mr. Ass 

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Bad Ass Billy Gunn vs. Road Dogg
A lot had happened to Jesse James and Billy Gunn since they were two lower midcarders battling it out just to get noticed back at In Your House: In Your House 14: Revenge of Taker. Since then, the two had teamed up, dominated the tag team scene, and become one of the most popular acts of the Attitude Era.

Now, they were once again going their separate ways, with Gunn leaving DX, changing his name to Mr. Ass, and becoming a baddie.

Though both men no doubt did their best, this came across as a terribly bland match with not much to offer.

After a disappointing effort, Mr. Ass hit the Fameasser for the three count.
Your Winner: Billy Gunn 

Out in the back, Shane McMahon told Michael Cole that, as the sole referee for the main event, he would call things right down the middle.

There was a noticably sombre feeling to this segment.

Eight Man Elimination Match
The Corporate Ministry (The Big Boss Man, Farooq, Bradshaw, and Viscera) vs. The Union (Mankind, Ken Shamrock, Test, and The Big Show)

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Big Boss Man works over Big Show
Right from the early going, it was pretty obvious that nobody wanted to be out there for this fairly average, Survivor Series style elimination match.

Not that the eight combatants didn't put any effort in.

The short-lived Union stable and the Corporate Ministry's answer to the nWo B-Team did at least look like they were trying, but by now the tragic event seemed to have cast a grim cloud over the entire night and took any enjoyment right out of this one.

After a decent effort, sole survivor Mankind slapped Mr. Socko down Big Boss Man's throat to pick up the win and bring this passable contest to a close.
Your Winner and sole survivor: Mankind 

Up next, we got the same promo package for Triple H vs. The Rock that we'd already seen about five times since Sunday Night Heat started a few hours ago.

This was supposed to lead into an interview with The Rock, but Chyna came out to distract him, allowing Triple H to attack The Great One from behind.

Mankind came to the rescue, but he too took a beating for his troubles.

Triple H (w/ Chyna) vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock
For the record, I always loved the theme Triple H was using around this time.

This wasn't as good as the all-out war Rock and Triple H had in their ladder match back at Summerslam 1998, but then it was never going to be.

That Summerslam match had been in a league of its own but whilst this wasn't quite on the same level, it was at least the best match on the card so far.

The two went at it in a good Attitude Era brawl which ended when Hunter got mad at Earl Hebner because Hebner had prevented Hunter from using a steel chair.

The former DX leader took his cues from X-Pac's theme music and knocked out the ref.

A few seconds later, Earl called for the bell and this one was over.
Your Winner via Disqualification: The Rock

Except it wasn't. The Rock got back up and beat Triple H to a bloody pulp. When Chyna got involved, Mankind ran out to even the odds.

I've a feeling The Rock 'n' Sock connection wasn't too far away from being a thing.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)
Special Referee: Shane McMahon 

WWE / WWF Over the Edge 1999 - The Undertaker won the WWF title for a third time
Before the match got underway, Pat Patterson came out to take Vince McMahon's place as the co-referee, but he got chokeslammed by The Undertaker and was hauled out by Brisco and Sgt. Slaughter.

From there, we got your typical Stone Cold main event - a whole lot of brawling with the obligatory trip up to the entrance way- coupled with plenty of time spent attacking Undertaker's leg.

Like Rock/HHH before it, this was one of the better uotings on the card but still lacked a certain something, likely for very obvious reasons.

Despite not being as good as other Stone Cold main events, this was still the best that it could have been given the circumstances. It ended when Shane pulled a predictable fast-count to give The Undertaker his third WWF title.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Undertaker

Afterwards, The Corporate Ministry ran in but all got stunnered for their troubles.

------------------

So, that was that. 

Now that I've worked my way through Over the Edge 1999 I have no desire to ever do so again, not just because of the sadness that comes from remembering this was the night that Owen Hart died, but because none of the matches were particuarly exciting. 

Given the circumstances, that's entirely understandable. Please note that I'm not complaining about Over the Edge benig a bad show, or even necessarily saying it *was* a bad show. 

It was a group of wrestlers doing their best to simply get to the end of the event under very difficult circumstances, and for that, I have to commend them.

I tell you what though, I sure do miss Owen. 



1999 events reviewed so far


Other Over the Edge reviews


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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.