Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 6 December 2018

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1998

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Event poster
November 15, 1998
Kiel Center, St. Louis, Missouri

It had been one year and six days since the world of professional wrestling had changed forever. 

On that day, back at Survivor Series 1997, Vince McMahon had screwed Bret 'The Hitman' Hart out of the World Wrestling Federation Championship in the controversial finish to Hart/Michaels II.

Twelve months down the line, The Hitman was floundering as just another name down in World Championship Wrestling and Shawn Michaels was sitting at home nursing the back injury that would keep him out of active competition for years.

Only Vince McMahon was still around, having used the Montreal Screwjob  as the catalyst to create the evil Mr. McMahon character.

Tonight, on the one year anniversary (sort of), of that industry-changing event, McMahon was at his diabolical best as the sinister mastermind of a plot to crown his Chosen One as the new WWF Champion.

That championship had been vacant since In Your House 24: Breakdown, after both Kane and The Undertaker had pinned then-champion Stone Cold Steve Austin at the same time.

The Brothers of Destruction had then met at In Your House 25: Judgement Day  to try and determine which one of them could claim to be the champion, but since Austin had screwed them both out of that one, McMahon had created a tournament to crown the new champion.

That tournament was happening tonight, on the first Survivor Series event to feature no traditional elimination matches.

It's a Deadly Game

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 - Jerry 'The King' Lawler & Jim Ross
And so the 12th annual Survivor Series got underway with one of the WWF's typically dramatic opening video packages.

This one looked at each the combatants in tonight's tournament whilst a sombre voiceover told us about the kind of epic sacrifices these valiant warriors would make.

As always, this was followed by the usual opening gambit from The Voices of the Attitude Era - Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

The two reminded us that tonight's tournament was indeed a deadly game (narrator: it wasn't, it was a pro wrestling show) before being interrupted by the arrival of Mr. McMahon

Mr McMahon Introduces Mankind's Mystery Opponent

As part of his efforts to play Puppet Master and orchestrate the entire tournament, Vince McMahon, flanked by Pat Patterson, Gerald Briscoe, and his bodyguard, The Big Boss Man, introduced us first to WWF Hardcore Champion Mankind.

Back to being Mr McMahon's plaything, Mankind arrived freshly shaven under his mask and wearing a tuxedo.

He looked like the kind of fake Mankind you might find at a low-rent indie show.

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Duane Gill's PPV debut
McMahon next promised to reveal the advertised mystery opponent, eliciting a loud "HBK! HBK!" chant from the live audience.

Man were they ever about to be disappointed.

Instead of a returning Shawn Michaels, Vince revealed that Mankind's first-round opponent was, in fact, Duane Gill, the life-long jobber and future Gillberg who had apparently returned to the WWF after two years on the shelf.

The crowd were furious, but you couldn't help but love McMahon's over-the-top introduction, telling us that Gill had a "win-loss record like no other" and generally putting him over as some kind of main event calibre superstar.

I don't care what you say, that was good stuff.

WWF Championship Tournament First Round Match
WWF Hardcore Champion Mankind vs. Duane Gill

As you might expect, Mankind destroyed Gill in about a minute, rolled him up and pinned him.
Your Winner: Mankind

"Was that a real match?" asked Lawler, echoing the thoughts of everyone who watched it.

"Sure was!" quipped Ross in response.

Sable is Pissed Off

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Kevin Kelly interviews Sable
Out in the back, Sable was found nursing her head with an ice pack after being attacked by Jacqueline earlier on Sunday Night Heat.

Kevin Kelly suggested to the blonde bombshell that said attack would have knocked her off her game.

"Knocked me off my game!?!" yelled Sable. "She didn't knock me off my game, she pissed me off!"

Channelling her anger into something productive, she then promised to beat Jacqueline for the Women's Championship later on in the show.

WWF Championship Tournament First Round Match
Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra McMichael) vs. Al Snow (w/ Head)

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Debra McMichael leads Jeff Jarrett into battle
It's funny, I don't remember Debra McMichael using her last name in the World Wrestling Federation.

But there you go, and here she is, being introduced with her surname in what would be her first WWF PPV appearance.

Here, the former Queen of WCW led her man Jeff Jarrett into a short yet fairly enjoyable bout against Al Snow, ending when Snow drilled Jarrett with Head to bag the victory.
Your Winner: Al Snow

Up next, it was time for The Rattle Snake.

WWF Championship Tournament First Round Match
The Big Boss Man vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

From the moment Big Boss Man stepped through the curtain, Jim Ross began telegraphing the ending by speculating whether Vince McMahon's Head of Security was in it to win it, or simply to hurt Steve Austin as much as possible on behalf of his boss.

Following a few minutes of typical Austin brawling, it turned out to be the latter; Boss Man grabbed his nightstick and destroyed Stone Cold, ultimately eliminating himself from the competition.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Post-match. Boss Man continued his assault, battering Austin with the nightstick until cameras cut to McMahon's dressing room.

There, surrounded by his stooges, the boss was asked whether he was concerned that Steve Austin had advanced in the tournament.

Ever the devious heel, Vince merely laughed and claimed that the night was still young, with plenty more in store for Steve Austin.

WWF Championship Tournament First Round Match
WWF European Champion X-Pac vs. Stephen Regal

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Real Man's Man Stephen Regal faced X-Pac
He's a man...Such a man!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Real Man's Man Stephen Regal was making his WWF PPV debut, appearing on his first PPV for any company since WCW World War 3 1997.

At first, Regal looked a little lost without being able to rely on his "Blueblood Snob" mannerisms that he had used so well throughout his career, but he and X-Pac soon settled into a groove to give us the best match of the night so far.

The majority of the contest saw Regal in control before the action took a tumble to the outside and brawled past the ten count.
Double Countout

Rather than let Austin get a by to the next round, Vince ordered the match to go on for an extra five minutes, but apparently, X-Pac couldn't continue, so that was scrapped and Austin got the by anyway.

WWF Championship Tournament First Round Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock vs. Goldust

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock
Can I just tell you now that I hate reviewing tournaments?

Already this feels like the never-ending nightmare that was Wrestlemania 4 all over again.

It doesn't help that this match was deathly dull. It was basically Ken Shamrock holding Goldust in a chinlock for five minutes before putting him in the ankle lock.
Your Winner: Ken Shamrock

Out in the back, Michael Cole told us that Steve Austin had refused medical attention before suggesting that no matter beat up he was, Austin would find a way to make it to his semi-final match.

WWF Championship Tournament First Round Match
The Rock vs. Triple H The Big Boss Man

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Big Boss Man
So, this was supposed to be a rematch from The Rock and Triple H's epic outing at Summerslam 1998, but instead, Pat Patterson and Gerald Briscoe came out to inform us that Hunter wasn't here tonight and thus a replacement had been found.

That replacement?

The Big Boss Man.

Boss Man entered the ring for the second time that evening but was immediately rolled up into a small package and pinned.
Your Winner: The Rock

Big Boss Man was obviously irate, but alas, Rock was through for a match with Ken Shamrock in the quarterfinals.

WWF Championship Tournament Quarter Final Match
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kane

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - The Undertaker vs. KaneIn October 1997, in this very same arena, Kane had made his debut, interfering in The Undertaker's Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels at Badd Blood: In Your House.

A lot had changed in the intervening 13 months.

The two had been at war, facing off at Wrestlemania 14 and Unforgiven: In Your House.

They had also -briefly- been allies, and now were sworn enemies again, this time with Paul Bearer having abandoned Kane to return to The Undertaker's side.

This was one of the better matches The Brothers of Destruction would have with each other over the years - a hard-hitting, reasonably paced brawl with a lot to enjoy.

The end came when Bearer distracted Kane, allowing Undertaker to drop his brother on his head with a Tombstone.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

Afterwards, Kane took out his frustrations by blasting the referee.

WWF Championship Tournament Quarter Final Match
WWF Hardcore Champion Mankind vs. Al Snow

Mr McMahon had apparently stolen Mr Socko and wrapped it around Head, leaving Mankind to find it in this match.

That was the big story that overshadowed anything Foley and Snow did together, though that's probably because nothing Foley and Snow did together was all that entertaining.

Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a bad match in and of itself. It was perfectly fine for what it was, it's just that what it was, was basically filler, a necessary stop-gap to get us where we needed to be in the overall story dominating the show.

After a couple of minutes of not very much happening, Mick retrieved Socko from Head, slapped it in Al Snow's mouth, and won the match.
Your Winner: Mankind

Moving on...

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - The Rock gets squeezed by Ken ShamrockWWF Championship Tournament Quarter Final Match
Ken Shamrock vs. The Rock

These two had battled throughout 1998, including memorable outings at Wrestlemania 14 and Royal Rumble 1998.

If this wasn't the best of their outings, it was certainly up there - outshining Regal/Pac and Taker/Kane for Match of the Night So Far honours and getting the crowd right on the edge of their feet.

After a thrilling, dramatic war, Big Boss Man (who had appeared in the final minutes) hopped up on the apron to throw his nightstick to Shamrock.

Rock intercepted, drilled his opponent, and when the referee turned around again, this one was over.
Your Winner: The Rock

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Michael Cole interviews Paul BearerOut in the back, Paul Bearer promised Michael Cole that The Undertaker would beat The Rock en route to becoming our new WWF Champion.

World Wrestling Federation Women's Championship
WWF Women's Champion Jacqueline (w/ Marc Mero) vs. Sable

Even as a horny 14-year-old (as I was in 1998) I never really saw Sable's appeal. Sure, she was a good looking woman, but she wasn't a patch on Sunny, nor did she have Sunny's enormous charisma and personality.

Still, I must have been in the minority because the future Mrs. Lesnar was one of the hottest acts in the company at this time, spending most of her year in a war with Jacqueline and Marc Mero.

After losing out on the title the first time these two met for it, Sable had another chance tonight and took it in what was a surprisingly decent match.

No, it wasn't a classic, but it was kept short and sweet, and it was entertaining for the most part.

Somewhat predictably, Sable landed the Sablebomb to become champion.

Also of note here was that Shane McMahon was the referee, having been demoted to this "lowly" position by his father as punishment for signing Austin to a new, iron-clad five-year contract.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Women's Champion: Sable

Up next, more Stone Cold.

WWF Championship Tournament Semi-Final Match
Mankind vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

This was fantastic.

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Stone Cold Steve Austin
Like a shorter version of the wild main events they had at Unforgiven and Over The Edge, this was Mick and Austin at their best, albeit with the added twist that Vince McMahon and his gang were there the whole time.

For the most part, they let the two combatants get on with having another awesome match, but then when the finish came, Vince and Co were all over it.

Austin hit a stunner and looked to have the match won, but Vince lept into the ring and beat up the referee.

Austin stayed in charge and made another cover. This time, Shane ran in, but instead of counting to three, got to two, flipped Austin the bird, then ran off.

Gerald Brisco then hit Stone Cold with the weakest chair shot in known history, a third referee came in, and this one was over.
Your Winner: Mankind

Afterwards, the two McMahons, Slaughter, Patterson and Briscoe ran (well, lightly jogged) off, jumped in a limo and sped away.

To catch then, Stone Cold committed grand theft auto, throwing another man out of his car, hijacking it, and speeding off.

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler then tried to wrap their heads around the idea that Shane McMahon had signed Austin to a five-year contract just to turn on him.

Like the rest of us, they couldn't figure it out either.

Welcome to the Attitude Era, ladies and gentlemen.

WWF Championship Tournament Semi-Final Match
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - The UndertakerIf this had been an advertised marquee match on any other PPV, you have to believe that Rock and 'Taker would have delivered.

As it was, they were here, in an unadvertised bout designed to further a storyline, and whilst it didn't suck, it was very underwhelming considering what you might expect from these two.

Possibly the sole highlight was Rock calling Paul Bearer a "big fat piece of shit."

The finish saw Kane come out and chokeslam The Rock in front of Earl Hebner, costing his brother the match via disqualification.
Your Winner via DQ: The Rock

Post-match, The Undertaker sought revenge on his brother for costing him a place in the finals by beating him all the way through the arena and out into the crowd.

Mick is Ready

Out in the back, Mankind told Michael Cole that he was ready to conquer the one last obstacle that stood in his way of becoming WWF Champion - The Rock.

World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championship Triple Threat
WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) vs. Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - The New Age Outlaws
This was a unique match type that I don't think I've seen anywhere else before or since.

Rather than your standard triple threat tag in which two men wrestled and could tag anyone from any team, each of the three teams had a man in the ring at once, making it like a normal triple threat match with tag partners.

Early on, JR told us that The Outlaw Rule (banning tag team partners from pinning each other) was in effect.

This was the rule that prevented tag team partners from pinning each other.

In other words, it stopped Road Dogg and Billy Gunn from pulling the same trick they used on an episode of Raw over the summer. I could've sworn that was on a PPV, but all my research proves otherwise.

Anyway, the rules resulted in Road Dogg playing Ricky Morton for almost the entire match before Billy Gunn pulled a Fameasser from the same place RKOs come from, and won the match.

Overall, this was pretty decent, but it doesn't take a wrestling genius to know that this was designed to simply get the crowd warmed and ready for the main event.
Your Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws

Post-match, Billy Gunn pulled his trunks down and flashed his ass. Who did he think he was? Shawn Michaels?

The McMahons are Back

Prior to our tournament final, we were shown that Vince and Shane were back in the arena, bidding goodnight to The Big Boss Man.

World Wrestling Federation Championship Tournament Final
Mankind vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF Survivor Series 1998 Deadly Game - Vince McMahon celebrates with new WWF Champion The Rock
As both men sized each other up, Ross assured us that even though there was no time limit, we'd stay with the match as long as it went on.

"Yeah, you'll get to see all of this pay per view," quipped Lawler.
"King, that's not nice," Ross replied. "Making fun of the less fortunate."

This was, of course, a joke at WCW's expense after Halloween Havoc 1998 ran long and half of the Goldberg/DDP main event was cut off from the broadcast.

That aside, this was an absolutely fantastic main event, with the two pulling out all the stops to create a wild, chaotic brawl that really worked on every level.

Showing flashes of the violent brilliance that would later be the hallmark of their Royal Rumble '99 classic, Rock and Mankind went back and forth inside and outside of the ring until Rock slapped on the Sharpshooter and Vince pulled Montreal Redux.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Champion: The Rock

The post-match celebrations were almost as long as the match itself.

Vince revealed that he, Shane, and McMahon had been in cahoots the whole time before The Rock basically told the audience to kiss his ass.

From there, Mankind expressed his bewilderment at how he could have lost the match without submitting, leading The Rock to blast poor Mick over the head with the title.

Finally, Austin ran out for the big hoorah, blasting both Rock and Mankind with stunners to end the show on a high note.

I know I claimed that watching this was starting to feel like watching Wrestlemania 4 all over again. That's because, in some parts, it was. 

Tournaments just make a show seem longer than it is, and at times it was gruelling to sit through it.

However, you can't fault the impeccable storytelling that went on right from the opening match to the final Austin run-in. That, combined with some awesome wrestling (the main event, Shamrock/Rock and Undertaker/Kane among others) made this one of the company's best pay per views of the year.

For saying this was the first Survivor Series ever to feature no elimination tag matches, it was actually one of the best Survivor Series shows ever too. 

A great watch and worth tracking down. 

1998 events reviewed so far
  1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1998 
  2. WCW - Souled Out 1998
  3. WWF - In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas 
  4. WCW - Superbrawl 1998
  5. WCW - Uncensored 1998 
  6. WWF - Wrestlemania 14 
  7. WCW Spring Stampede 1998
  8. WWF - In Your House 21: Unforgiven
  9. WCW Slamboree 1998
  10. WWF - In Your House 22: Over The Edge
  11. WCW Great American Bash 1998 
  12. WWF - King of the Ring 1998
  13. WCW - Bash at the Beach 1998 
  14. WWF - In Your House 23: Fully Loaded 
  15. WCW - Road Wild 1998
  16. WWF - Summerslam 1998
  17. WCW - Fall Brawl 1998
  18. WWF - In Your House 24: Breakdown
  19. WWF - In Your House 25: Judgement Day 
  20. WCW - Halloween Havoc 1998
Other WWF Survivor Series reviews: 
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    Thursday, 29 November 2018

    PPV REVIEW: WCW Halloween Havoc 1998

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Event poster
    October 25, 1998 
    MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada

    To this day, the first Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior contests remains one of pro wrestling's most talked about matches. 

    The main event of Wrestlemania VI, the match is memorable not only for being a bayface vs. babyface match at a time when such things were rare in the World Wrestling Federation, and not only because it put the Intercontinental Champion up against the WWF Champion.

    Mainly, it's so well remembered because it saw two larger-than-life superheroes collide in a dramatic, captivating battle for the ages, a compelling, well-told story that stands the test of time almost thirty years later.

    On that night in April 1990, the stars had aligned and Hogan and Warrior had managed to create history together in the best possible sense of the term.

    Now, eight years later, things were radically different.

    Hogan was now a fully-fledged heel, riding a new wave of momentum as the crooked, cowardly leader of the New World Order. As for the Warrior, he'd just about stripped the last semblance of logic and sanity out of his character and was now an unhinged caricature of the man he'd been back in 1990.

    As for their in-ring performance, while neither man had been renowned for their athletic prowess (at least not on an American stage), both were now past their prime and arguably hadn't put on a good match in years.

    Still, there was money to be made in a Hogan/Warrior rematch and tonight, eight years down the line, in a different company, we got that rematch.

    Hogan vs. Warrior II

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, Tony Schiavone, and Iron Mike TenayTonight's show began with a reminder of the ridiculous build to Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. (Ultimate) Warrior, including that time Warrior appeared in Ho Kogan's mirror to frighten him and other such nonsense.

    That took us to an introduction from Tony Schiavone and his broadcast colleagues Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Iron Mike Tenay.

    With the Hogan/Warrior match the only thing on anyone's mind, Schiavone reminded us that Bobby Heenan had been there eight years ago when the two had previously met back at Wrestlemania 6.

    From there, it was down to Mean Gene Okerlund for an interview with Rick Steiner.

    Buff Has Rick's Back

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Buff Bagwell begs Rick Steiner to let him be in Rick's corner against Scott Steiner
    The Dog Faced Gremlin told us that his match against Scott Steiner (a do-over of the abomination that took place that the previous month's Fall Brawl 1998) was not about Brother vs. Brother but simply about him kicking Big Poppa Pump's ass.

    That brought out former Steiner sidekick Buff Bagwell, who declared that he had severed all ties with Scott and the nWo and wanted to watch Rick's back tonight in order to stick it to that no-good Scott.

    Abiding by the First Law of Pro Wrestling, which states that all babyfaces are naturally gullible and a bit dumb, The Dog Faced Gremlin said he was happy to have Buff in his corner.

    I wouldn't say this opening segment was highly entertaining, but it served its purpose.

    World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship Raven's Rules Match
    WCW World TV Champion Chris Jericho vs. Raven

    What was entertaining, however, was the opening setup to tonight's match.

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Raven says he can't be bothered challenging Chris Jericho for the TV title
    Previously unadvertised, Raven took to the microphone to declare that since he'd been given no notice of this match, he didn't feel much like competing and was going to leave.

    After Mike Tenay quite rightly questioned why anybody would just walk out on a title shot because they didn't feel like wrestling, Chris Jericho got on the mic to declare that he didn't feel much like competing either, but that he owed it to the Jerichoholics.

    Pretending to praise the former ECW star, Jericho called Raven a loser, which prompted the challenger to rush the ring and get the match underway.

    And what a match it was.

    Though relatively short, this was one of the best matches Raven would have in WCW, with an explosive start and a rabid crowd all the way through to the finish.

    Speaking of the finish, that came when Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho and Raven, who had owned up to being on a losing streak, quickly tapped out.
    Your Winner and Still WCW TV Champion: Chris Jericho

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - With Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan boasts about tonight's match with Warrior
    After Jericho had gone, the New World Order's music struck up and despite the fact that it could have been for any member of nWo Hollywood, Tony Schiavone somehow instinctively knew that it was Hulk Hogan.

    He then acted all surprised that the former champion was on his way out.

    Psychic Tony's premonition came true, and Hogan came out with Eric Bischoff to gloat about 'sacrificing' his nephew, Horace Boulder.

    It was a typical Ho Kogan promo, entertaining for what it was, but not exactly clear on what point he was trying to make.

    Indeed, it was only after talking about being up Horace for five minutes that Ho Kogan quickly reminded us he had a match with Warrior later on in the show.

    If I had to guess, I'd say the gist of the message here was that if he was prepared to do that family, imagine how much worse things were going to get for Warrior.

    Meng vs. Wrath

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Wrath makes his way out for a match with Meng
    A solid though unspectacular outing, this one was even shorter than our opening contest, though unlike Jericho/Raven, a few short minutes was more than enough for Meng and Wrath.

    Two played to their strengths to produce an OK match that only got exciting at the finish when Wrath got his large opponent over his shoulders and drilled him to the mat for the three count.
    Your Winner: Wrath

    Out in the Internet Location, Billy Kidman displayed all the personality of a wet teabag as he told Lee Marshall that he didn't care whether it was Disco Inferno or Juventud Guerrera that he would have to defend his cruiserweight championship against later on in the show.

    Both Disco and Juvi were about to go at it, with the winner earning a title shot later that night.

    Cruiserweight Championship Number One Contender's Match
    Disco Inferno vs. Juventud  Guerrera

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Juventud Guerrera set for battle against Disco Inferno
    There must have been something in the water tonight. Like Raven before him, Disco Inferno had probably the best match of his WCW career here in a very enjoyable effort against Juventud Guerrera.

    Disco was doing the old gimmick where he was pretending to have made weight in order to compete in the cruiserweight division.

    Here, both he and Juvi turned up motivated to work, and it paid off big time for them.

    Whilst there may be some that will argue this wasn't a technically-solid effort, you'd have to be completely soulless not to have found this match very entertaining.

    After a good back-and-forth, Disco surprised everybody but hitting a wicked piledriver to get the pin.
    Your Winner and New Number One Contender to the Cruiserweight Championship: Disco Inferno

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Scott Steiner and The Giant challenge Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell to a match
    Following a short routine from the Nitro Girls (who were making their PPV debut here), Scott Steiner came out to cut one of his ever-so-eloquent promos.

    Fumbling his way through every other sentence, Steiner challenged his brother and Buff Bagwell to a tag team match against himself and The Giant, with the tag team titles on the line.

    This brought out J.J. Dillon, who agreed to book the match on the condition that, should Scott and The Giant lose the tag titles to Buff Bagwell and Rick Steiner, Rick would face Scott in a 15-minute match.

    The nWo members agreed, and this one was on.

    At no point did anybody bothers to mention that Scott Steiner wasn't even one of the tag team champions. WCW = logic.

    Fit Finlay vs. Alex Wright

    As the combatants made their way to ringside, the announcers told us that this was something of an old rivalry stretching back to an incident in which Fit Finlay broke the leg of Alex Wright's father.

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Alex Wright has a boner
    It's worth pointing out that Alex's father, Steve Wright, was also a wrestler and had wrestled some matches with Fit. This wasn't just Finlay going around being an ass and breaking people's daddy's legs.

    Revenge must have really excited Das Wunderkind, which is the only reason I can think of to explain the bulk in his trunks that I can't unsee.

    Either that, or he was after stealing Lex Luger's Total Package gimmick.

    Proving that this was by far one of the best WCW Pay Per Views of the year (which isn't saying much), Wright and Finlay ensured Halloween Havoc 1998 had another good match, with a short and enjoyable outing which drew heavily on both men's European style.

    After a good effort from both men, Wright blasted Finlay with a simple neck-breaker to steal the victory.
    Your Winner: Alex Wright

    Out in the back, Lee Marshall tried to get through to Ernest Miller and convince him that he couldn't call himself The Greatest because somebody else (Muhammad Ali) had already used that name.

    "Who is this imposter?" quipped Miller, which was pretty funny.

    The segment might not have achieved much, but it was comical.

    Saturn vs. Lodi

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Lodi Rules - Lodi gets ready to face Saturn
    Well, this one was kind of dumb, but in a way that you couldn't help but smile at.

    In this short squash match, Lodi was far more interested in waving his signs than in competing and would do anything to get away from Saturn so that he could go and hold them.

    Unamused, Saturn dismantled the former Flock member in about 20 seconds, picking up a quick win.
    Your Winner: Saturn

    Whilst all of these matches have been fun so far, you do get the distinct impression that most of them were mere filler.

    Saturn/Lodi, Finlay/Wright and Wrath/Meng, as fun as they all were, were Nitro matches, not major PPV matches. At least the next match had some significance, even if only from a kayfabe standpoint.

    Before that, however, the announcers took us back to Nitro to show us Buff Bagwell swinging a chair at Scott Steiner and giving up his nWo membership to assist Rick Steiner.

    The Nitro Girls gave us a show for a few minutes, and then it was finally back to the action.

    World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
    WCW Cruiserweight Champion Kidman vs. Disco Inferno

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Billy Kidman gets set to defend the Cruiserweight Championship against Disco Inferno
    Halloween Havoc 1998 must surely be one of Disco Inferno's favourite nights of his career.

    Going up against Kidman, the mid-card comedy act turned it up a notch to deliver his second strong performance of the night.

    Sure, his trash talking may have left a lot to be desired (who calls anybody a 'pipsqueak' seriously?) but the challenger worked well with reigning champion Kidman to really capture the fan's attention and hold it throughout the duration of a good pro wrestling match.

    Alas, tonight wasn't to be Disco's night. Despite dominating proceedings, the former TV champion was flattened by Kidman's shooting star press and pinned.
    Your Winner and Still WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Kidman

    Up next, the one you've all been waiting for.


    World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
    WCW Tag Team Champions The Giant & Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Buff Bagwell tricked Rick Steiner
    So, despite having never won the title, Scott Steiner was now one-half of the WCW tag team champions and was all set to defend the belts with The Giant against his brother and former best friend.

    From a pure wrestling standpoint, this one wasn't much to write home about, but from a storyline and entertainment standpoint, it was golden.

    After going back and forth with his brother and The Giant, Rick Steiner looked to have the whole match sewn up, only for Buff Bagwell to call for the tag.

    Rick obliged and got kicked in the nuts by his partner.

    Apparently, trusting Buff had been a dumb move all along (whodathunkit?). His work accomplished, Buff ran off, leaving Scotty and Giant to do the double-team on Steiner.

    The two battered their opponent, then Scotty held Rick in place as Giant scaled the top rope. While the resulting missile dropkick which followed was admittedly very impressive, Giant took so long getting his position atop the ropes that it completely took you out of the moment.

    Anyway, Steiner moved, Giant's dropkick hit Big Poppa Pump, and one top-rope bulldog to Giant later, Rick Steiner was the tag team champions.
    Your Winner and New WCW Tag Team Champion: Rick Steiner

    Scott tried to run, but Rick attacked and brought him back to the ring.

    Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Scott Steiner got beat up by Rick Steiner
    The drama continued, with the crowds getting fully behind Rick as he gave his brother a long overdue, and well-deserved ass kicking.

    Unfortunately for the Dog Faced Gremlin, his moment was ruined by the arrival of a man disguised as President Bill Clinton (complete with rubber Clinton mask).

    Stevie Ray ran out and handed Clinton a Slapjack, which he used to take out Rick and referee Charles Robinson before revealing himself to be not the United States President but, of course, Buff Bagwell.

    The bell sounded, but this one was not over yet.

    Scott made the cover on his brother and Buff used an unconscious Charles Robinson's hand to make the count. One...two...Rick kicked out!

    Scotty gave his brother a top rope frankensteiner...One..two...Rick kicked out!

    Then Rick made a comeback, floored both Buff and Big Poppa pump and made the cover. Nick Patrick ran in to make the count, and this one was over.
    Your Winner: Rick Steiner

    Afterwards, a battered and bewildered Buff Bagwell was seen calling out for 'Monica.'

    Get it?

    Because he was Bill Clinton!

    *Insert eye-roll emoji here*

    Finally, the feud that had started way back at Superbrawl VIII (when Scott first turned on Rick) was over, and it couldn't have ended in better fashion.

    Again, it wasn't great technical wrestling, but it was fantastic storytelling that had the crowd completely invested. That blow off was well worth the wait.

    Speaking of matches that were a while in the making, we next got a video package looking at the time Scott Hall turned on Kevin Nash at Slamboree 1998 and Scott Hall's descent into alcoholism. The two former best friends would meet next.

    Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash
    Very much the same as the earlier Steiner vs. Steiner stuff, this was less about great wrestling and more about great storytelling. With Scott Hall playing drunk but then revealing he was actually just joking, The Bad Guy annihilated his friend in the early going and even took to the microphone to mock him.

    Just when you thought Kevin Nash was out for the count, he staged a comeback and just beat Hall to a pulp, right up to the point that he could no longer stand up under his own strength.

    The crowd were into every last move, giving one of the loudest reactions of the night just because Nash lowered his singlet. This, of course, was a precursor to not one, but two Jackknife Powerbombs.

    The story here was that Nash was merely trying to beat some sense into his buddy and wasn't interested in actually beating him, in a wrestling match.

    This explains why he then walked off, leaving a barely-conscious Hall to pick up the win via count out.
    Your Winner via Countout: Scott Hall

    More Nitro Girls followed. Damn, those were some good-looking women.

    World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
    WCW United States Champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart vs. Sting

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Wolfpac Sting looks terrible with a goatee
    Sharpshooter vs. Scorpion Death Lock.

    As a kid, Sting vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart was always one of those dream matches that I always longed to see.

    Since we didn't get WCW PPVs over here in the UK 20 years ago, this is literally the first time I've seen this "dream match," and man, was I ever disappointed.

    Rather than the absolute masterpiece these two could have put on just a year or two earlier, we got a slow, sluggish outing with Bret, in particular, doing the bare minimum.

    In the end, the ref took a tumble and Bret beat up Sting with a foam baseball bat until he was unconscious. He then revived the referee, slapped on the Sharpshooter and when an unconscious Sting couldn't answer the count of three, this one was over.

    What a waste.
    Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Sting

    The next ten minutes was dedicated to Sting been wheeled off on a stretcher, so whilst that's going on, I'll take the time to point out two (mostly irrelevant) things that I noticed in this match:

    1: Sting had a full on goatee beard which, with his red Wolfpac facepaint made him look a bit like Satan. That's not a compliment.

    2: I'm pretty sure Bret Hart had different theme music every time he appeared on PPV.

    Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Warrior

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - (Ultimate) Warrior faced Hollywood Hulk Hogan in a Wrestlemania 6 Rematch
    And so ladies and gentlemen, here we have it: The long-awaited rematch between (Ultimate) Warrior and Ho Kogan that was eight and a half years in the making.

    Having apparently relocated from Parts Unknown, Warrior was build as coming from the One Warrior Nation.

    This was a nation which also included The Disciple, technically making it a Two Warrior Nation.

    The man looked great, probably not as physically impressive as he'd done the previous month at Fall Brawl 1998, but then that was partly due to the novelty value of having not seen the man on a PPV since King of the Ring 1996.

    Sadly, whilst he may have looked great, nothing he and Hogan did actually was great.

    Though some spots weren't quite as bad as you'd expect, so many others were so horribly done, and so horribly botched, that the whole thing became laughable.

    At one point, Hogan was supposed to leap over a prone Warrior and knock into Nick Patrick, but Patrick wasn't quite in position, so Hogan jumped over Warrior, stopped, turned, and then mowed down Patrick, making for our third ref bump of the night.

    Just for good measure, Hogan then dropped a knee on the referee's head, the exact same spot we'd just seen in the earlier Bret/Sting outing.

    As if that wasn't bad enough, Hogan later went to throw a fireball at Warrior but something went awry.

    Warrior sold the fireball before it had even been thrown, and then it basically blew up in Ho Kogan's face.

    Seriously, it was so comically bad that it was almost a relief when Horace Hogan came down and decked Warrior with a chair, finally giving Ho Kogan the chance to avenge his loss at Wrestlemania 6.
    Your Winner: Hollywood Hogan

    Post-match, Horace embraced his Uncle Hulk then doused a defeated Warrior in lighter fluid. Fortunately, Doug Dillinger and Random Security Man came down before the evil Hogans could set Warrior on fire.

    World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
    WCW World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page

    WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 - Champion Bill Goldberg defended the titel against Diamond Dallas Page
    In his 2018 WWE Hall of Fame speech, Goldberg mentioned Diamond Dallas Page bringing him "15 pages" of an outlined plan for the match. Clearly, such meticulous planning paid off because this was arguably Goldberg's best WCW matches, if not one of the best of his entire career.

    Without losing any of the aurae that had made Goldberg a star in the first place, both he and Page came out of this dramatic main event looking like true superstars, and whilst the reigning champion may have gone an alleged 155-0 thanks to a Jackhammer, he did so only after helping cement the idea that DDP truly belonged in the main event.
    Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Goldberg

    And that was just about that.

    After a run of utterly dismal shows, World Championship Wrestling appeared to have corrected course with Halloween Havoc 1998 and gotten back to their usual PPV formula: 

    An enjoyable undercard followed by a lacklustre main event.

    Of course, whilst Goldberg/Page was technically the main event (and a very good one to boot) we still got the hilariously terrible Hogan/Warrior clash that also constituted as a main event, and has since gone down in history as one of the worst main events of all time. 

    Apart from that and the disappointing Hart/Sting match (which I've actually seen a lot of other people praise), this was actually an enjoyable show, though not one that's going to be on your Must-Watch list. 

    Track down Hogan/Warrior just to see pro wrestling at its absolute worst, but otherwise, maybe watch Halloween Havoc 1998 if you simply need to kill time for a while. 

    1998 events reviewed so far
    1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1998 
    2. WCW - Souled Out 1998
    3. WWF - In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas 
    4. WCW - Superbrawl 1998
    5. WCW - Uncensored 1998 
    6. WWF - Wrestlemania 14 
    7. WCW Spring Stampede 1998
    8. WWF - In Your House 21: Unforgiven
    9. WCW Slamboree 1998
    10. WWF - In Your House 22: Over The Edge
    11. WCW Great American Bash 1998 
    12. WWF - King of the Ring 1998
    13. WCW - Bash at the Beach 1998 
    14. WWF - In Your House 23: Fully Loaded 
    15. WCW - Road Wild 1998
    16. WWF - Summerslam 1998
    17. WCW - Fall Brawl 1998
    18. WWF - In Your House 24: Breakdown
    19. WWF - In Your House 25: Judgement Day 
      Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

      Thursday, 22 November 2018

      PPV REVIEW: WWF Judgement Day 1998 - In Your House 25

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Event poster
      October 18, 1998, 
      Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois

      Apart from a single year (1999), Judgement Day was one of the WWF/WWE's regular B-Level pay per views that the company ran every year for over a decade. 

      Before it became an annual attraction, however, there was this:

      The first ever Judgement Day pay per view.

      The 25th instalment of the In Your House franchise (which would end in just a few months), tonight's show would see The Undertaker and Kane go at it in the latest chapter of an ongoing storyline that would last literally for years.

      This time, however, the vacant World Wrestling Federation Championship would be on the line and none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin would be the special guest referee.

      Would The Phenom win his third WWF Championship tonight? Would Kane pick up his second in the space of a single year?

      Would Austin even bother to show up for his special referee role, a role he had been quite open about not wanting to take?

      Let's head to the Rosemont Horizon to find out:

      Austin Violated McMahon

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler
      Our opening video package reminded us that Austin had lost the WWF title in a triple threat match against Kane and The Undertaker at Breakdown: In Your House 24.

      Since both ‘Taker and Kane had pinned Austin at the same time, they would go at it in tonight’s main event to determine a new champion, with Austin as the referee.

      McMahon had decreed that Austin would have to ‘humble’ himself and raise the hand of the winner or else be fired from the World Wrestling Federation.

      This was all interspersed at random intervals with sound bites of McMahon claiming Austin had violated him.

      I don’t care to go through all the episodes of Raw to find out what that’s about, but there you have it:

      Austin violated McMahon and now he would have to referee tonight’s main event.

      After the usual greeting from our announcers, Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, it was onto our opening contest.

      Al Snow (w/ Head) vs. Marvellous Marc Mero (w/ WWF Women’s Champion Jacqueline)

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Al Snow faced Marvelous Marc Mero
      Earlier, on Heat, Al Snow had cost Jeff Jarrett a match against Scorpio, so Jeff tried to insert himself into this match and make it a triple threat.

      Instead, he got sent packing by referee Tim White whilst Marc Mero launched an attack on the former Leif Cassidy.

      After that, we got a pretty hot opener which the crowd were really into, mainly because of how over Al Snow (or at least his Head) was.

      Mero used Jacqueline’s interference several times to gain control but it still wasn’t enough.

      After some fun action, Snow reversed T.K.O into a Snow Plow to win the match.
      Your Winner: Al Snow

      Before the next match, we were shown a clip from Heat in which Stone Cold Steve Austin was met by Pat Patterson, Gerald Briscoe, and Sgt. Slaughter as he tried to go up to the wrestler’s locker room.

      Austin was told that he wasn’t allowed in that locker room tonight and would have to change in the referee’s dressing room, which was basically a dingy stock room.

      Six-Man Tag
      The Disciples of the Apocalypse (Skull, 8-Ball, and Paul Ellering) vs. LOD 2000 (Hawk, Animal, and Droz)

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - LOD 2000 faced DOA & Paul Ellering
      Yes, both teams were still hanging around this late into 1998, mainly so that LOD could have somebody to wrestle whilst doing that angle in which Hawk was an addict/alcoholic and Droz wanted to take his spot.

      Despite being a six-man, this was more like a handicap match, with former LOD manager and current DOA man Paul Ellering tagging for all of 15 seconds to kick Droz in the gut and hit him with a drop toe-hold.

      Other than that, absolutely nothing remarkable happened.

      The match wasn’t terrible - I’ve seen far worse, trust me- but it felt more like card-filler than anything else.

      Only the crowd’s love of their hometown heroes, Hawk and Animal, made it seem better than it was.

      In the end, Hawk and Animal hit the Doomsday Device (JR once again called it the Devastation Device) but Droz snuck in and stole the three count.
      Your Winners: LOD 2000

      Afterwards, Hawk looked pissed at Droz stealing the glory, but Droz himself seemed more concerned with celebrating along with Animal.

      Prior to the next match, JR told us that this was the biggest crowd the WWF has had in the Rosemont Horizon since Wrestlemania 13.

      World Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship
      WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku (w/ Yamaguchi-San) vs. Christian (w/ Gangrel)

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Christian (w/ Gangrel) beat Taka Michinoku
      It would be easy to think the WWF had given up on their Light Heavyweight Championship.

      Taka Michinoku hadn’t defended the title on PPV since February’s No Way Out of Texas: In Your House, when he beat Pantera.

      Since then, the Japanese star had defected to the dark side by joining forces with former rivals Kai En Tai, and was now defending the title.

      This time, his opponent was Christian, who was wrestling in his first PPV match after debuting during the Edge/Owen Hart match at the previous month’s Breakdown.

      Christian had been revealed to be Edge’s brother, and had aligned himself with his brother’s vampiric nemesis, Gangrel.

      Backstory aside, this was a decent match that was hurt by the crowd not giving a damn about either man nor about anything they did.

      After an otherwise fun, seesaw battle, Christian reversed a Michinoku Driver to capture the title in his debut match for the company.
      Your Winner and New WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Christian

      And that was the end of Taka Michinoku being seen as any kind of a star in the World Wrestling Federation.

      Val Venis (w/ Terri Runnels) vs. Goldust

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Goldust faced Val VenisAfter failing to get the better of Val Venis as good ol’ Dustin Runnels, the second-generation star had returned to the Goldust gimmick that made him famous, and was now utterly adored by the live crowd.

      Looking to avenge his loss the previous month (and seek some revenge for Val stealing his wife) Goldie went at it with the wrestling porn star in a good, entertaining contest that went down well more because of the characters and their rivalry than because of any of the actual wrestling moves.

      Not that what they did wasn’t good. This was a good effort which ended when Terri Runnels distraction backfired, allowing Goldust to kick his rival in the goolies behind the referee’s back and score a three count.
      Your Winner: Goldust

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - X-Pac battled D'Lo Brown in an awesome match
      Prior to the next match, Michael Cole showed us clips of Ken Shamrock beating up Triple H backstage after an injured Hunter was forced to hand his Intercontinental Championship to The World’s Most Dangerous Man.

      Cole was interrupted by X-Pac, who promised to take care of Shamrock the following night on Raw. Tonight, however, he was all about reclaiming the European Championship from D’Lo Brown.

      World Wrestling Federation European Championship
      WWF European Champion D’Lo Brown vs. X-Pac w/ Chyna

      I’ll just go ahead and say it - this is one of the most amazing matches I’ve watched in a long time.

      Proof that you don’t need to be a main event star to have the crowds eating out of the palm of your hand, both champ and challenger turned it up several notches to deliver the absolute best match of their fall ‘98 rivalry, and one of the best matches of 1998 period.

      After a really good outing, X-Pac caught D’Lo coming off the top rope, hit him with the X-Factor, and became a two-time European Champion.
      Your Winner and New European Champion: X-Pac

      Out in the back, Michael Cole told us there was a rumour going around that Paul Bearer had just walked into The Undertaker’s locker room.

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - The Headbangers challenged the New Age Outlaws for the tag team championship
      Once again, Cole was interrupted, this time by The Headbangers.

      Mosh and Thrasher were now heels, and were set to challenge the New Age Outlaws for the tag team titles.

      Before that, however,  they fumbled their way through a bunch of insider terms in a goofy, cringe-worthy promo.

      World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Champions
      WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg Jesse James & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) vs. The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher)

      Looking right at home in their new roles as the brash and violent bad guys, Mosh and Thrasher dominated almost the entire length of this long, drawn-out tag team title contest.

      Whilst some would argue that this was a bad thing (certain chinlock spots did seem to drag on), this writer would disagree strongly.

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Billy Gunn waits for the tag from Road Dogg
      Road Dogg and Billy Gunn did their best to make their opponents look like a serious threat to the titles, and the match itself did have some fun scattered here and there.

      Besides, the crowd were hot for the New Age Outlaws from start to finish. At one point, Billy received what was legitimately one of the biggest pops of the night just for taking his shirt off.

      The fans kept up this fever-pitch show of support throughout the contest, chanting the Outlaws' and DX's catchphrases as the champs took it in turns to get their asses handed to them by The Headbangers.

      Fed up with the foul play from Mosh and Thrasher and unable to counter it with more above-board tactics, Road Dogg finally grabbed The Headbanger’s boom box and brought it across his opponents’ head, causing the DQ finish.
      Your Winners by Disqualification: The Headbangers (New Age Outlaws retain the titles)

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Michael Cole interviews Mankind about his match with Ken Shamrock
      Out in the back, Michael Cole began telling us about Paul Bearer apparently going into The Undertaker’s locker room before he was interrupted by Mankind.

      On his way to challenge Ken Shamrock for the Intercontinental Championship, Mankind first told Cole that Shamrock’s interviews were the second biggest cause of teenage suicide, which was harsh but hilarious.

      He then began engaging in some bizarre puppetry in which he asked Mr Socko what kind of underwear he was wearing.

      This of course, just gave Foley an excuse to rip off his sock and reveal a mandible claw.

      World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
      WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock vs. Mankind

      Though not the best match on the card, this was a solid outing that served its purpose well.

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Ken Shamrock defended the Intercontinental Championship against Mankind
      Early on, it seemed as though Mankind was trying to wrestle Shamrock’s style of match, trading holds and reversals with the champion until the whole thing broke down into the typical Foley-style brawl.

      In a unique finish, Shamrock slapped the ankle lock on the challenger, but rather than submit to it, Mankind put the mandible claw on himself and passed out.
      Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock

      Afterwards, Howard Finkle announced that Shamrock was the winner ‘via Mandible Claw’ which sent Shamrock into one of his trademark hissy-fits, attacking Mankind and suplexing the referee.

      I know having Ken Shamrock ‘snap’ like this was supposed to make him look dangerous and unpredictable, but it always just made him look like a crybaby, which isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a babyface.

      I also know that I say this every time we review a show where Shamrock does it, but honestly, it's one of the dumbest things ever and is worth repeating.

      Bossman Blocks Cole

      `WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Big Boss Man stops Michael Cole getting a word with Vince McMahon
      Backstage, Michael Cole’s hopes of getting an interview with Vince McMahon were shot down by Big Bossman.

      Last seen on PPV teaming with The Steiner Brothers to face the nWo at WCW Souled Out 1998, the former Big Bubba Rogers had returned to the WWF just a few weeks prior and was now serving as McMahon’s security/bodyguard.

      Bossman reminded us that he was the law, order, and justice of the World Wrestling Federation, and that meant there was no chance of Cole getting his interview.

      It’s funny, I was never the biggest fan of Bossman’s matches, but he was always a compelling heel character and delivered some good work here.

      For the record, the last time we saw him on a WWF PPV was at the 1993 Royal Rumble.

      Mark Henry vs. The Rock

      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Mark Henry beat The Rock
      So, on the back of his many catchphrase and general bad-assness, The Rock was now a fully-fledged babyface and, to prove it, he recently got attacked on Raw by his former Nation of Domination cohort, Mark Henry.

      Meanwhile, Henry also has a confusing thing going on with Chyna. He had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her but then dedicated a ‘poem’ to her before this match.

      Once the bell rung the action was short if not necessarily sweet.

      It wasn’t a bad match by any standards, but it was hardly the sort of thing anybody would be talking about even the next day.

      In the end, Henry scored the upset with a big splash.
      Your Winner: Mark Henry

      Post-match, The Rock looked on, bemused.

      Something tells me this loss wouldn't hurt his career very much.

      World Wrestling Federation Championship match (title vacant)
      Kane vs. The Undertaker

      Special Guest Referee: Stone Cold Steve Austin
      WWE / WWF Judgement Day 1998: In Your House 25 - Kane vs. Undertaker for vacant WWF title with Stone Cold as the guest referee
      Kane and The Undertaker has a great match back at Wrestlemania 14, and their Inferno match at Unforgiven 1998, though not on a part with their initial outing, was a spectacle in its own right.

      In this, their third PPV meeting of 1998, however, the two really failed to put on a good show.

      Of course, it didn’t help that the crowd were initially more into Guest Referee Steve Austin than anything the Brothers of Destruction were doing, but even when the initial obsession with Stone Cold wore off, this match failed to capture the intensity and creativity that Austin’s own main event bouts had delivered throughout the year.

      This slow, aimless match came grinding to its conclusion when both competitors decided to turn on Austin and beat him up.

      Paul Bearer then came down with a chair and begged Kane to let him be the one to take out Undertaker.

      Instead, Bearer turned on Kane, who barely flinched when struck with the chair.

      As Kane questioned Bearer’s treachery, Undertaker picked up the chair and laid out his brother, only for Austin to recover and knock out The Phenom with a stunner.

      Stone Cold then counted both men out and declared himself the winner.
      No Contest

      Afterwards, Austin dared McMahon to fire him just as the Chairman had promised to do.

      When Vince no-showed, Austin took us on a brief tour of the backstage area to look for him, then came back out to call the boss out a second time.

      This time Vince appeared and was greeted with a rapturous chant of ‘Asshole! Asshole!’ from the live crowd.

      ‘I can’t hear a word you’re saying because you got eighteen thousand people calling you an asshole!’ quipped Austin, showing a mastery of the mic that is truly lost in today’s product.

      Asshole or not, Vince delivered his first ever ‘You’re Fired!’ line to Austin, effectively terminating him from the company.

      Never one to let a mere thing like being fired rattle him, Austin vowed that Vince hadn’t seen the last of him, then celebrated with the crowd and a couple of beers.

      Austin would indeed be back just 24 hours later, when he appeared on Raw, made Vince wet himself, and revealed that Shane McMahon had signed him to a five-year contract.

      Since I first started reviewing these Attitude Era shows, I’ve said many times that they were characterised by a poor undercard followed by a hot main event.

      This, however, was exactly the opposite.

      With D’Lo Brown and X-Pac stealing the show, most of the other undercard matches were reasonably entertaining, all building up to an awful main event which really showed why they needed Austin back in the ring.

      For storylines and a taste of the Attitude Era at its most chaotic, this one is worth a look, but as far as matches go, just watch the European Championship match and then skip on to something else.

      1998 events reviewed so far
      1. WWF - Royal Rumble 1998 
      2. WCW - Souled Out 1998
      3. WWF - In Your House 20: No Way Out of Texas 
      4. WCW - Superbrawl 1998
      5. WCW - Uncensored 1998 
      6. WWF - Wrestlemania 14 
      7. WCW Spring Stampede 1998
      8. WWF - In Your House 21: Unforgiven
      9. WCW Slamboree 1998
      10. WWF - In Your House 22: Over The Edge
      11. WCW Great American Bash 1998 
      12. WWF - King of the Ring 1998
      13. WCW - Bash at the Beach 1998 
      14. WWF - In Your House 23: Fully Loaded 
      15. WCW - Road Wild 1998
      16. WWF - Summerslam 1998
      17. WCW - Fall Brawl 1998
      18. WWF - In Your House 24: Breakdown
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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.