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, 20 December 2018

PPV REVIEW: WWF Capital Carnage 1998

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Event poster
December 6th, 1998
London Arena, London, England

A lot had changed since the World Wrestling Federation had presented their last UK-only pay-per-view.

That had taken place back at the Birmingham NEC arena on September 20th, 1997. It was called One Night Only and was notable for being the night Shawn Michaels humiliated national hero Davey Boy Smith, taking his European Championship in the process.

Along with Triple H and Chyna, Michaels had gone on to officially declare himself the leader of D-Generation-X and dethrone Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in the main event of Survivor Series 1997.

That event, forever known as "The Montreal Screwjob" was the catalyst for unprecedented change in the WWF, change which would ultimately give us the creative and financial resurgence known as the Attitude Era.

A year down the line, as the WWF returned to the UK, that change was evident from top to bottom.

Michaels was no longer an active competitor, with Triple H taking his place at the helm of DX. Bret Hart and The Bulldog were long gone from the company, and in almost every conceivable way, the World Wrestling Federation that arrived at the London Arena on this cold December night was an entirely different entity than the one UK fans had last seen in September '97.

With that being said, let's head to England's capital for Capital Carnage 1998.

There's a Fatal Fourway a'Comin'

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Jim Ross & Jerry 'The King' Lawler
We began tonight's show with a hype video for tonight's fatal four-way main event pitting Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kane and Mankind against one another.

Though it lacked much of the drama and storytelling that most WWF PPV openings had, this one was nonetheless effective in building excitement for the match.

After panning through a sea of fan-made signs and hyper audience members, we were greeted by Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler for the usual introductions.

As Ross and Lawler talk us through tonight's matches, I'll take a moment to point out two things about this show.

1: This would be the night that Ross would suffer his second attack of Bell's Palsey. This one would happen as Ross was actually on air.

This came just hours after Ross had learned that his mother had passed away. Imagine getting that news and then going on to still call a pro wrestling news. What a hero that man is.

2: This is only the second show we've ever reviewed on Retro Pro Wrestling that your writer was actually live in the crowd for.

Yes, somewhere in that 10,000-strong crowd was an excitable 14-year-old wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt who had no idea he'd still be writing about this event 20 years later.

With that being said, let's get on to the matches.

Gangrel vs. Al Snow (w/ Head)

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Gangrel faced Al Snow
So, we got things underway with a fun little opener pitting Al Snow against everyone's favourite vampire warrior, Gangrel.

It's been said before that because Gangrel's whole gimmick was so memorable, many of us forget that he was actually a pretty solid performer.

Here, he proved that by taking the fight to Snow in an enjoyable contest, suplexing him from pillar to post and engaging in some pretty sweet exchanges.

With the London faithful firmly behind him, Snow did mount a comeback, and even gave his opponent Head, but alas, it wasn't to be his day.

Mid-bout, Edge and Christian made their way to ringside, and, after Snow had drilled Gangrel with his mannequin head, Christian kept the referee distracted while Edge lept off the top rope and took out the J.O.B Squad leader.

Gangrel made the cover and this one was over.
Your Winner: Gangrel

Out in the depths of the arena, Mankind told us that he was in "the coldest boiler room I've ever been in" (because, you know, England gets pretty cold in December) before reminding us that tonight's fatal four-way was no holds barred, no DQ, no countout.

Wrapping up one his typically intense and well thought-out promos, then told us that after tonight, the London Arena would be up there with the likes of the Tower of London as a popular tourist attraction were gruesome things once happened.

L.O.D 2000 (Animal & Droz) vs. The Headbangers

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - LOD 2000 vs. The Headbangers
Prior to this match getting underway, we were reminded of that oh-so-classy 'Hawk is an Addict' angle and the time Droz pushed him off the Titantron.

The Headbangers had recently turned heel again yet here they were loved by the London crowd. Whether that's because we just loved Mosh and Thrasher or simply hated Droz so much we'd cheer for his opponents, I can't remember.

What I can tell, you from watching this, is that we certainly did hate Droz.

While his partner Animal got a lot of love, the former football star was loudly booed by the audience.

That was about the most interesting thing about this short little contest.

OK, so it wasn't terrible, but it barely got the chance to get going before Droz got rolled up and pinned.
Your Winners: The Headbangers

Post-match, Droz and Animal got into an argument which led into a full-scale brawl that had to be stopped by a gaggle of referees.

The brawl wasn't much, but it was still more exciting than that previous match.

'The end is near, Austin'

Up next, we were shown a flashback to the special Friday night edition of Raw which had aired earlier that weekend.

On that show, Undertaker had attempted to put Kane in a body bag and send him to an insane asylum via ambulance.

However, it turned out that Kane had escaped, sent 'Taker in the ambulance, and then helped Stone Cold shove Paul Bearer (now back with The Undertaker) down a sewer.

To this day, I always remember watching that segment. To this day, I'd still love to know how they pulled it off.

Anyway, that took us to Michael Cole, who stood by for an interview with The Deadman.

With his typically morbid promos becoming ever more macabre as of late, 'Taker talked about Austin's rotted soul and how we should pray for Stone Cold because all kinds of sinister things were going to happen to him.

As usual, this was captivating stuff from The Phenom.

Val Venis vs. Goldust

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Val Venis faced Goldust
These two had previously gone at it at Judgement Day: In Your House 25 during that whole saga when Terri Runnels was sleeping with Val Venis.

Since then, Terri had gone onto declare herself pregnant with Val's love child (which Val himself disputed thanks to having a vasectomy) and form PMS with Jacqueline.

Yet even with her out of the picture, it seemed The Big Valbowski and Goldust still hated each other.

Tonight, they channelled that hate into a decent yet immediately forgettable, by-the-numbers match.

Though pretty basic, this was actually a decent watch, ending when Val narrowly escaped a Shattered Dreams and rolled up Goldie for the three count.
Your Winner: Val Venis

Unfortunately for the wrestling porn star, he didn't get the chance to celebrate for very long.

Goldust beat him up some more and then finally hit Shattered Dreams, much to the delight of the UK audience.

Tea time: a pile of pious crap

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Vince & Shane McMahon
Next, we were shown a clip of Vince McMahon giving a guest lecture at the prestigious Oxford University.

This was followed by the Chairman making his way out, accompanied by his son Shane McMahon, and The Stooges, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco.

Patterson kicked off promo time by telling us that Mr McMahon had changed tonight's card around.

Instead of The Rock vs. Triple H (or Hunter Hearst Hem-sley, as Patterson continually called him), we'd get Triple H vs. Jeff Jarrett and The Rock vs. X-Pac.

Gerald Briscoe then said little of note before handing the mic to Shane.

Here, Shane took the opportunity to address footballer-turned-actor, Vinnie Jones.

The Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels actor was set to be the special guest enforcer in tonight's main event, and Shane had a few thoughts on this.

Specifically, he had thoughts on Jones' reputation as a "hard man," which in the UK, basically means you're known for being physically tough, if not a little violent.

This being 1998, Shane had no problem suggesting that Jones was actually hard because he was George Michael's gay lover.

"Oh come on, Vinnie Jones is a man's man, but not like that!" cried Jim Ross on commentary, as if being accused of being gay was the worst possible thing that could ever happen to someone.

Ah, good ol' homophobic '90s.

Shane's whole promo was terribly cringe-worthy.

To begin with, Vince's wasn't much better.

The evil overlord of the World Wrestling Federation took to the mic and began by telling us all that 'tea time is a load of pious crap,' even going so far as to toss away the cup of tea that I was drinking.

The crowd booed like they were supposed to, but there was something very odd about this statement. I remember being there, live in the London Arena at aged 14 and wondering why I was supposed to be upset that Vince didn't care for a spot of tea.

Watching it back, I still think it was a pretty dumb line.

Fortunately, Mr. McMahon redeemed himself with one of the best promos I've ever heard him cut, launching into a scathing tirade about Britain's past as a colonial power, it's fall from grace, and it's inferiority to the United States.

Vince gave us history, he gave us politics, he gave us social commentary. Above all, he gave us a compelling reason to hate us.

It was awesome and would have been even more awesome had Vince not then predicted that one day the UK would be governed by "a Prime Minister of Pakistani descent" as though this were a bad thing.

Yep, racism and homophobia in one segment. What a time that decade really was.

Edge vs. Tiger Ali Singh

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Tiger Ali Singh faced Edge - nobody gave a shit
Does nobody else find it weird that Tiger Ali Singh would always show up at these WWF UK PPVs despite doing next to nothing on television for the rest of the year?

Here, the second generation star drew heat for dedicating this match to his Indian forefathers who suffered under the tyranny of the British Empire (fair enough) but then basically got his ass handed to him in a short nothing match with future main eventer, Edge.

The Brood member quickly dominated his opponent, only for Singh to score the upset with a quick roll-up (another one) that he reinforced by putting his feet on the ropes.
Your Winner: Tiger Ali Singh

Afterwards, Singh continued the beatdown, only for Edge to once again take control and batter the evil foreigner.

It's gonna be emotional

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Michael Cole & Vinnie Jones
Up next, Michael Cole brought Vinnie Jones to the ring in order to respond to the earlier put down from the McMahons.

Though clearly amped up and enthusiastic, Jones came across as an unintelligent thug, responding to Cole's simple questions with even simpler answers (such as repeating the phrase 'bring 'em on!" over and over).

The crowd loved it but, looking back, it all seemed terribly scripted and forced.

Mixed Tag Team Match
WWF Women's Champion Sable & Christian vs. Jacqueline & Marvelous Marc Mero

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Sable teamed w/ Edge to face Marc Mero & Jacqueline
Christian's partner Edge had previously teamed with Sable back at Summerslam 1998 so now it was the younger of the two 'brothers' to tag with the women's champion.

Quite why Sable would choose two gothic dudes as her partners is anyone's guess, but there ya go.

Meanwhile, Marvelous Marc Mero had recently fired Jacqueline after she cost him a match against The Big Boss Man on Heat.

He'd then gone onto Raw and promised that if he couldn't beat "that jobber" Duane Gill, then that would be the last we'd ever see of him.

Naturally, The Marvelous One lost (thanks to interference from The Blue Meanie) and that was it for Mero's WWF career.

Except of course for tonight, when he was forced to meet his final outstanding contractual obligation, teaming with his pissed-off former manager.

The match itself was fine, with some fun, playful spots breaking up some solid action between the two men.

Eventually, Mero took a walk and Christian gave chase, leaving Sable to finally get her hands on arch-rival Jacqueline.

It didn't take long for the women's champion to dispose of her opponent either.

A few punches and a TKO were all it took to win the match.
Your Winners: Sable & Christian

Afterwards, Jacqueline took out her frustrations on referee Tim White by attacking him. White lifted Jacqueline onto his shoulders, allowing Sable to reach up and pull off Jacqui's top.

Having been there live, I can tell you that there are only three things I really remember from Capital Carnage:

  1. McMahon insulting tea time
  2. The Rock vs. X-Pac being awesome
  3. Jacqueline having her top ripped off and exposing her boobs to half of London while atop Tim White's shoulders.

For years, I'd kind of had an inkling that this was planned but had never been entirely sure.

Watching this show back today (For the first time in 20 years), it's obvious that Jacqui was wearing a very loose-fitting shirt and no bra, almost as if she -gasp- wanted to flash her breasticles to 10,000 people.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock (w/ Big Boss Man) vs. Steve Blackman

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Ken Shamrock faced Steve Blackman
When I said there were only three things I remember, I really mean it.

I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of ever seeing this match before. Now that I watch it back, I realise why.

Before it started, Jim Ross told us that this was going to be a great match.

Unfortunately, Jim Ross lied.

This was the most boring thing on the card so far. A basic, kick-punch-chinlock repeat affair that was beyond dull.

In fact, the only interesting thing that happened in the whole match was when the crowd started chanting 'you fat bastard!' at Shamrock's second, The Big Boss Man.

Speaking of Boss Man, it came as a relief he finally whacked Steve Blackman in the ankle with his nightstick, allowing Ken Shamrock to slap on the ankle lock and pick up the three count.
Your Winner and Still Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock

Continuing the trend of post-match beatdowns that had occurred after just about every match on the card so far, Boss Man beat up on Blackman a little afterwards.

If you smell what The Rock is cookin...

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Do you smell what The Rock is cookin?
Backstage, World Wrestling Federation Champion The Rock told Michael Cole that he was going to squash "that bony jabroni" X-Pac in their upcoming match.

Seemingly unphased by the change in his opponent, The Great One planned to wrap out his promo with his famous catchphrase.

There was just one problem:

He couldn't remember it.

First, he tried "whatcha gonna do," then "and that's the bottom line." He went for "to be the man, you've got to WOO," and even attempted "I'm the best there is, the best there was," but still it wasn't right.

Finally, The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment his on "If you smell what The Rock is Cookin'" and this fun little segment was over.

Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra McMichael) vs. Triple H (w/ Chyna)

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Jeff Jarrett & Debra
I keep using the word "fun" in this review because that's the best way to describe it.

None of the action up to this point had been particularly amazing, but outside of the Intercontinental snooze-fest, most of it had been an enjoyable watch.

The same was true of Jeff Jarrett vs. Triple H.

While both men would have much better matches in their careers, this one saw the two veterans prove themselves to be masters of their craft.

It was the case of the cunning heel versus the super-hot babyface in a non-stop, back-and-forth battle.

After a very entertaining contest and some shenanigans involving Debra and Chyna, Hunter Hearst Hem-sley hit the pedigree and got the three count.
Your Winner: Triple H

I should mention -because this is obviously important- that Debra looked smoking hot here.

Stone Cold is in a bad mood

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Michael Cole interviews Stone Cold Steve Austin
Clearly trying to keep himself warm in the frigid British winter, Stone Cold Steve Austin told Michael Cole that he came to England to whoop somebody's ass, and it didn't matter who's ass that would happen to be.

Maybe it was jet lag, maybe it was just the cold, but Austin seemed rather subdued, answering each of Cole's questions slowly and calmly before finally declaring that he was in a bad mood and sending the interviewer away.

D'Lo does London

Before the next match, we were shown a video of former European Champion D'Lo Brown making is way around London, pretending that he lived at Buckingham Palace, mispronouncing the River Thames (its pronounced "tems") and announcing that Her Majesty The Queen had renamed Big Ben to Big D.

D'Lo, you see, had lost the title to X-Pac some time ago but was still going around pretending to be the champion.

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

Most matches involving the New Age Outlaws had a terrible tendency to be formulaic.

Basically, Road Dogg would get beat up for a bit, Billy Gunn would make the save, and then it would just..kind of end.

Tonight, the popular champions stuck to their tried-and-trusted formula, yet they also mixed it up enough that this became one of the better matches you'd see them in.

The overall result was -you guessed it- fun.

Like many of the performers tonight, you got the idea that the outlaws, as well as D'Lo and Mark Henry,  were having a lot of fun, and that translated into another entertaining match.

Eventually, Bad Ass Billy Gunn got the win for his team.
Your Winners and Stil Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws

Prior to the next match, we were reminded of The Rock's surprising heel turn and WWF Championship win back at Survivor Series 1998.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion The Rock vs. WWF European Champion X-Pac

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - The Rock defended the WWF title against X-Pac
Making his first PPV title defence since winning the gold, The Rock took the fight to X-Pac in what was by far the best match of the night so far.

Both champ and challenger traded the advantage several times, building up the drama of the match with every move.

At one point, The Rock was fed up of being beaten up by X-Pac and threatened to leave, only for Triple H and Chyna to arrive and send the champion back to the ring.

The challenger's allies then stuck around for the rest of the match, running interference in a way which made no logical sense (they were the babyfaces after all) but was very enjoyable all the same).

After an absolute stormer of a title match, Triple H just beat up on The Rock, costing his buddy the match.
Your Winner via Disqualification and Still WWF Champion: The Rock

Afterwards, there was, you guessed it, another beatdown.

Hunter and X-Pac (the babyfaces, remember?) put the boots to The Rock. Ken Shamrock ran in to help out his Corporation teammate, but he got attacked too.

Needless to say, the crowd loved it.

Time for the main event

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Referee Gerald Brisco told Vinnie Jones he had to leave
Before the final match got underway, Tony Chimmel introduced us to our special guest ring announcer, Shane McMahon.

In turn, McMahon introduced us to our special guest timekeeper, Pat Patterson, who got a rousing "You Fat Bastard!" chant from the crowd, and also Gerald Briscoe, who was taking The Big Boss Man's place as special referee, leaving Boss Man to stand outside as a second enforcer to watch Vinnie Jones.

Naturally, Briscoe got a solid chant of "The referee's a wanker!"
Next, Shane introduced us to our special guest commentator,
none other than Vince McMahon himself.

This made it the first time Vince had joined King & JR on commentary for a PPV since Badd Blood: In Your House 18.

Big Boss Man was then announced as the Corporate Enforcer, after which Tony Chimmel welcomed Vinnie Jones.

The toughman received a huge ovation from the London crowd and got into a shoving contest with Boss Man, resulting in Briscoe showing him the red card (because football).

This meant that Jones had to leave, and finally, we were allowed to have our main event.

Fatal Four Way
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mankind vs. Kane vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

Special guest enforcer: The Big Boss Man

WWE / WWF Capital Carnage 1998 - Mankind, Kane and Undertaker stand over a fallen Stone Cold Steve Austin
I won't lie, one of the most awesome things about this whole main event was hearing Vince slip naturally back into his commentary voice.

He was still technically a heel, sure, but he was a heel Vince McMahon - Commentator rather than a heel Mr. McMahon - Evil Overlord.

As for the match itself, it was all the chaotic, violent fun you'd expect from an Attitude Era four-way match.

Plenty of brawling, swinging chairs and, of course, a crowd who ate it all up.

Mankind, Undertaker and Kane all worked hard here, but really, this was the Austin show plain and simple.

The London crowd were hugely into The Texas Rattlesnake and blew the roof off the place when he finally got the win over Kane.
Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin

To end things, Austin had a beer bash with Vinnie Jones and Earl Hebner, who had counted the winning three count after Austin had beaten up Gerald Briscoe.

All in all then, a fun show.

WWF Capital Carnage isn't the kind of pro wrestling that's going to change your life.

It isn't the kind of pro wrestling event that's going to have you raving to all your friends about afterwards.

But it is the kind of event you can pop on for a few hours on a quiet afternoon and be glad that you did.

The Rock/X-Pac WWF title match is the true standout here, with the main event a close second.

That said, outside of the atrocity that was Shamrock/Blackman, everything here is watchable and -for the most part- enjoyable.

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
  21. WWF - Survivor Series 1998
  22. WWF - Capital Carnage 1998
  23. WCW - World War 3 1998
Other UK event reviews: 
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

PPV REVIEW: WCW World War 3 1998

WCW World War 3 1998 Review - Event poster
November 22, 1998
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan 

There can't be many who don't know the story of World Championship Wrestling's demise. 

A company that once had it all -the stars, the money, the ratings- eventually became a victim of its own success and imploded under the weight of huge egos and even more huge mistakes.

If there's one pivotal moment in WCW's history that serves not only as the perfect example of their lunacy but as the very catalyst for their downfall, it's the incident known as the Fingerpoke of Doom.

On that fateful night in Georgia, Kevin Nash strolled to the ring as the WCW Champion, having cashed in a title opportunity and ended Goldberg's undefeated streak, a streak that was the hottest thing in the company at the time.

Nash then took a poke to the chest from Hulk Hogan, hit the mat, and essentially handed over the title.

As the old saying goes, it all went downhill from there.

But what does all of this have to do with World War 3 1998?

In a word, everything.

You see, before Nash could get his Starrcade match with Goldberg, he first had the small matter of a 60-Man World War 3 Battle Royal to win.

This, ladies and gentleman, was the beginning of the end.

Welcome to the Fourth Annual World War 3

WCW World War 3 1998 - Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby 'The Brain' HeenanOur show tonight began with an opening video package which flashed through the names and pictures of all sixty men competing in tonight's big battle royal.

If you didn't already have epilepsy before, you certainly did after watching this video, that's how fast and in-your-face it was.

Less in-your-face, though not by much, was our usual host Tony Schiavone and his colleagues Iron Mike Tenay and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan.

Apparently, Hulk Hogan was not here tonight, and for some reason, this came as a shock to the announcers.

Clearly, they hadn't been paying attention to Hogan's behind-the-scenes career one bit.

Tony, Bobby, and Mike also reminded us of the bitter rivalry between Diamond Dallas Page and Bret 'The Hitman' Hart before sending us to Mean Gene Okerlund.

Kids, Get Your Parents' Permission

In between shilling the hotline (1-900-909-9900), Mean Gene took some time out to speculate on the winner of tonight's battle royal.

Refusing to name his pick, Okerlund merely hinted that, rather than one of the bigger guys like Kevin Nash, it might be a smaller competitor who would use their "high moves."

I didn't even realise Rob Van Damn was working for WCW at this time.

All jokes aside, it was onto our opening match.

Glacier vs. Wrath

WCW World War 3 1998 - Glacier gets set for a match against Wrath
If you let out a loud groan when you saw the two names above, don't worry:

You're not the only one.

Wrath had debuted back at Uncensored 1997, attacking Glacier during that ill-advised "Blood Runs Cold" feud that was meant to capitalise on the popularity of Mortal Kombat but which only succeeded in boring everyone to tears.

The two had then gone on to face off at The Great American Bash 1997 in a match which did little to generate excitement for that whole story.

Yet that was then and this was now...and things were very different.

Glacier was now a heel, and Wrath was in the middle of a short-lived Monster Goldberg Push that would eventually be derailed at the hands of Kevin Nash.

For now, however, the former Adam Bomb was hot stuff, with the crowd firmly behind him.

OK, so the match itself was never anything more than mediocre, but with the audience popping huge for everything Wrath did, it somehow worked.

It could have benefited from being a few minutes shorter, sure, but it was a serviceable way to keep Wrath's streak intact thanks to his Meltdown pump-handle slam finisher.
Your Winner: Wrath

WCW World War 3 1998 - Bret 'The Hitman' Hart cut a backstage promo on all his enemies in "The WCW"
Prior to the next match, we got a long video package in which Bret 'The Hitman' Hart lambasted everyone he'd feuded with so far in "The WCW," including Booker T, Chris Benoit, Lex Luger and his recent rival, Diamond Dallas Page.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who was bothered by Bret calling the company "The WCW," though I'll forgive him this once on account of this wonderfully hilarious line:


Pretty sure he definitely did have muscles, Bret.

Stevie Ray (w/ Vincent) vs. Konnan

You know, getting through these 1998 WCW PPVs has been hard going, and it's partly because of matches like this.

Stevie Ray vs. Konnan would have been a bathroom break match even on a below-average episode of Nitro, so what it's doing on prime PPV is anyone's guess.

WCW World War 3 1998 - Booker T confronts Stevie Ray about his association with the nWo
As you might have guessed, the match was 50 shades of meh.

In the end, Konnan avoided getting wallopped with the slapjack, but was so unhappy about Stevie even bringing the thing into the ring that he apparently snapped and just starting clobbering on him, even shoving the referee when he tried to intervene.

That brought about the DQ, and this one was over.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Stevie Ray

Afterwards, Booker T ran in to warn Konnan back off and tried to urge his brother to leave "those nWo pussies."

Alas, Stevie wasn't for leaving and told Booker to leave him alone.

"Special Martial Arts Challenge Match"
Sonny Onoo & Ernest Miller vs. Kaz Hayashi & Perry Saturn

Weirdly, I'm friends with Sonny Onoo on Facebook, so I won't be too harsh on this one.

WCW World War 3 1998 - Sonny Onoo & Ernest Miller faced Perry Saturn & Kaz Hayashi
Still, you can't help but believe that this "special martial arts challenge" was a step down for Perry Saturn, who was just coming off the back of a long, heated rivalry with Raven.

In case you're wondering "Special Martial Arts Challenge" basically meant a regular tag team match with Sonny wearing a karate suit and laying in some ineffective kicks against Kaz Hayashi, who was making his PPV debut here.

Like the earlier Glacier/Wrath outing, this one could have benefited from being about five minutes shorter.

Had they kept it brief, it could have perhaps worked as a quick little comedy outing. Instead,  it went over ten minutes and really began to drag.

When Ernest Miller kicked Saturn in the head and Onoo got the three count it came as a relief, though probably not to Saturn, who must have really pissed somebody off backstage.
Your Winners: Sonny Onoo and Ernest Miller

Out in the "Internet Location" Chris Jericho - who had been one of the hottest stars in the world- talked about his upcoming match with -sigh- Bobby Duncam Jr.

World Championship Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman

WCW World War 3 1998 - Eddie Guerrero and the LWO confront Rey Mysterio Jr.
Prior to the match, Mean Gene stopped Juventud Guerrera in the middle of his entrance to confront him about wearing a Latino World Order t-shirt.

This brought out LWO leader Eddie Guerrero, who confirmed that yes, Juvi was indeed LWO-4-LIFE.

In turn, this brought out fellow LWO member Rey Mysterio Jr, who was angry because Eddie bringing Juvi into the stable was the reason he (Mysterio) had been denied a cruiserweight title match...

...Yeah, I don't know either.

Irate about this whole confusing thing, Mysterio promised to do something about this injustice before letting Guerrera and Kidman get on with their match.

And man, what a match it was.

Probably the best cruiserweight match since Eddie and Rey's classic at Halloween Havoc 1997, this was dramatic, exciting, and made innovative use of the three-ring set-up.

The two tore it up with gusto, creating a match that was easily going to be the best thing on the card...

At least until the finish.

With Juvi ready to huricanrana Kidman off the top, Rey ran in and held onto Kidman's pants so that he stayed where he was.

A Shooting Star Press later, and we had a new champion.
Your Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman

Afterwards, Eddie told Rey he was either in or out.

Naturally, good guy Rey handed in his LWO membership and got chased off by his former teammates.

El Dandy was there.

Nobody doubted him.

Scott Steiner (w/ Buff Bagwell) vs. Rick Steiner

WCW World War 3 1998 - Scott Steiner & Buff Bagwell pose

If World Championship Wrestling proved anything over the years, it's that they were pretty good at flogging a dead horse.

At the previous month's Fall Brawl, we finally got the big pay off to the Steiner Brother feud, and if things had ended there, everyone would have been happy.

Instead, they kept it going to tonight, where Scott Steiner had to bring his own referee with him.

You see, Steiner had been mean to some of the referees on WCW programming, and so all of WCW's officials had banded together to say -in the exact words of Tony Schiavone- "that they would not referee a Scott Steiner match or a Big Poppa Pump match ever again."

I suppose there was a subtle difference between Scott Steiner and Big Poppa Pump, though who knows what it was.

Not that this was much of a Scott Steiner match...or Bigg Poppa Pump match for that matter.

WCW World War 3 1998 - Bill Goldberg celebrates with Rick SteinerScotty had the nWo job squad beat up his brother backstage when wheel him out for a two-on-one mauling at the hands of the two Daddies - Big Bad Booty and Buff.

Rick Steiner battled back, even taking out Scott's bogus referee, but it all proved too much for him.

In the end, WCW World Champion Goldberg ran out to confront Scott, who flipped him the bird.

The champ then proceeded to destroy everybody in sight and whatever this had been, it was finally over.
No Contest.

I'll take this moment to remind you that Goldberg was the WCW World Heavyweight Champion here, and his only role on the show was to save Rick Steiner and put in a cameo during the battle royal...more of which later.

Scott Hall (w/ nWo Hollywood) vs. Kevin Nash

A lot had happened to Scott Hall since he and former Outsiders partner Kevin Nash first went at it back at Fall Brawl.

WCW World War 3 1998 - Big Sexy Kevin Nash
For one thing, he'd finally sobered up.

For another, he'd decked Eric Bischoff on Nitro for reasons I don't recall and don't care to look up.

What I do recall -because I just this second watched it- is that this match began with Bischoff coming to the ring and ordering nWo Hollywood to turn their backs on Hall.

They did so with gusto, prompting Nash to run out and make the save.

Yet rather than give the crowd the big Outsiders reunion they wanted, Nash merely refused to give Hall the Too Sweet sign and wandered off instead.
No Contest

That whole thing could have been done on Nitro.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World Television Champion Chris Jericho (w/ Ralphus) vs. Bobby Duncam Jr

Look, I don't mean to rag on Bobby Duncam Jr, but you can't help but feel as though this match was Chris Jericho's punishment for getting himself over during his "feud" with Goldberg.

WCW World War 3 1998 - Chris Jericho & Ralphus
Also of note. this was the first PPV appearance not only of Bobby Duncam Jr but also Ralphus, who looked completely awkward throughout the whole thing.

The match itself was OK, but the crowd really gave no damns about Duncam Jr, and completely switched off.

In fact, if you look, you'll see the fans looking anywhere except towards the ring throughout the entirety of the match.

The near silence that greeted this one really sucked the life out of this one and it was a chore to watch.

That's not to say that Jericho, and even, Duncam Jr, didn't put some effort in, but alas, such efforts really didn't pay off.

After a long bit of nothing exciting, Ralphus distracted the referee and Jericho waffled his opponent with the title to score the fall.
Your Winner and still WCW TV Champion: Chris Jericho

Next up, it was time for World War 3.

World War 3: Sixty Man Battle Royal

Featuring: Alex Wright, Bobby Blaze, Barry Darsow, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Chip Minton, Chris Adams, Chris Benoit, Ciclope, Saturn, Damien, The Disciple, Disco Inferno, Eddie Guerrero, El Dandy, The Giant, Hector Garza, Horace Hogan, Chris Jericho, Booker T, Wrath, Ernest Miller, Scott Steiner, Scott Norton, Scott Hall, Scotty Riggs (basically, all the Scotts), Rey Mysterio Jr., Barry Horowitz, Bobby Eaton, Stevie Ray, Billy Kidman, Juventud Guerrera, Psicosis, Dean Malenko, Steve 'Mongo' McMichael, Kaz Hayashi, Lex Luger, Konnan, Bobby Duncam Jr., Kanyon, Kevin Nash, Johnny Swinger, Renegade, Scott Putski, Silver King, Super Calo, Tokyo Magnum, Van Hammer, Vilanos V, Vincent, Kendal Whindam Jr., Kenny Kaos, La Parka, Lenny Lane, Lizmark Jr., Mike Enos, Lodi, Norman Smiley, Prince Iuekea, Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Glacier

WCW World War 3 1998 - The World War 3 Battle Royal
The show did a really good job of giving all sixty men a proper introduction - not with their own theme music- but at least in a way that you could clearly see -and were told- exactly who was competing.

That was a nice touch, and, weirdly, I quite like that they started off by introducing everybody in more-or-less alphabetical order.

I think that's the OCD side of me kicking in.

The rules this year were slightly different, in that as well as being thrown to the floor, you could also be eliminated by being pinned or submitted.

The weirdest part is this hardly came into play at all.

The only time that it did was a two-second spot in which Scott Steiner slapped Mongo McMichael in a submission move, but the referee stayed over on the other side of the ring, paying no attention to it.

Still, as battle royals go, this was one of the better ones.

Kevin Nash cleaned house in his ring early and then got plenty of time to just hang out and chill for a while. Seriously, you can put your own jokes in there.

When it got down to 20 men, the remaining wrestlers met in one ring to give us some genuinely enjoyable action.

At one point, the recently debuted Bam Bam Bigelow made his first WCW PPV appearance when he ran through the crowd and tried to attack everybody but ended up getting beaten up.

Goldberg ran in for a fantastic pull-apart brawl with the former WWF and ECW star as the remaining battle royal participants just watched.

Finally, the match culminated in Nash eliminating both his Wolfpac teammate Lex Luger and World War 3 1997 winner, Scott Hall.
Your Winner: Kevin Nash

Nash would now go on to face Goldberg at Starrcade 1998.

The Finger Poke of Doom was getting ever closer.

World Championship Wrestling United States Heavyweight Championship
WCW US Champion Diamond Dallas Page vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

WCW World War 3 1998 - Diamond Dallas Page defended the US title against Bret Hart
With challenger Bret Hart playing the uber-heel and challenger Diamond Dallas Page riding a wave of momentum as one of WCW's hottest homegrown stars, both men worked together to create a compelling main event match that worked on every level.

Bret was vicious and yet conniving.

Page was valiant and courageous.

Each man played their roles to perfection to deliver a very solid bout.

Just like Jericho/Duncam Jr., this one suffered in the early going thanks to a lack of crowd reaction, but like the consummate professionals they were, Hart and Page won them over.

At least they did until the finish, which totally put a dampener on the entire thing.

Charles Robinson took a tumble, which allowed Bret Hart to retrieve a pair of brass knuckles from Robinson's pocket, the referee having put them there after they were knocked out of Bret's hand earlier in the match.

Scott Steiner's weird nWo referee then ran in, Page was clocked with the brass knuckles, and the Sharpshooter was applied.

The fake ref then called for the bell, and apparently, that was all she wrote.

Except it wasn't.

Mickie Jay, who was ringside tending to Lil' Naitch, disputed the finish, giving Page enough time to recover, hit the Diamond Cutter, and retain the title.
Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Diamond Dallas Page

As Tony Schiavone reminded us what went down throughout the course of the show, DDP celebrated his big win to bring the fourth and final World War 3 to an end.

After tonight, the World War 3 concept would be shelved for good. The following year, it was replaced by WCW Mayhem, a show designed to promote the video game of the same name.

As I said earlier, reviewing WCW's 1998 PPVs has been a chore over these last few months. With the notable exception of the aforementioned Fall Brawl 1998 (which was mostly very good), every show has been frustrating, disappointing, confusing, or just plain bad.

Tonight's show risked doing just the same, with two scheduled matches not taking place, a bunch of filler on the undercard, and an infuriatingly poor finish to the main event.

That said, the Juvi/Kidman cruiserweight bout was an absolute joy to watch, whilst the actual World War 3 battle royal was by far and away the best one the company had ever produced.

Definitely check out the cruiserweight match, and if you're a battle royal fan give the  60-man a look, otherwise there's nothing much to see here.

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
  21. WWF - Survivor Series 1998
Other WCW World War 3 reviews:
    Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

    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: 
      Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

      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.