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WWF SummerSlam 1998
Posted by Retro Rob on Aug 24, 2002, 12:07
WWF SummerSlam 1998
MOVIE OF THE WEEK
I took my monthly trip to Blockbuster yesterday and rented 4 movies. I think I’ll focus on Shadow of the Vampire this week. The premise of the movie is based on the true story/urban legend of the silent film Nosferatu. Nosferatu was originally made in 1922. It was your run of the mill vampire movie, except members of the cast and crew had mysteriously disappeared or were killed during production. That being said, Shadow of the Vampire could have simply been based around those strange occurrences, but that would have been taking the easy way out. Shadow of the Vampire is actually about two men. One being F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich), the director, who wants to create the most horrific film in history. Murnau will stop at nothing to achieve this, even if it costs many other people their lives. The other main character is the vampire, Count Orlock/Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe). Max Schreck is a character actor, or so everyone thought. In the end, Max Schreck only wants one thing and that is the blood of Murnau’s leading lady. All of this culminates in one of the greatest endings in movie history as Murnau has finally made the perfect horror film and Schreck has fulfilled all of his dreams. The first time I saw this movie I thought it was hilarious. Reason being, Willem Dafoe looked very funny in his vampire getup. However, after seeing the movie again I really began to see what made this movie so interesting. On a whole, parts of the movie dragged, whereas others were very compelling. This was rather hard to rate, but I think I’ll go with 7/10.
TAPE OF THE WEEK
August 30, 1998 in New York City, NY
Madison Square Garden drawing 21,588 ($796,853)
Shown live on PPV (1.63)
Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler commentate
A pretty cool recap of the Vince McMahon/Undertaker/Kane-Steve Austin feud starts the show. I'll just elaborate so everyone knows what was going on leading up to this show. Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker was announced as the SummerSlam main event in the weeks leading to Fully Loaded. In order to do the "can they co-exist until then" angle, Vince books Austin and Taker against the Tag-Team Champions Kane and Mankind for the PPV. Of course Austin and Taker win the titles, but in the process tensions raise between the good guys. The next night on Raw McMahon dwells on the point that it only took one tombstone to beat Kane for the straps, whereas it took 3 at WrestleMania XIV. The Undertaker reiterates that he and Kane are not in cahoots. Somewhere in this whole mess Taker and Austin lose the titles back to Mankind and Kane. Surprisingly it only took Kane one chokeslam on the Undertaker to win the titles. That leads to more McMahon conspiracy theories. Two weeks before SummerSlam, The Undertaker officially aligns himself with Kane. By doing this Kane shafts both Paul Bearer and Mankind. Mankind being the doofus that he is doesn't accept this. The next Monday on Raw Mankind fought Kane in a Hell in a Cell match. Austin comes out from underneath the ring and dismantles Kane inside the padlocked cage. The Undertaker climbs to the top of the cage and tries to break through, but all of a sudden McMahon raises the cell. By doing this McMahon makes sure that the Taker and Austin don't fight until the PPV. I think that covers it in a nutshell. 1/1
WWF European Title: D-Lo Brown vs. Val Venis
Val does his "I came, I saw, and I came again" spiel. Val was fresh off the infamous "Choppy Choppy your Pee-Pee" angle. This was also his first ever title shot in the WWF. Coincidentally, this match is D-Lo Brown's first PPV defense of his European Title. You see D-Lo would always request non-title matches because he wasn't wrestling in Europe. D-Lo also still had his "reinforced" chest protector. I didn't know that the WWF was still enforcing time limits in 1998. This match is set at 60 minutes as if that actually means anything. Pretty slow start with stalling and lockups. Not as bad as the current Hogan format though. Val punches D-Lo's chest and hurts his hand on the chest protector. D-Lo collides into Val with a body splash and an avalanche. D-Lo goes for another and misses. Venis comesback with a russian legsweep. D-Lo gets sent to the floor and is slingshot back in. Some back and forth action results in a Venis spinebuster for 2. Edge is brooding in the crowd. Val misses a splash and applies a sleeper, which D-Lo counters with a belly-to-back suplex. Val gets whipped hard to the corner. They trade shots until Val pulls out a variation of the fisherman's suplex. D-Lo scores with a legdrop for 2. Val goes for a slam, but his back gives out. I didn't think D-Lo was that heavy back in 1998. D-Lo gets a long 2 off an elbow from the second rope. Small "D-Lo" chant starts. Val tries to reverse a suplex, but once again his back can't take it. D-Lo applies a Texas Cloverleaf. He releases it for no apparent reason. D-Lo misses a senton off the top. Val mounts some offense with a backdrop. As he jumps off the top rope, D-Lo catches him with the Sky High for a VERY LONG 2. DDT also gets 2. D-Lo stops a superplex attempt. He flies off the top into a Venis powerslam for 2 1/2. Venis follows up with a guillotine and a double underhook suplex. Val flies off the top with the Money Shot into D-Lo's knees. LOUD "D-Lo" chant. The dumb marks catch on and counter with "D-Lo Sucks". D-Lo picks Val up for a powerbomb, but DROPS HIM on his neck! Fortunately, Val doesn't seem to be paralyzed. D-Lo tries again and scores with the Sky High. D-Lo misses the Low Down. Val pulls off the chest protector and puts it on himself. Venis goes up top for the Money Shot, but is accidentally crotched by Jimmy Korderas, who was trying to get him down. Val is still hot though, as he scores with an atomic drop. Venis shoves Korderas to the mat as retribution, which is means for a disqualification. (15:23) ***1/4 Val gives Jimmy the Money Shot. Very good match besides the lame finish and botched powerbomb.
Earlier on Sunday Night Heat Steve Austin destroyed a hearse that was backstage. JR and King had been speculating who was inside and hearse and if they were injured. Michael Cole is on the scene with Mankind. Mankind reveals that he bought the hearse here as a present for Kane in the hopes of reconciling with him. Mankind adds that this is bad news for Kane, but good news for the Briscoe Brothers Bodyshop. The segment ends with Mankind walking off with a sledgehammer in hot pursuit of Steve Austin. 2/2
The Oddities w/Luna Vachon & The Insane Clown Posse vs. Kaientai w/Yamaguchi-san
This match is 3 vs. 4 (Golga/Kurgan/Giant Silver vs. TAKA Michinoku/Men's Teioh/Dick Togo/Sho Funaki). The ICP sing The Oddities to the ring and....no one cares. In my opinion, putting TAKA in this match was a big mistake since he was the Light-Heavyweight Champion. I know that the WWF never gave a damn about the division, but they could have at least had a title match on the PPV or just not put the Champion in a lame comedy match. Golga kicks it off by headbutting all the Japs. Golga steals one of Yamaguchi's shoes, fills it with soda, and throws it in his face. Kurgan now takes out all of KDX and Yamaguchi. Giant Silver manhandles everyone. This all climaxes when TAKA gets military press slammed on to his partners, who are on the floor. KDX finally gets some offense on Golga. Cool M-Pro spot as all 4 guys come off the top with splashes. EVERYONE gets in the ring. Luna slams Yamaguchi-san. Giant Silva and Kurgan chokeslam all the members of KDX. Golga splashes them and covers for the win. (10:11) DUD This ran WAY too long, but it wasn't horribly offensive. Jayson Williams of the New Jersey Nets is in the crowd. JR, "No basketball players in the ring tonight, folks." BURN!
Hair vs. Hair Match: Jeff Jarrett w/Southern Justice vs. X-Pac w/Howard Finkle
In my opinion, the gimmick in this match wasn’t really necessary at the time. Reason being, X-Pac had been involved in the DX dissention angle leading up to SummerSlam. Meanwhile, Jeff Jarrett cut off some of Droz’s hair. Then for no reason whatsoever, X-Pac decides to relieve himself in Double J’s boots. How that equates to a hair vs. hair match is beyond me. I could live with this match not having a gimmick and Jarrett winning via guitar shot. Afterwards he could clip some of X-Pac’s greasy locks. That would lead to the hair match at the next PPV. Either way, here we are. Jeff Jarrett shaved The Fink's head on Sunday Night Heat. Commissioner Slaughter sends Southern Justice (The Godwinns) to the back, but allows Howard to stay. That's just absurd. Howard participates in the usual DX pre-match antics. The match begins with a very fast sequence. Jarrett gets kicked to the floor. X-Pac flies off the second turnbuckle with a crossbody to the floor. Cool spot. Jarrett looks for a sunset flip, so X-Pac simply moves out of the way. Jarrett connects with two nice dropkicks, sending Pac to the floor. Pac scores with some chops. Double J says, “Fuck that you little bitch,” and delivers a SICKENING crotch shot on the ringpost. Well, maybe he didn’t use those exact words. JR wins The Understatement of the Night Award with, “That will take it right out of you.” Howard motivates X-Pac, who makes it into the ring by 9. Jarrett whips Pac hard to the corner a couple of times. Jarrett with a powerslam. X-Pac scores with a tornado DDT off the top for 2 ½. Jarrett applies a sleeper. Pac elbows out and applies one of his own. Pac blocks a belly-to-back suplex off the top, but misses a crossbody. Jarrett covers for 2 ½. The King has been making fun of Finkle all night, so JR asks, “Why do you keep picking on good old Howard?” Well JR, I suppose you didn’t know about Howard’s cowardly personality traits back in 1998. Jarrett ducks a spinning heel kick and puts on a Figure Four. Pac tries to reverse it to no avail, which leads to a few nearfalls. Pac finally reaches the rope. Jeff goes for another, but is kicked to the corner. X-Pac hits a belly-to-back suplex and both men are down. X-Pac with the Bronco Buster in the corner. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate that move? Hell, I hate it more than the People’s Elbow. Pac rolls through a Jarrett crossbody from the top for 2. Jarrett rolls him up for 2. Ditto for X-Pac. X-Pac goes for another Bronco Buster, but thankfully Double J gets his foot up. Howard the Coward gets on the apron and is nailed by Jarrett. X-Pac connects with the X-Factor. He takes too long to cover resulting in only a 2. Southern Justice runs out. Dennis Knight (Mideon) swings Jarrett’s guitar at Pac, but Pac ducks and takes the guitar. Jarrett turns around into a guitar shot for the 3. (11:11) ***1/2 The Headbangers, Droz, and the New Age Outlaws assist in the haircutting. Halfway through the buzzer dies, so sheers have to be used. Fortunately, Jeff escapes while the faces try to transport him to the back. Jeff, your beautiful golden locks will never be forgotten. This match is proof that when he wanted to Sean Waltman really could go in the ring. Of course now he can go and stand on an unemployment line. Goes to show you just how far a bad attitude and laziness will get you in the wrestling business.
Dok Hendrix is in the Paramount to hype the Lion’s Den Match. 2/3
Michael Cole is with the Rock. Footage of the Rock taking out Triple H’s leg on Heat with the Intercontinental Title belt is shown. Cole asks the Rock what he thinks about the Ladder Match. The Rock, “The Rock is thinking about slapping the yellow off your teeth if you keep asking stupid questions.” The Rock goes on to speculate how Triple H will be able to climb a ladder on one leg. For the record, I loved the Rock as a heel, so I wasn’t always in the “Rocky Sucks!” camp. 3/4
Mixed Tag-Team Match: Marc Mero & Jacqueline vs. Sable & Edge
Edge was Sable’s mystery partner in this match. He didn’t really have any purpose in this match besides the WWF hoping to use little Miss Popularity to help get him over. No intergender stuff here. Just keep that in mind for the finish. Mero controls until Edge gets a headscissors takedown and some armdrags. Mero tags Jackie. Sable chases Jackie back to her corner, where Mero is tagged back in. Edge hits a flapjack, but is distracted by Jackie, giving Marc the chance to score with a kneelift. Both Mero and Jackie choke Edge on the ropes. Sable is going nuts on the apron. Edge swings out of a TKO and scores with a DDT. Sable gets the hot tag. Doubleleg takedown on Jackie and some kicks in the corner. Sable uses the usual hairpull takedown. She knocks Mero off the apron and a chase ensues around the ring with the two ladies. Somehow Sable and Mero end up in the ring. Sable with a ballshot. She goes for the Sablebomb, but Jackie saves. Not for long though, as Sable hits a TKO. She only gets two because Mero pulls her to the floor. Jackie comes off the apron with a fist to Sable's back. Back in the ring, Jackie accidentally knocks Mero to the floor. Edge gets the tag and flies on to Mero with a tope. Mero gets sent to the steps. Jackie jumps on Edge's back, but he puts her over his knee and takes her to the woodshed. Back in, Edge gets 2 off a crossbody from the top. Edge connects with a nice neckbreaker while Mero was on the top rope. Edge covers, but Jackie gets Marc's foot on the rope by 2. This time it's Mero that sends Jackie off the apron. Edge rolls him up for 2. Mark finally gets some offense with a samoan drop. Edge crotches Mero up top. Sable gets the tag. She delivers the Sablerana to Marc off the top. Jackie tries to break up the pin with a splash off the top, but Sable rolls out of the way. More heel screw-ups result. Edge gives Mero the Downward Spiral. He flapjacks Sable on to Mero for the pin. (8:26) **1/2 Since the match wasn't intergender, Sable pinning Marc shouldn't have ended the match. It had to be man vs. man or lady vs. lady. The match wasn't really as good as the WrestleMania XIV Mixed Tag-Team Match, but it was still good considering it featured a non-wrestler and a female brawler.
This next segment is semi-well known. Michael is with Mankind to inform him that Kane is not going to be at SummerSlam. This of course means that Mankind has defend the Tag-Titles alone against the Outlaws. Mankind talks about forfeiting the titles. Cole tells him that the people paid to see a match, so Mick retorts with, "You want you moneys worth? Then lets go play outside in traffic." Vince McMahon intervenes and convinces Mankind to wrestle because IF he wins it will make him famous. Mankind decides to go ahead with the match. Mankind has 13 words for the Outlaws, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" 4/5
Very cool video covering the Owen Hart-Ken Shamrock feud. The feud stemmed off of the Shamrock and a few other faces fighting The Nation. At the last PPV Ken and Owen fought in Stu Hart's Dungeon. Owen won the submission match by hitting Ken with a dumbbell and tapping out for him. Since that was "Owen's match" Ken wanted to wrestle his kind of UFC-style match at SummerSlam. Owen recruited Dan Severn to help him prepare for this "shoot" match. 5/6
Lion's Den Match: Owen Hart w/Dan Severn vs. Ken Shamrock
The Lion's Den is just a circular ring with no ropes that is surrounded by a nine-foot mesh cage. Although JR will tell you differently, this match can only end by submission. Shamrock drives Owen into the cage. Owen counters with a front facelock, into an armbar and then a leg grapevine. Now it’s Owen who drives Shamrock to the cage. They trade shots leading to Shamrock getting a waistlock takedown. Shamrock applies either a sleeper or a chokehold. You can’t really tell because they are doing this aerial cam thing. Owen escapes with a low blow followed up with a whip to the cage. Shamrock runs right back at Owen with a clothesline. Owen gets his shirt torn off and is choked with it. Owen’s bleeding from the mouth. Shamrock springboards off the cage with a back elbow. Very cool move. Shamrock pulls out a belly-to-belly suplex. Owen comesback by sending Shamrock into the steel support beams a few times. Hart goes on to just pound the shit out of him. Enziguri and a stun gun into the cage (!) for Shamrock. Owen follows up with a backbreaker and some mounted punches. Shamrock reverses a piledriver with a backbody drop. Shamrock kicks off a Sharpshooter attempt. Own puts a stop to this swing in momentum with another well-placed low blow. Owen goes for a rana, but Shamrock counters with a sit-down powerbomb. JR mentions that Shamrock has a laceration on his head but I don’t see it. Shamrock pulls out another slingshot back elbow and a superkick. He goes to the well one to many times, as Owen counters the slingshot back elbow with a powerslam. Belly-to-belly suplex and it’s Sharpshooter time. Shamrock breaks the hold by climbing up the cage (!!). That looked rather painful. Owen spears Shamrock to cage, but Shamrock uses that opportunity to score with a tornado DDT. Shamrock with some martial arts kicks. Owen fights back by sending Shamrock to the support bar again. Owen applies the chokehold that Dan Severn taught him. I think it just looks like a dragon sleeper. Anyway, Shamrock walks the cage and is able to flip out of it. Shamrock with the Fujiwara armbar into an anklelock. Severn teases throwing in the towel, but just leaves out of embarrassment. Owen taps. (9:15) ***1/2 I didn’t think this match was really as great as some other people had me believing. Was it supposed to be a UFC-style match or a wrestling match? As a UFC style match it failed because it was nothing more than a wrestling match in a cage with no ring ropes. I though the match was very good, but it didn’t really live up to what the WWF had been hyping it as, a shoot-style match. Of course there were a few submission holds thrown in there, but they were surrounded by 8:00 of standard wrestling moves.
Michael Cole is with Steve Austin. Stone Cold is willing to do whatever it takes in order to beat the Undertaker. That’s really all he said. The interview was like 15 seconds long. 5/7
Falls Count Anywhere- WWF Tag-Team Titles: Mankind vs. New Age Outlaws
JR is losing it because of how horrible this is going to be for Mankind. In a little bit of continuity, the Outlaws bring a dumpster full of weapons down to the ring. Mankind attacks with a cookie tray. He and Billy duel with a pair of chairs. Mankind is doing pretty well for himself until the Outlaws use strength in numbers in the corner. Both Outlaws hit Mankind with cookie trays culminating in a “Con-Tray-To”. Road Dogg hits him with a mixing bowl. Seems like the Outlaws raided the kitchen for this match. Mankind backbodys Billy over the top. He charges the tray into Dogg’s face. Mankind with a neckbreaker to Billy on the floor for 2. Road Dogg knocks Mankind off the apron and he is doubleteamed on the floor. The Outlaws russian leg sweep Mankind into the dumpster. Back in, they set up a table in the corner. Mankind hiptosses Billy through the table. The Outlaws regroup with a double neckbreaker for a long 2. Pretty big “Foley!” chant starts up. Double powerbomb through two chairs still only gets 2. That looked nasty. Spike piledriver on the belt puts Mankind away. (5:16) * Mankind gets put in the dumpster. All of a sudden Kane emerges out of it and smashes Mankind with a sledgehammer. The match was nothing more than spots.
An EPIC recap of the Triple H-Rock feud leads us into the big match. The Rock-Triple H feud, similar to the Shamrock-Owen feud, stemmed off of DX feuding with the Nation. Although if you really want to be anal about it, Triple H and The Rock started feuding back in the beginning of 1997 when Rocky Maivia beat Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the Intercontinental Title with a roll-up. Anyway, Rock and Triple H had a Best 2 out 3 Falls Match at the last PPV, which ended in a time limit draw. Naturally a rematch is announced for SummerSlam. On Raw leading up to the PPV, The Nation barricaded DX in their locker room while they harassed Chyna in the ring. Mark Henry was in love with Chyna, so he was trying to get him some while the Rock restrained her. Fortunately, Chyna’s old buddy Shawn Michaels ran out to make the save. Triple H was finally going to get retribution for what happened to Chyna on Sunday Night Heat, so he confronted the Rock in the ring. By the time this situation ended, the Rock had hit Triple H’s bad knee with the Intercontinental Title. All of that leads us to a MOTYC for 1998. 6/8
Ladder Match- WWF Intercontinental Title: The Rock w/Mark Henry vs. Triple H w/Chyna
The DX band plays Triple H and Chyna to the ring. The referee wastes about a minute hanging up the belt. It’s little things like that which bother me. Why couldn’t the belt have been suspended above the ring sometime before this match started? Staredown complete with a few f-bombs starts this one. Slugfest results. HHH gets a clothesline, some mounted punches and a kneelift. Rock goes for the Rockbottom, but HHH pushes him off. Rock blocks a pedigree with a backbody over the top. HHH stops the Rock from getting to the ladder in the aisle. Rock is sent to the guardrail a few times and is brought back to the ring. Back in, HHH connects with a high knee. Now HHH goes for the ladder, but the Rock knocks both him and the ladder over. Rock stands the ladder up against the ring and whips HHH into it. That one sounded nasty. Big clothesline from the Rock. In the ring, Rock sets up the ladder and climbs. HHH flies off the top to knock the Rock off. The ladder falls on to HHH. HHH nails the Rock with ladder and smashes it into his chest. Triple H climbs, so the Rock wrenches one of his legs causing him to fall off. That was innovative. Rock works the quad. I hear a faint “Let’s Go Rocky!” chant. Rock drops the ladder on to HHH’s leg. HHH has his leg sandwiched in the ladder as Rock stomps and hits it with a chair. The Rock wraps HHH’s leg around the post. The ladder is set up so it leans on both the ring steps and the guardrail then the Rock gives HHH a kneebreaker on it. Rock drops an elbow from the steps. Back in, Rock climbs, HHH makes it back in to push him off. HHH sends Rock to the floor, where the ladder is leaned against the guardrail. Rock slingshots HHH into the ladder. HHH crawls up the aisle. Rock follows with the ladder. HHH regroups and goes for a pedigree, but Rock backbody drops him on the ladder. Mark Henry throws a fresh ladder into the ring, which Rock starts to climb. Chyna helps HHH up. Henry gets in her face, so HHH nails him. Henry holds HHH back from getting in the ring until Chyna hits him. HHH pushes the ladder over, causing Rock to fall to the floor. HHH baseball slides the ladder into Rock’s face. THAT was a sick spot. Rock blades, although it looks much better than his more recent attempts at juicing. Meanwhile, HHH is climbing in the ring. Rock makes it back in to push the ladder over. Rock drapes the ladder across the top rope in the corner. HHH tries to mount some offense, but the Rock hits DDT. Both men are climbing the ladder, slugfest ensues. HHH gets knocked off into the ladder in the corner. He bounces off that and knocks the other ladder (Rock and all) over. Chyna gives HHH a chair. Rock picks up the ladder and HHH chairs it into his face. HHH proceeds to chair the ladder into the Rock FOUR times. Rock comesback with a slam on the ladder. People’s Elbow on the ladder. Yes, it looks just as lame as it usually does. Now we have a bigger “ROCKY!” chant. HHH scores with a low blow. HHH climbs, but Rock keeps tugging on his leg, so he jumps off the ladder into a Rockbottom. That was sweet even though it wasn’t done in one fell swoop. HHH pulls Rock off the ladder and pedigrees him. Mark Henry throws powder in HHH’s eyes. A blinded HHH climbs the ladder, but he can’t find the belt. Rock starts to climb the other side and punches HHH down a few rungs. Cue Chyna, who gets the Rock with a ballshot causing him to fall to the mat. HHH grabs the belt to the biggest pop of the night thus far as the Rock makes on last attempt to stop him. (26:04) ****1/4 DX comes down to celebrate. I had to knock ¼* for Chyna’s interference and HHH not consistently selling his leg injury towards the end. This is a good reminder of the days when the Rock was a wrestler and Triple H was motivated. I’m sure that after hearing the pop that both of them got in MSG, they finally knew that they made it to the big time. If you haven’t seen this match, then shame on you (I hate that line) seeing how it was the first great match between two future superstars. It may not be as “spotastic” as some of these current Jeff Hardy matches, but it tells a hell of a better story.
We get a Home Video Exclusive as the Rock walks around backstage. If you listen closely you’ll hear someone yelling, “Where’s Taker? We need Taker NOW!” Rock kicks Dok out of his locker room and cuts a promo on HHH. 7/9
WWF Title: Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker
The highway to hell stops here. I guess this highway led to a whole lot of punching because that is pretty much all Austin and Taker do in this match. Taker gets a quick 2 off a clothesline. Austin flips him off and they take turns working the arm, in effect killing a rabid crowd. Stone Cold rolls him up for 2. Steve seriously fucks up a drop toehold, but Taker takes it anyway. Steve kicks the Undertaker and just falls over. JR says that they collided head to head, but the Taker doesn’t seem dazed, so who knows? Taker reverses a suplex and hits one of his own. A stungun gets 2. Austin ends up on the floor, where he pulls Taker halfway out and smashes his leg on the apron. He follows that up by wrapping Taker’s leg around the post. Back in, Taker hits the flying clothesline. Taker goes “old-school”, but Steve tugs him off the top to the mat. Kane plods out to ringside, but is sent back by the Undertaker. What a guy. Another slugfest develops and Austin once again smashes Taker’s leg on the apron. Taker brings Austin in the ring from the apron with a RUNNING CHOKESLAM! That made for a great visual. Austin is bleeding from the mouth. He clotheslines Taker out and comes off the apron with an axehandle. They brawl into the sea of humanity. Eventually, Taker backbody drops Austin on the concrete and clotheslines him back to ringside. Austin goes facefirst to the post. Back in, Austin goes for the Stunner, but Taker backs out and goes to the floor. Austin follows and gets sent back to the post. They continue to brawl. Taker puts Austin on the Spanish announce table and LEGDROPS HIM OFF THE TOP! That was SICK, mainly because the table didn’t give at all. Taker brings him into the ring, where he gets a long 2. Taker misses a blind charge and we get a double clothesline spot. Austin gets up first and punches Taker…a lot. Thesz press and JR starts screaming “FISTS OF FIRE!” Austin goes for a Stunner again. Taker kind of escapes and they both just fall down. This match is very weird. Austin drapes his arm over Taker for 2 ½. Taker comesback with a chokeslam. Austin slides out of a Tombstone, but ends up getting straddled on the top rope. Taker with a russian legsweep. He goes old-school again, this time Austin low blows him and wins with the Stunner. (20:51) **3/4 Taker hands Austin the belt. Kane comes back and the Brothers stare at Austin. This match was a real mess, but Taker was surprisingly able to hold it together. Austin seemed to be very off his game. Maybe he hit his head like JR said, or he may have just been having a bad day.
Dok interviews Taker and Kane in a Home Video Exclusive. Taker uses the cliched “He won the battle, but the war isn’t over.” 7/10
Michael Cole is with Austin in another Exclusive. Austin admits, “his performance wasn’t as good as it could have been.” He seemed pretty depressed throughout the whole interview. 7/11
Some lame fans give their thoughts on SummerSlam. 7/12
THIS IS IT
3 matches in the ***-***1/2 range and one ****1/4 match is nothing to sneeze at. Especially considering that is 1998 WWF we are talking about. I’m sure Bob Barron will agree with me when I say that this was a great show. The only other WWF PPV from 1998 in the same caliber as this one would be WrestleMania XIV. Check out SummerSlam 1998, even if only for the ladder match.
I’m back Sunday morning with Confidential. I’m going to be busy next week, so I’ll probably review something short. Now with school starting, I should be able to keep up with my regular schedule, but don’t be surprised if I’m a few days late every now and then with a tape review.