Friday, 29 April 2016

Journey Through The Attitude Era Vol 5: WWF Summerslam 1998 Review



                                                           One of my favorite posters for a pay per view!
 Welcome one and all to another edition of our journey through what was the attitude era. Tonight we shall indulge in what was WWF Summerslam 1998, a big pay per view for The Rock and Triple H as they made themselves stars in their epic ladder match while Austin and Undertaker just never seemed to have enough chemistry for a truly awesome match did they? Well let's waste no more time and get it on!



Opening package reminds us that Undertaker and Kane are now on the same page, The Brothers of Destruction unite for the first time and that spells trouble for The Rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin as he defends his championship against Undertaker.



Val Venis vs D'Lo Brown(WWF European Championship Match)



This match was really enjoyable, it was slow to begin with but it build as the match continued. The story of the match was D'Lo's chest protector gave him an unfair advantage so to begin with D'Lo had the advantage as he wore down Val by using his chest protector. Val's selling was great as he bounced all over the place for D'Lo who hit powerbombs and elbows nad a mid air sky high which was really impressive.



The match came to a disappointing end as Val stole the chest protector and the referee refused to allow Val to use it even though D'Lo could use. Anyways, Val shoves the referee and the match ends in a DQ. Disappointing end as the match was building and was winning the crowd over but the finish protects Val who had recently debut while D'Lo keeps his championship.




Oddities W/ ICP vs Kaientai


What to say hmmmm..... interesting? Yeah let's go with that as The Oddities take on Kaientai. Just lower card comedy here with some funny spots as the big men like Giant Silva and Kurrgan(Do not worry if you do not know who these are, most people don't!) toss around Funaki and Taka Michinoku. Oddities get the win when Kurrgan and Giant Silva chokeslam all four members of Kaientai and Golga(Earthquake) splashes all four members.



Winners: Oddities over Kaientai following The Splash of Doom!





 X-Pac vs Jeff Jarrett(Hair vs Hair match) 



This was an ok match from these two. Jeff Jarrett had cut Howard Finkel's hair on Heat so Finkel was in X-Pac's corner. They go through the motions here nothing really memorable as Jarrett reaches for the guitar but X-pac clobbers Jarrett over the head and gets the win.



 Jarrett's hair was shaved by Finkle and X-Pac so everyone had a good time. Jarrett had the mullet style of hair for so long but so many fans nowadays would recognize his short hair look with his guitar in hand. The future looked bright for both these men in the WWF but this match was nothing to write home about.



Winner: X-Pac over Jarrett following Guitar Shot!

 

 

Edge & Sable vs Marc Mero & Jacqueline




Sable's mystery partner for her match against Mero and Jacqueline turns out to be the mysterious Edge who has been seen at the last few pay per views watching on from the rafters and various other locations. Sable's voice is like nails on a chalkboard, I mean like Brie Bella looks tame in terms of annoyance.



 However, Sable's wrestling was far worse than her shrieking, selling was non existent and this match was bad. Comedy was an important element in this match but it really was poor at times. Many people criticize Mero and he was poor in this match but I will have to watch him in WCW as Johnny B Badd to see if that is true. All around a poor match with Sable pinning Mero after an assist from Edge.



Winners: Edge & Sable over Mero & Jacqueline!





 Ken Shamrock vs Owen Hart(Lion's Den Match)



Ah WWF, you could have made a few bucks off Dan Severn vs Shamrock in a real UFC fight perhaps a missed opportunity right there, it could not have been as bad for the brawl for all(That will be reviewed one day). Owen Hart since joining the Nation has been an annoying little shit and everyone wants Shamrock to kill him. This is Shamrock's match and Hart looks like it could be game over.


Shamrock starts off intense as always throwing Hart around the cage, this match follows the same formula last time as it very quickly goes from fight mentality orientated back to wrestling orientated and it kinda loses some of its magic for me when they go from shooting takedowns to throwing irish whips and back body drops. Hart tries to lock in his chokehold learned from Dan the beast Severn but Shamrock flips out of the choke and locks in the Anklelock. Severn walks away in disgust as Hart taps like a little girl. Good match from these two as Shamrock was so over at the time and it is no surprise that he is placed so highly on the card for the next ppv competing for a shot at the title. Hart played a great chickenshit heel here, great selling and when he tapped, the crowd erupted.




Winner: Shamrock over Owen Hart following An Ankle Lock!






Mankind vs New Age Outlaws(WWF Tag Team Championship Match)



The tag team titles are on the line as Kane is nowhere to be seen so Mankind will be taking on both men by himself, defending his championship. The seeds are planted here for the more cartoony fun loving Mankind who they people would be sympathetic towards. Mankind gets brutalized by The Outlaws trays and chairs are on the menu for Foley as he gets rammed into a dumpster by ringside.



 Mankind gets powerbombed through two chairs before getting a spike piledriver onto one of the tag team belts as The New Age Outlaws are your new tag team champions. Crowd is chanting throughout for Mankind. Kane appears from the dumpster which New Age Outlaws brought to ringside and smashes Mankind with a sledgehammer.



Winner: New Age Outlaws over Mankind!





Triple H W/ Chyna vs The Rock W/ Mark Henry(Ladder Match Intercontinental Championship)



The Rock defends his championship against Triple H, it is the culmination of a rivalry that sprang from Spring until Summer. The Nation and Dx would finally go their separate ways after this match but who will walk away the champion? Triple H's knee was softened up by The Rock on Heat after he assaulted Triple H with the belt. Both men trade dominance at the beginning before Triple H attempts a pedigree but is sent tumbling over the top rope. Triple H is catapulted into a ladder at ringside, as Rock nails him with a clothesline.



 Rock climbs a ladder inside the ring but Triple H pushes him off as both men are down. Triple H tries to climb to the title but Rock yanks Hunter down, Hunter clutched his heavily taped leg. Rock zeroes in on the leg Hunter's leg is put in a ladder while Rock decides that Hunter deserves a chair shot to the injured leg. Feeling that this one is in the bag, Rock takes his time climbing the ladder. Big mistake as Hunter shoves the ladder over, he also throws the ladder to the outside to by time. Smart strategy from the challenger as JR is putting over this match big time. Hunter gets backdropped on a ladder at ringside while Rock goes for Gold once more. The Great one is denied by Hunter as he shoves the ladder down and baseball slides the ladder into The Rock's face.

 Rock is busted open by the ladder shot to the face, Hunter tries to climb the ladder, he is inches away from grabbing the belt before Rock tips the ladder over. Both me climb to the top of the ladder before Hunter is thrown off the ladder but he rebounds and sends Rock crashing to the floor, Chyna gifts Triple H a chair as he lays into Rock over and over again with the chair. Triple H attempts a pedigree on the ladder but Rock reverses and Triple H lands right on the ladder. Rock signals for The People's elbow as the crowd goes nut as Rock nails Hunter. Both men attempt climbing the ladder while trading finishers, Rock hits the rock bottom before Triple H nails the pedigree. Both men still down as Mark Henry at ringside throws powder in the eyes of Hunter who cannot see a stitch now.



 They climb the ladder trading blows with The Rock having the upper hand as Triple H cannot see anything. Chyna evens the odds by low blowing Rock who falls to the mat, Triple H is all alone at the top of the ladder as he pulls down the championship. All I can say is what a match, from the crowd reaction to the wrestling is what fantastic, The Rock and Triple H tore it up inside that ring and both men would be looked at differently after this match. If you could signal one match as the turning point in someone's career, it would be this match and it would be for both men. Congratulations to both men who stole the show in Madison Square Garden.




Winner: Triple H over The Rock by retrieval of the belt!





(WWF Championship Match) Stone Cold Steve Austin © vs The Undertaker



The champion Austin taking on The Undertaker who has his brother Kane on his side. Both men are pummeling each other to begin with with Stone Cold showing off some nice wrestling moves such as a fujiwara armbar and drop toe holds to take down the bigger and larger Undertaker. Undertaker hits Austin with a stungun to take down the champion. Hard Irish whip by The Phenom, Austin goes low and starts working over the leg of the challenger but Austin cannot sustain the advantage for long as Undertaker hits a leaping clothesline, taking Austin off his feet. Undertaker chokes Austin before deciding its time for old school. Unfortunately for Taker, Austin counters and goes right back to the leg of the demon from death valley. Kane comes out to ringside but Undertaker sends his younger brother away deciding he will do this on his own without any help.



 Austin and Undertaker brawl into the crowd, back in the ring Austin attempts the stunner but Taker bails to the outside of the ring. Austin goes for a double axe handle but Taker catches him and Austin's back meets the ringpost. Taker decides the spanish announce table needs some redecorating as he lays Austin on top. Taker climbs the top rope and legdrops Austin through the table. Great looking spot there by Undertaker as it looks like he nearly killed Austin. Taker carries the champion's limp body back into the ring and covers him. 1...2.... Kickout by Austin, double clothesline as both men are down. Referee Earl Hebnar starts the ten count, right hands by Austin, Lou Thesz Press and an elbow from Austin. Here things get a bit hazy as Undertaker and Austin have some miscommunications which leads to a very awkward part of the match with Austin attempting to hit the stunner and both men awkwardly hitting one another.



 The match comes to an end as Taker tries Old School one more time but Austin low blows Undertaker in mid air and plants him with the stunner for the 1..2..3. Unless I missed it I do not remember hearing this was no disqualifications so it was strange to see the referee looking at Austin as he low blowed the Undertaker. Regardless of the finish, Undertaker sits up and hands Austin the title in a sign of respect before meeting his brother Kane in the entrance way as both men stare at Austin. It was a decent match, not a bad match.



 It had a good story with Undertaker still being a face despite his alliance with Kane. Undertaker sending Kane away was a nice touch to further this point but the wrestling was not all that great in this match. The ending was admittedly sloppy I do not really know what happened but it did not look very good. However, it was still a solid match from the two biggest faces in the company at the time.




Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin over Undertaker following a Stunner!




 

Overall, it was another pay per views that was carried by one or two matches. The memorable moments were The Rock and Triple H's fantastic ladder match, it absolutely stole the show and launched both men to another level. Austin and Undertaker was not as good but was still enjoyable match from those two while Val Venis and D'Lo Brown had a great opener, probably the best opener of all the pay per views from 1998 I have seen so far. The rest of the card did not feel like a Summerslam card though, it did not feel like a big four pay per view. Sable match was really bad and The Kaientai vs Oddities was a comedy match that should have been on heat. Check in with us next time for WWF Breakdown ! See You next time!


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