Tuesday 17 May 2016

Journey Through The Attitude Era Vol 8: WWF Survivor Series 1998 Review

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Welcome one and all to another edition of a series that nobody asked for the journey through the attitude era. Tonight we dive into one of the big four pay per views of the year, Survivor Series and what a night we have in store as the WWF Championship was vacated due to the controversy surrounding the Undertaker and Kane's victory over Stone Cold Steve Austin  at Breakdown and the no finish at Judgement Day as Austin attacked both Kane and Undertaker. To settle the score once and for all, a tournament was announced to crown a new champion. The main story of the evening is how will Vince Mcmahon try to screw Austin and The Rock as they battle their way to through the tournament and without wasting any more time, let's get it on!

Mankind vs Dwayne Gill

Mankind, Vince's supposed chosen one for the tournament, Mankind is wearing a suit, has his hair in a neat fashion and is clean shaven which is a sight to behold. Mcmahon spoke of an unnamed competitor for Mankind, a wrestler with many credentials and accomplishments. Apparently, the crowd thought it might be HBK but they were overjoyed to find out that it was WWF jobber Dwayne Gill before his days as Gillberg.

What? you don't like Dwayne Gill? Well, tough as he is the chosen one to face Mankind and promptly gets destroyed in less time that it took to write this sentence. No rating for this as it was so short and for your information, it will be a review filled with short notes due to the short matches (I know you are heartbroken it is ok).

Winner: Mankind over Gillberg by Slaughter!

Jeff Jarrett W/ Debra vs Al Snow

Continuing their feud from the previous month, Snow and Jarrett meet in this tournament match with both men quickly running through their moves before Debra appears on the apron.

 With the referee distracted, Snow reaches for Jarrett's guitar and Jarrett reaches for Snow's Head, both end up missing with their weapons before Snow grabs Head and smashes Jarrett in the face and covers him for the victory.

Winner: Al Snow over Jarrett via Head!

Big Bossman vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

Mcmahon's head of security Big Bossman takes on the Texas Rattlesnake who would love to win the gold again to stick it to Mcmahon. Austin had been fired from the WWF at Backlash but was reinstated by Shane Mcmahon so that is how he was competing if you were wondering. Vince watches backstage from his wheelchair (he suffered a broken ankle at the hands of Undertaker and Kane who crushed it with the steel steps).

 The two men mostly brawl before Bossman gets himself intentionally disqualified
by attacking Austin with his nightstick, putting a real beaten on Austin and hampering his chances of winning the tournament. The finish makes sense as Bossman's objective was to destroy Austin by any means necessary. Austin looks like he is in a lot of pain as he goes back through the curtain.

Winner: Stone Cold over Bossman via Disqualification!

Steve Regal vs X-Pac

Regal's Real Man's Man theme is so precious, there is nothing greater than it, it is truly hall of fame worthy on its own. His facial expressions are so good as well, it was no surprise he was so good at comedy when he got the chance. X-Pac and Regal have the best match of the night so far as they do what they do best, X-Pac kicks the hell out of Regal while Regal suplexes and stretches X-Pac all over the ring.

 It was very enjoyable until the ending where both men are counted out, the match is restarted as we need a winner but X-Pac just walks to the back and the match is over. You would think Regal would advance as X-Pac did not continue the match but no, Regal is also eliminated as they were unable to restart the match. I do not see the point of restarting the match if you did not want a winner.

No Contest!

Ken Shamrock vs Goldust

The Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock vs The Bizarre One Goldust, these two did not have a lot of chemistry and it shows in this match as it was not that pleasing on the eyes.

 Goldust attempts the Shattered Dreams but Shamrock pulls the referee in the way which allows Shamrock to hit a frankensteiner followed by a belly to belly and the ankle lock for the tapout victory. Short match and nothing memorable. Shamrock advances in the tournament!

Winner: Shamrock over Goldust via Ankle Lock!

The Rock vs Big Bossman

Rock was scheduled to face Triple H but Patterson informs everyone watching that there will be no Triple H and his replacement is none other than the Big Bossman. Bossman comes running down to the ring as The Rock executes a small package for the win in about 6 seconds. It was funny to see Bossman fail but I would have liked a match at this stage. Rock advances in the tournament.

Winner: The Rock over Bossman via small package!

Undertaker W/ Paul Bearer vs Kane

My god am I sick of seeing these two kill each other, it seems they were destined to fight at every second pay per view although I must admit with Kane as the face and Taker as the heel, it adds a different dynamic to the previous encounters but I have seen way too much of these two fight over a short period of time.

 Nonetheless, Taker and Kane brawl and brawl until Taker goes after Kane's leg taking away his vertical base, the legwork continues until Kane says screw this carp and chokeslams the Undertaker. this brings Bearer to the apron where he greets Kane's right hand with his face and is promptly knocked on his ass. Undertaker rises to his feet and delivers a tombstone to his brother while Bearer holds down Kane's feet so he cannot kick out. Undertaker advances in the tournament.

Winner: Undertaker over Kane following Shenanigans!

Al Snow vs Mankind

Another short match here folks as Snow grabs a steel chair from the outside and is smashed right onto the weapon he introduced. Mankind goes for Socko while Al reaches for Head but Snow did not see the Double Arm DDT coming and falls victim to the mandible claw. Mankind advances in the tournament.

Winner: Mankind over Al Snow via Mandible Claw!

The Rock vs Shamrock

Quick start as both men lay in punches with Shamrock taking the advantage. They brawl on the outside as Big Bossman comes to ringside. Rock finds himself in the ankle lock but he reaches the ropes as Shamrock stares in disbelief.

 Rock starts his comeback with two big clotheslines and a float over ddt but he gets a two count. People's elbow by The Rock but again, he only gets a two count. Bossman gets up on the apron and tosses his nightstick hoping for Shamrock to grab it but it is The Rock who grabs the nightstick and he nails Shamrock right between the eyes and advances to face Undertaker in the semi-final.

Winner: The Rock over Shamrock via Nightstick!

(WWF Women's Championship Match) Sable vs Jacqueline (c)

Sable is awful and that's all you need to know, just kidding this match is actually ok , her selling and offence is bad at times but she was popular with the crowd and made the most of it. Mero distracts Sable anytime he gets the chance and this leads to Jacqueline beating on Sable for a majority of the match. Sable eventually catches Mero and Sablebomb hims on the outside.

 Jacqueline regains her advantage and tries to hit a tornado ddt but it is reversed and Sable hits a Sablebomb and we have a new women's champion. It was good to see Sable have her moment and escape the torment of Mero and Jacqueline despite her flaws in the ring. it is a greater shame that there were no real women's wrestlers in the WWF at the time except for Jacqueline so Sable's reign was largely forgettable and uneventful.



Winner: Sable over Jacqueline via Sablebomb!

Stone Cold vs Mankind (Tournament Semi-Final) 

Vince makes his way to ringside assisted by his stooges to watch Austin's match. Mankind starts out the aggressor, hammering away on Austin. Austin battles back and attempts the stunner but Foley powders to the floor. The stooges Patterson and Brisco assault Austin while trying to help Mankind recover but it is to no avail as Austin decimates them with ease. Austin goes for the piledriver in the rampway but Mankind reveres Austin. Mankind smacks Austin around before Austin fires up he stomps a mudhole but Mankind cuts him off before he can build any real momentum.

 Mankind grabs a chair from ringside and nails a double arm ddt on the chair. Only two as Austin hits a stunner and covers Mankind. Mcmahon rises to his feet as King exclaims "It's a miracle he is healed " and pulls out the referee. Mandible Claw by Mankind but Austin hits a second stunner and Shane slides into the ring. 1...2.. and Shane stops counting he has screwed Austin and aligned himself with his father Vince. Shane slides to the outside and stands on the steel steps while Austin looks at him and looks at him and they stand their awkwardly.

 Why? Well Austin revealed on his podcast that Big Bossman was supposed to run to the ring and smash Austin with the steel chair to cost him the match but he missed his cue. Therefore, the ending had to be improvised and so Brisco enters the ring with Slaughter as Slaughter holds Austin and Gerald Brisco hits Austin with the weakest chairshot in the history of professional wrestling. Mankind covers Austin and advances to the final. Finish was botched due to the no show of Bossman and Brisco's laughable chair shot.

Winner: Mankind over Austin following a chair shot!

The Rock vs The Undertaker (Tournament Semi-Final)

The Phenom and The People's Champion waste no time beating the ever living hell out of one another before the bigger and stronger Undertaker takes over on The Rock. Highlights of this match include Paul Bearer using his shoe to attack The Rock and The Rock calling Bearer "A big fat piece of shit". Bossman makes his presence known one more time by tripping up The Rock while he was attempting The People's Elbow. Undertaker hits a chokeslam on The Rock before Kane interrupts the match and chokeslams The Rock. The Rock is through to the final after beating Undertaker by DQ.

Winner: The Rock over The Undertaker thanks to Kane!

(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown vs The Headbangers vs The New Age Outlaws (c)

Whoever came up with this match deserves to go to hell. So, let me explain this is a tag match consisting of three teams where one man from each team must be in the ring at all times and the first team to score a pin wins.

 So this match is just a tonne of double teaming and awkward pauses and punching. It really did not work and was a pain to watch. The Outlaws retain the titles after Billy Gunn nails a piledriver for the win.

Winner: New Age Outlaws over Everyone Else due to Piledriver!

(WWF Championship Match) The Rock vs Mankind (Tournament Final)

Here we are, Mcmahon's pick Mankind taking on Mcmahon's second biggest enemy The Rock. Both men start by feeling one another out in the match with JR quipping on commentary that the fans at home will get to see all of this pay per view which is a reference to WCW and their Halloween Havoc fiasco from the last month. Vince appears with his son Shane to watch the match from ringside as Mankind hits a Cactus Jack Clothesline. Mankind reaches for the steel steps and The Rock greets him with a steel chair to the face. They battle back inside the ring but Rock is sent tumbling to the outside, crashing to the floor.

 Mankind hits an elbow from the ring apron and looks to hit another elbow through the announce table on the prone Rock. At the last moment, Rock moves and Mankind crashes through the announce table. The Rock drags Foley into the ring and delivers The People's Elbow but Mankind kicks out at 2. Mankind delivers a double arm ddt and now it is Rock's turn to kick out at two and a half. The drama is building as Mankind reaches for socko and sticks it down the mouth of The Rock, Rock begins to fade, dropping to one knee.

 Referee checks Rock's hand, it drops for 1 it drops for 2 but it does not the third time and he plants Mankind with The Rock Bottom. Both men are down and not moving, slowly The Rock inches his way toward Mankind, he drapes one arm over Mankind 1...2...Kick out by Mankind. Rock staggers to his feet and looks Mcmahon in the eye and raise The Peoples' eyebrow before applying the sharpshooter and Mcmahon calls for the bell. The Rock has won his first WWF Championship in a carbon copy reference to The Montreal Screwjob..Yay?

It was a good match and it served its purpose as Rock and Austin were the two biggest stars in the company in terms of popularity so it made sense to build Wrestlemania around a match between the two and it is easier to book if it a face vs a heel but did we really need to redo the screwjob? Did we really need to see that? I am not sure but it worked as Rock was hated and became a very successful main event heel champion while also having a great feud with Mankind as a result of this match which we will get to very soon.

Winner: The Rock over Mankind via Montreal Screwjob Part 2!

Overall, I was not a fan of this Survivor Series, it had very short matches and there was nothing outside of the main event that was memorable. And most people will only remember the aftermath of the main event rather than the match itself. However, it signifies a key change as Rock had ascended beyond the level of upper mid card and now he was the champion. Rock worked his ass off, he became hugely popular and he thoroughly deserved it despite what others thoughts (Cough.. Cough.. Triple H Cough.. Shawn Michaels) This marked the beginning of The Rock's rivalry with Mankind and perhaps the single most important rivalry in the company's history, The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin. The WWF had a new champion and was on fire, join me next time for when I take a look at WWF Capital Carnage 1998!

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