Torch Flashbacks WWE SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK SERIES - 1998 REPORT: Austin vs. Taker, The Rock vs. Triple H
Aug 5, 2010 - 2:06:33 PM
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WWE SUMMERSLAM FLASHBACK REPORT
AUGUST 30, 1998
NEW YORK, N.Y. AT MSG
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
(1) D-Lo Brown defeated Val Venis via DQ at 15:20 to retain the WWF European Title. D-Lo was introduced from Helsinki, Finland. Val said regarding New York City, ìI came, I saw, and I came again.î Early in the match Val chopped D-Lo in the chest, but D-Lo no-sold it because of his chest protector. They showed Edge in the crowd looking on. There was very little heat early in the match, which is surprising since Val seems to be pretty over. Probably two factors caused that. One, the crowd had already seen an hour of wrestling including a minute earlier a brawl between DX and The Nation, so while normally the opener would have great heat because the fans are excited that the event is starting, this wasnít perceived as ìthe openerî to the crowd. Two, Val and D-Lo arenít polished when it comes to knowing how to get the crowd involved in a match. As the match built, there were times when the fans got into the action. There were some hot moves, including D-Lo catching Val coming off the top rope and turning it into a powerbomb. D-Lo, though, was still groggy and was slow to make the cover, so Val kicked out. At 12:10 Val went for the Moneyshot, D-Lo lifted his knees. D-Lo went for a powerbomb, but Val slipped out of his grip and took a nasty looking bump onto his head. D-Lo regrouped and went for the powerbomb again. As D-Lo executed the running powerbomb, Val tried to escape by punching D-Lo. D-Lo still got off the move. D-Lo went for the frog splash, but Val moved. Val then put on D-Loís chest guard. The ref tried to stop him from putting it on, which didnít make sense. He went to the top rope and was going to give D-Lo a Money Shot with the chest protector, but D-Lo got up and shoved Val so he crotched the top rope. Val went after D-Lo, but when the ref got in his way, he shoved the ref to the mat. D-Lo got his vest back. The ref got up and called for the DQ. The ending was a total mess, but the rest of the match was well-executed and had solid psychology behind it. After the match, Val bodyslammed the ref. (**1/4)
Michael Cole interviewed Mankind. Mankind revealed it was his limo that Steve Austin smashed before SummerSlam began. Mankind said it may be good news for the Brisco Brothers Bodyshop, but it was bad news for him.
(2) The Oddities (Kurrgan & Golga & Giant Silva, w/Luna) beat Kaientai (Taka Michinoku, Menís Teoh, Masa Funaki, Dick Togo, w/Yamaguchi-san) at 10:11 in a four-on-three match. Even though the Oddities were one-man short, they probably outweighed Kaientai two-to-one. The Insane Clown Posse performed the Oddities song live and accompanied the Oddities to the ring. The Oddities and the Posse danced before their match. The dancing is cute, but in this case it went too long. Lots of comedy spots early along with no-selling by the Oddities. Kurrgan got on his knees to fight Funaki and was eye-to-eye with him. It came across as a total mismatch. At 6:00 Silva crushed all four Kaientai members in the corner at once. The fan heat was dead because it was such an absurd match. Finally Kaientai got the advantage when Funaki and Teoh bodyslammed Golga. The highlight of the match was all four Kaientai members dropping rapid fire elbows on Golga. Golga, though, came back and clotheslined all four at once as they rebounded off the ropes. Luna attacked Yamaguchi at ringside. Golga chokeslammed and pinned all four Kaientai members at once. The Oddities danced afterward. Jim Ross was speechless after the match and it came across as if he was embarrassed and didnít want to put over the match. (1/4*)
Dok Hendrix interviewed Shawn Michaels. He said in the next match someone would be leaving the match ìbald and uncoolî and said itís hard to get chicks when you donít have any hair. Someone tell Steve Austin heís ìuncool.î
(3) X-Pac (w/Howard Finkle) pinned Jeff Jarrett at 11:20. Jarrett may have a new attitude and demeanor, but coming to the ring to his old country music just reminds fans of the character Jarrett is trying to run from. Southern Justice came to the ring with Jarrett, but were escorted to the back before the bell. Jarrett attacked X-Pac at the bell. At 1:20 Jarrett rammed X-Pac crotch-first into the ringpost. Lawler asked if the loser would get his head shaved ìright to the skull.ì Now that would be gruesome. Maybe they should stop at the scalp. Fans got a loud ìLetís Go X-Pacî chant going. At 4:20 Jarrett applied the sleeper. X-Pac escaped a minute later, but Jarrett reapplied it. X-Pac quickly reversed it and applied his own. Jarrett, though, dropped X-Pac over the top turnbuckle. Jarrett came off the top rope, but X-Pac caught him with an elbow. X-Pac went for a crossbody block, but missed. At 6:45 Jarrett applied the figure-four. X-Pac escaped and hit his Bronco Buster. Jarrett came back with a crossbody block, but X-Pac rolled through and scored a convincing near fall at 9:10. They went into a series of good near falls. At 10:10 Finkle jumped on the ring apron to protest a low-blow by Jarrett. Jarrett hit Finkle, but that gave X-Pac a chance to surprise Jarrett and drive him face-first into the mat. He scored a near fall. Dennis Knight came to ringside with the guitar, but X-Pac gave Knight a stunner across the top rope. X-Pac then nailed Jarrett with the guitar and scored the pin. The Outlaws, Droz, and The Head Bangers came to the ring to celebrate X-Pacís win and help hold Jarrett in place as they shaved his head. The head shaving was tedious and ineffective as the clippers got clogged and the scissors didnít cut enough hair off fast enough. Eventually they let Jarrett go and from a distance he looked about the same as he did at the start of the match. At the WWF level, why not hire a professional barber to come in and do a good job with the head shaving? It really took the steam away from the angle and even the match. Otherwise, very well executed bout. (***1/4)
(4) Sable & Edge beat Marc Mero & Jackie when Sable pinned Mero at 8:25. Sable announced her mystery partner was Edge. Edge then entered the ring through the crowd. Early in the match Jackie panicked and tagged out any time Sable was in the ring. At 3:50 Jackie stopped Sable from powerbombing Mero. Sable gave Jackie the TKO, but Mero made the save. Edge popped the crowd when he hit a running bodyblock over the top rope onto Mero on the floor. He whipped Mero into the stairs, then spanked Jackie. The highlight of the match was Sable giving Mero a huracanrana off the top rope. Jackie went to hit Sable, but Sable moved and she hit Mero by mistake. Edge then followed up with his Downward Spiral, then dropped Sable onto Meroís chest and Sable scored the pin. The match fulfilled its purpose well as Sable got in her licks at Mero and Jackie, while Edge was thrown into the mix. Sable wore a t-shirt during the match and never took it off or played up the T&A part of her gimmick. She was ìall business.î (**)
Dok interviewed Undertaker who said he would stand by his word and wrestle Austin one-on-one. He asked Austin,†ìAre you ready for me alone, boy?î Good interview.
Cole interviewed Mankind. Cole announced that Kane was refusing to team with Mankind in their tag title defense later. Mankind said he would be badly beaten if he took on both Outlaws, but he didnít want to disappoint the fans, either. Vince McMahon came up to Mankind and gave him a pep talk about how he will make history if he wrestles the match alone and retains the tag titles. He personally guaranteed him he would be in the MSG Hall of Fame next week. Mankind, glassy eyed at the prospect of such fame, agreed to defend the tag titles by himself. ìImmortality is something Iím very interested in,î he said. McMahon ìaccomplished his goal,î which was to keep his tag title match on the card as scheduled.
(5) Ken Shamrock beat Owen Hart (w/Dan Severn) at 9:15 via tapout. The structure was about 15 feet in width with a cage surrounding the ring that had a slight slope to it. It was an odd looking structure, but pretty cool looking. The referee watched the match from a walking path at the top of the 9 foot cage walls. At the start of the match Shamrock picked up Owen and drove him into the cage. Shamrock then threw Owen to the mat and applied an armbar. Shamrock let up on the hold and went for a leglock, then released it entirely. Owen charged Shamrock and drove him into the fence and then slammed him hard to the mat. Shamrock quickly reversed position and punched away at Owenís head. Ross predicted the match would be short. Shamrock applied a chinlock. Owen mule kicked Shamrock low to escape, then threw some headbutts and whipped him into the cage. Shamrock didnít rebound off the cage, but did charge Owen with a hard clothesline. Shamrock ripped off Owenís t-shirt and choked him with it. Owen bled from the mouth. At 3:00 Shamrock jumped feet-first into the cage and propelled off with a side bodyblock. Nice move. Shamrock whipped Owen into the cage. Owen rebounded off the cage (which lacked credibility since the cage doesnít have the same spring that ropes do) and Shamrock slammed him to the mat. Owen gave Shamrock an enziguiri. Owen whipped Shamrock into the cage and in a total credibility killer, Shamrock bounced off right into Owenís arms. Owen dropped Shamrock face-first into the fence. In a hopespot, Shamrock backdropped out of Owenís powerbomb attempt. They exchanged punches and Shamrock came out ahead. He again jumped into the cage feet-first and pushed off with a flying elbow. On another attempt at a similar move, Owen caught him and powerslammed him. Owen then applied the sharpshooter. Shamrock reached for the cage, but when he grabbed it, it didnít force a break. Shamrock instead used his arm strength to climb the cage while in the sharpshooter to break the hold. Owen tackled Shamrock into the cage, but Shamrock turned it into a DDT. Shamrock hit a nice jump reverse sidekick, but Owen came back and rammed Shamrock into the cage. He then applied Severnís chokehold finisher, but Shamrock climbed the cage with his feet, flipped over, and applied his anklelock finisher. Severn walked away disgustedly as Owen tapped out. Except for the rebounding off the cage which they could have done without, an inventive hybrid between a standard cage match and a UFC style contest. (***1/4)
Cole interviewed Austin backstage who said while he respects Undertaker more than anyone else in the WWF, he isnít afraid to ìcheapshot him to deathî to keep his title.
(6) The New Age Outlaws beat Mankind to capture the WWF Tag Team Titles at 5:15 in a ìFalls Count Anywhere in New York Cityî match. When talking about McMahon convincing Mankind to defend the tag titles alone, Lawler said McMahon could talk a fish out of water to go take a walk with you. Mankind used a pan against the Outlaws at the start, but they soon overwhelmed him. The Outlaws took turns smashing Mankind in the head with baking pans. Mankind gave Bad Ass a neckbreaker at ringside for a two count. The Outlaws took over quickly and drove the back of Mankindís head into the dumpster at ringside. Ross said heíd like to have a dollar for every concussion Mankind has had. In the ring Mankind reversed Bad Ass and threw him into a table in the corner. The Outlaws came right back and gave Mankind some double-team moves. After being powerbombed through two chairs, Mankind kicked out. Ross said, ìHeís not smart enough to stay down.î Ross added that Kane ìshould be damned for not being here.î They finished Mankind with a spike piledriver onto a tag title belt. After the match the Outlaws dropped Foley into the trash bin. Seconds later Kane stood up from the trash bin where he had been hiding. He drove the sledgehammer downward, supposedly onto Mankind. Ross screamed, ìNo, no, no! Damn that demon! Damn him!î The Outlaws ran past the bin to the back. The match was short, but good while it lasted. (**1/2)
(7) Hunter Hearst Helmsley beat Rocky Maivia to capture the WWF Intercontinental Title at 26:03. Chris Warren & The DX Band performed the DX theme song live in the ring before the match. Ross harkened back to the previous ladder matches, mentioning Razor Ramon by name. Ross pushed that these were two young, great athletes mentioning Rock is 26 and Hunter is 29. In the first minute Rock went for his Rock Bottom, but Hunter blocked it. At 3:00 Hunter went to get the ladder from the aisle. Rocky stopped him and rammed him into the railing. Rock then grabbed the ladder, leaned it against the ring, and whipped Hunter into it. At 5:00 Rock set the ladder up in center ring and began climbing it slowly. Hunter leaped off the top rope and hit Rocky from behind, knocking him to the mat. Throughout the match Rock would climb the ladder slowly to the point of killing off any realism. At 7:50 Hunter tried to climb the ladder for the first time, but Rock knocked him off. Hunter sold a knee injury for the rest of the match. Rock put Hunter's bad knee between the ladder and bashed it with a chair. Then he dropped Hunter's knee over the ladder, which was resting across the apron and the railing. Rock then ever-so-slowly climbed the ladder, but Hunter eventually knocked him off and then slid the ladder out of the ring. Since he couldn't climb it with his bad knee, he wanted it out of reach of his opponent.
Outside the ring Rocky catapulted Hunter into the ladder leaning against the railing. Mark Henry threw a second ladder into the ring at 15:00. Rock climbed the ladder and as Hunter entered the ring to make the save, Henry grabbed his leg. Chyna, though, ran in and made the save. Rockís climb again was so awkwardly slow it really distracted from the match. Hunter slidekicked the ladder into Rockís face. Rock came up bleeding from the forehead. Hunter climbed the ladder, but Rock knocked the ladder over and Hunter took the hardest bump of the match. Rock DDTíd Hunter at 18:50 and both men were flat on their backs. Rock got up first and again made a slow climb up the ladder (and by this point his slow speed climbing was more credible). Hunter climbed the other side of the ladder. They punched each other when they got to the top. Rock threw Hunter off of the ladder onto the second ladder. Hunter knocked Rock off over the top rope. Chyna handed Hunter a chair which he used against Rocky. At 21:50 Rocky slammed Hunter on the ladder, then hit the Peopleís Elbow which popped the crowd. Hunter jumped off the ladder toward Rocky, but Rocky caught him and hit the Rock Bottom. Rock again slowly climbed the ladder, but Hunter yanked Rocky off with a handful of tights. He then gave Rock the Pedigree, but was unable to climb the ladder right away. Henry threw powder into Hunterís eyes. Hunter eventually began climbing the ladder. Rock began climbing the other side of the ladder, but Chyna entered the cage Rocky a low-blow from behind. Hunter finished climbing the ladder and grabbed the belt for the win. Very good match. Not at the level of Shawn Michaels vs. Ramon, but thatís almost an impossible standard to hold anyone to. (****)
(8) Steve Austin pinned Undertaker to retain the WWF Title at 20:53. When Austin came out, Ross said, ìI challenge you to find someone who ever got a better reaction at MSG than that.î The opening few minutes were hot. At 2:30 Austin butted heads with Undertaker and went down in an awkward moment that was a bit scary considering the history of his neck. Austin, though, got right back up and they re-did the same spot. At 3:30 Undertaker gave Austin a strong hotshot over the top rope for a two count. At 6:30 Undertaker walked the ropes, but Austin just yanked him down. At 7:00 Kane walked out, but Undertaker told him to return to the back. Kane followed his older brotherís order. Undertaker and Austin exchanged punches and Austin came out of it with a busted lip. Austin checked to make sure Kane left. When he returned to the apron, Undertaker chokeslammed Austin into the ring. They brawled down the aisle and into the crowd. At 11:00 they returned to ringside where Undertaker posted Austin. Back in the ring Undertaker flipped over the top rope in a nice maneuver to avoid the Stunner. Undertaker then caught Austin coming off the apron and rammed him into the ringpost. Austin took a bad bump over the top rope where his back bent in an awkward fashion. Undertaker rammed Austin into the ringpost then laid him on the Spanish announcing table. Undertaker leaped off the top rope onto Austin onto the table with a legdrop. They both slid off the table rather than crashing straight through it. Scary looking move. They continued to fight in the ring where Austin hit a fast, hard clothesline at 14:00. Both men stayed on the mat for a minute. Austin came back with a flurry of punches and a Thesz Press which popped the crowd. Undertaker blocked a Stunner attempt and draped his arm over Undertaker for a two count. Undertaker ducked a clothesline and chokeslammed Austin. The crowd popped. Austin escaped Undertakerís tombstone set-up. At 19:45 Undertaker nailed a Russian Leg Sweep, then walked the ropes and came off with a forearm. Austin, though, sidestepped the forearm and gave Undertaker a low blow. He followed with a Stunner and a three count. After the match Undertaker grabbed the title belt and looked as if he might hit Austin with it, but then handed it to Austin in a show of respect. Ross called it a classy move and said there will be another day. Kane came out to stand next to Undertaker in the aisle as Austin celebrated in the ring. Very good match in terms of energy level, execution, diversity of moves, pacing, and psychology. The only thing lacking at times was fan heat since the crowd didnít seem to want to take sides. (****)
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