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What the World Was Watching: Judgment Day - In Your House

by Logan Scisco

-Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are live from Chicago, Illinois.


-Opening Contest:  Al Snow (w/Head) beats “Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/Jacqueline) with the Snow Plow at 7:14:

This is a curious opener since Snow has a lingering feud with Jeff Jarrett.  Jarrett does come out to crickets and tries to convince Mero to let him wrestle Snow instead, but Mero says refuses.  After all, he has a job to do for the new hot act in the company.  Mero puts on a good effort in his last pay-per-view match in the company, but unless Sable is involved no one really cares about him anymore.  Snow reverses the TKO into his finisher and picks up the win.  Rating:  **¾

-LOD 2000 beat The Disciples of Apocalypse & Paul Ellering when Droz pins Skull after a Doomsday Device at 5:55:

The awful DOA-LOD feud reaches its climax here, at least on pay-per-view.  Chainz and Sunny ended up as casualties of this feud, never reaching the end of the story.  It’s so weird to see the Hawk and Animal with their hair grown out.  Hawk is not doped up on pain pills tonight and works with Animal to deliver the Doomsday Device, but Droz steals the pin and Hawk is not happy.  Boring bout, but at least they kept this short.  Rating:  ½*

-Dok Hendrix talks with Al Snow and Sable and hypes the Superstar Line.  Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear from the winners and losers!  Sable reminds us that “everyone likes a little Head.”

-Light Heavyweight Championship Match:  Christian (w/Gangrel) pins Taka Michinoku (Champion w/Yamaguchi-San) with an inside cradle to win the title at 8:36:

The light heavyweight title is defended for the first time in ages here and since they pulled it out of mothballs the outcome could be predicted from a mile away.  This was Christian’s in-ring WWF debut.  Michinoku had no heat, but the crowd reacts to the high spots.  Ross makes a subtle dig at the booking by saying that he wants to see more light heavyweight matches.  Spots happen, but they do not mesh together and the match fails to tell an adequate story as a result.  Michinoku appears headed to win the match with a Michinoku Driver, but Christian cradles out of it to win the meaningless title.  Solid match, but the crowd was not buying into it.  Rating:  **¾

-Kevin Kelly and Tom Pritchard interview Droz in the WWF.com backstage area.  Droz says he seized an opportunity and that is why he is on the first string.  Droz actually cuts a really good heel promo here.

-A video package recaps the Goldust-Val Venis feud.

-Goldust pins Val Venis (w/Terri Runnels) after a low blow at 12:09:

The crowd is happy to see the return of Goldust, but unfortunately there are not that many mind games that find their way into this contest.  Venis spends the bulk of the match working the shoulder, but none of that factors into the closing stretches of this match.  Venis nearly runs into Terri on the apron and that allows Goldust to shatter Venis’s dreams and pick up a win.  This was better than most expected, but this storyline is still a little confusing as to who the face and heel really are.  Goldust got a small push from this win, while Venis was shifted back into the midcard.  Rating:  **½

-Michael Cole tells us that Triple H and Ken Shamrock got into an altercation backstage, where Shamrock smashes a car door into Triple H’s knee.  X-Pac interrupts to say that he will deal with Shamrock tomorrow night on RAW.  He promises to regain the European title.

-European Championship Match:  X-Pac (w/Chyna) defeats D-Lo Brown (Champion) with an X-Factor to win the title at 14:36:

Since he is the champion, D-Lo is back to selecting a European hometown and in this match he is from Milan, Italy.  Ross announces that the Nation of Domination has parted ways, which I always thought was a cop out.  A stable that lasted for nearly two years deserved a better send off than dissolving off-air.  Looking back at the series of matches between these two, one forgets how much X-Pac carried them as Brown’s offense aside from a few signature spots was pretty deficient.  In this match X-Pac bumps all over the place as his high flying offense fails him.  They run a false finish off of a ref bump where D-Lo clocks X-Pac with the title and D-Lo makes the same mistake of jumping into an X-Factor, which is what cost him the title to X-Pac the first time, to lose.  Did not care for the finish because Brown should have learned not to do that again, but the crowd came unglued at the end.  Rating:  ***½

-Call 815-734-1161 to purchase your Austin 3:16 baseball jersey for $39.99 (plus $9 shipping & handling)!

-Cole tells us that Paul Bearer was allegedly seen going into the Undertaker’s locker room earlier.  The Headbangers interrupt his report and hurl some insults at the New Age Outlaws.  Mosh insinuates that the Outlaws are doing each other and says that they will do the j-o-b on the p-p-v.

-WWF Tag Team Championship Match:  The Headbangers beat The New Age Outlaws (Champions) via disqualification when the Road Dogg blasts Mosh with a boombox at 14:10:

The Headbangers earned this title shot by busting the Road Dogg open on the previous RAW with a boombox.  It shows how little depth there is in the tag division that they are even getting a title shot.  What is funny about the boombox spot from RAW is that Ross keeps having to say that the boombox that broke over the Road Dogg’s head is not a JVC boombox.  JVC was a sponsor at the time so I suppose they got upset that fans might think their product was cheap.  Both Outlaws end up in peril in this match and the Headbangers do a good job cutting off comebacks.  In fact, the Headbangers do such a good job with it that the Road Dogg breaks up the Stage Dive by hitting Mosh with a boombox, thereby causing a disqualification.  This was a great booking technique to give the Headbangers another title match down the road and rebuilding them as threats.  Rating:  ***¼

-Michael Cole says he can confirm that Paul Bearer entered Kane’s locker room backstage.  Mankind comes by and via Socko he communicates that he is fired up.  He blasts Shamrock’s promo ability, saying it has to be the second leading cause of teen suicide.  He then does a weird routine where he interrogates Mr. Socko about what underwear he is wearing.

-Intercontinental Championship Match:  Ken Shamrock (Champion) defeats Mankind via submission when Mankind applies the Mandible Claw to himself at 14:36:

The dueling stories of this match are whether Shamrock can make Mankind submit and whether the Mandible Claw is enough to put Shamrock down for the count.  Shamrock outmaneuvers Mankind throughout the bout, but the Mandible Claw is put over as Mankind’s equalizer.  Mankind takes one too many risks on the floor near the end and Shamrock powerslams him into the steps.  This leads to the ankle lock in the center of the ring, but instead of submitting to the hold, Mankind chooses to apply the Mandible Claw to himself.  Nice finish to a true battle of wills.  Rating:  ***

-After the bout, when Shamrock hears he won by Mandible Claw he beats on the unconscious Mankind and gives the referee a belly-to-belly suplex.  WWF officials rush out and Mankind recovers in time to apply the Mandible Claw to Shamrock and walk out to a decent pop.

-The Big Bossman tells Cole that unauthorized camera crews are not allowed near Vince McMahon.

-Mark Henry (w/D-Lo Brown) pins The Rock after a splash at 5:04:

The Rock is the hottest act in the company at this time, so you would figure he squashes Henry to move onto bigger and better things right?  Wrong.  The Rock does dominate a lot of the action, but in a piece of booking that made no sense at the time Henry gets the win after D-Lo runs interference.  To the WWF’s credit, this did factor into the storylines leading up to Survivor Series, but it was probably the biggest pay-per-view upset of 1998.  Rating:  *

-A vignette is aired for Survivor Series with the Deadly Game song.

-A video package hypes the Undertaker-Kane main event.

-WWF Championship Match with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as Special Guest Referee:  The Undertaker and Kane wrestle to a no contest at 17:38:

The crowd is way more into Austin than they are either of the guys wrestling for the title, so it creates a really strange dynamic.  Austin does not take his job seriously, as he mixes ridiculously slow counts with ridiculously fast counts.  A funny spot takes place when Kane and the Undertaker fight on the floor and Austin volunteers to give the Undertaker some microphone chord to choke his brother.  I wish I could report that this match broke the mold for the Undertaker-Kane series, but that’s not the case here as the Undertaker works the leg for five minutes and puts the crowd into a coma.  Austin even looks bored doing his job.  After fifteen minutes of dullness cue the overbooking as Kane chokeslams Austin and Paul Bearer wanders out with a chair.  However, instead of hitting the Undertaker he turns and hits Kane, which has zero impact.  The Undertaker’s chair shot to Kane is another matter, but Austin refuses to count the pinfall.  When the Undertaker complains, Austin gives him a Stunner and tees off with a chair and then counts both men out and declares himself the winner.  I bet Vince Russo was screaming to book this as “Austin is refusing to follow the script!” until he was shot down by McMahon, Cornette, and a few other members of the booking team.  Austin’s antics are the only reason this avoids a DUD.  Rating:  ½*

-Austin goes backstage looking for McMahon but is unsuccessful so he goes back into the ring.  Austin gloats that McMahon will not fire him, but McMahon has the Titantron raised and appears in a box behind it.  As the crowd pelts him with memorabilia and garbage, McMahon tells Austin that he is fired.  Austin closes the show by promising McMahon that he has not seen the last of him.

The Final Report Card:  I remember not enjoying this show in 1998, but looking back it had some pretty solid in-ring work.  There are a few clunkers, but outside of the main event the other matches put the crowd in a good mood and displayed perfectly acceptable wrestling.  While it is annoying that we did not get a WWF champion after this show, the selling point was more about whether Austin would do his job or not and if you thought Austin was really going to crown a winner here you were a moron.  I will go with a thumbs up on this show, but save yourself the trouble if you ever watch this thing on the Network and turn it off after Shamrock-Mankind.

Attendance:  18,153

Buyrate:  0.89 (+0.29 from previous year)


Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up

Comments

  1. This show is the opposite of every other WWF show from 98. This time the mid card bails out a weak main event(surprise the weak main event didn't feature Austin wrestling)

    Shamrock/Mankind is a personal favorite of mine. This was the last time I cared for Shamrock as he went Corporation soon after this.

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  2. Shamrock was just in an odd place by this time because his lack of promo work caused Mankind and the Rock to leapfrog him on the pecking order. His "snapping" and suplexing refs was also getting REALLY old at this point.

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  3. He just couldn't keep up with The Rock/Mankind/Austin in terms of just riffing on the mic and he couldn't really do much besides scream and Suplex referees.

    Shamrock was really fun in 1998 doing all that but it wasn't lasting.

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  4. I'll save a certain someone the typing:


    "OMG ROCK WAS BURIED! BURIED! BURIED! HE NEVER RECOVERED!"

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  5. As I watched the match, I wondered how the blog would react if this was 1998 to that match. "WHAT THE HELL!?!?!?! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!! SCREW WWE!!!!!"

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  6. Very true. I think Shamrock's lack of mic work is what causes people to forget the awesome Shamrock/Rock series that took place throughout 1998. They faced off at every big 5 pay-per-view except SummerSlam and delivered fun matches.

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  7. The Rock losing to Mark.Henry makes even less sense in hindsight as Henry was in a tag team with Dlo for months following this show.

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  8. I kind of liked Corporate Kenny.

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  9. that's exactly how I reacted to it. Just completely mind-numbing stupid especially when people were speculating the Rock was going to leave the show with the title.

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  10. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 25, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Ironically this was the show that got me back into the wwe, (wwf as it was called back in the day) I didn't flip out over The Rock losing mostly because I didn't know who The Rock was.

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  11. I have no problem with The Nation breaking up behind the scenes. The Rock and D-lo did have a few altercations on-camera though. The best was The Godfather having a match after doing jail time for pimping. D-Lo and Mark Henry come to the ring to show him love and then gives him a beatdown.

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  12. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 25, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Shouldn't the Godfather be in the Hall of Fame? I mean he made us all smile at some point right?

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  13. I have no qualms with that. He did his job which was only to pop the crowd. Him crashing Teddy Long's wedding is still the top segment in Smackdown history for me.

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  14. How did they reach that conclusion? I didn't have the Internet at my house at the time of this show, so I had no idea what people were saying about it. I figured there'd be a screwjob in the main event.

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  15. They really should've done more with the Supply & Demand tag team of Godfather & Val Venis.

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  16. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 25, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Teddy Long got married? Damm I missed a lot from 06-12

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  17. The Rock was the hottest thing in the world and everyone knew Kane and UT weren't getting the title. Everything pointed to Rock getting title so the internet took it from there

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  18. Yeah. I know Scott's old review of this show (IIRC) said he was disappointed Rock didn't win the belt. I just don't know how people thought the Rock was going to get inserted into the main event.

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  19. I liked his tag team with the Big Bossman.

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  20. Not sure on that. Maybe the same way he got it the next month?

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  21. I guess you could say they sorta split on the RAW prior to this when D-Lo and Henry attacked the Rock during the tag team main event vs. Kane & The Undertaker. I dunno. I just wanted a bigger blowoff for the group.

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  22. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 25, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Are Hunter and Stephanie still married? They got divorced eventually right/

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  23. storyline wise they got divorced in 2002. They always "winked-winked" about being married on screen until last year.

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  24. What did people think about it at the time? http://forums.delphiforums.com/nWWWo/messages/?listMode=1

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  25. Of course, some people were fucking stupid then and are probably still stupid now. http://forums.delphiforums.com/nWWWo/messages/191/1

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  26. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 25, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Apparently we are unfamiliar with sarcasm at which point i will close the register

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  27. Undertaker and Kane wrestled like 4 times on PPV that year. Way too many.

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  28. You have to remember I'm black. We are less than human which is why white's are allowed to put us down like animals when we misbehave.

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  29. Vince Gets an Anal Probe: You youngsters have no idea how terrible the "IWC" use to be. http://forums.delphiforums.com/nwwwo/messages/146/1

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  30. HEY JOHN PETRIE.......http://forums.delphiforums.com/nwwwo/messages/154/1

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  31. And all of them were bad.

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  32. A few thoughts:

    1) back then with HHH winning that huge ladder match then getting out on the shelf right after, I was worried his career would stall out...oops.

    2) thought this main event was a risk given that WWE had not at all broken free from the competition with WCW at this point. I'm going to argue that outside of Michaels/Austin, the most anticipated PPP match of 1998 was Nash/Goldberg. Given that WCW was far from home at this point, found it peculiar WWE wouldn't book Austin in a main event here.

    3) D Lo Brown is underrated. This match and the Val match at Summerslam were fantastic bouts.

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  33. I remember the inferno match sounded intriguing and the match ended up being awful.

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  34. This was done to create a main event of rock overcoming the odds and besting Henry in the main event of raw before survivor series. He was put in the main event spot of carrying the show for the first time and proved he was here to stay as he won the night over wcw

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  35. D'Lo was definitely awesome, until botched spots and politics happened.

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  36. I count 6. Their inaugural bout at Wrestlemania, the inferno match at Unforgiven, the tag title main event at Fully Loaded (may count, may not), the triple threat at Breakdown (ditto), Judgment Day, and the opening round of the Deadly Game tournament.

    ...How did the WWE workrate survive 1998 again?

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  37. Try 2009, when Triple H threatened to murder Orton after he RKO'd Stephanie. Really, the cat's been out of the kayfabe bag for a while.

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  38. Ugh that's true counting tag team and triple threats.

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  39. I loved the nWWWo site back then. Wrestling Uncensored too.

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  40. Yep, they had a string of like 9 PPVs in a row where the main event was a mix of Austin/Taker/Kane/Foley (Only exception was Rock/Foley at Survivor series, BUT, the tournament did have a Taker/Kane quarter finals, and an Austin/Foley semi finals)

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  41. Yep, if something like that happened today, WWE would be crucified for lazy writing and "forgetting" storylines.

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  42. I just got home. You hit the nail on the head. Thanks for covering for me. :)

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  43. Because Russo, I guess.

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  44. And people say WWE is stale now! Sorry had to.

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  45. plus dude, the WWF title was put under Abeyance at the September PPV, then they advertised a new champ a month later, and TOTALLY DID NOT DELIVER! THE NERVE! THE AUDACITY!! ANOTHER FULL MONTH WITHOUT A CHAMPION ! THEY JUST HATE THEIR FANS, DON'T THEY?? (damn, i wish i hadn't come into this thread late!!

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  46. The forum outlived the nwwwo by 14 years. Think of that.

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  47. I don't know why this stood out to me but I always found it odd how Taker and Kane were laid out in the ring when Austin went backstage to find Vince only to have disappeared literally a minute or so later when Austin returned.

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  48. In 1998? No he wasn't.

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  49. I think he was still primed for a main event push until the latter stages of 99. Was the abandonment due to Russo leaving, I wonder?

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  50. Looking back, the Attitude Era was largely AIDS from a workrate point of view. 1997, 1998 and 1999 probably have two or three great PPVs between them, at a push.


    However, the hot crowds made everything feel significant and exciting (well, almost everything). WM XV is an absolutely horrible show, but it feels major and seismic somehow. Nowadays, the matches are great but the crowds are just fucking dead most of the time.

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  51. Henry's use at this point was so bizarre. He was basically non-existent.

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  52. Interesting to note that FlagMan called Rock becoming Vince's corporate champion in September.

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