-Not sure if there are any Fantasy Golf players on the Blog, but if you are, feel free to join my Head-to-Head League entering its eighth year. It is located on Yahoo Fantasy Golf. Group ID#806, Password: shark. Now, on with the review...
-Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the booth and they are taped from Dallas, Texas. This is the go home show for the Survivor Series.
-Opening Non-Title Contest: The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) wrestles X-Pac (European Champion) to a no contest at 25 seconds:
This match was setup by an angle on Sunday Night Heat, where the Undertaker attacked X-Pac. This was also a dream match from the New Generation era as neither guy had faced each other up to this point. Of course, I got excited about this and Kane intervenes less than thirty seconds in. Kane shoots a fireball at the Undertaker, but it accidentally hits X-Pac. It should be noted that this is X-Pac’s second eye injury in less than three months.
-Vince McMahon and the stooges, who have seemingly forgiven him for the Big Bossman’s beating on last week’s show (Commissioner Slaughter is rocking a sling), find Mankind backstage. McMahon books Mankind to defend his Hardcore title against Ken Shamrock. He promises that more titles are coming for him and Mankind follows him to get a makeover.
-Val Venis defeats Steve Blackman via disqualification when Terri Runnels gives Venis a low blow at 3:22:
Terri Runnels follows Venis to the ring and is summarily dismissed. Venis told Kevin Kelly on Sunday Night Heat that he could not be the father of her child because he had a vasectomy. This is just an average bout, which ends when Terri runs back out and gives Venis a low blow when he does his hip swivel over a fallen Blackman. Rating: *½ (0 for 1)
-After the bell, the Blue Blazer and Owen Hart run into the ring and attack Blackman.
-A hairdresser backstage works on Mankind’s hair. Mankind tells her that he hopes Vince can give him some new teeth. When she inquires where some of his previous ones went, he tells her that Steve Austin tossed them into the crowd. I like little pieces of continuity like that.
-Triple Threat Match: Mosh (w/Thrasher) defeats The Road Dogg (w/Billy Gunn) and D-Lo Brown (w/Mark Henry) when he pins D-Lo following a Stage Dive at 5:40:
Shane McMahon is a referee for this point, having been demoted to that job on the previous show. All three of these teams are facing off in the Survivor Series in a triple threat tag team match, so this is a small preview of that. The good thing about this match is that the action is non-stop, but the problem is that the offense utilized is more of the battle royal variety, lots of kicks, punches, and minor moves. Mosh scores a surprising win, thereby continuing to build some momentum behind the Headbangers. Everyone tried here and this match was better than I thought it would be. Rating: **½ (1 for 2)
-Michael Cole interviews JeffJarrett and Debra McMichael. Jarrett says he will counter Head at the Survivor Series. Debra says she will prove that Goldust is really all man.
-As he receives a pedicure, Mankind talks more about the loss of Socko last week. He says his new family of McMahon and the stooges makes up for it, though.
-Goldust defeats “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra McMichael) via disqualification when Jarrett nails him with a guitar at 3:32:
Terri Runnels comes out in Marlena attire, with no bra on mind you, but Goldust tells her to get out of his life. True to her word, Debra charms and distracts Goldust several times throughout the bout. When Goldust prepares Jarrett for Shattered Dreams, Debra gets in the way, receiving a big kiss in return. Of course, he pays for that with a guitar shot, but most fans out there might consider that a decent trade off. Match was all angle and little action. Rating: * (1 for 3)
-The Rock shows up at the arena, possibly for the last time, as he has to pin or submit Mark Henry to keep his job tonight.
-A video package recaps the career of Jesse Ventura, who recently won the Minnesota gubernatorial election in arguably one of the greatest upsets in American political history. It was funny how the WWF quickly attached itself to Ventura’s victory after treating him as a persona non grata after his lawsuit against them in 1995.
-Ken Shamrock’s chair shot to the Rock on last week’s show is the JVC Kaboom! of the Week.
-Cole interviews the Rock, who gives some generic comments about facing Mark Henry later. Goldust attacks Jeff Jarrett in the same vicinity, but before he can deliver a modified version of Shattered Dreams the Blue Blazer makes the save.
-Hardcore Championship Match: Mankind (Champion) pins Ken Shamrock (Intercontinental Champion) when the Big Bossman nails Shamrock with his night stick at 8:17:
Mankind comes out for the bout wearing a tuxedo and Vince McMahon comes out to watch the match. This is the first Hardcore title match in company history. These two do their usual “beat the hell out of each other” match, with Shamrock giving Mankind a belly-to-belly suplex into the steps and Mankind DDT’ing Shamrock on a chair. Both men fight near McMahon and the stooges on the ramp, where the Big Bossman interferes when the referee is not looking and helps Mankind successfully defend his title. A fun brawl, but Shamrock has been eating quite a few losses since he won the Intercontinental title. No wonder he lost steam around this time period. Rating: ***¼ (2 for 4)
-After the match, the stooges and McMahon celebrate with Mankind, although McMahon is disgusted by Mankind’s hug and does not like that his hair has been messed up.
-Cole screams at us that the Rock has been attacked in his locker room.
-Watch the Home Shopping Network after Survivor Series to buy some new merchandise!
-EMT’s are shown working on the Rock in his locker room. Evidently he suffered a blow to the back of the head from his assailant.
-Steve Austin comes out and says that if Vince Mahon has a plan for him at the Survivor Series that they will backfire. The Big Bossman comes out and pledges to put Austin through hard time this Sunday, prompting Austin to invite him to the ring to brawl. Bossman refuses. Bossman just did not have the mic skills to go toe-to-toe with Austin here, creating an awkward segment. 2 for 5
-Cole tells us that the Rock will be going to a nearby medical facility. After the commercial break, he interviews Vince McMahon and the stooges near an ambulance. McMahon says that he does not care if the Rock cannot compete tonight because if he cannot that means that his services will no longer be required.
-Tiger Ali Singh (w/Babu) beats Al Snow (w/Head) with a bulldog at 2:23:
Mr. Socko is wrapped around Head, so that solves some of the mystery of where it is. Snow and Singh faced each other more than a year prior to this at the One Night Only pay-per-view in Great Britain, where Singh defeated Snow, then packaged as Leif Cassidy, in an awful match. This is a match that makes little sense, as Singh refuses to wrestle, so Snow beats up Babu for a while until Debra McMichael wanders out and distracts Snow by shoving Head in her bosom. That enables Singh to re-enter the match and win. The less said about all of this going forward the better.
-A Sable workout video is shown.
-McMahon tells the Rock in the Rock’s dressing room that he is headed to the unemployment line.
-Kane defeats Edge (w/Gangrel & Christian) via disqualification when the Brood interferes at 4:27:
There is some backstory to this match as Edge turned against Kane when he seemingly ran in to make the save after Kane annihilated Gangrel and Christian two weeks ago on RAW. Kane brings a can of gasoline and a blowtorch to the ring with him, thereby continuing to build the “Kane is unstable and cannot tell right from wrong” storyline that only got more ridiculous from this point forward. Finding a team was the best thing to happen to Edge at this stage of his career as he was languishing as a singles. Kane takes out the entire Brood by himself and sells very little of Edge’s offense. The referee eventually tires of Brood interference and calls for the bell, after which Kane takes them all out AGAIN with chokeslams and teases barbecuing them in the center of the ring along with the referee. If one did not have the benefit of hindsight you would think that this was a way to write out the Brood and release them. WWF officials prevent a homicide on national television, which the crowd boos. The 1990s ladies and gentleman! Rating: * (2 for 6)
-After having his fire plans disrupted, Kane chokeslams a fan from the crowd, who is digging the idea of Kane as an unstoppable monster.
-Vince McMahon comes out, inviting the Rock to appear. He takes a dig at the Dallas Cowboys, who he says half of which are convicted felons. Shane McMahon walks to the ring and begs his father to stop taking out of his frustrations on the rest of the roster. Vince just dismisses him, but Shane refuses, so Vince sends the Bossman after him. However, before the Bossman can conduct a beating, Steve Austin runs in and makes the save. The most entertaining segment of tonight’s show, once again due to McMahon’s facial expressions and power trip-like behavior. 3 for 7
-The Rock beats Mark Henry (w/D-Lo Brown) with a People’s Elbow at 7:24:
Vince McMahon is at ringside with this bout. If the Rock wins via pinfall or submission, he is back in the Deadly Game Tournament, but if he loses he is out of a job. The Rock wrestles in his track suit gear, angering McMahon by showing up despite the beating he received earlier in the show. It would have been nice to build this match with some kind of segment in the show since these two did have a backstory, with Henry upsetting the Rock at Judgment Day. The Rock and Henry put together a pretty fun match before the overbooking kicks in where the Rock handcuffs the Big Bossman to the corner, the referee gets pulled out of the ring by the stooges, and Shane McMahon runs in to count the fall. Rating: **¾ (4 for 8)
-After the match, the Rock pulls Vince out of his wheelchair and tosses him into the ring. The Rock takes out the stooges line of defense and after Vince slaps him he eats a Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow.
The Final Report Card: This show was really hit and miss. Some things, such as the Debra interactions with Goldust and Al Snow and Kane’s attempt to set the Brood on fire were ridiculous, while others such as the main event and the Hardcore title match were quite entertaining. As the go home show for a tournament, I had hoped for a little more build of the Deadly Game concept, but the WWF really did leave you with the feeling that the Undertaker, Kane, Steve Austin, the Rock, and Mankind were all viable tournament winners. I will default to a neutral rating for this one, as the good and bad cancel each other out.
Monday Night War Rating: 5.0 (vs. 4.1 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation: Neutral