Review for WWF Survivor Series 1998: Deadly Game, 15/11/1998, St. Louis, Missouri
Where to even begin? There's a lot going on so this is going to be a long intro.
We've got a vacant WWF title and this Survivor Series would feature a tournament to crown the new WWF champion. Mr McMahon had screwed Steve Austin out of the WWF title at Breakdown, 2 months before this by putting him in a triple threat with The Undertaker and Kane (with special rules that the brothers couldn't pin each other). It ended with both the brothers pinning Steve Austin and McMahon running off with the belt. He was set to decide who the WWF champion would be the following night on Raw but Steve Austin attacked him and put a stop to that ceremony. McMahon decided that instead, The Undertaker and Kane would have to fight it out, and put them in a match at Judgment Day, with Steve Austin as the referee. Steve Austin would have to crown a new champion, or be fired, he didn't and was fired.
The firing wouldn't last long as Shane McMahon gave Steve Austin a new 5 year contract as a way of rebelling against his father after years of neglect (and a fabulous bit of soap opera that was). He'd also give Steve Austin a title shot the night after Survivor Series, Vince flipped out and busted his son down to lowly referee status. He'd also put Austin in the tournament (nullifying, or so he thought, Austin's title shot after Survivor Series), and his first opponent in the tournament would be his corporate hitman, The Big Bossman.
Mr McMahon would then take his frustration outs on The Rock. The Rock was the peoples champion and McMahon hated the people, he couldn't get to the people, but he could get to them through The Rock, he took him out of the tournament and made him wrestle Mark Henry with his career on the line, The Rock won the match (with Shane counting the fall), and was reinstated in the tournament.
The lovable Mankind had become Vince's new favorite son and Vince's handpicked new champion, he was given the Hardcore Title as a reward by Vince for his hard work (one of those titles that was just there for an angle and would actually end up becoming a staple of the company for the next few years). He was even given a makeover for the tournament, beared shaven and dressed up in a tuxedo. He expected to have a pretty easy road in the tournament courtesy of Mr McMahon.
As a bonus we'll cover Heat first, now that it's on the network and I've never seen it before, just a note, I'm not doing ratings for Heat matches.
Hosted by Jim Cornette and Shane McMahon
The JOB Squad (Bob Holly and Scorpio) vs LOD 2000 (Animal and Droz)
Droz had taken Hawks place in the LOD, the JOB squad have Al Snow with them (with Head, who is wearing Mr Socko as a headband, we'll get to that later). Nothing match, it lasted about 2 minutes and it was pretty bad, ending came with a Doomsday Device, but Al Snow ran in and hit Droz with Head and Scorpio got the pin.
Backstage the Stooges tell Steve Austin that Mr McMahon wants to see him
Val Venis vs Tiger Ali Singh
Singh had Babu with him and was doing the trash TV stuff at the time with 'How low will America go' segments, making people from the crowd lick Babu's feet, kiss him after he'd eaten sardines and whatever other stupid crap Russo could think of. He tries to cut a pre-match promo but Val thankfully cuts him off. Another bad match, Singh was never any good and he wasn't good here either. Godfather came out for some reason (were they feuding at the time? I don't even know) and attacked Singh. He tried to whip Singh into the ring post but Singh missed it and never touched it. Michael Cole sold it like he had and Val picked up the win.
Long promo video next, it's a good one, went over everything I covered in the intro.
Disciples of Apocalypse and Paul Ellering came out for a match, I've got no idea who they were supposed to wrestle. Faarooq and Bradshaw came out wearing matching attire (the attire they'd keep for a long time after this) and beat the shit out of the DOA and Ellering before officials broke it up. This was actually their debut as the Acolytes (though, they were unnamed at this point), the Jackyl wasn't with them yet but he'd join soon after (and disappear again soon after that).
Backstage The New Age Outlaws do an interview but get attacked by The Headbangers. D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry join in and they all brawl until officials break it up. The three teams will do battle for the tag titles on the PPV.
Sable did an interview in the ring, guaranteeing a title win against Jacqueline tonight. She was distracted by Marc Mero and Jacqueline jumps her and attacks her with the womens title belt.
Steve Blackman vs Gangrel
Gangrel has the Brood with him, I'll probably always say The Undertaker has the coolest entrance ever, but Gangrel is easily no. 2. Edge came off the top rope and gave Gangrel hit the implant DDT for the win in about 3 minutes. It wasn't anything good, but it didn't completely suck like the previous 2 matches.
Post match the Blue Blazer came down from the ceiling, but has trouble unhooking himself and gets stuck. Steve Blackman got some free shots in before he was dragged back up. Yeah... fuck that segment. That was too uncomfortable even for me.
Mr McMahon comes out for an interview, he guarantees a new champion tonight and something you'll never forget. He calls out "the people's chump" The Rock, his son Shane and Steve Austin. He has something to say to each of them, but The Undertaker interrupts. Most of the guys in the tournament come out and have a big brawl to take us to end of the show.
There’s nothing good here, And I didn't need that Blue Blazer spot. Let's move onto the main show.
Hosted by Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
The Deadly Game theme is so awesome and catchy. Before we get going, let's take a look at the brackets for the tournament, and I'll update it at the end of each round. Worth noting every match in the opening round has a 10 minute time limit.
Mankind vs "A Mystery Opponent"
Al Show vs Jeff Jarrett
X-Pac vs Stephen Regal
Steve Austin vs Big Bossman
The Rock vs Triple H
Ken Shamrock vs Goldust
Kane vs (Bye)
Undertaker vs (Bye)
Mankind vs Mystery Opponent
Mr McMahon comes down in his wheelchair to start things off, he handles the introductions. First is "an individual who is hopeful that he will take one small step for man, one giant leap for Mankind". Mankind gives down in his tuxedo and gives Vince a hug (who has an awesome look of disgust of his face). He has some prepared statements for the mystery opponent, the crowd chant for HBK, but nope, it would be "the man, the myth, the legend", Duane Gill. It's a funny intro, Gill is shocked at his entrance video, he even gets pyro and it scares him. Vince isn't even going to hang around and watch this, he gets wheeled out. Mick squashes Gill in about 30 seconds.
Entertaining start to the show, though, not for the match of course. The rating is a formality, the segment as a whole was awesome. Yeah, it was another crappy "mystery" man but that was the point. (DUD)
Backstage Sable is pissed off about the attack on Heat.
Al Snow vs Jeff Jarrett
Debra's first PPV appearance, no puppies or heat yet, that'd come soon enough, though. Al hit a somersault bodyblock off the steps early, and controls early. He goes up for a leg drop off the top allowing Jarrett to takeover. Nice dropkick gets 2, and they do a pinfall reversal sequence soon after. Spinebuster is countered into a DDT for 2. Both guys collide and go down. She takes head and distracts the referee. She gives Jarrett head (couldn't resist that one). Al goes for head but it's not there so he takes Jarretts guitar, he takes a swing but misses and takes Head away from Jarrett and smacks him with it for the pin at 3:33.
Just an average Raw match. (*1/2)
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Big Bossman
Big brawl to start, until Bossman takes over with a lowblow and a sliding punch. He does a chinlock and some smothering. Austin comes back with more brawling and stomps a mudhole, but Bossman uses the nightstick and gets DQ'd at 3:18. After the match he gives Austin a huge beatdown with the nightstick.
Again, nothing to this one, the brawling segments were decent, though. The whole purpose of this was to advance the storyline. Bossman threw the match the soften Austin up for later. (1/2*)
X-Pac vs Stephen Regal
Regal was in the dumb "real mans man" gimmick here. X-Pac gets sunset flip for 2. Regal works some submissions early, this goes on for a while. Remember how these matches have a 10 minute time limit? They might as well just broadcast the finish already. Gutwrench suplex gets 2 and Regal keeps working the submissions. X-Pac comes back, he goes for the bronco buster but Regal crotches him. They fight to the floor for a double count at 8:12. Mr McMahon isn't happy about that, because it gives Austin a bye. He demands 5 minutes overtime (that doesn't even make sense because they didn't go to the time limit to begin with) but X-Pac is hurt and it doesn't happen.
What a stupid finish, they were less than 2 minutes away from the time limit, so I don't understand why they didn't just take it to the time limit. Nevermind, I do understand, because Vince Russo... The match was watchable but if they were going to do that shitty finish, they might as well have just done a 3 minute Raw match like everything else in the first round. (*3/4)
Ken Shamrock vs Goldust
Shamrock slugs away early but Goldust comes back with a kneedrop. Shamrock puts him down with a knee strike and goes to some rest holds. Goldust eventually comes back but misses a corner charge. He gets a suplex and attempts a powerbomb, but Shamrock blocks it with punches. They're trying, but there's no chemistry here. Goldust hits a sloppy bulldog. He wants to go for shattered dreams for the ref blocks it. Shamrock hits a rana, a belly to belly and Goldust submits in the ankle lock at 5:56.
Another boring Raw match with hardly any crowd reaction. (*)
The Rock vs Triple H
This is our reminder that wrestling in a carny business. Despite Triple H being unable to compete here due to his knee injury (he hadn't been seen for months) they advertise him anyway. The Stooges (Patterson and Brisco) come out to his theme doing crotch chops, which was hilarious, and announce a suitable replacement. So we get;
The Rock vs Big Bossman
Bossman charges and Rock cradles him for the pin at 0:04.
Given where we're going, this was very clever. Rating, again, is just a formality. (DUD)
So that's the first round of the tournament done, let's take a look at the second round brackets.
The Undertaker vs Kane
The Rock vs Ken Shamrock
Mankind vs Al Slow
Steve Austin vs (Bye)
The Undertaker vs Kane
This was when the relationship between these 2 had gotten completely stupid. At Judgment Day Paul Bearer turned on Kane and went back to The Undertaker. The Undertaker was a heel now and admitted to setting the childhood funeral fire that killed his parents and scarred Kane, on purpose. So, they hate each other again, but Kane is the babyface and Undertaker is the heel now. As if this wasn't stupid enough, it would get even stupider later. Kane clothesline him out and they have a half-assed brawl. Taker wasn't pretty to watch against bad opponents when he at 100%, here he's so beat up he can hardly do anything (I'm not sure the specific injury, but he desperately needed time off). Undertaker dominates with punches, Kane no sells a few and hits a powerslam. Taker punches some more and goes to knee. Some less than good looking submissions and choking follow. Kane eventually comes back with clothesline off the top and a chokeslam to wake up the crowd. Paul Bearer distracts Kane on the apron and Undertaker hits a tombstone for the pin, with Paul Bearer holding Kanes foot down so he can't kick out, at 7:14.
These 2 had one good match together, and that was at WrestleMania XIV. They had a disasterously bad match at Judgment Day the month before this, thankfully this one was a lot shorter, and therefore sucked a lot less (still not good enough to go past a DUD), but it was still terrible. Thankfully it would be their last PPV match until SummerSlam 2000. (DUD)
Mankind vs Al Snow
Remember how Head is wearing is Mr Socko? We cut to backstage and it's revealed Mr McMahon was the one who stole it, to fire up Mankind when he'd see it. Al starts with a dropkick and sends Mankind to the floor. Mankind grabs a chair but Al pounds him with it right in front of the ref, who's not interested in DQing anyone apparently. Mankind fits a flapjack onto the. Al comes back with an enzuguiri and takes a swing with Head. Mankind finally found socko and punched Head a few times. Al went after him but got nailed with a clothesline. Spinebuster gets 2 for Al. Mankind comes back with a double arm DDT and puts Socko on and the mandible claw finishes at 3:57.
Nothing to this, it was basically just a comedy match to pay off the stolen socko angle, which they did and the part where Mankind found his long lost socko was fun. (*1/4)
The Rock vs Ken Shamrock
These guys wrestled a lot in 1998 but this would be the first time where The Rock was the babyface and Shamrock was the heel. Slugfest to start and Shamrock gets a suplex for 2. They brawl outside and Rock spits water in his face (was that the first time he ever did that spot?). He sends Shamrock into the steps. Back in Russian leg sweep gets 2 for Shamrock. Bossman joins us at ringside. Shamrock holds a chinlock for a while, and then hits a rana, which Rock doesn't sell particularly well. Anklelock freaks the crowd but Rock makes the ropes. Rock comes back, float DDT and peoples elbow (to a huge pop) gets 2. Rock Bottom is countered into a belly to belly. Bossman rosses the nightstick to Shamrock but Rock intercepts it and knocks Shamrock out for the pin at 8:18.
The Bossman is screwing up a lot tonight, isn't he? More clever booking as the Rock picks up another suspicious win. First actual good wrestling match of the night, though nothing special and certainly rushed a bit. (**1/2)
WWF WOMENS TITLE MATCH: Jacqueline vs Sable
Shane McMahon is the referee as mentioned earlier. Jacqueline jumps from behind, Sable comes back with a kick to knock her down. TKO gets 2 because Mero pulled the ref out. Sable kicked Mero in the balls and then gave her the Sablebomb on the floor. Jacqueline nails her from behind. Back in Sable gets a backdrop and countered a tornado DDT and hit a Sable bomb for the pin at 3:13.
Thankfully this was kept very short and basic so Sable wasn't exposed, she got a huge pop for her big moves, and the win. (*1/4)
Mankind vs Steve Austin
The Undertaker vs The Rock
Mankind vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Austin kicks Mankinds ass to start, beating out of his tuxedo, literally. Vince gets wheeled down to ringside. After the beating Mankind takes control, but Austin counters a clotheslin into Thesz Press. He tries a stunner but Mankind escapes it and bolts down the isle. He doesn't want anymore of Austin but the stooges bring him back. Austin goes out and rams their heads together (JR calls it a real meeting of the halfwits). Austin gets backdropped on the floor and they brawl out there. Back in, Mankind keeps control but Austin fights back and stomps a mudhole. He goes outside and gets rammed into the post. Mankind grabs a chair and DDTs on it for 2. Piledriver gets reversed into a stunner, but it only gets 2 because Vince miraculously leaped out his wheelchair and punked out the ref. Shane McMahon comes down to replace the fallen ref. Austin hits another stunner for the pin, no, it's only 2. Shane refuses to count to 3 and flips Austin off. Austin is shocked by this and so is the crowd. The Stooges come in and adminster a hilariously terrible beatdown on Austin and finish it with a chair shot and Mankind gets the pin at 10:30. As the McMahon's literally skip away together and leave the arena. Austin follows.
Ok the bad out of the way first, that finish has the be the weakest chairshot I've ever seen. Everthing else was a sports entertainment masterpiece, this was Vince Russos finest 10 minutes, superb screwjob that paid off everything on TV leading up to this (if you factor in the idea that Vince likes having Austin on TV because he makes him richer, but wants to make him miserable while he's there). The match itself was solid, it's a good brawl with good intensity. (***1/4)
The Undertaker vs The Rock
Taker attacks Rock on the floor. Back in Rock tries to comeback but he gets cut off. Taker goes to work, very slowly, and ties Rock up in the ropes, but they go outside again and Rock takes over. Back in, Taker cuts him off again, they slug it out and Rock gets a samoan drop. Bossman joins us again. Rock goes low on Taker and goes for a people's elbow but Bossman stops it. Kane runs in and chokeslams the Rock for the DQ at 8:24. See, because Kane didn't want Undertaker advancing so he screwed his brother.
That's probably the lamest ending you could ever do. Bad match too, The Rock and The Undertaker had a few matches and I don't think they ever had a good one together. (3/4*)
TRIPLE THREAT TAG MATCH FOR THE TAG TEAM TITLES: New Age Outlaws vs Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown vs The Headbangers
Billy gets double teamed to start, and the Headbangers put Dogg down with a flapjack for 2. No heat as the crowd always popped for the Outlaws entrance but were dead for their matches. Dogg gets beat on for a while by various people, no one cares and the match is terrible. JR finds diplomatic ways to let us know he's aware how bad it is. After more boredom Billy finally gets the hot tag. He gets powerbombed by D'Lo. The fameasser gets 2, and we get an ugly series of finisher saves where everyone is out of position and the referee literally stops counting while waiting for the next guy to make the save. Billy finally gets a pildriver on Mosh to end it at 10:10
A sloppy, terrible mess of a match with no heat and no one but the champs being believable winners. This is right on the border of negative stars. (DUD)
WWF TITLE MATCH: The Rock vs Mankind
Lockup to start and Rock slugs him out of that and chokes away in the corner. Clothesline for 2 Mankind bails. Brawl in the aisle and Mankind gets a chinlock as they go back in. Vince and Shane join us at ringside as Rock fights out of it and they go out again. Mankind tries a suplex but it gets reversed and Rock goes after Vince, allowing Mankind to attack. Rock fights him off and gets a suplex outside, they brawl into the crowd for a while. Back in Rock takes a chinlock. They're not doing a lot and according to Mankinds book, they had a hard time working the match out. Mankind fights up and knees Rock in the gut. Cactus clothesline sends them both outside and get gets a chairshot. He picks up the stairs but Rock hammers them with the chair and then hits Mankind in the face with it. Back in for a 2 count. Rock slugs away but Mankind goes low and chokes him on the ropes. Back out and Rock drops and elbow off the apron and puts Rock on the table for a leg drop. That gets 2 as he takes Rock back in. Back to chinlock but Rock fights up and slugs away. Charge puts him on the floor. Back in, Rock comes back with a DDT and pounds away, he goes for another charge and gets dumped. Mankind goes for another elbow but Rock moves and he's sent crashing through the Spanish announce table. Back in and a people's elbow gets 2. Mankind gets a DDT. Mandible Claw (with Mr Socko) gets reversed into a Rock Bottom and both guys are down. Rock covers for 2. Then he does a terrible sharpshooter and Vince calls for the bell at 17:15 and The Rock is your new corporate champion. Post match a confused Mankind wonders how Rock could've won the match when he didn't submit. He'd like an explanation but gets beatdown, no explanations until tomorrow night on Raw. Austin comes back and beats up the new WWF champion to send the crowd home happy.
They looked a bit lost out there at times and this one never really got going. Apparently they had a tough time putting this match together (I don't blame them given that they were basically doing a double turn but they didn't want anyone to see the finish coming). It had some good near falls near the end and Mankind took a couple of nice bumps. This would be the first of many matches they'd have over the next few months. (**3/4)
This is the pinnacle of Vince Russo's booking, all the storylines over the last few months paid off here tremendously and made for a super entertaining show. The downside is that all the wrestling sucked. I think it's a fun show and it's certainly historical, since it launched the Rock into the stratosphere. The recommendation is a tricky one. If you love sports entertainment and are into the storylines of the time period, it’s an easy thumbs up. If you just want to watch some good wrestling matches, this is not the show for you and it’s a thumbs down. As someone who rides both sides of the fence, I’d give it a thumbs up.
Bonus, Raw Is War from November 16, 1998.
Might as well do this one since we're here.
Hosted by Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Vince and Shane McMahon come out with the Stooges and the Bossman to open the show. Vince tells us that a damned fool is someone who doesn't kiss the bosses ass, the crowd boos, so he tells them they probably all do it too, they just don't do it enough. Be brings out the new WWF champion, The Rock, who gets a ton of heal heat and "Rocky Sucks" chants. He justifies his heel turn by saying he did what he had to do to get ahead, unlike the trailer park trash in the crowd that work for minimum wage. He also bring up that he never forgot about "Die Rocky Die" and "Rocky Sucks" from his first face run in 1997. He plans on raising the peop.. no sorry, the corporate eyebrow, and laying the smackdown on you with the corporate elbow. Vince wants to explain the conspiracy in detail, but before he can Steve Austin is showed on the titantron. Vince goes on to show video footage and explain the conspiracy. Steve Austin's music hits and he walks down to the ring. Vince reminds him of a clause in his contract that says Austin can't attack him unless provoked. Austin shows him footage of Shane promising a title shot on Raw a few weeks before. Vince says he overuled that by putting him in the Survivor Series tournament, but Austin has a legally binding contract, and has Judge Mills Lane confirms it. The crowd loses their mind over that and Vince is incensed.
There was a lot to get through, from Rock explaining his heel turn to Austin getting his title shot and everything was well done. Great segment. (1/1)
6 MAN TAG: New Age Outlaws & X-Pac vs The Oddities
Insane Clown Posse are with the Oddities. Nothing interesting here, match ended when one of the ICP guys came off the top and tried to hit Billy Gunn, but he missed and hit Golga and Billy covered for 3. The Oddities yelled at the ICP up the ramp. (1/2)
Mankind arrives and isn't in a good mood.
Vince askes the Stooges to go and take care of Mankind, no one wants to so he sends Pat Patterson, since he knows Mankind best, and to remember he's gullible.
Ken Shamrock comes out and he's pissed off because he got screwed. He challenges the Bossman and will put his IC title on the line. Good promo from Shamrock actually, it was short and to the point.
Val Venis vs Mark Henry
After a back and forth start, Chyna returns, she stays on the ramp and Henry is so excited he forgets he's in a match and Val rolls him up for the pinfall. After the match Henry says he just wants to take Chyna out for a nice dinner, with "no sex involved". He reads her a poem but Chyna leaves. This was actually pretty funny, of course the payoff wouldn't be. I'll give it a point. (2/3)
Backstage Steve Austin gets coffee. Cut to the McMahons, Pat couldn't find the boilerroom, Vince tells him he couldn't find his ass. Brisco knows where it's at, Vince says "he's sitting on it? is that what you mean?", but no he's referring to the boiler room. Slaughter is sent to find Mankind. Funny segment, and we go to break.
Steve Blackman & Goldust vs Jeff Jarrett & The Blue Blazer
JR says he doesn't know what Owen Hart is trying to pull with this Blue Blazer stuff, and wonders if he'll take off his "circa 1960's lucha libre" style cape. Blazer jobs in short order here, Blackman tries to unmask the Blazer afterward but Owen runs in and attacks Blackman, proving he's not the Blue Blazer (this time). I still don't know what the point of this entire angle was. (2/4)
Back to backstage, Brisco says there's weird noises in the boiler room and he's too scared to go in. Slaughter calls him a wuss and Vince wonders what he's dealing with here. Slaughter is sent after Mankind. We take a break. Afterward, Slaughter comes back and says Patterson and Brisco need to reason with him. Vince recommends getting riot gear and expects the problem to be solved in short order. This continued the greatness of the earlier segment.
Stephen Regal vs The Godfather
Godfather offers him the hoes and Regal's facial expressions looking at the Ho's is awesome. Regal is accepts the hoes, "last time I checked my name was Stephen Regal, not Elton John", and forfeits the match to Godfather. However Godfather didn't think he'd take the hoes because "England ain't nothing but a place full of fags", surprisingly it wasn't censored on the network, and that triggers a pull apart brawl between them. (2/5)
Backstage Kane destroys some production guys.
WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Ken Shamrock vs Big Bossman
Nothing brawl between these guys, it lasts a bit over 3 minutes. Both guys decked the ref and the match got thrown out and they had a pull apart brawl.
After the brawl is stopped Vince and Shane come out. Vince wants to know what the hell they're doing, they're beating each other for no reason. He tells Shamrock to listen to him, he can use a man like him. He says they are a lot alike, they both came from broken homes and everything they got in life they had to work for. He says the people don't care about him but he does. He can give Shamrock the one thing he never had growing up, family. Shamrock shakes his hand and joins the Corporation.
This was great, masterful manipulation here by Vince. (3/6)
Kane is outside, he chokes one of the fans that wants an autograph. Police sirens are heard in the distance and he walks off into the streets.
Edge & Gangrel vs LOD 2000
Once again the LOD is Animal and Droz. Hawk walks out after about a minute of the match and walks up the titantron. The LOD go up to see what he's doing and get counted out. Commercial break and when we come back, Animal tries to talk Hawk down, who is threatening to jump. Paul Ellering comes down and says Hawk might not care about his life right now, but he cares. Droz follows Hawk up the titantron and appears to shove him off, and we go to commercial.
They were trying to push the angle of Droz trying to get rid of Hawk, to get him out of the picture and take his place (Droz was going to be revealed as one that caused his drug problem that started all of this), but it was completely tasteless garbage, that has no place in wrestling and there's no defending it. (3/7)
From one awful segment to another. Michael interviews Sable, the new womens champion. Shane interrupts to say that she was created by his father, Sables disagrees, Shane says real women like her work real hard for their place, but Sable says she's not for sale. (3/8)
The stooges, ridiculously wearing football helmets and pads head into the boiler room in search of Mankind. Patterson yells out "Mankind, we love you, Vince loves you too you know?". Mankind beats the crap out of them and gets a good ballshot in.
All of these segments with the Stooges looking for Mankind were awesome and made for good comedy. Each one had me laughing (4/8)
WWF TITLE MATCH: The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
The Rock has Vince, Shane, Bossman and Shamrock with him. Fast paced brawl with incredible crowd heat, the match is something like an abbreviated version of the PPV matches these two would have later on. Mankind ran in after about 5 minutes and tried to get at Vince, but ended up brawling with Bossman and Shamrock. Austin hit a stunner and had the title won but The Undertaker did a run in and hit Austin with a shovel for the DQ (unfortunately setting up that silly feud, that culminated with the horrible Buried Alive match). This was one hell of piece of business. If there was any doubt what should be main eventing WrestleMania XV this was a pretty definitive answer. (***1/2) (5/8)
Hell of a show, one of the best episodes of Raw ever. The Corporation stuff is good and the main event is an awesome, super heated brawl. The Hawk stuff is a black mark against this show, but the rest of the crap was kept short. Easy Thumbs up.