WWF House Show 4/18/1998

Written by: Bob Colling

World Wrestling Federation House Show
From: New Haven, CT

Opening Contest: WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku & Aguila vs. Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor: At the start, Taylor attacks Aguila from behind to get the early advantage. Taylor takes Aguila over with a snap suplex but plays to the crowd and that allows Aguila to get up and get a few strikes in on Taylor. Aguila hits a spinning heel kick and comes off the top to arm drag Taylor across the ring. Taka and Christopher are tagged in with Christopher tossing Taka to the corner with a hip toss. Christopher sends Taka chest first into the corner but Taka battles back with a couple of spinning heel kicks and taunts Christopher before backdropping Brian over the top to the floor. Taka takes Christopher out with a springboard cross body to the floor. Aguila fakes out a handspring dive but somersaults over the ring post to take both Taylor and Christopher out on the floor! Taka is dropped chest first across the top rope by Christopher from the apron to regain control of the bout.

Christopher plants Taka with a frontward Russian leg sweep and hugs Taylor in the corner for his achievement. Taylor and Christopher double team Taka hitting a double atomic drop and a seated dropkick. Taylor takes Taka over with an overhead suplex for a near fall. Taka sits in the corner to plant Christopher with a tornado DDT. Aguila enters to hit a couple of spinning heel kicks and a hurricanrana. All four men are brawling in the ring at this point. Christopher is dropkicked to the floor as Aguila has a rollup but is decked by Christopher to allow Taylor to get the victory with a rollup. (**1/4. It’s a fast paced match with a couple of nice high spots by Taka/Aguila but I was left hoping we had gotten more. The finish wasn’t a strong one and protects Aguila for whatever reason. The match needed a stronger finish than that.)

Second Contest: D’Lo Brown vs. Steve Blackman: Blackman dropkicks Brown in the opening minute followed by strikes causing Brown to bail to the floor. Brown returns to the ring to drop Blackman with a few blows and taunts the fans. Blackman nearly wins with a rollup but Brown gets up to hit a clothesline. Brown hits a sloppy spin kick for a two count. Brown scoop slams Blackman and heads to the middle rope to hit a forearm drop for a near fall. Brown drops a leg across the chest of Blackman for another two count. Blackman comes off the ropes to hit a cross body but can’t maintain his offense as Brown comes back with a snap suplex. Brown ducks a spin kick to drops Blackman with a clothesline. Blackman works over Brown with chops in the corner but gets cutoff in the corner with an elbow strike. Brown takes Blackman down with a back breaker and goes tot eh top but misses a moonsault. Blackman kicks Brown and works over D’Lo in the corner with several strikes. Blackman comes off the ropes to hit a bicycle kick and wins the match. (*1/4. Not a good match between these two as they didn’t click well together at all.)

Third Contest: Owen Hart vs. TAFKA Goldust: Before the bell, Goldust works over Owen with right hand and stomps in the corner. Owen backdrops Goldust and clotheslines Goldust to the floor where Owen continues to work over Goldust with strikes. Owen sends Goldust into the ring steps. Owen atomic drops Goldust but Luna gets on the apron and allows Goldust to stop Owen with a low blow. Goldust drops Owen throat first across the top rope. Owen is put over the middle rope and choked for a few moments. Goldust clotheslines Owen managing a near fall. Goldust knee lifts Owen as he comes off the ropes and delivers a knee drop for a two count. Owen avoids a big boot in the corner and rams Goldust groin first into the ring post. Owen leaps off the top to hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Owen drops Goldust with a kick to the head but can’t get a three count on the cover. Owen gets another two count following a spinning heel kick. Luna grabs Owen’s foot and Goldust accidentally clotheslines Luna off the apron leading to a near fall from Owen. Owen catches Goldust on a leapfrog attempt to lock in the Sharpshooter for the win. (*1/2. Nothing shocking here as it was rather basic and uneventful.)

Fourth Contest: NWA Tag Team Champion Bob Holly & Bart Gunn vs. The Headbangers in a non-title match: Headbangers dropkick the champs before the bell and hit a clothesline and backdrop to send Bart to the floor along with Holly shortly afterward. Holly works over Thrasher with right hands but Thrasher takes Holly over with hip tosses and does the same to Bart sending him to the floor. Mosh and Bart are going at it with Mosh backdropping Bart to get the early advantage. Thrasher leaps over Mosh to splash Bart over the back while Bart was draped over the top rope. Holly distracts Mosh from the apron to allow Bart to knee lift Mosh to the floor. Holly tags in as Mosh had a rollup on Bart and Holly hits a neck breaker. Mosh is double teamed by the champs as Holly hits a side slam after Bart struck Mosh.

Bart legally tags in and continues to work over Mosh with basic strikes. Mosh continues to be double teamed but the champs can’t get a three count. Holly nails Mosh with his trademark dropkick and taunts the fans before getting a two count. Mosh takes Holly over with a back suplex and tags in Thrasher who cleans house on the champs with slams and clotheslines. Holly thinks they have the match won but didn’t see Mosh put Thrasher on top on the rollup and thus the Headbangers win the non-title match. (*. It felt like it was dragging along and the finish isn’t unique anymore as I’ve seen it a lot in these 90s reviews. The match didn’t entertain me whatsoever.)

Fifth Contest: Kane vs. The Undertaker: Kane quickly works over Taker in the corner with right hands. Taker tosses his jacket at Kane and battles back with right hands of his own backing Kane into the corner but that is short-lived as Kane continues to work over Taker and hits a clothesline. They go to the floor where Kane continues to control Taker before returning to the ring. Kane hits a top rope clothesline but Taker kicks out at two. Kane runs into a big boot in the corner and Taker runs into a choke slam from Kane but Kane misses an elbow drop. Taker jabs Kane several times and runs over Kane with a clothesline. Taker attempts a choke slam and hits it. Kane gets up but Taker attempts the tombstone only for Kane to get to the apron and drops Taker across the top rope. Kane enters and attempts the tombstone but is sent into the corner and Taker hits the tombstone but Paul Bearer enters to cause the disqualification. (1/2*. Around this time it would be hard to think that these two would put on anything of great quality that didn’t revolve around their finishers. Thus, this sucked.) After the match, Kane attacks Taker on the floor and they brawl backstage.

Sixth Contest: Bradshaw vs. Savio Vega: Vega works over Bradshaw early on but runs into a big boot. They are on the floor where Bradshaw is pressing Vega’s head into the guard railing, apparently. Vega fights back on the floor sending Bradshaw into the ring steps before they get back into the ring. Vega avoids a big boot and drops Bradshaw with a spinning heel kick for a two count with his feet on the ropes. Bradshaw works over Vega in the corner but misses a splash. Vega tries to use the bull rope but Bradshaw avoids it and decks Vega with a lariat for the win. (DUD. This was basically a squash match and nobody cared.)

Seventh Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock vs. Faarooq: Faarooq runs into the ring and tackles Rock hammering away on Rock backing him into a corner. Faarooq comes out of the corner to hit a clothesline and Rock is begging off. Faarooq is wearing street clothes and whips Rock with his belt. They go to the floor where Faarooq sends Rock into the ring steps head first. Rock fights back sending Faarooq into the guard railing rib first. Back in the ring, Rock stomps away on Faarooq and taunts the fans. Faarooq has his ribs taped, so Rock is focusing his attack on the upper body and midsection. Rock knocks Faarooq off the apron after a blow to the chest. Back in the ring, Faarooq clotheslines Rock but misses an elbow drop. Rock scoop slams Faarooq and goes for the People’s Elbow and hits it for a two count. Faarooq spikes Rock with a piledriver but Godfather gets in the ring along with the other Nation members to cause a disqualification. Faarooq manages to get them out of the ring with a steel chair. (*1/2. I think people cared about the action, which wasn’t awful, but it didn’t have a suitable ending, obviously. It’s not a bad filler match and feud for Rock.)

Eighth Contest: WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. Legion Of Doom: Animal and Gunn kick off the title match. Animal shoulder blocks Gunn to the corner and again after a leapfrog. Animal runs over Dogg with a shoulder block and Hawk tags in to work over Dogg with jabs. Dogg pokes Hawk in the eyes but is tossed to the canvas. Dogg misses a clothesline is met with a kick. Dogg is sent into Gunn;s groin and is double teamed but Hawk runs over the champs with clotheslines. Hawk hits a delayed vertical suplex on Dogg before tagging in Animal. Gunn enters and jabs Animal several times until Animal hits a power slam on Gunn and clotheslines Dogg over the top to the floor. Animal slingshots Gunn into the ring from the apron following a scoop slam and an elbow drop. Gunn knocks Animal to the floor and Dogg tosses him into the ring steps while the referee is distracted in the ring. Gunn hammers away on Animal to keep control of the contest.

Dogg keeps control by jumping on Animal’s back while he is across the middle rope. Dogg misses another attempt and crotches himself on the middle rope. Gunn enters and works over Animal in the corner. Gunn hits a splash in the corner as the fans are behind LOD. Gunn attempts a piledriver but Animal backdrops Gunn and avoids a kick to tag in Hawk. Hawk cleans house with clotheslines sending Gunn to the floor. Dogg is splashed in the corner by LOD. They go for the Doomsday Device but Chyna gets in the ring and low blows Animal for another disqualification. (*1/2. Why are there constant disqualifications on the house show market? A loss on a house show can’t be damaging all that much to a character. The action was okay, but nothing all that good.)

Main Event: WWF World Champion Steve Austin vs. WWF European Champion Triple H: Austin drops HHH with a forearm shot but doesn’t followup on the offense. Austin shoulder blocks HHH and taunts HHH while standing in the corner while HHH bails to the floor. Austin ducks a wild shot and pokes HHH in the eyes. HHH gets control following a cheap shot and begins to work over Austin with strikes. HHH and Austin trade right hands until Austin takes HHH down with a Thez Press and delivers right hands. Austin goes for the Stunner but HHH avoids it by bailing to the floor. They return to the ring where Austin works on the left arm of HHH. HHH works over Austin with right hands but runs into an atomic drop. HHH hits a high knee lift to stop Austin. HHH wraps Austin’s leg around the ring post and delivers a chop block to the braced left knee.

HHH works over the left knee of Austin for several moments. Austin avoids the figure four by kicking HHH chest first into the corner. HHH avoids a clothesline and kicks Austin on the knee to maintain his focus on the injured knee. On the floor, HHH drops Austin throat first across the guard railing. HHH drives Austin down with a knee breaker and goes for the figure four again this time managing to get the hold locked in. HHH uses the ropes for leverage but can’t get a submission out of Austin. Austin manages to turn over but neither man gives up. HHH drops several elbows to the injured knee of Austin but isn’t able to keep him down on the canvas all that long. They collide following a double clothesline spot and are both knocked down on the canvas. Chyna decks Austin from the floor but HHH only can get a near fall. HHH taunts the fans from the apron as Austin is knocked down. HHH goes to the top but is met with a strike to the gut. Austin clotheslines HHH after coming out of the corner. Austin jumps onto the back of HHH as he is across the middle rope. HHH attempts a Pedigree but Austin counters and catapults HHH into the referee in the corner. HHH holds Austin as Chyna enters but Austin breaks free and hits a Stunner on both Chyna and HHH to get the three count. (**1/4. A rather disappointing main event to close the show as I was hoping these two would carry the show to a good finish, but it slow and plodding for the most part. The finish was entertaining but everything leading up to it was quite boring, honestly.)

Final Thoughts:
The WWF was red-hot with story lines but in-ring wise the product isn’t very good. That seems to be hidden behind the character and the over the top angles they are going with. The opening bout and main event stick out as matches that had some redeeming quality but nothing to see again. Thus, this doesn’t get a recommendation.

Thanks for reading.

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