WWF Unforgiven 1999 9/26/1999
September 26, 1999
Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: 15, 779
Buy Rate: .85
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Fun Fact: Due to an unusual number of referees getting beat up and abused week after week since Summerslam, the referees decided to strike. At the start of the show we see the refs picketing outside the Charlotte Coliseum, thus the reason for Austin as the ref in the main event and now in the other matches. This may be the first time in PPV history that there are “special referees” in every match, ranging from Harvey Whippleman to Tom Pritchard.
1) Val Venis (Sean Morley) pins Steve Blackman with the Money Shot at 6:31
Fun Fact: The storyline was basic here as a frustrated Blackman started attacking Venis with his kendo stick.
Scott: This was an unusual opener, between two guys with varying styles. It wasn’t much to write home about, which is the big problem with the undercard this year. These guys busted their asses, but they just couldn’t find the right chemistry, or the right storylines. With all the character development going into the main eventers, the mid-carders were just faces in the crowd, I mean Vince Russo did give these guys personalities, but this specific match was just slapped together. Val stole Blackman’s bag of weapons. So what? Sorry, I just don’t see it. Not a bad match, just not much of a backstory. Grade: 2
Justin: OK, I disagree here right off the bat. If there was one thing Russo was good for, it was making sure everyone had a gimmick and storyline. Sure, most of the time the stories were weird or dropped after a few weeks, but in 1998 and 1999 you knew every mid-carder and what their gimmick was. For example: Al Snow: madman, Godfather: pimp, Jarrett: women-beating asshole, Blackman: silent assassin, Venis: porn star who used sex to get ahead. You also knew who they were feuding with, something that is sorely lacking now-a-days. They all had personalities. This wasn’t like the mid-90s where a wrestler was just sent out with some weird gimmick and we were told whether too boo or cheer them. This group of mid-carders gave us reason to love or hate them. Under Russo’s watch a lot of wrestlers who were always ignored were given pushes and distinct looks, which one thing he should always receive credit for. Now, the wrestling itself in the mid-card was in a serious rut for most of 1999, with the exception of certain shows like St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Fully Loaded and Summerslam, so Russo deserves some blame for not focusing on in-ring action, but that was never his forte to begin with. Grade: 2
2) D-Lo Brown (AC Conner) pins Mark Henry to win WWF European Title with the Lo-Down at 9:13
Fun Fact: D-Lo is looking for revenge after his former friend and partner turned his back on him at Summerslam and cost him both the European and Intercontinental Championships at Summerslam. Henry was awarded the European title as a gift from Jeff Jarrett.
Scott: D-Lo has been one of the great surprises of the year. In 1997 he was a fat dude with a bow tie, and now he’s a little slimmer, a good worker, and once again, European champion. Many consider the European title a joke, but D-Lo really took it seriously, and gave some short-lived credibility. This match stems from Henry heeling out on his friend at Summerslam and costing Brown both the European and Intercontinental titles against Jeff Jarrett. The next night, Jarrett rewarded his new friend by giving him the European Title as a gift. Well, he held it for a whopping month, and he didn’t even deserve to hold it that long Henry needs to get back to the gym, or put down the fork, because he is exploding. Grade: 1.5
Justin: For the second time this year, D-Lo captures the European title from an undeserving champion. Brown was really bringing it in 1999, and drags Henry to an OK match to polish off their short-lived feud. Henry would remain heel for another couple of months before turning face again as 2000 dawned. I always thought Henry had the potential to be a serious killer heel, but injuries and weight issues always set him back right when he got some momentum. D-Lo, on the other hand, was on the run of his career, but he would also run into some problems a couple weeks after this show when he accidentally paralyzes Droz on Smackdown. Grade: 1.5
3) Jeff Jarrett beats Chyna (Joanie Laurer) by Disqualification at 11:49; Jarrett retains WWF Intercontinental Title
Fun Fact: On the 8/23 Raw, a blank contract for an I-C title match was placed on Jeff Jarrett’s door. While walking backstage, Billy Gunn noticed this and was set to sign up, but couldn’t find a pen, so he asked Chyna to guard the door while he went to get one. Well, being the crafty lady that she was, Chyna signed her name on the contract and the match was set. Chyna put her title shot up, once again, against Billy on the 9/2 Smackdown, but thanks to help from Triple H, she retained the shot and moved on to Unforgiven. In the weeks leading up to the show, Jarrett was a mad man. To prove his point that he could beat Chyna, he started attacking women with a vengeance. He guitar-shot and locked the following women in the figure four: Cindy Margolis, Jacqueline, Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Ivory, Luna Vachon, Lillian Garcia, a make-up lady and he almost got Stephanie McMahon. Jarrett had the most heat in his career, and was really on a roll. The crowd was hot to see Chyna teach this bastard a lesson, and the stage was set.
Scott: This was becoming Jeff Jarrett’s best heel role ever: this white trash, woman-abusing asshole. On top of that fact he is the IC champ. Chyna was one woman you didn’t want on your bad side. This was the first time a woman went for a man’s title one-on-one in WWF history, and the match wasn’t bad. Chyna’s one who can take bumps like a guy, so Jarrett didn’t have to ease up on her. The Dusty Finish kind of kills it. Debra hits Jarrett with the guitar while the ref’s distracted, and Chyna pins him to win the title. Or does she? The regular WWF referees were on strike, so scab ref and apparent chauvinist Tom Pritchard comes out to say Debra used the guitar and Chyna was disqualified. It was a shitty ending to a decent match. This was an odd dynamic since Chyna’s a face here, but she’s tied to the heel Triple H. Jarrett’s WWF career is about to end, which sucks because this is the best solo heel run of his career. Grade: 2.5
Justin: This was a better match than what was probably expected. The Dusty Finish is iffy, but it accomplishes two points: a) sets up the rematch the next month and b) allows a continuation of the “referees on strike” storyline, as scab ref Pritchard, who had been on Jarrett’s women-bashing side the past couple of weeks, overturns the decision and screws Chyna. The crowd wanted Chyna to win, and was none too happy with the outcome, but the premise was there for the rematch. Grade: 2.5
4) The Acolytes defeat the Dudley Boyz when Faarooq (Ron Simmons) pins D-Von (Devon Hughes) after a Stevie Richards (Michael Manna) Superkick at 7:27
Fun Fact: We witness two PPV debuts in this next match. The first is Stevie Richards, who was an ECW mainstay and also had a brief stay in WCW. Stevie wrestled in the first match in ECW history when he battled Jimmy Jannetty to a 20 minute draw on February 25, 1992. Stevie would then begin mimicking other famous wrestlers and parody them from week to week. When news that Scott Levy was heading to ECW broke, Stevie started parodying all of his former personas. When Levy finally debuted as Raven, he beat the crap out of Richards for mocking him. Stevie took the beating and then became Raven’s lackey, and eventually the two became two time tag team champions. Richards was also part of the popular BWO gimmick, where he, Blue Meanie and Nova mocked the New World Order. Stevie played the role of “Big Stevie Cool” which was a riff on Kevin Nash. Richards’s ECW peak came on the first pay-per-view for the company, Barely Legal, where he competed in a three way dance against Sandman and Terry Funk to determine the number one contender for the ECW Championship. Shortly after this match, Stevie announced his retirement due to a severe neck injury. The validity of the injury has been questioned since, as Stevie went on to sign with WCW in May of 1997, right after his buddy Raven signed on. Stevie had a brief run, but left WCW in October for failing a medical exam. He has also since said that Raven basically told him to shut up and be his lackey or else he would get him fired for causing trouble. Stevie resurfaced on the August 15 Sunday Night Heat and immediately returned to parodying various wrestlers, such as Dude Love and the Dudleys. He also hooked up with the Blue Meanie for the short lived underground favorite “Blond Bytch Project,” which poked fun at former superstar Sable.
Fun Fact II: The other, and more significant, debut here is D-Von and Bubba Ray, the Dudley Boyz. In ECW, the original Dudley family debuted in July 1995 and included such luminaries as Dudley Dudley, Big Dick Dudley and Lil’ Snot Dudley. The family eventually introduced more of Big Daddy Dudley’s illegitimate children in the form of Dances with Dudley, Chubby Dudley, Sign Guy Dudley and eventually Buh Buh Ray, Little Spike and D-Von. Buh Buh initially was portrayed as a stuttering, dancing hillbilly who had to be helped through his promos. In April of 1996, D-Von debuted and took out Dances and claimed that the Dudleys were portraying the family as a comedy act and began feuding with the rest of the family. He eventually picked off the weaker members and was able to unite the remaining members, Buh Buh, Sign Guy and Big Dick, into an effective heel stable. Buh Buh had now dropped his stutter and would develop into a lethal promo man as he would just go out and completely tear apart various fans in the audience and nearly started a riot on a couple of occasions. Buh Buh and D-Von would eventually win eight ECW tag championships, with their final victory coming on August 26, 1999, just weeks before their departure. They would eventually drop the titles to Raven and Tommy Dreamer, after Tommy had challenged the Dudleys to a handicap match in a last ditch effort to prevent the duo from taking the ECW titles to the WWF with them. Upon their WWF debut, the newly renamed Bubba Ray suddenly regained his stuttering speech impediment. Before the stuttering was quickly dropped, we did get one great moment when Bubba tried to introduce himself to the Rock, who interrupted with “It, It, It doesn’t matter who you are!”
Fun Fact III: The recently debuted Stevie Richards had been doing a mimic…uhh…gimmick, where he started dressing like various wrestlers and interfering on their behalf. His most famous incarnation was Dude Love, but around this time, he started dressing like the Acolytes, which got a few laughs from them in a “look, isn’t he cute” sort of way.
Fun Fact IV: The Dudley Boyz were scared to death of the reaction they would receive in the WWF locker room, as it was just months earlier that another former ECW mainstay tag team had arrived in the WWF, but was shown the door very, very quickly. In the spring of 1999, the infamous Public Enemy made the jump from ECW to the WWF, and brought a very arrogant attitude with them. The tight WWF locker room did not appreciate this, and made the Enemy’s lives hell. On one particular Raw, the Acolytes were even sent out to rough the Enemy up a bit and teach them a lesson. The lesson was learned, and Public Enemy was sent packing back to ECW, and eventually back to WCW where they had been in 1995 through 1997. The Dudleyz were sure to bring a better attitude and respect, and fit in immediately.
Scott: The first of two big PPV debuts this month is the most successful tag team in wrestling history. The Road Warriors are the greatest tag team ever, but if you look at actual tag team title reigns, Bubba Ray and D-Von are second to none. 8 ECW tag team titles and now they begin to make their mark in the big dance. Here, they job to the resident hangers-on, the Acolytes. Undertaker’s gone, so this gimmick is effectively outdated. They should have at least changed their tights, and got the stupid pentagram tights off. Stevie Richards interferes to cost the Dudleyz the match, but that’s fine as they have plenty of better days ahead. Grade: 2.5
Justin: A monumental debut on a forgotten show. The Acolytes were still entertaining, but were getting a little stale, which is something they would fix as 2000 dawned. The tag division was slowly starting to grow, and we were seeing a resurgence in the creation of actual tag teams, and not the mish-mosh of singles wrestlers tossed together like we saw for most of 1997 and 1998, and the Dudleyz arrived just in time to help lead the growing division. They still have their ECW look going on with tie-dye shirts, glasses and jean shorts, but they wouldn’t start to gain a real solid following until they changed their look and attitude, to give themselves a new, fresher look. An ok match, but the debut itself is humongous. Grade: 2
5) Ivory (Lisa Moretti) defeats Luna Vachon in a Hardcore match to retain WWF Women’s Title with a pole to the head at 3:38
Scott: This was a hardcore match since they were using weapons. Not much to write about here, except Ivory is bringing some credibility to the Women’s title. Tori got involved in this triangle, but didn’t factor into the outcome. Not much more to say here. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Not much here, as Ivory continues her domination of the Women’s division and her feud with Tori. Luna is thrown in here as a challenger, but her run was rapidly coming to an end. After this she began managing her real-life husband, Gangrel, but was turfed in early 2000 after some backstage antics which allegedly included taping a producer’s mouth shut. Ivory would roll on, but would hit quite the speed bump in October. Grade: 1
6) The New Age Outlaws defeat Edge (Adam Copeland) & Christian (Jay Reso) to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when Billy Gunn (Monte Sop) pinned Edge with a Fame-Asser at 11:08
Fun Fact: The brand new team of the Rock and Mankind, dubbed by Foley as the “Rock and Sock Connection”, had recently traded the Tag Team titles back and forth with Undertaker and Big Show, but most recently had captured them on the 9/20 Raw. Well, on that week’s Smackdown, the Rock and Mankind were cutting a promo on Triple H, when all of a sudden this happened (courtesy the fantastic CRZ): Before THIS continues, who should appear at the top of the ramp but ROAD DOGG. Well MY ass better call somebody. “Gentlemen, you seem to be overlooking one small detail – you see, you two are the World Wrestling Federation tag team champions. Believe it or not, that means a little something to me. So Rock, if you check the registry, I think you’ll find that I’ve got reservations at the Smackdown hotel. But no no no, I’m not sleeping single, you see nobody wants to see a Brahma bullrope match – and nobody damn sure wants to see a Boiler Room match – but let me, let me, the D O double G, tell you what match they DO want to see!” The music fires up and … it’s Billy Gunn? And they embrace – so looks like we’re stuck with THEM again. “Wait just a second – now I happen to be a big fan of the New Age Outlaws, but are you challenging us to a match for these tag team belts right here in this very ring? Well I can guarantee you this – the Rock and Sock connection back down from nobody – we’ll put these belts on the line! So, with that revelation, the Billy Gunn singles push from hell ended, and one of the greatest tag teams of all time was reunited. Immediately following that reunion, the Outlaws defeated the Rock and Sock to regain their Tag Team championship and were once again Kings of the Hill in the tag division.
Fun Fact II: Edge and Christian defeated the Acolytes on the 9/6 Raw to become #1 Contenders.
Scott: Much better, as this is right where Billy Gunn belongs. My boys are back together as tag team champions, and are facing an up and coming tag team with good chemistry. This was a great match, as the psychology of going after Road Dogg’s back for most of the match was excellent. The Hardyz continue their feud with E & C by taking Christian out as Edge gets Fame-Assered for the loss. We begin the final run of the NAO’s illustrious career here, as by 2000 they are broken apart. Edge and Christian are just getting started. Grade: 3
Justin: A really good, fast paced match and features a pretty hot crowd who are digging the reformed Outlaws. Edge and Christian were slowly, but surely, coming into their own during this run and do a great job of putting the beat down on face in peril Road Dogg. The Outlaws get a final moment in the sun, as they would put the nail in their coffin in February, but here they help set the stage for the future of tag wrestling as the Hardyz and Edge and Christian continue their war at the end of the match. This was a fun, formulaic, tag match with a good ending. Grade: 3
7) Al Snow defeats Big Boss Man in a Kennel from Hell match to retain WWF Hardcore Title when Snow escapes the Kennel at 11:40
Fun Fact: The Boss Man continued torturing poor Al Snow into the fall, but he really crossed the line on the 9/2 Smackdown. But first, on the 8/26 Smackdown, Boss Man absconded with Snow’s pet dog Pepper, who had replaced Head and Pierre the moose head as Snow’s “friend”, and on the 8/30 Raw, Boss Man told Al that if he met him in a hotel room on Thursday, he would return Pepper to him. Well, on Smackdown, Snow showed up at the hotel to find that Boss Man had prepared dinner for him. Well, Al showed up and Boss Man served up the main course. As Snow started munching away, Boss Man told him not to get a paw stuck in his tooth. As Boss Man’ quip sunk in on poor Al, the evil bastard tells him the meal is “100% Grade-A Pepper!” Snow realized what he was eating and began vomiting all over the room. Boss Man says that is what hardcore is all about and takes a bite of Pepper and declares that it “tastes like chicken!” This completely pushed Snow over the edge, as the next week he showed up on Raw dressed up as Avatar, which was his old masked personality that Vince gave him in 1995, and started cutting a promo before realizing what he was doing, freaking out and running away. The next week, he brought some of Pepper’s friends out with him, who he claimed would be in between the two cages at the PPV. Those friends were two Rottweilers. Thus, the match was set: a steel cage, surrounded by a Hell in the Cell cage, with rabid dogs in between.
Fun Fact II: On the 9/6 Smackdown, the Boss Man came out to revel in his canine culinary skills and offer an open challenge for his Hardcore title. He then asked if there were any dog lovers back there who wanted to come get some revenge. Well, to everyone’s surprise, the number one dog in WWF history came storming out to get some: the British Bulldog! That is right; Mr. Smith had returned and went on to defeat the Boss Man in under a minute to win the Hardcore title. Well, after the match, Snow ran to the ring dressed as Leif Cassidy, another old gimmick gone wrong, and shoved a piece of paper in the Boss Man’s mouth and ran off once again. However, before Al could get up the ramp, the Bulldog stopped him and gave him the Hardcore title as a present. It was revealed later that the paper stated that Snow challenged Boss Man to the Kennel match.
Scott: The third and final installment of this PPV feud ends with one of the most bizarre matches ever put together. After Boss Man “cooked” Snow’s dog Pepper, this match was set. It was a steel cage underneath a hell in a cell. In the spaces between the two, there were dogs; live, snarling, drooling, pissing dogs. The match itself was terrible, but I guess based on the haphazard storyline of Boss Man killing Snow’s dog, the stipulation makes sense. Thankfully, a “Kennel from Hell” match has never been duplicated. We’ll just put this one away, and never discuss it again. Grade: 1.5
Justin: Well, this match had quite the back story, so it is too bad the actual action couldn’t live up to the build. The guys worked very hard, but the concept was just bizarre, and not conducive to a good match. To add to the fray, the dogs didn’t look very scary and were actually pissing and humping at ringside. The only time I would recommend watching this mess is if you can track down Mick Foley’s Hard Knocks and Cheap Pops DVD, as the match is on there and features ridiculously hilarious commentary from Mick and Kevin Kelly, who just tear the thing to shreds. Grade: .5
8) X-Pac (Sean Waltman) beats Chris Jericho (Irvine) by disqualification when Mr. Hughes (Curtis Hughes) interferes at 13:13
Fun Fact: Jericho was originally scheduled to face Ken Shamrock in this match, as their feud had been simmering for a few weeks. Shamrock, however, was in the midst of contract issues and had some nagging injuries that weren’t healing, so he was pulled from the match at the last minute and he would never be appear on WWF TV again.
Fun Fact II: In what was perhaps an homage to his long time personal security guard in WCW, Ralphus, Jericho decided he needed some backup in the WWF. His first choice was longtime announcer Howard Finkle, who he said he could turn into a Warrior (he even started using the Ultimate Warrior’s theme music) but that went as well as you thought. His next choice was Mr. Hughes, who we last saw backing up Triple H at the 1997 Royal Rumble. Hughes dropped a ton of weight and actually looked pretty good in the ring, but his stint would once again be short lived, leaving Jericho on his own over the next few months.
Fun Fact III: These two men met in their WCW days at Halloween Havoc 1996. X-Pac, then known as Syxx, beat newcomer Jericho in 9:49.
Scott: Finally, after a month and a half of bantering, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla makes his PPV debut. Good opponent to show off his skills to the WWF fans. His debut on August 9 in Chicago is the most memorable debut in wrestling history. Now what everyone’s been waiting for. The match is top notch, with exceptional aerial moves, and great counter-maneuvers. Unfortunately, this match has a shitbag ending, as Jericho’s insurance, Mr. Hughes, decks the ref to cause the DQ. Hughes would be dispatched soon, and Jericho will begin his path to a successful WWF career. However, thanks to that dickhead Kevin Nash whispering into Triple H’s ear, Jericho never received the push he truly deserved for a couple of years. People say bad things about Eric Bischoff ruining WCW. He was part of it, but Kevin Nash deserves some, if not more of the blame. WCW had a perfectly young, energetic, and talented mid-card. Nash successfully turned it all to shit. Anyway, Jericho’s debut is spectacular, but stunted by the poor ending. Grade: 4
Justin: For a match that was thrown together at the last minute, these two really put on a clinic, and delivered one of the top WWF PPV matches in a year that was not known for its great in-ring action. X-Pac was floating around aimlessly a little bit, but would pick up a lot of steam over the next month or so. He was still generating some good pops, but he should enjoy them, because starting in October, he would never be cheered by a crowd again. Jericho was still establishing his character, pretty much the same from WCW, and trying to get it over with the crowd. It would take some tweaking, but Jericho would get there, and when he did he quickly became the most over superstar on the roster. Anyway, check this match out for sure, as it is a forgotten classic. Grade: 4
9) Triple H (Paul Levesque) beats the Rock (Dwayne Johnson), Big Show (Paul Wight), Kane (Glen Jacobs), British Bulldog (David Smith) and Mankind (Mick Foley) to win the Vacant WWF World Title in a Six-Pack Challenge when he pedigrees the Rock at 20:34
Fun Fact: OK, where to start. On the 9/13 Raw, Triple H and Chyna came down to ringside and began tearing into Linda McMahon, who had claimed she was going to confront Triple H that night. Well, showing more guts than brains, Linda came down to ringside to give Hunter a piece of her mind. Triple H then began bullying her about a Steve Austin title match, and Linda blew him off. Well, Triple H didn’t like this, so he grabbed Linda and spun her around and then all of a sudden…”NO CHANCE!” That is right, after being gone since July 25, Vincent K. McMahon returned on the scene to set things straight (courtesy the wonderful CRZ): Vince YANKS the mike out of Helmsley’s hand. “Hey listen! I gave my word I wouldn’t interfere in WWF business, but this is not business – this is personal! Listen up, you son of a bitch! Who the hell do you think you are!? Yeah, you’re the WWF Champion all right – maybe you need a little reminder as to who gave you that break – who gave you the opportunity, huh?” McMahon removes his coat, asks Linda to leave the ring – and throws his coat at Triple H. Well, before they could go at it, Austin ran to the ring and battled Triple H as the show went off the air. The following Thursday on Smackdown, Triple H and Chyna again came to ringside, this time joined by Shane and now to torment Vince: Vince…you wanna be a hero, jack? You wanna be a hero to your old lady? You wanna be a star? You wanna be somebody? Well, I’m gonna give you a chance to be her hero, Vince – I’m gonna give you a chance to be her champion. Because I’ve had enough, and the fact of the matter is…I will put THIS on the line, to get a piece of your ass! What do you say, old man?” On the Entertainment-Tron, we take a look at Vince and Linda. “Come on, Vince, I know she’s waiting’ next to ya, she’s looking atcha ‘please be my hero, Vince, please?’ What are ya, chicken (mute) Vince? Come on! I’ll pull your punk card, Vince – it’s down to the ground! You got (beep)? Bring it! How about you, Linda? You might not be able to handle the game, but I’ll at least let you ride my bench. That’s it – that’s it! Take a deep breath, suck ’em in one time, and make the walk.” The camera follows Vince as he makes the long walk to the entryway. Who does he think he is, Shane? Meanwhile, Shane and Triple H share a few words in the ring – and now VINCENT K. appears, mike in hand, and walks down to the ring. Shane parts the ropes for his father. “Let’s go to the back and discuss this like business people, all right?” “No, I am done talking to you. The talking is over – it’s go time. You and me, right now.” “Listen, last Monday was personal, but I gave my word I would not interfere in WWF business – you’re talking this WWF Championship match and all of this crap – that’s business. I will have nothing to do with that – but I do warn you, don’t make this TOO personal.” “What’s the matter, you haven’t got the b (beep) s? What happened to the man with b (beep) s the size of grapefruits, Vince? What happened to ’em? I am calling you out.” Vince snarls, “NO.” “Yeah, that’s it. You go in the back and you hide behind your skirt. Go ahead, go hide behind your skirt. But you tell your sexually frustrated wife that if you can’t get the job done, Triple H can keep it up all night for her..” Vince rushes him, and … it’s on? That’s right, it was now official: Vince McMahon vs. Triple H for the Title. Well, after a grueling 8 minutes (which saw a nice Vince bladejob), Austin again came out and gave stunners to Chyna and Triple H, and then PLACED VINCE on top and forced Shane to count to three. The place went nuts and Vince McMahon was now champion. His reign would not last very long at all, however, as the next Monday on Raw; he officially forfeited the World Title and put it for grabs in the 6-Pack Challenge.
Fun Fact II: On the Thursday before the PPV, Vince decided to force Triple H to wrestle in 5 stipulation matches in one night, with one match against each 6-Pack opponent, and stated that he had to win 3 of the 5 in order to keep his Unforgiven Main Event slot. The five matches were as follows: a Brahma Bull Rope match vs. Rock, a Casket match vs. Undertaker, a Boiler Room Brawl vs. Mankind, an Inferno match vs. Kane and a Chokeslam Challenge vs. Big Show. In the first match, Triple H took a quick Chokeslam from Big Show to go 0-1. Next up was the inferno match, which Kane was set to win, but all of a sudden Undertaker, Mideon and Viscera showed up with a bloody X-Pac in tow. Kane tries to save his buddy, but got pushed into the fire by Viscera, giving Triple H a win (1-1). In the midst of all this, this took place (courtesy CRZ): In another shot, Undertaker congratulates his troops on a job well done. They’ve shown Kane that it pays not to cross the Reaper. Lillian Garcia asks Undertaker how he can leave when he’s scheduled in a Casket Match. Undertaker says nobody tells him what to do, and he won’t participate – it’s party time. Vince McMahon steps into the shot, telling Undertaker that if he doesn’t participate tonight, he won’t be participating in the Six Pack Challenge Sunday. Undertaker coolly responds, “You know what? Maybe I won’t be participating in ANYTHING around here. Now you deal with that…” So, Taker was out, and the 6-Pack became a 5-Pack. So, Vince then ordered Mideon and Viscera to take the place of Undertaker in the casket match, which they did. About 1:45 in, Triple H put Mideon in the casket and slammed the door; however Shane, who was now a face, came out and told Hunter that he needs to put both men in the casket. Well, one minute and three Viscera splashes later and Triple H is 1-2 and in deep shit. Next up was the Boiler Room Brawl, which Mankind was about to win, when someone mysteriously whacked him with a pipe, handing Triple H then win to even up the series at 2-2. Well, after this a very interesting backstage conversation took place between Vince and a freshly returned British Bulldog. British Bulldog was talking to Vince backstage and he reminded Vince that back in January promised him a title shot. At his suggestion, Vince put him into the Undertaker’s slot, and as a thank you, Bulldog offered to be the special guest referee in the Brahma Bull match. So, the 6-Pack was back on. The final match of the evening was the Brahma Bullrope match and everything was going Rock’s way until the Bulldog turned heel and gave him a Powerslam, which handed Triple H his third victory and solidified his slot at the PPV.
Scott: The Game continues his ascent to solid heel main eventer by winning his 2nd WWF Title with 5 other studs. This stems from Vince McMahon winning the WWF World Title on Smackdown with help from Stone Cold Steve Austin. McMahon vacated the title, and set this match up. You’re probably wondering why British Bulldog is there. This is Bulldog’s first PPV match since the 1997 Survivor Series. He was replacing the Undertaker in the match, who walked out on Smackdown 3 days before, and right to the operating table, to repair his torn groin, and other assorted injuries. He’ll be back in May, with a completely new look. More on that in May. Here we have a fun title match that includes Steve Austin, who’s also soon going on the medical shelf, as special enforcer. He would actually make the three count on Rock, who slowly starts the build to his moment in 2000. We also start seeing a more “built” Triple H. Rumors circulate he’s been taking steroids and it’s probably true, considering he looks much more chiseled than he did a year before. Big Show falls short, but in a couple of months he falls into the chance of a lifetime. Mankind’s run as a main-eventer is slowly coming to an end, as he loses here, and will lose more in the coming months, for a good cause, of course. The Game’s on top, but Austin drops a Stunner to end the show, preparing for next month’s main event. Grade: 4
Justin: A really fun, fast-paced and forgotten classic that saves this show from disaster. Stone Cold is a special enforcer, but mainly does commentary until the closing moments of the match. They had six strong in-ring performers who were great at piecing together a fun match out of a clusterfuck situation. All 6 men leave the match looking very strong, especially the Bulldog, who had been out of action for 1 year, and had nearly died in late 1998, so it was nice to see him involved in Main Event storylines. Triple H again barely escapes with the win to kick off his second World Title reign but, barring a big win next month, this would be another brief one for the Game. Also, this was the first PPV Main Event in 1999 to garner lots of praise amongst a wide base of fans, and was a strong candidate for WWF match of the year. It is definitely a fun watch, and will be included in Scott and Justin’s “Forgotten Classics and Hidden Gems” compilation someday. Grade: 4
Scott: A fairly pedestrian PPV with a weak undercard and a strong last 2 matches. We start coming to the end of the line with PPVs carried solely by the main event, as we see with a strong debut from Chris Jericho. The main eventers are running with serious gas, and that continues with no problem. This is the last PPV involving Vince Russo as writer, as he and Ed Ferrara fly the coop to WCW. Smooth move, as they further kick dirt in Ted Turner’s grave. The year is coming to an end, with well deserved time off coming for a few, and others getting a shot in the spotlight as a result. Final Grade: C+
Justin: Well shoddy undercard aside, this was really a three match show: Edge and Christian vs. New Age Outlaws, X-Pac vs. Jericho and the Main Event. The storylines were a little rocky, as they always are as fall rolls around, but things would really be shaken up in October, so this sort of a holdover show before the craziness kicks in. The “referees on strike” storyline was interesting too and it was funny seeing all the scab refs working the matches here. This was also the first PPV to air after the official debut of Smackdown, which aired Thursday nights on UPN. The addition of two additional hours of weekly TV was part of what drove Russo and Ferrara into the waiting arms and guaranteed contracts of Ted Turner. The loss of those two seemed like a pretty big blow when it first happened, and the next few shows are a bit rocky as they sorted out the creative team, but we would soon find out that the ship was sailing stronger than ever despite losing two important pieces of the staff. I would recommend this as a solid, fun show to watch if you want to kill some time, or just recommend the three big matches if you want to see some great action. Final Grade: B-
MVP: Main Event
Runner Up: Chris Jericho & X-Pac
Non MVP: Kennel from Hell
Runner Up: Women’s Match
All Time PPV Active-Wrestler Roster
“Special Delivery” Jones
King Kong Bundy
Andre the Giant
Big John Studd
Davey Boy Smith
King Tonga (Haku)
Dory Funk, Jr.
Billy Jack Haynes
Koko B. Ware
Honky Tonk Man
One Man Gang
Bam Bam Bigelow
Big Boss Man
Kerry Von Erich
Irwin R. Schyster
Jimmy Del Ray
Ted DiBiase’s Undertaker
Roadie Jesse Jammes
Squat Team #1
Squat Team #2
Leif Cassidy (Al Snow)
Tiger Ali Singh
Bubba Ray Dudley
PPV Rest in Peace List
“Playboy” Buddy Rose (Wrestlemania I)
“Special Delivery” Jones (Wrestlemania I)
Uncle Elmer (Wrestlemania II)
Adrian Adonis (Wrestlemania III)
Haiti Kid (Wrestlemania III)
Little Beaver (Wrestlemania III)
Junkyard Dog (Summerslam 1988)
Big John Studd (Wrestlemania V)
Sapphire (Summerslam 1990)
Bad News Brown (Summerslam 1990)
Dino Bravo (Wrestlemania VII)
Andre the Giant (Summerslam 1991)
Texas Tornado (Royal Rumble 1992)
Hercules (Royal Rumble 1992)
Elizabeth (Wrestlemania VIII)
Sensational Sherri (Wrestlemania IX)
Ludvig Borga (Survivor Series 1993)
Captain Lou Albano (Royal Rumble 1995)
Dick Murdoch (Royal Rumble 1995)
Rad Radford (Survivor Series 1995)
Bertha Faye (Survivor Series 1995)
Bam Bam Bigelow (Survivor Series 1995)
Chris “Skip” Candido (Summerslam 1996)
Yokozuna (Survivor Series 1996)
Terry “Executioner” Gordy (IYH: It’s Time)
Brian Pillman (IYH: Ground Zero)
Rick Rude (IYH: Bad Blood)
Hawk (Judgment Day 1998)
Gorilla Monsoon (Wrestlemania XV)
Owen Hart (Backlash 1999)
Next Review: No Mercy 1999