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Guest columnist: Ian Challis



Well, I'm not too well right now so who knows when this report will reach you but I thought I'd start putting it down on paper (so to speak) while it's till fresh in my head. As a side note, I managed toget hold of some (not quite) primo seats for next year's WWF Insurrextion event at Earl's Court in London next May. Whoohoo!! All those hours of phone queuing paid off! But that's months away-and the end of the world happened on Sunday night....

-Comin' atcha liiiiiiiiive from Birmingham, Alabama, your hosts are The King and Good Ol' JR. They talk a little bit of this about that, then show us Mick Foley's heartfelt address where he swore to resign as commish if anyone got seriously(worked)hurt in the main event match. Vince MacMahon and The Stooges arrive in the back-what's up with this ten minutes of non-wrestling to start us off? Anyhoo, we eventually get an opening match, which turns out to be...

-Mixed Tag Elimination Match: Hardy Boyz/Lita Vs. Dean Malenko/Eddie Guerrero/Perry Saturn w/Terri: This was all set up when Msrk Henry went on a date with Chyna-wait, I think I'm getting my storylines confused. Pier six to start as the Hardys doubleteam everything that moves, then it settles down to Matt and Saturn. Tag to Eddie, who works Matt over and showboats, allowing Jeff to get the tag. Elbows for all the Radz, backbody drop for Eddie, Lita sneaks in a Twist Of Fate, Jeff hits the swanton and Eddie's gone at 2:58. Saturn comes in and takes the Whisper In The Wind, but Matt and Dean come in and it turns into two on two. Poetry In Motion for Dean, and they attempt it on Saturn, but he catches Jeff and DVDs him to send him packing at 4:03. Saturn goes for one on matt, but he slips out. Malenko comes in but gets tossed to the floor, and Matt hits the Twist Of Fate to eliminate him at 5:29. Terri gets in the ring to give Matt an earbashing, which provides enough of a distracion for Malenko to sneak in and roll Matt up for the pin at 5:57. So it's down to Lita and Dean. She hits a moonsault bodypress for two, but Dean easily kicks out and absolutely beats the Holy Hell out of her, finishing her with the Cloverleaf at 8:07. Holy macaroni, they sure squeezed a lot into that eight minutes. **3/4. Biiiiiiiig heel heat for Dean after THAT one.

-Backstage, Lilian Garcia interrupts Kurt Angle during some strange tribal dance routine-which turns out to be his training regime.

-European Title Match: William Regal (c) Vs. Hardcore Holly: Regal really outdoes himself tonight, accusing the crowd of mass bestiality there. This guys a pro. Holly doesn't get that big a pop-until he's announced as coming from Alabama. Brawl to the floor to kick off and Holly goes into the ringpost. Back in the ring,  he hits a belly-to-back in the ring for a nearfall, but gets kicked in the mouth by as he jumps off the top. Regal sits him up top and takes him down with a superplex for two nearfalls, then slaps on a Bow and Arrow. He eventually lets him go. Regal comes off the ropes and goes for a butterfly suplex, but Holly hits a nice delayed backdrop. Best Dropkick In The Business, Hollycaust and Alabama Jam, but it only gets two. Regal comes back with a bodyslam and puts on the Regal Stretch, but Holly grabs the ropes immediately and Regal breaks. Holly with the steel-assisted clothesline, but while the ref checks to see if Regal's still conscious Raven slides in the ring and drops Holly with the Evenflow. Regal rolls over and retains at 5:00. So-so match. **.

-Rikishi interview. He's a bad man, y'know.

-Chyna Vs. Val Venis w/Ivory: Val's wearing black pants now, meaning I can no longer call him the Colonel. Chyna meets him in the aisle and beats him up a bit, then tosses him in the ring. Chyna dominates him with a large range of kicks and gets a nearfall off a DDT, but Val resurrects his "two knees and a legsweep" routine for two. Val tosses her outside and Ivory gets some licks in, and Val gets another two off of a butterfly suplex. Bodyslam, but Chyna catches him off the ropes with a backdrop, and the Worst Neckbreaker In The World gets her a two count. Val comes back but gets put down with a forearm for two. He catches her with a powerslam and goes for the Money Shot (called as such by JR), but it misses. Ivory trips Chyna coming off the ropes, so she chases her, and Val catches Chyna coming back in the ring with a fisherman's suplex for the pin at 5:03. *. Postmatch, Chyna tries to kill Ivory with a powerbomb, but Val saves his associate with a Blue Thunder Bomb.

  • Backstage, Vince and Steph share a father/daughter moment.

  • And earlier today, Undertaker and Kevin Kelly reminisce as they stand in the cell, and Undertaker gets all bleary-eyed when talks about making people famous and ending careers. The big softie.

  • And, just to wind me up even more, Vince and co. are out for an interivew which I paid absolutely no attention to, so I'm gonna skip the details. Jist of it is, apparently, that Vince has gone a little crazy and wants the main event cancelled tonight. Didn't WCW do the "crazy owner/CEO" thing with Ric Flair? Nah, WWF wouldn't steal from them. Ooops.

    -Last Man Standing Match: Kane Vs. Chris "I Spilt Coffe On Steph MacMahon, Not Kane" Jericho: Kane charges Jericho in the aisle and it's OWN LAHK NECKBONE. Backstage for some brawling, then they fight down the aisle and to the ring. Kane sent into the steps, then into the ring where Jericho controls some more. Dropkick sends Kane outside again, but Jericho gets caught and powerslammed as he jumps off the apron. Kane kicks his ass around the ring for a bit, then sidewalk slams him in the ring. Irish hip and shoulder charge, then some more righteous ass-kicking. Hangman-like submission hold on Jericho-which makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever-which gets a five-count when Kane drops him. Of course, that count doesn't stop because Jericho gets to his feet-no, Kane picks him up. Jericho tries a comeback with a spinkick, but Kane catches him. Jericho slips out and tries a Lionsault, but Kane gets his knees up. Nasty flying lariat puts Jericho down for another five-count, daring Kane for more punishment-so Kane absolutely DESTROYS him with a one-armed chokeslam. Jericho gets up at nine as Kane does his Triple H impression of "drat!". He grabs a chair and cracks Jericho across the spine, then calls for a Tombstone on the chair-but Jericho counters by producing a signed copy of the WWFE report banning piledrivers and DDTs Kane, then chairs him in the head. Both men are down but Jericho gets up at 4. Kane whips him into the corner but Jericho gets a flying jalapeno and a missile dropkick. Bulldog, and Jericho puts the chair on Kane's chest and Lionsaults him. That is quite possibly the most stupid thing I've ever seen a wrestler do. Both men are up and Jericho eats a big boot, then gets press slammed to the floor. Brawl up the aisle, where they find a not-planted-at-all table, crate and wall of barrels. Kane tries to chokeslam Jericho through the table, but he kicks him low and bulldogs him off the crate-but the table doesn't break. So they REPEAT THE SPOT. Ooops. Jericho crawls out of the wreckage and shoves the barrels onto Kane, and Teddy Long makes the FASTEST TEN COUNT EVER to give Jericho the win at 17:16.. Dull beginning, otherwise okay. **1/2.

    -Mick Foley gets tressed backstage.

  • And it's "washed up legends night" at WWF New York, where tonight's host is Shawn Michaels.

    -Four Corners Match For Tag team Titles: Edge/Christian Vs. Bull Buchanan/The Goodfather w/Steven Richards (c) Vs. Shitlocks/K-Kwik Vs. Dudley Boyz: D-Von starts with Goodfather and the RTC doubleteam him. Bull gets a two count. Big boot, tag to Goodfather, and Buh Buh breaks it all up. Bull and Goodfather lay him out and D-Von tags Shitlocks. Goodfather beats the piss out of him and chokes him in the corner with his boot, but Edge tags him on the leg. Buh Buh and Christian in, and Shitlocks and Buh buh hit dueling funky punches, nailing each other with the final big left hand and giving Edge a two count. Shitlocks tags K-Kwik and they hit some rowdy doubleteams on Edge. Edge whips Kwik into the corner but Kwik pumphandles out, does a handspring and hits a swank spinkick. Christian tries to grab him and Edge capitalises with a dropkick. Tag to Christian, who works him over, then a tag to Edge. Armbar, tag to Christian, but Goodfather quickly gets a blind tag to Chrstian and comes in, then works over Kwik's shoulder himself. Tag to Bull, nothing to see here, tag to Edge. Kwik manags to hit a neckbreaker on him and manages a hot tag to Buh Buh, complete with dramatic dive. Sidewalk slams for the Canadians, and everyone's in-we got a pier eight. Both RTC guys put on the floor and Kwik hits a nice plancha onto them, but Goodfather catches him and hits a shoulderbreaker. Shitlocks hits a diving clothesline off the apron, knocking both down, but Steven sneaks in a Stevenkick on him.Meanwhile the Duds nail Edge with the Wassup Drop-D-Von, Get The Tables. D-Von nails the RTC with the table on the floor then hit the Dudley Device on Edge for two. Bull in, 3D. Ditto for Goodfather. Christian rushes them and takes the Wassup Drop, and D-Von goes for the table again, but Steven DDTs him on the floor to take him out of the running. Spear on Buh Buh gets two for Edge, and Christian (illegally) Tomakazes him, allowing Edge the pin for their FOURTH title at 9:43. **3/4-Edge and Christian are the Bret Hart of tag teams! Looks like we're heading for a Dudleyz/Canadians match at the Rumble...

  • Backstage (again), Triple H tells Stephanie that the most important thing in his life is the WWF Title. Boy, that's a bit of a slap in the face.

    -Intercontinental Title Match: The One Billy Gunn (c) Vs. Chris Benoit: Long feeling out process, then Benoit takes charge and drop toe holds Gunn. Gunn comes back with two hiptosses and an armdrag, then throws Benoit to the floor. Gunn gets sent into the steps, and Benoit stomps him then throws him back in the ring. More stomping, with Benoit focusing on the knee. Kneebreaker! Gunn slips out of a slam attempt and gets a sunset flip for two. Benoit dropkicks the knee. Dragon screw, and Benoit slpas on the WORST FIGURE FOUR EVER. Billy rolls it over, and Benoit makes the ropes. Stinger splash misses for Gunn, and Benoit hits his three German suplex rally for two. Air Canada misses, and Gunn catches him with a powerslam for two. Jackhammer and FameAsser gets two, and Benoit bullies him into the crossface. Gunn makes the ropes and they screw up a tilt-a-whirl-couldn't tell whose fault that one was. I can imagine Scott Keith and Bennett sitting next to me-"That was Gunn's fault!", "No way-that was TOTALLY Benoit!". Gunn charges Benoit in the corner but he gets a boot up. Belly-to-back gets two for Benoit, and Billy catches him with a quick cradle for two, so Benoit quickly rolls him down into the crossface and Gunn taps immediately, giving Benoit his third title at 10:04. **1/2. Post-match, Michael Cole and Gunn console each other on both having extremely gay hair.

  • Earlier today, JR and Steve Austin shared a touching moment-"I'm worried about you, Steve."

  • Women's Title Match: Molly Holly Vs. Trish Stratus Vs. Ivory (c): This segment was quite clearly set up for one thing. Way short match, as the girls trade spots for a minute or so, then Molly powerbombs Trish off a rana attempt, and Ivory capitalises with a pin at 2:12. *. They should do more Three Way Women's matches-they really work. I was really getting into this when they cut it short. Anyhoo, my prediction comes true as T&A run in for Molly and Crash saves, then challenges both men. Theyc limb in the ring-and aPa return to a HUGE pop. They make short work of Test and Albert, of course.

  • Rocky wastes my time.

    Main Event, Six Man Hell In A Cell Match: Triple H Vs. Rikishi (He's A Bad Man) Vs. Kurt Angle (c) Vs. The Undertaker Vs. The Rock Vs. Steve Austin: Entrances alone eat up 6:36. I would be remiss if I didn't tell you 'Taker's new Limp Bizkit theme sucks ass. Austin, of course, is last, and he goes straight for Angle, who is waiting outside the cage. All six men brawl around the ring as the door is locked. They pair off in their Survivor Series matches, and Austin gets the advantage on Triple H by dropping him off a forklift in a car, but Triple H just shrugs it off as usual. Each pairing takes turns in the ring, ending with (naturally) Triple H and Austin. Taker and Kurt come in just as Trip and Austin exit, then Rock comes in with a Samoan Drop on Angle for two. Rikishi comes in after the Rock. Trip suplexes Austin on the floor, but Austin no-sells (which is fair, Trip did no-sell Austin's murder attempt) and rakes Trip along the mesh, cutting him open. The camera concentrates on Austin as he dismantles Trip, and he throws him in the ring, but Rikishi hits a NASTY legdrop to the back of Austin's head as he slides in after him. Rikishi checks on Trip-and gets Pedigreed for his troubles. Rock makes the save and hits a DDT for two, but Angle breaks it up and Olympic Slams Rocky for a nearfall of his own. Austin breaks THAT one up and hits the Stunner, but Taker comes in and chokeslams Austin. Of course, Austin gets to kick out of that, because he's Austin, dammit. Taker drags Trip outside and tosses him face-first into all four walls, while Austin hits the Thesz press on Rikishi.

    Vince and co. join the party with a flatbed truck full of sawdust, as Vince truimphantly shouts "I'm gonna tear it down!", which, we can only presume, means the cell. They succeed in tearing the door off, but Mick Foley comes out before they can do any more damage and orders Vince to the back. He refuses, so Mick pastes the stooges and backs Vince down. Vince prepares a mighty cane swing to defend himself, but security appear, a sif from nowhere, and drag him to the back as Foley follows. Note that we did not see the competitors ONCE in this five minutes.

    Trip and Austin have crawled out of the cell, with Trip now wearing a Corino-like crimson mask, and they brawl down the aisle as the others follow. Trip manages to throw Austin's head through the truck's window, cutting him open, and all six men brawl around the "Over The Edge '98" stage setup of cars. Trip counters a Rock Bottom on the roof of a car and hits a Pedigree and Austin pastes Rikishi. All six men trade blows for a while before ambling back to the ring, where Taker chokes Angle out (who is also bleedin like a stuck pig, which is good for his first real bladejob) and the crowd cheers as Trip climbs onto the roof of the cell. Angle cracks Taker with a chair at ringside as Austin somehow manages to suprise Trip on the roof, and the two go at it. Austin teases throwing Trip off the cell, but Trip fights back. Angle and Taker join them on the roof as Austin hits a sloppy Stunner. Taker fights with Trip as Austin dominates Angle, because, dammit, Austin can't be dominated by the WWF Champion! Trip and Austin make their way back down the cage and the timekeeper tosses taker a chair, and Taker clobbers Angle (they're still on the roof, by the way) with some chair shots. Rikishi slowly hauls his ass onto the roof and the three trade blows before Angle manages to escape and climb down. Taker gets the advantage and whales away, then chokeslams Rikishi into the flatbed truck below! As padded as that truck was, it still doesn't stop this begin an awesome "Holy Shit" bump. Taker collapses on the cell roof, exhausted, as Austin and Rock go at it in the ring, to HUGE heat. Rock blocks a Stunner and hits really bad spinebuster, then goes for the Elbow, but Trip knocks him down. A spitpunch sends Trip to the floor, and Angle runs into a Rock Bottom, but Austin breaks the cover up and Stuns the Rock. Rock a usual, sells the move Curt Hennig, flipping and rolling all over the place. Austin tries to cover but Trip jumps on him and hits a neckbreaker, and Angle collapes onto the Rock with a one-handed cover to retain at 33:36. ***3/4. Postmatch, Austin shows us who the REAL star of the show is (supposed to be), as he Stuns Angle. and collapses again.

    Final Thought: Not a blowaway show by any stretch of the imagination. All the matches were mediocre to solid, with the exception of the main event which was hovering just below very good. Normally I wouldn't have a problem with that rating-but the merciless hype for the match throughout the show really did make me think we were gonna see something mindblowing. The match was good, but nothing new. Oh well.

    Solid "Eh" rating-not particularly good, not heinously awful. Kicks the ass of WCW, though. Ooops.

    Ian Challis

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