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Guest Columns

Patrick Barker



Hey, another review by yours truly. You should all feel privileged that I'm here today. Or maybe the word is disappointed, upset, or miserable. I'll be damned if I know.

Opening notes...

1) Fanbase watch: ELEVEN, BABY! Constant shilling and such have bought me into double digits. Yeeesssss! Thanks to all eleven... you know who you are.

2) Someone get Elian Gonzalez off of my TV.

3) I really wish Chris Hyatte would post that info about Sean Shannon or shut up. One or another. I like both Hyatte and Shannon, and want either an interesting feud or none at all. Holding this info and waiting... it piqued my interest at first, but just end this whole situation and end it soon.

4) Still waiting on the All Japan tape. I'll let you guys know if I order something during this recap.

5) Okay, I *do* have more info about the site I'm writing at. The staff is pretty impressive in my opinion, and I'm really glad to see who I'll be working alongside. The URL is There's nothing up there as I write this, but hell, by the time I finish this recap, it'll probably be up and running. Since this does take me so long, I'll update you on this throughout.

Here we go, my first JOINT TAPE REVIEW!

In my Barely Legal recap, I promised to do a joint review of Badd Blood and King of the Ring '98. I jokingly told all the smarts to find the similarities. Even though the Hell in the Cell matches in both were what I was referring to, I got a pretty detailed e-mail citing numerous similarities... it's really hard to believe how many there are.

Anyway, here's tape one- Badd Blood!

Live on October 5, 1997, St. Louis, Missouri

Earlier in the day, Brian Pillman had died. I was shocked when I read the news, and I really wondered how they'd go about the PPV. Would they even run it? Well, they did, and got one of my favorite matches ever out of it.

Video package regarding the main event kicks us off. I'll get to the storyline behind that in a bit. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Vince growls us into the opening, the last PPV he'd prominently announce at. The announcers hype the event a bit, and then Vince enters subdued mode when passing along the news about Pillman.

Opening Match: The Nation (The Rock, Kama Mustafa, and D-Lo Brown) vs. The Legion of Doom (Handicap Match)

This was supposed to be LOD and Shamrock vs. The Nation, but Faarooq laid out Shamrock previously, so he was unable to compete. Hawk does a pre-match spiel letting the Nation know that LOD won't be backing down. Okay, and the point of that was what?

D-Lo and Hawk start. Tie up, D-Lo grabs a side headlock, Hawk pushes him to the ropes, and D-Lo with a shoulderblock that doesn't move Hawk. D-Lo off the ropes, Hawk drops down, D-Lo over top, hiptoss by Hawk. D-Lo right back up and he's greeted with a Hawk dropkick. D-Lo rolls outside, but Hawk follows. D-Lo back in, and he catches Hawk with a kick as Hawk rolls in after him. D-Lo with five punches. D-Lo with a whip, drops the head, but Hawk telegraphs it and just stands there. D-Lo raises his head in confusion, and Hawk hits a big boot to the face. Heh. Now THAT'S funny. Clothesline by Hawk and D-Lo gets to his corner and tags the Rock. Rock wants Animal, so Hawk obliges with a tag.

We start fresh now with Rock vs. Animal. Before we get anywhere, the crowd starts the infamous "Rocky sucks!" chant. Rock goes to the outside to yell at all those mean fans. Rock is back in, and he meets Animal with a boot to the gut. Punch, and he takes Animal to the buckle. Rock with right hands. Rock with an Irish whip, and Animal comes back with a diving shoulderblock. Animal with a dropkick and Rock retreats to the outside to a large chorus of boos. Ross says "smashmouth", and Vince gets an idea. Nation has a strategy session on the outside, which mostly consists of the Pimps trying to convince the Rock that he does not suck. Aww, Rock lost his confidence! Well, judging by every word out of his mouth since Survivor Series '98, he's found it and then some.

Rock is back in and he charges Animal with a clothesline, Animal ducks, arm wringer, and Animal jerks the arm. Tag to Hawk, and Animal holds the arm for Hawk to hit a second rope fistdrop on. Hawk with a couple of chops, and a side headlock. Rock backs Hawk into the heel corner, but Hawk gets out before any damage can be done. Tag to Kama. Lock up? No, Kama with a kick to the gut. And punches. He brings him to the corner for... wait for it... MORE PUNCHES. Whip to the buckle, and the Not Yet a Ho Train misses. Should've waved your arms and run in place like an idiot first, it probably would've connected. Hawk with a clothesline. Irish whip by Hawk, and a double clothesline. Both men right back up, Hawk goes for a kick, Kama catches the boot, enzuigiri by Hawk.

Hawk with a snapmare and a rear chinlock (five minutes in? Ugh). Kama fights up, Animal with the blind tag on Hawk's back. Animal in with a boot to the stomach, and a Bionic Elbow. Irish whip, and Animal with a powerslam. Rock is in, ducks a clothesline, and Rock DDT's Animal. Kama with an arm wringer and a crescent kick (big orgasm from Vinnie Mac on the impressiveness of that one). Kama tosses Animal outside and goads Hawk. Ref over to stop Hawk from fighting the opposition (God forbid), and Rock and D-Lo hammer away on Animal. Animal tossed back in, stomps by Kama. D-Lo tags in and punches away at the ribs of Animal. D-Lo with a whip to the buckle, and he charges in with a clothesline.

D-Lo whips Animal to the buckle, but Animal comes right back with a clothesline. D-Lo stops Animal from making the hot tag. D-Lo with a snapmare, and the D-Lo Leg Drop. Another leg drop, cover, two, nope. D-Lo rams Animal's head into Kama's extended boot and tags the Rock. D-Lo and Kama kick away at Animal, and the Rock with a snapmare. Then the Rock realizes- the snapmare is not a Rock move! The Rock MUST do the Rock Bottom, People's Elbow, Samoan Drop, spinebuster, or bodyslam and NOTHING ELSE. Panicking, the Rock grabs a rear chinlock. Ugh. I say Ugh. Animal fights up, couple of elbows to the gut, Animal off the ropes, clothesline is ducked, and Rock with a knee to the gut.

Rock covers, two, foot on the ropes. Rock takes Animal to the corner and unloads a bunch of kicks on him. Rock with a boot choke on Animal. Rock takes him out of the corner and kicks him, following with a right cross. Rock has believable looking punches, I'll say that. Rock goads Hawk in again. Ref over to stop him, and the Rock with a low blow behind the ref's back. That Hawk ain't too bright, is he? D-Lo in with a stomp. Rock covers, two, no. Rock tags Kama and holds Animal- spin kick to the gut by Kama. Kama takes Animal to the corner. Punch, Irish whip. Kama tries the Not Yet a Ho Train and misses again. Race for the hot tag is on. Rock's in to try and stop the hot tag, but the ref stops him- tag made!

Hawk clotheslines Kama, but the ref turns around... oh no, he missed the tag! Drat! Hawk sent back by the ref, and behind his back, Rock and Kama hold Animal down for the /LO-DOWN! Kama covers, ref is over, two, nope. Vince can't believe it, but that fact is tarnished by his belief that EACH AND EVERY cover is gonna win the match, and his shock when said cover usually fails. Kama with a stomp and he tosses Animal outside. Kama distracts the ref, allocating Rock and D-Lo the time to double Irish whip Animal into the steel steps. Rock rolls Animal in, and he gets tug. Rock with an Irish whip, Animal ducks a clothesline, and they do the double clothesline spot.

Rock, being the fresh man, is unable to move as Animal makes the hot tag. Somebody explain THAT to me. Hawk in and he punches away on the Rock. Irish whip, powerslam by Hawk. Hawk covers, D-Lo is in to try and break up the pin with an elbowdrop, but Hawk moves and D-Lo hits the Rock. Hawk with a neckbreaker on D-Lo. Everyone in now, and The Pimps are clotheslined over the top and to the floor. Rock sent to the corner, and Animal whips Hawk into him with a clothesline, following with a clothesline of his own. LOD calling for the coup de grace, the Doomsday Device. Before the move can hit, however, Animal drops the Rock to go after Faarooq, who has just entered.

D-Lo back in and he clotheslines Animal from behind, sending him over the top. Hawk goes for the clothesline anyway, and he misses. Kama with a Ghetto Blaster, and Rock hits the Rock Bottom for the win. **

Set to go next was Dude Love vs. Brian Pillman, but they had to scrap that because, well, Pillman was kinda dead. Vince uses this an explanation as to why that midget crap is here. Actually, I'm sorta a supporter of the midgets, so hey.

Match Two: Tarantula and Mosaic vs. Max Mini and Mini Nova

Max and Nova are the faces, I guess. Vince had just started peddling that "bring your signs/freedom of speech" thing, and he encourages WWF fans' freedom of expression.

Tarantula starts bluntly by simply kicking Max in the face, sending him to the outside. Nova takes exception and charges, Tarantula tries to back body drop him, but Nova lands a dropkick on Mosaic. Nova runs the ropes and tries a springboard, but Tarantula moves, and Nova hits the canvas. Tarantula punches Nova, and he falls back into the arms of Mosaic. Tarantula charges with a clothesline, Nova ducks, and Mosaic gets hit. Tarantula charges Nova, Nova with a hiptoss, followed by a legsweep, cover, Mosaic attempts to break up the pin with a running somersault senton, but everyone moves and Mosaic hits nothing. Tarantula up first and he hits some punches, Stinger splash misses. Nova has him in the corner, Mosaic charges, and Nova must have eyes in the back of his head because he moves and Mosaic hits his partner. EVERYONE LOVES WACKY HEEL MISCOMMUNICATION! Right?

Tarantula gets pissed and hits his partner intentionally. Mosaic charges, Nova with a hiptoss. Tarantula charges, but Nova with a legsweep, causing Tarantula to dropkick Mosaic to the outside. Nova ducks a Tarantula clothesline, Nova with a shoulderblock, off the ropes, and Mosaic trips him out and brings him outside. Heels beat him up, but Max Mini is over and the heels scatter. Max and Mosaic are now in. Max goes for a flying body cross attack thingy of death (I *swear* that's what the puroresu fans call it!), but Mosaic moves. Mosaic clubs the back, whip to the corner, Stinger splash misses. Max with a hiptoss, Max off the ropes, Mosaic tosses him up, and Max lands, hitting an armdrag in the process.

Max goes for another flying thingy (I swear, these are not real moves, he just throws himself at the guy), and Mosaic moves again. Mosaic with a whip to the buckle, nope, it's reversed, and Max with a back bodydrop. Nova rudely enters himself into the picture with a frog splash on the already- down Mosaic. Tarantula in, dives at Nova, Nova drops down. Nova charges Tarantula, back bodydrop, but Nova comes down in a Victory roll on Mosaic (well, sorta, Mosaic had to compromise a LOT there) for two. Meanwhile, Tarantula with a whip on Max, throws him up, Max lands with a rana and a cradle, two, broken up by Mosaic. Heels whip Max to the ropes- double big boot.

Tarantula stays in, so he and Max are the legal men now, not that it matters. Tarantula with a whip and a kick to the face. Max tags Nova. Tarantula and Nova circle each other, and Mosaic rushes in and simply trips up Nova. Neat. Tarantula with a bodyslam/Michinoku Driver hybrid and he goes up top- frog splash! Cover, two, Max in but Tarantula lets him go anyway. Tarantula whips Nova into a sorta clothesline by Mosaic. Nova tags Max. Mosaic is in to deliver the LITERAL BUTT-KICK OF DEATH to Max (he actually kicked him in the butt... heh), and Tarantula with one of his own. Ref chases Tarantula out (because kicking an opponent in the butt is the perfect substitute for a tag).

Tarantula drags Max outside and Gorilla presses him (for an impressive 10+ seconds) before dropping him on the announce table. Lawler has a fit of laughter. Inside, it's Mosaic and Nova. Mosaic takes him down and drops a leg on him. Mosaic with an Irish whip, Nova holds the ropes, Mosaic charges and bounces off the ropes. Nova off the ropes, Mosaic drops down, cartwheel by Nova. Nova charges, Mosaic moves, Nova off the ropes, and they mess up a tilt-a-whirl into an armdrag spot, but Mosaic still sells the armdrag anyway. Nova with a shoulderblock, and he springboards off the second rope and nails a spinning dropkick. Mosaic to the outside. Max is looking to try something on Mosaic, but oops, he runs right into Tarantula's boot inside.

Tarantula with a whip and a clothesline pretty much misses, but Max does a Mr. Perfect sell for out benefit. They fight to the corner, where Max punches away- Max up top, flying bodypress, but Tarantula catches him, oops, no he doesn't. I think he was supposed to. Tarantula right back up, and yup, they're trying the spot again. Tarantula scoops him back up, and not only did they repeat the spot- they blew it! Another variation of a tilt-a- whirl into an armdrag, it was supposed to be. Man, they're blowing 'em all here, aren't they? Max with a crucifix variation, two, three. Um, okay. We see the Spanish announce team and a Mop-Up sign. Back to the ring, but we cut away from a Max dropkick because Ray Rougeau is so damned attractive!

Oh yeah, match was *. There were lots of blown spots (LOTS of 'em), but they had to do this on short notice, so I didn't expect much.

Attendance: 21,151. I care. No, I actually do! Seriously!

And now Sunny is out to be the guest ring announcer for the next match. They'd trot her out for some stuff EVERY PPV just to let people know she was still alive. And, oh no, the match she's introducing is...

Match Three: The Godwinns vs. The Headbangers (WWF Tag Team Titles)

This is NOT good. Godwinns stare Sunny down, 'cause they have a past history, and stuff. Godwinns charge, and Headbangers duck. Thrasher dropkicks Henry outside as Mosh punches away on Phineas. Irish whip and a hiptoss by Mosh. Mosh with a standing dropkick, sending Phineas over the top rope and to the outside. Godwinns regroup, and it looks like we're starting with Mosh vs. Phineas. Phineas spits up in the air and catches it, rubbing his hands together, so Mosh responds by spitting straight up in the air and catching it in his mouth again. Vince urges the children to not try this at home. Yes, because Lord knows that these are HIGHLY TRAINED PROFESSIONAL DEGENERATES.

Tie-up, no, knee to the gut by Phineas. A couple of forearms to the back take Mosh to the corner. Phineas whips him in and charges, Mosh leaps up and catches Phineas' head between his legs, and ranas him to the outside. Camera catches Mosh just standing around as Thrasher hits a move off of the ring apron onto Phineas off-camera. Thankfully, Vince confirms that it was the WHATTA MANUEVER. Whew, I wouldn't want my PBP to lag or anything. Phineas up on the apron and he is met by a Mosh right hand. Mosh springboards off the side ropes and onto Phineas. Mosh knees away at Phineas and we get a double feature of Thrasher's earlier move- an attempted running rana that failed miserably, whoops, probably should've left the WHATTA MANUEVER up to the viewer's imagination.

Back inside, Mosh gets a two count. Tag to Thrasher- double Irish whip, and they try a double back bodydrop, but they drop Mideon right on his head. Are these guys doped up tonight or what? Two blown spots in about two minutes, but on the bright side, THEY *ALMOST* KILLED MIDEON. Thrasher covers for two. Phineas up and he hits a knee to the gut and an elbow and tags out. Henry in, drop toehold by Thrasher. We get a double feature of Blown Spot #2, and Henry turns things around with a shoulderblock. Back to square one, as Henry takes over. Side headlock, pushed to the ropes, Mosh drops down, Henry over top, Mosh goes for a hiptoss, it's blocked, Henry clothesline misses, school boy for Thrasher for a one count, and things die again.

Tie-up, knee to the gut by Henry. Scoop, Thrasher over top, goes for a rolling reverse cradle, Henry holds the top rope, Henry's clothesline is ducked, standing dropkick by Thrasher, and Henry rolls outside. Vince comments that the Headbangers are on their game tonight. Well, if their game is nearly paralyzing people, then yup, they're tearing it up out there. Godwinns regroup, and we restart AGAIN. Phineas and Thrasher now. Test of strength, nope, arm wringer by Phineas. And he twists it again. Thrasher with a twist of his own and he jerks the arm three times. Tag to Mosh, as Thrasher lies Phineas down throat-first across the top rope and holds his feet. Mosh runs the ropes and leapfrogs over Thrasher and onto the body of Phineas.

Now both Headbangers climbing a turnbuckle, and Thrasher gives Mosh a front layout superplex, dropping him on Phineas. Cover, two, no. Thrasher applies an armbar as we get a double feature of... wait for it... Thrasher sticking his tongue out! Yeah! Tag to Mosh, Irish whip, Thrasher drops down, Phineas over top, and Mosh catches him with a flying clothesline. Headbangers celebrate, and Henry comes in and clotheslines the crap out of Mosh. Phineas tags Henry, Henry with a kneedrop and four stomps. Henry crotches Mosh on the top rope, and Phineas nails him with a shoulderblock, sending Mosh outside, to the "carpeting", as Vince calls it. Henry with drops Mosh throat-first across the top and tags Phineas.

Lawler starts with some "You might be a Godwinn" (a.k.a. Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck") jokes as Phineas stomps Mosh and tosses him outside. Is anyone even reading right now? Tell ya what- if you are reading right now, e-mail me and remind me to give you free plugs forever. And that goes for anyone who is dedicated enough to reading my PBP that they'd read into the fourth or fifth paragraph (whatever number this is). So if you have a website somewhere, I promise I'll plug it to all 11 of my fans next time. Anyway. Phineas distracts the ref as Henry and Uncle Cletus (fellow hick, Godwinn manager) kick Mosh. Cletus with a clothesline. Phineas brings Mosh inside, and hits a knee drop for two.

Phineas with three more knee drops for another two count. Phineas with an Irish whip, sunset flip by Mosh for a 10-count, but the ref is conversing with Henry, because conversation with Henry is bound to be pretty God damn stimulating. Ref turns around, two, no. Phineas rams Mosh into Henry's boot and makes the tag. Kick by Henry, scoop and a slam. Henry then grabs Mosh's legs and brings him up into a flapjack. That's a terrible description, but if you're really that captivated, rent the video specifically for this match, I dare ya. Henry covers but Thrasher breaks it up. Henry with a whip, backhand ducked, DOUBLE SHOULDERBLOCK! FEEL THE INTENSITY!

Both men down. Henry makes the tag first, and Phineas with an elbow to prevent the hot tag and the eventual conclusion of the match, leaving me in Godwinn-Headbanger Hell for another few minutes. Phineas takes Mosh to the corner, whips him in. Stinger splash misses. Wild clothesline by Phineas is ducked, back suplex by Mosh. Both men down. Mosh finally makes the hot tag. Thrasher punches away at Phineas. Mosh whips Phineas to the buckle and nails the butt bump. Mosh shoulderblocks Henry and clotheslines Cletus off the apron. Vince is calling Thrasher by the wrong name, he's calling him Mosh. That means either Vince is wrong, or I've been wrong the whole match. Damned if I'm gonna fix it if it's the latter. And I think it is the latter. So just substitute "Thrasher" for all the times I wrote "Mosh" earlier, 'kay?

Mosh with a scoop and a slam on Phineas, and Thrasher powerbombs Mosh on top. Cover, two, Henry breaks it up. Thrasher punches away, sending Henry outside. Back inside, Mosh goes for the Stage Dive, but Phineas counters with a sit-down powerbomb for the three and the tag titles. Awful, awful match. -*

Post-match, the Godwinns beat the Headbangers up some more, including the "dreaded Slop Drop". Finally, Tim White threatens to strip the belts if they don't leave and end the travesty.

Video package of the carnage that Stone Cold Steve Austin left since the last PPV.

Owen Hart stutters through a promo, noticeably upset about the Pillman death.

In the ring, JR gives a speech, and they honor the "legends of St. Louis wrestling". They give awards to Gene Kiniski, Jack Brisco, Dory Funk Jr., Harley Race, Terry Funk, and Lou Thesz. Next.

Interview with Faarooq.

Update on Brian Pillman- no foul play was involved, possibility of a drug overdose. Vince gives a little anti-drug speech.

Match Four: Faarooq vs. Owen Hart (Intercontinental Title Tournament Finals)

Story here: Austin won the IC title at SummerSlam, but was injured in the now infamous Owen Hart piledriver. After it was known that he'd be out for a while, they had a tournament. This is the final round, and Austin will be at ringside to present the belt to the winner. At least Vince recognizes that Owen's probably distraught about the whole Brian Pillman thing. I really thought he'd play dumb. Austin gets the best pop of anyone. Austin gives Owen the double bird and stalks the announcers menacingly. Austin takes charge and rings the bell on his own, signaling the start of the match.

Austin steals Vince's headset and rambles on with insults towards both men. Owen and Faarooq stall a BUNCH. Austin steals Lawler's headset. Tie-up, and Faarooq shoves Owen into the corner. Tie-up, same deal. Tie-up part trois, side headlock by Faarooq, pushed to the ropes, Owen drops down, Faarooq over top, shoulderblock by Faarooq, and Owen does not want to be there, you can just tell. Side headlock by Owen, and Faarooq just tosses him. We get a split screen that shows Austin trying to communicate on a security walkie-talkie that he swiped. Heh. Test of strength, no, Faarooq with punches, as we hear that Austin knocked JR's hat off. More on this developing situation as it happens. Faarooq with a whip, clothesline ducked, spinning heel kick by Owen.

Owen kicks the leg a bunch and buttdrops it. Owen works on the leg some more as Austin joins the Spanish announce team. Tito Santana rifles off some Spanish, and Austin says "you can say that again!" He then accuses Tito of talking trash in Spanish. Heh. Now he's with the French. AND WHO CARES ABOUT A MATCH WHEN YOU HAVE STONE COLD YELLING AT RAY ROUGEAU? Normally, I'd complain about this, but the match is really bad, mostly just Owen kicking the leg of Faarooq a lot. Faarooq with two whips to the buckle and a backbreaker. Cover, two, no. Scoop, but Owen falls on top, two, no. Faarooq back up with a clothesline, scoop and a slam. Second rope legdrop misses. Owen kicks the leg and goes for the Sharpshooter, but Faarooq kicks him off.

Owen kicks the knee some more. Irish whip, reversed, powerslam by Faarooq for two. Irish whip and a spinebuster for two as Jim Neidhart lurks out. Faarooq chokes Owen on the ropes as Neidhart distracts the ref. Owen escapes a Faarooq legdrop, and Austin nails Faarooq in the head with the IC Title belt, allowing Owen to cover for the win. Austin wants Owen all to himself, you see. Match was horrid, but some of the Austin stuff was funny. If Austin didn't want to be there, he hid it pretty damn well. DUD

Video package regarding the Hart Foundation vs. USA feud, most specifically last Monday (well, it was last Monday back then) when the Harts took Vader and the Patriot out.

Match Five: Los Boricuas vs. DOA.

Vince explains that they are just putting last-minute matches together to cover for the Pillman death, but assures us that it'll be a GREAT match. Oh no, I disagree.

A biker and a Boricua start. Skull and Jose, according to the announcers. Jose with a kick and a couple of punches. Skull turns the tide, bringing Jose to the corner. Punches, Irish whip, reversed, Jose charges and is met with a back elbow. Clothesline by Skull and a tag to Eight Ball (or, if you're Vince, "Chainz"). Double whip and a double big boot by the bikers. JR finds Diplomatic Way #173 to tell us that this match is gonna suck. Jose tags out to Miguel, the Hairy Hispanic. Miguel and Eight Ball tie up, Eight Ball backs him into the corner, elbow to the gut. Whip to the buckle, and Eight Ball charges in with a clothesline. Irish whip, powerslam, two, no. Arm wringer and a tag to Crush, the only guy I like in this match.

Crush with a punch to the gut and a headbutt. Miguel grabs a side headlock and punches away. Tag to Savio. Savio with a kick and two punches. Savio chokes Crush in the corner. Savio with a punch, and he whips Crush in. Savio charges and eats a boot to the face. Belly-to-belly, two, no. Crush tags Prime Time Brian Chainz. Chainz with an Irish whip and a big boot. Punches. Ross finds Diplomatic Way #481 to let us know that this match sucks. Eyerake by Savio, tag to Jesus. Lots of punching and kicking, and I'm sick and tired of recapping that. I'll recap the moves. Jose with an Irish whip, reversed, press slam by Chainz. Tag to Crush, but Chainz stays in and they act like it never happened.

Chainz with a whip, reversed, and Chainz makes a left hand turn, running right into the heel corner. They team up to toss him outside. Boricuas kick him a bunch outside. DOA over, and the ref stops them, so they toss Chainz inside the ring and kick his ass there. And the ref misses all of this. Irish whip by whatever friggin' Boricua is in there now and a knee. He takes him to the corner and all the Boricuas are in. Whip to the corner, and all the Boricuas take turns charging in with clotheslines, and Savio finishes with a spin kick. Cover, two, no. Rear chinlock. Ugh. I fast forward, and now Savio is in somehow. Savio with a rear chinlock. Because Lord knows that among the chains, brass knux, and ball bats, STREET GANGS LOVE REAR CHINLOCKS.

Chainz fights up, off the ropes, spin kick ducked, cross bodyblock for two. Spin kick connects this time and Chainz is back down. Tag to another Boricua, scoop and a slam by Savio, missle dropkick by the Boricua, two, no. Miguel comes in without being tug and locks on another rear chinlock. Chainz fights out after about three days, two elbows, off the ropes, ducks a clothesline, and Miguel with a knee to the gut. Savio tug in and we go kicky-punchy. Stinger splash misses (for about the tenth time tonight), and the tags are made. Crush punches everything in sight. All the guys get involved and fight outside, leaving Crush vs. a Boricua. Crush with a big boot for about 10, but the ref is distracted. DDT by the Boricua, two, no. Boricua with a whip, reversed, Chainz nails the Boricua, and Crush hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for the win. Match was PITIFUL. -** 1/2

Update on the site I WON'T be writing for... the webmaster bailed out at the last minute. Barker is without a permanent home again. Ah well.

Michael Cole is with Bret Hart and the Bulldog. They say nothing of note.

A new stip was added to this match today: the match can be won by pinfall, submission, or by grabbing the flag.

Dok Hendrix is with Vader and the Patriot. Vader says "bullshit". Yup.

Match Six: Bret Hart and The British Bulldog vs. The Patriot and Vader (Flag Match)

The music plays- it must be Kurt Angle! No, damn, it's only the Patriot.

And here we go. Hart and Bulldog meet the Americans outside. Hart and Vader punch away as Patriot whales on Bulldog with the American flag. Bulldog whipped into the steps. Bret and Vader fight to the announce tables, and Patriot and Bulldog fight in the aisle. Vader rams Bret's head into an announce table. Lots of punching going on. Bret takes over and punches away. Bret hits Vader with the Canadian flag a few times as Bulldog hits Patriot with the American flag. Vader finally takes back over on Bret and hammers away on him with fists. Vader nails Bret with the Canadian flag as Patriot hits Bulldog with the remnants of the American flag pole, and then chokes him with said pole.

Americans with lots of punching. Vader leaves Bret for dead in the aisle, and the Patriot does the same for Bulldog at ringside, and the faces celebrate in the ring. Heels regroup as the bell rings... the match hasn't even started yet? Huh. King points out that if the Americans had any brains they'd just grab the flags now. Heels yell at some fans as Patriot makes a dash for the flag. Bulldog pulls him down and punches him. Patriot responds with a kick. Patriot slaps on a side headlock, pushed to the ropes, shoulderblock by Patriot. Cover, two, no. Patriot with a snapmare and a knee to the back. Snap suplex. Patriot goes for the flag, Bret over to stop him. Patriot punches down on Bret from the second rope as Vader comes in to take care of Bulldog. As Vader is escorted out, Bret low-blows Patriot, sending him to the mat.

Bulldog with a whip, hiptoss attempt reversed as the Patriot hits a hiptoss of his own. Back bodydrop and a tag to Vader. Patriot holds Bulldog for a Vader punch to the gut. Irish whip, Vader Attack. Vader spits on Bret. Irish whip and a clothesline, but Bulldog rolls right over to his corner and tags Hart. Hart goes right in with punches, but that doesn't work. Vader quickly takes over with punches of his own, sending Bret back into the corner. Short arm clothesline. Whip to the buckle, charge misses, and Bulldog clotheslines Vader from the ring apron. Bret with a side Russian legsweep and he goes for the flag. Vader brings him down with a low blow.

Vader with an Irish whip, sunset flip by Hart, but Vader sits down on him. Cover, two, Bulldog in to break it up. Both men tag out. Patriot kicks Bulldog. American whip followed by a standing dropkick that misses by about a mile. Cover, two, no. Patriot stomps away and brings Bulldog to the corner where he punches. Patriot brings Bulldog cross-corner and rams his head to the buckle. Scoop and a slam and the Patriot goes for the flag. Bret over with a punch to the gut, and as Vader tries to get in, we get a heel double team. Bulldog goes after Vader, allowing Hart to illegally choke the Patriot behind the ref's back. Bulldog goes for the flag, and Vader pulls him down, crotching him on the top rope.

Patriot whips Bulldog to the buckle, charging shoulder misses, and Patriot hits the post. Bret over to put the ring-post figure four leglock on, but Vader is over to scare him off. Vader is escorted away and Bret locks it on anyway. Vader takes out Bulldog in the ring and scares Bret off again. Bret tags in. Scoop and a slam, kneedrop. Headbutt to the midsection, and Bret goads Vader in. Vader and Bulldog both in and they punch a lot. Bret locks on the Sharpshooter, but Patriot reverses into a pathetic Sharpshooter and Bulldog breaks that up. I think that makes Patriot the first person to ever break the Sharpshooter on TV, but I could be wrong.

Nifty little spot as Bulldog and Vader fight in the corner. Bret joins the fray and they bunch up as the Patriot climbs over them trying to get the flag. Bulldog slips out from the bottom and tosses the Patriot off the top. Bret with a headbutt to the midsection of Vader and a middle finger t'boot. Tag to Bulldog, Bret with a backbreaker, and Bulldog hits a kneedrop, the Canadian form of Demolition Decapitation, I suppose. Cover, two, no. Patriot trying to get to the corner as Bulldog holds him. Patriot kicks free and makes the hot tag. Vader in, Irish whip, Vader Attack, cover, two, Bulldog has the ropes. Bulldog with a punch to the gut and a side headlock, but Vader counters with a back suplex.

Vader with a big splash. Cover, two, no. Vader goes for the flag and Bulldog stops him. Patriot in to take care of Bulldog. Vader going for it again, Bret stops him. Mass confusion for a minute or so. Bulldog hammers on Vader. Snapmare, and Bulldog locks on a rear chinlock. Bulldog drags Vader up and tags Bret. Kick and a punch by Bret- big back suplex! Bret locks on the Sharpshooter, but Vader gets to the ropes. Patriot in and he punches away on Bret. Vader with an elbowdrop to the gut, and he goes for a Sharpshooter of his own, but Bulldog breaks it up with a clothesline. Patriot just waltzes in and becomes the legal man. He punches away on Bret. Irish whip, and a diving shoulderblock.

Patriot takes out Bulldog and locks on a figure four. Bret reaches out and makes the tag. Bulldog is in and he kicks at Patriot. Bulldog takes out Vader and stomps him. Bulldog with a vertical suplex. Cover, two, no. Bulldog with a whip, reversed, powerslam by Patriot. The Patriot goes for the flag, but Bulldog nails him and he gets tangled in the ropes. Bulldog kicks away at him and tags Bret. Bret with a second-rope kneedrop, and he follows with kicks to the sternum. Bret with a snap suplex. Bret with an elbowdrop and a legdrop. Bret goes for the flag, and Vader stops him. Vader with an inverted bearhug on Bret, and he tosses him down as Bulldog comes in and clotheslines Patriot.

Vader with punches. Vader slams him in position and goes up. Vader Bomb? Nope, moonsault, but Bulldog moves and Vader almost lands on his feet. Vader hammers away on Bulldog in the corner. Vader goes for the flag, Bret stops him. Patriot over to fight Bulldog. This is boring me to death. Vader clotheslines Bulldog to the outside and follows. Bret comes over and the heels double-team Vader. Bret gets the bell, but the Patriot is over with a headbutt on Bret. Bret still manages to get the bell and lay out Vader. Bulldog rams Vader into the post. Inside, and Bret is tug in. He slams the big man and hits an elbowdrop. Bret goes for his second rope elbow, but somehow manages to screw it up. Bret with a fistdrop.

If I'm missing little details here, sorry. I'm battling sleep right now, because this match is more boring than watching paint dry. Bret with a legdrop and he punches the Patriot. DDT by Bret. Cover, two, no. Tag to Bulldog. Double Irish whip, and Vader runs them over with a double clothesline, bringing the crowd to life. Lukewarm tag to the Patriot, who punches at Bret. Kick for the Bulldog. Big boot for Bret. Elbow to Bulldog. Punch for Bret, punch for Bulldog. Bret with a wild swing, ducked, and Patriot nails the Uncle Slam! Cover, two, Bulldog breaks it up with a legdrop. A planted fan gets in the ring and Bulldog takes care of him.

Side headlock by Bret, Patriot pushes him to the ropes, shoulderblock, both men down. Bret rolls to the wrong corner, VADER BOMB! Bulldog and Vader fight outside, Patriot with a rolling reverse cradle, Bret rolls back, two, three! Patriot snaps on Bret afterwards.

The match ran almost 30 minutes. I really think it would've been logical to split the matches here, putting Bulldog against the Patriot with the flag gimmick, and putting Bret vs. Vader in a, you know, INTERESTING MATCH. Instead, we got a SUPER boring match. Half of it was punching. Ugh. *

The Hell in the Cell is lowered for the first time.

Interview with Shawn Michaels. As always, Shawn can play the heel to a T. Triple H tries to say something, but gets cut off.

Video package.

Main Event: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (Hell in the Cell)

Both men enter and are locked in. Shawn is scared to death.

Undertaker slowly and methodically stalks Shawn around ringside. Shawn rolls into the ring to escape, and 'Taker follows. Shawn off the ropes, ducks a clothesline, but eats a big boot to the face. 'Taker rams Shawn head-first into the buckle. And again. And there's a third time. Shawn already selling like it's 20 minutes in. 'Taker with an Irish whip, and he catches him in a choke, setting up the chokeslam. HBK with a kick to the knee to break the choke, and five right hands. To the corner, where Shawn does a 10-punch count (stopping at seven. D'oh!). Shawn with some jabs and a right cross. Shawn with a whip, reversed, and Shawn does a Flair flip. Shawn follows that by walking right into a clothesline. Cover, two, no.

Arm wringer by 'Taker, and he shoulderblocks the arm four times. 'Taker over to the corner, and he's walking the top rope... and he hits it. Headbutt and a boot choke by 'Taker. Scoop and he slams Shawn like a rag doll. Legdrop. Cover, two, no. 'Taker with a whip, and a high back bodydrop, with Shawn's feet hitting the roof of the Cell! Shawn ducks a clothesline, but 'Taker blocks his punch and hits one of his own. And another. And there's the trifecta. 'Taker has Shawn, and he just beals him over the top rope and into the side of the cage. This is a whuppin. 'Taker follows by choke lifting Shawn. Shawn breaks that with an eye poke and tries to climb the cage, but Undertaker grabs him by the trunks and pulls him off.

Undertaker with an Irish whip into the cage, and Shawn walks groggily back into a big clothesline. Undertaker repeats. 'Taker rams Shawn's head into the apron. 'Taker backs up against the corner and tries a powerbomb, but Shawn grabs the cage while on 'Taker's shoulders and punches away. After a few seconds, the Undertaker just manhandles him, pulling his grip from the cage and ramming him back-first into the cage twice. Undertaker with four kidney shots and two stiff right hands. 'Taker then picks Shawn up in a bearhug and rams him into the ringpost, then the corner of the cage, then the ringpost again, and the corner of the cage again. Neat little spot. Shawn slumps down.

Shawn kicks a cameraman. Remember that for later. 'Taker picks him up, looking to ram him into the cage head-first, but Shawn slips out and shoves 'Taker into the cage. Unfortunately, 'Taker just bounces right back with a big clothesline. 'Taker takes Shawn's head to the steps, and elbows him in the head. 'Taker whips Shawn into the cage and charges in with a clothesline, but Shawn ducks and 'Taker hits the cage. Shawn takes over right away with right hands and rolls back into the ring. 'Taker on the apron, and Shawn pounds away at him with four right hands. On the fifth try, however, 'Taker simply grabs him and Stuns him on the top rope. 'Taker takes some time to regroup.

'Taker up on the apron, but HBK shoulderblocks him, sending him into the cage wall. Michaels follows with a tope. Michaels climbs about six feet up the cage and swings off with an elbowdrop. Shawn on the ring apron, gets a running start, and he hits a diving clothesline. Shawn hits 'Taker in the back with the steps. And again. Steps times three. Shawn looking to piledrive 'Taker on the bottom portion of steps, forget it. Holy crap! He did it! Nasty sound too! Shawn off the apron with... something. Shawn in the ring, he goes up top- flying axehandle to the outside! Shawn re-enters the ring, and 'Taker follows. Shawn punches 'Taker and goes outside, looking under the ring- and finding a steel chair.

Shawn has the chair- shot to the back! Shawn puts it down but then realizes that it could probably come in handy and uses it on the back again. Cover, two, NO! Shawn with a stomp and some forearms. Shawn with a right hand, but 'Taker fights back. 'Taker punching away, Michaels off the ropes with a boot to the gut. Michaels punching away, and he ties 'Taker up in the ropes. Shawn with right hands and Hebner backs him off. Shawn pushes Hebner aside and charges, and eats a big boot. 'Taker is out, and Shawn charges- /HIGH BACK BODYDROP onto the cameraman, giving a cool little camera shot. Shawn gets pissed at the camera guy again and starts stomping him as McMahon begs for mercy.

Shawn back in the ring, and he tosses 'Taker outside. Shawn back over to work on the camera guy some more. The WWF magazine photographer is calling for help. Inside the ring, Shawn hits the flying forearm. Both men down, until Shawn suddenly kips-up. Slaughter is out and they've unlocked the cage door to get the camera guy out. Shawn positions 'Taker... flying elbowdrop! And now Shawn is warmin' up the band... Sweet Chin Music! But 'Taker no sells and sits up! Shawn craps his pants and runs... out the open door! 'Taker catches him outside, but Shawn hits a dropkick. Shawn tries it again, but Undertaker catches him and slingshots him into the cage, as Shawn does a blade job IN MID AIR.

'Taker with three right hands, and he rams Shawn head-first into the cage. And again. Shawn with a blatant ball kick, and he panics and climbs the cage to escape the Undertaker. 'Taker follows to a big pop, and Shawn meets him on top. Shawn sets up a piledriver... reversed with a backdrop! Cool camera angle from inside the ring with Shawn's blood on the camera. I think some blood gets on the camera man, 'cause he audibly says "ah shit!" and turns away briefly. Shawn struggles to escape, but 'Taker catches him in a press slam. 'Taker sends Shawn to the edge with a punch, and Shawn dangles off, holding the top of the cage. 'Taker stomps one hand... then the other.


Ahem. I assume you've seen the bump before. If not, Shawn falls from about nine feet, through the announce table, which was a HUGE bump at the time. Hell, it's still a big bump today. 'Taker follows right down and beals Shawn onto the French announce table. He then throws him off the French table and onto the remnants of the American table. We get several replays of the bump as 'Taker drags Shawn around the cage. Back inside and the door is re-locked. Shawn's bladejob is EXCELLENT. "Crimson Mask" defined. 'Taker with a big clothesline, and he crotches Shawn up top. 'Taker follows- SUPER CHOKESLAM! 'Taker leaves and gets the chair used earlier. Big chairshot to the head.

He calls for the end, and God dammit, the lights go out.

You know the deal by now.

Kane comes out for the first time, rips the door off it's hinges, Tombstones his brother, and Shawn rolls over for the win.

Dammit to hell.

I can't, however, take off the 1/4* for the ending like Keith, because I don't think overbooking should affect the result of the quality of a match. In my opinion, this is ***** all the way. One of the best WWF matches EVER.

HHH and Chyna drag Shawn off as we get a replay of the ending.

The show ends on that note. But not the recap! We still have KOTR '98 to review, baby! It's Patrick Barker overkill today!!!

King of the Ring: June 12th, 1998, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kane/Stone Cold/Undertaker/Foley video package.

Story behind the main event: McMahon was using Kane as his corporate puppet to chase Austin's World title. They signed a First Blood Match. Kane promised to set himself on fire if he didn't win, one of the dumbest match stips I can remember in the past ten years. It is more detailed, but hey, I'm not getting into it now.

Lots of pyro! Lots of signs! The crowd is HOT! Yeah.

Ross and Lawler discuss tonight, and we see two cans of gasoline on their table for the possible (yeah right) Kane BBQ tonight.

Match One: The Headbangers and Taka Michinoku vs. Kaientai

Taka takes off his robe to reveal Headbanger garb. Thrasher and Men's Teioh start. Thrasher with an arm wringer and two forearms. Irish whip, Teioh slides through the legs and nails a standing dropkick. Two right hands and Teioh attempts a whip, reversed, and Thrasher hits a tilt-a-whirl sidewalk slam. Thrasher with a scoop, Teioh lands in back, goes for a rolling reverse cradle, Thrasher holds on to the top rope, Teioh charges, ducks a backhand, and Thrasher hits a powerslam. Cover, two, no. Tag to Mosh, who hops to the second rope. Thrasher whips Teioh, drops down, Teioh over top, and he walks right into a Mosh missle dropkick. Mosh with a whip, but Teioh holds on to the ropes and tags Funaki.

Funaki charges, Mosh ducks a clothesline, Funaki ducks a clothesline, Funaki with a leapfrog, and he tries another one, but Mosh catches him in a powerbomb. Mosh whips him to the corner and hits a butt splash. Mosh chokes him on the second rope and jumps on his back. Mosh (while still sitting on the back of Funaki) tags Taka, who also jumps on the back. Taka with a right hand and he rams Funaki into the corner. Taka with two chops and he whips Funaki to the corner. Taka charges in with a knee and nails a missle dropkick, sending Funaki outside. Taka takes a running start and hits a no hands springboard plancha. Taka re-enters the ring and takes a cheap shot from Togo (camera missed it) and Funaki enters and tags Togo in.

Funaki and Togo with a double Irish whip, and a double chop. Double elbowdrop. Togo chops Taka. Irish whip, reversed and Togo holds the top rope. Taka charges right in though and nails a monkey flip. Taka charges and Togo backdrops him outside. Togo nails a baseball slide into a spinning headscissors. Togo tosses Taka back in and stomps him. Tag to Teioh. Teioh gets a running start and nails a big boot. Irish whip is reversed, and they try a "hiptoss reversed with a DDT" spot, but it sorta sucks. Tag to Funaki. Funaki with an Irish whip and a kneelift. Tag to Togo, who stomps away. Togo holding Taka in a full nelson for Funaki, but Taka dropkicks Funaki and slides out of the full nelson with an armdrag variation.

Taka charges and tries some sort of rollup, but Togo catches him in a wheelbarrow, picks him up, and Funaki nails a bulldog as Togo hits the wheelbarrow slam. Excellent move. Togo with a waistlock, but Taka elbows out, goes into a waistlock of his own, Togo elbows out, and Togo springboards off the second rope with a sorta cross bodyblock. Tag to Teioh and Funaki comes in as well. Teioh with a full nelson as Funaki charges, but Funaki hits the wrong man, sending Teioh outside. Taka hits a heel kick on Teioh and both men are down. Hot tag is made to both Headbangers and they hit a double punch on Funaki. Double clothesline on Togo, double back bodydrop on Teioh. Ring clears out and we get Thrasher vs. Funaki. Thrasher with a scoop slam.

Tag back to Taka, and the Headbangers press him onto Funaki. Taka calls for the Michinoku Driver and hits it. Cover, two, three. ** 1/2

Faces celebrate with a triple Headbangers butt-bump.

Sable comes out to a big pop and introduces Vince McMahon to a huge chorus of boos. Vince is with Patterson and Brisco. They tell Sable to get out and Patterson pinches her ass (Huh?! What?!) so she slaps him. They dismiss her. Vince drones ON and ON. About NOTHING. Complete yawner, and a sorry excuse for time filler.

Hey! Tournament BRACKETS! YES! Okay, I'm not really all that excited.

Oh, and here's Tennessee Lee to annoy me more.

Match Two: Jeff Jarrett vs. Ken Shamrock (King of the Ring Semifinal #1)

Shamrock gets a big pop. Jarrett attacks Shamrock before the bell, but we miss that in favor of watching Shamrock's Titan Tron video. When we do see the ring, Shamrock has take over. Irish whip, clothesline ducked, back elbow by Shamrock. Another whip, Shamrock drops down, Jarrett over top, Shamrock with a kick to the gut and a running kneelift. Shamrock takes Jarrett to the corner and punches away. Irish whip reversed and Shamrock is sent into the buckle, but he comes right back with a clothesline. Snap suplex by Shamrock. Cover, two, no. Shamrock with a whip, Jarrett ducks a roundhouse, Jarrett with a punch to the gut and a swinging neckbreaker. Arm wringer and a short arm clothesline. Irish whip and Jarrett nails a standing dropkick.

Irish whip is reversed and Shamrock nails that roundhouse kick. Shamrock follows by clotheslining Jarrett to the outside. Shamrock follows and rams Jarrett's head into the apron. Punch takes Jarrett down. Shamrock stalks Tennessee Lee and punches Jarrett again. Shamrock with a scoop and he drops Jarrett throat-first across the barricade. Shamrock whips Jarrett into the steps. Back inside and Shamrock with a whip, reversed, and Tennessee Lee grabs Shamrock's ankle. Since he's a stupid face, Shamrock is now obligated to point menacingly at Lee, allowing Jarrett to chop block him. Jarrett buttdrops the leg and distracts the ref, allowing Lee to ram Shamrock's leg into the apron.

Jarrett buttdrops the leg again and kicks it a lot. The announcers sell it as Jarrett attacking Shamrock's ankle, which would work if they weren't working ON THE KNEE. Jarrett pulls Shamrock's leg in the corner until the ref backs him off, allowing Lee to ram the leg into the post. Jarrett kicks the leg a bit and whips him to the buckle. Jarrett kicks the leg some more. Jarrett charges in but Shamrock hits a back elbow. Shamrock with a spinning heel kick. Irish whip and a diving back elbow. Jumping side kick. Shamrock with another Irish whip and a powerslam. Cover, two, no. Shamrock with a whip, reversed, Shamrock ducks a clothesline and snaps off a rana and follows with the Ankle Lock for the win. ** 1/2 The Ankle Lock was so convincing because guys would tap out immediately and furiously. Just thought I'd point that out.

Post-match, Lee eats a belly-to-belly suplex. Crowd pops HUGE for Kenny... this guy was really over.

Shot of the exterior of the Igloo.

Match Three: The Rock vs. Dan Severn (King of the Ring Semifinal #2)

Godfather and Mark Henry are ejected from ringside. The Rock is over big time as a heel, but they don't care about Severn. Severn with a single leg takedown and the Rock gets to the ropes. Tie-up, waistlock by Severn and a takedown, but the Rock escapes to the ropes. Severn with another takedown and he goes for a single leg crab, but Rock gets to the ropes. Severn backs Rock into the ropes, and Rock with a back elbow. Rock punches away on Severn. Rock whips Severn to the buckle and misses a charge, and Severn hits a fireman's carry and locks on an armbar. Severn turns it into some sort of headlock, and Rock gets to the ropes. Back elbow, punch, and a clothesline. Rock mocks Severn.

Rock with a snap suplex. Cover, two, no. Rock with stomps. Severn fights back with punches. And knees. Rock with a punch too. Ugh. Rock with another punch and a side headlock. Rock pushed to the ropes, double shoulderblock, both men down. Godfather and Mark Henry run out and distract the ref, allowing D-Lo to come from the crowd and nail the Lo-Down! Rock covers, two, three, to a big pop (yes, he was the heel, thanks for asking). DUD... the styles did NOT mesh well.

Video package leading up to the next match.

Match Four: Too Cool vs. Al Snow and Head (yup, you heard right)

This match is an embarrassment to the sport and I refuse to recap it. If you don't know what happened, e-mail me and I'll tell ya, but I'm not wasting time on this crap now. Next.

Two Weeks ago, and last week, Owen and X-Pac fought. Coming up next is what I *think* was X-Pac's return match from his neck injury... not sure though.

Match Five: Owen Hart vs. X-Pac

Chyna is with X-Pac. 'Pac charges out with a baseball slide dropkick to start and punches away. Rolls Owen into the ring. Chop, punch, punch. Whip to the buckle and a martial arts kick. Spin kick to the face. Whip to the buckle and the second-rope variation of the Bronco Buster that always misses, well, it misses. Owen with some punches and he stomps away. Owen takes X-Pac's head to the buckle. Hard whip into the buckle. And another. Backbreaker. Crowd is DEAD. Punches exchanged, and Owen takes over with a headbutt. Owen with a whip, drops down, 'Pac over top, spinning heel kick by Owen. Cover, two, no. Whip is reversed, and Owen hits the buckle. Kick to the chest, and X-Pac is in charge.

Owen's head is rammed to the buckle. Punches and chops exchanged, and Owen takes over with a European uppercut. Fisherman suplex, two, no. Gutwrench suplex. Cover, two, no. Owen with a whip and he ducks, getting kicked in the face. Owen comes right back with a kick and a small package for two. Whip is reversed, and X-Pac hits a back bodydrop. X-Pac takes Owen over the top and to the outside with a clothesline. 'Pac follows with a clothesline off the ring steps. Whip is reversed and X-Pac PLOWS over the timekeeper's table in a painful-looking spot. Owen with a front layout suplex onto the Spanish announce table. Elbow to the head sends him to the ground. X-Pac tossed into the ring, missle dropkick by Owen. Tumblesaults into a pin, two, no.

Irish whip and a sleeper hold. 'Pac fights back with two elbows and pushes Owen to the ropes, grabbing a sleeper of his own. Owen pushes him to the ropes, but eats the X-Factor (at this point his finisher was still being called "An Interesting Move" by JR). Both men down. Both men up, and X-Pac punches away. Off the ropes and Owen catches a side kick, but X-Pac hits a kick to the face with his other foot. To the corner, and X-Pac hits his kicks and the Bronco Buster (again, not yet named). X-Pac with a scoop slam and he goes up top. Owen meets him and tries for the superplex, but X-Pac blocks and they fight on the top rope. Finally, X-Pac gets crotched and Owen falls in the ring... okay, that was weird.

Cue the overbooking! X-Pac falls outside and Mark Henry runs out and splashes him. Chyna and Henry face off, and Vader attacks Henry. Owen locks on the Sharpshooter inside and Owen taps, but the ref is watching the fat guys fight, and Chyna sneaks in and DDT's Owen. X-Pac covers for the win. *** 1/2.

Paul Bearer comes out to rant and rave. Ugh, another dull in-ring interview... save that crap for RAW.

Match Six: The New Age Outlaws vs. The New Midnight Express (WWF Tag Team Titles)

Outlaws intro is basically the same as it is now. The New Midnight Express was part of the lame "NWA Invasion" angle, where Jim Cornette had some NWA guys try and take over, to bring back REAL wrestling. And everyone knows that the epitome of REAL wrestling is the New Age Outlaws, right?

Road Dogg and "Bodacious" Bob Holly start. Tie-up, Holly backed into the corner and a clean break. Another tie-up, side headlock by Bob, to the ropes, shoulderblock by Holly. Holly off the ropes, Road Dogg drops down, Holly over top, leapfrog by Dogg, and a hiptoss. Dogg over but Holly kicks him off. Dogg with a clothesline and a kick to the back. Irish whip, Holly ducks a backhand, and Holly nails a clothesline. Ross has yet to call a move this match, because Lawler has not shut up about how great the Outlaws are as degenerates. Holly takes Road Dogg's head to the buckle and follows with a kick. Holly with a whip to the buckle and he follows in, only to meet the Road Dogg's boot.

Folks, I just typed an entire paragraph, and the announcers called ZERO moves. Ugh.

Tag to Billy Gunn. Holly backs off and tags Bart. Staredown between the brothers, and Billy with a kick and two punches. Side headlock by Bart, Billy to the ropes, Bart with a shoulderblock. Bart off the ropes, Billy drops down, Bart over top, Billy with a leapfrog, Billy goes for a monkey flip, Bart rolls over top, Billy goes for a hiptoss, Bart lands on his feet and nails a clothesline. Cover, two, no. Some right hands by Bart and an Irish whip. Billy goes for a sunset flip, but Bart falls on him for two. Billy bridges out and nails a backslide (which JR calls! Whoopee!) for two. Billy with a kick and the Fame-Asser (not his finisher yet). Irish whip, Billy drops down, Bart over top, leapfrog by Bart, and Billy with a HUGE clothesline.

Billy with three crotch chops and "suck it!"'s to his brother. Tag to Dogg. Billy with an Irish whip and a drop toehold, and Dogg follows with Shake Rattle and Kneedrop. Dogg with a whip, reversed, Dogg ducks a clothesline, Bart with a scoop, Dogg lands on the other side, Dogg tries a rolling reverse cradle, but runs right into a fist from Holly on the apron. Holly in with a kick and a punch and he tags out. Bart with a kick and a double axehandle, and he tags out. Bart whips Dogg, drop toehold, and Holly follows with an elbowdrop. Holly covers, two, no. Scoop and a slam as the announcers try to figure out whether Bob is bombastic or bodacious. Flying elbow by Bombdacious Bob.

Tag to Bobastic Bart, who hits a punch and tags Bobutthead Bob right back in. Bart with a scoop and a slam, and he Irish whips Holly, press slamming him onto Dogg for two. Holly with a side headlock, Dogg punches away, Bob nails Billy, Bob kicks Dogg, Bart hits Dogg with a flying axehandle... my head hurts. Butthead Bart with a stomp and he tags Bunghole Bob. Bob with a kick to the exposed ribs of Dogg. Bob with an Irish whip and a standing dropkick, followed by a "suck it!" and a "fuck you!"... Billy comes in and bulldogs Bob. Dogg with a schoolboy, two, no. Dogg ducks a clothesline, but Bob's second try connects. Snapmare, and Bob with a rear chinlock.

Dogg fights out with two elbows. Two punches, Dogg to the ropes, and Holly meets him with a big boot to the face. Holly with a scoop and a slam and he goes up top. Holly nails the flying headbutt to Dogg's boot, which is never good. Hot tag is made to Billy. Billy punches everything in site. Billy rams Bart's head to the buckle. Billy with a whip on Holly and a kick. Billy setting up a piledriver, Dogg cuts off Bart and takes him outside. The ref watches them, so Cornette comes in and nails Billy with an NWA title belt. Holly covers, two, no. NME with a double Irish whip, Billy ducks the double clothesline, Dogg trips Bart and pulls him outside, and Gunn hits something off camera for two.

Holly with a punch, scoop, Billy lands in back and executes a rolling reverse cradle, but the ref is watching Dogg and Bart. Cornette in and he's confronted by Billy. Chyna from behind and low blows Cornette. Holly nails Billy with a right hand. Holly with an Irish whip, reversed, and the Outlaws nail a double Stun Gun for the three. **

HHH is out to do color commentary for the next match, being that he was the last King of the Ring and all.

Match Seven: The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock (King of the Ring Finals)

Staredown to start as HHH with a dig at WCW. Rock avoids a kick. Tie-up, and a break. Tie-up, another break. Rock with a kick and some punches. Crowd is DEAD. Rock with a whip, reversed, Rock ducks a backhand, ducks a clothesline, Shamrock with a scoop, Rock lands in back, goes for a rolling reverse cradle, Shamrock holds on, Rock off the ropes, ducks another clothesline, and Shamrock connects with a kick to the chest. Rock goes outside to regroup. Back in, and the Rock with a punch. Rock takes Shamrock to the buckle, and then to another buckle, as we see that Chyna has joined the Spanish announce team. Rock with a whip in, reversed, and Shamrock with two clotheslines.

Rock with punches, and a whip, and Shamrock tosses Rock outside. HHH provides us with this gem:

Ross: "You're not bilingual?"

HHH: "There's a lot of things I am that start with 'bi', but lingual ain't one of them."

We then get a long pause, about five seconds.

HHH: "Wait, did I just mean to say that?"

Rock stalls outside, and wanders over to HHH. Staredown, and HHH spits water in Rock's face. Rock piefaces HHH, but the ref stops HHH from going any further. Shamrock gets ahold of the Rock and punches away. Head to the guardrail, the Spanish announce table, and the American announce table. Shamrock dominating. Shamrock with a back rake, and the Rock with a low blow. They trade punches, and head back inside, as HHH puts his headset back on and follows with "testes... testes... one, two... three?". Rock has two straight suplexes blocked, and Shamrock with a snap suplex of his own. Cover, two, no. Shamrock with punches. Whip is reversed, and Rock tosses Shamrock outside.

Rock follows. Right hand, and he stares down HHH. Whip is reversed, and the Rock hits the guardrail, but comes right back with a clothesline. More words with Triple H, and he drops Shamrock throat-first on the barrier (missing by a bunch... Shamrock didn't even hit it). Back in the ring, and the Rock with an Irish whip and a punch to the gut, followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Cover, two, no. Shamrock fights back with kidney shots. Whip to the buckle, but the Rock ducks the Shamrock charge and hits a kick to the gut and a DDT. Cover, two, no. Rear chinlock. Shamrock fights out with elbows. Shamrock off the ropes, but the Rock meets him with an elbow for two.

Rock with a scoop and a slam, and he hits the Unnamed Elbow (reaction was still growing at this point). Cover, two, no. Rear chinlock again by Rock. Shamrock elbows out after a bit and punches away. Irish whip, but the Rock hits the Backspin DDT (or, for you video game gurus, "Layin' the Smack Down DDT"). Cover, two, no. Rock with a whip, clothesline is ducked, and Shamrock hits a back suplex. Both men down. Rock up and off the ropes, Shamrock ducks a clothesline and hits a back elbow. Shamrock with an Irish whip and a flying knee attack thingy. Shamrock with another Irish whip and a powerslam. Cover, two, no. Rock swings wildly, and Shamrock ducks. Shamrock with a fisherman's suplex, two, no.

Rock punches back and takes Shamrock's head to the buckle. Irish whip in, and Rock ends up with a powerslam for two. Rock goes for the backspin DDT again, but Shamrock counters with a Northern Lights for two. Shamrock punches away. Shamrock with a cross-corner whip, Rock reverses with an arm wringer and a clothesline. Cover, two, no. Rock tries a cross-corner whip, and Shamrock pulls the exact same trick for a two count of his own. Shamrock goes for the rana, but Rock drops him in a stun gun. Cover, two, no. Rock is upset, and the distraction allows Ken to pull off a drop toehold variation and the Ankle Lock for the submission. *** 1/4

JR hypes the double main.

Match Eight: The Undertaker vs. Mankind (Hell in the Cell)

The Cell lowers. Foley walks to the ring with a chair. Foley throws the chair on top of the cage and climbs up (barely making it). The "bong" gets a good pop, and 'Taker comes out. 'Taker gets PYRO. 'Taker decides to climb up after Foley. About halfway up, Foley starts punching down on 'Taker. 'Taker fights Foley off with three punches and completes the climb to the top. Foley meets 'Taker on top with two punches and two chairshots to the back. As they walk, one section of cage almost gives way, drawing a collective "ooh" from the crowd. Foley goes for a suplex on to the chair, but 'Taker punches at the ribs. And then, it happens.


Wait, the first bump was "holy shit", so this is....


You've seen it a million times before, and they replay it a million times here. I swear, watching this live, all my friends went NUTS when this happened. Terry Funk, a boatload of refs, and some EMTs are out to check on him. He's moving, at least. That was my thought at the time. They raise the cage with 'Taker on top to stretcher Foley out. In the middle of the aisle, Foley /GETS UP!!! With a SMILE on his face! The crowd explodes as both men head back up. 'Taker with a headbutt and a punch. And then.../OKAY, NOW HE'S DEAD! OFFICIALLY! HE MUST BE!

He gets chokeslammed thirteen feet through the top of the cage and to the mat. To make matters worse, the chair that was on the top of the Cell falls as well, landing right on Foley's head, knocking him unconscious. The EMTs and refs are back in again, and while watching it live, I was PRAYING that the match would end here. 'Taker gingerly hops down into the ring. Funk stalls for time and takes a chokeslam. Funk tossed outside, and we get three replays of "Bump #2". Foley proceeds to sell a punch as horribly as possible, but it was miraculous he was able to sell it at all. 'Taker walks the ropes, but Foley crotches him. Now we take a look at Foley to check for injuries. Bleeding from the mouth, tooth in the nostril, dislocated shoulder... bah, he's fine.

On a little tangent here, I have a TERRIBLE left shoulder that dislocates at least once a month (12 dislocations so far and counting)... I am able to roll around on it and pop it back into place immediately afterwards. I think this is the case here: Foley did pop it back into place, 'cause if it were really dislocated, he wouldn't be doing anything.

Foley shoulderblocks 'Taker to the outside and follows. Foley grabs the steps, but his shoulder gives out and he drops them. 'Taker grabs the steps and rams them into the bad shoulder of Foley. And again. Lather, rinse, repeat. 'Taker punches away and rolls inside, giving Foley time to try and regroup. 'Taker misses a tope and hits the side of the cage. Foley rams Undertaker into the side of the cage twice and rakes his face across the cage. Undertaker's bladejob kicks in, and even after rewinding twice, I can't see the supposed "obvious on-camera bladejob". Ah well. Back inside and Foley hits a piledriver on a chair. Cover, two, no.

Foley punches away and lays the chair on 'Taker's face. Legdrop on the chair. Cover, two, no. Foley with the pathetic-as-all-hell double arm DDT. Both men down. (Umm, why?) Foley up and he rolls outside. Foley looks under the ring, and pulls out a sack. He reaches in and comes out with... thumbtacks. The crowd comes back to life as he empties the bag on the canvas, and there's easily 5 or 6 thousand there. Foley punches away, trying to knock 'Taker into the tacks. Foley off the ropes, but 'Taker catches him in a choke. Foley with a knee to the gut, and he hits the ropes again. 'Taker meets him with a big boot. 'Taker scoops him up for the Tombstone, but Foley comes down with the Mandible Claw.

Foley goes into the "apply from behind" position of the Claw, so 'Taker piggybacks him and drops him on the tacks. Foley rolls around for a bit, and 'Taker chokeslams him in the tacks. 'Taker calls for the end and Tombstones him. Cover, two, duh. That's all, baby.

Ya know, my thoughts on comparing the two HITC matches are echoed by Scott Keith in his KOTR '98 Rant. I really hate to give him a plug or suggest you read his stuff, but he's so right it's impeccable. That being said, I'm being more "generous" here, and going with ***, because those three bumps coupled with the most "epic" feel since Hogan/Andre were worthy of *** alone.

Foley WALKS out on his own, like a man, baby. This match truly took Foley's career to the next level. It's unfortunate that something like this had to be the thing that really turned the Foley meter up to 11 in the fan's minds, but this is what it took, and Foley delivered, God bless him.

On a side note, imagine being a Spanish commentator with a 300-pound man coming FLYING right at you from a height of 16-feet. I'll bet Carlos Cabrera crapped his pants. Twice.

Kane-Austin video package.

Main Event: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane (First Blood Match- WWF Title)

Kane is wearing long sleeves on both arms, so we know who's winning. Austin hustles in, ducks two clotheslines, and hits the Thesz press and "F-You Elbow" already. Austin hits Kane in the face with the belt twice, and takes off the turnbuckle pad. Austin with a kick and he punches away. Kane blocks the turnbuckle ram twice and elbows Austin. Austin blocks the turnbuckle ram twice as well, and Kane with a knee to the gut. Kane knocks Austin down three times with right hands and chokes him as the crowd chants "Austin!". Kane with some stomps to Stone Cold. Kane takes Austin down with another punch, but Austin springs right back up with a clothesline. Austin punches away. Irish whip is reversed and Kane catches him in Tombstone position, but Austin slides down the back and throws Kane over top and to the outside.

Kane drags Austin out, but Austin blocks Kane's punch and punches away himself. Austin rams Kane's head into the steps twice. Austin punches away as the Cell begins to lower. Of course, JR has an orgasm.

"Who's lowering the Cell? As a matter of fact, is this person planning on raising a briefcase next year? Who is this person? Who stole my donuts?!"

Kane punches away and takes over, dropping Austin throat-first across the barrier. Lots of punching, which I give up on recapping. Big whip reversal spot sees Austin hitting the Cell. Kane spends a LOT of time choking Austin as the cage almost lowers on Austin's head. Still more punching, as Austin is bleeding from the back. Whoops. JR tries to cover, saying that the match clearly stated that the guy must be busted open, not just bleeding. Whatever. Austin is whipped into the steps. Austin comes back by whipping Kane into the cage. Austin kicks away as the Cell starts to raise with Kane lying in the doorway. Austin punches at Kane as he hangs from the Cell. Kane grabs a choke, but Austin punches and pulls Kane down.

Austin takes Kane to the entranceway, ramming him into the guardrail a bunch as he goes. Austin tries a piledriver, but Kane reverses and backdrops him on the concrete. Lots of punching, that's all I'm saying until something significant happens. Kane with two elbowdrops, which, given the pace of this match, qualifies as significant. Austin takes over put gets suplexed onto the entrance ramp. They head back to the ring with more kicking and punching. Kane eats the exposed turnbuckle (not literally, duh) a couple of times. Austin does the spot where he jumps on Kane's back as Kane is draped throat-first across the second rope. Kane is tossed back outside, for more boring "brawling", no doubt.

Austin hits him with a fan (mechanical one again, dummy). Lots more punching. Kane tosses Austin into the ref. A ref bump. In a no-DQ match. Whatever. Kane hits the flying clothesline back inside. Kick, punch, blah blah. Another flying clothesline misses. Stomp, stomp, blah blah. Kane hits the exposed buckle. Austin stomps a mudhole but neglects to walk it dry. Kane thrown into the exposed corner again. And again. Enough. And AGAIN. Foley jogs (!) out with a chair. Austin beats his ass and stuns him. Kane catches Austin in a choke, but Austin with a nut punt and a Stunner.

Now 'Taker is out with a chair. Austin grabs a chair of his own. Foley avoids the 'Taker chairshot, and the chair hits Austin's. Now Austin DOES visibly blade. 'Taker clotheslines Kane to the outside. 'Taker knocks Foley outside. Austin is busted open, obviously. 'Taker dumps the ref inside and pours gasoline on him to revive him. Kane nails 'Taker with the chair, and 'Taker falls outside. Austin takes over with a flying clothesline and a chair shot, but the ref wakes up and sees Austin bleeding, making Kane the winner. What a boring crapfest that was. And a run-in, t'boot. DUD

It was later revealed that 'Taker hit Austin on purpose, 'cause he didn't want baby bro to get set on fire. Wait, WWF bonus footage! Fans chant "bullshit", Foley wanders out and gets stunned (give the guy a BREAK, already!), a WWF official gets stunned, Austin gets his music played and gets pissed. Austin walks out, quite upset, but the fans cheer anyway. Austin curses at the camera. Foley hobbles out. The cell is raised. The fans leave. Yippee.

Bottom line: KOTR is a must-see, for obvious reasons. Do yourself a favor, and stop after the HITC though. Badd Blood is tough to get your hands on, and it's all pretty worthless besides the main. But the main makes it worth the price alone.

Before I go, I want to tell everyone to check out Josh Haggard's column. The guy's where I was a bit back: he's just getting started. He's really good though, so check him out. Hopefully, the power of my 11 fans will get him recognized, or something. And CRZ, if you could provide a link, please do. You're my hero, CRZ.

Until next time, I still don't have anything creative to say here.

Patrick Barker

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