September 22, 2007
WWF In Your House 23: Fully Loaded
July 26, 1998
Live from the Selland Arena in Fresno, California
As the WWF continued to cruise along through its breakthrough year, we come to this show that was sandwiched between two of the WWF's main pay-per-views of the year, King of the Ring and SummerSlam, and has the WWF Champion in a tag team match as the main event, so you can probably guess how this review's going to turn out.
Anyway Stone Cold Steve Austin, having regained the WWF World Heavyweight Title the night after King of the Ring, is still feuding with Kane, and his running buddy, Mankind, is still feuding with the Undertaker. In tonight's event Austin and Undertaker are going to team up to face Kane & Mankind for the Tag Team Titles, which they won from the New Age Outlaws on July 13th. However Austin may not be able to depend on the Undertaker as a partner. Rumors are swirling that the Undertaker and Kane have reconciled their differences and are back together, plus the Undertaker won the right to challenge Austin for the WWF Title at SummerSlam. Will Austin and Taker work together to become Tag Team Champions, or will Austin indeed find himself in a 3-on-1 assault?
We begin with an intro video about the Austin/Taker/Kane/Mankind situation. After the pyro Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler welcome us to the show.
Match #1: Val Venis vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee)
This is Val's first PPV match since debuting in April, and he's still undefeated at this point. Val grabs the mic and greets the ladies, saying he's going to do something he's always wanted to do. Before he can do anything, Tennessee Lee interrupts him and brings out Jarrett, who's accompanied by his new bodyguards, Southern Justice (the duo formerly known as The Godwinns). As Jarrett struts around the ring, referee Tim White orders Dennis Knight and Mark Canteberry to the back before they can cause any trouble. Suddenly Kaientai (who's feuding with Val at this point) comes out with Yamaguchi-San but the referees refuse to let them stay at ringside as well. Yamaguchi-San manages to slip past them and join the announcers' table for commentary.
Both men lock up to start and Jarrett quickly gets the advantage with a headlock. Val shoves him into the ropes but Jarrett slides under him and trips him. Jarrett walks over Val and struts across the ring. They go for another lock up but Val stops him with a knee to the chest and punches him into a corner. Val whips Jarrett into the opposite corner and charges but eats an elbow. Jarrett comes out with a clothesline but Val trips him with a drop toe hold and stands above him, swiveling his hips. Jarrett backs away before they lock up again. Val gets the advantage with a go-behind, Jarrett reverses and shoves Val into the ropes but Val holds on. Val hits a shoulderblock then comes off the ropes, Jarrett leaps over him and tries a hiptoss, Val blocks it and attempts a clothesline but misses and Jarrett grabs him from behind. Val elbows Jarrett off him then comes off the ropes, ducks a clothesline but misses a crossbody. Jarrett comes off the ropes but runs into a Hot Shot onto the top rope for a two count. Val whips Jarrett into the ropes and hits a knee to the chest, then whips him again into another knee. Val plants Jarrett with a Russian leg sweep and swivels his hips again before hammering him. Jarrett tries to counters into a pin but Val escapes into a roll-up for two. Val whips Jarrett into the ropes but puts his head down and Jarrett kicks him in the face. Jarrett tries to piledrive him but Val counters into a backdrop, which Jarrett attempts to counter into a Sunset Flip but Val blocks it. Val whips Jarrett into the ropes and again puts his head down, and this time Jarrett powerbombs him.
Jarrett whips Val into the corner hard then clotheslines him over the top rope to the floor. Jarrett distracts the referee allowing Tennessee Lee to get in a cheap shot on Val. Jarrett connects with a baseball slide before throwing Val back into the ring. Both men exchange chops before Jarrett belts Val in the head. Jarrett comes off the ropes, Val tries to slam him but Jarrett counters into a DDT. Jarrett whips Val into the ropes and applies a sleeperhold. Val shoves Jarrett into the ropes and applies his own sleeper, which Jarrett counters with a suplex. Jarrett goes for a suplex but Val floats over and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Both men get to their feet, Jarrett comes off the ropes twice but Val blocks a right hand and nails a right hand of his own twice. Jarrett comes off the ropes a third time but Val hits an Atomic drop followed by a clothesline. Val plants Jarrett with a Fisherman's suplex but only gets two. Val whips Jarrett into the ropes and charges but eats a boot to the face. Val isn't fazed so he goes for a splash but Jarrett moves and Val hits the turnbuckles. Jarrett climbs to the top rope and connects with a crossbody but only gets two. Val whips Jarrett into a powerslam, then starts to climb to the top rope. Jarrett cuts him off, but Val snaps his neck on the top rope. However Jarrett accidentally bumps into referee Tim White, taking him out. Jarrett is down so Val climbs to the top rope for the Money Shot but Tennessee trips him, causing him to crotch the top turnbuckle. Jarrett goes up and hits a superplex. Jarrett goes for the Figure Four but Val counters into a roll-up for two. Tennessee hops onto the apron but Val shoves Jarrett into Tennessee and rolls him up for the three count.
Winner: Val Venis (7:49)
As Val gets his hand raised, Yamaguchi-San starts saying that he should enjoy this victory because tomorrow night on Raw Kaientai has a surprise for him. Val grabs a mic and insults Yamaguchi-San's height, among other things.
Comments: This was good for an opener, although nothing really special happened. It still had its high points, though. 7/10
We get a shot of Stu Hart's home in Calgary, Alberta, the site of the Dungeon Match between Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart later tonight.
Match #2: D'Lo Brown (w/The Godfather) vs. X-Pac (w/Chyna) Non-Title Match
D'Lo is the new European Champion, having won the title from Triple H the previous Monday on Raw thanks to the Rock. However the title's not on the line since he refused to sign for a title match. D'Lo comes out wearing the chest protector, still milking the injury from Dan Severn.
Both men lock up to start, D'Lo gets the advantage with a headlock, X-Pac shoves him into the ropes but D'Lo hits a shoulderblock. D'Lo taunts X-Pac and the crowd before they lock up again. X-Pac counters into a hiptoss. D'Lo staggers into a corner and X-Pac taunts D'Lo with the DX chop. They lock up again, X-Pac gets the advantage, D'Lo shoves him into the ropes and hits a shoulderblock. D'Lo comes off the ropes, X-Pac leaps over him and hits a hiptoss. X-Pac connects with a spinkick then goes for a whip. D'Lo reverses and hits a sidekick. D'Lo covers but only gets two. D'Lo nails a right hand and whips X-Pac into the ropes but X-Pac ducks a clothesline. X-Pac tries a spinkick, D'Lo catches the leg and X-Pac hits an enzuiguri. X-Pac whips D'Lo into a corner and charges but hits the turnbuckles when D'Lo sidesteps him. D'Lo hits a clothesline and covers but only gets two.
D'Lo pops X-Pac and applies a chinlock. X-Pac tries to hold on and manages to fight out of it. X-Pac goes for a whip but D'Lo reverses him into the corner hard. D'Lo rolls X-Pac with a snapmare and hits a legdrop but only gets two. D'Lo rams X-Pac into a turnbuckle and chops him in a corner. X-Pac tries to escape but D'Lo keeps hitting him. D'Lo whips X-Pac into the opposite corner and charges but X-Pac moves and D'Lo hits the turnbuckles. X-Pac comes off the ropes but misses the spinning heel kick. D'Lo slams X-Pac to the mat, then hops to the middle rope and drops an elbow for a two count. D'Lo applies another chinlock, this time with his knee pressing into X-Pac's neck. X-Pac escapes the hold with a jawbreaker but D'Lo connects with a clothesline. D'Lo climbs to the top rope and goes for a moonsault but misses when X-Pac rolls out of the way. X-Pac begins to fight back, blocking and landing a series of rights. X-Pac goes for a whip, D'Lo reverses but X-Pac connects with a spin kick. D'Lo slumps into a corner and X-Pac hits the Bronco Buster. Chyna tries to get involved but distracts the referee. X-Pac goes for a whip but D'Lo reverses and the Godfather nails X-Pac from the outside. X-Pac knocks Godfather off the apron but walks into a Sky High powerbomb from D'Lo that gets him the three.
Winner: D'Lo Brown (8:27)
Comments: Good, solid match between two underappreciated wrestlers. 8/10
We get a shot of Edge in the crowd before we cut to the backstage area for a report from WWF.com. Kevin Kelly reports that The Undertaker hasn't arrived to the arena yet and is many hours late, which is very unusual for him. Dr. Tom Prichard says the Undertaker doesn't let anybody down and feels he's going to be here. Kevin says cameras are mounted all over the building so they'll know when (or if) the Undertaker shows up.
Match #3: Terry Funk & Bradshaw vs. Faarooq & 2 Cold Scorpio
Faarooq's been teaming with Scorpio as of late and is now going to face his future tag team partner and Scorpio's former tag team partner. Before the match JR gets an interview with Funk and Bradshaw, and Funk announces that this will be his last WWF match for six months, that he needs to recharge his batteries. Bradshaw is not happy that Funk decided to wait until now to let him know this.
Bradshaw and Scorpio start off. They lock up and Bradshaw overpowers Scorpio, forcing him into a corner. Bradshaw applies a headlock, Scorpio shoves him into the ropes and Bradshaw hits a shoulderblock. Bradshaw whips Scorpio into the ropes but Scorpio slides under Bradshaw and connects with a dropkick. Bradshaw's staggering but still on his feet, Scorpio hits a clothesline that fails to get him down, Scorpio comes off the ropes but Bradshaw hits an elbow. Bradshaw whips Scorpio into the ropes but Scorpio counters into a huracanrana and hammers away at him. Scorpio tags in Faarooq but Bradshaw pounds him down. Faarooq whips Bradshaw into the ropes for an elbow. Faarooq goes for a whip but Bradshaw reverses him into a corner and hits a clothesline. Bradshaw climbs to the top rope and connects with a shoulderblock for a two count. Bradshaw tags in Funk, who lands a series of shots. Funk hits a neckbreaker for a two count. Funk applies a headlock, Faarooq shoves him into the ropes and hits a backbreaker for a two count. Faarooq sets Funk up for a powerbomb which Bradshaw breaks up with a boot to the face. Funk tags in Bradshaw and holds Faarooq while Bradshaw climbs to the top rope. Faarooq elbows Funk away, Bradshaw leaps off but Faarooq catches him into a powerslam for two.
Faarooq rams Bradshaw into a boot from Scorpio before tagging his partner in. Scorpio hits a kneelift to the face before slamming him to the mat. Scorpio climbs to the top but Funk bumps the rope, causing him to crotch the turnbuckle. Bradshaw goes up and hits a suplerplex but only gets a two count. Bradshaw powerbombs Scorpio and follows up with an elbow drop for a two count. Bradshaw tags in Funk and Funk throws Scorpio through he ropes to the floor. Funk goes out and whips Scorpio into the guardrail. Funk rams Scorpio into the guardrail several times, then after Scorpio goes into the crowd, Funk throws him back to ringside. Funk rams Scorpio into the ring apron, then goes up and hits a splash off the ropes. Funk throws Scorpio back into the ring and a series of reversals lead to Funk rolling Scorpio up for a two count. Faarooq comes in and gets a shot on Funk. Scorpio climbs to the top rope and hits a twisting splash for two. Funk climbs to the middle rope and hits a legdrop for another two count. At this point the crowd is chanting "Boring!". Bradshaw comes in and stomps Scorpio, prompting Faarooq to come in and knock him through the ropes to the floor. While the future Acolytes brawl on the outside, Scorpio slams Funk to the mat, then goes to the top and hits the 450 Splash for the win.
Winners: Faarooq & Scorpio (6:52)
Bradshaw yells at Funk for losing the match, then calls out Faarooq and Scorpio. Funk tries to apologize and Bradshaw lays him out with a Clothesline form Hell. Scorpio comes back in to make the save but Bradshaw dumps him to the outside with a big boot and takes him out with the Clothesline from Hell. Faarooq has words with Bradshaw before tending to his partner and Bradshaw nails him with the timekeeper's chair. Bradshaw storms off, with the angry Funk going out after him.
Comments: Pretty uninteresting tag match. It wasn't bad, just boring, though Scorpio did get a chance to show off some good stuff. Shortly after this show Funk would depart the WWF and wouldn't return until the ECW revival in 2006. 6/10
Match #4: Vader vs. Mark Henry
Both men start off by charging at each other but neither man flinches. They charge at each again but again nobody moves. They charge a third time, Henry tries to lift Vader up for a slam but botches the move. Henry gets Vader on the second attempt, then drops a series of elbows. Vader rolls out of the ring to regroup before heading back in. Henry whips Vader into the ropes for a shoulderblock. Henry whips Vader into the ropes again and kicks him low before hitting a double fist drop that gets Vader down. Henry covers but Vader kicks out. Henry drops an elbow then hits a legdrop for a two count. Henry goes for a whip but Vader reverses, Henry tries a Sunset Flip but Vader sits on him. Vader splashes Henry and covers but only gets two. Vader fights Henry in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner for an Avalanche. Vader lands a short-arm clothesline before throwing him through the ropes to the floor. Vader goes out and whips Henry into the ringsteps. Vader throws Henry back into the ring and fights him into a corner. Vader slams Henry to the mat then climbs to the second rope and hits the big splash. Vader covers but Henry kicks out! Vader goes for a whip but Henry reverses into a powerslam. Henry hits his splash on Vader and gets the three.
Winner: Mark Henry (5:02)
Comments: Ugly, ugly match made worse by Vader jobbing cleanly to Mark Henry. That's just wrong all levels. Yet another indication that Vader's days were numbered. 4/10
Kevin Kelly reports from backstage saying there's still no sign of the Undertaker, that he still has not arrived, and that they have people searching all over the city. Tom Prichard still insists the Undertaker is going to be here no matter what. Their report gets interrupted by Kane's pyro as Kane and Mankind come out to the ring with Paul Bearer. Bearer claims he knew the Undertaker didn't want to wrestle Kane, claiming that he wants to stay in one piece for his WWF Title match against Steve Austin at SummerSlam. Bearer calls Taker a coward, and says his men are going to finish off Austin tonight. Suddenly the New Age Outlaws make an appearance, still not happy that Kane and Mankind took their belts two weeks ago. Road Dogg throws out a challenge for a tag title rematch tomorrow night on Raw. Kane and Mankind don't immediately answer, so he and Billy Gunn decide to start a fight. The two teams start brawling until several officials come in to break it up.
Match #5: The Legion of Doom vs. Disciples of Apocalypse (w/Paul Ellering)
The Legion of Doom are still fighting the DOA for no apparent reason. The story here is Hawk and Animal brought their former manager Paul Ellering back to the WWF, only for Ellering to turn against them and become the DOA's manager.
Animal starts off with one of the twins (I'm just going to say Skull), who fights him into the DOA's corner and the two begin double teaming him. Skull gets the referee's attention while 8-Ball stomps Animal down. The DOA continue to double team Animal until 8-Ball comes in and slams him to the mat. Both DOA drop elbows on Animal, then whip him into the ropes. Animal ducks a pair of double clotheslines and manages to clothesline both men before tagging in Hawk, who climbs to the top rope and connects with a double flying clothesline. Hawk throws Skull through the ropes to the floor, then goes out and chops him repeatedly before throwing him back in. Hawk tags Animal before whipping Skull into a dropkick from Animal. Animal kicks Skull in a corner, then tags in Hawk, lifts Skull up and Hawk hits a version of the Hart Attack for a two count. Hawk hits a neckbreaker then tags in Animal. Animal slams Skull to the mat and hits an elbow drop for two. Animal tags Hawk back in and both Warriors whip Skull into the ropes and nail a back elbow. Hawk chops Skull in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner. Hawk charges but Skull moves and Hawk runs into the ringpost before falling through the ropes to the floor. 8-Ball and Ellering get in some shots before 8-Ball whips Hawk into the ringsteps. The DOA distract the referee while Ellering continues his assault on his former charge.
Skull throws Hawk back into the ring and 8-Ball chokes him on the middle rope. 8-Ball sends Hawk through the ropes to the outside and Ellering again assaults Hawk while the referee keeps Animal from making the save. Skull whips Hawk into the ringpost and Ellering gets in a few more shots as the twins make the tag. 8-Ball rolls Hawk back in and Skull rolls him with a snapmare and connects with a legdrop for two. Skull applies a chinlock and Hawk tries to hang on. Hawk manages to fight out it and comes off the ropes but Ellering trips him from the outside and Skull drops and elbow. Animal tries to come in but is held back as Skull chokes Hawk. Skull tags in 8-Ball and whips Hawk into a boot from his partner for a two count. 8-Ball hits a knee to the face followed by a clothesline then chokes Hawk by stepping on his throat. The DOA double-team Hawk before 8-Ball covers but only gets two. 8-Ball applies another chinlock and Hawk elbows out of it. Hawk staggers into the DOA corner and Skull grabs him from the apron for more double-teaming. Skull tags in and the DOA continue the double-team. Skull connects with a backbreaker and covers but only gets two. 8-Ball tags in and both twins whip Hawk into the ropes but Hawk manages to clothesline the twins in succession. Hawk finally makes the tag to Animal who takes it to both DOA. He hits one of the twins (I lost track) with a shoulderblock, suplexes the other one then clotheslines the first one out of the ring. The Warriors hit clotheslines on the remaining DOA twin. Animal lifts the DOA twin on his shoulders while Hawk climbs to the top and connects with the Doomsday Device. Animal covers but the other DOA twin breaks it up. Ellering gets on the apron and Animal knocks him off but the DOA then pulls the switch. The illegal twin DDTs Animal and gets the three count for the cheap win.
Winner: Discyples of Apocalypse (8:50)
Comments: This match is just like all the other LOD/DOA matches: too long and boring. The Road Warriors' downward spiral continues. 4/10
As the disappointed Hawk and Animal start walking out of the arena they meet Vince McMahon along the way. Vince tries to say something to them but the Warriors blow him off. Vince then hits the ring with Gerald Brisco, Pat Patterson and Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter in tow and gets greeted with a chorus of boos. Vince says he, like the fans, is upset about the possibility of the Undertaker not wrestling tonight, but he tells the fans don't blame him; Steve Austin was the one hitting Taker with a chair and giving him hand gestures, plus the Undertaker challenged Austin for the WWF Title at SummerSlam, so Vince says Steve Austin is to blame for the Undertaker no-showing. Vince mentions that every pay-per-view advertisement (including this one) has a disclaimer that says "Card subject to change". Vince adds that the program for this show has a blurb saying when scheduled talent is unable to appear due to circumstances beyond control, the promoter (Vince) has the right to make a suitable substitution. So Vince says that if the Undertaker doesn't show up, then Austin's substitute partner will be: the Brooklyn Brawler! Thus Steve Lombardi comes out, thanking Vince for this opportunity to be on pay-per-view.
Match #6: Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart Dungeon Match
This match is being broadcast from Stu Hart's Dungeon with Dan "The Beast" Severn as the guest referee. There's no ring, just a tarp on the floor, and the match can only end by submission. Owen's ready to go as Shamrock comes in, looking for revenge for the ankle injury last May.
Owen takes Shamrock down to start but Shamrock reverses and lands a series of rights. Owen counters into a leg submission, Shamrock reverses into a leglock, Owen escapes and we have a stalemate. Shamrock kicks Owen into a wall then slams him to the floor with a hiptoss. Shamrock slams Owen into the wall repeatedly until Owen hits a low blow. Owen nails a spinning heel kick and tees off on Shamrock. Owen rams Shamrock into the wall repeatedly before hitting a German suplex. Owen continues to hammer away until Shamrock reverses and gets in some of his own shots. Shamrock rams Owen back and forth between the ropes but Owen grabs an overhanging water pipe and dropkicks Shamrock into the wall. Owen then connects with a huricanrana. Shamrock comes back and throws Owen into some weights. Owen grabs a dumbbell but Shamrock cuts him off and throws him into a weight bench. Shamrock rams Owen into the wall again and stomps him down in a corner. Shamrock lands knees to the chest before sending Owen into another wall. Shamrock grabs the water pipe and attempts a huricanrana but Owen counters into a powerbomb. Owen drives Shamrock into the wall before throwing him into the water pipe. Owen then drives Shamrock's head through the ceiling. Owen applies the Sharpshooter and Shamrock tries not to submit. Shamrock counters into an Anklelock but Owen escapes. Shamrock rams Owen into a pair of walls before connecting with a thrust kick. Shamrock goes for a spinkick but misses Owen and accidentally nails Severn. Owen grabs a dumbbell and clocks Shamrock with it. Owen applies a crossface while holding Shamrock's hand, feigning a tapout. Severn wakes up, sees what he thinks is Shamrock giving up and declares Owen the winner.
Winner: Owen Hart (4:54)
Comments: Very fun match. Owen and Shamrock put on a solid bout with some innovative and unique spots. The only negative is it seemed to end a little too quickly. 8/10
Match #7: WWF Intercontinential Title The Rock (c) vs. Triple H (w/Chyna) Best 2/3 Falls
Originally this was going to be title vs. title, with Triple H defending his European Title against the Rock's Intercontinental Title, but that changed with D'Lo beat Triple H for the European Strap. This match has a 30-minute time limit, and there will be a one minute rest period between falls. Triple H comes out with the rest of DX while the Rock comes out with the Nation but Sgt. Slaughter sends everyone except the participants to the back. Chyna is allowed to remain at ringside since she has a manager's license.
Both men have a staredown to start and Triple H taunts, Rock, prompting him to get the first shots. Both men exchange punches and Triple H gets the advantage. Triple H whips Rock into the ropes but puts his head down and Rock kicks him in the face before hitting a clothesline for a two count. Rock pops Triple H and lays the boots to him. Rock rams Triple H into a turnbuckle then whips him from one corner to the other. Rock does the DX chop before Triple H comes out of the corner with a pair of clotheslines. Triple H whips Rock into an elbow. Triple H chokes Rock on the middle rope, then gets the referee's attention while Chyna gets in a cheap shot from the outside. Triple H goes for a whip Rock reverses but puts his head down. Triple H tries to go for the Pedigree already but Rock counters with a backdrop. Rock comes off the ropes and Triple H throws him over the other side to the floor. Rock starts to walk away but Triple H goes out and cuts him off in the aisleway. Triple H slams Rock onto the concrete then rams him into the guardrail before throwing him back into the ring. Rock rolls back out on the other side and Triple H goes after him. Triple H goes for a whip but Rock reverses and sends Triple H into the ringsteps. Rock drops Triple H onto the guardrail then rams him into the apron twice. Both men are back in the ring and Rock punches Triple H in a corner. Rock whips Triple H into a corner, and Triple H staggers into a clothesline that gets Rock a two count. Rock stomps Triple H in a corner before choking him on the bottom rope. Rock whips Triple H into a corner but Triple H comes out with a clothesline. Triple H blocks some rights and lands his own shots before hitting a suplex. Triple H drops a knee and covers but only gets two. Triple H hammers away at Rock then shoves him into a corner and lands punches, kicks and chops. Rock fights out it and throws Triple H into the corner. Triple H escapes and lands some chops before going for a whip. Rock reverses and Triple H flips over the top rope to the floor. Rock goes out and stomps Triple H before hitting a suplex onto the floor. Rock goes back in then comes back out and tries to ram Triple H into the steps. Triple H blocks it and rams Rock into the steps. Rock slams Triple H to the floor while Mark Henry makes his way to ringside. Rock goes back into the ring and keeps the referee occupied while Henry splashes the prone Triple H. Billy Gunn comes out and fights Henry off. Henry leaves with a smile on his face, having accomplished his mission.
While Chyna argues with the referee, Rock brings Triple H back into the ring then nails him with is IC Title belt. Rock covers but Triple H kicks out. Rock whips Triple H into a shot to the chest, then follows up with a neckbreaker for two. Rock lays the boots to Triple H and lands a right hand for two. Rock applies a chinlock and Triple H struggles to hold on. Triple H begins to fade but manages to fight out of it. Triple H comes off the ropes but runs into a clothesline for a two count. Rock stomps Triple H out of the ring, then goes out and rams him into the guardrail. Rock chokes Triple H with a cable before rolling him back into the ring. Triple H starts to fight back and whips Rock into the ropes but Rock counters into a DDT for a two count. Rock applies another chinlock and Triple H begins fading again. The referee checks the arm and it drops once, twice, but Triple H keeps it up the third time and fights out of the hold. Triple H whips Rock into the ropes but puts his head down and Rock drives him into the mat and covers for a two count. Rock whips Triple H into the ropes but Triple H ducks a clothesline and throws him back. Triple H fights Rock into a corner then whips him into a high knee. Triple H goes for another whip but Rock reverses and drops Triple H onto the top rope with a Hot Shot. As both men are down, the Godfather makes his way to the ring, but he Outlaws cut him off. The Rock stomps Triple H in a corner and chokes him on the middle rope. Rock hits a short-arm clothesline then start arguing with the referee. Suddenly D'Lo Brown runs to the ring and climbs up to the top rope but Triple H cuts him off and clobbers him with the European Title belt. Unfortunately Triple H walks into a Rock Bottom and Rock gets the three count to take the first fall at 19:21.
The match resumes after the rest period and Rock starts off with a clothesline. Rock throws Triple H through the ropes to the floor and lays the boots to him before ramming him into the ringsteps. Rock whips Triple H into the guardrail but Triple H comes back with a clothesline. Rock catapults Triple H into the Spanish announcers' table before throwing him back into the ring. Rock slams Triple H to the mat then hits the People's Elbow. Rock covers but Triple H kicks out! Rock stomps away at Triple H and whips him into the ropes but Triple H ducks a clothesline and hits his own clothesline. Both men are down and the referee starts the count. D'Lo is still at ringside but Chyna takes him out. Chyna starts arguing with the referee again while both men get to their feet. Suddenly X-Pac runs into the ring from the crowd and nails Rock with the X-Factor. Triple H crawls over to cover Rock as the referee comes in and counts 1 .2 .but Rock kicks out! Triple H goes out and brings a chair into the ring. Triple H tries to use the chair but Rock cuts him off. Rock grabs the chair and takes a swing but misses Triple H and nails the referee by accident. Rock nails Triple H with a clothesline then grabs the chair. Before he can do anything Chyna comes in and hits a low blow then DDTs Rock onto the chair. Triple H crawls over for the cover and the referee counts 1 .2 .3 to give Triple H the second fall, evening the score 1-1 at 25:34.
During the rest period several other officials come out to help the assigned referee out of the ring. Once the match resumes the Rock is still out. Triple H crawls over and covers Rock but there's no referee to make the count. Earl Hebner runs in to make the count but Rock kicks out. Howard Finkel announces that two minutes are left. Triple H throws Rock through the ropes to the floor, then goes out and rams him into the guardrail. Triple H whips Rock into the ring apron and follows up with a clothesline. Triple H throws Rock back into the ring, then goes for a whip. Rock reverses but puts his head down and Triple H connects with a knee to the face. Triple H lands a clothesline but only gets a two count with one minute remaining. Triple H comes off the ropes but runs into a Samoan Drop for a two count. Rock fights Triple H in a corner but Triple H comes out and both men exchange punches. Rock sets Triple H up for a Rock Bottom but Triple H escapes and hits the Pedigree. Triple H covers just before the time limit expires but Hebner waves it off, even though there could have been enough time for a three count. Nevertheless the match ends tied at one fall apiece, so the match is declared a draw, meaning the Rock escapes with this title intact.
Winner: DRAW, but still Intercontinential Champion: The Rock (30:00)
The rest of the Nation comes into the ring to beat on Triple H, prompting DX to come in and chase them off.
Comments: Pretty good match. Although it did drag in some spots and there was an issue with run-ins it was still a great showing from both men, plus the interference did keep things interesting. It would have been slightly better had the first fall occurred earlier in the match. Also I didn't like the time limit ending but I also see they did that to set up the big blow-off at SummerSlam. 8/10
Backstage Kevin Kelly reports that The Undertaker has finally arrived at the arena. Security cameras caught him entering the building during the Intercontinental Title match. The question still remains if he'll team with Steve Austin or join forces with Kane and Mankind.
We now have the bikini contest between Sable and Jacqueline, who recently came to the WWF to be Marc Mero's new valet after Mero (briefly) retired Sable. Jerry Lawler acts as the M.C. for this segment, but first Dustin Runnels is in the ring and prays for forgiveness for everyone who watches this. Jacqueline comes out first with Mero, followed by Sable. I'll summarize this since most of you remember what happened: Jackie shows off a skimpy bikini, Sable shows off a t-shirt before revealing even less. Mero accuses her of cheating and Vince McMahon comes out to cover Sable up. Pretty pointless segment, nothing more than an excuse to put some risquι eye candy on the pay-per-view.
Match #8: WWF World Tag Team Titles Kane & Mankind (c) (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Steve Austin & The Undertaker
Kane and Mankind come out first followed by the Undertaker, who has some new entrance music. Austin comes out last carrying his WWF Title belt. Taker meets Austin in the aisleway, but before anything can happen Kane and Mankind jumpstart the match by brawling with them. All four men fight their way back to ringside where Austin rams Kane into a guardrail before whipping him into the ringsteps. Austin and Taker exchange words before climbing into the ring. Austin starts off with Mankind, but not before flipping Taker the bird. Austin chokes Mankind on the ropes before ramming him into the turnbuckle. Austin goes for a whip but Mankind kicks him in the face. Austin connects with a clothesline, then suplexes Mankind before applying an arm ringer. Mankind reverses but Austin pokes the eye then whips him into a corner. Austin goes for another armwringer but Mankind fights him off. Mankind tags Kane in and Kane lands several uppercuts. Kane whips Austin into the ropes but Austin ducks a clothesline and hits a Lou Thesz Press followed by a series of rights and an elbow drop. Austin whips Kane into the ropes for the Stunner but Kane fights him off and bails out of the ring. Kane starts to come back in but Austin knocks him off the apron. Kane starts to walk away but Austin goes out and clotheslines him in the aisleway. Austin brings Kane back to ringside, Mankind comes in but Austin stops him and knocks both heads together. Austin throws Kane into the ring and tags in the Undertaker. Taker works over the arm before hitting a Russian leg sweep. Taker sits up and flips Austin the bird. Kane tags in Mankind and Taker punches him into a corner. Taker rams Mankind into a corner, then whips him into the opposite corner and hits a splash. Taker whips Mankind back into the corner and splashes him again. Taker grabs Mankind's arm and walks the top rope before hitting the forearm. Mankind tries to escape the ring but Taker grabs him by the hair and whips him into a corner yet again. This time Mankind stops him with an elbow. Mankind lands several forearms before ramming Taker into a turnbuckle. Mankind hits several shots but Taker grabs him by the throat and throws him into the corner. Taker whips Mankind into the ropes after Kane tags himself in and Kane chokeslams Taker.
Kane drops an elbow before applying a head vice. Kane assaults Taker and chokes him in a corner. Kane whips Taker into a corner hard before tagging in Mankind. Mankind fights Taker down in a corner and hits a running knee to the face. Mankind rams Taker into a turnbuckle but Taker starts fighting back. Mankind stops him with a low kick and hits the double-arm DDT. Mankind covers Taker but Austin makes the save. Mankind clotheslines Taker, sending both over the top rope to the floor. Taker lands on his feet but Kane nails Taker with a right hand. With Taker down, Mankind goes for the elbow off the apron but Austin interrupts him by knocking him off the apron onto the Spanish announcers' table. Taker backdrops Mankind to the floor but Kane clotheslines him before ramming him into the steps. Kane rolls Taker back into the ring, Mankind goes for a whip but Taker counters with a DDT. Mankind tags in Kane who shoves Taker into his corner, allowing him to tag Austin. Austin takes it to both men and stomps Kane in a corner while Taker clotheslines Mankind over the top rope. Austin chokes Kane on the middle rope and straddles him. Mankind slides a chair into the ring but Austin grabs it and clocks Kane with it. Austin covers Kane and the referee counts 1 .2 .but Kane kicks out! Austin goes for a whip, Kane reverses and hits a boot to the face. Kane throws Austin over the top rope to the outside and Mankind rams him into the guardrail. Kane comes out and drops Austin onto the rail before stepping on his neck for a choke. Kane throws Austin back into the ring and Mankind takes over, choking Austin on the bottom rope. Mankind tags Kane back in and Kane lays the boots to Austin, choking him in a corner. Kane whips Austin into the opposite corner hard. Kane tries to smother Austin and drops an elbow. Kane punches Austin in a corner but Austin comes out with a clothesline. Austin goes for a whip, Kane reverses and nails an elbow. Mankind tags in and lays the boots to Austin, followed by an elbow drop. Mankind applies a chinlock and Austin tries to hold on. Austin manages to fight out of it and comes off the ropes but both men clothesline each other.
Both Austin and Mankind are down as the referee begins the count. Mankind tags in Kane, who stops Austin from tagging in Taker. Kane shoves Taker, yet Taker doesn't do anything as Kane slams Austin to the mat and hits a legdrop for two. Austin staggers into the wrong corner and the tag champs double-team him. Taker comes in but the referee stops him, while Austin continues to be assaulted. Kane whips Austin into the ropes and Chokeslams him. Kane lifts Austin up for the Tombstone but Austin floats over and hits the Stunner! Mankind comes in and applies the Mandible Claw but Austin counters with another Stunner, and all three men are out as Taker looks on. Austin starts crawling to his corner but Kane sits up. Austin reaches out for a tag, but Taker hesitates to tag in. Eventually Taker reaches out and accepts the tag. Taker takes it to both men, floors Mankind with a big boot, and grabs Kane by the throat. Mankind tries to stop him but Taker low blows him with a mule kick and hits the Chokeslam on Kane. Taker Chokeslams Mankind, then drills Kane with the Tombstone. Austin takes out Mankind with a clothesline while Taker covers Kane and gets the three count to win the belts.
Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions: Steve Austin & The Undertaker (17:27)
After the match the Undertaker grabs both Tag Team Title belts and walks off with them, leaving a PO'ed Austin in the ring as the show goes off the air. Looks like the road to SummerSlam has begun.
Comments: This was an okay match, just not one to close out a pay-per-view with. It seemed to drag in the middle but still had its moments and picked up toward the end. The big thing is this match seemed less about the tag titles and more about the feud between Austin and the Undertaker, with the belts being used to advance the storyline for their big match next month. Incidentally Austin and Taker would only hold the tag belts for two weeks before losing them back to Kane & Mankind. 7/10
Pretty forgettable show that seemed only to set up the following month's SummerSlam. A third of the matches were terrible and boring, and some were good but not great, but there are still some gems, like X-Pac/D'Lo Brown, Owen/Shamrock and the IC Title match between the Rock and Triple H. There was still an issue with filler segments like the in-ring interviews (something that finally gets rectified when Sunday Night Heat debuts the week after this show) and the bikini contest was there only for one reason. In fact that's really the only thing people remember about this show. Overall it seemed like all this pay-per-view did was advance storylines heading into the next pay-per-view, especially in the case of Steve Austin and the Undertaker. That said, you might get some enjoyment out of this card, but you might be better off just skipping this show and heading right to SummerSlam, where things actually happen.
FINAL GRADE: [C]