March 13, 2011
Steve Riddle

WWF In Your House: No Way Out of Texas
February 15th, 1998
Compaq Center
Houston, Texas

Actual Show:

We see the opening video to No Way Out of Texas.

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Ross announces that Shawn Michaels will be unable to compete in the 8-man tag, and that due to the volitile nature of the match, it will be unsancationed.

1. The Headbangers defeat “Marvelous” Marc Mero and The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/ Luna) when Mosh pins Mero at 13:54.

Fun Fact: Sable comes out with Mero, but due to the heated nature between her and Luna, and due to Mero’s jealously, Sable was ordered to go to the back. She came back at the end of the match.

Analysis: Our opener is a decent tag affair. The Bangers were still pretty over with the crowds, and the heels were really gaining steam. Mero was becoming more jealous over the attention Sable was getting, which by now she was as popular as Austin. Goldust and Luna were gelling great as well and the tension between the two ladies was growing. The Bangers start hot before the heels double on Thrasher, who suffers a nasty gash on the top of his head. Mosh gets the hot tag and clears house before Luna gets involved. This draws out Sable and the distraction leads to the Bangers pulling the ol’ switcheroo and getting the win. Mero, irate about losing, tries to badger Sable, but she shoves him to mat, sick of the abuse. The Bangers would float around for awhile, while the other four were setting up a showdown at the next imstallment of WM. Good opener to get the crowd, getting their first PPV since RR 1989, going. Grade: 2

Kevin Kelly and the Jackyl are working the WWF Superstar Line and will be talking to the winners and losers of the matches tonight.

Michael Cole interviews Owen Hart, who says that he’ll stay out of Stone Cold’s way if Stone Cold stays out of his and he will bust HHH’s legs.

Sunny comes out to be the ring announcer for the next match. Brian Christopher comes out to join the commentary team.

2. Taka Michinoku pins Pantera with the Michinoku Driver at 10:11 to retain the WWF Light-Heavyweight Championship.

One-Time Debut: Pantera began his career in 1985 and has wrestled most of his career in Mexico, most notably CMLL. He would appear sporadically in the WWF from 1997 to 1999, making his only PPV appearance here. He would return to CMLL and also competed in IWRG and Chikara.

The Buildup: On the RAW before the show, Pantera and Brian Christopher defeated Taka and Aguila in a tag match, which saw Pantera pin Taka after using a foreign object in his mask.

Analysis: The first of two title matches is a fun one. Since winning the title back in December, Taka has been on a impressive roll as the champ, and comes to Houston to defend against Pantera, who gets to showcase his talents to the US crowds on PPV. Brian Christopher comes out for commentary, but is really annoying, as is King as they still don’t acknowledge their relationship, though King hits some funny one liners. Back to the match, Taka and Pantera put on a clinic with crisp aerial offense. Pantera spends most of the match working on Taka’s back with sweet luchadore submissions and caps it with a hurricana off the top rope. In the end, Taka hits his Driver and retains the strap. He then hits the Lawlers with a plancha off the top, continuing that feud, although it really goes nowhere. For now, a really solid match to keep the show rolling. Grade: 3

Kevin Kelly interviews Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie, who say they will get revenge on the Outlaws and will win the match.

3. The Godwinns defeat the Quebecers when Phineas pins Pierre at 11:14.

One-Time Return: The Quebecers make their return here. Jacques retired briefly in 1994 before returning to action in 1996 in WCW. He reunited with Pierre who had finished his run in WWF. They became the Amazing French Canadians managed by Col. Robert Parker and feuded mainly with Harlem Heat. They came back to the WWF in 1997 and aside from their appearance in the battle royal at WM 14, this is their last WWF PPV appearance. They would return to WCW as part of Team Canada before leaving again. Jacques is currently semi-retired and runs a wrestling school while Pierre continues to wrestle mostly in Canada.

The Buildup: On Shotgun Saturday Night a week before this event, the Godwinns cost the Quebecers a match against Los Boricuas. Then a week later, the Quebecers cost the Godwinns a match against Los Boricuas.

Analysis: Our second tag match is pretty dull and boring. The Quebecers are not the same team they were 4 years ago, and the Godwinns are also pretty low on the tag team food chain. The Quebecers do their stalling at the start, until the Godwinns wear down Jacques and work on his arm. Speaking of Jacques, it’s only been four years, but his bald spot has grown considerably. Pierre comes in and cleans house, but the Godwinns end up getting the win in the confusion. They then use the buckets on the Quebecers. The crowd could care less, and so could I. Let’s move on to the next match. Grade: 1.5

Dok Hendrix interviews the New Age Outlaws, who say they don’t know who the fourth man is and they are sick and tired of getting disrespected.

We see a WWF Attitude promo.

Jim Ross interviews Jeff Jarrett and Jim Cornette, who say Jarrett doesn’t need help and will use the figure-4 to disable Bradshaw.

4. Bradshaw defeats Jeff Jarrett (w/ Jim Cornette) by disqualification at 8:59. Jarrett retains the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship.

The Buildup: On RAW, Bradshaw was the victim of an assult by the NWA group, which included Jarrett, the Rock and Roll Express, and Bradshaw’s former partner, Barry Windham who turned on Bradshaw and joined the NWA. After that, this match was made.

Fun Fact: This marks the first time an NWA title is defended at a WWF PPV.

Analysis: Our second title match is not nearly as exciting as the first. Jarrett was floundering with the NWA angle, and Bradshaw had just turned face, but was still essentially the same. He does get a nice pop here, but that’s more of being a homegrown Texan. Bradshaw takes advantage early until Jarrett wears him down and works on his knee, which he and the NWA attacked prior to the event. Cornette runs around and gets involved and Jarrett is DQ’ed for using the racket. Bradshaw cleans house until the NWA comes out and attacks him. Bradshaw is then saved by the LOD, who had nothing else going on for now. In the end, Jarrett retains the strap, but would embrace his old persona by our next show. Bradshaw would also float around the midcard for most of the year. A pretty slow match as the crowd is just sitting on their hands, waiting for the main event. Grade: 2

Michael Cole interviews Triple H, who says they don’t have a replacement for Shawn Michaels and the match will be 4-on-3.

Dok Hendrix interviews the Nation, who say that Ken Shamrock and his team will fall in line behind the Nation.

5. Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, and the Disciples of Apocalypse defeat the Nation of Domination in a “War of Attrition” when Rock submits at 13:46.

The Buildup: The feud between the Rock and Ken Shamrock continued after Royal Rumble, and intensified when Rock nailed Shamrock in the head with a chair on an episode of RAW. During this, problems between the Rock and Faarooq increased as Rock seemingly tried to work his way in as the leader. This match was originally booked as an elimination match, but was changed to a one fall match.

Farewell: This is Ahmed Johnson’s last PPV. He was released in March after a story came out that he refused to job to Kurrgan on RAW. He later said he left to take care of his sister who was diagnosed with cancer, and then passed away shortly after his release. He would move to WCW in 1999 as Big T and feuded with Harlem Heat, specifically Booker T over the rights to the letter “T”. He was released in 2000 and is currently semi-retired.

Analysis: The show keeps rolling with a pretty solid 10-man tag. The Nation was at it’s peak in heat and solidity and the faces rise to the challenge, specifically Shamrock who was getting more popular. These 10 men start the feel out process until the Nation take over on Skull. Once Shamrock gets the tag, bedlam ensues until Shamrock gets Rock to tap out to the Anklelock. Afterwards, Rock and Faarooq almost trade blows, but cooler heads and they leave united. But the foundation of the Nation is cracking and Rock and Faarooq are at the forefront. As for the face, Ahmed is done, the DOA flounders, and Shamrock prepares to face Rock again for the IC strap, this time at the big show. A very solid, if unspectacular tag match that got the crowd coming around. Grade: 2.5

Michael Cole interviews Steve Austin, who says he doesn’t care who the 8th man is, but he can’t wait to whoop ass in his home state of Texas.

Jim Ross announces a new Compaq Center attendence record of 16,110.

We see the buildup to the next match.

6. Kane (w/ Paul Bearer) pins Vader with the Tombstone at 10:59.

The Buildup: On an episode of RAW, Kane attacked Vader, who tried to fight back but fell to a Tombstone. A week before the show, Vader attacked Kane with a fire extinguisher, trying to blind Kane in his good eye.

Analysis: Our first big match of the night is a non-offensive power match. Vader was getting very nice pops from the fans, but the face turn may have been too late, while Kane came in at the right time. This is just a quick feud for Kane while he awaits the showdown with big brother Undertaker. Kane dominates most of the match, while Vader tries to get his shots in. I say try because Kane no-sells almost all of Vader’s offense, including the moonsault and powerbomb, as he was getting his character down to be like Undertaker. Even getting blased by a fire extinguisher doesn’t hinder Kane, who Tombstones Vader for the win. He then uses a wrench on Vader after the match, putting him out of action for a while. Kane wins and awaits his brother while we move right along to the main event. Grade: 2.5

J.R. says he will give updates on Vader’s condition.

We see the buildup to the main event.

7. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Cactus Jack, and Chainsaw Charlie defeat Triple H (w/ Chyna), Savio Vega, and the New Age Outlaws in a non-sanctioned tag match when Austin pins Road Dogg at 17:41.

The Buildups: The three feuds going into this match were Austin/HBK, HHH/Hart, and Cactus and Chainsaw/Outlaws. All three will culimnate at WM, where the feuds will be fully documented.

Replacement: It was announced that due to his injuries suffered at Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels would not compete in this match, and wouldn’t compete in another match until WM. His teammates said there would be no replacement, but the WWF anounced there would be, and they chose Savio Vega.

Title Change: On RAW prior to the show, Owen Hart was set to face HHH for the European Title, but he instead fought Goldust who was dressed as HHH. HHH and Chyna then celebrated for having ducked out of the match, but Commishioner Slaughter came and ruled Goldust as a legit replacement and Owen was the new champion.

Analysis: We come to our main event. 7 of these 8 men were rolling into the event with red hot feuds and the tension was ever apparent with the match being non-sanctioned. It was nice seeing some fresh faces in the mix, and even though it was not that big a shock, Savio held his own in what would be his only main event. HHH and the Outlaws were picking up the slack with HBK out of the picture and the faces were on fire, specifically Austin. The first 6 or 7 minutes sees these 8 men just smack the crap out of each other with weapons and the crowd loves it. The heels then do two heat segments, one with Charlie and one with Cactus. A very cool spot is Austin nailing Billy with the trash can from halfway across the ring. The violence hits a new level when Cactus gets wrapped in barbed wire, though that’s not new to him. In the end, Austin cleans house and stuns Road Dogg for the win. He then stuns Billy for good measure, then after getting flipped off, stuns Chyna to a major pop. A fun brawl to end the show and a truly lost classic in the annals of the company. Grade: 3.5

We see the replays of the end of the main event as we go off the air.

Final Analysis: Overall, on paper this is just a typical holdover show, though the show coming would change the landscape of the WWF forever. The first two matches were good, with the Light-Heavyweight title match a hidden highlight. Then the next few matches were pretty dull, but the main event saved the show. WCW was still number one in the wrestling world, but they better relish it, because their spot will be contested. Vince now had the talent he needed to get back on top, where they would stay for the rest of the Monday Night Wars. As for this show, it is a fun 3-hour killer and a good way to set up the show that would usher in an Era of Attitude. Final Grade: C+

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