November 18, 2009
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero
August 22, 1999
Buy Rate: 1.61
Announcers: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
1) Jeff Jarrett defeats D-Lo Brown (AC Conner) to win the Intercontinental and European Championship when Mark Henry interferes at 7:27
Fun Fact: D-Lo won the European Title from Mideon at Fully Loaded and the Intercontinental Title from Jeff Jarrett on the 8/2 Raw in a title vs. title match
Scott: The opener of the second biggest show of the year is a double title match. Most people think Kurt Angle was the first guy to hold both these belts at the same time. On the contrary, it was D-Lo Brown, who was at his peak workrate-wise here, did the deed first. Jarrett continues his great singles heel run, and regains the title thanks to D-Lo’s former friend, Chocolate Fatass. D-Lo was trying to get Henry into shape, and RAW was showing silly vignettes where D-Lo would push him in the gym, and not let him eat. As it turned out, Jarrett offered him the European Title if he turned on his friend. Sure enough the next night on RAW, Jarrett handed the European Title to Henry, who proceeded to lose the belt to D-Lo Brown at next month’s PPV. The match itself was pretty good, as both would bring it pretty stiff. Jarrett would start a great “women-bashing” storyline that runs all the way to his departure in a couple of months. Grade: 2.5
Justin: A fun opener to a really good show. These two were getting to know each other quite well in the ring, and were meshing really well, especially on the big stage. Both men are prime examples of the growing mid-card during the latter part of 1999, as the workrate and storylines were improving by the day, and a lot of fresh faces and characters were being pushed to the forefront. Mark Henry turns on his best friend and joins forces with Jarrett, trading in his dumbbells for the European Title. Henry was sick of being pushed by Brown and took the easy payoff from Jarrett to turn on his friend and tag partner. This was a really good opening match that established both men as the leaders of a burgeoning mid-card division. Grade: 3
2) The Acolytes won a Tag Team Turmoil match to earn a WWF Tag Team Title shot
Edge (Adam Copeland) and Christian (Jay Reso) beat the Hardy Boyz in 5:02
Edge and Christian beat Mideon (Dennis Knight) and Viscera (Nelson Frazier) in 6:01
Edge and Christian beat Darren Drozdov and Prince Albert (Matt Bloom) in 7:50
Faarooq (Ron Simmons) and Bradshaw (John Layfield) beat Edge and Christian at 12:35
Faarooq and Bradshaw beat Bob Holly (Howard) and Crash Holly (Michael Lockwood) in 16:23
Fun Fact: A couple of fresh faces make their PPV debuts on this show. The first one was Prince Albert, a Killer Kowalski graduate who had spent the past year or so training in the WWF Dojo. He debuted as Droz’ personal tattoo artist. He carried around a briefcase with tattoo needles and piercing tools, and after matches would threaten to pierce people’s noses with his tools. An interesting concept that didn’t exactly take off as planned. The other debut is Crash Holly, a popular Indy worker from the West Coast known as Erin O’Grady. He debuted as Bob Holly’s crazy cousin, and the gimmick was that they were teammates and relatives, but they would always fight and argue with each other. Crash also took right to Hardcore’s “Super Heavyweight” gimmick, as he would routinely carry a scale to the ring to weigh his opponents and make sure they were in his weight class, and the team would be introduced as weighing “over 800 lbs.”
Fun Fact II: This is Droz’ final PPV. On the 10/5 Smackdown taping, Droz received a European Title shot against D-Lo Brown. During the match, D-Lo tried to give him a running powerbomb, but Droz slipped backwards and landed right on his head. He was down in the ring for a long time, and it was later revealed that he was paralyzed from the waist down. The match was cut from the airing of Smackdown and D-Lo never truly rebounded from the incident. Even though Droz repeatedly forgave him and told him accidents happen, D-Lo always blamed himself for what happened and it took him a while to regain confidence in the ring. Droz is still in a wheelchair today, and he received an undisclosed amount of money, as well as a lifetime job if he so desires. Here is his final PPV record: 2-3. His wins came at Over the Edge 1998 and Judgment Day 1998 and his losses occurred at Breakdown 1998, Royal Rumble 1999 and Summerslam 1999.
Scott: The winner of this turmoil match would face the winner of the tag title match later in the night on RAW the next night. This was a great showcase for Edge and Christian, who from here would start a rise to be one of the most successful tag teams in WWF history. The Acolytes were slowly shedding their Ministry image, and soon becoming the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA). For now they’re the #1 contenders and received a tag title shot the next night on RAW. Even though Edge & Christian looked much better than anyone else in the match, their time hadn’t arrived yet. Grade: 3
Justin: A fast paced, interesting tag match that is used to showcase Edge and Christian and earn the Acolytes another shot at their tag titles. The tag division is really starting to take shape, as three of the teams of the tag boon of 2000 are shown off here. The opening match-up was the best, as expected, and it seemed to degenerate from there until the Acolytes come in and decimate the last two teams. Faarooq and Bradshaw keep rolling on with their sick power moves and before long the crowd would be firmly on their side. Grade: 2.5
Chris Jericho (Chris Irvine) Makes his WWF Pay-Per-View Debut
Fun Fact: Jericho’s father was an NHL player with the New York Rangers, but wrestling was Chris’ first love. Another graduate of Stu Hart’s dungeon, Jericho cut his teeth in Japan and from there went to ECW, where he had a solid reign as World TV Champion. He would move on to WCW and be a star in the mid-card, winning the Cruiserweight Title on multiple occasions. By 1999 he was being squeezed out by Hogan, Nash and the rest of Bischoff’s cronies. So he left, and Vince did what he does best: Make someone else’s afterthought his star. His debut on the 8/9 Raw from Chicago was voted in the Raw XV magazine in early 2008 as the greatest debut in Raw history.
Scott: Road Dogg Jesse Jammes comes out to challenge the winner of the Hardcore Title match, which is coming up next. Then, we get the countdown to the millennium. And…for the first time on WWF PPV, the presence of Y2J! Yes, Chris Jericho makes his first appearance on PPV. He made his actual debut on August 9 in Chicago on Raw, and the crowd, even though he’s supposed to be a heel, was off the charts. This was an absolute breath of fresh air, and would be the first of several debuts over the next 6 months that would completely overhaul the roster, and turn the throwaway mid-card matches into workrate buffets.
Justin: The rumors of Chris Jericho’s impending arrival had been swirling since February, when it was made known that his WCW contract was expiring over the summer. Jericho had turned himself into a major star over his final year in WCW and his underground popularity was at an all-time high as 1999 rolled around. In late-98, he tried his best to salvage his situation, and tried to talk Eric Bischoff into letting him feud with Goldberg, but both Bischoff and Goldberg refused to let him be elevated, and that moment sealed Jericho’s WCW fate. Once Jericho made it clear that he was leaving, after a last ditch effort by Bischoff to resign him after he finally realized how over he was, he was quickly jobbed out a bit, albeit not too much, and then taken off TV for most of 1999. This did not slow down his momentum, though, as his time away made the crowds’ hearts grow much, much fonder. Then, it happened. In the early summer, the WWF began running bizarre “Countdown to the Millennium” graphics each week on Raw, but astute mathematicians told everyone that time depicted on the countdown did not equal New Year’s Eve, but rather a random Monday Night in August. Well, the weeks passed, the Jericho rumors swirled, he even started one saying that he was going to debut as Chris Wippleman, Harvey Wippleman’s son, and the clock ticked down. Finally, on the 8/9 Raw, the Rock was in the ring cutting a promo, when all of a sudden the clock showed up, ticked to zero and out came Chris Jericho to a monster pop. The day had arrived and the wrestling world was psyched.
3) Al Snow (Al Sarven) beats Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) to win the WWF Hardcore Championship after Road Dogg (Brian James) interferes at 7:27
Scott: Match 2 of 3 between these two on PPV, and it’s now tied at 1 apiece. Typical hardcore match, as they brawl across the street into a nearby pub. Road Dogg, doing roving commentary, helps Al get the win by whacking Boss Man with his own nightstick, after Boss Man whacked him with a beer mug. This was Snow’s best run, and even without Head I thought he was getting decent reactions from the crowd, simply because Boss Man is a damn good heel. It would have been fine to end the feud here. However, it takes a very twisted turn next month. One we’d all like to forget. Grade: 2
Justin: The war over the Hardcore title wages on between the two driving forces of the division. Road Dogg, with nothing else to really do, steps back into the fray here as well, by challenging the winner. Snow and Boss Man definitely deserve a lot of credit for getting the division over with the fans and making each encounter fresh as well. There were only so many places to go and so many weapons to use, but these two found as many possible ways to keep things feeling new despite that fact. This time they battle out in a bar across the street, which gets a loud pop from the fans that were hanging out in there. Snow regains the strap here and the feud chugs on into the fall. Grade: 2.
4) Ivory (Lisa Moretti) pins Tori (Teri Poch) to retain the WWF Women’s Championship after a Reverse Sunset Flip at 4:08
Scott: Not much to speak of here, as Ivory was the dominant heel on the women’s side right now. Sable vanished after a falling out with the WWF. Her head swelled to unbelievable levels after being in Playboy, and when she got to be too much, she was turfed. That sucked for her, because she couldn’t use the name “Sable” anywhere else. As for Tori, she would get involved in a bigger storyline in the next couple of months, and it would keep her out of the ring also. Ivory stays the heel champ. Grade: 1.5
Justin: A pretty bad match, which is unacceptable, because these two were known as standard bearers of American women’s wrestling in the 80s and early 90s, not in WWF or WCW, but mainly in GLOW and a bit overseas. I know they only get four minutes, but still, they look very uncomfortable out there for some reason. Ivory wins and continues to roll along with the Women’s Title. Grade: 1.5
5) Ken Shamrock knocks out Steve Blackman to win the Lion’s Den Weapons Match at 9:06
Fun Fact: Ken Shamrock entered a brief feud with the debuting Chris Jericho in September, but suffered another injury as Unforgiven drew near. He would be replaced by X-Pac in the match and would never be mentioned or seen again on WWF TV. He had some creative differences with Vince, but mainly he just wanted to get back into Ultimate Fighting. He briefly resurfaced in wrestling in mid-2002 when he was crowned NWA champion on the first TNA PPV. There were often rumors, substantiated or not, that Shamrock was on his way back to feud with Kurt Angle, but a WWF return never materialized. Here is his final PPV record: 14-14, but 14-12 not counting his two Rumble losses. He was 1-1 at the Rumble (0-2 in Rumbles), 0-2 at Wrestlemania, 2-1 at KOTR, 2-1 at Summerslam, 2-1 at Survivor Series and 7-6 at other events.
Scott: Ken Shamrock’s WWF career is slowly coming to an end, with this being his last PPV match. Shammy gave 110% to every match he was in. He was an exciting, intense babyface in 1997, and was the tough luck loser through most of 1998. However, his heel run from late-98 till mid-99 was where he really showed his best stuff. Robo-Shamrock, as he was called by some internet pundits, was cold, steely, and calculating. Time, however, was not on his side and now he’s gone. Steve Blackman is still around however, and in 2000, would have some of the best TV moments of his career. As for this match, it starts off very hot, but cools off as it progresses, and ends kind of weak. We’ll miss you Shammy. Grade: 2.5
Justin: One year to the event of his last PPV “Lion’s Den Match,” Shamrock and Blackman hook it up in a weapons version of the match, meaning there were various weapons, such as numchuka and kendo sticks hanging from the cage. These two work very stiff as usual, and Blackman definitely gets his share of offense in before Shamrock makes the comeback and knocks Blackman out cold to get the duke. This was a weird ending, since Blackman should have gone over, but I guess they didn’t know Shamrock was leaving just yet, so he should win the blow-off. I guess Blackman should have won at Fully Loaded, to set this up, but he beat him down on Raw enough to make it worth having. Shamrock goes out a king, as he garners his final victory in his “style” of match. Grade: 2.5
6) Test (Andrew Martin) pins Shane McMahon after a Flying Elbow at 12:04 in a Love Her or Leave Her Greenwich Street Fight
Scott: This was the highlight of the evening, and many thought a possible WWF MOTY candidate in a somewhat weak year. When he was in the Union earlier in the year, Test requested a date with Stephanie McMahon. From that moment on, the video cameras caught them in various “discreet” places, including coming out of hotels. That infuriated heel brother Shane, who would drive Test nuts to break them up, using his buddies from the Mean Street Posse, Greenwich thugs Pete Gas, Rodney, and Joey Abs. Actually only two of them were really from Greenwich. Joey Abs was a developmental wrestler from Memphis. So this match, which was a cutesy way to say No DQ, was signed. Shane steps in the ring again and he delivered, including a now legendary elbow on Test from the top rope to the Spanish announce table. Test also brought his A-game, on the biggest stage of his short career. He holds off the Posse, beats Shane, and wins Stephanie’s heart. It would all come crashing down for Test in a few months, but we’ll wait before crashing his party. Grade: 3.5
Justin: This match had to be one of the most unexpected gems of all time. Test had to put on a really good match, and no one in their right mind thought Shane could drag one out of him. Sure, the story was good and the crowd was hot, but no one actually thought these two would deliver in the ring. Well, they delivered in spades, as this match stole the show and turned Test into a star and Shane into an underground favorite bump machine. The Mean Street Posse, sitting at a couch at ringside, just added to the surreal aura of the whole affair. The crowd was 100% behind Test, and seems genuinely thrilled and happy when he wins and celebrates with Stephanie in the middle of the ring as the whole scenario is a bit similar to the Savage/Elizabeth saga at WM7. Shane played the jealous brother role to perfection in the weeks leading up to the show, and the result of this match would actually turn him face and start a long on-screen friendship between he and Test. In the weeks following this show, Test would propose to Stephanie, and the big date would be set. Grade: 3.5
7) Undertaker (Mark Callaway) and Big Show (Paul Wight) defeat X-Pac (Sean Waltman) and Kane (Glen Jacobs) to win the WWF World Tag Team Titles when Undertaker pins X-Pac with a Tombstone at 12:01
Fun Fact: Undertaker and Show started a bizarre relationship in August that was based on a mentor-student relationship. One truly weird “lesson” that Taker informed the audience of was a motorcycle trip into the desert. Taker ensured that Show only had enough gas to make it into the desert, and then proceeded to abandon him there. Show walked all the way back to civilization, and passed Taker’s test. While under Taker’s wing, Show was learning how to be truly evil. Taker would have him wrestle handicap matches and interfere in different matches to attack random people, including his brother Kane and his little buddy X-Pac. X-Pac and Kane had regained the tag straps from the Acolytes on the August 9th Raw, and were goaded into a tag match at the PPV.
Fun Fact II: Kane debuts his swank “alternate” tights here, where the black and red are reversed from his regular tights.
Scott: After a year of slothing it, and dragging painful injuries wherever he went, Undertaker finally has a 3-star match. He and Big Show, now a heel, although guess what, that doesn’t last, win the tag straps from the lovable team of X-Pac and Kane. Kane was getting over big time as a face, and it would get even better in the fall. Taker, who’s been battling injury after injury for the past year or so, puts a good match together for the first time this year. Big Show was bringing it in the ring; even though you weren’t sure from week to week what side he was on. This was solid tag team title match in a show full of solid action. Grade: 3.5
Justin: A surprisingly fast paced and well worked match that had some good crowd heat and good action. Taker really busts it here and keeps pace with Kane and X-Pac. The ending was interesting, as X-Pac managed to kick out of a Big Show Chokeslam, which seriously pissed off Taker, who proceeded to sneer at Show, tag himself in, Tombstone X-Pac and win the tag titles. Even though they won the straps, Taker was not pleased with his protégé and lets him know it as they leave the ring. The Taker/Show storyline was quite interesting, but it ended prematurely, as Taker was on borrowed time and this would end up being his last PPV until May. Grade: 3
8) The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) beats Billy Gunn (Monte Sop) with a People’s Elbow in a Kiss My Ass match at 10:12
Fun Fact: This was a Kiss My Ass match, meaning if Rock lost, he would be forced to kiss Billy’s ass. However, Mr. Gunn had a trick up his sleeve, as he ushered a fat ugly lady with him to the ring, and let everyone know if Rock lost, he would kiss her ass and not his. Of course, by the end of the match, it was Billy who went face first into that “large woman’s ass”, as JR said, and ass first into the mid-card.
Scott: Thank God! Can we all finally see now what a grade-A tool Billy Gunn is as a main eventer? We had to waste Rock on this shit, but I guess to really prove to the WWF brass that Billy Gunn belongs as far away from the main events as possible, this had to be done. He spends the buildup to this feud having his ass oiled, and just lots of ass comments. It was really quite tiresome to see, and this was one of 1999’s bigger storyline failures. The match itself wasn’t completely unwatchable, but it was just nice to see Rock win and put Mr. Ass out of his misery. Fortunately, this match doesn’t drag the show down much. Rock continues on, and Mr. Ass is back to the mid-card. Grade: 2
Justin: A decent match that I am sure was carried by the Rock. In wrestling, everyone needs to have a role, and there is no shame in being a solid, mid-card guy who helps fill out the undercard, have good feuds, and win secondary titles. Billy Gunn fits that role. He just never had that “it” factor, even though many pegged him as a future mega-star as early as 1995. He had trouble cutting promos outside of saying “Suck It,” his in-ring style never clicked with the fans unless he was the recipient of a hot tag from Road Dogg and he was just viewed as an overall lackey or a good tag team member at best. The match proved all of these facts true, and by the fall, Billy was back to taking hot tags and yelling “Suck It,” where he rightfully belonged all along. It was nice of Rock to sacrifice his place on this card to help prove Billy Gunn’s incompetence, as someone had to do it. This match is nothing but a blip on a great show and a great run for the Rock. Grade: 2
9) Mankind (Mick Foley) defeats Steve Austin (Steve Williams) and Triple H (Paul Levesque) to win WWF World Title when he pins Austin with a Double-Arm DDT at 16:23
Fun Fact: This match took many, many forms over the course of the three weeks leading into this show. On the 8/9 Raw, a triple threat match was booked between Triple H, Undertaker and Steve Austin. Thinking he was a step ahead of the game, Triple H ensured Austin never made it to the ring, by secretly having him taken out by a cinder block. Well, a very pissed off Commissioner Michaels showed up and told Triple H the shit was hitting the fan. Shawn ordered that Chyna replace Austin in the match and that the Number 1 contenders slot is now on the line, and that Michaels himself would be the special referee. Here is the end of that match (courtesy the fantastic CRZ): Undertaker making a move on Michaels 'cause he's EVIL - backstage, we see that Austin's back and he's got a STEEL chair! We're all just waiting for the music as we see Triple H clotheslined over the top rope to join Chyna outside the ring and now Michaels and Undertaker are having a chat in the ring. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN *is* out with a chair - WHACK! on Helmsley. Then he pulls Chyna on top of Triple H - holy shit - Michaels makes the count on the floor - 1...2...3...! (6:51). So, as of August 9, 1999, Chyna was now challenging Steve Austin at Summerslam for the World Title. Well, Triple H was not going to stand for this now, and this is how the 8/15 Raw opened up: Oh boy! It's TRIPLE H come out to make noise! "Tonight what I'd like to do is I'd like to come out here and I'd like to put the focus right where it belongs - on the #1 Contender who will face Stone Cold Steve Austin at Summerslam - and that is none other than THE NINTH WONDER OF THE WORLD - Chyna!!" The music plays a SECOND time and CHYNA makes it to the ring. So did they make up? Triple H goes on to sweet talk her about all the good times they've had and the gifts he's bought her - this leads up to Triple H asking Chyna to give him HIS #1 Contender's slot back - he wants a match with Chyna tonight. Chyna thinks about it - and if she has any brains at all - ha! She said "no!" Bully for her! H goes ballistic and tells Chyna he MADE her, "God damn" gets muted. "Listen, you ungrateful bitch - I am not asking you anymore - I am TELLING you - I am taking back what's mine! Got it?" "You give it a shot, Triple H - frankly, you ain't got the b(beep)lls to beat me.” So, the match was set for Raw: Triple H vs. Chyna for the Championship match at Summerslam. Well, about 3 minutes into THAT match, MANKIND (who had been MIA since knee surgery (Triple H destroyed his knee with the sledgehammer in May) runs to the ring and attacks HHH, and helps Chyna WIN the match. So, all that and Chyna is still the number 1 contender. Now, however, Mankind begs Chyna for a shot at the Title Match slot since there was always a “vague sexual tension” between them. Chyna refuses, but Commissioner HBK appears again and informs her that she will defend the spot against Mankind later in the night. Well, due to distraction from Triple H, Mankind won the title shot from Chyna and was set for Summerslam, until this happened (courtesy our hero, CRZ): Triple H finally makes it to the ring and attacks Mankind. Mankind and Helmsley brawl in the corner until Chyna pulls Mankind off, just long enough for Triple H to chop block the formerly damaged knee. Five refs, Slaughter, Dave Hebner, and Garea aren't enough to restore order, so Shawn Michaels comes back out to Commish us around. He announces (again) that Mankind is the New #1 Contender. And now to FURTHER confuse the issue, Shane McMahon appears at the top of the ramp. Yo yo yo yo. "I've already had to take care of one personal problem this evening. It seems I have to take care of another. You see I promised Triple H that I would stay out of your business at Summerslam as long as you were #1 Contender," but now that he's not, and since Shane is in fact the OWNER of the WWF, he demands a match for tonight between Triple H and Mankind, and furthermore, he's penned in himself as the Special Guest Referee. For some reason, Chyna's TOTALLY cool with this. Michaels says that he'll okay the match as long as it's a No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere match, AND if there's a second referee - namely, himself. So it's apparently on - a third match for the #1 Contendership. OK, so here we go. The Main Event of the 8/15 Raw: Mankind vs. Triple H, winner goes to Summerslam. And that result? (From the truly awesome and tremendous CRZ): The refs are too busy arguing to put on a count. Looks like Mr. Socko is out now - and on. Helmsley with a desperation back suplex onto the chair - both men down with an arm draped over the other - both refs count a pinfall - 1, 2, 3 (9:34) - but each man has a different idea about who's won the match - Shane says Triple H while Michaels says it's Mankind. So what do you do? That's right - declare them BOTH winners and declare the main event at Summerslam a Triple Threat Match! Austin, naturally, decks Shane. So, after all the nonsense, it all washed out to a Triple Threat Match for the World Championship at Summerslam. Here is how the Main Event evolved from 8/9 to 8/22: Steve Austin vs. Triple H; Steve Austin vs. Chyna; Steve Austin vs. Mankind; and finally, Steve Austin vs. Triple H vs. Mankind.
Fun Fact II: Jesse Ventura makes his first WWF PPV appearance here since Wrestlemania VI. Since the event was being held in Minnesota, the WWF decided to try and take advantage of the soaring popularity and controversy surrounding the new governor. As soon as this was announced in July, Jesse was hit from all sides about a conflict of interests, mainly surrounding his appearance on the 8/9 Raw in Chicago, because it was outside of his state. Ventura brushed aside all of this nonsense and claimed he was always proud of being a wrestler, and that he was proud to back with the WWF. Well, everyone was excited, and the match was planned to include Jesse getting involved physically, which very much excited the participants. The day of the show, however, a monkey wrench was thrown into those plans, as Jesse arrived to the show in a foul mood, and it was revealed that he had been advised not to get involved in the match and he had decided to heed those warnings, which destroyed the hopes of Mankind, Triple H and Austin. Well, at the 11th hour, Ventura busted into the locker room, told the three wrestlers that he could give a shit about popular opinion and told them he would do anything they wanted him to. That change of heart by Ventura saved this match and allowed it to be a classic.
Fun Fact III: This marks the 11 year anniversary of Jesse Ventura refereeing the Main Event of the first ever Summerslam in 1988.
Scott: The main event is an excellent triple threat match involving 3 men with top workrate. This was Triple H’s first main event PPV match since February 1998, when he was in the 8-man tag match at No Way Out of Texas. The match was originally slated for just Austin/Triple H. Mick Foley was added shortly before the show. The rumored reason was that Austin felt Triple H wasn’t ready to win the title against him, and wouldn’t do the job. The actual reason was that Austin was ready for surgery, and couldn’t take the punishment of a one-on-one match, and WWF brass also thought Triple H wasn’t ready to carry the heel side of the match alone. Also, they wanted to get the belt off of Austin and on to Triple H, but wanted to end the show on a happy note with the Governor raising the hand of a face Champion. Not only did Austin get pinned, but was pinned clean. Mankind’s reign lasted one day, and Triple H won his first world title the next night on RAW, further fueling the rumored reason that Austin wouldn’t do the job. Well, Austin would do the job 2 months later at No Mercy, so that doesn’t hold water. In any case, the match was excellent, and was even better with Jesse Ventura as special referee, with the show being in the state he governs. This was his first appearance in a WWF PPV since watching the Ultimate Warrior win the WWF Title at Wrestlemania VI. The best moment of the night was when Shane McMahon comes in to interfere and Ventura tosses him over the top rope, and lays out the line of the night: “That one’s for your old man you little bastard!” Fucking awesome. To further the Triple H/Austin feud, Chyna and Trips decimate Austin’s knees with a chair after the match. Great match, cool ending. Grade: 3.5
Justin: Well then, I guess there isn’t too much else to talk about. It was awesome seeing Jesse involved in storylines again, and I really wish he was able to come back full time, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Mankind gets a quick lame duck title reign, which would turn out to be his last one. Triple H takes the strap for the first time the next night on Raw, kicking off a brand new era of the WWF. All in all, this is a great match with fun action and a very hot crowd. Grade: 4
Scott: After a couple of years of blasé shows, we now have had two great Summerslams in a row. This show was solid top-to-bottom, with one real dud in the Women’s match. The rest were solid matches with pretty good workrate. Even Rock/Gunn had a decent flow to it. Jesse Ventura as special ref for the main event really added to the drama and tension. Anytime I hear Jesse say “World Heavyweight Champion”, like the old days, it’s fucking great. His presence just makes the title mean so much more. As WCW continued to dig itself a deeper grave, the WWF continues to just motor along. Sure, the matches weren’t 5-stars, and a couple of the storylines made no sense, but the WWF was kicking consistent ass in the ratings, and putting stellar shows on. This was a perfect example. Final Grade: A-
Justin: An excellent show that illustrates a formation of the mid-card and a changing of the guard in the Main Events. The workrate and match ratings are slowly catching up to the storyline ratings, which is a very good progression from where things were at the beginning of the year. It was nice to see the WWF planning ahead in terms of their Main Events. Undertaker and Austin were on their last legs, so they began plugging Rock, Triple H, Big Show and Billy Gunn (even though it failed, the attempt was worth the risk) into the holes. Things would be shaken up even more over the upcoming months, but as for right now the ship was on cruise control and the product was rocking. Final Grade: A-
MVP: Test, Shane McMahon & Jesse Ventura
Runner Up: The Main Event
Non MVP: Ivory & Tori