August 20, 2007
WWF In Your House 21: Unforgiven
April 26, 1998
Live from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina
In April of 1998, the WWF was back on top of the wrestling world, finally ending WCW's 83-week winning streak in the Monday Night Wars. Stone Cold Steve Austin was riding high as the WWF Champion, making life miserable for WWF Owner Vince McMahon and defying Vince's vision of a corporate champion. Vince wanted somebody to take down Austin, and that someone turned out to be Mick Foley, who resumed his Dude Love persona to become Vince's corporate puppet. Tonight Austin faces his first major challenger, and with Vince saying he's going to sit at ringside for the match, Austin begins to suspect a conspiracy not unlike the Survivor Series in Montreal. Also the Undertaker is still going at it with his brother Kane after barely beating him at WrestleMania. Tonight they're going to hook up in the first-ever inferno match, which means the ring will be surrounded by fire and to win, one man must set the other on fire!
We begin with an interesting intro video focusing on the Taker/Kane Inferno match, which includes quotes from Dante's "Inferno". Our announcers for the evening, Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler, welcome us to the show and talk about Vince McMahon's promise that "something catastrophic" will happen tonight.
Match #1: The Rock, D'Lo Brown & Mark Henry (w/Kama) vs. Faarooq, Ken Shamrock & Steve Blackman
The night after WrestleMania, The Rock took over the Nation of Domination when he kicked Faarooq to the curb after D'Lo Brown, Mark Henry and Kama turned on their former leader. So Faarooq's looking for revenge by teaming up with Ken Shamrock (still fuming over losing his 'Mania match to Rock) and Steve Blackman (I guess they just recruited him to even out the teams). Rock leads his team to the ring first accompanied by Kama (who's starting to morph into his Godfather persona). Faarooq, Shamrock and Blackman come out next, and once in the ring they do the Nation salute.
D'Lo Brown and Blackman start off with a lock up. D'Lo gets the advantage with a wristlock. D'Lo applies a headlock, Blackman shoves him into the ropes and D'Lo hits a shoulderblock. Blackman is up and D'Lo taunts him. D'Lo punches Blackman into the ropes. D'Lo kisses his fist before going for a right but misses and Blackman connects with kicks to the chest. Blackman goes for a whip, D'Lo reverses but Blackman hits a shoulderblock. Blackman comes off the ropes, slides under D'Lo but misses a spinkick. D'Lo hits a snp suplex, then goes for an elbow drop but misses and Blackman connects with a dropkick. Blackman follows up with an arm drag into an armbar. Blackman works over the arm and tags in Shamrock, who takes over on the armbar but D'Lo escapes with a thumb to the eye. D'Lo comes off the ropes but eats an elbow, and Shamrock takes him down into a leg grapevine. D'Lo grabs the ropes and the referee forces a break.
Shamrock puts D'Lo in a headlock and holds out an arm for a tag. Blackman tags in but Shamrock says he wants Faarooq in. So Faarooq tags in and has a stare down with D'Lo. D'Lo tries to reason with him before slapping him in the face. D'Lo whips Faarooq in the ropes but misses a clothesline and Faarooq plants him with a spinebuster. Faarooq pulls off his belt and begins whipping D'Lo while the referee is busy keeping the rest of the Nation from coming in. Faarooq slams D'Lo to the mat and whips him some more with the belt before ramming him into a boot from Blackman. Faarooq tags in Blackman, who hits a snap suplex. Blackman comes off the ropes but misses an elbow. Blackman does hit an armdrag into another armbar but D'Lo comes back with a thumb to the eye. D'Lo tags in Mark Henry, who proceeds to beat down Blackman. Henry scoops up Blackman and hits a pair of backbreakers, then follows up with an elbowdrop. Henry whips Blackman into the ropes and hits a clothesline before tagging D'Lo back in. D'Lo whips Blackman into the ropes but Blackman ducks a clothesline and hits a crossbody for a two count. Blackman comes off the ropes but runs into a Sky High powerbomb from D'Lo. D'Lo poses for the crowd then goes for the cover but only gets 2.
D'Lo whips Blackman into the ropes but puts his head down and Blackman kicks him in the face. Blackman tags in Faarooq, and Faarooq whips D'Lo into the ropes but puts his head down and D'Lo hits a facebuster. D'Lo stomps Faarooq while talking trash before The Rock finally tags in. Rock rams Faarooq into a turnbuckle and stomps him down. Rock whips Faarooq into the ropes and hits a clothesline. Rock lays the boots to Faarooq before tagging in Mark Henry. Henry slams Faarooq to the mat and drops a series of elbows. Henry covers but Faarooq kicks out. Faarooq starts fighting back and rakes the face. Faarooq tags in Blackman, who comes in with a bicycle kick. Blackman goes for a whip but Henry reverses and plants Blackman with a powerslam. Henry tags in D'Lo, who slams Blackman to the mat then climbs to the top rope and hits an axehandle for a two count. D'Lo sets Blackman in a corner and lands several chops. D'Lo jaws with the fans, allowing Blackman to escape and land a series of chops of his own. Blackman whips D'Lo into the opposite corner but D'Lo comes out with a back elbow. D'Lo chokes Blackman by standing on his throat, then rams him into a boot from Rock.
The Rock tags in and brings Blackman to a corner where he stomps him down. Several times the referee reprimands him and several times Rock tries to intimidate him. Both men start exchanging punches and Blackman gets the advantage, punching Rock into the corner. Blackman goes for a whip but Rock counter with a short-arm clothesline. Rock lays the boots to Blackman and rams him into a boot from D'Lo. Rock tags in Henry who gets in some shots followed by a snapmare. Henry drops an axehandle before tagging in Rock, who goes for the cover but only gets 2. Rock whips Blackman into the ropes but puts his head down and Blackman rolls him up for a near fall. Rock slams Blackman to the mat before hitting the People's Elbow (this was still before it was his finisher). Rock continues to lay the boots to Blackman then rolls him wiht a snapmare and applies a chinlock. Blackman fights out of it and comes off the ropes but runs into a back elbow. Rock tags in D'Lo, who paintbrushes Blackman before hitting a backbreaker. With Blackman down D'Lo goes up to the top rope and attempts a moonsault but misses. D'Lo tags in Rock while Blackman crawls over and tags in Faarooq.
Faarooq comes in and takes it to The Rock. D'Lo comes it and eats a facebuster. Mark Henry is in and Faarooq attacks his legs before knocking him down with a shouldertackle. Blackman and Shamrock come in and all six men go at it. Blackman and Shamrock takes care of D'Lo and Henry, but The Rock hits a DDT on Faarooq. Rock goes for the cover and the referee counts 1….2….but Faarooq kicks out. While the other four men are fighting at ringside Rock rams Faarooq into a turnbuckle and lands several shots. Rock goes for a whip but Faarooq reverses and sends him into the opposite corner. Rock comes out with a clothesline but misses and Faarooq plants him with the Dominator and scores the pin.
Winners: Faarooq, Shamrock & Blackman (13:33)
All three faces celebrate while The Rock and the rest of the Nation leave in defeat, but not before Rock says a few parting words to his former leader. Michael Cole grabs a quick interview with Faarooq, who thanks Shamrock and Blackman for their help and says this is the beginning of a long war of kicking the Rock's butt.
Comments: Very fun match to get things going. Nothing really special but nothing bad either, plus the crowd was into it. I am surprised that Shamrock was hardly in this match, since he was still feuding with The Rock, while Blackman and Faarooq did most of the in-ring work. I am also surprised that The Rock jobbed cleanly to Faarooq, though this is understandable. Still a good opener. 7/10
Stone Cold Steve Austin puts in a surprise appearance and orders timekeeper Mark Yeaton into the ring. Austin confronts Eaton about Dude Love's match with Steve Blackman last Monday on Raw (which he won when the bell mysteriously rang), asking if Vince McMahon told him to ring the bell. Yeaton simply says he rang the bell when he had to. Austin basically warns Yeaton if Vince tries to screw him out of the title and he even THINKS about ringing the bell, he'll make sure both of them never walk again.
Match #2: WWF European Title – Triple H (c) (w/Chyna) vs. Owen Hart
The night after WrestleMania, after Shawn Michaels retired from the ring, Triple H took the reigns of D-Generation X, recruited The New Age Outlaws, and brought Sean Waltman (The 1-2-3 Kid) back to the WWF as X-Pac. He's still feuding with Owen Hart over the European Title though, leading to this return match. This time, however, Chyna is going to be locked in a shark cage and suspended above the ring.
Triple H makes his entrance first along with Chyna. Once Owen hits the ring, WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter orders Chyna into the cage. After some resistance Chyna finally complies and enters cage. The very second the cage is padlocked Owen suddenly attacks Triple H on the floor. Owen punches Triple H up the aisle and rams him into a table before nailing him with a soda can. Owen rams Triple H into the cage then suplexes him onto the concrete floor. Owen rams Triple H into the cage a second time and both men finally make their way into the ring to officially start the match, but not before Owen taunts the caged Chyna with a DX chop. The bell rings and Owen clotheslines Triple H over the top rope to the floor by the announcers' table. The cage finally raises and Owen waves at Chyna.
Owen goes out and drops Triple H onto the guardrail, then rams him into the Spanish announcers' table. Owen throws Triple H back into the ring and hits a backbreaker. Owen lays the boots to Triple H and chops him into the ropes. Owen rams Triple H into a turnbuckle. Owen climbs up to rain down punches but Triple H drops him onto the turnbuckle. Triple H nails a hard right, then whips Owen into the ropes, misses a pair of clotheslines but connects with a high knee to the face. Triple H does the DX chop and rams Owen into a turnbuckle twice. Triple H stomps Owen down in a corner and chokes him with a boot to the throat. Triple H hits a suplex and follows up with a kneedrop. Triple H covers Owen but only gets 2. Up above in the cage Chyna tries to bend the bars to no avail. Triple H hits an inverted Atomic Drop on Owen followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Triple H then applies a Dragon sleeper and drives Owen's shoulders to the mat several times but Owen manages to avoid the pin each time. Back in the cage Chyna pulls a saw out of her tights and tries to cut the bars but ends up dropping the saw to the floor below.
Back in the ring Owen escapes the sleeper with knees to the face then punches Triple H into a corner. Owen goes for a whip, Triple H reverses and sends Owens into the opposite corner hard. Triple H covers but only gets 2. Triple H whips Owen into the ropes, Owen ducks a clothesline and hits a Sunset Flip by pulling the tights for a two count. Triple H rams Owen into a turnbuckle, then hits a swinging neckbreaker for a 2 count. Triple H reapplies the Dragon sleeper. While Owen tries to hold on, Chyna again tries to bend the bars. Owen rakes Triple H in the face to escape the hold then drives him into a corner with a series of shoulderblocks. Owen charges at Triple H but Triple H sidesteps and Owen runs into the ringpost. Triple H sends Owen into a middle turnbuckle in another corner. Triple H goes for a whip, Owen reverses but puts his head down and Triple H hits a knee to the face. Triple H covers but only gets 2.
Triple H applies the Dragon sleeper a third time and Owen's shoulders fall to the mat but Owen avoids the pin. Owen tries to bridge up, Triple H counters into a suplex but Owen floats over and hits a German suplex for a two count. Up above Chyna has managed to bend one of the bars! In the ring Triple H goes for a whip, Owen reverses and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Triple H grabs a leg and Owen hits the enzuiguri. Owen covers and the referee counts 1….2….but Triple H kicks out. Owen hits an atomic drop then comes off the ropes and connects with a spinning heel kick for a two count. Owen hits a piledriver, then climbs to the top rope and nails the flying elbow drop. Owen looks up to see Chyna has escaped the cage but is dangling on the edge of it. This distraction allows Triple H to clothesline Owen out of the ring from behind. Triple H rolls Owen back into the into the ring, but Owen kicks the ropes as Triple H is coming back in, causing him to crotch the middle rope. Owen then comes off the ropes and hits a flying headbutt, causing Triple H's foot to get caught in the ropes. By now Chyna is hanging from the cage with nothing below her but concrete.
Back in the ring Triple H is freed from the ropes. Triple H sets Owen up for a piledriver but Owen counters into a DDT. Owen then applies the Sharpshooter. Triple H tries to hold on when the cage starts to lower, enabling Chyna to reach the ground safely. Once back on the floor Chyna tries to get into the match and the referee tries to keep her and Owen separated. Meanwhile we get a shot of Road Dogg by the controls, suggesting he was the one who lowered the cage. Sgt. Slaughter and several referees comes back out and Sarge tries to restrain Chyna with a bear hug while Triple H blindisdes Owen. Triple H whips Owen into a corner and sets him up for the Pedigree but Owen counters and catapults Triple H into the turnbuckles, causing his head to hit the ringpost. Owen then nails Triple H with a Pedigree of his own! Owen covers but the referees are too busy with Chyna. Suddenly X-Pac runs into the ring and clocks Owen with a fire extinguisher. Triple H rolls over for the cover as the referee comes back in and makes the three count, giving Triple H the cheap win.
Winner and still European Champion: Triple H (12:24)
Triple H celebrates his ill-gotten victory with his DX mates as they head out of the arena. Michael Cole interviews Owen about his loss, and Owen says that enough is enough, that this ******** has to stop, and that things are going to have to change around here. This would mark the start of his heel turn in the following weeks.
Comments: This was another good match between Triple H and Owen. Not as good as their WrestleMania match but still an enjoyable bout. Unfortunately the constant focusing on Chyna in the cage distracted from the action in the ring, plus the terrible ending was way overbooked, bringing the rating down quite a bit. 8/10
JR announces that the 21,427 fans present are a new Greensboro record for a wrestling event.
Ring announcer Howard Finkel introduces Jim Cornette to the crowd as "Mr. NWA" and Cornette comes out to a round of boos. Cornette rips on the crowd, asking if they believe the Rock 'n Roll Express is still the greatest tag team ever, before bringing out the New Midnight Express (Bart Gunn & Bob Holly) for a bonus match.
Match #3: NWA World Tag Team Titles – The New Midnight Express (c) (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock 'n Roll Express
Interesting to note that the Rock 'n Rolls used the Rockers' entrance music. Robert Gibson starts off with Bob Holly. They lock up, Gibson applies a headlock, Holly shoves him into the ropes and Gibson hits a shoulderblock. Gibson comes off the ropes, Holly leapfrogs over him but Gibson nails a shoulderblock that send Holly tumbling through the ropes to the floor. Cornette give Holly a hug before he heads back into the ring. They lock up again, Holly applies a headlock, Gibson shoves him into the ropes and hits an armdrag. Gibson tags in Ricky Morton and the Rock 'n Rolls hit a double leg whip before knocking Bart Gunn off the apron. Holly brings Morton into his corner where Bart holds him, and Holly goes for a punch but misses and nails Bart. The Midnight start arguing when Holly brings Morton into their corner for Bart to hold on to again. Holly starts to come off the ropes when Gibson gets in a shot, prompting Holy to bring him into the ring. Holly tries to whip Gibson into his partner but Gibson reverses and sends Holly right into Gunn, knocking him off the apron again. The Midnights again argue, prompting Cornette to calm his men down. Bart puts Morton in the abdominal stretch and gets some leverage from Holly on the outside. Eventually referee Tim White sees this and breaks it up. Cornette gets in White's face and even throws down his jacket, challenging him to a fight. White puts up his dukes and calls him out, causing Cornette to quickly cower in his team's corner. After that White poses with the Rock 'n Rolls.
After that altercation, the match continues with Morton applying a headlock. Bart shoves him into the ropes and Cornette trips him up, allowing Bart to hit a kneelift to the back that sends Morton through the ropes to the floor. Cornette pops Morton with a right hand before rolling him back into the ring. Bart hits a pair of backbreakers and covers but only gets two. Bart whips Morton into the ropes and trips him with a drop toe hold, and Holly follows up with an elbow drop. Holly covers but only gets two. Holly tags Bart back in and Bart whips Morton into the ropes and hits a powerslam for two. Bart tags Holly and slams Morton to the mat while Holly climbs to the top rope. Holly goes for the Alabama Jam but misses when Morton sits up. Holly tags in Bart while Morton tags in Gibson, who takes it to both men. Gibson fight Holly in a corner while Morton fights Bart in the opposite corner, and they both rain down punches on their respective opponents. The Rock 'n Rolls whip the Midnights into each then hit a double dropkick on Bart. Gibson covers Bart but the referee is too busy breaking up a brawl between Morton and Holly. Cornette comes in for an elbow drop but Gibson moves and Cornette nails Bart by accident. Gibson pops Cornette then rolls up Bart. The referee is too busy getting Morton out of the ring to see this, but Holly comes off the ropes and nails a running bulldog on Gibson. Bart covers and is able to get the three count for the pin.
Winners and still NWA Tag Champions: The New Midnight Express (7:20)
After the match JR says he hopes we enjoyed that piece of nostalgia.
Comments: So the WWF's idea of nostalgia is having an old NWA tag team vs. another team pretending to be Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane/Dennis Condrey. While the match wasn't bad, it wasn't very interesting either, plus Morton and Gibson really showed their age. The crowd was also pretty dead for this bout as well; Jim Cornette was the only one to get any reaction from the fans, and the only real noise was for the Cornette/White confrontation. 5/10
Backstage Doc Hendrix interviews Luna about her evening gown match with Sable. Luna says she's only in the match to strip every piece of clothing from Sable's "grotesque" body, leaving her there as naked as a newborn baby.
Match #4: Sable vs. Luna Vachon (w/Goldust) – Evening Gown Match
This is the first-ever evening gown match in WWF history, believe it or not. Luna comes out in a goth dress while Sable comes out in a nice black dress. Both women pace around the ring reaching for the other's clothing. After both dresses lose some pieces Luna kicks Sable in the chest and chokes her in a corner, adding some shoulderblocks. Luna rips the skirt off and chokes Sable with it. Luna charges at Sable but eats a boot. Sable takes down Luna and kicks her in a corner. Suddenly Marc Mero comes out to ringside and stars arguing with Sable about the match. As she's yelling at him Luna rips off the top for the win.
Winner: Luna Vachon (2:33)
Sable goes after Luna and plants her with a Sablebomb. Luna rolls out of the ring and hides under the apron with Sable right behind her. After some time Sable emerges with Luna's undergarments in hand. Goldust covers Luna up with his robe and carries her to the back while Sable stands tall in the ring.
Comments: A terrible and pointless "match", if you can even call it that, but at least it was short. 2/10
Vince McMahon makes his way to the ring along with Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson and reiterates that something catastrophic is going to happen tonight. Vince then addresses the rumors that he's here to cheat Steve Austin out of the WWF Title, calling it a conspiracy theory. He claims he's here because he was born in North Carolina, and that's he glad to be home. Vince also says that screwing Austin out of the belt is "beneath his dignity"; however he will not be responsible if "Stone Cold screws Stone Cold".
Match #5: WWF World Tag Team Titles – The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (w/Sunny)
By winning the battle royal at WrestleMania, the Legion of Doom get to resume their feud with the now-DX Outlaws, still hoping to avenge their title loss the them the previous November. Road Dogg comes out first, claiming that he and Billy Gunn have recruited retired UNC coach Dean Smith to coach them to victory, but Billy comes out with a blow-up doll instead. Hawk and Animal make their entrance with Sunny to a great pop from the Greensboro crowd.
Billy and Animal start off. Billy applies a headlock, Animal shoves him into the ropes and hits a shoulderblock. Billy shoves Animal, and Animal shoves back hard, knocking Billy onto his keester. Billy goes for a whip, Animal reverses but misses a clothesline, Billy misses a flying clothesline and Animal hits a shouldertackle. Animal hits a clothesline and covers but Road Dogg breaks up the count. Both Outlaws whip Animal into the ropes but Animal drives both men face first into the mat. Animal works over Road Dogg's arm before tagging in Hawk, who comes off the middle rope with a shot to the face. Road Dogg comes off the ropes but runs into a powerslam. Hawk goes for a whip, Road Dogg reverses but puts his head down and Hawk throws him back into the mat. Hawk hits a fistdrop to the face and Road Dogg scurries to his corner and gets some encouragement from Billy. Hawk rams Road Dogg into Billy's midsection before bringing Billy into the ring. Hawk whips Billy into the ropes and hits a backdrop. Hawk rams Billy into the ropes again and hits a shoulderblock. Hawk goes for a scoop slam but Billy slips out. (A blown spot, perhaps?) Hawk goes for the scoop again and this time hits a shoulderbreaker. Hawk covers but Billy kicks out.
Hawk chops Billy before tagging Animal back in, and both Road Warriors whip Billy into the ropes and hit a double elbow. Animal covers but only gets two. Animal applies a head vice as Sunny cheers on her men. Billy rakes the eyes to escape. Billy goes for a whip but Animal reverses and plants him with a second powerslam. Animal covers but only gets two. Hawk comes in and both Road Warriors whip the Outlaws into each other. Animal sets Road Dogg on his shoulders for the Doomsday Device but Billy stops that with a chopblock. Billy tags in Road Dogg and holds Animal's leg for his partner to kick at. Road Dogg applies a spinning toe hold and Animal gets the rope. Road Dogg distracts the referee while Billy snaps Animal's leg off the top rope. Road Dogg draws Hawk in, distracting the referee and allowing Billy to wrap Animal's leg around the ringpost twice. Billy rolls Road Dogg back into the ring and Road Dogg continues to work over the knee. Road Dogg tags in Billy, who drops a knee on Animal's knee before applying a leg submission.
Billy tags in Road Dogg, who kick Animal into his corner and the Outlaws double-team him. Road Dogg kicks Animal in the midsection and Billy hits the Rocker Dropper. Billy covers but only gets 2. Animal tries to get to his feet and tries to kick Billy away with his good leg. Billy rakes the face to stop that. Billy kicks away at the bad leg and stops Animal from tagging his partner. Billy tags in Road Dogg, who kicks Animal in the ribs. Animal slumps over the middle rope and Road Dogg straddles him. Road Dogg does a shimmy before covering Animal but Animal powers out of the pin. Road Dogg tags in Billy and Billy sets Animal up for a piledriver but Animal counters with a back drop. Animal hits a Dragon legwhip, and both men try to reach their corners. Billy tags in Road Dogg while Animal makes the tag to Hawk.
Hawk comes in with a boot to Road Dogg's face, followed by a clothesline on Billy. Hawk takes it to both Outlaws, then works over Billy while Animal comes in to take care of Road Dogg. Hawk slams Road Dogg to the mat, then climbs to the top and hits the big splash. The referee is trying to get Animal out of the ring while Billy comes in and nails Hawk in the back with one of the Tag Team title belts. Road Dogg rolls over for the cover on Hawk and the referee counts 1….2….but Hawk kicks out! The referee is again distracted by Animal coming in. Billy tosses the title belt to Road Dogg and holds Hawk. Road Dogg takes a swing but Hawk ducks and Road Dogg nails his partner! Hawk plants Road Dogg with a German suplex and referee Jack Doane counts 1….2….3! Hawk and Animal start celebrating with Sunny, thinking they're the new tag team champions, but Doane says that Hawk was the one pinned so the Outlaws are still the champs!
Winner and still Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (12:21)
As the Outlaws celebrate with Triple H and X-Pac, Hawk argues with Doane, demanding an explanation. Suddenly Hawk nails Doane with a clothesline, then sets him up on his shoulders, and Animal hits the Doomsday Device. Just before several officials come out to place Doane on a stretcher, we get a replay showing that the referee was looking at Hawk's shoulders, not seeing that Road Dogg's shoulders were down as well.
Comments: This was a decent match, although it dragged in a few spots, and the stupid ending didn't help matters either. But there was some nice psychology to it, and at least the crowd was somewhat interested in this tag title match, so it's not a total dud. After this match the LOD would never get another shot at the belts. 6/10
Tennessee Lee welcomes country band Sawyer Brown to the pay-per-view for a mini-concert, and he brings out Jeff Jarrett to sing back-up. Once the band starts playing Jarrett starts singing, but you can tell Jarrett is lip-synching through the song. Once the song finishes, Jarrett starts proclaiming himself the new king of country music when Steve Blackman appears and attacks Jarrett. Blackman has Jarrett in a submission hold but Tennessee Lee breaks a guitar over Blackman's head and Jarrett puts him in the Figure Four leglock. Basically they wasted good pay-per-time on a concert to kick-start a feud nobody cares about. Whatever.
Match #6: The Undertaker vs. Kane (w/Paul Bearer) – Inferno Match
Kane comes out first to his usual pyro-filled entrance, followed by the Undertaker. Once both men are in the ring, the lights dim and the flames come on around the ring. There's no referee in the ring since there's no pinfalls or disqualifications; the match can only end when one man is set on fire.
Taker gets things going with a flurry of punches that backs Kane into a corner. Kane comes back and throws Taker into the corner. After hitting some shots Kane misses a roundhouse right and Taker punches Kane in the corner. Taker whips Kane into the opposite corner and hits a Stinger Splash. Taker grabs Kane's arm, walks the top rope and comes down with a clubbing blow while the flames shoot up! (They do this whenever a high impact moves is hit.) Taker whips Kane from one corner to the other and goes for another splash but Kane catches him and drops him on the turnbuckle with the Snake Eyes, almost falling into the fire. Kane fights Taker into a corner then whips him hard into the opposite corner, following up with a clothesline. Kane fights Taker into another corner and tries to push him down into the flames, but Taker kicks him away. Kane throws Taker to the mat and tries to shoves his face into the fire, and Taker counters with a claw to the face.
Taker goes for a whip but Kane reverses and hits a powerslam, followed by a fistdrop. Paul Bearer slides a chair into the ring and Kane clocks Taker with it. Kane throws the chair out of the ring, then rams Taker into a turnbuckle. Kane works over Taker but Taker starts fighting back with kicks to the midsection. Kane stops him with a knee to the chest followed by an uppercut and a kick to the ribs. Kane again tries to force Taker into the fire and Taker pops him to escape. Kane fights Taker into a corner and Taker tries covering up. Kane whips Taker into the opposite corner hard. Kane chokes Taker then whips him across the ring. Kane charges but Taker stuns him with a boot to the face. Taker comes off the ropes and hits a Russian leg sweep. Taker hits a legdrop, but Kane sits up. Taker whips Kane into the ropes and grabs him by the throat for a Chokeslam but Kane grabs Taker by the throat as well. Kane gets the advantage with a knee to the chest and manages to hit his Chokeslam. Kane scoops Taker up for a Tombstone but Taker floats over and shoves Kane into the corner, then hits a Chokeslam. However Kane sits up again! Taker goes for a whip but Kane reverses and they both nail each other with boots to the face.
After both men get to their feet, Taker goes for a whip, Kane reverses, Taker tries a flying clothesline but misses and nearly rolls into the fire! Kane plants Taker with a sidewalk slam then climbs to the top rope, but Taker bumps the ropes and Kane crotches the top turnbuckle. Taker goes up and hits a superplex. Kane is up first but Taker nails a running clothesline. Kane is up again and Taker throws him over the top ropes, but Kane misses the fire and lands on the floor. Kane starts to walk away from the ring, but Taker can't find a way out to go after him. Suddenly out of nowhere comes Vader, who hasn't been seen since Kane put him out of action! Vader and Kane fights their way back to ringside when Taker leaps over the ropes and hits a suicide plancha on both men!
As Taker fights with Kane, Paul Bearer creeps up from behind with a chair in hand. Bearer hits Taker with the chair, but Taker no-sells it and Bearer is freaked out. Taker blasts Kane with the chair twice, knocking him out. Bearer tries to take the chair and Taker starts stalking him up the aisle all the way to Sawyer Brown's stage. Once on the stage Taker slams a drum on his head. Taker nails Bearer with a mic stand and walks back toward the ring, leaving Bearer bleeding on the stage. Kane is back up and jabs Taker with the chair. Kane takes another swing but Taker kicks him in the chest, causing him to stagger back into the fire. Within seconds Kane's arm is on fire! Kane runs to the back with his ignited arm and Taker gets the victory.
Winner: The Undertaker (15:59)
After the announcement Taker climbs back into the ring and poses for the crowd as the flames shoot up several more times before going off.
Comments: Very entertaining match. The actual wrestling was nothing special, and a bit dull at times, but the flames shooting up still made it an interesting sight to behold. At least there was some good spots (including the suicide dive) and a decent ending, so this match gets a pass. 7/10
Match #7: WWF World Heavyweight Title – Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. Dude Love
This is Steve Austin's first pay-per-view title defense since winning the belt at WrestleMania. Dude Love comes out first and dances his way around the ring before trying the "cupping the ear" routine (ala Hulk Hogan) to a chorus of boos. Steve Austin makes his entrance to an huge ovation. Still no sign of Vince McMahon, who supposed to be at ringside. Austin hands the belt over to the referee when Dude attacks him from behind to start the match.
Dude punches Austin into a corner but Austin reverses and pummels Dude. Austin whips Dude into the ropes and hits an elbow that sends Dude falling through the ropes. As Austin chases Dude back into the ring, JR takes a shot at Eric Bischoff by saying "Can you believe a wrestling administrator once said Austin would never make it in black tights? What a dummy." (I'm sure he's learned his lesson about both these men.) Dude comes off the ropes and Austin takes him down with a Lou Thesz press followed by a series of rights and an elbow drop. Austin rams Dude into a turnbuckle and beats his head into the mat. Austin plants Dude with a spinebuster before hitting another elbow drop. Austin chokes Dude on the middle rope before jumping on his back. Austin goes out to the apron and hits an elbowdrop, and Dude slumps to the floor. Austin rams Dude into the guardrail, and Dude tries to walk away but Austin throws him back into the ring. Dude rolls back out and again tries to head to the back but Austin cuts him off with a running clothesline to the back of the head. Austin brings Dude to the Sawyer Brown's stage and slams Dude on it. Austin then hiptosses Dude off the stage to the concrete floor!
Austin kicks Dude back to near ringside and lays in some shots. Austin goes for a whip, Dude reverses and whips Austin into the apron, but Austin comes back with a clothesline. Austin drops Dude onto the guardrail. Austin comes off the apron with an axehandle before throwing Dude back into the ring. Austin chokes Dude on the middle rope again then tries to straddle him again but Dude moves and Austin hits the ropes. Dude finally gets a chance at some offense so he whips Austin from one corner to the other and hits a running bulldog. Dude hits an elbowdrop, and when Austin gets to his feet in a corner, Dude stomps him down and chokes him. Austin explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. Austin goes for a whip but Dude reverses and hits a knee to the chest. Austin rolls out to the apron and Dude goes out and clubs him in the chest. Dude rolls Austin with a snapmare and applies a combination bodyscissors/rear naked choke. As Austin tries to hold on, the fans start booing loudly as Vince McMahon finally comes out with flanked by Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson. Patterson sets up a chair at ringside and Vince dismisses his stooges. Vince takes a seat and glances at timekeeper Mark Yeaton, who glances back.
In the ring Austin elbows his way out of the hold. Austin grabs Dude's leg and gives a nasty look at Vince before stomping Dude in the chest. Austin goes over and yells at Vince, and Dude rolls him up but only gets two. Dude whips Austin into the ropes but puts his head down and Austin kicks him in the face before hitting a clothesline. Austin goes out and wraps Dude's legs around the ringpost repeatedly. Austin goes back in kicks Dude through the ropes to the outside. Austin goes out and sets Dude up for a piledriver but Dude counters with a backdrop to the floor. Vince continues to look on approvingly as Dude rams Austin into the guardrail. Dude goes back into the ring to break the count while Vince tells Austin to get back into the ring. Austin stalks Vince up the aisleway when Dude comes up and nails Austin from behind. Dude rolls back into the ring as Austin tries to follow him. Dude tries to suplex Austin into the ring, Austin blocks it but Dude snaps his neck on the top rope and Austin falls to the floor. Vince tells Austin to be a man and get back into the ring, then tells the referee not to count him out. Dude brings Austin back into the ring and applies the abdominal stretch. Vince starts screaming "Ring the bell!" at the timekeeper, however Austin reverses it and Vince tells him NOT to ring the bell.
Dude escapes the hold with a hiptoss, then brings Austin out to the floor and rams him into the ringsteps. Dude sets Austin up for a suplex but Austin counters and suplexes Dude right onto the steps! Dude tries to escape into the crowd but Austin chases him down and pummels him before sending him back over the guardrail to ringside. Both men are back in the ring and Austin whips Dude into the ropes but Dude hits a neckbreaker. With Austin down, Dude starts tuning up the back for Sweet SHIN Music. Austin blocks it and spins Dude around, Dude goes for a clothesline but Austin ducks and Dude nails the referee by accident. Austin goes for a whip but Dude reverses. Austin ducks a clothesline and goes for the Stunner but Dude shoves him away and applies the Mandible Claw. Austin tries to fight out of but Dude hits a low blow. Dude reapplies the Mandible Claw as Vince desperately tries to revive the referee. Dude goes for the Claw a third time but Austin backdrops him out of the ring to the floor. Austin goes for a chair but Vince tries to pull it away. Austin wrestle it away when Dude shoves it into his face. Dude takes the chair and charges at Austin but Austin hits it into Dude's face with with elbows. Vince tries to help Dude up when Austin grabs the chair. Austin swings at Dude but misses and nails Vince in the face!! Vince is KOed while Austin throws Dude into the ring and hits the Stunner. Austin covers Dude and makes his own three count for the seeming victory.
Austin celebrates his "win" as a number of officials and EMTs come out with a stretcher for Vince, who hasn't moved since being hit with the chair. Gerald Brisco tells Howard Finkle to announce that Austin has been disqualified for striking a WWF official and that he's awarded the match to Dude.
Winner by disqualification: Dude Love, but still WWF Champion: Steve Austin (18:45)
After the announcement we get several replays of the chairshot as Vince is eventually (after about ten minutes) stretchered out. The announcers are left wondering what repercussions await Steve Austin as the show goes off the air.
Comments: Pretty good main event to close out the PPV. Austin and Foley definitely put together a great bout that was exciting all the way through with some good spots. The only negative is the lack of a decent finish, but this could have been done to prolong the feud. As a result I personally feel the match these two had the next month at Over the Edge was better, but this is still a worthwhile contest. 8/10
After a stellar Wrestlemania, how does the WWF follow up? With an above-average show that could have been a lot better. The PPV is watchable, with a couple of great matches in Austin/Dude Love and HHH/Owen, and some decent bouts like the six-man opener, and the WWF tag title match. The inferno match wasn't the greatest but still proved to be exciting. The rest of the card is pretty unmemorable, plus most of the matches had screwy finishes. Not to mention the PPV time wasted on the Sawyer Brown concert. Overall if you pass on this you won't miss anything, but if you give it a look you might find it worth your time.
FINAL GRADE: [C+]