Nickrj’s rant for King Of The Ring 1998 entitled Off With Their Heads
This event aired at the Igloo in Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania on June 28th 1998. It features a double main event. The Undertaker and Mankind battle in the Hell In The Cell and Steve Austin and Kane battle in a First Blood match for the title. An opening video is shown narrated by Classy Freddie Blassie.
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Six Man Tag: The Headbangers and Taka Michinoku VS Kaientai (With Yamaguchi San)
This is one of two bonus matches recently added to the card. Taka is wearing the same outfit as the Bangers. Menhs Teo starts with Thrasher. Thrasher gets some right hands. Thrasher hits a tilt a whirl slam. He blocks a roll up and hits a powerslam for 2. Mosh gets the tag who hits a 2nd rope dropkick. Sho Funaki is in now and he is powerbombed. Mosh hits a corner splash and a rope butt splash. Taka does it as well. Taka hits some chops on Funaki and hits a high knee in the corner and a missle dropkick. He hits a springboard plancha. Togo cheap shots Taka and gets the tag. Togo with some chops but takes a monkey flip. Taka is backdropped to the top and Togo hits a baseball slide spinning head scissors combo. Teo is back in and Taka hits belly slam. Funaki hits a kick on Taka. Taka is spike tiger bombed by Funaki and Togo. Taka fights back but Togo hits a flying headbutt. Teo and Funaki are in but they nail each other. Taka hits a spinning heel kick and tags both Headbangers. They work on Kaientai. All 6 men are in now. Mosh is slammed but Funaki misses a top rope elbow. Taka gets the tag and The Headbangers drop him on Funaki. Taka gets the Michinoku driver for the pin at 6:43. Good opener ***1/4
Sable comes out to a nice pop. She introduces Vince McMahon who is booed out of hell as usual. Vince comes out with his two cronies Brisco and Patterson. Pat grabs the mike and touches Sable’s ass and gets slapped as a result. Vince now cuts a promo. He says that the fans are in for one great big disappointment. He says the fans were a disappointment to their parents and prepares the fans for once Austin loses the title.
Now to the King Of The Ring tournament. The first two rounds were on Raw Is War during the month of June and here are the results
The Rock def. Vader
Triple H def. X-Pac
Owen Hart def. Too Cold Scorpio
Dan Severn def. D’Lo Brown
Ken Shamrock def. Kama Mustafa
Mark Henry def. Terry Funk
Jeff Jarrett def. Farooq
Mark Mero def. Steve Blackman
The Rock def. Triple H
Dan Severn def. Owen Hart
Ken Shamrock def. Mark Henry
Jeff Jarrett def. Mark Mero
Here are the semifinal matchups
The Rock VS Dan Severn
Ken Shamrock VS Jeff Jarrett
Ken Shamrock VS Jeff Jarrett (with Tennessee Lee)
Slugfest to start. Ken with some right hands and a kick. Kenny hits a clothesline in the corner. He hits a snap suplex for 2. Jarrett takes advantage with a swinging neck breaker and a short clothesline. Jarrett with a dropkick. Shamrock comes back with a kick and clotheslines him outside the ring. Shamrock pounds on Jarrett and tries to go after Lee. He drops Jarrett on the rail and throws him into the steps. Back in the ring, Lee trips Ken and Jarrett takes down the bad knee of Shamrock. They both work on the knee of Shamrock. Jarrett hooks Shamrock underneath the rope. Ref breaks it up and Lee rams Shamrock’s leg into the post. Shamrock hits an elbow and a dropkick and a spinning kick and he hits a powerslam for 2. Sharmorck gets a hurricurana and hooks the Ankle Lock for the submission at 5:29. Alright stuff here **1/4
Kama and Henry are sent out by the ref and they don’t like it. Severn takes down Rock tries to gets some amateur moves. He gets a half crab but Rock makes it to the ropes. Rock comes back with some blows. He misses a charge and Severn gets an armbar. He goes to a choke hold but Rock gets the ropes. Rock hits a clothesline and some kicks. He hits a snap suplex for 2. Severn drags Rock in the corner but takes an eye poke. They bump into each other and Kama and Henry come back out to divert the ref and D’Lo Brown with a chest protector hits his frog splash on Severn and Rock gets the pin at 4:24. Boring. 1/2*
We get a look at Al Snow and his Head who want to see Vince but security keeps jumping him. So he steals the King’s crown which brings him this match. If Snow wins, he gets a meeting with Vince. If Too Much wins Snow is gone from the WWF.
Al Snow and Head VS Too Much (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor)
Jerry Lawler is announced as the special referee. Yeah put him in there with his son you guys. Snow starts it off with Taylor. Take down by Snow but Taylor comes back with some quick stuff and takes an atomic drop. Christopher comes in for the first time. They stall before tying up and Brian complains of a hair pull. Lawler stops Snow from a right hand and Brian nails him. Brian is slammed off the top and does sunset flip off the top. He gets a cover and Lawler counts v.e.r.y s.l.o.w. I think we know who’s going to win now. Brian is clotheslined outside and Taylor is backdropped as well. Snow gets a slam on the floor and looks like he’s leaving but he hits a running clothesline but takes a double axhandle by Taylor. Brian hits a missle dropkick and bites Snow’s hand. Taylor comes back in and they do a double atomic drop and Taylor hits a dropkick to the head. Taylor covers Snow and Lawler quickly counts 2. Chinlock now by Taylor and he hits a pump handle slam. Snow back slams Taylor and Brian gets the tag. Brian hits a bulldog. Taylor comes back and Snow hits a double DDT on both men. Snow gets the tag to the head.
JR: The head is the legal man. What the hell am I saying?
Snow whacks both men with the head and Snow hits the snowplow on Brian but Lawler refuses to count because he’s not the legal “man”. Lawler goes to the announce table and grabs a bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo and Brian pins the head with the bottle around the neck at 8:27. Pretty much a joke match but some good stuff by Snow and Too Much to keep it out of negatives. DUD
X-Pac (with Chyna) VS Owen Hart
This match is because both men cost each other KOTR matches. I still can’t picture Owen with the Nation. X hits a baseball slide on Owen to start and chops on him. He misses a bronco buster however and Owen takes advantage. He rams X hard into the corner twice. Owen hits a backbreaker. X starts fighting back though but takes a spinning heel kick for 2. X hits a high kick and chops come more. Owen comes back and hits a fisherman’s suplex for 2. He hits a gut wrench suplex for 2. X kicks Owen in the head however and Owen cradles him for 2. X hits a backdrop and clotheslines Owen outside. X hits a clothesline to the neck outside but is sent full speed into the time keeper’s table. Owen suplexes X face first on the Spanish announce table. Owen hits a missle dropkick and a roll up gets 2. Owen hooks a sleeper. X gets up and hooks a sleeper of his own. He hit an X factor but doesn’t get all of it. They slug it out and X counters a heel kick nicely. X kicks Owen in the corner and does the bronco buster. He slams Owen and goes to the top but Owen drops X Pac down to the floor. Owen has a busted eye now and Mark Henry comes down and splashes X-Pac. Chyna gets in his face and Vader comes out and avalanches Henry. Owen hooks the sharpshooter but Chyna comes in and DDT’s Owen and X-Pac gets the pin at 8:30. Good Match as was expected ***1/2. JR says the rivalry between DX and the Nation is far from settled but at least DX gets even from the last PPV.
Paul Bearer comes in the ring to cut a promo. This was a year after he accused the Undertaker of murdering his family and found out from it from Kane. Paul curses UT to hell because UT attacked Bearer in Bearer’s home. He talks about Kane when he was a kid and that Kane used to watch UT on Superstars. Funny part when Bearer says “How do you think it makes me feel?” and someone in the audience yells “LIKE A BIG FAT PIECE OF SH*T!!”
Tag Title Match: The New Age Outlaws (with Chyna) VS The Midnight Express (Bob Holly and Bart Gunn with Jim Cornette)
This is the other bonus match. Bob starts it off with Road Dogg. They tie up a couple of times and Dogg gets a hiptoss and a clothesline. Bob gets a clothesline of his own. He gets kicked though and Billy Gunn gets the tag and so does Bart. The Smoking Gunns explode!!! Billy gets some jabs and Bart comes out of a hiptoss and gets a clothesline for 2. Billy gets a sunset flip and a backslide for 2. He hits a fameasser for 2. He nails Bart with a lariat and does the S*CK IT!! Chop. Dogg comes back in the ring and hits a kneedrop. He is nailed by Bob and Bob gets the tag and hammers on Dogg. Billy comes back in and works and Bob gets an elbowdrop for 2. Bob gets a slam and hits an elbow drop for 2. Bart gets the tag again and some quick tags now. Bob is dropped on Dogg for 2. Bart butt splashes Dogg on the back and Bob hits a dropkick and mocks DX. Billy comes in and hits a bulldog and Bob is rolled up for 2. Bob hits a clothesline on Dogg and hits a snapmare into a chinlock. Dogg gets up and takes a high kick. Bob slams Dogg and goes to the top rope and eats foot. Billy gets the hot tag and he pounds on both ME. He tries a piledriver and Jim comes in and hits Billy with the NWA tag title and Bob only gets two. Dogg trips Bart on the outside and it’s turning into a melee inside and outside. Billy rolls up Bart but Jim comes back in and Billy catches him. Chyna low blows Cornette from behind but Bob nails Billy and Bob takes a double stun gun and is pinned by Billy at 9:54. Another good match ***
Triple H and Chyna come out to do commentary. Shamrock and Rock stare down to start. They tie up. Rock with some punches but Shamrock blocks a rollup and hits a high kick. Rock to the outside. He’s back in and takes control on Kenny. Ken hits a clothesline but is thumbed in the throat. Rock is thrown to the outside. Rock stalls outside and sees Triple H and The Game spits water in the face of the Rock and they almost get into a brawl. Shamrock really takes it to the rock outside now. Rock hits a low blow however. Back in the ring Shamrock reverses a suplex for 2. Shamrock is thrown to the outside again. Rock is thrown into the rail but he clotheslines Shamrock. He drops Shamrock onto the rail. Back in Rock hits a neckbreaker for 2. Shamnrock starts to fight back but takes a DDT for 2. Rock goes to the chinlock. Shamrock takes an elbow for 2. Rock slams Shamrock and hits the people’s elbow for 2. Back to the chinlock. Shamrock is back up and fights on Rock but takes another DDT for 2 ½. Shamrock hits a back suplex. They are both out and Shamrock gets back up and starts to snap and hits a powerslam for 2. Shamrock hits a fisherman’s suplex for 2. Rock comes back and runs into an elbow. Rock powerslams Shamrock for 2. Shamrock counters a DDT into a German suplex for another 2 ½. Rock hits a short clothesline for 2. Shamrock does the same for 2. Rock hits a stungun for another 2. Shamrock trips Rock and gets the Ankle lock for the submission at 14:09. Ken Shamrock has won the King Of The Ring!! A lot of near falls kept this match exciting ***1/4
The Undertaker has a broken foot here that would limit his mobility. Mankind brings a chair with him. He throws the chair up on top of the cell and climbs up there. UT comes out and climbs up the cell as well and we are underway! UT punches Mankind while climbing up. They’re both on top on the cell now and Mankind gets two chair shots. And they break thru the cell but don’t fall in the ring though. They go to the right side and UT starts to fight back and he sends Mankind off the top of the cell and onto the Spanish Announce Table!!!! Wow. That may be the craziest thing anybody’s ever seen! It was a 16 foot drop and the crowd loves it! Terry Funk comes out as does Vince, Sgt. Slaughter and the EMT’s. They raise the cage to allow him to come through. They put him on the stretcher and they carry him to the aisleway but to everyone’s amazement, Mankind is back on his feet, and he climbs up the cell again with the crowd really popping for it! They’re on the top of the cell again and UT hits a headbutt and then he chokeslams him but the cage collapses and Mankind falls 16 feet again hard on the ring with the chair landing on his face! I’ve read in Mick Foley’s book that this was the only time he was ever knocked out cold and I tell you it was pretty painful! JR asks for the match to be stopped and I don’t blame him. Foley could’ve gotten killed right here folks. UT climbs down the cage as everyone checks on Mankind and Terry Funk takes a chokeslam. They get back up and UT knocks down Mankind with a punch. UT works on the right arm and does the top rope walk but Mankind counters as officals lock the cage and we get a shot of Mankind smiling although in the book Mick says he wasn’t really smiling. Mankind knocks UT into the cage. He takes the stairs but can’t lift them. UT hits Mankind with the steps 3 times. UT punches Mankind and he misses a flying plancha and blades ON CAMERA! Mankind rams UT into the cage and grazes his busted head on it. Mankind gets a piledriver on the chair for 2. Mankind punches on UT and hits a legdrop with the chair on UT’s face for 2. He hits a Double arm DDT and he goes under the ring and brings out a bag. He empties out the bag and produces about 6,000 thumbtacks. He tries to knock UT on the tacks but can’t do it. UT tries the Tombstone but Mankind hooks the Mandible Claw. UT gets up and backslams Mankind on the Tacks!! Foley is rolling in pain on the tacks. UT gives Mankind a chokeslam on the tacks and the Tombstone finishes it at 17:36. Wow this was one of the most unbelievable matches I have ever seen! There weren’t too many wrestling moves here so I can’t give it any higher than *1/4 but still this is a ***** MUST SEE MATCH!! The crowd give both men standing ovations and Mankind refuses to leave on a stretcher and leaves to a huge pop!
We look at the feud between Austin and Kane. Vince challenges UT to a #1 contender match between Kane. Kane wins thanks to Mankind’s interference. One week later during a humantarian award presentation. They bring out a casket for Austin and Mankind jumps Austin from behind. Kane comes out of the casket and they dump Austin in it. Another week later in the Hell In A Cell match. Austin beats up on Mankind and then climbs the cage and beats up Kane. Vince says that the title match will be a First Blood match which means the wrestler who bleeds first loses. If Kane loses he will set himself on fire using gasoline. Kane dumps blood on Austin and says “This Sunday, The blood on you will be for real.”
WWF Title First Blood Match: Steve Austin VS Kane (with Paul Bearer)
Austin has his arm in an elbow pad. He hits Kane with a Lou Thesz press to start and hits him with the title. Austin takes off the turnbuckle pad but they can’t ram each other with it. Kane has both arms covered in his outfit. Austin is rammed into the unprotected pad. Kane starts beating down Austin. Austin starts fighting back and Kane almost hits a tombstone. Austin knocks Kane to the outside. He rams Kane into the steps. The cell is starting to lower for whatever reason. Kane drops Austin in the rail. He rams Austin into the steps. Austin is rammed face first into the cell. Kane puts Austin under the cell and it almost runs it Austin throat. Austin is thrown into the cage again. He’s thrown in the steps again. Kane is thrown into the cage door. The cell is being raised now with Kane on it. He grabs Austin’s throat and is brought down. They battle in the aisleway now. Austin goes for a piledriver but is backdropped on the floor. They go up to the entryway and continue to battle. Austin is suplexed on the ramp. He is rammed onto a railing and Kane throws it on him. They go back in the ring and Austin rams Kane into the exposed turnbuckle. Steve hits a rope butt splash and tries to get his mask off. Kane is thrown to the outside and is rammed into the railing and the timekeepers table and the Announce table. Austin hits Kane with a fan. Kane throws Austin into the ref and Earl Hebner is down. Kane goes to the top and hits a flying clothesline. Kane is pounding on Austin now but misses another flying clothesline. Austin kicks away on Kane. He rams Kane’s neck into the railing. Mankind comes out with a chair but is stopped by Austin. The cell is lowered again as Mankind is stunned. Austin blocks a chokeslam and stuns Kane. UT comes back out with a chair and both Austin and UT try to hits Mankind but Mankind ducks and UT’s chair hits Austin. Austin is bleeding now as UT pours gasoline on Hebner to wake him up. Kane hits UT with the chair and Austin hits a flying clothesline on Kane and KO’s Kane with the chair and Kane is out but the ref sees Austin and calls the bell at 14:50. Kane is announced the winner and new champion even though he is lying motionless and everyone is in shock. Vince gloats up in the press box to end the show. Pretty decent brawl **. Exclusive footage shows Austin in the middle of the ring mad over what happened to him. Mankind comes back out as a Bullsh*t chant starts. Mankind is stunned once again and he stuns Brisco as well. Austin leaves the ring and he says to the camera that he wants his belt back. He would get it back the next night on Raw Is War.
Summary: This was a very good show with good effort from mostly everyone! The UT/Mankind HITC match is unbelieveable and there were some other good matches too. RECOMMENDED