Over the Edge: In Your House
May 31, 1998
Wisconsin Center Arena, Milwaukee, WI
In May of 1998, the WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin continued his rivalry with Mr McMahon and his hired number one contender Dude Love. After a controversial ending to their match the month prior at Unforgiven, the main event of this PPV saw the two battling in a rematch for the gold, with the evil owner of the company serving as the special guest referee this time around. Also tonight, the recently turned face D-Generation X faction were set to do battle with the Nation after getting involved in each other’s affairs over the weeks gone by. We’ll get into all that and more later, for now lets get this show started. Before we do I should point out that when I was a kid first becoming a fan of the business, this PPV was probably the tape I rented the most times for some reason. In that respect I have fond memories of this event. Lets see if it holds up, but first – follow me on Twitter: @Mpmcc91.
We kick the show off with an awesome video package focusing on Austin’s refusal to the rules of the evil dictator Mr McMahon. Its one of those packages that I will always think of from this time period. Good stuff. We then head into the arena where we are welcomed by our usual commentary team of Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. With that said, its time for our opening match.
LOD 2000 w/Sunny & Puke vs Disciples of Apocalypse w/Chainz
Fresh off their far too long rivalry with the New Age Outlaws over the tag titles, the LOD take on the newly turned heel DOA in our first match of the night. I can’t recall much surrounding the heel turn of the DOA heading into this show, so that should tell you about how good this feud was. The LOD really were on the way out the door at this point, but they’ll still be here for a decent stretch of time. After being outnumbered by the DOA in recent weeks, they brought in a new member in Puke, the man who would become better known as Droz as time went on. Skull & 8-Ball are of course representing the DOA here and they come out on their bikes as usual. The match is a very basic brawl with plenty of interference from both men on the outside for their respective teams. Both teams go back and forth in controlling this one, and the DOA go to pull off a switcheroo during the closing moments. Puke gets involved in stopping this, taking out the illegal 8-Ball, which allows Animal to put Skull away with a powerslam to score the win for the LOD at 9:57. Nothing special here at all. This would also be the last PPV appearance of the lovely Sunny, as she would leave the company shortly after this. She’ll definitely be missed on our screens going forward even if its been a while since she had done anything of note at this point.
At this point in the show, the reigning I.C Champion and leader of the Nation, the Rock makes his way out to the ring. He’s set to defend the title against Faarooq later on. He rips on the crowd in typically great heel Rock fashion, until the challenger has heard enough. Faarooq heads down to the ring and beats on Rock. He ends up piledriving Rock on a chair in the ring which leads to the Nation (now joined by the newly turned heel Owen Hart) making the save and the champion being taken out with a neck brace. The announcers ponder what this means for the title match later on. I get what they were going for here, but this kind of seemed odd to do considering the face/heel roles.
Meanwhile in the back we here from Stone Cold Steve Austin. He says regardless of McMahon’s intentions, he will leave tonight still the WWF Champion and that he doesn’t need anyone to watch his back.
Steve Blackman vs Jeff Jarrett w/Tennessee Lee
This is stemming from Blackman and Jarrett getting into a brawl at last month’s PPV. Its just one of those midcard feuds thrown together to give these guys something to do, although Jarrett did cost Blackman his undefeated streak heading into this show. Jarrett of course has his manager Tennessee Lee accompany him to ringside for this one. Blackman goes right after Jarrett as soon as this one gets under way. The match is better than our opener, but its still pretty basic. The highlight is Al Snow (more on him next month) along with his manakin Head joining the Spanish announce team only to be dragged off by security shortly after. The basic story there was that he was trying to do anything to get hired by Mr McMahon. The two men in the match battle around ringside a bit and Jarrett goes to hit Blackman with his own fighting sticks. He’s not successful though, as Blackman gets a hold of it and whacks the country music star. Blackman looks to follow up with a move from the top, but Jarrett turns the tables, this time thanks to Lee cracking Blackman with the stick behind the official’s back to score the pinfall at 10:15.
We get a video package chronicling the issues between Sable and Marc Mero which comes to a head up next.
Sable vs Marc Mero
The relationship between Mero and Sable has finally come down to this. Long story short, Sable is sick of being treated poorly due to Mero’s jealousy and agreed to select an opponent to face Mero in a bid to win her freedom from her resentful boyfriend. On the flip side however, if Mero was victorious, Sable would be forced to leave the WWF. Sable is over like crazy here as she makes her way out alone and tells Mero that she’s going at it alone. Mero responds saying that he can’t believe that its come down to this, and that he’ll just lay down for her if she really wants to be rid of him. And so Mero gets down on the mat. Sable goes for the cover, but being the dick that he is, Mero rolls Sable into a cradle pin to score the victory at 0:20. After the match, Mero celebrates like he has won the WWF title before singing the goodbye song to a distraught Sable. Obviously this was more about the storyline progression between these two. I remember at the time being furious at Mero so I suppose it worked. Of course, Sable would be back on our screens within the next month, so the stipulation didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.
Michael Cole attempts to get a word from the very emotional Sable. She thanks her fans before saying goodbye. We then go to Dok Hendrix who is standing by with the injured Rock and the rest of the Nation. Dok tells us that Commissioner Slaughter had mandated that Rock defend his title despite the injury as the Nation members tend to their leader.
Taka Michinoku & Bradshaw vs Kai En Tai w/Yamaguchi-San
This is a three on two bonus match. Taka is still the reigning Light Heavyweight Champion at this point, and has recently become involved in a feud with the new heel Kai En Tai stable comprised of Japanese stable comprised of Sho Funaki, Mens Teioh & Dick Togo, who made their debut, alongside manager Yamaguchi-San, costing Taka a match on a recent episode of Raw is War. The group began to target the Light Heavyweight Champion as weeks went by, which led to Taka recruiting Bradshaw as his partner to help fight them off, leading to this match. The match here is pretty solid and easily the best thing we have seen so far. Kai En Tai is afraid of the much larger Bradshaw and do their best to avoid facing him in this one, making for a fun dynamic. When he gets in, the big texan dominates, squashing all three Kai En Tai members, however the newcomers fight back once Taka gets back into the match. Teioh ends up hitting a chokeslam like manoeuvre on Taka, before Togo follows up with a senton bomb to score the pinfall over the champion at 9:52. Pretty much on the card just for the sake of filler, but this was a fun way to kill ten minutes.
We now cut to the back where we see Sable leaving the arena with her bags. King loves it. In a few months he would be devastated to see this happening.
WWF Intercontinental Championship:
The Rock (c) vs Faarooq
This feud had been building for quite some time at this point, dating back to the power struggle between champion and challenger over the leadership of the Nation earlier in the year. Faarooq turned face the night after Wrestlemania after being ousted by the I.C Champion, but gained a measure of revenge last month when he pinned Rock in a tag match at Unforgiven. Anyway, Faarooq comes out first here and waits in the ring as Rock’s music plays. The injured champion doesn’t come out, so Commissioner Slaughter heads down to the ring. He forces Rock to come down and compete before the referee counts down from ten or he will be forced to forfeit the I.C title to Faarooq. They get to two before the Rock finally comes out, still wearing his neck brace and we are under way as Faarooq brawls with the champion in the aisle. The match is fairly unspectacular. Rock had improved a lot over the course of a year, but he couldn’t get a good match out of the out of shape Faarooq at this point. Both men go back and forth and at one point Faarooq looks to have closed in on the victory when he pins Rock following a spinebuster, only for Rock to get his foot on the rope. Faarooq argues with the ref, but that ends up being his downfall as Rock rolls up his distracted challenger to score the win using the ropes for added leverage at 5:07, retaining his title. After the match, Faarooq is pissed, so he goes after the Rock and levels him with some more piledrivers. The Nation head down to the ring and beat up Faarooq before DX makes the save, clearing the ring to a big pop.
Mask vs Mask Match:
Vader vs Kane w/Paul Bearer
After being put on the shelf courtesy of a wrench shot from the big red monster back at No Way Out in February, Vader returned last month at Unforgiven, brawling with Kane during his inferno match with the Undertaker. It was around this time that Vader quickly became one of my favourite wrestlers in the company as a kid, which is kind of ironic considering he was winding down his run at this point in time. Anyway, after getting a measure of revenge on Kane at Unforgiven, Vader has been brawling with the evil brother of the Undertaker on Raw is War for weeks heading into this show, resulting in this rematch being signed. On the Raw prior to this event, Vader added the stipulation that it would be a mask vs mask match before getting into a final brawl with Kane, which sent the big red monster retreating. Now that stipulation should pretty much tell you who was winning this one considering you could practically see Vader’s face through his mask (not to mention that he had often taken it off during matches before this), but as a kid I remember being excited by the prospect of seeing Kane without his mask. Anyway, Kane makes his way out with Bearer here before Vader follows to a huge pop. The man was still over and I really think he could have had more potential as an upper midcard face at this point. The match isn’t quite as long as their previous PPV encounter, but its still a decent enough power match designed to build Kane back up after losing to Taker twice over the past few two months on PPV. The referee gets distracted with Bearer whilst Vader gets a measure of revenge from their last encounter when he grabs a wrench and takes some shots at Kane with it. The Mastodon sets Kane up for the Vadersault, but Kane avoids it and comes back with a tombstone piledriver to pin Vader at 7:20. After the match, Kane rips off Vader’s mask and hands it to Bearer who puts it on and declares that its Paul Bearer Time, impersonating the Mastodon. As I said, this wasn’t as good as their last match, but it also got less time. It did its job in building Kane back up for bigger things though.
At ringside, Michael Cole gets a word from Vader who has recovered but looks upset. He contemplates Vader Time being over before calling himself a big fat piece of shit. Ouch.
Cole now gets in the ring to pay tribute to two legends in the arena tonight from the Midwest region in Mad Dog Vachon and the Crusher. Cole presents them with a plaque each as Lawler complains about the segment as being a waste of time and saying that he has never heard of them. Vachon and Crusher thank the fans, but Lawler has had enough and gets in the ring. In typical heel Lawler fashion he rips on the two old timers and even rips Mad Dog’s prosthetic leg off (hey Diesel, how you doing?). Crusher comes to his defence, nailing Lawler with a punch. Lawler runs off but tries to blindside the legends once more, grabbing Vachon’s leg again and tries to make off with it before Crusher gets it back, whacking Lawler with it. Simple segment to get the pop for the Crusher and Mad Dog, which was strange as the WWF wasn’t really in their acknowledging history phase yet. Lawler gets back on commentary as JR is disgusted by his actions.
We now send it to DX in the back. They pretty much just say that they are ready to go to war with the Nation. That match is up next.
Triple H & New Age Outlaws w/X-Pac & Chyna vs Owen Hart, D’Lo Brown & Kama Mustafa w/Mark Henry
And so the Triple H/Owen Hart feud continues, although both men are in different roles a mere month from their last encounter. The night after Unforgiven on Raw is War, Owen Hart teamed with Ken Shamrock to battle Nation members Rock and Mark Henry, but during the match he snapped, attacking Shamrock, sick of being left alone and outnumbered by DX time and time again. This led to Owen joining the Nation and taking Shamrock out of action by destroying his ankle, this turning heel in the process. Meanwhile, DX had been getting increasingly positive reactions from the fans ever since Wrestlemania. This was rectified when they were in the ring only to be interrupted by the Nation and its new co-captain Owen Hart, who were looking for a fight. The two factions would brawl, with DX effectively turning face as a result. They had also been invading WCW around this time which was only adding to their popularity, so the move was inevitable. The two factions brawled over the next few weeks heading into this match here. By the way, Triple H is still the European Champion, whilst the Outlaws are still the Tag Team Champs. DX does their usual schtick on the mic before the match. I believe X-Pac wasn’t cleared to compete yet here, so the match is a six man tag instead of eight, with Henry sitting things out on the Nation side of the fence. Anyway, this is a decent enough match as the crowd was really behind DX. Both teams take time in control here as we get a decent length for this. DX builds some momentum as Chyna and Henry get into an altercation on the outside, the referee being distracted, allowing Triple H and Billy Gunn to hit a spike piledriver on D’Lo. The match continues though with Owen getting into the match and hitting his hated rival, the European Champion with his own move, the pedigree. That gives the Nation the pinfall victory at 18:33, but the issues between these two factions is far from over. Fun match.
Our main event is up next so we get a video package highlighting the build. We then go to the back where Mr McMahon is dressed up in referee gear. He tells guest ring announcer Pat Patterson and timekeeper Gerald Brisco that if Austin lays a finger on him tonight he will be stripped of the WWF Championship. He also says that tonight the match will end by his hand only.
Steve Austin (c) vs Dude Love
Special Guest Referee: Mr McMahon
The night after Unforgiven, with Dude Love coming up short from winning the WWF Championship, Mr McMahon announced that he was going to find someone else capable of taking the belt from Austin. Foley came out and said that he resented what he had become, so Vince decided to give him the shot on the condition that he take on his long time friend Terry Funk in a no holds barred match. Wrestling simply as Mick Foley for the first time in his WWF career, he destroyed his former mentor, much to the delight of Mr McMahon, resulting in Foley being declared the number one contender after all. McMahon and Foley would celebrate their reformed alliance as they danced together to the Dude Love theme to end the show. The next week, McMahon announced that he would personally serve as the referee for the title match at the PPV, whilst his stooges Brisco and Patterson would be the timekeeper and ring announcer respectively. He also said that he would allow anyone who wanted to serve as the guest enforcer for the match. That pretty much brings us to where we are now. Patterson does a great job with the introductions, sucking up especially to McMahon before simply stating before Austin’s entrance “I will not introduce a bum” (this is how its done Garvin!). Austin of course gets a huge pop, whilst Foley gets some decent heat as he comes out with a suit jacket over his gear. As we are about to get under way, McMahon goes to signal for the bell when suddenly that familiar gong goes off. At that moment the Undertaker himself makes his way down to the ring, taking up the offer to serve as guest enforcer. This was pretty much the way of saying Taker was getting back into the title scene. McMahon looks intimidated, but starts the match all the same. This is a very good match, in fact its one of, if not the best PPV matches of the year, as Austin and Dude go above and beyond their efforts from our previous outing. The action quickly spills to the outside which results in Patterson declaring the match a No DQ match, and subsequently a falls count anywhere match as the action spills up the aisle and onto the cars up on the entrance set. Taker stands silently throughout all this, simply watching the action at a distance. Once the match returns to the ring, Patterson hands Dude a chair. He goes to hit Austin but ends up whacking McMahon instead, knocking our official out. Austin follows up by hitting a stunner on Dude. Another referee runs out to count the fall, but Patterson takes him out, allowing Dude to regain control with the mandible claw. Both stooges try to get involved from here, but Taker finally makes his presence felt at ringside, chokeslamming both men through the commentary tables. Austin recovers and hits another stunner on Dude and grabs the unconscious McMahon’s hand to count the three himself to retain his championship at 22:27. This was a great Attitude era style main event that I love to this day just as much, if not more than when I first saw it many years ago. Austin celebrates his victory, having overcome the odds once again, as we go off the air.
As with most shows from this stretch, this PPV was a mixed bag as far as quality goes. The main event was excellent, and there were a few other okay matches (Nation/DX, Kane/Vader, Kai En Tai tag). The undercard still needed a bit of work at this point, but the product was hot, and that contributes to make this a fun show to watch. Besides you have one of the best matches of 1998 on here, so it can’t be that bad. Overall I’d put this show slightly above Unforgiven just due to the main event being better, but overall they were roughly the same in terms of quality. Its an entertaining show to spend a few hours watching and I’d recommend it.
Three Stars of the Night:
1. Dude Love – this was pretty much the end for the Dude Love character, and it went out with a bang here. Foley definitely showed he was deserving of being back in the main event scene over these past two months. Good job
2. Steve Austin – another excellent title defence for ‘the man’ in the company right now.
3. Owen Hart – the face run had played out its course so it was good to see Owen back in his natural heel role, guiding the Nation to victory in a solid tag team encounter.
This was once again a difficult decision to make as outside of the main event there was no real stand out performance, but an array of solid performers that could have been deserving of the third place.
FINAL GRADE: 6.5 out of 10
ALL TIME PERFORMANCE TALLY:
What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1. The list is put together from all the shows I have reviewed thus far. That Mick Foley guy is steadily rising up the ranks.
Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 64
Steve Austin = 56
Randy Savage = 28
Undertaker = 22
Hulk Hogan = 18
Owen Hart = 17
Mick Foley = 15
Diesel = 14
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
Triple H = 12
British Bulldog = 11
Razor Ramon = 10
Ted DiBiase = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Bob Backlund = 5
1-2-3 Kid = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
The Rock = 4
Savio Vega = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Hakushi = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Tanaka = 3
Kato = 3
Vince McMahon = 3
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Crush = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Hawk = 1
Animal = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
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