It is now time for WWF King of the Ring 1998, as we continue with this trek back through time through the Attitude Era of the World Wrestling Federation.
At King of the Ring 1998, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kane step into the ring, for a barbaric first blood match for the World Wrestling Federation Title. It will be pure Hell in a Cell when Mankind meets the Undertaker and the King of the Ring Tournament continues. It is the King of the Ring 1998, Part 41 of the WWF Attitude Era Series.
The Headbangers and TAKA Michinoku defeated Kaientai of Dick Togo, Funaki, and MEN’s Teioh.
Six man tag team match, essentially thrown together to get TAKA’s feud with Kaientai on the show and to get the Lightheavyweight Champion on the show. Not a bad opening match, in fact it was quite solid, with the Headbangers fitting in well enough with the Lightheavyweights with their style. TAKA finishes Funaki with the Michinoku Driver and there you go.
Sable introduces Vince McMahon, who promises that Stone Cold Steve Austin will not be walking out of the ring as World Wrestling Federation Champion.
Ken Shamrock defeated Jeff Jarrett in the King of the Ring Tournament Semifinals.
Shamrock defeated Kama and Mark Henry to get here, while Jeff Jarrett defeated Faarooq and Marc Mero. Not too bad of a match, but I doubt anyone ever thought that Jeff Jarrett, in all of his heatless glory around this time, would be winning the King of the Ring 1998. Shamrock taps out Jarrett with the Ankle Lock in under five minutes. The Tournament seemed like a bit of an afterthought.
The Rock defeated Dan Severn in the Semifinals of the King of the Ring Tournament
Rock beat Vader and Triple H and Severn defeated D’Lo Brown and Owen Hart. Again, this match was a rather short one. D’Lo Brown runs in, with his new chest protector, his gimmick for about the next half of a year or so, which elevated him from faceless Nation jobber to pretty credible midcard heel. Frog Splash with the Chest Protector and The Rock scores the win. It will be Shamrock and Rock in the finals, the winner being the 1998 King of the Ring.
Too Much defeated Al Snow and Head, with Jerry Lawler as the special referee.
For those who don’t know, back in ECW, Al Snow came to the realization that to get to the top in the wrestling business, you had to give a little head and sure enough he did, in the form of a mannequin head. If Snow(and Head) are your winners, then Snow is back in WWF, if Too Much(Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor who have mostly been marooned to Shotgun duty at this point yet are somehow on this Pay Per View, and there’s another tag team like this), then Snow’s gone. As it turns out, the dastardly heels realize that since Head is a mannequin head, it has no shoulders, so in a wicked move, they wedge a bottle of head and shoulders shampoo and Head is pinned. They just beat a mannequin head, by ramming a bottle of head and shoulders. What crack addled buffoon thought this one was a good idea? Actually I know the answer to this one. Awful and not even the fun kind of awful.
X-Pac pinned Owen Hart
These two men were two of the best in ring performers, so it goes to say that these two rather have a good match. Four years ago, the same two men had a good match in four minutes with Owen Hart beating the then 1-2-3- Kid in the semifinals of the 1994 KOTR Tournament and they only get about twice as much. Chyna snuck it and nailed Owen with a DDT for the pin. This is pretty much it for Owen’s issues with DX, as he is feuding with Shamrock and now the Rock is the one feuding with DX full time. Well I guess Rock and Owen did kind of swap feuds after this show.
WWF Tag Team Champions the New Age Outlaws defeated The NWA Tag Team Champions the New Midnight Express.
The NWA vs. WWF Tag Team Champions, which would have been much bigger about ten years previously, but now, just another match, thrown together to get the Outlaws on the Pay Per View. This one was painfully average, with the Outlaws winning with a double team stun gun. Also Jim Cornette gets taken out by Chyna.
Ken Shamrock made the Rock submit to the Ankle Lock to win the 1998 King of the Ring Tournament.
The 1997 King of the Ring Winner, Triple H is out on commentary, to hilarious results. “Testes, testes, one two three.” Also when Chyna was on commentary with the Spanish announcer’s team, Triple H admitted that he didn’t understand a word she said, because he was bi a lot of things, but lingual wasn’t one of them. Always a classic. Shamrock has beaten the Rock one on one twice this year on Pay Per Views prior to this but the decision has been reversed. Third time would be the charm as Shamrock applies the Ankle Lock for the win. Ken Shamrock wasn’t the worst KOTR ever, that honor is held by poor Billy Gunn next year, who can’t even get featured on the KOTR DVD commercial when freaking Mabel can, but still he didn’t go far. The Rock’s star would really rise during the summer and the fall.
The Undertaker defeated Mankind in a Hell in a Cell Match
This match is a memorable and historical one. Right before the match, the Undertaker was dealing with an ankle injury and Mick Foley went to Terry Funk to ask for ideas to make the match memorable. Funk advised Foley to start at the top of the cage. There you go, we start with Mankind and Undertaker at the top of the Hell in a Cell, with Undertaker launching Mankind off of the cell to his doom but Mankind gets up and right back up, to get a choke slam right through the top of the cell, knocking Mick out cold legit and also knocking a tooth right through Mick’s lip into his nose. Yet, Mankind’s testicular fortitude spurs him to fight on. Thumbtacks get involved but Taker slams and choke slams Mankind onto the tacks and Tombstone for the pin. Undertaker wins, but everyone will be remembering the insanity of Mick Foley. Foley’s bump off the cell, along with Stone Cold and the Beer Truck before Wrestlemania XV are perhaps the two most replayed clips in WWF/E history.
Kane defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin in a First Blood Match to win the WWF Championship.
The first man to bleed is your loser. If Kane didn’t win the title, he would have to set himself on fire. The usual pretty solid brawl from Austin around this time, with Mankind, somehow not dead after that match, tries to help Kane. In comes the Undertaker with a chair, as Austin has a chair and Undertaker smashes Austin’s chair into Austin’s face, splitting him wide open. That’s the rules and Kane is the champion. It does seem that blood is thicker than water as Undertaker saved his brother from losing and thus being set on fire, but is there anything more?
We’ll find out the next time on RAW in Part 42 of the WWF Attitude Era series.
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