Throwback Thursday: WWF Over the Edge: In Your House (20 Years Today!) As Seen on WWE Network

May 31, 2018 by Brock Allen

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This week Throwback Thursday goes “over the edge” as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the World Wrestling Federation’s Over the Edge: In Your House 22, as seen on the WWE Network.

The first official TV-14 PPV of the “Attitude Era”, Over the Edge ’98 happened in the midst of a ten-week winning streak against World Championship Wrestling (who last won on April 20, 1998, the night Hollywood Hogan regained the WCW World title from Randy Savage) where the Austin/McMahon story was taking over the wrestling world and producing, arguably, the best moments in the industry at the time.

WWF/WWE Over the Edge 1998 Intro - Conform to Vince McMahon
WWF/WWE Over the Edge 1998 Intro - Conform to Vince McMahon

While the ratings for Monday Night RAW had picked up and the tide of the “Monday Night Wars” had turned in the Federation’s favor their Pay-Per-View events were largely hit and miss. At the time Over the Edge ’98, the start of a classic summer of events for the WWF, received mixed reviews, with the classic Dude Love/Stone Cold main event saving the show for many fans and critics.

But how does Over the Edge ’98 hold up two decades later? Let’s hit ‘play’ and find out!

Edits aren’t a big deal, for those wondering, with only the WWF Superstar Line promos snipped. “WWF” blurring and muting have also been restored.

Context for this event on the Network is complete as all prior PPVs and previous editions of Monday Night RAW are currently available for you to enjoy right now!

 

WWF Over the Edge: In Your House 22 (WATCH)
Date: May 31, 1998 – Location: Wisconsin Center Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 9,822 – PPV Buyrate: 0.58 (>211,000 homes)
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler – Interviews: Michael Cole & Dok Hendrix

CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWF Intercontinental Champion: The Rock
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn)
WWF European Champion: “Triple H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Taka Michinoku

 
The PPV opens with a 1984-esque vignette highlighting the Austin/McMahon story and the Austin/Dude Love main event, juxtaposing Dude’s willingness to conform with Austin’s disobedience while illustrating the obstacles Austin faces from Mr. McMahon and The Stooges.

In the arena the pyro blows the doors off before Jim Ross welcomes us to the show, chatting with Jerry Lawler about the main event with Lawler saying Austin will not retain the title.

 
“Tag Team Grudge Match” (WATCH – 3:27)
L.O.D. 2000 (Road Warrior Hawk & Road Warrior Animal) w/Sunny & Darren Drozdov vs. The Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball & Skull) w/Chainz

WWE - Road Warriors Entrance as 'LOD 2000' with Sunny in The Attitude Era

Once upon a time the Road Warriors were the tag team kingpins of the Midwest in Verne Gagne’s AWA but by the spring of 1998 they were (sadly) a shell of their former selves. Hawk is in terrible shape. Tired and lethargic Hawk gasses halfway in and is barely able to lift his shoulders to kick out or keep his feet. The match breaks down after Animal gets the tepid hot tag. In the chaos Chainz illegally swaps with lookalike Skull but is glommed by Droz before suffering an Animal powerslam for the 1-2-3 at 9:57.

WINNERS are L.O.D. 2000 (Road Warrior Hawk & Road Warrior Animal) w/Sunny & Darren Drozdov (Pin, 9:57)

 
After replays of the finish, and some awkward editing, we go to ringside where J.R. and “King” talk about the issues between The Rock and Faarooq.

Intercontinental Champion The Rock comes to the ring next, telling the crowd he didn’t become a “blue chipper and a Champ” drinking Milwaukee beer and eating bratwursts. “On the other hand,” The Rock says, “if The Rock grew up here in old Milwaukee and he had to choose and pick one of those overweight, beer drinkin’, bearded female pigs to call his own, well hell, The Rock would be doin’ a lot of suckin’ down on beers just like a baby sucks on a pacifier, if you smell what The Rock is cookin’.”

WWE - The Rock as Intercontinental Champion, Early WWF Career
WWE - The Rock Gets The Piledriver on a Steel Chair!

Moments later Faarooq runs in and beats down The Rock before piledriving Rock on a steel chair. The Nation make the save but Faarooq manages to drop both D’Lo and Kama before escaping the ring. Eventually EMT Owen Hart puts The Rock in a cervical collar and Rock is stretchered to the back. The fans, meanwhile, could care less about this mess.

Next we go backstage to Michael Cole and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin says Mr. McMahon can do whatever he wants but Stone Cold will still be WWF Champion when the night is over. Austin says no one wants to watch his back because they’re afraid of what Mr. McMahon “would do to them.” Austin says that “Vince McMahon’s ass will always belong to Stone Cold Steve Austin” before kicking Cole out of the room.

In the ring, meanwhile, Tennessee Lee introduces Jeff Jarrett.

 
“Grudge Match” (WATCH – 24:35)
“Double J” Jeff Jarrett w/Tennessee Lee vs. “The Lethal Weapon” Steve Blackman

Over the Edge 1998 on WWE Network - Steve Blackman vs. Jeff Jarrett

This one starts out fast with momentum swing back and forth until Jarrett, with Lee’s help, takes control. This was Blackman’s first singles match on a WWF PPV and while he was still rough around the edges it’s not a bad outing. Partway through we get an Al Snow/Spanish commentary angle and learn that Commissioner Slaughter is forcing Rock to defend his Intercontinental title no matter what. As for the match (yes, one is happening) the end comes after Tennessee Lee cracks Blackman with one of Blackman’s martial arts sticks as Blackman scales the ropes. Jarrett makes the cover and scores the win at 10:19.

WINNER is “Double J” Jeff Jarrett w/Tennessee Lee (Pin, 10:19)

 
Up next is footage from the go-home RAW of Marc Mero challenging Sable to find a man to face Mero at Over the Edge for Sable’s freedom from her “personal services contract” but, should Sable’s man lose, Sable is gone from the Federation forever.

Sable comes to the ring alone. “I got myself into it, and I’m gonna get myself out of it,” Sable tells Mero. “I don’t need any man fighting my battles for me. And if anybody’s gonna win my freedom, it’s gonna be me!” Marc wonders what happened to their relationship and blames the business for destroying it. Mero then says he’s going to do what should been done long ago and give Sable her freedom.

 
“Intergender Grudge Match” – If Sable Wins Sable is Freed from “Person Services Contact” with Marc Mero, If Sable Loses Sable Must Leave the WWF (WATCH – 38:41)
“Marvelous” Marc Mero vs. Sable

Over the Edge 1998 on WWE Network - Sable vs. Marc Mero

Mero tells Sable he’s going to lay down and let Sable pin him. But when Sable tries Mero rolls Sable up in an inside cradle to win the match at the :30-second mark. Though it’s not a real match it’s still a well done segment that these two pull off extremely well.

WINNER is “Marvelous” Marc Mero (Pin, 0:31)

 
After the match Mero gleefully tells Sable to “get the hell out of the WWF!” Then Mero sings sings the obligatory “Na-Na-Na-Na” song.

Next we got to Michael Cole backstage who is joined by a demoralized Sable, who says she should have known better and thanks the fans before saying goodbye.

In the back Dok Hendrix is with The Rock and The Nation and tries to ask Rock about Commissioner Slaughter’s ruling that if The Rock fails to defend the Intercontinental title The Rock will be stripped of the gold but no one in The Nation gives Dok the time of day.

 
“3-on-2 Handicap Tag Team Grudge Match” (WATCH – 47:26)
Kaientai (Dick Togo, Men’s Teioh, & Sho Funaki) w/Yamaguchi-San vs. Bradshaw & WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku

Over the Edge 1998 on WWE Network - Kaientai vs. Bradshaw & Taka Michinoku

This match is exciting, fast-paced, and physical but the crowd is largely dead. Kaientai control much of the action with Taka taking the brunt of the punishment. Bradshaw gets another of the nights tepid hot tags and kicks the bejabbers out of all three Kaientai. Bradshaw survives a triple-team and destroys Kaientai, including hitting a devastating Tiger Suplex on Teioh. In the end, with Bradshaw distracted with Funaki, Teioh drops Taka with a massive chokeslam as Togo comes off the top with a senton bomb for the pin at 9:54.

WINNERS are Kaientai (Dick Togo, Men’s Teioh, & Sho Funaki) w/Yamaguchi-San (Pin, 9:54)

 
After a replay of the finish we see Sable, bags in hand, slowly exiting the arena for (supposedly) the final time.

Next we get the all-time classic “I’m not really an athlete?” “Attitude” promo.

Faarooq comes to the ring and waits as The Rock is announced twice but doesn’t arrive. WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter comes out and says that The Rock signed a contract to defend the Intercontinental title and gives Rock to the count of ten to get to the ring or be stripped of the Intercontinental title, which Slaughter will award to Faarooq. At the count of three Rock’s music hits and the Champion arrives, cervical collar and all.

 
WWF Intercontinental Championship – “Grudge Match” (WATCH – 1:01:05)
Faarooq vs. The Rock(c)

Over the Edge 1998 on WWE Network - The Rock vs. Faarooq
WWE - DX And The Nation of Domination Fight in The Attitude Era

Faarooq meets Rock and the two brawl in the aisle before Rock eventually makes the comeback. The match isn’t all that bad and, for my money, tells one heck of a story. The finish, however, is a clusterflub. Faarooq thinks he’s won the match but Rock’s foot was clearly on the bottom rope. While arguing with the official The Rock takes Faarooq down and, with Rock’s feet on the middle ropes, scores the pin at 5:10 to retain the title. After the match Faarooq hits two more piledrivers on Rock before The Nation makes the save and beats the stuffing out of Faarooq. Moments later D-X run in and clear the ring of The Nation.

WINNER and STILL WWF Intercontinental Champion, The Rock (Pin, 5:10)

 
“Mask vs. Mask Grudge Match” (WATCH – 1:14:17)
Kane w/Paul Bearer vs. Vader

WWE - Kane Delivers A Devastating Jumping Tombstone to Vader!
WWE - Kane & Paul Bearer Unmask Vader at Over The Edge 1998

This is another physical match with Vader taking the fight to Kane but it’s a bit of a dud. In the end Kane survives a wrench attack before moving out of the way of Vader’s moonsault and ending the match with a colossal tombstone piledriver at 7:20.

WINNER is Kane w/Paul Bearer (Pin, 7:20)

 
After the match Kane unmasks Vader and gives the mask to Paul Bearer to wear. Bearer dons the mask and hilariously mocks Vader.

Michael Cole interviews a defeated Vader at ringside, who says that “maybe ‘Vader time’ is over” before calling himself a “big, fat piece of sh*t.”

Over the Edge 1998 on WWE Network - Jerry Lawler Interrupts 'Mad Dog' Vachon & The Crusher

Up next is a tribute to two of Milwaukee’s greatest wrestling starts, Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon and The Crusher. As J.R. puts over the legends “King” dumps all over it. After Vachon thanks his wife, his niece Luna, and Vince McMahon and Crusher does his thing Lawler steps in the ring and calls Vachon and Crusher “old farts”. Lawler berates Vachon and attempts to look at his artificial leg when Crusher drops the Bolo Punch on Lawler, who flees to the commentary table clutching his throat. Lawler sits at the table for a moment before going back to the ring and removing Vachon’s leg. Crusher goes after “King” but Lawler uses Vachon’s leg to hold Crusher off. When Lawler goes after Crusher from behind Crusher gloms Lawler with Vachon’s leg to a big pop. An irate Lawler returns to commentary and continues to badmouth the legends.

 
“6-Man Tag Team Grudge Match” (WATCH – 1:37:25)
D-Generation X (WWF Tag Team Champion Road Dogg, WWF Tag Team Champion “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn, & WWF European Champion “Triple H” Hunter Hearst Helmsley) w/Chyna & X-Pac vs. The Nation (Kama Mustafa, D’Lo Brown, & Owen Hart) w/Mark Henry

Over the Edge 1998 on WWE Network - D-Generation X vs. The Nation of Domination
WWE - Owen Hart Pedigrees Triple H, Steals His Finishing Move!

This is a solid 6-man, both physically and psychologically, that is all about the heated Triple H/Owen Hart feud, though D’Lo Brown shines throughout. The match breaks down late when Billy Gunn gets the hot tag with fights all over the ring. In the chaos Gunn and Triple H hit a spike piledriver on D’Lo onto the European title before Owen manages to hit Triple H with the Pedigree on the same European title to score the pin at 18:34.

WINNERS are The Nation (Kama Mustafa, D’Lo Brown, & Owen Hart) w/Mark Henry (Pin, 18:34)

 
After replays we see an excellent vignette telling the story of the Austin/McMahon/Dude match to come.

Backstage Dok Hendrix interviews Mr. McMahon who says it’s up to Austin how the match will unfold. McMahon says that if Austin puts his hands on McMahon at any time the match will be stopped and the WWF title will be awarded to Dude Love, stressing that the match will end “by my hand only.”

WWE - Vince McMahon Hugs His Stooges, Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco

Next we get the ridiculous, hilarious introductions of Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Mr. McMahon, Dude Love (with his new teeth gleaming), and Stone Cold Steve Austin, including some great one-liners from J.R.

Right before the bells rings The Undertaker comes to ringside to ensure Mr. McMahon calls it down the middle.

 
WWF World Heavyweight Championship – “Grudge Match” (WATCH – 2:02:42)
Special Guest Referee: Mr. McMahon
Special Guest Ring Announcer: Pat Patterson
Special Guest Time Keeper: Gerald Brisco
Dude Love vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin(c)

Over the Edge 1998 on WWE Network - Stone Cold vs. Dude Love With Referee Vince McMahon
WWE - Guest Referee Vince McMahon Taunts Stone Cold, The Undertaker Looks On

This is my favorite WWF/E match of all-time. It’s not the greatest match by any means, but it’s damn fun! The commentary is incredible, the action and psychology are brilliant, and the story is nearly perfect. From the constant changing of the rules (“no D.Q.”, “falls count anywhere”, etc.) to Austin stepping on Dude’s teeth (“Dude has lost his smile,” Lawler quips) to the super hot crowd, this is WWF “Attitude” at its best in my book.

After brawling all over the set, including Dude landing a sunset flip from the hood of a Cadillac, a bloody Austin gloms Dude with a steel chair only for Mr. McMahon to refuse to count the fall. Dude hits Mr. McMahon with the chair by mistake and is crushed with a Stunner when a second referee runs in. Patterson wipes out the second ref as Dude sinks in the Mandible Claw on Austin. Patterson tries to make the count but is chokeslammed through the announce table by Undertaker, who chokeslams Brisco through the Spanish announce table mere moments later!

WWE - Stone Cold Steve Austin Uses Vince McMahon's Hand To Count to Three!

In the ring Austin blocks the Claw and hits a second Stunner before using Mr. McMahon’s limp hand to count the 1-2-3 to retain the WWF Championship at 22:28.

WINNER and STILL WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Stone Cold Steve Austin (Pin, 22:28)

 
After the match Austin celebrates as Undertaker stares the “Rattlesnake” down before leaving the arena. Austin talks trash to Mr. McMahon before we see replays of the final moments of the match. Austin continues to celebrate atop one of the cars as J.R. signs off to end the PPV.

WWE - The Undertaker 'Deadman' Face Close-Up in 1998, The Attitude Era
WWE - Stone Cold Steve Austin & Vince McMahon Feud Over WWF Title in The Attitude Era!

 
Final Thoughts

It’s safe to say that the all-time classic main event “saved” this show, but there is a lot to like.

The physicality of the handicap match, the story of the Rock/Faarooq bout, and the Sable/Mero story are but a few. But make no mistake about it, the main event is the only great match on the card. Though I liked the show as a whole the bulk of it falls flat 20 years later. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. If you have, well, it’s what you remember it being!

WWE Over the Edge 1998 PPV Stage - With Brisco Brothers Body Shop Cars!

Already subscribed to the WWE Network? Then you can relive Over the Edge ’98 right now or see it for the very first time! As always, let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringside!

 
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8 Comments left on this article...

  1. whut says:

    I think what adds a lot to the main event is the crowd heat. right at the start, when Austin comes out, noise is incredible.

  2. Anan says:

    To me ppvs were typically if not always hit or miss. The era didn’t/doesn’t matter. Rarely if ever were they a complete or near complete hit.

    What I like about past ppvs besides the caliber of talent – most of which I prefer over today’s “spot crazy for a cheap crowd pleasing pop” talent and in ring style in addition to scripted promos instead of bullet points – is that unlike matches seemingly randomly put together on ppvs, too many ppvs, and ppv matches being on tv every RAW and SD, while every match on past ppvs didn’t have a pre match build up video, most if not all had some kind of story/feud even if a small one leading up to, during and sometimes even after the ppv match which were 9 times out of 10 saved strictly for the ppv. Past WMs and SSlams for example didn’t need mainstream musical talent except for the WM tradition singing of the national anthem or in ppv concerts and were able to be better and less ppv time vs today’s 5 hour or over with or without the preshows.

    Speaking of length, if there was ever an appropriate time for commercial free episodes or daily 3 hour RAWs – not that I think there is an appropriate time for 3 hours – it’s the Attitude Era RAWs especially 1996, 1997 or 1998 to at least maybe 2003.

    Regarding the OTE ppv, I personally wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did had it not been for the added stipulations to the match and Taker keeping watch. This is by my count the 2nd time a possibly healthier, definitely younger and full time Taker was kept from a ppv in a wrestling capacity which imho was a definite big mistake. While they could’ve added him to make this a 3 Way, hell I’d even take Sable picking him as her “chosen man” to wrestle Mero. While neither more so the latter would’ve fit storyline wise I’ll take either or both as it meant him wrestling here. Considering how Paul Bearer disrespected Taker who arracked Paul 2x on RAW leading up OTE, they could’ve at least had him attacking Paul again here. I get why they didn’t have him on the show before his previously unadvertised showing up to keep watch in the closing match – for mystery,

    • Anan says:

      mystique, etc. The 1st time was Summerslam 91. That night could’ve had the blowoff to the Taker/Warrior feud, Taker vs Savage, Taker & Jake Roberts vs Savage & Warrior or Hogan or Hogan & Warrior or my personal choice, a clean no help Taker win over Hogan to win his 1st world title.

      Btw Taker apparently has seemingly joined IG as his 1st and so far only varified to be true social media account though I personally don’t yet believe it is so. It could be a WWE controlled account. Why now would Taker join social media? If he is going to my guess is around the time of his HOF induction, documentary set release should that happen, or after he officially retires.

      PS sorry for double post

      • Brock Allen says:

        Hello Anan! I agree about the PPVs. I think the NXT TakeOver events are as close as I’ve ever seen to perfect shows, to be honest. I can’t recall a PPV from any promotion with the exception of possibly Anarchy Rulz ’99 and Living Dangerously ’99 that I would call “perfect” shows”. But, given the fact that I was and remain a massive ECW mark, it doesn’t hold much water.

        What I enjoy most about the older shows is precisely what you mention. I mean, if there wasn’t a title on the line the matches were either “grudge” matches or contender matches. Every match (or very nearly every match) had a story or reason for being featured on the PPV.

        In respect to The Undertaker, I rather enjoyed NOT seeing him in this era. I can remember how when he missed a PPV or a few weeks of TV, especially in the early incarnations of RAW, his return was a BIG deal. As for this event, Taker had been in some pretty crazy angles and matches leading into this event. It was nice, for me anyways, to see Taker in a serious role again, as a lethal force more akin to his original gimmick. The mystique of when/where/if Taker was going to show up on this show added another level of intrigue that really helped sell the unpredictability of the night and the main event. As for IG, I hope not. Taker’s mystique is a rare thing in wrestling today and something that should be protected.

        Thanks for reading Anan and taking the time to leave your thoughts, I enjoy reading them. Take care!

  3. Jeff says:

    That main event match was so stinking good. I think it’s Foley’s best match of his career and in Austin’s top ten. May have to watch this whole PPV on the network sometime.

    • Anan says:

      Definitely a great ppv closing worthy World Title match but imo not the best in Foley’s career or Austin’s for that matter. For Austin, I think his best matches were against either Bret Hart, HHH or The Rock with an honorable mention to Kurt Angle and Taker minus their Over The Edge 99, Fully Loaded 99, and Backlash 2002 matches bc for some reason I didn’t enjoy those matches as much as I enjoyed the rest of the matches they had against each other.

      As for Foley, imho the best matches of his career were either vs Sting at Bash at the Beach 92 I think it was, vs HBK at IYH: Mind Games, any match vs The Rock minus that match they had at one of the 97 ppvs when Foley was still the deranged and heel Mankind and Rock was Rocky Miavia, any match Foley had vs HHH and Taker.

      Foley said it himself that he didn’t know where his career would’ve ended up had Sting not been a part of it and stated in his Foley Is Good book he “owes Taker a debt of gratitude” bc he did not know how his career in WWE would have gone had it not been for Taker being Foley’s WWF debut rivalry and willingness to put him over during that rivalry which Taker did more than once. If they ever do a proper length career spanning retrospective doc on Taker, Vince, JR, Kane, HBK, HHH, both Austin and Foley, Kurt Angle and many others whether they were opponents or watched/inspired/got mentored by him must appear with brand new comments/interview footage over recycled ones.

      I will say that this match between Austin and Foley is one of the best matches – just not the best match – of both HOFer’s careers. And I think Austin’s top 10 or maybe even a Top 15 or 20 involves the opponents he had that I namedropped above in the beginning of this comment.

      Just my opinions though.

      • whut says:

        “If they ever do a proper length career spanning retrospective doc on Taker, Vince, JR, Kane, HBK, HHH, both Austin and Foley, Kurt Angle and many others”

        you don’t consider the lenghty docs the WWE put out on Vince, HBK, HHH and especially Austin and Foley to be “proper”?

    • Brock Allen says:

      Hello Jeff! I agree that this may be Foley’s best match but, as a fan, I’m torn between his Royal Rumble 2000 war with Triple H, the HBK IYH classic, and his “Texas Death” encounter with Vader (botched finish aside).

      Thanks for reading Jeff and taking the time to leave your thoughts! Have a good one!

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