Brett Mix’s- WWF “In Your House 23: Fully Loaded 1998” Review:
“Rock, it’s not KNOW YOUR ROLE….it’s SHUT YOUR HOLE…..” -Triple H
-WWF Fully Loaded 1998 took place Live on PPv, Sunday Night, July the 26th, 1998 at the Selland Arena in Fresno, California in front of 9,855 fans.
-This PPV drew a 0.90 PPV buyrate, very good compared to the PPV events just before this.
-This was the first of three Fully Loaded events.
-This Show is available on DVD via Tagged Classics
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler did commentary for the event.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- Double J – Jeff Jarrett (With Tennessee Lee and Southern Justice) vs Val Venis
Val comes out first to a good pop as expected, a very over attitude era mid to upper carder.
Venis is still undefeated and yes it is very much the Attitude Era, you can feel it in the air, you can hear it by the tone of the voice of Lawler on Ross.
Val Venis does his usual gig on the mic and says California here I come…as looks like he is about to strip completely and then Tennesee thank god Lee comes out and sends….Double J – Jeff Jarrett out with Southern Justice as well.
Should be a good match here as Jeff Jarrett and Val Venis are both great workers.
Referee Tim White gets the treat of judging this first contest.
All of the sudden Kai En Tai’s music hits and out comes this stable with their Japanese flags for some reason. The officials send the back to their lockeroom and Yamaguch Sun (Spelling anyone?) joins Ross and Lawler.
Jeff Jarrett poses n the top turnbckle.
Jeff Jarrett had a hammerlock into a side headlock and then he stepped all over Val Venis. Venis with two huge shots to the head of Jeff Jarrett and then one up high.
Double J with a waist-lock to Val after missing a clothesline, a hot shot by Val. Jeff Jarrett is hit with a knee to the gut and Venis then hit a side russian leg-sweep. Jarrett tried a pinning combo and then nJeff Jarrett gets caught by a bridge of hs own, Val then is powerbombed off the ropes by Jeff Jarrett.
Jarrett sent Val into the turnbuckle. Chops go both ways and Jeff Jarrett with an arm-ringer and a ddt to venis. Double J with a sleeper off the irish-whip and then Val counters with a nice belly to belly suplex but both men ared own as it took a little outo of Val.
A front facelock into a Fisherman’s suplex with a bridge by Venis. Venis charged into the corner and then a crossbody off the top as Jeff Jarrett missed his opponent on purpose.
A back and forth match, Val tried to set up Jeff Jarrett for the money shot but Jeff Jarrett hit the Suerplex off the top rope and instead of Jeff Jarrett’s figure four Val almost got an inside cradle vdtory. He then pushed Tennessee Lee off the apron via pushing Jeff Jarrett and then rolled him up for the school boy win.
In the end at 7:41 Val Venis got the three count after putting Jarrett and then talked trash to Kai En Tai and how he will never measure up to the big Valbowski.
This match pretty good pace-wise just didn’t go very far with a story.
2) D’Lo Brown (with The Godfather) vs X-Pac (with Chyna)
More Nation vs DX, went on for the Summer of 1998, here in the under-card, we get two great workers going at it.
Later in the night we’d get Nation and DX Leaders Hunter and Rock going at it for the IC title in best 2-3 falls match.
These two should be a good combination as I remember some of their bouts in 98 had good chemistry.
So here we go, the bell rings.
D’Lo Brown was always underrated and X-Pac was still popular here and definitely could work a match, especially talent better or as good as him.
D’Lo Brown with a standing side head-lock and then a running shoulder block.
Lawler backs D-Lo not defending the European title because of his pectorial muscles and his protective vest. X-Pac hit a spnnng heel kck.
X-Pac misses D’Lo Brown in the corner and he catches him with a clothesline.
All of the sudden the weight advantage f D’Lo Brown adds to the weight pressure on X-Pac because he has a bad neck.
D’Lo Brown then irishwhipped Pac to the corner and a whip-lash edffect, turned into a snapmare. D’Lo Brown has D-Lo sucks chnants while Chyna even gets chants for nothing proving this crowd kns absolutely nothing.
D’Lo Brown scouted the spnning heel kick and D’Lo Brown went for a moonsault. X-Pac had an openng coming back in the match by avoiding the moonsault hitting a clothesline and then a Brnco buster.
D’Lo Brown Hit a Sky Hign on X-Pac after he crashed into the Godfather and got the win to a surprisingly good pop!
In the end at 8:26 D’Lo Brown got the victory after he its his running powerbomb known as the Sky High.
This match was great.
3) Faarooq and Scorpio vs Terry Funk and Justin Bradshaw
A tad awkward looking at these two tag team tandem’s as I don’t recall neither team being a team at all, and Farooq is taking on Bradshaw here before they became the popular Acolytes of the Ministry or the APA protective agency.
Funk says he’s retiring for the millionth time before the match.
Bradshaw and Funk don’t look to be on the same page coming out as they just got told this info now. Funk says he’ll let the other rough Texan begin in.
Bradshaw begins in the ring with Scorpio. Both men at the tie qualified n the Brawl for All which was no surprise as both men are tough as 2 dollar steaks as JR would say. Funk hit s neck-breaker to Farooq with little impact.
Funk held Farooq up for Bradshaw to level him from up in the air comning down and all of the sudden Funk couldn’t support Farooq’s weight and fell Farooq helps up his future partner Bradshaw and Farooq proceeds to powerslam him as Funk couldn’t hold him.
Scorpio and Farooq isolate Bradshw in the corner but Braddshaw is tough enough to fight it out himself and he hit a slam. Funk tagged in and now Farooq clotheslnes ham snd Scropio tagged in.
Some boring chants.
Bradshaw and Scorpio to the mat, gotta love JR’s honesty on the match. Scorpio with a flip off the top onto Bradshaw. Bradshaw clotheslined FUnk after the match turning on him and Scorpio tried to save him.
In the end at 6:51 Funk and Shaw are put away by Scorpio and Farooq
This match was broring and horrible.
4) Mark Henry vs Vader
This should be a stiff one.
Battle of the beasts.
Mark Henry representing the Nation of Dominaion here.
Henry can deadlift 903 pounds….accordng to this commentary. Holy ****! That’s close to the world record.
Both men cautious when tying up in the early going, Henry over-powered Vader out of the ring. Mark Henry with a giant double axe-handle to the back of Vader.
Vadr with a back-drop and then a rake to the face, a splash off the ropes but Mark Henry kicked out of Vader’s nearfall. Mark Henry measured in the coner with shots then a big splash in the corner by Vader.
Vader brings in Mark Henry and clotheslnes him hard to the mat.
So far a slow and stiff match as expected.
vader fastens up the pace though and brings in more offense quicer sendng Henry into the steel steps, where is DX one has to wonder? Vader slams Mark Henry down and now Vader goes u top for a Vader Splash but Mark Henry kicked out at two.
Mark Henry reversed an irishwhip and caught him in mid-air with a powerslam, then a splash off the ropes and that will do it.
In the end at 5:03 Mark Henry went over Vader after he splashed himm in the power versus power match.
This match pretty decent for a power versus power match as ir as kept short.
5) The Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball and Skull) (with Paul Ellering) vs L.O.D. 2000 (Hawk and Animal)
Another two on two tag on the card. The WWF was trying to desperately build their tag division and it would take another year but in 99 it developed nicely.
The LOD 2000 were created here.
The D.O.A took charge with Paul Ellering leading the way.
They dominated the first half and ultimately got the last fall winnning the match.
In the end at 8:50 the DOA won after their old leaer Paul Ellering did a lot of their dirty work for them.
This match was fair.
6) Owen Hart vs The World’s Most Dangerous Man Ken Shamrock in a Dungeon match with Dan THE BEAST Severn as the special guest referee
So we go to Calgary, Alberta Canada in the World Famous Dunegon at Hart House for this match on ppv, an interesting idea as they go to Owen’s world.
Then at Summerslam they went to Shamrock’s world in the Lion’s den.
My brother just moved to Calgary and Hart House was fifteen minutes from his place so I just saw the outside of it this past Summer in 2011 but the area was restricted so I couldn’t get close to the Dungeon or anything. Still a very interesting sight to see, many new homes beside it that never used to be there.
To the Dungeon.
Owen Hart and Severn awaited Shamrock coming down the steps.
Ken Shamrock pounds his head. Ken Shamrock and Owen exchange blows they would go at it in Shamrock’s kind of match, the Lion’s den at Summerslam.
Ken Shamrock with a roman thrw to Owen. Shamrock splattered Owen at the wall but he got a low blow on Shamrock then a spnning heel kick. Owen used the top for a hurricanrana.
Owen used a dumbbell and then Shamrock kicked Owen off and then cornered him. Shamrock smacked wen and got the knees up to Hart.
Owen powerbombed Shamrock.
King asks Where Stu is, upstairs watching on tv? Hilarious.
Owen with a hiplock into the pipe on the roof. Owen then lifts Shamrock’s head up into the roof.
Owen locked on the Sharpshooter, Shamrock didn’t tap and slapped on the Ankle Lock. Shamrock then kncked out Severn. Owen hit Shamrock in the head wih a weight.
In the end at 4:53 Owen Hart got the win over Shamrock after he made Shamrock’s hand tap out.
This match was Owen’s one and only Fully Loaded appearance as he’d die about 10 months after this match. I always enjoyed his work with Shamrock. Owen was great from an aerial view-point and on the mat, while Shamrock had his MMA mat-skills as well.
Their styles compliented each other’s.
This was pretty fun and very unique.
7) The Rock (c) (W/The Nation) vs Triple H (w/Chyna and DX) in a Two out of Three falls match for the WWF Intercontinental Championionship
The Rock had been on top of his game, Champion for over half a year and was getting more entertaining as a Heel and Leader of the Nation by day, even popular that fans began cheering him slowly although Summerslam 98 was more of a turning point for that from Smarkville America in MSG. Helmsley was the top face of D-X now and mega over, the sympathetic face that everyone wanted to see take the IC Strap off Rocky, since Shamrock’s hundred attempts failed.
This match had a 30 minute time limit. That’s key to remember and very relevent as this match would end up going the length and ending in a draw. Oh did I spoil it for you?
Well the only good thing here is that it made the LADDER match more anticipated (For Summerslam 98) as you’re guaranteed a winner there, which very well have been the motivation to make it a “LADDER MATCH” in the first place. Apologies, I don’t know the exact reasons gimmick matches were given out on PPV’s from 10 years ago, but I try. I actually do have a very good memory especially when it comes to Raw’s from back in the day so this actually kind of upsets me although I do remember a lot of the build up.
Speaking of “build up” these guys do an excellent job of that.
HHH and The Rock have feuded for so long whether it be for the IC title in late 96, early 97, or all of 98, or 99…2000…2002 (briefly)…but nothing was better then there work in 98 and 2000.
Some could argue 98 over 2000 because of how long it was, but HHH wasn’t as good of a worker in 98 (he was even injured after Summerslam which hurt the feud considerably) and in 2000 they main evented. It’s no contest in my mind, 2000 easily.
This match dragged a bit in areas I remembered. These two did some good things as you’d expect but this one had a slower pace. The Rock applied a headlock for 2 straight minutes, a FEW times during this bout and the “BORING” Chant was even hear on some occasions. He did this likely because he knew it’d end in a draw so he wanted to wear down Hunter and kill some time.
Helmsley came out to a good pop here as this was when the face stable, “D-X” was really picking up.
Rock came out to a mixed reaction but his heel heat was so strong that it overshadowed any of the fans he was getting at the time.
D-X and The Nation had such a tremendous rivalry in 1998 that it was only natural for the two leader’s to go at it here and this is a gem if only for the reason that its rare. A good selection for this DVD.
Everything just seemed good in this time, the crowd, the action, the character’s, even JR and The King were never better and it made that match great in that sense where it seems like you get to re-live those day’s. A good nostalgia rush.
The Rock and Triple H were set to go and HHH seemed calm and cool chewing gum as the babyface, while Rock’s face was “EYES WIDE” in full heel mode. Rock opened the match by kicking HHH in the gut and landing right hands on the soon to be Game. Trips fought back landing right’s of his own once back on his feet after a brief moment off them due to Rock’s early work.
A slugfest in the attitude era wasn’t a very unpredictable sight but it ended shortly here when Rock kicked Helmsley who bent down momentarily and then hit a Spinebuster. Rock landed a righthand and maintained a vertical advantage on Helmsley because he kept delivering shots to Hunter. Rock sent HHH head first into the buckle. Typical Heel working over the Babyface early. Rock scored with right hands to Hunter in the corner. Rock then irishwhipped Helmsley to the other corner with his back hitting hard. Helmsley bought himself time as Rock took his eye off the ball as he looked at the fans who were obvioussly on his face. Helmsley hit a clothesline.
Triple H`s first real offense in a bit of time. Chyna behind the official from the outside hit Rock in the head. Helmsley then went to Pedigree Rock and Rock hit a backdrop to HHH. HHH then got up and backdropped Rock over the top to the outside.
This match was a little strange. No offense really shown by ONE man all of the sudden, just back and forth and the spots were a little different. The two battled up the entrance way.
Helmsley slammed Rock onto the concrete near the Fully Loaded stage sign. Helmsley landed more right`s as Mike Keota encouraged them both to go back to the ring but Helmsley threw Rock into the steel barricade in the entrance area. Nearing the side of the ring HHH continued some shots to Rock and eventually the Great One reversed an irishwhip near the front row and sent Helmsley into the ring steps but he didn`t bump very hard. Rock landed more right`s to HHH and scooped him up levelling his upperbody on the barricade chest first. Chyna looked concerned as Hunter was down and Rocky stomped on Helmsley on the outside. Rock then grabbed Helmsley by the head and slammed him into the apron that way and then he repeated it. `Rocky Sucks` chanted about.
Rock back in the ring continued the succession of right hand`s to Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Aggressively and of course in angry fashion due to the negative chants Rock took his ANGER out on arguably his greatest rival in Helmsley. Rock irishwhipped Hunter to the corner and then landed a clothesline. Rock got a nearfall. Both men got to there feet but Rock clearly in control kicked Hunter back down into the corner and then proceeded to choke him out on the bottom rope. Chyna glared at Rocky from the outside and inside Rock kept on his vicious beatdown irishwhipped Hunter into the corner but Trips countered off the corner with momentum hitting a swinging neckbreaker buying him time and the fans cheer0
Helmsley now back to his feet landed right hands to Rock and snapped on a vertical suplex to Rock. Helmsley then drove his knee into the face of Rocky, hooked th eleg and got a two. Helmsley with pure hatred for the Nation leader got on top of him and landed more shots. Helmsley shoved Rock to the corner and hit chops and more right hands. Helmsley wanted to be Flair here in a sense you could imagine. Rock and Helmsley then went in a sequence where they`d exchange chops in the corner with one another before Rock irishwhipped Hunter to the side ropes and he fell over the top onto the floor.
Okay, this was one was getting good at this point in the last couple of minutes.
The pace picked up big time but the offense remained a tad slow if that makes the least bit of sense. Rock landed a vertical suplex to Helmsley on the outside of the ring. Rock got back in and then out to break the count and Helmsley had the oppurtunity to rest a bit and that`s what helped him counter Rock`s head driving into the steps attempt.
Mark Henry came from the back and dropped all of his bodyweight on Hunter with a big splash behind the refs back. Henry walked to the back, Billy Gunn came running out to a loud roar to save HHH (Remember Gunn) yeah I don`t think he`d do that these days.
Rock landed more right hands and threw HHH back in the ring. Rock got a nearfall in the ring and he looked frustrated with the typical HEEL look. “Oh my god. I can`t believe I didn`t win the match in the middle without a finisher on a PPV! This is outrageous.“
Rock with a neckbreaker and more stomps. I always loved Rocky`s stomps. Dwayne Johnson got another nearfall and this is SLEEPER number one. Time for the weardown game. (No pun intended)
A reverse chinlock, into a side headlock bought both men some time. They deserved the rest as it was a pretty good pace throughout despite as noted the slower offense. No real psychology by either man other then to be number one. That is what the feud was all about and it translated in the ring.
Rock kept this headlock on long and eventually after nearing the two minute mark Helmsley elbowed out of it and scored a righthand. Gee, I wonder if Rock will knock Hunter down slowing down his comeback….one of the biggest Cliche`s in wrestling.
Oh it happened….
Rock then elbowed HHH to the outside before sending him headfirst into the steel gaurd rail. Rock choked out Hunter with cords on the outside. Rock sent HHH back in the ring and magically HHH fought back and sent Rock to the ropes but Rock spinned around three times and went to hit a nice DDT that he naturally hit Shamrock with a lot in 1998, but this was flat out sloppy. It sucked. But Rock made up for it by spinning extremely fast, it was kind of funny actually. Rock slapped on sleeper number two now.
The first one was LONG.
The second one is LONGER.
Brace yourself for that pause but the two conditioned themselves for a pretty interesting climax to an otherwise good wrestling mastch.
Helmsley landed right hands on Rock out of no where again but off the ropes Rocky gets back in control and hits Helmsley face first driving him into the canvas but only getting a two count again. The Rock can clearly be seen calling HHH to push him back down and off the ropes ducking a clothesline bouncing off the other one…he surely does. HHH hit Rock with shots and then sent him to the ropes landing a a high knee shot. Helmsley off the ropes again and this time The Rock elevated Triple H up and he landed throat first on the top ropes.
Both men down now! The Godfather then came out.
Outlaws followed him and made sure he got to the back to please the fans. Translation = Lets give Rock and HHH a breather but keep the fans interested with this side-story in the background. Oh well, it worked. Rock once back up kicked at HHH in the corner of the ring and pulled him in close for a clothesline. Helmsley was down in a way that a Wrestler would be in a Video Game when all of his `power` ran out. Fatigued, down and out. The Rock then proceeded to Lay the Smackdown or at least that was his intentions. D-Lo came out while Chyna distracted the official but HHH knocked him off the apron, told him to suck it and then hit him with the European title.
HHH turned around into a Rock Bottom though and Rock scored the first fall.
A brief rest period was given now and it`s interesting to note that just 22 months later these two would compete in match like this, but twice the length, an hour long Ironman match which is just awesome at Judgment Day 2000. One of the best matches from either man, especially looks good on Rock`s resume as Hunter has had more classics naturally.
Rock beatdown Helmsley some more who we all were to believe was down and out typically. Rock sent HHH into the steps. After Rock sent HHH into the security railing he came charging towards Rock (again out of no where) and landed a clothesline. Rock down catapolted HHH up face first into the announcer`s table. Rock then in control after a brief offensive move from Hunter. (Pretty much the story of the match)
The Rock sent Helmsley back in the ring.
Rock scooped him up and slammed him to the canvas. The Rock marks in attendance then got to there feet as Rock hit the People`s elbow. Love him or Hate him, everyone thought this was entertaining in 1998. Everyone. Rock irishwhipped Hunter and he ducked and then landed a clothesline on Rock. The Elbow by Rocky obvioussly didn`t have the force it did later I guess. Helmsley bought himself time. Chyna hit D-Lo on the outside to again keep us entertained while both men were down. The official was distracted and X-Pac came out and hit an X-Factor on Rock driving him head first into the mat.
HHH covered Rock but just a two count as the audience surely thought this would of tied up the score.
HHH rolled out of the ring and grabbed a Blue Steel Chair. Rock kicked HHH in the gut and the official should keep his eye on the action. Rock hit the ref with the chair as HHH ducked when Rock swung. Rock hit Helmsley down and Chyna came in and then hit a lowblow on Rock!
Chyna then hit Rock with a DDT on the chair. So instead of matbased wrestling and psychology were used to seeing from Hunter during his tenure in the Federation to this point we`re subjected to seeing spot after spot, brawling then spot, then brawling.
It was good fun no doubt, but a little mat action could of been used here. Anyway, HHH tied it up with a pinfall around the 25 minute mark.
The second rest period ended and we`re in the final 5 minutes in a tied match for the IC title. HHH went for a cover and Hebner running out only got a two but we are lead to believe he would of got a three if he has been quicker.
HHH in the third and deciding fall took it to Rock outside the ring. HHH sent Rock back in the ring and hit a facebuster after irishwhipping Rock to the ropes and then a hard clothesline gets him another nearfall. Rock with a Samoan drop countering HHH`s charge with shades of the High Cheif, Dwayne`s Grandfather. Rock hit right hands on Hunter in the ring, but Helmsley shot back with some of his own.
Both men in the middle of the ring slugging it out. Rock went for as Rock Bottom but Helmsley hit the Pedigree! The place pops but the bell rings when Helmsley covers Rock and the fans boo. Time limit as expired.
After that action description and analysis this is an easier way to sum up the results of this one by just throwing it out there.
Here’s how it went down:
The Rock pinned Triple H after a Rock Bottom 20:21 to get the first fall with help from Nation Member, D-Lo Brown.
Triple H pinned The Rock after Chyna interfered and hit a DDT at 25:23.
Two falls within 5 minutes but nothing within the first five. And nothing within the next 5 either.
So in the end the time limit expired right after Triple H hit a Pedigree, Rock retained the title at 30:00, however the fans weren’t jumping for joy when it was announced it was a “DRAW.”
This match was indeed unique if you cared to read through any of what I was rambling about you can see why.
It is difficult to rate because it was just so different.
As said I would of liked a bit of psychology but it was the attitude era, it was a spot after spot type match that is pretty fun though no doubt.
We should credit the endurance of both men here more then anything.
A pretty great match. Different but great for Rock, one of his first REAL good matches in this sense.
This would end up being a great feud, long lasting in whether it was for the IC title or the WWF title.
8 ) Bikini Contest: (Hosted by Jerry The King Lawler) Sable vs Jacqueline
Nip Slip for Jackie.
Guess you could say the same for Sable though.
In the end Jackie won by a DQ they say.
This gave the guys somethng talk about or press the rewind button at the time a few times over and over again.
9) Main Event- The Undertaker and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs Kane and Mankind (c) (with Paul Bearer) for the WWF Tag Team Championship
Austin was at his peak in popularity in the dead center of 98, so anything with him was fun. Of course in his era he was the WWF Chamipon but now teaming wth the #2 face The Undertaker they went after the tag title’s.
The tag title’s held by heels Kane and Mankind.
This was going to be good!
Kind of reminds me of the classic four star Backlash 2001 match between the Power Trip against Taker and Kane. Three of the four names from that one are in this one, substitute Foley for The Gae here obviously.
Stone Cold Steve Austin carried most of the match with Kane on the inside of the ring, familar foes went at it on the outside.
Undertaker and Kane had a familiar two year rivalry aand despite Kane being the new Demon to the Undertaker, Mick was always right there behind him and in my view was always a better opponent for Taker producing way better and more memorable matches so it was onl fitting that whenever Taker was in the ring for this match he was usually Mankind and Austin was battling the man who had just beat him for the title the month before at king of the ring in Kane.
Tons of non-stop action in this one, truly felt like an attitude era tag where you just felt special for being there when wrestling was at its peak in popularity during the attitude era.
Everything was hot and everything was note-worthy and felt secial or monumental.
Austin went for the Stunner on Kane, but he blocked it, hit a chokeslam on Undertaker. Foley threw a chair in the ring. Austin grabbed it but then Kane and Mankind double-teamed Stone Cold.
It wasn’t before long that Austin got control of the chair knocking both men out, hitting the Stone Cold Stunner and the fans go wild.
Undertaker came in and chokeslammed both his biggest rivals ever all at once in the year he hated them the most by far – 1998.
Undertaker tombstoned Kane.
In the end at 17:28 Undertaker pinned Kane to mae Austin and Undertaker the new Tag Team Champion’s.
Of course Austin and Taker wouldn’t remain Champs long losing the belts back to Mankind and Kane on August 10th’s Raw leading to the Highway to hell for Steve Austin’s WWF title in a feud between him and a Tweener Undertaker.
This match had its moments for sure.
Final Rating for WWF IYH 23: Fully Loaded 1998 = 6.5/10
This show was pretty good, it took place in an era where the star power was not so much spread out but they booked this one pretty well outside the odd dull match on the card or a seemingly rando tag match. The good stuff here does shine and saves the event from being bad. Anything in the attitude era is a lot of fun. Of the 3 Fully Loaded’s this one s the weakest for sure but it’s still a good event to own if you can find it.