Brett Mix’s- WWF Summerslam 1998- “Highway To Hell” Review:
“I’m on a HIGHWAY TO HELL…….” -ACDC
-From MSG where Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross call the action
– Now onto the PPV…
1) Opening Contest- D-Lo Brown (c) vs Val Venis for the WWF European Championship
What an awesome match this is! Was live and still is today. The past few Summerslam’s have had great opener’s that is for certain.
Porn Star Val owns.
Give them over 15 minutes to work in an opening match at Summerslam from the Garden and they will provide you with good results and they really did here! Kudos to both guys for making this match so enjoyable!
The story here was that the reigning European title holder D-Lo Brown had his vest/chest protector re-inforced by a member of The Nation and that came into play later in the match.
The bell rang and the two circled around the ring area and Val and D-Lo looked eye to eye and the crowd in MSG read ready for some great action. They were ready for Summerslam!
The first of four title matches to be on the line at Summerslam.
The two tie up and Val who was the challenger tried to take D-Lo to the corner but D-Lo’s chest protector was huge and obvioussly got in the way of some of the offense Val might of wanted to apply to D-Lo.
Val got sent for the ride but D-Lo used his chest protector for a hard shoulder block followed by a hip toss. D-Lo then went for a splash in the corner but Val moved and that hurt D-Lo. Val then hit a side russian leg sweep as the challenger and fan favourite in control.
Val with a nice drop kick as the pace quickened and that sent D-Lo to the outside but Val brought him back in after D-Lo had a breather and he landed right back inside the ring. Once in D-Lo went right back to work with a side headlock and then Val went to the ropes and hit a shoulder block to D-Lo, ducked a clothesline then sent D-o to the ropes after a series of reversals and counters with irish whips and that sequence ends with a hard Spine Buster to D-Lo Brown!
The camera zooms in on Edge looking on from the audience as he was a new rookie. Val with a big splash but got a bit hurt because of D-Lo’s chest protector, Val then suplexed D-Lo and and gave him an elbow to the head followed by hard right hands to his head, all of the sudden out of no where D-Lo irish whipped Val hard into the corner and Ross says we’re now in a stale mate.
Some nice back and forth action here as the two exchange right hands and Val Venis hits a high impact move with a big slam, but D-Lo stopped the momentum with a right hand that almost took Val’s head off according to Lawler. D-Lo then applied a scoop slam and a leg drop but only got a near fall. D-Lo with a back heel kick showing his great agility and only got a near fall.
What a fast paced back and forth European title contest!
Amazing pacing, especially for the time these two were given. A true test of endurance.
D-Lo Brown drove the elbow into the collar bone of Val Venis and he wondered what he had to do to put Val away. D-Lo went for a suplex and Val blocked it, but D-Lo slapped on a Texas Cloverleaf into a Boston Crab which put a lot of pressure and tork into the back of Val Venis who the ladies took a liking at….
The Damage had been done to Venis’s back and D-Lo with a sound game plan as he scoop slammed Val injuring his back further.
Venis caught a break after Brown hesitated and Val moved out of the way after D-Lo missed a high impact move. MSG then clapped for both men to get there feet and they did as both men battled away with right hands. Val Venis then dropped the elbow on D-Lo brown who was down on the canvas after Venis got the better of the right hand exchange.
Jim Ross points out we don’t know how much the chest protector is protecting D-Lo and that is a good point with some of these moves. Val signals for the money shot and hits a spinning heel kick. Val Venis went for the Money Shot and then D-Lo Brown countered it into a very unique powerbomb and got a nearfall. What a beautiful spot by Brown.
D-Lo Brown is awesome and THAT is why.
D-Lo and Val continued to reverse each other’s irish whips until D-Lo kicked Val in the jewels and hit a driving DDT but still not enough for the three to retain his title. D-Lo went to the outside and climbed to the top of the turnbuckle but Val then went to the top and set D-Lo up for a suplex but he caught Venis with a right hand and he fell off to the canvas. D-Lo jumped off the top rope and Venis counterd THIS move in mid-air with a nice Powerslam but then only got a 2.
The European Champion in trouble as Venis hits D-Lo’s head on the buckle followed by a nice suplex. Venis went for a Money Shot and then hit it but D-Lo was well scouting that move and got his knees up and hit Val.
Mario Lopez also known as AC Slater from Saved by the Bell was in attendance for this show. Random in the match but it’s true.
D-Lo then hit a running powerbomb to Val Venis. D-Lo went up high and looked for his lo-down frog splash but Venis moved just in time! Both men fatigued as they kept up a gruelling pace and gave each other right hands from there knees. Val then stripped D-Lo’s chest protector off his chest and Val hit a powerslam on D-Lo Brown!
Val then put on D-Lo’s heavy Chest Protector and went up for a money shot with the chest protector and the ref made a mistake and put his hands on Val and he falls groin first on the top buckle. Val then tossed the ref right across the ring.
In the end D-Lo Brown won the match by disqualification at 15:24 and retained the title when Val made contact with the official after stripping that Vest off of D-Lo Brown.
What a match despite the ending. It was a unique ending and Val gave the ref a powersam then a money shot!
Ya know…this match is underrated. For the third Summerslam in a row we get a match over three stars.
This one was brilliant considering the pace for over 15 minutes, extremely exciting and an intelligent wrestled match!
2) The Oddities (Kurgan, Golga and Giant Silva) (with Luna Vachon and the Insane Clown Posse) vs Kaientai (TAKA Michinoku, Dick Togo, Mens Teioh and Sho Funaki) (with Yamaguchi-san) in a 3 on 4 Handicap Match
Well, The Oddities were by no means great workers but they definately were over and fun at times for the live crowd while Kaientai were GREAT workers so this match had the potential to be somewhat good.
It was more of a COMEDY MATCH then anything else.
The Insane Clown Posse, or ICP put on a mini-concert before the match begun. Don’t expect a tremendous wrestling contest out of this one as it is the worst match of the night quite easily and THAT is the good news.
However it is entertaining in parts.
Taka began with Golga who is John Tenta, aka the late Earthquake. Earthquake has a history at Summerslam as he wrestled Hulk Hogan in 1990!
Jim Ross admits he likes the Insane Clown Posse which just sounds hilarious. Lawler and Ross were just gold during this time period. Golga took off the shoe off of a Kaientai member and poored a soft drink then threw it in the face of Yamaguchi-san.
Kurgan went to his knees to pray for mercy I guess as he went heat to head or should I say head to chest with Kaientai member Funaki. Kurgan and Funaki was a pretty big mis-match and Kurgan grabbed Sho Funaki and hit a sidewalk slam.
Kaientai tried to doubl team Kurgan as it turned into a slight clusterfuck but The Oddities got the better of the exchange and they took the time to dance around. The crowd was pretty dead here unless a big spot came up and you can see a lot of fans in MSG going for popcorn or a piss break. Well they picked the appropriate match to do it.
Taka then got tossed around with Giant Silva. Taka and Funaki as well as all four Kaientai members tried to jump on Giant Silva but he pushed them all away. Remember this match was mostly for comedy but it was rather boring with the dead crowd and sloppy wrestling. Giant Silva placed all four members of Kaientai in the corner and hit a big splash into the corner as Jim Ross says Giant Silva reminds him of the late Andre The Giant.
Giant Silva throws all four Kaientai members to the outside then tried to get the crowd into it applauding with the audience. Golga came back in the ring and locked up in the ring with Dick Togo and hit him with a power slam until two members of Kaientai hit Golga with a double drop kick. Funaki and Tao hit him and then all four members hit Golga with a frog splash off the top one at a time. Kaientai’s speed and agility was there top skill they needed to utilize during the match. All four members of Kaientai held Golga down and Taka hit a sliding drop kick into the face in Golga. Tenta aka Golga then came off the ropes and hit a clothesline.
Kurgan hits a huge Sidewalk slam on Funaki with authority. All seven guys in the ring and Kurgan hits a double choke slam. Luna then gets in the ring and hits a scoop slam on Kaientai’s manager Yamaguchi-san.
The Oddities picked up the victory at 10:10 when Giant Silva came off the top rope and Golga pinned members of Kaientai.
Some members of the New Jersey Nets are seen clapping. Wow…..
JR is right when he says what an atmosphere in MSG, it really was.
The Oddities celebrate.
Had its comedic moments, went too long and was boring overall.
At least the worst match of the show is over, that is the good news!
3) X-Pac (with Howard Finkel) vs “Double J” Jeff Jarrett (with Southern Justice, Mark Canterbury and Dennis Knight) in a Hair vs Hair Match
Loser must get there Head Shaved.
Howard Finkel came out with a DX shirt on and told Double J to SUCK IT on the Mic, Hilarious. Pac and Jarrett went at it quickly as the two dodged a hip toss and then Jarrett caught a spinning heel kick followed by a clothesline to the outside. X-Pac was awesome in this match as he quickly hits a body press from the inside 2nd turnbuckle to the outside On Jarrett. Double J then hit X-Pac with a drop kick and then on the outside the two brawled and Double J then scooped up Pac on the outside and rammed his groin into the ring post in a big spot. This was a fantastic match, I can’t even write everything they did just the main stuff because it was unbelievably quick and never boring. Jarrett whipped X-pac to the corner and he caught a boot and when Pac did charge towards Double J he caught a powerslam. Double J then caught him with a hard clothesline in the corner. When he went for another in the corner, X-Pac countered in the corner and hit a tornado DDT to Double J. The fans chanted “Lets go X-Pac”. X-Pac then got caught by Double J as he locked on a sleeper. The first HOLD of the match after 5-7 minutes of unbelievable fast paced action. What excitement in this bout thus far!
X-Pac in the corner hanging up high gets caught by Double J until X-Pac elbowed him off and down goes Double J. X-Pac then fro, the top went for a crossbody but Double J saw it coming with the corner of his eye and moved. Double J then wanted to take advantage but got 2 and a half. Jarrett then kicked at X-Pac and slammed his head to the corner of the buckle. X-Pac then with a spinning heel kick and Jarrett once again dodged it as JR calls him a very intelligent young man.
True story, he is a pro and this is about the the move from Pac he dodged. Double J slaps on a figure four. With Double J having the Figure Four on X-Pac in the middle of the rng the match looked like it could be over. After Pac got out of the Figure Four he hit some suplexes to Double J out of desperation to buy himself some time! Double J caught X-Pac with an elbow, but Pac then hit a cross-body to add to the back and forth pace but only a two and MSG is really into it now. X-Pac with a running powerbomb but still only a two. X-Pac then with a counter and got a close near fall, what a match! Unbelievable action! X-Pac went for a Bronco Buster attempt and Howard came on the apron and Jarrett hit him off the apron and X-Pac hit the X-Factor to Double J and he hit him face first to the canvas but Double J kicked out as
Southern Justice helped him get his foot on the ropes. Mideon, Phinneas or Dennis Knight whatever ther hell he goes by went to hit X-Pac with J’s guitar behind the officials back and X-Pac ducked, knocked him off the apron and grabbed the Guitar.
The finish came at 11:11 when X-Pac defeated Jeff Jarret in the Hair vs Hair match after X-Pac used Double J’s Guitar and smacked it over Jarrett’s head behind the officials back and he got the 1, 2, 3.
What a match!
Headbangers, Outlaws, Droz, Fink and X-Pac then shaved Jarrett’s hair.
This match was amazing, completely entertaining the entire time with some brilliant wrestling. Enthralling is the best word to describe it and I probably could of went higher but I’ll stay at this rating for now! So fun!
4) “Marvellous” Marc Mero and Jacqueline vs Sable and Mystery Partner Edge in a Mixed Tag Team Match
Edge hit some great arm drag take down’s on Mero at the beginning of the match. Sable got tagged in and her punches were absolutely terrible to Luna. She should stick to kicks as that’s the only thing she did well with her kick boxing skills I guess. Still, Edge and Mero controlled the bulk of this match.
Mero’s 2nd appearance at Summerslam and his last one, his first since 1996 when he lost to Golddust. Edge dominated Mero pretty much the entire time as Marc still did a good job at making Edge look good. Edge his a cross body off the top, he flew over the top rope onto Mero among other impressive moves. Edge even spanked Jacqueline on the outside. Sable hit a Hurricanrauna to Mero and they dominated most of the match and the crowd reacted quite well.
In the end Edge lifted up Sable as she splashed on top of Mero at 8:26 for the win. Mero is Sable’s bitch yet again. Well at least he didn’t get Sable Bombed this time…..Jim Ross says “How many Men in America would love to be Mero right there,” (After Sable splashed on top of him chest to chest) I’m Canadian but I’ll say Yes, Ross. Not bad at all, pretty fun, could of been better but some nice spots and it was pretty entertaining overall.
5) “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock vs Owen Hart (with Dan Severn) in the first ever WWF Lion’s Den Match
This was Owen Hart’s last Summerslam event.
The match began when when Shamrock grabbed Owen who looked rather intimidated despite scoring a victory over Shamrock in the Dungeon the month before. Shamrock drove Owen into the fencing and then tried to hyper extend the elbow of Owen until he rolled out of it and the two reversed each others holds until Shamrock hit owen with a power slam. Shamrock then tried to choke out Owen until he hit a low blow. Owen with a head butt but Shamrock came bcack with a thunderous clothesline. Shamrock with some hard knees to the abdomen and Owen is bleeding from the mouth. Shamrock choked out Owen with his own shirt around his throat.
Jim Ross says calls Owen a nugget which is funny as Shamrock beats on Owen rather slowly. Shamrock then used the cage for elevation and jumped in Spider Man fashion and came off with a drop kick to Owen. The Black Heart bought himself SOME TIME and drove Shamrock’s head into the cage and then pounded on Ken Shamrock’s head while the fans chanted for Shamrock. Owen then slammed Shamrock’s head into the cage yet again. Back and forth here as owen hit a spinning heel kick to Ken Shamrock. The crowd chanted Nugget some more as Owen went for a Pile Driver but was unsuccessful and then he hit an uppercut and Shamrock reversed a Frankensteiner and gave Owen a powerbomb to get back in the match. Owen locked on a Boston Crab as he is doing very well in this environment but Shamrock climbed the fence to get out of the move. Shamrock then got speared into the fencing by Owen but came off with a desperation DDT to Owen.
Shamrock reversed Owen’s hold near the fence and Shamrock grabbed Owen’s ankle viciously as Savern walked away!
Shamrock won the match at 9:16 with the Ankle Lock! Fun, unique match with a lot of good holds and wrestling moves but nothing overly special. Still better then I had remembered.
Goodbye yet again Owen, whenever I watch these Anthology sets I can’t help but get sad whenever it’s Owen’s last appearance.
6) The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) vs Mankind (c) in a Handicap-No Holds Barred Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship
This was SUPPOSED to be Foley and his co-tag champion partner Kane against The Outlaws for the Tag Straps but Kane did not show. At least not yet. So we had our 2nd Handicap match of Summerslam on the night and this one is FOR the Tag Gold.Mankind and Billy Gunn had chairs in hand as they stand toe to toe to begin the match. Then they go at it in a violent, hillarious chair was swinging them back and forth against each other! Mankind got the better of it catching Gunn’s hand as Foley was fighting for his life here. He went to smack Gunn with a chair but The Road Dogg caught his chair and the two double teamed Mankind in the corner. Mankind then battled on Gunn but it wasn’t before long where he kept taking head shots by both Outlaws with the frying pans.
Mankind has took more shots to the head then anyone. Foley then continued to get the living shit kicked out of him as he was tied up in the ropes and Road Dogg hit a bowl to the back of him and Mankind then got up and went crazy fighting for his life. He threw Road Dogg to the corner and came off with a knee to the face. Mankind then hit a reverse neck braker on the outside to Billy Gunn until Road Dogg and Mankind began to brawl on the outside, Mankind went to suplex Road Dogg but Billy stopped it from behind and the two threw Mankind into the dumpster. Billy Gunn then had Mankind in the corner while Road Dogg set up a table on the other side and Mankind then irish whipped Gunn into the table with a reversal. Credit to Foley thus far for still getting offense in but Dogg then hit him with a neck braker. The Outlaws then set up two chairs facing each other in the middle of the ring and Power Bombed Foley right through them! My god the bumps he takes! Foley STILL KICKED OUT of Road Dogg’s count surprisingly. Road Dogg then threw in the tag title and Billy went to piledrive Foley as Road Dogg then pushed Foley’s head down onto the belt making Gunn’s piledriver feel more impact and that was it. A lot of great bumps, pretty fun and not too long which was a good aspect of this match.
At 5:16 The Outlaws won the tag team titles back when the Piledriver put Foley away. Wow, that was a long ass 5 minute match. Foley is incredible for the bumps he took and the offense he delivered to the Outlaws during this one. That gets this match some ratings on its own. Unreal. However it wasn’t over as Kane satup in the dumpster and smashed Foley with a Sledgehammer. Kane then attacked Mankind with the Hammer and closed the lid while the Outlaws left. As said above…Foley is God! Even in the simplest match he can make it amazing, even in a 5 minute Handicap bout!
Very entertaining in a surprising way.
7) Triple H (with Chyna) vs The Rock (c) (with Mark Henry) in a Ladder match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Rock HAD his fans in this match. He was just getting way to entertaining to BOO now after some hillarious promo’s in 1998 and despite him being cheered against Dan the beast at KOTR 98 his cheers were most notable here in this match, especially during certain moves as I’ll ellude to in this matches review.
Even still with those fans for Rock, the leader of D-X, Triple H had most of his fans still with him and that was just a testament to how popular these two individuals were and how well the feud was recieved between the two Faction leaders who were ready to step into superstardom.
This match is brilliant as a lot of ladder matches are, and takes place from the same venue the first big ladder match did with Michaels and Ramon.
Rocky stares at his IC title as it goes up to the top of MSG and Rock and Hunter look eye to eye.
What a Fantastic rivalry this had been to this point and this is the showdown everyone was waiting for.
Triple H’s brother and his band sang DX’s entrance theme when Trips came out just like at WM 14.
Rock got great heat and even some cheers as said.
Like most big battles the two sqaure off in the center of the ring to start the match and it begins with a fist fight!
Rocky and Hunter slug it out in the middle of the ring and the crowd gets into it!
Hunter got the better of that exchange and wanted retribution from Rock for humiliating Chyna on Raw which was quite simply nothing short of hillarious. Hunter hit Rock with a face buster on his knee but not long after that The Rock got some shots in on Hunter in the corner. Hunter went to pedigree Rock but he back dropped Triple H to the outside.
The story here was Helmsley’s knee and on Sunday Night Heat The Rock hit him a bunch of times with the IC Title to further target that knee which should come in to play during a ladder match.
Trips threw Rock into the unforgiving steel on both sides of the entrance way when Rock went to grab the ladder. Trips continued to throw The Great One into the gaurd rail and barricade. Helmsley then threw Rock back in the ring but back in Rock got pissed and threw Helmsley a right hand and then off the ropes Helmsley hit a high knee to The Rock. Trips then goes to the outside and goes to get the ladder but as he gets there The Rock hit him from behind and he went down with it and then The Rock stomped on Hunter on the outside.
Rocky then picked up the ladder and folded it together so he could carry it. Rock had the ladder in hand and set it by the ring till Triple H grabbed Rock’s head and slammed it into the top of the barricade. Triple H went to throw Rock into the Ladder standing vertical against the ring apron but Rocky reviersed the irish whip and sent Hunter in hard towards the ladder as he bounced off and then caught a HARD Clothesline from Rock and he fell to the floor on the outside.
Rock then all alone with the ladder set it up in the middle of the ring. Rock took his time as Trips then climbed to the top of the turnbuckle from the outside and then dove off and hit Rock off but the ladder fell on top of Triple H.
Rock was 26 during this time and Triple H was 29. The days when these two were young.
Helmsley then picked up the ladder and hit it right into Rock. Helmsley then smacked Rock’s chest with the yellow ladder hard. Ross calls it an innovative way to use the Ladder, and it SORT of was at the time anyway. Triple H began to climb one side of the ladder until Rock dragged one leg of Triple H and his right knee might of buckled as he fell off rather easy.
The Rock then took advantage of Trips’s knee troubles and picked up one leg and kicked him in the groin. Rock drove an elbow into the Quad of Trips attempting to Charlie Horse the leg of Triple H. A Small “Let’s Go Rocky” chant broke out followed by “Rocky Sucks” but it’s not acknowledged by the commentators and Rock looks to MSG and is sort of surprised I think.
Helmsley was caught in the ladder with his bad knee and Rock used good psychology.
With aggression The Rock stomped on the ladder busting Trips’s knee and then The Rock grabbed a chair on the outside of the ring area and Smacked the ladder with Helmsley’s knee inside and he screamed in pain.
The Rock then grabbed Hunter’s legs that were wrapped around the steel post and smacked them hard against the pole. Rock then in a very innovative spot set up The Ladder from the barricade to the top of the steps and lifted up Hunter and dropped him knee first into the Ladder. Rock then stomped on Hunter’s knee.
Jim Ross said it was rather academic now as Rock slowly climbed an unstable ladder that looked a little busted itself from all the shots The Rock gave Hunter. Triple H JUST made it to take Rock off and then the ladder got pushed out of the ring.
After a pause, Helmsley made it to his feet and then sent Rock to the outside by throwing him threw the ropes. Helmsley in an attempt to get back in the match propped the ladder vertical against the barricade but Rock fought back and Rock sent Helmsley face first into the Ladder and on his way down he bouned his head off the Spanish Announce Table!
Triple H crawling because of his bad knee and Rock chased him up the MSG entrance way with the ladder but Triple H out of desperation on the floor with his good leg hit Rock with a gut shot to protect himself from a potential Ladder shot! Both men back up and Triple H threw Rock into the side and then hit a clothesline as the fans cheered but Trips remembered to sell the pain!
Helmsley then set up Rock for a PEDIGREE on the ladder but The Rock back dropped him spine first on The Ladder!
That was a brilliant spot as Helmsley went high in the air and Rock just back dropped him and he FELL HARD on top of the Ladder.
Mark Henry threw another Ladder into the ring.
Rock went to climb the Ladder and Triple H pushed it over and Rock flew to the outside JUST after Rock had his fingertips on the IC Title that he had carred for so long.
There is 2 ladders in the ring for these two athletes who had battered each other to this point.
Helmsley with an innovative baseball slide to the face of The Rock with one of the ladder’s and Rock was on the outside. Helmsley then went to the outside to get himself some more of The Rock and he sent him into the wall and Rock bladed and became busted open after he took the ladder full force into the face.
Triple H set the Ladder up in the middle of the ring with no one around but he went incredibally slow due to his bad leg and Rock got back in and pushed Triple H over and he fell as the crowd “Oooooohhh’d” as Rocky is all bloody.
Rock hammered Hunter with some right hands and he got tied up in the ropes. Rock then set the Ladder horrizontal on top of the turnbuckle and with the other Ladder set it right on the ground. Rock hit HHH with a huge DDT as the crowd became more vocal for Rocky at this point in the match.
Both Rocky and Hunter then battled it out on top of the ladder in front of Madison Sqaure Garden where Michaels and Razor did 4 years before them.
The tension grew in the building with both of them going at it up there near the IC Title!
Rock pushed Trips over and he fell face first into the horizontal ladder on top of the turnbuckle and JR screamed “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS” as Hunter pushed Rock off on his way down.
Helmsley then beat the hell out of the ladder that was on top of The Rock with a steel chair as MSG was going nuts.
The buzz was in the air as they rumbled and cheered as the Climax was upon us. Rock then scooped up Hunter and slammed him hard AGAIN with his back on the ladder.
Rock then went for the people’s elbow and that got a huge POP!
Rock delivered it to Hunter right on top of the Ladder. Huge Rocky chant after that. Helmsley then got a Rock Bottom from the Intercontinental Champion! The Rock then climbed the ladder slowly and Triple H was on the canvas floor in pain as well as him and with Rock almost at the top Triple H came from behind and grabbed at Rock. Jim Ross continued to do a fantastic job calling this match. Triple H hit The Rock with a Pedigree and the fans popped just as loud as they did for the People’s elbow as they both were popular as hell. Both guys down and Henry then threw powder from the outside into Hunter’s eyes. Rock slapped at Triple H as both guys climbed the ladder.
HHH fell off the ladder but Chyna came in and hit a LOW BLOW! MSG exploded in the end when Hunter grabbed the belt and we have a new champion at 26:01 of the Ladder Match! This put an end to an already TERRIFIC title reign by The Rock who had the title the entire year of 1998 after many close calls, mostly from Ken Shamrock.
Triple H’s reign would be cut short due to injury but the place went crazy when the leader of DX won the strap!
I could go lower on the match by about 1/4* but I’ll keep it at an even 4 just because of the significance for both men.
A Classic in its own right! Still talked about today as it elevated both these guys into Main Event level!
8 ) Main Event- Highway To Hell: Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs The Undertaker for the World Wrestling Federation Championship
After a terrific build Stone Cold Steve Austin was ready to defend his World Wrestling Federation title against the #2 star in the company at the time, The Undertaker.
It’s always hard to follow A Ladder match.
But this was The Highway To Hell and MSG was READY for it for so long and with a fast paced Main Event like this it came to then and was recieved very well.
Taker came out first and then when Austin came out MSG roared like usual for Austin in his prime for popularity and for the first and only time since WM 13 he got that COOL Glass Entrance and it broke off with a skeleton dressed as Austin.
Every single soul was on there feet with anticipation.
It’s worth it to point out that Taker was not a HEEL here like in 1999, he was a
TWEENER if not a full out FACE its just he was Darker and was possessed to get Austin’s gold.
Not only that but Austin was insanely popular obvioussly at this time.
Austin began with hard right hands, something he grew familiar with, with his rough red neck brawling character that brawled even more after sustaining that injury from Owen’s piledriver at last year’s Summerslam.
However no one quite did it like Stone Cold.
Austin started the match by throwing hard right hands to the head of the Deadman but Taker quickly countered it with some of his own and Jim Ross intelligently states that he doesen’t know if Austin wants to get in a fist fight with The Deadman since he out weighs him by a good 70 pounds but Austin holds his own until recieving a hard clothesline by the Phenom.
With the challenger in control the match started off quick and action packed with MSG chanting “Let’s go Austin!”
The Undertaker then went for a pin and Austin kicked out. The Lets go Austin chants didn’t die and Austin gave him the finger. What an atmosphere!
Austin then grabbed Taker’s arm and then stomped and Taker did the same to Steve after he reversed the armbar and Austin didn’t have as much power, size or strength as Taker but Steve could brawl and used some of his old school moves and used a drop toe old to Taker. King laughs as he was surprised at Austin doing a move like that and JR points out Austin has done it before.
Steve then worked on Taker’s vertical base and then slapped on a hard arm bar to Taker.
The Undertaker then countered a suplex and delivered a vicious elbow to the Jaw of Austin. Steve Austin then with right hands and Stone Cold off the ropes got caught by Taker in mid-air and The Undertaker hit the Champion with a hot shot as Steve bounced off the top ropes and he went back to the canvas after a potential bear hug that turned into what he’d call a Stun Gun.
The back became the focus point for The Phenom as he drove his hands into The WWF Champion who was in the corner. His size 15 boot then levelled Austin and as the pace got a tad slower the methodical pace favored the dead man. The Undertaker whipped Austin into the buckle.
Austin on the outside of the ring then grabbed Taker’s boots from beneath him and then slammed his knee joint into the top of the ring apron! Austin then pulled on Taker’s boot and smacked his knee to the post.
This is how you chop down a big guy by taking out his legs, smart wrestling by the Rattlesnake.
Back in the ring Austin hammered Taker with more right hands and JR calls him like a machine, but Taker had enough in his wheels coming off the ropes and hit Steve with a flying clothesline. Taker then with a choke hold.
Taker went up for Old School which is always impressive but Austin had it scouted with a huge arm drag takedown from the top of the turnbuckle to the canvas which got a great reaction!
Steve Ausitn then relentlessly stomped on Taker’s knee following up what strategy he had before hand! The crowd chanted 3:16 and then KANE CAME OUT.
Austin can’t even contend with TWO 7 foot Monsters and then Taker ordered Kane to go back to the room because this is going to be one on one. Taker then got respect and invited Austin to get it back on with him and then the slug fest came back in.
Austin made sure Kane was gone and he was but Taker caught Austin on the ring apron and gave him a huge Chokeslam from the outside into the ring and Austin bounced off the canvas with a devistating chokeslam and King says there’ll be a New Champion! Austin was distracted by Kane who had now left.
Austin got up as Taker took his time and hit a desperate clothesline to Taker over the top rope and Austin then hit Taker on the outside and drove his head in to the announce table. Austin then bounced his body off the entrance guard rail in typical Attitude Era main event spots. They then began to battle into the crowd.
Jim Ross said “Where the hell are they going?” as they went through the audience and Ross said the Highway to Hell is running right through the fans and King hilariously said “Are they nuts? This is New York!”
They went back towards the ring and Taker was getting the better of Steve as he back dropped him over the barricade 8-10 feet high then back first onto the concrete floor. Taker in complete control here.
Despite that once back in the toughest SOB in the Federation stomped Taker in the mid-section and then went for a Stunner but Taker backed out and then grabbed Austin by the boots, slapped a bear hug outside the ring and drove Austin spine first into the ring post. JR said Austin could be paralyzed because of that bad neck.
Taker back in control now as Austin is hurting big time. The two apparently blacked out earlier in the match as you can read about in my PPV notes before the review.
Taker threw Austin with one hand over the top rope and his back hit across the ring apron.
The Undertaker then threw Austin into the turnbuckle with his ribs hitting first and Jim Ross said he had never seen Austin take a BEATING like this, even from Kane.
Then in the spot of the match The Undertaker jumped from the top turnbuckle and gave a flying leg drop to Steve Austin crashing through a table! WOW!
Epic, all this after they had both blacked out. Amazing! MSG roared and this epic encounter had just been taken to a whole new level!
Taker then with everything he had was overmatching the Texas Rattlesnake and then
Austin ducked an irish whip and to his advantage there was a mid-air collision as they double clotheslined each other.
Austin and Taker back and forth with a slug fest and Steve drove his shoulder into the stomach of Taker then hit him with some chops.
Austin hit a Lou Thesz Press then a vicious elbow to the throat!
The physical intensity with a gruelling pace here and Austin and Taker should get a lot of credit for continuing this mathc so well after they blacked out.
Taker caught Austin with a choke slam!
Second chokeslam of the night for The Undertaker.
Austin then avoided a Tombstone and went for a Stunner but Taker scooped up Austin and dropped him groin first on the top rope! The Deadman bought himself some more time and hit a side russian leg sweep to Austin!
What a match.
The Side Russian Leg Sweep puts further pressure on the neck of Austin. Smart moves by Taker.
I can’t believe this didn’t make the Taker or Austin 3 Disc DVD’s.
Taker went up for Old School and then Austin hit a low blow to Taker as he fell down.
In the end Stone Cold Steve Austin retained the title at 20:52 when he delivered the Stone Cold Stunner to Undertaker then got the three in dramatic fashion and MSG roared.
JR: “AUSTIN WINS! AUSTIN WINS! AUSTIN WINS!”
Taker after the match in an act of respect handed the title to Austin and the fans cheered.
Terrific match, I rate this just behind A Cold Day in Hell which I gave **** 1/4 in the big and long Austin/Taker Saga. However this match was far and away the more important one, had Austin been healthier it could of been better, same goes for Taker apparently due to rumors about his ankle at the time.
You’ve gotta give it to both men here. Awesome, awesome stuff and it was rell recieved as it got great feedback after the show was done from fans and MSG went home happy!
Memorable for sure!
I originally had this lower but my god if it isn’t action packed, with spots, awesome brawling and even some technical work with an amazing atmosphere!
Awesome, awesome, awesome. The Highway to Hell delivered an entertaining thrill ride with two of the most popular stars in their prime going at it in a full-out brawl, with some awesome spots inbetween.
Taker and Kane staredown the Rattlesnake at the entrance way after Undertaker handed Austin his belt showing that he was the man of the Federation.
As if there was any doubt.
Final Rating for WWF Summerslam 1998 = 7.5/10
This show was exactly like the last two Summerslam’s in the sense where it had some good matches in the undercard with average ones and then was capped off with two GREAT main event matches just like 1996 and 1997. We saw two awesome main events with a red hot MSG crowd in the middle of summer in a booming time for Wrestling in general. All this helped boost the credibility of this Summerslam and it was a great success overall. A very solid event! Thumbs up for this one and McMahon must have been happy as his company was headed to the promise land!