Archive for the ‘1998’ Category

royalrumble1998

 

1. Vader vs. Goldust w/Luna Vachon

Goldust was going a downward spiral gimmick wise and became a more deranged and surreal character spoofing off Prince’s moniker “The Artist Formerly Known as…”. His first victim was Vader after a Survivor Series match in which both were partners but he turned his back on the Mastodon. The feud was hot and heavy and the match wasn’t the prettiest but it sure was entertaining with the brawling.
Grade: B-

 

2. Batallion, Tarantula & El Torito vs. Max Mini, Nova & Mosaic

The Mexican mini’s once again make their way to a PPV match as a special attraction. This one had little to no entertainment and it’s division eventually died in the following weeks.
Grade: D

 

3. WWF Intercontinental Championship
The Rock (c) vs. Ken Shamrock

Rocky Maivia joined the Nation of Domination and became what we all know him best as The Rock. At the time he was in a very heated feud with UFC legend Ken Shamrock who at the time competing as a WWF regular. The match itself was pretty good as both had good chemistry and as up and coming wrestlers they sure made the best out of their time together. The finish was understandable and very much acceptable to escalate their feud even more.
Grade: B-

 

4. WWF Tag Team Championship
The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Bad Ass Billy Gunn) (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

The Outlaws were rising while the Road Warriors were descending in the ranks of popularity. Their feuds were very one sided and their matches were as bland as a paper colored in white crayon. This was no exception.
Grade: F

 

5. Royal Rumble Match
Participants: Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, Tom Brandi, The Rock, Mosh, Phineas Godwinn, 8-Ball, Blackjack Bradshaw, Owen Hart, Steve Blackman, D-Lo Brown, Kurrgan, Marc Mero, Ken Shamrock, Thrasher, Goldust, Jeff Jarrett, The Honky Tonk Man, Ahmed Johnson, Mark Henry, Skull, Kama Mustafa, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Henry Godwinn, Savio Vega, Farooq, Dude Love, Chainz & Vader

This rumble was average with some notable highlights in which Mick Foley entered three times in the rumble as his three alter-egos to everyone’s amusement. The subplot of Austin attacking most of the participants in the weeks prior to the rumble to prove that he is a marked man and doesn’t give a damn. The rest was forgettable but some decent spots were shown.
Grade: B-

 

6. WWF Championship
Casket Match
Shawn Michaels (c) vs. The Undertaker

These two have been pulling a series of really good matches including the infamous first ever Hell in a Cell match. Outside of the interference from DX, the Outlaws, Los Boricuas & Kane. The match itself was quite good with the casket playing a good part of the spots provided in the match. Both have proven the huge chemistry they had as professionals & veterans that was never questioned and never will be. Also another chapter in the legendary Kane vs. Undertaker feud was written during this match with a climatic ending to the show.
Grade: B+

 

Final Thoughts:

This was a solid show that’s easy to sit through and be enjoyed in it’s fullest. The undercard was alright, the rumble was fun & the main event was entertaining. From this point forward the WWF was striking back at WCW during the infamous Monday Night War with their new weapons in Austin, Rock, Mankind, Undertaker, Kane & others.

Verdict: 7.25/10

 

1. European Championship
D-Lo Brown (c) vs. Val Venis

Fun Opener. Venis was at top of his game at this period and D-Lo was still progressing, his chest protector gimmick was hilarious.
Grade: C-

 

2. Kaientai vs. The Oddities

A total mess involving surreal gigantic men squashing little japanese men. Great gimmicks thought.
Grade: DUD

 

3. Hair vs. Hair Match
X-Pac vs. Jeff Jarrett w/ Southern Justice

The Godwinns ditched the overalls and became bodyguards for self proclaimed country singer, Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett has been on a rampage cutting peoples hair such as Droz & Howard Finkel. X-Pac and Jarrett are no strangers to each other and delivered a pretty good technical match. This would be a climatic moment in Jarrett’s career as this would be his last day as a country singer and move on to bigger and better things.
Grade: C+

 

4. Mixed Tag Team Match
Marc Mero & Jacqueline vs. Sable & Edge

Mero & Sable were a couple for 2 years until Mero changed into a sexist alpha male because Sable took out his spotlight. So she leaves and Mero moves on to get a new woman in Jackie. They’ve been colliding since then and challenged Sable to a tag match. Sable would reveal her partner at the PPV and it is none other than the mysterious newcomer, Edge. Mero and Edge gave all the offense and worked throughout the whole match and then the ladies will do their thing. Nothing special here.
Grade: C-

 

5. Lion’s Den Match
Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart

A month prior, Hart and Shamrock had a match in the infamous Hart Dungeon in Calgary where Owen used his wits and knowledge of the Dungeon to his advantage. This time it’s in Shamrock’s world inside the now famous Octagon. Really enjoyable as it is a unique feature and gave people a taste of how dangerous Shamrock really is, not that he wasn’t already. Owen never has a bad match and Shamrock looked solid.
Grade: C+

 

6. Tag Team Championship
No-Holds Barred Match
Mankind (c) vs. The New Age Outlaws

Kane has reunited with his brother, The Undertaker, and no longer need Mankind nor the titles. Mankind took a sever beating by the Outlaws, although he gave some offense later on. Not much to say here.
Grade: D-

 

7. Intercontinental Championship
                Ladder Match
The Rock (c) vs. Triple H

At the time, The Nation of Domination now led by the Rock has been feuding with D-Generation X led by Triple H all summer long. The Rock was slowly on the verge of becoming the big sensation we now know him as while Trips was still learning and improving also. They fought countless times but this has to be the most overlooked match of them all. It’s not the best ladder match out there but it told a story. A story of two amazingly talented wrestlers who were rising up the ranks together and eventually become Icons and have their respective names written in the history books. Trips’s knee was in bad-shape and sold it like it was gone forever. It was quite even for the most part by trading spots with the ladder and finishers.
Grade: A-

 

8. WWF Championship
Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. The Undertaker

Austin never looked back ever since he feuded with Bret Hart in 1997 and the Undertaker at the same time became more independent with his in-ring work improve dramatically. At the time their rivalry was getting more intense by the day, especially with Taker reuniting with his brother Kane becoming the Brothers of Destruction. At first, it was a wrestling match with Austin using old school moves to get around Taker. Then in a blink of an eye it turned into a wild brawl that traveled all over Madison Square Garden. Then it went back into the ring with a bit of everything but the kitchen sink. Very good match to end the show.
Grade: A-

In conclusion, it was a successful shot. Shawn Michaels & Bret Hart were no longer in the WWF and it was all up to the 2 top babyfaces of the company to run the ball and what they did was sprint out. Also everyone in the roster was involved in a storyline and had sufficient time to develop their respective characters and in-ring skills without being away from TV. A huge progress from the previous year where there getting there but not completely there. The show was smooth to sit down with popcorn and enjoy 3 hours of total non stop action (no pun intended).

Verdict: 8.25/10