The Piledriver Report 05.02.13: The History of Vince McMahon’s Wrestling Empire: Part Fifteen
The year was 1999. The Monday Night Wars were in full swing. After a year, in which the WWF went from being the second greatest wrestling organization (in terms of the ratings battle with World Championship Wrestling), they finished 1998 as the top wrestling company in North America.
The 1999 Royal Rumble was held on January 24th at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. WWF Tag Team Champion the Big Bossman pinned WWF Hardcore Champion the Road Dogg in a non-title match. WWF IC & Tag Team Champion Ken Shamrock defeated Billy Gunn by submission. WWF European Champion X-Pac pinned Gangrel. WWF Women’s Champion Sable defeated Luna in a strap match. The Rock defeated WWF World Champion Mankind in an I Quit match to win the title following ten chair shots to the head while the champion had his hands handcuffed behind his back. Mankind never submitted. An audio clip from a promo earlier in the night was played over the PA with Mankind screaming “I quit! I quit! I quit!” This match was made famous in a 2000 documentary called Beyond the Mat. The movie showed Mick Foley’s family sitting ringside watching in horror as Foley’s head was repeatedly smashed with a steel chair by The Rock. Vince McMahon won the 30-man Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Steve Austin. Due to pre-match stipulations, McMahon earned a WWF World Title shot at WrestleMania XV.
The next night on RAW, Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett beat the Big Boss Man and Ken Shamrock for the WWF World Tag Team Championships. WWF World Champion The Rock beat Triple H in an I Quit match after Triple H agreed to quit as long as the Corporation wouldn’t harm Chyna. To the shock of the fans, Chyna turned on Triple H, and joined the Corporation after the match.
Sunday January 31st, was the 33rd installment of the Super Bowl. Over the years, to compete for the Super Bowl’s audience, the different television networks would run counter-programming during the Super Bowl’s halftime show. FOX ran a live “In Living Color” special. M-TV would run a special musical telecast. Recently, the pay per view providers have treated many horny male viewers to “The Lengire Bowl,” a football game played by scantly clad models and Playmates. With RAW ratings setting record numbers, the WWF tried their hand at trying to capture the halftime Super Bowl audience. The WWF broadcast a special Empty Arena WWF World Title Match between WWF World Champion The Rock against the ex-WWF World Champion Mankind. Mankind defeated The Rock to recapture the WWF World title.
The Pyramid in Memphis, TN was the home to the WWF’s next big event of the year. That event took placed on February 14th, and was titled St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Goldust pinned the Blue Meanie. Bob Holly pinned Al Snow to win the vacant WWF Hardcore title after wrapping Snow up in a chain link fence outside the arena, just a couple feet away from the Mississippi River. The Big Bossman pinned Mideon. WWF Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart defeated Mark Henry & D-Lo Brown. Val Venis pinned WWF IC Champion Ken Shamrock to capture the title. Kane & Chyna defeated Triple H & WWF European Champion X-Pac. WWF World Champion Mankind fought the Rock to a draw in a Last Man Standing match after both men simultaneously hit each other with a steel chair. Steve Austin defeated Vince McMahon in a steel cage match after Paul Wight, who came up through the canvas, threw Austin into the cage, which swung open from the force – and Austin dropped to the floor for the win. This was a historic pay per view. After suffering through the losses of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Bret Hart over the years to World Championship Wrestling, the signing of Paul Wight (The Giant in WCW) was the WWF’s first major acquisition of talent that they signed away from WCW during the Monday Night Wars.
On RAW the night after the show, Kane & Shane McMahon defeated Triple H & WWF European Champion X-Pac. Shane pinned X-Pac after hitting him with the title belt. However, due to prematch stipulations, Shane won the European title. In a WWF World title Ladder Match, The Rock defeated WWF World Champion Mankind to win the championship after Paul Wight interfered.
On March 28th, the WWF presented WrestleMania XV from the First Union Center in Philadelphia, PA. Hardcore Holly defeated Al Snow and WWF Hardcore Champion Billy Gunn to win the Hardcore Championship. WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett defeated D-Lo Brown. Butterbean defeated Bart Gunn via KO at the 47-second mark in the 1st round of a boxing match. Mankind defeated the Big Show by disqualification. After the bout, an angered Vince McMahon came out and verbally berated Show for losing the match. After Vince slapped Show in the face, the giant knocked Vince out with a punch. Due to a pre-match stipulation, Mankind was named the special referee for the match. However, since Mankind was now unable to perform as referee, Vince said that he would be the referee of the match. WWF IC Champion the Road Dogg defeated Goldust, Val Venis, and Ken Shamrock in an elimination match. Kane defeated Triple H via disqualification at when Chyna turned on Kane. After the match, Triple H and Chyna embraced and left the ring together. WWF Women’s Champion Sable pinned Tori. WWF European Champion Shane McMahon pinned X-Pac when Triple H and Chyna turned on X-Pac. The Undertaker pinned the Big Boss Man in a Hell in a Cell. Before the main event, Vince McMahon came out to act as the guest referee but WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels said only he could appoint the referee. He told Vince McMahon to leave the ring, and he proclaimed that the Corporation would be banned from ringside. Towards the end of the match, after a couple of ref bumps, Mankind, who had been sent to the hospital earlier, returned to the arena to referee the match. Steve Austin pinned the WWF World Champion The Rock to win the WWF title with Mick Foley counting the pin.
A NEW POWER GROUP IN THE WWF
The WWF used the following night’s RAW to set up their spring/early summer programs. WWF World Champion Steve Austin opened the show in which he asked Vince McMahon to come out so he could relinquish the world title belt. After giving Vince the belt, Austin showed footage from the Breakdown pay per view where McMahon ran off with the Smoking Skull belt. Vince was later quoted saying it would be put above his fireplace at home. Austin gave Vince an ultimatum. Go home and give Vince back the Smoking Skull belt by the end of the show, or get beat up. Vince responded by hitting Austin with the title belt and then ran backstage. X-Pac cut a promo where he said DX would not die and that he and the New Age Outlaws would continue to raise hell. He said that he would fight Triple H later in the show. Ivory & Tori defeated WWF Women’s Champion Sable & Jackie after Sable turned on Jackie. After the bout, the Ministry – the Undertaker, Paul Bearer, Gangrel, Edge, Christian, Viscera, and Mideon – came to the ring., with Taker holding Sable as bait for Vince McMahon to come ringside. After Vince came out, he quickly realized it was a trap. When he ran backstage, he found that Stephanie had gone missing.
The Big Show pinned Test with a boot to the face and the chokeslam at the 30-second mark. After the bout, Show cut a promo directed at Vince McMahon, saying no one owns him.
Ken Shamrock defeated Gangrel by submission. After the bout, the lights flickered and Shamrock was attacked by Edge & Christian. When the lights came back on, Shamrock immediately locked Christian in the ankle lock, with Christian confessing that Stephanie McMahon was being held in the basement. After the commercial break, Shamrock was shown searching in the basement for Stephanie where he eventually found her.
Goldust pinned WWF IC Champion the Road Dogg to win the Intercontinental Championship.
Vince McMahon told Ken Shamrock that he would always be indebted to him for finding Stephanie. He told Shane to give Steve Austin his Smoking Skull belt after it was brought to the arena from Greenwich, CT. The closing segment had Shane McMahon cut an in-ring promo in which he said that if Steve Austin wanted his Smoking Skull belt back, he would have to go through The Rock. Moments later, The Rock came out with the belt over his shoulder, and cut a promo on Austin. The two men brawling around ringside. The fight saw Austin hit the Stunner on Shane. The Rock hit Austin with the Smoking Skull belt, and other members of the Corporation – including Triple H, Test, and Ken Shamrock – helped in beating up Steve Austin. Moments later, the Big Show came out to help clear the ring, with Triple H sustaining a chokeslam from The Big Show.
THE TRUE PEOPLE’S CHAMPION
On April 25th, the WWF presented Backlash at the Providence Civic Center in Rhode Island. The Acolytes & Mideon defeated Edge, Christian, & Gangrel. Al Snow pinned WWF Hardcore Champion Hardcore Holly to win the title. WWF IC Champion the Godfather pinned Goldust. The Road Dogg & Billy Gunn defeated Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett. Due to pre-match stipulations, Gunn & Road Dogg won a tag team title shot for the first edition of Smackdown! Mankind defeated the Big Show in a Boiler Room Brawl match. Triple H pinned X-Pac. The Undertaker pinned Ken Shamrock. WWF World Champion Steve Austin pinned the Rock in a No Holds Barred match with the Stunner after special referee Shane McMahon accidentally hit The Rock with the title belt. When Shane refused to count the pin, Vince McMahon came the ring with a new referee and hit Shane with Austin’s Smoking Skull belt.
On the following RAW, The Rock officially became a “babyface.” On RAW, he beat Shane McMahon by disqualification after Triple H and Chyna interfered on Shane’s behalf. The WWF presented the very first edition of Smackdown! on April 29th at the New Haven Coliseum in Connecticut. In the very first televised Smackdown! match, The Blue Blazer pinned Val Venis. The Big Show pinned Test in 47 seconds. D-Lo Brown defeated Droz by disqualification. WWF Tag Team Champions Kane & X-Pac defeated the Road Dogg & Billy Gunn. Ken Shamrock defeated Bradshaw via KO in a streetfight. Mankind defeated the Big Bossman. WWF World Champion Steve Austin & the Rock fought the Undertaker & Triple H to a no contest.
One of the saddest days in professional wrestling history took place on May 23, 1999. On that date, the WWF was holding the pay per view called Over The Edge from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, MO. Before the bout between WWF IC Champion the Godfather and the Blue Blazer (Owen Hart), during a pre-match stunt in which he was to repell from the rafters into the ring, Hart’s harness became detached and he fell approximately 50 feet into the ring. Despite paramedics rushing into the ring to help Owen Hart, they couldn’t help Hart. He was later pronounced dead to the television audience later in the show, but the live audience was not informed.
WWF Tag Team Champions X-Pac & Kane defeated D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry. WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow pinned Hardcore Holly. Val Venis & Nicole Bass defeated Jeff Jarrett & Debra. Billy Gunn pinned the Road Dogg. Mankind, the Big Show, Test, & Ken Shamrock defeated the Acolytes, Viscera, & the Big Bossman in an elimination match. The Rock defeated Triple H by disqualification.
The Undertaker pinned WWF World Champion Steve Austin after interference from special referee Vince McMahon backfired, with the second referee – Shane McMahon – making a fast count for the Undertaker.
On the next night’s RAW, the WWF presented one of the greatest tribute shows in the history of wrestling. The show opened where all of the WWF talent, officials, and referees stood in front of the Titan Tron to show respect to Owen Hart as a tribute video was shown on the big screen. Throughout the show, several personnel, such as Mark Henry, Paul Bearer, Triple H & Chyna, Shane McMahon, Earl Hebner, Gerald Brisco, Goldust, the Road Dogg, Bradshaw, Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett & Debra, and Test shared their personal memories of Owen. Jeff Jarrett defeated Test by submission. WWF Tag Team Champions X-Pac & Kane defeated Edge & Gangrel. Matt & Jeff Hardy defeated Taka Michinoku & Sho Funaki. Ken Shamrock defeated Hardcore Holly by submission. Mankind defeated Billy Gunn by count-out. D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry defeated the Acolytes. The Road Dogg fought WWF IC Champion the Godfather to a no contest when both men agreed they’d rather get high and tell some Owen Hart stories than fight each other. Triple H pinned WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow. The Big Show pinned Goldust. The Rock pinned Val Venis with the Rock Bottom / People’s Elbow combo at the 56 second mark. Prior to the contest, the Rock cut a promo on Owen. At the end of the show, Austin came out and saluted Owen’s memory with a beer.
The following night was business as usual for the WWF as they held a Sunday Night Heat and RAW television taping. On Sunday Night Heat, a video package on the history of the King of the Ring aired, featuring the most recent tournament wins by Steve Austin, Triple H, and Ken Shamrock. There was also a in-ring promo by Steve Austin, which was interrupted by the Undertaker on the Titantron. The Undertaker said Austin would come face-to-face with the Higher Power the following night on Raw. Heat hosted several King of the Ring qualifying matches. Ken Shamrock defeated Jeff Jarrett by submission. Hardcore Holly pinned WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow. WWF Tag Team Champion X-Pac pinned the Big Bossman. Billy Gunn pinned Viscera.
On the RAW main event, Steve Austin defeated WWF World Champion the Undertaker by disqualification when the Corporate Ministry interfered. The Higher Power, covered in a cloak, came to the ring after the match and allowed Austin to see his face but didn’t reveal himself to the crowd.
THE CORPORATE MINISTRY
On the next RAW, Vince McMahon opened the show where he cut an in-ring promo regarding the identity of the Higher Power. Vince said the Higher Power was rumored to be Shawn Michaels, Jake Roberts, or even a McMahon. Vince challenged his son Shane to a no holds barred match with both men’s stake in the WWF being on the line. Shane came out, accepted the match, and said he was not the Higher Power. After the commercial break, the Corporate Ministry (WWF World Champion the Undertaker, Paul Bearer, Triple H, Chyna, the Big Bossman, Mideon, Viscera, and WWF Tag Team Champions the Acolytes) came out to the ring with Taker introducing the Higher Power, who then came to the ring wearing a hood. After the Higher Power came out, Shane McMahon appeared on the stage to prove that it wasn’t him. Shane then complimented the Higher Power before entering the ring. Shane then asked Vince to come out and witness the unveiling. Vince appeared on the Titan Tron, and asking the Higher Power to take off the hood. When the masked figure did, he revealed to be Vince himself! Vince then cut a promo on Steve Austin, saying that this proves that there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to make Austin’s life a living hell. Moments later, Linda & Stephanie McMahon came out on the stage to confront Vince about his deception. Linda said that it was a lie when Vince said he and Shane each owned 50% of the company – all four McMahons owned an equal amount of the company. She went on to say that some changes would be taking place at the office. She said the dress code would be more casual, and that profanity and alcohol would be allowed. Linda said she stepped down as CEO of the WWF, and introduced Steve Austin as the new head of the company. Austin then came out, said that he would have a world title match whenever he wanted, and stated that at the King of the Ring he would face Vince & Shane McMahon in a handicap match. Austin went on to state that Shane would face X-Pac & Kane in a handicap match as a result of his actions the previous week and that Ken Shamrock, Test, and the Big Show would be allowed to face any opponent of their choosing, then wished a speedy recovery to Mankind. He went on to state that Triple H would battle the Rock in a cast match, with Triple H’s leg encased in a cast to match the Rock’s arm which was also in a cast. After the commercial break, Linda & Stephanie presented Austin with a briefcase full of beer to celebrate. This RAW featured Michael Cole conducting an in-ring interview with the Big Show, Ken Shamrock, and Test, in which Show said he wanted the Undertaker in a title match, and Shamrock, angered that Vince McMahon used him, said he wanted Vince in a Lion’s Den match instead of his scheduled opponent Jeff Jarrett. In the beginning of a storyline that would go on to eventually rock the foundations of the company in the next few years, Test asked that Stephanie McMahon come out to the ring. When she approached the ring, Test got down on one knee and asked if she would go out on a date with him. Stephanie accepted his request.
The King of the Ring took place on June 27th at the Greensboro Coliseum on North Carolina. KOTR Quarter-Finals: X-Pac defeated Hardcore Holly by disqualification. Kane pinned the Big Show. Billy Gunn defeated Ken Shamrock when referee Teddy Long stopped the match after Gunn blocked a hurricanrana into a powerbomb, causing Shamrock to cough blood after injuries he sustained earlier in the evening from Steve Blackman. The Road Dogg pinned Chyna. KOTR Semi-Finals: Billy Gunn pinned Kane. X-Pac pinned the Road Dogg. KOTR Finals: Billy Gunn pinned X-Pac. In other matches, Matt & Jeff Hardy defeated Edge & Christian. Due to pre-match stipulations, the Hardy Boyz became the #1 contenders to the tag team titles. WWF World Champion the Undertaker pinned the Rock after Triple H interfered and hit the Pedigree on The Rock. Vince & Shane McMahon defeated Steve Austin in a ladder match when Shane grabbed the briefcase after pushing both Austin and his father off. During the match, Austin had the match won, but the chord that attached to the briefcase was raised (with the guilty party never being exposed), taking it out of arm’s reach until it was later lowered for the McMahons. Due to pre-match stipulations, Vince & Shane won 100% control of the WWF.
The next night’s RAW began with an opening segment in which Steve Austin told Vince McMahon that, although he had lost the CEO position the previous night at King of the Ring, he went ahead and signed a world title match for himself while still CEO and if the Undertaker had anyone interfere on his behalf, Austin would win the title via forfeit. Steve Austin cashed in on his title shot as he pinned WWF World Champion the Undertaker to win the title following the Stunner.
The Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo New York was the home to the next WWF pay per view, Fully Loaded, on July 25th. Jeff Jarrett pinned WWF IC Champion Edge to win the title. The Acolytes defeated Michael Hayes, and the WWF Tag Team Champions Matt & Jeff Hardy to win the WWF World Tag Team Championships in a No DQ handicap match. D-Lo Brown pinned WWF European Champion Mideon to win the title. The Big Bossman pinned WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow to win the title by handcuffing Snow to a fence outside the arena and beating him with his nightstick. The Big Show pinned Kane with the chokeslam after special referee Hardcore Holly clipped Kane in the knee as he attempted his own chokeslam. Ken Shamrock defeated Steve Blackman in an Iron Circle match. X-Pac & the Road Dogg defeated Billy Gunn & Chyna. Due to prematch stipulations, X-Pac & Road Dogg won the rights to the DX name. Triple H pinned the Rock in a No DQ, falls count anywhere, strap match. WWF World Champion Steve Austin defeated the Undertaker in a First Blood, End of an Era match. Due to prematch stipulations, Vince McMahon would be forced to leave the WWF.
After weeks of showing a countdown clock, on August 9th, the WWF presented their second major acquisition of the year that they signed away from WCW. “Y2J” Chris Jericho debuted by interrupting an in-ring promo by The Rock. The two bantered back and forth, delivering one of the best interviews in the history of the WWF.
THE GAME IS CROWNED
SummerSlam took place on August 22nd at the Target Center inn Minneapolis, MN. Jeff Jarrett pinned WWF IC & European Champion D-Lo Brown. The Acolytes defeated Matt & Jeff Hardy, Edge & Christian, Mideon & Viscera, Albert & Droz, and Hardcore & Crash Holly in a tag team turmoil. Al Snow pinned WWF Hardcore Champion the Big Bossman to win the title by hitting the champion in the groin with two billiard balls and covering him on a pool table. Due to pre-match stipulations, Snow would defend the title the following night on Raw against the Road Dogg. WWF Women’s Champion Ivory pinned Tori. Ken Shamrock defeated Steve Blackman in a Lion’s Den match. Test pinned Shane McMahon in a Greenwich Streetfight. After the bout, Stephanie McMahon came out and embraced Test. Due to pre-match stipulations, Test would be allowed to date Stephanie without interference from Shane or the Posse. The Undertaker & the Big Show defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Kane & X-Pac to win the titles. The Rock pinned Billy Gunn in a Kiss My Ass match. Mankind defeated WWF World Champion Steve Austin and Triple H in a Triple Threat match to win the title as special referee Minnesota Governor and former wrestler Jesse Ventura counted the pin.
The next night’s RAW began with an opening segment where Jim Ross introduced the new WWF World Champion. However, Triple H and Chyna came out instead. Triple H said he was screwed over by Jesse Ventura at Summer Slam and should be the champion. Triple H then put JR in an armbar and called out Mankind, saying that if Foley didn’t come out he would break JR’s arm. Mankind accepted the challenge for a title match later in the night, but only if Triple H released the hold. Test asked Stephanie McMahon to come out, with Shane McMahon soon following when he thought Test was about to propose. Stephanie told Shane to respect her wishes and Test then asked Stephanie to marry him. Stephanie said that she needed some time to think about it, but she loved him. WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow fought the Road Dogg to a no contest when Chris Jericho came ringside and began brawling with Road Dogg. Moments later, the Big Bossman came out, assaulted Snow with the nightstick, and stole Pepper the dog. The Acolytes fought WWF Tag Team Champions the Undertaker & the Big Show to a no contest. The bout featured the debut of Lilian Garcia as ring announcer. D-Lo Brown defeated WWF European Champion Mark Henry by disqualification. Before the match, Jarrett rewarded Mark Henry for his help the previous night by giving him the European Championship and he rewarded Debra by presenting her with her own personal assistant, Miss Kitty. Jarrett then stated that he had an open challenge to face anyone for the IC title and a contract was taped to his dressing room door for anyone to sign, which was signed by Chyna. The Rock pinned Gangrel. Crash Holly fought Hardcore Holly to a no contest. Mideon & Viscera defeated X-Pac & Kane. Triple H pinned WWF World Champion Mankind to win the title.
August 24th featured the series debut of Smackdown! as a weekly television show. Smackdown! featured an opening segment in which the new WWF World Champion Triple H, along with Chyna, came out and cut a promo on his reaching the top of the industry. The Rock interrupted and said he would beat Triple H and take the title later that night. Triple H rejected the challenge. However, the WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels came out, made the match official. He also announced that he would be the guest referee for the bout. Shane McMahon then came out and, as owner of the WWF, made himself the second guest referee. Michaels said that wouldn’t be possible because Shane would be facing Mankind later in the night. As Ken Shamrock came out for his scheduled match against Val Venis, he and Jericho had an altercation in the aisle. Jericho then sent Finkel down to confront Shamrock. While Shamrock was distracted, Jericho hit Shamrock in the back with a steel chair. Moments later, Shamrock ran backstage to find Jericho. Later in the show, Michael Cole conducting a pre-taped sit-down interview with an injured Steve Austin in which Austin talked about his leg injury and coming back to the ring to face Triple H. Billy Gunn pinned WWF IC Champion Jeff Jarrett in a non-title match. WWF Tag Team Champions the Undertaker & the Big Show defeated X-Pac & Kane and the Acolytes. The Big Bossman pinned WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow to win the title. The Road Dogg defeated Chris Jericho by disqualification. This was Chris Jericho’s WWF TV wrestling debut. Shane McMahon pinned Mankind. Prior to the bout, Stephanie McMahon came to the ring and asked Test to come out so she could give him an answer to his marriage proposal. After Test came to the ring, he got down on one knee and asked a second time, with Stephanie saying yes. Moments later, Shane McMahon & the Mean Street Posse attacked Test until Mankind made the save with a steel chair. Tori defeated WWF Women’s Champion Ivory in a non-title Evening Gown match. WWF World Champion Triple H pinned the Rock with the Pedigree after guest referee Shawn Michaels hit the superkick on The Rock as he attempted the People’s Elbow. After the bout, Triple H, Michaels, Shane, and Chyna celebrated in the ring.
On September 14th, the WWF taped their latest SmackDown! telecast from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. In a shocking match, Vince McMahon pinned WWF World Champion Triple H to win the title after Steve Austin interfered.
The WWF’s next pay per view was Unforgiven on September 26th from the Charlotte Coliseum in North Carolina. Val Venis pinned Steve Blackman. D-Lo Brown pinned WWF European Champion Mark Henry to win the title. WWF IC Champion Jeff Jarrett defeated Chyna via reverse decision. The Acolytes defeated the Dudley Boyz. WWF Women’s Champion Ivory pinned Luna. WWF Tag Team Champions Billy Gunn & the Road Dogg defeated Edge & Christian. WWF Hardcore Champion Al Snow defeated the Big Bossman in a Kennel from Hell match. X-Pac defeated Chris Jericho by disqualification when Mr. Hughes interfered. Triple H defeated the Rock, Mankind, the Big Show, Davey Boy Smith, and Kane by pinning the Rock with the Pedigree. Due to pre-match stipulations, Triple H won the vacant WWF World Championship.
The October pay per view was titled No Mercy, and was held on October 17th at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, OH. The Godfather pinned Mideon. The Fabulous Moolah pinned WWF Women’s Champion Ivory to win the title. Hardcore & Crash Holly defeated Billy Gunn & the Road Dogg by disqualification.
Chyna pinned WWF IC Champion Jeff Jarrett to win the title in a Good Housekeeping match. WWF Tag Team Champion the Rock pinned Davey Boy Smith. Matt & Jeff Hardy defeated Edge & Christian in a ladder match to win the Terri Invitational Tournament Best of 7 series. Due to pre-match stipulations, the Hardyz won the managerial services of Terri Runnels. Val Venis pinned WWF Tag Team Champion Mankind. X-Pac defeated Kane, Farooq, and Bradshaw in an elimination match. WWF World Champion Triple H pinned Steve Austin in a No DQ match after The Rock interfered and accidentally hit Austin with a sledgehammer.
On the following night’s RAW, The Rock cut an in-ring promo where he talked about facing Triple H for the WWF World title at the Survivor Series. Steve Austin interrupted and blamed Rock for his losing to Triple H at No Mercy. Vince McMahon came to the ring and asked Triple H to come out to share his opinion as to who should be the #1 contender. Triple H came out and verbally assulted Vince, The Rock, and Austin. Vince McMahon ordered Triple H to defend the WWF title against both Austin and the Rock at Survivor Series.
On November 13th, the Survivor Series took place in Detroit from the Joe Louis Arena. During the show, Triple H interrupted a backstage interview with The Rock. He later interrupted a backstage interview with Steve Austin. Austin chased Triple H into the parking lot where he was hit by a car. Austin was taken to the hospital. Vince accused Triple H, X-Pac, and Road Dogg, who said they had nothing to do with it.
The Godfather, D-Lo Brown, & the Headbangers defeated the Acolytes & the Dudley Boyz in an elimination match. Kurt Angle, in his WWF TV debut, pinned Shawn Stasiak with the Olympic Slam.
Val Venis, Mark Henry, Gangrel, & Steve Blackman defeated WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith, Pete Gas, Rodney, & Joey Abs in an elimination match. The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Tori, & Debra defeated WWF Women’s Champion Ivory, Jackie, Luna Vachon, & Terri. Kane defeated X-Pac by disqualification. The Big Show defeated WWF Hardcore Champion the Big Bossman, Albert, Mideon, & Viscera in a handicap elimination match. WWF IC Champion Chyna pinned Chris Jericho. Grandmaster Sexay, Scotty 2 Hotty, Hardcore & Crash Holly defeated Edge, Christian, Matt & Jeff Hardy in an elimination match. WWF Tag Team Champions the Road Dogg & Billy Gunn defeated Mankind & Al Snow. The Big Show, substituting for Steve Austin, defeated WWF World Champion Triple H and The Rock to win the title by pinning Triple H with the chokeslam after Vince McMahon came out and hit the champion in the face with the world title belt.
MCMAHON-HELMSLEY ERA BEGINS
The storyline of Test and Stephanie McMahon took a shocking turn on the November 29th edition of RAW. On that night, Stephanie McMahon was set to wed Test during the RAW telecast. However, that was not to be the case. Triple H interrupted the ceremony, and showed a video on the Titan Tron. The video showed Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, who had passed out, in a drive-thru wedding chapel in Las Vegas. While at the chapel, Triple H pretended to be Stephanie’s voice, as he had her say “I do” after he also said the vows. Triple H told a live RAW audience that Stephanie couldn’t marry Test, because she was already married to Triple H!
Vince vowed revenge against Triple H as he fought The Game at Amageddon from the National Car Rental Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on December 12th. The Acolytes won an 8-team battle royal by last eliminating Matt & Jeff Hardy. Due to pre-match stipulations, the Acolytes earned a tag team title shot at the Royal Rumble. Kurt Angle pinned Steve Blackman. Miss Kitty defeated Jackie, BB, and WWF Women’s Champion Ivory in a swimming pool evening gown match to win the title. Hardcore & Crash Holly defeated Viscera & Rikishi. Val Venis defeated WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith and D-Lo Brown to win the title. Kane pinned X-Pac in a steel cage match. Chris Jericho defeated WWF IC Champion Chyna to win the title. The Rock & Mankind defeated WWF Tag Team Champions the Road Dogg & Billy Gunn by disqualification. WWF World Champion the Big Show pinned WWF Hardcore Champion the Big Bossman. Triple H pinned Vince McMahon in a no holds barred match. Triple H attempted to use the sledgehammer on Stephanie as she tended to her father, but then put the weapon down as he and Stephanie embraced, revealing that were actually together. Due to pre-match stipulations, Triple H earned a world title shot.
The year of 1999 came to a close with the dawning of the McMahon-Helsley Era. 1999 saw the rise of Triple H, the babyface run that turned The Rock into a superstar, and a career threatening injury to Steve Austin. What will the year 2000 ring to the WWF? Tune in to the next installment of The History of Vince McMahon’s Wrestling Empire.
Sources used for this article included www.thehistoryofwwe.com