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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 21 – Unforgiven ’98

January 29, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 21 – Unforgiven ’98  

IYH 21: Unforgiven 1998
by J.D. Dunn

Once up on a time, Unforgiven was the post-WrestleMania show instead of the post-Summerslam show. And I literally mean “once” upon a time because this is the only year it happened.

Anyway, Stone Cold Steve Austin won his first WWF Title at WrestleMania and refused to become Vince McMahon’s corporate puppet. A very confused Dude Love wound up being manipulated into hating Austin, so we get a match tonight for the title.

  • April 28, 1998
  • Live from Greensboro, N.C..
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

  • Opening Match, Six-Man Tag: The Rock, Mark Henry & D-Lo Brown (w/Kama Mustafa) vs. Faarooq, Ken Shamrock & Steve Blackman.
    The Rock turfed Faarooq out of the Nation and took over as leader. Shamrock hated the Rock, so this just makes sense. What doesn’t make a lot of sense is the babyfaces doing the Black Power pose. D-Lo starts with Blackman, which goes badly for D-Lo. Faarooq tags in and whips D-Lo with his belt. REVENGE! D-Lo takes over and tags in the Rock who gets huge heel heat. The match gets way too boring when neither Rock nor Shamrock is in there. Sadly, that’s most of the match. Rock gets the People’s Elbow before it had a name (or was a finisher). Remember when he used to set that up with the bodyslam? D-Lo misses a moonsault, allowing Blackman to tag to Faarooq. Faarooq cleans house on his former stablemates, and the match breaks down. Rock DDTs Faarooq in all the chaos, but it only gets two. Rock misses a wild swing, and Faarooq finishes with the Dominator to earn a title shot at the next PPV. (13:36) Sadly, that was too much time for them to keep it interesting. *

  • Steve Austin comes out to intimidate the timekeeper into keeping things fair.
  • European Title: Triple H (w/Chyna) vs. Owen Hart.
    Chyna is suspended in a cage over the ring. Thanks to their wacky antics, DX was starting to get face pops at this point. Owen, on the other hand, was having a problem adjusting to the “Attitude” era, so he seemed kind of boring by comparison. That problem was solved shortly after this by pulling a double switch. Owen attacks while Hunter is busy complaining about Chyna being locked up. Owen blitzes him, but Hunter drops his face on the turnbuckle to take over. Owen takes the Bret Bump. We catch a glimpse of Chyna trying to file her way out of the bars, but she drops the file. Hunter grabs a Dragon Sleeper and tells Owen to charge into the post. Ross explains it away as “trash-talking.” Owen posts his own shoulder, and Triple H tosses him into the post again to work the shoulder some more. For whatever reason, he follows that up with another Dragon Sleeper. We go back to Chyna, who has bent the steel bars. Meanwhile, Owen hits an enzuigiri and the leg lariat for two. Chyna escapes the cage, but she’s dangling overhead, so Road Dogg lowers the cage for her. This distracts Owen so much that he lets go of the Sharpshooter. Owen reverses the Pedigree to a catapult and hits his own Pedigree. The ref is putting Chyna out, though, so X-Pac runs in and hits Owen with a fire extinguisher to give Triple H the win at 12:26. This might have been pretty good if not for all of the extraneous crap with Chyna and the run-ins. **1/2

  • NWA World Tag Team Titles: The Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.
    Oy. The Rock ‘n’ Rolls get the Rockers’ old music, making me think for a split second that we might get the New Midnights versus the New Rockers. This version of the Midnights is, of course, Bodacious Bart (Bart Gunn) and Bombastic Bob (Bob Holly). The crowd is DEAD throughout the match, in part because the people who remember the R&R and Midnights think the new version is sacrilegious and the rest just don’t know what they’re watching. The match itself isn’t bad at all…for 1988. Corny picks a fight with Tim White and then cowers in the corner when White is about to take him up on it. The Rock ‘n’ Rolls hit their double dropkick, but Jimmy Cornette breaks up the pinfall with an elbowdrop…sort of. Gibson rolls up Bart, but Holly comes in with a bulldog at 7:21. Not a bad match, but it was just such an anachronism that the fans didn’t care. It would be like watching Dory Funk Jr. versus Jack Brisco today on Raw. **

  • Evening Gown Match: Sable vs. Luna (w/TAFKA Goldust).
    The concept isn’t quite sleazy yet because it’s supposed to be a takeoff of Tuxedo Matches, which have been a staple of wrestling for years. It isn’t until bra-and-panties come in that it all becomes about seeing some T&A. Mark Mero comes out and distracts Sable long enough for Luna to strip her down to her blue thong at 2:39. Sable is so upset that she hits a Sablebomb on Luna and strips her. They head under the ring, and Sable reveals that she has ripped off Luna’s bra and panties. 1/4*

  • Vince McMahon, who was evil but not yet insane at this point, comes out to say he will not be responsible for what happens tonight. They cut away to the fans, and we see a fan with a sign that shows Austin holding Vince McMahon’s severed head. Yikes.
  • WWF Tag Team Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. LOD 2000 (w/Sunny).
    A revamped LOD 2000 showed up at WrestleMania and won the battle royal to crown tag title contenders. The Outlaws get some cheap heat by saying they brought in former North Carolina Tarheels coach Dean Smith to coach them and then producing a sex doll. The LOD has their old fanbase going for them, but the facelift and addition of Sunny didn’t do much to revitalize them. All it revitalized was the libido of every man in the audience when they saw Sunny in that outfit. Animal botches a bodyslam and has to set Billy down. The LOD clean house on the Outlaws and set up for the Doomsday Device, but Billy clips Animal’s knee. The Outlaws go to work on the knee. Billy signals for the piledriver, you know, to continue the leg work. **Rolls eyes** Animal backdrops him over and hits a Dragon Screw. That allows Hawk to tag in and hit a splash. Billy hits Hawk with the belt. That gets two, so they try it again, and Roadie accidentally waffles Mr. Ass. That leads to Animal German Suplexing Road Dogg for the apparent win at 12:21. It turns out that both men’s shoulders were down, though, and the tie goes to the champs. The LOD hit the ref with the Doomsday Device to vent their frustrations. 3/4*

  • Jeff Jarrett sings with Sawyer Brown. This revisitation of the evil country music singer was Jarrett’s stopover between the bizarre NWA North American Champion angle and Jarrett’s brush with credibility around Summerslam. Steve Blackman attacks after the song (about five minutes too late by my count), but Tennessee Lee (Jarrett’s “promoter” Robert Fuller) hits Blackman with a guitar. Jarrett applies the figure-four, prompting a chant of “We want Flair!” Lawler tries to pass it off as “encore.”
  • Inferno Match: The Undertaker vs. Kane (w/Paul Bearer).
    The ring is surrounded by fire. The first person to set his opponent on fire wins. They slug it out, leading to an avalanche in the corner by the Undertaker. Undertaker hits the Ropewalk Forearm causing the flames at ringside to burst. Kane beats him down in the corner and gives him a powerslam. I miss the old Kane. They slug it out again. For a long time. Taker gets a chokeslam, but Kane sits up. They boot each other in the face. Taker recovers and goes for the Flying Clothesline. Kane ducks, nearly sending the Undertaker into the flames. Taker catches Kane going up and superplexes him. Kane recovers first, so Taker throws him over the ropes. Kane tries to duck out of the match (giving us a glimpse of the guy who controls the fire, ruining the effect somewhat). Vader, who was injured by Kane a few months earlier, runs down and attacks the Big Red Machine. Taker vaults himself over the top rope and takes both of them out. Paul Bearer tries to interfere, so Taker chases him up to the platform where the band was playing earlier in the night. He smashes a drum over Bearer’s head and returns to the ring. Kane tries to blindside the Taker with a chairshot, but Taker boots him back into the fire for the win at 16:03. Unfortunately, the fire looked rigged and very safe, ruining the drawing power of the match’s gimmick. *

  • WWF Heavyweight Title: Steve Austin vs. Dude Love.
    This was a result of the fans chanting for Austin one night on Raw as the WWF officials were scraping Cactus Jack and Terry Funk off the mat after a DX beatdown. Jack took exception to that and retired the Cactus Jack gimmick. Vince would later convince Mick to join up with him against their common enemy. Dude attacks before the bell, but Austin turns the tables and stomps a mudhole. THESZ PRESS! Austin opens a can of whupass, and they brawl up the ramp to the bandstand where Jarrett was singing. Austin tosses Dude to the concrete below, affording Ross the opportunity to work in the “how do you learn to fall” line. Finally, Austin misses the leg splash against the ropes and gets bulldogged. Ross takes a couple shots at Bischoff. Vince McMahon and his stooges come down to watch as Dude locks in the shinni no make. Vince glares at timekeeper Mark Yeaton, prompting Ross to think something’s up. Austin goes for a piledriver on the outside but gets backdropped and injures his knee. Vince distracts Austin long enough for Dude to hit him from behind. Back to the ring, Austin tries to suplex Dude out, but Dude snaps his throat on the top rope. Vince warns the ref not to count Austin out. Dude lock in an abdominal stretch, and Vince yells for the bell to be rung, but the timekeeper ignores him. Austin reverses to his own, and Vince is all, “Cancel that order!” To the floor, Dude tries to suplex Austin, but Austin reverses and suplexes Dude into the steps. Back in, Dude tunes up the kazoo for Sweet Shin Music, but Austin blocks. Dude accidentally takes out the referee with a clothesline. He blocks the Stunner and applies the Love Handle (Mandible Claw), but the ref is out. To the floor again, Austin and Vince fight over a chair, allowing Dude to knock the chair into Austin’s face. Austin knocks it back into Dude’s face and grabs the chair. Vince is trying to pick Dude up, so Austin just SMASHES Vince with the chair, knocking him cold. Back in, Austin hits Dude with a Stunner and counts his own pin at 18:50. Gerry Brisco changes the decision to a DQ win for Dude Love, leading to a rematch at Over the Edge ’98 where Vince would make himself the referee to ensure that there would be no ref bump like there was here. Vince’s neck has to be stabilized, and he gets stretchered out. ****
  • The 411: The Inferno Match was the big selling point of the PPV, but Austin versus Dude Love was the only match that delivered. The undercard ranges from crap to crap with an asterisk, so you'll probably be doing a lot of fast-fowarding to get to the main event.

    Thumbs down.

    Final Score:  5.5   [ Not So Good ]  legend

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