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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 25 – Judgment Day ’98

February 25, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: In Your House 25 – Judgment Day ’98  

IYH 25: Judgment Day 1998
by J.D. Dunn

Okay, I had intended to skip “Over the Edge 1999” for the simple fact that these reviews are primarily just consumer guides, and that show isn’t even available as far as I know. I’ll leave it up to the readers, though, so vote with your comments.

At the last PPV, Kane and the Undertaker both pinned Steve Austin in a triple threat, leaving the WWF Heavyweight Title up in the air. Since both men were victorious, Vince decided to book a Kane versus Undertaker match, and to rub it in to Steve Austin, he declared that Austin would be the special referee.

Oh, and if Austin doesn’t do a good job…HEEEEE’S FIIIIIIIRED!

In the interim, we saw a number of big moments that became associated with the Attitude Era, such as Austin giving Vince’s bunghole a little “how’s your father” in the hospital and Austin filling Vince’s car with cement.

  • October 18, 1998
  • Live from Chicago, Ill.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

  • Opening Match: Marc Mero (w/Jacqueline) vs. Al Snow.
    Jeff Jarrett provides a brief distraction, allowing Mero to gain an early advantage. Al comes back a bit but goes after Jackie and gets lowblowed. Mero follows up with a DDT. Snow makes another comeback, but Jackie pulls Mero out of the way of a moonsault. The Marvelocity misses, and Snow gets two. Mero picks Al up for the TKO, but Al blocks and finishes with the Snow Plow at 7:14. Al had a great gimmick for the opening match, and at this point, he had the effort to match. **
  • Droz & LOD 2000 vs. Paul Ellering & the Disciples of Apocalypse.
    Hawk, who has a full head of hair here, is playing the part of “alternate” for the LOD because he’s a recovering drug addict. This was during the “Pusher” storyline where Droz was secretly dealing to Hawk on the side, and the angle would end when Droz literally pushed (get it?!) Hawk off the Titantron. Droz plays face-in-peril. The LOD tags in and cleans house, hitting the Doomsday Device on Skull. Droz sneaks in and scores the winning pin, though, at 5:56. Well, the original LOD were just standing around posing, how is that a dick move by Droz? Hawk doesn’t seem to like it much, though. *

  • Light Heavyweight Title: TAKA Michinoku (w/Yamaguchi-san) vs. Christian (w/Gangrel).
    Both guys are heels. Christian is making his debut here, which shows you how much thought they gave the rankings of the Light Heavyweight Division. Christian’s “brother” Edge looks on from the crowd as Taka hits a springboard plancha. I’d forgotten how good Taka was before the jobberitis set in. Taka charges but goes flying over the top. Back in, Christian blatantly chokes him. Christian misses a flying splash, and Taka comes back with a dropkick. To the floor, Taka hits an Asai Moonsault. Back inside, Christian rolls through a crossbody for two. Taka goes for the Michinoku Driver, but Christian slips out of it. Taka hits the Tornado DDT but stops to signal for the Michinoku Driver. Christian rolls through for the win at 8:36. Christian’s reign would last about a month before he dropped the title to Gillberg, turning it into a joke once and for all. The match was good, but nothing that would indicate Christian would one day be the NWA Heavyweight Champion. **3/4

  • Val Venis (w/Terri Runnels) vs. Goldust.
    It’s the battle of the movie icons! Dustin renounced the Goldust gimmick in favor of becoming a preacher against the filth that the WWF was putting out. Val was one of those targets and nailed Dustin’s estranged wife in retaliation. That brought back Goldust with a killer attitude. Big brawl early, and Val flies out on top of Goldust. Back in, Goldust comes back with a slingshot backdrop suplex. Val takes a hard bump off a corner whip. Goldie targets his shoulder and Hennigsnaps his neck. Goldust misses a charge and posts himself, and now Val goes to work on the shoulder. He even brings back the hammerlock slam and a short-arm scissor. An armbar kills some time, but Goldust comes back with a superplex. Cool camerawork as Val hits a backdrop suplex and we see Dustin is still wearing the wedding ring. Goldust hits a bulldog, but Terri gets up on the apron to distract him. Val tries to jump him from behind, but Goldust dives out of the way and punts Val right in the nuts. That’s enough for the win at 12:09. Much better than the previous month’s match, and the finish fit in well with the booking of the storyline. Terri would later try to make up with Goldust when Val kicked her to the curb after she found out she was pregnant. Then, it would turn out that she was never pregnant. It’s a whole…big…thing. You don’t wanna know. ***

  • European Title: D-Lo Brown (w/) vs. X-Pac (w/Chyna).
    With the Intercontinental Title taking some time off due to Triple H’s injury, the European Title experienced a kind of renaissance after being buried for a year. These two had a stellar Raw match in which D-Lo reclaimed the title with Mark Henry’s help. X-Pac is coming off a loss to Ken Shamrock in the finals of the Intercontinental Title tourney. X-Pac works in that backflip counter to a hiptoss, but D-Lo levels him with a clothesline. X-Pac comes back and goes for the Broncobuster, but D-Lo gets a foot in his crotch to block. D-Lo hits the Running Powerbomb, but he stops to play to his fans in Hamburg and only gets two. X-Pac takes his second big corner bump as he misses a dropkick and lands on his neck. D-Lo grabs a Texas Cloverleaf for a bit. Big “D-LO SUCKS” chant. Man, D-Lo got some great heal heat at his peak. He misses a cannonball off the top. X-Pac speeds up the match with a spinning wheel kick and a flying clothesline. He hits the Broncobuster, which dazes D-Lo long enough for Chyna to get in a cheapshot. The ref gets bumped, allowing Mark Henry to come out and hit on Chyna. D-Lo nails X-Pac with the European Title, but it only gets two. A frustrated D-Lo powerbombs the Pac for two but comes off the top right into the X-Factor. ONE, TWO, THREE! X-Pac reclaims the title at 14:36. These two had some fun matches during the fall, and this one was probably the peak. ***1/2

  • WWF Tag Team Titles: The New Age Outlaws vs. The Headbangers.
    The Headbangers inexplicably went heel on the Oddities and then hit Roadie in the head with a boom box. The NAO control with a few nice doubleteams early, but Road Dogg gets blindsided and plays face-in-peril. Cool moment as Billy leads a “Suck it!” chant to get the crowd behind Road Dogg. Gunn tags in and cleans house, but Thrasher yanks down the ropes, sending Gunn falling to the floor. Cool Headbangers spot as Mosh superplexes Thrasher onto Gunn and then jumps off with an elbow to follow up. The usual tag formula follows with the Headbangers actually doing all the old tricks (baiting the partner in, using the “hand clap” tag). Billy blocks an avalanche and hits a backdrop suplex. Billy staggers to his corner, but Thrasher runs in and cuts him off. That leads to Road Dogg getting pissed off and hitting Mosh in the face with a boom box at 14:01. The Outlaws lose the match but keep their titles. **1/2

  • In the back, Michael Cole spreads the rumor that Paul Bearer has been talking to both Undertaker and Kane. Mankind interrupts and allows Mr. Socko to cut a promo. A high-pitched Mr. Socko spouting Shamrock’s catchphrases is hilarious.
  • Intercontinental Title: Ken Shamrock vs. Mankind.
    The Rock moved out of the midcard, leaving these two behind to feud over the Intercontinental Title. Shamrock just kind of gradually went heel, which is odd for a Russo-written show. The idea here is that Mankind is crazy and enjoys pain, but Shamrock thinks he’s such a bad-ass that he can make him submit. Shamrock tries to wrestle early, but Mankind keeps up with lots of kicks and punches. Shamrock ranas him, but Mankind gets the Mandible Claw. Shammy dives to the floor to avoid getting put out. Mankind grabs a chair, but the ref keeps him from using it long enough for Shamrock to boot it back into his face. Shamrock takes over and starts working Mankind’s Mandible Claw hand. Mankind bites his way out of a wristlock and hits a Kobashi Driver. He hits the Cactus Knee and rams Shammy’s head into the buckle ten times. The Cactus Clothesline sends both guys over, and Mankind hits the Cactus Elbow off the apron. Mankind charges right into a powerslam and bangs his ankle on the ring steps. Back in, Shamrock applies anklelock. Mankind makes the ropes, but Shamrock pulls him back to the center. Mankind starts pounding on his own face and then puts himself out with the Mandible Claw to avoid giving Shamrock the satisfaction. Shamrock technically gets the submission at 14:37, but Mick gets the moral victory. After the match, Shamrock starts taking out referees, allowing Mankind to recover and put him out with the Mandible Claw. Inventive finish. **3/4

  • In the back, Michael Cole tries to get a word with Vince McMahon, but the Big Bossman chases him away.
  • The Rock vs. Mark Henry.
    Before the match, Henry delivers a poem dedicated to Chyna. This is the final breaking apart of the Nation as Rock became a main eventer, D-Lo became European Champ, Henry wanted to bone Chyna, Owen returned to being the Blue Blazer, and the Godfather started pimpin’. Rock hits a suplex early, but it’s all Henry after that. He does a lot of choking and hits a legdrop. Rock comes back with a DDT and the People’s Elbow. D-Lo Brown comes out to distract the Rock, allowing Henry to hit a lariat and pick up the win with a splash at 5:04. No one expected this, but it makes a lot of sense, considering the Rock was already being pushed to the top by the audience, and nothing was going to derail him except maybe a heel turn. **cough**. The match wasn’t much, but at least Henry could move then. *3/4

  • Vacant WWF Heavyweight Title: The Undertaker vs. Kane.
    Steve Austin is your referee, of course. Austin flips off both guys during the pre-match instructions. Undertaker attacks early, and they trade blows. Taker works in the zombie sit-up and hits a clothesline. Austin is veeeeeeeerrrrryyyyy slow to count. Kane hits a clothesline and gets a fast two count, drawing more glaring from the Undertaker. They head to the floor, and Austin advises Taker to strangle Kane with a piece of cable. Back in, Taker suplexes Kane, but Kane sits up first. They botch a spot where Taker is supposed to slip over Kane’s shoulder, but Kane can’t get him up, so they repeat the spot. Taker clips Kane’s leg and goes to work on it. Kane comes back with some boring stuff, but Taker clips his leg again. Taker locks him in the tree-of-woe and works the leg a little more, drawing “boring” chants from the crowd. Kane reverses a whip and sends Taker into Austin. Kane adds a chokeslam, and the Brothers of Destruction suddenly turn on Austin. Taker then turns on Kane and goes after the leg yet again. Kane reverses and hits a chokeslam as Paul Bearer waddles out with a chair. He tells Kane to step aside while he nails the Undertaker. Then, when Kane turns his back, Bearer nails him. Kane no-sells, but then Taker grabs the chair and nails Kane. Austin picks himself up and gives Taker this, “You’re shitting me” look. Taker gets up in his grill, so Austin gives him a Stunner and nails him with a chairshot. Both Kane and Undertaker are down, so Austin counts anyway. ONE, TWO, THREE! Both men around counted down at 17:31. Austin declares himself the winner and dares Vince to fire him. This match sucked something fierce, and as far as I can recall, the only good match between these two was at WrestleMania. *
  • Vince is not forthcoming, so Austin goes to the back to find him. Lawler wonders if Vince plans on firing him over the phone (which is how Bischoff fired Austin in WCW). It turns out Vince is in his skybox. After much hesitation, Vince delivers the first ever, “YERRRRRR FIIIIIIRED!” Austin says he didn’t think Vince had the balls to do it and decides he’ll start hunting season tomorrow since he has nothing better to do. Instead, Shane McMahon would rebel against his father and re-sign Austin to a five-year deal.
  • The 411: This was the rare occasion in 1998 where good wrestling met good writing on the same PPV. Sure, it was another case of building the TV show with a PPV, but it wound up working in the short run because more TV viewers meant a wider pool to advertise the PPVs to.

    Thumbs up.

     
    Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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