wrestling / Video Reviews

Dark Pegasus Video Review: King of the Ring ’99

April 7, 2008 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Dark Pegasus Video Review: King of the Ring ’99  

King of the Ring ’99
by J.D. Dunn

Random Comments:

Re: Occupational Gimmicks.

I knew that “occupational gimmicks never draw” comment would spark debate. I think a lot of people have some very broad definitions of occupational gimmick. I mean, technically, Bret Hart was a “wrestling pro-wrestler.” That’s his occupation.

Undertaker is is a reach as an occupational gimmick, and it really just proves my point. They dropped any aspect of him being an *actual* undertaker pretty quickly and focused on the undead zombie character. Besides, I always thought of embalming and burial less as an occupation and more as a hobby, which makes him REALLY scary.

Also, I’d argue that IRS was never really over on his own. Money Inc. was over, but Ted Dibiase was one of the most popular heels of all time. It seems an awfully strange coincidence that just about every feud IRS was involved in is the low point for his opponent (and the low point for the WWF). That’s not a reflection on Rotundo, and to be fair that is his most notable gimmick, but I think a lot of people have idealized IRS because they fondly remember the era of wacky characters.

Most telling is that most guys who start with occupational gimmicks usually drop those aspects of their character before they get over. Honky was an Elvis impersonator, but he didn’t get heat until he attacked Jake Roberts and defeated Ricky Steamboat. He was a sleazy, cheating weasel who took every shortcut he could to retain his title, and *that’s* what got him over – not “Hunka, Hunka Honky Love” (as catchy as that was). Big Bossman got over as a foil for Hulk Hogan. He probably could have done just as well as “Big Bubba Rogers.”

Also very telling – no World Champion occupational wrestlers. And no, JBL “wrestling businessman” doesn’t count.

Re: Undertaker as the highest-rated title reign of all time.

Taker’s average Raw rating during his 1999 title run was 6.68, that’s the highest per-show average of any champion in the Raw era. The “Raw is Owen” show helped, but Raw also did a 6.7, 6.7 and 6.8 while he was champ. Not to shabby for a dead guy.

Re: Future reviewing plans.

Right now, my itinerary (ha!) goes something like this:

1) Finish WWE PPV/House Shows – I’ve got 2003 and part of 2004 left to do, plus a few 24/7 house shows.
2) Catch up on ROH. There are still some outstanding shows from 2003-2006
3) Catch up on SHIMMER. With Brad gone, there’s a large indy gap.
4) Full-Impact Pro. See above. I’m really warming up to this promotion.
5) WCW/NWA – Including regional stuff like Florida and WCCW. I still have 2-3 more Mid-South tapes to do.
6) ECW
7) All Japan. I still have a ton of All Japan Classics that I haven’t done.
8) PWG, Chikara, CZW. If I get around to it.
9) Frontal lobotomy.
10) XPW

Moving on.

  • It was revealed that Vince’s Corporation and the Undertaker’s Ministry were in cahoots all this time. Vince apparently had his own daughter kidnapped by the Undertaker and forced into a demonic wedding ritual and then begged Austin to save her. Austin did, but that was all part of Vince’s diabolical plan. He desperately wanted to get the title off Austin – so much so that he actually helped Austin retain it at Backlash (it’s Russo, don’t ask). Well, at Over the Edge, it finally worked because the Undertaker defeated Austin to claim the title for the Corporate Ministry and Vince was finally free to reveal he was the higher power guiding the Undertaker this whole time.
  • But, Stephanie and Linda McMahon didn’t care for Vince using Steph as a pawn like that, so Linda talked to the board and they appointed Steve Austin the CEO of the WWE. Lots of beer drinking followed. Vince didn’t like working for Austin that much, so he challenged Austin to a handicap ladder match – Austin vs. Shane & Vince for control of the company. I believe Lockheed and Martin-Marietta merged in much the same way.
  • June 27, 1999
  • Live from Greensboro, N.C..
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

  • Earlier, on Sunday Night Heat, Ken Shamrock destroyed Shane McMahon and then got attacked by a kendo-stick wielding Steve Blackman. The intrigue here is that Shane might not be able to compete tonight.

  • Opening Match, Quarterfinal Match: Hardcore Holly vs. X-Pac.
    Holly was in the middle of his “super-heavyweight” gimmick. X-Pac hits some kicks and a flying crossbody for two. Holly just plants him with a powerbomb, though. The Pac hits a spinning back kick to come back and rides him with the Broncobuster. Holly is so irate that he hits X-Pac with a chair and gets himself disqualified at 3:02. See, X-Pac had a neck injury, so they couldn’t have him wrestle long matches. What was their solution? Well, we’ll find out as the evening unfolds. The Road Dogg runs out to spare X-Pac from any more punishment. 3/4*

  • In the back, Terry Taylor (TNA’s current Head of Talent Relations), asks Holly why he was stupid enough to get disqualified in such a big match. Holly’s response: we play by my rules now!
  • Quarterfinals: The Big Show vs. Kane.
    This is one hi-larious match. They trade blows, and Show “blocks” a charge. Kane comes back with the Kanezuigiri. They “hit” double big boots. You know, if they made contact once in a while, this would be a… well, it would still suck, but it would at least look competent. Kane hits his flying lariat. Well, there’s some contact. Show goes for his thrust kick and winds up taking out the referee. Kane goes low on Big Show. That brings out Hardcore Holly, who had an issue with the Big Show over who the biggest man in the WWF really was (it’s Russo, don’t ask). Holly grabs a chair and is about to clock the Show, but Kane takes it away from him. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to see any cheating – like hitting a ballshot. Kane dispatches Holly with a chokeslam and then literally chokes the Big Show down for the next few minutes as the ref lies there selling the boot. The chokehold is actually nearly as long as the rest of the match. Kane finally just gets as sick of the match as the people in the crowd and hits Show with a chairshot. The ref recovers and counts three at 6:35. Possibly the worst match of the year. O

  • Vince McMahon informs us that Shane will not be competing tonight because he’s injured.
  • Quarterfinals: Billy Gunn vs. Ken Shamrock.
    Billy is carrying one of the Acolytes’ tag title belts. Don’t ask, it’s Russ—you know what, I got time, what the hell. See, Billy turned heel on DX and went off on his own as “Mr. Ass.” However, he wound up fighting alongside the tag-team champion Acolytes in a six-man tag. Since he actually scored the fall, he helped himself to a tag title belt. Why? Who the hell knows?! It didn’t go anywhere. My theory is that one-half of the WWF tag titles was, in fact, an alien symbiote that bonded with Billy and found its way back around his waist despite the best efforts of Reed Richards and the Fantastic Four. Shamrock is suffering “internal injuries,” so Billy has the advantage for once. Shamrock, snakelike, takes Gunn down out of nowhere into an Anklelock, but Billy punches him in the gut to exploit those “internal injuries.” Gunn avoids a flying splash and counters a huracanrana to a powerbomb. Referee Teddy Long rules that Shamrock can’t continue and stops the match at 3:36. Wow. Just… wow. I don’t know what is worse, the fact that they used that finish to protect Shamrock or the fact that he couldn’t decide whether his neck, ribs, shoulder, or back suffered the injury. 1/4*

  • Chyna says she always dreamed of being a princess, but tonight she’ll be a queen.
  • Quarterfinals: Road Dogg vs. Chyna (w/Triple H).
    Road Dogg tries to wrestle early, but Chyna keeps overpowering him. You know, with X-Pac being injured for this show, Road Dogg was actually the best worker in the field. Chyna takes over for some boring offense, but things pick up when the Dogg reverses a whip and Chyna goes over the top just like Triple H does. Cool spot. Hunter works Road Dogg over on the floor. Back in, Chyna gets two off a back elbow and two more off a DDT. She mocks the shakey-shakey kneedrop, which would be a lot better if she actually hit the kneedrop after she did that. Sleeper, and Road Dogg fades. Ross says it’s almost like Road Dogg is afraid to strike her. This comes a minute or so after Road Dogg was punching her in the gut, trying to make a comeback. Roadie reverses to his own sleeper. Chyna fades, but Hunter puts her foot on the ropes to break the hold. He wraps a chain around his fist and clocks Road Dogg when he turns to complain. Roadie kicks out of a cover, though, knocking Chyna into the ref. Yay! Another ref bump. Hunter interferes again, but Commissioner Shawn Michaels comes out and drags him to the back. Chyna uses the distraction to go low, but the Road Dogg, perhaps the smartest person on the roster, is wearing a steel cup. He gives her the doggie-style pump-handle slam and moves on at 13:21. Roadie was HUGELY over here, getting the biggest pops of the night so far. In retrospect, they probably should have just went ahead and made him king. It’s not like it would be any worse than the route they took. Match of the night so far. In a disturbing moment, Ross screams, “We can all say we saw Chyna get it doggie-style tonight!” Gee, how old *is* that sex tape? **

  • The Rock is not impressed with the Undertaker.
  • #1 Contender’s Match: The Hardy Boyz (w/Michael Hayes) vs. The Brood (w/Gangrel).
    These two teams tried to have a match on Heat, but the Acolytes ran in and destroyed the Hardyz. The WWF booked a rematch for the PPV to determine a #1 contender, thus promising at least one decent match. The Hardyz storm the ring at the behest of their coach Freebird Michael Hayes. The Brood cleans house, though. The Hardyz hit Poetry in Motion to take over. The match breaks down as Michael Hayes interferes on the Hardyz behalf. Christian goes for a DDT, but Hayes clubs him from behind. That sets up a Northern Lights Suplex by Jeff for two. The Hardyz set up for Poetry in Motion again, but Edge spears Jeff out of the air. Christian takes out Matt with a springboard crossbody. Edge tries to roll up Jeff for the win, but Gangrel accidentally spits Kool-Aid in his face. That allows Jeff to finish with the Twist of Fate at 4:49. This rocked compared to all the other crap on the card. Granted, it was a 10-minute match compressed into five, but these guys were doing things that A) were actually wrestling moves and B) required effort and talent. Isn’t it amazing how that can get someone over? The Hardyz would capitalize on the win when the planets aligned to knock Bradshaw silly, giving them the advantage on a Raw match for the tag titles. **3/4

  • Vince McMahon comes out to announce that his son Shane would not be able to compete, so Vince will announce a “suitable replacement.” I’m actually surprised it was not Chris Jericho.
  • Semi-Finals: Kane vs. Billy Gunn.
    Kane uppercuts Billy on to the top rope, but apparently he doesn’t know what to do from there so he just yanks him down. Does Billy actually have to call a spot from there for Kane to know what to do? Nothing happening. Kane picks up the steps, but Billy dropkicks them back on him. Okay, that was impressive. Billy always did have a great vertical leap. Back in, Billy chokes Kane down. Ross and Lawler get bored and start shooting inside jokes at one another. Lawler complains about someone else calling themselves “king,” so Ross retorts, “Do you have legal ownership of the name ‘king?’ Are you the type to sue someone for calling themselves that?” Lawler gives a little nervous laugh and says, “Well, I guess I am.” See, Lawler tried to sue the WWF in the 1980s for using the name King Harley Race. At least I have the commentary to entertain me. Kane comes back with a dropkick of his own to knock Gunn off the apron. Kane reaches out for Billy, but the Big Show walks down and nails him with a chairshot in retaliation for earlier. Gunn rolls up Kane for the win at 5:26. You know, as a general rule, the semi-finals of a tournament should never be filler. 1/4*

  • X-Pac, apparently smokin’ the reefer, tries to deliver a promo. “Uh, Road Dogg, Brian, Jesse James, uh, you’re my best friend.”
  • Semi-Finals: Road Dogg vs. X-Pac.
    So, even if X-Pac is not injured, clearly the most logical booking is to have former tag team partners Road Dogg and Billy Gunn meet in the finals to find out who is the better New Age Outlaw right? And since he is suffering an injury, that makes it a no-brainer, right? Wrong. Road Dogg hits his usual moves – the shakey-shakey kneedrop and the jabs. X-Pac comes back with a spinning kick. The Broncobuster misses, but X-Pac reverses the pump-handle slam and hits the X-Factor at 3:09. Well, that’s brisk. 1/4*

  • Recap of the Rock earning a title shot by defeating Triple H and the Undertaker in a triple-threat match. See, now *that* was good booking. Chyna tried to interfere on behalf of the Corporate Ministry, but she accidentally tripped the Undertaker. The heels turned on each other, allowing the Rock to hit the Rock Bottom for the unlikely win. Triple H has challenged the winner as a result of the triple-threat.
  • WWF Championship: The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) vs. The Rock.
    The Undertaker attacks the ref because he can. Rock immediately hits the Rock Bottom, but there’s no referee. A second ref comes in and counts two before Paul Bearer yanks him out. Taker responds with a chokeslam, and the first referee recovers and counts two. Rocky clotheslines him over the top, and they fight up to the entrance area. The champ takes over from there beating the holy crap out of the former Hurricane. Back to the ring, Taker continues the punishment by stepping on the back of Rock’s neck. Rock breaks up the Ropewalk Forearm and sprays him with Evian. Did you know that Evian is naive spelt backwards? Take that, bottled water drinkers. Now it’s the Rock’s turn to take the Undertaker up into the crowd for the traditional beating of the ass. Rock tries a chairshot, but Taker uses the ringbell to block. Bearer sneaks in a cheapshot with his shoe. Who uses a shoe? Honestly. Back inside, Taker drops Rock with a flying DDT for two. The match slows down as Taker goes with a rear chinlock. Rock comes back with a Samoan Drop for two. A double clothesline sends both men down. Rock counters a Tombstone to a DDT. That gets two. Taker reverses a whip, sending Rock into the referee. Rock hits the People’s Elbow, but the referee is out. Taker lowblows the Rock while Paul Bearer pours ether all over a rag. You know it’s ether because the bottle has “ETHER” written on it in big black letters. It backfires, though, as Rock takes it away from the Taker and smothers him out with it. Triple H suddenly runs down and Pedigrees the Rock. The Undertaker falls over, allegedly covering the Rock. Rock kicks out at the last second but falls victim to the Tombstone at 19:16. Typical 1999 main event where they go all over the arena in a wild brawl in lieu of wrestling. Rock would get much better by the end of the year. **1/2

  • King of the Ring Finals: X-Pac vs. Billy Gunn.
    X-Pac hits a somersault plancha and a flying crossbody early, but Gunn comes back with a bulldog. X-Pac actually survives the Fameasser and hits an X-Factor. Broncobuster, but Billy hits a neckbreaker and a top-rope Fameasser for the win at 5:32. FUCKING EPIC! Gunn’s push would last all of three months before Russo left and they realized, “Hey, we’re pushing Billy Gunn?!?” 1/2*

  • Video package recapping the unveiling of the Higher Power and Austin’s resulting CEO status. Best line to come out of that situation: “You’re fired for lookin’ stupid. Now get the hell out of here!” Also, the Big Bossman was fired for losing a match to Austin that stipulated that the Corporate Ministry could not interfere in the match.
  • Ladder Match for CEO Status: Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon & Shane McMahon.
    Vince tries to replace Shane with Steve Blackman. This was just begging for Shane’s replacement to climb up the ladder and become CEO in a hostile takeover. It doesn’t matter anyway because GTV (it’s Russo, don’t ask) reveals that Shane is just fine. Shawn Michaels drags Shane to the ring and says the original match is back on. Big brawl in the aisle where Austin takes out Shane. He stomps a mudhole in Vince and sees Shane trying to jump him from behind. Shane gets Thesz Pressed. Austin crotches Shane on the ringpost. The McMahons jump Austin, but he fights them off. There’s a massive, complex ladder structure set up by the entrance, so Shane goes up top to escape Austin. Austin goes up and knocks him off. Back down, Austin destroys the structure by tossing McMahons into the support ladders. Cool spot there. He finally yanks the whole damn thing down on top of them. Austin grabs a real ladder and gets in the ring. Shane follows him but gets tossed over the top and knocked into Jim Ross’ lap. Austin puts Shane through the Spanish table with an FU elbow. Vince pushes the ladder over, though, putting Austin through the English table. Vince goes up to the briefcase, but Austin punches him in the ballbag. Austin catapults Shane into the ladder. Austin goes up, but Vince shoves the ladder over again. That’s been his main offensive weapon. The McMahons turn into the Keystone cops as Vince tries to alley-oop Shane up. That doesn’t work, so Shane gets on Vince’s shoulders. Austin recovers and knocks them over with a punch. Stunner for Vince. Stunner for Shane. That would seem to mark the end, but *someone* raises up the briefcase so Austin can’t reach it. Why didn’t they just lower it down when the McMahons were trying to get it? Austin threatens everyone at ringside, but no one has a clue. Vince goes up, but Austin catches him on the top. Shane pushes them *both* over and goes up himself for the win at 17:11. Austin storms the back after the show, searching for the culprit behind the raising briefcase, but no one will fess up. On the next Raw, though, the Bossman was welcomed back into the Corporate Ministry, and it was implied that he helped because he technically wasn’t part of the Corporate Ministry. I guess that’s semi-logical in an “I’m not touching you. I’m not touching you. I’m not touching you” sort of way. It wound up being meaningless, though, because Austin simply won the WWF Title the next night and the whole briefcase incident was forgotten. **1/2
  • The 411: One of the worst WWE PPVs of all time. Billy Gunn had shown no promise of becoming a star after his heel turn, but they were dead-set on making him a star, even though no one would job to him without finding some way to save face. Everything on the show wound up being meaningless – Austin won the title after being screwed anyway, and the CEO thing was rendered moot when Vince was forced off television a month later only to have *that* overturned when Hunter won the title the month after that. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

    Thumbs way down unless you're really looking for an example of how *not* to book a show.

    Final Score:  2.0   [ Very Bad ]  legend

    article topics

    J.D. Dunn

    Comments are closed.