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From The Shelf – WWF Survivor Series 1998

November 24, 2015 | Posted by Dylan Diot
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From The Shelf – WWF Survivor Series 1998  

WWF Survivor Series 1998
St. Louis, MO

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

Deadly Game Tournament First Round- Mankind vs. ???
Mr. McMahon reads off the accomplishments of Mankind’s opponent before introducing…Dwayne Gill. He actually gets a titantron with footage of his early 90s jobber matches in an awesome touch. Mankind attacks right away and hits a Double arm DDT for 3.
Winner- Mankind SQUASH (The crowd was chanting HBK before the match but I don’t know if they built the mystery opponent thing up big time to the point where the fans were expecting Michaels to come back. Bigger picture, this was fine but if this was built up big time in the build up to the show, then it was a huge letdown. )

Sable says she is pissed and she’s determined to win the Women’s Championship from Jacqueline.

Deadly Games Tournament First Round- Jeff Jarrett w/Debra vs. Al Snow
Snow stalks Debra which Jarrett into his assault. Summersault cannonball off the steps by Snow and back in, he hits a slingshot leg drop. Stun gun by Jarrett and he hits a back elbow. Snow catches Jarrett with a clothesline from the apron and he hits a neck breaker in the ropes. Snow goes up and misses a leg drop off the top. Dropkick by Jarrett gets 2. Crucifix by Snow gets 2 and they trade some near falls. Clothesline by Snow and he hits a DDT for 2. Atomic drop by Snow and the momentum causes both men to crack heads. Debra distracts the ref allowing Jarrett to nail Snow from behind with Head. Jarrett charges again but Snow blocks and nails Jarrett with Head for 3.
Winner- Al Snow ** (Solid little sprint as you have to like that both men went hot and heavy on offense to gain a quick win knowing they were in for a long night.)

Deadly Games Tournament First Round- Big Bossman vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
They brawl on the floor to start and Austin sends Bossman into the steps. Back in, Austin hits the Thesz press into the front elbow for 2. Bossman goes low and begins to jump on the back of Austin. Bossman grabs the chin lock but Austin fights out. Clothesline by Austin but Bossman jumps on him in the ropes to come back. Bossman goes back to the chin lock but Austin is able to fight out. They head to the floor and Bossman attacks Austin with the nightstick for the DQ.
Winner by DQ- Stone Cold Steve Austin *1/2 (The match wasn’t much but the idea was that this only existed to weaken Austin for the remainder of the tournament, so it served its overall purpose well. )

Deadly Games Tournament First Round- X-Pac vs. Steven Regal
Spin kick by X-Pac and he hits a back suplex for 2. Leg drops by X-Pac gets 2 and Regal comes back with an uppercut for 2. Rear abdominal stretch by Regal but X-Pac starts to fight out so Regal throws some knees to end that. Regal rolls through a sunset flip and sends X-Pac flying off the catapult. Surfboard by Regal and he hits a gutwrench suplex for 2. Head scissors by Regal but X-Pac counters into a toe hold. X-Pac charges in the corner but misses and they go up. Butterfly superplex by Regal gets 2. Regal goes back to the rear abdominal stretch but X-Pac fights out and they collide in the corner. Spinning heel kick by X-Pac gets 2. Dropkick by X-Pac and he delivers the Bronco Buster. Suplex by X-Pac and he goes up. Regal crotches him to bring him down and they head to the floor. X-Pac suplexes Regal on the floor and he pounds away on Regal. He attacks for too long and both men are counted out!!! Mr. McMahon wants an overtime period but X-Pac is unable to continue so they can’t officially start it. Stone Cold Steve Austin gets a bye into the Semi-Finals.
Match ends in a Double Count-Out **3/4 (Damn, I was really digging this match until the crappy finish. It got more time to develop than the rest of the first round matches and Regal’s style was so refreshing in this era of WWF. His personal problems turned out to be a blessing in disguise at his real man gimmick would have died in the following months so missing out on the rest of the Russo era probably saved his WWF run. )

Deadly Games Tournament First Round- Ken Shamrock vs. Goldust
Shamrock attacks to start and he hits a leg lariat. Goldust comes back with a clothesline and he slams Shamrock into the knee drop. Shamrock hits a clothesline for 2. Shamrock throws some knees and he grabs a standing chin lock. Side Russian leg sweep by Shamrock gets 2 and he goes back to the chin lock. Goldust starts to fight out but he misses a charge in the corner. Shamrock fires away and goes for a suplex but Goldust reverses into his own. Drop toe hold by Goldust and Shamrock blocks a powerbomb attempt for 2. Bulldog by Goldust and he goes for Shattered Dreams but the ref steps in the way. Second rope hurricanrana by Shamrock and he hits the belly to belly suplex. Ankle Lock by Shamrock and Goldust gives.
Winner- Ken Shamrock ** ( Strong win for Shamrock, as he got to look dominant against a quality opponent in Goldust. Shamrock was on quite the roll in 1998 and he’s kind of underrated in terms of what he brought to the ring in 1998. )

Deadly Games Tournament First Round- The Rock vs. Triple H
Patterson and Brisco come out to DX’s music and announces that Triple H isn’t here tonight. His replacement is the Big Bossman!!!! Rock catches him with a small package for 3!!!!
Winner- The Rock SQUASH (The fact that it was the Bossman losing fairly quickly to the Rock plays into what ends up happened later in the evening. )

Deadly Games Tournament Quarterfinal Match- The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer vs. Kane
Taker attacks to start and Kane begins to fire back. Big boot by Kane and he clotheslines Taker to the floor. They brawl on the floor and Taker stun guns Kane on the barricade. Back in, Taker hits a side kick and Kane comes back with a powerslam. Elbow drop misses and Taker catches Kane with a chop block. He begins to work the leg of Kane but Kane is able to block the Figure-4. Taker works over Kane and fires away but it doesn’t have much effect on Kane. Kane catches Taker with a corner clothesline and he goes up. Flying clothesline off the top by Kane gets 2. They battle for a Chokeslam and Kane wins the battle. Bearer distracts Kane, allowing Taker to catch him with a Tombstone for 3 as Bearer holds the leg of Kane down.
Winner- The Undertaker ** ( After their abysmal match at Judgment Day, I’m glad they went to the short and sweet route here, packing everything they have done in their prior minutes into about eight minutes. After feuding for over a year, the bloom finally fell off the rose with this feud and they wouldn’t have another single match on PPV until SummerSlam in 2000. )

Deadly Games Tournament Quarterfinal Match- Mankind vs. Al Snow
Snow attacks to start and he catches Mankind with a clothesline. Dropkick by Snow knocks Mankind to the floor. They brawl on the floor and Mankind flapjacks Snow onto a chair on the floor!!! Back in, Snow catches Mankind with an enzuigiri and he goes to nail Mankind with Head but misses. Back suplex by Mankind and he finds Mr. Sock around Head’s forehead. He takes his frustrations out on Head and Snow catches him with a clothesline. Discus clothesline by Mankind and Snow comes back with a sit-out spinebuster for 2. Double Arm DDT by Mankind and he grabs the Mandible Claw. Snow gives.
Winner- Mankind ** (Way to short and far too many clotheslines for my liking but Mankind continues to breeze through the tournament and will be incredibly fresh for the injured Steve Austin. )

Deadly Games Tournament Quarterfinal Match- Ken Shamrock vs. The Rock
Rock fires away to start and he clotheslines Shamrock. Rock chokes Shamrock in the ropes and Shamrock comes back with a suplex for 2. Rock comes out of the corner with a clothesline and they head to the floor. Shamrock sends Rock into the steps and he slams Rock onto the floor. Back in, Shamrock hits a leg lariat and a Side Russian leg sweep for 2. Shamrock throws some knees and connects with a knee lift. Chin lock by Shamrock but Rock begins to fight out. Shamrock catches Rock with a back elbow and he goes back to the chin lock. Rock fights out again but Shamrock catches him with a hurricanrana. Ankle Lock by Shamrock but Rock makes the ropes to break. Big Bossman is out watching at ringside as both men catch each other with a clothesline. Rock rolls into the cover for 2. Rock fires away and he catches Shamrock with a DDT. Rock goes low on Shamrock and he slams him. People’s Elbow by Rock gets 2!!! Shamrock blocks the Rock Bottom and hits the belly to belly suplex. Bossman goes to toss the nightstick but Rock catches it and nails Shamrock for 3!!!
Winner- The Rock *** (Again, Bossman was involved in a Rock victory in the tournament. This was a pretty good match, best of the tournament so far. These two had great chemistry with Rock being at just another level, withstanding the onslaught of Shamrock and hanging with him every step of the way. )

Paul Bearer promises The Undertaker will walk out as WWF Champion.

WWF Women’s Championship- Jacqueline © w/Marc Mero vs. Sable
Notable here is Shane McMahon is the referee, as Vince demoted him for giving Steve Austin a long term contract. Mero distracts Sable, allowing Jacqueline to attack from behind. Hip toss by Sable and she hits a super kick. TKO by Sable gets 2 as Mero pulls Sable out of the ring. Sable goes low on Mero and she hits a Sable Bomb on the floor!!!! Jacqueline attacks from behind again and back in, she chokes Sable in the ropes. Kicks to the chest in the corner by Jacqueline and Sable catches her with a backdrop. Sable blocks the Tornado DDT and she hits the Sable Bomb for 3.
Winner and NEW WWF Women’s Champion- Sable *1/2 (Again, too short to be anything great but this finally blew off another year long feud and Sable took her rightful spot as the top woman in the company. For a 1998 show, this show was been brilliantly booked to this point.)

Deadly Games Tournament Semi-Final Match- Mankind vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Austin attacks to start and he nails Mankind with a shoe. Austin jumps on Mankind in the ropes as Mr. McMahon is wheeled out to ringside. Mankind works over Austin and he hits a corner knee strike. Mankind nails Austin with his shoe and Austin comes back with the Thesz press into the front elbow. Mankind bails to block the Stunner and Austin attacks the Stooges to get at Mankind. Mankind backdrops Austin on the floor and he sends Austin into the steps. They brawl in the crowd and Austin clotheslines him back to ringside. Mankind slams Austin’s head off the steps to regain control and back in, Mankind covers for 2. Mankind goes to the chin lock but Austin is able to fight out. They clothesline each other and both men are down. Austin catches Mankind with a clothesline and both men are down. Austin stomps away in the corner and Mankind pulls Austin into the post to block Austin’s own attempt. Mankind charges with a char but Austin blocks. Austin misses the jump in the ropes and Mankind hits a Double Arm DDT on a chair for 2!!! Austin backdrops Mankind onto the chair and he hits the Stunner onto the chair for 2 as Mr. McMahon comes out of his wheelchair to prevent the count!!!! Vince nails the ref as Mankind catches Austin with the Mandible Claw. Austin goes low and hits the Stunner on Mankind and Shane McMahon runs out to count for 2 as he flips Austin off!!!! Mankind catches Austin with a clothesline and Brisco nails Austin with a chair. Mankind covers for 3!!!
Winner- Mankind ***1/2 (Man where to start. First off, this was a shorter version of the great brawls that Austin and Foley had earlier in the year but it was up there in quality. They paid off Vince finally screwing Austin over with the title and we saw the emergence of Shane McMahon as a major heel character, so this match shaped the course of the WWF and set the stage for WrestleMania XV. When it comes to overbooking this is as good as it gets. )

Deadly Games Tournament Semi-Final Match- The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer vs. The Rock
Rock fires away to start and Taker clotheslines him from behind to come back. Taker works over Rock on the apron and they head to the floor where Taker catches Rock with a clothesline. Back in, Rock catches Taker with a clothesline and Taker catches Rock with a back elbow to regain control. Rock gets tied up in the ropes and Taker works him over. Rock backdrops Taker to the floor and they brawl in the crowd. Back in, Taker works over Rock in the corner and Bearer gets some cheap shots in. Taker misses a charge in the corner and they begin to slug it out. Samoan Drop by Rock and out comes Big Bossman again. Rock catches Taker with a DDT and he goes low on Taker. Rock slams Taker and Bossman trips up Rock to prevent the People’s Elbow. Clothesline by Taker and he follows up with an elbow drop. Rock comes back with a clothesline and Kane comes out. Kane chokeslams Rock!!!! The ref DQ’s Undertaker!!!
Winner by DQ- The Rock **1/2 ( This is the only match so far where I took issue with the finish, as I think a strong win for Rock would have had a larger impact in terms of what happens later on but I can somewhat appreciate the idea of Kane getting revenge on Taker by screwing him out of the title again. This match was decent but it was neither guys’ greatest effort as I’m sure Rock needed to reserve himself for the main event. )

Mankind says he only as one more rock to climb to win the WWF Championship.

WWF Tag Team Championships- New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) © vs. The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) vs. D’Lo Brown and Mark Henry
Gunn, Brown, and Mosh start. Clothesline by Gunn to Brown but he misses an elbow drop. Gunn misses the Stinger Splash and Brown hits a leg lariat. Mosh covers for 2 as Brown saves. Hip check in the corner by Mosh and he hits a springboard clothesline knocking Brown onto the apron. Punches in the corner by the Outlaws to Brown and Henry but Brown catches Road Dogg out of the corner with a running powerbomb. The Headbangers press Road Dogg to the mat for 2. Brown and Mosh double team Road Dogg and Henry tags in. Bear hug by Henry but Mosh breaks it up with a chop block. Jaw breaker by Thrasher to Road Dogg gets 2 as Brown saves. Brown dumps Road Dogg to the floor and he puts Mosh on top. Frankensteiner off the top by Brown and Brown collides with Road Dogg, allowing Mosh to hit a side Russian leg sweep for 2. Road Dogg fights back but Henry ends that with a clothesline. Mosh catches Brown with a sunset flip for 2 and Brown catches him with a clothesline. Tag to Henry and he slams Road Dogg into a leg drop for 2 as Thrasher saves. The Headbangers hit a double team leap frog onto the back of Road Dogg. Mosh goes low on Brown for 2. Brown and Mosh collide mid-ring and Gunn tags in. He cleans house and Brown ends that with Sky High for 2 as Thrasher saves. Gunn catches Thrasher with the Fameasser. He moves out of the way of a Henry big splash for 2. Piledriver by Gunn gets 3.
Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions- New Age Outlaws ** ( This match was a hot mess, as they tried to run a consistent triple threat match throughout the entire course of the match which just made everything clustered and the guys just looked loss as to what to do at different points. )

Deadly Games Tournament Finals for the WWF Championship- Mankind vs. The Rock
Rights by Rock and he catches Mankind with a clothesline for 2. Mankind bails but Rock follows out and they brawl in the entrance way. Back in, Mankind goes to the chin lock as the McMahons make their way out. Rock breaks with a back suplex and he knocks Mankind to the floor. Mankind tires to suplex Rock on the floor but he blocks and reverses into his own. Rock back suplexes Mankind into the front row and they begin to brawl in the crowd. Rock backdrops Mankind back to ringside and back in, Rock goes to the chin lock. Mankind fights out and he catches Rock with a knee to the midsection. Mankind clotheslines Rock to the floor and he drives a chair into the back of the Rock. Mankind charges with the steps but Rock nails them with a chair multiple times to block!!!! Rock CREAMS Mankind with the chair and back in, he gets 2. Mankind goes low on Rock and he hits an elbow drop off the apron onto Rock. They brawl on the announce table and Mankind hits a leg drop onto the table. Back in, Mankind covers for 2. Mankind goes back to the chin lock but Rock is able to fight out. They slug it out and Mankind backdrops Rock to the floor. Back in, Rock catches Mankind with a DDT and both men are down. Rock fires away but Mankind tosses him to the floor to cut him off. Mankind goes up for A FLYING ELBOW DROP BUT MISSES AND CRASHES THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!!!! Back in, Rock slams Mankind and he hits the People’s Elbow for 2!!! Double Arm DDT by Mankind and he pulls out Mr. Socko!!! Mandible Claw by Mankind but Rock’s arm only goes down twice. Rock breaks with the Rock Bottom!!!! Rock covers for 2!!! Rock grabs the Sharpshooter and Vince orders the bell to be rung!!!!
Winner of the Deadly Games Tournament and NEW WWF Champion- The Rock ***1/2 (In-ring wise, this was a great match to cap off the tournament. They resorted to rest holds a little too much early on but when the intensity picked up this match got hot and a sign of things to come between these two over the next few months. Since doing the “Montreal” finish wasn’t overdone at this point, it worked perfectly here, as the McMahons master plan came to pass throughout the night and no one caught on to what was going to happen. This match cemented Rock as a megastar for the rest of his career. )

Mr. McMahon says seeing is believing and that the people screwed the people. He says the people are as pathetic as Mankind and that the McMahons are proud tonight. They’re proud that Stone Cold was royally screwed and Vince says Shane gave an Academy Award performance. Rock tells the people to kiss his ass. Mankind doesn’t know what’s going on as he didn’t tap to Rock. Rock nails Mankind from behind with the belt and he hits another Rock Bottom on him. They declare the Rock the corporate champion as Vince puts the belt around Rock’s waist. Stone Cold runs out and the McMahons run away as Rock begins the assault. Austin lays out Rock with a Stunner and dumps him to the floor. Austin lays out Mankind with a Stunner as well to end the show.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was actually a pretty enjoyable show. This was the peak of the booking for the Attitude Era, as I thought the tournament was well put together and mapped out. Each match had some sort of impact on how the rest of the night progressed and it culminated in the ultimate and well thoughtout screwjob that made the Rock a main event superstar for life. This show also felt like the culmination of all the feuds and storylines since WrestleMania XIV and gave the promotion a fresh restart as they move into WrestleMania XV. Wrestling wise it wasn't the greatest show but the tournament matches were a breeze to watch and despite the collection of two star matches, there was absolutly nothing outright bad. For the histroical significance of what this show did for Rock's career this is well worth a recommendation and it is also a pretty good effort from the WWF, so check it out.