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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF King of the Ring 1999

August 10, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
wwf king of the ring 1999
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: WWF King of the Ring 1999  

WWF King of the Ring
June 27th, 1999 | Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina | Attendance: 19,761

The absurd “Higher Power” angle. There was potential with it, but once it was revealed that Vince McMahon and the Undertaker were in cahoots the entire time, it made no sense. Basically, they went through months of buildup to get the WWF Title off Steve Austin, when the plan began before Austin even had the title. This ridiculous plan even included Vince helping Austin retain the gold at one point. Bad storytelling. To make matters even dumber, Stephanie and Linda were somehow privy to this information and had a response ready as soon as Vince revealed himself, signing their ownership in the company over to Austin. That set up this show’s main event for full ownership of the WWF. This was the seventh annual King of the Ring Pay-Per-View.

For a fun little note, my first ever live event was one night earlier, in Madison Square Garden. Anyway, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler were on commentary. They noted that Ken Shamrock beat up Shane McMahon on Heat, meaning he might not be ready for the main event. Steve Blackman’s attack on Shamrock also meant he might not be able to compete.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Hardcore Holly vs. X-Pac
Hey, it’s former WWF Tag Team Champions! Granted, that was Sparky Plugg and the 1-2-3 Kid, but still. Holly, playing up his super heavyweight gimmick, wore down the smaller X-Pac. Pac rallies with a bunch of kicks and the Bronco Buster. Knowing what eventually happens to him on that move, I cringe whenever I see it. Not happy with having balls in his face, Holly took out X-Pac with a chair to get DQed like a dummy in 3:02. That wasn’t much of a match, was it? I feel like that might be a trend tonight. [¾*]

Hardcore Holly’s attack was cut short by a Road Dogg save. Holly was interviewed about the chair shot, claiming “we do things my way around here.” Only, we don’t, because you got DQed.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Big Show vs. Kane
Show debuted in February and had already gone from heel to face. By the next WrestleMania he would go on to turn heel to face to heel and then face again by the night after Mania. Wow. It’s funny to hear JR call them “young studs.” Lots of punches and not much in the way of real offense. At least Kane brought out his enziguri and a flying clothesline. We got a ref bump and Holly came back out to hit Show with a chair. Kane laid him out with a Chokeslam and then things got truly terrible. Kane spent the next few minutes just choking Show. Literally, this went out for THREE MINUTES. Kane finally gave up on it and used a steel chair to win in a long 6:36. Garbage. It wasn’t offensively bad until the choke, which sent it into dreadful territory. To make matters worse, they ran a rematch at the next PPV. [DUD]

Backstage, Vince said Shane can’t compete due to injury.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Ken Shamrock vs. Mr. Ass
I can’t believe they honestly thought a dude named “Mr. Ass” would ever be a star, especially with his lack of charisma and skill. He wore one half of the Tag Titles out because, despite leaving DX to pursue a singles run, won a six man tag with the Tag Champions (Acolytes) and stole one of the titles. 1999 was a mess. Ken came in with “internal injuries,” giving Mr. Ass the upper hand. Shamrock did apply the Ankle Lock twice, but Ass broke it with shots to the ribs. That’s all he did to the ribs, as he seemed clueless and worked other body parts. He eventually hit a powerbomb, leading to more coughing up blood by Ken and a ref stoppage in 3:37. This PPV is off to some kind of start, huh? Inconsistent selling and offense and a flat out boring performance from both. [¼*]

Backstage, Chyna was interviewed about the next match and said she would be a queen. Triple H was starting his “MY TIME” gimmick, where he just talked a lot about doing things on his own.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Chyna w/ Triple H vs. Road Dogg
Chyna overpowered her former DX buddy for most of the match. After that lasted a while, Chyna took a HHH like bump to the outside, which I appreciated. Chyna and HHH both worked over Dogg for a bit. JR was lost for what to say, claiming Dogg was afraid to strike a woman, only moments after he hit her in the gut a few times. Pay attention, Ross. Chyna worked a lengthy sleeper that Dogg fought out of. There was another ref bump, leading to HHH interference that nearly ended it. Commission Shawn Michaels strolled down just as Dogg made his comeback. Shawn took HHH to the back. Chyna hit a low blow, but hurt her arm because Dogg was wearing a cup. WHY DIDN’T MORE PEOPLE DO THAT? A Pumphandle Slam ended Chyna in 13:19. Somehow, that was the best match so far. It went way too long, but at least the crowd was into it. [*]

In the back, The Rock said he wasn’t intimidated by WWF Champion The Undertaker.

Number One Contender’s Match: Edge and Christian w/ Gangrel vs. The Hardy Boyz w/ Michael Hayes
Hey, a potentially good match. They worked this at a fast pace, clearly knowing they weren’t going to have a lot of time. The Hardys took over with Poetry in Motion and some interference from Hayes. Were they faces here? When the Hardys went for Poetry in Motion again, Edge cut it off with a cool looking Spear. JR lost his mind over it. If he only knew what would happen in two years at WrestleMania. Gangrel accidentally spit blood in Edge’s eyes, setting Jeff up to win via Twist of Fate in 4:49. An early preview of what these teams were capable of. It felt rushed and had too much from Gangrel and Hayes, but was still fun and the highlight of the show up to this point. [**¼]

A quick word with the Undertaker led to him saying he’d rip the balls off the “Brahma Bull.”

Vince McMahon came out to the ring for some promo time. With Shane unable to compete, Vince said the main event wouldn’t happen. That brought out Commissioner Shawn Michaels to say the match will happen. Vince promised to get a suitable replacement partner.

King of the Ring Semi-Finals: Kane vs. Mr. Ass
A lot of nothing happened early, until Kane had the steel steps dropkicked into his face. Somehow, that wasn’t a DQ. From there, Mr. Ass took control and wore Kane down with a lengthy front face lock. It wasn’t nearly as long as Kane’s choke on Big Show earlier, but still lasted a while. Kane cut off the Fameasser with a powerslam, but as Mr. Ass grabbed a chair, Big Show arrived to take it from him. He then clocked Kane with it (the ref was knocked down off camera) and Billy rolled him up to make the finals in 5:25. This tournament has sucked. Another totally filler match with a cheap finish. [¼*]

Kevin “NJPW” Kelly interviewed X-Pac about facing his friend, Road Dogg, in the next match. He just talked about the best man winning.

King of the Ring Semi-Finals: Road Dogg vs. X-Pac
X-Pac worked quickly to start, then slowed it with a chin lock. He was clearly in some pain and not just the selling kind. We’d find out after this show that he was dealing with a real injury. That, combined with the obvious Dogg vs. Gunn “former partners” angle made the finals seem obvious. But, this is Vince Russo. X-Pac countered the Pumphandle Slam and won with the X-Factor in 3:08. Another quick tournament match. It all feels like an afterthought. This match seemed like it belonged on an episode of Raw. [*]

WWF Championship: The Undertaker [c] w/ Paul Bearer vs. The Rock
The major angle was Austin/Undertaker/Vince, so this felt like a filler title match before Austin got his rematch. Undertaker attacked the referee to start, because why the hell not? He and Rock threw big bombs after that, though none led to anything major. Rock and Undertaker fought to the outside, giving us the obligatory late 90’s WWF Title match stuff. They almost always had to have them. Following the mindless crowd brawling phase, we got the Rock coming close to victory a few times inside. Ref bumps prevented him from fulfilling the title win. Undertaker attempted to use ether (the bottle literally said ETHER in giant words), but Rock put it back in his face. However, Triple H ran in and planted him with the Pedigree. Rock managed to kick out of that, but Undertaker kept him down with a Tombstone in 19:10. Possibly their best match together, since they never had strong chemistry. There was some standing around at points, and the overbooking didn’t help, but it was alright. Shave off a few minutes and it probably would’ve worked better. [**]

Backstage, Vince McMahon and Shawn Michaels got into an argument about Vince’s potential partner, though nothing was explicitly explained.

King of the Ring Finals: Mr. Ass vs. X-Pac
Mr. Ass promised to go after X-Pac’s neck. He jumped him before the bell to get that good old heel heat. Since Billy didn’t have much of an offensive game, he quickly resorted to the front face lock he used on Kane earlier. X-Pac survived a Fameasser and hit the X-Factor for a near fall. They battled up top, with Pac getting knocked off. As he tried getting up, Billy hit a leaping Fameasser to win in 5:33. The only KOTR winner worse than Billy was Mabel. None of this matches were any good and his push quickly died when they realized what a mistake it was. This was his best work, though that’s not saying much. [*¼]

They legitimately attempted to make sense of the Higher Power angle during the video package recap.

Ladder Match: Shane and Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin
Vince attempted to get Steve Blackman (BUT HE’S NOT EVEN A REAL PERSON) as Shane’s replacement, only for GTV to reveal that Shane was perfectly fine. He was dragged to the ring to compete. Austin spent the early portions beating the hell out of both McMahons. He did so around the ring and by the entrance. Speaking of the entrance, it featured a bunch of ladders as part of the structure. Austin found a way to drop them all on top of his opponents. Not ready to win, Austin also spent time putting Shane through a table with an elbow off a ladder. Austin continued the beating, with the McMahons getting an opening here or there. There was a funny spot where Vince tried using his hands to boost Shane towards the briefcase. As Austin got near winning, the briefcase was magically raised out of reach. If that was the case, why not just lower it all the way down when the McMahons got close to it? Austin and Vince battled atop the ladder, until Shane knocked them both over. He climbed and retrieved the briefcase for himself at 17:11. From a structure standpoint, it was done as well as it could’ve been. Austin gave them the ass kicking the fans wanted and they threw in some decent spots throughout. [**¼]

Of course, none of this mattered. The raised briefcase was never officially explained (though it was implied that the Big Bossman was behind it), Austin would win the WWF Title the next night, and Vince would be out of power after the next PPV.

The final score: review Extremely Horrendous
The 411
Because of how bad the 1995 King of the Ring was, people seem to overlook hot bad this show was. Only three matches cracked two stars and they barely did so. The tournament itself felt like a major afterthought and not one of those matches was any good at all. Add in the questionable booking and the fact that nothing on this show ended up mattering, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the worst Pay-Per-Views in history. Terrible.