Is the Undertaker gone forever? That’s certainly what Kane and Paul Bearer would have everyone believe, following the events of WWE Royal Rumble 1998. As Kane takes aim at his next target, Vader, eight men do battle in an unsanctioned four-on-four tag team war. It’s the last stop before Wrestlemania…
Marc Mero (with Sable) & Goldust (with Luna)
The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher)
(Winner: The Headbangers, via pinfall)
Taka Machinoku (C)
(WWE Light Heavyweight Championship)
(Winner: Taka Machinoku, via pinfall)
(Winner: Godwinns, via pinfall)
Jeff Jarrett (C) (with Jim Cornette and NWA)
(NWA North American Championship)
(Winner: Bradshaw, via disqualification)
The Nation of Domination (The Rock, Faarooq, D’Lo Brown, Kama Mustafa & Mark Henry)
Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson & the Disciples of Apocalypse (Chainz, Skull and 8-Ball)
(Winner: Ken Shamrock, via submission of The Rock)
Kane (with Paul Bearer)
(Winner: Kane, via pinfall)
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
Triple H (with Chyna), Billy Gunn, Road Dogg & Savio Vega
(Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin, via pinfall)
Something of a let down, as we head towards Wrestlemania 14. Nothing of note really happened here that set anything up for the upcoming big show, and you’d feel really pretty cheesed off if you parted with big PPV money to watch this show.
Marc Mero continues to be a wonderful jerk, and is like a heat magnet when he lashes out at Sable, who is incredibly over with the crowd. When Mero sent her to the back, prior to the start of the match, the crowd were not impressed one bit. It did lead to a fun return for her at the end though, costing Mero and Goldust the pinfall in the chaos that ensued between her and Luna. Watching referees, Mero and Goldust try to keep both women apart was probably one of the best parts of the show. The match itself was okay for what it was, and I liked Mosh and Thrasher secretly trading places prior to the finish.
Whilst Jerry Lawler is great on commentary as a heel, the Michinoku/Pantera match is an example of the commentary negatively distracting from the ring action. He and Brian Christopher were going too hard on their hate for Michinoki, and it turned ones attention away from what both competitors were doing. That said, it wasn’t a great match anyway, and just had a couple decent spots throughout. Maybe it would have played better, had the commentary team not been going over the top?
The Godwinns/Quebecers tag match was decent tag team action, but not in the tiniest way was it spectacular action. The Jarrett/Bradshaw battle was an improvement, with Bradshaw delivering a hard beating at the start of the match. Due to Jim Cornette’s outside interference, Jarrett was able to take control, and keep it before the disqualification came.
The Nation of Domination’s match was all about the growing hostility between The Rock and Faarooq. The power struggle between both men is fun, and their other teammates appear to be getting caught in the middle of it. The Rock and Ken Shamrock just look like genuine main event rivals whenever they are in the ring with each other. Somewhat surprised to see The Rock tap to Shamrock’s submission hold.
Vader and Kane, perhaps somewhat shockingly, had the match of the night. It was nothing special, but it was still the standout match on the show. Kane sitting up, immediately after Vader delivered a moonsault, was awesome. It was a match of big moves, and a proper brawl. Vader as athletic as ever, especially given his size, whereas Kane tried to slow things down. A good fight between two big men, all in all. That post-match wrench to Vader’s head was sick to watch, and looked like it killed him.
In the main event, there was a line that Jerry Lawler said, which stuff with me until the end of the show.He said, “This is pure mayhem!” He wasn’t wrong. It was chaos from start to finish, the true ‘tag’ aspect of the match not even coming into play until about halfway into the contest. Instead, all eight men just brawled in the ring and outside of it, using weapons and all sorts to finish off their opponent(s). When all the men took their corners, it did become something more akin to a wrestling match, and given Stone Cold is on his way to headlining Wrestlemania, it was obvious he would be the person to get the win here. The crowd went nuts when he delivered a Stunner to Chyna, and Jim Ross sold it so well too.
Match of the Night
Vader vs. Kane
WWE No Way Out 1998 rating: