Rock Bottom: In Your House #26
Date: December 13, 1998
Location: General Motors Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
We’re closing out 1998 with this and we’re once again in the death slot to end the year. December has almost always been a bad month for pay per views as the holidays usually mean people have less money to spend on wrestling. It also doesn’t help that the main event is a rematch where a new champion would be a major surprise. Let’s get to it.
We open with a video of the grave being set up for later tonight.
Rock was at Planet Hollywood yesterday and introduces us to his PPV because we need to get used to all the rock themed PPVs: Rock Solid, Rock and Roll, and Laying the Smacketh Down. The fans just need to sit back and enjoy his pay per view, if you smell what he’s cooking.
The opening video shows Undertaker talking about taking Austin’s soul and giving it to the Ministry of Darkness. He promises to take Austin mind, body and soul.
Rock is injured coming into the show but Vince has guaranteed that he will defend the title tonight.
Supply and Demand vs. Mark Henry/D’Lo Brown
Supply and Demand is Val Venis and the Godfather who is now a pimp and brings his ladies to the ring with him. I think you can figure out the joke yourself. Godfather says the holiday season is upon us and Val will be hanging some mistletoe, so tonight the girls have the night off and get Val as a present. Val says he has the yule log if they have the fireplace. Henry and Brown have the Pretty Mean Sisters (Terri and Jacqueline) with them here in the start of a story that went on way too long and didn’t work. In short, the girls hate men and think they’re only around to do the Sisters’ bidding.
Brown pounds away on Venis to start but stops to walk around, allowing Venis to clothesline him down. A spinebuster puts D’Lo down again and it’s off to Godfather for some chops. Another clothesline drops Brown and a hook kick to the shoulder (called the chest by Cole) has almost no effect. Off to Henry who powerslams Godfather down and chokes him on the mat. Back to Venis who tries a German suplex and gets elbowed in the face for his efforts.
A splash in the corner drops Venis and it’s back to Brown who gets two off the Sky High. The Low Down (frog splash) only hits mat though and a double tag brings in Henry and Godfather. Everything breaks down and a double suplex takes Henry over. The two sets of girls get in an argument on the floor and Jackie comes in to pull Val’s trunks down. Henry runs Venis over and splashes him for the pin.
Rating: D+. This had its moments but the ending wasn’t the best. It made things feel like a comedy match which usually only works if the popular team wins. Terri and Jacqueline would go on annoying people for months while not really accomplishing anything. Not terrible here but Brown vs. Venis would have been a better choice.
We see a clip from Heat where Mankind attacked Rock, injuring the champion’s ribs in the process.
Rock says he’ll wrestle tonight no matter what because if he doesn’t, Mankind is the champion.
Headbangers vs. Oddities
The Oddities are a group of guys who have some sort of deformity. In this case it’s Kurrgan, a giant called insane, and Golga, who allegedly has ridges and bumps on his head, necessitating a mask. He also carries a doll from some new show called South Park. They’re accompanied by the abnormally large Giant Silva and Luna who is just strange in general. Luna is the reason the match is happening after the Headbangers cut her hair recently. Kurrgan throws Mosh into the corner to start but Mosh snaps his throat across the top rope to get a breather.
A sidewalk slam puts Mosh right back down but he avoids a big boot to bring in Thrasher. Another sidewalk slam puts Thrasher down this time and both Headbangers are sent into the corner for a big splash from the 400lb+ Golga. A legdrop gets two for Golga on Thrasher and it’s back to Kurrgan who misses a middle rope splash.
Both Headbangers come in again for a double suplex and work on Kurrgan’s back a bit. The giant finally gets tired of the beating and shrugs them off, allowing the hot tag off to Golga. The monster cleans house and powerslams Mosh down but Thrasher springboards in with a cross body for the pin out of nowhere.
Rating: D. This was really dull and didn’t do much to pick up the bored crowd. The Headbangers wouldn’t be around much longer and the Oddities would only be around a few more months as well. I can’t say it fails though as Kurrgan and his stupid dancing are guilty pleasures for me.
Pat Patterson offers to take care of something for Vince.
Owen Hart vs. Steve Blackman
The idea is that a superhero named the Blue Blazer has been running around lately. Blazer was Owen Hart’s old gimmick and everyone accused the then retired (due to injuring Dan Severn’s neck) of using it to get back in the ring. This led to a months long attempt to prove Owen is the Blazer but no one has been able to pull it off yet. The fans LOVE Owen here and he takes over quickly with a snap suplex and a legdrop.
Owen comes back with some shots to the chest and a kick to the face for good measure. Hart bails to the floor for a walk up the aisle but gets clotheslined from behind to put him down. Back in and Blackman puts on a surfboard which only lasts a few seconds. Owen comes back with an enziguri and a knee drop for two but stomps on Blackman’s ribs instead of covering.
Owen goes to the middle rope but jumps into a boot to the chest and Steve takes over again. A loud US SUCKS chant starts up as Blackman drops an elbow for two. Hart starts to leave again but comes back and gets caught by a baseball slide. It doesn’t seem to matter that much though as he comes back in and pounds away on Blackman and gets two off a spinwheel kick. A top rope elbow gets the same near fall for Owen and we hit the chinlock.
Blackman fights up but gets caught by an enziguri, allowing Owen to remove the buckle pad. Owen winds up going chest first into the steel and a Blackman kick to the back of the head puts him down. Steve’s sleeper goes nowhere and Owen reverses into a dragon sleeper. Blackman escapes so Owen DDTs him down and goes up top, but his missile dropkick is countered into the Sharpshooter. Owen bails to the ropes for the escape and heads outside again where he finally gets away for a countout.
Rating: C. Good match while it lasted but the ending hurt it a lot. Also the crushing of the fans continues with all three of the matches going to the heels so far. The match was good for the most part though with both guys looking good and Owen moving around well enough to make the boring Blackman bearable.
Vince is looking for Mankind for some reason. He goes up to the boiler room door which has a piece of paper taped on, reading “Mankind’s Office.” Vince is allowed inside and told to pull up a chair as Mankind is sitting inside.
Brood vs. J.O.B. Squad
The brood is Gangrel, Edge and Christian while the J.O.B. Squash is Bob Holly, Scorpio and Al Snow, who have united together after getting sick of constantly losing to bigger stars. Edge pounds on Holly to start but walks into a powerslam and a falcon’s arrow for two. A clothesline puts Holly down and it’s off to Christian, who lost the Light Heavyweight Title to J.O.B. Squad member Duane Gill with help from Snow.
Scorpio comes in to kick Christian in the face and get a two count off a middle rope flipping legdrop. Off to the Squad’s leader Al Snow for some headbutts to the chest but getting caught in a reverse DDT. Gangrel gets the tag and pounds away in the corner before clotheslining Snow down. They’re not exactly getting out of first gear here. Snow comes back with a wheelbarrow suplex but Gangrel DDTs him down and brings in Edge. Off to a chinlock on Snow but he quickly fights up and a double clothesline drops both guys.
Scorpio and Christian come in to speed things up but everything quickly breaks down. Holly and Christian are left in the ring with Christian being dropped long enough to allow Snow to blast him with Head. Scorpio hits a moonsault legdrop for two as Edge makes the save. Edge follows that up by diving over the top to take out Holly and Snow before Christian hits what would become the Unprettier and then the Killswitch for the pin on Scorpio.
Rating: D. This really didn’t do much for me as it was a very dull match with a wild ending. Also, this makes the heels 0-4 on the show tonight which isn’t the right way to get the crowd into things. The Brood would get better in the future while the J.O.B. Squad would never amount to anything, meaning they’re living up to their name.
Vince and Mankind keep up their meeting.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Goldust
This is a striptease match where if Jarrett wins, Goldust has to strip but if Goldust wins, Jarrett’s valet Debra has to strip. Therefore, Goldust is as over as he’s ever been in his career. Jarrett is taken down twice in a row to start until Goldust grabs a headlock to send him to the mat again. Jeff fights up and elbows Goldust out to the floor but loses a quick slugout. Back in and Jeff scores with a swinging neckbreaker for two followed by a middle rope fist to the face. Even Lawler, a longtime Jarrett supporter, is cheering for Goldust here.
Goldust comes back with a suplex but walks into a dropkick for another near fall. Jarrett grabs a sleeper and the fans loudly cheer for Goldust. Back up and Debra sends in the guitar but the referee catches it, allowing Goldust to hit the Curtain Call but there’s no one to count. Jarrett gets bulldogged down for a close two and gets loaded up for Shattered Dreams, only to have Debra come in and hit on Goldust. The distraction….doesn’t work and Jarrett gets kicked anyway, only to have Debra sneak in with a guitar shot, giving Jarrett a chance to hit his front face legsweep (later named the Stroke) the cheap pin.
Rating: D+. The match only worked because of the stipulations but their hopes have been dashed again, just like everything else tonight. Debra losing her closed was teased for months if not years but in wrestling that’s not something you can’t exactly deliver on. Still though, not a great match but the fans carried it.
Post match here’s new Commissioner Shawn Michaels to say that the guitar was a foreign object, meaning that’s a DQ loss for Jarrett, meaning Debra has to strip. Debra is mad at first but gets into it as the clothes come off. She gets down to her underwear and goes for her bra (Shawn: “I LOVE MY JOB!”) but here’s the Blue Blazer to cover her with a blanket and get her to the back before anything immoral happens.
Vince leaves the boiler room, very pleased.
Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Big Bossman/Ken Shamrock
The fans are now reciting Road Dogg’s opening speech with him in a pretty cool moment. The Outlaws are defending here of course. Shawn has barred DX from ringside and comes to the ring with the challengers. The fans are all over Shamrock to start and Road Dogg is as well, pounding him into the corner. Shamrock comes back with a big clothesline and it’s off to Bossman to go after Road Dogg’s ribs. The Dogg avoids a splash though and brings in Gunn to a big ovation.
Billy cranks on the arm for a bit before it’s off to Dogg for an uppercut and a two count. Shamrock comes back in but misses a kick to the face, allowing Dogg to hit the Shake Rattle and Roll (series of punches) and the shaky knee drop for two. Back to Gunn for a Fameasser before Dogg comes in again, only to walk into a belly to belly suplex. Bossman comes in to pound away on Road Dogg in the corner and shout trash talk to the crowd. Dogg fights out of a double arm front facelock but gets kneed in the ribs.
Back to Shamrock for a jumping back elbow to the jaw for two as Gunn gets in a cheap shot on Bossman on the floor. Shawn threatens to fire Billy as Shamrock kicks Dogg down and pounds away on him in the corner. Off to a front facelock on the Dogg as the beating continues. Bossman comes back in to pound away and put on another front facelock. Shamrock kicks Road Dogg in his back to stop a comeback bid and we hit the front facelock again. Road Dogg finally drives him into the corner for the tag to Gunn but the referee was with Bossman.
Billy and Shawn get in another argument but the threat of unemployment stops Gunn again. Road Dogg blocks a piledriver with a backdrop and sends Bossman to the floor. He’s too spent to follow up though and Shamrock gets to pound away even more. Ken runs into a boot in the corner to stagger him but Dogg can’t get over to make a tag.
Gunn FINALLY gets the tag and cleans house, including countering a hurricanrana into a powerbomb for two on Ken. Shawn pulls the referee out of the ring, allowing Bossman to hit Billy with the nightstick for two. Gunn tries a suplex but Shawn trips him up, only to have Gunn roll over and land on top of Shamrock for the pin to retain.
Rating: D. Good night this was a long and dull match. The match runs over sixteen minutes and was mainly spent on the long beatdown segment on Road Dogg. That makes for a very boring match, especially when you consider how many front facelocks we had to sit through. DX vs. the Corporation would go on for a long time, with the Outlaws losing the titles to Bossman and Shamrock in the rematch tomorrow night. That would make both of them double champions since Shamrock was Intercontinental Champion and Bossman was Hardcore Champion (created only a few months ago).
We recap the WWF Title match. Rock and Vince pretended to feud until the tournament where it turned out Rock was in league with Vince all along and it was Mankind being strung along. We get a tournament recap showing how easy Rock had it until he won the title. Mankind is of course furious and tonight is the rematch.
Vince talks to Shane and Rock, saying “he” just wants witnesses and to have something whited out.
WWF World Title: The Rock vs. Mankind
Rock is defending but has bad ribs. Mankind comes to the ring with a contract in hand. He thinks Vince can settle this affair like a gentleman but didn’t bring a pen. Apparently he wants to get rid of the clause saying he gets the title if Rock can’t wrestle, because he really wants to take Rock out himself. Mankind, calling Vince dad, says Vince knows Rock didn’t make him give up at Survivor Series, and that Vince needs to get on his knees and admit it. Vince insists someone said I Quit so Mankind rips up the contract. Rock jumps Mankind and we’re ready to go.
Mankind comes back with some right hands of his own and takes it into the floor, sending Rock into the steps. A whip into the barricade and clothesline drop the champion and Mankind sends him into the announce table for good measure. Vince grabs the mic and says if Mankind keeps it up, he’s disqualified. Back inside and Rock clotheslines Mankind down to take over. He chokes in the corner and on the floor as well before punching Mankind in the jaw.
Back in and Rock charges into a big boot to the face and gets backdropped out to the floor again. A baseball slide sends Rock into the announce table but Shane grabs Mankind’s leg before he can dive off the middle rope. Instead Rock slams him down to the floor and grabs the headset to do some mid-match commentary. Rock calls Mankind a piece of trash and Lawler asks for a high five. Rock: “How about I slap you in the face?” Mankind has water spat in his face so he dives over the announce table and pounds away on the champion who still has his headset on.
Mankind grabs a chair but Shane takes it away from him, allowing Rock to clothesline Mankind down for two inside. The People’s Elbow gets two as they’re rolling around on the ripped up contract. A swinging neckbreaker puts Rock back down and a discus lariat gets a near fall. Those clotheslines are popular again tonight. There’s a legdrop for two more on Rock and another between Rock’s legs so Vince calls for the bell. Mankind piledrives the referee and beats up the timekeeper before the bell can be rung, but Rock takes Mankind’s head off with a chair shot.
There’s the Rock Bottom back inside but there’s no referee. Rock throws the referee to the side and calls for another referee as Shane gets inside with the belt. His shot hits Rock in the head as another referee comes out for a two count. Vince is on the verge of a heart attack as Rock hits the floatover DDT for two. Mankind hits a double arm DDT of his own for a near fall as the fans are WAY into this. There’s the Claw with Socko and Rock goes out to give Mankind the title in a big surprise.
Rating: C. This took time to get going but the ending with the second referee coming in had the fans going crazy. It’s a good match and pretty easily the best thing tonight, but after we’ve had all the garbage so far tonight, that’s not a major accomplishment. These two would keep fighting for months and this was just the beginning. Also notice something: Austin and Rock both won the title and were paired with Mick Foley for their first major feud. The same thing would be done in 2000 for HHH’s first major title feud. Foley wasn’t the best, but he could make anyone look as great as they ever could have.
Vince says not so fast though, because he never heard Rock give up. Therefore, Mankind wins but since there was never an actual submission, Rock keeps the title. Mankind destroys everyone in sight until Bossman and Shamrock come out to beat him down.
We recap Austin vs. Undertaker, because as usual, the person the show is named after doesn’t main event the PPV. If my memory is right, only DX got to main event a show named after them/their catchphrase. Anyway, Undertaker is mad at Austin because of the refereeing job at Judgment Day (recycling the storyline from the previous year) so he’s tried to kill Austin several times now. He’s promised to use his Ministry to destroy Austin and even crucified him on Raw. This was the beginning of Undertaker’s demonic phase which would get WAY more intense. Tonight it’s Buried Alive for a spot in the Royal Rumble.
Steve Austin vs. Undertaker
Bearer is with Undertaker. Austin charges at Undertaker to start and the fight begins in the aisle. Undertaker is choked over to the grave and sent into the barricade before kicking the lifted barricade into Austin’s face. They fight around the dirt mound and over near the crowd before going inside the ring for the first time. The Thesz Press takes Undertaker down and Austin drops the middle finger elbow on his face.
Undertaker’s leg is wrapped around the post and Austin sends him into the steps, only to have Undertaker send him over the Spanish announce table. Back inside and Austin’s arm is wrapped around the post before they fight up to the barricade. They head to the grave site with Steve ramming him with a piece of the barricade. Undertaker is sent into the grave but he comes back with a wreath shot to the face to knock Austin in as well.
Austin is choked against the dirt while still in the grave and they slug it out inside the hole. It’s Austin out first but Undertaker puts him down again as they head to the other side of the arena. That doesn’t get them anywhere so they head back to the ring with Austin in control. Undertaker rams him into the barricade and grabs a chair to put Austin down again. After Steve is thrown into various other objects we head back inside and Austin kicks away, only to be chokeslammed down.
They head back up to the grave site with Austin being knocked into the grave for our first near ending. Undertaker starts to bury him but Austin gets to his feet behind the Dead Man. Austin finds a gasoline can and whacks Undertaker in the face twice before a Stunner puts him in the grave. A wheelbarrow full of dirt mostly covers Undertaker but Austin goes after Bearer. He signals to start something but Undertaker gets out of the grave and grabs a shovel.
Undertaker hides while Austin comes back…but the grave explodes and Kane climbs out to beat on his brother. Austin is nowhere to be seen as Kane tombstones Undertaker on the dirt. He rolls Undertaker into the grave as Austin drives a backhoe full of dirt into the arena. The dirt is dropped on Undertaker (after a LONG time) and Austin adds a few shovels full to finish the job.
Rating: D. Long and boring here with the ending taking way too long to get through. These matches are only as good as the brawling before the ending and that part here was only somewhat good. Kane popping out of the grave came off as stupid and the backhoe took WAY too long to drop the dirt.
Austin drinks a beer on the grave to end the show.
Overall Rating: F+. I know no one was going to watch this show, but that doesn’t mean they need to completely waste our three hours like this. This show was terrible with nothing being advanced other than Austin getting a spot in the Rumble. Seriously, what else happened here? A bunch of worthless midcard matches, no title changes, and a screwy finish to the world title shot. Horrible show here.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!