I’ve never seen the show in full, so I’m taking advantage of a slow Sunday to watch it all finally!
Vince opens Sunday Night Heat by getting ungodly heat by mocking the bilingual section of Canada. ”You don’t speak either English or French very well!” He then tells them to all crawl the way to Washington DC to get American Citizenships, which is what he knows they all want. Classic Vince.
Show opens with WWF Champion The Rock talking about how good it is having a show named after you. Vader knows that feeling. Er, kind of.
There’s two giant posters of The Rock as the Titantron. I love it. More wrestlers should have PPVs based solely around them. Would make a change from just Cena.
The event is sponsored by Glover, the fun N64 game that used to have the record for longest credits sequence! Good luck getting that far though.
First match is Val Venis & The Godfather (who contrary to myth were not named or called ‘Supply & Demand’, although that would have been great) take on Mark Henry & D’Lo Brown (who also didn’t have a tag team name, sadly).
D’Lo argues with the ref and does the head-shake whilst doing so. One of the many, many reasons people loved D’Lo Brown.
Match is basic stuff compared to the new-fangled Workrate Era we’re in now, but there’s nothing wrong with that because everybody in the match is very over (crowd loves The Hos, Venis and chanting ”D’Lo Sucks”).
Brown & Henry bring PMS with them to counter The Hos. Match ends via PMS distraction and Henry Splash. Lots of silly R-rated gimmicks involved, but the finish at least made sense. Which is rare for this period.
The Oddities emerge from the back sans The Insane Clown Posse as they were long gone by this point due to allegedly WWF reneging on their promise to show adverts for their new album. This match was apparently supposed to be ICP vs. The Headbangers but because they buggered off, The Oddities are instead represented via Kurrgan and Golga. Crowd loves them.
Until they start wrestling. Ugh.
Bad match, memorable only for one of The Headbangers spitting in a fan’s open mouth post-match.
And then getting the guy thrown out.
Owen Hart takes on Steve Blackman, which at this rate is going to be match of the night.
Super-hot match (show is in Canada and crowd enjoys chanting ”USA Sucks!” at Blackman) based around Blackman feuding with The Blue Blazer.
Lawler: ”You know Owen’s parents, they created more tragedies than Shakespeare!” Grim.
Lawler takes great delight in Owen feeding Blackman the leg for the enziguri…and then getting him with it later again in the same way.
Owen basically allows Blackman to beat the hell out of him to make him look like a threat, and does so wonderfully…before leaving and losing via count-out in a huge letdown of a finish. Still a great match though, one I’d never heard of until today.
The J.O.B. Squad (they appeared on PPV?!) of Al Snow, Bob ‘not Hardcore yet’ Holly and Too Cold Scorpio take on The Brood.
Random observation: Gangrel was the leader of Edge & Christian who both became World Champions. Gangrel also created The New Brood with Matt & Jeff Hardy who also both became World Champions.
If you count the ECW Title as a World Title.
Which I do.
Match is full of cool-looking moves and feels more like an indy match compared to the rest of the card. Which makes sense given E & C’s newness to the company.
Everyone gets a chance to get their stuff in, so even The Job Squad looks like a credible force. Weird. Christian drops Scorpio with The Impaler for the win.
J.O.B. Squad at this point was Holly, Snow, Scorpio, Gill and The Blue Meanie. That’s a hell of a stable in hindsight.
Goldust vs. Jeff Jarrett next. No-one cares about that, though: If Goldust wins, Debra strips. If Jarrett wins, Goldust strips.
So Goldust suddenly becomes the biggest babyface in the whole company during this match.
Match is decent but the heat is pretty crazy due to the promise of titties.
Then the obvious happens and Goldust loses via Debra guitarshot.
HBK comes out and reverses the decision as he saw the guitarshot. Which begs the question ”Where’s HBK during all the other matches that end via interference?” Or maybe he knows about them, he only cares about the ones that involve boobs? That’s actually fair enough.
Debra strips and makes it look like she enjoys it, which doesn’t make a lot of sense but it means the crowd doesn’t get to feel bad about a women degrading herself. As soon as she takes off her bra, Jarrett and Blue Blazer return to the ring and cover her up. The Canadians are pissed so they get a commercial break:
Vince McMahon sees Mankind backstage in a random room. Then in a later segment, he emerges from the same room and walks for a bit…only for the camera to spot Mankind in the background doing promos. Oops.
Now we have The super-over New Age Outlaws taking on The Big Boss Man and Ken Shamrock.
Canada always hated Shamrock. They also hated Goldberg, so maybe they disliked the whole MMA thing. At least in this match, they’re *supposed* to hate Shamrock.
Long match that stuck to the Outlaws’ tradition of Road Dogg getting beat up for fifteen minutes, with even HBK joining in at ringside. Outlaws eventually retain but would lose the belts the following night.
Mankind vs. The Rock should be awesome, but it just feels like a Beta Version of their later matches or an awkward version of the Austin/Dude Love matches with the hundred stipulation changes. Follows the Raven/Sandman Dog & Pony show match formula…but it just feels like they’re saving the good stuff for another PPV. Like…the Rumble next month!
Mankind manages to subdue The Rock with Socko and win the match but Vince McMahon points out that titles only change via pin-fall or submission and Rock did neither. 1998, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Mankind does a good job of killing the ref though, so there is that.
Undertaker vs. Austin, Buried Alive main event.
Undi has the best version of his theme, the WWF Volume 3 ‘un.
These two headlining against each other was getting silly at this point. Kevin Nash even made a joke out of it on Nitro:
Kevin Nash (dressed as The Grand Wizard, holding an envelope to his head): “The answer is 3:16.” Scott Hall: “3:16?” Kevin Nash (opening the envelope): “The question – the number of times The Undertaker has worked a pay-per-view main event against Austin.”
Austin: ”I’m gonna take that foot out of that grave and shove it up your ass.” That line during the hype video is sadly the most entertaining part of the match.
Just kick-and-punch boring brawling for ten minutes with little of note other than Michael Cole calling the grave-site ”six feet deep” despite both men brawling in it with half their bodies sticking out, meaning they’ve got to be twelve feet tall for that to work.
Props used: Funeral wreath, gas can, shovel and one fan’s drink.
Austin dumps Undi’ in the grave after a stunner then leaves him for a bit. So Kane comes out the grave and attacks Undi’ for a bit while Austin gets his digger to dump the dirt on Undi’. That sentence is sadly more interesting than it sounds.
The digger takes ages to dig it’s finger out and the PPV ends with Austin audibly going nuts. ”Jesus Christ, son-of-a-bitch!” etc. until Hebner meakly raises his hand and the audio guy cues the glass shattering to send this sorry show home.
A PPV that knew it was only there because there just happened to be a month between November and January.
Owen Hart vs. Steve Blackman is well worth a watch, as is the six-man match for curiosity purposes. Everything else? Naaah.