(by PHIL RIPPA)
Another from the “We Will Pay To Make Rippa Feel Pain” category as this time Chris St. Clair (CSC) chose this abortion of a show. (Pretty sure it was again because the New York Giants won a game. Lord did they really bone me all season long.)
WWF ROYAL RUMBLE 1999 (01/24/99)
I decided to go into this show cold as I only remember the disaster that was the Rumble. What the fuck was on the rest of this show? Maybe the Rock vs. Mick Foley in the I Quit match? That was this show right? Maybe I have taken one too many unprotected chairshots.
I am working under the assumption there was a Sunday Night Heat before this show. God – I think I still have my old VHS tapes of when I was recording them for a workrate report. I wonder if I did a workrate report for this show. A-HA! I did do one! And it only took me two minutes to find.
The Heats that air right before PPV’s are always atrocious. So here is a quick post-birthday rant from me.
Well, the J.O.B. Squad vs. Too Much was about as close to good wrestling as you were going to get this evening. Good to see Too Much back together, of course this means I probably won’t see Kevin Quinn on my TV screen again. Oh well. There was a nice Double Superplex plus that nifty Falcon Arrow and that is all I care to recall.
What Didn’t Work
Memo to all the fools who think Sable is a wrestler: Sable is NOT a wrestler. Morons.
Mable. Well big fella you get your own bullet point. Who on God’s greens earth thought it was a good idea to bring him back in? Plus he wrestled TWICE through the evening. Mick Foley is lucky he didn’t have his eye socket busted thanks to Mable’s sloppy ass.
The whole rest of the hour. Lots of commercials and talking and shots of limos and more commercials. It was like a parody of Nitro. Hey it’s Vince. Hey it’s Stone Cold. Big Fucking Deal. I had dreams that the Hardy Boyz were going to be in the Rumble itself and Jeff would eliminate himself by doing a corkscrew moonsault to the floor. That was wishful thinking. But maybe they could wrestle Too Much. Nope, instead we got all the nonsense of the hour that was Heat. Now, I am just praying that they just hand Terry Taylor THE PENCIL and leave him alone. But knowing the WWF, he will be in the crowd selling souvenirs as the Red Rooster. Welcome to Hell Terry. I think you have been here before.
For those diligently following along at home the two Heat matches where:
THE JOB SQUAD (Bob Holly/Scorpio) vs. TOO MUCH (Brian Christopher/Scott Taylor)
MANKIND vs. MABEL
All things being considered – the most infuriating thing about this show will be that Christian and Jeff Hardy had an 11 minute dark match that we didn’t get to see.
Well now – the Network has slapped the angry TV-MA warning on this show. That’s the first time I have seen that pop up. Poor poor Attitude era.
10-10-220??? How the fuck did we take a step down from Karate Fighters? God – try explaining this scam to a younger generation. Just getting past the concept of a home phone line might be too much for them. I could explain this commercial with Hulk Hogan and Terry Bradshaw easier.
Note for when I start complaining about them – announcers are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler
Presented without comment – there is a woman in the front with a blank tank top that says “Val’s New Pet”
ROAD DOGG vs. BIG BOSSMAN
Road Dogg is the Hardcore Champ. Bossman is one half of the WWF Tag Champs (along with Ken Shamrock). The Corporation announced that this wouldn’t be a Hardcore match because they are EVIL~! This is one of those matches that I am sure someone on Wrestling Twitter will declare as a hidden gem and if it was run in Smokey Mountain it would have torn the house down. Of course, I don’t recall Bob Armstrong ever twerking this much.
And…. This was the point where I feel asleep. These shows are doing wonders for my insomnia.
I didn’t miss much in my slumber. This is a glorified squash with an extended bear hug sequence before Bossman wins with the sidewalk slam. Gotta make sure we are keeping the Corporation strong. (Granted it is at the expense of DX so in retrospect I wish they had buried them more.)
KEN SHAMROCK vs. BILLY GUNN – WWF INTERCONTIENTAL TITLE MATCH
So… Shamrock is the IC champ and, as mentioned, ½ half of the tag champs. Most importantly, he is knee deep into the fucking his sister phase of his WWF run. At least that is what I am going to call it. I kinda want them to put him in the Hall of Fame now for that career retrospective. That was the basis of this feud as Gunn was cock blocking Shamrock from fucking Ryan Shamrock… or maybe it was the other way around. Val Venis was also involved.
Wait – how many feuds did Shamrock have that were based around fucking Ryan Shamrock? I feel like all of them. I mean Alicia Webb was quite fetching. Crazy but fetching. I am fairly positive I had Ryan Shamrock in a wrestling dead pool at one point. That didn’t work out but I stand by my choices of like 20 years ago.
They are also using the tactic of slipping up feuding tag teams into two matches to fill up space on the card because God forbid we give other people matches. I mean almost everyone is working at least twice so who really fucking cares anymore. Though looking through this roster, outside of moving that Christian/Jeff Hardy match I mentioned onto the actual card I don’t think I want to see the rest of this roster actually doing anything.
Hey – someone has a “Debra’s breast = ratings sign” except instead of the word breasts it is a drawing of a pair of boobs with especially large nipples. Stay classy Anaheim.
I hate this match and want it to end. Shamrock successfully runs the ropes the entire match so I would add that to a “What Worked” column. It is fucking booked EXACTLY like the last match. Corporation member beats and beats and beats on member of the New Age Outlaws (both in and out of the ring). NAO gets a hope spot but Corporation member spends a looooonnnnnnnggggg time applying a rest hold (in this case Shamrock works over Gunn’s left leg so at least it works with his finisher).
We don’t take a divergent path until a ref bump and Venis runs out and attacks Shamrock – so I was right about the sister fucking thing. Shamrock kicks out and then catches Gunn and gets the submission win via ankle lock. So both halves of the Corporation tag champs get clean wins over the Outlaws. Fuck them.
Look for the dude in the blue and black track suit who is a little too happy that Shamrock won.
Oh man – Vince totally fired his hairdresser after he rewatched this scene which makes it look like he has a bald spot the size of Toledo.
GANGREL vs. X-PAC – EUREOPEAN TITLE
Please be good. Heck, please be passable.
Wait – hold on a moment. More from the terrible Anaheim crowd. A white guy wearing a keffiyeh (which I am sure if you asked him he would say was a turban) holding up a sign that says “Ryan likes Men”. Good for you Ryan. Love who you love. Get better friends
And just to give this other guy the attention he desperately craved – the website members.tripod.com/foley is no longer active. But, hey you got your sign on a PPV!
Example 5282 of how times have changed. Michael Cole keeps pimping how impressive it is that Gangrel suffered a concussion on RAW on Monday and is wrestling on Sunday.
It is really tough watching a match with Teddy Long as ref. I keep expecting him to tell them that they are facing the Undertaker. And speaking of Long – it is a good thing they didn’t have the refs calling these things as shoots because Long clearly counts to 3 on a roll-up as X-Pac forgets to kick out in time. Everyone pretends that nothing happened except Lawler who keeps harping on the fact that Long counted to three. They even show the replay after the match to prove Lawler isn’t crazy but everyone else just moves along.
The match itself was a good 16 minute match that was crammed down into a third of that time. After the bizarre false finish, X-Pac just wins with an X-Factor. This PPV is infuriating.
Hmmm… maybe I was a little hasty in my judgement. As soon as the match ends, they cut to the back to do a promo with all the members of DX. X-Pac is forced to wind sprint all the way to the back to get there in time, says one word and then spends the rest of the time bent over gasping for breath. This PPV is infuriating and hilarious in all the wrong ways.
Wait… why the hell is Shane McMahon coming out?
SABLE vs. LUNA VACHON – WWF WOMEN’S TITLE, STRAP MATCH
Oh for fuck’s sake. Fuck you Chris.
Why is Sable vs. Luna in a strap match even a thing?
After a minor absence, Women’s Champion Sable returned to Raw with an open invitation on December 28, but before the match a fan came into the ring, later identified as Tori to give her a rose. A masked wrestler identified as “Spider Lady” came to the ring for the match (a nod to The Fabulous Moolah’s screwjob over Wendi Richter in the mid ’80s) but it ended in a no-contest when she started whipping Sable with her belt. The masked woman was revealed to be Luna Vachon, who would go on to face Sable in a “Strap Match” at the Rumble.
I can’t even blame this on Trump’s America…. Wait, 1999… oh Bill Clinton’s America. Of course.
ROCK vs. MANKIND – I QUIT MATCH WWF CHAMPIONSHIP
Yeah… there is no way I am reviewing this. Not at this point in time. I am spending my time skipping through this match wondering if this is a sleeper Top 5 most discussed match of all time. At least in WWF/WWE land. Clearly, the Montreal Screwjob is #1 but between Foley’s book and Beyond the Mat a lot of uncomfortable ground has been covered. I guess Hogan/Andre. Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. If I start factoring in mainstream coverage then Mayweather/Big Show enters the conversation.
Criteria would probably be the sticky wicket and if I ever wanted to devote more precious time… precious depressing time… to the matter I probably could figure out some sort of metric that Dear Lord better not involve Google Analytics. Man, if I am ever touting Google Analytics you all reserve the right to mock me. Well more than you already do. That and number of Twitter followers. Oh and if I ever ask Derek Jeter “Do you know who I am?” Hey… I have gotten to the Rumble!
One last check in with our terrible fans before the Rumble away we goes. A dude sitting next to the racist homophone mentioned earlier has a “Big Ole Titties 36:DD” sign. Both clearly voted for Bernie Sanders last year.
ROYAL RUMBLE 1999
A couple of things of note. They claim that the intervals are 90 seconds. There is also a $100K bounty on Steve Austin set by Vince McMahon. The hype video recaps how we got to this point. ATTITUDE ERA RULZ~! NEVER QUESTION VINCE RUSSO’S GENIUS~! I am not sure if this generic rejected from a unreleased Mortal Kombat movie was the original music on this hype video but it is fucking bad.
Howard Finkel is going over the rules and Lawler keeps bitching about how he needs to wrap it up. Good to know Vince had to get his yelling in the announcer’s ear before he headed out for the match.
1) STEVE AUSTIN and 2) VINCE MCMAHON. Vince coming out with no music might be the weirdest part of this entire show (This PPV was titled “No Chance In Hell” so by the end of the night we aren’t escaping that song.) Austin beats the shit out of Vince for the full 90 seconds.
3) GOLGA. Golga waits outside the ring until Austin hits a Thesz Press on Vince and then jumps Austin. So while Austin eliminates Golga (I STILL LOVE YOU JOHN TENTA!), Vince rolls outside the ring so Austin chases him through the crowd and the Horse Fuckery has begun.
4) ROAD WARRIOR…. Umm… I am not sure because they have cut to the pre-tape of Austin chasing McMahon into the women’s room where he is jumped by the Corporation. I knew it was a Road Warrior thanks to the “Oh whatta rush” line. We see about five seconds of fighting in the ladies’ room and then the camera feed “cuts out” so we go back to the ring. So it’s
4) ROAD WARRIOR DROZ?!?!?!?!?! Woof. I am sure all the people who paid $50 for this PPV where thrilled with their ROI when they got 90 seconds of Droz standing in the ring by himself.
Well we do need some guys with some cardio for this match so might as well send Edge out who might be like 16 at the time of this match.
Edge eliminates Gillberg instantly. That is fortunate because back to the ladies’ room to see Austin laid out and the Corporation leaving the bathroom.
7) STEVE BLACKMAN
Blackman hits the ring… and it’s back to the bathroom to see Austin getting loaded up on the gurney. Knowing how my brain works, I am going to spend the next 20 minutes trying to decide if I should track how much non in-ring footage is shown of this Rumble. I should do an Instagram poll. Oh wait… I didn’t create a DVDVR Instagram yet. Fuck… why the fuck did I think Snapchat was the way to go? That was quite the Beta over VHS decision.
Hey look at Droz attempting to eliminate himself. Highlight of the match so far: Droz trying to toss Blackman yells at Edge “GET OVER HERE!” so Edge walks over and pokes him (Droz) right in the eyes.
8) DAN SEVERN
Blackman and Severn have ISSUES~! I hope you enjoy the 10 seconds of brawling they do before cutting back to Austin being wheeled to the Ambulance. We get to witness the entire thing. From rest room to ambulance door. And… back to the ring with eight seconds before #9
9) TIGER ALI SINGH
Yup… Cole is barely able to get Tiger Ali Singh’s name out of his mouth when it’s back to Austin being driven away. I truly wonder if in the layout of this match, they gave all these early guys the heads up that the majority of their shit wouldn’t be on camera.
10) BLUE MEANIE
Holy Fuck was the 1999 WWF Roster terrible
11) HEADBANGER MOSH
Except he doesn’t show up because Mable attacks him and just comes out. So I guess…
I have decided that I there is zero point in my wasting energy on all the logic breaking that this single match introduces into wrestling lexicon because it will make me angry. But, yup, apparently, you can just jump a guy and take their place. That set a terrible precedent. Mable eliminates Severn, Blackman, Droz, Blue Meanie and Tiger Ali Singh. That leaves him with just Edge but the next guy is charging the ring
12) ROAD DOGG
Road Dogg sprints down to the ring and eliminates Edge who somehow fucked up his elimination so they have to redo the spot. Okey Dokey. The lights then immediately turn off and Undertaker’s music hits. The Acolytes and Mideon come out and get Mable so Taker can give him a locker room talking too out in public. Lawler has to cover for Mable not being able to get over the top by claiming he saw it and that he is gone.
For the second time in this Rumble we have a guy in the ring for an uncomfortably long period of time.
With Road Dogg and Gangrel’s entries, we have now hit the portion where everyone who is pulling double duty is coming out. Whee!
Gangrel lasts about 12 seconds. He sure bumped the fuck out for 12 seconds though. Props to him being a pro. And for the second time in less than two minutes – Road Dogg is standing around with nothing to do for close to a minute.
Much like Poochie – the announcers have decided that with Mr. McMahon not in the ring, they have to spend all their time wondering where Mr. McMahon is. It is still better than watching Road Dogg and Kurrigan choke each other.
15) AL SNOW
Crazy Al Snow is crazy and stupid and that leads to his elimination by Road Dogg before the next guy is announced
Hey! Michael Cole just told me that Goldust was the reason Al Snow’s brain was broken. Cool – clearly this will lead to them fighting outside. Oh nothing. Okay… I guess that is the other way we can play this.
It is appropriate that the Godfather saunters out as a bunch of unintentional low blows are happening in the ring.
So at #18 Kane is the first legit star into this match. Don’t @ me about Road Dogg because Kane grabs him by the back of the head and dumps him. In fact Kane, cleared the ring in less than 10 seconds. This is how one stat pads their cumulative elimination total. So for the FOURTH time we have a guy just standing around with nothing do.
Okay – this is beyond fucking ridiculously now. Some SoCal jobbers come out dressed as orderlies to take Kane to the Pysch Ward since Kane turned on the Corporation on RAW. Kane eliminates himself so he can chase the orderlies through the crowd.
I will also point out that Kane and Mabel were in the ring a combined two minutes and 19 seconds and were responsible for the eliminations of nine people. One third of the field gone in the same amount of time you can make some noodles. VALUE~!
19) KEN SHAMROCK
Shamrock’s music plays at the same time that Vince magically shows back up. Vince is wearing a sweatshirt now because fuck continuity. Still we are at over two minutes with no in ring action IN THE MIDDLE OF A FUCKING ROYAL RUMBLE!!!
20) BILLY GUNN
Boy what a coincidence that crippled Billy Gunn drew the number after Shamrock. Gunn limps out wearing one boot to sell Shamrock hurting it with the ankle lock. Gunn tries to eliminate Shamrock unsuccessfully
I can easily believe that the Corporation members getting stuffed into the back of the Rumble. Beyond that I don’t have to think too hard about this because we are taking to the… darkness. The Ministry of Darkness is taking Mable away to a hearse. I am only guessing here because IT IS FUCKING PITCH BLACK OUTSIDE AND THEY DIDN’T SET UP A SINGLE FUCKING FLOOD LIGHT! Grr… anyway, good thing we were already shooting the loading dock because here comes Austin back to the arena in an ambulance.
The horn goes off and Big Bossman’s music plays and instead Austin comes out. Austn chases McMahon into the ring and everyone jumps him so back to the announce table for McMahon. Austin eliminates Shamrock while Bossman slowly jaunts into the ring. Some bodyguard you are Bossman.
Just to make it official
22) BIG BOSSMAN
23) TRIPLE H
From this point in time – you have to turn off the part of your brain that questions why people would attack Austin or why Corporation members would be helping Austin. God – I hate the fucking agent who laid out this match.
24) VAL VENIS
Austin clotheslines the fuck out Billy Gunn and eliminates him. It really is funny in that “Gotta laugh so you don’t cry” kinda way, that Gunn had to limp around with only one boot on because the guy he was in a BLOOD FEUD~! with got eliminated five minutes ago and not even by him. Thank Obama… err.. Austin.
The six guys in the ring have paired off. Venis and Austin, X-Pac and Test and Bossman and HHH. There are five more people to enter so it is still lots of choking guys on ring ropes to kill time to the finish.
26) MARK HENRY
YOUNG MARK HENRY!!! WHOO-HOO!!! I will care for 60 seconds! Henry manages to survive at least till the next guy is announced so that is already a win
27) JEFF JARRETT
TNA INVASION ANGLE!!! Oh wait.. sorry. The only thing of note during this 90 seconds is X-Pac kicking HHH which isn’t really touched on again during the match.
28) D-LO BROWN
D-Lo comes out with PMS because reasons (Meaning he was with Terri and Jackie not because it was his time of the month). Austin just chucks Test immediately followed by Bossman flinging X-Pac out. Guess time is running short. Right at the buzzer – Austin is punking Jarrett and HHH steals an elimination for himself.
29) OWEN HART
Austin rolls out of the ring and throws water at Vince and then gets back into the ring while Vince makes faces. LOOK AT THIS BLOOD FEUD!!! $$$$
Pretty good teammates Chyna has. You would think maybe someone would have told her those might not be the most appropriate shoes to wrestle in. God Dammit – I forgot Mark Henry had to be sacrificial lamb for Chyna.
Whelp – Austin eliminates her right on the heels of the Henry elimination. All that “First Woman in the Rumble” stuff and they gave her 35 seconds. I am giddy with anticipation at how they do that 28 more times during the women’s Rumble.
So with no one else left to enter what we have is: Austin and HHH fighting in the center of the ring, D-Lo and Owen in one corner, Bossman and Venis in the other plus Vince on the outside.
Austin forgets the layout of the match and tries to eliminate HHH at the wrong time. That was fun because there is nothing quite as awkward as Austin in mid-stunner with HHH dragging him to the other side of the ring so they can eliminate Venis first. THEN Austin hits the stunner and eliminates HHH. There sure have been a lot of “Grab a guy and send them into orbit with ease” eliminations in this Rumble.
This might be the most lackluster finishing sequence of a Rumble ever. I am really getting a kick out of how gassed Austin is especially since he sat out half the match. I really giggle when Austin is so tired he fucks up Irish Whipping Bossman.
Anyway – Bossman lays Austin out which allows D-Lo to hit a really impressive Frog Splash. So at least he will always have that. D-Lo celebrates which in a Battle Royal might as well be explaining your evil plan to the hero. Bossman dumps him. Austin magically recovers from the Frog Splash and hits a stunner. For the 2nd time (HHH was the first) the guy being hit with the stunner helpfully pops up immediately so they can be clotheslined over the top rope.
Austin goes outside to confront McMahon which might be an even stupider fight than the one that opened the match. Back into the crowd because this match will never fucking end. And there is the first unprotected chair shot of the match. Was there not enough in the previous match for your tastes? I was gonna make a joke about how does Vince not show more signs of the effects of concussions but there is an obvious and somewhat sobering follow up to that.
McMahon gives Austin a lowblow so they can roll around on the mat and call spots. Stunner to Vince and an elbow drop. Austin is an idiot and never tries to eliminate Vince so he gets what he deserves. Rock comes out and jaw jacks with Austin which allows Vince to run up and eliminate Austin to win the Rumble. Rock and Austin then brawl to back because we need to give Vince his shine. God I think the only way Vince would have had a bigger erection would have been if this show was in Texas.
If you want to get really really angry and frustrated, read how all the angles play out over the next couple of weeks. (Btw – Chyna joining the Corporation the next night is the thing that rankles me the most. I don’t know why.)
This is a truly horrible show and really drives home the point that we all paid the price for the Attitude era. I hate all of you pining for its return. This show sucked. The roster at this time sucked. Vince Russo sucked. You sucked. I sucked.