WWF: Over the Edge – In Your House XXII (05.98)

wwfovertheedge_98

WWF: Over the Edge – In Your House XXII
May 31, 1998
Milwaukee, WI
Wisconsin Center Arena

The current WWF champs are as follows:
WWF Champion: Steve Austin (3/29/1998)
Intercontinental Champion: The Rock (12/8/1997)
World Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (3/30/1998)
European Champion: Triple H (3/17/1998)
Light Heavyweight Champion: TAKA Michinoku (12/7/1997)

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

  • LOD 2000 (w/Sunny & Darren Drozdov) vs. Disciples of Apocalypse (w/Chainz)

The Legion of Doom clean house to start. Animal dominates with shoulderblocks and a headbutt to the balls. Crowd is super hot for LOD. Tag to Hawk, and he quickly becomes face in peril until Skull tries a piledriver. It’s that terrible looking Brian Adams piledriver too. Hawk NO-SELLS and hits a Reverse Neckbreaker. The LOD control with slams and clotheslines and what not. Hawk misses the flying clothesline finish and falls right out in front of Chainz for a cheapshot. Droz comes to Hawk’s aid though. Nevertheless, the DOA twins keep Hawk on their side of town for what feels like forever without making it very dramatic or interesting. Animal finally gets the hot tag when one of the twins try whatever he was trying off the second rope. Skip ahead to the finish. The twins do the switch and although it comes off awkward and nonsensical, Drozdov nails the fresh twin in the back from the apron as he’s coming off the ropes into a powerslam from Animal for the win. (9:56) Not very good. Nope, not very good at all. But man, the Legion of Doom are still so over. ¾*

Out comes the Rock to put down the Milwaukee fans. He would never drink beer like these losers. However if the Rock lived in Milwaukee and had to pick a wife from this town, he probably would be quite a drinker as well if you smell what the Rock is cookin’. Defending ugly broads everywhere I suppose, Faarooq comes out and beats up the Rock. A chair gets involved, but nobody can quite use it on the other person. Rock ends up hitting the ropes and smacking himself in the face with the chair. With Rock staggered, Faarooq gives him a PILEDRIVER on the chair! Faarooq is in a real piledriving mood these days. The Nation run off Faarooq and tend to their co-leader. Rock gets stretchered out and our esteemed commentators all but cancel the IC title match for tonight. Way to go, Faarooq!

In the back, Michael Cole asks Stone Cold Steve Austin if tonight will be the final time he walks to the ring as WWF champion. Austin calls Cole a silly bastard and talks about how much he cares about the odds being stacked against him. No one has yet to volunteer to watch his back for tonight’s main event, but it doesn’t really matter because Vince McMahon’s ass will always belong to Stone Cold.

  • Steve Blackman vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/Tennessee Lee)

In the six months of Blackman’s run here in the WWF, Jarrett is the only guy to beat him. Here is the rematch. Blackman is hot on Jarrett’s trail to start, but gets overanxious with a backdrop and gets his head bounced off the mat. The Bossman straddle sets up the Fargo strut. Blackman comes back and bends Jarrett in the tree of woe. He gets distracted by Tennessee Lee though as Jarrett wallops him hiding around the corner. We catch Al Snow hiding out at the Spanish announce table dressed like the Frito Bandito. Even for 1998 — what an obscure reference. He still wants that meeting with Vince that Lawler promised him. While Blackman and Jarrett are doing their thing in the ring, security comes and escorts Snow and Head out of here. Sleeperholds are traded. A double-KO occurs. Blackman mounts a comeback with a backbreaker and a roundhouse kick. A big Bicycle Kick connects on Jarrett and Tennessee Lee panics. They miss some heel miscommunication, but Blackman surprises Jarrett with the rolling clutch pin for 1-2-NO! Jarrett grabs one of Blackman’s karate sticks, but fails to use it. Blackman wipes out Jarrett, but Jarrett gets his foot on the bottom rope for two. Tennessee Lee gets the stick and wallops Blackman off the top rope – thus allowing Jarrett to score the pinfall. (10:19) No doubt a clash of styles here. Jarrett has had some strange opponents over the last year. *½

  • Sable vs. Marc Mero

If Sable wins, she’s free of Mero. If Mero wins, Sable has to leave the WWF forever. She was allowed to pick anybody she wanted that was willing to face Mero, but decides she doesn’t want a man fighting her battles and will face Mero herself. Mero acts all nice and seems to want to reconcile with her. He decides to lay down for Sable, but turns her over into a small package for the win in one of the most brilliant twists in this whole feud. (0:21) Mero has a good laugh and sings the “Goodbye” song to Sable as she leaves looking and feeling completely double-crossed. Hilarious. N/R

When she gets back to the locker room, Michael Cole asks her what happened out there. She does her best to cry and thanks her fans for their support.

Meanwhile in the Nation’s locker room, the IC title match isn’t looking very promising. Dok Hendrix tells the Rock that Commissioner Slaughter will strip him of the IC title if he doesn’t show up tonight.

  • Handicap Match: TAKA Michinoku & Bradshaw vs. Kaientai (w/Yamaguchi-san)

This is a special unadvertised match. Bradshaw and TAKA clean house to start so that Bradshaw can toss TAKA onto Kaientai. Back inside, Kaientai have zero interest in getting in the ring with Bradshaw and run away to the floor whenever he jumps in the ring, so Kaientai isolates Michinoku as much as possible. Much like the Michinoku Pro tag matches of the time, there are a ton of moves that look good but don’t really mean a whole lot. Bradshaw finally gets the tag almost nine minutes in and tears into Kaientai. Funaki holds onto Bradshaw’s leg while Men’s Teioh comes off the top for a flying bodypress only to get caught and slammed. Bradshaw grabs Funaki and lays him out with a powerbomb. Togo uppercuts the nuts and delivers a running dropkick. Kaientai poses on top of Bradshaw while he’s doubled over, but he knocks them all away. Release tiger suplex on Teioh gets two. Togo breaks up the pin, but TAKA helps out with a missile dropkick to Togo. Bradshaw tags in Michinoku who delivers the MICHINOKU DRIVER to Togo for 1-2-NO! As the match breaks down, Men’s Teioh delivers a CHOKEBOMB to TAKA to set him up for a flying senton by Togo for the win. (9:55) Watching this match alone, just how much was the American independent scene in the early 2000’s influenced by Michinoku Pro? Good grief. With that said, this would probably have been much cooler in 1998 than it is in 2017 though because their fancy moves are so commonplace now. *½

They show Sable taking the lonely walk out of the arena.

  • WWF Intercontinental Championship: The Rock (c) vs. Faarooq

They give the Rock two introductions to come out to the ring, but he doesn’t show. Commissioner Slaughter comes down and gives the Rock ten seconds to appear or he forfeits the title. The Rock appears with two seconds left selling the neck injury. Faarooq meets the Rock in the aisle for some ringside violence to start. He rips off the neck brace and puts Rock in the ring as the bell rings. Faarooq is all about clotheslines concentrating on the neck. The Rock bails, but Faarooq brings him back into the ring only for Rock to catch him trying a backdrop. Rock punishes the neck of Faarooq and hits the People’s Elbow for two. Faarooq fires back on Rock, but gets caught with a DDT. He drills Rock with a Spinebuster and looks like something went wrong there. The ref counts three, but then says Rock’s foot was on the bottom rope. This match is falling apart. Rock retreats to a corner and trips up Faarooq for the Ric Flair pin for the win. (5:09) Pissed off at the Rock, Faarooq gives him TWO MORE PILEDRIVERS. I’m sure he would have done more had the Nation not ran down to stop him. As they put the boots to Faarooq, D-Generation X runs down for a big ring-clearing brawl. Another match where nothing really stood out as above average. This marks the end of Faarooq as being any kind of a singles threat. I mean, he couldn’t even beat a guy who was half-dead and lost to him in five minutes. *½

  • Mask versus Mask: Vader vs. Kane (w/Paul Bearer)

This is Vader’s revenge for Kane hitting him on the head with a wrench back in February. Seems totally reasonable to want to get revenge for that. Milwaukee loves Vader. They love any babyface who kicks ass. After some corner abuse from Kane, Vader hammers him back into the ropes and drills him with a body attack. This is just a slobberknocker match. They trade short-arm clotheslines. Kane slams Vader and delivers the Flying Clothesline. More slugging back and forth here. Kane sits Vader down and applies a head claw of some sort. When Vader fights up to his feet, Kane puts him down again with a CHOKESLAM. Sensing he’s in trouble, Vader rolls out to the floor and pulls a giant wrench from under the ring. While Bearer is yelling at the returning ref Earl Hebner, Vader jabs Kane in the gut and hits him on the back. In the ring, Vader avalanches Kane. However, he misses the VADERSAULT. There’s the TOMBSTONE and Kane gets the three-count. (7:21) Kane rips off Vader’s mask and puts it on Paul Bearer’s fat face. Such a shocking reveal there! Although I have to say, he looks just like Vader except without those red and black lines on his face. Anywho, Vader is blindsided by Michael Cole afterwards and calls himself a “big fat piece of shit”. **

Since we are in Milwaukee where the AWA was king once upon a time, Michael Cole honors Mad Dog Vachon (68 years old) and the Crusher (71 years old) who had quite the working relationship back in the 1960s and 1970s. This isn’t the first time Vachon’s prosthetic leg has been used by the WWF and it’s used here again as Jerry Lawler makes fun of the old-timers. Since Vachon is literally a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest, the Crusher makes Lawler pay.

  • Owen Hart, Kama & D’Lo Brown (w/Mark Henry) vs. The New Age Outlaws & Triple H (w/X-Pac & Chyna)

The WWF machine has tried really hard to turn D-Generation X into crowd favorites over the last month or so limiting them from the ring and doing more on-location vignettes where they act like jackasses and mock WCW. Somebody must think it’s funny because they are getting positive reactions now despite working heel so well since the inception of the group back in August or September. As for the Nation, being in a stable with a personality as big as the Rock and as over as he’s getting is hurting these guys now more than it’s helping them at this point. D’Lo and Road Dogg work out some headlocks and shoulderblocks to start. Once they tag out, Gunn press slams Owen. When he wants another one, Owen knows it’s coming and slips away to then drill him with a Spinning Heel Kick. The Sharpshooter fails as Gunn thumbs in the eye. They’re heels, but they’re *cool* heels so it’s okay. In comes Triple H with the Harley Race high knee. After Owen low blows the H man, Kama tags and owns him in the corner with an avalanche. The Facebuster saves HHH and he reaches Gunn for a tag. D’Lo tags in all hot, but runs into a catapult to cool him off. HHH gets him with a drop toehold as Road Dogg delivers the Shaky Knee Drop for two. After D’Lo gets owned for a minute or so, Road Dogg gets stuck on the wrong side of town for a while. Owen hits a piledriver and follows up with a neckbreaker to set up the Flying Elbow Drop for two. D’Lo grabs a chinlock and the crowd starts to chant boring. Road Dogg fights out and hits the Shake Rattle and Roll on Brown. He fires right back though with the SKY HIGH, but yells at the crowd for shouting “boring” before covering Road Dogg. He continues to hit hope spots on the Nation, but it takes D’Lo missing an elbow drop off the second rope to set up the hot tag to Gunn. As you can imagine, the match breaks down. Henry and Chyna get into it. During the madness, Helmsley and Gunn deliver a SPIKE PILEDRIVER to D’Lo on a tag belt. Triple H covers D’Lo, but Owen saves the day and gives HHH a PEDIGREE on the tag belt. Finally, Mike Chioda gets back in the ring and counts the pinfall. (18:33) A very rare occasion where a guy loses to his own finish, wouldn’t you say? If you’re going to have a match with this much time, you need to do something different than the usual tag formula to keep people interested. This was just your basic story – nothing more and nothing less. **

  • (Special Referee: Vince McMahon) WWF Championship: Steve Austin (c) vs. Dude Love

Vince has completely stacked the deck against Stone Cold here. Pat Patterson is the special guest ring announcer, Gerald Brisco is the special guest timekeeper, and of course Mr. McMahon is the sleeveless zebra shirt-wearing special guest referee. Also, the match will end – by his hand only. Dude Love wears a blue blazer out to the ring to show now that he’s “corporate”. Dude gives Vince a big hug. JR mentions how Dude Love has had great success in the building this show is at considering he defeated the Undertaker there just two years earlier at the King of the Ring.

Speaking of the Undertaker, he shows up to keep Mr. McMahon in line. Austin gets the advantage of a lock-up and as Vince separates the two, Austin flips him the double-bird. Off a headlock-shoulderblock spot, Vince tries to fast-count Austin. He makes sure to let Vince know what he thinks about that. More headlock exchanges as Vince slow-counts when Dude Love’s shoulders are on the mat. Gosh, this crowd is HOT. A “Vince is gay” chant is strongly encouraged by the crowd. JR tries to PC the chant a little when Lawler asks him what they’re saying. Apparently Dude loses some fake teeth he put in his mouth to look GQ, which Austin finds and makes sure to stomp. Thesz Press and some punches lead to a clothesline that sends Foley to the floor. Dude reverses a whip into the steps and then smashes Austin’s head off the steps. Back inside, a Russian legsweep gets two. Foley takes over with some turnbuckle offense, but then Dude telegraphs a backdrop to set up a neckbreaker. Austin goes all WO-YAH on Foley with a series of clotheslines. Foley hooks a random MANDIBLE CLAW, but then Austin hiptosses him as Foley’s head gets caught in between the ropes. To the floor, Foley hiptosses Austin onto the Spanish announce table. Then Pat Patterson gets on the mic and reminds us all that this match is a NO-DQ match. JR – “Since when? Since now? That’s not right!” As Dude wraps a cable around Austin’s throat, Austin launches him into the timekeeper’s table. Dude Love gets punched onto the guardrail and takes a clothesline off the guardrail down for a NASTY bump on the floor into the crowd. Austin beats Foley back into the ring, but misses the Bossman straddle. Back to the floor, Dude slides out and gives Austin a swinging neckbreaker. Now Pat Patterson reminds the crowd that this is a Falls Count Anywhere match. JR – “Since when? That’s not right!” Backslide gets two, but here comes Austin with a running clothesline.

There’s cars everywhere used for the Over the Edge set, which Austin charges and takes a backdrop on the hood. That gets two. Why doesn’t Vince just fast-count him? A head smash on the hood of the car gets two. Foley takes a flapjack onto what looks like an old Ford hatchback for two. Austin smashes Foley’s head off the trunk lid of an old Buick for two. NEITHER MAN WILL JUST DIE. Austin goes for a STONE COLD STUNNER off the top of the car, but Foley shoves him off over on top of another car and down to the concrete. Sunset flip off the car hood! Foley gets two. He drops a lead pipe over Austin’s back, but here comes a now bloody Austin with right hands. Foley backdrops out of a piledriver and hits a suplex so he can elbow drop Austin off the car, but he misses. With the Undertaker standing over Vince, we get a fair two-count. Back to the ring, Patterson grabs Austin by the ankle to distract him long enough for a clothesline by Foley. Dude exposes a turnbuckle and smashes Austin’s head off it. That’s one of the few times I’ve ever seen that work with no suspense added. Foley punches Austin down in the corner and delivers the running knee. Another exposed turnbuckle smash. Austin fights out of a chinlock, but Dude Love smashes his face off the exposed turnbuckle again for 1-2-NO! McMahon is getting a little anxious. Patterson hands Foley a chair and Austin gets beaten down to the mat. DOUBLE-ARM DDT on the chair gets 1-2-NO! Foley charges Austin in the corner with the chair, but Austin gets a boot up to block. Now Austin has the chair. BAM! He DRILLS Foley in the face! Austin covers, but Vince refuses to count! Austin gets up in Vince’s face. Here comes Foley with the chair, but Austin ducks and Vince gets wiped out with the chair! STONE COLD STUNNER to Dude Love! Another ref runs out and counts 1-2-NO! Pat Patterson pulls him out at the very last second and punches him down. When Austin gets up to see what happened, Foley grabs the MANDIBLE CLAW! Once Austin goes down and even though one shoulder is off the mat, Patterson assumes the role of the ref and counts 1-2-NO! Undertaker pulls him out and CHOKESLAMS him through JR and King’s announce table! Like an idiot, Gerald Brisco tries to do the same thing and receives the same result through the Spanish announce table! Austin blocks another shot at the MANDIBLE CLAW with a STONE COLD STUNNER. Since Vince is still knocked out and said that the match must end by his hand only, Austin drags Vince over to them and drops Vince’s hand onto the mat three times for the win. (22:25) Afterwards as Undertaker heads for the locker room, he and Austin lock eyes to reestablish their volatile relationship. This was like the quintessential Attitude-era main event. Lots of brawling, lots of drama, and very little actual wrestling. Even though the booking is certainly worn out by now, I don’t think it hurts the match because it’s so well done. It’s a crazy brawl that went all over the arena and used the dangerous looking set to their advantage, and my gosh what a HOT crowd. Simply, it’s a very easy match to enjoy. ****½

Final Thoughts: Clearly just a one match show as they put most if not all of their energies into booking what they know will sell the PPV: the main event. Fortunately there’s a lot of chapters closing here like Faarooq and the Rock so that the Nation and concentrate solely on DX while more interesting chapters are just beginning like the new issue between the Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Overall, I will give Over the Edge: In Your House 22 only a slight thumbs in the middle. The main event is something special, but not even this match can save a whole entire PPV filled with boring matches and other examples of bad booking and time management. Austin versus Dude Love appears on a few compilation sets released by the WWE and nowadays you can just flip right over to it on the WWE Network without having to sit through two hours that isn’t really worth your time. And let it be said that time is the most important gift of all.

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