WWF: HaLFTIME HeAT (01.31.99)

January 31, 1999
Phoenix, AZ
America West Arena

The current WWF champs are as follows:
WWF Champion: The Rock (1/24/1999)
Intercontinental Champion: Ken Shamrock (10/12/1998)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett (1/25/1999)
European Champion: X-Pac (10/18/1998)
Light Heavyweight Champion: Duane Gill (11/23/1998)
Hardcore Champion: Road Dogg (12/21/1998)
Women’s Champion: Sable (11/15/1998)

PLEASE MICK, SAY “I QUIT”: They show highlights of the “I Quit” match between Mankind and the Rock at the Royal Rumble where Mick once again got SCREWED out of the WWF title. On last week’s RAW, Mankind challenged the Rock to an empty arena match during the Super Bowl 33 halftime show. In fact, this episode is aptly named HaLFTIME HeAT.

HOT ENOUGH? Your host is Kevin Kelly – all by himself.

We cut to Michael Cole standing in an empty arena where an audience usually would be explaining the rules of tonight’s WWF championship match between the Rock and Mankind. Cole mentions that the only function of the referee will be to count the pinfall – no holds barred, no disqualification, and falls count anywhere. Why is “falls” when it’s just one “fall”? One man walks out the WWF champion and the other may not walk out at all. WOW.

SHANE McMAHON comes out with members of the CORPORATION walking behind him. Is that Chris Jericho’s TitanTron he’s using? Hmm. Commercials!

SKITTLES SLAM OF THE WEEK: RAW, 1/25/99. Kane gives X-Pac a Chokeslam for daring to help him escape the clutches of the Corporation. To top it off, Shane McMahon then gave X-Pac a Bronco Buster.

When we come back, Shane McMahon introduces the Corporation’s newest member: CHYNA. She is accompanied by PAT PATTERSON and GERALD BRISCO. Shane welcomes her to the “big time”. Chyna gets on the mic and blames D-Generation X for granting her any opportunities. She claims to have carried that crew on her back for the last two years. Where is *her* gratification? What did they do for Chyna? Not a damn thing. Vince McMahon showed Chyna his appreciation and paid her quite a bit of money to sell out to the Corporation. SUCK IT, D-X. She can now buy and sell them like a bunch of cheap whores. Out comes D-GENERATION X on the ramp to respond. TRIPLE H congratulates Shane on getting one over on D-X, but it will never happen again. As for Chyna, D-X always treated her like an equal, but no matter how bad Chyna wanted a “set”, she could never get one. Okay, then. Triple H then calls Chyna a “two dollar whore”. X-PAC calls out to Shane – guaranteeing him he’s going to take that silver spoon out of his mouth and shove it straight up his – well, ROAD DOGG interrupts X-Pac at that point to say you can’t say “ass” on HeAT. That doesn’t seem very HOT to me. Shane says everybody knows he can take X-Pac, so whatever. Shane comes up with an idea with his dad’s permission, he makes a STEEL CAGE MATCH between Triple H and Corporate Kane. Chyna has one word for D-X: CORPORATE. She and Shane embrace as we end the segment.

Behind the convention center in Tucson, MANKIND appears out back as some guy drops him off in a Geo Metro or something similar.

  • Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra) vs. The Big Boss Man

Shane McMahon joins Kevin Kelly for commentary. They replay the “Black N Blue Blazer” helping Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart secure the WWF tag titles last week on RAW. Boss Man whips Jarrett from corner to corner to start and then clotheslines him to the floor. As Jarrett retreats, Boss Man brings him back to ringside and throws half the steps at him. Thankfully for Jarrett, Boss Man misses. Back inside, Jarrett lands a jumping dropkick and follows with the Bossman Straddle. Boss Man punches back, but Jarrett avoids a corner charge and runs Boss Man’s eyes over the top rope. Boss Man forces Jarrett back into a corner for more punishment. He threatens to smother Jarrett, but then telegraphs a backdrop. Regardless, Jarrett runs into a spinebuster. Debra hops up on the apron to distract Boss Man, but then Boss Man finds the BOSS MAN SLAM for the win. (3:27) Those boobies didn’t quite work tonight. Boss Man scares Debra away and Jarrett gets whacked with the night stick. Some weird editing going on there. I really thought we might see Koko B. Ware again. *

We see a stretch limousine pulling up to the Tucson convention center. Hey look, it’s THE ROCK and VINCE McMAHON in that limo. Halftime Heat is coming up soon!

  • Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart

They start to show a clip of Val and Ryan Shamrock in a “sex” tape, but apparently it’s too hot for a show called HeAT. Already angry over his sister Ryan, Shamrock BUM RUSHES THE SHOW on Owen. He looks to suplex Owen from the apron to the floor, but Owen counters and mounts Shamrock for some punches. He catches Shamrock with the Spinning Heel Kick and follows up with the gutwrench suplex. He chokes Shamrock using his black t-shirt, but Shamrock fights out with a jawbreaker. We get a slow comeback from Shamrock. He cuts off Owen with a headbutt to the groin and stretches the leg. Owen’s trick knee acts up into Shamrock’s balls. He slams Shamrock and delivers a legdrop for two. Shamrock ducks the Enziguri of Certain Demise and buries some knees into Owen. Commercials! When we come back, Shamrock delivers a Hurracanrana when the Black N Blue Blazer shows up. He climbs the top rope and as Shamrock whips Owen into the ropes, the Black N Blue Blazer gets crotched. As Owen comes off the ropes, Shamrock delivers the Belly to Belly Suplex for the win. (4:44 shown) Owen seems confused about who this Black N Blue Blazer fellow is. *

They air the WWF’s classic Super Bowl commercial. There’s no way you haven’t seen it.

  • Empty Arena Match for the WWF Championship: The Rock (c) vs. Mankind

Vince McMahon replaces Kevin Kelly and Shane McMahon on commentary. We get VINTAGE VINCE~! Mankind has his head wrapped after the beating he took at the hands of the Rock back at the Royal Rumble just a week earlier. There’s crowd noise from the HeAT taping in Phoenix, but no crowd in the Tucson Convention Center – hence an ’empty arena’ match. While this had been done in Memphis many years ago, this is the one and only ’empty arena’ match done in the WWF until recent years when it’s been done on some NXT shows. Mankind owns Rock to start, but then Rock reverses a whip into the barricade and Mankind goes FLYING THROUGH the barricade into a bunch of chairs. Now the Rock tosses Mankind into an entire section of chairs while talking trash like only the Rock can. He starts dropping chairs on Mankind and then hits him one good time on the head. With Mankind down, the Rock gets on the headset. Oh wait, Mankind is up and he’s ready to put Rock in the MANDIBLE CLAW complete with Mr. Socko! His trick knee acts up and that causes Mankind to release the hold. They head up the stairs where Rock meets Mankind with a trash can and Mankind takes a tumble down about twenty rows. More classic trash talking from the Rock as he stomps Mankind down to the lower level of the arena. We check in with Shane and Kevin on HeAt as Shane talks us through the replay. It’s pretty awesome. Next thing you know, we’re in the kitchen! Rock beats Mankind with cotton candy while saying he’s too cheap to buy it himself. With Mankind down, Rock grabs Mr. Socko and throws him into an oven! It’s right around here where Mankind starts untying his boot. It becomes important later as Mankind walking around with just one boot. He tries to put Mankind in the oven, but he’s a little too fat for that.

They continue through the kitchen as Rock throws a pack of hotdog buns in Mankind’s face and calling him a sick freak for some reason. Uh oh, Mankind knocks over some nice plates! Rock finds a bottle of Jack, but Mankind finally fights back. Vince says that wasn’t actual liquor because booze has never touched the Rock’s lips. HA! Mankind beats Rock with a GIGANTIC bag of popcorn. Apparently, it hurts. They start through a door that takes them where the ring crew eats their meals, but Rock slams the door in Mankind’s face. Back in control, Rock tastes the popcorn and complains that it’s too salty and stomps Mankind for the overly salty popcorn. They head over to catering where Rock throws salsa in Mankind’s face. When Mankind complains that the salsa got in his eyes, Rock has a taste and finds that it’s only MILD! HAHA! Mankind doesn’t care. He starts to punch back and tries a Pull-Up Piledriver, but Rock backdrops him onto the table. Rock pours soda all over Mankind as the fight spills over into somebody’s office. Conveniently, the phone rings and the Rock answers, “Smackdown Hotel? I’m sorry, Mankind is busy. He’s got the Rock’s FOOT in his mouth!” Awesome. The phone rings again and of course the Rock answers. Mankind’s a little tied up right now. Anyways, a chick in the office turns down the Rock’s sexual advances and gets called a big piece of trash. That gives Mankind enough time to get up and start beating the Rock out of the office and out to the loading area. Mankind takes off his sock and applies the MANDIBLE CLAW on the Rock right near a running forklift until Rock is completely out of it. How convenient. Mankind takes over the forklift GTA-style and lowers the forklift on top of the Rock. Hey, that forklift has like SIX beer kegs on top of the pallet it’s holding up. There’s no WAY the Rock is getting out of that. With Rock completely trapped and only his head and shoulders sticking out from under the pallet, Mankind stands on the pallet as Earl Hebner counts three. (17:17) So Mankind becomes a TWO-TIME WWF champ. McMahon can’t help but channel his former self and sounds almost enthusiastic even though Mankind was the enemy. Hard to rate a match like this because it feels so phony, but you have to consider the definite entertainment factor that’s there. And for that reason, it’s certainly worth a look.


Sunday, February 14 from the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee!

MAIN EVENT: CAGE MATCH – Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon

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