WWF In Your House 26: Rock Bottom
December 13th, 1998

This was the show to close out the WWF's breakthrough year of 1998, and we're starting to see Vince Russo's handiwork at its finest. Heading out of Survivor Series, The Rock was getting his first big push as WWF Champion but in the process turned his back on the people and became the cornerstone of Vince McMahon's Corporation stable. However Mankind, Vince's former chosen one who was cheated out of the title, hasn't forgotten Vince's double-cross and now has a shot at revenge as he faces the Rock in a rematch for the WWF Championship. Meanwhile Stone Cold Steve Austin was on his own mission to reclaim his rightful title. He had his title shot against The Rock the night after Survivor Series, his last shot according to Vince, but the Undertaker knocked him out with a shovel. Austin now feels his best chance is to get into the Royal Rumble and win a title shot at Wrestlemania, but Vince says in order to qualify he must beat the Undertaker in a Buried Alive match. The Undertaker has been trying to sacrifice Austin and even crucified him at one time (yep, that sounds like Vince Russo is running the show). Can Austin beat the Undertaker and get his spot in the Rumble, or will Taker snuff out Austin's career for good?

ARK1 Review: WWF In Your House 26: Rock Bottom

by Adam King

December 13, 1998
Live from the General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia

Earlier on Sunday Night Heat: Light Heavyweight Champion Duane Gill defeated Matt Hardy, Kevin Quinn defeated Brian Christopher, Triple H defeated Droz, and Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws defeated The Acolytes.

We begin with The Rock welcoming us to his pay-per-view in a pre-taped segment from Planet Hollywood. The Rock says that from now on, all the In Your House pay-per-views will be known as "In The Rock's House" and that they will have titles such as "Rock Solid", "Rock and Roll", and even "Laying the Smackdown". The Rock guarantees that all his pay-per-views will have the finest action before finishing with his trademark catchphrases.

We then get an intro video hyping the Buried Alive match, narrated by Freddie Blassie. Once that's done we're welcomed to the show by Jerry "The King" Lawler and Michael Cole. Jim Ross was stricken by Bell's Palsy during this time so Cole is filling in (but he hadn't yet learned how not to sound annoying). Two huge posters of the Rock are hanging by the entranceway, while nearby is a mound of dirt with an open grave and a tombstone with pictures of the Undertaker and Austin on it.

Val Venis & The Godfather (w/women) vs. D'Lo Brown & Mark Henry (w/Terri & Jacqueline)
This was during Val and Godfather's short run as a tag team, and the beginning of Terri and Jackie's run as the Pretty Mean Sisters. Val comes out first and does his usual innuendo before the Godfather comes out with his women. The Godfather gets on the mic and decides to offer Val his ladies for the night, and Val accepts just before D'Lo and Henry come out. D'Lo starts off by punching Val into a corner. D'Lo takes a moment to taunt the fans, allowing Val to charge out with a clothesline. Val goes for a whip, D'Lo reverses but Val counters with a shoulderblock. Val comes off the ropes and kicks D'Lo in the face. Val whips D'Lo again but D'Lo hits a shoulderblock. D'Lo comes off the ropes but Val leapfrogs him and plants him with a spinebuster. Val tags in Godfather, who exchanges words with his former Nation teammate before kicking him in the chest. Godfather whips D'Lo into the ropes for a chop, then goes for another whip and hits a clothesline. Godfather rams D'Lo into a turnbuckle before whipping him into a corner. Godfather goes for the Ho Train but D'Lo sidesteps and Godfather hits the turnbuckles. D'Lo misses a right hand and Godfather nails him with a crescent kick. D'Lo tags in Henry but Godfather hammers him and rams him into the turnbuckles. Godfather whips Henry into a corner and this time connects with the Ho Train. Godfather goes for another whip but Henry reverses into a powerslam. Henry slams Godfather to the mat before choking him. Henry slams Godfather to the mat again and goes for a big elbow drop but misses. Godfather tags in Val, who tries to whip Henry. Henry reverses, Val ducks a clothesline and grabs Henry from behind but Henry elbows him away. Henry whips Val into a corner and hits an Avalanche. D'Lo tags in and whips Val into the ropes for a Sky High Powerbomb and a two count. D'Lo slams Val to the mat then climbs to the top rope and goes for the Lo Down but misses. Val tags in Godfather while D'Lo tags in Henry. Godfather takes it to both men then whips D'Lo into the ropes and hits a backdrop. Godfather tags Val in and both men manage to suplex Henry to the mat. Meanwhile outside the ring the Godfather's women are fighting with Terri and Jackie. The Godfather walks over to play peacemaker while Val goes at it with Henry. While everyone's distracted by the fight outside, Jackie sneaks into the ring and pulls Val's tights down before slapping him. Henry nails Val with a clothesline then hits a big splash for the three count.

Winners: D'Lo Brown & Mark Henry (5:56)

Comments: This was an okay opener, though nothing interesting really happened. Val and D'Lo tried to make it a watchable match but Godfather and Henry kept bringing it down, especially when they were in the ring together. [Score: 5/10]

We get a recap from earlier on Sunday Night Heat of Mankind attacking The Rock during an interview, then producing a contract which says if the Rock can't wrestle tonight for any reason, he wins the WWF Title by forfeit. We then cut to the trainer's room in the back where we find the Rock arguing with Vince and Shane McMahon. Rock says his ribs are hurting but he still wants to compete, but Vince promises he'll take care of things.

The Headbangers vs. Golga & Kurrgan (w/Luna & Silva)
Oh boy. This feud came about after the Insane Clown Posse turned on the Oddities and joined Mosh and Thrasher in shaving Luna's hair. Mosh locks up with Kurrgan to start and applies a headlock but Kurrgan lifts him up and throws him into a corner. Kurrgan charges but Mosh kicks him in the chest and gets in some shots. Mosh goes for a whip but Kurrgan reverses and sends Mosh into a corner. Kurrgan charges again but Mosh sidesteps him and climbs to the top rope for the count-along punches. Mosh snaps Kurrgan's neck on the top rope then charges at Kurrgan but runs into a sidewalk slam. Kurrgan whips Mosh into the ropes but Mosh rolls under a big boot and tags in Thrasher. Thrasher kicks Kurrgan several times and goes for a whip but Kurrgan reverses and hits another sidewalk slam. Kurrgan whips Thrasher into a corner, then walks over and chokes him with his boot. Mosh comes in but Kurrgan nails him with a clothesline, then whips Mosh into Thrasher and hits a splash on both Headbangers. Kurrgan tags in Golga who hits his own splash. Golga hits a hiptoss on Thrasher then hits a pair of legdrops for a two count. Golga tags in Kurrgan, who slams Thrasher to the mat. Kurrgan climbs to the middle rope and goes for a big splash but misses. Thrasher sets Kurrgan up for a suplex but can't get him up so Mosh comes in and both Headbangers manage to suplex Kurrgan. Thrasher covers Kurrgan but only gets two. Thrasher drapes Kurrgan on the rope and holds him while Mosh leapfrogs over his partner and straddles Kurrgan. Mosh chokes Kurrgan on the top rope and distracts the referee so Thrasher can choke him. Mosh goes for a whip, Kurrgan reverses and hits a backdrop. Kurrgan hits a clothesline before crawling to his corner and tagging in Golga. Golga takes it to both Headbangers and hits a dropkick on Mosh. Golga whips Thrasher into a corner and hits a splash. Golga hammers Thrasher in the ropes, not seeing him tag Mosh. Golga whips Thrasher into the ropes and slams him to the mat. Golga comes off the ropes himself but Mosh comes off the top and hits the Stage Dive that gets him the three count.

Winners: The Headbangers (6:52)

Comments: Not much I can say about this match except that it was terrible and boring. The only good part was the Oddities' entrance music. Otherwise, neither team belongs on pay-per-view. [Score: 2/10]

Back in the trainer's room, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco talk to Vince and Shane, offering to find Mankind for him. Vince declines and says he'll take care of it.

Owen Hart vs. Steve Blackman
This was after Owen 'retired' from wrestling after supposedly breaking Dan Severn's neck with a piledriver on Raw last September, which also coincided with the reappearance of his old Blue Blazer character. Owen felt Blackman was making fun of his legacy so he came back for this feud. In an interesting twist, Owen comes out and gets cheered by the Canadian crowd while Blackman gets soundly booed. Once Blackman climbs into the ring Owen goes right to work and hammers away at him. Owen whips Blackman into a corner then hits a suplex followed by a legdrop. Owen chops Blackman in a corner before attempting a whip. Blackman reverses, sending Owen into a corner, and Owen staggers out into a backdrop. Blackman connects with a spin kick, then whips Owen into the ropes and hits a chop. Blackman clotheslines Owen over the top rope to the floor, and Owen tries to walk away but Blackman goes out and clotheslines Owen in the aisle before bringing him back into the ring. Blackman hits a suplex followed by a backbreaker then applies a bow-and-arrow submission. Blackman releases the hold and whips Owen into the ropes for a back elbow. Blackman grabs Owen by the leg but Owen counters with an enzuigiri. Owen suplexes Blackman and drops a knee to the face. Owen hits a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Owen pops Blackman with an uppercut and chops him to the mat. Owen grabs the legs and stomps Blackman in the chest. Owen slams Blackman to the mat then climbs to the middle rope. Owen leaps off for a splash but Blackman blocks it with a boot. Blackman drops Owen into a corner and lands a series of chops. Blackman hits another suplex and follows up with an elbow drop for a two count. Blackman whips Owen into the ropes but Owen fakes him out and rolls out of the ring.

Owen tries to regroup but Blackman nails him with a baseball slide. Blackman chops Owen, who heads back into the ring, and when Blackman goes in Owen stomps away at him. Owen drapes Blackman's leg on the rope and kicks him in the thigh. Owen goes for a whip, Blackman reverses but Owen catches him into an Atomic Drop followed by a spinning heel kick for a two count. Owen hits a dropkick then hits another suplex. Owen climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying elbow drop for two. Owen applies a chinlock and Blackman tries to hold on but begins to wilt. The referee checks the arm, and it drops once, twice, but Blackman keeps it up a third time. Blackman fights out of the hold then comes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock. Blackman comes off the ropes again but Owen knees him in the chest. Owen goes for a whip but Blackman reverses, sending Owen into a corner. Owen springs off the turnbuckles and hits a crossbody but Blackman rolls through and gets a near fall. Owen hits another enzuigiri but only gets two. Owen undoes a turnbuckle pad, exposing the steel bolt. Owen goes for a whip but Blackman reverses and sends Owen into the bolt. Blackman dropkicks Owen from behind and snaps his neck off the top rope. Blackman slams Owen to the mat and hits a series of elbowdrops. Blackman whips Owen into the ropes and applies a sleeperhold. Owen shoves Blackman into the ropes and applies a Dragon Sleeper. Blackman escapes with knees to the face then whips Owen into the ropes. Blackman goes for a running Mafia kick but Owen sidesteps him and hits a DDT. Owen climbs to the top rope and goes for a missile dropkick but Blackman swats him away and applies a Sharpshooter on Owen! Owen tries not to submit to his own hold and manages to reach the bottom rope. Owen rolls out of the ring and starts to walk away. Blackman goes out and both men exchange chops. Blackman runs back into the ring but Owen decides he's had enough so he walks out and ends up getting counted out.

Winner by countout: Steve Blackman (10:29)

Comments: A great match nearly ruined by a bad finish. Before the ending there was some good fast-paced action with some nice moves and counters, plus Owen managed to get a good showing out of Blackman. Again the bad ending does hurt it somewhat; there was no reason for Owen to walk out of the match especially since he was in his home country and was being cheered by the crowd. They should have just let him get the win. [Score: 8/10]

Backstage Vince McMahon is looking for Mankind when he finds the boiler room door, which has "Mankind’s office" taped on it. Vince knocks on the door and Mankind invites him in to talk, saying he "has something I want".

The Brood vs. The JOB Squad
The Brood consists of Edge, Christian and Gangrel, while the JOB Squad consists of Al Snow (and Head), 2 Cold Scorpio and Bob Holly, who's sporting his crew-cut bleached hair for the first time here. This match resulted from the Squad causing Christian to lose the Light Heavyweight Title to Duane Gill. Edge starts off with Holly by getting in some quick shots. Edge goes for a whip but Holly counters with a shoulderblock. Holly comes off the ropes and hits a powerslam on Edge. Holly goes for a whip, Edge reverses but lowers the head and Holly hits a front suplex. Holly kicks Edge in a corner then whips him to the opposite corner. Holly charges but Edge stops him with a boot then places Holly on his shoulders for an Electric Chair drop. Edge tags in Christian, who whips Holly into the ropes. Christian lowers the head and Holly hits a Tiger bomb. Holly tags in Scorpio and Scorpio whips Christian into a corner and hits a clothesline. Scorpio whips Christian back the other way for another clothesline, then hits a spinkick. Scorpio slams Christian to the mat, then hits a somersault leg drop for a two count. Snow tags in and grabs Christian for his rapid headbutts. Snow whips Christian into a corner then comes off the ropes for a clothesline. Snow hits a T-bone Suplex then goes for a whip but Christian ducks a clothesline and throws Snow back to the mat. Christian hits a dropkick before tagging in Gangrel. Gangrel punches Snow into a corner but Snow escapes. Snow goes for a whip but Gangrel reverses and sends Snow into a corner hard. Gangrel whips Snow into the opposite corner but Snow lifts himself over Gangrel with the ropes and grabs him from behind. Gangrel counters but Snow counters back and hits a Northern lights suplex for a two count. Snow whips Gangrel into a corner and charged but eats a boot. Gangrel comes out with a clothesline then whips Snow into the ropes. Snow slides under him and hits an ocean cyclone for a two count.

Snow goes for a whip but Gangrel counters into a DDT. Gangrel rams Snow into his corner and tags in Edge. The Brood triple team Snow while the referee keeps holding back Scorpio and Holly. Edge hammers Snow in a corner then rolls him with a snapmare and applies a chinlock. Snow fights out of the hold and comes off the ropes, Edge lowers the head but Snow kicks him in the face. Snow hits an enzuigiri and tries to make a tag but Edge pulls him away and tags in Gangrel. Gangrel and Edge but whip Snow into a corner but Snow slides out of it and goes for a clothesline, missing Edge and nailing Gangrel. Snow plants Edge with a powerbomb. Gangrel tags in Christian while Snow tags in Scorpio. Scorpio goes for a whip, Christian reverses but Scorpio ducks a clothesline and connects with a spinning heel kick. Scorpio covers but Edge breaks up the pin, prompting everyone else to come in, and now all six men are going at it. Holly hammers Edge while Snow fights Gangrel on the outside. Christian charges at Scorpio but gets backdropped over the ropes to the floor. Scorpio slings himself over the ropes for a pescado but misses and splats on the floor. Edge slams Holly to the mat while Christian comes off the top but misses. Snow brings Head into the ring and clocks Christian with it. Gangrel knocks Snow out of the ring before Holly tackles him. Christian is still down so Scorpio climbs to the top and connects with a moonsault leg drop. Scorpio covers but Edge makes the save. Edge then uses Gangrel as a launching pad and leaps over the ropes, taking out Holly and Snow on the outside. In the ring Scorpio dropkicks Gangrel but Christian takes him out with the Unprettier and gets the three count.

Winners: The Brood (9:08)

Comments: Decent enough match, though nothing interesting happened until the last few minutes, plus the crowd was pretty silent. There were still some fun spots, though. Interesting to note that Snow and Holly would start getting decent pushes while Scorpio would soon fade out. [Score: 6/10]

Vince McMahon and Mankind are still talking in the boiler room.

Goldust vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra McMichael) –Striptease Match
Basically if Goldust wins, Debra has to strip, but if Jarrett wins, Goldust has to strip. Naturally everyone is pulling for Goldust here, even Jerry Lawler. Both men lock up and go through a sequence of reversals. Goldust applies a headlock, Jarrett shoves him into the ropes but Goldust hits a shoulderblock. Goldust applies another headlock, Jarrett shoves him in the ropes and leapfrogs over him but Goldust still hits a shoulderblock. Goldust rolls Jarrett into a headlock for a two count. Jarrett fights out of the hold and goes for a whip, Goldust reverses but Jarrett slides under him. Jarrett kicks him in the chest and comes off the ropes but runs into a spinebuster. Goldust hits a butt splash for two. Goldust goes for a whip, Jarrett reverses and elbows Goldust through the ropes to the floor. Jarrett goes out but Goldust pops him in the face. Goldust goes back in but Jarrett snaps his neck off the top rope. Jarrett climbs to the top rope and hits a crossbody but Goldust rolls through and gets a two count. Goldust whips Jarrett into the ropes and attempts a hip toss but Jarrett blocks it and hits an armbar DDT. Jarrett goes for a whip, Goldust reverses but lowers the head and Jarrett hits a neckbreaker for two. Jarrett hops to the middle rope and hits a fistdrop. Jarrett sets Goldust up for a suplex but Goldust counters into his own suplex. Goldust whips Jarrett into the ropes but misses a pair of clotheslines and Jarrett connects with a dropkick for a near fall. Jarrett whips Goldust into the ropes and applies a sleeperhold. Goldust fights out of it and comes off the ropes but Jarrett applies the sleeper a second time. Goldust tries to hold on but begins to fade out. The referee checks the arm and it drops once, twice, but Goldust keeps it up the third time. Goldust counters the hold into a suplex but only gets two. Jarrett hits a clothesline, then tells Debra to slide his guitar into he ring. Before she can do it, the referee catches her. In the ring Goldust kicks Jarrett from behind and hits the Curtain Call. Goldust covers but the referee is too busy arguing with Debra and doesn't see it. Jarrett tries to roll up Goldust but Goldust sits on his shoulders and the referee counts 1….2….but Jarrett kicks out. Goldust goes for a whip, Jarrett reverses but lowers the head and Goldust pops him in the face. Goldust comes off the ropes with a bulldog and covers but only gets two. Goldust then sets Jarrett on the ropes in the corner, setting him up for the Shattered Dreams. Debra comes in to stop him but ends up distracting the referee, allowing Goldust to hit the Shattered Dreams. Jarrett rolls to the floor, but as the referee is checking on Jarrett, Debra comes in and blasts Goldust with the guitar. Jarrett makes it back into the ring before the count, hits the Stroke on Goldust and covers him for the victory, meaning Goldust has to disrobe.

However as Jarrett and Debra start celebrating, out comes Shawn Michaels, who recently returned to the company to be the new heel WWF Commissioner. Michaels sends Jarrett to the back then points out Debra's use of the guitar. Michaels reminds Debra the use of any foreign object is illegal so he reverses the decision and awards the DQ victory to Goldust.

Winner by disqualification: Goldust (8:03)

Michaels then reminds Debra of the stipulation and orders her to strip. Some burlesque music starts playing and Debra starts disrobing. Surprisingly enough she seems to enjoy it while Jarrett is blowing a gasket watching this backstage. Before she can go too far, the Blue Blazer comes out and covers her up with his robe.

Comments: This was actually a good match. There was some solid back-and-forth action from both men and the crowd was really into it, though it was probably due to the stipulation and not the action. [Score: 7/10]

Vince McMahon steps out of the boiler room with a smile on his face for some reason.

WWF World Tag Team Titles – The New Age Outlaws © vs. The Big Bossman & Ken Shamrock (w/Shawn Michaels)
Bossman is the Hardcore Champion, Shamrock is the Intercontinental Champion, and Shawn Michaels is back to being the heel commissioner after being a babyface just a few minutes earlier. This match came about when Michaels tried to recruit the Outlaws into the Corporation, and Road Dogg and Billy Gunn appeared to have gone Corporate at one point only to pull the rug out from Michaels' feet. The rest of DX is barred from ringside for this match plus the Outlaws are still reeling from being forced to wrestle the Acolytes earlier on Heat.

Road Dogg goes right to work on Shamrock, hammering him into a corner. Road Dogg goes for a whip but Shamrock counters into a clothesline. Shamrock pops Road Dogg before Billy taunts him. Shamrock tags in Bossman and holds Road Dogg for a shot to the ribs. Bossman rakes the face then slams Road Dogg to the mat. Bossman goes for a splash but misses. Road Dogg tags in Billy and holds Bossman for a shot to the chest. Billy rams Bossman into a turnbuckle and kicks him in a corner. Billy goes for a whip but Bossman reverses and sends Billy into a corner. Bossman goes out and trips Billy by the legs. Billy manages to pull Bossman into the ringpost with his legs. Billy tags in Road Dogg and both Outlaws whip Bossman into the ropes and hit a double backdrop. Road Dogg covers but Bossman powers out of the it. Road Dogg kicks Bossman in the back but Bossman pops him in the face. Bossman headbutts Road Dogg and tags in Shamrock, whip whips Road Dogg into a corner and hits a clothesline. Shamrock whips Road Dogg into the ropes but Road Dogg ducks a kick and hits the juke'n'jive punches. Road Dogg follows up with the shake, rattle 'n kneedrop but Shamrock slaps on the anklelock. Billy makes the save but Bossman nails him from behind. Billy takes over and goes for a whip but Shamrock counters and hits a one-arm slam. Shamrock drops a knee to the face and hammers away at him. Shamrock whips Billy into a corner and Billy staggers out into a spinkick. Shamrock whips Billy into the ropes but lowers the head and Billy hits a Rocker Dropper. Billy tags in Road Dogg but Road Dogg walks into a belly-to-belly suplex. Shamrock rams Road Dogg into Bossman's boot and Bossman tags in and hits a kneelift to the face. Bossman pounds Road Dogg in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and hits an Avalanche. Road Dogg tries crawling toward his corner but Bossman taunts him before applying a front facelock. Road Dogg fights out of the hold and comes off the ropes but runs into a knee to the midsection. Michaels takes a moment to peck Road Dogg on the cheek.

Bossman tags in Shamrock and both men whip Road Dogg into a spinning elbow from Shamrock that gets a two count. Shamrock hits a knee to the face, then knocks Billy off the apron. Billy wants in but the referee holds him back while Bossman and Shamrock switch places without a tag. Bossman chokes Road Dogg on the middle rope then straddles him. Bossman slides out of the ring and pops Road Dogg with an uppercut. Billy kicks Bossman in the back of the head then turns toward Michaels, who threatens to fire him if he comes near him. In the ring Bossman tags in Shamrock, who drops his weight on the prone Road Dogg. Shamrock slings himself into a splash then slams him to the mat. Road Dogg starts to fight back and comes off the ropes but Shamrock catches him with a leg lariat. Shamrock rams Road Dogg into a turnbuckle and lands a series of kicks. Shamrock whips Road Dogg into the opposite corner hard. Shamrock applies a frontface lock and Road Dogg tries to hold on but begins to wilt. The referee checks the arm and it drops once, twice, but Road Dogg keeps it up the third time. Road Dogg fights out of the hold and comes off the ropes but Shamrock nails him with a clothesline. Shamrock tags in Bossman, who Road Dogg into a turnbuckle and grabs the face. Road Dogg tries to fight back and goes for a whip but Bossman counters into a hard whip back into the corner. Bossman applies a front facelock and again Road Dogg fights out of it. Road Dogg comes off the ropes but Shamrock kicks him in the back and Michaels gets in some words. Shamrock applies yet another front facelock while Billy and Michaels exchange words. Road Dogg tires to force Shamrock into his corner so he can make the tag. Bossman comes in and distracts the referee just as Road Dogg makes the tag, but the referee won't allow Billy in because he didn't see the tag himself. Bossman and Shamrock whip Road Dogg into the corner hard again. Bossman takes over and sets Road Dogg up for a piledriver but Road Dogg counters with a backdrop over the ropes to the floor. Road Dogg hits Bossman with an axehandle off the apron. However Michaels and Shamrock both stomp away at Road Dogg before throwing him back into the ring. Bossman tags in Shamrock, who hits a knee lift to the face. Shamrock whips Road Dogg into a corner and charges but Road Dogg stops him with a boot to the face. Road Dogg comes out with an elbow and both men are down. Road Dogg crawls toward his corner, and despite Shamrock's efforts Road Dogg finally makes the tag to Billy.

Billy comes in and takes it to both Corporation members. Billy whips Shamrock into the ropes but misses a clothesline and Shamrock hits a sidekick. Shamrock whips Billy into the ropes but Billy catches him into a powerbomb. Billy covers and the referee counts 1….2….but Michaels pulls the referee out of the ring. Michaels argues with the referee while tossing the nightstick to Bossman, who lays out Billy and Road Dogg with it. The referee goes back into the ring just as Shamrock covers the fallen Billy and counts 1….2….but Billy kicks out! Shamrock kicks Billy to the apron and tries to suplex him back in. Billy floats over and goes for his own suplex. Michaels trips Billy, causing Shamrock to fall on top of him, but Billy reverses the pin and gets the 1….2….3 for the win.

Winners and still Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (17:02)

While Michaels argues with Bossman and Shamrock about what happened, the Outlaws grab the nightstick and use it to send a message to the Corporate team.

Comments: Very boring match that ran way too long with some repetitive action, plus it followed the Outlaw formula too much, with Road Dogg getting pounded for an eternity before making the hot tag. If that wasn't enough Bossman and Shamrock would end up winning the tag titles anyway on Raw the next night, making this match even more irrelevant and pointless. [Score: 4/10]

After a recap of The Rock winning the title at the Survivor Series, we find Vince talking to Shane and The Rock in the training room. Vince says Mankind wants to take care of business in the ring and wants witnesses, so they decide to play along.

WWF World Heavyweight Title – The Rock © (w/Vince & Shane McMahon) vs. Mankind
Mankind comes out to the ring with a piece of paper in hand, and he's soon joined by The Rock, Vince and Shane. After Vince points out to Mankind that he has a hole in his tights, Mankind decides to get down to business. Mankind offers to cross out the forfeit clause, meaning the Rock won't have to wrestle tonight, if Vince will admit to everyone that Mankind did not submit to Rock's Sharpshooter at the Survivor Series. Mankind also demands that Vince confess on his knees. Vince says the Rock heard the words "I Quit" and that's good enough for him. Mankind then tears up the contract when the Rock attacks him from behind, starting the match.

Rock hammers Mankind into a corner but Mankind escapes and lays into the Rock. Mankind whips Rock into a corner hard and lays the boots to him. Mankind chokes Rock on the middle rope and kicks him out of the ring. Mankind goes out and whips Rock into the ringsteps. Mankind then grabs the steps and nails Rock with them. Mankind rams Rock into the barricade and lands some forearm shots. Rock comes back and goes for a whip but Mankind reverses and sends Rock into the apron. Mankind hits a clothesline then rams Rock into the steps and the announcers' table before rolling him back into the ring. Vince gets on the mic and tells Mankind that he'll be disqualified if he breaks the rules in any other fashion. Mankind looks at Vince then turns around into a clothesline from Rock. Rock lays the boots to Mankind and punches him in the corner before choking him with his boot. Rock pops Mankind through the ropes to the floor, then goes out and chokes Mankind with a TV cable. Rock belts Mankind in the face and suplexes him onto the floor. Rock throws Mankind back in the ring but Mankind greets him with a right hand to the face. Mankind stomps Rock in the head and whips him to the ropes. Mankind lowers the head and Rock kicks him in the face but runs into a boot. Rock charges but Mankind throws him over the ropes to the floor. Mankind nails Rock with a baseball slide then climbs to the top rope, setting up for an elbow drop. However Shane grabs the foot and Rock flings him from the ropes to the floor! The Rock walks over and takes Michael Cole's headphone, doing commentary in his own match. Rock rams Mankind into the announcers' table then spits water in his face. Rock goes after Mankind but Mankind blocks it and rams Rock into the table. Mankind hammers Rock while he's still wearing the headphones. Mankind grabs a chair but the referee keeps him from using it, and Rock kicks him in the chest. Rock DDTs Mankind into the chair then rolls him into the ring and covers him but only gets a two count. Rock slams Mankind to the mat, then hits the People's Elbow. Rock covers and the referee counts 1….2….but Mankind kicks out!

The Rock rams Mankind into a turnbuckle and goes for a whip but Mankind ducks a clothesline and hits a neckbreaker. Both men get back to their feet and begin exchanging punches. Mankind gets the advantage and goes for a whip. Rock catches the leg and spins him around but Mankind hits a clothesline for a two count. Mankind hits a legdrop for another two count. Mankind grabs the legs and hits a legdrop for a low blow. At that point Vince demands a disqualification but Mankind takes out the referee with a piledriver! Vince then calls for the bell but Mankind takes out the timekeeper as well. Mankind then turns toward the McMahons and stalks them around the ring, but the Rock nails Mankind from behind with a chair. Rock throws Mankind into the ring and hits the Rock Bottom. Rock covers but the referee is still KOed and can't make the count. Shane climbs into the ring with the WWF Title belt in hand while the Rock holds Mankind. Shane takes a swing but Mankind escapes and Shane nails Rock by accident! Mankind covers Rock as another referee runs in and counts 1….2….but Rock kicks out!! Mankind kicks Rock in the head and whips him into the ropes but Rock floats over into a DDT for a two count. Rock misses a clothesline and Mankind hits the double-arm DDT but only gets two again. Mankind then pulls out Mr. Sock and locks in the Mandible Claw!! Rock tries to holds on but can't reach the ropes. Rock is soon rendered unconscious and Mankind gets the win!!

Winner: Mankind (13:33)

Mankind starts celebrating, thinking he's the new WWF Champion. However Vince tells Mankind that he did win the match, but since The Rock did not properly submit by tapping out or saying "I Quit", the title does not change hands, so the Rock is still WWF Champion. Mankind responds by putting the Mandible Claw on Vince. Shane nails Mankind with the chair, but Mankind no-sells it and puts the Claw on Vince again. Shane hits Mankind with the chair again so Mankind responds by putting the Claw on Shane. Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson run into the ring and Mankind takes both of them out. The Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock run in and start beating down Mankind, with The Rock getting in some parting shots as well. The Corporation then walks off with the WWF Championship still in their midst while Mankind is forced to leave empty-handed.

Comments: This was a fun match, just like most of the matches in this series. The Rock and Mankind really began to gel at this point and as a result this contest had some great action and a few cool moments. However another stupid finish rears its ugly head; Mankind beats the Rock cleanly but doesn't win the title? That's a Vince Russo ending if I ever saw one, even worse than a Dusty finish. Fortunately Mankind would eventually get his big moment when he beats Rock for the title on Raw three weeks later, though I wouldn't have minded seeing the title change here. [Score: 8/10]

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) – Buried Alive Match
Austin must win this match to be eligible for the Royal Rumble. After Taker comes out, Austin makes his entrance and takes a quick look at the grave. Austin starts the match by brawling the Taker in the aisleway and even chokes him with his vest followed by a TV cable. Austin rams Taker into a guardrail then tries to hit him with the guardrail but Taker cuts him off. Taker chokes Austin with the guardrail before popping him with an uppercut. Taker fights Austin around the grave and up the aisle before throwing him into the ring. Austin comes off the ropes and ducks a clothesline before hitting the Lou Thesz Press followed by right hands and the elbow. Austin snaps Taker's head off the top rope then pulls him by the legs into the ringpost. Austin wraps Taker's leg around the post then connects with an axehandle off the barricade. Austin whips Taker into the ringsteps but Taker comes back with a boot to the head. Taker rams Austin into the Spanish announcers' table. Austin starts to fight back and sets Taker up for a piledriver but Taker counters with a backdrop. Taker rams Austin into the ringpost before throwing him back into the ring. Taker stomps Austin down and chokes him with his boot, then drapes him over the apron and clubs him in the chest. Taker wraps Austin's arm around the ringpost before bringing him to the gravesite. Taker tries to punch Austin into the grave but Austin blocks it and fights back. Austin grabs the guardrail piece and rams it into Taker's face. Austin manages to pull Taker into the grave but Taker stands up and jabs Austin with a burial wreath. Austin tumbles into the grave and Taker hits a headbutt before choking him down. Taker grabs a shovel but Austin again starts to fight back. Taker tries to escape but Austin pulls him back in. Austin tries to escape but Taker nails him in his braced knee. Taker pops Austin with a right hand and stomps him down the hill to the floor. Taker rams Austin into the barricade but Austin does the same to Taker.

Austin fights Taker back to the ring but Taker sends Austin into the ringpost. Taker grabs a chair and clocks Austin with it. Taker throws Austin into the ring and heads in but Austin clotheslines him back out and snaps his neck on the top rope. Austin leaps off the apron but Taker catches him and rams him into the ringpost. Taker rams Austin into the post a second time before rolling him back into the ring. Taker whips Austin into the ropes but lowers the head and Austin kicks him in the face. Austin goes for a whip but Taker reverses and hits a chokeslam. With Austin out of it, Taker brings him out to the mound and rolls him into the grave. Taker then starts shoveling dirt into the grave as Austin tries to recover. Austin manages to climb out of the grave, and when Taker tries to pull him back in, Austin grabs a gas can and brains Taker with it. Austin nails Taker a second time and hits the Stunner, causing Taker to fall into the grave. Austin pours a wheelbarrow full of dirt into the grave, but then chases Paul Bearer to the back. Meanwhile Taker sits up and climbs out of the grave, grabbing a shovel. Taker lies in wait for Austin when an explosion erupts out of the grave and Kane comes out! Kane goes after Taker but Taker throws dirt into his brother's eyes. Kane quickly recovers and hits a headbutt but Taker counters with a low blow. Taker scoops Kane up for a Tombstone but lets go when he sees Austin driving a backhoe into the arena! This allows Kane to hit the Tombstone on Taker and dump him into the grave. Austin tells the backhoe driver to dump his load, and after some difficulty it finally manages to pour some dirt into the grave. After more dirt is poured in the Undertaker is finally buried and Austin is declared the winner, clinching his spot the Royal Rumble.

Winner: Steve Austin (21:29)

As the backhoe continues to shovel in dirt, Austin pulls out a pack of beer and starts celebrating his victory, even throwing a can into the grave. Austin continues to celebrate as the show goes off the air, knowing he's in the Royal Rumble and thus one step closer to regaining the WWF Championship.

Comments: Terrible main event, nothing near the classic these two had at SummerSlam. The majority of the action was just Austin and Taker punching each other around the ring and the grave with very little else happening, and the constant lulls in the action hurt the match further, especially when they had problems with the backhoe. Also there was no doubt who was winning the match, since everyone knew the WWF was building to Austin vs. Rock at Wrestlemania. As a sidenote this match would lead to the Undertaker morphing into his "evil sorcerer" gimmick that would take him through most of the coming year. [Score: 2/10]

CONCLUSION: This was a very bad pay-per-view that definitely lived up to the Rock Bottom moniker. Most of the matches were terrible and boring, especially the main event which was beyond horrible. There were only two standout contests, Rock/Mankind and Owen/Blackman, and both of those matches were tainted by screwy finishes, plus having Steve Blackman in the best match of the night is never a good sign. Add in the fact that nothing permanent came out of this show, and this event gets a solid thumbs down. It's a shame that the WWF ended their breakout year of 1998 with such a poor supercard that should be avoided at all costs.


(Thanks to Adam King for this great review)