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WWF Sunday Night Heat- August 9, 1998

by Scrooge McSuck

- Last week on the PREMIERE EPISODE of WWF Sunday Night Heat, Kane and Mankind faced Owen Hart and The Rock in a #1 Contender's Match that went to a lame Count-Out Finish. Also, Edge defeated Jeff Jarrett after some heel miscommunication from Tennessee Lee, D'Lo Brown retained the European Title (by DQ) against Ken Shamrock, and Kaientai fell to the random tandem of the Headbangers and Droz. Surely this week can top that lineup.

- Jim Ross, Shane McMahon, and Shane McMahon's Groupies are on commentary tonight, unless otherwise noted.

- Kane, Mankind, and Paul Bearer open the show to address just what in the hell is up with the drama surrounding Kane and the Undertaker. Mankind does all the mic' work, practically throwing down the Gauntlet to the Undertaker. After Hell in the Cell at King of the Ring, how can Mankind want any more of the Undertaker?

Vader vs. Mark Henry:

Vader's WWF tenure had reached such a low, by the Summer of '98, he was rarely seen on Monday Night Raw, and was usually on the losing end of his matches, regardless of what show he was featured on. This is a rematch from Fully Loaded, which saw Mark Henry victorious. Will Vader even up the series 1-1, or will Henry remain undefeated against out of shape Gingers? Henry with a pie-face to start, and Vader retaliates. Henry PRESS SLAMS VADER, then drops him so sloppy, the Ultimate Warrior would go up to him and say "that was sloppy." They brawl up the aisle, with Henry in complete control. Back inside, Henry pounds him down and drops a high elbow drop for two. Vader bulldozes Henry twice to take him down, and comes off the ropes with a splash for two. Vader with a short-arm clothesline, knocking Henry to the floor. Vader follows and meets the steps in slow motion. Back inside, Henry with a clothesline and Big Splash. Henry with three more Splashes without going for a cover, so it's a DQ victory for Vader at 3:34. Lame finish. Looks like Henry got his lip busted open. Nice intensity by Mark Henry, but I'm pretty sure this is going nowhere.

- Michael Cole informs us the Undertaker will have a STATEMENT regarding Mankind's Challenge... later in the show. Nice field reporting, Cole.

he Headbangers (w/ Droz) vs. Southern Justice (w/ Double J & Tennessee Lee):

(Mosh & Thrasher vs. Mark Cantebury & Dennis Knight)
Two weeks in a row with the Headbangers in Action? Throw in the repackaged Godwinns and you have a match I have absolutely zero interest in watching. Slugfests to start, with the Headbangers taking control. Cantebury saves his partner, pulling Mosh to the floor and pounding away. Back inside, Knight goes to work with choking. I think I liked them MORE as the Godwinns. That's a scary thought. Cantebury with a slam and elbow drop for two. Mosh continues taking a beating in the corner, with little of interest actually happening. Whip to the corner is reversed and Mosh charges in with an avalanche. Cantebury comes in and casually lays him out. Outside the ring, Double J lays out Droz, then runs in as everyone brawls, and it's a Double Disqualification/No Contest at 3:27. Droz clears Jarrett from the ring, and out of nowhere, Cantebury lays HIM out with a clothesline. Then, randomly, throws a bunch of "Southern Justice" business cards at him. This wasn't very good.

- Music Video promoting The Oddities, using clips from the film Freaks spliced along with them and the Insane Clown Posse. Catchy tune, and wow, WWE actually used a relevant musical act, no matter how useless and terrible they were? The Oddities actually debuted as heels under the guidance of The Jackyl (Don Callis), but were quickly turned into a comedic babyface act, featuring repackaged Kurrgan, Golga (John Tenta under a mask), The Giant Silva, and Luna Vachon. They were even paired with Sable on occasion to get them over, and believe it or not, I actually enjoyed them, even as a 13-year old who loved Stone Cold and D-X.

X-Pac vs. TAKA Michinoku (Light-Heavyweight Champion) (w/ Yamaguchi-San):

Non-Title Match, but this could be quite decent, if it gets more than three minutes. TAKA turned heel fairly recently, I want to say on the last episode of Monday Night Raw, in the on-going angle between Val Venis and Kaientai. Also on Raw, Triple H defeated X-Pac in a #1 Contender's Match, earning an IC Title Shot at SummerSlam. Lockup, X-Pac grabs a headlock. Whip, and a shoulder tackle. Criss-cross ends with Yamaguchi tripping him up, allowing TAKA to connect with a spinning heel kick. He takes X-Pac over with a snapmare, and follows with a basement dropkick. He heads to the top and connects with a missile dropkick. Shane McMahon informs us Val Venis will be holding a special "press" conference on Raw, along with his "friend", John Wayne Bobbit. Ugh. TAKA with a slam, but he misses a splash from the top rope. X-Pac with a spinning heel kick, and it's Bronco Buster time. Yamaguchi tries to create another distraction, but X-Pac catches TAKA with the X-Factor, and it's all over at 2:18. Champions doing clean jobs is NOTHING new, obviously. Kaientai with a post-match attack, but the rest of DX clean house, capped off with a comical bump down the ramp from Yamaguchi, courtesy of Chyna. Nothing match, but it had energy.

Dustin Runnels vs. Bradshaw:

Talk about two guys being in limbo. Runnels denounced the Goldust persona and has been working a bible preaching wuss gimmick (cough:Russo:Cough), and Bradshaw is an on-his-own rebel after KO'ing Terry Funk at Fully Loaded. Runnels doesn't get an entrance, so take a guess who wins this one. Runnels offers a handshake and Bradshaw responds with a boot to the face. Whip to the corner and he follows in with a clothesline. Bradshaw with a sloppy single-arm DDT and another boot, sending Runnels to the floor. Runnels pulls him out by the leg and slugs it out. Back inside, Bradshaw remains in control and takes Runnels down with a back suplex. Rhodes mounts a minor comeback, but Bradshaw quickly puts him down with a shoulder tackle. Runnels works in the Goldust uppercut, but the Lariat comes out of nowhere and Bradshaw gets the three count at 2:16. Another energetic match, but it's too short to mean anything.

- Another video of Droz's World...

Darren Drozdov vs. "Double J" Jeff Jarrett (w/ Tennessee Lee):

This match was made as a direct result from the finish of the Headbangers/Southern Justice match earlier in the broadcast. I wonder when exactly they changed his name from Darren Drozdov to just "Droz". Lockup, and they fight over a wristlock. Whip to the ropes and Droz catches Jarrett with a Sidewalk Slam. Tomorrow night on Raw, Droz faces Savio Vega in the Brawl For All. Whip to the ropes and Droz with a powerslam for two. Suddenly Southern Justice makes their way to ringside. Jarrett with an elbow, sending Droz to the floor, followed by a baseball slide. Back inside, Jarrett comes off the top with a body press for two. Jarrett with a DDT, but he'd rather inflict more damage. Jarrett with a Russian leg sweep, followed by a snap suplex for two. Whip, and Jarrett slaps on the Midcard Sleeper. Droz breaks it in the corner, but misses a charge. Now the Headbangers show up as Droz comes off the ropes with a diving clothesline. Both men bang heads and get laid out. Tennessee Lee throws a cowboy boot in the ring, but Droz recovers and KO's him with it for the three count at 4:18. That's two weeks in a tow Tennessee Lee accidentally cost Jarrett a match. They get into a shoving match, and suddenly Southern Justice attack from behind. Knight gives Lee the move-formerly-known-as The Slap Drop. Jarrett tells him they can kiss his A-Double-S. I'm pretty sure this was the last time we saw Tennessee Lee, and considering the character change Double J would have in the coming weeks, it's for the best.

- We get a lengthy commercial for SummerSlam, complete with AC/DC's Highway to Hell, then a lengthy advertisement for Pacific Blue, which will happen to feature WWF Superstar Triple H, leaving only a couple of minutes of broadcast time.

- Mankind comes out for the "match" with the Undertaker, but during his ring entrance, Kane suddenly choke throws him off the apron onto the exposed concrete floor! He takes a shot at Paul Bearer, continues to work over Mankind, and finishes things by planting him on the floor with the Tombstone Piledriver. Suddenly, Kane unmasks... and it's The Undertaker. See you on Monday Night Raw!

Final Thoughts: Another show packed with as much as possible. There's plenty of wrestling, but the matches weren't very long, rendering them pointless from a workrate perspective. The on-going saga featuring Kane and the Undertaker continues to make people question what their deal is, and we've seen the last of Tennessee Lee. In short, there's actual effort to make Heat seem important enough to watch for angle development, so kudos to them for that.

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