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WWF Sunday Night Heat- September 13, 1998

by Scrooge McSuck

- Last week on Sunday Night Heat, Kane and the Undertaker's path of destruction continued as they were both named Steve Austin's opponent at WWF Breakdown. D'Lo Brown retained the prestigious European Title against Val Venis, Edge pinned Light-Heavyweight Champion TAKA Michinoku in Non-Title Action, and the New Age Outlaws seem to be having issues with Southern Justice.

- Jim Ross and Shane McMahon are at ringside to call all the action, unless otherwise noted.

Ken Shamrock vs. Vader:

Wow, Vader gets a "and in this corner" introduction. Last week on Heat, Vader's interference cost Shamrock a match to Bradshaw (by Disqualification), so it's time for some payback. If you remember, Shamrock's first high profile match was against Vader at Cold Day In Hell, which seems like forever ago at this point, and only 18 months later. Jim Ross actually references it. They trade blows until Vader plows through him with a shoulder tackle. Shamrock tries for a body press, but Vader counters with a front powerslam. Shamrock avoids an elbow, connects with a dropkick, and lays Vader down with a hard clothesline. Shamrock with a cross arm-breaker, but Vader is too close to the ropes. Vader uses his bulk to take over and comes off the ropes with a pair of splashes for two. Vader with a short arm clothesline and a body splash from the second rope for another two count. Vader with some of his signature blows in the corner and an armbar takedown. They trade blows again, with Vader getting the upper hand. Shamrock avoids a charge and comes off the ropes with an elbow and jumping heel kick. Shamrock with a powerslam for two. He "snaps", but a hurricanrana is countered with a powerbomb. Shamrock counters something from the second rope and turns it into the Ankle Lock for the quick submission at 4:16. I half expected a Bradshaw run in, but this was a decent match, if not incredibly short and rushed.

Post-match, Ken Shamrock gets on the microphone and openly complains about getting only one title shot... unless you count his countless matches with the Rock for the Intercontinental Title. He probably should've specified that it was one WWF Championship Title Shot. Shamrock throws down the gauntlet and wants a match anywhere, any time, any place... well, that's technically the same as anywhere.

- Sable cuts a promo from the set of Pacific Blue. I'm no mind-reader, but I have a hunch she's still having problems with Jacqueline and Marc Mero. She's challenging Jackie to an Evening Gown Match. OOOH! That's going to teach her a lesson! I mean, after parading around in skimpy bikini's, stripping someone down to their underwear is really going to prove who's the dominant female.

Val Venis vs. "Marvelous" Marc Mero (w/ Jacqueline):

Last night on Raw, Venis interrupted a Dustin Rhodes match with a clever sign reading "I Have Come", in response to Rhodes' picket signs in the crowd over the last few weeks. You got to love Vince Russo's early-teen sense of humor. This is the first time we're seeing Mero in Action on Heat. It's amazing how little he gave a shit in the ring after coming back from that knee injury in the spring of '97. Venis surprises Mero with a leg trip and grabs an armbar. Meanwhile, Rhodes has a sign that read "He Is Coming Back." Sorry, Dustin RUNNELS. I keep forgetting the name change. Venis has his way with Mero, so Jackie hops on him to draw a Disqualification at the 51-second mark. What the fuck was the point of this one? Was Mero that valuable that he needed protection in a random mid-card match?

Post-Match, Michael Cole gets Jacqueline's answer, and she must've been channeling Ken Shamrock, because it's "any place, any time." At least she didn't say anywhere. Suddenly, Runnels attacks Venis from behind, clotheslines him to the floor, and drops him face-first onto the ring steps. He throws him back in the ring and lays into him with his belt. He lays him out with a clothesline and starts choking as a gaggle of referees finally break things up.

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

Non-Title Match, again, so TAKA is going to do the job. Gangrel is running a 3-0 undefeated record on Heat, but this is easily he toughest opponent to date (sorry Dustin Runnels, you're a bigger jobber than TAKA right now). TAKA attacks from behind with rights. Whip is reversed and Gangrel connects with an elbow, followed by a clothesline. He tries to hit the ropes, but Yamaguchi hooks the ankle and TAKA sends him to the floor with a dropkick. TAKA with a baseball slide, followed by an Asai Moonsault. Back inside, TAKA with a snapmare and a pair of basement dropkicks. Gangrel pops up as TAKA celebrates and connects with a double-arm suplex. Gangrel drops him across throat-first across the top rope and takes him over with a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Gangrel with a float-over suplex and twisting elbow drop. They slug it out, with TAKA taking control. Whip to the ropes and Gangrel takes him over with a powerslam. TAKA slips out of a powerbomb and comes off the ropes with a heel kick. He heads to the top and comes off with a missile dropkick. TAKA goes for the Michinoku Driver, but Gangrel blocks and counters with the Impaler DDT for the three count at 3:51. Pretty good match considering the length. Gangrel improves to 4-0 and will meet Edge "tomorrow" night on Raw.

Kane (w/ The Undertaker) vs. D'Lo Brown (European Champion) (w/ Mark Henry):

Non-Title Match again. I never understood jobbing Champions on a weekly basis, but if anyone expects D'Lo to win here, then I have a bridge to sell you. Last week on Raw Saturday Night, The Rock came down to help out his Nation "buddy", only to get a whooping while D'Lo ran for it. Brown does his best to avoid being cornered, but a series of rights has zero effect. Kane levels him with one shot, knocking him to the floor in front of the Undertaker. Kane hammers away with rights and plants D'Lo with a slam. Brown avoids an elbow drop and comes off the ropes with a basement dropkick. Kane no-sells his trash talking and lays him out with a clothesline. Kane with a big boot and another clothesline, sending D'Lo to the floor. Mark Henry gets involved, only to get a whooping from the Undertaker. Rock sneaks in with chair shots on Kane, but the referee didn't see it! D'Lo trash talks some more, so Kane sits up and goes for the Chokeslam. Undertaker and Mark Henry both run back in, and the Brothers of Destruction plant both men with Chokeslams. Call it a No Contest at the 4-minute mark. D'Lo takes a Spike Tombstone Piledriver to cap the beating. Match was nothing but punch-kick, but Rock's interference almost had me convinced D'Lo would pin him. That would've been STUPID, but look who was a leading member of creative at this point.

Lumberjack Match: X-Pac (w/ The Outlaws) vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/ Southern Justice):

Woah, a Gimmick Match on an episode of Sunday Night Heat? Ever since having his hair cut at SummerSlam, Jarrett has been running around screaming that people better not Piss Him Off (or P*** Him Off as the PG version of WWF shows had it). About fucking time he ditched the rodeo clown Country Singer look he brought to the WWF in 1994. Lumberjacks include Bradshaw, Droz, DOA, the Buttbangers, and Too Much, as well as NAO and Southern Justice. X-Pac unloads with chops. Whip and Jarrett sends him to the floor with a dropkick. Southern Justice gets a few shots in before tossing him back. X-Pac turns the tables and tosses him into the Outlaws. X-Pac crotches himself in the corner and Jarrett takes him down with a single-arm DDT. Hard whip to the corner, complete with over-sell from Brian Christopher. X-Pac to the floor, and now the Lumberjacks are getting in each others faces. Jarrett with a delayed suplex for two. He misses a charge to the corner, but remains in control with a back suplex.

Back from Commercial, X-Pac meets a boot in the corner, but still has it in him to connect with a spinning heel kick. X-Pac with the Bronco Buster. Whip to the corner, the Outlaws trip up Jarrett and crotch him on the post (behind the referee's back, of course). X-Pac misses a clothesline and has the ropes pulled down on him by Southern Justice. Road Dogg steals the guitar from Knight and bashes him with it. The Lumberjacks all brawl as X-Pac plants Jarrett off with the X-Factor. Cantebury sneaks in, hits X-Pac with a Pumphandle Slam, and Jarrett covers for the three count at 5:37. Damn, that might be the longest singles match in Sunday Night Heat history. I have a feeling the feud between DX and Jarrett and Southern Justice is far from over.

- WWF Champion "Stone Cold" Steve Austin comes out for the conclusion of the broadcast. Austin rambles on and on about the Triple Threat Match against Kane and Undertaker at Breakdown. He addresses Shamrock's complaints about his "one title shot". He tells him all he has to do is bring his ass to the ring and do something about it. Here comes Shamrock, and to quote El Gigante, he wants da' belt! HE WANTS DA' BELT! Referees come down to keep them separated, and now Vince McMahon and his Three Stooges are out. Will we see Shamrock vs. Austin? We'll find out next week on Heat.

Final Thoughts: Not a bad show this week, as long as you're getting used to the match styles of the era. Vader/Shamrock and Gangrel/TAKA delivered two solid, incredibly short matches, and the X-Pac/Jarrett Lumberjack Match wasn't too bad, either. They actually are trying to establish a Shamrock/Austin Title Match, the Rock is planting the seeds for a potential babyface run, and there's trouble brewing between Val Venis and Dustin Runnels. Pretty much ever match or segment had a purpose, and as long as it chugs the train along, I have no problems with that.

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