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WWF Sunday Night Heat - August 30, 1998
by Scrooge McSuck

- Time to set the WAYBAC machine to the night of SummerSlam, the year of Ninteen Hundred and Ninety-Eight. Heat was fairly new at the time, so it might be interesting to see what kind of "warm-up" matches are put on the show, with all the big names involved on the PPV. Remember, back in the day, the WWF used their midcard to it's fullest potential on their PPV's.

- The broadcast team for Heat is Jim Ross and Shane McMahon. That's not an interesting combination to listen to. Shane is actually WORSE than Vince was, if anyone can imagine that.

- Shawn Michaels comes out first, playing the role of WWF Commissioner, I think. This is before he turned heel, or maybe it's not. Or maybe he's nothing. I don't remember, because Michaels would randomly appear on Raw for all of 1998. He didn't appear on the PPV, so I question why he's out here. Oh, he joins the broadcast team. Wow, thanks for that wonderful appearance, Shawn. Proud of ya'!

- Road Warrior Animal & Droz vs. Too Much:
Hawk wanders to ringside, with his helmet on, and basically looking shit faced. Yes, it's the "Hawk is a Drunk" storyline! Too Much attacks from behind, and I guess now it's HAWK and Animal instead of Droz. We see Edge watching from the crowd, back when he never talked and only kinda' looked like he might have talent. Christopher tags in and it's a double suplex on Animal. The homosexual nature of Too Much is mind blowing. Scoop slam by Christopher for a two count. Animal blocks another double suplex attempt and takes over both men himself. Irish whip and clothesline to Christopher, followed by a powerslam on Taylor. Animal hoists Taylor up and plants him with a powerbomb. Hawk climbs to the top rope, backwards, and that doersn't work well. Animal gets knocked down from behind, and Taylor covers for the three count at around the 3:00 mark. Ew. Just ew. It's not like the LOD were any good at this point anyway, but jobbing them to TOO MUCH? Ew. Crap match, crappier storyline, and the crapiest pay-off. Nothing.

- It's the SummerSlam Music Video, set to AC/DC's "Highway To Hell." It's a bunch of chaos with Steve Austin and the Undertaker wandering around what is apparently New York City.

- Shawn Michaels is in the ring again to suck up all the attention, and he introduces Sable, who comes out looking like a classy slut. Sable is scheduled to have a Mystery Partner for a mixed-tag match against Marc Mero and Jacqueline later on during the PPV. The payoff to this segment is Sable and Michaels dancing for no reason. I smell Russo!

- Dustin Runnels vs. Gangrel:
Gangrel was always one of my favorite characters from the "Attitude" era, but for some reason he never got a serious push, and just wallowed in midcard hell until suffering a pretty nasty injury sometime before WrestleMania 2000 and disappearing from WWF T.V., outside of a few appearences in recent years. Dustin Runnels is pulling off a born-again preacher gimmick, and we all know how well religious gimmicks get over. He was Goldust again in less than 6 weeks from this point. Gangrel attacks at the bell and hammers away in the corner. Irish whip, and Runnels comes back, slamming Gangrel face-first to the canvas. Runnels misses a corner charge, allowing Gangrel to take over. That doesn't last long, with Runnels dropping Gangrel throat-first across the top rope. Irish whip is reversed, and Gangrel connects with a powerslam for a two count. Blows are exchanged again, with Runnels taking control. Gangrel rakes the eyes and drives a knee into the chest of Runnels. Runnels puts Gangrel down with a clothesline, then puts Gangrel down with a second for a two count. Gangrel blocks a back drop with his Implant DDT, and that's enough for the three count at 2:31. Blech match. Just a lot of stuff happening for no reason, but I always liked Gangrel's DDT.

- Michael Cole tries to interview D-Generation X (Triple H, Road Dogg, Mr. Ass, X-Pac, and Chyna), but Triple H only has a few words for Cole before the cast of morons walk away.

- Michael Cole is now backstage talking to Vince McMahon. Nothing of importance, and I don't think McMahon appeared on the show.

- Jeff Jarrett and Southern Justice gang up on Howard Finkle and shave him bald, building up Jarrett's match with X-Pac where the loser gets a haircut. Southern Justice is the tag team formerly known as The Godwinns, trying to be serious tough-guys from, well, the South. Talk about pointless. At least this angle lead to Jarrett ditching the stupid long blonde hair and goofy ring attire he had been using for most of his career.

- Backstage, Steve Austin has a sledgehammer, and scares away McMahon's Stooges with it.

- Bradshaw & Vader vs. The D.O.A. (w/ Paul Ellering):
Jesus Christ, who did Vader piss off to have his career dive this low into the pool of worthless? Teaming with BRADSHAW on Heat to fight twins that couldn't get over with an electrified heat-getting machine? Seriously? Vader and Bradshaw are the miss-matched partners that don't get along, apparently. They argue for a good minute after the bell rings. Vader and "Skull" start, for all intent and purposes. Vader hammers away with his traditional stuff, but Skull fights him off and stomps a mudhole in him. Yeesh. Irish whip, and Skull with a powerslam, followed by a series of leg drops. Irish whip, and Vader comes back with a body charge. Bradshaw gets the AGGRESIVE tag, and he quickly works over Skull. Irish whip, and Skull comes back with a clothesline and elbow drops. Or maybe it's 8-Ball? Suplex by whoever the fuck you want it to be, but Bradshaw no-sells like a hoss and boots 8-Ball down. Clothesline from Hell connects, but he tags Vader back in. Vader accidentally nails Bradshaw off the apron, and 8-Ball rolls Vader up for the three count at 2:57. Wow, these matches sure do suck. You know the bad part? This lead to a Bradshaw vs. Vader No Holds Barred Match at the next PPV, Breakdown.

- Doc Hendrix (a.k.a Michael Hayes) comes out to hype the crowd with only ten minutes left before the PPV begins! I never understood why they just didn't call him "Michael Hayes" to begin with. Was Vince McMahon THAT obsessed with not allowing someone getting over with a non-WWF created gimmick?

- Hype video for the Rock vs. Triple H in a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title. That match probably helped the Rock more than Trips, nearly turning him face in the process, while Triple H was put out of action for about 3-4 months afterwards with an injury I can't remember.

- The Rock and the rest of the Nation of Domination come out, only for D-Generation X to follow for a bg brawl. Well, that's all that happened, so no point in writing any more about it.

- Meanwhile, backstage, a hearse pulls into the arena. Austin manhandles the driver and smashes in the windows with the sledgehammer. Did all that really have to happen? And that's the end of the broadcast.

Final Thoughts:
An ugly show, for the most part. WWF circa 1998 did NOT age well at all. I know all these matches featured low-level guys, but some of the characters were ridiculous, the storylines pointless, and in some cases, tasteless and over the line. The flow of the show is all over the place, with a lot of crappy "backstage" stuff happening for whatever reason. If you're looking for a nostalgia trip for Attitude era WWF, check out some WWF TV, around the Winter-Spring of 2000, cause this stuff sucks.

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