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WWF Shotgun Saturday Night - September 5, 1998
by Scrooge McSuck
- We're a week removed from SummerSlam, and in the immortal words of Gorilla Monsoon, it was quite a happening. Courtesy of WWF Magazine, we get photos recapping the main event, where Stone Cold Steve Austin retained the WWF Championship in his encounter with the Undertaker. With so much action coming our way, let's head to ringside. Sounds like the broadcast position is manned by Good ol' J.R., and Jim Cornette! That's a hell of a lot better than last weeks team of Michael Cole and Kevin Kelly.
Sho Funaki & Mens Teioh (w/ Yamaguchi-San, TAKA, Togo) vs. Julio Sanchez & Steve Corino:
Who knew or even expected Funaki to remain with the WWF/E for damn near a decade? Sanchez seemed to have fallen off the face of the wrestling world a few years back, and the hell if I know what Corino has been up to. Funaki starts with a hammerlock on Corino. Criss-cross and Corino with a pair of arm drags. Sanchez tags in and connects with a dropkick, followed by a cradle for a two count. Funaki with a drop toe hold, and Teioh with an elbow drop. Irish whip, and Sanchez takes Teioh down with a head scissors, followed by an arm drag. Corino tags in for a double hip toss and elbow drop for a two count. Irish whip, and Corino counters something with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. Funaki with a knee from the apron, and Teioh nails Corino with a forearm. Funaki tags in and connects with a high knee. Funaki with a suplex and covers for two. Teioh tags back in for a double shoulder tackle. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Corino with a running dropkick. Corino sets Teioh up on the top rope, but Teioh counters with an inverted atomic drop. Funaki tags back in, and takes Corino over with a back suplex. Irish whip, and Funaki slaps on a sleeper hold. Spike Piledriver for a two count... it came out of nowhere, sorry. Teioh with a double underhook suplex for another two count. Whip to the corner, and Corino comes charging out with a clothesline to Funaki. Sanchez gets the warm tag and hammers away on everyone walking. Irish whips are reversed, and Kaientai gives Sanchez a double team DDT, much like the set up for the 3-D or Beverly Bomb. That's enough for a three count at 6:05. A little all over the place, but a fun tag match where the "job" team actually was allowed some offense.
- Photos of the Lions Den Match between Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart. It was different for the WWF, and it came across as a fairly well done match. It was basically a much smaller version of the octagon, but in more of a circular pattern. They tried the next year to do the same match with Shamrock and Blackman, and it just kind of fell flat, at least in my opinion.
Dan "The Beast" Severn vs. J.R. Ryder:
Cute little touch... the screen graphic under Ryder's name reads "No Relation to Jim Ross." I remember Severn, before his WWF stint, by articles published in Pro Wrestling Illustrated. I always thought he looked boring, and that opinion hadn't really changed when he made his debut in the WWF. He was pretty decent to watch in the ring, but he had very little charisma, and we all know it's better to have charisma than wrestling abilitiy, especially in the WWF. Lockup, and Severn shoves Ryder off into the corner. Severn with a pair of forearms and a toss across the ring. Irish whip, and Severn scoops up Ryder and slams him back down. Severn hooks the leg and chokes, then slaps on a grapevine. Severn with a gut-wrench suplex, then he snaps, and does it again. Severn covers with one hand, but pulls Ryder up and slaps on a crossface. Severn slaps on a Dragon Sleeper, and it's over at 2:58. Now THERE'S a move that never seemed to get much use. Impressive squash match, but for whatever reason, Severn never seemed to get much of a push. Maybe he was too stiff and injured people or something.
- Clips of Stone Cold Steve Austin on Regis & Kathy Lee. I loved how, back in the day, Regis would have the WWF Superstars on the show, and he just "got it" when they were in character, promoting feuds with people and characters you would probably laugh at. Austin demonstrates doing the Stone Cold Stunner on Regis, who freaks out the entire time, then gets cute and attempts to wrestle Austin, to no success. Cute segment, I guess.
- We recap the Brawl For All... again! Didn't we do this last week? Again, the first round was (allegedly) legit fights, which lead to some legit injuries. The worst would come in the second round, when hopeful winner and badm'f'er Dr. Death Steve Williams was not only KO'ed by JTTS Bart Gunn, but injured his ankle or hamstring going down in his state of unconciousness. This lead to the wonderful finale of Bart Gunn vs. Bradshaw, and Bradshaw, who also had a reputation of being a tough bastard, totally flopped for Gunn to put an end to this crap. Last week on Raw, Jim Ross is in the ring to present Gunn with his Brawl For All Trophy (giant, "gold" gloves)... yeah, I'm sure Jim Ross loved doing this.
- More SummerSlam Recapping... we actually get some FMV of the Oddities debuting their new friends... the Insane Clown Posse. Blech! I didn't mind the Oddities theme song with them, but actually having them "perform" live and act as their managers for a few months was really a waste of space. Then it's back to photos where the Rock and Triple H put on a classic Ladder Match, helping elevate both men into the main events. Triple H walked away injured, so his rise had a slight delay compared to the Rock, who went on to win the WWF Title a few months later.
Dustin Runnels vs. Lance Diamond:
Lance would go on to better fame under the name "Simon Diamond". I'm not minding seeing all of these names that would go on to make a name for themselves elsewhere, but how is it possible not to have a "feature" match? Lockup, and Runnels with an arm drag, then he offers a handshake, but Diamond says no. Runnels slaps on a headlock, then comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Runnels with another arm drag, and Diamond hides in the corner. Irish whip, and Runnels counters a monkey flip with a fist drop. Runnels goes back to work on the arm with a wristlock, drops a leg across the elbow, and some arm work in the corner. Runnels with a snapmare, followed by a clothesline for a two count. Runnels with a short-arm arm drag, then into the armbar. Someone do something exciting! Diamond thumbs the eyes to escape a wristlock and sends Runnels to the corner. Irish whip, and Runnels with a back drop, then back to the armbar. The entire match is drowned out with J.R. and Cornette talking about the Austin-Kane-Undertaker Saga. Runnels with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a face-first leg sweep. Whip to the corner, and Runnels with a bulldog for a three count at 5:08. That was dreadfully long. The crowd "boos" Runnels afterwards. Runnels gives Diamond a hand back to his feet for whatever reason. ZUH?!
- Last Saturday in New York City, there was a Tug-of-War for Charity! The NYPD took on the FDNY. The team of the NYPD won, and got a chance to take on the Super (Fat) Team of Mark Henry, Vader, and the Oddities. The team of WWF Superstars won easily, of course.
- Speaking of Vader, we recap what happend last week on Sunday Night Heat, which aired live before SummerSlam. Vader was teaming with Bradshaw to take on the D.O.A., but Vader and Bradshaw had their differences and ended up fighting each other. This would lead to their epic encounter at IYH: Breakdown... no, I don't remember it, either.
-... and because the secondary show was now Sunday Night Heat, we get a run-down of the card for "tomorrow" night: The Undertaker and Kane take on Animal and Droz, D'Lo Brown defends the European Title against Val Venis in a SummerSlam Rematch, Gangrel is in action against Dick Togo, and Ken Shamrock battles Bradshaw. I think I might have this show somewhere, but no promises.
Final Thoughts: Wow, what an underwhelming show. A bunch of "photos" to recap SummerSlam, and only three matches, none of them featuring Superstar vs. Superstar. The lone bright spot from the matches was watching names like Corino and Diamond, before their names meant anything to the wrestling world. The rest is a show definitely worth skipping.
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