In Your House #25: Judgment Day: Austin Gets Fired

In Your House 25: Judgment Day
Date: October 18, 1998
Location: Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois
Attendance: 18,153
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

So we’re just three weeks (dang it happened back then too) from Breakdown and your two main things are as follows: there is no WWF Champion. After the double pin last month, Vince said that the title is vacant. The following night on Raw, Vince tried to have a ceremony but Austin interrupted with a Zamboni, (the thing used to smooth ice) and attacked Vince.

Vince announced Taker and Kane with Austin as referee for Judgment Day. Taker and Kane broke his ankle because of it. HHH was stripped of the IC Title because he hurt his knee and Shamrock won a tournament for it. D’lo got the European Title back too.

Standard opening, but they get a little insane by having a missile go off with the words WWF on the side. A bit intense don’t you think?

Al Snow vs. Marc Mero

Snow continues to get big pops and I have no idea why they didn’t push him as something. He was over and could work a good match. Oh that’s right, Vince didn’t come up with the gimmick so it wouldn’t have worked. I can’t stand him sometimes. Anyway there’s no point to this match so it should be better than most on this show. Jeff Jarrett joins us as he and Snow had been fighting lately.

He’s gone in all of 2 minutes though so that was a fairly pointless thing. This is a decent opening match with the best line being Al Snow is so dumb his dentist says his wisdom teeth are retarded. It’s exactly what you would expect here as they go back and forth a bit with Mero missing the SSP (by a freaking mile. Seriously he completely missed.) Snow gets rolled up and his shoulder is so clearly off the mat it’s awful but he’s counted anyway for two. TKO gets reversed into the Snow Plow to end it.

Rating: B-. It was a short opener so what more did you want from it? Not a bad match but just ok. Jarrett made no sense with the run in at the beginning so that part was a waste of time. Mero of course sucked a bit and Snow was good as always. I’ll never get how Snow wasn’t a bigger star than Mero was. I simply don’t get it.

Austin is shown coming into the arena and having to dress in the referee’s locker room. Slaughter has to be the most useless man in wrestling history.

DOA vs. LOD

This is a twist as it’s a 6 man with Droz and Ellering in the ring. That’s fun as I now have 6 reasons to hate this match instead of just 4. Hawk has admitted his “demons” which is the bad storyline that I’ve been referencing. The LOD with regular haircuts just do not work at all. They’re the hometown boys though so the pops are……..pretty mild actually. They exist but it’s nothing solid.

Droz actually looks the most like an original LOD member. He also busts out a jumping reverse elbow which is one of my all time favorite moves. This is a fairly short match with the LOD dominating for the most part. Hawk looks fine for someone with an addiction problem but oh well. Anyway, Ellering does next to nothing as was expected. Eventually the Doomsday Device is hit, resulting in Droz stealing the pin. Hawk isn’t happy.

Rating: C+. It’s very short and an overdone feud that wasn’t interesting, but it wasn’t a bad match. Droz was better than I remember him being but he was ok at least. He had a unique look which helped him out a lot, making him look more like the LOD than the LOD> Not a terrible match, but nothing that wouldn’t fit on a Raw.

Christian vs. Taka Michinoku

Christian has his cocky walk going already here even as a rookie. This is going to be a much happier review as I just finished seeing my boy Punk get the WHC back. Anyway, this match yet again shows what’s wrong with this division in two parts. Number one, Taka has been champion ten months now. That’s too long for what’s supposed to be a fast paced division and WAY too long for an inaugural champion.

Second, and this is the most important of the problems, they’re wrestling a heavyweight style. The big spot here is a crossbody block. Ricky Steamboat used that for years and he’s certainly a heavyweight wrestler. Sting used to use it. See what I mean? In a division like this, I want all kinds of flips and top rope moves and dives etc. CM Punk, who is the NEW WHC I might add, is more of a light heavyweight than Taka was.

Christian wrestles a heavyweight style as well. See how this is a problem? Anyway, Christian reverses the driver (what small guy uses a piledriver anyway?) into a rollup for the pin and the title as Edge looks on from the crowd.

Rating: C-. It was way too short, there weren’t enough high flying moves, and no one knew who Christian was at t the time. It gets a passing grade simply because it ended the mind numbing Taka reign which went on about 8 months too long and killed the division before it ever got off the ground. Not a great match, but passable I suppose.

Venis and Goldust are recapped, leading to…

Val Venis vs. Goldust

Before the match Goldust hijacks Val’s mic so he can’t do his shtick. That’s a nice little thing that plays up to Goldust and the psychological games. Anyway, apparently dressing in gold is quite intimidating these days as the guy that Val destroyed last month now scares him. Ok then. Anyway, it’s a pretty standard match here and Val uses a diving cross body and does it better than Taka did. See what I mean about the boring moves?

One thing I really don’t like about this match is that they use too many rest holds and they spend too much time with them. Things like that slow down the match and just suck all of the life out of the crowd. Anyway, the main thing is that Terri is on the floor and still wearing her wedding ring despite Val making out with her earlier. During the match Goldust’s glove comes off and he’s still wearing his ring as well.

Other than that, there’s not a lot to say about this match as while it’s entertaining there’s not much going on in it. Finally Terri gets involved as we know this is the finish. Val almost hits her and walks into a low blow for the pin.

Rating: C+. It was a pretty standard match but yet again that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. It’s ok with both guys being solid in the ring to make this a decent enough match. It’s nothing mind blowing, but it’s perfectly acceptable wrestling.

We’re told that Shamrock has beaten up HHH and injured his knee again and HHH is in the hospital. X-Pac says he’ll deal with Shamrock tomorrow but tonight he’s getting the worthless title tonight.

European Title: X-Pac vs. D’lp Brown

Brown is from Milan, Italy now which is a little touch I always liked from some of the champions. Apparently the Nation has finally broken up which I can’t say is a bad thing. It ran its course and has split, which is how it was supposed to go. Now I’ve never been a fan of X-Pac but I like this match quite a bit for some bizarre reason. It’s solid all the way up until the ending where it just completely dies for me.

These guys go back and forth with Brown using my favorite counter as he just raises his foot up to stop the Bronco Buster. They hammer the heck out of each other and with the guys of smaller size working together, the match works much better than most of what Pac does. Brown just can’t put him away and I’m actually getting into it a bit.

Mark Henry, who is suing Chyna for sexual harassment, comes down to the ring for no apparent reason, allowing X-Pac to get hit with the belt. Brown hits a bunch of big moves but Pac keeps kicking out. Eventually he goes up top for the splash but Pac is up already.

Now for the stupid part. He dives face first and lands in the X-Factor. WHY WOULD HE JUMP LIKE THAT? What was he going for? It makes no sense and exposes the match, which just makes things bad. Hate the ending as it ruins what was otherwise a good match.

Rating: B-. If the ending was good, this would be a B or maybe even a B+. I really liked the flow here despite my disdain for Sean Waltman. Everything had a nice flow to it but of course we couldn’t just have a clean finish. We just had to have the interference and the belt shot and the ridiculous looking ending didn’t we? Just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Paul Bearer might be in Taker’s locker room.

Tag Titles: Headbangers vs. New Age Outlaws

This started when Road Dogg had a boom box broken over his head. Outlaws are WAY over here as no one wanted to see the bald guys win again. They hadn’t done anything in forever and they weren’t any good to begin with. Why would we want to see them as champions again, or even for the first time. The problem here is that there is absolutely no heat on this match at all.

It’s all about the Outlaws and no one wants to see the Bangers do anything. Gunn gets beaten on for a good while and they use an arm bar on him late in the match. Ross thinks that’s not a good move and he’s right. Seriously, an arm bar? Why not a Saskatchewan Spinning Nerve Hold? Or maybe an ARM BAR? If that doesn’t work, you could try an ARM DRAG. As a final solution though, I’d go with an ARM BAR.

Now that my bad Chris Jericho impression is over, let’s continue with the match. Yeah it sucks. We keep waiting on the hot tag but it never comes. They set Gunn for their finisher but Road Dogg blasts one in the head with a boom box for the DQ and the biggest and I think only pop of the whole match. Why did he have a boom box there? I don’t know, I guess because he felt like it.

Rating: C-. The Outlaws were solid faces here while the team they were against just plain sucked. I don’t get the appeal to this team and I never have. What was so amazing about them that I’m just not seeing? They were ok and that’s pushing it. No one thought they were winning here and this was the last feud they had.

Mankind cuts a very funny promo bashing Shamrock and talking to Mr. Socko.

IC Title: Ken Shamrock vs. Mankind

No real reason for this other than one is a big face and the other wants to be a big heel. Shamrock had won the belt Monday so he’s just not going to lose here. Mankind is 6’4??? When in the world did that happen? According to JR at least he is, but I always thought Foley was more around the 6’2 range. Edge and Orton are 6’4, and I think they’re both fairly taller than Foley is. This starts off with Shamrock just beating the heck out of Foley with strikes and punches.

Foley gets little offense in as usual and of course makes Ken look like a million bucks which Shamrock couldn’t do if his life depended on it. That’s where Foley truly shines and this is no exception. However he gets the claw on for all of one second and it’s enough to bring the match to a screeching halt. The commentators are talking about how Foley is a loveable idiot that is doing nothing but trying to please Mr. McMahon but is constantly ridiculed and manipulated by him.

For some reason the chair shot by Shamrock is completely ignored. The comeback is on as Foley uses the same offense he always uses and still makes it look good either way. All of his big moves are hit ranging from the Cactus Clothesline to the corner punches to the double arm DDT.

Shamrock gets the ankle lock on him but instead of tapping, Mankind puts the claw on himself, knocking himself unconscious. Shamrock hears this and snaps, beating up the referee and Mankind until other referees come out, allowing Mankind to put the claw on him and limp away.

Rating: B+. This was exactly the way this match should have been. Both guys worked pretty hard out there with Shamrock not actually beating Mankind but winning anyway. Foley made him look good which was likely what his instructions were. Good match but not great.

Cole tries to see Vince but Bossman doesn’t like the idea.

Rock vs. Mark Henry

This is fallout from the Nation’s split I suppose, not to mention a beatdown they gave Rock on Monday. Henry has a poem for Chyna. The pops for Rock are there and they would never leave again. The classic style is there too as the Rock has finally arrived. The commentators do nothing but talk about how big Henry is. Did you know he’s a big man and a former Olympian? Rock uses his normal stuff which works well against big men like Henry.

He shows some unusual power for himself by suplexing the big fat waste of 3 people’s skin. Soon thereafter Henry is beating him down to lead to a comeback. With D’lo’s help Henry survives the elbow and a splash finishes the Rock. I know it’s short but the match is five minutes and two seconds long. How much can I really say about it?

Rating: C. The shortness hurt this one and it hurt it bad. There’s no need to make this match just five minutes long. I know that Henry was limited in the ring and still is today and that Rock wasn’t ready for a main event spot yet but he could do more than 5 minutes. I even get Rock losing here, but not that fast. The time is the main thing here as it just takes a lot away from what could have been an ok match.

Massive recap and blah.

WWF Title: Undertaker vs. Kane

Austin is the ref and if he doesn’t do things right he’s fired as we’ve been over already. Austin of course is the biggest star in the whole match as is expected here. If you’ve seen one match from these two you’ve seen them all and this one isn’t particularly great as Taker is more of a heel. It’s more of two big guys fighting instead of Taker against Kane in one of their epic struggles.

It’s a slow pace which is what you would expect from these guys, but there’s no burst of high speed offense like there are in the other matches. Austin really is reserved here as we all know it’s just building to the big deal with him in the finish. It was kind of obvious to me that something would keep there from being a straight new champion crowned here.

Your psychology here is that Kane’s knee gets worked over the whole match. Since this is the Attitude Era though, it has no bearing at all on the end of the match. As they fight, Kane starts beating up Austin for no reason at all. Chokeslam puts him down long enough for Bearer to come out and turn on him as he joins Taker all over again. Anyway, Austin sees him blast Kane with the chair and refuses to make the count.

He stuns Taker (who staggers around and never falls) before chairing him. Austin counts three on both men then declares himself the winner. He goes to the back to find Vince but Vince appears as the Titantron is raised after Austin returns and fires him as he breaks out the catch phrase for the first time. Austin says to play his music and has a beer bash to end the show.

The next night would be the famous Austin’s Got A Gun show where he is stalking Vince all night and Vince wets himself as the gun says Bang 3:16 to end the show. Shane would rehire him but for no good reason at all screw him over weeks later. Why rehire them just to screw them instead of just letting him stay fired? God bless kayfabe.

Rating: B-. It was ok but once again this was more about the angle than about the title. I like a lot of what Russo did but I will never agree with his stance on titles being just props. It should mean something to be the World Heavyweight Champion.

I get that Austin was the biggest star on the planet but it makes the title look weaker. Never once been a fan of that and never will be. As for the match it’s one of Taker and Kane’s weakest entries but that’s because it wasn’t about their rivalry as they were just two guys fighting over a belt.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a pretty solid show I think from a wrestling standpoint. However, it kind of falls flat at the end as the final moments meant nothing since Austin would be in the tournament at the Survivor Series the following month.

The show serves as a good lead in to the Deadly Game tournament but other than that it’s just not there. While the in ring work is pretty good, there’s no substance as far as storylines go which drops this pretty far in my eyes. It does feature 5 title matches, but the European and IC matches are the only ones I really liked. It’s a decent show but don’t expect too much. Rated just slightly above average.

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4 comments

  1. Rocko says:

    Snow was a bigger star than Mero. Towards the end of 99 he pinned The Rock.

  2. Wayne says:

    Today, a PPV like this would’ve probably been looked at as “just another B-PPV”, however, at the time, a show like this was still something you couldn’t miss, and that’s one of the main reasons why the Attitude era still holds a special place with me to this day: you HAD to watch because even the thought of missing a show would’ve been disappointing.

    Rocko Reply:

    What made this PPV a must see? The Austin thing was the only thing of importance on this.

  3. Jay says:

    Ive always liked this Judgment Day and was a good lead into Survivor Series a month later. Taker/Kane while not one of their better Matches is not bad and Austin being the Referee made it more interesting. Of course you can’t forget Vince firing Steve and him showing up on RAW the next night with the Gun is awesome.

    Rest of the PPV is solid with D-Lo/X-Pac,Outlaws/Headbangers,Shamrock/Mankind,and Al Snow/Mero. You said Christian/Taka was short but I think it was a little longer.