In Your House 26 – Rock Bottom: How Can A Card This Stacked Be A Throwaway Show?

In Your House 26: Rock Bottom
Date: December 13, 1998
Location: General Motors Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Attendance: 17,577
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole

We close out 1998 with Rock Bottom. A month ago we had a one night tournament at Survivor Series called the Deadly Game tournament. The problem with that show was there were two matches that weren’t tournament matches on the whole card, one of which was a women’s title match.

Rock won the tournament as he turned heel and we got an homage to Montreal as Vince rang the bell without Mankind tapping to a Sharpshooter. Rock became the Corporate Champion (somehow I didn’t go to Raw the next night 10 minutes from my house where Shawn returned.)

Austin was screwed out of the finals by the Corporation. Mankind was screwed in the finals and demanded his rematch here which he got. A week before this there was a British PPV called Capital Carnage where literally nothing happened. Rock defended against X-Pac of all people so what does that tell you? Your other big match here is the blowoff for Taker and Austin who are in the real main event in a Buried Alive match.

After a brief chat about the Buried Alive match, The Rock, carrying the absolute best looking world title of all time, the big eagle belt, introduces us to HIS PPV, Rock Bottom. He talks about how from now on they’re all his shows with various rock related titles. Considering there were only two more after this, that’s rather amusing. Standard intro now with Taker talking about how he’s going to kill Austin.

Allegedly the tombstone weighs 3000lbs. Why do I doubt that very much?

Val Venis/Godfather vs. Mark Henry/DLo Brown

For some reason that I can’t think of there is no JR tonight. The face intro takes WAY too long with both guys having to do a promo before the match starts. At this point, I have no idea who they’re even facing. This can’t be a good sign already. Godfather gives the Hoes Val for the entire night as a Christmas gift. Oh it’s the two members of the Nation that went solo. They have Terri and Jackie with them so you know this is the a-list part of the show.

Apparently two middle aged and not attractive ladies are better than having four barely 20 year olds. Henry is officially Sexual Chocolate. The name Rock Bottom is getting more and more appropriate by the minute. As you can probably expect, there’s not a lot to go on here. It’s a decent little opener with a somewhat established team and a pair of popular faces that were thrown together because of their similar gimmicks.

If you’re expecting much here then that’s your own fault for being an idiot. Of course the ladies get involved in the end in a catfight and Jackie’s interference allows Henry to splash Val for the pin.

Rating: C. It was supposed to get the crowd interested and little more. I suppose it did its job in that regard but this was just a basic tag match. I’ve never been a big fan of Papa Father (dang did he have some daddy issues) or Mark Henry so this was pretty much just interesting for Val and Brown. It’s nothing great but it’s not awful either which is what makes it a passable opener I suppose.

Recap of Rock being injured by Mankind earlier. We see Rock live with the McMahons saying he has to wrestle tonight.

Headbangers vs. Oddities

The Oddities are a gimmick that for some reason got over huge. They were just weird people apparently which just means they were tall or Earthquake in a mask. They were over with the crowd simply because they had the crowd wave their hands. This happened because the Bangers shaved Luna’s hair. Oh joy indeed. It’s Golga and Kurrgan for the Oddities with Giant Silva outside. It’s a comedy match and not a particularly good one.

The crowd chants boring as no one cared about the Bangers and the Oddities are only a good idea in theory rather than in practicality. In a nice move at the end the Bangers do a blind tag which they then screw up as one jumps onto Golga then covers him. He just jumps on him. It’s not a shoulder or a clothesline or a seated senton or anything would make sense. He just kind of hits him and it looks very bad.

Rating: D+. Oy I’m beginning to really hate the Attitude Era. This is so painfully bad because NO ONE CARED. Why can’t the company get this through their heads? The match sucked except for one good idea. Other than that: crap.

Steve Blackmanvs. Owen Hart

Apparently Owen retired but because of Blackman he came out of retirement. The Blue Blazer has been helping Owen recently which has led to some ok comedy. I’m really starting to think that the Attitude Era’s midcard absolutely sucked. They were great at main events and big angles but their midcard and filler was just absolutely awful. Seriously, Hart and Blackman? This match is pretty good I guess actually.

It’s far better than what I was expecting. I get that Blackman is supposed to be serious all the time but dang man. Lance Storm did it and was entertaining. Blackman is just freaking annoying. The match is at least fast paced which is what Owen was best at. It’s scary to think he’d be dead in just over 5 months. Since we’re in Canada he’s ungodly over as Blackman is booed out of the building every few seconds.

Hard hitting match here as these two had a pretty intense feud that no one really remembered. That doesn’t mean it was bad though, just not remembered. Anyway, they fight onto the floor and Owen just allows himself to get counted out for the loss as the fans lose it.

Rating: B-. Far better than it sounded on paper but that’s not really saying much at all. It’s an ok match and a breath of air after what we’ve had to see so far. Their feud would end soon with the Blazer character getting more and more prominent which would ultimately lead to Owen’s death.

Vince is looking around and finds Mankind in a closet.

It’s the Attitude Era, meaning it’s time for a tag match.

JOB Squadvs. The Brood

MAN there were a lot of tags back then. JOB Squad is a failed gimmick of literally nothing but jobbers teaming together. Their shirts say Pin Me Pay Me on the back. Snow was getting popular so they gave him this and no one cared of course. Instead of doing what he got over doing and being insane, WWF turns him into a generic guy with little to no gimmick. That’s the smart thing to do right?

Take someone that is actually getting over with no real input from creative and turn him into something generic. We can’t have anyone getting popular that we don’t hand pick can we? I mean dang, the thought of unexpected revenue from t-shirt sales and merchandise and people watching his segments when they would usually change the channel is just such an awful concept don’t you think?

The Brood is a lot like the Undertaker: just flat out cool. JR isn’t there because his mother died apparently. Michael Cole is perhaps the worst color commentator of all time. He is just so uninterested and boring that it’s awful. This is a pretty standard 6 man tag with everyone fighting everyone. Of course Snow and Edge are your highlights with Holly being as dull as ever and Scorpio only being good at high flying.

It goes back and forth with everyone fighting everyone and only Snow being able to get any real offense in. It eventually goes outside but Snow hits Christian with Head in the ring. After some interference Christian hits “That Move” (Unprettier) on Scorpio to win it.

Rating: B-. This was pretty good I think. While not the best in the world it was ok. Edge clearly was a star in the making while Christian was ok. Gangrel and Holly were just awful but Scorpio was ok. Snow was the best out there at the time and I really don’t like how badly he was treated over the years. He was on TV a lot but he never got the push he could have gotten.

Vince and Mankind are still chatting in the boiler room closet.

Goldust vs. Jeff Jarrett

If Jarrett wins, Goldust has to strip. If Goldust wins, Debra has to strip. King is totally pro Goldust here which Cole doesn’t get for some reason. Lawler keeps implying that Cole is gay. It’s just a one on one match with a stipulation. They’re trying to make it seem like it’s more than it really is and it’s just not working. At the end of the day it’s AE Goldust vs. AE Jarrett What’s the intrigue in that?

It’s a T & A match to push Debra as the replacement for Sable and that’s rarely a good thing. Anyway, it’s a basic one on one match with no one really pulling ahead at all. Goldust gets an advantage but the guitar from Debra leads to the Stroke and me being surprised as I didn’t know he was using that yet to end this. Goldust has to strip so the fans erupt with booing. Shawn comes out to DQ Jeff for the guitar shot and says strip.

Debra really didn’t look that good at all. Shawn puts a hundred between her boobs. She’s about to take the bra off and Blazer and Jarrett run out to the loudest booing I’ve heard in years.

Rating: C. This was ALL about Debra and it just didn’t work well at all for me. I was never a fan of hers and this is why. She was supposed to be the hottest thing in the world and all she had were big and not good boobs. When the rest of her looks ok, they’d look ok too. However, that was rarely if ever the case. Shawn of course is the entertaining one so that helps a lot.

Vince leaves the boiler room and smiles.

Tag Titles: New Age Outlaws vs. Shamrock/Big Bossman

Shawn is with the heels here for no apparent reason. Oh ok he’s turned heel and joined the Corporation. This match actually gets some time and the Outlaws are by far the better team here. I think they don’t’ get the respect they deserve out there for their in ring abilities which were actually good at times. On the other hand, the heels are just two heels thrown together with little to no chemistry.

The whole commentary is about Shawn being a sell out and how the Outlaws swerved the Corporation on Monday. Alright, I get it already. You don’t have to talk about it for 15 minutes. Cole is seriously killing this match as on what’s supposed to be a big kickout or moment he sounds like he’s ordering dinner. It’s just really bad with how bland he sounds. It sounds like he’s ordering dinner or something.

Near the end we have the big spot of Billy hitting Shamrock with the Fameasser but Shawn pulls the referee out. Billy takes a nightstick to the head but kicks out. Here’s your commentary. “One, two and a kickout from Billy Gunn.” Seriously it sounds awful. Anyway, Shawn cheats again as he messes up a suplex attempt that causes Billy to be covered, but Billy rolls through for the pin to keep the titles.

Rating: B. As much as Cole tried to kill this thing, I really liked this match. It was given time which was the big thing. That can often make or break a match and with 17 minutes given to them, they put on a decent match. That’s the sign of at least one good team: they took nothing and made it something. HBK being in the heel’s corner made this match for them as well with him being the only interesting thing out there. Solid tag match, but man how many of them are there tonight?

Another recaps of the Rock/Mankind airs but this is by far and away the best one as it’s actually showing how Rock got to his heel turn.

WWF Title: Rock vs. Mankind

Vince and co. are out first and Mankind has something to say. Apparently there’s no contact yet as Mankind hasn’t signed it yet. He talks about the Survivor Series last month where he didn’t tap or get pinned. Cole calls it the biggest screwjob in WWF history. That’s got to be intentional as not even Michael Cole can be that stupid. Foley calls Vince dad for some reason. Foley insists Vince get on his knees and say that Mankind never said he quit.

As Vince backtracks, Rock jumps Mankind to start the match officially. McMahon gets on the mic and says that if Foley does anything wrong to DQ him which lets Rock take over. This is I think the second main event match that these two have had so their chemistry was still growing. They’re also only given 13 minutes or so here so this isn’t the best match in the world. However it’s certainly passable though.

They go back and forth for awhile but it’s mainly Mankind in control. The idea of the match is that all Foley has to do is get the claw on once to win. Low and behold, that’s exactly what happens. Rock gets caught in the claw and is out cold. The bell rings and we have a new WWF Champion!

OR DO WE???

Vince says that while Mankind wins the match a title can only change hands on a pinfall or a submission. Mankind loses it as he beats up both McMahons and the Stooges but gets beaten down by Rock, Shamrock and Bossman.

Rating: B. While not one of their better matches, this was kept pretty short for a world title match as they weren’t sure what they were going to get here. The ending was a screwjob but that would all be fixed in a few weeks as Mankind would get the title on Raw in one of the best finishes I’ve ever seen on the night of the Fingerpoke of Doom as well as the night that Tony Schivone told everyone the ending of Raw and all the people jumped over.

Recap of Taker vs. Austin. During this angel Austin got “sacrificed”, which was just freaky looking.

Buried Alive: Steve Austin vs. Undertaker

I really hate Taker’s heel music. Austin brawling in the vest looks awesome for some reason. This is a freaking fight and it shouldn’t be anything else. They’re hammering each other all over the arena and near the grave. They’re nowhere near the ring yet but the fans are hot so it’s all good. I think part of that was based on the not so great in ring stuff at Summerslam.

This is a brawl instead of a match which I really this is what they’re better suited for. It’s not going to end in the ring so why go there? Literally we’re at 10 minutes and they haven’t been in the ring yet. They are however fighting in the aisle though and OH MY GOD they’re in the ring! And they’re out of it 18 seconds later. Wow indeed that’s a good sign for the main event of a wrestling show.

Anyway this is all about getting the other person beaten down enough to put them into the grave, likely through one of their finishing moves. Each counters the other on many occasions. They go back to the ring for a much more extended amount of time: a full minute and 9 seconds. That is the only amount of time that they’re in the ring together in a 21 minute match: a minute and 27 seconds. That’s saying a lot.

They brawl back to the grave and after more hitting each other with things Austin gets the stunner. Austin stars to pour dirt on but Bearer hits him so Austin chases him to the back. Taker sits up and comes out of the grave before grabbing a shovel and hiding behind a mound of dirt. An explosion rocks the grave and Kane climbs out of it. That’s completely absurd and ridiculous but it’s amusing because it’s completely absurd and ridiculous.

They brawl for awhile until Kane hits a tombstone and drops Taker into the grave. Austin then comes out in a backhoe to completely bury Taker. Celebration is on as we have beer and more burying. Austin drinks a beer on the grave and then pours one on it to end the show.

Rating: B. This was a wild brawl and that’s what it should have been. When you’re trying to bury someone alive, why would you be using something like a hammerlock? That’s smart work from both guys as this should have been a fight and that’s all it was. The ring was just another place for fighting. Very solid match but not great. These guys had good fights but few good wrestling matches.

Overall Rating: C+. This is a tale of two shows as the first half is just flat out boring. There is almost nothing at all appealing about the first 3 or 4 matches. However starting with a good tag match and then the double main event we get a good string of matches that makes you forget how boring the openers were.

That’s what the Attitude Era was best at: making a big splash that caused you to forget something else. It’s a decent show overall but I’d just stick with the main events and the tag if you’re bored. Avoid the openers though as they’re nothing special at all.

1 comment

  1. Rocko says:

    I loved Rock when I was little (and still do. He was the only heel I ever cheered for). I thought this show was the best thing ever because it was named after him. I like how even though it was named after him, he doesn’t even main event. Looking back at this show, it is a freaking chore to watch.