Halftime Heat: The Stupidest Camera Angle Of All Time

Halftime Heat
Date: January 31, 1999
Location: Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona
Attendance: 0
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Shane McMahon, Vince McMahon

This is another special request and that’s fitting because it’s a special show. This was a one time thing that WWF tried. They aired a special show during halftime of the Super Bowl. It got the highest rating in the history of Sunday Night Heat, drawing a 6.6. Not bad on Super Bowl Sunday eh? This is literally a one match show but it’s a heck of a match. This was good from what I remember. Let’s get to it.

WWF Title: The Rock vs. Mankind

The catch here? This is an empty arena match. Literally there are thousands of empty seats and zero fans in attendance. I don’t think there’s a reason for this but there were a total of five shows taped that night (Raw, Super Astros (A Spanish WWF show), regular Sunday Night Heat, Shotgun and this) so it’s not like they didn’t get their money’s worth.

They do the full intros including Fink doing the introductions and the theme music with Titantron videos. You can never say Vince underdid anything. He’s accompanying Rock here. There’s nothing but the match here and the whole thing is less than twenty minutes long. It’s WEIRD hearing them being able to talk smack. Vince joins us on commentary.

Basic stuff to start and before I forget this is falls count anywhere. Foley gets the sock as no one but Vince can get a word in. Baseball slide sends Rock to the floor and gets two. Rock’s head is rammed into the bell. Foley talks smack as he beats up Rock. Ok no wonder only Vince can get a word in: the other two have left. Well ok then.

Rock takes over and throws Mankind through the barricade wall and takes over. Foley gets thrown into some chairs as this is just weird to see. This is the rematch from the Rumble when Mankind had the title stolen from him. He took $100,000 of Rock’s money to force him into this I guess. We get a clock saying the second half of the game begins in 15:00.

In one of my favorite of his bits, Rock jumps on headset to talk some trash but Mankind pops up and grabs the Claw as we head back into the stands. 14 minutes left. I’m assuming the match ends when halftime is over? They fight up the steps with Foley slamming his face into the metal.

13 minutes to go as Vince talks about what you’re watching. He says it’s action adventure, it’s soap opera, it’s Hollywood and Broadway and all point in between. Vince is an amazing salesman as he makes it sound far more awesome than it really is but he gets you interested in it. He clearly loves what he does and what he’s created which I think has a lot to do with why it’s still around.

Rock gets a solid shot in with a trash can and Mankind falls back down the stairs. He’s in control now and now Kelly and Shane are watching in a full arena. Methinks there are some camera tricks afoot here. We go back to “live” action and we’re in the kitchen. Foley is thrown into a cotton candy stand and let the comedy begin.

He steals the sock and throws it in an oven then burns Foley in one. Foley goes into the pots and pans and is in big trouble. He hits Foley in the head with a package of hamburger buns for two. 9 minutes left. Rock stops to get some Jack Daniels but gets knocked back into some plates. BAG OF POPCORN TO THE HEAD!

Vince calling this seriously is rather funny. They go through a door and are near catering now. 8 minutes. Rock stops and eats some popcorn but spits it out due to too much salt. Trash can to Mankind who has apparently lost a shoe. Catering is doing destroyed and Foley has been burned by some barbecue sauce to the eye. Rock is pissed that it’s mild.

Piledriver on the floor is blocked and Foley goes into some wings. It’s been all Rock for about 6 minutes now but he hits a low blow for two. I love hearing Vince saying ALMOST a count of three! We head through another door into the office areas. Foley is knocked into a chair as we have five minutes left.

Hey we have a phone call! Rock answers, saying it’s the Smackdown Hotel. I wonder if that was legit. We have another call. “Hello, Smackdown Hotel, corner of Know Your Role Boulevard and Jabroni Drive!” And now Rock stops to hit on some secretary then calls her a big fat piece of trash. Foley gets an opening and takes over again though and we fight back into the hallway.

Back to “the arena” where Heat is being shown I guess. We’re at a loading dock now and it’s dark. Foley gets the Claw on and knocks Rock out underneath a forklift. He commandeers the forklift and lowers the load it’s carrying onto Rock and in the DUMBEST thing I can remember in WWF history, THERE IS A CAMERA LOOKING DOWN FROM THE FORKLIFT. Foley asks the referee if his shoulders are down and puts his foot on the stuff it’s carrying to win the title.

Overall Rating: B+. Might as well just go with that for the match rating too since it’s literally one thing for the whole show. To put it mildly this was entertaining. These two had great chemistry together and everything clicked very well out there for them. The aspect was very different and this was a great way to grab people’s attention if they didn’t want to watch Gloria Estefan sing at halftime.

The timing was great too as this ended about 90 seconds before kickoff so it’s not like you missed any of the game. Very fun match and definitely a very unique thing to see. Well worth checking out as it’s less than 20 minutes from Rock’s entrance to the pinfall. Very good idea here and it worked, drawing a huge number.

2 comments

  1. NightShiftLoser says:

    Do you think Vince still loves and enjoys the product now, as much as he did during this? You could tell, during this match, that he was having fun. I don’t know if that’s still there for him.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s really hard to judge how much someone is enjoying something. I have no reason to think he doesn’t though.