The second Fully Loaded pay-per-view in WWE history took place in July 1999 at a time when business was going very well.
By this point, WWE surged ahead of WCW in the Monday Night Wars due to all of the action and excitement of the Attitude Era led by WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. This was also a time where The Rock was strongly in place as the number two babyface while The Undertaker was the top heel and Triple H was a heel on the rise. Meanwhile, Degeneration X was falling apart.
This show did a solid number on pay-per-view with 360,000 buys. It was around average for what they were doing in 1999. When you compare it to two or three years earlier, it was way ahead of what they were doing for the non-major PPV shows. As I said, business was going very well.
This show followed King of the Ring 1999 and led to SummerSlam 1999.
Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“The stakes are high at Fully Loaded when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defends the WWE Championship against The Undertaker in a First Blood Match. The Rock and Triple H battle in a Fully Loaded Strap Match. Road Dogg & X-Pac take on Billy Gunn & Chyna for the rights to the name D-Generation X.“ (18+ L, V)
The poster and VHS looked like this:
Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.
WWE Fully Loaded
From Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, New York
July 25, 1999
The opening video package focused on the idea that this would be the “End of an Era” for either Steve Austin or Vince McMahon because Austin will either lose the WWE Title or Vince will leave WWE. That was the main selling point of the show.
There was an impressive pyro display to start the show. The arena was full of signs as was commonplace in this era. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were at ringside to call the action.
There was a replay from Sunday Night Heat when The Undertaker attacked Steve Austin and tossed Austin into a wall. Austin was bleeding heavily. Vince and Shane McMahon were smiling when they saw it. Austin was shown getting checked by a medical team that told Austin that he needs stitches.
Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon were interviewed by Michael Cole. Vince said he had nothing to do with it, but he will guarantee (there’s that word again) that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will lose the WWE Championship and he will never, ever be the WWE Champion.
Analysis: A tease for what’s to come in the main event.
Edge made his entrance through the crowd and he was bringing the Intercontinental Championship with him. Edge won the IC Title from Jeff Jarrett one night earlier at a live event in Toronto Skydome. Ken Shamrock had transportation issues, Edge was put in the match and Edge won the title.
Analysis: The story about Shamrock not making the show was true. WWE decided that day that Edge should win the title in his hometown, so that’s why he walked into this show as the champion. It was an unplanned championship win for Edge and it was his first title win in WWE.
Jeff Jarrett was up next with the lovely Debra looking amazing in this green showgirl/bikini-style outfit. This is like an all-time great look for Debra, who is truly one of my favorite women in wrestling history. Lawler was excited to see her. Jeff said that nobody is going to see the puppies because they are his. Jeff told Edge that belt is Jeff’s as well because Jeff is the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time.
Analysis: Jeff could say that we weren’t seeing the puppies, but Debra was showing a lot of cleavage. It’s why the fans cheered Jarrett sometimes because of her.
Intercontinental Championship: Edge vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra)
Pre-match notes: Edge was the babyface Intercontinental Champion that won the title one day earlier. Jarrett was the former heel champion although as I said, Debra was cheered a lot by the fans because of how beautiful she is.
The fans chanted “we want puppies” as soon as Jarrett and Edge did an exchange of headlock takedowns. Edge shoved Jarrett down followed by Edge hitting a spinning heel kick for two. Edge with a backslide pin attempt for two. Edge with a sunset flip on Jarrett for two. Thank you for the closeup shots of Debra as Jeff grabbed the title and tried to leave until changing his mind and going back into the ring. Jarrett was on the apron, Edge sent him to the apron and Jarrett pulled Edge out of the ring. Jarrett whipped Edge into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Edge hit a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Edge avoided a charging attack, then Edge favored his left knee and Jarrett kicked the back of the leg of Edge. Jarrett jumped on the left knee of Edge a few times. Edge kicked Jarrett into the turnbuckle, then a rollup and Jarrett kicked Edge shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Jarrett with an armbar takedown. Thank you director for the Debra shots. JR even said Debra was “absolutely gorgeous” and Lawler was laughing about how it was starting to get to JR. Jarrett hit a running splash on Edge’s back against the ropes. Jarrett wrenched on the left arm of Edge against the ropes. Jarrett with a sleeper, but Edge countered by driving Jarrett into the turnbuckle, and then Edge came back with a flapjack for two. Lawler had a funny line when they showed Debra, Ross said “two count” and Lawler said JR loved saying “two” when you see Debra. Jarrett applied a sleeper and I say thanks again for the shots of Debra at ringside. Wow. After over a minute of the sleeper, Edge got back up and got a rollup for two. Edge with a sunset flip for two. Edge sent Jarrett into the turnbuckle, then they bumped into eachother in a planned spot and Edge bounced off turnbuckle right onto the groin of Jarrett. Good comedy spot. Both guys laid on the mat with Edge getting an arm on the chest for a two count.
Edge remained in control with a jumping kick and a swinging neckbreaker. Edge got another inside cradle for a two count. Edge got a boot up on a charging Jarrett and Edge hit a Tornado DDT. Jarrett avoided a charging Edge and tossed him over the top to the floor. The lights went out in the arena for several seconds. Edge was attacked by somebody at ringside, but then the lights came back on and Edge was standing over Gangrel while there was a pool of liquid nearby for the bloodbath attempt. Jarrett went for a cross body block, but Edge rolled over and got a two count. Edge countered a pin attempt into a pin of his own for two. Edge caught a leaping Jarrett and hit a Powerbomb for two. Edge hit a spear on Jarrett. The lovely Debra was on the apron teasing to take off her jacket, so Edge looked at her and that allowed Jarrett to get back up with Jarrett punching Edge into Debra, who bumped to the floor. The referee was looking at Jarrett, so Gangrel draped Edge’s throat across the top rope. Jeff hit the face first faceplant (later known as The Stroke) for the pinfall win at 13:20.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Jeff Jarrett
Analysis: ***1/4 This was a pretty good match that was a bit longer than what some midcard matches were getting in this era. The psychology was all over the place with Edge selling a knee injury at one point, then the arm and then it went away. The fans seemed invested in the match because they liked Edge and also because of how much they enjoyed seeing Debra as well. My favorite parts of the match were when Debra was on the screen. The guys worked hard and it was a solid opener for sure.
Jeff Jarrett celebrated with the Intercontinental Title with Debra by his side. Jarrett did a promo saying like he said, he was the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time. Thank you for another shot of Debra as Lawler said they were the “greatest puppies of all time.” Austin left the trainer’s room and Jarrett continued celebrating with the IC Title. Austin’s music hit in the arena, Austin into the ring and he kicked Jarrett followed by Austin hitting Jarrett with a Stone Cold Stunner. The fans popped big for that.
Analysis: Austin did a few of these random attacks on Jarrett during this time period. It didn’t lead to anything because apparently Austin refused to work with him gong back to a past Jeff promo saying that Austin 3:16 was “blasphemous” among other things. Austin was actually dating Debra at this point (they got married over a year later), but that wasn’t acknowledged on television.
Austin called out Undertaker for being a big, fat, son of a bitch. Austin said that he’s going to find Undertaker’s big dead ass and bust him wide open and that’s the bottom line ‘cuz Stone Cold said so. Austin left looking fired up.
The Acolytes duo of Bradshaw and Faarooq entered for tag team match. The WWE Tag Team Champions
Acolyte Rules No Disqualification for the WWE Championships: The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) & Michael Hayes vs. The Acolytes (Bradshaw & Faarooq)
Analysis: The Hardys and Hayes were the babyface champions while The Acolytes were heels. Hayes was retired at the time, but he wasn’t that old since he was 40 years of age at the time of this match.
The five guys were brawling on the floor before the match. Bradshaw whipped Matt into the ring steps. Bradshaw with a huge clothesline on Hayes on the floor. Hayes was whipped into the steel steps. The bell finally rang when Faarooq went into the ring with Jeff. They did a spot where Jeff ducked a clothesline from Faarooq and Jeff hit a dive over the top onto Bradshaw. Matt followed that with a moonsault off the top onto both Acolytes. Back in the ring, Bradshaw with a fallaway slam on Matt, Jeff with a missile dropkick and Matt got a cradle for two. Jeff dropkicked Bradshaw out of the ring and then a dropkick when Bradshaw caught Matt on the floor. Jeff hit a corner attack on Faarooq and Hayes was in for a double suplex on Faarooq and Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb off the top for two. Bradshaw tossed Jeff out of the ring and beat on Hayes with punches. Faarooq with a spinebuster on Matt. Bradshaw tagged in with a body slam as the wrestlers stopped fighting outside the ring and went to the apron for some reason. Faarooq hit a backbreaker on Matt for a two count. Bradshaw was back in for a double shoulder tackle. Jeff saved Matt with a kick to the face and Hayes went into the ring. Bradshaw with a boot to the face followed by a kick to the back and an elbow. Faarooq was back in, Hayes with a kick and Jeff was back in as he ran the ropes right into a body slam by Faarooq for two. Jeff went for a move, but legal man Bradshaw gave him a huge Powerbomb off the top for two as Hayes and Matt saved Jeff. Faarooq back in with a chinlock leading to Jeff hitting a jawbreaker to break it. Matt was back in with punches to Faarooq. Bradshaw and Hayes went in the ring with Bradshaw clearing the ring. Faarooq went for a Dominator on Matt, but Matt got out of it and Matt hit a Twist of Fate for two as Bradshaw broke it up. Bradshaw with a short arm clothesline. Bradshaw gave Matt a belly to back suplex off the top for two with Jeff saving Matt. Jeff had a cane belonging to Hayes and he hit Bradshaw in the head with it leading to a two count. Jeff went for a corner attack where he jumped off Matt’s back, but Bradshaw nailed him with a Clothesline From hell for the one…two…and Matt made the save. Faarooq dumped Matt over the top to the floor. The Acolytes double teamed Hayes for an assisted Powerbomb and Bradshaw pinned Hayes for the pinfall win at 10:59.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW WWE Tag Team Champions: The Acolytes (Bradshaw & Faarooq)
Analysis: **1/4 A decent match that didn’t make sense in the second half. If it’s no disqualification then why would you just stop fighting any time you want and turn it into a regular tag team match? That makes it hard to get into. The crowd was dead for a lot of the match. The best spot of the match was Bradshaw hitting Jeff with the clothesline. That was great. It was shortly after that when The Acolytes beat Hayes with an Assisted Powerbomb for the pinfall win.
Steve Austin was shown walking backstage and Austin had a bandage on his head.
D-Lo Brown did an interview with Kevin Kelly with Brown saying it’s been nine months since he was the European Champion. Brown told Mideon it’s about respect for that title.
European Championship: Mideon vs. D-Lo Brown
Pre-match notes: Mideon was the heel European Champion while Brown was a face. Mideon was previously known as Phinneas I. Godwinn earlier in his career. Mideon became the champion after finding it in Shane McMahon’s bag.
Mideon got no reaction for his entrance. Brown with a back elbow followed by a clothesline and ten punches against the turnbuckle. Brown sent Mideon to the floor with Brown hitting a suicide dive to knock Mideon down. Mideon whipped Brown into the steel steps. The referee Mike Chioda left the ring with the wrestlers instead of counting them out, so Mideon sent Brown into the barricade. Back in the ring, Mideon with a clothesline that led to Brown doing a flip bump for two. Mideon hit a gutwrench Powerbomb for a two count. Mideon grabbed a chinlock for about a minute, Brown powered back up and Mideon blocked a clothesline leading to a neckbreaker for two. Brown came back with chops to the chest as the crowd woke up a bit and Mideon did a thumb to the eye. Brown came back with a sunset flip for two, but then Mideon was back up with a clothesline. Brown got a foot up on a charging Mideon. Brown hit a Tornado DDT that didn’t look very good. It didn’t look that much like a DDT because of how Mideon took it. Brown hit the Sky High sitout spinebuster. Brown with a leg drop. Brown went up top and hit a Frog Splash for the pinfall win at 7:02.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW European Champion: D-Lo Brown
Analysis: * A boring match to put the title back on Brown since Mideon was never pushed that much. They kept it short because they likely know Mideon wasn’t very good in the ring, so it didn’t need to be a long match. The fans were dead for most of it, but they did pop for the Frog Splash and the title change at least.
Brown celebrated with the European Title. It’s the third straight title match with a title change.
Steve Austin was shown walking backstage and he shoved a camera to get away from him.
Al Snow was the Hardcore Champion interviewed by Michael Cole. Snow did a crazy promo about how he was hearing voices.
Snow made his entrance with Head having a nail in it. Big Boss Man made his entrance as the opponent.
Hardcore Championship: Al Snow vs. Big Boss Man
Pre-match notes: Snow was the babyface Hardcore Champion and Boss Man was the heel challenger. This was the start of the “Pepper” feud. It was terrible.
Snow went after Boss Man in the aisle and Boss Man hit “Head” with a nightstick, which angered Al. Boss Man trapped Snow in some equipment case, then he broke free and hit Boss Man with a sandbag. Boss Man sent Snow into part of the set by the entrance and then they went backstage. Boss Man hit Snow with a piece of wood to the back and then Snow threw a box at him. Boss Man with a low blow punch to the groin. They got into a bit of a slugfest with Snow rocking Boss Man and Snow hit BBM with a cookie sheet. Snow tossed some hot coffee onto Boss Man, who could be heard yelling “shit” after that. Snow threw a trash can into Boss Man’s back and Snow suplexed Boss Man through a table. Boss Man had a first down marker, then turned it to fourth down and punted Snow, so that was funny. Boss Man set up Snow against a garage door, Boss Man got into a golf cart, it wouldn’t start and they had to improvise as Snow beat on Boss Man with a plant. Boss Man whipped Snow with his belt choked Snow with the belt. They left out of a door with Snow coming back with punches. Boss Man sent Snow through a door so that they were outside the building and Boss Man hit a bulldog on the concrete for two. Snow with a blatant eye gouge and a hubcap to the head. Snow with a cone, then Boss Man no sold it and kneed Snow in the head repeatedly. Boss Man hit Snow with a brick to the head for a two count on the sidewalk. Snow stepped on Boss Man’s head and pulled on the arms. They were fighting out on the road, there was a car nearby and the car honked at them. Boss Man threw Snow into a “Private Property” sign and hit Snow with a bottle to the head. Boss Man handcuffed Snow to a fence with both of Snow’s hands cuffed to it. Boss Man beat on Snow with a weapon that was like a stick and Boss Man put his foot on Snow’s chest (Snow was seated against the fence) and the referee counted that for the pinfall win. It went 10:30.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Hardcore Champion: Big Boss Man
Analysis: *1/2 A boring hardcore match. They did some hard bumps with creative spots, but it wasn’t that interesting. There were accidental funny moments like the golf cart not starting and Snow attacking with a plant. The finish was unique at least since Snow didn’t have his shoulders down while being pinned, but it was close enough to count it as a finish.
Big Show and Kane were feuding for months. Kane and Undertaker were together as they beat up Big Show repeatedly. However, Kane gave Undertaker a Chokeslam after Kane saw Undertaker give X-Pac (Kane’s friend and tag team partner) a Chokeslam, so X-Pac hugged Kane.
Hardcore Holly was interviewed by Kevin Kelly with Holly saying he won’t be partial to Big Show. Holly said that Big Show has been trying to suck up to him. Holly said if either of those big goofs get in his face, he’ll beat the hell out of them and they know he can do it.
Hardcore Holly entered as the special guest referee for this match as they tried to get over “The Big Shot” as his nickname, but that didn’t happen. Big Show got a big pop from the crowd that was solidly behind him. JR mentioned Show’s King of the Ring match with Kane was “uglier than a bowling shoe” (it was awful). Kane was up next and he also got a pop from the crowd.
Big Show vs. Kane (w/Hardcore Holly as special guest referee)
Pre-match notes: Big Show was in his first year in WWE and he was in babyface mode here. Kane was also a face. Both guys turned about 30+ times in their careers if you combine all of them.
Kane with punches, Big Show got a hold of Kane and press slammed him over the top to the floor. That’s a painful bump that you don’t see a big man like Kane taking very often. They battled on the floor with Show hitting a headbutt and whipping Kane into the ring post. Back in the ring, Kane with a boot to the face, punches, Holly made Kane move back and Show hit a clothesline on Kane. Show whipped Kane hard into the turnbuckle two times. Show with a headbutt followed by some grinding of Kane’s face across the top rope. Show put his boot against Kane’s throat followed by a punch to the back. Show whipped Kane into the ropes for a clothesline. Show with a knee drop followed by a headbutt. Show hit Kane with a boot to the face. Show hit a powerslam for two with Holly trying to help Show by telling him to hook his leg. Show hit a side Russian legsweep. Show missed an elbow drop. Kane came back with punches to the face, then he ran the ropes and Kane hit a DDT with Holly claiming that Kane pulled Big Show’s hair. Kane went up top and hit a clothesline as he did throughout his legendary career. Kane wanted a Chokeslam, but then Holly did a chop block to the back of Kane’s left knee. Show with a Chokeslam on Kane and Holly did a fast count to give Show the pinfall win at 8:18.
Winner by pinfall: Big Show
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match here. The pace was so slow with Show on offense, the crowd was dead for most of it and there just weren’t enough interesting things in this match. The heelish attack by Holly on Kane led to Show getting the cheap win. Show looked tired the whole match. That’s really what stood out to me. Dave Meltzer rated this -* which is harsh and I get it, but it wasn’t that level of terrible to me.
Post match, X-Pac ran out to the ring to help his buddy Kane and he hit Holly with a spin kick. The Undertaker showed up at ringside and he gave X-Pac a Chokeslam. Kane and Big Show worked together to beat up Kane with punches and kicks. JR wondered what is happening here. It’s called a heel beatdown. Big Show did a leg drop to Kane’s groin. Undertaker put X-Pac on top of Kane. Undertaker looked back at Show, who looked back at Undertaker and Undertaker left. Show helped Holly out of the ring.
Analysis: The Undertaker was already a heel that was beating up Kane for not helping him and choosing X-Pac over him. Big Show turned heel to become an ally of The Undertaker.
There was a backstage scene that showed Steve Austin attacking The Undertaker as payback for what happened earlier. Austin whipped Undertaker into a wall and The Undertaker went down. You could clearly see that Undertaker’s hands hit the wall instead of his head, but Undertaker still sold it anyway. The camera moved away from Undertaker, then it went back on him and Undertaker was busted open on the forehead. The fans cheered at the sight of a bloody Undertaker with the announcers freaking out about it.
Analysis: There was a lot of blood on this show. That meant that both men were busted open before the match.
There was a video about the Iron Circle Match between Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman. Shamrock was the victim of repeated attacks from Blackman, which led to Shamrock selling injuries and bleeding internally several times.
Iron Circle Match: Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Blackman
Pre-match notes: Shamrock was the face and Blackman was the heel. The Iron Circle Match took place in a parking garage with cars in a circle while other wrestlers were on the hoods of the cars with referee Teddy Long on hand as well. The first man to leave the circle of cars was the winner of the match.
Shamrock gave Blackman a hiptoss onto a car hood and Shamrock tossed Blackman onto another car. Shamrock punched a windshield while Blackman kicked a windshield. Blackman slammed Shamrock on a car hood followed by Blackman punching Shamrock in the groin. Blackman kicked Shamrock onto car hood. Blackman found a chain, Shamrock avoided a chain shot and Shamrock tossed Blackman onto a car hood. Blackman gave Shamrock a body slam onto a car hood. Blackman tried to use a tire iron, Shamrock moved and then Shamrock put his own forearm to through a windshield when Blackman moved. Shamrock hit Blackman with a trash can to the head two times in a row. Shamrock wrapped the chain around his fist and knocked down Blackman with a punch. Shamrock punched Blackman with the chain repeatedly. Shamrock choked Blackman with the chain until Blackman was choked out. Shamrock left to end this around 4:15.
Winner: Ken Shamrock
Analysis: *3/4 It’s a tough match to rate since it’s just a fight in a parking garage rather than a traditional wrestling match. Since Blackman was the one that started the feud with cheap attacks, it made sense for Shamrock to get the win.
The Undertaker was interviewed by Terry Taylor. The Undertaker said that the most dangerous animal is a hurt animal and he tossed Taylor into the wall.
There was a quick interview with Billy Gunn and Chyna where they didn’t say much at all. Chyna didn’t care what X-Pac’s condition is and Billy said that when it comes to dollars and cents, it’s eat or be eaten and tonight they will have a fest.
Billy Gunn and Chyna were initially cheered for coming out to the Degeneration X, but the cheers turned to boos since they were heels. There were cheers for Road Dogg and X-Pac. Road Dogg did a pre-match promo full of catchphrases to hype the crowd.
For the Rights to the Name Degeneration: Billy Gunn & Chyna vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac
Pre-match notes: Road Dogg & X-Pac were the faces while Gunn & Chyna were the heels. It was actually “Mr. Ass” as Billy’s official name, but I’ll stick to calling him Billy Gunn. Billy was wearing a thong with see-through shorts on top of it although I don’t know if that’s right. It was awkward to look at. Gunn won King of the Ring 1999 one month earlier.
Chyna with a shoulder tackle on Dogg two times in a row to start the match. Dogg dropkicked Chyna into Gunn. Chyna avoided the pumphandle slam and Gunn was able to pull Chyna out of the ring. Gunn with a boot to the face and corner splash on Dogg while Chyna hit a clothesline. Lawler actually said that if you had an ass as good as Gunn’s then you would show it off too. No, Jerry. Just no. Chyna worked over Dogg with forearms, a snapmare, a kick to the back and an elbow drop. Gunn was back in with a boot to the face. Gunn hit a Jackhammer Slam with no pin attempt as the fans chanted “Asshole” at home. Gunn took way too long on the middle rope, so he jumped right into a boot from Dogg. X-Pac tagged in with a spin kick for both of his opponents along with a spin kick to the head of Gunn. X-Pac went after Chyna again, but there was Gunn with a stun gun into the top rope for a two count. Chyna was back in with a chinlock. X-Pac broke free, ran the ropes and Chyna hit a sloppy-looking powerslam. Chyna grabbed a front facelock on X-Pac, Dogg got the tag and Gunn distracted the referee, so the heels beat up X-Pac in their corner. Classic tag team heel spot. Gunn applied a chinlock, X-Pac ran the ropes and Gunn hit a powerslam. It was the same thing they just did with X-Pac and Chyna a few minutes earlier. Chyna went for a handspring attack, but X-Pac hit Chyna with a clothesline. Dogg tagged in against former tag team partner Gunn with a back body drop. Dogg with punches followed by a knee drop on Chyna for two even though Gunn was the legal person for his team. X-Pac hit Chyna with a Bronco Buster against the turnbuckle. Gunn missed a corner splash on X-Pac, then he hit the post and Dogg hit a Pumphandle Slam on Gunn for the pinfall win at 11:36.
Winners by pinfall: Road Dogg & X-Pac
Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average tag team match. This was supposed to be for something important like the rights to DX, but the fans were barely into it. The babyface team of Dogg and X-Pac winning made sense since it’s a happy ending to the story of who gets the rights to DX. I was a bit surprised that Gunn took the pin here since he just won King of the Ring and he would face The Rock at SummerSlam, but I guess they didn’t think ahead that much.
Post match, Road Dogg said the Degeneration X was “our” music and led the crowd in chanting “suck it” at the losers.
Steve Austin was shown getting ready in his locker room. Austin was stitched up and had a bandage on his head.
Triple H made his entrance alone for the Fully Loaded Strap Match.
The Rock was interviewed by Michael Cole. Rock mocked Triple H for crying like a baby in his interview with Jim Ross. Rock said that they kept Triple H at the bottom of the barrel because he absolutely sucks. Rock said that Rock is going to give him what he doesn’t want, which is Rock shoving the leather strap straight up your candy ass. Rock went over all of his nicknames and ended with “if ya smell” as usual. The People’s Eyebrow ended it.
Analysis: Great promo from Rock there. He was well established as a babyface at this point and the promos were always a strong point for him.
The Rock got a nice ovation for his entrance. Rock was clearly the number two babyface in the company at the time behind Steve Austin.
Fully Loaded Strap Match: Triple H (Hunter Hearst Helmsley) vs. The Rock
Pre-match notes: Triple H was the heel and Rock was the face. They wrestled many times in their careers. By this point, Rock was already a three-time WWE Champion at 27 years old while Triple H was nearly 30 years old and had not won his first WWE Title yet.
The rules are that it’s a Strap Match where both men will have their left wrists tied to a 10-foot leather strap. It’s a Falls Count Anywhere style match. No countouts and no disqualifications. A wrestler must win by pinfall or submission. The winner earns a WWE Title match at SummerSlam.
The Rock attacked Triple H with punches before Rock was even tied to the strap. Rock pulled Hunter with the strap so Hunter hit the ring post. Rock took a fan’s camera at ringside, took a photo and then Hunter came back with punches. Rock sent Hunter into the hood of the announce table, but then Hunter did the same thing to Rock. They were back in the ring with Hunter connecting with a forearm to the back of Rock’s head. Rock came back with a clothesline, Hunter came back with a back elbow and a clothesline of his own. They left the ring where Rock whipped Hunter into the steel steps at ringside. Rock sent Hunter over the barricade, so they went brawling into the crowd with Rock punching Hunter a lot as they fought by the hockey boards. Hunter with punches of his own. Rock tried to come back, but then Hunter pulled Rock into the steel barricade. Rock sent Hunter throat first into the steel barricade followed by a punch. Hunter sent Rock into a part of the stage and then a clothesline for a two count on the floor. Hunter whipped Rock with the leather strap to the back and shoulder as they fought by the aisle. Hunter went for a suplex on the floor, but Rock countered with his own suplex on the floor for a two count. Hunter whipped Rock into the barricade for a two count of his own. After some more punching by Hunter, they were back into the ring.
Hunter sent Rock into the turnbuckle followed by Hunter hitting Rock with the leather strap a few more times. Rock did an eye gouge, but Hunter came back with a jumping knee. Chyna walked down to the ring to support Hunter. Chyna got on the apron to argue with the referee, which led to Rock hitting a Rock Bottom. There was no count, so the fans booed and Hunter came back with a low blow punch to the groin. Hunter worked over Rock with more punches and then Hunter choked Rock with the strap. Hunter choked Rock so that he was out of it for a bit, but then Rock slammed Hunter off the top. JR: “Rock jerked Helmsley off the top rope.” Awkward phrasing there, pal. Rock continued the comeback with a clothesline, he sent Hunter face first into the turnbuckle and Rock hit a Samoan Drop for two. Hunter took the strap off his left hand, so then they left the ring again with Hunter whipping Rock into the barricade along with more punches. Hunter grabbed a steel chair from ringside, but Rock came back with a strap shot to the ribs. Rock hit Hunter in the back with the strap and a strap shot to the face or shoulder area. Rock brought Hunter back into the ring with Rock hitting a DDT for two, which was very close to a three count. Chyna distracted the referee, Billy Gunn showed up and Billy hit Rock with a club to the head, which got a two count. Nice nearfall there. Rock came back with a low blow, body slam and it was People’s Elbow time as Rock connected with the elbow with the fans popping big for it. Rock got a two count as Billy Gunn pulled the strap to break up the pin. Rock with a Rock Bottom on Gunn. Hunter with a kick to the gut and a Pedigree for the pinfall win at 19:23.
Winner by pinfall: Triple H
The win meant that Triple H earned a WWE Title shot for SummerSlam.
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a pretty good match between two guys that knew eachother very well and had so many high-profile matches together. Triple H did a nice job of being the heel that got in a lot of cheap shots, he even wrestled the final part of the match without the strap on, which should be illegal, but that’s what heels do. Rock kept on coming back until the numbers game became too much of a factor for him. It definitely was not a clean win, but all that mattered to Triple H was getting the win to earn a WWE Title match. The involvement of Billy Gunn was done because Gunn cost Rock the WWE Title match, which led to Rock’s revenge when he beat Gunn at SummerSlam.
Triple H left with Chyna and Billy Gunn while Lawler claimed that Triple H did it on his own, which was not true at all. Heel announcers lie. That’s their job.
The video package aired for Steve Austin defending the WWE Championship against The Undertaker. Austin won the WWE Title back from Undertaker in a match on Raw that drew a huge rating for WWE. Undertaker bloodied Austin with a belt shot to the head and Undertaker challenged Austin to a First Blood Match. Austin said that last time (King of the Ring 1998) in a First Blood Match, Undertaker cost Austin the WWE Title against Kane. There were additional stipulations that if Undertaker wins then Austin will never attempt to be WWE Champion again. However, if Austin wins again then you will “never” see Vince McMahon again. That led to an Undertaker attack on Austin with Austin bleeding again. Vince signed the contract with some of Austin’s blood. Vince said it was the first time he was putting his career on the line. Undertaker told Vince with Austin it’s personal, not just business. Austin also bloodied Vince McMahon in an attack on Raw. A lot of blood was shed in the build up to this match.
Analysis: I forgot about the storyline with Vince putting his career on the line as well. It was comical considering how much Vince was on the shows and it’s not like anybody really believed the stipulation.
Vince McMahon made his entrance with crutches to sell a recent attack. JR was critical of Vince and even mentioned that if you sneezed when you were with Vince in a boardroom, he could fire your ass. Howard Finkel was instructed on what to say and Finkel announced Vince as a special guest commentator. JR called Finkel a stooge. There were “asshole” chants for Vince. Vince said he was there to have a nice vantage point.
The Undertaker was shown walking in the backstage area with a towel that had some blood on it. Vince said that Undertaker had a cut above his hairline. Undertaker tossed the towel to the side as he made his entrance. Vince admitted he had butterflies in his stomach about this match.
The WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin made his entrance in the backstage area with the WWE Title in his right hand. Vince said that Austin has been a tenacious competitor, but not a great champion. Austin made his entrance to a HUGE pop, which was usual for Austin in this era. Austin had a bandage on his forehead.
First Blood Match for the WWE Championship: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker
Pre-match notes: Austin was the babyface champion and Undertaker was the heel.
The match started on the floor because Undertaker went after Austin before Austin could get into the ring. Undertaker was in full control with punches. Austin came back with punches, but then Taker delivered body shots. Austin blocked punches to the head and Taker hit a back elbow to the head as they got closer to the ring. Austin blocked Taker from sending him into the steel steps, then more punches from both guys and Taker punched Austin over a barricade into the crowd. Taker threw the steps at Austin, who moved. They went fighting into the crowd with Taker punching Austin near the hockey boards. Austin came back with punches, Austin picked up the steps, but Taker punched Austin in the ribs and Austin dropped the steps. Undertaker punched Austin back over the barricade to the ringside area. Vince: “Finish him, dammit!” Taker with some eye-gouging, then Austin with eye-gouging of his own and Austin with punches. They were finally back in the ring with Taker choking Austin with his boot as Vince yelled about how he wanted Undertaker to work on trying to cut Austin. Taker worked over Austin with punches along with choking. Taker went for a running kick, Austin moved and Austin kicked the leg of Taker repeatedly. Taker came back with an uppercut, but Austin clipped the back of the left leg again. Austin stomped on the left leg more followed by Austin ramming the left leg against the ring post. Taker kicked Austin over the barricade to the concrete floor. Vince thought Austin was busted open, but he was not. They were fighting in the crowd again with each man getting in punches and then Taker tossing Austin over the barricade to the floor. Taker sent Austin into the hood of the Spanish announce table. Taker went for a chair shot, Austin avoided it twice and then Austin did a drop toe hold into the steel steps. Austin sent Taker’s head into the steps, but there was no blood. Austin choked Taker with a cable from a TV camera. Undertaker bounced off the referee and then did a spot where Taker’s arms were caught between the ropes, so he was tied up in the ropes. Austin brought a steel chair into the ring. Shane McMahon ran out there and Austin hit Shane with a chair to the head. Taker with a boot to the face and Taker was untied from the ropes. Taker with a kick to the groin. Taker took a turnbuckle pad off to expose the top turnbuckle, but Austin blocked getting sent into the exposed steel with Austin hitting a low blow. Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Taker. Vince tried to attack Austin with a crutch, but Austin decked Vince with a punch to the face. Austin brought another chair into the ring, Taker with a chair to the ribs and a chair to the back. Taker tossed referee Earl Hebner into the turnbuckle. X-Pac ran out to the ring and hit a spinning heel kick on Undertaker and the chair hit Taker in the face. Austin got a TV camera and he hit Taker win the head with it. Shane was back in the ring, so Austin decked him with a punch. Taker was bleeding from the forehead. The referee was still down. Austin and Taker exchanged punches, Taker picked up Austin and the referee Earl Hebner saw Taker’s bloody head, so he called for the bell. It went 16:01.
Winner: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a chaotic, wild brawl with a lot of standing around and punching while also throwing guys into objects to try to cause blood. When you can’t do a pinfall or submission you need to go for other things and they did their best, but at times it was tough to get into it. The last five minutes were the best part with both guys coming close to winning a bunch of times. I think the spot with X-Pac going into hit Undertaker with a spin kick into the chair was unnecessary. I get that it was a way to weaken the bully Undertaker, but I don’t think they needed an X-Pac run-in here. Austin hitting Undertaker with the camera right after that is when Undertaker came up bleeding. Austin winning was the right call because he just won the title back from Undertaker one month earlier, but then Austin would lose it about a month after this. There were a lot of title changes in this time period.
Post match, Taker punched Hebner. Austin hit Taker with a Stone Cold Stunner. Vince went into the ring with a crutch, but Austin was ready for him and Austin it a Stone Cold Stunner on Vince. Triple H went into the ring to go after Austin since they were set up for a SummerSlam match. The Rock made the save by attacking Triple H and they fought out of the ring. Taker hit Austin with a chair although the main camera shot missed it. Austin was bleeding as well and he attacked Taker with Vince’s crutch. Austin and Taker got into a slugfest. Taker punched Shane to knock him on his ass too. Austin and Taker got into a slugfest at ringside until referees and other officials broke it up. The fans chanted “Austin” for Stone Cold, who went after Taker in the aisle. The two men were separated again.
Austin went back into the ring with Vince McMahon, who had to leave the company that his grandfather started. Austin extended a hand for a handshake, Vince shook it and Austin hit Vince with a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin was a bloody mess. The announcers kept talking about how Vince was gone. Austin was posing with the WWE Title with blood all over his body. Austin continued the celebration and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: A feel-good ending to wrap up the show. That was pretty common in the Austin era with a Stone Cold celebration sending the fans home happy. At the time of this show, we all figured they were doing Austin vs. Triple H as the main event of SummerSlam. That ended up changing, but those two were feuding for the next couple of months with Hunter getting his first run as a main eventer. As for Austin, he was going really hard here, but sadly he was a few months away from a major neck injury putting a pause on his career.
This event had a runtime of 2:41:29 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 6.75
It was a pretty good show when it took place. After all these years, it doesn’t hold up as well, but I’d still call it good enough to be above average. This was an era that was more about the moments rather than the great matches, so I think the card was hurt a bit by the lack of amazing matches. The last two matches with Austin beating Undertaker and Triple H beating Rock had a similar feel. They were both gimmick matches that saw the wrestlers brawling into the crowd and all around the arena. Plus, there was a hardcore match. It gets a bit repetitive when you see the same things in some of these matches. I liked the opening match with Jeff Jarrett beating Edge mainly because of how incredible Debra looked, but the match was fine as an opener as well.
This was a newsworthy show in the sense that there were four title changes, but 1999 also featured a lot of title changes in WWE and so many secondary titles that it was hard to keep track of things at times. I just think that some of the bad things on the show, like that awful Kane vs. Big Show match, really hurt it and there were plenty of dead spots throughout the night. The match between former DX members for the “Rights to DX” didn’t seem like that big of a deal and the crowd was quiet for a lot of it.
The Austin/Taker match had an “End of an Era” deal between Austin/Vince that meant Vince had to leave TV…until he was back a few weeks later. It was the end of Vince’s heel character at least until the next WrestleMania. I doubt many fans believed this stipulation for the main event, but that’s WWE. It happens sometimes.
- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
- Triple H
- The Undertaker
- The Rock
- Edge/Jeff Jarrett
Some might say Debra in that outfit was the biggest star too.
Best Match: Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker (***1/2 out of 5)
Worst Match: Big Show vs. Kane (1/2*)
Most Memorable Moment: Nothing really stood out, but I’d say Austin hitting Undertaker with a camera to bust him open in the main event was a big moment.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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