The only WWE pay-per-view named St. Valentine’s Day Massacre took place on…you guessed it…Valentine’s Day 1999. It was the show between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 15 with a stipulation for the Steel Cage Match main event. That match would see Royal Rumble winner Vince McMahon face Steve Austin in a Steel Cage Match where the winner got to move on to WrestleMania 15 to challenge the WWF Champion in the main event. This would be the first time that Mr. McMahon would headline a pay-per-view in a singles match while Austin was an established main eventer for about a year at this point.
St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999 did 450,000 pay-per-view buys. That was a strong number that was actually the fourth highest of the year because it fell behind only WrestleMania 15, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam. It actually beat Survivor Series that year. That’s because the Austin/McMahon rivalry was so hot, plus I think the WWF Title picture was interesting too.
This was also the last WWF/E show that used the “In Your House” subtitle since it was called “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: In Your House” and the 26th time the IYH name was used. Once we got to Backlash 1999, they dropped the “In Your House” name.
I remember this show pretty well for the main event, the WWF Title match and a few other things. It was one of the hottest periods for the WWF, so of course fans are going to remember a show like this.
Here’s the synopsis on WWE Network:
“There’s no love lost between Superstars at WWE St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The Rock challenges Mankind for the WWE Championship. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin battles Vince McMahon in a Steel Cage Match. D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry challenge for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Plus, Ken Shamrock faces Val Venis and more. // 14+ (D,L,V) ”
The VHS looks like this:
Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.
WWF St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 1999
Memphis Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee
February 14, 1999
The opening video package focused on the key matches of the show with a unique opening video as if it was Steve Austin and Vince McMahon in an old movie. They showed some other wrestlers too, but the focus was on Steve and Vince since that was the main event.
The pyro went off in the arena and it was packed house with over 19,000 fans (according to the WWF’s numbers) in Memphis. The announce team was Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler, who is a legend in Memphis. Cole was calling the action because Jim Ross was off for a few months due to Bell’s Pallsy. There were “Jerry” chants for Lawler.
Goldust vs. Bluedust
Pre-match notes: Goldust was a face while Bluedust (Blue Meanie) was a heel of sorts. This was an odd choice for an opener. Normally you want to pick an exciting match to start the show, but this was more of a character driven match.
Bluedust entered to Goldust’s song except he was blue. Goldust with a spinebuster followed by a sitout neckbreaker. Goldust with an uppercut followed by a clothesline. Bluedust left the ring briefly, so Goldust left the ring to go after him and bring Bluedust back in the ring. Bluedust hit kicked the leg and hit a dropkick to the left leg. Meanie did the worst knee twist, then Goldust kicked him down and gave him a wedgie along with some spankings. Please end this misery. Goldust set up for the Shattered Dreams kick, Bluedust got out of it and hit a boot to the face. Bluedust went up top, he missed a moonsault (by a lot) and Goldust countered with the Curtain Call slam for the pinfall win at 3:04.
Winner by pinfall: Goldust
Analysis: 1/2* This was dumb and I had no memory of the rivalry, which is probably a good thing. The best thing about it was that it was kept short. It was a bad choice for an opener.
Post match, Goldust set up Bludeust on the turnbuckle and hit the Shattered Dreams kick to the groin, which is really Bluedust just kicking the turnbuckle, but it’s the sell that matters.
Analysis: The good guy wins in the end and gets a kick to the balls just for fun.
There was a clip from earlier in the night on Heat when Steve Austin confronted Vince McMahon in the ring. Vince spit on Austin’s shirt, so that pissed off Austin ahead of their match later in the night.
Hardcore Match for the Hardcore Championship: Bob Holly vs. Al Snow
Pre-match notes: The Hardcore Title was vacant because Road Dogg was injured as a storyline. Holly was the heel that was still using the “Bob” name. The “Hardcore” name would come soon after this. Snow was the babyface challenger.
They quickly left the ring with Snow attacking with a steel chair. The fight spilled over the barricade and they went brawling into the crowd. Holly hit Snow in the ribs with a chair. Lawler slammed Snow onto some steps, then he sprayed some fire extinguisher spray and smashed some bottle on Snow’s head. Snow attacked with the fire extinguisher spray and they went towards the back. Holly was beating on Snow with a trash can. Snow threw a trash can at Holly two times. Holly hit Snow with some floor tiles and then a Budweiser container that was empty. Snow attacked Holly with some broom handles to the back. Snow tossed Holly into a production truck. Holly sent Snow into some No Parking sign and hit Snow in the back with it. Holly covered Snow on the road as they continued to walk. Snow sent Holly into some cement and then Holly threw Snow into a fence. They went brawling towards the water as Snow coached Holly with some barb wire. Holly hit Snow in the back with a stop sign. There was a conveniently placed wheelbarrow that Holly fell out of, so Snow ditched that plan and they walked by the water where the Mississippi River was. Holly whipped Snow into some sticks. Holly hit Snow with some cement block or something that was likely gimmicked. Snow choked Holly while they were down by the river. Holly was sent into the river, which drew a pop from the crowd and Holly sent Snow into the river with Cole noting it was 30 degrees (so that’s freezing). Holly hit Snow in the back with a stick that bounced into the main camera guy. There was a chain link fence conveniently placed on the floor there. Snow punched Holly with some weak kidney shots. Holly with a stick, then kicks to the ribs and Holly wrapped up Snow in the chain link fence. Holly covered Snow with referee Tim White there to count the pin at 9:58.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Hardcore Champion: Bob Holly
Analysis: ** It was memorable for the fight spilling out into the river. Other than that, it was just a lot of walking and throwing eachother into objects. It gets boring when it’s just walking, punching eachother once in a while and being sent into objects. I just never found these matches that interesting. The finish was something different, so that’s why people remember it if they have seen this match.
Holly walked back into the arena where the fans cheered him and he was handed the Hardcore Title. Snow was still wrapped in the chain link fence. Holly held up the Hardcore Title. He would become “Hardcore Holly” after this.
There was a clip of The Undertaker talking to the Ministry of Darkness as he talked about the nine members in the group. Undertaker told Mideon that he faces Big Boss Man, he’ll take his soul and weaken his body.
Big Boss Man vs. Mideon
Pre-match notes: I have no memory of this match or this rivalry, but it did lead to an awful Boss Man vs. Undertaker match at WrestleMania 15. Boss Man was a heel part of The Corporation and Mideon was a heel that was part of the Ministry of Darkness. Mideon had a jar with an eye in it because that was his terrible gimmick at the time.
Boss Man worked over Mideon with repeated punches. Boss Man was good at that because he threw some of the best worked punches in wrestling. Mideon with a running clothesline. Boss Man hit a shot to the stomach and dumped Mideon out of the ring. Boss Man went for a chair attack, Mideon moved and the chair hit the ring post. Mideon sent Boss Man’s right hand into the steel steps. Boss Man didn’t like the “Boss Man sucks” chants as he jumped onto the back of Mideon and grabbed a chinlock. Lawler was talking about how the Ministry was getting cheered, which may have been trued of Undertaker, but they didn’t care about this match. Mideon with a clothesline along with some biting on the head. Boss Man hit a running splash against the turnbuckle leading to an uppercut punch to the face. The fans chanted “boring” as Boss Man put on a weak full nelson with Mideon getting out of it with a German Suplex-like move. Mideon with a back body drop to get out of a move and then they did a double clothesline spot. Mideon with a back elbow, then he posed to the crowd and got no reaction. Boss Man sent Mideon into the ropes and hit a Boss Man Slam for the pinfall win at 6:19. Cole called it “What A Maneuver” because he went to the Vince McMahon school of wrestling announcing, pal.
Winner by pinfall: Big Boss Man
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match that put me to sleep and the crowd would agree with me because they were quiet for the whole match except when they chanted “boring” during the match. It was heel vs. heel, which doesn’t work. Boss Man winning made sense since he was against Undertaker in a forgettable match at WrestleMania. I would have rather seen Boss Man beating a better opponent that was a face and could sell his power moves better.
Post match, other Ministry of Darkness members surrounded the ring and the lights went out in the building leading to The Undertaker making his entrance. The lights came back on as Viscera hit a running splash on Boss Man. Other Ministry of Darkness members Gangrel, Edge, Christian, Bradshaw and Farooq were in there too. Viscera hit three running splashes on Boss Man. The Ministry of Darkness guys carried Boss Man towards Undertaker and they all walked to the back.
Analysis: It would be the setup for Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man at WrestleMania 15. That was a Hell in a Cell match that is not remembered when it comes to Hell in a Cell matches.
A commercial aired for WrestleMania 15 on March 28th.
The team of D-Lo Brown, Mark Henry and Ivory were interviewed by Kevin Kelly. Brown said that they found somebody to counteract Debra and it’s Ivory.
Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown entered with Ivory. Henry, who was in full “Sexual Chocolate” mode at this point, gave some chocolates and flowers to Ivory for Valentine’s Day. The lovely Debra entered with Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart as the tag team champions.
Analysis: Ivory debuted on the Raw prior to this and immediately started feuding with Debra.
WWF Tag Team Championships: Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra) vs. Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown (w/Ivory)
Pre-match notes: Owen and Jeff were the heel champions while Brown and Henry were the face challengers. They won the titles a few weeks before this. Henry had a big knee brace on his right knee because he was going into this match with an injury. I really liked Debra. So did the crowd. Just saying.
Henry worked over Hart with punches along with a clothesline. Brown tagged in, he sent Hart into the ropes and Hart hit a bulldog. Jarrett tagged in with a dropkick on Brown, but Brown came back with a powerslam for two. Brown with a body slam on Hart and Henry went in with a double clothesline on both opponents. Debra stood on the apron to blow a kiss to Henry to distract him with Brown telling Henry that Ivory is there for Mark. Jarrett hit a single arm slam to focus on the left arm of Brown. Hart was a five-time Tag Team Champion at this point as fans chanted “Nugget” at Owen, who hit a corner clothesline. Hart with a spinebuster leading to a jumping fist off the ropes from Jarrett. Brown avoided a Jarrett attack, but Owen got in a cheap shot that the referee didn’t see. Brown with a suplex on Hart and then Hart came back with an enziguri kick for two. Jarrett back in for a double back elbow leading to a chinlock by Jarrett. Hart tagged back in with a spinning heel kick for a two count. The heels double teamed Brown while the referee wasn’t looking. Brown off the ropes and he hit a cross body block for two. Hart went for punches on Brown by the turnbuckle, then Brown powered out and hit a running Powerbomb. There was a big “Lawler 4 Mayor” sign on the screen. He did run, but he didn’t win. Henry got the hot tag against Jarrett with Henry delivering punches on both opponents, then a running splash missed because the champs moved and Brown hit jumping side kicks on both champions. Jarrett jumped up with a leapfrog, but then Brown dropped him with a spinebuster for two with Owen making the save. Brown was definitely not the legal man in the match, so that shouldn’t have been a pin attempt. Brown with a leg drop on Hart. Brown went up top right where Debra was, which didn’t work as Debra was about to distract, but then Ivory showed up. Ivory was yelling at Debra with Brown going over to them while the referee was looking at the women as well. Back in the ring, Henry had Jarrett ready for a press slam over his head, but Hart went into the ring with Jeff’s guitar and hit the back of Henry’s right knee (the one with the big knee brace on it). Hart held Brown on the floor, Jarrett slapped on the Figure Four Leglock on Henry and Henry tapped out due to the guitar shot to the knee. The match went 9:33.
Winners by submission: Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett
Analysis: **1/2 A cheap win for the champions, which was fitting for them because they often won doing illegal tactics or because of Debra’s distractions. It was smart to have Brown work most of the match as the face in peril since Henry wasn’t very good at this point. They did make a mistake in the match with Brown going for a pin when he was not legal, but at least the finish was right with Henry and Jarrett as the two legal men.
Post match, Ivory went up to Debra and ripped off the top of Debra’s business suit attire. The crowd popped big for that although we couldn’t see too much of Debra’s “goods” even though sometimes Debra was more than willing to show more. Jeff and Owen covered Debra by putting the Tag Team Titles on her upper body.
Analysis: It was a way to pop the crowd post match, but as I said usually Debra would show more during this time in her career. This was a conservative look for her.
They also showed Mark Henry getting help in the ring for his injured knee.
Analysis: Henry would have knee surgery after this and he was out of action for about six months.
Mankind was interviewed backstage by Kevin Kelly as we saw highlights from Heat when The Rock attacked Mankind’s knee with some weapons from behind. Mankind said he’ll get himself in a state of mental preparation that will make him an ugly person…if you can believe it.
Billy Gunn entered as the referee for the next match. Val Venis made his entrance with the lovely Ryan Shamrock by his side. Venis did a promo saying he’s got a “Heart On” for the ladies for Valentine’s Day. That’s some weak writing. Ken Shamrock ran down to the ring as the champion.
Intercontinental Championship: Ken Shamrock vs. Val Venis (w/Ryan Shamrock) – Billy Gunn was the referee
Pre-match notes: Shamrock was the heel champion. Val Venis was the face challenger. The story was that Ryan Shamrock was Ken’s sister. They were not really related and even dated at some point. In doing research for the match, I found out that Ken was really sick for about a week before the match, so he had to deal with that.
Venis was in control early with some clotheslines as referee Billy Gunn was slow to count the pin. Shamrock with a kick to the chest. Shamrock with a hard whip into the turnbuckle leading to a clothesline. Shamrock worked over Venis repeated kicks to the body. Shamrock worked over Venis with forearms to the chest while Venis was on the apron as some fans chanted “Shamrock sucks” at the champion. Shamrock draped Val’s throat across the top rope and yelled at Ryan at ringside. Shamrock with a body slam. Venis blocked a suplex attempt and hit a delayed suplex of his own. Venis hit an inverted atomic drop along with an elbow to the face and an elbow drop for two as Gunn took a long time to count to two. Venis did an eye rake, then a backbreaker and a submission attempt. The crowd was really quiet at this point. Venis sent Shamrock into the turnbuckle, then picked up Shamrock outside the ring and drove Shamrock back first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Venis grabbed a chinlock, then back to their feet and Venis got a bridging pin for two. Venis grabbed another chinlock for another two minutes or so. Venis sent Shamrock throat first across the top rope. Shamrock finally got some momentum going with a kick followed by a DDT for two and Gunn stopped counting on purpose. Shamrock yelled at Gunn about it, Venis grabbed a sleeper and Shamrock countered with a belly to back suplex. Venis charged at Shamrock, who hit a powerslam for two. Venis hit a Fisherman’s Suplex and Gunn was slow to count again as it got a two count. Shamrock flipped over for two. Venis with the side Russian legsweep, then he went up top and Shamrock slammed Venis off the top. Shamrock with a spinning heel kick and a hurricanrana. Shamrock hit the side belly to belly slam. Shamrock slapped on the Ankle Lock submission, Ryan extended her hand and pulled Venis to the ropes. Ken got mad at her, so he got in her face asking what she was doing and Ryan slapped her “brother” Ken in the face. Shamrock shoved Gunn, who punched Shamrock and sent him back in the ring. Venis grabbed an inside cradle, Gunn did a very fast count and Venis won the title at 15:53.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Val Venis
Analysis: *3/4 It was a below-average match that was very slow-paced for most of it. The crowd was bored for a lot of it. The match was structured weird with the face Venis controlling most of it and grabbing chinlocks while the heel Shamrock was selling. Due to that, the crowd was so quiet for a lot of the match because it should have been heel Shamrock controlling most of it. The dynamic of Gunn as the referee
Post match, Shamrock fought with Gunn in the aisle. Shamrock went to the back. Val Venis celebrated with the IC Title. Gunn went back into the ring and took out Venis with a clothesline. The crowd cheered in support of Gunn. Venis left with the IC Title and Ryan joined him.
Analysis: The only thing I really remember about the IC Title during this period is that there were 11 title changes in 1999. That’s way too many.
A video package aired about Triple H and X-Pac vs. Kane and Chyna, who turned on Triple H and Degeneration X recently. Triple H quit during a WWF Title match against The Rock because The Corporation teased attacking Chyna, who turned on Triple H after the match and sold out by joining The Corporation. Chyna to Triple H: “Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart.” Chyna was with Hunter for about three years before this, so the turn was a big deal.
Triple H and X-Pac entered to the classic Degeneration X theme song. The crowd loved them. Triple H fired up the crowd doing the “Are You Ready?” promo as usual in this period. Hunter’s message to Chyna: “Come on out and get your ass kicked you big, jacked up bitch.” The “Let’s Get Ready to Suck It” line ended it. Kane was up first for his team and Chyna was next as she walked out to the Mr. McMahon theme song.
Triple H and X-Pac vs. Kane and Chyna
Pre-match notes: Triple H and X-Pac were the faces while Kane and Chyna were heels. It was the first mixed tag team match in WWF history. This was early in the time period where Chyna was wrestling in matches more often.
Shane McMahon joined commentary for the match to support Kane and Chyna. Kane worked over Hunter with some punches, then a boot to the face and the elbow drop missed. Kane worked over X-Pac with punches and Chyna tagged in with a forearm that dropped X-Pac. Chyna with a running shoulder tackle, then X-Pac sent her into the turnbuckle and Chyna avoided the Bronco Buster attempt. Kane tagged back in, Hunter managed to get in a punch off the turnbuckle and Chyna hit a cheap shot punch to the back when Hunter bounced off the ropes. Kane decked Hunter with an uppercut. Kane went up top and delivered the top rope clothesline that he did nearly every match in his career. Chyna was back in against Hunter with a punch, but then Hunter blocked a suplex and Chyna hit him with a forearm. Chyna with a scoop into a body slam. Chyna missed an elbow drop when Hunter moved. X-Pac back in, Kane missed a corner attack and then Hunter joined X-Pac for a double team suplex on Kane. Chyna up top, so Hunter tossed her into Kane, who caught her. Hunter and X-Pac hit a double team DDT on Kane along with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Kane sent X-Pac into the steel ring post, then X-Pac moved and Kane hit the ring post. X-Pac punched Shane on commentary (they would have a match at WrestleMania 15) and back in the ring, Kane hit a powerslam on X-Pac. Shane said that X-Pac was going to pay for that. Chyna back in with a kick to the ribs and a running powerslam for two. Kane sent X-Pac into the turnbuckle leading to a running clothesline by Kane. Chyna back in with a kick to the ribs of X-Pac and a forearm to Hunter. Chyna sent X-Pac groin first across the top rope while the referee was looking at Hunter on the apron. X-Pac with punches to the ribs, then Chyna slapped on a sleeper hold and X-Pac countered with a belly to back suplex. The crowd popped big for that.
Hunter got the hot tag with punches on Chyna and Kane, then Kane knocked down Hunter and Kane decked X-Pac with a punch. Hunter with a back body drop on Kane over the top to the floor. X-Pac went after Kane on the floor. Hunter hit the jumping knee to the face, then Kane was there to send Hunter out of the ring and the referee followed the guys on the floor. X-Pac hit the Bronco Buster on Chyna in the ring. Shane hit X-Pac wit ha clothesline from behind, then he ran away and X-Pac chased Shane all the way to the back. The referee was looking at Hunter and Kane, so he missed all of that. Hunter sent Kane into the steel steps. Hunter with a facebuster into the knee on Chyna. Kane went back in and hit a Chokeslam on Hunter. Kane put Chyna on top of Hunter, the referee Tim White ran back in (I think he took a bump somewhere) and counted the pin, so that Chyna beat Triple H thanks to Kane’s help. The match went 14:46.
Winners by pinfall: Kane and Chyna
Analysis: **3/4 This was good with the crowd getting excited for a lot of the action, which was nice to hear since they were quiet for plenty of things on this show before this. Chyna’s offense looked effective because X-Pac was great at selling and Hunter was very willing to put over his lady at the time. Early Kane was always booked in a dominant way whether he won or lost, so he knew his role well. Shane taking out X-Pac ended up costing Hunter the match because he was left alone and Kane/Chyna took advantage of that.
Kane helped Chyna out of the ring since she was down selling as if she was hurting in a big way.
Analysis: The rivalry between Hunter and Chyna didn’t last that long because it was all a ruse leading to Hunter turning heel at WrestleMania 15. That would lead to Triple H’s first main event push as a top heel a few months later.
A video package aired about the history of The Rock vs. Mankind for the WWF Championship. The Rock turned heel at Survivor Series 1998 to become the WWF Champion, then Mick Foley won the WWF Title for the first time ever one month later on a memorable episode of Raw. Yes, it did put butts in the seat. Rock got the WWF Title back at Royal Rumble 1999 in controversial fashion after winning an “I Quit” match even though Mankind didn’t actually say he quit. Mankind won the WWF Title That led to this Last Man Standing Match for the WWF Title.
Earlier in the night on Heat, The Rock attacked Mankind from behind when Mankind was training with Iron Sheik and Terry Funk. Rock repeatedly attacked the left knee of Mankind. There were two ambulances shown outside the building.
The Rock entered first as the challenger. This was when Rock was wrestling in a black shirt and track pants because he had some minor surgery on his upper body shortly before this. By WrestleMania 15, he was back to wrestling shirtless with trunks. Mankind made his entrance as the WWF Champion that got a pretty good pop from the crowd.
WWF Championship Last Man Standing Match: Mankind vs. The Rock
Pre-match notes: Mankind was the babyface WWF Champion while The Rock was the heel. Rock was 26 years old here, a few months before turning 27. When he won the WWF Title for the first time at Survivor Series 1998, he was the youngest WWF Champion ever at that time. Most people assumed Rock would win this match because the main event of WrestleMania 15 was expected to be Rock vs. Austin. The WWF kept saying that there “must be a winner” in this match. It’s Last Man Standing rules, which meant that the loser would be whoever could not answer a ten count after getting knocked down. There were no disqualifications or countouts in this match.
Mankind turned his back to allow Rock to have free shots at him because he was crazy like that. Rock beat on Mankind with punches and a kick to the knee. Rock was arguing with the referee, so Mankind hit him with the WWF Title to knock him down. Rock bailed out of the ring, which led to Mankind following him and throwing him into a steel part of the set. Mankind whipped Rock into a steel structure. Rock got some payback as he whipped Mankind into the steel structure that was part of the set. There was some table that had some production equipment on it including a monitor and Mankind hit Rock with a DDT through a table. There was even a bag of Lay’s chips there. They went over to some section with extra seats and then back towards the arena. Rock ended up hitting a belly to back suplex onto the cement floor. Ouch. They made their way back towards the ring with Mankind sending Rock right into the steel steps with Rock taking the bump on his right shoulder. Rock spoke to referee Earl Hebner, who relayed some information to Mankind back in the ring. Mankind with a body slam, then he ran the ropes for his own version of the People’s Elbow, but Rock moved out of the way to avoid the elbow drop. Rock continued the attack with a suplex on the floor and then he hit two more suplexes on the floor, so there were three of them total. Rock sat on commentary and said that Mankind was a piece of crap. Mankind tackled Rock and beat on him with punches. Mankind went to the ring apron and hit an elbow to the back of Rock while Rock was on the announce table. The referee Earl Hebner counted both guys down until about seven or so. Mankind sent Rock into the steel steps.
Mankind brought the top half of the steel steps into the ring. Mankind charged with the steps, but Rock got his feet up and kicked the steps into Mankind’s head. Rock brought a steel chair into the ring and hit the back of the left knee of Mankind four times. Rock went for a chairshot, Mankind left and Rock hit himself with the chair. Mankind with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Both guys were counted down for a few seconds until they got back up. Mankind hit a neckbreaker on the floor. Mankind sent Rock into the bottom half of the steel steps. They went over to the English announce table, Mankind teased a piledriver and Rock gave him a back body drop that sent Mankind’s left leg into the ring announcer table and Mankind’s head hit the edge of the announce table. Hebner took his time to start counting and then Rock threw the steel steps at Foley on the floor. Mankind got back up at around five as Rock brought a chair into the ring. Rock with a body slam, then he ran the ropes and hit the People’s Elbow also known as the Corporate Elbow during this time period. Hebner counted Rock down for a few seconds until he got back up. Rock did a promo saying he proved why he is the most electrifying man in sports entertainment today. Rock sang the “Smackdown Hotel” song since it was Memphis where Elvis Presley was from. Mankind slapped on the Mandible Claw and they went into referee Hebner, who bumped to the floor. Mankind took Rock down to the mat, so Rock was down for a ten count, but there was no referee to count. Mankind rolled Hebner back in the ring, Mankind did a fast count, then Hebner continued and Rock was up at around eight. Rock hit a low blow punch to the groin and a DDT led to another count from Hebner with Mankind getting up at six. Rock swung a steel chair, Mankind moved and Mankind hit a DDT on the steel chair. Rock got back up before the ten count. Mankind put Mr. Socko on his hand for the Mandible Claw, Rock with a knee to the groin, Mankind applied Mr. Socko again and Rock hit a Rock Bottom. Both guys were down for about eight when they got back up. They each had chairs, they each charged with the chairs and hit eachother in the head. The referee Hebner counted then down 5…6…7…8…9 and 10. That was the end of the match. There were some boos for that finish.
Match Result: Draw (Mankind remained WWF Champion)
It was announced by ring announcer Howard Finkel that this match was a draw and the fans booed that. There were some “bullshit” chants as well.
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good, physical match with a finish that a lot of people hated as you could tell by the crowd reaction. Before I get to the finish, I did appreciate the work they did in the match with the weapons and coming up with some cool spots. I remember being happy that Mankind didn’t take repeated chair shots to the head like at the Royal Rumble. Breaking tables and using the steel steps aren’t as bad as the chairs to the head. The problem with the finish is that the WWF told us that there must be a winner, which is something they promoted repeatedly and then didn’t do it. In hindsight, I think this would have been better if Rock got up at nine after the double chairshot and won the match that way. They did the match again one night later, but I think this should have led to there being a match winner.
Post match, other referees went into the ring to check on Mankind and Rock in the ring. There were two stretchers brought out to the ring. A neckbrace was put on Rock, which seemed ridiculous. They put Rock on a stretcher and wheeled him to the back. Mankind was also put on a stretcher and he was wheeled to the back as well. Rock was put in an ambulance first. Mankind was also put in an ambulance. The ambulances drove away.
Analysis: I’m fine with post match selling although this seemed a bit excessive and rushed in terms of loading guys in ambulances that quickly. It’s about telling the story, I guess. The Rock won the WWF Title one night later on Raw in a Ladder Match.
The video package aired for Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon. Their feud lasted for nearly a year before this with Vince beating Austin in the Royal Rumble thanks to a distraction from The Rock. Vince waived all rights and privileges as the number one contender, so Commissioner Shawn Michaels said Austin took his place. When Vince didn’t like that, Austin said that he’ll put up his right as the number one contender if Vince faces him in a Steel Cage Match. Vince said you’ve got the match. Vince guaranteed Austin that nobody in The Corporation will interfere in the match. Vince pinned Austin on the Raw prior to this since Austin had to face everybody in The Corporation in a gauntlet match.
Analysis: I was at the Raw prior to this at the Skydome (now known as Rogers Centre) in Toronto with about 35,000 people. It was an incredible atmosphere especially when Austin was in there against Vince. In the show closing segment It was unlike anything I have ever seen or felt in wrestling before or since. The magic of Austin/Vince may never be topped.
There were members of the ring crew setting up the steel cage with the black bars rather than the blue bar cage. They used the traditional silver mesh steel cage at times over the years too, but for this match they went with the black bar steel cage.
The legendary “Stone Cold” Steve Austin made his entrance to a huge pop as the top face in the company. It was the biggest pop of the night. Vince McMahon made his entrance alone wearing a tank top and black jeans. Vince looked as muscular as ever. Vince teased climbing over the cage to get in the ring, but then he dropped down and went through the door after Austin chased him. Austin couldn’t get in the ring because Vince prevented him from doing it and Austin tweaked his knee on the floor, so Vince went after him. It was all a ruse from Austin as he decked Vince with a clothesline. Austin whipped Vince into the cage and then choked him with cable from a camera. Austin sent Vince into the steel steps with Vince taking the bump right on his knees. Vince came back with an eye gouge and he whipped Austin into the cage. There was this camera cut where Vince did something, but it wasn’t shown and Cole said that Vince gave Austin the middle finger. We didn’t get to see that part because it was edited off this or the camera missed it. Vince left through the crowd, Austin went after him by punching his back repeatedly and it looked like somebody poured a drink on Austin at some point. They went back down to the barricade, Vince did an eye gouge and Austin sent Vince over the barricade towards the ring. Austin sent Vince into the barricade and the steel cage. Vince tried to climb into the cage, so Austin threw him into the cage and Austin stomped on his chest. Vince climbed up the side of the cage, Austin went up after him, Austin punched him a few times, they went even higher, Austin sent Vince into the cage and Vince took a bump off the cage and through the Spanish announce table! Cole was screaming that Vince fell “20 feet off the cage” through the Spanish announce table. That drew a huge pop from the crowd. Austin climbed into the ring. The match still didn’t officially begin by this point.
Analysis: That was the biggest bump that Vince had ever taken at this point and probably the biggest bump of his career. They were about 15 feet high and when Vince landed, the table didn’t break in one simple motion. There was a bit of a bounce and then Vince went crashing through the table. Respect to Vince for being crazy enough to take a bump like that.
There were multiple referees down at ringside checking on Vince, who was down in a heap by the table. There was a third stretcher of the evening with the EMTs ready to put Vince on the stretcher. Howard Finkel was in the ring with referee Mike Chioda as Howard was about to announce Austin as the winner, but Austin took the microphone to say: “That’s bullshit.”
Austin said when he came there he made a few guarantees going into this match. Austin said that the match never started because the bell never rang. Austin said Vince is still breathing, so he asked the crowd for a “HELL YEAH” and they gave it to him, which led to Austin chasing after Vince on the stretcher. Austin wheeled Vince on the stretcher and sent it into the steel cage. The fans loved that. Austin hit Vince with the stretcher board and tossed Vince into the cage. Referee Mike Chioda closed the door and the bell finally rang.
Analysis: That was a lot of action before the match, but it’s not a major surprise because it would have been unreasonable to expect Vince to have a competitive match with Austin.
Steel Cage Match: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. “Mr.” Vince McMahon
Pre-match notes: Austin was the face and Vince was the heel. I shouldn’t have to tell you that, but some of you may be unaware! Vince was 53 years old while Austin was 34 years old while being the unquestionable top guy in the wrestling world. It was Vince’s first PPV singles match.
The only way to win this match was to leave the cage by going out the door or escaping the cage. There was no referee in the ring with the wrestlers.
Austin with the elbow drop off the middle ropes once and then he did it again. Loud “Austin” chants for Stone Cold as Austin asked for the door to open. Austin walked onto the steel steps, but when he looked back into the ring, Vince was giving him the double finger. Austin went back in with punches and kicks against the turnbuckle. When Austin bent over, Vince kicked him in the groin and threw Austin into the cage. Vince climbed to the top of the cage, he had both feet on the outer part of the cage and Austin brought him back into the ring with a slam off the top rope. Austin whipped Vince face first into the steel cage, which led to Vince doing a blade job while Austin went to the top rope. Austin whipped Vince into the steel cage again as Austin talked trash some more. Austin climbed up the cage again, he was nearly at the bottom and Vince gave him the classic double middle finger salute with blood all over Vince’s body. That’s a famous image and GIF. Austin stomped on Vince some more along with another punch to the face. Austin set up for a Stunner and he delivered it to a big pop. Austin trash talked Vince, but that led to The Giant appearing and Cole was screaming “Paul Wight” because he didn’t have a WWE name yet. We would come to know him as Big Show. Anyway, he came from under the ring and threw Austin into the steel cage two times. The fans were screaming about it in horror because they knew him from his three years in WCW. Vince wanted Wight to throw Austin into the cage. Wight picked up Austin, threw him into the cage, which ended up breaking and opening and Austin landed on the floor to win the match. Great reaction face from Vince. The match went 7:57.
Winner by escaping the cage: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Analysis: *** This was more about providing some fun moments rather than having some great wrestling match because as I noted earlier, it was unrealistic to expect a traditional wrestling match with Vince involved. I liked how it was booked with Austin kicking Vince’s ass much to the delight of the crowd, then Big Show showed up, it made it seem like Austin might lose because of the presence of this huge man, yet when Austin was thrown into the cage, it broke open (as a planned spot that was pretty clever) and Austin won the match that way.
The win meant that Austin was officially going to WrestleMania 15 to challenge for the WWF Title.
Austin celebrated the win, then he talked trash to McMahon and Wight while offering up some middle finger gestures. Vince continued to make the angry faces while the camera focused on Wight standing over Vince. They replayed the finishing spot with Austin falling out of the cage (as planned) to win the match. Wight helped Vince out of the ring and that was the end of the show.
This event had a runtime of 2:51:55 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 5
It’s an average show with a memorable main event. The last three matches were good enough to save it from being a terrible show, but everything before those matches was really bad. I think most people really only cared about Austin vs. Vince in a PPV singles match, which was a huge deal at the time. Big Show’s appearance was also huge at the time because there were rumors of him going to the WWF, but until it happened, you really didn’t know in that era. I liked the Rock/Mankind match although the finish really pissed off the crowd since it was just done to do another title match the next night on Raw.
I wouldn’t recommend this show to anybody unless you really like stuff from 1999 WWF. The thing about 1999 is that while the audience was as hot as ever, some of the PPVs are pretty bad and this is one of them. If you do watch it, skip the first half and just watch the last three matches.
- Steve Austin
- The Rock
- Vince McMahon
- Triple H
Best Match: The Rock vs. Mankind (***1/2)
Worst Match: Big Boss Man vs. Mideon, Goldust vs. Bluedust (1/2*)
Most Memorable Moment: The appearance of Paul Wight (Big Show) making his WWF debut and throwing Austin into the cage only for Austin to win the match because of it. Vince McMahon’s table bump was memorable as well.
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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