Target Center – Minneapolis, MN – Sunday, August 22, 1999
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are on commentary.
Jeff Jarrett defeats Intercontinental & European Champion D’Lo Brown at 7:27 to win both titles. D’Lo has been the IC Champion since 8.2.99, and this is his third defense. He has been the Euro Champion since 7.25.99, and this is his third defense of that title as well. Jarrett and Debra were not getting along here, so after she’s with him for his entrance he sends her to the back. The crowd is pissed, but they get happy again when D’Lo brings her out with him. Momentum shifts back and forth frequently in the early going, with Jarrett breaking as many rules as possible and D’Lo looking in phenomenal shape. D’Lo starts using his signature moves, so Debra gets up on the ring apron. Jarrett goes for his guitar, but Mark Henry runs out and stops him. Then, because Vince Russo, Henry turns on D’Lo and smashes him with the guitar. Jarrett gets the pin and wins two titles. Typical RAW match here, not long enough nor interesting enough to be memorable, despite two titles being at stake.
The Acolytes (Bradshaw & Faarooq) defeat Droz & Prince Albert, Edge & Christian, Viscera & Mideon, The Hardy Boyz (Jeff Hardy & Matt Hardy) (w/ Gangrel), and The Hollys (Hardcore Holly & Crash Holly) in a Tag Team Turmoil match at 16:13.
The first two teams are Edge & Christian and the Hardys. Since it’s 1999 and they weren’t perma-over yet, all four men are going about 100 MPH from the get-go. Things slow down a bit and the Hardys control the match with creative double-teams. Gangrel interferes as often as he can, but the action is moving too fast for him to have much of an impact. Edge and Christian get Matt alone, and Edge drops him face-first from his shoulders. Christian follows with an ugly flying elbow drop off the top rope to score the first elimination at 5:02. Mideon and Viscera are next, and they dominate their much smaller opponents. But the crafty former Brood members knock Viscera to the floor and Edge drills Mideon with a Spear to get the pin at 1:59. Next up is Droz and Prince Albert, and they start off in control. Edge and Christian persevere again and Edge hits Albert with the Downward Spiral to get the pin at 1:49. The Acolytes are the fifth team out and they have a bit more success than the previous two teams. Faarooq and Bradshaw actually sell way more than I would’ve expected, but still Bradshaw finishes off Christian with the Clothesline from Hell at 4:45. The Holly cousins are the final team, and they take it right to the Acolytes. They can’t keep from fighting each other though, and Faarooq catches Hardcore with a spinebuster to get the pin at 2:48. Gauntlet matches are really hard to do well, since most of them are just a bunch of hyper condensed matches with no real story tying them together, like this one. At least Edge & Christian looked good here and made the most of the opportunity.
Al Snow defeats Hardcore Champion Big Boss Man at 7:27 to win the title. Boss Man has been the Champion since 7.25.99, and this is his second defense. Road Dogg joins the commentary team for this match, and he does it on the house mic so he can follow the competitors as they brawl backstage. They make their way through the backstage area and fight across the street into an outdoor restaurant area. The fight continues moving through the streets of Minneapolis and they wind up in a pub. Dogg finally decides to interfere, hitting Boss Man with his own nightstick. Snow adds a couple of billiard balls to the sack, and pins Boss Man on a pool table for the win. Snow goes back to the arena and gets in a fight with Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie, for some reason. This match was total garbage, but I do like how it added variety to the card at least.
Women’s Champion Ivory defeats Tori to retain the title at 4:08. Ivory has been the Champion since 6.14.99, and this is her first defense. Tori races to the ring and the fight is on. They trade control back and forth, with awkward brawling mixed with the occasional wrestling move. For example, Ivory uses the Giant Swing, and Tori uses an alley-oop powerbomb. When Tori goes for a sunset flip, Ivory sort of falls on top of her and then gets the pin. This was short and terrible. Ivory tries to attack after the bell, but Luna comes to the rescue.
Ken Shamrock defeats Steve Blackman in a Lion’s Den Weapons Match at 9:06. This is just like Shamrock’s match with Owen Hart last year, with the addition of weapons, and the only way to win is to escape the cage. Blackman tries to start with nun chucks but Shamrock gets rid of them. Momentum shifts back and forth, with Blackman focusing on using available weapons and Shamrock mostly relying on his ability. Finally, Shamrock hits a belly-to-belly suplex and then picks up a kendo stick and wears Blackman out, including two brutal shots to the head. Apparently, the referee declares it over and Shamrock is the winner. Confusing finish aside, this was entertaining enough, and again, added some nice variety to the card.
Test (w/ Gerald Brisco & Pat Patterson) defeats Shane McMahon (w/ Rodney, Pete Gas & Joey Abs) at 12:04 in a “Love Her or Leave Her” Street Fight. If Test wins, he gets to stay with Stephanie McMahon. If Shane wins, the relationship is over. Pro wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. Test dominates in the early going as they fight around ringside and into the crowd. The Posse tries to interfere but Test hurls Shane into all three of them, taking them out. Shane fights back with a bevy of weapons, but Test won’t stay down. The Posse recovers and they attack Test, laying him out on the Spanish Announce Table for Shane to hit his patented elbow drop. Back in the ring that’s not enough to end it. Test continues to fight off the 4-on-1 disadvantage until The Stooges, Patterson and Brisco come out to a massive pop to take out the Posse! That’s awesome. That allows Test to hit the Pumphandle Powerslam, and he follows with a huge flying elbow drop from the top rope to get the pin. Stephanie races out to celebrate with her man. This was exactly the right kind of overbooked, and it all helped make Test look like a million bucks. Why they never capitalized I’m not sure, but this made Test look like a STAR.
Undertaker & Big Show (w/ Paull Bearer) defeat World Tag Team Champions Kane & X-Pac to win the titles at 12:01. Kane & X-Pac have been the Champions since 8.9.99, and this is their second defense. One of these things is not like the other. The action starts off hot, with X-Pac holding his own amongst the giants. I believe Undertaker was battling nagging injuries here, and it shows. Eventually the size difference catches up to X-Pac, and he plays face-in-peril for a while. Kane gets a hot tag and the Champions start to roll. Show cuts X-Pac off and delivers a Chokeslam. He tries to pin with one foot on the chest but X-Pac kicks out! Undertaker is pissed so he tags in and destroys X-Pac with a Tombstone to get the pin. I like that finish a lot, but the rest of the match was pretty meh.
The Rock defeats Mr. Ass in a Kiss My Ass Match at 10:12. Mr. Ass brings out a slightly overweight woman and declares that when he beats Rock tonight, that will be the ass Rock has to kiss. This is all brawling from the get-go, and they quickly fight to the floor. I’m remembering how often that happened back in this day. Rock does everything in his power to get Mr. Ass over, selling like a champ for him. Late in the match, Mr. Ass brings his corner woman in and tries to shove Rock’s face into her crevice, but Rock turns the tables on him. One Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow later and it’s bye-bye Billy Gunn push. This was mostly competent but it was so very obvious that Mr. Ass was not qualified to be in the position they put him in.
Mankind defeats WWF Champion Steve Austin and Triple H (w/ Chyna) at 16:23 to win the title. Austin has been the Champion since 6.28.99, and this is his second defense. Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura is the Special Referee. Austin gets an enormous pop, duh. The brawl goes on both in and out of the ring. Mankind tries to make friends with Austin but just take a guess how that goes for him. Chyna interferes just as soon as she can, of course. HHH uses a steel chair to attack Austin’s heavily braced knee and that takes him out for a little while. Chyna interferes one too many times and Ventura kicks her out of the arena! Good call, Jess. Mankind and HHH actually form a brief partnership to work the Champion over. When HHH brings a steel chair into the ring and bashes both of his opponents with it, Ventura refuses to count! HHH is furious, and Shane McMahon runs out to protest. Austin gets up and pops Shane with a Stunner. Ventura then hurls Shane over the top rope to the floor, saying, “that’s for your old man you little bastard!” I love it. The fight continues and HHH hits Austin with a Pedigree. Mankind gets rid of HHH and then hits the Double-Arm DDT on Austin to get the pin and shockingly win the title for a third time. This match is SUCH a product of the era, so it has some fun nostalgia going for it, but it’s not particularly great or anything.
The main event is fun and has a shocking ending, and the Street Fight is really good, but the rest of this show is a pretty steamy pile. I do remember LOVING this show back in the day, so your mileage may vary, but it really doesn’t hold up well at all.