At Odds with Wrestling Homework – WWF Over the Edge 1998

Before we all enjoy the Memorial Day weekend (and there is a TON of wrestling on all weekend long) let’s go back 25 years ago to the WWF Over the Edge pay per view. This event was part of the In Your House series and that means before I discuss it below for the At Odds with Wrestling podcast, I discussed it with my friends as part of The House Show podcast. You can listen to that episode from nearly three years ago, read my thoughts below, and listen to Joe and Adam’s thoughts on the upcoming Patreon episode. I listened to my old podcast after watching this show and it is interesting how my thoughts change. Maybe it’s being three years older, or maybe it’s my attitude while sitting down to watch the show. Previously I watched this PPV on the WWE Network but for this round I sat through the version on Peacock. There are a few music edits but overall not that bad. 

This show opens with a great promo showing the history of the Austin and McMahon feud so far. A real evil empire vibe to the video. 

I’ve heard this music before. At first I thought it was Steve Blackman’s theme, but we see him later. Maybe Ezekiel Jackson? 

This event takes place in Milwaukee and I wonder if we’ll see some hometown legends later on. 

Your announce team for the evening are Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler with special appearances from the Castrol GTX blimp. 

LOD 2000 (Hawk and Animal accompanied by Darren “Puke” Drosdov and Sunny) vs the Disciples of Apocalypse (8 Ball and Skull, with Chainz). 

This show is already terrible because some idiot puts up their giant sign and blocks a great camera shot of Sunny. One of her best looks. Yes, I have a list. 

I asked a version of this question on my podcast but I’ll repeat it here, is this an all time cursed group of people in the ring? LOD has definitely lost a step but they’re not terrible. Nostalgic level. It would be even better if Hawk was at least in as good of shape as Animal appears to be. Also, they would look much better against better opponents too. Only so much that can be done against these two. Hawk takes the beating for the match, which probably makes the most sense too. He can’t zone out of the match if he’s in the match. The cameramen are failing Sunny. One of DOA gingerly climbs up to the second rope and misses an elbow. Hawk makes the hot tag. Twin magic takes place but Puke hits the fresh twin allowing Animal to hit a power slam for the pin. Hawk looked worse as the match went on. Considering later events in the evening, a fine opener for the AWA connection. 

This is a very small venue in comparison to today’s WWE. I don’t even think they would hold a Raw in a building this size. Maybe a touring NXT but even that is pushing it. 

The Rock in his full leader of the Nation and Intercontinental champion glory, comes out to insult the crowd. Farooq runs out to attack Rock. Rock does the chair shot ricochet off the ropes and into his head spot. Farooq piledrives Rock onto the chair however as they’re moving the chair gets kicked away from right under Rock’s head. What would have been a devastating shot is lessened. I think Farooq should have done a second piledriver to get the spot in. Farooq gets in some shots as the rest of the Nation runs out before he leaves. The Nation tends to Rock’s neck with a stretcher, a collar, and Owen Hart uses a towel or his shirt as extra support. Other than the missed spot, a good segment. 

Michael Cole interviews Stone Cold Steve Austin. 

Back to ringside, Tennessee Lee introduces Double J. Is this round 2 of the “Ain’t I Great” gimmick? 

Jeff Jarrett vs Steve Blackman. 

Blackman jumps Double J to start. We see Al Snow has joined the Spanish Announce Team for commentary. Later, as Snow is removed, he shows off Head to the crowd which gets a pop from the crowd but a pissed off reaction from Jarrett. Double J is most likely carrying Blackman through this match. A veteran in his early 30’s. It’s not bad. Jarrett does lock on a sleeper for far too long though. Blackman hits JJ with one of his lethal sticks and executes a poor cover. Jarrett gets a foot on the ropes to break the count. Then Tennessee hits Blackman with the same stick, allowing Jarrett to get the pin. 

Way too long a match. Blackman is definitely in a good spot though as they figure out what to do with him. 

Marc Mero comes out to fight whoever will be wrestling for Sable’s honor. Sable comes out in her ring gear. Sable says she will fight her own battles. Marc is moved and agrees to lay down, allowing Sable to pin him, so that she can have her freedom. Mero lays down, 1, 2, and he switches his body weight to roll up Sable for the pin. Mero is rejoicing like he just won the world title. Sable is upset, or at least doing the best she can to look upset. Michael Cole briefly interviews Sable as she is now gone from WWF. Great, funny, and just the right amount of time segment. 

The Rock is in the back as the Nation and medical personnel attend to his injured neck. Will the Rock be able to wrestle tonight? Stay tuned. 

Kaientai (with Yamaguchi-San) vs Taka Michinoku and Bradshaw. 

A “bonus match”. This is a three on two match. It’s also one step away from being booked like a midget match. A little too much comedy and foolishness for a group of guys that can go. King says “Japanese fire drill” and I have to imagine that term and its original location in China have gone by the wayside. This match goes on for far too long. Bradshaw gets the hot tag and takes hot liberties. Almost like he made a career out of bullying those smaller than him. Dick Togo hits a senton bomb on Taka to get the pin. 

Sable is seen walking out of the arena with her luggage and her tackle box. May as well go fishing now that she’s out of a job. 

“Don’t try this at home” ad. How many concussions, Shawn? 

Farooq comes out for his match. The Rock does not come out. Acting commissioner Sgt Slaughter comes out and says the Rock has until the count of ten to come out or the Intercontinental championship will be handed to Farooq. Rock comes out at the last moment. Farooq jumps him. Farooq looks good here. He’s not over, but he looks good. Both men are in the wrong position for the next spot and have a bad reset. Farooq gets a three count but then the referee realizes Rock’s foot was on the rope and the match continues. The bell never rings, there’s lots of confusion. Rock sweeps Farooq’s legs and goes for the pin, now using his feet as leverage. Farooq attacks the Rock after the match. He hits two piledrivers on the Rock which brings his count for the night to three. The Nation runs out to save the Rock. DX runs out to battle the Nation. Huge crowd pop. Triple H grabs a sign and hands it to Farooq in the ring. We never see what is on the sign but one has to imagine it was something rude. 

Kane (with Paul Bearer) vs Vader.

In a mask vs mask match, because that makes sense. The announcers try to save this gimmick by implying Vader might have scars under his mask after he was recently beaten with a wrench. I know we never saw the height of his powers Vader in WWF but I still feel he was done dirty during his run. I kept waiting for and expecting to see that World champion again and yet. This match ends up getting real slow. Kane gets his hand into Vader’s eye, years before See No Evil. Kane hits a big chokeslam but Vader rolls out of the ring. Vader grabs the aforementioned wrench. Vader misses a top rope moonsault, I swear much like Flair he must have missed more of these than he landed. Kane gets Vader up for the Tombstone and the pin. Once this match got going it wasn’t bad. Kane removes Vader’s mask, and it doesn’t matter. Paul Bearer puts on Vader’s mask which I said years ago just looks grotesque for reasons I can’t quite explain. Also this look should be made into a figure. Michael Cole interviews Vader after the match and he calls himself “a fat piece of shit”. Now we debated this. With hindsight we know it goes nowhere and it’s a ridiculous moment. However, at the moment I wonder if there was curiosity for what this meant for Vader. Maybe a repackage, maybe weight loss, maybe something. 

Michael Cole introduces legends Mad Dog Vachon and the Crusher. Lawler gets in the ring to insult them. King grabs Mad Dog’s leg then gets hit by Crusher. King comes back in to take off the leg and again is scared off by Crusher. One more time and now King gets hit with the leg. Fun little spot to give recognition to the past. 

D-Generation X – Triple H, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn (with X-Pac and Chyna) vs the Nation – Kama Mustafa, Owen Hart, D-Lo Brown (with Mark Henry).

25 years later and I feel so old. They look so young here. Road Dogg is full of charisma. The camera loves him. At this point Owen has won the most titles out of anyone in the match. None of them have been a World champion, so technically this is a mid card match. Look at all of the talent and what they all become. Every person in the ring wins the Intercontinental title at some point. And one of the people outside, bet you wouldn’t have guessed which one at the time. “Boys in the locker room call him the Godfather.” I swear the whole transition into the Godfather came out of nowhere. I guess there’s brief mentions like this that are buried. This is a fascinating match for the youth, the hunger, getting everyone over, the chemistry on display. D-Lo is a workhorse in this match. Billy and Hunter spike piledriver D-Lo onto one of the tag titles. There is so much going on they can’t go for a pin. Owen hits a Pedigree on Hunter onto the same title. Owen pins Hunter, thus in a way finally getting his revenge for Montreal? I guess. This is a real fun match with everyone working hard. It could have been the main event. But damn, this main event is something special. 

A long highlight reel plays. Dok Hendrix interviews the guest referee for the main event, Vince McMahon. Vince says “by my hand only will this match end.” Interesting. There is still 40 minutes left of the show, and they fill every minute with one of the most entertaining overbooked but amazing performances for any pay per view. 

Fink reads cards to introduce Pat Patterson. Patterson introduces Gerald Brisco as guest timekeeper, McMahon, and the challenger Dude Love. This is great. So overblown from the beginning and it never lets up. “There goes Strongbow” is one of the funniest inside lines ever uttered. Patterson refuses to introduce Stone Cold which riles up the fans even more until he eventually comes out and the reaction is absurd. 

Side note but it stands out. It is mentioned that Foley is wearing a blue blazer. One year later at Over the Edge 1999 is when Owen Hart dies while performing as the Blue Blazer. It’s a very odd but interesting coincidence. 

The match is about to start and then – GONG. The Undertaker comes out to ensure that this is a fair match. Not taking sides, but acting as a bit of a moral compass for the WWF. 25 minutes left of the show and these two beat the hell out of each other. There is so much happening and it could get out of hand but instead all of this mixes together into an incredible story. Vince tries for a quick count but everyone from Austin to the crowd shuts down that idea. Foley does the head stuck in the ring ropes spot and why would he still do that to himself? The fight is outside, Vince talks to Pat, and Patterson reminds us “this match is a no disqualification match.” They’re making it up as they go along! Austin clotheslines Dude over the guardrail and it is a nasty bump. Austin walks all over Briscoe. Bah, he’s being a nice guy and aligning his spine. A big difference between 1998 and today is the close quarters at ringside. There’s barely enough room for one person between the ring and the announce table, let alone all of the participants in this match. Austin and Foley have ridiculous chemistry together and everything in this match just clicks. “Reminder this is a falls count anywhere match.” Trying to screw over Austin again, but if both Foley and Austin can pin their opponent anywhere then the match is still fair. Austin gets back dropped onto a car hood. Foley with the spot of the night when he hits a sunset flip off the car. Foley stalls attacking Austin with a pipe so Stone Cold can blade. Foley with a running elbow off the car but Austin moves. Patterson trips up Austin. Back in the ring, Foley exposes a turnbuckle and sends Austin into it. Foley with a DDT onto a chair but Austin will not give up. Austin accidentally does the chair rope ricochet spot for real. Vince won’t make the pin for Austin. Foley accidentally hits Vince with a chair and the referee is out. Stunner and a second ref comes down but Patterson takes him out. Mandible claw, Patterson tries to come in to make the pin but the Undertaker pulls him out and chokeslams him through a table. Again, very well done because Patterson took out an alternate referee first. We’re all keeping it fair. Briscoe tries to count a three but Undertaker pulls him out as well and puts him through the Spanish announce table. Austin hits a second stunner. He drags Vince’s limp body over and Austin lifts Vince’s hand to count the three. By his hand only. The crowd goes nuts. 

This was such a hidden gem when we did the podcast. Some matches from the In Your House series still stick out, but this one gets forgotten. A damn shame too. It’s an all time great Attitude Era match. If you didn’t watch all of this PPV at least sit down for 45 minutes for this entire spectacle.

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