Monday, May 14, 2012

Reviewing the Undertaker/Austin/Kane saga from 1998

Kane vs Undertaker vs Steve Austin - 9/27/1998 Break Down: In Your House

Storyline: Vince has finally found the fool-proof plan to get rid of Steve Austin as the champion. Vince lines up a threeway between Kane, Undertaker and Stone Cold. However, it is not just any threeway. Kane and Undertaker are not able to pin each other, almost making sure Austin will go down.

I distincly remember this storyline from 1998. I don't have a ton of memories from the Attitude Era, but this is one of the ones that stuck out. I remember as a 10 year old, thinking Austin was finally stuck. I thought he had no chance of winning this, yet alone getting out alive.

To this day, I still find it to be a pretty good storyline. The odds are stacked so much against Austin that it's almost guranteed that he will lose. Sometimes knowing that something is going to happen in a storyline is not a bad thing. In fact, it made the match more interesting. I remember wandering how in the world Austin could get out of this and who would be the champion at the end of the night.

The Match: The match had a good start. I loved Austin trying to take out the Taker early. It made a ton of sense. Austin also portrayed it well. He did quickly and was aggressive. That is exactly how one would want to do this if it were real. Austin gets the upperhand on Kane and Taker comes back for revenge. This leads to the middle portion which dragged for a while. Lots of punches and kicks with little value. Austin did beat up on Brisco which got the crowd involved again, but it was mostly dead until near the end. Towards the end of the match Taker and Kane finally let go of the truce and prevent the other from winning. This gives Austin a shot and makes the match more exciting. Austin makes a great come back and is then stopped again. Kane and Taker work together a little more and finally put Austin down for the 1-2-3. The only problem is, both of them pinned him. This means that in fact there is no decision. Vince comes down to take the title before anything else can happen and flips off Austin to end the show.

Thoughts: Matchwise, it wasn't what it could have been. I would have liked to have seen more of a story develop between Taker and Kane both trying to win. You could have had them really try to take each other out while forgetting all about Austin. This could have led to an Austin come back and might have perked the match up a little more. They could have even got the stooges(Patterson, Brisco, Slaughter) involved a little more and had them try to put Austin down.  The match also needed to be shorter. Too many slow portions without much going on.

Rating: ***. The match was pretty basic and really not that much above a typical match. However, the match made alot of sense and had some good stuff.

I was planning to stop here, but hey, I'm procrastinating from doing other things so let's coninue on!

Since both men had pinned Austin, the title ended up being held up. McMahon tried to declare both of them champion but Austin attacked him by driving a zamboni through the arena in a famous and pretty cool moment. Vince ended up turning on Kane/Taker in the process and getting his ankle crushed. Then the next match was set:

Kane vs Undertaker for the WWF title with Steve Austin as the referee - 10/18/1998. Austin must declare a winner or get fired.

I actually had confused this with the match above prior to checking the match above out.

Match: The crowd is going crazy for Austin. This is one of the bigger pops I've ever heard for Austin and JR even mentions it. Austin makes it a point to flip off both wrestlers before the bell rings.

Taker gets the early advantage and goes for the pin. .0.77777777 Austin won't even count the one count!

The match then gets pretty boring. Kane's never been much of a worker and Taker was not a great worker at this time. Later, Austin gets thrown into Taker and then gets chokeslammed by Kane. They both then beat him down. Paul Bearer enters with a chair and hits Kane to no effect. Taker then chairs Kane and goes for the pin but, Austin won't count it!

Austin then stuns and chairs Taker and both Taker and Kane are down. Austin counts them both down and stops the match! Austin declares himself the winner then goes on the hunt for McMahon. Austin eventually finds himself back in the ring on his search and McMahon reveals himself in a press box.

Vince goes to speak and gets nailed with a sign from a fan. Awesome! Vince fires Austin and Austin promises to return.

Match thoughts: Bad match. Taker and Kane were never good together especially without any gimmick. I would have liked to have seen more done with Austin and more of Kane/Taker nailing each other with stuff.

Storyline thoughts: The storyline shows the best and the worst of the Attitude Era. Alot was going on and it kept me interested but at the same time, things were burned through at a record pace. Overall it was a pretty interesting storyline. It would eventually continue with a memorable Austin/Undertaker buried alive match at Rock Bottom: In Your House while Kane would fade out for the next few months.

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