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WWF No Way Out ‘98

Live from Houston, TX

Airdate: February 15, 1998

Attendance: 16,110

Hosted by Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler

Can Austin and co. take care of DeGeneration-X and the NAO? Will Vader defeat the undefeated Kane? How will Shamrock and co. deal with the NoD? Will either Jarrett or Michinoku retain his respective title? Let’s find out!

I’m NOT a fan of this show especially after the disgusting RAW that precedes it. Although this show is on the PPV calendar, the WWF treats it like a glorified house show. If that’s not bad enough, as you may have noticed, WCW sells out a huge block of shows across Texas thrilling audiences at each juncture. Their strategy--affect ticket sales for both the PPV and the next two RAWs. You have been warned.

To top it all off, Texas native and WWF champion Shawn Michaels will NOT appear on this show. Thank goodness, another Texas native—Austin—will be in the main event. Otherwise, refunds would be doled out by the hundreds. In case you don’t know, Michaels’ back is screwed six ways to Sunday thanks to that casket bump last month. Let’s hope he doesn’t lose his smile again and no-show WrestleMania XIV.

Therefore, the running storyline throughout the PAY-PER-VIEW is “Who will be the eighth man in the main event?” Money well spent.

Prior to the first match, we revisit RAW from last Monday when Sable slapped the taste from both Goldust’s and Luna’s mouths. Next, Mero grabs the microphone and boots Sable from the ring. To say the Houston faithful was TICKED would be an understatement.

Match 1: “Marvelous” Marc Mero & TAFKA Goldust (w/ Sable & Luna) versus the Headbangers


Rating: **½

Summary: I’ll give them credit for working the tag formula and kudos for Thrasher for a blade job to provide some sympathy, but Sable is responsible for the majority of the heat for this match.

Afterward, Sable invites Luna into the ring for a scrum, but their charges keep them apart. WWF officials arrive to help the men restrain the women. To finish things off, MarilynDust carries Luna over his shoulder backstage while Sable shoves Mero down.

Back in the locker room, Michael Cole interviews Owen who doesn’t give a shit who the eighth man will be. He’s not alone. The focus of the interview is Owen’s promise to “bust (HHH’s) legs.”

Prior to the next match, we see the foreign object used by Pantera to score the victory on last Monday’s RAW.

Match 2 for the WWF Light Heavyweight title: Taka Michinoku (champion) versus Pantera


Rating: ***

Summary: Despite the Houston’s faithful craving for popcorn, this was a solid match with plenty of psychology, workrate, and high-flying. Alternatively, Christopher’s commentary sent wrestling back about thirty years with his xenophobia.

After the match, Christopher leaves the broadcast table, and Lawler tries to talk him out of confronting Michinoku. Before they can do anything, Michinoku mounts the top turnbuckle and dives onto them. The Lawlers then try to corner him, but Michinoku escapes through the crowd.

In the AOL area, Kevin Kelly interviews Cactus and Charlie who are out for revenge against the NAO.

Prior to the next match, we revisit Shotgun Saturday Night when the Godwinns cost the Quebecers a match against Los Boricuas. We then see the Quebecers’ revenge by costing the Godwinns their match against the other two members of Los Boricuas. If this sounds familiar, it is. They showed the same exact clips last Monday on that hideous episode of RAW.

Match 3: The Quebecers versus the Godwinns


Rating: *

Summary: Since the Houston faithful couldn’t care less, neither will I. The Quebecers get the * for their aerial tactics. Also, the Godwinns and the antiquated Confederate flag can hightail it back to Bitters, Arkansas for all I care.

After the match, the Godwinns sneak up on the Quebecers from behind and BLAST them with slop bucket shots to the head. Whatever.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix asks the NAO who the eighth man is. Since the NAO doesn’t know, they demand respect. That and a breath mint will cost you a nickel.

WWF Attitude promo airs.

Match 4 for the NWA North American title: Jeff Jarrett (champion w/ Jim Cornette) versus Bradshaw


Rating: **½

Summary: As per the NWA gimmick, this was old school wrestling that doesn’t electrify a 1998 crowd. While Bradshaw got a mild hero’s welcome, his character does not shine as a babyface at all.

After the match, Bradshaw swipes the racquet from Jarrett and CREAMS him with it. The Rock’n’Roll Express return but eat shots from the racquet as well. Meanwhile, Cornette remains in the ring and gets the BEJEEZUS scared out of him by the sight of Bradshaw.

Cornette then receives a slam from Bradshaw, but Windham trips Bradshaw before his manager ends up in a slaughterhouse. The heels quadruple- team Bradshaw until the Road Warriors save the day. Needless to say, but the Road Warriors get the biggest pop of the show thus far.

Backstage, Cole interviews HHH with Chyna. HHH sells the eighth slot like one of the world’s biggest wrestling stars from another organization will take it. Keep that in mind. On the contrary, he reverses course and mentions that the main event will be a handicap match. Cole then mentions that the WWF will name a partner rather than promote a handicap match. HHH doesn’t care, and neither do I.

Hendrix interviews the NoD and wants to hear from its leader. Stealing the microphone (and the entire interview) away from Faarooq, the Rock gets a stern warning from him. While Faarooq says nothing of importance, the Rock’s personality SHINES in a non-verbal way.

We then revisit last Monday’s RAW when the Rock CLOCKED Shamrock with a steel chair and continued to prove his potential.

Match 5: Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, & the Disciples of Apocalypse versus the Nation of Domination


Rating: ***

Summary: Entertaining tag match with the personalities of the main wrestlers spotlighted. Surprisingly, this match marked the end of Johnson’s WWF career. According to Johnson, his WWF career ended because his sister was dying. I guess he thought telling Vince that he needed time off wouldn’t sit well. According to Stevie Ray, a childhood friend, there was also supposed to be a “tar-and-feathering” of Johnson on RAW. Upon reflection, it was a good career move that Johnson didn’t go through with it.

After the match, the Rock gets upset with Faarooq for not having his back. Dissension among the NoD arises, and the Rock exits the ring. When Faarooq demands his return, the Rock follows orders, and the NoD falls in line with Faarooq albeit somewhat reluctantly on the Rock’s part.

Back in the locker room, Cole interviews Austin who doesn’t “give two craps who the mystery partner is.” My sentiments exactly.

Video airs featuring Vader followed by the Kane storyline and their exchanges.

Sorry, Chester.

Match 6: Kane (w/ Paul Bearer) versus Vader


Rating: **

Summary: Vader gave Kane everything he had, yet Kane’s relentlessness prevailed.

After the match, Kane exits the ring, tosses the fire extinguisher down the aisle in disgust, grabs a wrench, and returns to the ring. He then OBLITERATES Vader with a shot to the face with the wrench. Next, EMTs remove Vader from the ring on a gurney. Vader is taking time off for necessary eye surgery.

Prior to the main event, a video airs featuring the seven wrestlers whom we know will participate.

Match 7 (non-sanctioned, no DQ, eight-man): Stone Cold Steve Austin, Owen Hart, Cactus Jack, & Chainsaw Charlie versus HHH, the New Age Outlaws, & ???? (w/ Chyna)


Rating: **½

Summary: I cannot in good conscience rate this match any higher.

  1. Did it live up to the non-sanctioned, anything goes stipulation? Yes.
  2. Did it pop the crowd? Absolutely.
  3. Did it entertain? Yes.
  4. Is it unforgettable? No.
  5. Did Vega’s involvement help the match? Barely if at all.
  6. Could it be any more pointless?

Atter the match, Gunn eats a Stunner, and Austin nails HHH sending him face-first into the broadcast table. Austin celebrates much to the delight of the Houston faithful until Chyna enters the ring.

Chyna shoves Austin who questions her why. When she shoves him again, Austin is perplexed. He tries to leave, but Chyna stops and flips him off. As Chyna argues with Hebner, Austin mocks her. She turns around, and Austin gives her a Stunner to an OVERWHELMING ovation from the Houston faithful.

While HHH drags a staggered and humiliated Chyna from the ring, Austin basks in the adulation of his Texas brethren. He then grabs the microphone and salutes them with a “Oh Hell Yeah!”

Conclusion: First, I would like to say that I do not condone any violence against women. Having said that, Chyna is a trained wrestler who follows a script. I will bet dollars to donuts that she’s not harmed in the least having taken the Stunner.

Second, while I understand that Michaels couldn’t wrestle, why couldn’t he have participated in backstage segments? If he couldn’t be there in-person, either pre-tape something or send a satellite hookup if possible. The lack of the WWF champion, despite Austin’s immense popularity, soured the show.

As I characterized the main event, I will label this show in similar fashion—WORTHLESS. Avoid at all costs.

Buyrate: 0.52

Stay tuned for WCW Monday Nitro 2-16-98!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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