Geezus, these guys look like such geeks! HHH doing curtsy as a taunt! Rock crashed into a turnbuckle, and HHH hit the divorce court! What a match! HHH was in control after that. The Honky Tonky Man joined the commentation station (shaped like a table!) to run Rocky down. Rocky made a comeback. HHH hit his neckbreaker, but Rocky kicked out. HHH hit a piledriver, but Rocky kicked out. HHH hit a superplex, but HHH stalled. Rocky caught him with a small package: 1…2…3
Wow, this was awful! It’s crazy seeing two of the best main event wrestlers of all time having a super dull match, but that’s exactly what this was. Match Rating: *
April 6, 1998
The Rock (w/ the NATION OF DOMINATION) vs. Owen Hart [Intercontinental Championship]
The Nation interfered early on, and the referee sent them to the locker room. Rock maintained control for a bit, despite that. Rock even hit a People’s Elbow as a transition move. Owen got a nearfall with a neckbreaker. Owen avoided a Rock Bottom and locked in the Sharpshooter. Chyna ran in and hit Owen with a bat. Owen wins via disqualification.
Why was this on the DVD? Match Rating: *1/2
June 22, 1998
The Rock vs. Triple H [First Round Match in the 1998 King of the Ring Tournament] Chyna was in HHH’s corner. The winner of this match would meet DAN SEVERN in the next round. Rock got a nearfall with a DDT. Rock hit a People’s Elbow as a transition move again, which is super weird. It’s like watching a television pilot where a different actor is playing a character than who would be used for the rest of the show’s run. Rock was in control for a while. Chyna gave Rocky a DDT, which got a nearfall for HHH. They traded sleeper holds. HHH went for the Pedigree, but Rock hit a low blow and a Fisherman’s Suplex: 1…2…3
There was a brawl between DX and the Nation after the match.
This was a flat television style match. These have been some strange DVD match choices so far. The matches have not had any passion. Match Rating: **
November 15, 1998
The Rock vs. Mankind [WWF Championship]
Ross foreshadows the finish with a reference to the Montreal Screwjob.
Mankind locked in a chinlock, as Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon (in a referee shirt) sauntered down to ringside. Rock hit a suplex on the floor. They started brawling in the crowd. What is it, 1998 or something? Mankind hit the Cactus Clothesline and used a steel chair on Rock. Rock returned the favor with a brain cell scrambler of a chair shot to the head. They brawled some more on the floor. Mankind went for a diving elbow from the middle rope, but he crashed through the Spanish Announce Table. Back in the ring, Rock hit a People’s Elbow for a nearfall. Mankind came back with the double arm DDT. He took out Mr. Socko. Mandible Claw. Rock reversed it into a Rock Bottom, which got him a nearfall. Rock locked in the Sharpshooter, and Vince immediately order the bell rung. Yep, a recreation of the Montreal Screwjob.
Rock, Vince, and Shane all hugged after that. Vince said he would elaborate more at Raw (lol). Mankind expressed confusion. The Rock attacked him.
The crowd mostly reacted with confusion and indifference to this angle. This is one of those swerves that is counterproductive and makes wrestling less fun. It’s definitely not a story that you want to do on a PPV where the entire PPV is dedicated to the tournament to crown the champion. Match Rating: **1/4
I have never seen this match. Mankind started the match by turning his back to the Rock and pretending to be handcuffed. Mankind then used the belt shot to the face to get an early eight count. They brawled near the entrance set. Mankind hit a DDT through the table. Rock came back with a back suplex on the concrete. Back in the ring, Mankind went for the People’s Elbow, but Rock avoided it. Rock started running down Mankind on commentary, but Mankind then beat the shit out of him. Rock came back by going after Mankind’s injured knee. Rock “dislocated” that knee on the Heat before the PPV. Mankind came back with a neckbreaker on the floor. Mankind went for a piledriver on the commentation station (shaped like a table!), but Rock backdropped him onto some chairs. Rock hit the Corporate Elbow. Rock started singing on the mic. Mankind gave him the Mandible Claw! Rock came back with a low blow and a DDT. Mankind avoided a chairshot and hit a double arm DDT onto the steel chair. Mr. Socko! Rock reversed it into a Rock Bottom. They managed to get to their feet, but then they hit each other with chairs at the same time. They both collapsed after that. Neither man could answer the ten count. It’s a draw.
This was apparently the fourth consecutive PPV match between the two that ended in a screwy finish. That’s incredibly lame. The match was very entertaining though. Neither man was moving at a tremendous pace, as the match was far more methodical than I anticipated. They sold the feud really well, though. Match Rating: ***1/2
The winner of this match would defend against Stone Cold at Wrestlemania. I recall this match being quite great. Stone Cold was on commentary. The match started as a brawl. Rock was going after the injured knee of Mankind. Mankind came back with some chair shots and a People’s Elbow. Rock came back with some weapon shots to the injured knee. Mankind came back with some chair shots. They started brawling into the crowd because it’s 1999. Rock started to choke him with a camera chord. Rock hit a Rock Bottom through the Spanish announce table. Rock went to climb, but Mankind hit a low blow and a double arm DDT. Rock came back with a DDT. Rock climbed, but Mankind got Mr. Socko on the ladder. The Big Show ran in and gave Mankind a chokeslam off the ladder. Rock grabbed the belt.
Stone Cold gave Rock a stunner after the match, and Rock took his usual great bump for it.
In a long running tradition, a television rematch is better than the PPV match! This was a great WWF Championship match. I loved when singles ladders matches feel more like street fights. It makes for a far more interesting match compared to the singles ladders match that are far more “set up spot, set up spot” in design. Match Rating: ****
Vince looked devastated. Vince tried to take the belt, but Austin gave him a stunner a beer bath.
This was a satisfying match to close out Wrestlemania. The crowd was not especially hot, but they woke up for the big nearfalls at the end. Austin and Rock worked super hard, as you would expect. This was not a magic moment or match, but I enjoyed it a great deal. Match Rating: ***3/4
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The 411: The first disc on this set gets off to a very weak start, but it more than recovers by the end of it. I think I only needed one early Rock match on the set. From there, I would have gone to do all the big Foley matches before finishing where they did. Two more discs to go! (The rating reflects my rating for the overall set.)