Friday, August 9, 2019

WWF Summerslam 1999

The show's major hook was then-governor of Minnesota and former personality Jesse "The Body" "The Mind" Ventura refereeing the WWF championship match, which is a three-way match between defending champion Stone Cole Steve Austin, HHH, and Mankind. I remember being rather intrigued by this match based on the fact that a current head of state was going to partake in shenanigans with ol' Vinnie Mac.

Also, some other stuff happened.

Jeff Jarrett (with an assist from a heel-turning Mark Henry) defeated Intercontinental and European champion D'Lo Brown to win both titles. He comes out with Debra in a coat over a bikini and he's sent to the back by Jarrett. She then comes out with D'Lo, seemingly turned, but then turns on D'Lo again by distracting the ref while Henry kabongs D'Lo to give Jarrett the win and my brain hurts just compressing that into a short little paragraph. This match was Russo-riffic... and I mean that in the nicest way possible.

This was the case where you knew D'Lo was coming out on the losing end - even back then, watching this live, 1999 Dave knew D'Lo was fucked here - but the Mark Henry turn was a nice little touch. Here was Henry going through the paces to lose weight thanks to D'Lo in a story that probably wouldn't fly in 2019 because obesity is PERFECTLY FINE these days and he repays him by betraying him to Jarrett... And the next night, Jarrett gives Henry the Euro title, which I believe he loses back to D'Lo somewhere down the line.

The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Farooooooooooooooooooooooqqqqqq) won the tag-team turmoil featuring a whole bunch of teams. I'll be honest; I didn't pay attention to this one. Probably because I don't care for these sorts of things where there's a billion people and I don't care.

Al Snow defeated Hardcore Champion Big Boss Man with an assist from Road Dogg to win the title. This wasn't so bad, I think. For a typical garbage hardcore match, it was watchable. This would be the precursor to Al Snow getting a dog, Bossman stealing and feeding Al said dog, and resulting in the wonderfully Russoriffic KENNEL FROM HELL MATCH. Guess what we're watching when the Classic Musings return in September... assuming I lose my goddamn mind.

WWF Women's Champion Ivory defeated Tori in a thing that happened to retain the title... and I'm being very, very generous. Oh boy, this was hard to watch. I like the Ivory and she tried... even in 1999, I thought Ivory was just fine... make of that what you will, but good lord, this was not fun. Suddenly, I understand why they went the Divas route with the women. Some of these women matches around this time... eh, eh... eh... it needed another few months to cook.

Ken Shamrock defeated Steve Blackman in a Lion's Den match via knockout with a stick... even though it was said that you had to escape to win. Lion's Den is a little mini octagon thing on the side of the arena... like a worked MMA fight. Eh, this was alright, but to be honest, I actually prefer the Lion's Den match with Owen Hart from the 1998 Summerslam. Just to be sure, I actually went back to watch that match and it was indeed a better match with a better story being told. You'd figure two martial arts guys would be able to put on a neat little martial arts show, but for some reason, I wasn't really feeling it.

Test defeated Shane McMahon in a Greenwich Street Fight Love Her Or Leave Her Match, where if Test wins, then he can continue dating Stephanie (which wouldn't last long - spoiler) and if Shane wins, the relationship is over... which would've been better off for all parties involved. Considering this was a match featuring Shane McMahon, I was surprised by how well this match held up because I honestly enjoyed it more than I would've thought. Test overcame the odds of Shane's developing stuntman aspirations and some occasional outside interference from the Mean Street Posse to eventually claim the W and win the heart of young Steph... and then the HHH thing happened in more ways than one and Test was left in the dust.

Undertaker and FUCKING BIG SHOW defeated Tag-Team champions Kane & X-Pac to win the titles. Seeing X-Pac getting the upper hand with big guys is almost comical. Actually, this whole match felt like a comical affair even with three big guys in there. It's almost like they've wanted a Kane vs. Undertaker match for the 236th time, but needed the other two fellows stuck in there to make it seem less obvious.

The Rock defeated Billy Gunn in a Kiss My Ass match... which featured Billy Gunn bringing out a rather rotund woman out and eventually finding himself falling face-first in said rotund woman's ass before getting pinned by the Rock... Billy Gunn won King Of The Ring a couple months prior... just thought I mention that.

Mankind defeated WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin and HHH in a three-way match to win the title with Governor Jesse Ventura as special referee in an odd-looking long-sleeved ref shirt. Many stories behind this one depending on who you want to believe, but the main gist was that HHH was supposed to win the title here, but plans changed and so Foley was given his third World title for the expressed purpose of dropping to our main man Hunter the next night on RAW. Sadly, the backstory, the Shane/Ventura interaction, and the botch that saw Austin get stuck in the roles and needing HHH (the heel, by the way) to help him out are much more interesting than the match itself... which was a thing that happened. This is where it began, folks.

HHH then bashes Austin's knee to put him out of action for a bit. Meh.

Long story short: the Test/Shane McMahon match is the only thing worth watching here. Everything else is completely and utterly forgettable. The big thing that was supposed to happen here - HHH winning his first WWF World title - happened the next night on RAW. And everything else felt completely superfluous.

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