Nicknamed the Highway to Hell, Summerslam 1998 was the eleventh Summerslam to air, Taking place on August 30th at the home of WWE, Madison Square Garden.
The first match of the event is a European Championship match between Val Venis and D’Lo Brown. The main focus of the match is D’Lo chest protector which Venis takes of Brown eventually. Val goes to the top rope with the chest protector on to deliver The Money Shot splash on to Brown but the ref stops him. Venis then shoves the official down and the ref calls for the bell. D’Lo retains the championship by DQ. Afterwords Val Venis delivers a money shot onto the ref.
The match up next was the quick Kaientai match facing the Oddities. The Oddities are joined by the Insane Clown Pose who perform the Oddities theme song on the way to the ring. The Oddities win the match in quick fashion which is ultimately a comedy squash match.
We then see footage of Howard Finkle getting his head shaved by Jeff Jarrett earlier that evening on Sunday Night Heat.
This leads us to our next match of Jeff Jarrett facing X-PAC in a hair vs hair match. Finkle joins X-PAC on the way to the ring. The match is a fast paced, action packed match where X-PAC take a ring post to the balls shot. Funk tries to distract Jarrett but gets a punch for his trouble. Southern Justice try to get involved with a guitar but it backfires and X-Pac uses the guitar to pick up the win.
The New Age Outlaws, Headbangers and Droz come down to help X-Pac cut Jarretts hair.
The Rock gets interviewed about attacking Triple H on Heat before the pay per view. Looking back, it feels so different to the normal, with a heel Rock up against a face Triple H. The Rock attacked Hunter leg ahead of their ladder match tonight.
Continuing the feud between Marc Mero, Jaqueline and Sable. Sable introduces her mystery partner for the evening in their mixed tag team match as WWF newest superstar Edge. Edge helps Sable pick up a not so surprising win after some good looking double team moves.
Mankind is interviewed in the back and says he doesn’t know where Kane is. Vince McMahon appears and tells Mankind to make history by defending the titles alone at Madison Square Garden.
We then cut to the theatre that’s at the Garden for a Lions Den Match. The Lions Den is basically a UFC Octagon like structure. The match is between Owen Hart and Ken Shamrock, at one point Owen puts Shamrock in the sharpshooter but Shamrock crawls up the structure to escape. Shamrock eventually puts Hart in the Ankle lock for the submission win.
The Lions Den is a unique match but sadly doesn’t do much for me. I’m glad we only had a rare few of these matches.
Next up is the WWF Tag Team Championship Match between The New Age Outlaws and Mankind and Kane but Kane doesn’t come out for the start of the match. Billy Gunn hip tosses Mankind through a table that’s set in the corner. Outlaws then hit a double power bomb on Foley but he kicks out, they then deliver a spike pile driver to pick up the win.
After the match the Outlaws throw Mankind in the dumpster that’s ringside. After the Outlaws leave, Kane emerges from the dumpster with a sledgehammer to make us believe he has hurt Mankind in the dumpster. Kane then rolls the dumpster to the back.
The D-Generation X band play Triple H to the ring who is accompanied by Chyna. The Rock is accompanied to the ring by his nation stablemate Mark Henry. They square off in a ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship. The Rock targets Triple H’s knee, he would use a chair and the ladder on his knee and would climb the ladder after the championship. Triple H stops him and Mark Henry tries to get involved but Chyna punches Henry down. Both men climb the ladder again but Triple H gets knocked off but he rebounds of the ropes and pushes the ladder which sends The Rock flying.
The Rock hits a cool looking people’s elbow on the ladder as the crowd start a Rock chant. The Rock then delivers a Rock Bottom and climbs the ladder. Triple H gets up in time and pulls him down and then delivers a pedigree. Both men again climb the ladder and fight on top, The Rock looks to gain advantage but Chyna comes in and delivers a low blow to The Rock and Triple H grabs the belt for the win.
This match is a epic storytelling ladder match and you can see why both become stars over the next year.
The main event is the heavily hyped and anticipated WWF Championship match between Stone Cole Steve Austin and The Undertaker. Both receive monster ovations from the crowd and the match has a real big fight feel. At some point early on Austin, gets concussed as he’s mentioned many of times and feels the match could have been better. But it’s still a good match where we see the crazy leg drop from the Undertaker from the top rope through the announcers table. Undertaker also delivers a choke slam from the apron to the ring. The finish comes when Taker is looking for Old School but Austin low blows Taker and delivers a Stunner to pick up a clean win.
After the match Taker gives Austin the championship in the ring out of respect and leaves as Kane arrives. Kane and The Undertaker watch Austin celebrate as the show goes off the air.
This event is regarded as one of the best Summerslams ever and it surely is a great show. The two last matches are the true standout match and the Lions Den adds a different aspect to the show even if it wasn’t for me.