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  Nov 8, 1998

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WWF 'above-average' in Montreal

By ERIC BENNER -- Special to SLAM! Sports
The town was a-buzz, today. A lot was going on in Montreal. The CFL quarter-finals saw the hometown Alouettes advance, most of the provincial junior football finals took place, and Stone Cold Steve Austin was wreaking havoc in the Molson Centre.

From my lofty perch high above what would be the blue line were I gazing down at ice, I watched from the press box as the ten match card unfolded.

From time to time, I hopped down the the second row from the floor to snap some photos, and I enjoyed the exercise.

I'd say for a house show, it was above-average, especially considering that the athletes are probably already in transit for Ontario, where they'll be putting on a second show tonight (in Ottawa). Compared to an episode of Monday Night Raw, it only made me realize just how much I love those pyrotechnics and the seemingly-endless mic jobs.

First, a brief break-down of the show:

Match the first: Gangrel and Christian v. Too Much

This match was the sleeper, for me. A superb job by all, and I just love the Brood. Too Much did their Ambiguously Gay Duo routine, which was well-accepted (booed to hell). Both Christian and Gangrel executed their patented DDTs, and Christian took the match when he reversed Too Hot into a full-nelson slam.

Match the second: Al Snow v. Tiger Ali Singh

Tiger is a lot bigger than he seems on television, but he's also a lot less charismatic. Snow was one of the only athletes to take the mic and bother to work up the crowd, and it was appreciated. Your winner: Al via the snowplough.

Match the third: Mankind v. Ken Shamrock

This match was a falls-count-anywhere street fight. It was surprisingly early in the card, and ended surprisingly early when Shamrock pinned Mankind from out of nowhere.

Match the fourth: Animal and Droz v. D.O.A.

The twins also look a lot bigger in person. There was an amusing individual behind me who seemed to take particular offense at Ellering's presence - he didn't say a word the rest of the show but verbally assaulted Precious Paul during the entire match. Droz was about to execute the Doomsday Device when Hawk interfered, caused the loss, and earned himself a beat-down.

Match the fifth: Steve Blackman v. Steve Regal

I hate Regal's new gimmick. I'm sad he won. Body slam and rope leverage. This match sucked.

Match the sixth: X-Pac v. Jeff Jarrett

This was a guitar match, with a guitar suspended roughly as high as the flag in the Bret/Bulldog v. Vader/Patriot tag match from fifteen months ago, and the winner was the one who used it first. The guitar was retrieved about ten minutes into the match, but not used for another five. The match was reminiscent of those famous ladder matches, and I wonder why we don't see more such gimmicks. Your winner: X-Pac.

Match the seventh: Sable and Edge v. Mark Mero and Jacqueline

We've seen this match before, many times before, as mixed tag matches always work out the same. Surprisingly, Edge made the pin after he sent Mero down the spiral.

Match the eighth: Val Venis v. Goldust

I was more than a little surprised to see this match so late in the card. It was very fast-paced, ending when the ref refused to allow Goldust to execute the Shattered Dreams, allowing Venis to roll Dustin up into a pin.

Match the ninth: New Age Outlaws v. Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown

This match was terrific. All four individuals were into it and I love the Of Mice and Men thing that D-Lo and Mark have going on. The crowd was really into it, and the Outlaws prevailed when Mark botched a chair-shot and got nailed by the Road Dog.

Match the tenth: Kane v. Undertaker v. The Rock v. Steve Austin

The WWF consistently offers their main event as the match of the night, and it's good business. Highlights:

Austin tries to stun the 'Taker, gets pushed into the Rock Bottom, and when the Rock tries to pin Austin, Kane picks him up by the neck and chokeslams him. Undertaker makes sure Kane doesn't get a pin, both big men end up on the outside, and the Rock and Austin double-clothesline each other, ending a great spot.

The end of the match was just as entertaining. All four men are brawling in the cage when Austin points at the Undertaker and shouts "let's get him." The three men work over Undertaker, and then Austin points at Kane and he and the Rock work Kane over. Finally, with only Austin and the Rock left, both men nearly miss their finishers before Austin lands a stunner and pins Rocky for the win.

The show was great, I was impressed by the efforts put in, and I hope that the February show is equally good (or hopefully as good as the show we got about a year ago today).