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[1998-04-26-WWF-Unforgiven] Steve Austin vs Dude Love


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  • 1 month later...

I didn't really have any opinion about this match going in, because I honestly remembered nothing about it except for the very end. Watching it just made me appreciate the rematch even more. There really isn't any drama until McMahon shows up. Dude's offense is really weak here, and he doesn't seem like any kind of a threat (I get that that's part of the storyline, but it doesn't make for a compelling match). I liked his bumps more in the Over the Edge match. Here Dude takes a hiptoss off a stage as part of Austin's offense at the start, and later he takes a suplex to the steps as a hope spot. The hiptoss doesn't really add anything to the match other than a big bump, and the suplex is far too big a bump to be just a hope spot, especially given that Dude never comes back with anything equally as devastating. Austin's on offense for the majority of the match, which makes sense but, again, doesn't create much drama.

 

This gets better once Vince arrives. I really like the spot where he baits Austin up the rampway. The abdominal stretch spot is kind of cool but doesn't make much sense - if the timekeeper rings the bell, then whoever's applying the hold wins the match? It can't be that simple. The end is a mess, as Dude stops applying the claw for some reason and then goes to reapply it just so that he can get backdropped to the outside. Not a fan of the elbows to the chair.

 

That's a lot of complaining about a match that, in spite of its flaws, is generally entertaining and accomplishes its purpose of setting up the rematch, but watching it after the rematch made the flaws stand out a lot. Dude looks really limited here, a big step down from where he was as a heel in 1996. Maybe some of that is on him wrestling as a goofy hippie, and some is on Austin being less vulnerable than Foley's '96 opponents. Regardless, he doesn't seem to have much in the tank other than bumps. Some of the storyline stuff annoys me, too - why is Jim Ross allowed to question McMahon's integrity again? Why do they play a video package that portrays Vince in a bad light? Ross is a lot worse here than in the rematch, although I did enjoy it when he points out that ratings when up when he replaced McMahon on commentary.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I agree that Foley wasn't at his best in this match. This was like a really long TV main event with Vince's involvement being so strong. Again, they are playing on Montreal with all the announcer hoopla surrounding the timekeeper, but again, it's not stale or overdone yet. I thought in some ways Vince gave the best performance of the match. They did an effective job setting up the rematch, Jim Ross was quite annoying and it was fun to see Vince take a chairshot. So Gregor summed it up well basically.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh, i actually really loved Ross and Lawler's interplay in this match. I do think it is risky of Ross being so adament about questioning Vince but I can see Vince sort of enjoying that type of asshole gimmick and playing it up. Austin was on offense for a bit too much in this match and Dude's offense was surprisingly poor and uninspired. Still, Dude does some great bumps including the hiptoss off the band stage and suplex onto the steps. The finish was good with the callback to abdominal stretch spot and the crackling chair shot to Vince which is kind of ambiguous where Austin was aiming. The aftermath of Dude being announced the winner by DQ and Vince being stretchered showed that this feud had a ton of legs. (***1/2)

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  • 2 months later...

This was an interesting match to watch, as it's really hard to get back in the mindset where a lot of the angle here (the Montreal references, the authority figure, the bickering announcers) were not cliched, but still fresh. It's a reminder of why all these things became cliches - because there was a time when they worked and built a lot of heat.

 

Agreed that Foley seemed a bit lost out there as a heel Dude - he's not really a threat. The bumps are great, but it's weird to hear Ross scream "He's broken in half!" after the one to the steps, as we know a MUCH bigger bump from Mick is on the way only a couple of months after this.

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  • 1 year later...

WWF World Heavyweight Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Dude Love - WWF Unforgiven 1998

 

It is easy to see why this match is overshadowed by the rematch, but this is a entertaining match in its own right. I loved Austin's energy in this. His shine was great just because how aggressive he was. It was a full court press. Foley did his fair share by taking some wicked bumps like getting clobbered from behind up the ramp and being thrown off the stage to the concrete. OWWWWW! Have Mercy! Austin misses the straddle in the ropes. Austin is not great at selling. Foley phoned in his offense on the heat segment. It does not matter because Austin is super over. Joe Stetcher reference by JR in the body scissors spot. Once Vince comes out the heat picks up. I like Vince berating Austin on the floor repeatedly to be a man and get back in the ring after Foley beat him down. The abdominal stretch spot was great with Vince wanting the bell rung and then when Austin reverses he changes his tune in a hurry. I thought run up to the big angle at the finish was bit haphazard. Foley takes his signature leg bump on the steps, which gets a huge pop, but really means little in the grand scheme of the match. Again, Austin's energy is carrying this match and Foley's bumps are second. They just don't have much in the way of glue or Foley's offense or Austin selling. Foley clobbers the ref. I always dig a good ref bump. STUN-NO-MANIDBLE CLAW! Why doesn't Vince call for the bell? I thought this was a bit anticlimactic. Foley clearly has Austin down in the claw. Weird to have the heel get what was basically a visual fall.

 

The big angle was perfectly executed as a chair gets involved. People get shoved in their faces until Austin cracks Vince in the back of the head with no protection! HUGE POP! HUGE SELL JOB! STUNNER! Counts his own three! Tons of personnel out. They treat the McMahon chairshot as a grave situation. Great wrestling angle. Cant wait for RAW tomorrow night to find out how they follow this up.

 

Austin's energy, Foley's bumps and McMahon character keep this entertaining. Foley needed more violent offense and there was not much glue to the story. Still entertaining. ***1/4

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm writing this almost a week after the fact but I didn't have much to say that hasn't been said already--it was fun, but not much more than that. Another strike this match had going in is that I don't know if there was any possible way for anyone to really believe Foley was walking out with the belt, Crash TV or no Crash TV, Vince or no Vince. This PPV main event being sort of an afterthought was a necessary evil since the focus right after WM had to be on establishing Austin vs. McMahon as the top feud, but it does end up hurting the match slightly. I have a feeling that things will perk up once we get a more elaborate plan from Vince next month.

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  • 1 month later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1998-04-26-WWF-Unforgiven] Steve Austin vs Dude Love

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