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[1998-08-30-WWF-Summerslam] Steve Austin vs The Undertaker


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  • 2 months later...

I think the problem with these two having a good match is that they are both so dominant and both are portrayed as such asskickers that there isn't enough of a contrast. In theory, when you have two guys where no one thinks either guy can be beat, you have a lot of intrigue, and they did have that to an extent. But this suffered in practice because neither guy really worked from underneath too long and Undertaker hadn't yet turned heel. This was solid, but it was also anti-climatic considering the epic build. It was a match that didn't live up to the hype.

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Russo wanted to turn him heel in the build up to this match. It was probably the right move not to at the time but 16 years later I think it would have made for a more exciting match

 

I've always found this match quite disappointing given the nearly 3 month incredible build to it. If I'm not mistaken Undertaker was working injured here and would continue to do so for the rest of 98. Can't blame him because he was on top every month v Austin and couldn't walk away from the paydays. He looked pretty banged up for most of 99 too

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Didn't Austin suffer a concussion on a mistimed spot where 'Taker raised his head too quickly from an Austin kick, early in the match? While I liked this, I remember years ago thinking this match could have been better if that didn't happen to Austin, but I haven't seen this in years.

 

The Undertaker's flying legdrop through the table is one of the better spots in the WWF during the 1990's.

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  • 1 month later...

I was really hoping to like this since I know Loss didn't and I had been thinking we had been aligning too much on this yearbook so far. Unfortunately, I hadn't watched this match in about 5 years and the parts I remembered being good were the only good portions of the match: Kane being sent away, the legdrop spot from Taker and the stunner being put over as a big finisher. Otherwise, the concussion seemed to really rattle Austin and this never got going and was so disjointed. Austin works the arm to start and the crowd just dies. He then transitions to Taker's leg but this is quickly forgotten as they brawl through the crowd. Taker didn't really hit or go for his tombstone all that much and I thought the Stunner came out of nowhere. Also,Hebners slow count on the pinfall is atrocious and a blatant example of the referee trying to milk extra doubt into a match. (**3/4)

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  • 3 weeks later...

As the main event of a big show this delivered a match worthy of the occasion. It was face vs face although Austin was much more popular. You had two superpowers colliding. It had a nice full length and they kept the action going at a good pace, battling to and fro. I'd have preferred longer Taker control segments, Austin sometimes cut him off too soon. There was sufficient variety in the work including an awesome top rope legdrop onto the SAT. No interference or screwitude was a rare treat, although Austin did a cheap low blow to set up the Stunner. By no means perfect but I was left satisfied.

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  • 2 weeks later...

UT not going for the tombstone is a result of Steve Austin never taking another piledriver in his career after Owen.

 

Yes this is a pretty bad match. It was the last match I saw before going off to college and UT basically destroys Austin the whole match, low blow, stunner, it's over.

 

It's the Attitude era Hogan-Andre (with the ladder match being Savage-Steamboat) basically though not with that large a match quality contrast.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 6 months later...

They almost lose the crowd early on because they don't get Austin's matwork, which I thought was a cool wrinkle well-explained by the announcers. But...it doesn't get over. And I can't really bitch about late-'90s Attitude Era crowds only popping for catchphrases because this was a hot crowd all night who popped for all the right spots and seemed to "get" wrestling as you expect a NYC crowd might. By the end, they're back into it, and all in all you can't really say they ripped anybody off. They had the opportunity to climax with a great main event to mark this as an all-time classic PPV--instead you "just" get a good solid main event that sort of pales in comparison to other WWF title matches over the past year in terms of action, drama, and theater. It's probably not any worse than the WM14 main event but lacks that match's real-life implications and sense of a sea change in wrestling history--so in the end, WM14 remains the superior show. Still, going in this match was going to have completely suck for this not to be a lock for #2 PPV of the year and maybe #2 show of the year overall, and it didn't do that.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1998-08-30-WWF-Summerslam] Steve Austin vs The Undertaker
  • 1 month later...

WWF World Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Undertaker - Summerslam 1998

It is a clunker thats for sure but better than I remembered. I recollected the match was totally fucked once Austin got his bell rung when Undertaker whipped his head up on a telegraphed back body drop, but there was actually some good work afterwards. I am sure Austin appreciated all the head ramming, blows to his head immediately after that spot. Jeeze Taker, you couldnt work an arm at that point. They do the obvious thing and have Austin go after the legs, but that doesnt really go anywhere. I thought Austin totally outwrestled Taker here. He was really throwing himself into his bumps and supplying the energy. I did like Taker's chokeslam to bring Austin back into the ring. That was insane! Great cutoff of Austin's leg work too. Then when Austin goes for his stunner, Taker does a backflip out of the ring and catches Austin into a bearhug & rams him into the post. There were good spots like this, but not enough connective tissue. Some really weak crowd brawling. Also some really weak punches throughout the match from two of the better punchers in the WWF. The Big Table spot does not get a Holy Shit chant?!? I mean get he did not break the table, but cmon fucking Undertaker hit a legdrop from the top rope onto a table and wiped out Stone Cold that was insane. I thought the finish kinda petered out. Call me crazy, but a relatively clean finish was stupid as fuck. If there was ever a time for run-ins and overbooking it was this match. Two titanic babyfaces, I mean c'mon a clean finish is just not gonna satisfy under these circumstances. Taker is pretty much a heel the rest of the year. It makes a lot more sense for him to align with McMahon or Kane because he cant win. Imagine him getting frustrated and relenting to Kane's help. You can even have it so Kane accidentally whack the Undertaker to set up next month's triple threat. C'mon Russo you had one job no clean finishes and you fucked it up!  Like I said after the legdrop table spot it petered out a bit. They had not really mastered the whole bomb throwing, finisher spamming style that would actually be befitting of this match at this point. Instead we get fucking Russian Legsweeps with two minutes to go. Never been a fan of Austin vs Taker as a matchup and it is sad to say this is probably their best match together. 

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  • 10 months later...

You people are so silly. This match is great and one of my favourites from this era of the WWF. I can see it doesn't get as over with the live crowd as it did with me at home in 2019, but whatever I was loving it. I guess the style was not what they were expecting. It's slow to start and Austin fought from underneath way more than usual, but that's fine, he's up against The Undertaker who "outweights him about 70 pounds" according to JR and is way taller. I popped for Austin doing that drop toehold on Taker. He's trying to avoid getting into a strikefest with Taker if he can help it and take away that leverage advantage. See how for example when they get into an arm-tanking battle Austin seems to hurt Taker a little bit with it, whereas Taker is able to knock Austin to the ground almost with each yank. The size/strength disparity is constantly apparent.

Taker really controls the vast majority of the match after that opening segment. Austin only really gets significant offence in after Taker makes an error. For example he goes for Old School too early and Austin hurls him back into the ring like a slam. That moment near the beginning of the match ends up being significant as the finish is Taker going for that move again, like it's a pride thing that he can't let Austin get away with not taking it, but in his hubris he just repeats the mistake and this time Austin manages to hit him on the way down and then takes him out with a Stunner. Boom.

Austin's comebacks in this are so good in that they barely ever work. This isn't the usual WWF match where they just go back and forth exchanging who's on offence. Austin's been taking such a beating that even when he manages to hit Taker back he's not capable of capitalising and turning the tide, he's just weathering the storm. See for example when he's in the corner and boots Taker in the head to counter his charging attack, but then just falls back into the corner unable to get up in the meanwhile Taker gathers himself and goes back on offence again. Lots of little moments like this. Austin truly had to fight for and really EARNED that comeback by the end. I was cheering "COME ON AUSTIN!" by the final minutes as I watched him finally managing to get together a string of moves.

And yeah that leg drop off the top turnrope to the announce table was awesome. Surprised that spot isn't more famous, how many times have we seen a guy Taker's size pull off something like that?

****1/4

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  • 1 year later...

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