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Charles (Loss)

[1999-08-22-WWF-Summerslam] Steve Austin vs HHH vs Mankind

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Last few minutes. So I guess they couldn't do Austin vs HHH because Austin was banged up and couldn't do the type of match needed to put HHH over. And/or he refused to put HHH over. And/or Jesse Ventura couldn't raise a heel's hand at the end of the show. I've heard all three versions at some point. Either way, this was a flat main event. Mankind wins the WWF title. I hate to give sympathy to HHH over his push, but getting the win here right out of the gate of his main event push may have meant a lot more. He takes his frustrations out on Austin in the post-match over not winning the title.

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Crowd response was interesting at the end where the pin fall didn't get a big initial pop but the crowd started to get lounder as the seconds past. Was this a very unexpected result at the time among smart fans or was the decision not to put Triple H over here already known/suspected?

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The most memorable part of this match was Ventura tossing Shane and saying "that was for your old man, you little bastard!" Very gubernatorial.

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I'd completely forgotten that Foley had a 3rd title reign. It felt weird and anti-climactic him getting the win here. Being tagged on to the main event at the last minute after the buildup was all Austin vs HHH. That meant the fans didn't think he had any shot at winning, so were unprepared for the result. They should've had HHH win as well as destroy Austin afterwards.

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Was this a very unexpected result at the time among smart fans or was the decision not to put Triple H over here already known/suspected?

At that time, they had SO MANY title changes that nobody ever really knew what to expect. They were addicted to constantly doing big swerves, most of which were pretty carefully kept quiet; you didn't get all the spoilers you do nowadays. Also, this was the seventh time that year that the belt had changed hands. And with Russo booking, the results of every show often looked like he'd flipped a coin to decide each finish.

 

I'd completely forgotten that Foley had a 3rd title reign.

Considering that he lost the title the next night on Raw, there wasn't much to remember.

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You can tell the crowd is shocked at the finish as it came off really anti-climatic. Foley pinning Austin is really perplexing. This whole thing is a giant mess and it seems they were booked into a corner at every turn. I almost think they should have just forgot about the Billy Gunn push and had Rock in the role of Foley here as at least Rock pinning Austin felt more genuine and we could have had the same storyline going forward.

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No, no, Rock needed to give Mr. Ass THE RUB. But yeah, the match itself and the ridiculous number of hoops needed jumping through on the last two Raws to get to this spot reeked of a guy--Russo--who didn't know how to get out of a booking corner. Austin was banged-up and not working house shows and they felt that HHH needed to be put over in a great match, which Austin couldn't provide in his state, so we get Mankind and bells and whistles instead. But Jesse is also there, so you need a babyface to win--whether Jesse insisted on it or not, with him as guest ref it's just Promoting 101. Weak finish with Triple H being taken out by one shot to the head, allowing Mankind to steal a pin on Austin--Austin's first clean defeat since, what, Mania 13?

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The Ventura stuff felt dated after I watched this for the first time in 20 years. I really loved him but it just does not hold up. I could only imagine a kid watching this and not even knowing who he was or why he was so important.

The finish? OMG...so flat anti-climatic, and even felt like it was a miscount.

The match itself at least did not have slow points as they scrambled for pins. But...it's a generic AE brawl outside of the ring and with chairs. Seriously- how many matches were just like this?

Foley's third (?!?!?) title reign which lasted a day anyway? Austin pinned? This is the stuff people have fond memories of and high ratings? WWF won the war with this crap?

Anyway, the video package angle summary leading up to this had Chyna beating HHH but Foley beating her to get this match. Looking back, Chyna ought to have been in this match and if they were going to take the title off Austin for some reason, Chyna should have done it. Would have been very controversial to have her win the World's Championship as a woman, and Ventura would have held her hand up.

 

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