SURVIVOR SERIES 1998
November 15, 1998
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Arena: Kiel Center
Attendance: 19, 322
Survivor Series 1998 featured a 14 man tournament to determine a new World Wrestling Federation Champion. Two months earlier at Breakdown: In Your House, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin lost the championship in a Triple Threat Match when Kane and the Undertaker pinned him simultaneously. Mr. McMahon declared the title vacant, and ordered a match between Kane and the Undertaker at Judgment Day: In Your House to determine a new champion. To add insult to his loss, Steve Austin was forced to referee the match. The match ended when the Undertaker hit Kane with a chair and covered him, but Austin refused to count the pin. Instead, Austin stunned the Undertaker and hit him with the chair, counted both men down, and declared himself the winner. Mr. McMahon was furious, and fired Steve Austin on the spot. The next night on RAW McMahon announced there would be a tournament at Survivor Series to determine a new WWF Champion. Despite his termination, Steve Austin still appeared on RAW that night, kidnapping Mr. McMahon and embarrassing him in the ring (think "Bang 3:16"). The next week, it was revealed that Shane McMahon had rehired Steve Austin and but promised him a WWF Championship match the night after Survivor Series. Instead, Mr. McMahon entered Austin into the tournament, noting that he would need to win four matches to capture the championship instead of just one. Elsewhere in the company, the Rock was quickly gaining fan support despite still being a heel, and Mr. McMahon and the Corporation seemed determined to help Mankind win the championship tournament at Survivor Series… or were they?
â–º First Round Match: Mankind advanced in the tournament when he quickly pinned Duane Gill following a double-arm DDT. Gill was a "mystery opponent" handpicked for Mankind by Mr. McMahon.
â–º First Round Match: Al Snow advanced in the tournament when he pinned Jeff Jarrett following a Head shot. Debra McMichael, making her WWF debut, accompanied Jeff Jarrett to ringside.
â–º First Round Match: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin defeated the Big Bossman when the Bossman was disqualified for hitting Austin with his nightstick. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin advanced in the tournament.
â–º First Round Match: Stephen Regal and X-Pac fought to a double count out. Commissioner Slaughter ordered a five minute overtime period, but X-Pac could not continue and the match was ruled a draw. Because neither man advanced in the tournament, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin received a bye into the semi-finals.
â–º First Round Match: Ken Shamrock forced Goldust to submit with the ankle lock. Shamrock advanced in the tournament.
â–º First Round Match: The Rock pinned Big Bossman with a small package to advance in the in the tournament. Triple H was originally scheduled to face The Rock, but Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson announced that the Big Bossman, making his second appearance of the evening, would face The Rock instead.
â–º Second Round Match: The Undertaker defeated Kane following a tombstone piledriver. Paul Bearer accompanied the Undertaker to ringside. Both men had received a bye into the second round. The Undertaker advanced in the tournament.
â–º Second Round Match: Mankind advanced in the tournament when he forced Al Snow to submit with the "Mr. Socko" mandible claw.
â–º Round Two Match: The Rock pinned Ken Shamrock to advance in the tournament. The Big Bossman tried to throw his nightstick to Ken Shamrock, but The Rock intercepted it and used it on Shamrock, scoring the pin.
â–º Sable pinned Jacqueline following a Sable Bomb to regain the WWF Women’s Championship.
â–º Semi-Final Match: Mankind pinned "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Steve Austin covered Mankind following a Stone Cold Stunner, but Mr. McMahon broke up the count and incapacitated the referee. Austin hit Mankind with a second Stunner, and Shane McMahon ran in to make the count, but stopped at two and gave Austin a pair of middle fingers. Austin chased Shane, but Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson stopped him with a chair shot, allowing Mankind to make the pin and advance to the tournament final.
â–º Semi-Final Match: The Rock advanced to the tournament final when he defeated The Undertaker via disqualification. The Undertaker was disqualified when Kane chokeslammed The Rock. Following the match, the Undertaker attacked the referee, the he and Kane fought into the crowd.
â–º The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg) retained the WWF Tag Team Championship by defeating The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) and D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry in a Triple Threat Match. Billy Gunn pinned Headbanger Mosh to win the match.
â–º Tournament Final: The Rock defeated Mankind to win the vacant WWF Championship. The Rock had Mankind in the Sharpshooter, and Mr. McMahon called for the bell and screwed Mankind in a repeat of the finish to the Survivor Series 1997 main event. McMahon and the Corporation celebrated with the new "Corporate Champion," until "Stone Cold" Steve Austin returned and cleared the ring, hitting The Rock with a Stone Cold Stunner to end the show.
CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE: Big Bossman substituted for Triple H in his first round match against The Rock. Triple H was out of action with a knee injury.
NOTES: Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler did commentary for the event. Carlos Cabrera and Hugo Savinovich did Spanish commentary. Michael Cole, Kevin Kelly, & Dok Hendrix handled backstage interviews. Howard Finkel was the ring announcer....Too Much (Brian Christopher & Scott Taylor) defeated The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy), The J.O.B. Squad (Bob Holly & Scorpio) defeated LOD 2000 (Animal & Darren Drozdov), Val Venis defeated Tiger Ali Singh, and Gangrel defeated Steve Blackman in matches featured on Sunday Night Heat prior to the pay-per-view....The theme for the pay-per-view was "Deadly Game" complete with its own original theme music.
Buck Woodward: I remember thinking that this tournament has so much potential, and loved the way they had Rock, Undertaker, Austin and Foley in the semifinals. But, everything was so overbooked, with the interference and screwjobs, that it killed the show for me, especially when they redid the 1997 finish for the Foley double-cross. Of course, it wouldn't be the last time they overdid the '97 screwjob.
Mike Johnson: Like Buck, I thought the finish was overbooked, although it was more a middle finger to Bret Hart than anything else....The bit introducing Duane Gill was brilliance, as was the Titantron video of him getting totally wrecked....I thought this was a really entertaining show, as the booking made sense once you looked back at the final result and saw all the small pieces that built to a larger story....That Foley victory over Austin is pretty much forgotten by history, but I believe it was his first WWF victory over him.