WWE PPV Flashbacks: Capital Carnage - December 6, 1998

Capital Carnage
December 6, 1998
London Arena, London, England

A few weeks removed from the shocking turn of events at the Survivor Series, the WWF headed over to England once again for the second UK exclusive PPV of the year. Tonight, newly crowned WWF Champion, The Rock, takes on an unlikely challenger in D-Generation X member X-Pac. The big match everyone has come to see tonight however is a fatal four way, pitting four of the biggest stars in the company against one another - Kane, Undertaker, Mankind and of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Lets take it away shall we? Don’t forget to leave comments and thoughts on Twitter at @Mpmcc91.

We kick off the show with a video package focused on the aforementioned fatal four way match before heading into the arena. Our announce team is Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. This would be the last show they would call together for a few months as good old JR would sadly suffer his second Bells Palsy attack during this broadcast.

Al Snow vs Gangrel
Interesting match to start off the show here. Snow is still pretty popular here, coming out with Head of course. I believe the JOB Squad had started up around this point which he was a member of. Gangrel is still aligned with Christian (who is no longer the Light Heavyweight Champion, having lost the belt to Gillberg on Raw is War last month), but Edge has also recently joined the group, forming the Brood stable. Gangrel comes out alone here though doing his usual cool entrance. Snow starts this one out in control taking the fight to Gangrel, but Gangrel takes control following a DDT. With the Brood leader in control, Gangrel goes for a second DDT shortly after, but Snow counters into a bridge pin, however its not enough to keep Gangrel down. At this point, Edge & Christian make their way out to the ring. The referee ends up distracted by their presence and Snow takes advantage, hitting Gangrel with Head. Edge follows up by nailing Snow with a missile dropkick however, and Gangrel climbs on top of his opponent to score the pinfall at 5:51. Basic match to start out the show. Pretty much just here to establish the Brood.
Grade: *1/4

We now go to Mankind who is in the boiler room preparing for the fatal four way. He cuts a typically good Foley promo claiming that he is out for himself after being beaten up by everyone else in the match in the past.

Animal & Droz vs The Headbangers
Of course, this is during the infamous storyline in which Hawk was dealing with his drug addictions, a storyline sadly based on reality. He's not here tonight as this is taking place shortly after the episode of Raw is War in which he jumped off the tron, seemingly attempting to commit suicide, although it would later come out that Droz had pushed him attempting to take his place in the LOD. I'm fairly certain the Headbangers have moved on from their feud with the Outlaws here, so they are just doing a whole lot of nothing which will become fairly common for them going forward. Pretty basic stuff here as you might expect from this combination. Droz gets worked over by the Bangers in the early going until Animal gets the hot tag and cleans house. The Headbangers come back and double team Animal, which leads to Droz pushing Animal out of the ring and taking his place in a switcheroo attempt. He pulls off the switch, but gets rolled up by Mosh for the three in the process at 3:21. After the match, Animal and Droz get into a fight which results in referees keeping them separated before Animal walks out in disgust of his partner's spotlight stealing antics costing them the match.
Grade: 1/2*

We now get some footage recapping an altercation between Austin, Kane and Undertaker on a recent Friday edition of Raw is War. We then go to Taker in the back who vows to come for Austin's soul tonight.

Val Venis vs Goldust
These guys were feuding a few months ago when Val slept with Goldust's wife Terri, but they have both really moved on from that by this point. This is a UK exclusive PPV without any real storylines going in though, so we get a rehash here. Both men are faces and Val is alone now since he split with Terri following the reveal that he had a vasectomy so he couldn't have been the father of Terri's child. Ah the Attitude era. Anyway, Goldust sends Val into the ring steps to start this one out as the announcers question whether Terri really is pregnant. Goldust is in control for the early going, but Val launches a comeback, but is stopped in his tracks when Goldust inadvertently head butts Val in the nuts. Always the opportunist when it comes to the low blows, Goldust looks to do some more damage with the Shattered Dreams, but Val pulls the ref in front of him. This results in Goldust getting into an argument with the ref, taking his mind off Venis, who rolls him up for the pin at 5:33. Fun little match here for the time it was given. After the match, Goldust gets his heat back by hitting Venis with the Shattered Dreams after all to a good pop.
Grade: **1/4

We now get footage of Mr McMahon giving a speech at Oxford University earlier in the day and of course heeling out on the crowd when he demands a louder ovation. Back in the arena, the boss himself makes his way to the ring, along with Shane and the stooges. He's made some changes to the card as apparently Rock was supposed to defend the title against Triple H tonight. Instead, X-Pac will take his place, whilst Triple H will face Jeff Jarrett. Random. They then rip on the UK crowd and Vinnie Jones, who has been appointed as the guest enforcer for the main event.

Edge vs Tiger Ali Singh
Wow this is random. We haven't seen Tiger since One Night Only last year, as he was sent down to developmental shortly after debuting. His run this time would be just as uneventful. He dedicates the match to his forefathers who he says were oppressed by the British to get some heat. That makes both guys heels here, although Edge is in the de facto face role I guess despite his affiliation with Gangrel. This is really all Edge here from the moment the match gets under way. Singh gets in a little offence, but its really nothing of note. Edge goes up the top and looks to hit a crossbody on his opponent, however Singh manages to catch him and counters into a powerslam. In an upset, Singh picks up the pinfall victory using the ropes as leverage at 2:51. After the match however his celebration is cut short as Edge beats him down to the delight of the crowd.
Grade: 1/2*

We now go to Michael Cole, who is standing by with Vinnie Jones, the celebrity enforcer for the main event. He says he's not going to take any crap from anyone tonight and may even end up knocking Vince out.

Sable & Christian vs Jacqueline & Marc Mero
Well I said this feud ended at the Survivor Series when Sable defeated Jackie to win the Women's title, but these UK shows really don't count. Maybe I was wrong about the Brood being heels as Christian is teaming with Sable here as well as Edge playing the face role in our previous match. I can't really remember the specifics but I do know they'll be heels soon enough. Mero has dumped Jackie here and lost a match to Gillberg prior to this show which resulted in him being fired, however he is here to fulfil his contractual obligations according to JR. This would end up being his last WWF match as it turns out. Speaking of Gillberg, he recently defeated Christian to win the Light Heavyweight Championship as I mentioned earlier. Jackie and Mero get into an argument prior to the match and the faces are in control as we get going. Jackie refuses to tag in throughout the match, quickly tagging back out whenever she is, and as a result, Mero takes a beating. Sable ends up hitting Mero with the Sable Bomb, which finally brings Jackie into the match, however as she tags in, Mero walks out on her. Christian goes off after him, whilst Sable puts Jackie away with the TKO to pick up the win for her team at 4:49. Pretty basic stuff here. After the match, Jackie takes out her frustrations on the ref, but Sable responds by ripping off her top to a huge pop.
Grade: *

We now see Kane pacing backstage in preparation for the main event later on.

WWF Intercontinental Championship:
Ken Shamrock (c) w/Big Bossman vs Steve Blackman

Our first title match of the evening sees the return to PPV of Steve Blackman, who I guess has been floating around doing a whole lot of nothing. He's obviously the face here, as Shamrock has officially joined the Corporation by this point, being accompanied to the ring by the Bossman, who will also be the enforcer in our main event. Speaking of Bossman by the way, he is the new WWF Hardcore Champion here, having defeated Mankind in a ladder match on Raw is War a few weeks ago. Anyway, these two would feud down the line, but for now this is really just a random title defence for the World's Most Dangerous Man. Shamrock starts out in control of the challenger after some fast paced martial arts back and forth. He takes his time dissecting Blackman and spends much of the match doing so until Blackman throws the champion to the outside. He then makes the mistake of going after Bossman, hitting a baseball slide to knock him down, but the Corporate enforcer responds with a nightstick shot to the challenger. Shamrock gets back in the ring and capitalises on this, locking in the ankle lock to score the submission victory and retain his title at 6:51. Short match that served its purpose in establishing Shamrock's new focused mean streak.
Grade: *1/4

Michael Cole is now standing by with the Rock. Rock runs him and the fans down before saying that it doesn't matter whether its Triple H or X-Pac, neither man can take his title. He then rips on Hogan's, Flair's, Bret's and Austin's catchphrases before concluding with the classic if ya smell what the Rock is cooking. Typically awesome stuff.

Triple H w/Chyna vs Jeff Jarrett w/Debra
As we know, Triple H was supposed to take on the Rock for the WWF title tonight, but Mr McMahon made this match instead. This is also Triple H's return to action after spending the past few months sidelined with an injury and being stripped of the I.C title in the process, and he gets a huge pop from the crowd welcoming him back here. Jarrett is his opponent and he's got Debra by his side, who now seems to have ditched the McMichael surname. We start out with some back and forth, with Triple H winning the exchange with a spinebuster. Jarrett turns the tide however with a DDT and Debra also gets involved, choking the DX member with the ropes behind the ref's back which leads to Chyna chasing her around ringside. Meanwhile Triple H regains control, doing the ten punches in the corner spot and eventually throwing Jarrett to the outside. At this point, Debra attempts to get involved again, climbing on the apron and trying to seduce Triple H, whilst Jarrett grabs a chair and comes back in looking to pummel his opponent. The distraction ends up backfiring though and the referee instead gets distracted, trying to get Debra down, allowing Chyna to come in take the chair from Jarrett. Triple H follows up with the Pedigree and scores the pin at 6:55. Decent enough stuff here. Good to see Triple H back in action after the past few months due to his untimely injury.
Grade: **1/2

We now see footage from earlier in the day of D'Lo Brown's adventures in London. Funny stuff as he continually feels disrespected.

WWF Tag Team Championship:
New Age Outlaws (c) vs D'Lo Brown & Mark Henry

With the Headbangers now gone from the tag title contention ranks, D'Lo and Henry are the new heel challengers for the Outlaws. There's some backstory here as the Sexual Chocolate character is now in complete effect for Henry, having recently taken Chyna out on date which didn't go all too well. Good pop for the Outlaws as always here. Road Dogg and D'Lo start this one out, and the Outlaws build momentum in the early going, sending the former European Champion to the outside. Henry eventually gets tagged in and turns the tide in his team's favour, catching Billy Gunn in the bearhug, but the Outlaws come back with some double teaming tactics on the big guy. Henry beats on Road Dogg for a bit following a splash, but Billy soon comes back in with the hot tag and cleans house. He hits the Fameasser on the now legal D'Lo, but Henry breaks up the pin. Gunn however follows up with a Piledriver to D'Lo, which scores the pinfall at 12:34. The Outlaws retain their titles in an enjoyable match between two teams from this era that I enjoyed.
Grade: **1/2

The WWF title match is coming up next, so we get a recap of Rock's heel turn at Survivor Series a few weeks ago. Brilliant stuff!

WWF Championship:
The Rock (c) vs X-Pac

Pretty random title match here, but with all the big players in the real main event tonight, X-Pac was a popular guy that they could throw into this spot. Rock is of course now the heel champion and main guy in Vince's Corporation, whilst X-Pac is still the reigning European Champion, but that's not on the line here. He gets a huge pop whilst Rock gets some good heel heat. According to JR, both of these guys are 26 years old at the time which makes me realise just how young Waltman was when he started out as the 1-2-3 Kid back in 93. X-Pac starts this one out with his fast paced offence, sending the Rock scurrying to the outside with his flurry of kicks. Rock grabs his title and decides to leave, but he's met in the aisle by Triple H and Chyna who force him to return to the ring. Rock eventually regains control after poking X-Pac in the eyes and soon follows up with the now renamed Corporate Elbow. X-Pac manages to kick out however and Rock goes to follow up with the Rock Bottom, but Chyna stops him in his tracks with a low blow whilst Triple H distracts the official. X-Pac suddenly rolls Rock up and almost gets him in a spot that the crowd goes crazy for. After a few more near falls, the referee goes down and Rock knocks out Triple H at ringside and grabs his belt again. This time he goes to use it, but X-Pac ducks and Triple H comes in and whacks Rock with the European title. Things eventually get back under control as the referee recovers and X-Pac hits Rock with the Bronco Buster. Rock bails however and goes after Chyna, so Triple H decks him which causes the DQ at 12:34. Really good short match until the lame ending. Post-match, Rock brags on the mic about retaining his title only to get beat up by DX some more. Shamrock attempts to make the save, but DX stand tall to end the segment.
Grade: ***1/4

Steve Austin vs Mankind vs Kane vs Undertaker
Special Guest Referee: Gerald Brisco
Special Guest Enforcer: Big Bossman

Alright its main event time. Except for Taker, these guys are all faces, and even so, Taker isn't on the same page of the Corporation, so Vince has just thrown all four of these guys together to beat the hell out of each other. Shane McMahon is the guest ring announcer for this one, and he brings out Paterson as the timekeeper, Brisco as the referee and Bossman as the outside enforcer. Meanwhile Vince himself joins the commentary team for this one. Vinnie Jones makes his way out before the participants are introduced and gets into an altercation with the Bossman, but Brisco gives him the red card to some huge heat. In other words, Vinnie is sent off and has to leave. That was funny with football being so big in England. The stars now make their way to the ring and brawl before they are all even out there, with Austin of course getting the biggest pop, and with that we are set to go. This is really your standard Attitude era main event brawl, which means its a chaotic frenzy right off the bat. Austin and Taker go at it in the ring whilst Kane and Mankind brawl on the outside to start. We get a rotation of pairs as they all go at it around the ring and inside, using whatever they can get their hands on. Towards the end of the match, Austin has Kane beat with the stunner, but Brisco confers with Patterson rather than counting the fall. Meanwhile Taker comes in and levels Austin and Kane both with a chokeslam each. Meanwhile, Earl Hebner runs down to the ring to officiate properly, but Mankind breaks up the pin and brawls with Taker to the outside. Amidst all this anarchy, Austin recovers and hits Kane with another stunner, which Hebner counts this time to give the Rattlesnake the win at 16:07. After the match, Brisco attempts to attack Hebner, but Austin gets him with a stunner as well. Meanwhile Vinnie Jones comes back out and throws Bossman at Austin so that he too gets a stunner. The show ends with Austin, Hebner and Jones having a beer bash as the crowd goes crazy.
Grade: ***

This was a fun UK exclusive show which was a hell of a lot better than Mayhem in Manchester earlier in the year. The crowd was hot, and the two main event matches were solid for a throwaway show like this in the grand scheme of things. The undercard was nothing special for the most part, but it had a few decent matches like the tag title and Triple H/Jarrett encounters. Its hard to rate these UK shows against the regular PPVs as they obviously aren't put together for the same purpose, but this was a solid enough show to send the English fans home happy. That's really all I can say.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. X-Pac - I've been a huge fan of his work so far in 98, and whilst I wasn't sure if he would fit into a WWF title match, he played his role well here and had the crowd heavily behind him. There were a few points where it looked like he had Rock beat, even if we knew it wasn't going to happen. Very solid showing.
2. The Rock - his Corporate heel persona was so well done and he was perfect at playing the ass that you wanted to see get beat up tonight. He's the top heel in the company at the moment and doing a phenomenal job at it.
3. Steve Austin - what can I say? The crowd loved him and he was the star of the main event without question.

FINAL GRADE: 5.5 out of 10

What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1. The list is put together from all the shows I have reviewed thus far. .

Bret Hart = 83
Shawn Michaels = 67
Steve Austin = 58
Randy Savage = 28
Undertaker = 25
Mick Foley = 22
Hulk Hogan = 18
Owen Hart = 17
The Rock = 17
Triple H = 16
Diesel = 15
X-Pac = 14
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 11
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Vince McMahon = 3
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Christian = 1

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