Mayhem in Manchester
April 4, 1998
Nynex Arena, Manchester, England

Held a week removed from Wrestlemania XIV, this is one of those forgotten shows. For good reason as well - this is another one of those UK exclusive PPVs which really resembles nothing more than a glorified house show at the time. This event is very difficult to track down as it was released on VHS in a primarily highlight format. I'm not sure if the full version is still out there but I managed to track it down on Youtube back when you could actually find a whole heap of stuff on there. Anyway, follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91 and we'll get right into it shall we.

We get an opening video focused on the UK tour as a whole before heading into the very unspectacular looking arena. Our announcers for the show are Michael Cole & Kevin Kelly which immediately tells you this is nothing more than a live event as they were the second tier level announcers with the company at this point in time.

Brakkus vs Jeff Jarrett
I don't know much about Brakkus at all. He's a German wrestler who had a stint in ECW, but I'm assuming this is just a one off thing as I don't remember him hanging around at all. Of course Jarrett is back to the country music gimmick after Wrestlemania, although he doesn't have Tennessee Lee with him tonight. I guess he didn't go on the tour. There really is not much to say about this as its a very basic opener, but I can't look at this like a regular PPV since its not that at all. Jarrett starts out with a bunch of stalling tactics as Brakkus builds some momentum. Its not long lasted though as Jarrett regains control with some heel techniques such as the eye rake and eventually locks his opponent in the figure four leglock. Brakkus taps out at 7:38 and the country singing sensation picks up a win to kick off the show. Basic stuff.
Grade: *

Strap Match:
Disciples of Apocalypse w/Chainz vs The Godwinns

This isn't your traditional strap match where the participants are tied together, but rather a match in which the use of straps were legal. Kind of random, but then again so was this match, as both teams were just floating around at this point. Its Skull & 8-Ball of the DOA by the way. Chainz wouldn't last much longer. The DOA actually gets a decent pop from the crowd here, but both teams really were stale by now. Our announcers can't tell who is who, nor do they really seem to care. The match is about as basic as you would expect from these guys. The straps come into play a few times, but its not really a major part of the match. In the end, Henry hits the slop drop on 8-Ball to pick up the win for the evil hog farmers at 13:45.
Grade: 1/2*

We now get a quick video following Sable's journeys in the UK. Yep, she was a pretty big deal.

Bradshaw vs Marc Mero w/Sable
Mero and Sable seemed united at Wrestlemania, but it didn't take long for Mero's jealousy to resurface as he sends Sable backstage before this one gets under way. Of course that got him some massive heat because we all loved Sable at this point in time. Bradshaw hasn't been doing much of late outside of feuding with former tag team partner Barry Windham, but that won't last much longer. This is another basic match with Bradshaw overpowering Mero for the most part and Mero getting cheap shots in here and there. These matches are pretty uneventful for the most part as its more about the UK fans seeing the stars live. Mero tries to put his opponent away with the TKO towards the end of the match, but Bradshaw counters with a clothesline to put the Marvellous one away for the win at 10:17.
Grade: *

Ken Shamrock & Owen Hart vs The Rock & D'Lo Brown
This is obviously just an extension of the Rock/Shamrock feud over the I.C title. Rock is still the champion of course after Shamrock snapped costing himself the gold at Wrestlemania. Owen is still chasing Triple H in the European title scene, but with the DX leader having other fish to fry tonight he teams with the submission specialist, whilst D'Lo obviously fits being a fellow member of the Nation. The match is the best match of the night so far, but its still nothing special. There's a hilarious spot in the match that see's Shamrock screw up though as he pounds on D'Lo and teases him into reaching the corner to make a tag, only problem being they are in Owen's corner so the whole thing is messed up. Rock yells at Shamrock for his stupidity. Not sure what happened there but it was unintentionally hilarious. Rock comes in and the match continues on a little more. In the end Shamrock makes D'Lo tap out with the ankle lock at 6:19 to continue to build momentum against the Nation members when the gold isn't on the line. Decent enough for what it was. Could have got more time considering we got 13 minutes of the Godwinns earlier.
Grade: **1/4

Cactus Jack vs The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust w/Luna
Another random match here, but that's really the theme of the night. Cactus seemingly won the tag titles at Wrestlemania along with Chainsaw Charlie, but as I noted in that review the Outlaws would win the belts back the following night on Raw is War inside a steel cage. Goldust is still doing the Artist thing but that won't be going on too much longer. Cactus is actually a few weeks away from a pretty big push so its weird seeing him in there with a midcard guy like Goldust here. Luna proves to be a valuable commodity at ringside as she gets involved a few times tripping up the Hardcore Legend here. Cactus fights back though and looks to be getting ready to put Goldust away. That is until Luna pulls her man out of the ring to save him from the double arm DDT. Cactus pulls Goldust onto the apron and looks to suplex Goldust over the ropes, however Luna (in Bobby Heenan from Wrestlemania V fashion) takes Cactus out by the legs, resulting in Goldust coming down on top to score the pin at 13:23. Pretty questionable booking putting Goldust over here I must say. After the match, Cactus gets his heat back as he locks the mandible claw in on Goldust. Luna tries to intervene, but Sable comes out and we have a catfight much to the delight of the fans in attendance. Overall this was a pretty bad match though, with far too long of it spent in rest holds.
Grade: 1/2*

WWF Tag Team Championship:
New Age Outlaws (c) w/Chyna vs LOD 2000
This is basically a preview for the title match that has been set for Unforgiven. That should tell you we aren't getting a title change here, but outside of the European belt when do we get a change on these UK shows? The New Age Outlaws are now officially members of DX, having been assisted by Triple H, Chyna and the returning X-Pac on the Raw is War after Mania to win back the tag titles from Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie inside a steel cage, explaining the presence of Chyna at ringside. Sadly LOD is without Sunny tonight. She's still around, I guess she just didn't make the tour. Animal is wearing weird shorts which just look strange on him compared to his usual tights. This is a pretty basic match continuing the trend for the night. LOD start out with the power advantage. The match continues on with both teams in control, but its pretty boring. The LOD look set to win the belts as they go for the Doomsday Device on Road Dogg, but Chyna comes in and hits a lowblow on Animal, triggering the DQ at 12:51. LOD are victorious, but of course the Outlaws retain the titles. The teams continue to feud for a few more weeks, but they really needed to get away from each other at this point.
Grade: *

WWF Championship:
Steve Austin (c) vs Triple H w/Chyna
The newly crowned WWF Champion, Stone Cold Steve Austin puts his rivalry with DX to bed here in his first title defence. Triple H is by no means a main event level superstar at this point, but with Michaels on the shelf and not set to return he is just thrown out there since he was part of the faction that Austin had been feuding with heading into Mania. Its not like this show matters anyway, its all about just getting someone out there for Austin to beat. Triple H is if course the reigning European Champion here and still embroiled in his rivalry with Owen Hart. He's also the new leader of DX following Michaels' departure, but I'll get into that on the next show since it seems pointless to talk about it on a throw away show like this. Of course Austin is incredibly over here as he would continue to be for pretty much ever. He hits the stunner early on in this one, but the action spills to the outside rather than him having the chance to make the cover. This is definitely the best match of the night as its actually pretty solid. Chyna continues to play a role in Triple H's matches as she manages to get a few shots in on the rattlesnake without the referee seeing it. Austin recovers and takes Chyna out with the stunner, and then gives another to Triple H which allows him to score the pinfall to successfully retain his title at 13:27. Decent, but they would definitely have better matches in a few years time.
Grade: **3/4

Undertaker vs Kane w/Paul Bearer
Our main event, a Wrestlemania rematch sees the Undertaker wearing street clothes whilst in his Phenom persona. The story I believe goes that his baggage was lost on the tour and as a result he had to wear what he's got on here. Its like biker Taker arrived two years early. Anyway, the Phenom gets attacked by DX on his way to the ring. They weren't feuding - I guess they just wanted to get some more heat on the new incarnation of the group. Once the match officially gets under way Kane takes control in the early going. Out of nowhere Taker counters his brother's offence into a tombstone piledriver and pins the big red monster at 3:40. Wow, why on earth was that so short? Sucks to be the fans in attendance, but they loved in while it lasted. Kane and Bearer leave to regroup after the match whilst Taker poses in the ring to end the show.
Grade: 1/2*

This was one of the most uneventful and basic shows that I can ever remember watching. To be fair though I can't really criticise it too much since its not a PPV in the real sense of the term. This was just a show thrown together for the fans to enjoy and see their favourite stars live. Its nowhere near as good as our last UK exclusive event was to say the least. At least the WWF Championship match was decent.

Three Stars of the Night:
1. Steve Austin - did a decent job in his forgotten first title defence. He'd have many more memorable ones of course.
2. Triple H - he was coming into his own as a serviceable midcard guy as the new leader of DX and put on a good showing despite having no chance of winning the match.
3. The Rock - "bring him over here you dumbass". His calling out on Shamrock was amusing.

Yeah I struggled on this show. That's a change from the past few where there have been a whole bunch of guys with a good showing. Then again this wasn't a proper PPV.

FINAL GRADE: 2 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 = 64
Steve Austin = 51
Randy Savage = 28
Undertaker = 21
Hulk Hogan = 18
Owen Hart = 16
Diesel = 14
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
Triple H = 12
British Bulldog = 11
Mick Foley = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Ted DiBiase = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Bob Backlund = 5
1-2-3 Kid = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
The Rock = 4
Savio Vega = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Hakushi = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Tanaka = 3
Kato = 3
Vince McMahon = 3
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Crush = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Hawk = 1
Animal = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1

Don?t forget to follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91. Next week its back to the U.S for our next proper PPV, Unforgiven: In Your House.