King of the Ring ’98



James Dixon: The Igloo in Pittsburgh is sold out and red hot for the 6th annual King of the Ring tournament. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler host.


The Headbangers & Taka Michinoku vs. Kaientai
This is one of two “bonus” matches added to the card at the last minute. It is a very curious one on paper due to the inclusion of the Headbangers. Kaientai are dressed like backyarders, for some reason. Men’s Teioh and Thrasher start things out and the pace is pleasing, with the crowd absolutely eating it up. They are like an English football crowd and they are rabid. I love Taka, he was vastly underused in the WWF. His post-WWF persona is a thing of genius. The spots between Taka and the Kaientai boys are tremendous and Kaientai try to work a Japanese style six-man, but incorporate American structure by isolating Taka. They have no heat though because their moves are too flashy and exciting, so the crowd just pops their cool shit. Taka tags in both Headbangers and a pier-sixer breaks out before Taka puts Funaki away with the Michinoku Driver. Taka does some moshing with the Headbangers to celebrate afterwards. Short and sweet, this was a really fun throwaway opener. I wish the WWF used more guys from Japan, because they always guarantee high-octane, exciting matches.
Final Rating: ***


Sable comes out dressed in curve-accentuating lycra, to introduce Vince McMahon, who comes out with the stooges. She sure was worth the money she was paid. Vince is HATED by the Pittsburgh crowd, who boo him out of the building and chant for Steve Austin. Pat Patterson tries to cop a feel of Sable and gets slapped for his troubles. Insider “lolz”~ Gerry Brisco sucks up as only he can and demands respect from the fans for Vince, who has brought them wrestling for “the last ten years”. Vince rags on the crowd and calls them all disappointments and tells them to expect more of the same disappointment when Steve Austin loses the WWF title tonight. I’m not really sure what purpose this served.

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