King of the Ring (1998)
|King of the Ring (1998)|
Promotional poster featuring Sable
|Tagline(s)||Off With Their Heads|
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||June 28, 1998|
|King of the Ring chronology|
King of the Ring (1998) was the sixth annual King of the Ring professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It was presented by Super Soaker and took place on June 28, 1998, at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Nine matches were scheduled on the event's card. The main event was a First Blood match featuring Kane defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Championship. The other main match was a Hell in a Cell match featuring The Undertaker defeating Mankind. Featured matches on the undercard included the KOTR tournament final between Ken Shamrock and The Rock, which Shamrock won to win the tournament and a Tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship (which was only added to the card earlier that morning) between the New Age Outlaws defeating The New Midnight Express, to retain the championship.
This event produced arguably the most well-known Hell in a Cell bout in history, pitting The Undertaker against Mankind; Michael Landsberg of TSN's Off the Record in 2002 called it "probably the most famous wrestling match of our time". Less than two minutes into the contest, The Undertaker threw Mankind from the top of the 16-foot (5 m) high cell through the Spanish announcers' table. The footage of that fall has since become one of the most used and viewed videos in professional wrestling history. A few minutes later in the match in another memorable moment, The Undertaker chokeslammed Mankind through the top of the cell.
King of the Ring bracket
|First round (TV)||Quarterfinals (TV)||Semifinals (PPV)||Final (PPV)|
Hell in a Cell match
The event also produced a Hell in a Cell match between The Undertaker and Mankind (Mick Foley) that has become one of the most watched and discussed in professional wrestling history due to the bumps Foley sustained at his own request and with his full participation.
Before this match, Foley and Terry Funk were discussing the previous year's Hell in a Cell at Badd Blood: In Your House that featured the Undertaker backdropping and slamming Shawn Michaels onto the chain-link ceiling of the cage. Foley and Funk were brainstorming ideas about how to top that match when Funk said, "laughing, 'maybe you should let him throw you off the top of the cage.'" Fittingly for Foley, the King of the Ring was scheduled to take place that year at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. Foley himself trained to become a professional wrestler at Dominic DeNucci's wrestling school in nearby Freedom, Pennsylvania, only 25 miles (40 km) from Pittsburgh, bringing his career full circle.
The match started atop of the cell with the two opponents battling toward the opposite direction of the entrance, near the announcer tables. Just minutes into the fight The Undertaker threw Foley off onto the Spanish announcers' table 16 feet below. Foley laid motionless until the paramedics rushed in and attempted to carry him from the arena, but midway up the ramp Foley reemerged smiling and then climbed his way back up the cell with a dislocated shoulder. Undertaker and Foley continued to fight until Undertaker chokeslammed Foley through the chain-linked fence structure onto the ring, causing him to lose consciousness. Even as the paramedics and WWF staff tried to intervene Foley managed to continue the match even with an onslaught of injuries. At the end of the match both wrestlers received standing ovations.
The match has generated controversy over the fact that the match was so extreme it would inspire future matches to contain bumps that could put wrestlers in danger, and has become a classic in the eyes of professional wrestling fans.
The following night on Raw, Austin defeated Kane to regain the WWF Championship and began a feud with both Kane and the Undertaker, which lasted through September. At Fully Loaded: In Your House in July, Austin and Undertaker defeated Kane and Mankind for the WWF Tag Team Championship, but dropped the titles back to them in a fatal four-way match on the August 10 episode of Raw.
Kane and the Undertaker were gradually revealed to be in cahoots with each other over the WWF Championship. As part of the storyline, Kane turned on Mankind at SummerSlam, losing the tag team titles to the New Age Outlaws, and he ordered his brother not to interfere in his title match with Austin in the main event. The feud culminated in a match at Breakdown: In Your House in September, where Kane and Undertaker simultaneously pinned Austin. This led to a match between Kane and Undertaker at Judgment Day: In Your House in October, where Austin, who was the special referee, attacked both men and refused to count a fall. After the match, Undertaker turned on Kane and reunited with Paul Bearer, reigniting their feud.
- Martin, Finn (1998-07-21). "Power Slam Magazine, issue 49". No Turning Back (King of the Ring 1998). SW Publishing. pp. 12–15.
- "King of the Ring". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- Powell, John (1998-06-29). "Kane wins WWF World Title, Foley soars". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
- "The Undertaker interview". Off the Record. 2002-03-29. TSN.
- Mcavennine, Mike (2007-05-21). "Go to "Hell"". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
- Mick Foley (1999). Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. p. 651. ISBN 978-0-06-039299-4.
- Foley, Have A Nice Day!, pp. 66–67, 78
- "Mick Foley Biography". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- "Stone Cold champ again". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. 1998-06-30. Retrieved 2007-10-24.