King of the Ring (1998)
King of the Ring (1998) was the sixth annual King of the Ring professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). It took place on June 28, 1998, at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
|King of the Ring (1998)|
Promotional poster featuring Sable
|Promotion||World Wrestling Federation|
|Date||June 28, 1998|
|Tagline(s)||Off With Their Heads|
|King of the Ring chronology|
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 World Heavyweight 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 the best-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 "maybe the most famous match ever". 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, briefly knocking him legitimately unconscious.
The main feud heading into King of the Ring was between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kane over the WWF Championship. On the June 1st episode of Raw Is War, Kane defeated The Undertaker to become the number one contender for the WWF Championship. The previous month at Over The Edge, Austin retained the WWF Championship against Dude Love despite the efforts of Vince McMahon as special referee and Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson as time keeper and ring announcer respectively. On the June 15th episode of Raw Is War, McMahon announced that the match between Austin and Kane would be a first blood match a match in which a wrestler who makes his opponent bleed from his face or mouth would be declared the winner. Kane through an electronic voice box declares that if he loses the match he would set himself on fire. Later that night, Austin came to the ring and accepted the match at King of the Ring. Kane came out and had fake blood drenched from the ceiling on Austin.
Another feud heading into King of the Ring was between Mankind and The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match. This would be the second singles Hell in a Cell match in history with the first being the one between Shawn Michaels and Undertaker at Badd Blood: In Your House the previous year. On the June 15th episode of Raw Is War, Mankind and Kane teamed up against Stone Cold Steve Austin and Undertaker in the second Hell in a Cell match. The bout ended in a no-contest with Undertaker attacking Paul Bearer (who was aligned with Mankind and Kane) inside the cell, while Austin attacked Kane at the top of the structure. This led to a third Hell in a Cell match between Mankind and Undertaker at King of the Ring.
King of the Ring bracketEdit
|First round (TV)||Quarterfinals (TV)||Semifinals (PPV)||Final (PPV)|
Hell in a Cell matchEdit
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.
|Carlos Cabrera (Spanish)|
|Hugo Savinovich (Spanish)|
|Ring announcer||Howard Finkel|
The following night on Raw Is War, 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 Is War.
Kane and the Undertaker were gradually revealed to be in cahoots with each other over the WWF World Heavyweight 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.
- "King of the Ring". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- Martin, Finn (1998-07-21). "Power Slam Magazine, issue 49". No Turning Back (King of the Ring 1998). SW Publishing. pp. 12–15.
- 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. Archived from the original on 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- "Stone Cold champ again". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. 1998-06-30. Retrieved 2007-10-24.