10 shocking moments from WWF (WWE) 1998
1997 was a crucial year for the WWF. They had figured out what to do with the players at their disposal and had finally set their battle plans that would hopefully launch the ultimate comeback victory over Eric Bishoff and WCW.
1998 needed to be the year for those plans to come to fruition. After nearly two years of losing the ratings war, McMahon simply could not afford to see another year go by without something to show for it.
Also read: 10 Shocking Moments from WWF (WWE) 1997
1998, in hindsight, probably proved to be the most important year for the company going forward; and just like 1997, it wasn't without its share of shocking moments along the way. With that being said, here are the 10 shocking moments from WWF 1998:
#1 Stone Cold becomes the third back-to-back Royal Rumble winner
If 1995 - 1997 is seen mostly as the Shawn Michaels era, then 1998 undoubtedly belongs to Stone Cold Steve Austin. And in much the same way as The Heartbreak Kid began his rise to the top, Austin began his own ascension by becoming a back-to-back Royal Rumble winner.
Austin had achieved his goal of defeating 29 other men a year before but was never afforded his rightful prize of main eventing Wrestlemania. This, ironically, was due to the backstage shenanigans of Michaels, but in many ways, Austin's Mania 13 match with Bret did more for his career than facing Undertaker or Sid for the Championship would have done.
This time, however, Stone Cold would not be denied, as his Royal Rumble victory led to one of the most important and historic matches in Wrestlemania history when he took on Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship.
The 1998 Royal Rumble was a very strong start to what proved to be a fantastic year for the WWF. We saw Mick Foley enter three different times under his three wrestling personas of Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love. We also saw the beginnings of the break up between Rock and Farooq, beginning a power struggle at the head of The Nation of Domination.
The Rumble match didn't even main event the show, with Shawn Michaels taking on Undertaker for the belt, a match that would ultimately lead to Shawn having to take four years off with a back injury.
But the event ultimately belonged to Stone Cold. After eliminating The Rock to become the new number one contender, the thousands in attendance and everyone else watching across the world knew that 1998 was going to be the rocket ship that would launch Austin into main event stardom.