5 Worst wrestling matches of 1998
In many ways, 1998 was a watershed year for WWE. They struck gold with the perfect creative formula: ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin + evil authority figure + beat-down + beer = ratings.
With this approach, WWE managed to catapult themselves into mainstream popularity, enjoying a run that was either on par with, or greater than, the era of Hulkamania. This new era of crossover appeal led to some truly fantastic segments…and some really bad matches.
The reason for that latter point is because traditional wrestling was being tossed aside in both WWE and their biggest rival WCW. In its place were shorter ‘crash-TV matches’ that featured little in-ring story. In many cases, more fans kept their heads turned to the entrance ramp wondering who’d interfere than watching the actual matches on weekly TV. Sure, there were some great WWE PPV matches, but those were few and far between.
But hey, at least WWE made the smart choice by putting most of their eggs in the ‘Stone Cold’ basket and had at least one or two possible back-ups in The Rock and Triple H if Austin couldn’t wrestle (which did end up happening). In whom did WCW put their faith? In a bunch of ex-WWE wrestlers that kept coming over one by one for the promise of less work for more pay and control.
The people that came over – especially those involved in the NWO – became so powerful that they managed to book themselves into the top spot, and also managed to take some of the heat away from WWE by putting on some of the most dreadful wrestling matches ever seen.
Here are five of those matches, split more or less evenly between WWE and WCW.
#5 Too Much vs. Al Snow & Head – WWE King Of The Ring 1998
This is probably the best bad match in this entire series. It isn’t mentioned on this list because of a bad reaction or some bad in-ring action. The poor official Wrestling Observer rating (-2 stars) is because it was a tag team match in which one of the participants was…Head. You know, the mannequin head that Al Snow carried around so that he could deliver a classic punchline (‘What does everyone want? HEAD!’).
Although this match was actually good comedy (especially with the ending, which saw Brian Christopher put a bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo into Head’s head hole to pin its ‘shoulders’ to the mat), there were some dumb moments in it as well.
For some reason, crooked ref Jerry Lawler wouldn’t allow Snow to tag in Head, despite it being a literal inanimate mannequin head. Secondly, when Snow did ‘tag in’ head, the action consisted of Snow using Head as a weapon to attack his opponents (because Head didn’t have an actual body to wrestle with), Lawler didn’t disqualify Snow, and instead led the nonsense continue.
This wasn’t necessarily bad nonsense; on the contrary, it was actually fun. But the obvious flaws in logic made it hard to watch when you weren’t chuckling at the countless ‘head’ jokes.