Welcome to part 6 of the Blog of Kane! As always thanks for your support! And we now move-on to 1999, and the next chapter of the Big Red Machine’s career!
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KANE & X-PAC VS. OWEN HART & JEFF JARRETT
Much had happened to Kane since winning & losing the WWF Championship in those 24 hours from June 1998. Successful alliances with Mankind and (incredibly!) the Undertaker followed. Kane won the Tag Team Championship twice, he continued to decimate the entire roster (either by himself or with the Undertaker), continued his pursuit of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WWF Championship…
His alliances with Mankind & the Undertaker were ultimately short-lived, and even Paul Bearer betrayed his own son to renew his relationship with the Undertaker! Forced into Vince McMahon’s Corporation, Kane formed another alliance with Chyna, but this didn’t last long either. Chyna betrayed him and reunited with Triple H, who in-turn betrayed X-Pac and D-Generation X to join the Corporation. Kane was subsequently booted, and now found himself at odds with Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart.
And after inadvertently helping each other out after suffering betrayals, Kane & X-Pac were now scheduled to go after the Tag Titles together! It was the beginning of a strange, yet beautiful friendship…
The Match Itself
Immediately, the Long Island crowd chants ‘Nugget!’ at Owen (God, did he brilliantly embrace that or what?!) and once again, we’re treated to Owen Hart vs. Sean Waltman to kick things off. Side-headlock from Owen, X-Pac shoves Owen off, Owen hits the ropes, then nails the Kid with a shoulder-block takedown. Owen bounces off the ropes again, X-Pac’s back up, NICE leap-frog(!), and then a FANTASTIC spinning heel kick to take the Rocket down! Lovely fast-paced action to kick things off!
X-Pac then goes for an arm-wrench, Owen escapes with his trademark agility, then nails X-Pac with a clothesline. Owen tags-in Jeff, who goes to work on the Kid, whilst the relentless crowd continue to taunt Owen with “Nugget! Nugget! Nugget!”. X-Pac reverses the Irish whip, Jeff counters the hip-toss attempt, X-Pac uses his trademark agility to escape, he ducks Jarrett’s clothesline, X-Pac hits the ropes, then nails the Chosen One with a wicked flying clothesline! X-Pac then grabs Jarrett for a side-headlock…all the while, Michael Cole does a good job calling the action and promoting X-Pac’s showdown with Triple H for Backlash 1999.
Owen tags in whilst Jarrett shoves off X-Pac into the ropes, and then the King of Harts nails a running Kid with a BEAUTIFUL spinning heel kick of his own! Owen then tags Jarrett back in and together they double-team the Kid with a double-clothesline and then a double-leg-pull to play havoc on X-Pac’s groin! OUCH! Michael Cole continues to do good work on commentary by remarking on X-Pac’s situation at the time (suffering from Triple H and Chyna’s betrayal), whilst Jerry Lawler continues to be the smart-assed, unsympathetic heel behind the announce table.
Jeff then catches X-Pac with a nice powerslam, but only gets a two-count. Owen and Jeff continue to work over the face-in-peril. Owen nails a textbook backbreaker on X-Pac, the “Nugget!” chants start up again, Owen Irish-whips Sean HARD into the turnbuckle cover, Jeff applauds his partner/friend (quite right, too.), and then Owen delivers a textbook suplex for a two-count. Owen then tries to Irish-whip X-Pac again but the Kid counters, but so does Owen! Spring-boarding off the ropes for a BEAUTIFUL cross-body, which X-Pac rolls-through into a close two-count! God, the pure-wrestling here is beautiful! But given the talent here, what would you expect?
Owen then nails an enziguri on X-Pac. Jeff thoughtfully rests his boot on the top rope in his corner, so Owen introduces X-Pac’s face to said-boot, and the heels make another tag. The crowd now starts chanting, “We want Kane! We want Kane!” as Jarrett traps X-Pac in a sleeper hold. Michael Cole (in my opinion, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a commentator) notes that Kane hasn’t yet tagged in this match, and wonders if Kane must he be thinking if he can trust X-Pac. Can he trust anyone anymore after all the betrayals he’s endured?
X-Pac counters the sleeper with a back suplex on Jeff. Both guys are down. Jarrett crawls over to Owen, X-Pac crawls over to Kane, but Owen’s tagged-in and stops X-Pac by giving him a BLATANT low-blow! Referee Mike Chioda admonishes Owen, but doesn’t disqualify him…? As much as I love the Attitude Era, there was a lot of nonsense to it, I’ll admit. Owen nails a bodyslam, raises his arms cheering ‘WOOOOOO!!!’ (God, I miss Owen Hart so much…), the “Nugget!” chants are right on cue, but a high-risk attack is countered when X-Pac gets his foot up! X-Pac gets back up, he and Owen run the ropes together and then take each other out with a double-clothesline!
Jeff and Debra rally Owen to get up and make the tag, X-Pac crawls over to his corner and FINALLY TAGS IN KANE! THE CROWD ERUPTS! Owen makes the tag, and Jeff runs towards a devastating flying clothesline from the Big Red Machine! Kane smacks Owen right in the mush, then nails a big boot on the King of Harts! Jeff also eats a big boot from Kane! Powerful clothesline to Owen, Kane goozles Jeff, whilst X-Pac gives a Bronco Buster to Owen lying helpless in the corner! GOD, what a chokeslam on Jarrett! The Raw crowd are loving this!
WHAT ON EARTH?! Kane’s got X-Pac by the throat?! He gorilla-presses the Kid over his head…a recovering Owen wonders what’s going on just like the rest of us…!
Kane then DROPS X-Pac on top of Jeff, before nailing Owen again! 1-2-3! The crowd erupts! Kane and X-Pac are your winners and NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS AT 5:58!
So after his amazing debut in October 1997, such award-winning feuds with Mankind, Vader and the Undertaker, winning the WWF Championship from Stone Cold Steve Austin, and being an established main-event player throughout 1998…what next? Obviously, Austin was still the company’s biggest star heading into 1999, the Rock was hot on his heels, Mankind was also enjoying his time in the spotlight, Taker was busy with his Ministry of Darkness, Triple H was ascending up the card…so where did that leave Kane?
On paper, the idea of Kane teaming with such a polar-opposite like X-Pac was daft. But in practice, it was a huge-success. In-ring-wise, Glenn Jacobs and Sean Waltman shared a great chemistry. Story-wise, Kane and X-Pac shared common goals and could relate to one-another after all the betrayals they suffered. And going forward, X-Pac would help the damaged Kane find his humanity again. It was fascinating development for the character. Kane willingly granting Austin a rematch for the WWF Title the night after he won it showed that this monster had honour. The alliance/friendship with X-Pac took that hidden depth and realised its full potential; showing that Kane wasn’t just a one-dimensional monster. He was as deep as the Undertaker.
THIS BOUT…was simply a great Raw bout. Short, sweet, fast-paced and exhilarating. Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett made for GREAT Tag Team Champions, and this was a kick-ass way for their reign to end. Owen, Jeff and Sean were all first-class workers in their prime and they wrestled an excellent tag bout, with a white-hot Long Island crowd eating up everything they did. The bout was perfectly laid out, and Kane making the hot-tag right at the end to destroy the champs, tease turning on X-Pac, only to brilliantly swerve us at the end for a creative finish…I loved this gem. And of course, X-Pac and Kane would have a fantastic run together, winning the Tag Titles twice and being the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of 1999. GOOD STUFF.
Cheers as always for your support! Next time in the Blog of Kane, it’s 2000! Kane is back in title-contention and he goes ONE-ON-ONE…WITH THE GREAT ONE!
Check out the match here –>
NEXT ENTRY –>
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