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Rating The Champ WWF

WWF World Titles – 1998

Welcome to my blog. This is the start of a new series, where I’ll be looking back at the history of WWE World Titles (not counting ECW) and ranking all the World Title reigns since the “Modern Era”. The “Modern Era” goes all the way back to the birth of Hulkamania in 1984, and that’s where we’ll end. Today we look back at the year 1998, and we’ll continue to go back from here.

In front of my star ratings for the matches, you’ll either see “HR”, “R” or “RTA”. “HR” means the match is highly recommended ; “R” means the match is recommended ; “RTA” means recommendation to avoid. In case nothing appears, the match is watchable but nothing spectacular.

WWF CHAMPIONSHIP

Shawn Michaels (November 9, 1997 – March 29, 1998)

  • Televised matches: 8
  • Record: 3-5

My match ratings:

  • Shawn Michaels def. Bret Hart(c) – Survivor Series 1997 (***3/4) *R*
  • Ken Shamrock def. Shawn Michaels(c) by DQ – D-Generation X 1997 (*3/4) *RTA*
  • Owen Hart def. Shawn Michaels(c) by DQ – RAW Dec. 29 1997 (***1/2) *R*
  • Shawn Michaels(c) def. The Undertaker in a Casket Match – Royal Rumble 1998 (***1/2) *R*
  • Steve Austin def. Shawn Michaels(c) – WrestleMania XIV (**3/4)

No matter how good Shawn Michaels was inside the ring (he was one of the best ever), this was the absolute peak of backstage dickhead Shawn Michaels. He was just not fun to watch at this point, cutting fourth wall-breaking promos such as “I don’t do jobs for anyone”, turning the European Title into a prop along with his Kliq buddy Triple H. After the incidents with The British Bulldog in October and with Bret Hart in November, Shawn’s career-ending injury in 1998 couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Even The Undertaker, of all people, was sick of ‘The Boy Toy’. His match with Bret was fantastic until its final moments and so were the matches with Owen Hart and ‘Taker. His match with Steve Austin was rather average, mostly due to Michaels wrestling with a crippled back, while in his match with Ken Shamrock at the December PPV it’s quite clear Michaels isn’t even trying. I’m not a fan of this reign or this particular stage of HBK’s career.

Rating: 4/10

Steve Austin (March 29, 1998 – June 28, 1998)

  • Televised matches: 10
  • Record: 3-2 (5 draws)

My match ratings:

  • Steve Austin def. Shawn Michaels(c) – WrestleMania XIV (**3/4)
  • Dude Love def. Steve Austin(c) by DQ – Unforgiven 1998 (****) *HR*
  • Steve Austin(c) def. Dude Love in a Street Fight – Over the Edge 1998 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Kane def. Steve Austin(c) in a First Blood Match – King of the Ring 1998 (***1/4)

At WrestleMania XIV, Steve Austin finally won his first WWF Championship. From there, he immediately cut debuted the new title belt, cut that “corporate” promo with Vince and started that awesome feud with Mick Foley. Their match at Unforgiven was fantastic, and ended with Austin counting his own pinfall for the win. Austin’s win would be turned into a DQ loss the following night on RAW by McMahon, however, and that would result in a rematch with Foley at the next PPV. That rematch at Over the Edge, with Vince and the stooges in control and with fellow babyface The Undertaker as the special outside enforcer, was even better. Their matches were, without question, some of the best “sports entertainment” smoke-and-mirrors bouts in wrestling history. His first reign would come to an end at the next PPV, King of the Ring, against Kane due to The Undertaker. I agree with Austin losing the title in order to win it back at the next WrestleMania, but I don’t understand why Kane needed to win the belt for a day! Still, this reign was absolutely fantastic. Is there any question which rating this gets? What?

Rating: 10/10

Kane (June 28, 1998 – June 29, 1998)

  • Televised matches: 2
  • Record: 1-1

My match ratings:

  • Kane def. Steve Austin(c) in a First Blood Match – King of the Ring 1998 (***1/4)
  • Steve Austin def. Kane(c) – RAW June 29 1998 (***1/2) *R*

I don’t have much to say here. The match where Kane drops the title to Austin on RAW is recommended, though, especially that insane pop Austin gets when he regains the gold. Apart from that, there’s really nothing else to say about this title reign.

Rating: -/10

Steve Austin (June 29, 1998 – September 27, 1998)

  • Televised matches: 10
  • Record: 5-4 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • Steve Austin def. Kane(c) – RAW June 29 1998 (***1/2) *R*
  • Steve Austin(c) def. The Undertaker – SummerSlam 1998 (**1/4)
  • The Undertaker and Kane def. Steve Austin(c) – Breakdown 1998 (**)

Just one night after losing the title, Steve Austin was once again the WWF Champion. This reign featured that spectacular ‘Highway to Hell’ feud with The Undertaker heading into SummerSlam, that unfortunately resulted in a rather flat match thanks to Austin knocking himself out for real in the bout’s early minutes. The next PPV would see Austin lose the title, getting pinned by both Kane and ‘Taker at the very same time. The title would be vacated and result in the Deadly Games Tournament at Survivor Series, which would crown Steve Austin’s antagonist heading into WrestleMania XV.

Rating: 7/10

The Rock (November 15, 1998 – January 4, 1999)

  • Televised matches: 12
  • Record: 7-4 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • The Rock def. Mankind – Survivor Series 1998 (**3/4)
  • The Rock(c) def. X-Pac – RAW Nov. 23 1998 (***1/2) *R*
  • Mankind def.* The Rock(c) – Rock Bottom 1998 (***1/4) *R*
  • Mankind def. The Rock(c) – RAW Jan. 4 1999 (****) *HR*

I think we can all agree that this swerve in the Deadly Games Tournament a Survivor Series 1998 was, withou any question, Vince Russo’s best swerve in his entire career. The Rock won the WWF Title for the first time in his career against Mankind, who was orginally Vince McMahon’s chosen guy and had eliminate Steve Austin, which would then lead to Rock’s feud with Foley. That feud unquestionably helped The Rock a lot, perhaps more than any other, and cemented ‘The Great One’ as a main-eventer for life. This reign wasn’t Rock’s best, but it was perhaps his most important one.

Rating: 7/10

ALL-TIME CHAMPIONS RANKING

  1. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 29/03/1998 – 28/06/1998 10
  2. The Rock (WWF Championship, 25/06/2000 – 22/10/2000) 10
  3. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 01/04/2001 – 23/09/2001) 9
  4. Triple H (WWF Championship, 03/01/2000 – 30/04/2000) 9
  5. Kurt Angle (WWE Championship, 15/12/2002 – 30/03/2003) 9
  6. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 18/09/2003 – 15/02/2004) 9
  7. John Cena (WWE Championship, 17/09/2006 – 02/10/2007) 9
  8. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 20/11/2011 – 27/01/2013) 9
  9. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 13/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 9
  10. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 11/09/2016 – 29/01/2017) 9
  11. The Rock (WWF Championship, 25/02/2001 – 01/04/2001) 8
  12. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 28/03/1999 – 23/05/1999) 8
  13. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/12/2007 – 30/03/2008) 8
  14. Kurt Angle (WWE Championship, 27/07/2003 – 18/09/2003) 8
  15. Edge (WWE Championship, 08/01/2006 – 29/01/2006) 8
  16. Chris Benoit (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/03/2004 – 15/08/2004) 8
  17. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 06/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 8
  18. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 25/08/2002 – 17/11/2002) 8
  19. Batista (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010 – 28/03/2010) 8
  20. The Rock (WWE Undisputed Championship, 21/07/2002 – 25/08/2002) 7
  21. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 29/06/1998 – 27/09/1998) 7
  22. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 17/08/2014 – 29/03/2015) 7
  23. Edge (WWE Championship, 03/07/2006- 17/09/2006) 7
  24. The Rock (WCW Championship, 19/08/2001 – 21/10/2001) 7
  25. The Rock (WWF Championship, 15/11/1998 – 04/01/1999) 7
  26. Kurt Angle (WWF Championship, 22/10/2000 – 25/02/2001) 7
  27. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/11/2006 – 01/04/2007) 7
  28. The Rock (WWF Championship, 15/02/1999 – 28/03/1999) 7
  29. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007 – 27/04/2008) 7
  30. John Cena (WWE Championship, 07/04/2013 – 18/08/2013) 7
  31. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/09/2008 – 26/10/2008) 7
  32. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/12/2003 – 14/03/2004) 7
  33. Kurt Angle (World Heavyweight Championship, 13/01/2006 – 02/04/2006) 7
  34. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/04/2005 – 13/01/2006) 7
  35. John Cena (WWE Championship, 03/04/2005 – 08/01/2006) 7
  36. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2007 – 11/05/2007) 7
  37. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 07/11/2017 – 13/11/2018) 7
  38. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009 – 26/07/2009) 6
  39. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/09/2007 – 16/12/2007) 6
  40. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 30/03/2003 – 27/07/2003) 6
  41. Eddie Guerrero (WWE Championship, 15/02/2004 – 27/06/2004) 6
  42. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2006 – 11/06/2006) 6
  43. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 28/06/1999 – 22/08/1999) 6
  44. Mick Foley (WWF Championship, 04/01/1999 – 24/01/1999) 6
  45. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 09/01/2005 – 03/04/2005) 6
  46. John Cena (WWE Championship, 28/03/2010 – 20/06/2010) 6
  47. John Cena (WWE Championship, 01/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 6
  48. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013 – 15/09/2013) 6
  49. Kevin Owens (WWE Universal Championship, 29/08/2016- 05/03/2017) 6
  50. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 21/02/2010 – 02/04/2010) 6
  51. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/06/2013 – 27/10/2013) 6
  52. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 29/03/2015 – 04/11/2015) 6
  53. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 03/04/2016 – 19/06/2016) 6
  54. King Booker (World Heavyweight Championshp, 23/07/2006 – 26/11/2006) 6
  55. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 5
  56. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 19/12/2010 – 18/02/2011) 5
  57. Chris Jericho (WCW Championship, 21/10/2001 – 05/11/2001) 5
  58. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/07/2009 – 23/08/2009) 5
  59. The Rock (WWE Championship, 27/01/2013 – 07/04/2013) 5
  60. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  61. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011 – 15/04/2011) 5
  62. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 08/10/2001 – 09/12/2001) 5
  63. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 5
  64. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 27/10/2013 – 06/04/2014) 5
  65. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 06/04/2014 – 09/06/2014) 5
  66. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  67. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 5
  68. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/08/2009 – 04/10/2009) 5
  69. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 04/10/2009 – 21/02/2010) 5
  70. JBL (WWE Championship, 27/06/2004 – 03/04/2005) 5
  71. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/05/2007 – 20/07/2007) 5
  72. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 11/08/2019 – 31/10/2019) 5
  73. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 15/06/2009 – 13/09/2009) 5
  74. Triple H (WWE Championship, 27/04/2008 – 23/11/2008) 5
  75. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2017 – 12/02/2017) 5
  76. Shawn Michaels (WWF Championship, 09/11/1997 – 29/03/1998) 4
  77. The Rock (WWF Championship, 30/04/2000 – 21/05/2000) 4
  78. Booker T (WCW Championship, 30/07/2001 – 19/08/2001) 4
  79. Sheamus (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2012 – 28/10/2012) 4
  80. Mark Henry (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/09/2011 – 18/12/2011) 4
  81. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/06/2014 – 17/08/2014) 4
  82. The Rock (WCW/World Championship, 05/11/2001 – 09/12/2001) 4
  83. The Undertaker (WWE Undisputed Championship, 19/05/2002 – 21/07/2002) 4
  84. Dean Ambrose (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016 – 11/09/2016) 4
  85. Chris Jericho (WWF Undisputed Championship, 09/12/2001 – 17/03/2002) 4
  86. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 02/10/2011 – 20/11/2011) 4
  87. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship, 07/04/2019 – 04/10/2019) 4
  88. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/01/2013 – 08/04/2013) 4
  89. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 07/04/2019 – 14/07/2019) 4
  90. Mick Foley (WWF Championship, 31/01/1999 – 15/02/1999) 3
  91. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 05/04/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  92. Jeff Hardy (WWE Championship, 14/12/2008 – 25/01/2009) 3
  93. Kurt Angle (WWF Championship, 23/09/2001 – 08/10/2001) 3
  94. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/10/2009 – 13/12/2009) 3
  95. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 14/07/2019 – 11/08/2019) 3
  96. Big Show (WWE Championship, 17/11/2002 – 15/12/2002) 3
  97. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/04/2017 – 19/08/2018) 3
  98. Triple H (WWE Championship, 24/01/2016 – 03/04/2016) 3
  99. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/05/2011 – 06/05/2011) 3
  100. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 3
  101. Kane (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/07/2010 – 19/12/2010) 3
  102. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/11/2008 – 23/11/2008) 3
  103. Rob Van Dam (WWE Championship, 11/06/2006 – 03/07/2006) 3
  104. The Undertaker (WWF Championship, 23/05/1999 – 28/06/1999) 3
  105. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/06/2010 – 18/07/2010) 3
  106. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 27/10/2013 – 15/12/2013) 3
  107. Triple H (WWE Championship, 15/02/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  108. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 28/10/2012 – 11/01/2013) 3
  109. Edge (WWE Championship, 25/01/2009 – 15/02/2009) 3
  110. Booker T (WCW Championship, 26/03/2001 – 26/07/2001) 3
  111. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 3
  112. Goldberg (World Heavyweight Championship, 21/09/2003 – 14/12/2003) 3
  113. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/11/2008 – 15/02/2009) 3
  114. The Miz (WWE Championship, 22/11/2010 – 01/05/2011) 3
  115. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/08/2004 – 12/09/2004) 3
  116. Triple H (WWF Championship, 26/09/1999 – 14/11/1999) 3
  117. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship, 19/08/2018 – 22/10/2018) 3
  118. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship, 21/05/2017 – 07/11/2017) 3
  119. Bray Wyatt (WWE Championship, 12/02/2017 – 02/04/2017) 3
  120. Edge (WWE Championship, 23/11/2008 – 14/12/2008) 2
  121. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/02/2009 – 05/04/2009) 2
  122. Triple H (WWF Championship, 21/05/2000 – 25/06/2000) 2
  123. John Cena (WWE Championship, 18/09/2011 – 02/10/2011) 2
  124. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 12/09/2004 – 06/12/2004) 2
  125. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/06/2008 – 30/06/2008) 2
  126. John Cena (WWE Championship, 13/09/2009 – 04/10/2009) 2
  127. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 14/12/2015 – 24/01/2016) 2
  128. Goldberg (Universal Championship, 05/03/2017 – 02/04/2017) 2
  129. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/03/2008 – 02/05/2008) 2
  130. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 04/10/2009 – 25/10/2009) 2
  131. Triple H (WWF Championship, 23/08/1999 – 16/09/1999) 2
  132. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 08/04/2013 – 16/06/2013) 2
  133. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2006 – 23/07/2006) 2
  134. Shawn Michaels (World Heavyweight Championship, 17/11/2002 – 15/12/2002) 2
  135. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/09/2002 – 17/11/2002) 2
  136. Triple H (WWF Undisputed Championship, 17/03/2002 – 21/04/2002) 2
  137. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 2
  138. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2002 – 21/09/2003) 2
  139. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011 – 01/04/2012) 2
  140. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/06/2008 – 07/09/2008) 2
  141. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015 – 14/12/2015) 2
  142. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 19/09/2010 – 22/11/2010) 2
  143. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 20/06/2010 – 19/09/2010) 2
  144. Hulk Hogan (WWF/E Undisputed Championship, 21/04/2002 – 19/05/2002) 1
  145. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 02/04/2017 – 21/05/2017) 1
  146. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/10/2008 – 03/11/2008) 1
  147. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 13/12/2009 – 21/02/2010) 1
  148. Big Show (WWF Championship, 14/11/1999 – 03/01/2000) 1
  149. Jack Swagger (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2010 – 20/06/2010) 1
  150. The Great Khali (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/07/2007 – 16/09/2007) 1
  151. The Rock (WWF Championship, 24/01/1999 – 31/01/1999) 
  152. Chris Jericho (World Championship, 09/12/2001) 
  153. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009) 
  154. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013) 
  155. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016) 
  156. John Cena (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010) 
  157. Kane (WWF Championship, 28/06/1998 – 29/06/1998)
  158. Rey Mysterio (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011) 
  159. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015) 
  160. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2013) 
  161. Finn Bálor (WWE Universal Championship, 21/08/2016 – 22/08/2016) 
  162. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 15/09/2013 – 16/09/2013) 
  163. Triple H (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007) 
  164. Mick Foley (WWF Championship, 22/08/1999 – 23/08/1999) 
  165. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011) 
  166. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011) 
  167. Kurt Angle (WCW Championship, 26/07/2001 – 30/07/2001) 
  168. Batista (WWE Championship, 07/06/2009 – 09/06/2009) 
  169. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007) 
  170. Vince McMahon (WWF Championship, 16/09/1999 – 20/09/1999)