WWE PPV Flashbacks: Over the Edge – May 23, 1999

Over the Edge
May 23, 1999
Kemper Arena, Kansas City, MO

Well we had to get to this show eventually. Over the Edge 1999 was the first non-major PPV to not carry the In Your House label, and was the last Over the Edge event. The event has also never been released on video or DVD for fairly obvious reasons, although the original PPV feed can be found online. Anyway, this is the show that contained the tragic accident that took the life of the great Owen Hart. That’s all that this show is remembered for, and thats completely understandable. Having said that, we also have a main event that has pretty big implications down the line as WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin puts his title on the line against the Undertaker. Now then, is is going to be a proper review complete with match grades, although considering what was going on on this night, I wouldn’t give them much weight as a reflection on the superstars in the ring. Lets get into it shall we? Please follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91 and leave all thoughts and feedback.

Our opening video package is all about the Austin/Taker feud. Our announcers are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler, and they kick the show off by telling us that Mr McMahon will not be able to referee the main event as planned tonight, as he was injured by a Mideon beating on Heat before the show. Yep, the great Vince McMahon was taken out by Mideon. With that said, its time for our first match.

WWF Tag Team Championship:
X-Pac & Kane (c) vs D’Lo Brown & Mark Henry w/Ivory
X-Pac and Kane are the incredibly popular champions here, continuing their reign with the titles since uniting after Wrestlemania. Their opponents are the always fun team of D’Lo & Henry, who have reunited after Henry took some time off since we last saw them in February. Both teams are faces here, although Henry & D’Lo are pretty much the de facto heels for this one. I can’t recall a great deal of storyline behind this match, so this was likely just thrown together. Of course, X-Pac and D’Lo have some history from their great feud last year, and they start this one out together. D’Lo avoids a Bronco Buster in the early going and tags Henry in, but X-Pac follows up by tagging Kane for the big men to face off. We get some back and forth between the teams as different pairs go at it, with the challengers eventually taking control as they work over X-Pac. After taking a beating but refusing to give in, X-Pac finally gets the hot tag to Kane, who cleans house in dominant fashion. All four men end up going at it, with D’Lo eating a successful Bronco Buster from X-Pac this time, whilst Kane puts Henry away with a chokeslam to score the victory at 14:44. The champions retain their titles! This was a solid opening match which got more time than I was expecting. Both teams had good chemistry and the crowd were behind the champions all the way. Solid stuff.
Grade: ***

We get an update on the condition of Mr McMahon. His status for the main event is highly questionable.

WWF Hardcore Championship:
Al Snow (c) vs Hardcore Holly
The feud between these two continues over the Hardcore Championship for another month in our next match. Snow is the champion here after finally defeating Holly to win the title at Backlash last month, although the feud has become more personal now. In an attempt to get to Snow, Holly recently destroyed “Pierre”, Snow’s moose head companion. Snow still has Head though. Thats really about all there is to talk about with this feud. Holly jumps Snow to get this one started and your standard Hardcore title affair follows, with the two men using various weapons at ringside to beat on each other. The action eventually goes through the crowd and backstage as was standard for this time frame. They brawl through a cake stand and into the ladies bathroom before coming back into the arena, with Snow whacking Holly with some merchandise from a vendor stand. They finally get back to ringside and Snow sets up a table, but Holly hits him with his newly named Hollycaust. Snow recovers though and follows up with the Snow Plow on the challenger, only for Holly to counter with a DDT onto a chair. He then picks Snow up looking to put him through the table, but the champion reverses and sends Holly though instead, covering him to retain the title at 12:53. Decent brawl for what it was, which I’d put about the same as their match back in February.
Grade: **1/4

Following another update on Mr McMahon, whom we learn may have a broken ankle, we go to a video package about the return of Owen Hart’s Blue Blazer persona. We then throw it to a prerecorded interview with the Blue Blazer, who says that the Godfather is all that is wrong with the WWF and that he will take the I.C title from him tonight. This would sadly be the last we would see of Owen Hart, as we cut back to a wide shot of the crowd in the arena, with JR stating that “we’ve got big problems out here”. Essentially, Owen Hart was to make an entrance in which he descended from the rafters, only for the contraption to give way resulting in him falling over twenty metres to his death. Whilst everyone is working out what is going on, we send it to a video package of the feud behind our next mixed tag match.

Back in the arena, JR alone at the announce table telling us that what has just happened is not part of the show. Lawler returns to the desk shortly after and looks devastated. You could tell just how serious the situation was as his voice is far removed from his heel announcer voice at the time, as he simply states that it does not look good at all.

We now cut to Jeff Jarrett and Debra in the back, as their match will be taking place next. They do their best to talk about the upcoming match, with Debra visibly being in tears. They send out their prayers to Owen before heading to the ring.

Val Venis & Nicole Bass vs Jeff Jarrett & Debra
This all came about when Nicole Bass was left with nothing to do following Sable’s sudden departure from the company. In the weeks that followed, she began to pursue Val Venis, protecting him on a few instances. Meanwhile Val’s current target was Debra, the new WWF Women’s Champion. Val made advances towards Debra, which led to Jarrett going crazy and blaming Debra for it. Bass made the save for Venis on an a Raw leading into this show, giving Val mouth to mouth after the WWF’s resident porn star had taken a Jarrett beating. You can tell the performers have other things on their mind here as Val messes up his pre-match schtick, whilst JR and King are understandably not it on commentary. The fans in attendance do not know the seriousness of the situation though and are quite into Val and Debra, the latter of whom is wearing high heels for the match. Anyway, this is a pretty basic match as you might expect. We get some back and forth and at one point Jarrett gets frustrated and attempts to slap Bass. The referee stops him but whilst he is caught up, Debra whacks Bass with the guitar. It has no effect on the dominant woman however, so Jarrett attempts to give her a shot with the guitar as well, only for Val to intercept him with a backdrop suplex, followed by the Money Shot to pick up the win at 6:07. After the match, Bass plants a kiss on Val, and Val enjoys it. Basic filler here. Val carried this along as Jarrett and Debra understandably just did not look like they wanted to be out there.
Grade: *1/2

Backstage we see Mr McMahon being wheeled into an ambulance following the incident on Heat. Shane McMahon is on the scene and he plays dumb over what happened and states that he will take Vince’s place as an impartial referee later tonight.

We now cut to Kevin Kelly who is standing by with the Road Dogg. He’s in action up next against his long time partner Billy Gunn. Road Dogg says Owen is in his prayers before focusing on Billy and heading to the ring.

Road Dogg vs Billy Gunn
The explosion of the New Age Outlaws has arrived. We saw in our last review that Billy Gunn had developed a new attitude in the past month. That all came about on an episode of Raw is War in late April, during which Billy snapped and assaulted fellow DX member X-Pac. Road Dogg attempted to stop his partner, but was beat down for his efforts by the newly christened Mr Ass. In the weeks that followed, Gunn claimed to be sick of carrying the New Age Outlaws, and now wanted to focus on singles success. And so the team that had dominated the tag title picture for most of 1998 were now set to face off after getting into numerous brawls heading in to this match. Road Dogg gets a good pop here, whilst Gunn comes out to his now famous Ass Man theme for the first time on PPV to a relatively mild reaction. Let that be a sign of things to come for this heel push. Anyway, they brawl to the outside early on with Road Dogg getting the brief advantage, sending his former partner into the ring steps, before Mr Ass takes control once they return to the ring. From there we see his limits now that he has to dictate the flow of the match, as he resorts to rest hold after rest hold, with a little stalling and arguing with the crowd mixed in. Dogg eventually fights back which leads to Gunn grabbing the timekeeper’s hammer from ringside and hitting him with it for the two count. Road Dogg recovers and attempts to fight back, but after getting in some offence and a near fall, Billy regroups and puts his former partner away with the Fameasser, scoring the victory at 11:14. This was a pretty bad match, with Road Dogg looking better despite it being about making Gunn into a legit singles star. Very underwhelming considering the history these guys had, but then again, who knows where their heads were at this point. After all, JR and King were only just getting back into the show by this match.
Grade: *

We now hear from Shane, who is glad that Vince is out and that he will be refereeing the main event.

Elimination Tag Match:
Mankind, Ken Shamrock, Test & Big Show vs Big Bossman, Viscera, Bradshaw & Faarooq
This next match goes back to the formation of the Corporate Ministry, a merger of the Corporation and Ministry of Darkness led by Shane McMahon and the Undertaker shortly following Backlash. In the weeks that followed, Shamrock and Test were ousted from the Corporation for their perceived weaknesses, which led to them teaming up with two other men who had formerly been involved with the McMahon family in Mankind and the Big Show. The four men united to form the short lived Union faction to counter the Corporate Ministry’s domination, and the two sides would brawl over the weeks leading in to this elimination tag match tonight. Anyway, the Ministry have their cool merge of No Chance and Taker’s theme here, whilst the Union come out to some generic theme – should have just had Foley’s. This is really just a way of getting all these guys on the show by the way. Anyway, Test starts out with Bradshaw of the Acolytes to get going, and he is quickly worked over. He mounts a comeback, but falls to some Acolyte double teaming and a Clothesline from Hell eliminates the first Union member only a few minutes in. Shamrock comes in next and takes the fight to Faarooq and Bradshaw, evening up the odds shortly after when he makes Bradshaw tap out to the ankle lock. With things even now, Shamrock gets double teamed by Faarooq and Viscera for a bit. After taking a beating, the World’s Most Dangerous Man manages to lock in the ankle lock again, this time on Faarooq. Faarooq struggles in pain but Bossman pulls him to the ropes. Shamrock snaps however, refusing to break the hold and getting disqualified in the process. You would have thought Shammy would have learnt by now. Anyway, the number advantage for the Ministry is short lived, as Big Show comes in and hits the Showstopper on the wounded Faarooq to even things up seconds later. Bossman now enters the match and attempts to go at it with Show, but the big guy continues to dominate until the remaining two Ministry members manage to get him off his feet with some double teaming. All hell breaks loose as Mankind gets into the ring to break the double team up and he brawls with Bossman. Meanwhile, Show and Viscera spill to the outside, and both end up getting counted out as they fight all the way to the back. Mankind and Bossman are now the only men left and they trade blows for a bit, but in the end Mankind puts his opponent away with Mr Socko to pick up a submission victory for the Union at 14:58. The Union would not last much longer though as Foley would take some time away from the ring shortly after this show to heal up some nagging injuries. This was a standard elimination tag match, which means its decent enough, but really nothing special.
Grade: **1/2

At this point we go back to JR and King at the commentary table. We now get those tragic words that even send shivers down my spine writing this – “I have the unfortunate responsibility to let everyone know that Owen Hart has died. Owen Hart has tragically died from that accident here tonight”. There are no words that can even describe the way everyone must have been feeling at that point. I’ll get more into the Owen situation at the end of the show.

We now get a video package highlighting the issues between the Rock and Triple H, following Rock’s face turn. We then go to Rock backstage who is standing by for a pre-match interview, but as he gets going, Triple H and Chyna jump him from behind. Mankind attempts to make the save (the Rock n Sock Connection was still a while off) but he gets beat down with a pipe for his efforts as well. This was pretty much the way Mankind was written off camera I believe for the next few months.

The Rock vs Triple H w/Chyna
After failing to regain the WWF Championship at Backlash, the Rock was effectively cast out from the Corporation by Shane McMahon, which finally turned the People’s Champion face, giving the fans what they wanted in being able to cheer for him after having done so for months at this point. The face turn was solidified when Shane booked Rock to face Austin in a lumberjack match on Raw is War a few weeks prior to this show, a match in which members of the Corporate Ministry acted as the lumberjacks around the ring. Instead of fighting one another however, Rock and Austin teamed up to battle the faction members, however during the proceedings that followed, TripleH threw the Rock off the stage, breaking his arm in the process. In the weeks that followed, Triple H showed a more ruthless and sadistic side than ever before, continuing to target Rock’s arm, and even locked Rock in a casket during a match with the Undertaker and proceeded to smash it up with his new weapon of choice – the sledgehammer. As a result of all the beatings, Rock had to wear a cast on his arm, however Shane McMahon announced that he would not be allowed to wear it for this match, instantly putting the Great One at the disadvantage. Now then, Triple H makes his way to the ring here to an early version of his ‘My Time’ theme, and he instantly looks more like the main event level Triple H than he did a mere month prior. He expects to win the match by forfeit, but in the end Rock rushes out to the ring to a huge pop! He starts out on fire, sending Triple H to the outside and brawling around to the Spanish announce table, complete with Rock doing some play by play in the process. The tide turns moments after however, as Triple H targets the injured arm of the Great One, smashing it into the announce table and returning the action back to the ring. Back inside, Rock gets another burst of momentum as he takes Trips down with a Samoan Drop, but Chyna gets involved, causing the distraction which allows Triple H to regain control and methodically dissect Rock’s injured arm. Triple H continues to destroy Rock’s arm as JR says the referee should stop the match seeing the pain Rock is in. Rock refuses to give in though, so Trips tells Chyna to get a chair. She throws one in but the referee intercepts it and argues with Triple H. This leads to Trips decking the official and we get the DQ victory to the Rock at 11:41. A poor ending to a relatively underwhelming match, but it did the job of making Triple H look like a ruthless and calculating individual that would take out anyone on his quest to the top. After the match, Triple H and Chyna continue to assault the Rock, but Mankind runs them off, making the save. I guess I was wrong about that beat down being his last appearance on camera for a while. I do wonder if they knew where they were going to go with these two down the line later in the year forming one of the most memorable duos of the Attitude era.
Grade: **1/4

We now get a video package highlighting the formation of the Corporate Ministry and the issues between Austin and the Undertaker.

WWF Championship:
Steve Austin (c) vs Undertaker w/Paul Bearer
Special Guest Referee: Shane McMahon
I touched on this briefly in the last review, but the latest chapter of this rivalry goes back to Backlash, where the Undertaker kidnapped Stephanie McMahon asking Vince for a ransom in his quest to control the company. The next night on Raw is War, Vince pleaded with Austin to help get his daughter back. Later that night, various superstars such as Big Show and Ken Shamrock attempted to come to Stephanie’s rescue as she was set to marry the Undertaker in an unholy sacrament, but in the end, Austin put his differences with Vince aside and made the save, untying Stephanie and giving Vince a nod afterwards. Austin’s actions led to him being set to defend the WWF Championship against the Undertaker at this event, a match which Shane McMahon stated that he would referee after revealing he had been working with the Undertaker against Vince all along. With the Corporate Ministry now formed, Commissioner Shawn Michaels announced that in the interest of fairness, Vince McMahon would also be a referee in the championship match. Over the weeks that followed, Austin and Taker attacked each other whenever possible, including Austin tying Taker to his own logo on a recent episode of Raw prior to this event. Anyway, Pat Patterson makes his way out before the match here and says he is taking Vince’s place, but he is nailed by Taker right away, which means its just Shane doing the officiating. By the way, apparently if Austin lays his hands on Shane he will be stripped of the title. Anyway, huge pop for Austin as always, and this one starts out as a chaotic brawl around ringside with both men going back and forth. We already see that Shane’s biased officiating in the early going as he does a slow count whilst Taker chokes out Austin. The action spills out into the crowd where Taker attempts to choke Austin out with a cable. Austin finally regains momentum back at ringside briefly, but Taker hits a spinebuster and they fight their way up to the entrance area, smashing the glass on the set in the process. They finally go back to the ring and Austin lays Taker out only for Shane to refuse to count, claiming to have hurt his shoulder. Austin retaliates by sending Taker into Shane and following up with a chair shot to his opponent. This brings out Gerald Brisco who attempts to count the three for Austin, but Taker kicks out and knocks out Brisco as well. We now get some more back and forth exchanges between both men as Mr McMahon himself makes his way to ringside looking pissed, still favouring his ankle after the events earlier in the evening. Both Austin and Taker take each other out, but Austin recovers and hits the stunner, only for Shane to regain composure and break up the pin. Vince gets into the ring and argues with Shane whilst Austin goes to do the same, only for Shane to throw him into his father. The brief altercation leads to Taker rolling Austin up and Shane counting the quick three to end the match at 22:58. Just like that, the Undertaker is now a three time WWF Champion! A relatively basic main event with a screwy ending, although it would turn out that there was a point to that which would be revealed soon enough. This probably could have been a little better with a little less time as Taker’s injuries were really starting to rack up at this point, but its not like its a terrible match or anything considering the circumstances. The show ends with the new WWF Champion holding the gold.
Grade: **1/2

I’m not even going to try to talk about this like a regular PPV as despite the fact that we have a major happening here in the Undertaker winning the WWF Championship, the real story here is obviously the tragic accident that took the life of Owen Hart. At the time as a kid, I was not a huge fan of Owen or anything, but the incident hit me all the same. Over the years since I’ve been able to go back and watch more of his work and he really was one of the all time greats that died far too young. What makes it all worse is how stupid a stunt it was. In an ideal world, Owen would have worked for another year or so before retiring from the wrestling scene, but on this night we lost one of the most loved men in the wrestling business. I hope that one day Owen will be able to take his rightful place in the Hall of Fame, but obviously there’s the whole Martha scenario there. Anyway, the big debate that seems to come out of this show is whether the WWF made a mistake by not stopping the show following the incident. Quite frankly, I don’t think they could have even had the time to rationally think out what to do. Its not like they had a plan for what to do if one of their talents was involved in such an incident on live PPV. They certainly made the right call by not airing the replay of the event or releasing the VHS, and the next night on Raw would be a memorable tribute episode dedicated to Owen Hart. As far as this show goes, its a very difficult watch knowing what happened. The closest I would describe the atmosphere is the episode of Raw during which Jerry Lawler suffered his heart attack, although thankfully in that instance Lawler was okay. I’ll sum this up with a few simple words – Rest in Peace Owen. We miss you.

No three stars of the night for this show due to the circumstances. It wouldn’t be fair. Instead I’m giving the standard first place three points to Owen as a tribute in the rankings.


What I do here is add the three stars of the night with each review so as to keep track of who we can say overall is the greatest PPV performer to any given time. First place scores 3 points, second 2 and third 1.

Bret Hart = 83
Steve Austin = 74
Shawn Michaels = 67
Mick Foley = 29
Randy Savage = 28
The Rock = 26
Undertaker = 25
Owen Hart = 21
Hulk Hogan = 18
Triple H = 17
X-Pac = 17
Diesel = 15
Ultimate Warrior = 13
Vader = 13
British Bulldog = 11
Ted DiBiase = 10
Razor Ramon = 10
Ric Flair = 8
Jim Neidhart = 7
Vince McMahon = 7
Jerry Lawler = 6
Dynamite Kid = 5
Arn Anderson = 5
Roddy Piper = 5
Mr Perfect = 5
Marty Jannetty = 5
Bob Backlund = 5
Ricky Steamboat = 4
Ax = 4
Smash = 4
Bobby Heenan = 4
D’Lo Brown = 4
Greg Valentine = 3
Tully Blanchard = 3
Tanaka = 3
Bam Bam Bigelow = 3
Sato = 3
Jake Roberts = 3
Hakushi = 3
Yokozuna = 3
Savio Vega = 3
Ken Shamrock = 3
Brutus Beefcake = 2
Paul Orndorff = 2
Andre the Giant = 2
Rick Rude = 2
Sgt Slaughter = 2
Jeff Jarrett = 2
Jesse Ventura = 1
Texas Tornado = 1
Tito Santana = 1
Virgil = 1
Scott Steiner = 1
Rick Steiner = 1
Lex Luger = 1
The Roadie = 1
Billy Gunn = 1
Bart Gunn = 1
Marc Mero = 1
Flash Funk = 1
Animal = 1
Hawk = 1
Taka Michinoku = 1
Christian = 1
Shane McMahon = 1

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @Mpmcc91. Thanks for reading!