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Steve Austin vs Dude Love (WWF Over The Edge 05/31/98)

WWF WWE Over The Edge May 31 1998 Steve Austin Dude Love Mick Foley Milwaukee Austin vs McMahon Undertaker Vince McMahon Pat Patterson Jerry Brisco

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#1 Loss

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 11:25 AM

Talk about it here.

#2 Gregor

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

The argument that this match started yesterday got me interested in rewatching this. I'd loved it the last time I watched it, and going in this time I was kind of expecting to feel like the wrestling became overrated because of the great booking.


The stuff in the ring at the start doesn't really contribute much to the match, other than the McMahon slow-counting stuff, but other than that pretty much everything feels focused. The ringside area Attitude Era brawling is a lot more intense and less contrived than it is in later matches (even if it involves a bunch of pointless cars set up by the entranceway). Austin's clothesline over the barricade in particular is awesome. I'd kind of remembered a lot of the stuff with the cars as Foley taking bumps for the sake of taking bumps, but really Austin takes most of the abuse there, and when Foley does it's a hope spot or a transition to the next part of the match. I really liked the way that McMahon and company escalate their cheating - they start off with Vince leaning slightly towards Dude with his refereeing, follow that with changing the rules on the fly, and by the time they return to the ring Pat Patterson is actually getting physically involved. As a result, the match always feels like it's moving forwards and going somewhere.


Obviously Vince is terrific here, but it wasn't until this time that I appreciated how good Jim Ross is in this match. I always got his indignance (with my favorite bit of that being his mocking Patterson for his pronunciation of the word "North"). He really does do a good job of getting over even small stuff, like Austin taking Dude back to the ring - he says something like, "Austin doesn't want to win the match in the back seat of an old Mercury," and somehow it feels like, yeah, that wouldn't be definitive at all, Austin wants to win this the right way.


Undertaker's presence doesn't bother me. I think it kind of helps, actually, as without him there the match should be a mockery in which Austin barely gets any offense. There's some stuff that doesn't make sense to me, like why Austin's music still plays if McMahon hates him so much, but The Undertaker isn't an issue.

#3 Loss

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:46 PM

16 years later, this match still puts a huge smile on my face. It was loved at the time, then there was a spell where it wasn't because a lot of the things that made it work were so overdone over the next few years. But with some distance, it once again looks just as great and fresh and unique as it did at the time. This is the perfect marriage of wrestling and booking. Yes, there are lots of booking twists and turns, but the match itself is pretty great too, with Austin taking some wild bumps in and around the cars. It surprised me that he actually bumped more than Foley in this match on top of a great blade job. They really structured the wrestling arcs exceptionally well, and Austin took a beating for so long that his comeback got over huge. I thought it was a great testament to how over he was that he teased a comeback when the vision of half the building was impaired and he still got a huge pop for doing it. All of the gaga is well-documented, with Vince ordering Patterson to change the rules on the fly, Vince eating the mother of all chairshots and Undertaker putting both Patterson and Brisco through tables. Everyone involved in this - Austin, Foley, Vince, Patterson, Brisco, Undertaker, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler - did their job exceptionally well. Great match, MOTYC for 1998 without a doubt.

#4 soup23

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 03:58 AM

This is my MOTY up to this point and I have no problem with someone calling this a top 10 WWF match of the 90's. This is the culmination of all the storytelling they have done the past couple of months and everything felt like a glove. The match escalated up from a general title match into pure mayhem once it spilled outside and Patterson kept changing the stipulation. Of course the finish is memorable but everything is done so well from all the pops for Vince getting smashed with the chair, Patterson and Brisco getting chokeslammed into the tables and Austin making his own count with the crowd counting along and JR yelling "you damn right." This did result in some lazy main events for years to come, but as a stand alone match, this was booked perfectly to me. (****1/2)

#5 Childs

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Posted 12 September 2014 - 12:28 PM

I had never really watched this match in context, and I couldn't agree more that it was the apotheosis of a great period for WWF. It reminds me of the famous Duggan-Dibiase stips match from Mid-South, where it's ridiculously overbooked on paper but in its time and place, paid off all the key storylines perfectly. They managed to make an indestructible Austin seem genuinely vulnerable, with the blood and the big bumps and the sand constantly shifting beneath his feet. Kudos to middle-aged Patterson and Brisco for taking bumps through tables. A few of Austin's comebacks started abruptly, but that's a quibble. This ranks with the Savage-Warrior retirement match among the great pieces of WWF theater from the decade.

#6 Zenjo


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Posted 14 October 2014 - 11:39 PM

This is still such a blast. Everything fell into place with the booking, the brawling and the shenanigans. Like Childs says it's ridiculously screwy and OTT on paper, yet in context it was spot on. The deck was hugely stacked against Austin from the start, and that was before the mid-match rule changes. The brawl over the arena was really good. A general rule about historical wrestling is that if it was fresh at the time then it usually feels fresh watching it back now. No matter how many times you might have seen the same thing done since then when it feels stale.

They fought over car wrecks (obv) and Austin bleeds. There was also a beatdown phase as they did everything they could think of to make him look vulnerable. There were a few moments when it lost a little steam if I'm being ultracritical. The ending sequence was inspired and unforgettably culminated in McMahon's lifeless hand counting down the 3. Everyone involved played their roles well and the action was strong. Unfortunately you could argue it was too good as they kept trying in vain to replicate its success.

#7 PeteF3

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Posted 03 June 2016 - 03:22 PM

"This man can only be compared to such legendary Canadians as Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, and the great Anne Murray."


"We've laughed with him! We've cried with him! But through it all he made our lives worth living. He's given us hope, love, understanding, and and the will to say YES I CAN." Ross: "You'd think he was introducing Frank Sinatra for gosh sakes!"


The full ring intros are some of the most brilliant creative writing the WWF has ever done--again, a bit of self-deprecation and winking to the audience that the company just isn't capable of anymore. Once again, there's an undercurrent of, "We know we got our asses kicked for 88 weeks, and it's because these idiots are running the show." Austin's not just fighting against the Man, he's fighting on behalf of WWF fans against a rival company, too.


Trying to compare this with something like the high-end RINGS or BattlArts matches as MOTY candidates go is difficult if not foolhardy. But this is definitely the match I've enjoyed the most in 1998 for the same reasons everybody else has. Austin "overcomes the odds" and it actually seems like he's done that, not overcome odds in a phony, contrived type of way the manner that Cena often did or was accused of doing. Austin's comebacks are incredible and this is a terrific crowd, into almost every spot they do--even the low-key stuff before the booking gaga really takes center stage. All of this was so fresh and new at the time, I don't know if a newer viewer would have quite the appreciation for this as we do. But even compared to the '99 stuff, the booking and changing match stips isn't overdone, and Austin's eventual comeback and win is carried out in as logical a manner as possible. One of the true heights of Vince Russo, Filtered.

#8 TravJ1979

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 12:14 PM

work wise, the Unforgiven match is better, but the stips and stuff make this a whole helluva lot of fun.

#9 JKWebb

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Posted 26 February 2017 - 02:08 PM



This is one of the most fun matches of all-time, and I can't imagine how much fun it must have been to be there live. Vince's facial expressions are so good, and oh my god the Patterson table bump. So much to love.

#10 Peppercorn Bing Bong

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 11:40 AM

I'd say without a doubt this is one of the best overbooked matches of all time. Seriously, WWF out-ECW'd ECW here and they managed to completely pull it off without it being contrived as stated above.

#11 SmartMark15

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 07:43 AM

Just a glorious example of what Attitude Era WWF was all about. Red hot incredibly over characters, an ECW-esque arena brawl, sick bumps, blood, and the McMahons and the Stooges trying to wreck things and getting murdered for it. Everyone played their roles perfectly. Austin could do no wrong for this crowd, literally everything he did was over. Love made a good heel to bump for our hero. McMahon just far and away stole the show with his facial expressions and heel antics. And The Undertaker pulling off one of the most satisfying heel comeuppances in the history of wrestling just will not ever grow old. That finish is iconic and brilliant and this is just fantastic all around. 



#12 cowboy hats

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 03:44 PM

'Some call him the reincarnation of Jim Thorpe. We call him a friend.' is legit hilarious, not just grading on a wrestling curve.

The way the table shatters on Patterson's chokeslam is so good. The monitors weren't even removed!

#13 Jetlag

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 04:19 AM

Average opening section. The whacky car brawling and bumps were the highlight and Austin selling his peril was really good, on the other hand the quick transitions kept taking me out of the match. For example, Austin would hit a stunner or just blast Foley with a chair shot, but after it was revealed that it wouldn't be the finish, Foley would pop up and reverse immediately. Also, add that fucking sunset flip on the concrete to the List of Stupid Things Foley Does.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WWF, WWE, Over The Edge, May 31, 1998, Steve Austin, Dude Love, Mick Foley, Milwaukee, Austin vs McMahon, Undertaker, Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson, Jerry Brisco

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