Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

Survivor Series 1998 was the twelfth annual Survivor Series professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which took place on November 15, 1998 at the Kiel Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Fourteen professional wrestling matches were scheduled on the event's card, a noticeably higher number than most pay-per-view events because the main focus of the card was a tournament for the vacant WWF Championship. It was the first tournament held with the WWF Championship on the line in ten years, the last being at WrestleMania IV. Both tournaments were 14-man tournaments instead of the regular 8 or 16-man tournaments. Aside from the tournament, two other championship matches occurred: the first defense of the WWF Women's Championship since it had been reactivated and a triple threat tag team match for the WWF Tag Team Championship.

This event was also the first Survivor Series not to feature the traditional Survivor Series elimination-style tag team match, although the notion of survival is apparent in the knockout tournament. The only other time a Survivor Series event has not featured the traditional match is in 2002 but did feature the inaugural Elimination Chamber match, a match type also based on survival.


As the central focus of Survivor Series was the Deadly Games tournament, the buildup involved many interlinking feuds. Arguably the cause of the tournament goes back to WrestleMania XIV in March, where Stone Cold Steve Austin won the WWF Championship. Austin's working class, blue collar style and manner clashed with WWF Chairman Mr McMahon (Vince McMahon) and his corporate notions of who he wanted to represent his company. He then set about trying to mould a challenger in his own image to dethrone Austin. Firstly he brought back Dude Love (Mick Foley), though he soon abandoned his hippy style gimmick in favor of a suit - even wearing his false teeth (Foley was known for his scruffy look, including various missing teeth from a variety of hardcore matches). After two attempts, including one with McMahon as referee, Love still did not recover the gold and seemed to bring about more woe to McMahon. McMahon turned to Paul Bearer and sought about setting up his son Kane (Glenn Jacobs) in a match at June's King of the Ring which Austin lost but only thanks to interference from Kane's (fictional) half-brother The Undertaker who, despite having animosity towards his brother, did not want to see him hurt - Austin won his title back the following evening. Having been thrown to the wayside by McMahon, Love returned to his psychologically fragile alter-ego Mankind, soon changing his dress from rags to an unintentionally scruffy parody of his father-figure McMahon. Both Mankind and Kane formed an ad-hoc tag team which McMahon sponsored in a bid to take on Undertaker, who had been defending Austin while similarly vying for a title shot. Shortly before August pay-per-view SummerSlam, it was revealed that The Undertaker and Kane had been in cahoots and after Austin still retained his title, McMahon set what was, in essence a handicap match which ended with Kane and Undertaker simultaneously pinning Austin. With no obvious champion, McMahon booked a match between the two at Judgment Day and to further mock Steve Austin, he was designated as referee. When he attacked both men and counted a pinfall that didn't exist to end the match, McMahon made good on his threat and fired Austin, leaving the championship vacant for another month. To rectify this, Deadly Game was set up, a knock-out tournament contest between a wide array of wrestlers in the company.

Despite being fired, Austin was at Raw the night after Judgment Day and held McMahon hostage at gunpoint, though when Austin went to fire his gun it turned out to be a joke gun, with a sign saying BANG! 3:16 on it; Austin left the ring when McMahon soiled himself, having given him a piece of paper. Austin revealed the following week that the paper was a five-year contract that guaranteed him a championship match and most shockingly of all, the contract had been signed by Mr McMahon's son Shane, who had his owner rights suspended by his father and was demoted to a referee.

As well as Austin, McMahon seemed to have a new target of hatred. On November 2 edition of Raw, McMahon declared to the self-styled People's Champion that because he had a problem with the people, he had a problem with The Rock. He then ordered Rock into an Intercontinental match with Ken Shamrock, with Rock's tournament spot on the line. Shamrock hit him with a chair and thus he won, but only by disqualification and thus lost his tournament spot. Afterwards McMahon had The Rock arrested, much like he had done months before with Austin. The following week McMahon threatened him with expulsion from the company if he could not win a match against former Nation of Domination stable mate Mark Henry. Despite the odds being stacked in his favor with McMahon's entourage at ring side distracting the referee, Shane McMahon ran down after Rock had performed the Rock Bottom, a lifting side slam, on Henry and counted the pinfall to secure Rock's employment and, presumably, earning back his spot in the tournament although this was never specifically mentioned other than McMahon mentioning it on Heat.

While many wrestlers became the target of Vince McMahon's ire, one wrestler returned to being his favorite. With his son ostensibly turning on him, Mankind tried to cheer McMahon up and was treated as a surrogate child. McMahon awarded him a new belt, the WWF Hardcore Championship, as well as giving him a makeover, including a pedicure, haircut and tailored suit, gearing him up to win the tournament. As well as being a Hardcore Champion, Mankind had formed an ad hoc tag team with Al Snow, the humorous duo mocking each other's mascots who they talked to, Mr. Socko and Head. In a tag team match Mr. Socko went missing and it later transpired that Mr. McMahon had wrapped it round Al Snow's Head in order to provoke his wrath. Snow himself had also had several run-ins with Jeff Jarrett, after Jarrett had opened his guitar case only to find Head inside, instead of his trademark weapon.

Family problems were abound elsewhere with the return of Paul Bearer at Judgment Day. Bearer had been at Kane's side ever since his debut the previous October, but when Kane and Undertaker created an allegiance to take down Austin, Kane turned his back on Bearer and allowed Undertaker to beat him. When Bearer returned he seemed to be on Kane's side, but in fact he gave a chair to Undertaker to strike his son with, revealing on Raw that he had returned to being Undertaker's mentor.

Steven Regal had been having vignettes airing for his return for weeks under the gimmick of 'a man's man' but when he did make his appearance known, it was by attacking the European Champion X-Pac from behind on October 26. Another wrestler would make his debut standing by Mr. McMahon's side as a masked man in a SWAT style uniform, defending him from Austin's attacks. The enforcer turned out to be the returning Big Boss Man, after a stint in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), who had taken on the role of personal bodyguard for McMahon.

The two other feuds going into the event were both championship feuds. Marc Mero grew jealous of his valet Sable and the attention she gained, eventually having her fired by defeating her in a match. When she returned as a wrestler in her own right, Mero employed a new valet Jacqueline and the two naturally squared off. Firstly they had a bikini contest, which Sable won by popularity, but was disqualified as her bikini consisted of handprints. The two then had an arm wrestling contest, which ended with Jacqueline cracking the bikini contest trophy over the head of Sable. When Sable revealed the Women's Championship had been reactivated, the two met for a match on Raw, in which Jacqueline won due to Mero holding Sable's legs down. Sable was further humiliated when Jacqueline cut a piece of her hair and wrapped it into her own hair, but appeared on Raw, October 26, to demand a championship match.

The Headbangers had met the New Age Outlaws the previous month and after dominating most of the match, won via disqualification when the Road Dogg broke a boombox over Mosh's head. Despite titles not changing hands by disqualification, the Headbangers began to declare themselves champions, coming to the ring with toy replica belts and parodying New Age Outlaws pre-match speeches. With the dissolution of The Nation, D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry stayed together as a tag team and with Brown's feud with X-Pac over the European title, by messing with one D-Generate, he picked an unwitting fight with the Outlaws too.


First Round

The opening match was part of the Deadly Game tournament and saw Mr. McMahon welcome Mankind to the ring, he then announced his mystery opponent as a WWF veteran who had a record setting win-loss record before jumping ship from World Championship Wrestling. The grandiose introduction turned out to be ironic, though, as his opponent was the jobber Duane Gill. Despite the ten minute time limit, designed to make sure matches began swiftly, the match barely lasted one minute as Mankind knocked Gill to the floor and rolled him up for a pin.

Al Snow's match against Jeff Jarrett began with Snow following Jarret's valet, Debra McMichael but soon entered the ring. Snow took the first advantage, using the ropes to aid him with a neckbreaker but mistiming a flying leg drop. A succession of reversed pin counts from both parties ensued with neither wrestler winning, turning into a DDT from Snow. With both men on the mat, Debra walked onto the apron with Snow's mannequin head to distract the referee and allow Jarrett to pick it up. Snow himself grabbed Jarrett's guitar and swung for Jarrett, but missed and received Head. Jarrett went to attack him again in the corner but a kick from Snow allowed him to grab the Head and smack into it Jarrett's face, allowing a victory via pinfall when the referee finally looked back. Snow would face Mankind in the quarter finals.

Big Boss Man met Steve Austin on the walkway for their fight, with Austin throwing Boss Man into the steel steps before the match was officially under way. Inside the ring Boss Man used his punches to subdue Austin before choking him in the middle of the ring. Crowd support inspired Austin to fight back with a clothesline, shoulder barging his opponent into the turnbuckle before stomping a mudhole. After being Irish whipped against the ropes, Boss Man escaped the ring and when Austin caught up with him, he was met with a night stick from the Boss Man. The referee awarded the match via disqualification to Austin but that did not stop the onslaught from Boss Man's nightstick, much to the delight of Mr. McMahon.

The fourth Deadly Games match, between European Champion X-Pac and Stephen Regal, saw X-Pac's fast-paced style take advantage over Regal until a mistimed bronco buster in the corner left X-Pac in pain, Regal pulling him out to fit a seated abdominal stretch on him. Regal's mat-based technical style kept X-Pac slowed down and without much of his arsenal. Having slowed X-Pac down, Regal ventured to the top rope with his opponent, utilizing a double-underhook suplex from the top turnbuckle to put pressure on X-Pac's fragile neck. Despite picking up some offense, X-Pac went for a top rope maneuver too quickly and Regal shook the ropes, causing him to fall off to the outside. Regal quickly followed with a double underhook suplex reversed into a suplex from X-Pac. The bell was rung as both men were counted out but McMahon sent out Commissioner Slaughter to restart the match with a five-minute time limit, however X-Pac was already halfway up the ramp, nursing his neck injury and amidst confusion it appeared the match would not be restarted, giving Steve Austin a bye through to the semi-finals.

The next match, between Ken Shamrock and Goldust, began as a high-speed encounter with both wrestlers making many running attacks, until Shamrock had Goldust on the floor at which point he began to use a chin lock to slow him down. Goldust regained some momentum after standing up and, although Shamrock was able to reverse it initially Goldust soon had some advantage in the match. Things changed though when Goldust set his opponent up for the illegal move, Shattered Dreams. As Goldust made the run up, the referee jumped in the way to prevent the low blow which gave Shamrock the time to jump up to the top rope, jumping onto Goldust for a hurricarana, following it up immediately with an ankle lock that made Goldust tap out.

The last of the matches from the first round had The Rock booked against a returning Triple H. Despite Triple H's D-Generation X music playing, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco came to the ring to make the announcement that despite a no-show from Triple H, presumably due to his knee injury, the match would not be forfeited. The last minute replacement was Big Boss Man who ran to the ring, only to be rolled into a pin for the shortest match in WWF history - four seconds.

Quarter Finals

The first of the quarter final matches, which saw the time limit increased to fifteen minutes, was between two wrestlers who received byes through the first round, the warring brothers Undertaker and Kane. Both threw each other around the ring before the match was taken briefly outside, Undertaker thrown into the crowd barrier and Kane stomped into the steel steps. Although Kane would retake the advantage in the ring, a jumping elbow drop met with the mat when Undertaker set up. Undertaker used the opportunity to take out Kane's knee, using a number of attacks and holds on it. Undertaker pushed the rules to the limit by choking Kane in the corner and as the referee reprimanded him, Kane was able to recuperate to fight back. After a series of punches and a flying lariat the two were even again, this was symbolised when Undertaker grabbed Kane's throat for a chokeslam from a running attack. Kane did the same and eventually was able to deliver the chokeslam. Before he could pin his brother though, Paul Bearer jumped on the apron to distract Kane and in the interim period Undertaker stood up to deliver a tombstone piledriver and pin his brother, with Bearer holding Kane's leg down.

Mankind met Al Snow next, with Snow throwing Mankind around the ring and barging him to the floor before dropkicking him to the outside. Mankind tried to balance things by grabbing a steel chair but Snow took it off him and hit him twice (without disqualification), before mistiming an attack to the ring post allowing for Mankind to take charge. Having been beaten in the ring, Snow crawled to Head to use as a weapon but swung and missed, allowing Mankind to deliver a back drop. As he did, Head came away in his hand and he realized Mr. Socko was tied round Head's head. The rage saw him beat the mannequin, stamping on it before turning his attention back to Al Snow to land a double-armed DDT and then the mandible claw to win the match and setting up a match for Steve Austin in the next round.

The final second round match was between the long-feuding Shamrock and The Rock. Rock began his attack instantly, punching and clotheslining Shamrock before the latter replied with a suplex. Rock was not down for long, coming out of a kneeling position with another clothesline before chasing Shamrock out of the ring and spitting water into his face but receiving steel steps in the shoulder for it. Big Boss Man came to the ring as Shamrock moved from a chin lock into his ankle lock. Rock held on and slowly crawled for the ring break. After breaking away both men collided with a double clothesline allowing both men to recover and, after a failed pin attempt, stand up and fight again. Rock dynamically swung around Shamrock's body to secure a DDT attempt and as Boss Man distracted the referee, punched Shamrock in the crotch. Despite this, and a People's Elbow, Shamrock still kicked out and managed to reverse a Rock Bottom attempt into a belly-to-belly suplex. Boss Man tried to interfere again, slyly throwing a night stick to Shamrock as the referee was distracted. Rock intercepted the night stick though, allowing him to strike down Shamrock and make a pinfall.

The Deadly Game had a hiatus, roughly halfway through the evening, for the Women's Championship match between Jacqueline and the challenger Sable. The match seemed to be over almost instantly as, after a flurry of strikes Sable used the TKO on Jacqueline. Marc Mero, though, pulled Sable away from the pinfall for which he received a Sable Bomb on the outside of the ring allowing Jacqueline to recover and attack her from behind, rolling her back into the ring and taunting Sable with the hair Jacqueline had cut a few weeks before. Sable was then taken to the corner and kicked before being set up for a powerbomb. Sable tossed the champion over her back but Jacqueline crawled her over to the corner to set up a tornado DDT from the turnbuckle. Sable reversed again, throwing Jacqueline to the ground, picking her up to deliver a Sable Bomb and winning the Women's Championship.

Semi Finals

The first semi-final between Corporate sponsored Mankind and fan-favorite Steve Austin started with a brawl more than wrestling; Mankind threw off his tuxedo jacket as the two exchanged rough punches until Austin landed in the corner at which point Mankind began to bite him before landing a knee drop into his face and using his shoe as a weapon. After receiving a Lou Thesz press and a stunner attempt, Mankind ran away but McMahon's cronies, who were at ringside caught up with him and stopped him. Austin caught him from behind with a clothesline and the two fought in and out of the ring with referee Mike Chioda reluctant to count out or disqualify either wrestler. As the two met back in the ring, they grappled so much that Mankind's shirt came out of his trousers, resembling more and more his old appearance by the time a double clothesline floored both wrestlers. Mankind was thrown a chair from the outside but as he ran it into Stone Cold, Austin put his foot up, kicking Mankind through the chair. Still, Mankind was unabated delivering a double-armed DDT onto the chair and when that would not keep Austin down, he tried a piledriver on the chair but Austin ran him forward then tossed him over his back so that he landed on the chair. He picked him up and executed a Stone Cold Stunner on the chair too and as he made what seemed to be the inevitable victory, McMahon jumped out of his wheelchair and pulled the referee out of the ring, punching him to the ground and kicking him. With Austin looking on in shock, Mankind applied the mandible claw but as his trousers fell down he had trouble maintaining balance. Austin threw him into the ropes and caught another stunner, covering him despite there being no referee; suddenly Shane McMahon ran down the ramp and slid into the ring counting, but then stopping suddenly at two and as Austin looked up, Shane sat up on his knees and gave Austin the finger. Gerald Brisco and Slaughter climbed in the ring and hit Austin with a chair, then Shane counted the pinfall advancing Mankind into the final. McMahon's entourage sped off quickly, jumping into a limousine and being followed by Austin.

The second semi-final between The Rock and The Undertaker was fought initially around ringside, mostly a series of punches and headbutts until Rock was thrown back into the ring. The Rock was pummeled by a series of strikes and throat punches from Undertaker that eventually left him tied up in the ropes. From this position he was able to toss Undertaker out of the ring and followed him, fighting in the crowd eventually. Back in the ring there was still no discernible advantage, both exchanging punches and The Rock delivering a Samoan Drop. As the two lay motionless on the mat, Big Boss Man came back to ringside, apparently having not left with the rest of McMahon's entourage. He stopped Rock from finishing the People's Elbow by grabbing at his foot, allowing Undertaker to take Rock down, though Undertaker struck Boss Man from the apron. As Undertaker set up The Rock for a chokeslam, Kane climbed in the ring and Undertaker threw The Rock into Kane's hands, with Kane delivering a chokeslam to The Rock. This gave The Rock a win via disqualification and he advanced onto the final as Undertaker and Kane fought through the crowd.

The tournament took a hiatus again for the WWF Tag Team Championship triple threat match which saw Bad Ass Billy Gunn and D'Lo Brown fight with Mosh trying to steal a pinfall. Billy Gunn let Brown and Mosh fight while he tagged in Road Dogg, although this amounted to little as the New Age Outlaws threw both Headbangers out the ring and took a ten-punch to Brown and Henry. Both Headbangers returned to double team Road Dogg and the match was resumed proper with Mosh and Brown both attempting pins on Road Dogg and then teaming up on him, changing partners to continue the onslaught until Brown threw out Road Dogg and turned on Mosh, managing a frankensteiner on him but soon falling fowl to a Russian leg sweep. When Road Dogg returned he took the brunt of assault again and as he was down Brown's running powerbomb on Mosh was reversed into a sunset flip like pin. Both changed partners again, with the Headbangers double teaming Road Dogg but not helping Brown to double team them and instead delivering a low blow but without securing a pinfall. As their alliance failed, Road Dogg crawled to tag in the yet unused Billy Gunn, whose hot tag saw him take down everybody until Brown caught him from a running momentum to land a Lo Down which strangely referee Tim White delayed his pin count. After Billy Gunn kicked out, he jumped on a running Mosh to land the Fameasser and then a piledriver to retain the championship with a pin victory.


The final round of the Deadly Game tournament for the vacant WWF Championship began slowly, with The Rock and Mankind trying to gauge each other. Both wrestlers secured takedowns or the other before Mankind slowed down the match with a sleeper hold on Rock. At this point Mr McMahon and Shane, who had faked their escape from the arena to rid themselves of Austin, walked down to ringside. Rock fought his way back to his feet in the sleeper hold and backdropped Mankind, before tossing him outside the ring. He then reversed a suplex with one of his own before dropping Mankind's crotch onto the crowd barrier. Both wrestlers returned to the ring briefly, only for Mankind to Cactus Clothesline them back out to the announce tables where Mankind grabbed a steel chair and floored The Rock, with referee Earl Hebner not disqualifying him. Mankind then picked up the steel steps and went to drop them on Rock but was met with a chair shot through the steps, causing them to drop the steps on himself and Rock unleashed a myriad of chair shots on the steps into Mankind. The match turned dirtier when it returned to the ring, with Mankind desperately low blowing The Rock and then following it up by biting Rock's face, again with the referee not ending it. As The Rock crawled outside of the ring to escape the biting, Mankind followed him and pushed him onto the announce table, continuing to bite him and landing a leg drop. He could not make Rock lay down for three in the ring though and after another sleeper hold, Rock began to fight back with a flurry of punches and reversing Mankind's back toss into a DDT. With Rock thrown out the ring, Mankind tried to elbow drop him from the second rope but ended up going through the Spanish announce table on his own. After using bits of the table to hit Mankind, he was thrown back into the ring and kicked out of the People's Elbow, managing to find his own finisher in a double-armed DDT from a running Rock, and then the mandible claw. Staying upright, Rock managed to jump into the Rock Bottom. Rock then, much to the vocal surprise of the crowd, grabbed Mankind's legs and fixed him in the sharpshooter, using the top rope for leverage. Just like at Survivor Series the year before, Without tapping out, Mr McMahon ordered the referee to ring the bell and award the WWF Championship to The Rock.

After the match, Mr. McMahon and Shane entered the ring with Mr. McMahon telling the audience how he had successfully screwed Steve Austin, Mankind and the people. When Mankind asked for an explanation, Rock delivered another Rock Bottom but as the three of them celebrated, Austin ran into the ring and was met with a beating from The Rock that he eventually fought back from, tossing Rock out of the ring before grabbing the Championship belt and throwing it on Rock. He then gave a stunner to the just-recovered Mankind as the pay-per-view ended.


The immediate effects of the event, alongside The Rock turning heel by aligning himself with McMahon, was the creation of The Corporation. The following evening on Raw, McMahon declared The Rock to be the Corporate Champion and set about persuading other wrestlers down the roster to join with the promise of money and power. The first to join was Ken Shamrock, who demanded a match with the Big Boss Man for interfering in his match, but towards the end of the match both McMahons came to the ring and convinced him to join. They also tried to convince the New Age Outlaws to join, but after feigning an allegiance they revealed to be true to D-Generation X and had to defend their Tag Team Titles at Rock Bottom: In Your House and again the following night, which they lost after much interference. McMahon also introduced a new commissioner, Shawn Michaels, who also showed Corporate bias before returning to his DX stable. In the following year The Corporation would become a large stable and would rival The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness.

On a more individual basis, Mankind's outrage at being screwed by Mr. McMahon led him to a title match at the subsequent pay-per-view, Rock Bottom. Despite winning the match, McMahon managed to manipulate the rules to make sure The Rock retained his title again but another match on the first Raw of the new year saw Mankind win the title, leading to an "I Quit" match at the Royal Rumble in the new year, a match that became both noted as an entertaining match and also as being focused on in the Beyond the Mat documentary. This led to an empty arena match, a Last Man Standing match and finally a Ladder Match, with the title frequently changing hands until ultimately The Rock was champion and would go on to WrestleMania XV, with Mankind finding his way into the main event as a special guest referee.

Austin and Mr. McMahon's feud continued to escalate after he was cheated in the semi-finals. The following night on Raw he reminded McMahon and The Rock that when he was rehired by Shane, he was guaranteed a title match. The match was marred with interference though both from Corporate members, Mankind trying to find revenge on The Rock and The Undertaker who took a shovel to Austin. McMahon tried to use Undertaker as another blockade for Austin, setting him in a Buried Alive match to prevent him entering the Rumble. Austin won the Buried Alive Match and was placed in the Royal Rumble entering first opposite McMahon at number two who went on to win the Rumble, Austin reclaimed his WrestleMania place the following month, though and went on to win the title.

X-Pac's neck injury was not mentioned on screen and Steven Regal left the company soon after for WCW, without making another appearance. Marc Mero would also disappear from programming, firstly to support his wife, Sable, in her career before leaving the company altogether. Firstly he split with Jacqueline, blaming her for his losing streak and she went on to form Pretty Mean Sisters; then in a moment of cockiness he announced that he was so insulted by being forced to face Duane Gill that he would quit if he lost. Thanks to interference from the debuting Blue Meanie, Duane Gill (who had become Light Heavyweight Champion) won the match and Mero quit, making one last appearance at UK's Capital Carnage. Sable would disappear until the new year, when she became an active defender of the Women's Championship; fighting the likes of Luna Vachon and newcomer Tori and forming an alliance with Nicole Bass.


Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Tournaments bracket

  First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
 The Undertaker  
   The Undertaker Pin  
   Kane 7:16  
   The Undertaker DQ  
   The Rock 8:20  
 Goldust Sub  
 Ken Shamrock 5:56  
   Ken Shamrock Pin
   The Rock 8:20  
 The Big Boss Man Pin
 The Rock 0:04  
   The Rock Sub
   Mankind 17:10
 Steve Austin DQ  
 The Big Boss Man 3:20  
   Steve Austin
 Steven Regal DCO
 X-Pac 8:10  
   Steve Austin Pin
   Mankind 10:27  
 Jeff Jarrett Pin  
 Al Snow 3:31  
   Al Snow Pin
   Mankind 3:55  
 Duane Gill Pin
 Mankind 0:30  

Other on-screen talent

Ring announcer

See also

DVD Release

External links

Survivor Series logo.gif
Survivor Series
Survivor Series logo.gif
1998 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views
Royal RumbleNo Way Out Of TexasWrestleManiaMayhem in ManchesterUnforgivenOver the EdgeKing of the RingFully LoadedSummerSlamBreakdownJudgment DaySurvivor SeriesCapital CarnageRock Bottom