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Matt’s Retro Reviews: WWF Championship 1999 (Part 1)

Matt Davis presents his look at the WWE Championship in 1999! This year was so loaded that this is only Part One!

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Mankind WWF Championship Mick Foley WWE DX Raw

Matt Davis presents his look at the WWE Championship in 1999! This year was so loaded that this is only Part One!

Welcome to the 13th edition of the Retro Review on The Chairshot! This will be a biweekly article here on The Chairshot because we have a lot to discuss! In starting, my question for you is; have you ever had a discussion with a friend or in a group online about who is the greatest champion of all time? What is your defense of your claim? Wins? Quality of matches? Length of reign? In this weekly article, I will be looking back one year at a time and evaluating one specific championship in each article, with a yearly grade ranking and overall grade ranking and as we progress through the years, I will reveal who I believe is the best champion of all time.

To start us off, I am going to discuss the most recognizable championship in the history of wrestling, the WWE Heavyweight Championship. These articles will not discuss the “Big Gold” World Championship, Universal Championship, or any other recognized heavyweight championship in WWE, those will be discussed in other articles. During these reviews, I will count matches aired on weekly television, PPV, and matches also released on VHS and later on home media.

Mick Foley/Mankind (January 4th, 1999 – January 24th, 1999)

  • Record: 3-2
  • Clean Losses: 0
  • Successful Defenses: 1

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • Mick Foley d. The Rock, January 4th, 1999, Monday Night RAW
  • The Rock d. Mick Foley, January 24th, 1999, Royal Rumble

Thoughts: Not a good reign in the least bit, we are full blown Attitude Era here with short matches, crazy storylines, great characters, but overall bad championship booking. Far from the strong championship reigns we had in years past, Mick Foley gave us fans one of the greatest moments in wrestling history when Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy won the WWF Championship in the Worcester Centrum Center to one of the loudest reactions you’ll ever hear, in the middle of a blizzard, airing the same night as The Fingerpoke of Doom on Nitro, but, as historically important as this night in wrestling is, the reign was badly booked. It was a courtesy reign for Mick Foley. I wouldn’t call the title change a “dirty” change, as I have historically pointed out is how most WWF Championships have changed hands, but it most certainly wasn’t clean, as a recording of Foley’s voice echoed across the arena during an I Quit match. It was hokey. Entertaining, but hokey.

Grade (A+ through F ): D-

The Rock (January 24th, 1999 – January 26th, 1999)

  • Record: 1-1
  • Clean Losses: 1
  • Successful Defenses: 0

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • N/A

Thoughts: An empty arena match on Halftime Heat during the 1998 SuperBowl resulted in a WWF Title change, two days after The Rock won it. Crazy hot shotting of the title here just to do it.

Grade (A+ through F ): F

Mick Foley (January 26th – February 15th, 1999 )

  • Record: 1-1
  • Clean Losses: 0
  • Successful Defenses: 0

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • The Rock d. Mick Foley (Ladder), February 15th, 1999, Monday Night RAW

Thoughts: What in the blue hell is going on? Another title change. What is the storytelling being achieved here? It’s like 1997 all over again. Four title changes in six weeks.

Grade (A+ through F ): F

The Rock (February 15th, 1999 – March 28th, 1999)

  • Record: 2-2
  • Clean Losses: 1
  • Successful Defenses: 1

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • The Rock d. Mick Foley (Ladder), February 15th, 1999, Monday Night RAW
  • Steve Austin d. The Rock, March 28th, 1999, WrestleMania XV

Thoughts: Not the last time that The Rock would win a WWE Championship in February only to drop it at Wrestlemania…. This whole feud resulted in Mick Foley being the special referee for this WrestleMania clash. After a great match and forth main event, Mick Foley called the match down the middle, and Stone Cold was WWF Champion for the third time.

Grade (A+ through F ): D

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (March 28th, 1999 – May 23rd, 1999)

  • Record: 4-1
  • Clean Losses: 0
  • Successful Defenses: 1

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • Steve Austin d. The Rock, March 28th, 1999, WrestleMania XV
  • Steve Austin d. The Rock, April 15th, 1999, Backlash

Thoughts: Another short reign, we’ve now had five title changes and May isn’t over. Austin loses after stumbling into a school boy and a fast count. The Corporation vs The Ministry vs Steve Austin feud was very interesting, captivating stuff but overall another weak reign. The McMahons screw Austin one more time. What left a bad taste in my mouth is of course that Owen Hart died about an hour before this, and in the infamous words of Bret Hart “Vince would rather scrape a body off a mat than cancel the remainder of a show.” I can not recommend watching that match for that reason.

Grade (A+ through F ): D

Undertaker (May 23rd, 1999 – June 28th, 1999)

  • Record: 3-3
  • Clean Losses: 1
  • Successful Defenses: 2

Recommended Matches to Watch

  • The Rock d. Triple H, & Undertaker, June 14th, 1999, Monday Night RAW
  • Undertaker d. The Rock, June 27th, 1999, King of the Ring
  • Steve Austin d. Undertaker, June 28th, 1999, Monday Night RAW

Thoughts: Three recommended matches here as The Undertaker was on another level during this reign. It’s still only a month long but it feels much longer in context. He had six matches, two successful defenses, and only one clean loss. During this time we found out that Vince McMahon was the Higher Power all along and absorbed The Corporation and The Ministry of Darkness together. Undertaker was the feature focal point of most of this summer, at his darkest period in his characters history. It’s truly remarkable how dark he was here. The nickname Big Evil wouldn’t become a thing for a few more years but it was certainly born here.

Grade (A+ through F ): D+


Overall WWE Champion Ranking

  1. Hulk Hogan (January 23rd, 1984 – February 5th, 1988) – A
  2. Bret Hart (March 20th, 1994 – November 26th, 1994) – A
  3. Yokozuna (June 13th, 1993 – March 20th, 1994) — B+
  4. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (April 5th, 1992 – September 14th, 1992) – B
  5. The Rock (November 15th, 1998 – January 4th, 1999) — B
  6. Undertaker  (March 23rd, 1997 – August 3rd, 1997) — B
  7. Shawn Michaels (November 9th, 1997 – March 29th, 1998) — B
  8. Bret Hart (October 12th, 1992 – April 4th, 1993) — B-
  9. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (March 27th, 1988 – April 2nd, 1989) – C+
  10. Sgt. Slaughter (January 19th, 1991 – March 24th, 1991) – C
  11. Hulk Hogan (April 2nd, 1989 – April 1st, 1990) – C
  12. Bret Hart (August 3rd, 1997 – November 9th, 1997) — C-
  13. Hulk Hogan (March 24th — November 27th, 1991) – D+
  14. Undertaker (May 23rd, 1999 – June 28th, 1999) — D+
  15. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (March 29th, 1998 – June 28th, 1998) — D
  16. Ric Flair (January 19th, 1992 — April 5th, 1992) — D
  17. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (June 29th, 1998 – September 27th, 1998)– D
  18. The Ultimate Warrior (April 1st, 1990- January 19th, 1991) – D
  19. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (March 28th, 1999 – May 23rd, 1999) — D
  20. Ric Flair (September 14th, 1992 – October 12th, 1992) — D
  21. Diesel (November 26th, 1994 – November 19th, 1995) — D
  22. The Rock (February 15th, 1999 – March 28th, 1999) — D
  23. Mick Foley/Mankind (January 4th, 1999 – January 24th, 1999) — D-
  24. Bob Backlund (November 23rd, 1994 – November 26th, 1994) — D-
  25. Psycho Sid (November 17th, 1996 – January 19th, 1997) — F
  26. Psycho Sid (February 17th, 1997 – March 23rd, 1997) — F
  27. Mick Foley (January 26th – February 15th, 1999 ) — F
  28. Shawn Michaels (January 19th, 1997 – February 13th, 1997) — F
  29. Bret Hart (February 16th, 1997 – February 17th, 1997) — F
  30. Undertaker (November 27th, 1991- December 3rd, 1991) – F
  31. Hulk Hogan (December 3rd, 1991 – December 4th, 1991) – F
  32. Kane (June 28th, 1998 – June 29th, 1998) — F
  33. The Rock (January 24th, 1999 – January 26th, 1999) — F
  34. Yokozuna (April 4th, 1992 – April 4th, 1992) — F
  35. Hulk Hogan (April 4th, 1993 – June 13th, 1993) — F

**Speaking of championships, I am currently designing custom made championships and shirts for your wrestling figure collections! Check out the page at Grand Slam Creations – Custom Wrestling Belts & Accessories on Facebook, give us a like and a follow and share with your friends! 


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Opinion

NXT Minus 6: Let’s Make History!

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

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WWE NXT Undisputed Era Breezango

Bradley Jay makes history in this week’s edition of the NXT Minus 6. What kind of history is he making? Well, that’s for you to read and see!

This will be the most historic column in the history of history!

Less than half of Americans know that alcohol is a carcinogen. Big Booze wants to keep it that way.

6. Did you notice how many people want to make history? It’s all anybody talked about this week. I turned it into a drinking game. Every time someone said they wanted to make history, I took a shot. After 10 minutes, I died from alcohol poisoning. So much history.

NXT's Shotzi Blackheart Reveals Ember Moon as Women's Dusty Classic Partner

5. Shotzi Blackheart will make history as the first person with green hair to win a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro will become the first tag team in history to win a DRTTC whose collective weight would qualify for 205 Live. Ember Moon will make history as the first person to leave NXT, return and win a tournament that didn’t exist the first time she was there. BTW, the tag team I want to see is Kayden Carter & Ember Moon.  

MSK Revealed After Debut on Tonight's WWE NXT

4. Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory will make history as the first mentor/mentee team to win the DRTTC. KUSHIDA will make history as the first wrestler to win in all caps! MSK will make history as having the most God-awful name of any team to win. Unless it’s a shout out to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, then the name is doo doo on a stick.

Killian Dain | WWE3. Grizzled Young Veterans are sssssooooooon to make history as the first team to lose in the finals and win it the next year. Killian Dain by himself will be the hairiest team ever to win the DRTTC. Bollywood Boyz will make history as the first…I can’t finish that sentence. Those gomers aren’t winning Jack Squat. 

WWE NXT Releases the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Bracket

2. Overall, it was a good start to the tournament. Every match was 3.5 stars. Nothing memorable, nothing horrible. Breezango versus Undisputed Era was the best of the bunch. It would have been better without the horribly overbooked end. I’m not sure the point of it all if Breezango couldn’t use it to pick up a victory.   

Video: Wade Barrett sits down with Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher before NXT Fight Pit on WWE NXT - Wrestling Inc.

1. “You look like a man who is questioning if he’s still got it.” It was a filler line, but that’s the story! I’m slightly excited for Tommaso Ciampa versus Timothy Thatcher, primarily because of the Fight Pit. Right now, it’s two tough guys wanting to beat each other up. I want to see Ciampa fighting to prove he’s still got it. I want to see Thatcher fighting to crush the soul of the locker room leader. That’s the story.  


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NFL

Cook: Breaking Down The 2021 NFL Divisional Round

Steve Cook breaks down the NFL Divisional Round Playoffs, getting you ready for one of the best football weekends of the year!

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NFL Divisional Round Playoffs Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers

Steve Cook breaks down the NFL Divisional Round Playoffs, getting you ready for one of the best football weekends of the year!

Many experts say that the Divisional Round is the best weekend of the NFL season, and I agree with them. The Wild Card Weekend gets rid of all the riff-raff, and we’re left with teams that deserve to be there. A bitter pill to swallow for me as a Cincinnati Bengals fan whose team can never win one playoff game when they get there, due to the Bo Jackson Curse. I still have to swallow it because it is what it is. The cream rises to the top, and any team that manages to win one playoff game has earned their position on the stage.

I know everybody out there is wondering who will win these games. Fortunately, I’m here to break it down for you, and let you know what’s going to happen. After all, I did win 3 out of the 3 fantasy leagues I was in this season. Just saying, I know what these folks are capable of statistically. Ask anybody here on The Chairshot. I broke them all down and made them humble at some point during the fantasy season. Laid waste to all these folks, who all are intelligent in their own right. No disrespect to anybody I was up against. Their arms were just too short to box with God.

Saturday, 4:35 PM: LA Rams at Green Bay Packers

You know it’s a stacked weekend of action when this is the curtain-jerker. We got the best defense in the NFL going against Aaron Rodgers, on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Where there will be 6,000 ticketed fans, along with first responders. Not enough to make a difference like a typical Packers home game.

As good as that Rams defense is, you don’t like them nearly as much when Aaron Donald is off the field. Donald says he’s ready to do, so does Jared Goff, so the Rams are heading into Green Bay with all hands on deck. I went with the Rams at +6.5, largely because they’re looking as healthy as possible heading into this one, and you have to be impressed with what they did in Seattle. That being said, the Packers represent much stiffer competition. And I don’t care if Aaron Rodgers has only won one Super Bowl, I’m still picking his team to win in Green Bay. They don’t have to leave Wisconsin until the Super Bowl, though they might want to leave before then.

Yeah, I know. Kentucky guy talking state smack.

Cook’s Pick: Green Bay Packers

Saturday, 8:15 PM: Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

Lamar Jackson finally got that monkey off of his back and won a playoff game. I was in a tough spot seeing Lamar compared to Andy Dalton, a perfectly competent Bengals QB that couldn’t win a postseason game. This is the closest line right now, because Vegas and everybody knows this: Once you let Lamar Jackson out of his cage, he’ll pile the bodies to the sky. One of the most fun athletes to watch of my, or anybody else’s, lifetime. I mean, if you don’t like Lamar, what do you like?

I’m a big fan of the Bills’ story, and I’d like for them to go a long way. Josh Allen is a talented SOB and fun to watch. I’m not sure he’s as fun as Lamar Jackson, but then I’ve seen many more Lamar Jackson games. This will be a big game for the future of both men, and might not be the last time we see them face off in the playoffs. I picked Baltimore at +2.5 largely because of my Lamar Jackson fandom, and the fact that the Ravens are just one of those franchises that excel in the playoffs. You always see them making a deep run. Buffalo? Well, they had four pretty deep runs, and you don’t mention any of those in Buffalo if you want to get out alive.

Cook’s Pick: Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, 3:05 PM: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs

One of those games that will be closer than it should be for most of the game. Imagine the Browns going into an overly loud Arrowhead Stadium against Patrick Mahomes. It would be ugly. The fact that this stadium won’t be crowded as usual kind of gives Cleveland a chance. The spread is -10. I’d typically take Cleveland on those odds in this environment. Except…man, that offense is pretty awesome and I bet KC wants to put on a show. Pittsburgh couldn’t do it because they’re awful, but Kansas City definitely can.

Browns fans are hoping that the Chiefs overlook them, and the team itself is trying to use Chiefs quotes as bulletin board material, but I just don’t see Kansas City overlooking these guys. The “NOBODY RESPECTS US!” motivational tactic is as old as time and more often than not is based off of nothing. Listen, if you’ve made it to this point of the NFL season, there is somebody out there that respects you. This is the best Browns team since the days of Bernie Kosar. Just don’t ask Cleveland fans of a certain age what happened when they played an AFC West team in the playoffs. Still a touchy subject.

I’m kind of hoping the Browns go away for one simple reason: It’s awkward being a Bengals fan and seeing everybody in love with these guys. Not to be “NOBODY RESPECTS US!” guy, but I sure don’t remember the Bengals getting the same type of good vibes from the people when they were good. What’s up with that?

Cook’s Pick: Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, 6:40 PM: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

We got Tom Brady & Drew Brees up past their bedtime. Nah, we need to get past the old people jokes, as honestly I’m pretty happy to see a game with two quarterbacks older than me playing in it. Makes me feel not quite as old. They still got skill too, both men were in the top 10 QBR rankings for the 2020 regular season. I’m pretty sure QBR gives Brady & Brees 50 points just based off of being Brady & Brees, but they still had impressive seasons. We’re talking about their buddy Ben Roethlisberger possibly retiring, but nobody’s really talking about either of these guys doing it. Unless they just want to go out on top, which with Brees is definitely a possibility.

The Saints won the first two meetings, and we all know the old saying about teams that meet three times. We also know that it’s dang near impossible to beat a Tom Brady-quarterbacked team in the postseason. Dude’s won more postseason games than some teams have won games over the past twenty years. OK, a little exaggeration, but would you be surprised if it’s true? Betting against Tom Brady in the postseason is like betting against Undertaker at WrestleMania. You just don’t do it.

Unless it’s in New Orleans.

Wrestling Fans

See what I did there? I like the Saints because I like their skill position players better. Alvin Kamara looks good and recovered from the rona. Michael Thomas is back in the mix, which can only be a good thing for the Saints’ passing game. They also have a slightly better defense, and we all know that as much as we talk about the shiny quarterbacks, defense wins championships. Saints in a barn burner to end the weekend on a good note.

Cook’s Pick: New Orleans Saints

Thanks for reading! Fun to do the ol’ sports again, maybe I’ll do more of it in the future…


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