WWE Memory Lane: Ranking the 10 Best PPV Matches of 1998 (Early Attitude Era)
For many wrestling fans between the ages of 18 and 35, probably the most entertaining time to be a fan of the WWE was during the Attitude Era.
If you were an employee that absolutely hated your boss, you could tune in every Monday night for RAW and watch in hopes of seeing what Stone Cold Steve Austin would be doing to boss Vince McMahon that week while you dream of doing it yourself.
Whether it be a Stone Cold Stunner to the boss or some the antics of D-Generation X while they were at their finest, you could always expect something entertaining back then when you tuned into wrestling.
This slideshow features a list of the 10 best WWE pay-per-view matches from 1998, better known to wrestling fans as the year that witnessed the birth of the Attitude Era.
If you enjoyed this slideshow, be sure to check out some others in the series:
10. Kane vs. Undertaker (Judgment Day)
This matchup between the Deadman and his brother Kane featured the added bonus of having Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee.
Austin would play an integral role in the match, as he would set up both brothers to pin each other while they were down, basically causing the match to end in a draw.
Since there was no clear winner for the championship, the title would be vacated.
9. Kane vs. Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Breakdown: In Your House)
This three-way contest featured one of the more interesting endings to a triple-threat match that I have ever seen in the WWE.
The finish saw the Undertaker and Kane both pinning Stone Cold Steve Austin for the victory, which definitely led to some confusion.
Since there were two winners to the match, and therefore no clear champion, the WWE title was vacated the next night on RAW.
8. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Undertaker (Rock Bottom: In Your House)
This match was set up by Vince McMahon with the winner receiving a spot in the Royal Rumble, but he also wanted these two to destroy each other before they faced his champion at the time—the Rock.
Austin seized the moment with a little help from the Undertaker's brother Kane, who delivered a tombstone piledriver on the Undertaker, putting him into the grave and allowing Stone Cold to "bury him alive."
His victory would set things in motion for the McMahon-Austin-Rock feud that would lead into WrestleMania XV.
7. Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart (SummerSlam)
This match was one of a series of intriguing match types the WWE used during the rivalry between these two gifted athletes.
The Lions Den was a modified version of a steel cage and was located in a separate area of Madison Square Garden with a special crowd watching the match.
Shamrock picked up the victory after a beautiful maneuver in which he ran up the cage and jumped over Hart before eventually getting him to tap out to his patented ankle lock submission.
6. Triple H vs. Rock (SummerSlam)
This was perhaps one of the best ladder matches of all time and was probably my favorite match between these two legends of the business.
The contest saw interferences on both wrestlers behalves, with Chyna eventually delivering a low blow to the Rock allowing Triple H to score the victory and the Intercontinental Championship.
One of my personal favorites about this match was Triple H's introduction, which was the D-X theme song performed live by the DX Band.
5. Undertaker vs. Kane (Unforgiven: In Your House)
This was the WWE's first ever Inferno match, where the objective of the match is to set your opponent on fire.
The match witnessed several big spots from both competitors and was highlighted with an amazing suicide dive by the Undertaker over the flames into both Kane and Vader, who had interfered in the match to keep Kane from leaving the arena.
The match ended after the Deadman delivered a massive big boot, sending Kane stumbling into the flames and catching his arm ablaze in the process, giving Taker the win.
4. Mankind vs. Undertaker (King of the Ring)
This is one of the most famous Hell in a Cell matches in WWE history, and it was also one of the defining moments of Mick Foley's career.
As you'll see if you watch the video, Foley takes two insane falls during the match, both from at least 15-16 feet in the air. These falls are considered some of the most iconic and viewed segments in wrestling history.
As you would expect, after two massive bumps from that height, Foley was unable to recover and Undertaker picked up the well-earned victory.
3. Kane vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (King of the Ring)
Considering the only visible part of Kane's body were his eyes, it's pretty obvious why Stone Cold was unable to find a way to win in this one as it was a First Blood match.
However, Austin put up one helluva fight before eventually being busted open by Kane.
While Kane won the WWE Title in the match, his reign was short-lived, as he lost the title back to Austin the following night on Raw.
2. Rock vs. Mankind (Survivor Series)
After fighting their way through a night-long tournament to reach the main event, the Rock and Mankind destroyed each other battling for the vacated WWE title.
This matchup was basically a set-up by the McMahons to give the Rock the title, as Vince told the referee to ring the bell once the Rock put Mankind in a sharpshooter without Mankind tapping out.
The screw job was an attempt at a repeat of the previous year's Survivor Series with the whole HBK-Bret Hart-Montreal screw job. It also was the beginning of the Rock's run as the Corporate Champion.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XIV)
This is one of my favorite matches in WrestleMania history, as it pitted Stone Cold against the Heartbreak Kid with Iron Mike Tyson as the Special Guest Enforcer.
While Tyson looked like he was down with the Degenerates and Michaels heading into the event, he cost HBK his title as slid into the ring to make a fast three count for Austin after a Stone Cold Stunner, ending Michaels' reign as champion.
When Michaels confronted Tyson after the match about what had happened, he was met by a knockout punch from Iron Mike.
Austin's victory is considered by many to be the birth of the "Attitude Era."