WWF KING OF THE RING 1999 (Qualifying Matches):
* Time for more King of the Ring Qualifying Match goodness! With… the infamous 1999 tournament. Okay, so this one shockingly, like 1996, looks GREAT. On paper. I mean, you have two former Kings (Viscera/Shamrock), a ton of over midcarders (Gunn, Dogg, X-Pac, Godfather, even Chyna), some legit major names (Kane, Big Show). All four subordinate members of DX, Jarrett, Test, and more! Like, ON PAPER this looks like it should be a fantastic, well-fought tournament! And the purpose here is much like in past years: Push a midcarder and hope he gets lifted up to the next level. But of course we all know what happened with THIS King of the Ring reign. Read on!
So, uh, 1999 WWF is somewhat notorious in fan circles- 1997 was the company revving up and being good, 1998 was this incredible peak of business, 2000 had a ton of great workers infusing the Attitude Era with top-level in-ring product… and 1999 is kind of that weird shit year where Vince Russo’s worst instincts were revealed and the in-ring product was mostly ass. And also Owen Hart died shortly before this. You can see weird things pop up right away when all eight Qualifying Matches take place across two back-to-back editions of Sunday Night Heat and not even the main show.
KEN SHAMROCK vs. “DOUBLE J” JEFF JARRETT (w/ Debra McMichael):
(WWF Sunday Night Heat, May 30th)
* Shamrock is the defending King of the Ring, wearing blue trunks, while Jarrett, in silver & red shorts, is now FINALLY getting the reaction bookers have dreamed about for him since he has a heat machine in his ability to deny the crowd see Debra’s “puppies”. I thought Shamrock was a Corporation guy at this point, but I guess not, because he’s hugely over (we’re in the “Union” era). Both guys are on a similar tier here, and this is one of the more competitive Qualifying matches for sure.