Aaron Wood
This Week In WWE Vintage Collection History: 2011 Ends In 1999...Sort Of...
By Aaron Wood
Dec 25, 2011 - 2:53 PM

Mean Gene opened up this week's show, noting that we'd be taking a look back at more matches that took place in December, including a legendary main event. He isn't lying. However, kicking us off, let's go to the other end of the scale, as we go to In Your House 5 on December 17th 1995 as The Undertaker took on King Mabel in a Casket match.

Back from the break, Gene said that after Ric Flair was forced to vacate the US Title due to injury, DDP and Eddie Guerrero would make the finals of an 8-man tournament to decide a new champion, a tournament I've mentioned a few months ago when the show featured a match from earlier in this feud. But who would actually win the title? Let's find out as the match took place on December 29th 1996 at Starrcade.

We came back from break to a WWE PPV in December. Chris Jericho & Christian defended their World Tag Team Titles at Armageddon on December 15th 2002 in a Four-Way Elimination match against the tandems of The Dudley Boyz (who had been reunited the previous month at Survivor Series), William Regal & Lance Storm and Booker T & Goldust. Would the egotastic Canadians retain the titles, or would RAW head into 2003 with a new duo on top?

It was main event time next, and they gave us a doozy. Mean Gene in the studio set it up. It took place on December 29th 1998 but aired on January 4th 1999's edition of RAW. Due to this delay between taping and airing, WCW, on their live Nitro the same night, gave away the results in a move that backfired as a large portion of audience turned the channel to see history being made as, yes, Mankind challenged The Rock for the WWE Title.

So with Austin's help, Mrs. Foley's baby boy won the WWE title from The Rock. While it would only last less than a month, it would forever live in the minds of those who witnessed it. Gene thanked us for watching. And indeed, this was the last show of 2011, so who knows what's on next week!?!?!

Off the back of his Casket match win, Undertaker would challenge Bret hart for the WWE Title at the 1996 Royal Rumble. However, Diesel would interfere and cause Taker to lose. A rematch on RAW soon after produced the same finish. Diesel would then get a shot at the IYH event in February inside the steel cage. However, Nash wouldn't escape Undertaker's wrath or revenge as during the match, The Undertaker burst through the ring and dragged Diesel under, allowing Hart to win. This set up Taker vs. Diesel at Wrestlemania where, naturally, Undertaker won.

This was Mabel's penultimate PPV appearance in WWE. His last match was the 1996 Rumble. After that, he was released, spending much of the next 2 years in the USWA before returning to the WWE where he and Taker would cross paths again, only this time, as Mabel became Undertaker's minion Viscera.

Having seemingly shown DDP the benefits of being nWo, they offered him a spot soon after his match with Eddie at the infamous "nWo Souled Out". However, he turned it down, dishing out Diamond Cutters to those in the ring. This started a feud with the nWo, although primarily, he would feud with Randy Savage, in an angle where Savage did a "shoot" giving away that Page and Kimberly were a real life couple.

As for Eddie, he defended the title against all comers, including defeating Syxx in a ladder match at the nWo Souled Out show. He would end up losing the title however to Dean Malenko at Uncensored that March.

After losing the World Tag Titles, Jericho & Christian went their separate ways. Jericho entered into a feud with Shawn Michaels, winning a match on RAW to choose his Rumble entry, picking #2 since HBK had been forced to be #1, leading to a match at Wrestlemania 19, which Shawn won.

As for Christian, after being encouraged by The Rock, he began to think of himself as the new People's Champion, leading him to calling his fans his "Peeps". He would, in May, win the IC ~Title in a Battle Royal to bring it back, having been retired previously.

The man Christian would feud with at that point would actually be Booker T. Booker & Goldust only held onto the Tag Titles for a few weeks, and like Jericho & Christian, went from being champions to splitting up entirely. Booker would go on to get the World Title shot at Wrestlemania against HHH, where he would, of course, lose in a match that for many is the epoch of HHH's utter selfishness. This feud would actually have consequences for Goldust, as to send a message to his buddy Booker, Evolution beat up Goldust, sending him into an electrical box, the result of which saw Goldust left with a Tourettes-like tick.

Having just been reunited at the previous month's Survivor Series, the Dudley Boyz drew the immediate ire of Eric Bischoff, feuding with his boys Regal & Storm (with Chief Morley replacing Regal when Regal became badly ill).

As noted by Okerlund, Foley would only have the title for a few weeks as The Rock won it back in the now-infamous "I Quit" match at the Royal Rumble. Foley would win the title back a week later on the special "Halftime Heat" Empty Arena match, but would then lose it back to The Rock in a ladder match on RAW when Big Show interfered. Rock would go on to face Stone Cold at Wrestlemania, but would lose the title, before turning babyface to face The Ministry and Corporation.

Indeed, this face turn for The Rock would see him and Foley team up, becoming The Rock & Sock Connection, winning the Tag titles a few times and leading to the all-time highest rated segment in RAW history, the original "This Is Your Life" skit.

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