Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 5

Previously on On the Card: Boiler Room Brawl.

Smash cut to Vader hugging air with Jim Cornette having a wild time behind him, Dok Hendrix in front. Cornette drops a promo about how Vader can beat Shawn. Vader’s music hits and out he comes, the big heap. 456 pounds of manliness walks past the old TVs that were used to watch the Boiler Room Brawl. The pyro is being set up as Vader can’t seem to find his way into the ring, throwing the stairs about the place. Vince bigs up Shawn a lot, but not as a competitor, more as a product of the WWF. He tells us that when he comes out, “you’ll know all about sports entertainment,” which is silly.

Shawn’s music hits and out he pops in sequins with José Lothario. The camera stays in strange places for a bit and when it comes back, we see that Shawn has a blonde girl around his neck. She gives him a kiss and some cunt behind her in the crowd does the V-finger-licking gesture for lesbians or whatnot. What an idiot. Vader is not impressed and just walks around the ring in circles. We don’t want a repeat of last month when the entire barricade fell. Shawn does his whole sexy boy entrance and the pyro goes off. The crowd are ballistic. Brilliant. I’ve barely seen or heard such a response from women for a wrestler. Maybe Val Venis.

One girl in the crowd is crying her heart covered eyes out. The bell does and we are starting.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels (c) w/ José Lothario def. Vader w/ Jim Cornette via pinfall in 28:59

Almost half an hour long? This better be the best damn match I’ve ever seen.

Earl Hebner is the official here today. Brown hair this time around. Just wait, Earl, the stress will get to you soon. Vader punches our man Michaels for a while and gives off to the champ, knocking him to the floor with a big shot. Michaels catches Vader’s boot, drops the man and starts wailing on him. JR says that this is smart, keeping the big man down. Vader is tossed over the top rope and Shawn goes for the baseball slide, knocking the wind from the big man. This is followed by a great suicide dive and Vader is down. Jim Cornette is chatting to Vader and Shawn slides back out, terrifying Cornette.

Michaels goes for the hurricanrana and jumps on his back for an electric chair, pulling Vader to the outside and going for another hurricanrana that Vader reverses into a powerbomb. Michaels is on the outside, he is hurt and Vader is in the ring. No count out yet. Vader is back outside and dragging Shawn to the stairs, up, onto the apron and then tosses Michaels inside. Vader hits Michaels with a great suplex.

Vader starts to beat on Michaels in the corner and Hebner is angry as shit about it. Two Irish whips, both of which turn Michaels inside out, the second one tosses him to the outside. Vader goes to leave and Michaels tries to enter. Hebner tells Vader to get away from him and spends a lot of time telling Vader that he cannot wrestle the way he wants to, which is odd. Vader hits Michaels with a great drop, goes for a wee walk with Michaels and goes for a backdrop. Michaels fights back and Vader takes control. Another backdrop and Michaels reverses. Each time Michaels gets a comeback, Vader knocks him on his arse. Even Shawn punching raises an awesome pop from the crowd, they are super behind him.

Michaels goes over the rope, pulls him back over, gets Vader in the head scissors and it is reversed as Vader, his head halfway up Michaels’ arse, throws him about the ring. Hug city.

Michaels is getting back from the hug, his foot is going. He goes for a knee, he goes for a clothesline, he goes for a baseball slide under Vader and hits him with a cheap shot in the nuts. Earl doesn’t do a God damned thing and the crowd pop. Your WWF Champ, a face, just low blowed his opponent and you are cheering. Shower of bastards.

Michaels slaps his elbow and goes to the top of the turnbuckle. He goes for the elbow, decides halfway through that he won’t be able to reach, lands on his feet, stomps Vader and starts shouting at him, stomping him again. Vader was supposed to roll away so that Shawn could land on his feet and do an elbow drop from a standing position, but he didn’t. The pair of them then toss over the edge and Michaels swipes at the cameraman in his face. He’s being an absolute cunt right now. Vader gorilla presses Michaels and Earl Hebner does the quickest count-out in history to give Vader the win…

But Jim Cornette isn’t happy. A belt cannot change hands on a countout. He wants a rematch. Irish Referee Tim White is there, ready to help Michaels up. Hebner comes out for a wee chat. Shawn starts to walk down the aisle, turns, decides that he is not gutless and returns to the ring, limping. After all his heel antics, this does little to endear him. Old Howard Finkel goes on the mic to tell the crowd that the match will continue and instantly, Vader is on Michaels, slapping the bejesus out of him. José Lothario is giving Vader some lip. Vader slashes at him and Earl drags José away, only for Jim Cornette to smack him with the tennis racket. In the ring, Vader hits Michaels with a belly-to-belly and a close two-count.

From a smark perspective, we know that the match is not nearly over yet. Neither man has hit his finisher. Vader sets Michaels up for the old powerbomb and Michaels punches the shit out of him, runs the ropes, does a kip-up, hits the big elbow and starts kicking the ground for the Sweet Chin Music. Cornette interferes, Michaels grabs his racket and goes to town on Vader and Jim Cornette. DQ on Michaels’ part and Vader wins again. Real heel activities from the Fed Champ. Once again, Jim is on the mic. A baker’s dozen of men in the ring. Cornette is double-dog-daring Michaels to restart the match and when Gorilla Monsoon says yes, the two men go mental on each other. Howard Finkel belatedly tells the crowd it’s a rematch.

Michaels hits the elbow (again), goes for Sweet Chin Music (finally) and pins Vader for the three in-

WAIT VADER KICKED OUT?

Michaels cannot believe it. The crowd cannot believe it. Vader and Michaels brawl, Earl is thrown to the outside. Vader hits the powerbomb and a second referee jumps in, but Michaels just kicks out on two. Vader drags Michaels to the turnbuckle to hit the old Vader Bomb. He stops… he climbs to the top and-

HOLY JESUS THAT MAN JUST MOONSAULTED.

VADER JUST DID A BACKFLIP.

VADER MISSED MICHAELS ON THE BACKFLIP.

Michaels rolls out of the way and drags himself up to the top rope, hits a moonsault of his own and gets the pin in 28:59.

FINALLY.

2016 comments:

Michaels comes across as such a ballbag in this match. At the time, he was a total diva backstage and this was one of the matches that led to him wanting to get away from Vader because he felt he was too snug with his moves. This was not a great match. It had the capacity to be and was very exciting on the outset but something in the execution and the mood following Vader’s botch really sucks the energy out of this bout.

1996 comments:

Christ Jesus, that man can moonsault.

Grade: B

Michaels and Vader roll about in the ring for a while. The baker’s dozen enter the ring again and we see replays of the moonsaults while everyone looks around, upset at the ending. Vader leaves, which is interesting as nowadays, he would beat down Michaels to get his heat back. Michaels limps about and the PPV is over.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: All of the matches were okay but not brilliant. Summerslam tried to cram too much into too little and wasted time with Mark Henry and the God damned King. I was going to give this to Owen but I feel that Undertaker did such a good job making us feel sorry for an unholy zombie wrestler, so well done, Taker, you are the man of these matches.

Woman of the Matches: I’m beginning to repeat myself here. Marlena, Sable, Sunny. It’s tough, I know, but I have to give it to Sunny. That big picture was great.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Undertaker.

Best Spot: Once again, the first few minutes of Undertaker’s match was great. Very spooooky.

Hatches: Yokozuna.

Matches: Both The Smoking Gunns and Shawn Michaels retained their championships.

Dispatches: None! Everyone comes back!

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV. Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Man of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, Goldust, Undertaker.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Shawn Michaels for his dedication to the craft, excellent matches and headlining every PPV so far.

Woman of the Matches: Sunny, Marlena, Sunny.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Sunny for being awesome.

Closing Statements: SummerSlam ’96 was a classic but not for the right reasons. Whilst there were some great matches there, it was marred by a less-than-stellar main event, long matches that went nowhere and lack of tension in the storylines. By this point, Camp Cornette and Michaels have been at war for ages and no one else is getting a looksee. Mankind vs. Undertaker is nice but we’re sick of seeing the Godwinns and the Gunns wrassle. Interesting characters, varied storylines and matches with a threat is what is needed. Hopefully we will see that soon.

On the Card will return on September 22nd with In Your House 10: Mind Games.

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