Previously on On the Card: We saw Owen Hart wrestle. Glorious.
Cut to Kevin Kelly backstage in the boiler room with Mankind and Paul Bearer. Bearer is brilliant, shrill and eeeeeevil. Bearer blames everyone for his betrayal. Mankind hugs the urn and tells everyone that he lives so that others may feel his pain. His destiny is to win tonight, reportedly. He does tell us to have a nice day, however.
Back in the ring, Jerry “The King” Lawler comes out to verbally abuse the crowd for a while. That’s not like you, Jerry! In the middle of the slagging, it cuts to Superstars earlier and Free-For-All when Jerry pours water on Mark Henry and slaps him. We can’t hear Jerry shout, though he does ask, of the Olympics, “If one synchronised swimmer drowns, do they all drown?” In the middle of his rant, music hits and out comes “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry. He’s wearing a USA singlet, throws his XXXL jacket into the crowd and Jerry is still slagging him. Jerry, listen, Henry is 400 pounds. You can’t lift him.
Mark Henry def. Jerry “The King” Lawler via submission in 5:13.
So, once again, we have a match where the winner is obvious. Will the wrestling legend win or the young upstart who did not compete in the Olympics? Either way, it is not a strong win because the opponents are not equals.
Jerry knows all about mind games, according to Vince. The King walks about the ring and USA chants rise for Henry. They lock up and King keeps him in a headlock. Henry reverses it to a hammerlock and pushes Jerry down. JR states, quite correctly, that Mark Henry does not need to do anything fancy. Just overpower Jerry. Do what you are booked to do. Mark gets Jerry in a headlock and it’s the King’s turn to reverse into a hammerlock. Henry reverses that hammerlock into another hammerlock and throws Jerry into the turnbuckle. Big clap rises and the pair chase each other about the ring. Jerry goes to bodyslam Mark and Henry lifts Jerry into a gorilla press and chucks him away.
Jerry runs at Mark… and bounces off him. He runs to Henry and is tossed through the ropes. Jerry cracks his head off the ground on the way out, goes back into the ring and puts his hands down his tights to hold something in his right hand, strengthening his punches. That son of a bitch. Henry gets the fight back and whups on Jerry mercilessly. King tries to escape and is placed in a backbreaker submission, where he almost instantly taps out. Mark Henry wins his debut match in 5:13.
This was actually a very good match, psychologically speaking. Other than the (foolish) body slam attempt, Jerry uses his superior wrestling knowledge to keep control of Henry and when he is overpowered, he cheats sneakily, but is not caught. Henry comes across as the good, honest, All-American babyface and Lawler is the snide, wicked, arrogant heel. Jerry tapped too quickly on the backbreaker for my liking.
I hate jingoism… but I hate Jerry “The King” Lawler even more.
I am pleased but also disappointed that the best match so far is a Mark Henry and Jerry Lawler match. This might be the only time these two men make this list. Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy come in to beat on Henry but are thrown out. Then, young upstart Hunter Hearst Helmsley runs in, the rascal, and is tossed out onto the lads on the outside. JR: “Mark Henry beat the King and all the King’s men!”
Henry does a wee dance mid-ring as well. Fair play to him. Pyro goes off above the ring. All right. Calm down.
Coliseum Home Video Exclusive of Dok Hendrix in the locker room with new Tag Team champions, Slammy Award Winning Own Hart, the British Bulldog and Immigration Clarence Mason. The boys come over as faces despite their alliance with Camp Cornette. Owen says Clarence brought the boys luck. Mason is now their new manager. Good man.
Cut to a promo of the Undertaker working as a blacksmith, trying to make some extra money. We are reminded of the Taker/Goldust rivalry. Mankind is mentioned as well. Over the last few PPVs, Taker has only fought Goldust or Mankind. Great feud.
Back in the ring, Goldust has arrived with Marlena. Goldust falls from the ceiling.
The gong rises and the audience go mental as they await the Undertaker to walk out of the house. There he is, walking slowly to the ring, wasting all our time, like Randy Orton would years later. He enters the ring and the two men are about to square off when Taker boots Goldust between the legs and the bell rings for this match.
Final Curtain match: Undertaker def. Goldust w/ Marlena via pinfall in 10:23.
The rules of the Final Curtain match are not stated, but I assume that they are a “Winner leaves town,” stipulation of some kind. Taker launches Goldie from turnbuckle to turnbuckle as Irish Referee Tim White looks on. Taker hits a very high leg drop and Goldust rolls to the ouside, Marlena looking on unimpressed. Taker is hit with a chindrop and Marlena gives him a slap for good luck. Goldust hits a swinging neckbreaker and Undertaker sits right up. Fantastic suplex from Taker followed by another quick sit-up and almost three count.
Goldust takes one hell of a hip toss followed by Old School. Three minutes in and Goldust has barely had any offence as he is thrown out of the ring like a bad child. But wait… he has something illegal in his hand… a bag of gold dust! As Marlena distracts the ref (after being picked up by Taker), Goldust flings the gold dust in Taker’s face. Blinded, the Deadman is as the critic’s mercy. Goldie drives Taker’s face into the steel steps and rolls back into the ring. Taker doesn’t know what to do with himself.
Taker gets his head bounced off the Spanish announcer’s table and rolls back in the ring as Goldust feels himself up. Taker is Irish whipped into the ropes but holds on, turning slowly, his eyes still stinging from the gold dust. Taker gets beaten in the corner and Irish Referee Tim White chastises Goldust for holding a choke on too long. Taker finally fights back with a great backdrop and both men are up on their feet, still beating on each other. Undertaker is rallying as best he can and Goldust is still unable to put the Deadman away.
Marlena goes to the turnbuckle and Goldust feels himself up again, holding the Undertaker’s head at groin level. The Deadman strikes back with a choke and several body shots, sending Goldie flying. A hard Irish whip and Goldust hits a beautiful body slam. Undertaker sits up quickly, the pair run the ropes and a high jump knocks both men down. Goldust goes to the top rope but Taker hits the chokeslam on Goldie, performing the “slit throat” taunt followed by the Tombstone Piledriver for the pin in 10:23.
Great match. This is starting to pick up. I love Goldust anyways, but the psychology here was wonderful. Goldust seems to be Undertaker’s equal, but his hubris is too much for him to simply win, he has to humiliate Taker and that is his downfall.
Jesus Goldust is creepier than the actual dead man in the ring.
Undertaker reaches to the heavens, looks about for his urn but Paul Bearer is nowhere to be seen. Will Goldust leave town now? Only time will tell…
On the Card will return on October 13th with the fourth and final part of Mind Games.