Attitude Era #8: Royal Rumble 1997 (Jan 19, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Stone Cold cheats his way to victory.

Promo for the bad attitudes from the two men. We see Sid’s heel-turn where he attacked José Lothario. No apologies from Sid. Bad CGI of Shawn looking out a window into a WWF arena. The two men kick seven shades of shite out of one another and Sid powerbombs José’s 19-year-old son.

But back to the crowd… and then another cut to JR speaking to Shawn Michaels at Superstars. Shawn slurs through a promo. He says José means more to him than any other person on God’s green earth other than his mother and father. He’s threatening Sid saying that the champ will not be fighting just Shawn, but also thousands of San Antonians. Bit pointed.

Cut to Shawn and José walking down towards the ring. Vince says that it is a long walk. Music hits, crowd goes wild and Shawn leaves the Gorilla position to high five the crowd and say, “Yeah!” a lot. The big ring of lights is centre stage as Shawn poses, firing off some pyro mid-ring. What a matchup! What an entrance! This is what wrestling would grow into, where the entrances are almost as important as the action in the ring. The song repeats and… is that Sunny in the crowd? Jeepers. Sunny days indeed.

Cut to the back where Heel Sid walks slowly down the same corridor, heading to Gorilla position and out into the arena. Big boos from the crowd, actually. Fair play to them. Laser on his face as he punches the crowd’s fists and asks them if they know who the man is. The man is (supposedly) you, Sid. Sid sees Superfan Vlad and ignores Superfan The Dude (Faith No More Guy), who is wearing a blue BWO t-shirt. JR tells us that Sid has a “smattering of fans”, which is interesting considering so many were desperate for touching him.

Big SID sign in pyro goes off behind him.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels def. Sycho Sid (c) via pin in 13:49.

Sid and Shawn square off. Sid gives Shawn one shove and he rolls right back. A second shove and Sid takes over, tossing Shawn about. HBK replies with a crossbody and kicks Sid out of the ring. Big pop from the crowd. Referee Earl Hebner holds Shawn back as we wait for Sid to get up. Shawn moves him back and goes out to help Sid up. Sid smacks Shawn and he reverses. Sid throws Shawn into the ring, lifts for the gorilla press and Shawn escapes with a rake to the eyes. Shawn goes top rope and Sid catches him for a powerslam. Front row is José’s son, who gives such advice as, “Get him!”

Sid gives Shawn a Camel Clutch, breaks back, makes humble. Sid bumps Shawn and gives the Camel Clutch again. JR tells us that this is the last time José Lothario will manage Shawn… it’s also the last time we see Shawn for a while, but that’s neither here nor there. Sid goes for a third bump, Shawn dodges it and takes over, giving some lovely punches, taking a huge turnbuckle bump, turned inside out, upside down and falls outside. Shawn lies there as Sid scoops Shawn, smashes him into the ring post once, twice and tosses Shawn in the ring for the pin.

Sid lifts Shawn up and hits him on the lower back. Sid gets Shawn in a rest hold and HBK fights to his feet before turned inside out by Sid’s clothesline. Sid taunts the crowd, goes for a pin, fails. Brilliant toss to the turnbuckle and Sid does the same again, catching Shawn for the bear hug. JR puts over the fact that Sid is keeping it simple. Shawn has said that he has “the flu”, that is to say “been strung out on pain pills for ages”. Cut to shots of Hawn’s parents ringside. Looking desperate.

Michaels hits Sid with a great Atomic Drop. He goes to Brets rope and attempts a jumping punch twice, Sid catching him on the second. The bear hug lasts forever and is a soft, soft, lovely bear hug. Sid goes for the pin, fails, leg drops, pins, fails. Chinlock city. It’s been sit down City over here. Shawn gets up, bodyslams Sid, hits the lariat, kips up, goes for a top-rope elbow, nails Sid and tunes up the band. Sid catches Sweet Chin Music and tosses Michaels out. Somebody tell these boys that the Royal Rumble match is over. Sid powerbombs Shawn to the outside and goes to chokeslam both Lotharios, Jr and Sr. Shawn fights back and Earl takes a ref bump. Sid chokeslams Shawn, goes for the pin, the official is out and a second ref comes in for the count, hitting the one, two and Shawn kicks out.

Sid causes another ref bump as the second one is hit by Sid. José goes to the rope, distracts Sid and Shawn gets a camera, knocks Sid down, goes for the pin and Earl makes his way laboriously to count the pin but Sid kicks out! My God! Shawn tunes up the band and hits Sid with Sweet Chin Music, getting the pin and win in 13:49.

2017 comments:

Worst match I’ve seen of Shawn’s so far in this blog. Really bad. No psychology, no real energy, just a bunch of rest holds followed by a spot at the end.

1997 comments:

Shawn looks like a drug addict.

Grade: C

Shawn bows to the crowd, his own hometown crowd and is awarded the WWF Championship by José Lothario. He celebrates with everyone else as the song repeats and some fucker whistles as loud as he can. For real, it is suuuuper loud. Go and shut up, eh?

People begin to file out as he goes to the parents and gives them a wee cuddle. He hugs his family and it turns out that the whistler is his sister! He climbs over Jerry, pats Vince on the back, almost strangles him with a hug and shoves his arse in his face. Whistling continues as he does a wee tour of the crowd, shaking hands with everyone. We see a replay of the heel move Shawn had busting Sid with the camera and getting the pin. Both superfans Vlad and Faith No More Guy shake his hands as the song repeats! Then we have a recap of the entire PPV from the HHH vs. Goldust match to NOD vs Ahmed, Vader and Taker (mit Paul unt Urn bump), the Royal Rumble feat. Stone Cold, giant 2×4, Bret coming out and Austin’s “elimination” followed by Bret’s tantrum. Then we see the match again! More Sid bumps and Shawn winning! The PPV ends with a bit of a wet fart.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: Legit bad PPV with little big men other than, of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin who survived for over 45 minutes in the Royal Rumble, eliminated 10 people and, like Christ before him, was struck down and rose again to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

Woman of the Matches: There were literally no women in this PPV other than Jacqueline, Sable and Marlena.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Best Spot: There were none, but I’ll put in Stone Cold’s false elimination and clearing the house in ten seconds flat.

Hatches: We have Canek, Cibernético, Mil Máscaras, Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, Jerry Estrada, Latin Lover, Perro Aguaya, Pierroth from the AAA alongside Terry Funk and Curtis Hughes. Terry Funk will disappear for two years and return at the 1998 Royal Rumble, Curtis Hughes will not be back until Unforgiven 1999 and the AAA guys? Well… just check dispatches.

Matches: Hunter Hearst Helmsley retains his Intercontinental Championship and Shawn Michaels wins the WWF Championship for his second reign.

Dispatches: Canek, Cibernético, Mil Máscaras, Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, Jerry Estrada, Latin Lover, Perro Aguaya, Pierroth, Razor Ramon, José Lothario, Jake Roberts, Diesel (until he returns as Kane) and Jerry Lawler and Shawn Michaels (until KOTR 97).

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.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, Undertaker.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Flash Funk, Leif Cassidy, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Austin for winning the Royal Rumble!

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny, N/A.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: No one, No one.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… No one again, for the second time in a row!

The Year in Reviews

Each Royal Rumble, I will give you some information of the past year of reviews for you stat-heads out there.

In 1996, the biggest movie at the time was Independence Day, which made $817,400,891 worldwide, followed by Twister and Mission Impossible. The biggest hit single of the year was Los Del Rio’s “Macarena”, which is shite, followed by Spice Girls “Wannabe” and Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”.

Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton win their second terms as President of Russia and the USA respectively, the Nintendo 64 and Pokémon Red and Green are is released in Japan, a meteorite from Mars contained evidence of primitive lifeforms and Carl Sagan died.

In wrasslin’ news, the WWF Championship was held by Bret for 133 days since Nov 19 1995 until Shawn Michaels held it for 231 days from March 31 to November 17 where Sycho Sid held it into the New Year. Goldust held the Intercontinental Championship for 71 days from January 21 until he lost it in a match to Savio Vega and won it again the same night to hold it for 83 days from April 1 until Ahmed Johnson won it at King of the Ring, June 23; he vacated it after legit kidney problems (kayfabed as an attack by Faarooq) and Marc Mero won it on Sept 23, held it for 28 days until Triple H won it on Oct 21 and brought it into the New Year. The Tag Team Championship was brought into 1996 by the Smoking Gunns, who vacated it on Feb 15 after 143 days of holding it due to Billy Gunn having a neck injury. The Bodydonnas picked it up on March 31 and held it for 49 days until the Godwins picked it up on May 19, held it for a week, dropped it to The Smoking Gunns on May 29 and they held it until September 22 when The British Bulldog and Owen Hart brought it into the New Year. We had the Curtain Call at MSG, the formation of the NWO with Razor Ramon and Diesel leaving for WCW and the rise of Stone Cold and The Rock. Kurt Angle also won Olympic gold with a broken fuckin’ neck.

Closing Statements: A real let down and, unfortunately, it seems to be the end for Shawn Michaels for the next wee while.

On the Card will return on February 16 2017 with In Your House 13: Final Four.

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