Attitude Era #4. In Your House 10: Mind Games (Sept 22, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Great Mark Henry match! And Goooooooldust!

Cut to Kevin Kelly backstage with our boy Shawn Michaels. Mankind has spoken about Paul Bearer leading him to his destiny. Michaels talks about being the best wrestler in the WWF and how he is going to go out and wrassle the wackiest guys ever. Kevin Kelly wonders aloud if Paul Bearer might use the casket. Michaels replies with the face that there’s not an awful lot going on upstairs with him and this is to his benefit as you cannot play mind games with someone who has no mind. Fair enough. Michaels says that he is about to leave to go to the ring and has no idea how it is going to go.

Back in the ring, a bunch of monks are leading a casket to the ring. Paul Bearer follows, his face scrunched up in a twist of disgust. JR says that “Mankind will do anything to his own body to win.” Mankind sits up in the casket, walks past Shawn’s pyro and rocks in the ring, cradling the urn of the Undertaker. It makes little sense for him to do that. The reason that the Undertaker gains his power from it is because it contains the ashes of his family… the family that he possibly killed.

Shawn’s music hits and there is a deafening pop from the crowd. Howard Finkel can hardly be heard. No barricades break this time as he pops into the ring, poses and the pyro goes off. Brilliant. He’s just a sexy boy, after all. Mr. Perfect says, “Look at Mankind! He doesn’t even know what’s going on with all the cheering and yelling,” as if he is a horse or some easily-spooked dog.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels (c) def. Mankind via pinfall in 26:25.

Earl Hebner is the ref here. Both men circle each other before locking up. Michaels takes a terrific shot to the jaw and several punches to the face that he sells well. Mankind flips him high and then both men go over the top rope. Mankind wastes no time in chucking Michaels into the barricade and lifts the mat to expose the concrete. Michaels dropkicks the mat and then stomps over Mankind, climbs the turnbuckle and does a great cross body before rolling into the ring. His back is covered in gold dust. He was here.

Michaels jumps off the steel steps, rolls Mankind into the ring and hits him with a double axe handle smash. Mankind’s boot is caught, he is spun and punched a bunch of times. A body slam to the mat and Michaels hits the elbow before going for the Sweet Chin Music. Mankind sensibly runs out, screeching and begging Paul for the urn. Mankind finally goes back into the ring and the men beat on each other in the corner for a while. Mankind Irish whips Michaels and the champ goes for the crossbody but the madman retreats. Michaels does some ground-and-pound followed by a Russian leg sweep and some spooning. Michaels fights back and the punches he cracks Mankind with look legit.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Mick Foley has an awful lot to say about this match. From his first book, quote: “We put twenty-seven minutes into what was undoubtedly the finest match of my carerr. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the best match of the year and one of the greatest in history.” Big words. He doesn’t actually explain how the match is good, though.

Earl shouts at Michaels and JR says, “It’s outta hand!” Michaels gets thrown to the outside and as Mankind moves the Spanish announcer’s table, Hugo Savinovich politely tells him not to until Michaels jumps over the table onto Mankind before suplexing him onto the steel steps, where he catches his leg. Looks rough. In the ring, Michaels tackles Mankind’s knee, throws him onto the casket and batters away on the left knee, even going to far as to push Earl Hebner away when he chastises him.

Mankind gets a leg drag with a twist from Michaels followed by a figure four. Great spot as Mankind falls back in pain and Earl starts to count the pin. Brilliant. Another fantastic dropkick from Michaels onto Mankind. He rolls him into a half-Boston crab and Paul holds the urn in front of Mankind as something to crawl towards. Michaels hits Mankind with a tilt-a-whirl pin, jumps for the head scissors and Mankind drops him back, hitting Michael’s neck on the top rope. He then takes what looks to be a pen from Paul Bearer’s pocket and stabs himself a bunch of times in the leg. Hardcore.

Mankind boots away on Shawn Michael’s head, gets him in the corner and cracks him with a running knee. Mankind then bites Michaels on the forehead. Mental. Michaels fights back with a backdrop followed by some meaty punches. Mankind is in tatters at this point… and covered in gold dust. Irish whip to Michaels and he baseball slides through Mankind’s legs. Quick scramble and Michaels is Irish whipped into the corner, is wrapped around it and falls into the tree of woe. Great punch to the face by Mankind and Earl tries to stop him but to no avail. Mr. Perfect: “The Heart Break Kid may be broken.”

Michaels goes to the outside and Foley follows him, getting some abuse from the crowd especially some lad in a green shirt. Mankind misses a knee to Michaels face and a drop toe hold drives his own head into the steel steps. Suplex into the ring from the apron is reversed but Michaels lands on the apron and jumps in to avoid Mankind’s run that ends up with Mick bouncing off the turnbuckle. Fantastic body slam in the middle of the ring and a two count. The two men run the ropes and Mankind gets caught in a hangman, the very move that caused him to lose an ear!

He escapes and after an aborted Mandible Claw, Mankind is thrown into Savinovich’s lap and cracked twice by a steel chair. Heel move, Michaels. Shawn then goes for Mankind’s claw hand. Shawn jumps off the ropes onto Mankind’s claw hand and is thrown outside the ring for it. Mankind jumps off the apron onto Michaels. Mankind dives out and hits mankind with a swinging neckbreaker.

Michaels gets back in and a leg drop on his neck stops him. Mankind goes for the cover but Shawn kicks out. He gives Michaels a brutal piledriver but Shawn kicks out… twice. He does some lovely leg-grip pin but Shawn kicks out. Mankind throws steel chairs into the ring and Earl removes them. Mankind goes for the casket and Shawn rolls in but jumps out quickly. Irish whip to jumping clothesline to kip-up combo, Michaels beats on Mankind, gets him with the body drop and jumping elbow but doesn’t get the pin. He goes for the second elbow but Mankind hits the ropes and Shawn lands on his bollocks. Mankind goes to the top rope and backdrops Shawn to the Spanish Announcer’s table on the outside. Vince is there to check on both men and Shawn is up in seconds, followed by Mick.

Paul Bearer distracts the ref as Mankind goes to the top rope with a steel chair. Michaels jumps up, kicks Mankind in the face and goes for the one… two… damn this is a slow count.

Oh that’s why. Vader is here. Vader, who fought Sid on the preshow dark match is here. Camp Cornette! Revenge!

Earl hits the bell despite the fact that Vader never lifted a finger onto Michaels. Paul Bearer comes in and bops Shawn on the head. Sid comes in and bops Vader. In the ring, Mankind is on his feet and he gets the Mandible Claw on Michaels, Bearer opens the casket to put Michaels in and-

OH SWEET JESUS THE UNDERTAKER IS ALREADY IN THERE.

Brilliant stuff all together.

Undertaker chases Mankind out and Shawn celebrates in the middle of the ring, exhausted, ready for a lie down.

The show ends with Paul and Mankind in a Coliseum Home Video Exclusive as both men shout at each other in the boiler room. P-Bizzle even took off his jacket. Back in the ring, Michaels tells an audience member to turn their sign upside down. Ha. Really nice moment, making sure that people don’t look like fools. Then he shows his arse tattoo and jumps out of the ring, hugging all the fans around the ring. He even goes to the announcers, ignoring Mr. Perfect, apologising to the Spanish announcers and their poor table. Highlights of the backdrop onto the table, Undertaker appearing etc.

2016 comments:

Was it the best match of the year? No. Was it Mick Foley’s best match? One of the best. Was it Shawn’s best match? Not even close. It was okay.

1996 comments:

I hope in the future all the matches involve people going through tables.

Grade: B

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: You know what, I’m going to say Mark Henry. For real. You deserve it, bro.

Woman of the Matches: Between Sunny and Marlena? I’m going to choose Sunny again.

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

Best Spot: That back drop onto the table. Well done, boys.

Hatches: Farooq (dark match performer), Mark Henry (as a performer), Hunter Hearst Helmsley (as a run-in).

Matches: Owen Hart and British Bulldog win the Tag Team belts from the Smoking Gunns. Shawn Michaels retains.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: I have a soft spot for Mind Games, even though it’s not a great PPV all together. It’s the perfect PPV from the end of the New Generation to show new viewers what wrestling is all about – big characters, big drama and a fantastic finish.

On the Card will return on October 20th with In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #4. In Your House 10: Mind Games (Sept 22, 1996) Part 3

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.

2016 comments:

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.

1996 comments:

I hate jingoism… but I hate Jerry “The King” Lawler even more.

Grade: B+

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.

2016 comments:

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.

1996 comments:

Jesus Goldust is creepier than the actual dead man in the ring.

Grade: B

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.

Attitude Era #4. In Your House 10: Mind Games (Sept 22, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Bradshaw. That’s how bad it was.

Cut to Jim Cornette promo with snazzy 90’s background music. Jim makes fun of the fact that his opponent in the next match, José Lothario, is old. We see José constantly get one over on Cornette. Cornette never gets the upper hand, other than on the mic, which is fair enough because Lothario can hardly speak English! We know who is going to win this shitstorm, at least have the decency of making it look like Corny is sneaky enough to get Lothario from behind or some shit.

Vader’s music hits and out comes Corny with some shiny full-body suit. We cut to backstage and “Razor Ramon” and “Diesel” AKA Kane. This is the beginning of an aborted arc that was due to turn JR heel and would make fun of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, both of whom recently left WWF for WCW. Corny gets on the mic and makes fun of the crowd and tells them that José is old. Irish Referee Tim White walks behind Corny, just destroying any heat the man had.

Shawn Michael’s music hits and out comes the man himself. José Lothario, that is, Shawn wouldn’t be seen dead leaving gorilla for anything less than main event. José is wearing his pants and jacket, clapping hands with the crowd and really facing it up. He, at the age of 61, is still in better shape than Bradshaw. Corny goes for the punch, José ducks it and the match begins.

José Lothario def. Jim Cornette via pin in 56 seconds.

Let’s not sell this as anything more than a joke, shall we? From the promo package, we see that Corny can’t even get the upper hand when cheating. He’s not a wrestler, he’s a mic man. You wouldn’t put Jimmy Hart in the ring, would you?

And I mean that, Jimmy Hart should never be near a ring, the man’s an asshole.

JR calls José 62 years old, which is false as he would not turn 62 until December 12th. He knocks Corny down, Irish whip on him followed by a crack off the turnbuckle. The announcers make fun of Jim’s weight. Vince’s new catchphrase seems to be, “Aaaaaaah fuggedabbit!” when the wrassler hits a particularly good move as the other tries to fight back. José hits two uppercuts (each with a “fuggedabbit!” He then gets the pin in 56 seconds.

2016 comments:

No.

1996 comments:

Why?

Grade: You do not deserve a rating, sir.

As José just walks straight out, he claps people’s hands and we are given a Coliseum Home Video exclusive interview with Savio Vega and Dok Hendrix. Savio is still covered in beer, the poor son of a gun. He mentions that he does not know if Razor or Diesel attacked them. Savio has some mad scars on the old forehead.

We cut back to the ring and Brian Pillman is on his way there, slapping at people and generally being Brian Pillman. He’s like Dean Ambrose or Kurt Cobain: handsome and mental. Bret had dropped some words for Brian: “You are a liar,” he said. He turned to his brother Owen and said, “You’re just as bad a liar as Brian! You’re both liars!”

Brian rasps on the mic, making fun of Philadelphia again. You don’t need to make fun of it, Brian, everyone who has been in Philly knows it’s a shithole. He calls the fans illiterate degenerates. Vince apologises. Out comes Slammy Award-Winning Owen. Owen is fantastic. Cut to a great “Owen Hart, King of Farts” sign. Owen talks about how he is the best Hart and Bret is jealous. Both of them rag on Bret and then the crowd. Owen reveals that Bret is afraid of turning up, but not afraid of Brian, nor Owen… but of Stone Cold Steven Austin.

Out comes the 1996 King of the Ring to his old music, still, and he’s wearing a great waistcoat and jeans. Stone Cold’s beard is looking great and he starts into a great promo calling Bret Hart less than a chicken… specifically, “The slimy substance that runs out the south end of a chicken.” Scathing. The guys crack up in the ring but Stone Cold’s verbal beatdown is not over.  “Let me make one thing clear… if you put the letter S in front of Hitman, you’ll see how I feel about Bret Hart.” Austin hopes that Bret is resigned so that he can kick his ass. The crowd do not like this and they are certainly not fans of Brian’s anti-Philly sentiments either. Some guys actually stand up to shout abuse, either not understanding that wrestling is scripted or, because they are Philly fans after all, genuinely looking to fight someone.

Cut to Mark Henry, the world’s strongest man, who has yet to make his Fed debut in the ring, as he walks around the City of Brotherly Love. He looks at buildings. He checks out the Liberty Bell. He looks at a statue of a founding father. He strokes a horse. We see the skyline and then the CoreStates Centre of which, Vince tells us, the people of Philadelphia are extremely proud. It’s only a building, jeepers, calm down.

Bulldog’s music hits and out comes Davey Boy Smith and his brother-in-law, Owen Hart, who left the ring just to reenter.

Cut to Dok Hendrix, who is standing in front of Clarence Mason, the famous immigration man.

Back in the ring, the Smoking Gunns come out. Bart walks on ahead of Billy and Sunny, like they’re all fighting. Bart shouts at them to hurry up. Do I taste tag team dissention in the air? The Gunns are the tag champs… but also heels. And both Owen and Bulldog are heels. This doesn’t make any sense. Who do we root for?

Sunny jumps into the ring and points skyward where her promotional image is set to unfurl, just like it did in the last PPV at Summerslam. There is a pop and-

OH WHAT.

The picture is defaced! 30 feet of moustaches and glasses on our beloved Sunny, signed with a “To Bulldog & Owen All My Love, Sunny *”

Those wicked whelps!

Sunny obviously has a tantrum about it as Billy attempts to comfort her. Bart just wants the match to start. They’re dying to give a whuppin’ to these darn Canuck-lovin’ Canucks. Sunny complains that “it’s not fair!” which is not a statement you would attribute to a defacing of your image, but there we go.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog def. The Smoking Gunns (c) via pinfall in 10:59.

The bell rings and Billy and Owen start. Ould Clarence “Immigration” Mason comes down to the ring, of course, both Owen and Bulldog are immigrants and will be removed from the great country of America pretty quickly. Great chain-wrestling from Owen and Billy. Lots of running the ropes and holds. Bart takes over and shows his strength. Bulldog is tagged in and the two strongest men in the match batter each other as much as they can. Owen tags in and tackles Bart right in the back of the knee.

Owen takes advantage of Bart’s leg injury by busting him in the corner with two superb kicks. Bulldog takes over and repeats the damage. Owen is tagged back in and repeats his attack on Bart’s leg. Jr mentions that Bulldog and Owen are cutting the ring in half. Owen leg drops Bart’s leg and Vince tells us to fuggedabbit. Another tag and Bulldog is in again, holding Bart with a stalling suplex. Such strength. He follows it up with a great flip and goes for the pin but gets two.

There is some confusion as Owen pops in without a tag being seen by the ref. Vince quips that, “You must have to be Rubber Man or Plastic Man or… Andre the Giant to make that tag!” Near fall and we are told to forget about it again. Bulldog is in and his running of the ropes is stopped by Billy. The action spills to the outside and Bulldog is thrown into the steps. Back in the ring, Bart swings Bulldog around in some modified Irish whip. Bart gets on all fours and Billy launches off his back onto Bulldog in the corner. A tag and both JR and Vince wonder why such a thing has happened. Bart gets Bulldog into a sidewalk slam position and Billy mounts the turnbuckle. He jumps, double knees to Bulldog.

A pin attempt is ruined by Owen jumping from one corner, the distraction by Clarence Mason on the apron. Bulldog rolls over, gets the pin but Billy kicks out on two and a half. Bart comes in and hits Bulldog with a bodyslam followed by knees to his chest. Owen tries to break up the double-teaming in the ring. Bart is back in and not much is happening, all men are gassed. Bart goes to bodyslam Bulldog but he escapes, launching Bart into Billy and Sunny, who are having a chat in the corner. Bulldog hits Bart with the running powerslam and gets the pin as Owen boots Billy in the face to stop the pin break. Bulldog gets the three, the win and the Tag belts in 10:59.

2016 comments:

Always nice to see Bulldog. Confused about who to root for, Kayfabe, though.

1996 comments:

That’s a Tag Team belt change and no one seems to care.

Grade: C

Owen and Bulldog celebrate as the Gunns commiserate. The winner’s arms are raised on the outside, which makes no sense. I know why now: Sunny wants on the mic. Her words are more important than new Tag Team champs. Sunny calls the Gunns losers as they follow her about the ring. She calls them liars, stomps about and runs out of the arena as Billy follows her.

On the Card will return on October 6th with part 3 of Mind Games.

Attitude Era #4. In Your House 10: Mind Games (Sept 22, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at Summerslam 1996. It was an okay PPV with a main event that lasted far too long. The next PPV was called International Incident and was a part of a long-running collection of PPVs called In Your House. The purpose of the In Your House PPVs were to give the audience a cheaper and more frequent WWF experience. At the time, the WWF only had four big PPVs – Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania near Easter, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series near Thanksgiving. The months in between were filled with In Your House PPVs and this was one of them.

Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after two decades as well as my original thoughts as a teenager watching it at the time (though this particular PPV was one I watched in 1998 as my family did not have the channels necessary to watch wrasslin’).

WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games

No tagline this time around, just Shawn Michaels looking up to the left with a bit of a grimace on his face while in the background, in a haze of smoke, Mankind has puffed the doob so much that he can’t feel his face.

Big red WWF screen hits and on the version I have, there is no promo package whatsoever! It just jumps straight into the Free-For-All match. (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a 30-minute show called Free-For-All, which was the nineties equivalent of the Preshow, full of promos and summaries of recent TV matches. There was an exclusive match on Free-For-All and had little to do with the actual PPV. Normally, we miss it, but we have it this time around and it is a Savio Vega vs. Marty Jannetty match. This PPV was also lousy with dark matches, featuring a total of three: Jake Roberts vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley; Faarooq vs. Marc Mero; and Psycho Sid vs. Vader. It’s interesting that all six members of the dark matches are pretty big names in wrestling and play a vital part in the next few months of PPVs and beyond.) This is exciting as my copy of the PPV is different to the one on the WWE Network. Score!

Marty Jannetty is already in the ring with Leif Cassidy AKA Al Snow behind him, pointing at him. Savio Vega’s bongos explode from the speakers and the man himself comes out, high-fiving everyone and being a great face. He gets a bit of a pop as well. He throws his waistcoat at Al Snow, who attempts to wear it. Savio does not seem happy about that.

Savio Vega def. Marty Jannetty via pinfall in 5:22.

JR is bigging up Mankind, who is in the main event with Shawn Michaels for the World Heavyweight Championship. Vince and Mr. Perfect are also on commentary, but we will come to them in good time. Show of Leif Cassidy wearing Savio’s waist coat and smiling. Jannetty runs the ropes for ages but no one on the commentary team sells it, in fact, they’re talking about the beginning of the PPV and sandbagging this entire match.

And who should appear on screen? Only pre-Cunt JBL, Cunt Justin Hawk Bradshaw, with Zeb Coulter standing behind him. They are balanced above a spoooooky skull wearing a Mankind mask with “MIND GAMES” carved into its cranium. Justin Hawk Bradshaw (JHB) is shouting at Vince and pacing. Behind him stands Uncle Zebekiah AKA Zeb Coulter. He has a brand in his hand with J-B on it, where the hyphen mixes with the spine of the J and B to form a H. JHB. Do you see? Do you see? You are looking, but you do not see. JHB gives off because Savio is on PPV again and JHB has been in the WWF for nine months without a chance. He shows his true colours, the racist, ignorant, arrogant side of JBL that we will all come to know and loathe within ten years’ time. JR says, “Those Texans are like that, a little hot-blooded.”

Once again, the announcers are sandbagging the match and-

Wait, what? Are the crowd chanting “ECW! ECW!”?

They are chanting for ECW. Why are they-

HOLY FUCK.

Front and to the camera’s left on the hard cam is Tommy Dreamer, standing and waving to the crowd. His is joined by Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman) and Sandman, who are both off-screen. This is due to a cross-promotional “Invasion” angle that ECW and WWF were planning at the time. The reasons behind it are lost to the annals of time as Vince states that he, “cannot remember why [he] helped ECW out,” although it was probably due to him wanting ECW (which was about to have its first PPV and financially was failing at the time) to become a feeder company to the Fed. Either way, the Invasion angle has these three guys ringside and then ECW having matches on Raw six months later. Fairly short, but fun if you’re into that.

In the ring, Savio gets a boot from Jannetty and JR bigs up Jannetty, saying that he has gone downhill since joining with “Nerdy” Leif Cassidy. Vince calls out ECW, saying that they are a “local wrestling franchise”. JR attempts to talk more about it, but Vince sandbags it almost instantly. They do not even mention the name. Savio rolls out and Leif gives him a boot. JR makes fun of Jim Cornette, saying that he was eating two triple cheeseburgers backstage. Corny has a match later on in the evening.

Jannetty hits Vega with a body slam and goes to Bret’s rope, walks along and goes for a double axe handle nothing, but Vega’s boot goes up to hit him in the face. Jannetty hits a cross-body from the ropes but Vega rolls through and pins Jannetty in 5:22.

2016 comments:

Entire match is ignored by the commentators and isn’t that interesting to begin with. It is better as a placeholder match, used to remind the audience of the upcoming festivities. To be fair, though, Savio Vega is about to have another match with JHB so he probably didn’t want to wear himself out.

1996 comments:

Sit down in front! You’re ruining the show for the rest of us, you damn ruffians!

Grade: D

Vega celebrates as Cassidy comes back in to remove his buddy. As Savio dances, out comes Uncle Zebekiah, pointing that damned dirty brand on him. JHB runs out and whips Savio with a big whip before escaping almost as quickly as he had arrived.

Smash cut to a promo package calling Mankind “the face of fear, the mind of madness… the horror that might soon be champion.” Distorted samples of Mankind talking. We see Undertaker vs. Goldust, an angle that is linked to Mankind as he and Goldust are buddies and Paul Bearer left Taker for Mankind in the last PPV. The announcer is gibberish, mixing metaphors and that sort of caper.

Cut to a horrible CG skull chomping at the bit and we are live at the CoreStates Centre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home of ECW! 15,000 in attendance, apparently, and no word on how many PPV buys at home. Our announcers are Vince McMahon, Jumping Jim Ross and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Whilst Vince sports a tux, JR has no tie like an Amish, Hennig is decked out in a brown suit with pink shirt. Behind them, a sign, amongst others, says, “Vince McMahon for God.” Another shot of a sign that says simply “Shawn Michaels and the Kliq!” Hennig asks if the curtain will fall on the Undertaker and if Shawn will lose his title… and his mind!

Ultimate Warrior-style music hits and out comes Cunt JHB, even though he left, like, ten seconds ago. Howard Finkel introduces the match as a “Special Caribbean Strap Match”, which is saying a lot about it considering it’s a very boring match style. The announcers talk over Finkel and mention that Savio Vega has never lost a strap match, even going so far as to beat Stone Cold Steve Austin himself, way before his push.

Cut to Kevin Kelly and Savio is furious, walking back and forth as KK talks to him. Savio shouts at JHB, even though the man himself is in the ring and will never hear the shouts. Savio runs to the ring and slides in as JHB beats on him with the leather strap. The official calls for the bell before Savio is actually tied up!

Carribbean Strap Match: Savio Vega def. Justin Hawk Bradshaw via tapping all corners in 7:09.

Bradshaw whips on Savio and Vince questions whether Harvey Wippleman should have rand the bell before securing Savio’s wrist. JR reminds us of the rules – the winner cannot pin, nor submit his opponent and can only win by slapping each turnbuckle one by one, in succession, without interruption. Bradshaw gets three until Savio fights back. Savio rolls to the outside, Bradshaw chooses to exit on the other apron so that the strap is caught between the turnbuckle. He chokes Savio with the strap as the crowd cheer for ECW. Savio pulls on the strap, forcing Bradshaw’s face into the turnbuckle. As Savio beats on Bradshaw, Sandman spits beer into Vega’s face, who, fair play to him, sells it like a boss.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Although the ECW wrestlers being there was sanctioned by McMahon, he was the only one in attendance who knew it was a work so Savio and Bradshaw had no idea that the ECW guys were invited there. Considering JHB’s history of being a fuckhead, I’m surprised that didn’t backfire horrendously… although that might have been Vince’s intention.

Savio genuinely shows a mix of confusion and bemusement as Sandman busts himself open with the beer can. JHB pulls on the leather strap as Vince mentions that they are a, “local wrestling group,” again. Paul Heyman is pulling on Tommy Dreamer and Sandman as security go to them. JHB looks on. Vince says, “We will not shoot this incident that is occurring… Savio and Justin are ignoring it, as well they should…” Bit cheeky considering it was Vince’s idea.

JHB gets three turnbuckles and is backdropped before hitting the fourth. JR gets Savio’s record with strap matches over. Savio whips at JHB, even whacking him in the face at one point. JR: “Savio is whipping Bradshaw like a government mule!” Savio gets two turnbuckles and Bradshaw fights back. Savio gets three turnbuckles and is yanked back by Bradshaw. Both men are spending a lot of time on their backs. Bradshaw goes and hits a turnbuckle and behind him, Savio batters it. Same for the second… and the third (which Vince miscounts and thinks it is the final turnbuckle) and on the fourth, Savio pulls back and the two men tug of war until Bradshaw falls down, Vega springs forward and hits the fourth and final turnbuckle to win this gimmick match in 7:09.

2016 comments:

Not an exciting gimmick and not an exciting match.

1996 comments:

I certainly hope I do not have to listen to that loud Texan ever again.

Grade: D

Savio wins, lies outside for a while and chubby Bradshaw (a man who does not look good shirtless) stands mid-ring, looking awful. Savio Vega looks genuinely annoyed, hides from the ECW boys, even though they’ve been tossed out.

On the Card will return on September 29th with part 2 of Mind Games.

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.

Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Jesus Christ, Jerry and Jake.

Vince introduces the Boiler Room Brawl promo, which is a fine promo. We see Mankind decimating Taker over five months. The Dead Man barely gets a look-in. Mankind batters pipes, holds rats and is generally a bit weird. The title card for the Boiler Room Brawl match has steam appearing from… just about anywhere. Doesn’t even need to be pipes, apparently.

Undertaker’s music hits and out comes big Paul Bearer, holding the Undertaker’s urn, talking to it and heeling it up, at one point becoming Nuclear Bearer. JR says, “It is impossible to predict what will happen here, there is no precident, nothing like this matchup has ever happened before and I am surprised that Gorilla Monsoon has sanctioned this,” which is a fair enough statement to make, mostly, until we remember that it is basically a race from a boiler room to the ring. Like a ladder match, it is a simple match to win no kayfabe but is seems impossible for professional wrestlers to do it.

A bunch of TVs have been set up around the ring for the crowd to witness the action backstage. Unless you have a front row seat, you can probably see fuck all. I re-read the part in Mankind’s first autobiography, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, and in it, he mentions nothing about the monitors, other than the crowd were watching them. He does mention that it was his concept and he had pitched some similar ideas to WCW and the entire setup was one that could only really be shown on TV and so was a great ratings draw. He explains that the actual match was filmed in one take with one cameraman the day before the PPV aired and that when they escaped from the boiler room, with Mankind leaving first, they finished the filming and continued where they left off the night of the PPV.

Cut to Taker standing outside the boiler room door, with a referee opening it for him because dead men don’t use knobs, apparently.

Mankind def. Undertaker via urn steal in 26:40.

Mick mentions that the match was too long, so let’s see if that’s true. There is little commentary, really, and this makes the match all the more sinister. Undertaker takes his time opening the door that says BOILER ROOM DANGER, obviously wishing to kill Mankind, but also understanding the importance of following instructions.

The boiler room is pitch dark, with only a light from the camera and some fluorescent lights above to show the action. Lots of tension here as Taker walks slowly through the boiler room and the commentators describe the action, building up the fight that is yet to happen. Taker walks in and Mankind sneaks out, hitting him with a 2×4. He breaks apart a palette and starts going to town on the Deadman. Of course, Mankind is squealing like a pig. He has been interrupted and was in the back, building a cabinet for Ahmed Johnson to hold his kidneys. He has a fresh one each day. Very expensive. Thousands of people die.

The two men really go at it – Makind’s workbench gets a doing as well, no tools to be seen, though. It looks like a gymnast’s horse, so he was probably getting a bit of exercise in before he and Mark Henry go to the Olympics. Taker is thrown into the boiler and Mankind starts making velociraptor sounds. The screen goes all fuzzy for a while and Vince says, “Technical difficulties.” Undertaker is thrown into the corner and knocks over lots of stuff. This boiler room is an absolute mess. Mick clearly has much better things to be doing with himself, apparently.

Mick doesn’t run back to the ring, he jogs back and forth, allowing the Deadman to get a weapon. Mick spins a wee wheel and some “steam” hits Undertaker in the face (probably a gimmicked pipe or fire extinguisher). Lots of bins are thrown about and people are hit with sticks. Mankind was involved in all the Boiler Room Brawls during WWF’s time and it makes sense because he spends all his time in boiler rooms. This doesn’t make sense once you consider that they are different boiler rooms, but presumably he lives in all boiler rooms at once. Mankind’s arm is sliced and there’s a wee bit of blood coming from him, but not enough to keep us happy. We wish for more blood, Mick!

His squalling and screeching is getting on my tits, though.

Mankind finds a ladder attached to a wall and decides to go for a wee walk up it and a jump off it onto Taker followed by the shittiest DDT in history. He beats Taker with a stick and then… drags him backwards? Listen, man to Mankind, Mick, just run outside. Go. Run to the ring, get the urn, be done with this insanity. If you want to win the match, you can. If you lose, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Screen goes a bit weird again and the crowd boo so much. When it comes back, we see a glimpse of a bodyslam of some description, followed by our boy Mick climbing up another ladder, this one wooden and free-standing. Vince says, “He’s going for that elbow again,” and Undertaker sits straight up, starts yanking at the ladder and is tipped back.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: This was a botched move that caused Mick to have sciatic nerve problems for the next seven months. It was so bad that he thought that he may have to retire.

He’s up and getting hammered by Taker and the Deadman is leaving. Foley is after him, whipping at him with chains and he takes a wicked uppercut for his troubles. Undertaker has a cut elbow, too, which is bad because about a week later, he would have a staph infection so bad that Mick said, “his elbow was swollen to twice its normal size. Staph infection was a common casualty of the business, but this was the worst case I had ever seen. A doctor was brought in and lanced the elbow. He then squeezed hard, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that pus shot ten feet across the room.”

Sexy.

The pair of them hang out for a bit and Taker hits Mankind with a fire extinguisher in the face. That is, he turns one on. He doesn’t abtually hit him with it. As Mankind fights his way out, one of the announcers says, “Unbelievable,” in the most bored tone he can muster, as if personally offended at what he’s just witnessed, frustrated that Mankind has a can-do attitude.

The camera angle changes and we see Mankind bursting out of the boiler room, hitting Taker and pushing him back in. He then uses a bin to barricade the door. Lots of wrestlers are out in the corridors, shouting and getting on. Undertaker bursts out, passed the Godwinns and several other unnameable wrestlers including SkipZip and Mark Henry! As the fight continues, Al Snow (Leif Cassidy) stands to one side and Goldust sneaks out, presumably to pinch Undertaker’s bum on the way past. We go past shirtless Stone Cold and… who is that? Is that Billy Gunn?

Nope, it’s cunt Bradshaw. Fuck him.

One of the referees quips that it looks like a prison riot, which is nonsense as no one is being shivved or raped. Mankind throws some “scalding hot coffee” over the Undertaker and someone sets a fire or turns on the smoke machine to sell it. Mankind escapes into the arena but Undertaker is after him with a brutal clothesline and cracks Mick with a 2×4. They beat each other gradually towards the ring. Wires from the TV screens trail across the floor. Not very safe and JR states as much seconds before Mankind rolls one over. Paul Bearer is in the ring, literally larger than life. He’s looking very relaxed though, probably because he knows what is coming up next. Mankind exposes the concrete floor and hits a weak looking piledriver.

Paul Bearer wobbles back and forth. God I miss him.

Mankind is on the apron. Bearer could run away, but doesn’t. Taker has Mankind’s ankle and the pair of them are on the apron, punching and grappling. JR says, “Their bodies just have to be achy.” Aye, Jim, like a breaky heart. Undertaker slingshots Mankind off the apron by pulling on the top rope. Undertaker is in the ring and the crowd are going wild. Down he goes onto the one knee… and Paul Bearer does nothing. He looks away. Mankind is in! Paul Bearer is laughing! The motherfucker! He’s done betrayed Taker! Mankind crawls towards Uncle Paul. Taker sits up and Mankind, in true Mankind style, just runs back and beats on Taker some more. Bearer drops the urn and kicks Taker, falling to the ground and wailing. Between Mankind and Bearer, the pair of them will just squeal like pigs all night. Bearer cracks Undertaker once again with the urn and hands it to Mankind for him to get the win in 26:40.

2016 comments:

A great concept match and a great match in concept. Mick says himself that it was seen as either a classic or a disaster. I would say both. It could have been done far better if more time was dedicated to the spots, maybe even having two or three cameramen in the room at once, add to the tension, or even have the whole thing done via security cam footage. As it stood, the opening was amazing, the middle bit was okay, the run through the locker room area was great fun and the ending was naff. All in all, an okay match.

1996 comments:

This is the greatest thing ever. They should use weapons more often.

Grade: B

Bearer and Mankind leave the arena, with Bearer yelling, “Ohhhhh yeeeees!” in his own classic style. Vince says, “the treachery of Paul Bearer,” and the man himself looks dead in to the camera and shouts, “I’m Paul Bearer and you’re not!” He winks at the camera and taps his head as well. Brilliant man. The crowd are throwing shite at the ring.

Undertaker’s music hits for one second, one single “Dong!” and the lights go down. There is druidic chanting and a bunch of lads in hoods walk to the ring. Two of them enter the ring and lift the Undertaker up, walking him to the edge of the ring where the rest of them carry the Deadman backstage. The music hits once more and then stops again. A hushed silence as the Undertaker is carried back by the druids.

On the Card will return on September 15th with the fifth and final part of SummerSlam 1996.

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

Previously on On the Card: A tag match and a Bulldog match.

Cut to a promo of some ginger kid watching WWF with aliens. Mind Games is coming up next, I suppose.

Goldust comes out and Vince says he is the “most bizarre individual in the World Wrestling Federation history”. Golden dust falls from the sky and we get the old letterbox intro for the man himself. Marlena is there too. JR wonders if Mero’s high flying style will work in this match. Mr. Perfect muses that that style will get you in trouble.

Cut to Todd Pettengill interviewing Marc Mero. I say this with all sincerity: I love Todd Pettengill. I’ve seen the man interview, I’ve seen him interview and he was much too nice for the Attitude Era. There’s a great interview of him by James Delow of Gorilla Position here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG5IoZZTMTA

Todd makes a pun of “All that glitters is definitely… GOLDUST!” and shows Mankind chasing Sable and calling her “mommy”. Sable, the useless fuck just stays there. Wildman Marc Mero’s eyebrows go bananas while he tells people to “put up or shut up”. Mero’s music hits and Sable is over but Mero… not so much. It’s sad that the crowd love her so much. Goldust crawling about the ring as Mero just swings about. Mr. Perfect tries to get himself over because he’s mad. Goldust sits on the bottom turnbuckle and the bell rings.

Goldust w/ Marlena def. Wildman Marc Mero w/ Sable via pinfall in 11:01.

Mero is walking about the ring for a bit and the two square off. Goldust’s bum is once again eating his suit and his balls are right there. Goldust slaps Mero in the corner and then uses Irish referee Tim White as a shield. You don’t fuck with Tim. Running the ropes followed by arm drags and Goldust recoils in horror, hugging the bottom ropes like a headcase. Some timewasting as Goldie beats on Mero followed by a pin attempt and a weak drop toe hold. Goldust kid in the audience is having a field day at this.

The match is so boring that the announcers talk about Ahmed Johnson. You know it’s a weak night when he’s the better alternative. Goldust gets an Irish whip, slides to the ground and gives Mero a punch. The Wildman pushes Irish referee Time White out of the way to run at Goldust, who tosses him to the outside. Mero goes back in and is thrown out again, dropped throat first on the barricade as Irish Referee Tim White shows he can count.

Something exciting is happening outside again as the crowd are on their feet. Who is it? Who is coming?

GOOD LORD IT IS MANKIND.

Slick Mick has come out of the boiler room to harass Sable, who is incapable of moving at any speed. Like a heroine in a crappy horror movie, she moves away just enough to create tension. Some officials come to corral him. There are a bunch of cattle rustlers in the back, just use them! I’d bet you the Gunns would be happy to lasso him and hogtie him. Shit, you could probably get the Godwinns to steal him afterwards!

Chinlock city and Sable, now relaxed after her Mankind fright, is still unable to keep time, playing in 5/16. Goldust slaps the Christ out of Marc Mero who is Irish whipped into the turnbuckle and retaliates with… a butt shot? Low blow on Goldust’s low hanging fruit and Mero executes an awesome back body drop followed by a big knee to the perverted Hollywood critic. Wildman goes for the 10 punch, gets to six and Goldust tips him outside. Mero is up quick as a flash and jumps over the ropes, rolls Goldust in and does a nice wee slingshot leg drop over the top rope. Mero goes for the shooting star press and would get the three count but old Marlena is causing trouble on the other side of the ring. Surely they should revoke her licence. Vince says that he has never seen anything like a shooting star press which is shite because he saw one last time. Mero does it every fucking match.

Goldust kicks Mero and the Wildman does not sell it. Goldust hits a fucking great Curtain Call and gets the pin in 11:01.

2016 comments:

Goldust is great but this was not a good match. It was an entertaining two-minute squash stretched out over ten minutes. No memorable spots and Mero fucked up a fair bit, no selling and just moving from spot to spot.

1996 comments:

Oh Mero, how the mighty have fallen! At least Goldust didn’t feel you up like he normally does.

Grade: C

Sable pops into the ring to comfort her husband. Goldust is still reeling from the attack on his nuts. He circles the Meros, shakes his bodonkadonk and crawls after Sable with his big black tongue. He goes to kiss Sable and Mero is up, punching and beating on Goldust before tossing him onto the top rope. Mero goes mental and Goldust crawls away. Sable cries. Fuck sake, Sable, man up.

Promo of Ahmed Johnson mumbling his way through a promo about pain. We see the attack by Faarooq (known as Faarooq Asaad) which caused the alleged kidney issues. In truth, Johnson had legit kidney troubles, but I cannot find if these were caused by the attack or whether it is just a nice coincidence. We see the man getting stitched up by some pretty beautiful young ladies. We also see that Ahmed Johnson had to have the title vacated as he could not compete. The man is pretty annoyed and claims that the belt is (erroneously) called “the WWF Intercontinental People’s Title” and then he gibbers on about something while Kevin Kelly looks on wondering “what the fuck”. Wee interview with Pam Taylor, Ahmed’s nurse, who claims that the injury is still bleeding and if they are unable to stop it, then they will have to remove the kidney.

What the fuck, America. Y’all lettin’ Ahmed walk around with a bleedin’ kidney? No wonder the boy can’t talk right.

Pam adds that without a kidney, Ahmed will never be able to wrestle, which is nonsense. I present to you exhibit A: Mick Foley, a man who has no internal organs at all other than a stomach filled with butter and the rest of his testicles, crammed in the space where once his non-ruptured vital parts were. Ahmed Johnson ignores that shit, though, and says that he will do what he wants to do. There is going to be a SUDDEN DEATH BATTLE ROYALE featuring Stone Cold, Savio Vega, Sycho Sid and Gooooldust. “Ahmed Johnson will be watching at home that night, watching another man win his title.” Wow, way to rub it in.

Out comes Sunny and Faarooq-

Wait what the fuck.

Why is Sunny here? Wasn’t she last seen with those damn Gunns?

Faarooq’s song is the same song that old movies set in Greece open to, which makes sense because our boy Ron Simmons is dressed like a god damn warrior. Faarooq gives off about the fact that he doesn’t have the Intercontinental championship because he beat down Ahmed. Ron Simmons could have cut a fantastic promo here if they’d made Todd look a bit more terrified of him and Faarooq didn’t sound like a spoiled child who hasn’t gotten his way. Sunny is great, hanging onto Todd and just being malicious. Sunny calls Faarooq a “modern day gladiator”. Sunny does a damn better job than Faarooq and looks the bee’s knees as well. What a wonderful woman.

Vince introduces a promo about old Jake the Snake talking about his alcoholism. It’s set to a background of jangly guitars, which clashes with Jake talking about his suicidal thoughts. Jerry lightens the mood by being an unrelenting cunt about things and cracking wise. In terms of dealing with addiction, the Fed have a serious topic here that they could do a lot with and they reduce it to Jerry making Jake look like a fool when the man should be lionised for his strength. Jake beats Jerry whilst wearing a flowery shirt. Jerry pours booze on Jake’s face.

Old Howard Finkel introduces the newest signee to the WWF, fresh off the 1996 Summer Ol-

HOLY FUCK LOOK IT’S MOTHERFUCKING BOWL CUT KID AND VLADIMIR

Where was I? Oh yeah, Mark Henry comes out, all in white. Vince couldn’t give a fuck despite the fact that it is his signee! They don’t even bother to explain how someone like Mark Henry, being a powerlifer could possibly be a good wrestler. Mr. Perfect gives him grief and Henry, not really knowing what the craic is, just shakes his hand anyways. The King comes to the ring, being a cunt as usual, with his bag of tricks (booze) and removes his jacket to show he’s wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey! In Cleveland! Apparently this is bad and the crowd are not happy about it, not one bit. He is getting such cheap heat! My God, the heat.

Jerry then takes out Jake Roberts’ new tag team partners: Jim Beam and Jack Daniels.

BECAUSE, YOU SEE, JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS IS AN ALCOHOLIC AND IS CURRENTLY IN TREATMENT AND IS RECOVERING. THIS MEANS IT IS FUNNY.

Jerry says that Jake’s wife is really ugly, but nothing that a light switch and a six pack won’t cure.

SEE ABOVE.

Jerry then rips on Mark Henry about the fact that he was at the Olympics and had no medals due to injury. He then makes some joke about having gold metals bronzed. The audience rips on King for being a Burger King, which he takes well. He does, however, make a cracking joke about how Jake has barthritis – that’s where you’re stiff in a different joint each night. That’s actually very funny. No caps lock needed.

Jake’s music hits and he gets a lukewarm reception. Vince bigs him up as much as he can and we are treated to another shot of Bowl Cut Kid and Vlad. Great stuff. Jake storms down to the ring and jumps in, eager for a fight. Hard as fuck Referee Harvey Wippleman holds the guys apart despite standing a good foot shorter than our man Roberts. Jerry has another present, a bag of his own with something inside… a magnum of booze. Hilarious. The whole time, Mark Henry is completely ignoring the action in the ring and saying, “I do not like snakes. But I like Jake Roberts.”

Roberts takes out old Revelations and Henry goes mental on the mic. It’s very funny. Jake accidentally stands on his snake as he’s wrapping him around Jerry’s neck. The snake goes for a wee stroll around the ring and Jake lifts him up, popping him in the bag. The bell rings and it’s time for the match, finally.

Jerry “The King” Lawler def. Jake “The Snake” Roberts via pinfall in 4:07.

Jake is going mental in the ring and Jerry refuses to enter, which is fair enough, because there is a huge snake in there. Jerry tries to offer Jake booze but the mic won’t work to tell him so. Jake runs around, bops Jerry’s head off the steel steps and goes to town with him in the middle of the ring. He then kicks Jerry in the nuts but is not disqualified. What? The pair crawl to the outside and Jake still hasn’t taken off his full entrance attire. Bowl cut kid is in the background there, chatting away. Jake gets himself tied up on the ropes and Jerry goes to grab a bottle of booze to feed it to him. DDT countered into a suplex and Jake takes over again.

The crowd start chanting for a DDT and the King grabs Harvey. In his confusion, Jerry gets the bottle, cracks Jake in the throat with it and pulls the tights for the pinfall in 4:07.

2016 comments:

How the mighty have fallen.

1996 comments:

I now realise why Jerry doesn’t wrestle anymore.

Grade: F

After that drizzling shit of a match, lightning strikes the ring, all the forces of Hell appear and drag Jerry “The King” Lawler to his eternal torment in the underworld.

Only joking!

The two men roll in the ring for a while as if they’ve just performed an hour-long match. Jerry cuts a promo on how Jake’s sore throat can be cured by a good old drink of booooooze. Jerry splashes it on Jake’s face before getting more booze and-

SWEET JESUS MARK HENRY ENTERS THE FRAY.

The World’s Strongest Man holds Jerry’s hand (bottle and all) away from Jake’s mouth. What a hero. Either a fan or a member of security takes the booze that Jerry dropped and sneaks it away. Toothless fan in the crowd jeers at the King as he walks past. JR snips that: “That was not an athletic contest that we witnessed. That was a humiliation,” which explains away The King’s entire career at this point. Jake is really selling the booze angle, retching by the side, trying to rid his body of the wicked demon drink. Mark Henry carries him down the aisle and then we cut to Bob Backlund, who is campaigning, apparently, in the crowd. Good man yourself, Bob. Grassroots and all that shite.

On the Card will return on September 8th with the fourth part of SummerSlam 1996.

Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Owen Hart. That is all.

Cut to the boiler room where Todd Pettengill is walking through, calling Mankind’s home “creepy” and explaining that the matchup has no rules other than that the first person who gains possession of the urn will be victorious. No chat as to where the urn is or why Mankind wants it. I know why Taker wants it – a fine urn is hard to come by and urns and coffins are the man’s bread and butter. Todd goes on to say that the boiler room is “dark… ominous… there are things in here… there are pipes…” He stumbles onto Mankind who calls him “Tom” and says that there is no place like home. He then licks the pipe because Mankind is fucking mental.

Music hits and who should come out but those damn New Rockers (Leif Cassidy AKA Al Snow and Marty Janetty). No team with “New” at the top of their name are ever good, other than the New Age Outlaws, but only because there are no Old Age Outlaws, except maybe for now. The Bodydonnas (written again as The Body Donnas) come to the ring. Boring. The Godwinns rock down (shot of Vlad the Superfan before the Godwinns appear) and Hillbilly Jim has a dawg with him. Both Godwinns have pigs. Great bunch of lads. The pigs are having a nice wee squeal to themselves. Those Damn Gunns come down with Sunny. Sunny is looking wonderful, as per usual. JR says she has confidence, and why wouldn’t she? This was a time when Sunny was queen of the castle and riding all within. Sunny refuses to give the belts to the ref. Someone in the crowd wants to marry her and good old Bodacious Bart Gunn lifts her to the ground.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: The Smoking Gunns (c) w/ Sunny def. The Bodydonnas, The New Rockers and The Godwinns w/ Hillbilly Jim via pinfall in 12:18

This match has eight people in it (ten if you count Jim and Sunny; thirteen if you count the animals) and it is still shorter than the previous match. It is also the only tag team match on the card and is for the WWF Tag Team Championship aaaaand it’s an elimination match. That’s a lot of things.

Billy Gunn and Henry Godwinn start off. The Godwinns shout, “hooo-eee!” into the air and double G start off with a bit of back and forth, great Irish whip into a hip toss. Henry goes some mental move and out he rolls. SkipZip tags in and Henry tags out. As an elimination match, each time a tag team member is eliminated, the whole team is eliminated. It makes much more sense to stay out of the ring as much as possible. The Gunns are talking as the pair in the match run the ropes. Both stop and tag in both Gunns! The Gunns are now the legal men… against each other! In any other tag match, this means one could pin the other and the Gunns would win, but as this is an elimination match, they’re fucked!

The Gunns can’t believe their eyes. Sunny shows her bum to the camera. The Godwinns jump off the apron and won’t allow themselves to be tagged. SkipZip allows himself to be tagged in and Billy is tossed around like a mad one. Leif Cassidy cracks SkipZip on the back of the head and Billy gets the pinfall to eliminate the Bodydonnas. Sunny shouts at Mr. Perfect, who just looks on as if to say, “Will you fucking not?” Perfect mentions that it’s a good strategy to allow the other teams to beat themselves up. Marty Janetty (Tag Team Champ with Shawn Michaels many moons ago) beats the head off Henry Godwinn and tags in Bad Ass Billy Gunn, who has an Owen Hart wrist. Henry hits Billy with a sidewalk slam and goes for the pin, but it’s interrupted as if everyone wants the Gunns to stay in to get a beating from the other teams. Henry hits an inverted DDT (Slop Drop) on Marty Janetty and eliminates the New Rockers with a pinfall.

It’s Gunn vs. Godwinn. Oil baron vs. cattle rustler. Sunny making perfect time on the ring apron like a metronome. Vince says, “It doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win. It could be disqualification, countout, as long as you win,” which is bollocks because those are two ways a title can’t change hands. Elimination matches are silly. Time wasting city as Henry is beat on by those damn Gunns. Bodacious Bart beats Henry in the corner for a bit. Henry fights back with an atomic drop. The pace really slows down to accommodate these teams. Billy goes for a cross-body and Henry catches him mid-air. Phineas is dying for the hot tag. The man is covered in pig pee.

Hot tag and the teams kick the tripe out of each other. Old Phineas hits the inverted DDT (known as the Slop Drop) on Billy and goes for the pin but Sunny is distracting the ref. Bart capitalises by hitting the double axe handle nothing on Phineas, rolls Billy over for the pinfall in 12:18.

2016 comments:

This was obviously a filler match. It had one or two nice spots, but no storylines were developed and no new teams went over. We just hate them all a little more.

1996 comments:

All of these damn team members are interchangeable – other than that guy who looks like Nick Carter.

Grade: C

Hillbilly Jim is in the ring, checking on the Godwinn boys. JR tells us that the Gunns had no advantage walking into this match, but survived “by hook or crook.” Sunny gets the mic and you know shit is going down when that happens. She has little intonation; the woman just screams as loud as she can. She tells people to look at the woman next to them and calls them fat. The camera aims at a woman in the crowd. Pretty pointed. Sunny gives the place a present and a huge, must be damn near 30-foot-high picture of Sunny unrolls and hangs just off the ring. JR calls her, “a very conceited young lady,” and is disappointed by the whole thing. He also tells us that she, “missed a much-needed trip to the woodshed,” which sounds like just the type of thing the Godwinns are up to this weather.

Vince thanks the crowd and there is a promo package showing Cleveland. The narrator asks what is the “coolest way to get to Summerslam” and the Godwinns answer by saying it is… Rapid Transit, of course! Cleveland’s own transit system! The Gunns are using a horse that Sunny quips is, “almost as good looking as me!” Probably not as hung as you, Sunny, the balls on you. The horse and the transit system have a race. I swear to you, this is a promo for a fucking train. The two teams cut a promo about air conditioning. This is… what is this?

Cut to Jerry “the King” Lawler has a back and forth with some baseball players. The most exciting sport in the world vs. the most boring. Savio Vega, Sunny, Godwinns and future hand-father, Mark Henry is there to… help paint a wall. I swear to you, this is a promo about trains, baseball and paint. Bob Holly appears and gives a kid the stink-eye. Watch out, boy, Hardcore Holly ain’t nothing to fuck with. Taker and Bearer give away an entire funeral, apparently.

Back to the arena, thank Christ, and I never thought I was as happy to see The British Bulldog come to the ring like a burst sausage. Cut to Dok Hendrix with old Brock Samson himself. The Bulldog’s music is still playing loud in the background as Sycho Sid tries to cut his mental promo about being the ruler and master of the world. Sid looks two seconds away from either a heart attack or stroke. His music hits mid-promo and Sid has to shoot off to get in the match with Bulldog. Say what you want about Stabby Sid, he looks the part. Cocaine is one hell of a drug. Bulldog flexes in the ring while Sid is just talking nonsense to the crowd, blinking continuously, pointing at the lights and spouting shite. Some idiot wants Sid for Pres, which is mental because his foreign policy is bollocks and he has no political experience. Despite this, Sid is over as fuck.

Sycho Sid def. The British Bulldog via pinfall in 6:24.

Vince reminds us that you use what you have as an asset. Sid is getting the crowd all hyped up and the pair lock horns. Irish whip shows that the Bulldog, despite his sausage appearance, is not strong enough to knock over Sid and he is so upset by this that he goes to leave the damn arena. Sid gets the crowd whipped up into a “PSYCHO SID!” chant and some fat fuck wearing a “Bishoff Sucks” t-shirt sits only feet away from Goldust Kid, who is still the best audience member so far. Sid gets Bulldog into a headlock and Bulldog actually lift Sid up, who retaliates with a shite judo throw. Pin attempt into kip-up by Sid.

Bulldog does a fucking great delayed suplex on Sid. Immigration is very happy about that. Immigrants, it seems, are like Pokémon and the more Bulldog beats on Sid, the easier he will be to catch. More chinlocks followed by Sid battering the ring, which should be a count out, but doesn’t count… out. Sid is knocked to the back and we show Vader and Cornette watching the match. This shit is awful. What’s the point? I’m not watching either of them. I was, however, watching Bulldog’s trunks get eaten by his bum. Another delayed suplex and another chinlock. Sid fights back, slaps the shit out of Bulldog and some guy in the audience bows to him. All he did was slap a motherfucker.

Great powerslam from Bulldog and Cornette comes out to berate Immigration. Bulldog goes for another powerslam but Sid retaliates with a chokeslam followed by the most over powerbomb so far and Sid pins Bulldog for the win in 6:24.

2016 comments:

Oh man. Sid is so over. I mean, I know he’s a good wrestler as well, so there’s no reason why I should be annoyed about him, but can you not be more like Shawn and be over and still a fantastic wrestler? Give the crowd a show. This was a squash. A great squash, but still a squash.

1996 comments:

Take that, Bulldog, you (otherwise fantastic wrestler with whom I have a personal grudge due to misplaced aggression at your nationality (which I suppose technically makes me a racist)) cunt.

Grade: B

Both Immigration and Cornette shout on the outside and try to hug Bulldog better. Sid is fantastic, even though he’s not looking at the hard cam. Replay of the powerbomb (which actually looks a bit dangerous as Bulldog drops about a foot onto his goddamned neck).

On the Card will return on September 1st with the third part of SummerSlam 1996.

Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at International Incident 1996 and its lack of importance in the Attitude Era – the bad matches, lack of title shots and storylines; essentially it was a cheap attempt to get more money from marks and give everyone a payday for little effort. The next PPV was SummerSlam 1996, one of the Big Four PPVs – Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania near Easter, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series near Thanksgiving.

Over the next four weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after two decades as well as my original thoughts as a teenager watching it at the time (though this particular PPV was one I watched in 1998 as my family did not have the channels necessary to watch wrasslin’).

WWF SummerSlam 1996

Opposites Attack!

The poster has Vader and Shawn Michaels looking at each other. Vader is giving it a big roar, but Shawn just looks a little pissed – as if someone cut a wicked fart and he was just getting the briefest scents. Vader has probably followed through. No wonder he looks so upset.

Big red WWF screen hits and we’re given a promo package in black and white. We see Vader and Mankind – “The monsters that wear masks.” Mankind is called, “deranged” and Vader, “brutal, ruthless, executioners of a sinister plan.” Shawn and Taker are shown as “the monster slayers”. They really big up the fact that Shawn is 200 pounds lighter than Big Van Vader. Taker is called, “the mysterious light in the world of darkness,” which is bollocks because he’s dead. They then call him a “reaper” and I am sick of this analogy already.

Big shot of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some football thing? Or is it baseball? The Gund Arena (now the Quicken Loans Arena. Quicken Loans’ HQ is called… The Qube. The qunts) and it’s WWF SummerSlam, presented by super size Stridex pants. Huge pyro goes off. The place is really huge, actually, you can hardly see the damn ring from up here. The attendance was a very specific 17,000, which was a good bit more than International Incident’s 14,804, but also far more suspect. We have eight matches on the card, one of which appeared on Free-For-All. All of the matches look to be over ten minutes long (other than the squash and the gimmick match) with two approaching the half-hour mark. This is going to be a fucking great PPV as all the storylines have been building towards this, including the two main events, the first between Undertaker and Mankind and the second between Vader and Michaels. Your announcers are Vince McMahon, calling Cleveland the “new American city”, along with Jumping Jim Ross and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Big Curt is wearing a tactical turtleneck and blue blazer, unlike Owen who was the Blue Blazer. JR still refuses to wear ties as he considers them verboten.

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a 30-minute show called Free-For-All, which was the nineties equivalent of the Preshow, full of promos and summaries of recent TV matches. There was an exclusive match on Free-For-All and had little to do with the actual PPV. It was a Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Yokozuna match. The match, which lasted less than two minutes. Involved Stone Cold going to bounce off the ropes and stopping several times. Eventually, Yokozuna went to the corner and the ring ropes broke. Very embarrassing for Stone Cold to be in such a shitty match and for Yokozuna to have the weight that eventually killed him become a joke.)

Upbeat music hits and out Fred Flintstone cosplayer Savio Vega. There is now an attempt at a Titantron on the walkway, with images of the wrasslers being shown, in this case Savio Vega and Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart. Vega is very happy about wrestling tonight and springs about the ring like a damn bouncy ball, dancing and embarrassing himself. Owen’s music hits and out he comes, selling his “broken” wrist that has been in a case for many moons. He slaps a sign out of two fluorescently dressed gentlemen’s hands. More selling of that wrist and Vince questions the wrist cast – not its legitimacy, which is airtight, but whether or not Owen should be able to wear it in-ring.

Owen Hart def. Savio Vega via TKO in 13:23

Twice in a row, Savio Vega has been the curtail jerker and twice he has been beaten. The world has moved on from the Flintstones, my friend. We’re into better cartoons now, like Biker Mice From Mars. Vince mentions that Jim Cornette is not about. Considering we have Bulldog and Vader on the card as well as Mr. Perfect on commentary, I’m not surprised. The man needs a payday, not a coronary. Owen goes for the cheap shot on Vega. The ref is Irish Referee Tim White, a man known for not taking shit. JR states that the cast is a weapon and that there is nothing wrong with his arm. No one disagrees. JR wonders how Owen passed the pre-match checks with a wrist so bad.

In right, Owen is doing a great job with Savio. So great that the Fed decide to show a backstage shot of good old Jim Cornette cheering on the man named Vader as we works some ‘ron. Owen Hart has great teeth but no lips. An awful lot of arm locks here for the Columbian. Owen does some fantastic flips, gets in a lock and can’t reach the ring ropes. JR mentions that Owen Hart is 1994 King of the Ring Winner, defeating such wrasslers as Tatanka (Lakota for “buffalo”), The 1-2-3 Kid (X-Pac) and Razor Ramon (Scott Hall).

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The tagline for the 1994 KotR is “The Perfect Father’s Day Card” which is a nice play on words, I suppose.

Owen throws Savio into the turnbuckle a few times. On the hard cam, there’s an absolute hero dressed as Goldust. Vince actually says nice things about Bret Hart, which is nice considering in a year and a half, he’ll be fucking him over. Irish Referee Tim White is telling Owen off but to no avail. Owen does a wee armbar takedown on Savio, gets a two count and he chastises the ref. Tim White plays it cool though. Savio bites the arse off Owen. Owen tries to wrap Savio in the ropes.

Something happens to the side as a bunch of fans stand up. Even Owen watches. Oh, who is it, but Clarence Mason, the wheeling and dealing legal counsel. Of course we all know that Clarence Mason was really part of immigration, here to arrest Owen, Savio or both for being illegal immigrants. In Trump’s America, they are verboten. Vince mentions that Mason represents Crush, who we have not met yet, but he’s just as exciting as his name suggests. Owen goes for the pin, lifting his legs onto the ring ropes like an absolute bastard but only gets the two. Savio goes for the pin but gets the same. Savio hit Hart with a fucking great spinning hell kick followed by atomic drop and a shower of clotheslines. Owen begs for mercy but none is given.

Thirteen punches in the corner and Vega his Owen with a big leg drop followed by a sidewalk slam. Owen hits Vega with the neckbreaker and goes up top. Missile dropkick and another two count. Owen acts like he has won, climbs to the turnbuckle and gets a super backdrop for his effort. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart’s cast has bust Savio in the back of the head. What a mistake that was! Owen takes the cast off and bops Vega in the old head with it. Apparently Irish Referee Tim White saw nothing. Owen moves the comatose Vega into the sharpshooter and gets the TKO in 13:23.

2016 comments:

Owen is a great lad and Savio is just as talented. What a curtain jerker. Best first match so far.

1996 comments:

Who is this Flintstone cosplayer?

Grade: B

Clarence Mason raises Owen’s hand, holding onto it for the long walk to be deported back to the rustic north of Canada. Slow motion of the Canuck using his evil plastered arm to knock the innocent Vega to the ground. Out comes Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw AKA Cunt JBL. He has a shouting match with Vince as Perfect looks on with a smirk. Bradshaw cracks Vega in the back of the head on his way out, cementing his status as a total bastard.

On the Card will return on August 25th with the second part of SummerSlam 1996.