Attitude Era #14. In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede (July 6, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Only Championship match of the PPV and it was alright.

Dok Hendrix is backstage with team Stone Cold. Goldust takes responsibility for putting the team together. Ken tells us that the likes to fight. Animal shouts in the mic for a bit and in the middle of his roaring, I hear the words, “US” and “Canada”. Hawk says only one thing, “Whhaaaaaat a rush!” and Stone Cold walks out.

Back in the arena, here to sing the Canadian National Anthem is Farmer’s Daughter. They actually do a fantastic version of it. I know all the words of the Canadian National Anthem. How, you ask? Terrence and Philip’s Asses of Fire (based on a true story).

Ralph Klein is in attendance. He’s a politician or something. Stu and Helen Hart are there too, asking others to stretch ‘em. Shot of the old family there, but Nattie is not amongst them.

Goldust’s music hits and these guys, though faces, will be heels this evening as they are dirty, filthy yanks. The Americans invented anger, you know. Marlena is nowhere to be seen, though. The announcers mention her but I can’t make it out.

Out comes Captain Charisma himself, Ken Shamrock. No theatrics at all. Some smelly marks in the crowd have Shamrock signs.

LOD come out and get a sizable pop. They no-sell everything on the way to the ring. A tank could hit them and they’d just pop up and go to the next spot. Great, great cunts.

Vince tells us to wait for the reaction for the next man. Glass smashes and… nothing. A modest pop. They’re in Canada. They don’t want the rattlesnake. They want the Harts. Canadians and people married to Canadians.

Flyin’ Brian Pillman comes out. He was trained by Stu Hart and is the only member of the Hart Foundation without a blood-or-marriage-relation. Because of that, he is also the only member famous for having a gun as he is not Canuck, but Yank.

Brian stays on the ramp for a bit and takes in the applause. Anvil appears next, standing with Brian and telling the camera that, “this is the real deal.”

Bulldog comes out next with motherfucking Diane Hart-Smith, his emotionless wife. She makes what the humans call a “smile” and waves about her appendages.

Slammy-award-winning Owen Hart is next, looking just fantastic with his two Slammys. We’re all waiting. Who could possibly come out next?

Who? Who, I ask? The crowd know.

His music literally hidden behind the crowd’s cheers, Bret “The Hitman” Hart comes out. What a fucking class tune as well. What a great lad. Lovely mark for himself as well.

With that, the Hart Foundation walk to the ring, waving about the Canadian flag and getting lots of cheap pops from the crowd. Bret gives his shades to his mum. She’s dead pleased. Stu could not give less of a fuck. Bret squares up to the enemy, the Yank. Stone Cold jaws off to Bret for a bit. There are cameras by ringside, filming a documentary about Bretty Bret Hart. Everyone clears the ring except for Stone Cold and Bret. The bell tolls.

Goldust, Ken Shamrock, The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Hart Foundation (Brian Pillman, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, The British Bulldog, Owen Hart and Bret Hart) (with Diane Hart-Smith).

Stone Cold and Bret pummel the shite out of each other and Bret takes over, getting Austin in the corner, stomping a mudhole in him and walking it dry. Stone Cold hits back and the crowd boo, pissed as Austin tosses Bret into the corner and cheering as the Hitman springs out to knock Austin down. Bret drags Austin’s face on the ropes and Austin low blows Bret. It’s his turn to stomp a hole into Hitman. The two jaw off as Austin gets the sleeper hold on Bret. Hitman kicks off the turnbuckle and has another chat. Anvil is tagged in and it’s his turn to beat on Austin. Stone Cold gets the Lou Thesz press and tags in Shamrock. Big boos.

Shamrock and Anvil square off. Big kick from Shamrock and Anvil goes down. Ankle lock and Pillman springs in. Shamrock takes Anvil down with an arm-drag. Anvil returns with a punch to the bake and Shamrock gets the armlock in.

Pillman is tagged in and takes an arm drag from Shamrock. It’s yank against yank mid-ring. Pillman chops Shamrock in the corner and gives Shamrock a lovely backbreaker. He straddles Shamrock and slaps him. An Irish whip to the corner becomes a clothesline and Ken gets the belly-to-belly in.

Owen is tagged in, all short-haired and handsome. Goldust comes into face him and a lovely back body drop form Goldust becomes a big old dropkick from Owen. Goldust gets Owen in the corner and the crowd chant something.

Hawk pops in and beats on Owen for a while. He goes top-rope and hits a terrible-looking splash. He attempts a dropkick, fails, Owen tries to hit the Sharpshooter but is broken up.

Bulldog comes in with a delayed suplex (what strength!) followed by a lovely powerslam. Referee Earl Hebner allows Goldust to break up the pin and our man Bret comes in. Animal and Bret in the ring with the LOD lad failing to sell any offence. On account of the cuntyness.

Goldust comes in, has a wee squat mid-ring and the pair have a test of strength. Bret puts Goldie in a tree of woe and the Hart Foundation beat on him. The crowd actually cheer! Shower of bastards! Owen is in, hitting another backbreaker and tosses Goldie into the turnbuckle, but is denied a shoulder barge. Animal comes in, actually sells a spinning heel kick and dropkick from the top rope. Owen kips up and is fired up. He gives Owen a lovely pop-up-powerbomb and bodyslam. He goes for the super dangerous Doomsday Device and Owen lands on his neck. Christ, lads, just fall with him, come on.

The pin attempt is broken by the Anvil and there’s a schmoz. In the middle of it, Austin beats on Owen and hits him with a chair. Stu attacks him and Bret soon follows. Owen is hurt, apparently, and Anvil pops in as Owen is carried out by the rest of the Harts. Anvil lifts Austin up and the Harts beat on him in the corner. Austin fights back and beats off the Harts before pulling Brian in, exposing his arse and hitting the Stunner.

Bret grabs Austin’s legs and cracks them off of the turnbuckle, following it up with a fire extinguisher and a figure four off the turnbuckle. One of the LOD breaks it up and Bulldog stomps Austin. Apparently, he’s legal. Bulldog and Hawk fight mid-ring and Hawk falls off the turnbuckle onto his balls. Anvil tags in and he and Bulldog double-clothesline Hawk. Austin is leaving the arena. Animal is in now, versus Anvil. Earl watches as both men are gassed and doing a test of strength.

Jim gets Animal into the corner and tags in Hitman, who gives him a Bret’s Rope elbow onto a backbroken Animal. Shamrock is tagged in and gets a wee ankle lock on before Flyin’ Brian Pillman breaks it up. Wee low blow to Shamrock and Hitman goes into the corner. Big punches from our man Shamrock. Another ankle lock attempt but Shamrock lets go to allow Bret up. Bret takes over, throws Shamrock into Brian’s boot and tosses Shamrock out. Pillman throws Ken into the announcer’s table and another schmoz ensues. Hawk is tossed into the steel steps.

Mid-ring, Bret hits the Russian Leg Sweep on Bret and a pin is denied by Goldust. Bulldog pops in, stomping a mudhole in Ken and flipping him the bird. Low blow stops that. Goldust is in, then, beating the shite out of Shamrock and hitting a bulldog to Bulldog. Pillman breaks up the Curtain Call and Goldie goes to the top rope, falls on his balls, gets a lovely superplex from the top-rope (a rare both-men-on-top-rope superplex) and Stone Cold reappers. He reaches for the tag off of Goldie and Bulldog tags in Bret. Both men batter seven shades of shite out of another as Stone Cold hits a lovely supplex. Bret reverses a back-body-drop and hits the backbreaker.

Bret hits his Bret’s rope elbow and is caught in a sleeper hold that he counters into a stunner but Bret actually kicks out! He actually kicks out! Bret hits the Sharpshooter but Cunt Animal breaks it up because he doesn’t understand wrestling. Austin hits the Sharpshooter but Owen pops in to break it up because he does understand wrestling. Owen is tagged in and eats a boot from Austin. Both ben roll out and Austin beats on Owen for a bit before turning on Stu and pummelling him. No DQ from the ref and big boos from the crown. Owen gets the roll-up and the win.

Owen Hart has pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Hart Foundation win in 24:31.

2017 comments:

Good main event. The weaker ones are held back and the talented guys get top-billing. Shame about Cunt LOD and Austin and Owen being the finishers despite the fact that both men left the ring due to injury. Stinks of Hogan.

1997 comments:

That wacky Stone Cold!

Grade: A.

Everyone else has a big old schmoz as the bell rings constantly. The refs and ringside harts get involved and soon the ring is filled with young bucks. The ring swells and ebbs and flows with people as the heels attempt to leave. The crowd are cheering as the Yanks leave. The Harts celebrate mid-ring with Bret’s music playing despite the fact that Owen got the pin. Lots of Canadian showboating and hotdogging from the faces. Anvil waves a flag. Owen looks pissed, actually pissed.

Austin is back in and is jumped upon by the Harts. It’s a massive pile-on. The crowd chant, “Austin sucks!” at him, and in this situation, he does. Bret goes to his rope to observe the situation. Austin is handcuffed by security and fights back, booting at his oppressors. Boots are laid into his face as he is led off, waving his arse at the Canadian crowd, flipping them the bird. Cheeky yoke.

Bret’s music plays again and Stu and Helen are brought up to the ring to celebrate with his family. Jerry can’t get over how many Harts exist.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I was going to say Mankind and Trips, but they outstayed their welcome by continually fighting so I’m going for Taka Michinoku for being… EVIL.

Woman of the Matches: Chyna? Is she the only one? Unless you count Diana and Helen Hart, I suppose. Just Chyna, so.

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

Best Spot: There were, actually, no real stand-out spots other than the entire light heavyweight match.

Hatches: Brian Pillman makes his first in-ring appearance. Taka Michinoku and The Great Sasuke appear as well.

Matches: Undertaker retains his WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

Dispatches: Blackjack Mulligan and Bradshaw who fought in the Free For All match, are (thankfully, in Bradshaw’s case) gone until Survivor Series. This is The Great Sasuke’s only PPV appearance, so he’s gone. Taka is gone until D-Generation X in December. Anvil is gone until Survivor Series. Pauly B is gone until Badd Blood.

Closing Statements: Dave Meltzer placed this as the Best Major Wrestling Show in 1997 and it’s hard to dispute that. The crowd were hot, the matches were great, the pace was high and other than the Trips/Mankind brawl that kept recurring, everything was great. Only four matches in two hours, though, each of them being at least ten minutes and one of them going for almost a full half an hour. Great, great, great PPV.

On the Card will return on August 3 2017 with Summerslam 1997.

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Attitude Era #14. In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede (July 6, 1997) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Taka Michinoku was… EEEEVIL.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix is speaking to our man Paulie Bearer, accusing him of stooping too low as Bearer accused Taker of murdering his family. Vader is standing in front of the camera the whole time. Paul Bearer screeches at the camera, reminding Taker that he is a killer. He says, “Oooooh yeeees!”

It’s time, it’s time, it’s Vader time. Out comes the lad from the Rocky Mountains, but he lets Pauly B walk out first. Fans are clearly not happy about any of this nonsense and wave their thumbs and click their tongues and say, “What’s to be done with this Big Van Vader?”

Vince calls him “The Mastodon”, which was his original character in the Fed.

There’s the old Taker dong and for the next fifteen minutes, we watch a dead person shamble to the ring. He has an entrance video, which is nice as they’ve only started doing this recently. His music is still Chopin’s Funeral March with added theatrics. He’s wearing his leather tunic get-up and thunder rolls as he gets to the ring. What a buck. He takes his time getting up the steps, mind. Don’t rush, our lad. I gots to say, when he stands by the turnbuckle, the WWF symbol really ruins the shot for me. He raises his hands and – heavens to Betsy! – the lights come on. The fucking lights come on.

I love how over the Undertaker is despite the fact that he is essentially a murderer. The referee, terrified of taking the belt, is none other than Irish Referee Tim White. He has a bit of common sense about him.

WWF Championship Match: The Undertaker (c) vs. Vader (with Paul Bearer).

Both men start off hot, bopping each other loads. Taker gives Vader a big Irish Whip followed by clothesline and leg drop. No pin, though. Another Irish whip into the corner and big splash. Vince raises the fact that Taker has been told by P Bizzle that he has a brother that he has not seen in over twenty years. Taker goes for Old School and hits it. Big pop but he fails to get the pin.

It’s nice that the Fed are adding in Kane now, especially due to the fact that he does not appear for a few months yet. Taker runs the ropes and gets the jumping clothesline. Another pin attempt. No one mentions Kane’s name, so I assume that he has not been named yet, but it will be interesting to see how the storyline betwixt Taker and Bearer evolves leading to Badd Blood in October. Long rest hold from Vader. Leon runs the ropes and eats a big boot from the Deadman. Both men are on the outside and Vader takes a handful of punches before Vader throws Taker into the steel steps. Paul walks over and gives Taker a wee boot. Good man. He’s calling him a murderer and he’s still the face in this match.

Taker hits Vader with a chinbreaker and goes to the top rope for a flying clothesline. HHH and Mankind are on the Superstar Line, probably still kicking the shite out of each other. Vader falls out of the ring once again and Taker walks slowly towards Bearer. The crowd are rabid. Vader Pearl Harbours Taker and our man Percy Pringle kicks him a wee kick, looks very pleased with himself and lets out a little Ric Flair, “Woo!” before remembering that the Undertaker is a damn murderer. Vader goes to Bret’s Rope and hits the splash but fails to get the three.

Vince references that the scarring on Paul’s face has gotten better. Oh yeah. Vader splashes Taker but does not get the pin. He hits the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on the Deadman and both lads have a little sit. JR mentions that Taker may be a pyromaniac. Taker fights back and the crowd go ballistic. He gets Vader in the corner, takes a punch to the face followed by a damn clothesline and punches the Undertaker’s midsection. Taker fights back, tosses Vader in the corner and punches the shite out of him before getting the chokeslam. But Vader boots him between the legs and Irish Referee Tim White fails to DQ him. Vader runs at Taker and he is up in the Tombstone position. Vader reverses it but fails and falls on his hole. The pair fumble for a bit and Vader sets Taker for the big splash off Bret’s rope. Taker low blows Vader, gets the chokeslam from the second rope but it gains only a two count.

A true chokeslam in the middle of the ring gains another two count. That’s two chokeslams. My God, what next? The Tombstone? Taker gets him up, hits his move and gets the pin.

The Undertaker has pinned Vader and retained the World Heavyweight Championship in 12:39.

2017 comments:

Best Taker match and Vader match I’ve seen in a while. Good man.

1997 comments:

Motherfucker tore off Mankind’s ear. I’ll never forgive you!

Grade: B.

It’s a shame about the botched spot. Undertaker leaves after taking a knee. We see what it looks like outside the arena. It’s an arena.

Promo for this mental ten-man tag team match. We see Crush pop down to the ring on a motorcycle and turning on his Nation of Domination buddies. The rest of his stable, DOA (Disciples of Apocalypse) run into the ring. Los Boricuas, the team made by Savio Vega, rush in and fight as well because we love a good fight so we do. Then the Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson and all the others come in too. It’s garbage wrestling for a while. However, we do not dwell on them, but instead focus on Stone Cold and Bret. Bret gets his Hart Foundation and place them against Stone Cold, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and LOD. Mankind appears at one point as well.

On the Card will return on July 27 2017 with the fourth part of In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede.

Attitude Era #14. In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede (July 6, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Best match of the PPV so far featuring Mankind and Trips.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix is speaking to Bret about the possibility of losing on their home turf. Stone Cold arrives and shouts for a bit. Bret takes this to prove that Steve is mad.

Back in the arena, we have a “light heavyweight” match with mmmmmmmmmmotherfucking Taka Michinoku. Yes. What a lad. Still has the same music he has when he’s in Kaientai. Great. I fucking love Taka.

The Great Sasuke appears with mental metal. He jogs to the ring like the smelly jobber he is. Both lads have long cloaks on… but before the match can start, both Mankind and Trips appear, still fighting. Christ. Way to take the heat away from the Japanese. Both men are bopping each other for real and Trips is bust wide open. Then the match in the right actually starts.

Taka Michinoku vs. The Great Sasuke.

To appease the Americans, Sasuke is wearing a face mask. That way, they won’t get confused, surely.

For real, though, I bet Vince was happy about this so he didn’t have to keep spluttering through his notes to see who was who. Because, you see, he is a racist.

Both men start off. Sasuke gives a wee kick and both men dodge about each other. They lock up and go against the ropes where it breaks. There is a test of strength and an arm lock. Taka rolls through and Sasuke gets him in an arm lock. They spring away and a lovely boot from Sasuke knocks Taka down. The crowd is, sadly, dead.

Head scissors from Sasuke and Taka rolls through, gets him in a crossface and a few stretches. Taka is working on Sasuke’s arms, runs the ropes and eats a boot. Sasuke pulls up a high Boston Crab and crawls to the ropes to break it. Taka boots Sasuke in the face and a dropkick to the back on the head followed by one to the face and the crowd are loving it. Taka runs the ropes and goes over. Sasuke goes to the top rope and hits the flying kick on our man Taka. Both men are down. They roll in and Sasuke kicks the shite out of Taka in the corner. Sasuke waits for Taka to get up and keeps kicking. Taka catches the legs, gives a lovely whip, dropkicks the knee and springboards from the top rope to the outside. Big pop from the crowd.

Taka is mid-ring and Sasuke is outside. Finally, Sasuke rolls into the ring and Taka meets him, attempting a suplex from the apron but Sasuke counters. A German suplex is attempted but Taka lands on his feet and hits a hurricanrana. Roll-up and Sasuke kicks out. Sasuke hits a flip followed by a springboard moonsault to the outside and both men are having a wee lie down. Good job, boys. Have a rest for a while.

Mid-ring and both men run the ropes. Taka hits the belly to belly and is denied a pin. He springboard dropkicks Sasuke, calls for the throat-cut, hits the Michinoku driver and fails to get the pin. Taka goes top rope but as he jumps, Sasuke dropkicks him mid-air followed by a springboard moonsault, a powerbomb and a German suplex to pin.

The Great Sasuke has pinned Taka Michinoku in ten minutes exactly.

2017 comments:

Just a tip top “light-heavyweight” match with two great Japanese stars. I’ve always loved Taka, especially with Funaki and it’s always great to see Sasuke.

1997 comments:

Who are these gods.

Grade: A.

Great match, worthy of the ovation the crowd are giving them.

We can’t see that, though, because backstage, Trips and Mankind are still fighting. The refs are trying to stop them. Trips has a spade and cracks Mankind with it. Trips sets up Mankind on a bunch of pallets for the Pedigree but Mick counters it. More garbage wrasslin’ from the pair of them.

Promo for the upcoming Undertaker vs. Vader match, where Ahmed got in a bit of trouble during a big ol’ scrap match and bust his knee. Vader then stepped in.

On the Card will return on July 20 2017 with the thirdpart of In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede.

Attitude Era #14. In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede (July 6, 1997) Part 1

 

On the Card: Attitude Era #14 In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede – July 6, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at King of the Ring. It was shite. The next PPV was In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede, the second PPV set in Canada that I have reviewed since starting this blog.

Over the next few 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 16: Canadian Stampede 1997

No tagline this time around. The poster shows Owen and Bulldog standing with their belts at either side of Bret. The background is a pink Canadian Flag. Just in case you ever forgot that it was set in Canada.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Stampede Wrestling was a promotion started and run by Bret and Owen’s father (also Bulldog’s father-in-law) Stu Hart. So it’s a pun… almost.

The announcer tells us that the WWF is translated into 7 different languages in all these bleeding countries.

Black and white promo tells us that we no longer live in a world of black-and-white, telling us that the good guys are now bad guys and the bad guys are getting pops. We see “stone cold killer” threaten to end Bret’s legacy. The Hart Foundation are coming home, the heels now the heroes and the faces now fucking hated.

We see a how getting its arse branded and farty pyro welcomes us to the – honest-to-God-named – Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 12,151 in attendance with around 209,563 houses buying it, which is rather high for the time. Some dumb Canuck has a sign that says, “BRETT RULES”. The Hart Foundation music is playing while Jumpin’ Jim Ross, Vinnie Mac and Jerry “The King” Lawler invite us in.

The EU anthem plays and out comes a man who has never even been to Europe, Hunter Hearst Helmsley feat. Chyna.

(Note: Before the PPV began there was a match on Free-For-All featuring The Hell Godwinns, Henry O. and Phineas I. defeating The New Blackjacks, Bradshaw and Windham. My DVD actually has this match but fuck it, I’m not watching Bradshaw if I don’t have to.)

Chyna weighs two hundred pounds, apparently. Fair play to her.

Shitty promo for the Mankind/HHH match. We see handsome Mick Foley followed by their drizzling shits of a match at King of the Ring 1997. It’s all very embarrassing for everyone concerned. Hunter tells us that the ring his. Chyna gets on the mic and tells Mankind to come down and kiss her ass. Well, now. They censor “ass”. Because apparently the Attitude Era hasn’t started. Was there not Stone Cold 3:16? Did Goldust not snog the face off Ahmed Johnson? Have the Godwinns not turned heel? I think you’ll find that it is very much the Attitude Era, sirs.

Anyways, Mankind replies by saying that he’s a good kisser.

Back in the ring, Mankind pops down with his crazy Hannibal Lecter theme. He’s getting a hell of a pop and runs into the ring to start the match.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna) vs. Mankind.

Trips and Mankind are sharing punches mid-ring and the pace is frantic. Mankind hits the bulldog followed by the leg drop and double-arm DDT. He curtseys to Helmsely and follows it up with an Irish whip but Mick takes a knee to the face. HHH goes over the top rope and Mick gives him a big ol’ elbow drop. Vince splooges over Chyna’s deltoids as Trips is thrown out again. Mick goes to Bret’s rope on the apron but Trips runs off. The entrance aisle is actually a ramp now, and fair play to them. Mankind hits the suplex on the steel ramp, throws up the arms and shouts, “Bang, bang!”

Trips rolls down the ramp and slowly gets into the ring. He’s knocked to the apron with a quick punch. Trips is on the apron but hits the sunset flip. Chyna interferes, punching Mick, who goes after her. Hunter tries to stop him but takes a gut punch. Trips Irish whips Mankind and Chyna catches him to hip toss him into the steel steps. Trips gets a chair and – in full view of the ref – nails Mick in the leg. Why isn’t this a DQ? Why is the match continuing? Fuck sake, ref. I can’t even make out who the ref is.

Trips goes for the knee of Mankind and Vince has, so far mentioned the fact that Bret Hart’s family is in the front row thrice. Trips drops the elbow on Mick’s knee. Vince says that the ref has allowed a great deal of latitude in this match. Trips – the cerebral assassin – is targeting the knee of Mankind continuously. He hits the figure four in the middle of the ring and almost pins Mankind as his shoulders fall to the mat. Trips gets the top rope and adds leverage but the ref does not break the hold. Your man is shite. The ref finally sees it, kicks Trips’ legs and Mankind escapes. Trips goes for the Pedigree but Mick counters it. Trips kicks Mick into the turnbuckle and he bounces off and Flair flops right onto Trip’s dick.

Both men are up and the crowd can’t count as Mick punches in the corner. Trips takes a lovely big Shawn Michaels bump in the corner. Mankind goes for the piledriver and it is brutal. Pin attempt and Trips kicks out. Mankind and Trips both tumble out of the ring and Mick goes right for the chair but Chyna stops it. Trips grabs the chair and hits Mick once. As the official goes to shout at Trips, Chyna nails Mick with a clothesline. Pair of bastards. Trips goes top rope and Mick accidentally hits the ropes, dropping him on his dick. Mick gets the Mandible claw in. Chyna pulls on Mick’s legs, giving him a low blow. Trips comes out and tosses Mick into the barricade before pounding on him. Both men go into the crowd and the ref – with the fastest ten count in the world – counts out both gentlemen.

Both Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Mankind have been counted out in 13:14.

2017 comments:

Damn. What a curtain-jerker. Spot after spot after spot. Barely felt three minutes long and went for thirteen! Amazing show.

1997 comments:

Mick AND Chyna? Is there a higher number than eleven stars?

Grade: A.

The pair brawl through the crowd and go for the penalty box. Both men are battering through the crowd and the Calgary ones love it. Ref goes tumbling and people try to break it up.

Replays of the match. They could have shown the whole match for the replay, so good was it. Both men take super bumps and put on a great show.

Shite promo where there was a parade and Mrs. Calgary 1997, Diana “no emotion whatsoever” Smith, Bulldog’s wife. Bret Hart went out to sign things for lads. Fans lined for a mile, apparently. Bret signed each one. What a lad. The Fed were given the key to the city, apparently. Bret turned up to… something.

On the Card will return on July 13 2017 with the second part of In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede.

Attitude Era #13. King of the Ring (June 8, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Best match of the PPV and it was barely a B grade.

Backstage, the entire Nation of Domination is there. We see the most recent RAW where Faarooq beats the shite out of Taker after a match. Faarooq tells Undertaker not to worry about Paul Bearer’s blackmail. He should be worried about (points at chest and looks awkward) this black male. Faarooq may become the first Black champion of the Fed, something which, in the year 1997, should not be a thing. There should not be first Black anyone in the year 1997. I know wrestling is a bit behind the times, but, c’mon, guys. At least pretend you’re not racist, damn.

Back in the ring, The Fink is introducing the next match the only way he knows how: not very well.

The Nation come out and I am so glad that there are no cunts giving these lads the Seig Heil, because you know that some cunts in audience would do that. Some cunts are giving the double-bird, though.

Shit, Bearer looks like hell. He has a weird ginger-coloured toupee on, his moustache is shaved, he has bandages on his face and Taker is staring daggers at him. Dok tells Taker that he loves him and always will. Bearer threatens Taker and the Deadman walks off in a huff.

Back in the ring, Vince tells us that Dok speaks for himself. The bell tolls and the WWF champion, rightfully, enters the ring last. Big blue light and smoke as he slowly strolls with Pauly B behind him, looking like a fat bastard. Vince tells us that Faarooq has played the race card. Taker raises his hands and the lights come on. People are freaked out, apparently. Taker is wearing his fetching long leather tunic-style outfit. Bearer tries to undress him but Taker is having none of it. Then Faarooq Pearl Harbours him from behind.

WWF Championship Match: The Undertaker (c) vs. Faarooq.

The one and only championship match this evening, on a night featuring literally all the champions.

Paul rolls out of the ring and Faarooq batters Taker for a bit, walking him around all the corners. Taker reverses it and manhandles the challenger in the corner. Faarooq reverses an Irish Whip and Taker springs out, knocking Faarooq down, missing the elbow drop and attempting a pin after a punch. Paul Bearer gives the Undertaker some advice and repeats it to the camera: “All he had to do was hook the leg and one-two-three.” Wise words.

Lovely powerslam and Taker is down. The NOD attack him while the ref is distracted. The ref is Earl Hebner, so he was probably distracted by someone wanting to buy a t-shirt. Taker goes for Old School on Faarooq and turns to give the cross-body to the outside onto the NOD. He batters them all down but a simple slap from any of them would give him the win. He gives Faarooq the chin-breaker and then goes for Old School again. NOD distract Earl again, the big useless shite, and Taker’s balls hit the top rope. Predictable.

Lovely snap suplex from Faarooq and Taker sits up immediately. Bearer shouts at Taker and JR calls him a pain in the fanny. Fanny over here means vagina. More ref distractions and more NOD attacks. It’s very boring. Faarooq throws the Undertaker out and then picks up the steel steps. Taker gets the big boot up and Faarooq falls on his hole. Taker beats on Faarooq for a while and hits a gruesome piledriver. It looks very painful. Shame upon him. Smelly ECW mark on the hard cam holds up a sign. The crowd chant, “Rest in Peace!” and the two take a knee and lie down for a bit. Lovely rest. Earl doesn’t see Faarooq cheat. Yep. Going to the well one too many times, here, lads. Who booked this?

JR tells us that the WWF title means a lot of money, which is interesting as it is the second time they’ve mentioned money and titles. Sleeper hold turned to chinbreaker to a senton splash. Faarooq punches Taker around the ring and attempts another piledriver. Taker counters and misses a leg drop. Faarooq is up and punching Taker, who gets a knee to the face from Faarooq. Big jump from Faarooq from Bret’s Rope but Taker catches him and turns it into a lovely powerslam. Taker is hammering on Faarooq in the corner, runs the ropes, attempts a jumping clothesline, misses and takes a tongue-lashing from P Bizzle himself. He truly is the worst of us. One more ref distraction and NOD attack which causes a bit of a rift between Crush and D’Lo Broon. Undertaker lifts Faarooq up for a shaky Tombstone and the pin.

The Undertaker has pinned Faarooq for the win in 13:43.

2017 comments:

Easily the second-best match of the night.

1997 comments:

Bit racist near the end there, lads.

Grade: B-.

D’Lo and Crush get a wee chokeyslam from Taker and Paul Bearer comes in to look at the madness. Cunts in the crowd throw shit and hopefully get thrown through a fucking window. This is a wrestling match, for God’s sake. It’s not opera. You can’t just throw shit. Pauly B shouts at Taker and he chokeslams Faarooq. Paul shouts some more and Taker looks upset. He chokeslams Faarooq a second time. Bearer requests that Taker kindly give Faarooq a third chokeslam. I forgot that the red-haired version of P Bizzle was a white supremacist. He’s my least favourite Paul Bearer.

Out comes Ahmed, shouting at them all. Is he defending the NOD? Is he imploring Taker to snap out of it? Is raising hell?

Well, we don’t know, but he Pearl River Plunges Taker while more cunts throw shite into the ring. Paul boots Taker and finally he sits up, squaring up to Bearer before following the jolly fat man out of the ring and out of the arena and to the end of the PPV.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No real stand-out matches or competitors here, so I’d have to go for Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels for giving the only half-decent match of the night.

Woman of the Matches: Chyna or Marlena again? Chyna, so.

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

Best Spot: Stunner and Sweet Chin Music combo to all of the referees.

Hatches: None.

Matches: Undertaker retains his WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

Dispatches: Jerry is gone from competitive matches until Fully Loaded, thank God. Crush disappears from matches until Ground Zero. Ahmed Johnson is gone until Survivor Series. This is the last we see of Sycho Sid. He took time off to recover from a neck injury that required surgery and went to ECW in 1999. This is the last we see of Immigration Clarence Mason, sadly. D’Lo Broon is oot until Badd Blood.

Closing Statements: A very disappointing PPV. A real let down and significant drop in quality overall. Bad show.

On the Card will return on July 6 2017 with In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede.

Attitude Era #13. King of the Ring (June 8, 1997) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: LOD were in a match with the Hart Foundation and no cunt sold.

Backstage, Mankind tells us he doesn’t feel like a million bucks and that Trips might have to drive a train into him to win tonight. He also drops a Lion King reference.

The two lads who open the doors at the entrance might very well be Matt and Jeff Hardy, I will wager. Mankind walks out, rubbing his neck and looking creepy. JR tries to put the Mandible Claw over by saying that it smells.

HHH comes out alongside our lady Chyna. She has a tattoo on her back, just over her left shoulder. I honestly never noticed that. Huh.

Cut to earlier tonight when Ahmed shouted at Chyna, was Pearl Harboured by Trips and lost his match. Chyna is standing mid-ring, staring at Mankind. Trips gives him a wee bow like a big bollocks. The ref tells Chyna to fuck off and the bell rings.

King of the Ring Final: Mankind vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna).

JR is telling us that Mankind’s neck is sore, which is probably true. Is this going to be the storyline here? Mankind has a bit of a crook in the old neck? JR follows it up with asking, “What’s harder to believe? King Mankind or Queen Chyna?”

Nothing is happening in the ring. JR is bigging these two up, saying both men have incredibly high IQs. JR name-checks the dude – Dude Love. Mankind has turned face by this point and is on his way to super-duper-stardom. Right now, however, the match is the drizzling shits. Nice bit where Mankind Irish whips Trips into the ropes, goes for the Claw and Trips rolls out of the ring. Cerebral Assassin. Some smelly ECW mark on the hard cam.

JR mixes in stories about Mick Foley’s life here and there. Interesting how they’re mixing the kayfabe – that Mankind is a deranged, psychopathic man – with shoot – that he is a guy named Mick Foley who has wrestled under the names of Mankind, Dude Love and Cactus Jack. JR makes a reference to Mankind getting low blowed and his voice raising an octave afterwards. He explains it. Vince already got it.

The pace is quickened as Trips takes over. Lovely swinging neckbreaker and attacks to the neck. The pace is slow and the most exciting part of this match is the commentary. Trips knocks Mankind right on his hole. The crowd are dead at this point. No chants. No nothing.

Trips knocks Mankind down and he crawls right to Chyna, who bops him. Mankind low blows Trips with his heel. Mankind goes to hit Trips on the ropes and gets caught in a hangman – the very move that lost him his ear. He escapes – losing his mask in the process – and Trips baseball slides him. The crowd is still dead. There’s a chant of some description starting. Lovely knee drops to the back of Mick’s head. A chant starts up! Finally! What is it?

Boooooring! Boooooring!

Oh. Well that is very disappointing, Rhode Island!

Pin attempt by Mick after he drops Trips on the ropes. Botched double-legged-nothing from both men. The match is ten minutes old by this point and nowhere near the end, it seems. Mick drives the knee into Trip’s face. Lovely wee sign in the crowd that says, “Chyna! Beat me!”

Trips does a Shawn Michaels spot in the corner and turns himself inside out. Tree of woe and a punch to the face. Both men go out and Trips takes a back body drop bump on the concrete. Fucking idiot. Mankind follows it up with an elbow drop. Both of them are morons. Double-arm DDT from Mankind. He gets the pin but Chyna has the referee distracted. When he returns for the three-count, Trips kicks out. How convenient. Trips attempts a Pedigree, but it’s countered. Trips turns it into a sunset flip but Mankind hits the Claw. The crowd are excited! The crowd are-

Oh, it’s okay, don’t stand up, guys, Chyna just dragged Mick out and killed the pace. Trips rips the mask off Mick and goes to the top rope. Mick hits the Claw up there and gets a thumb to the eye. Lovely inverted atomic drop to Trips and a pin attempt but no dice. Mick clotheslines Trips over and Chyna is watching the ref carefully. Mankind goes for another elbow and bops his head off the barricade. The ref is jawing off to Chyna and Trips takes the time to put the Mickster on the announcer’s table and Pedigree him through. It does not break as convincingly as it should. Mick is up, though, giving it the LOD selling, tossing chairs about. Chyna is up, with her steel sceptre, hitting Mick on the back with it. Trips knees Mick off the apron and he lands on a photographer. Ha!

Trips rolls Mankind into the ring, goes for the smug pin but Mick kicks out! There is a tiny pop. Another Pedigree in the ring and Trips finally gets the pin.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley has pinned Mankind. The winner of this match in 19:26 and 1997 King of the Ring is Hunter Hearst Helmsley!

2017 comments:

Jesus, Mick. What possessed you to think you could go twenty minutes in any match, never mind the second match of the night? It was fifteen minutes of shite and five minutes of car-crash wrestling. I had to listen to Vince talk, Mick. Vince!

1997 comments:

Twelve out of ten.

Grade: C.

JR says Mankind looks like he’s been in a car wreck. Just wait, JR. Just wait, one year. You’ll soon see what a car wreck looks like. Trips shouts at Todd Pettingill. JR calls Chyna a Jezebel! Is this the first time he uses that phrase? Perhaps. Todd announces that Trips is the new King of the Ring and gives him his robe and crown. He gets Chyna to put the robe on and then beats Mankind with the crown. He’s a reeeeeeal piece of shit.

Big boos for the blueblood. Vince warns us that we should get used to calling him King Trips. Probably not true.

Mankind rolls down the aisle after the heels.

Promo for the upcoming Shawn Michaels/Stone Cold match. It started when Michaels was coming back from his injury and was in a tag team match versus Owen and Bulldog. They worked well together until Bret turned up and the Hart Foundation kicked the shite out of everyone. Austin left Shawn and beat on Bret. Lots of ego in the room with the two Texans. The narrator asks us if this match was set up by Bret. Because he’s known as a Machiavellian trickster.

Back in the arena and we see JR and Vince sitting by their broken table as they wank off Mankind a bit more.

Bret’s music hits and down he comes to do commentary. Behind him, Flyin’ Brian Pillman is swiping at fans. Owen and Anvil are there too with Bulldog. Faith No More Guy AKA The Dude is in the crowd. Bret tells the crowd to shut up. He tells us that he’s no longer a cripple or invalid. Bret hates promos and he’s not very good at them. He’s constantly correcting his lines. He introduces the rest of the Hart Foundation (only one of them who is actually a Hart) and he calls them The Hart Foundations. With an S. Cut to the crowd where two kids are holding an Austin 3:16 shirt and one of them is wanking himself off. Classy.

Bret issues a challenge to any five wrasslers in the WWF to come to Calgary for Canadian Stampede and take on the Hart Foundation. He issues this because it’s payback time. He reckons people will pretend to be injured. He then calls it, “In Yer Haise” and slags America. There’s no way back, forever. What a shitty, shitty promo. Shame on you, Bret Sergeant Hart.

Vince gives Bret his headset. People start pushing and shoving. Earl Hebner appears in a suit and Gerald Brisco is there, too, shouting at Bret. Someone behind them has spelled Hart Foundation “Heart Foundation” on their sign. Brian Pillman picks up a lamp and points it at people. It’s all very weird. JR is telling everyone that the Hart Foundation should be taken to jail, arrested. It’s not a lot of fun to watch and very confusing. It’s realistic, yes, it looks real, but it doesn’t look fun.

Backstage, Stone Cold and Dok Hendrix are chatting. Both Austin and Michaels are Tag Team champs. He does mention that he gets more money as a champion. He strolls off and Vince wonders why he is so popular despite the fact that he’s an awful bastard. He leaves to go on his way to the arena and walks into the Hart Foundation, shouting at them. He walks straight into the arena. Smashing glass. Big fucking pop.

What a lad. He’s jawing off to Irish Referee Tim White. Cut to a replay from earlier where he tosses Brian Pillman down the loo.

Backstage, Dok and Shawn talk about the match despite the fact that they’re champs. Shawn jumbles his words and walks off because he’s ballooned off his tits, allegedly. Dok tells us that it’s the craziest King of the Ring that he’s ever been involved in. Debatable.

Cute little kid in the crowd. We get a big shot of the King of the Ring doormen. It’s not the Hardys after all. Shawn comes out and raises one hand, hits his Sexy Boy pose in the aisle. Shawn looks so high. He keeps getting grabbed by fans. That’s cool. They’re allowed to do that, I suppose. He hits the sexy boy pose mid-ring and stumbles around, winged. The bell rings as both men square off.

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels.

Stone Cold’s back is to the hard cam and the pair are having a jaw wag. Stone Cold is pushing Shawn’s hips for a bit and the bell goes twice more before they even lock up. Lovely run of the ropes and a shove down by Austin. He gives Michaels the double birds and shouts at the crowd for a while. Austin shouts at the crowd, calling the ref over. Shawn walks outside and over to a gaggle of security guards who are pinning down a… kid with Downs Syndrome? Ah, lads.

Stone Cold stops this lovely moment, however, by strolling over and beating on Michaels. The pair of them battle in the ring and Shawn gives Austin the double bird, rocks outside and helps the Special Olympian who has fallen over the barricade.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: There are differing reports about this, but apparently members of the Special Olympics were in attendance at the show – and were apparently introduced earlier in the PPV but it doesn’t appear on the DVD I have – and this young man, a fan of Shawn, jumped the barricade to stick up for his hero. Fair play to him.

Stone Cold holds the ropes for Michaels but pops in before Shawn gets to the apron. Lovely arm twists from Austin and the pair twist each other about for a bit before a headlock takedown drops to a lovely rest hold. Austin picks Michaels up, runs him to the corner and Michaels runs up the turnbuckle, drops to a takedown, runs the ropes and is hit by Stone Cold, who hits the Sexy Boy pose mid-ring. Lots of chain wrestling and reversals. JR talks about the lads trainers and fathers, all big, respected men. Michaels goes for a Lou Thesz press, gets caught into an Atomic Drop and jumps out to pelt Michaels in the face with a big old punch.

Stone Cold suplexes Michaels in off the apron but it is reversed into a pin attempt. Mankind reportedly refuses medical attention backstage. The dope. Stone Cold pops outside the ring, threatens to leave and goes back to the ring. He offers a show of strength to Michaels, calls him a chicken, gets Michaels in the gut, shouts at him and Irish Referee Tim White asks if Michaels would like to quit. He does not.

JR reminds us that Stone Cold bust his lip last year. Big back body drop and no one gets pinned. Austin hits the ropes and knocks a cameraman onto his hole. Shawn has a bit of a rest, holding Austin’s arms. Big Thesz press and JR calls these boys “the new generation”. Lots of pin attempts and wraps and chain wrestling. This is stuff you’d never see from Stone Cold after his big injury. Shawn is tossed outside and they have a chat as Stone Cold beats him on the apron, knocking him into the barricade. Stone Cold removes the mats on the outside to expose the concrete floor. He tosses Michaels onto the barricade. Austin enters the ring and rolls out again. He and Michaels exchange punches outside. Michaels goes facefirst into the steel steps and Austin Gorilla presses him onto the concrete. JR tells us that Stone Cold could care less about the crowd and would be happy wrestling in an empty building as long as he was getting paid.

In the ring, Michaels hits a roll-up and Austin goes to Bret’s rope – the most dangerous rope – and hits the Bionic elbow. He kicks out and he and Austin jaw off for a bit. Austin lifts the legs onto the ropes like a real piece of shit as he clinches in the old sleeper hold. Irish Referee Tim White sees the ropes shaking but wily Austin is too fast. He’s… he’s a snake. A rattlesnake. From Texas. Tim White sees Austin cheating and JR tells us that Austin is loved and revered for cheating. Austin is tossed out by Michaels and leans against the barricade. Shawn hits a baseball slide and JR tells us that Shawn fans are high-pitched and Austin fans have a bit of bass to their voices. Austin gets given a suplex from the apron and both men go down. Shawn kips up and Austin is up to. Back-body drop to Stone Cold and an Atomic Drop. Austin sidesteps a spear and Shawn’s arse is in the air as his shoulder goes into the turnbuckle. Austin pulls Shawn’s trunks and exposes his hole.

Michaels gets turned inside out on the turnbuckle and Irish Referee Tim White takes a bump. Austin catches Michael’s Sweet Chin Music and hits the Stunner but the ref is still down. He stuns the ref, the bastard, and eats a Sweet Chin Music. A new ref pops in, doesn’t do the pin and instead checks on Tim. Nice man. The second ref eats a Sweet Chin Music. Austin finally kicks out. Shawn is quite angry. A third man – Earl Hebner – comes in and gives off to both men, double disqualifying both men. Austin goes to get the belts, tries to hit Shawn with the belt and more refs appear to break up this nonsense.

The match has ended in a double disqualification in 22:29.

2017 comments:

Easily the best match of the PPV so far, not because of its tremendous quality, but simply because the rest of the PPV was a slog.

1997 comments:

All the referees!

Grade: B.

It all falls apart in ring as the competitors shout at each other. People are throwing things into the ring and the crowd are chanting, “Bullshit!” They leave together with Gerry Brisco behind them.

On the Card will return on June 29 2017 with the fourth and final part of King of the Ring 1997.

Attitude Era #13. King of the Ring (June 8, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: The Kind was there, so it was shite.

Backstage with Todd and Flyin’ Brian Pillman with his mental eyes. Brian rips on Stone Cold in barely comprehensible promo asking for the Boy Toy to violate the Rattlesnake. Stone Cold sneaks up from behind and batters Pillman, closes a mesh door and sticks Brian’s head down the toilet, shouting the entire time. What a lad.

Nation of Domination rock out with their amazing theme song. Old Clarence Mason is there with Crush and D’Lo Brown, blessed be their names. I love how Crush is the only white guy there. And I love how the Nation have two matches this evening as well. JR tells us that Crush’s tattoo is a Hawaiian symbol… a declaration of war.

Then Goldust comes out… but he doesn’t initially have his Shattered Dreams filter on. Marlena is there with him and the crowd love her. She’s just terrific. Terri-rific. Oh yes. I went there. Terri is rocking the cigar as Goldie removes his fluffy Ric Flair gown. JR tells us that Marlena and Goldust are not the Brady Bunch. No. No, they are not. Goldust is rocking the new facepaint and, once again, the bell rings before Crush is even in the ring.

Crush (with D’Lo Brown and Immigration Clarence Mason) vs. Goldust (with Marlena).

Crush lays the boots and fists into Goldust, throwing him out of the ring. JR tells us that Crush has respect for no one, judging by his (legit) police report. Goldust bounces Crush’s head off the ring steps and pops into the ring to lay the slaps onto his opponent. JR tells us that Pillman is suicidal! What the heck?

Ten-punch in the corner with theatrics, which involves Goldie touching himself and then forcing Crush to touch him. Lovely neckbreaker from our perverted Hollywood critic. Shot of Marlena looking lovely. The pace has slowed down. Crush tosses Goldust into the corner and our man hits it with some slap. Lovely belly-to-belly followed by stomps. I love both these men, they come across as great competitors, willing to put on a good show regardless. I’m obviously a huge Goldust mark. Crush bops Goldust in the kidneys and JR name-checks Stan The Man Stasiak, another favourite of mine.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Stan “The Man” Stasiak is the father of Shawn Stasiak, known as Meat. He is now a chiropractor and motivational speaker, would you believe it? He is another favourite, although I don’t really know why.

Lovely backbreaker from Crush and pin attempts that fail. JR mentions our man Dusty Rhodes, Goldust’s father. Great lad, baby.

Rest hold city from Crush on Goldie. JR and Vince take the time to wank off the Fed for a while. Crush does a great arse-bump on Goldust followed by another. Despite these two men being amazing, the pace has slowed to a crawl. Goldust, according to Vince, in “obvious pain”. It’s Gorilla Monsoon’s birthday, or a few days afterwards at least. He’s at home, not well, though he would live for another two years or so yet. My favourite spot as Goldust’s hand is raised and dropped three times and on the third, he fights back. The crowd chant his name. Crush goes for a third arse-bump and Goldust spins, cracking him in the balls. Big pop. Goldie’s shirt is open. Running of the ropes and Crush shows amazing strength as he lifts Goldust up for a Gorilla slam gutbuster. Goldust kicks out.

A lovely elbow from Crush followed by a Vulcan Nerve Pinch. Goldust throws Crush to the ground, shouts, “Come on!” and does a Shane-O-Mac-style chops, followed by crotch grab.

Outside the ring, Immigration Clarence Mason and D’Lo Brown corner Marlena. Goldust stands behind D’Lo, arms crossed, as the crowd warn them that he is behind them. Goldust fights them off, gets Crush into the ring and hits the Curtain Call for the win.

Goldust has defeated Crush by pinfall in 9:56.

2017 comments:

Goldust and Crush do their best. Both are great lads.

1997 comments:

I tell you what, I can’t get enough of this Gold fellow. He’s top class.

Grade: C.

Not a great match and no real storyline either. He attempts to lift Marlena, gives up halfway through and the pair snog the face off each other. Tomorrow, Goldust will be taking part in a European Championship match… but why wasn’t that on the PPV? Monday Night Wars, brothers. Oh, and the European Champ is Bulldog and he’s booked for the next match.

Backstage, we have the Roidy Magoos, Legion of Doom and Brock Samson himself, Sycho Sid, along with Fabulous Freebird, Dok Hendrix. Hawk, the less roidy of the two, tells us that revenge is a dish best served cold and by-diddly-do-squat, they’re serving the coldest dish in town. Not a great start to their culinary careers, but hey, if it’s turtle soup then it’s served cold anyways. I’ve watched Batman. Animal roars out for a while, turns to Sid and says he’s a weak link. Sid tells us he’s the ruler of the world and then hushes for a while and no one can hear what the fuck he’s saying.

Off to Todd Pettingil, Dok’s brother from another mother, who is standing with the Hart Foundation: Slammy-Award-winning Owen Hart, Natty Daddy Jim The Anvil Neidhart and British Bulldog. Owen and Bulldog are Intercontinental and European champs respectively and are holding their gold. Bulldog batters through about five different accents and forgets his lines because he’s a dope. Owen tells Todd to hold his Slammy so that all the people…

He doesn’t finish his line.

Owen tells LOD that they have lovely facepaint but their Halloween outfits won’t beat family. Jim threatens Sid personally, telling him he doesn’t know crazy. He laughs and abruptly stops as the Hart music hits.

Out come the Foundation first, even though they’re champs (though not defending either belts this evening, robbing the crowd of a title defence). Owen has given Anvil a Slammy to hold. Bless him. Earl Hebner is getting a word from backstage and chats to Howard Finkel about something.

Ohhhhhhh. What. A. Rush.

LOD have a fucking terrific theme song. I love the pair of them, but they couldn’t sell water in the desert. We hardly get their theme before Halloween Sycho Sid comes out. He gets a pop, fair play to him. Some smelly mark in the front row has a “SID: RULER OF THE WORLD” sign. His music is not great but no one cares because he’s coked up and ready for a right. Vince verbally wanks off Sid for a while as his SID pyro pops behind him, covering the ring in a lovely golden shower.

The Hart Foundaion (Owen Hart, The British Bulldog and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Sycho Sid.

I love how Sid keeps his big old hairy chest. No waxing for this young fellow-me-lad.

Animal and Owen are to start off. The crowd are chanting for LOD already. Animal lifts Owen up and gives him a wee toss.

But who gives a fuck? Goldust, Marlena and Crush are on the superstar line.

Owen and Animal have a wee chat as Owen stomps Animal in the corner and takes a lovely catapult into the corner followed by a beautiful powerslam. Sid is tagged in and marks out to himself. Eye rake as Sid attempted an arm twist but Sid knocks Owen down. Show of strength between the two men. Owen stops and tags in Bulldog, who shows his muscles, the big old burst sausage. Sid is pantomiming, showboating and hotdogging. Finally the two attempt a strength check but Bulldog lifts Sid for a delayed suplex. Sid punches Anvil and Owen before tagging in Hawk.

Anvil comes in then and stands against our boy Hawk. The two fail to sell with one another and Hawk actually rolls his eyes at Anvil. Hawk hits a clothesline, Anvil does not sell it and Animal pops in. Bulldog attempts to break it up and the crowd bay for LOD. Sid is in and everyone beats up Anvil for a while. Hawk is back in and he and Anvil don’t sell some more. Bulldog is in – Christ, it’s the fucking revolving door of tags – and hits a piledriver on Hawk, who fucking no-sells it, the cunt.

Animal is in, then, Vince questions how they could kick out of a fucking piledriver and there’s a roshambo as people are thrown into steps and have a wee chair thrown at them. Owen slingshots Anvil into Animal. Great Aloha-Arn from Jim and Animal, broken up by Owen. JR makes a Stradivarius reference. Owen punches Animal and – you guessed it! – no selling at all at the bazaar. Hawk pops over and all hell has broken loose. Double clothesline from Owen and Bulldog on Animal. Bulldog goes to the corner but Animal is up, catching him mid-jump, going to the turnbuckle himself and getting superplexed off by Bulldog. Anvil is beating on Animal again for a while and then giving him a wee rest hold for a while. God knows the man needs a lie down after refusing the sale so much. Animal fights back, gets a wee knee to the gut for his effort and is tossed into the corner. Owen is Irish whipped by Anvil and hits a neckbreaker but Animal kicks out.

Animal gets jumped on and Tazzmissioned by Owen. The big man falls to his knees but Animal forgets to sell, jumps up, tags in Hawk, who bodyslams Owen, goes to the top rope, misses, gets his own bodyslam from Bulldog, held by the ankle and is chicken-winged by Bulldog and Owen. Anvil is in, Animal knocks them down. Sid strolls in, cleans house and it’s a schmoz. Earl has no fucking control over the match. Big chokeslam from Sid and he goes for the powerbomb -giving Bulldog a lovely wedgie in the meantime – but Owen gives him the sunset flip off the top rope and gets the pin.

Owen Hart has pinned Sycho Sid. The Hart Foundation defeat the Legion of Doom and Sycho Sid in 13:37. Leet O’Clock!

2017 comments:

I cannot, in all conscience, recommend this match for the amount of ego floating around in it. Of all the men, the smallest one, Owen Hart, is the only one with any care for the fans. Real shame. I love LOD, but they love themselves a lot more.

1997 comments:

What a rush.

Grade: C.

The winners get the fuck out as quickly as they can. They even forget their belts. You can imagine that they were genuinely pissed off. Anvil is shouting at Earl as he walks away.

We see the King of the Ring table. Next up is the King of the Ring final with our man Mankind versus Triple H.

Cut to the best promo in wrestling history where Stone Cold shouts at Jake Roberts.

On the Card will return on June 22 2017 with the third part of King of the Ring 1997.

Attitude Era #13. King of the Ring (June 8, 1997) Part 1

On the Card: Attitude Era #13 King of the Ring 1997 – June 8, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House, the fifteenth of its name. It had a Taker vs. Stone Cold match. I see what they did there. The next PPV was King of the Ring, the second I have reviewed since starting this blog.

Over the next few 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 King of the Ring 1997

“It’s Bound to Get Medieval. Brace Yourself.”

Kings. Rings. Medieval. I see where they were going with this. However, of the one hundred and ninety-five countries in the world, only… forty-four of them have monarchies. Forty-four? Huh. That’s a lot more than I expected. I had a whole bit about how archaic monarchies are but… But surely not that many of them can be absolute monarchies, right?

Oh, wait, seven are absolute, sixteen are commonwealth realms and twenty-one are constitutional. Shit. What an archaic system. I mean, democracy isn’t perfect but God damn who still wants to be ruled by a family?

Oh, wait, the WWF is ruled by the McMahons. Let’s continue.

The poster has Shawn, Taker, Stone Cold and Ahmed Johnson and threatens to be a damn good show. Let’s see if it’s true.

The announcer tells us that tonight will be the night of firsts: Shawn and Stone Cold are going to put aside their tag team belts to kick the shite out of each other for no gold; we might see Faarooq as the first WWF champion and what a champion the heel black-supremacist will be and the announcer even reminds us that Faarooq has manipulated the Nation of Domination; someone new will be crowned the King of the Ring for the first time, despite the fact that there have only been four other PPV KOTR competitions and even if you include the normal tournaments, of the previous winners, only four other men are active competitors in the WWF at the time (Owen Hart, Bret Hart, Mabel and Stone Cold) sooooo… ppftttt.

Speaking of, farty pyro hits and crappy music as Vlad cheers, welcoming us to the Super-Soaker-sponsored Providence Civic Centre in Providence, Rhode Island, where our announce team is Screaming Vince McMahon and Jumping Jim Ross. Immediately, the crowd is on fire. It is a real Attitude Era crowd here, one year after Stone Cold uttered the famous Austin 3:16 promo and half the signs are some play on it. There’s still a lot of kids and young girls in the crowd. That will teeter off over the next wee while, I’ll bet. 9,312 souls in attendance and 177,000 PPV buys at home or thereabouts.

Jumping Jim Ross tells us that it’s like the Superbowl here, with the same atmosphere. Vince tells us (and the cameraman) to follow him to the other announce teams who don’t have names on the screen: Tito Santana and Carlos Cabrera for Mexico with Raymond Rougeau and Jean Brassard. He can barely pronounce their names.

Ahmed’s music hits and down he strolls to the ring, spitting water and wearing a fetching handlebar moustache. He pours water everywhere. The crowd pop for him. He slaps hands, looks like he hardly knows who he is and gets annoyed at a fan for putting their sign in front of the camera. JR reminds us that Ahmed is a big lad. He hops into the ring and jumps, throwing up some westside signs. Westside is the bestside.

The EU music hits and down comes Trrrrrrrriple H with our girl Chyna. Chyna without her implants and looking fantastic. Vince tells us they are chiselled from granite. She hops up and enters the ring through Bret’s rope. We are told that Ahmed and Trips faced each other in the first round, which Ahmed won, but – apparently – Trips was unaware that a loss to Ahmed would mean elimination from the tournament, and so was given a second match versus fellow heel Crush, who he beat, allowing Trips to go through. Vader apparently broke his nose in his match with Ken Shamrock back in A Cold Day in Hell and so could not fight Crush. He fought Ahmed at Raw instead, but lost. So both Ahmed and Trips have fought twice to get to this point.

Vince tells us that Trips is an American blueblood. JR tells us that most American households have $900. The bell rings.

(Note: Before the PPV began there was a match on Free-For-All featuring The Headbangers, Mosh and Thrasher defeating Billy Gunn (no longer in his Rockabilly getup) and Jesse James.)

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Ahmed Johnson vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna).

Trips and Chyna stare at Ahmed. Ahmed stares back. Ahmed gets a pop from the crowd. Chyna leaves the ring. JR tells us how tough Ahmed has had a life and how he left home and joined the Bloods. Trips had a wrasslin’ tutor. Ahmed tosses Trips and curls his finger at him. Lock up and a headlock. Trips runs at Ahmed, who shoulder tackles him to the crowd. Some smells mark in the crowd in a Sunny T-shirt whoops. Ahmed courtesies to Trips and calls for a show of strength. Ahmed slowly walks from the corner before Ahmed Gorilla presses him into the air. Vince asks us to forget about it.

Trips rolls out onto those lovely new mats on the ground. Ahmed is showboating and grandstanding. He reenters the ring. Ahmed looks like a sexual predator. Irish whip into the corner and Ahmed jumps back out and knocks Trips down. He goes for the body slam and elbow but misses. Ahmed is tossed out and Hunter is after him, tossing him into the ring steps. A countout starts and a boo for Helmsley. Ahmed tries to get into the ring but a baseball slide knocks him out. Trips goes to the top rope and a double axe handle smash – the most devastating move in wrasslin – knocks Ahmed back down. He shrugs off blows from Trips and knocks him down. Vince tells us that Trips is intimidated by Ahmed. A scissor kick to Trips kidney knocks him down again. Nice wee spinebuster and Ahmed calls for the Pearl River Plunge. He lifts up Trips and – predictably – Chyna interrupts. Trips takes advantage, hits a potentially dangerous Pedigree and gets the pin.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley has pinned Ahmed Johnson in 7:42.

2017 comments:

Crap curtain-jerker, but we always knew it would be because Trips has another match at the end of the night and Ahmed can’t wrassle for toffee.

1997 comments:

I can’t stay mad at you, Chyna.

Grade: C.

Trips disappears backstage, followed by the ref, who is trying to tell him he won. Ahmed sprints after them, big head of steam on him.

There is little time to breathe as Mankind rolls down to the ring, still in his brown gear and getting a bit of a pop from the audience. Even Vince comments on it.

Cut back to Raw on Monday, where Mankind attacked Jerry Lawler as he was doing commentary. Irish Referee Tim White called the match. Great lad.

Mankind has the mic and gives off that Paul Bearer isn’t there. It won’t stop Mankind, though. He’s going to be King of the Ring. There’s a wee bit of history lesson there, too. Cut to the crowd and girls not giving a fuck about this promo as someone in bad Sting makeup hangs out behind. Mankind reveals to us that he is, “Mrs. Foley’s baby boy.” Break kayfabe much? Mankind riffs about the Emperor’s new clothes, says that the only thing worse than Jerry being naked is Mankind being naked, apparently.

Backstage, ould Todd Pettingill reveals that in his match vs. Goldust, he cheated and got his comeuppance quickly. King takes the mic, walks into the ring and begins to cut a promo on the crowd. Some buck in the audience has a Dude Love sign. He turns to a woman and suggests that the massage parlour is closed. He turns to another guy and asks him if the parole officer knows where he is. People give him the fingers. Jerry slags off Mankind for a bit and laughs at his ear. He reveals that Mankind’s mother couldn’t tell the difference between his arse and his face and suggested she had conjoined twins. Jerry stays out of the ring, but the bell rings anyways.

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Mankind vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Mankind starts on Jerry and bounces his head off the announcers table. Jerry, amazingly, doesn’t blade straight away. Mankind pulls at Jerry’s nose and beats on him for a while, biting him. The crowd chant something as Mankind beats on Jerry, goes for the Mandible Claw, but King disappears, slipping out. Jerry distracts the ref, takes out some brass knuckles and whips Mankind before slipping them into the tights and hitting the bulldog. Mankind goes flying out. More crowd chants. I think they’re chanting, “Burger King”.

JR reminds us that Mankind has lost half an ear. Lawler exposes it and attempts to bite it. King is, of course, not actually the King of the Ring. Another whip of the brass knuckles and Jerry is still in control, Irish whipping Foley into the ropes and giving him a lovely punch. They brawl to the outside and Jerry’s head bounces off the barricade and then into the steel ring steps. JR name-checks Cactus Jack – and so all the faces of Foley have been mentioned this evening. Jerry tosses Mankind into the barricade. Shouting between King and the ref. Replay of Jerry dodging Mankind and a gruesome piledriver from Jerry to Mankind. A ten-count starts, Mankind gets on the apron and Jerry dropkicks his face. Another piledriver mid-ring and a big whoo from the crowd followed by a two-count.

Jerry goes to get the brass knucks from his tights. The ref gives off, asks him to show his hands and sees that Jerry has nothing in his paw. Mankind fights back, holding his head in pain. Big leg drop from the man himself and Jerry gets a back body drop. King goes top rope, gives Mankind a wee punch, goes for the third piledriver but Mankind counters and hits the Mandible Claw. Jerry stops moving and the ref calls the match in Mankind’s favour.

Mankind has defeated Jerry “The King” Lawler by knockout in 10:24.

2017 comments:

Ugh. I mean, it’s Mick, so, you know, eleven stars or whatever, but it’s also Jerry so minus them all again.

1997 comments:

I can’t stay mad at you, Mankind.

Grade: C.

Mankind is getting cheers. Vince is very surprised. Face turn, perhaps?

On the Card will return on June 15 2017 with the second part of King of the Ring 1997.

Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Ken Shamrock!

Replays cut to two weeks ago at Raw is War where Austin stunnered Undertaker and the Deadman replies with a chokeslam – which the announcer incorrectly states is a Tombstone Piledriver – and cut to the arena where Austin’s music hits and he rocks down to the ring, pointing at the crowd. Two smelly marks go ballistic for him. Austin goes to the corner, jaws off to the crowd for a bit. There’s a lovely shot of the crowd. A lot of Austin 3:16 shirts.

Undertaker’s bells ring and down comes the WWF Champion – second, for good reason – and takes his long walk to the ring. He stands at the ring steps and stares at Stone Cold for a bit before popping the lights on with a raise of his hands. He’s dressed like Vigo the Carpathian again. Austin stands nose to nose with the Deadman, showing how tall he is. The crowd go ballistic as the Hart Foundation – mental Brian Pillman, Owen Hart, Bret Hart, British Bulldog and Jim “The Anvil” Neithart – stroll down to take their seats. Austin and Taker are united – briefly – in their distaste for the Harts. As Earl Hebner roars off to the newcomers, Austin’s patience grows thin and he attacks Undertaker from behind, starting the match.

WWF Championship Match: The Undertaker (c) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Stone Cold chases Taker around the ring, not even letting him get his jacket off, bouncing his head off the turnbuckle. Big pop as Taker fights back, Austin slides out and runs to the Hart Foundation, dragging Owen Hart over the barricade and beating the shite out of him. Undertaker breaks it up, throws Owen back over the barricade, rolls Austin into the ring – after tossing him into the steel steps – and continues with the match. Austin takes a jumping clothesline from Taker but the subsequent pin bears no fruit.

Undertaker twists Austin’s arm and hits some shoulder barges. The two men have a wee chat mid-ring and we cut to the Hart Foundation before back in the ring where Taker is halfway through Old School. Referee Earl Hebner is sliding about the ring. Austin hits a snapmare and holds Taker there for some time. Taker rolls him over into a pin but Austin rolls back. Rest Hold City. Even the announcers are silent for some time. Quite awkward. Taker attempts to get rid of Austin but another snapmare and another roll into pin and more Rest Hold City. Austin shouts his spots at Taker and together, they stand up. Austin finally gets Taker to his feet and gets shoved away in an Irish Whip. Taker does not sell the shoulder barge and another snapmare into more Rest Hold City. Bret smiles at the camera.

Christ, this is slow, isn’t it? Something is happening, apparently, as the crowd stand. Cut to Anvil shouting something. Taker hits a terrific backdrop, Austin lands it, hitting Taker’s left knee and hammering on him. Taker fights back, chokes Austin and tosses him into a corner. The crowd go bananas. Austin has Taker’s leg and wraps it around the ring post. He does it a few times. Austin gives the Hart Foundation the finger. Big pop from the crowd. Austin’s face takes a shot from the ring post. He drags Taker over to the ropes and butt bumps Taker’s knee once again. He is focussing on Taker’s knee for ages.

Austin dodges a backbody drop and Austin hits the STF on Taker. Taker gets to the ropes, breaks the hold and gets an elbow to the throat for his effort. Good man, Austin. More butt bumps to Taker’s knee but the Deadman retaliates by kicking Austin out over the ropes. JR puts over both Austin and Undertaker’s toughness. Bit of ankle locks here from Taker onto Austin. He fights back. Punches to the face. Taker is up, beating on Austin mercilessly. Single-leg Boston Crab on Stone Cold. Austin rolls out and calls a time out on Taker but he gets given no quarter. Austin attempts a figure four and fails. Austin rolls out, drags Taker halfway out, batters the knee off the apron edge and attempts a pin.

Very slow match. Time wasting. Lovely suplex in the middle of the ring. Austin foolishly believes that this will cause a pin attempt. Lovely martial arts kick from Taker followed by a second Old School attempt but – as we can all guess – Austin stops this one, dropping Taker on his Dead, Dead Balls. Austin goes for the Bret’s Rope Superplex, but gets pushed off. Elbow from Taker and Austin is up. Taker hits the sleeper and Austin replies with a jawbreaker – or, as King rightly says, “Almost a stunner!”

Stone Cold bounces Taker’s head off the corner, hammers him in one corner, threatens the ref and takes a shot to the balls from Austin. Ref Earl Hebner shouts at Austin, who gives him the finger behind his back. Undertaker low blows Austin and when he gives off to Earl, he gets the double fingers from the ref himself followed by a chokeslam. Austin fights back, hits the stunner mid-ring and JR goes bananas as the bell rings…

Brian Pillman! You wacky banana! He was battering the ring bell to cause the distraction.

Taker sits up, hits the Irish Whip, getting Austin up for the Tombstone but Austin retaliates, getting Taker up for a Tombstone of his own! But wait, Taker fights back, finally hits the Tombstone and the slow three count for the win.

The Undertaker has pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin for the win in 20:06.

2017 comments:

Not a great match. Very slow. Lots of time wasting. Seemed like a house show, almost. Very disappointing.

1997 comments:

Who are these mediocre wrestlers?

Grade: C.

Shameful main event from both men. The Hart Foundation rock into the ring and hammer on Taker, stomping a mudhole in him. Austin sees Bret in the wheelchair, tips him over and goes after the Foundation with Bret’s crutch. Undertaker chokes Owen as Austin stands on top of the turnbuckle, watching the Foundation leave. Fink announces that Taker is still the champ and Austin Stunners him, rolls out of the ring and back in with the crutch, following the Foundation out of the arena. Undertaker follows, very upset about the whole thing.

Despite all this, after the lights went down, there was another match not televised between the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Owen Hart and the British Bulldog for the WWE Tag Team Championship, of which LOD were the challengers. It was a loss by DQ. Kind of explains the entire PPV, doesn’t it?

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No real stand-out matches or competitors here, so I’d have to go for Ahmed Johnson for lasting over ten minutes in the ring. Good man, Ahmed.

Woman of the Matches: Just Chyna, I suppose.

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold and Undertaker Tombstone reversal.

Hatches: None.

Matches: Undertaker retains his WWF World Heavyweight Championship; Owen Hart and the British Bulldog retain their WWF Tag Team Championships.

Dispatches: No real dispatches. Faarooq is out until Ground Zero; Flash Funk is out until One Night Only; The Rock is out until Badd Blood.

Closing Statements: Not a good PPV at all. No great matches, no great spots, very short. All in all, a real disappointment.

On the Card will return on June 8 2017 with King of the Ring 1997.

 

Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: The Nation of Domination were there with their nice, clean rap.

Backstage, Todd chats to nippley Vader and we see earlier in the day where Leon and Mick Foley rock in and beat up Ken. Vader says he was only playing. Vader tells us that Ken knows nothing about pain. It’s time, by the way. Vader Time.

The Fink introduces that this is a No Holds Barred match where there are no pinfalls or standing 8-count. The only way to win is by submission or knockout. My tape skips at that point and then Vader enters, showing off that left nipple once again. Jerry tells us that Vader isn’t a technical wrestler. He’ll just kick the shite out of Ken.

Out the man comes himself, dressed like Rocky. No pomp or circumstance, just batters into the ring, hiding behind fellow Irish Referee Tim White. Ken looks amazing.

No Holds Barred Match: Vader vs. Ken Shamrock.

Jerry tells us that Tim White has probably never had a match like this. Ken hits a boot to the legs and skips back. Vader circles the ring and Jerry references the Antonio Inoki/Muhammad Ali match. Ken gets a wristlock in place but Vader goes to the ropes and forces a break. Another stiff kick from Ken and Vader shoves him into the corner. Vader has about two hundred pounds on Shamrock. Shamrock gets the waistlock on with his big old roidy biceps. More stiff kicks and Shamrock hits an attempted German suplex. Vader escapes outside the ring. No countouts so no damage here, he can hang out there all night if he has to.

Back in the ring, Ken hits Vader with a great big German suplex and hammers Vader in the face. Irish Referee Tim White shouts at both men. Vader gets Shamrock on the ropes but Ken rolls into an armbar but fails to get the submission fully in. Ken gives Vader a wee boot in the bum but Vader uses his strength to just lift the man up. On the floor, Vader lies on Shamrock, taking his time and grabbing at Shamrock’s arm. The crowd bay for Shamrock and he rolls through into an armbar. Vader lifts Shamrock riiiight up and rolls through. JR calls it a “unique match”, which is to say, a “shite match”.

Vader suplexes Shamrock to the outside and the boy takes it like a champ. Fair play, Shamrock. Vader bounces Shamrock off the steel steps twice and Vader’s nose has become bust at some point. Shamrock fights back and hits the elbows to Vader’s head. In the ring, Shamrock holds onto the ropes for dear life and takes a thunderous Irish whip. Bad ankle lock and Ken fights back as best he can. Ken escapes and Vader gets him into a choke. Vader hits the splash in the corner followed by some kicks to the face and a half-hearted bodyslam. Jerry tells us that he is not a Vader fan, but a Shamrock hater. Vader goes for the slam, decides to hit the moonsault but rolls too late and Vader’s head bounces off Shamrock’s back. Shamrock fights back, hits a suplex and gets a knee lock on Vader but the rope breaks it.

More boots to the legs from Shamrock followed by a single-leg Boston Crab. Vader gets the ropes once again. Shamrock hammers Vader in the corner and he returns with an elbow on his own. Shamrock gets a quick ankle lock in and taps out instantly.

Vader has submitted to Ken Shamrock in 13:21.

2017 comments:

A No Holds Barred match in a time where submission matches were not a thing and one man wasn’t a submission specialist and the other wasn’t a wrestler. Sloppy.

1997 comments:

The size of Shamrock’s arms.

Grade: C.

On the Card will return on June 1 2017 with the fourth and final part of In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell.