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.

Advertisements

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.

Ruthless Aggression #20. Vengeance: Night of Champions (June 24, 2007)

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #20 Vengeance: Night of Champions – June 24, 2007

The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.

Ten years ago, on June 24, 2007, Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. This one was tri-branded and had Raw, Smackdown and ECW matches on the card. It is noticeable for taking place on June 24th, 2007, which was the date that Chris Benoit hung himself after murdering his wife and son. He no-showed this PPV and was replaced by Johnny Nitro in the CM Punk ECW Heavyweight Championship match. I will go into more detail about this horrific crime and the effect it had on the wrestling business as well as myself in the conclusion to this review. For now, I will state that personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

WWE Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007

Night of Champions

Did it just use its own name as a tagline? My God.

The promo package tells us that everyone wants to win the gold, which is true, and that this PPV has a gimmick where every belt is on the line! Whaaat? I’m sure this has happened before.

Batista and Edge in a Last Chance Match. Yeo. Will Batista win? Probably.

Bobbo Lasher and Mick Foley and Randy Orton and Booker T and John Cena for the WWE Championship. Mentalnuts.

There’s a shot of an altar with… wrought iron? Tentacles? Who knows? We are welcomed into the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas by Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler. But first, Justin Roberts introduces Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo! That’s right, old Blackjack Winham and IRS, brothers-in-law and members of the US Express. They won the belts twice in 1985 and held them for a total of 137 days. Not too shabby. Cut to some lovely footage of the lads with Captain Lou Albano.

No time! No time to talk! Old Jeff and Fat Matt Hardy are rocking to the ring, beltless. They lost the belts to Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch on the June 4th RAW, one day after beating the World’s Greatest Tag Team in a ladder match at One Night Stand. Some facts there for you.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Super Crazy and Carlito. At least one of them should not have been there.)

Finally, JR and King introduce us to the announce team alongside 15,000 roaring fans in the arena and 247,000 at home (a drop, once again, from the 337,000 the year previous). JR and King represent RAW and… there are other announcers, too, apparently, but we will get to them soon enough. JR states that Cade and Murdoch are opportunistic for taking the belts one day after a big ol’ ladder match. The crowd bay for the Hardys.

Tag Team Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy.

Champs never come out first but always get first billing. Them’s the rules.

We have nine matches on the card. Almost all of them will be sub-ten-minutes. Fat Matt to start off against Cade. JR gives off about Cade and Murdoch for a while. Despite their match at Judgment Day, Cade and Murdoch are the nasty heels. Cade holds out his hand, shit eating grin upon his face, and Matt takes advantage, making the audience cheer for him. Lovely running of the ropes and Jeff hits a cross-body to knock Cade down. Jeff is in and they botch a leg-drop-senton double team. Murdoch comes in and a botched swinging neckbreaker. Murdoch gets a kick in the face and lovely enziguri before Matt comes in with an axe-handle nothing. Lovely Poetry in Motion and slingshot baseball slide. Matt comes in and both Hardys clean house. Matt and Jeff stand in the ring as Cade and Murdoch say, “fuck it!” and walk off. Hardys roll out and beat on them for being cowards.

Both Cade and Murdoch rock in and Matt takes pity on Murdoch, who begs for his life. Murdoch tags in Cade sneakily and as Matt squares up to Murdoch, Cade Pearl Harbours him. Crowd bay for Jeff and the hot tag is built up. Murdoch’s eye is hurt from an injury at Smackdown, I think. Cade pops in and works on Matt’s left knee. Murdoch comes in and does the same. Matt fights back but Murdoch takes over with a single legged Boston Crab. Matt crawls away to the ropes and fails to reach them. More pressure applied to Matt’s knee. Matt might tap out. Jeff is desperate to get in and Matt kicks Murdoch on the face, runs up the hot tag, Jeff bounces in and botches his way through a clearing of the house.

Cade gets pinned but kicks out. Jeff retaliates, hits a lovely twisting moonsault, fails another pin. Sit-out vertical suplex and Jeff goes to the top rope and twice does Murdoch knock him off. Lovely sit-out spinebuster by Cade and they retain by pin.

Lance Cade has pinned Matt Hardy. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch retain the World Tag Team Championship in 08:55.

2017 comments:

Good opener. Both teams are very good, though have distinctly different styles. Although the Hardys were not as high-speed as they usually are, it was a clean win and both teams go over. Well, it wasn’t totally clean and the champions are obviously cheaters, but that’s that.

2007 comments:

No Swanton? No Twist of Fate? No wonder they lost.

Grade: B.

Matt looks on in horror as Lance and Trevor leave. Trevor has a wee word with the US Express there. Neither look impressed. Matt sits near Jeff as replays the closing moments, including the seemingly botched interruption. The champs say, “All by the rules!”

Cut to Booker and his mental with Sharmell. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Booker – since Wrestlemania 23, in fact. Booker – in an English accent, no less – states all of his championships and gives his Queen a resume that proves that he should be a champion tonight.

Cut to Cowardly Cole and Cunt JBL. They talk about Eddie and JBL talks about his Eddie’s career will be intertwined with his own. Yes, but not because you’re a good wrassler, JBL, but because Eddit accidentally cut himself badly in a fight. We see a match betwixt our boy Eddie and Bork Lensar, who is a shaved gorilla, but otherwise a lovely bloke.

Crowd chant for Eddie as his less-interesting nephew Chavo comes out.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Chavo was one of the gentlemen who Benoit got in contact with regarding his suicide. Chavo had spoken to Benoit on Saturday and Benoit had told Chavo that he loved him, which Chavo later said sounded “off” to him. Chavo was also a recipient of a text from Benoit and his wife’s phone giving their address. Spooky.

Chavo is the Cruiserweight champion… and comes down first, apparently. God dammit, Fed. Is it just me? Am I wrong. No. No, it is the Federation who is wrong.

Cut to Dean Malenko, the man of 1000 holds, which would be interesting, of course, if not for Jericho, who knows one more.

Jimmy Wang Yang turns up, the resident redneck. What a lad. I love this boy. He’s brilliant. He’s a real lad. Look at him, with his moustache and the whole wife-beater-and-jeans thing going on. He’s like Dean Ambrose, only with talent.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship match: Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. Jimmy Wang Yang.

Referee Charles “Little Naitch” Robinson there as Cole tells us that the first Cruiserweight Champ was Brian Pillman. That was back in WCW, but they don’t tell you that. Jimmy hits a lovely hip toss and a roll-up but fails. Chavo’s father, Chavo Classic was also Cruiserweight Champ. Chavo calls the ref over, takes advantage of the situation and attacks Jimmy before tossing him into the corner. Jimmy takes over, hits a lovely dropkick and an amazing suplex. Pin and fail.

Jimmy does a sweet run up Chavo’s body and backflips. Chavo baseball slides Jimmy on the apron and tosses him back in, going top rope but getting an enziguri from Jimmy to knock him to the outside. Jimmy goes top rope and hits a cross-body. Jimmy rolls Chavo back in and hits the pin but fails. Fantastic hip-toss from Chavo into the corner, by Christ. Nice side-suplex from Chavo and a pin but fail. Chavo gets Jimmy in a hold and he fights back, tosses Chavo, gets reversed, falls, and Chavo hits the senton. Very confident Guerrero. The crowd chant, “We want Wang!”

Jimmy fights back and hits a wonderful backdrop followed by an Atomic drop onto Chavo’s balls. Jimmy hits an odd cartwheel attack, another cross-body from the top rope and almost a pin-fall. Chavo hits the Three Amigos and gets boos. Jimmy escapes, goes for a pin but Chavo has the bottom rope. Chavo rolls out of the way of a moonsault and hits a Gory Special attempt. Roll-up and Chavo kicks out. The crowd boo. Jimmy is lifted onto the turnbuckle, is knocked onto the ground and Chavo hits the frog splash for the win.

Chavo Guerrero has pinned Jimmy Wang Yang and retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in 10:16.

2017 comments:

Good old match. Not as flippy as we expect from Jimmy, but he was so over, it didn’t matter.

2007 comments:

Man, fuck Chavo.

Grade: B.

JR uses the Owen Voice to tell us about Vince McMahon’s alleged death by limo explosion.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: This is infamous because the Raw following Vengeance was due to be a tribute to our man Vince, but it was changed, obviously, to a tribute to Benoit before the news was revealed hours later about the truth of Benoit’s actions. At the ECW the following night, Vince took back the Benoit reference and began the long, arduous process of bleaching him from the WWE.

JR introduces a look into Vince’s “mindset”, showing his last moments and the premonition he had about a dark cloud that then was revealed to be his upcoming death. Twice, Vince looks behind himself and then he hesitates before opening the door to his limo, he steps in, steps out and blows up. The footage was made from spliced footage filmed the Sunday before Raw and an outside agency – Zenith Pyrotechnology – was called in to make it look as effective as possible. Crowd sing, “Na na na na! Waaaay, goodbye.”

Then there’s an opinion piece as to who was responsible for Vince dying. Cut to Bobby Lashley being asked if he had anything to do with the death. He says he wishes Vince was alive to see the look on his face when he wins the belt tonight.

Cut to Tazz and Joey Styles wanking off about Tazz being the greatest ECW Champion of all time.

CM Punk comes down. This is a match to determine who should be the ECW Champion. As mentioned, his opponent in this match was going to be Benoit. Punk half-heartedly throws his t-shirt into the crowd.

For some reason, Justin Roberts introduces Johnny Nitro before he enters the Titantron. No Melina or paparazzi or Joey Mercury tonight so it’s clear that Johnny was added as an afterthought. But Melina is actually on the card tonight, so I don’t see why they couldn’t have her walk him to the ring?

Match for the vacant ECW World Championship: CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro.

Johnny takes the time to get out of the corner as the crowd chant, “We want Benoit!” Gulp.

The two circle one another and Johnny actually checks the chants before CM Punk kicks the shite out of Nitro, who rolls out of the ring, steps on the apron, slaps Punk and is chased about the ring. Punk slaps the face off Nitro and he gets a lovely springboard kick to the head from Nitro. Punk shakes off the cobwebs as Nitro gets him into a rest hold for a bit as they decide on the next spot. Punk fights out, gets a clothesline to the face and then a boot from Nitro.

Lovely armbar. The crowd want Benoit and he shouts, “You got Johnny Nitro!” The announcers discuss the late change and what that means for Johnny in Kayfabe. Backbreaker and another sleeper hold. Punk fights out of it, gives a lovely enziguri to Nitro and both men take their time getting up. Punk takes over, booting Nitro all about the place and attempting a pin. Nitro reverses a knee lift and Nitro gets a pin with his feet on the ropes but the ref sees it. Punk goes for the GTS but Nitro escapes into a sunset flip which Punk refuses to Aloha Arn. A bulldog from Punk and he pops up to the top rope, attempts a springboard which Johnny escapes from. He then hits a swinging elevated neckbreaker and get the pin.

Johnny Nitro has pinned CM Punk to win the ECW World Championship in 8:00.

2017 comments:

Going through the motions. Neither of the men had a chance to put on a great match and you could see Punk was Grumps McGraw in this match.

2007 comments:

Where was Benoit?

Grade: C.

So, it turns out that Punk was going to fail anyways. That’s a kick in the teeth, isn’t it?

Cut to WrestleMania XII where Bret and Shawn squared off in an Iron Man match for the championship. Shawn refused to submit at the end of the match and it continued under Sudden Death, which is a nice way of saying that now it is a normal match, I guess. Shawn got the pin after a Sweet Chin Music.

Cut to Mick Foley in the locker room, wrapping his knuckles. Randy is there and threatens Mick saying that he has ended careers. Mick reminds Randy that he’s an absolute headcase. Randy says that he won the last match they had. He won it. He won that match.

Cut to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and his Intercontinental Championship win. He then pops out himself, waves to the crowd and gets more than the US Express earlier.

Out comes the current Intercontinental Champion, Santino Marella, who was apparently just a fan until he beat Umaga in Milan.

Out comes Umaga, who was an absolute murderer until Cena destroyed him. Now he’s back to just being another wrestler. He shouts at the ring steps for being a mean old set of steps.

WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Santino Marella (c) vs. Umaga.

Umaga screams and Santino dodges out of the way of his charge, attempts a roll-up and fails. Santino is on Umaga’s back and the Samoan drops backwards, squashing Marella. Umaga goes for a splash and Santino gets the knees up but no joy. The crowd chant, “Umaga’s gonna kill you!” and the Samoan gets the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on Santino. Marella fights back, attempts to run away and he sells his hand being paralysed. Umaga lifts him up, beats him in the corner and after the shortest five count in history, the ref calls for a DQ.

Umaga has been disqualified by failing to move away from the corner after a five count. Santino Marella retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship by default in 02:34.

2017 comments:

Ugh. If you’re going for a short match, make it believable. Have Umaga fight the referee, maybe, toss him, refuse to let go, bloody Santino up. It just looks like Umaga has been unfairly treated. Shit. Who is the heel here?

2007 comments:

This Santino might be the best champion ever.

Grade: C.

Umaga chases the referee, goes top-rope and splashes Santino. Why? He should be mad at the ref. The crowd chant for “U-Mah-Gah!” and he leaves. He’s clearly not a heel. He rolls back in, shots the thumb and hits the Samoan Spike into Marella’s throat. The crowd chant, “One more time!” but he does not hit it one more time. Maria rocks down the ramp and rolls into the ring to look after Santino. Replays of the ref giving a five count and instantly calling DQ. As Daniel Bryan would say, “He has until five, referee.”

Cut to an ad for Summerslam, featuring Jackass.

Cut to Coward Moustache Michael Cole and Cunt JBL as they talk for some time about the limo explosion. Daniel Beck, the lead federal investigator for the incident. He tells us that forensics have confirmed DNA evidence for Vince, the limo driver and another third party, who is a “well-known personality”.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Cunt President Donal Trump legitimately thought that Vince was dead. I would normally take the time to point out how imbecilic this was… if not for the fact that stocks dropped because of the storyline, showing that money doesn’t necessarily equate to common sense.

Reminder that tomorrow is a three-hour celebration of Vince. Eep.

Cut to Magnum TA, former US Champ, who survived a car crash that left him in the wreck for two hours before ambulance arrived. This car crash ended his career and it was feared that damage to his vertebrae would leave him paralysed for life, but he was able to walk again with the aid of a cane.

MVP appears, ready to kick arse in his onesie. Farty pyro fires off. He squares off to Magnum TA who is standing beside Sign Guy, who has a sign that says, “A Horseman vs A Horse’s Ass”. Brilliant. The jerk beside Magnum TA is doing the Cena, “U Can’t C Me” sign.

Big woo as walking leather handbag Ric Flair walks to the ring. His entrance is cut short as MVP dives out of the ring to jaw off to Flair. Flair has been drafted to SmackDown at the grand old age of 58. Oy vey.

WWE United States Championship match: Montel Vontavious Porter (c) vs. Ric Flair.

Bell rings and MVP jaws off to Flair before the two lock up. MVP gets Flair in a corner, shouts shit in his face and the two argue before Flair woos and gives MVP a slap. Flair struts in the centre of the ring, MVP takes his time on the outside before rolling back in. The two bucks shout at each other and taunt. Flair gets cheers and MVP gets booed. Flair gets MVP into a leg lock and there’s a lovely wee rest hold. MVP gets to the ropes and Flair attempts a leg snap. Rake of the eyes and Flair is lifted onto the apron before being booted off. The champ goes out, picks up Flair and hammers his head off the apron. Pin in the ring followed by another and some punches before another pin and rest hold. Flair has bladed.

Flair gets to the ropes to break the hold and MVP stomps him. Flair is in the corner, takes some shots but survives. Some Flair chops and punches before a big back drop from MVP. He checks his chest and zips back up his top. Yeo. Rest hold city over here. A lone fan in the crowd woos. Flair fights back and knocks the champ back. Lovely fireman’s carry into gorilla press and a pin but still no win. The announcers talk about other champs and how they would feel about MVP. Flair hits a jawbreaker and slaps MVP on the ropes. Dodgy botched choke into backdrop and Flair chops away at MVP, runs the ropes and hits the high elbow. Back body drop and Flair is still in control, going for the ten punch in the corner but only getting five before MVP escapes.

MVP goes for another boot in the corner but misses. Flair attacks the knee, struts and attacks the knee again. Figure Four is locked in and MVP is reaching for the ropes before reaching it easily. Flair takes a thumb to the eye, hits the Playmaker for the win.

MVP has pinned Ric Flair and retains the WWE United States Championship in 8:43.

2017 comments:

Nice of them to unwrap Flair and feed him the Lazarus Solution to resurrect him once again.

2007 comments:

Did we really think Flair could ever win?

Grade: C.

Maggle tells us that Flair was in control. We see the ref pull Flair away – not DQing him like they did to Umaga – and MVP leaves, still the champ.

Backstage, Todd Grisham speaks to John Cena, who hits Todd and gives the big thumbs up to the camera. Edge appears and the pair waste time talking about the failed Vince McMahon Whodunnit. Cena tells Edge that he’s too soft to kill Vince. Edge basically implicates himself and the FBI guys appears to ask Edge some serious questions about a death that never actually happens.

By the side of the crowd is Rick Martel and Tony Garea, who were Tag Team champs back in the day. A different tag team, of course, to the World Tag Team Champions earlier… Confused much?

Deuce ‘n Domino come out, all shoo-bopping and doo-wopping with Cherry on her roller blades. I like this gimmick. It’s silly. Deuce lifts up Cherry and walks her three steps. They won the tag team belts from Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Deuce and Domino make fun of Martel and Garea, saying that the place stinks and that they thought the old champs were dead. Stay classy.

Sgt. Slaughter’s music hits and out he rocks, saluting to everyone, pointing and shouting. Then out comes legit murderer, Jimmy Snuka. This is the second match in a row with ancient wrestlers fighting new wrestlers. Cunt JBL talks about calling Ron Simmons and starting up the APA. Cole tries to be his friend. JBL turns him down.

Tag Team Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Deuce ‘n Domino (c) (w/ Cherry) vs. Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.

Deuce starts off and Cole tells us that it’s a bit odd that Snuka and Slaughter are tagging together as they feuded back in the day. Botched running of the ropes and jumping as Domino jumps too early and lands on Snuka’s neck. He hits Domino a bunch and tags in Slaughter, who hits a pump-handle gutbuster and snapmare for a pin. Big fail. Slaughter tosses Domino about and gives him a back body drop. Another pin. Another fail.

Slaughter hits the Cobra Clutch and finds the rope pretty quickly. Big elbow shots and Domino takes a big old clothesline. Another Cobra Clutch and Deuce walks back. Deuce hits Slaughter, why he doesn’t tag in is beyond me. Finally, he does and a ref distraction causes the choke from Domino. Domino tags Deuce in.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Deuce is, of course, the son of Jimmy Snuka.

Deuce is beating on Slaughter, looks at his dad, goes to the top rope, hits a taunt on Superfly, does a big splash but fails. Slaughter goes for the tepid tag and the dad whups his son for a while. Snuka pins his son and Domino jumps in to break it up. Slaughter pulls him out and Superfly hits his son with a ribbreaker. He goes to the top rope and Cole fucks up the naming of the splash. Domino fails to knock him off – probably a botch – and Snuka hits the splash, rolls through and Deuce gets the pin.

Deuce has pinned Superfly Jimmy Snuka to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship in 6:34.

2017 comments:

Jesus, boys, at least do a bit of training before getting into the ring.

2007 comments:

Did we really think that Deuce ‘n Domino won by accident?

Grade: C.

The heel champs beat on the losers and Martel and Garea run in to save them. Big cheer as the winners run off. Then Superfly’s music hits as the old men are awkward mid-ring. Replays of the “win” and subsequent beat-down.

Coming up next, it’s the last chance match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Edge vs. Batista. Replays of their last few matches and we’re all very impressed with Edge’s thong.

Cole talks about Harley Race, an eight-time NWA champion and King of the Ring winner.

The champ, Edge comes out first once again. Because why wouldn’t he? Edge lists his belt for the farty pyro. He is called the “Ultimate Opportunist”, which is not really true, is it? If it were, he’d be taking every opportunity he could, including DQing himself in order to retain quickly.

Batista rocks out with his new haircut, hits his gatling gun pyro and strolls to the ring, rocking on his toes. Cole tells us that he asked Batista, “What are you gonna do tonight? It’s your last chance,” which is almost as stupid as when he asked Austin, “Are you ready to enter hell?” back in 2001, the fucking ghoul.

Batista rolls out, chases Edge off and hugs Harley Race. Real babyface.

Edge kisses the belt and the bell is rung.

Last Chance Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Batista.

Batista cannot wait to get his hands on Edge, going for his legs almost instantly. The pair hammer on each other and Batista hits the pin pretty early on but fails to keep him down. A wee rest hold from the two men and Batista stalks his enemy, constantly holding onto rest holds. Edge fights back and gets the Animal in the corner, but is limping from the damage pretty early on. Lovely Bossman Slam from Batista followed by a pin that fails. Annoying whistling person in the crowd. Batista gets thrown out of the ring and lies there for a while. Edge rocks out, hitting the axe-handle-nothing from the apron. Batista lifts Edge up but he escapes and reverses it into a lovely push into the steel ring post.

Batista reenters the ring and Edge is on him, hammering him on the back of the neck. Edge runs Batista’s shoulder into the steel post and we stand around for a while. Very slow pace here. Batista goes to the apron and gets hit with a baseball slide. Edge hot-dogs and grandstands for the crowd as Batista really sells the baseball slide. Batista rocks back into the ring and he have… armbar city. Both men are either gassed or purposely bringing the pace down. I can’t wee why. Batista hits an arm drag, is thrown – once again – into the corner, shoulder first, and follows it up with a short, sharp tug. Batista falls back, has trouble getting to his feet and does so, fighting back before a drop-toe-hold moves straight into an armbar. Armbar city.

Batista lifts Edge into a fireman’s carry into a Samoan Drop but Edge holds on, holding as tight as he can. Batista battles to his feet, punches Edge, lifts him into the corner and gets a boot to the face for his effort. Batista’s veins are all twisted and gross. Edge drives at Batista, but the Animal hits a murderous clothesline. Ten count starts.

Both men are up and Batista hits a looooovely back body drop. It is beautiful. Batista then hits a swinging Rock Bottom on Edge but fails to hit the pinfall. He sets up the Batista Bomb but Edge escapes and hits the DDT. Edge is amazed that it means nothing. He rocks out, grabs his belt and the ref shouts at him. Roll-up from Batista. Roll-up from Edge. Dominator attempt by Batista, Edge-O-Matic from Edge. Both men are down, both men are up and a spear from Batista knocks the champ down. Edge whups his arm right up to hit the Animal with a low blow.

Edge has disqualified himself by an illegal action. Batista is the winner of this match but Edge still retains World Heavyweight Championship in… 16:50?

Something fucky’s going on here. Same thing happened ten years ago at In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker with Owen Hart and British Bulldog being illegally pinned by the Legion of Doom.

Teddy Long rocks out and restarts the match. He adds the stipulation that a further DQ will cause Edge to lose his championship. Edge bounces back in and the bell goes despite the fact that Batista is not ready. Edge prepares for the Spear, hits it and almost gets the pin! Almost! Edge runs out, gets a chair, remembers that it will mean he loses and rolls in only for Batista to attempt the Batista Bomb and throw Edge over the top rope. Batista gets thrown into the steel steps and then hits Edge with the Batista Bomb. However, he took so long that Batista gets counted out.

Batista has gotten himself counted out. Edge is the winner of this match and retains World Heavyweight Championship in 16:50.

2017 comments:

Have a screwy ending, only to restart the match… and have another screwy ending. Nice, guys. Very nice.

2007 comments:

Disappointed.

Grade: C.

No good storyline in this match. Batista has lost his chance to win the championship. He’s furious. He picks up the champ and hits a second Batista Bomb, his music plays and he leaves the ring. Batista punches the ring a bunch of times and the replays of his loss play. Distraught, he walks up the tron.

Cut to JR and Jerry, who talk about Fabulous Moolah, the madam. They have a wee laugh and show the original screwjob where Moolah was the “Spider Lady”, completely revising history, the bastards.

Melina appears with her paparazzi, smiling as she rocks down and splits to enter the ring. Bless her, she tries awful hard.

Candice Michelle appears, slapping hands and wearing… a garter belt to hold up her trousers? Weird. So weird.

WWE Women’s Championship: Melina (c) vs. Candice Michelle.

Right, everyone, take a knee. This is the piss break match, I guess.

Melina raises her hand for a test of strength, kicks Candice right between the legs and is thrown into the corner, hitting Melina with a head-scissors submission, moving into a tarantula before being kicked outside. Melina sits on the apron and tries a head scissors of her own, rolls into the ring and attempts a pin. Melina pops Candice into the corner, hits the double knees and gets another head-scissors on her before attempting a takedown. The announcers call Melina a “playboy wannabe”, reducing her to a glamour model. Bow and arrow submission followed by a pin attempt. Melina goes over the top rope and Candice hits a weak powerslam, shakes her hips and hits an elbow. Pin attempt and fail.

Bulldog by Candice and another pin attempt. Melina hits a Neckbreaker and fails again on the pin. Both women run the ropes and Candice wins by a pin after an embarrassing roundhouse kick. Her top also falls down.

Candice Michelle has pinned Melina to win the WWE Women’s Championship in 4:07.

2017 comments:

Embarrassing.

2007 comments:

She’s crying because she knows how shit it is.

Grade: Not a match.

Awful, just awful. Women wrestlers deserve better than this.

Cut to a promo for… WrestleMania? Oh, on DVD. Three discs, or so I’m told. Five hours of extras. Four hours of actual WrassleMania. Cunt Trump gets top billing.

Justin Roberts introduces Cunt JBL, who used to be a WWE Champ. He gets the grip to hand a piece of paper to Roberts and says that he must read from the paper, exactly. It wanks JBL off for a while. Fuck JBL.

Promo for the Five-Pack Challenge, which JR says is… “So unique.” It’s not. We see Mick, Booker, Cena, Randy and Bobbo Lasher as champions as they say what it means to be a champion. The five men tell the camera who they are. We see their “best moments”, which involves mostly Mankind.

Justin Roberts describes the chaos that will unfold: all five men will fight and the first to get a pinfall or submission will win. No eliminations.

Bobbo Lasher comes out first with his golden shower.

Micker Foley comes out next, facing it up.

Booker comes out with Queen Sharmell, the best queen. He has an odd animal fur cloak on. Weird dude. JR calls Sharmell beautiful. She is, she’s great looking. Long bloody entrance, mind.

Then Randy comes down with his great entrance theme tune, taking half an hour to get to the ring, jogging for a bit like the smelly jobber that he is. He hits the legend killer pose mid-ring and that’s him.

Cena keeps us waiting, you know, all four men await him and the crowd goes ballistic the second that his music hits.

Five-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Mick Foley vs. King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) vs. Randy Orton.

All five lads are in the ring, finally, and the match begins. Booker leaves and Sharmell gives him a lovely massage. Cena bops Randy, who gets a back-body drop from Lasher and is tossed over the rope by Mick. Booker comes in, tosses Cena out and hammers Lasher. Lashley hits a thunderous clothesline and tosses him out, hitting a very dangerous looking suicide dive onto all four men, picks up Booker and rolls him back in. Mid-ring, Lasher hits the Rack Attack and Cena breaks up the pin to big boos. Both big men face off and trade punches mid-ring. Lasher hits a great spinebuster and both men roll to the outside. Cena takes a bomp to the head from the steel steps and Lasher begins to prepare an announcer’s table for a bump.

Randy and Foley interrupts it as Booker and Foley fight by ringside. All the other men have a wee lie down, waiting for their own personal spot. Foley takes a real bad looking steel ring step bump and it’s Randy and Lasher’s turn to fight. Lasher counters an RKO, walks straight into an FU and is clobbered through the ECW announce table. Booker and Cena have a scrap in the ring mit Flair chops. Booker cracks Cena in the face with a boot and some lovely knees and Irish whip. Cena fights back and clobbers Booker before taking a Scissors kick to the back of the neck. Randy breaks up the pin and gets a punch to the face before Cena – no selling the Scissors kick – knocks him out, hits the sit-out powerbomb, attempts a Five Knuckle Shuffle but eats an RKO. Randy attempts the pin and Foley breaks it up, cracking Orton with elbows and a knee to the head before turning on Booker for a boot and hitting the double underhook DDT.

Foley whups Mr. Socko out of his jocks, eats a superkick from Booker and both he and Randy fall with a double clothesline. Foley throws the sock into the crowd and takes a steel chair into the ring. Cactus bops Bobby with the chair followed by Booker. Cena gets to his feet and eats a chair before Randy stops the carnage. The Viper stalks Foley, gives him the punt kick. And Cena gets ready for the FU with Booker, tosses him out and hits Mick with one instead for the pin.

John Cena has pinned Mick Foley to retain the WWE Championship in 18:08.

2017 comments:

Spotfest, but a fun spotfest.

2007 comments:

Mick was in it. Match of the Year.

Grade: A.

The DVD I was watching had the match at maybe 10 minutes, they must have cut out some rest holds. Cena celebrates and the WWE moves into a new and terrifying era.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No big stand-out winners but I’d say the final match was fast-paced and fun and put the onus on John Cena’s shoulders.

Woman of the Matches: Am I to choose between Melina, Candice Michelle and Sharmell? I choose Sharmell.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: John Cena

Best Spot: The parade of specials at the end of the Five-pack challenge.

Hatches: Jimmy Superfly Snuka.

Matches: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch retain their World Tag Team Championship; Chavo Guerrero retains his WWE Cruiserweight Championship; Santino Marella retains his WWE Intercontinental Championship; Montel Vontavious Porter retains his WWE United States Championship; Deuce ‘n Domino retain their WWE Tag Team Championship; Edge retains his World Heavyweight Championship belt; Candice Michelle has the only title change of the evening, winning the WWE Women’s Championship from Melina for her first reign; and Cena retains his WWE Championship.

Dispatches: We say goodbye to everyone: Batista, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Candice Michelle, Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Cherry, CM Punk, Deuce, Domino, Edge, Jeff and Matt Hardy, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Jimmy Wang Yang, John Cena, Johnny Nitro, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Mick Foley, Melina, MVP, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter, Sharmell, Super Crazy and Umaga.

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. I have done another one today because this is the final PPV in the Ruthless Aggression section of this blog. 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 (since WrestleMania 23). 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 – WrassleMania 23. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels (Summerslam 06), [REDACTED] Benoit (Survivor Series ’06), Joey Mercury (Royal Rumble 07), Stone Cold Steve Austin (WrestleMania 23).

Nominated for Man of the Matches: John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge and Shawn Michaels (Backlash 07), CM Punk and Elijah (Judgment Day 07), Batista and Edge (One Night Stand 07), John Cena (Vengeance: Night of Champions 07).

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… CM Punk and Elijah Burke!

Previous Women of the Matches: Queen Sharmell (Summerslam 06), Trish Stratus (Survivor Series 06), Victoria (Royal Rumble 07), N/A (WrestleMania 23).

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Mickie James (Backlash 07), N/A (Judgement Day 07), N/A (One Night Stand 07), Queen Sharmell (Vengeance: Night of Champions

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Mickie James because Queen Sharmell cannot win twice!

In Memoriam

Each WrestleMania (and the final PPV in this case), I will go through the people who we have seen wrassle and lament for their passing. This list is a bit shorter due to the fact that the shows have been so recent.

  • Andrew James Robert Patrick Martin AKA Test, March 17 1975 – March 13 2009; accidental overdose of oxycodone.
  • Christopher Michael Benoit, May 21 1967 – June 29 2009; hanging.
  • Edward Smith Fatu AKA Umaga, March 28 1973 – December 4 2009; heart attack caused by acute toxicity.
  • Harry Fujiwara AKA Mr. Fuji, May 4 1934 – August 28 2016; old age. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 by Don “The Rock” Muraco.
  • James Reiher Snuka AKA Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, May 18 1943 – January 15 2017; unidentified terminal illness. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 by Don Muraco, though his profile is no longer available due to his alleged murder of Nancy Argentino in 1983.
  • Jonathan “Jon” Rechner AKA Balls Mahoney, April 11 1972 – April 12 2016; heart attack.
  • Lance Kurtis McNaught AKA Lance Cade, March 2 1981 – August 13 2010; heart failure caused by intoxication from mixed drugs.
  • Nelson Lee Frazier Jr AKA Viscera AKA Mabel AKA Big Daddy V, February 14 1971 – February 18 2014; heart attack.
  • Roderick George Toombs AKA Rowdy Roddy Piper, April 17 1954 – July 31 2015; cardiopulmonary arrest caused by hypertension. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Ric Flair in 2005.
  • Virgil Riley Runnels Jr AKA Dusty Rhodes, October 12 1945 – June 11 2015; a bad fall. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 by his sons, Cody (Stardust) and Dustin (Goldust).

Closing Statements: I think that it’s only fair that I explain why I have decided to end this section of the blog at this PPV and it will come as no surprise that it is because of Chris Benoit. At the time of his death, professional wrestling had been an interest that had dwindled for me to a once-a-month event, more frequently if a match on Raw or Smackdown was highly gimmicked or was heard to be amazing. The only thing keeping me watching was – as I’m sure other fans were – the anticipation that if I stopped watching, I would somehow miss something amazing. Chris Benoit’s murder/suicide (although completely unrelated to storyline professional wrestling) stopped me watching for a while. As the details about the weekend of murders came to light, I realised that I could not watch a sport that allowed its employees to take such a punishment that would cause them to have brains in such disrepair that they could be brought to kill their son and wife. I still sometimes feel conflicted about it. The WWE, in fairness to them, took precautions to ensure that their employees are healthier today than they were back then. I feel that the wrestling now is better than it was in 2007 and even during the Attitude Era. Now, the wrestling is the best in the world and that is because the wrestlers are healthier and not taking chair shots every night. It’s a shame three people had to die for that to happen.

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.

Ruthless Aggression #19. One Night Stand (June 3, 2007) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Good old Hardys. Never miss a ladder match. Miss a lot of spots, though.

Cut backstage to Khali cutting a rambling promo on Cena in Punjabi. His translator gives his promo in English. It’s nothing to write home about.

Cut to the ring where Tony Chimel is introducing the Lumberjack Match, where twelve lads stand outside the ring and wait until someone falls out and they push them back in. [REDACTED] Benoit arrives, looking super pissed off that he is not competing. Behind him is Valentine Venis, Santino Marella, Balls Mahoney, Steven Richards, The Miz, Kevin Vampire Thorn, Chris Masters, Johnny Nitro, Chavo Guerrero, Kenny Dykstra mit dead fox and Carlito. There is little craic from them. Stevie Richards jumps on Balls’ back.

Somebody gon’ get they ass kicked! It’s Mark Henry! He’s out, covered in butter or whatever. The announcers sell the fact that Mark Henry is the World’s Strongest Man. This is before Game of Thrones, I suppose.

Big fiery pyro and Kane rocks out, popping into the ring and squaring up to Henry after hitting the turnbuckle pyro.

Lumberjack Match: Mark Henry vs. Kane.

This is the first match of the card that allows pinfall or submission, so you know it’s going to be great. Kane and Henry circle each other and Henry tosses him out. The Lumberjacks scatter, no way are they going near the Devil’s Favourite Demon. Big slow, methodical movement as Henry is tossed out. The Lumberjacks surround him and get tossed away easily. Henry rolls back in and he and Kane beat each other in the corner. Henry rolls out and Kane goes with him. The Lumberjacks are keeping their distance as Henry tosses him into the ringpost. Henry rolls into the ring and the Lumberjacks pick up Kane and allow him to enter. Henry continues to attack Kane’s back with double axe-handle nothings and club-like punches. Kane fights back with his great big punches and Henry retaliates with a powerslam. First pinfall attempt and a fail.

Kane headbutts out man Henry and gets knocked down for his effort. Both men are really selling the fact that they are glass cannons here. Both attacks do lots of damage. The fear is not that either men are impervious, more that regardless of their defence, their attack is brutal. Kane attempts a Rock Bottom but his back is sore. Val Venis is hammering out a tune on the ring, really reacting to everything in the ring. Cunt JBL gives off because he doesn’t like fun. Big rest hold city mid-ring as Mark hugs Kane. Kane falls to the floor and pulls Henry out. Kane goes top-rope, jumps and hits a bowling ball spot as the lads go sprawling everywhere. Chavo and Kenny help Kane back into the ring and two monsters punch each other for a while. Miz and Stevie Richards shout at each other as Kane goes to the top rope again, knocking Mark down, hitting a lovely chokeslam but two lumberjacks jump in before the pin can be applied.

Kane one-hand-chokeslams Kenny and Mark gives Kane another bear hug. Kane is hurt, he’s passing out. The ref is imploring him to quit, but he’s not giving up. The ref stops the match.

The match has finished due to ref stoppage. Mark Henry is the default winner in 9:07.

2017 comments:

Meh. It’s a nice way to get both men over as powerful without it being a stalemate but to end with a bearhug? I mean, come on, guys.

2007 comments:

Do you think that Kane and Henry are considered… bears?

Grade: C.

Not a good bunch of matches so far, if I’m honest. Replays of the match.

Cut to Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin who are complaining about the loss of the match. Shelton and Jeff square off. Punches are thrown. People break it up. It’s a real to-do, I tell you what.

Cut to Bobbo Lasher and McMahon Street Fight promo. Back in Wrasslemania, Vince got his head shaved by Cunt President Donald Trump and Stone Cold. Vince blamed Bobbo and took his ECW championship, which was bound to hurt him badly. Bobby beat a handicap match but Vince refused to give his championship up and so another rematch was called. Vince didn’t actually want one, but Shane protected his father’s ego by accepting. Makes little sense… unless Shane is trying to screw over Vince… again.

Justin Roberts introduces the Street Fight and its lack of disqualifications… which all matches so far have had. AND THEN GOD DAMMIT WWE YOU BRING OUT THE CHAMP FIRST AGAIN.

Vince rocks out with Shane and Umaga. Sure why not? It is his birthday. It is not his birthday. They’re talking about it being a three-on-one handicap match and Umaga being the “Samoan Bulldozer”. I’ve no real fear of that because Umaga has lost his winning streak. He’s pathetic now.

Bobby’s music hits and there is a decent pop for Roidy Lasher. He hits his pyro, covers himself in golden sparks and walks to the ring, hitting hit massive jump and more turnbuckle pyro.

Street Fight for the ECW World Championship: Vince McMahon (c) (with Umaga and Shane McMahon) vs. Bobby Lashley.

Shane and Vince in the ring, Bobby runs to the ropes, does a suicide dive, botches by holding onto the rope and barely grazes Umaha, who sells like death. Shane is hammering on Bobby, who knocks him down and tosses him out onto Umaga. Bobby and Vince are alone and the crowd goes wild as he rains punches on Vince. Shane rocks in, is tossed out, Umaga comes in and takes over for a second, but is thrown into a corner. Shane comes in with a chair, Lashley gets rid of him, tosses the chair and is about to hit Vince with a Dominator when Shane and Umaga take over, hitting Lasher with a DDT on the chair.

It’s three on one now and the first few minutes are forgotten as the pace slows, the men beat up Bobbo and he attempts to build up some babyface fire. Double team Irish whip into Vince, who kicks him in the balls. The announcers make it clear that something might happen on the table by moving back and saying, “uh oh!” Vince takes… a hammer? Something from a dude by the side of the ring. It’s a bell hammer, apparently. He doesn’t hit Lasher with it, just chokes him with it. Vince then chokes Lasher with a wire. We are halfway through the match here, not one pin attempt, neither announcer is making that a big deal. Umaga hits a lovely Samoan drop and a pin attempt is finally made but fails.

Vince hits a sad, sad spear on Lasher but gets nothing from the pinfall. Why he doesn’t get Umaga and Shane to hold Bobbo down during a pin is beyond me. Crowd is dead. Bobbo is held down by the McMahons and Umaga goes for the splash. Bobbo, at the last second, does a sit-up, Vince gets squashed and it’s time to go home. Both Shane and Umaga are tossed out. Bobbo gets the chair, cracks Vince with it and hammers on his back for a while. The announcers say that this is legal and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Bobbo hits the Dominator, goes for the three but Umaga drags him out before he can get the pin.

Outside, Bobbo gets a chair after beating Umaga, but is knocked down. Umaga jumps to the floor from the apron and the announcer’s table is finally destroyed. Lashley is draped over the table, Shane goes to the corner and hits a lovely elbow that elicts, “Holy shit!” chants from the crowd. Bobby is thrown into the ring and a pin attempt is made and failed. Umaga rocks in to beat on Lasher in the corner. He rears back to hit the Rikishi arse-bump in the corner and Shane takes over with a trashcan, hoping to hit a Coast-to-Coast. No selling there from the younger McMahon. Bobby rolls out of the way at the last second, Umaga gets hit with the trashcan and Bobby gets his revenge with a spear once to Shane and then to Vince for the pin.

Bobby Lashley has pinned Vince McMahon to win the ECW World Championship in 12:23.

2017 comments:

A nice wee revenge match for the Lasher. Not amazing, but plays to the strengths of each other competitors and makes Lasher look really strong.

2007 comments:

I never get sick of seeing the McMahons lose.

Grade: B.

Lashley spears Vince again in the middle of his music. Replays shown and Bobbo goes to the back with his belt.

Cut to Maria and Santino chatting in Italian. They get interrupted by Todd who reminds Maria that Candice Michelle and Melina are having a pudding match. Maria spouts gibberish for a while. She doesn’t answer the question. Candice Michelle turns up and hits her three lines. She asks for a kiss for good luck and Maria gives her one. Santino says he loves America and Ron Simmons says, “Damn”. You couldn’t make this shit up.

Cut to the “pudding”, which seems to be filmed from a hoody.

Candice Michelle comes out and some very embarrassed fans hold up some very sad signs.

Melina’s music hits and out she comes. Both women are in bikinis. Melina even has goggles. JR tries to shill the next PPV. Both women stand awkwardly. This is going to be a long segment.

Pudding Match: Candice Michelle vs. Melina.

Of course, this match is not for the Women’s Championship, which makes it a waste of goddamn time even more than it was before I knew the title wasn’t on the line. Candice puts one foot in the pudding, grabs Melina and tosses her in. The women rock in the pudding for a while, slide out and get told to get back in. Candice slips. Sexy pin on the outside. JR and Jerry wonder about the rules of the pudding match. Double axe-handle nothing. The guys are finding it hard to realise who is who. The crowd chant for, “Boring.” There’s a DDT into the pudding. Jerry puts the sexiness of the women over. Candice drowns Melina and she taps out, well, slaps the pudding.

Melina has tapped out or suffered drowning in the pudding. Candice Michelle wins in 2:55.

2017 comments:

I would normally complain about this because women’s wrestling etc. but this match doesn’t pretend to be anything more than nonsense, so, in way, it’s the most successful match on the card.

2007 comments:

I wonder is it pudding.

Grade: Nooooope.

Maria turns up. Let’s see what happens.

She congratulates Candice on her win, Melina tosses pudding and Maria dives in. Then the ref is dragged in. Melina escapes and someone’s music plays as the faces hug.

On the Card will return on June 17 2017 with the third and final part of One Night Stand 2007.

Ruthless Aggression #18. Judgment Day (May 20, 2007) Part 1

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #18 Judgement Day – May 19, 2007

The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.

Ten years ago, on May 19, 2007, Judgement Day 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February and was spelled “Judgment” without an E, though my MS Word will continue to autocorrect it to “Judgement” because I am living in Scotland and we do not believe in superfluous letters here. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

WWE Judgement Day 2007

Still no tagline but by Christ, what a poster. Kane, standing on a stairway, surrounded by flames while hands – some skeletal, some still clinging onto flesh – reach up from the fire to grab at him. He also looks super ripped. Great. What I love about these covers is that they have that Wolverine Publicity trope where they fire on wrestlers onto the covers despite them not being that important to the actual PPV. Case in point: Kane does not actually appear in this PPV… unless you were there for the actual live show. Then you would see him… in the dark match at the beginning versus William Regal. Yeah.

Once again, this PPV is attempting to make Khali (a non-wrestler who hasn’t been in the ring in months) look like a credible threat. The promo package begins with him, moves into the Edge vs. Batista, rematch of Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga, Vince and Shane followed by Khali hitting people. He hits all the people and they all take the hits until Jjjjjjjjahn Cena fights back because he’s tip-top.

Then there’s some bad space CGI for some reason. WWE is in space? Is the Day of Judgement about a meteor? It don’t matter none because the farty pyro tells us that we are live in the Scottrade Centre in St. Louis, Missouri, home of Randal Keith Orton and 10,500 other lads who turned up to see this PPV happen. There are 242,000 people watching in at home, a huge dip from the 252,000 the year before (funnily enough, we would see the same number for Judgement Day 2008) but a big rise from the 194,000 that tuned in for Backlash a month ago. It should have been called Backlashley. Oh well, you live and learn.

Our announcers are Jumpin’ Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz, Maggle Cole and Cunt JBL, who has a face on him like he just ate some shite.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Kane and William Regal. What? Why? Once again, the depth of your roster, boys, fair play.)

Big “Wooo!” as our boy Ric Flair rocks down to the ring with his face all leathered and haggard. Ric Flair is in your curtain jerker. By Christ, it’s an odd time when the only two-time Hall of Famer in WWE history, the sixteen-time champion, is on first. I suppose he needs his sleep.

Then Carlito appears and rocks in and throws his apple at Flair. And almost hits him. Jim Ross tuts at this, saying, “This just shows Carlito’s total lack of disrespect.”

Singles match: Ric Flair vs. Carlito.

I’ve changed up the titles of the matches. Putting champion first or in order of appearance.

Big chops in the corner from Flair and has him on the ropes. Lovely Irish Whip countered into a Sunset flip but Naitch drops to his knees, denying an Aloha Arn and beats on the Carribean. Big chops and Carlito rocks out of the ring. Flair goes to the corner to hit Carlito on the apron but Carlito escapes, the rascal. Carlito attacks Flair’s arm and hand. Ross points out that Flair’s right arm is stronger than his left. Carlito grounds Flair with a hammerlock.

JR and King talk about Flair taking lads underneath his wing to teach them about the game and how Carlito squandered that opportunity. In the corner, Naitch whips at Carlito but he escapes. More attacks on Flair’s left arm on the apron. Big toss into the turnbuckle and Flair is hurt. Pin attempt but there is barely a one. Crowd chant “Let’s go, Flair!” but Flair does not go whatsoever. Carlito wraps Flair’s arm around the turnbuckle twice followed by a lovely missile dropkick. Another cover, another kickout. Sign in the crowd: Umaga ate my homework.

Flair fights back, gives Carlito a slap or two but the younger man takes over again and hits another dropkick and another failed pin. Crowd – specifically someone behind the announcers – roar “Nature boy!” over and over. It’s very loud. Jerry talks about Torrie Wilson, for some reason. He brings it back to the match by saying that Carlito did not want to be distracted by either Wilson or Flair but then follows it up with, “Torrie can distract me any time!” Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Big claps from the crowd as Flair gets out of an armbar and takes over, hitting a lovely arm drag but is knocked back by Carlito. Armbar city over here. Flair gets to his feet and is in a great amount of pain, but is able to toss Carlito with an armbar again. Another dropkick, another pin attempt but JR points out that the first pins were one-counts, this was a two-count and “one more count bears a beaten man.” Christ, JR, you’re just the best.

Big chops from Flair and Carlito is on the floor. It’s a slobberknocker, an official slobberknocker. Flair takes a back-body drop. JR bigs up Flair’s chops, saying that he would rather take any move than a single Flair chop. Big words. Armbar city again here. Some stomps and more armbars wherein Flair almost gets pinned. Carlito roars something, which Jerry understands. JR: “You speak Spanish now?” Jerry: “Profanely. And profoundly.”

Flair hits back with some big right-hands and a shitty snapmare. Flair has Carlito on the ropes, no-sells a punch, chops Carlito to the ground, gives him a back-body drop and goes for Carlito’s leg. Carlito hits a thumb right to Flair’s eyes, attempts a backstabber, fails and the crowd goes wild as Flair works the legs of Carlito before hitting the Figure Four leglock, getting the tap-out victory.

Ric Flair has submitted Carlito to win the match in 15:34.

2017 comments:

Good opener, I suppose, nice to see Flair once again, though at fifteen minutes, it overstayed its welcome by about five minutes.

2007 comments:

Is Ric Flair ever going to retire?

Grade: B.

Ric is done. Absolutely wrecked. Sign Guy in the crowd has a massive sign that he puts over his head saying, “Beat That Hairball!” He has another, which is a picture of a man’s lower body, which he constantly low-blows with the caption, “Ric Flair Training.”

Cut to Shawn Michaels backstage with Todd as they show footage of Shawn beating Edge on RAW. But then Randy came out, punt-kicked Shawn, stood over him and had his face on. Shawn calls Todd by his full name, Todd Grisham, and just as Shawn is about to speak, Randy comes in and tosses him into the background. Shawn needs help.

Cut to a promo for the Bobbo Lasher match versus Shane, Vince and Umaga, showing how Vince stole the belt by letting the others beat up Lasher and pinning him to win the ECW championship. Lasher gets his rematch at Judgment day, but it will once again be a handicap match. Lasher is not allowed to touch Shane, Vince or Umaga unless physically provoked… so he beats on Jonathan Coachman instead. Both Umaga and Shane provoke him, so they get a paddlin’.

Back in the ring, here comes the money! Dollah dollah! Shane O Mac comes to the ring, jogging like the jobber he is. Sign Guy has “ECW: Extremely un-Cool White guy” sign with a picture of Vince all up on it. Umaga comes does next, roaring and pulling at the rope. Vince comes down next, having a big swagger all on him as he rocks to the ring. Once again, the champ comes to the ring before the challenger. That’s nonsense.

Big “Bobby!” chant rises as his music hits and Lasher comes to the ring, roided up and standing in his own pyro. Lasher is angry. He jumps to the apron, big pyro hits.

Handicap match for the ECW World Championship: Mr. McMahon (c), Shane McMahon and Umaga vs. Bobby Lashley.

The bell goes and Lasher runs for Umaga, knocking him out of the ring. He punches Shane, beats on Vince and Shane gets tossed around like a ragdoll. Umaga tries to get to the apron but is knocked off. Bobby goes for Vince but Shane Pearl Harbours him. Lovely overhead suplex and Umaga is in , running at Bobby but Lasher moves out of the way, hits the spear, pins Shane and wins the championship.

Bobby Lashely has pinned Shane McMahon to win the ECW World Championship in 1:13.

2017 comments:

Thanks for the waste of ten minutes worth of promos and entrances for barely a minute of “wrestling”.

2007 comments:

I blinked. What happened?

Grade: F.

Tazz tells us that Bobby has exploded all over the McMahons. And the WWE just exploded all over paying customers.

Vince is ticked off. He walks from the ring, away from his son and Umaga. He slowly walks towards the ring but Umaga Pearl Harbours Lasher and gets his heat back with a Samoan Spike. Vince takes the ECW belt back, walks up the steps into the ring with a mic, congratulates Bobby but says that he did not win the belt as Bobby did not pin Vince. The crowd boos, the announcers shit on it and the heels leave with the belt. Devils.

Tazz calls him “ingenious”. What?

Recap of the match, almost in its entirety due to its brevity.

Backstage, a bowtie doctor is telling Shawn that he can’t wrassle. That’s it.

Back in the arena, CM Punk pre-Cult of Personality music hits and he comes to the ring, all wrapped up in bandages. He shouts, “It’s clobbering time!” to the crowd, because he is actually The Thing.

Elijah Burke rocks out, towel in hand, ready for the match to dab his sweating brow.

Singles Match: CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke.

Punk has his ribs taped. The crowd bay for him and Tazz checks it, like an idiot. The pair circle each other and lock up. Punk gets caught in a waistlock and kicks Burke away. Punk would later say that Burke is his least favourite opponent ever and would describe him as, “Absolutely the worst.” Let’s see how this plays out.

Punk gets Burke in a headlock and gets a punch to the rib for his effort. Joey says that Punk is giving “leg-kicks”, which he means as kicks to the leg rather than kicks with the leg. Punk in the corner with a rib shot and punch to the face that topples him. Punk gives him a lovely receipt to the back. Body slam and pin attempt. Neither men are wrestlers, more of a case of being strikers or, as the kids are want to say these days, strong-style specialists. Punk lands a lovely bodyslam and hits an exploder suplex that gets only a two-count.

The suplex is the first real wrestling move so far, followed by a lovely delayed vertical suplex where punk holds Burke aloft for about ten seconds. Very impressive. Burke fights back out of a chinlock and must be held back by the ref before he hurts Punky Magoo. Not very Extreme, is it, ECW? Punk hits a crossbody but fails to get the pin. The rascal.

Burke hammers Punk in the corner until the Chick Magnet gets a knee up. This is followed by a pathetic toss over the top rope. Shame upon the pair of you. Great shame. Punk slides underneath the rope, hits what Tazz calls a “sunset flip” even though no flips were involved at all. More of a sunset slide. Lovely headlock followed by hip toss reversals into a fireman’s carry and dropkick to send Burke to the outside. He looks about centre ring and hits a lovely suicide dive between the top and middle ropes. Great lad. Fair play. Pin attempt. Fail.

This is a lovely match so far. I can’t see why Punk would hate wrasslin’ Burke unless Punk is carrying him, which seems unlikely. Likely, Punk is just a bollocks. Burke reverses Punk’s moonsault attempt and beats on the ribs, holding Punk on the top rope and delivering a kick that could shatter bones right into Punk’s chest. Lovely leg scissors to Punk’s chest and Burke has his where he wants him. Punk fights back but gets a suplex followed by a backdrop and pin attempt. Something is happening offscreen and the crowd are chanting for JBL. He’s probably being a cunt and distracting them from the match.

More leg scissors from our boys and CM Punk escapes, beats on Burke, hits a lovely Irish whip, bit of a botch as both men kick. Cradle suplex into small package. Burke goes top rope, Punk hits him, gets ready for the superplex and hits it. My only complaint is that there are no flashbulbs anymore as phones nowadays have no need for flashes. Both men are up before the ten count and Punk hits a lovely clothesline followed by a baseball slide and enziguri onto Burke, going for the pin and Burke kicks out. Brilliant. Great match.

Bulldog attempt but Burke fights out. Burke tries the Elijah Express, misses, Punk attempts the GTS, fails, Burke hits the Elijah Experience but fails to get the pin. Burke pops punk up onto the turnbuckle and hits the Express. Punk falls into the tree of woe, but is released by the ref. Pin attempt and Punk escapes with a hand on the bottom rope, rolls away from the Elijah Experience and hits the GTS. Great match. Great pin.

CM Punk has pinned Elijah Burke to win the match in 16:50.

2017 comments:

Punk is one of those wrestlers who is beloved by fans despite being above average but being consistently above average in my estimation. This match reminds me why he’s one of the best in the business.

2007 comments:

This young whippersnapper CM Punk is going to be dead by the time he’s forty if he keeps up this caper.

Grade: A.

Hard to see why Punk would hate working with Burke as both men were complicit in a pretty great match. We see some lovely reversals of the two men kicking seven shades of shite out of one another as Punk ascends the ramp to the heavens.

On the Card will return on May 27 2017 with the second and final part of Judgment Day 2007.

Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: The Rock turned up.

Nation of Domination rock out with Wolfie D and JC Ice. I love these boys. They’re amazing and it’s mostly because of their nice, clean rap. By any means necessary. Fist raise. Brilliant stable.

Backstage, greasy Ahmed is speaking to Todd. He mutters his way through a promo. Great stuff. He mentions parties and dancing and somebody going to the end. Indecipherable.

Out comes Ahmed to a huge pop. He hydrates… badly. The crowd go bananas. The NOD discuss by ringside. Ahmed wants Faarooq first. Gorilla Monsoon strolls out and chats to the NOD too. Immigration Clarence Mason shouts back. Lots of pointing and Gorilla tells the NOD to leave unless they’re wresting. One of them is D’Lo Brown, who clearly has no idea what’s happening. Crush sneaks into the ring and attempts a Pearl Harbour but the bell rings first.

Gauntlet Match: Ahmed Johnson vs. Three Members of the Nation of Domination.

Big old punches from Ahmed and Crush falls first, wavers on the second and falls on the third. JR tells us that Ahmed is a former gang member and had an abusive household. The NOD stand up on the Tron. Lovely image. Ahmed misses an elbow and Crush hits the superkick. Crush hits an awful Bret’s rope clothesline as Jerry reminds JR that it is the nineties. Crush has Ahmed in a Vulcan Nerve Pinch followed by a lovely suplex. Ahmed attempts a suplex of his own but turns it into… a brainbuster? It’s odd. Sleeper hold. Sleeper hold city. Crowd chant to wake Ahmed up.

My favourite spot of all time – the ref lifts and drops Ahmed’s arm. One falls, two falls, the third holds on, he fights to his feet and Crush signals for his NOD friends to come down but none do. Ahmed attempts the pin, fails and gets a piledriver for his efforts. Crush calls the NOD down again and they stay there. Crush telegraphs the Heart Punch and Ahmed dodges it before hitting a reverse heel kick for the win.

Ahmed Johnson has pinned Crush. Crush has been eliminated.

A new challenger appears! Savio Vega enters the ring.

Crush is disappointed and stares at his NOD pals as Savio limps down the aisle, but sprints into the ring with Ahmed and gets a back body drop for his effort. Savio hits a lovely spinning heel kick and rolls to the outside. Faarooq, it is seen, has an injury too – a hurt arm, it seems. Savio bounces Ahmed’s head about the place and yells at him to get up. JR thanks us for inviting the WWF into their home. He then shows off that no one else has the ability to do PPV, which might be a lie. Savio gives Ahmed a big punch and he sells it brilliantly, shadow boxing for a second before falling. Lovely snapmare and rest hold city. Vulcan Nerve Pinch but Ahmed fights to his feel, hits a hip toss, goes to Bret’s rope, misses a Bret’s Rope Nothing and some time passes while Jerry and JR wonder what Ahmed has on his nose.

Big punch from Ahmed and he tells Savio the next spot – Savio bounces on the turnbuckle, gets a backdrop and almost loses – but manages to kick out. Lovely powerslam but Savio kicks out anyways. Faarooq rolls his eyes as Ahmed calls for the Pearl River Plunge. Savio goes for a run, hits a superkick, gets a chair and bops Ahmed.

Ahmed Johnson has been hit by a chair wielded by Savio Vega. Savio Vega has been eliminated by disqualification.

Savio rolls Ahmed into the ring, gets the chair and cracks Ahmed with it. The NOD discuss this amongst themselves. Faarooq is standing on the ramp with his shirt off and rocks down the ramp.

A new challenger appears! Faarooq enters the ring.

Faarooq takes off his arm sling and beats on Ahmed for a bit. Jerry calls it, “a mother’s day miracle.” Ahmed attempts the small package but Faarooq escapes it. JR tells us Farrooq’s real name – Ron Simmons – and how he changed his name. Ahmed hits a lovely spinebuster and sets up the Pearl River Plunge, hitting it and going for the pin but Faarooq kicks out! What a lad! Faarooq goes for Ahmed’s knee and hits a splat for the pin.

Faarooq has pinned Ahmed Johnson. Faarooq and the Nation of Domination wins by pinfall in 13:25.

2017 comments:

A gauntlet match where the heels are far superior wrestlers to the face.

1997 comments:

I love the Nation.

Grade: B.

Cut to an ad, apparently and when we come back, JR is telling us about something that happened on Raw is War: Ken Shamrock was ringside, doing commentary when Vader beat seven shades out of Goldust, pinned him and the pair stared each other out. Shamrock just keeps telling people to shut up. He finally decides to enter the ring and Vader spits on him before Shamrock takes him down and the men roll about.

On the Card will return on May 25 2017 with the third part of In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell.

Ruthless Aggression #17. Backlash (April 29, 2007) Part 1

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #17 Backlash – April 29, 2007

The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.

Ten years ago, on April 29, 2007, Backlash 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. Personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

WWE Backlash 2007

No tagline this time, but the posted is a brilliant parody of The Shining, with Edge looking through a smashed door with an evil grin on his face.

The PPV starts off with a video package showing us what happened at WrestleMania: Undertaker won, Vince got his head shaved and Cena beat Michaels. Vince gets his revenge against Bobby by putting his title on the line after beating him down.

Batista threatens Undertaker and Taker replies by wanting to steal Batista’s soul. Shawn and Cena fought, Cena won and Edge and Randy want a title as well. Three championships are on the line tonight… but also the women’s championship.

Raw, Smackdown and ECW present WWE Backlash! Big pyro hits as we are welcomed to the soled out Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia where 14,500 people are crammed in to see the ninth annual Backlash. 194,000 bought it at home, a pathetic drop from the 220,000 the year previous and the worst ratings in a PPV so far this year. Only ECW One Night Stand in June would have lower PPV buys. Our announce team are Jumpin’ Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz, Maggle Cole and Cunt JBL.

Jerking the curtain for the fifth PPV in a row are the Hardys.

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Carlito and Johnny Nitro. What? Why? Put… actually, there’s no one really you can put on the preshow because the rest of the matches are money.!)

Team Extreme rock down to the ring, tag team belts around their waists after winning it from Cena and Michaels the day after WrestleMania. Obviously their amazing match caused… dissention!

Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch rock down, looking like a pair of hillbillies. Great. Remind me of the gosh-darned Godwinns.

World Tag Team Championship match: The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) (c) vs. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.

I’ve changed up the titles of the matches. Putting champion first or in order of appearance.

Wait, why did the challengers appear second? This doesn’t make any sense!

Fat Matt starts off and our boy Lance Cade is ready in his red pants. Lance shoves Matt into the corner. Both men are put over by the announcers. Headlock into a pin and Lance tips Matt over for a pin attempt of his own. Irish whip, elbow to the face and the heel Cade hits Matt with a clenched fist, the bastard. Murdoch pops in and gets punched in the face. Matt has Lance in a headlock but the big man powers through and shoves Matt into the corner to tag in Murdoch. Lovely body slam and Jeff comes in to a big pop, but he tags out quickly.

Lovely double team on Murdoch and Jeff hits a Whispers in the Wind pin, causing Cade to pop in and Matt to throw him out. Matt gets on all fours and we see a lovely Poetry in Motion over the top rope and out of the ring. Very safe catch from the challengers. Matt goes to Bret’s rope and hits the axe-handle nothing, bulldog attempt from the corner and Lance comes back in. Big “Let’s go, Hardys!” chant rises. Matt is in the beat down portion of the match, but escapes after a Russian Leg Sweep and Jeff comes in to clear house. Good man, Jeff. Lance attempts a baseball slide but Lance drags him out. Cade attempts the pin but finds nothing. Lovely spinebuster-powerbomb and Matt helps out the pin. Lance does a lovely atomic-drop-leg-drop Murdoch holds Jeff while Lance hits him. Lovely clothesline and pin attempt.

Murdoch is in, attempts a suplex, rolls it up into a pin, Murdoch gives the big boot and Lance is back in. I just realised that the hard cam is in the wrong position, with the entrance to the right of the screen. I wonder why. Snapmare, lovely headlock and the crowd is building to the hot tag after Jeff hits the jawbreaker. Murdoch is in, though, hitting Jeff with a backdrop and there’s a revolving door of beating up Jeff until the hot tag builds. Jeff hits a reverse enziguri, Matt is knocked off the apron to big boos and Murdoch attempts a lovely axe-handle smash. Jeff counters it, goes for the hot tag and Matt is in, clearing house. Bulldog to Murdoch and pin attempt. A Poetry in Motion attempt but Lance pulls Murdoch to safety. Matt goes to hit the Twist of Fate, fails, hits a Side Effect and in the pin, Lance dives out of nowhere. Murdoch attempts a pin but Matt kicks out and JR says, “A damaged Matt Hardy,” a good decade before it’s popular.

Murdoch hits a lovely sunset flip pin and then has a tantrum when Matt kicks out. Jeff and Land are getting ready. Matt escapes a suplex, hits the Twist of Fate and as Lance pulls Matt out to hit him, Jeff hits the Swanton. Matt escapes Lance’s clutches and gets the pin.

Matt Hardy has pinned Trevor Murdoch to retain the World Tag Team titles in 14:18

2017 comments:

Good opener, once again. I didn’t expect much from Trevor Murdoch or Lance Cade, but they did a good job. Match was slower paced and leading towards a huge spot that never really came. Enjoyable but forgettable.

2007 comments:

I wish Matt and Jeff could go back to just hitting lads with tables and ladders and chairs.

Grade: B.

Matt and Jeff celebrate. A sign in the crowd says, “Jeff, please Swonton [sic] Bomb me.” Replay of the ending. Almost a heelish move by the faces. Very cheeky. We actually get to hear the ending riff of the Hardy’s theme. The announcers put over the “huge rock concert” crowd for the Hardys.

Backstage, Umaga breathes heavily. Shane bigs him up. Shane does tell him, however, to listen to both Shane and Vince. Vince has a do-rag on to cover his bald head. Shane says, “Cool.” Vince is telling Shane that one of the two of them could be ECW champion. Vince says it should be Shane and then looks a bit annoyed. Shane returns and says that Vince deserves to be Champ considering Bobby shaved his head bald. Vince accepts this and Shane looks a bit miffed.

Back in the arena, Melina’s music hits. Jerry says, “Let me put my phone down… and grab my binoculars!” Once again, the champ is coming out first. What is with that? Melina is wearing a weird leopard print affair. She leg drops the apron.

Mickie James’ music hits and out she comes, waving to the crowd and getting little response.

WWE Women’s Championship match: Melina (c) vs. Mickie James.

Normally, the women’s match would be the piss-break match – and has been until quite recently when talented young women have been brought up – and here we have Mickie, who is quite good and passionate against Melina, who is a Diva and has not impressed in the ring recently.

Nice fireman’s carry from Mickie. JR says that this match might get out of order quickly due to their tempers and King says that we might see an actual wrestling match. JR says that he loves a wrestling match but also loves him a good catfight. The crowd chant for Mickie and she locks Melina up in a head scissors. Side headlock. Mickie checks her tits as Melina checks her eyes. She actually takes her contact out and then sucker punches Mickie. Great stuff. Mickie has Melina in the corner, lovely monkey flip, pin and nothing. Mickie goes top rope and Melina tosses her out. Ref starts the ten count and rolls in before the ref can count her out. Ref is very nice about making sure that the shoulders are down. Melina hits a tarantula on the ropes and JR says that it doesn’t matter if there’s a DQ – Melina keeps the championship either way. Melina goes top-rope and basically hangs Mickie from the turnbuckle. God damn.

Mickie fights back and the crowd pops. Melina sentons Mickie and JR quips: “That’s that you call ‘using all your assets’.” Mickie gives Melina a kick and both women get they gets kicked out to make a lovely double-split spot. Mickie dropkicks Melina twice. Long two-count. Mickie hits a great clothesline followed by another followed by a hair-pull and a fantastic sit-out neckbreaker. Close three count. Crowd are into this match now. Mickie hits a lovely crossbody and Melina replies with a reverse DDT for the pin.

Melina has pinned Mickie James to retain the Women’s title in 9:02.

2017 comments:

Great women’s match. Great match regardless of gender.

2007 comments:

Women can wrassle?!

Grade: A.

On the Card will return on May 6 2017 with the second part of Backlash 2007.

Attitude Era #11. In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker (April 20, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Weird Rock match.

Weird cut (must be my DVD) to Sable and Marvellous Wildman Marc Mero. Sable has won a Slammy and mutters her way through a promo. Dok Hendrix asks Mero about his Golden Gloves history as Stone Cold causes hell behind him. It’s very funny. Bulldog and Owen leave with what seems like a golf club. Weird.

Vince can’t seem to understand. He says that it’s a “wild and crazy night”.

Jesus Christ. Jesse James rocks down to the ring, singing a country song. Some mark in the crowd sings away. Jeff Jarrett says he sings that song.

Out comes the Honky Tonk Man. Fuck this guy. The crowd loves him though. Jerry goes crazy because they’re cousins. He sings away. Shit.

Honky gets the mic and cuts a great promo. He threatens to bring out a protégé and screws up the intro as Rockabilly – fucking Billy Gunn – comes out. JR disappears to talk to Honky. Two weeks ago, Billy Gunn got punched by Billy and Honky took him on anyways because he’s an idiot.

Jesse James vs. Rockabilly (with The Honky Tonk Man).

Nice to see Road Dogg and Mr. Ass before it all went south.

Billy hits Jesse and does a dance. Christ. This is going to be hard to watch. Lovely hip toss where Billy jumps very high and yelps, “Oh Jesus!” as he goes over. James jumps off the apron, hammers Billy with a great shot. He threatens Honky, who says, “You’re a goof!” Billy asks for a time out and gets a cheap shot in. Lovely Famasser from Billy when Jesse telegraphs a back body drop. Billy points at his arse, foreshadowing his later moniker.

They talk about Stone Cold getting attacked earlier and apparently Austin is “shaken up”. Bollocks. Lovely neckbreaker and pin attempt. Irish Referee Tim White shrugs. Apparently in the Superstar Room, where viewers can ring in to chat to stars, Sunny and Brian Pillman are asking some personal questions. Billy does a dance, big jump, misses Jesse and faceplants. Both men are down but crawl around until Jesse hits the punches, knocks the fuck out of Billy, goes for the ten punch, gets a whole ten, goes some dances and runs the rope before being tossed out of the ring. Rockabilly falls out of the ring and rolls him in, does a dance and sets up for what seems to be… a superplex? There’s a quick roll-up and Jesse gets the pin.

Jesse James has pinned Rockabilly in 6:46.

2017 comments:

Moments of greatness interspaced with shite.

1997 comments:

These two are relics.

Grade: C.

Honky goes to hit Jesse with the guitar and misses.

Backstage, Kevin Kelly is chatting to Austin. He denies medical attention – and has no injuries to show – and screams. Gorilla Monsoon is hanging about. He says that no one knows who is hurt more than Steve Austin – other than a doctor, apparently – and has moved about the card to ensure that Austin can have more time to heal.

The lad Lance in the Hart locker room repeats everything just said. Bulldog and Owen talk some nonsense about Stone Cold poking his nose into people’s business.

Back by the arena, Vince introduces the next match with a promo showing wrestlers looking scared. Lovely stock sound effects in a modulator, all reversed and twisted. The line, “The deranged battlefield of the mind,” is used amidst children crying. It’s real hammy shit. Paul Bearer is there, too. We see the Paul-in-a-cage match, the Boiler Room Brawl and replays of Mankind using flash paper to get some fire in Taker’s eyes. Lots of use of “blind” and “vision”

Backstage, balding Mankind and screechy Paul cut a promo with Kevin Kelly.

Smoke crawls from the In Your House house as Mankind rocks in with Paul Bearer. He has… a fire extinguisher with him. Brilliant. The sound on my DVD gets a little warped then, like they left the modulator on.

The lights flicker and the crowd goes apeshit as the bells go to announce ‘Taker arriving with some Revenge. He rocks in with some crazy armour on like Viggo the Carpathian. He tosses something into the ring (might be the belt) and attacks Mankind to start the match.

WWE Championship Match: The Undertaker (c) vs. Mankind (with Paul Bearer).

Lots of spooooky smoke in the ring there.

Taker hammers on Mankind in the corner for a while, his hair covering his eye due to the injury. Taker was supposed to be a Deadman, though, impervious to pain. Taker does his Michael Myers sit up and Mankind runs at him. Both men fall out of the ring and land on their feet. Taker ruthlessly throws Mankind into the railings, lifts him and tosses him into the crowd. Undertaker throws him right back onto the mat and rolls in and out of the ring to break the count before hammering Mick’s head off the railings.

Undertaker throws Mankind back into the ring and beats him on the ropes. JR rhymes off a bunch of facts for Mankind’s injuries – the best day of his life was when he lost an ear, one leg is longer than the other due to injury. Taker goes for Old School and continues to beat on the mental man. Paul runs onto the apron and as Taker grabs him, Mankind bonks him on the noggin with the urn. Mankind yanks his hair out like the big psycho he is. It’s Mankind’s turn to take over. Jerry and JR talk about Vader for a bit. Jerry sings Vader’s theme. Mankind hits the spinning neckbreaker, attempts a pin and fails. Paul Bearer is very angry about it.

Mick hits the Vulcan Nerve Grip. Rest hold city.

The crowd chant, “Rest in peace!” as Taker fights back, punching Mankind out of the ring. Taker gets dragged out and the two men have a chat before Mankind gets his head thrown into the steel steps. He retaliates by hitting Undertaker with a pitcher of water. Vince questions how it isn’t a DQ. Mankind gets a chair and hits Taker in the head. No DQ so far. Big Texas Red is getting his head kicked in. Mankind goes to Bret’s rope and hits Undertaker with an elbow to the outside. He boots Taker in the head when he stands up. Close up of Undertaker and his made-up eye.

Big old piledriver in the centre of the ring from Mankind. Taker fights back but gets another piledriver. Mankind squeals like a pig, boy! He follows Taker about, punching him every step of the way until Undertaker eventually retaliates. Lovely running of the ropes and jumping clothesline to allow Taker to fight back. Taker turns on the ref and there is a predictable ref bump. Mankind hits the Mandible Claw and a second ref arrives before being tossed out. Paul throws in a chair and Mankind leaves to get the steel steps. As Mankind lifts them mid-ring, Taker sits up, boots the steps – and Mankind – lifts the chair and cracks Mankind with it. Jerry cannot hide his genuine horror.

Mankind is thrown out, gets his head caught in a hangman, the very thing that lost him an ear. In escaping, the mask goes flying and Undertaker tosses him off the apron  through a table. Undertaker hits a chokeslam and gets the one, two and Mankind kicks out. Great.

Taker slits his throat, hits the Tombstone Piledriver and gets the three.

The Undertaker has pinned Mankind in 17:26.

2017 comments:

Brilliantly brutal.

1997 comments:

Well, Mankind is dead, I guess.

Grade: A.

“It’s a good thing Paul Bearer is wearing a dark suit,” is said as Taker drags him into the ring and there’s a Botchy McBotchface between all three men. Taker has something in his hand, it seems like… yes! It’s flashpaper! He hits Paul with it. The announcers let on it’s some sort of magic or something. Vince considers whether or not it was called for. Oh, now is not the time to get all moral. The music hits and…

On the Card will return on May 4 2017 with the third and final part of In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.