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.

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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.

Attitude Era #11. In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker (April 20, 1997) Part 1

On the Card: Attitude Era #11 In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker – April 20, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at WrestleMania 13. It was the WrestleManiaiest WrestleMania. The next PPV was In Your House, the fourteenth of its name and its subtitle was Revenge of the ‘Taker. Yeah, not Undertaker… ‘Taker. Oh, old Vince would have gone bananas over young Vince for that.

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

WWF In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker 1997

Ain’t no tagline here.

Lovely grey intro to show Mankind burning Taker with some lovely flash paper cut with Mankind screeching crazy stuff. Cut to the Undertaker’s Entrance and Big Texas Red’s voice as he reads from a piece of paper to tell him that he has a wicked rage. Lightning strikes! Pyro hits and the ring erupts as we are welcomed to Rochester Community War Memorial in Rochester, New York. What a place to have a wrestling PPV. Vince screams himself half to death… as a mariachi band plays. No time to introduce the announcers – Vince McMahon, Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler – as “rrrrrrrrrwhattaraaaaash!” and the motherfucking Legion of Doom rock out – Hawk and Animal – and the crowd go ballistic. Some smelly mark in the crowd is wearing the LOD armour. The grainy footage, awesome music and huge men make this especially terrifying. Christ, I remember watching this and thinking that these men were genuine monsters who lived in the Badlands.

Cut to two weeks ago at RAW where those gosh darned Godwinns throw their slop at Owen and Bulldog, but the pair duck and LOD get splashed! Oh, the humanity! LOD beat seven shades out of them for it, but then take a loss a week later due to Owen bopping one of them with the belt! The rascals.

Finally we see our announce team. They all look lovely. JR is shouting as fast as he can to get all the lines out as quickly as possible. There are 6,477 souls in attendance with a buyrate at home of 176,250. Vince calls LOD “pumped and jacked.”

Speaking of jacked, out comes Bulldog and two-time Slammy-Award-Winning Owen Hart.

(Note: Before the PPV began there was a match on Free-For-All featuring Flash Funk and his two Funkettes: Tracy and Nadine being soundly beaten by The Sultan (Rikishi).)

JR tells us that LOD need to win early because the longer a match goes on, the more chance that the agile gentlemen will win.

Tag Team Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal).

I’ve changed up the titles: order of entrance or champions first if it’s a title match. I like that the challengers come out first though. That’s very respectful.

I love how LOD are still introduced as Road Warrior Animal and Road Warrior Hawk. It’s nice.

Animal and Owen start off together. Animal beats seven shades out of Owen, even jumping in the air to shoulder barge him. The pair lock up and Owen stomp-punches Animal, applying a facelock and taking a lovely lift for it. Bulldog tags in, tassles and all. Hawk is tagged in and after a great dropkick, a pin attempt. Lovely pace here, really nice to watch. Hawk gives Bulldog a shoulder barge, Owen the ”shove it up ye” sign and Bulldog takes over after a telegraphed back body drop and stalling suplex. Owen is in and tries to hit the Sharpshooter as newly-faced JR talks about America and how great it is. Animal is tagged in and hits a fantastic snap powerslam. Beautiful.

Side-by-side shot of Stone Cold turning up as Animal hits a lovely gorilla press. Animal asks for a tag without even looking and Hawk gives a great splash from the top rope. Hawk is thrown into the corner and as he hits it, bumps into Owen who sells like death. The crowd are going ballistic. Bulldog tags in and stands over Hawk, stomping him. JR says some heelish things. Bulldog knocks Hawk to the ground, who is building to a hot tag. Owen hits the sleeper hold and Hawk passes out almost immediately. JR and Jerry have a wee back-and-forth. Bulldog lifts Hawk, who escapes it and tags in Animal for a fantastic super powerslam and the win.

Animal has pinned The British Bulldog to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in… 10:11?

I think my DVD skipped something because the timing was closer to seven minutes than ten. Maybe there were some rest holds they cut out. I’ve heard of them shortening DVDs before so this may be true.

Oh wait, a second referee turns up and announces that the pinfall does not count as Bulldog was not the legal man and so the match must continue and if Bulldog and Owen don’t go back to the ring by ten, they will lose the belts (an illegal action as belts cannot change on a countout regardless of whether illegal wrestlers were pinned or not). The crowd begin to count to ten. Bulldog and Owen rush in. Owen actually throws Hawk out. Owen tags in and knocks down Animal. The announcers give off about the inconsistencies. Brilliant. The crowd bay for LOD.

Owen distracts the ref as there is a sunset flip behind him. Vince calls Bulldog and Owen hooligans. We see the alleged illegal move that sends Owen out. Hawk is in, kicking seven shades of shite out of the boys. Dangerous-looking Doomsday Device where Owen damn near lands on his neck. There’s a pin and the ref stalls just in time for Bret Hart to pop in and cost LOD the tag titles.

Bret Hart has interfered with the match, meaning that The Legion of Doom win by disqualification. However, Owen Hart and The British Bulldog are still WWF Tag Team Champions in 10:11.

2017 comments:

That flew by. That was one of the best matches I have seen in this blog, by Christ. LOD destroyed Bulldog and Owen. Great pace, great high impact. Everyone looked fantastic. The only thing is the LOD are awful at selling and it would have been nice to see Owen and Bulldog maybe get close to winning a few times, two-counts, that sort of thing. First “match” was amazing, but the reset lost momentum, energy and wasn’t fun to watch, which was a shame.

1997 comments:

Who are these glorious men?

Grade: A.

Real shame. LOD were super over and should have won. They clean house as the crowd call the Hart Foundation all the cunts of the day. Both Hawk and Animal stand mid-ring, looking pissed off. The ref runs off from Hawk and Animal, who look legit pissed.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix says that Owen and Bulldog are lucky to win. Owen reacts amazingly when Hendrix tells him Stone Cold has arrived.

Back in the arena, a bunch of white boys raise their fists as Savio Vega and Crush saunter to the ring with JC Ice and Wolfie D. The Nation of Domination stand mid-ring, an absolutely great bunch of lads. By any means necessary. We see a replay of Savio pulling on Rock’s tights.

Backstage, my boy KK Kevin Kelly speaks to The Rock, who hammers through his promo with the same speed that JR rocks through his lines. Where is the charismatic Rock, you say? He’s about half a year away. Chill.

He pops down to the ring, doing his Rock walk despite still being Rocky Maivia. Though he speaks not like The Rock, he moves like him and jumps into the ring with his belt still on! The psycho!

Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Savio Vega (with Crush and the Nation of Domination).

Savio is knocked down instantly and Rocky pops the belt off, giving a lovely hip toss before Faarooq appears with his injured shoulder. Rocky does a lovely jump and two more hip tosses. Faarooq sits beside the announcers and due to microphone issues, we can’t hear him. JR gives him his own mic and Faarooq gives off about it. It turns out Faarooq has challenged Ahmed Johnson to a match against all the members of the NOD. In the ring, nothing happens. The crowd cheer for Rocky and he hits a lovely crossbody. Faarooq tells us that if Ahmed can defeat the NOD, then the Nation will be disbanded. Vince says there’s no way that Ahmed can defeat Savio Vega, Crush and Faarooq on the same night.

Faarooq has a great line – “It’s like we’re married, me and Ahmed – ‘til death do us part!” This is followed by a lot of death talk.

Vulcan nerve pinch mid-ring on Rocky. Rock hits a great bridging suplex but the ref is distracted – second time this night – and the pin is broken. Savio chops Rocky in the corner, getting big “woo!”s from the crowd. A pin attempt. A fail. Jerry says that Ahmed is hooked on ebonics. Rock hits a lovely spinning DDT – “a classic manoeuvre!” from Vince – and a pin attempt but fails. Roll up, pull of the pants and Savio attempts a shoulder barge but fails. Rock hits a fantastic backdrop-to-kip-up combo. Another pin attempt. Rock hits a lovely Rock Bottom and backslide. Crush stands on the hard cam like a goon and Rock is thrown into him. Crush hits the heart punch when the ref’s back is turned and the official begins a countout.

Rocky Maivia has been counted out, meaning that Savio Vega wins by countout. However, Rocky Maivia is still WWF Intercontinental Champion in 8:33.

2017 comments:

It was a storyline match where the action failed when Faarooq was cutting his promo. Not very good despite both men being amazing.

1997 comments:

Ohhhh. Tag team dissention?

Grade: C.

Two matches, two screwy finishes and two ref distractions. Not good.

Savio gives off to Crush, who walks into the ring. The crowd go bananas as Faarooq and Immigration Clarence Mason and the rest of the Nation head in. The men decide to just beat on Rocky instead. JR calls them a pack of dogs. Out comes Ahmed with a 2×4, shouting nonsense and taking off his top. The rascal. You can’t take him anywhere. Rocky gets to his feet. Ahmed calls Savio an illegal immigrant, Crush a convict and Faarooq, a black ass. He takes the challenge to fight all of NOD in one night. Rock is gone, the camera is on Ahmed. This was never a Rocky match, this was not about the Intercontinental champion, it was about NOD and Ahmed. Rock hugs Ahmed.

On the Card will return on April 27 2017 with the second part of In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.

ATTITUDE ERA #10: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 3

Previously on On the Card: Chyna.

Promo for Bret and Stone Cold. Bret says that he’s been screwed by Shawn, Stone Cold and the WWF. Just wait nine months, brother. Stone Cold gives off to the Shitman, beats on him and whups his aaaaass. The announcer lets on that Stone Cold is some sort of false prophet. We see Bret applying the Sharpshooter.

Ken Shamrock is mid-ring, an absolute tank of a man. He is terrifying, no doubt about it.

Backstage, Stone Cold is walking towards the ring. It’s so weird to hear the smashing glasses without the crowd going berserk. Stone Cold has a special sheet of sugar glass set up with Austin 3:16 written on it. As he walks near it, it shatters and he walks right through it. I love him. By Christ he’s great.

Bret’s music hits and, of course, he gets a bigger pop that Stone Cold. Farty pyro. He walks over the broken glass, strolls right up the aisle and Vince says he has a mixed reaction. No mix. He’s getting a pop, by Christ. Vince is just making it out that he’s a tweener. Bret enters the ring and Stone Cold tackles him, forcing the bell to ring to begin the match.

Submission match with Ken Shamrock as special guest referee: Bret The Hitman Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin via Sharpshooter in 22:05.

Stone Cold is battering the shite out of Bret but then the pair of them roll out of the ring. No pinfalls, no count out, no disqualifications. It’s what later becomes known as an “I Quit” match, though it is not named as such. Bret tosses Austin into the barricade and he replies by suplexing Bret on, his balls hitting the metal. McMahon tells us to forget about it. The two men run into the crowd. Austin steals a beer and throws it onto Bret, stomping a mudhole in him and walking it dry. The crowd get around the camera and Stone Cold is looking for weapons but can’t find any. Bret drags Austin up the stairs and some dopey fan tries to touch the wrasslers. King says, “Hit that drunk!”

The pair of them are lost in the crowd. Austin takes a bump onto the steps. Punches are thrown. A chant rises. Finally, they get back into the ring and Stone Cold tosses Bret into the steel steps. He follows it up with a jump from the apron after flipping the bird. Good man, Stone Cold. Stairs are lifted up and Austin takes a nasty fall on his arse. Bret batters away with the fists on Austin. Both men roll in and Bret hits the swinging neckbreaker, goes to his own rope and drops the axe handle on Austin.

Bret knocks Austin’s knee, softening him up for the Sharpshooter. Shamrock asks Austin if he wants to quit. He says, “No!” obviously. Sure the match has hardly started. We still have fifteen minutes left. Bret bumps like a boss, crashing down on the left leg of Austin. Stunner from Stone Cold and he has some time to recover. King says something sensible, “You need to be careful. Bret can’t submit if he’s unconscious.”

Bret gets up, not really selling the Stunner, and gets a hanging Figure Four on the turnbuckle corner. Austin escapes and rolls out. Bret rolls Austin back in and goes for the ring bell, picking up a blue bell with – what looks like – pee stains all up on it. Bret puts the chair around Stone Cold’s ankle and the place erupts. As he goes top rope, Austin jumps up and busts Bret on the head and back with the chair. Body slam, Irish whip, Stone Cold back in control. He gives a lovely snap suplex, goes to Bret’s rope and hits the double-fingers and the elbows.

Cut to Bret’s daughter in the audience, hands over her face. King laughs. Russian leg sweep and submission. King calls for Austin to break Bret’s neck. Cunt. Bret’s dad looks horrified. Ould Stu. Austin hits the Boston Crab. Bret drags himself to the rope, laboriously, and breaks the hold. It’s no DQ. It should not have made a difference! Stone Cold attempts to get Bret into the Sharpshooter and the crowd pops. Bret fights Austin off and gets tossed out of the ring. Austin taunts the crowd, leaves and gets tossed past the cameraman into the announcers and the timekeepers. Austin takes the time to blade and has bust himself wide open.

Steve is thrown into the ringpost and is bust very badly. Bret hardways Stone Cold some more. Austin is bleeding a lot. Backbreaker followed by a Bret’s rope elbow. A chair shot to Austin’s injured knee. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter and is unable to get it in. Blood is everywhere. Bret beats on Austin’s face and gets a kick to the balls for his effort. Austin is bleeding heavily and lifts Bret by the hair, tossing him into the ring post. He stomps a mudhole in Bret and walks it dry. Bret it put on top of the turnbuckle and both men fall with a superplex. Austin is a bloody mess. Bret gets thrown out and he gets some electrical cord. Both men face the hard cam and as Bret chokes, he lifts the ring bell up and smashes Austin.

Bret goes for the Sharpshooter. Austin can’t reach the ropes. He’s a bloody mess, looking up, screaming, shouting, “Nooo!” the blood squirting from his head, dripping down into his teeth. He half-breaks the Sharpshooter, tries to reach the rope. Ken asks, “Steve! Do you submit? If you do not answer, you will lose!” Austin passes out and Ken rightfully ends the match, giving the win by submission to Bret Hart in 22:05.

2017 comments:

Slow-paced, brilliantly fought match. One of the best matches from either men and one of the best WrestleMania matches of all time.

1997 comments:

Good man yourself, boys. What more can be said?

Grade: A

Bret goes to beat on Austin some more and Shamrock gives him a little suplex. Big pop from the crowd as Bret is making his heel turn. Boos from the crowd as he leaves. Bret looks genuinely pissed off, like he can’t understand the whole heel/face dynamic. Reminds me of the time Batista had a huff.

Austin is getting help from the ref, stunners him to zero applause and leaves to applause, limping is way backstage alone. He gets big, “Austin! Austin!” chants at a time when chants did not exist. He walks backstage, limping the whole way. What a man.

JR and Vince put over the Bret Hart heel turn. Big closeups of the blood. King puts over Stone Cold and says he did not submit.

Back stage, Faarooq is with Todd Pettengill, Nation of Domination and Immigration Clarence Mason. Faarooq gives off about the Road Warriors and Ahmed Johnson.

In the arena, NOD’s music hits and JC Ice and Wolfie D absolutely kill it with their nice white boy rap. The NOD have brought lots of weapons. They all lift their fists together. Fucking great stable. In the ring tonight is Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega. Vince tells us that WrestleMania is going to be in Boston next year and not to buy tickets.

Ohhhhhhh what a rush! The Legion of Doom, those enemies of the Super Friends! Black Manta, Giganta, Toyman, the Riddler, Lex…. Wait… I’m thinking of the other ones. Sorry, you mean The Legion of Doom/The Road Warriors/The Hell Raisers/The Hell Warriors/LOD 200 and LOD 2005. Hawk and Animal rock down to the ring with their spiked armour and with Ahmed Johnson, who has some spiked armour of his own. What a bunch of yokes.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The team were known as both the Road Warriors and the Legion of Doom through their time. They were originally managed by Paul Ellering and have had Sunny and Christy Hemme as valets. Previous members of the team have included Crush (who they fight tonight), Dusty Rhodes, Puke (also known as Droz), and Heidenreich.

These men are so over. The crowd is going bananas for them. They have actually brought a kitchen sink to this match. Faarooq attacks the lads and the bell rings.

Chicago Street Fight: The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson def. The Nation of Domination via pin in 10:45.

No countouts, no disqualifications…. Unless the storyline calls for it, of course. This should be a schmoz, but it might not be. LOD stereo gorilla press JC Ice and Wolfie D. Clarence Mason gets thrown about. Hawk gets the crap kicked out of him by everyone and Faarooq batters Animal. Ahmed jumps into the crowd after Crush and hammers him with a trash can. Hawk has the 2×4, misses Savio, hits the ring ropes and the wood fires into the air. He catches it! Anmial has Faarooq on the announce table… and botches it. Was it supposed to be a piledriver? Apparently.

The crowd chant for LOD. A fire extinguisher has went off ringside. The match collapsed into a schmoz with no spots. One of the NOD lads sets up a street sign in the corner and hawk is thrown into it. JR says, “This is amazing. This is a history-making WrestleMania,” and although I know this is garbage wrestling… I’m enjoying it. Ahemd body slams Faarooq through a table. The French announcers are gone. Crowd chant for LOD. Another fire extinguisher used. Brilliant. This is top class. Savio tries to get the trash can on Ahmed but it falls off. He gets a rope and puts it around Ahmed’s neck, a lovely wee noose. Looks like we’re gonna have a good, old-fashioned lynching, boys!

Hawk goes into the ropes and hits the double clothesline. King quips, “That was the first wrestling match I’ve seen all night.” One of the NOD guys seems to be D’lo Brown. Nice one, D’lo! The parking sign is being swung about. Faarooq his choking Hawk and Crush is battering on Animal. There’s a good old stomping happening over on Ahmed. Something happens with the noose and we see that Hawk pulled Faarooq off the top turnbuckle. Faarooq is getting lynched by Ahmed and he is finally released. Vince states that there has to be a pin at some point and Ahmed takes the hint, setting up the Pearl River Plunge. The ring is cleared and Crush is set up by LOD for the Doomsday Device. Great stuff. Ahmed has the 2×4 and there is a weak battering with it and a loose pin for the win in 10:45.

2017 comments:

Garbage wrestling, waste of time, no spots and no storyline… but I fucking loved it. Seriously. What a fun match. It was just a bunch of lads hitting each other with things.

1997 comments:

This… this is terriric. What type of match did you say that was? A hard… core match. Hardcore, huh? And what would softcore be? Oh right. Well I much prefer hardcore, thank you very much.

Grade: A

NOD pop back in and people are Pearl River Plunged left and right. Double Doomsday Device on JC Ice and Wolfie D. Ahmed’s arse cheek is out. Nice.

That was easily the piss-break match but it was fucking great. I love LOD. Big Roid Bellies on them.

On the Card will return on April 13 2017 with the fourth and final part of WrestleMania 13.

Attitude Era #9. In Your House 13: Final Four (Feb 16, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Two pillars of wrestling have a decent match four years before they reach their peak.

Cut to a promo for WrestleMania XIII.

Back in the locker room, Kevin Kelly chats up Vader mit Paul Bearer. Vader says the following: “Stone Cold… Steve… Austin… You done let that canader… that… gator butt… get that canary mouth in trouble, brother.” He then gives off about Bret and Undertaker, hitting their catchphrases. P Bizzle comes over and straight-up shoots on them. Terrible promo.

Already in the ring are Doug Furnas and Philip Lafon.

British Bulldog music hits and out come Bulldog and Owen. Owen slides beneath Owen’s arms to be in front of the camera. Lovely. We see a shot where Bulldog was eliminated by Owen at Royal Rumble. Brilliant. Owen walks to Bulldog, gives him a pat on the chest and points, saying, “You.” Bulldog slaps back and says, “You,” to Owen. Owen shurgs meekly, points at himself, “Me?” he asks. Brilliant pantomime.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon def. Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (c) (w/ Clarence Mason) via pin in 10:30.

I just noticed that Clarence Mason is there. Isn’t he also working for the NOD? Are Owen and Bulldog not members of the NOD? Questions…

Owen starts off and Doug start off with some lovely chain wrestling. JR puts over both men. Owen kips up and runs to the corner where Phil is there. Owen hits the Irish whip, monkey flips Lafon into a pin and the pair trade rolling near-falls. King calls Owen, “Slammy-Award Winning Owen Hart”, which is the only way to describe him. Bulldog comes in and the pair have a lovely bunch of chain wrestling. Owen kicks Phil in the corner when he gets the Irish whip. Bulldog cheers to the crowd. In the corner, with the ref distracted, Bulldog attacks Lafon. JR says, “kick right in the kidneys… right in the Ahmed Johnsons.”

Owen gives a reverse-crossbody off his brother’s rope and it rolls into a pin. Lots of pins here. Bulldog is in and they give Lafon a lovely clothesline. Bulldog stomps Lafon and there is a lovely sunset flip but ref is distracted by Owen. Bulldog does a lovely flip and gets ready for the Sharpshooter but is hurt. JR tells us that Chyna, who does not have a name yet, has been ejected from the building but that Cornette, Sunny, Rocky and Trips are on the Superstar Line. Bulldog hits a lovely long delayed suplex and Owen dives off the top rope for a cross body. They trade near falls for a bit and distract the ref. Lafon bounces Bulldog and Owen’s heads together. Bulldog and Owen argue and they chare punches. Bulldog clotheslines Owen, almost ruins his chances to retain the championship and remembers right before Owen gets down for the pin.

What the fuck is happening? Lafon is back in and hits a lovely bridging belly-to-belly but fails. Doug hits a great hurricanrana and Bulldog breaks up a pin for about the fifth time. Lovely DDT and leg drop combo. Owen hits the enziguri on Doug and both men are down. Big hot tag being built up. Bulldog hits the dropkick, Lafon does a lovely wraparound sunset slip and Owen comes in but is tossed out. Bulldog has the powerslam but Owen has the Slammy and DQs himself before Bulldog has a chance to win. Win goes to Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon in 10:30.

2017 comments:

Very, very fast match. They crammed a twenty-minute match into ten minutes. Well done the lads.

1997 comments:

I hope Owen kicks the shite out of Bulldog.

Grade: A

Bulldog is furious with Owen. He throws his tag belt away. Crowd are baying for blood. He is furious that he lost. He grabs Owen’s Slammy and throws it, breaking it. Bulldog goes for Clarence Mason and finally leaves, but not before Owen lifts Bulldog’s arms in victory. We see a replay of the times that Owen and Bulldog have argued this match. Tag Team Turmoil! Dissension in the ranks!

On the Card will return on March 16 2017 with the fifth and final part of In Your House 13: Final Four 1997.

Attitude Era #9. In Your House 13: Final Four (Feb 16, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Good curtain jerker.

Cut to Shawn at Raw on Thursday. He reveals that he is not going to be near the belt for some time. He says that he may be beyond reconstructive knee surgery and is not happy to perform half-assed. He says that the schedule over the last year has damn near killed him. Kids in the crowd are horrified. Shawn says that he loved being champ: lear jets, MTV sessions, parties etc. He says that he is not tough enough right now. He hands the belt to Gorilla Monsoon to big boos. He tells the crowd that he’s leaving, he’s going home, he’s going to see if he can find his damn smile. A great promo, really heartfelt. I remember watching this and being moved to tears and very angry that the industry that I love has turned one of its best stars into a broken man. This is a motif that repeats over the years in wrestling. Shawn is not the first and he will not be the last man ruined by wrestling.

Cut to Sid who is ripping into a mental whisper-shout promo. He never got his rematch against Michaels and so the winner of the Final Four match must face Sid.

Cut back to the arena and Honkey is thankfully gone. Flash Funk is here, however, with his Funkettes! He’s going out to shake hands and high-five the crowd. Great lad. Great song as well. Very… what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s that… you know… seventies vibe. Upbeat. Soulful. Has rhythm and blues all up in it. I forget. The announcers, thank Christ, don’t fuck up the damn song.

Gunshots fire! Bodacious Bart Gunn comes out with his huge arms and high fives our boy Funk. Cut to a Raw four weeks ago where Bart was beaten by Faarooq. JR calls the NOD a “pack of dogs”. Jeepers.

Then Goldust comes out and I have to resist the temptation to write the rest of the review in all caps because Goldie is an absolute fucking hero. We see a shot of Goldust about to stop Crush but Savio Vega Pearl Harboured him from behind. So two out of three of these men hate the NOD.

Then they come down, rapping and shit. We have Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega. And they’re walking through the damn crowd! Who are they? The fucking Shield? No, they’re the Nation of Domination and potential African American stereotypes.

Goldie slides out of the ring to watch the boys. Some of the crowd are actually raising their fists. Christ, what a stable. By any means necessary. JR doesn’t agree with them philosophically, but they’re some band of lads. Certainly better than the fucking Spirit Squad.

The Nation of Domination (Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega) (w/ Clarence Mason) def Goldust, Bart Gunn and Flash Funk (w/ Marlena) via pin in 6:42.

Jerry and JR have a miscommunication as the six-man tag starts up. Faarooq gets the mic but Goldust says, “Fuck it!” and attacks him before it can start. NOD are thrown out and the faces get a big pop. Flash Funk jumps off the turnbuckle onto the lads but un ring, Faarooq and Goldust batter the shite out of each other. Bart Gunn, of course, got a Dominator from Faarooq, the most dangerous and messed-up move in wrasslin’. Goldie goes to jump over Faarooq but gets a lovely spinebuster. Savio Vega is in and Flash Funk gives him a lovely super hurricanrana from the top turnbuckle before the NOD pull Savio out. Bart just picks up Flash and chucks him outside on the NOD. Great.

In the rin, Crush is tagged in and batters on Flash Funk. JR calls him a jailbird.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Crush was arrested in Hawaii two years earlier in March 1995 for having 500 units of steroids and several unregistered semi-automatic guns! This was added into his character, hence JR’s comment.

Jerry makes fun of Crush by saying, “he never actually went to jail, but went to the mall and paid for everything in cigarettes.” Hilarious. Faarooq is in and hits Flash on the back of the head. Faarooq jumps up and down on Funk and the green man rolls over, busting the NOD leader in the balls. Savio comes in and distracts the ref, allowing Crush to hit the spike piledriver on Flash. JR calls it, “a mugging”. Faarooq and Savio attempt the double clothesline but Flash does a lovely backflip, double clotheslines the boys, gets lots of heat, tags in Bart Gunn with the hot tag, gives a lovely powerslam to Faarooq and Goldust is in. It’s a damn free-for-all. Faarooq goes for the Dominator but fails. Bart gets the bulldog off the top rope and Crush leg drops him, rolls over Faarooq and NOD get the pin in 6:52.

2017 comments:

Not enough Goldust.

1997 comments:

An okay match, but really it was just there to advance the feud for two of the three faces. The issue with a huge stable is that they have so many feuds going on at one time and it gets messy. Because of this, we saw lots of beating on Flash Funk and not much action from Goldust or Bart.

Grade: C

NOD celebrate mid-ring and the announcers call Faarooq a great athlete.

On the Card will return on March 2 2017 with the third part of In Your House 13: Final Four 1997.

Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Flash Funk and Leif Cassidy tear the house down! Not literally, though, that happens later.

Razor Ramon and Kane-Diesel are coming to the ring and getting super boos. Nice pyro, though.

Cut to backstage and Slammy-award winning Owen Hart along with British Bulldog and Immigration Clarence Mason are being shouted at by Kevin Kelly, who gives the lads stick for their lack of cohesion as a team. They then arrive into the arena, full of piss and vinegar, ready to kick ass, chew bubblegum and quote old movies. Before the match begins, we see Owen and Bulldog attempt to attack Steve Austin in an earlier taping of Superstars but get knocked back by Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon. Owen takes the time to shout at the lads before the bell rings.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (w/ Clarence Mason) def. Fake Razor Ramon and Fake Diesel via pin in 10:45.

At the start, the first thing I notice is that the tag teams are in the wrong corners before moving to the right ones. Diesel beats on Diesel for a while before the strength takes over, shoving our boy Hart to the ground. Diesel tries again and Owen hits the damn kip-up.

Then Cybernetico and Pierroth appear by the side of the ring. These boys are from AAA, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración which stands for “Assistance, Assessment, and Administration”. And they are a wrestling promotion. I shouldn’t be surprised. There’s one in Japan called WAR… which stands for Wrestling and Romance.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The AAA doesn’t really have weekly televised events like RAW or Smackdown, instead it shows traditional PPVs… until the advent of a little TV show called Lucha Underground, of course.

JR completely sells the fact that the luchas are here and taking part in the Rumble next month. One of them removes their shirt like Hogan. JR tells us that the boy with the shirt off is Cybernetico. The Luchas leave with little event and Bulldog and Razor lock up. Business just picks up as the crowd rise to see Stone Cold come out. Bulldog attacks Stone Cold and a brawl takes place. One of the cameras is hit and now has a lovely pink sheen over it. Bulldog goes back in the ring as officials drag Stone Cold back into the locker room area. Owen and Bulldog take over on Razor, yanking on his arm until Razor hits Owen with the clothesline. Huge clothesline it is as well. Owen goes to the top rope and hits a great dropkick but gets nothing.

Diesel tips Owen out and throws him into the ringpost. Razor beats on Owen and gets Diesel in who hits the huge Bossman Slam and doesn’t pin Owen. JR goes bananas, screaming, “You’re supposed to cover him!” Even though JR is heeling it up, that might have been a legit shout. Diesel is back in misses an elbow drop but keeps the control on Owen. He’s fighting back to get to Bulldog but getting nowhere. Owen hits the enziguri on Diesel, builds up to the hot tag and Bulldog is in, hits Razor with a handful of clotheslines, makes the heels hit skulls, drops the legs and gets an almost pin. Bulldog hits the suplex – such power! – and gets nothing. All four men swarm in and Diesel and Owen go over the top rope. Razor gets Bulldog in a powerbomb position, but Owen runs in, hits the spinning leg kick and Bulldog gets the pin in 10:45.

2016 comments:

Good, exciting match near the end. It doesn’t start that way and the build up is long and boring, sadly, probably due to Razor and Diesel.

1996 comments:

I’m beginning to like Owen but I will always hate Bulldog.

Grade: C

Razor pulls on the ref and gives off to him. JR complains to the crowd. Stone Cold comes in, attacks Bulldog and is removed from the premises. Then we have a long “hurt” spot with our boy Bulldog. Then he walks out.

Promo for Shawn Michael’s video, Heartbreak Express.

Vince is in the ring, introducing our boy Ahmed as he comes in to a rapturous applause. He is after Faarooq, it seems, and will stop at nothing to get him. Why does he want Faarooq? Because.

Vince tells us that Ahmed vs. Faarooq will happen at the Royal Rumble. Ahmed gives off about everything that he has lost – girlfriend, house, car – but keeps his fans. The crowd is super loud right now, so loud that the normally unintelligible Ahmed is even worse.

Nation of Domination music hits and out comes JC Ice and Wolfie D to drop some phat rhymes for you. Faarooq takes the mic, threatens everyone in the damn arena and says he’s going to forge his own race of people. Ahmed has a chance to shout back. All the NOD raise their fists apart from Crush, who drops his almost instantly. Ahmed says he wants to fight right now and the NOD leave.

On the Card will return on December 29 with the third part of In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996.

Attitude Era #6. Survivor Series (November 17, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Two of the all-time greats, Stone Cold and Bret, have a five star match.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix is speaking to Sid who looks like Brock Samson but sounds like an absolute Christopher Walken.

Cut to the gate and out comes Super Mario himself, Captain Lou Albano. He has no music although he should have Cyndi Lauper playing over him.

The motherfucking Nation of Domination music plays. Fuck yes. Old JC Ice and Wolfie D come out, rapping like the whitest of all white men, followed by Immigration Clarence Mason, Faarooq, and two of their unnamed goons in suits. Faarooq fires up the old fist there for the crowd. Good man yourself.

Out comes Rick Bognar AKA Fake Razor Ramon, or, as my wife calls him, Razor Ramen. She does it without sarcasm as she just (constantly) misreads his name. I could do worse, I suppose. JR complains that people are booing Razor as he is, “bigger, younger, stronger, better-looking than the first guy to have that name.” As he says this, Bowl Cut Kid himself pats him on the back. Surely this is the greatest point in Bognar’s life. It’s all downhill from here, bro. I love how Ross is attempting to heel it up and legitimately accepting that characters in wrestling are just that – only chracters.

Out comes Diesel, played by Dr. Isaac Yankem himself, Glenn Jacobs. He is now known as Kane.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: After the Curtain Call that took place in this very arena – Madison Square Gardens – in May 19, 1996, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left for the WCW, leaving their characters – Ramon and Diesel – behind. Their return was part of an aborted attempt to heel up JR, which is impossible as he is fucking awesome and the fans went with whatever he said.

Vader comes out to little fanfare, which is a shame considering he was main event status in past months. Jim Cornette is on commentary and slagging JR.

Their opponents arrive with a very short intro each: Savio Vega with a little dance; Yokozuno, described as, “even bigger than you, Jim Cornette,” by Vince (Jim: “I led Yoko to the WWF!” JR: “You led him to the buffet table!”); Flash Funk, the proto-Godfather with his Funkettes, the double-hos (JR: “I’ve never seen the yellow and red look so good in Madison Square Gardens!”); and “The Mystery Partner”, Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Jim Cornette can’t believe it. Yokozuna takes forever to get out of the ring as the bell tolls.

Survivor Series Tag Team Match: Faarooq, Vader, Razor Ramon and Diesel (w/ Clarence Mason and Jim Cornette) vs. Flash Funk, Jimmy Snuka, Savio Vega and Yokozuna ends in double disqualification in 9:48.

We have Flash Funk starting with our man Vader. Jim Cornette can’t believe it. Vader pushes Funk over and flexes but Funk just kip-ups and does a sexy little hip move. Vader hits a stiff clothesline and Flash runs the ropes before hitting a spinning heel kick that Vader begins to bump for about ten feet before Funk hits him. Vader is knocked outside and Funk moonsaults from the top rope to the outside. Vader hits Funk with a Vader Bomb and Yokozuna runs in with his big bottom filled with farts.

In comes Savio and Faarooq. Razor Ramon jumps in and Savio goes mental on him, dodging a kick and getting a lovely five-punch in the corner. Razor catches the cross-body and hits a fallaway slam to allow our boy Ka- I mean, Diesel into the ring. Diesel beats on Flash funk for a while but Diesel catches him in mid-air with a great clothesline. A moment of Aloha-Arning from Diesel but he escapes and tags in Faarooq. Funk is running rings around everyone. Faarooq catches him and hits a great spinebuster. Vader comes in, knocks Funk out and there is a schmoz in the corner as Savio beats on everyone.

Big Daddy Kane Dieself is on Yoko’s corner and Superfly Jimmy Snuka is in to a big pop from the crowd. Vader is in, throwing Snuka into the ropes and Superfly headbutts him before bodyslamming Vader. What a move! Snuka is in trouble in the corner and Razor takes over. Snuka slips between his legs and Savio Vega is in. Diesel pops in and Vader pulls the ropes so Savio falls outside. Faarooq takes the time to attack Savio and Cornetter slags Ahmed. Diesel hits the Jackknife Powerbomb on Savio and gets the pin.

Savio Vega has been eliminated by Fake Diesel in 08:39.

Snuka beats on Diesel and in comes Razor. Another headbutt to Razor and a knee to the face. Snuka goes to the top rope and hits the splash to pin Razor.

Razor Ramon has been eliminated by Superfly Jimmy Snuka in 09:28.

Diesel comes in and cracks Snuka with the steel chair. The whole thing descends into anarchy and chairs are thrown everywhere. Savio Vega comes out and both teams are disqualified despite only one member of each team using weapons in 9:48.

2016 comments:

To say this is the worst match of the card should not be a complaint as this card has been terrific so far but this would be a bad match even if it had gone out on Sunday Night Heat. Awful, disgraceful, terrible attempt at wrestling.

1996 comments:

That Diesel fellow. I like him. I wish he were more… on fire.

Grade: F

Promo for the upcoming Shawn vs. Sid match. We see Shawn sliding down to the ring on a rope as the announcer tells us that all men have wanted to be the champeen. We see Sycho Sid cutting his mental promos. We see Shawn versus Vader, Bulldog and Mankind. Misunderstandings breeds contempt and Sid attempts to justify his insanity. Shawn is being cocky. Story of his life.

Out comes Sid with his Stone Cold jacket on. Sid’s mad music hits and out he comes, offering fist bumps to all and sundry. Is he a heel? Is he a face? The crowd threaten to spill into the aisle once again as Sid asks the crowd if they happen to know who the man is? It’s you, Sid. You’re the man. JR tells us that SID stands, not for Sidney, but for Suddenly I’m Dominant.

Picture in picture tells us that Shawn Michaels and Jose Lothario are on their way to the ring. Shawn is a bit distracted but once his music hits… well, it’s Shawn. He’s got the moves. The fans are actually grabbing onto him and holding him back from the ring. Security are called. Bowl Cut Kid looks on, his kingdom falling into disarray. Shawn slips into the ring and hits the pyro, pulling off his chaps. Oh, what a time to be alive! Sid nods away. The bell rings.

WWF Championship Match: Sycho Sid def. Shawn Michaels by pin in 20:02.

Both men go to the corner and Shawn chucks something in his mouth. The pair lock up and Shawn falls down to Sid’s punches with Michaels springing back up with each shot. Referee Earl Hebner says something to Sid and Shawn takes over, sliding between Sid’s legs, punching Sid to the ground and getting him in a bit of a rest hold. Shawn slaps Sid. Sid boots Shawn. Head scissors and a kip-up. Both men are great here tonight. Sid lifts Shawn into a gorilla press and goes for the back body drop but Sid attempts to give him the powerbomb. Shawn escapes and stands outside for some time.

Sid is getting angry and runs after Shawn, who runs about the ring and finally rolls in to take over. He gets a bunch of boos as well! My God. Is he going heel? The crowd dislike him. A “Sycho Sid!” chant rises. Shawn continues to work on the leg of Sid and goes into the figure four leglock. Sid tries to hang on but finds it difficult. Wrestling Caesar in the front row looks on unimpressed. JR takes this time to talk about how awesome Shawn is. Sid rolls over to “reverse” the figure four and Shawn gets the ropes to break the hold. The crowd boo heavily. Shawn drags Sid mid-ring but Sid fights back. On his feet, our man Sycho gives Michaels a kick to the ribs and watches him for a while.

Sid is in control, reverses into the cameraman and pushes the camera away angrily. Sid boots on Michaels and goes for the big boot, misses and Michaels continues to beat on Sid with a dropkick to the knee followed by a great boo from the fans. Michaels attempts the figure four and gets kicked twice. Michaels almost rolls outside, gets back in and Sid knocks him right back out. Sid takes Michaels to the entrance and gorilla presses him onto the railing. Crazy times. The crowd cheer Sid on and JR reminds us that Bret is set to take on the winner of this match. Sid kicks Shawn in the face and rolls him in. Sid goes for the pin but Shawn kicks out.

Great back body drop from Sid. Michaels is getting his fuck kicked in in the corner. JR tells us that Sid doesn’t need to be technically sound because he’s huge. An Irish whip in the corner and Michaels is turned inside out. He stunners Sid and goes for a crossbody but Sid catches him and hits the ribbreaker for a two-count. Sid hits a brutal Irish whip to Michaels and another. The clank of the turnbuckle is loud. Michaels calls for another Irish whip but Sid just punches him a bunch of times. Michaels starts to punch back but the crowd are not happy. Lovely bodyslam by Michaels and he goes to Bret’s rope for a lovely axe-handle nothing that he does a perfect bump for.

Million Dollar Dream city in the centre of the ring and there is two close two-counts before Shawn fights back. What a great bunch of boos from the crowd. Shawn goes for Sweet Chin Music but it is caught, countered and chokeslammed. Sid calls for the powerbomb and stands centre stage. Sid also is facing away from the damn hard cam. Shawn hits a roll-up and escapes the powerbomb but Sid is angry and hits a lovely powerslam to Shawn who escapes and kips up only to be mowed down by Sid. Another close two-count but the match continues.

Sid is in the corner, stealing the camera and Earl watches him, waiting for the cue. Jose is on the apron and Sid hits him with the camera. Shawn hits the Sweet Chin Music and chooses between the pin and Jose. He chooses Jose, pops out and asks for help. Sid is there, rolling Shawn into the ring and Michaels reverses a cross-body to hit Hebner. Shawn is still looking after Jose and takes a camera to the back of the head. Sid is no longer face! Or at least that’s what’s supposed to be happening!

Back in the ring, Sid goes for the powerbomb, hits it sloppily and Earl hits the one-two-three for Sid to win the WWF Championship in 20:02

2016 comments:

The weakest of Sid and Michael’s matches so far, and beset with timing issues, but still good.

1996 comments:

I don’t know who to love or hate. The crowd were not very clear about how they wanted me to feel.

Grade: B

Shawn runs to the outside to look after Jose, taking the heat away from Sid, who is celebrating mid-ring. Some smart cunt out in the audience has an NOW sign. Wrong company, bro, but we get that you’re a fan.

Sid has his time to celebrate but the crowd is still treating him like a face. Vladimir is there to hug Sid, which is nice for both of them. Sid asks the crowd if they happen to know who the man is and he fist bumps them all.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I’m going to go for Bret Hart. What a guy,

Woman of the Matches: Let me guess… Sunny, Marlena and Sable, right? Christ. None, once again.

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

Best Spot: Flash Funk’s moonsault to the outside.

Hatches: A few, mostly in the dark match: Bob Holly, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Crush, Fake Diesel, Doug Furnas, Flash Funk AKA 2 Cold Scorpio, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Phil Lafon, Fake Razor Ramon, The Sultan AKA Rikishi, Road Dogg Jesse James, Salvatore Sincere, The Iron Shiek, Rocky Maivia AKA The Rock, Uncle Zebekiah AKA Zeb Coulter.

Matches: Sycho Sid begins his first reign as WWF Champion.

Dispatches: None.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV. Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Mark Henry, Undertaker, Bret Hart.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Undertaker for just being fucking awesome.

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Sunny, N/A, N/A.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… No one because I have already chosen Sunny.

Closing Statements: Survivor Series 1996 was one of the strongest cards I have seen so far… until the last two matches let it down. I have the distinct feeling that that may have been because of the guys backstage rather than the talent of the men in the ring. I love Survivor Series every year and it’s nice to see that it was still amazing twenty years ago.

On the Card will return on December 15 2016 with In Your House 12: It’s Time.

Attitude Era #6. Survivor Series (November 17, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House 11: Buried Alive 1996. It was an okay PPV with a good, creepy main event but the WWF Champion didn’t take to the mat until after the cameras started rolling. The next PPV was Survivor Series 96 and was the tenth of its name. The gimmick of Survivor Series was that it was an annual event that took place around Thanksgiving and had huge elimination-style tag team matches, usually between the heel faction and the face faction of the day.

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

WWF Survivor Series

Back to Attack

The tagline makes no sense and the poster has Shawn Michaels, Sid Vicious, newcomer Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s heads floating between two buildings. Shawn is wearing the same expression he did during the poster for Mind Games back in September, so not much has changed there.

There is no Big Red WWF title screen this time around, just an announcer speaking over sped-up shots of New York to show how fast the city that never sleeps really is. Tonight, Shawn vs. Sid. Tonight, Bret vs. Stone Cold. Tonight, Undertaker vs. Mankind. And other people!

MB Karate Fighters sponsor the 1996 Survivor Series. 18,647 people are crammed into Madison Square Garden in New York. 199,000 people watching at home, a rise from an all-time low of 1995 at 128,000 buys. A taxi slides over the top of the screen as our announcing team is introduced: Vincent Kennedy McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Good Ol’ Jim “JR” Ross. There is literally no time for anything else as the first match is about to get underway!

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a 30-minute show called Free-For-All, which was the nineties equivalent of the Preshow, full of promos and summaries of recent TV matches. There was an exclusive match on Free-For-All and had little to do with the actual PPV but was full of names that would become huge over the next wee while (though not with the names they appear here with): Jesse James (AKA Road Dogg Jesse James), Aldo Montoya (AKA Rat-Faced Knacker Justin Credible), Bob Holly (AKA Hardcore Holly), Bart Gunn (AKA Bodacious Bart Gun) versus the team of The Sultan (AKA Rikishi), Justin Bradshaw (AKA Cunt JBL), Salvatore Sincere (AKA Tom Brandi) and Billy Gunn (AKA Bad-Ass Billy Gunn). They were joined by The Iron Sheiky Baby and Uncle Zebekiah (AKA Zeb Coulter).

The British Bulldog’s music hits and out comes the man himself looking like a bust sausage along with his team of Slammy-Award-Winning Owen Hart and The New Rockers Marty Janetty and Leif Cassidy (AKA Al Snow). They are accompanied by Immigration Clarence Mason, who is just waiting for someone to mess up and get sent home.

The other team turn up, Phil Lafon and Doug Furnas, who are a pair of arses. They appear with the Gosh-Darned Godwinns Henry O. (in yellow) and Phineas I. (in red) with Hillbilly Jim. There is a Karate Fighters zeppelin flying about the arena that just crashes into the stands and stays there. Oh, the humanity!

The announcers comment on the smell of the Godwinn boys and the heel team shout at the crowd for some time before the bell rings to start the match.

Survivor Series Tag Team Match: Doug Furnas, Phil Lafon, Phineas I. Godwinn and Henry O. Godwinn (w/ Hillbilly Jim) def. Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy (w/ Clarence Mason) via elimination in 20:41.

Marty Jannetty sneaks about the ring, trying to tickle his opponents until finally Phil Lafon comes into the ring and gets Marty into a great arm lock that Jannetty gets out of by jumping off the top rope. He takes a brutal clothesline from Phil and tags out. At this point, Leif Cassidy comes in but Marty hops about outside, clearly very badly hurt, or at least selling a leg injury very well. Both Leif and Phil have some great chain-wrestling in the middle of the ring with a submission manoeuver that is cancelled by a grab to the bottom rope.

Phineas comes into the ring and spits into the air, catches it and rubs it into his hair. JR talks about the Clintons. How apt.

Leif gives Phineas an absolutely lovely body slam but the hillbilly isn’t very happy about it and responds with a body slam of his own. He goes to bounce off the ropes and Jannetty hits him in the back. Owen is tagged in and Bulldog helps him double-team Phineas. They distract the ref and take the time to beat on the Godwinn until Leif comes back in and tags in hurt-leg Marty Jannetty. The announcers reveal that Owen is ticked off at Bret returning. Marty goes to the top rope and attempts a high-risk move but is thwarted by Phineas who attempts a superplex which is equally countered. Marty then tried an elbow drop and Phineas rolls out of the way to tag in his brother Henry.

JR tells us “Business is gonna pick up!” and indeed it does. Henry beats on Marty for a while, tossing him around like a great big child. When Henry goes into the corner, Phines dives in front of him, cushioning the blow. Leif attempts the same for his teammate and gets a boot to his chest from Henry for his efforts. Henry gets Marty in position for the Slop Drop and eliminates him with a pin.

Marty Jannetty has been eliminated by Henry Godwinn in 8:12.

Owen rolls in, hits Henry with a spinning heel kick and eliminated him with a pin.

Henry Godwin has been eliminated by Owen Hart in 8:18.

The teams are equal once again. Phineas is in and he’s cleaning house, throwing everyone out. Owen tags Bulldog in who hits Phineas with a powerslam and eliminates him with a pin.

Phineas Godwinn has been eliminated by The British Bulldog in 9:04.

Sweet baby Jesus, that’s three pins in less than a minute. The teams are now 3-2 with the advantage being the heel team of Leif Cassidy, Owen Hart and The British Bulldog. Both Godwinns are out and only Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon survive. Bulldog and Furnas waste time as a replay is shown on the screen. Some lovely running of the ropes until Furnas botches a dropkick and lands awkwardly. JR sells the dropkicks and tells us Furnas was a world-class powerlifter at one time. Owen strangles Furnas and Leif hits a half-Nelson slam followed by a brutal spinebuster.

Furnas is in the corner and getting beaten on by the heel time. Hart hits Furnas with a fantastic dropkick, almost killing him. Furnas gets Owen in a small package and receives a clothesline as a receipt followed by a fisherman suplex with bridge. JR wonders why there are two referees (one on the outside and one on the in) yet there are so many double teams. Bulldog hits a lovely delayed suplex (such strength) and tags out to get Leif in. Furnas has been getting his arse handed to him for a while now. He needs to tag out of build some momentum. Hot tag to Lafon who hits Cassidy with a reverse suplex from Bret’s rope followed by a quick pin.

Leif Cassidy has been eliminated by Phil Lafon in 13:43.

What a move! What a guy! Bulldog comes in, both teams down to two. Lafon and Bulldog have a lovely back-and-forth including some lovely chops. A pin attempt and fail. Bulldog gives Phil a huge press and Owen is in, hitting Lafon with a belly-to-belly followed by a neckbreaker and elbow drop from Bret’s rope. Lafon is kicking out from every move going and Vince tells us to forget about the double clothesline Owen and Bulldog hit Lafon with. Bulldog hits Lafon between the legs like a prick. JR complains about Harvey Whippleman. Lafon tries to get a tag but Owen knocks Furnas off the apron. In the ensuing chaos, Bulldog appears and a failed double-team ends with Bulldog getting pinned!

The British Bulldog has been eliminated by Phil Lafon in 17:22.

It’s only Owen left versus the newcomers! Oh good Lord! What a time to be alive! Bulldog doesn’t take his elimination lightly and tackles Lafon’s leg, which Owen then goes for again and again. Vince suggests that we might see the Sharpshooter in a moment. Owen leg drops Lafon’s leg and gets ready for the Sharpshooter. Lafon is surviving it but Furnas jumps in to break the hold and Owen breaks it himself. Ladfon gets the reverse enziguri and Furnas is tagged in. Owen takes a lovely dropkick followed by a lovely belly-to-belly followed by a German suplex for the pin in 20:41.

Owen Hart has been eliminated by Doug Furnas. The survivors are Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon!

2016 comments:

Very good match. Very happy with it. Slow start but great end. If every match on the card attempts to be as good as that then this is going to be a great Survivor Series.

1996 comments:

I don’t know half of these lads but by Christ they can wrassle.

Grade: A+

Jerry calls them upstarts and punks, threatening that Owen and Bulldog might raise some merry hell at this. We see a bit of the replay.

Cut to outside on New York City.

On the Card will return on November 24 with the second part of Survivor Series 1996.

Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Stone Cold! Triple H! Mr Perfect!

Cut to a recap of the Smoking Gunns/Godwinns debacle where Billy Gunn stole a smooch from Sunny, leading to them becoming Tag Team champs. Bart did not like, Sunny, however because she’s a sociopath and after the Owen and Bulldog prank at Mind Games, Sunny left the brothers. Both Gunns want the gold back for different reasons.

Cut to Dok Hendrix in the back, interviewing Bad Ass Billy Gunn about the upcoming match. Billy is desperate to have Sunny back and Bart reminds him that it’s more about the gold than the girl. Their music hits and the two cattle rustlers come to the ring, big smiles on their faces as JR struggles to get even one word out.

The Bulldog’s music hits and out come the lads. Bulldog, looking like a bust sausage, Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart and Immigration Control Clarence Mason, ready to deport them if they lose their gold.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) def. The Smoking Gunns via pinfall in 9:17.

Vince reveals the fact that another famous Hart, Bret “The S Hitman” Hart (according to Stone Cold) will be returning to the Fed shortly. Owen, of course, a brother of Bret and Davey-Boy is a brother-in-law. JR reveals that he is going to have dinner with Bret later.

Very nice chain wrestling from Billy and Owen as JR still has a bit of trouble from his mic. The effect changes until it sounds like he’s on the radio. Owen dodges Billy’s attacks and gets a clothesline for his effort. As Billy goes top-rope and jumps into a double-axe-handle-nothing, Owen clocks him right between the legs and tags in Bulldog quickly for a double clothesline. Owen hits the drop-toe-hold and Bulldog hits a leg drop on Billy’s head. Owen leaves and Billy takes over, pulling hair and dodging punches. Old Bart Gunn punches Bulldog in the face. Bulldog has some headlock city on Bart. Bart goes to the top rope and misses a lariat and Bulldog punishes him by getting him in a full-nelson as Owen dropkicks him.

Owen and Bulldog beat on Bart and there’s a revolving door of tag teams for a while. Vince points out that the tag team champs can deliberately lose by DQ, countout etc and retain the titles. Why don’t they do this? There is no downside to this other than them losing face… but if they’re heels, it’s exactly the type of thing a heel would do! Sunny keeps appearing on the screen and Jerry goes bananas each time. Owen has some hug time with Bart for a while as the pair discuss strategies. Bart is shot on the Irish whip and accidentally hits Billy. Neither men are happy with it, though Immigration Clarence Mason has a wee clap about it.

Billy and Bart double team Owen with a Russian Leg Sweep. Owen is body-slammed then elbow dropped then neckbreaker drop. Sunny watches on. Bart is in, swinging neckbreaker to Owen. Billy is back in and kicking on Owen’s head. Jerry quips that Bart has been on so many blind dates, he should get a free dog. Bart drops to his hands and knees. Billy runs, launches off Bart and the pair get ready to finish up. Bart holds Owen like a groom lifts a bride into their new home and Billy goes to the top rope. Unbeknownst to both of them, Bulldog is behind Bart, gripping his jeans by the belt. As Billy jumps, Bulldog pulls and Billy dropkicks Bart by mistake. The move was (apparently) called the Sidewinder and as Bulldog drags Bart out of the ring, Owen hits a jumping kick on Billy and gets the pin in 9:17.

2016 comments:

More of a storyline match for the Gunns as it is foreshadowing their inevitable breakup. For the Bulldog and Owen, it was more of a chance to show how awesome a tag team they are… although they don’t look that awesome next to the Gunns.

1996 comments:

I’m not racist but I hate The British Bulldog simply because he’s English.

Grade: B.

Immigration Clarence Mason is in the ring, shouting at the ref for some reason. Sunny is backstage, applauding the Bulldog and Owen. The Gunns leave, frustrated and upset. Barely any time is given to the celebration. As Vince is explaining a feud developing between Ahmed Johnson and Faarooq, JR takes to the centre of the ring and goes on the mic. He’s cutting a promo, claiming that Vince is messing about with his mic. He reveals that Bret is back the next night and that JR is to thank for having Bret back. JR says that he doesn’t need a mic any more and throws it to Vince before walking right out of the arena.

This is a hangover to some Heel JR business and doesn’t seem to go down well with the crowd. They’re on for JR. They’re on for Bret. They don’t like Vince. It is understandable how, in a few short months, Stone Cold would wage the same war against Vince after he screwed over another beloved member of staff… Bret Hart.

Vince continues his promo and we see Faarooq in his gladiator gear, calling out Ahmed. Ahmed appears and mutters his way through a very dangerous promo. That man can’t talk. I love him, but by Christ, I am terrified of him.

On the Card will return on November 3 with the third part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.