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.

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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.