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

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

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

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

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

No Holds Barred Match: Vader vs. Ken Shamrock.

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

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

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

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

Vader has submitted to Ken Shamrock in 13:21.

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

The size of Shamrock’s arms.

Grade: C.

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

ATTITUDE ERA #8: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 2

Previously on On the Card: It’s Mosh! It’s Thrasher! It’s Rock and big daddy Kish!

Backstage, Todd Pettengill is speaking to Ken Shamrock. I love Shamrock. He gets the armlock on Billy Gunn, gets a drop-toe hold on Billy and then gets the ankle lock. Ken says he will be a fair and just ref but also kick the shite out of anyone who crosses him.

Cut to Dok Hendrix, who is interviewing Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Chyna! Oh, glorious Chyna! What a wonderful woman! Dok asks what the relationship is with Chyna. Trips says, “You don’t need to know anything about [our relationship].” He says he’s going to fight Goldust and for Marlena to watch out for Chyna.

Ode to Joy hits and out comes Trips with Chyna. Two signs, side by side in the crowd: “When Hunter and Chyna get silly, who got the willy?” and “Hunter+Chyna, who wears the pants in the family!” there is also a question mark there, floating mysteriously on the card. Vince laughs at it, and so continues the “is Chyna a man?” jokes that started at Final Four when she grabbed at Marlena. Nice, WWF. Very progressive. The announcers continue to slag her. King says she was such an ugly baby that she was breastfed by her father.

The Slammy-award-winning Best Couple of 1996 come down, Goldust and Marlena. I love Goldust. He pops into the ring with his lovely big wig and cloak. Marlena is on the outside. Gold dust falls from the sky.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Chyna) def. Goldust (w/ Marlena) via pin in 14:28.

Goldie is having a squat mid-ring. That’s what he thinks of Trips. They stare at each other until Goldie explodes from his sitting position to take down Trips. Irish whip and Goldie falls to his knees, cracks Trips with the uppercut and goes for the ten punch but not before spitting on Chyna. Brilliant. Lovely atomic drop and Trips is thrown out of the ring. Chyna watches on, looking fantastic.

I am a bit of a Chyna mark and I cannot tell you how it began or why. I just love her. I think he’s wonderful.

Trips is on the apron and Goldust bops him, wrapping HHH up in an Andre the Giant spot, arms in the ropes. The announcers slag Helmsley’s nose and Goldust throws him back into the ring. Airhorn in the audience and HHH fights back. Goldust hits a lovely powerslam on Trips, goes to top rope and HHH goes up to give Goldie a lovely superplex but Goldust fights back and is eventually thrown into the barricades. Chyna gives him the best side-eye you’ve ever seen. She’s a great woman. Trips throws Goldie back in, goes top rope, jumps and attemps a pin. Trips removes Goldust’s top and gives crazy slaps and stomps. Marlena is watching. Hunter hits a lovely Irish whip followed by another and a swinging neckbreaker.

Chyna has not moved once and is starting straight ahead. Vince says that Marlena is watching in anguish… she is not. Neither women are showing any form of emotion. Trips has Goldust in an abdominal stretch and Trips tries to grab for the ropes and the ref stops it. Good man yourself. Rest hold city between these boys and Hunter is trying his hardest to hold Goldust down. Goldie hits Trips in the nuts, fights back and gets a boot to the face for his effort. Lovely suplex by Trips and he goes to give the knee across Goldust’s forehead. Goldust lifts his hand, gets a pop from the crowd and finally fights back, getting some nice slaps in and a DDT for his effort.

Another Irish whip, a pin attempt followed by pin attempt followed by Trips getting his energy back. Hunter lifts Goldust up and another pin attempt. Lovely cross-body and Goldust gets knocked down. Trips goes top rope and Guldust… butt butts him out of mid air. Keister clobber, according to King. Goldust fights back and trips is wrapped right around the turnbuckle. Lovely bulldog from Goldust and almost a pin attempt.

Chyna is moving! Fuck the action in the ring! Chyna is moving to Marlena! Goldust attempts the Curtain Call and it is reversed into the Pedigree and reversed again into the Curtain Call. Goldust sees Chyna standing with Marlena, walks over and straight-up lifts Marlena up onto the apron. Trips bumps Goldust from behind and Marlena flies into Chyna’s arms. Bear hug ensues. Trips hits the Pedigree and Hunter gets the pin in 14:28.

2017 comments:

Not the best match from either men, but Chyna was there, so match of the year.

1997 comments:

It was just a spot with a match prelude.

Grade: B

Trips and Chyna high-five each other. Helmsley bows to his fallen enemies, leaves the ring and we see Goldust carry his wife backstage.

Cut to Shawn Michaels not being able to use his laptop, not unlike a spot he will recreate ten years later at Cyber Sunday 2006. The man beside him is no help whatsoever.

Back in the arena, it’s time, it’s time, it’s Vader time. Time for Vader. We have Mankind, Vader and Paul Bearer. These two men are pulled together for the sole reason because Paul has worked with them. Old Percy gives the camera a lovely wee wink.

British Bulldog and Slammy-Award-Winning Owen Hart. He has two Slammys. JR appears to ask Bulldog about Owen. Bulldog seems to have no idea what’s happening. Someone in the crowd has used their inkjet printer to create an Owen Hart poster.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) vs. Mankind and Vader (w/Paul Bearer) ends in double countout in 16:08.

Great. Let’s get this terrible party started.

This is a match that is thrown together with little build-up. JR makes a Ru-Paul reference, the cheeky bastard. Owen is due to start with Vader. Both men lock up and Vader slaps the shite out of Owen, cheering to the crowd. How can a man the size and strength of Vader be in a match with Owen and not toss him about like Brock? This should be a monster vs. man match to put Bulldog over. Imagine with Owen takes a beating forever and Vader orders about Mankind and then when the hot tag happens, Bulldog squares up to Vader and takes him down? Imagine it.

Vader beats on Owen and brings him to the corner to give the Vader Bomb. Bulldog sneakily bops Vader in the leg and Mankind comes in. Both men stomp on Bulldog for a bit and get the double clothesline. Then Owen gives them both a dropkick. Vince wonders if a tag has been made as Mankind and Bulldog are in. Lovely suplex from Bulldog and Vader pops in to get a suplex as well. Vader comes across as weak as a kitten. Christ, man, you’re four hundred pounds!

The crowd cheer Owen and JR plugs AOL. Yes, AOL. Brian Pillman, Sunny and Shawn were on it earlier. Brilliant. Shawn is still in the Fed, still looking for his smile. Mayhaps that was what he was searching for earlier? Vader hits Bulldog in the back of the head with the urn and Percy smiles like a child at the camera. Great. Vader hits Bulldog with a great suplex and now the big man is beating on our man Davey Boy, kicking seven shades of shite out of him. This is how it should be. Vader goes to Bret’s rope and hits a lovely splash on Bulldog. Mankind is tagged in and Mick goes crazy on Bulldog. Vince puts over the UK, as they are watching on Sky Sports (the same Sky Sports that my buddy Shane was taping this off!) and Mankind hits a great back-body drop on Bulldog.

Vader comes back in and Mankind rushes back to grab Bulldog so that he may not get the big tag onto Owen. Vader barges into Bulldog, goes to Bret’s rope and as he jumps, Bulldog catches him in mid-air to hit the powerslam. Hot tag to Owen and the wee man batters about the ring, hitting cross-bodies and pin attempts and kip-ups. Vader finally gets the best of him and both heels wave to the crowd like ghouls. Mankind is in and Bulldog rushes in, distracting the ref and allowing Vader to attack Owen. JR can’t say Vader’s name. He calls him Paul. Goose.

Mankind attempts to hit the suplex on Owen and fails, finally getting the guillotine on him. Cut to Stu and Helen Hart in the front row. Both people give about as much emotion as Diana Hart Smith. Remember her?

Lovely DDT to Mankind and knees to the midsection stop a lovely belly drop from Owen. Irish whip to the corner and spinning leg to stop Mankind. Pin attempt and Vader is back in. They’re keeping Owen and Bulldog away from each other. Vader is bopping Owen in the corner. JR (smartly) says that you need to isolate the smaller man – Owen – from the bigger man – Bulldog. Vader hits a great legdrop but Owen still fights back. Mankind is in, Owen is out, Bulldog is in and Owen hits a running belly-to-belly on Vader. Stu is watching the camera more than the match. Lovely kick to Mankind’s head and Bulldog is in. Vader’s mask goes flying. Mankind is thrown into the ringpost twice. Bulldog goes for the powerslam and Mankind gets on the Mandible Claw. Both Bulldog and Mankind fall out of the ring. Ref starts a super-fast count and both legal men are counted out in 16:08.

2017 comments:

Screwy finish and awful fast count. This match was leading up to something good but never reached it.

1997 comments:

Mick was in it. Match of the night… but wait… Chyna was in the other match. I’m torn.

Grade: B

Owen goes to Mankind, pulls at his hair and Vader breaks it up, throwing Owen into the steel steps. Mankind will not let go of Bulldog, but Vader pulls at his hair until he does, kicking and screaming. Owen goes to Bulldog and both Vader and Mankind leave. Bulldog is up on his feet within seconds and the pair of them go to get their tag titles.

On the Card will return on April 6 2017 with the third part of WrestleMania 13.

Attitude Era #9. In Your House 13: Final Four (Feb 16, 1997) Part 5

Previously on On the Card: Dissention in the ranks!

Backstage, Dok is talking to Taker “live”. Taker says that he has rediscovered his edge… not all of it, though. This spells doom for Vader, Austin and Bret. The WWF Title will be his, by hook or by crook. Rest in peace etc.

Cut once again to the foreign announcers, who are excited about the main event. Cut to the Royal Rumble where we saw Stone Cold rocking back in after being eliminated and chucks out everyone.

Back in the ring, the zeppelin has Western Union on it. Fink introduces the Final Four match.

Vader comes to the ring with Paul Bearer. He gets boos from a young Jennifer Aniston-alike in the crowd. The rules are shown on screen:

1: Match begins with all four lads in the ring.

2: There are no countouts or disqualifications.

3: A superstar is eliminated when either thrown over the top rope (with both feet on the floor) or by pinfall or submission.

4: The last superstar standing will be the WWF Champion.

Yeeeeo. Vader is throwing stuff around by the ring.

Breaking glass and Stone Cold takes his damn time coming out of the smoke. The house from the In Your House set is no longer there, it’s just a wee ramp. Austin and Vader stand nose-to-nose and flip the bird to each other.

Dong. Undertaker is coming. He rocks up to the ring through the blue smoke and lights in a leather jacket. The crowd sing along with the funeral march. The lights come up and the crowd go bananas. Bee-ay-en-ay-en-ay-ass.

Backstage, Kevin Kelly is hanging with our boy Bret “The Hitman” Hart. He puts over his enemies and says that he has experience and heart. “May the best man win… me.”

His music hits and out he comes, looking like a real legend. He’s wearing a hockey jacket. Fireworks go off to celebrate Bret’s entrance. He’s a superstar, yo.

Final Four elimination match for the WWF Championship: Bret “The Hitman” Hart def Stone Cold Steve Austin, Big Van Vader (w/ Paul Bearer) and the Undertaker via elimination in 24:05.

All four men are in all four corners when the bell rings and Earl Hebner stays in the ring to ensure no shit goes down. Vader and Taker, Stone Cold and Bret square off, trading punches. Taker goes for the jumping punch. Austin falls into the corner, Bret is knocked down. Taker goes for Old School and Vader hits the belly-to-belly. Vader and Taker fall to the outside but go between the ropes as opposed to over them. Vader gets the steel chair and goes to crack Undertaker but gets a boot instead. Big pop from the crowd and Vader is busted over the eye, probably from the boot. He goes to punch Taker but can’t seem to get it. Bret goes to sleeper Austin but he reverses it into a stunner. Undertaker chokeslams Vader and we have a close up of Leon’s eye. Looks pretty bad, but might only be on his eyebrow.

We have Vader and Bret, Taker and Austin. Vader his Bret with a low blow and takes Bret to the apron to batter him with the steel chair. Vader’s eye seems to be closing because of the wound, possible broken socket. Austin takes Taker outside and is about to piledriver him but Taker reverses it into a back body drop. Taker suplex Bret in from the apron and attempts a pin. Austin dodges a steel step shot and hits Vader with it. Austin and Vader trade blows while Bret almost gets pinned by Taker.

Austin and Vader have a wee chat and Austin gets dropped onto the security railing. Lots of zoom-shots to Vader as he gets thrown into the timekeepers area, he dodges the steel steps and cameraman but hits someone backstage. Another shot of Vader’s lovely wet, bleeding eye. Austin falls onto his balls on the top rope. Vader takes Bret down the aisle and throws him against the railings. Taker leg drops Stone Cold’s balls and Bret and Vader fight in the crowd. JR says, “I tell you, this is amazing.”

Stone Cold hits the clothesline off the top rope and Sycho Sid is backstage, watching and reacting, or, should I say, over reacting. Vader hits the Sharpshooter on Bret and Austin boots Bret in the head. “Austin and Bret hate each other,” JR says. “Everyone hates Bret,” Jerry replies. All four men are fighting now. Taker hits Vader right in the eye and Stone Cold replies with a Lou Thesz Press with the punches. Christ, Vader’s eye looks bad. My God. Good God Almighty.

Ten minutes in and no one is eliminated. Bret hits the piledriver but Austin is still in. Vader has Taker in position for the moonsault and Taker moves! My God! Is Vader dumb as hell? Does he care for his own body? Probably not! Vader starts to choke Undertaker as Stone Cold is about to eliminate Bret Hart. Austin is on the top rope and getting shots in the chest from Bret. Vader is just choking Taker and almost gets a pin. The energy has slowed down now and all three men are exhausted. Austin barely kicks out of a pin and Austin escapes a backdrop, lands on his feet and attempts a roll up but fails.

Fifteen minutes in and still no eliminations. Bret hits Vader between the legs and the behemoth falls. Not to be outdone, Austin wishbones Taker. Pin attempt and Vader stays down. Undertaker almost has Austin out but he lands on the apron instead. Good man yourself. Vader’s eye doesn’t look that bad now, just a wee cut that looks gruesome. Austin almost goes over the top rope again. Christ. The energy is just sapped. Very slow. Very- SWEET JESUS, AUSTIN WENT OVER THE TOP ROPE!

Stone Cold Steve Austin has been eliminated by Bret “The Hitman” Hart in 18:08.

My God! It came and went with little fanfare, but Austin is gone! That’ll teach you for cheating. The fans are waving to him and the refs leading him out alongside Worzel Gummidge (Rene Goulet).  Taker hits Vader with a shot in the corner and it’s Bret’s chance to beat on Taker. Taker fights back and Vader takes out Taker’s knee. Sid is backstage, ready to fight the winner. Undertaker is thrown out of the ring but under the bottom rope. Vader takes off his mask and Paul Bearer hits Taker with the urn. Vader goes to the top rope but Bret is up and threatens to superplex. And he does it! It’s shit looking, but it’s a superplex alright! Undertaker is up and so is Bret, getting the sharpshooter on Vader. Taker is in and Pearl Harbours Bret from behind.

Stone Cold is back and beats on Bret as Taker and Vader have a wee sit in the middle of the ring. There is no DQ in this. Vader goes to Bret’s rope, hits Vader between the legs and Vader falls out onto the floor.

Big Van Vader has been eliminated by The Undertaker in 22:33.

There are only two men left: Taker and Bret. Stone Cold is there too but he really shouldn’t be. The crowd are going ballistic at Vader’s fall and Taker punches Stone Cold out of the ring. Bret goes to Pearl Harbour taker but the Deadman catches Bret by the neck and gives him one hell of a chokeslam. He runs a thumb over his throat and Austin grabs Bret as Taker goes to Tombstone him. Bret rolls up Taker and escapes. Taker goes for Austin and Bret knocks him out of the ring to win the championship in 24:05

2017 comments:

Quite a good match, overall. Lots of time wasting, though, and Vader’s bloody eye really messed up the flow of the match. Still, exciting enough and very high-paced.

1997 comments:

Poor Vader. He’ll never wrassle again. That serves you right for taking Mick’s ear.

Grade: A

Taker is furious and goes to follow Austin, turns and stares at Bret, hands on hips. JR tells us not to go away and we see another advert for Wrasslemania XIII. Back in the arena, there is big pyro to celebrate Bret’s fourth run as WWF Champion. Big strings and out comes Sid, who walks to the ring, shouting and sweating like a mental case. The pair square off mid-ring and the screen fades to black.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: It’s hard as no one stuck out other than Big Van Vader for being so damned tough!

Woman of the Matches: CHYNA.

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

Best Spot: Vader’s dick-shot-to-fall-outside combo.

Hatches: Honky Tonk Man, Chyna with Mosh and Thrasher as a dark match.

Matches: Rocky Maivia retains his Intercontinental Championship; Owen Hart and the British Bulldog retain their WWF Tag Team Championship; and Bret Hart wins the WWF Championship for his fourth reign.

Dispatches: Wildman Marvellous Marc Mero and Sable would not return for almost a year until Survivor Series 1997, Bart Gunn would be gone for over a year and reappear at WrestleMania 14

Closing Statements: A good PPV and clearly pulled together at the last minute to help Shawn leave and get over the new stars of the Fed: Stone Cold, Bret, Sid, Vader and Taker. Let’s see who stays at the top…

On the Card will return on March 23 2017 with WrestleMania 13!

Attitude Era #8: Royal Rumble 1997 (Jan 19, 1997) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Mexicans steal the show!

In the ring, Howard Finkel tells us that there are 60,477 people in the Alamodome. I love how the Fed just love wanking themselves off over the size of their crowds. Fink tells us that the Royal Rumble is about to begin, with a new man joining each 90 seconds, eliminations can only take place by falling outside. The winner is the last man standing and they will face the WWF champ at Wrasslemania.

Our first entrant is Crush, coming in with his NOD team of JC Ice and Wolfie D with Immigration Clarence Mason and two unnamed NOD men. Only Shawn Michaels has won from the number one spot.

Number two comes out: Ahmed Johnson! What a wet fart.

The 1997 Royal Rumble.

A First Challenger Appears: Crush.

A Second Challenger Appears: Ahmed Johnson.

NOTE: The times given for each elimination are how long the competitor stayed in the ring.

Ahmed slides in and Crush beats on him, picking up where Faarooq left off. Ahmed gets a big head of steam on him and Ahmed fights back, tossing him about. The two men roll around for a while and are aiming to kick seven shades of shite out of each other. They are just wasting time, waiting for number three to come out and the crowd is dead.

A Third Challenger Appears: Razor Ramon.

No theme Ramon comes out, the crowd boo and he gets stuck in, punching and building up a big head of steam before Ahmed throws him out for a bit of a pop.

Razor Ramon has been eliminated by Ahmed Johnson in 17 seconds.

Vince was obviously trying to give a wee bit of a “fuck you,” to the real Razor Ramon, who was in WCW. Ahmed throws Crush over the top rope but he holds on tight. Ahmed then leaps out of the ring, over the top rope, eliminating himself in his desperate chase after Faarooq, who has come to ringside.

Ahmed Johnson has been eliminated by Ahmed Johnson in 3:02.

Why didn’t he slide under the ropes? Dope!

Crush is all alone in the ring, arms on his hips when music hits! Who is it?

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Phineas I. Godwinn.

It’s Phineas with Hillbilly Jim. I haven’t seen this boy in quite some time, since the Survivor Series, in fact, just over two months ago. It’s good to see you back, Mideon. It will be even better when you carve shit on your face and crawl around the floor for a while. So far, there has been one spot in the match and the rest has been badly choreographed brawling. I understand that the men can’t use the whole ring due to the fact that there may be others there, but still.

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Ohhhhh, business is about to pick up! I legit popped when I heard the smashing glass. It’s built into me, like when a someone hears a baby cry. Phineas and Crush start to work. Phineas tosses Stone Cold into the corner to a huge pop. Austin does not take kindly to that and when Crush holds Phineas, Austin hits a Bret’s Rope clothesline on him but Phineas ducks and throws Crush over the ropes.

Crush has been eliminated by Phineas I Godwinn in 6:17.

A timer pops up on the bottom of the screen to tell us that number six is coming in shortly. Stone Cold wastes no time in hitting the stunner on Phineas and tossing him out as Bart Gunn’s music hits.

Phineas I Godwinn has been eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin in 2:52.

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Bart Gunn.

Bodacious Bart Gun runs to the ring as a dude who looks the spit of a time-travelling Michael Cole cheers him on from the crowd. We have number five and six in the match at the moment, let’s see how long they last.

Austin catches Bart and the pair have dodgy punches, an even dodgier leg drop and Austin tosses Bart out after a botch.

Bart Gunn has been eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin in 26 seconds.

Austin falls to the floor and does some push-ups. He sits on the turnbuckle and relaxes for some time, pretends to check his watch and the timer comes up to announce…

A Seventh Challenger Appears: Jack “The Snake” Roberts.

It’s the 1996 King of the Ring finalists! And they’re back! It’s a match eight months in the making!

Jake has a great head of steam and the crowd bay for a DDT but Jake is denying them it, holding Stone Cold in a lovely armbar. The ref sneaks in and takes Damien’s bag as it is just sitting mid-ring.

An Eighty Challenger Appears: The British Bulldog.

Bulldog runs to the ring and slips and slides in. During his entrance, we see on the Titantron behind him that Jack was eliminated! Yeah!

Jake “The Snake” Roberts has been eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1:10.

Bulldog attacks Stone Cold, stomps a mudhole in him and walks it dry. Bulldog gets a semi-pop for this and continues to beat on Austin before hitting the running powerslam. He pulls on Austin’s pants as the Rattlesnake crawls for the ropes like a coward. The timer appears and…

A Ninth Challenger Appears: Pierroth.

Oh, it’s one of the AAA stars. Let’s see if the Fed stars give him any time at all in the ring. I hope they do, it will be lovely of them. Pierroth hits Bulldog and gets a gruesome spinebuster for his troubles. Bulldog returns to Austin but Pierroth interferes and hits a lovely snapmare. Austin gets involved and the Fed stars beat on the Mexican for a while. The timer pops up as Austin grips to the bottom rope.

A Tenth Challenger Appears: The Sultan.

Hey, now, it’s Rikishi in a mask with Shieky Baby! This is great. Rikishi used to be one of the members of the Headshrinkers, but it wasn’t until he got the Rikishi gimmick that he rocked the house. It’s a shame that his sons are shit. Sultan hits Pierroth with a lovely bodyslam and the timer appears AGAIN!

An Eleventh Challenger Appears: Mil Máscaras.

Another AAA star, Mil comes out for a wee jog, waving to the crowd and getting involved. Mil batters Sultan and hits a lovely lariat on the big man. Five lads in the ring, it’s the midcard spot at the moment where everyone just hugs each other and waits for the next person… and out he comes.

A Twelfth Challenger Appears: Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

Ode to Joy hits as Triple H slides into the ring, goes straight after Bulldog and pops him with a right hand. Sultan comes over to help eliminate them but Mil grabs trips. Bulldog hits a clothesline and Sultan does his lovely Rikishi bump before falling out of the ring.

The Sultan has been eliminated by The British Bulldog in 3:23.

Bulldog wastes no time in getting back involved and Stone Cold almost eliminates Trips, but he rolls back in. Austin replies with an elbow drop.

A Thirteeth Challenger Appears: Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart.

Fuck yes! And he arrives with his Slammy! What a man! The fucking Blue Blazer is in the match! There are still six men and we’re not even halfway through yet. Austin is about to be tossed out but Owen comes over and throws out Bulldog instead!

The British Bulldog has been eliminated by Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart in 8:04.

Bulldog and Owen argue for a bit as Owen goes to beat on Mil. The timer comes up and another sixth man will join the Rumble.

A Fourteenth Challenger Appears: Goldust.

Goldust! Woop! He runs to the ring like a mad pervert and Austin is on him instantly. Lovely bodyslam in the middle of the ring as Owen/Mil and Trips/Pierroth are to the side, trying to push each other over. Owen almost falls but saves himself. Everyone tries to throw Goldust out. The timer reappears…

A Fifteenth Challenger Appears: Cibernético.

Another AAA man comes in. Cibernético looks a bit like a Lucha married the Predator as he has dreadlock hair and a mask. Seven men in the ring now and it is looking super duper busy. We have three masks, one painted face, one singlet, tights and Stone Cold in pants. Nothing happens until the timer reappears.

A Sixteenth Challenger Appears: Marvellous Wildman Marc Mero.

He appears with Sable, and that’s all right by the crowd but in the middle of it, Cibernético is knocked out!

Cibernético has been eliminated by Mil Máscaras and Pierroth in 1:25.

Shortly afterwards, Mil turns on Pierroth and knocks him out, too!

Pierroth has been eliminated by Mil Máscaras in 10:32.

And then Mil goes to the top rope, jumps out and eliminates himself!

Mil Máscaras has been eliminated by Mil Máscaras in 7:28.

What a goose! Obviously the ring was getting busy and the Mexicans thought, “Let’s get out while the getting’s good!” and all left. Fair play to the boys, actually, they came in together and left together. Mil goes back into the ring and the refs tell him to leave. We have five men in the ring, all of them big names – Stone Cold, Triple H, Goldust, Marc Mero, Owen Hart. Mero slides in and goes for Owen. Goldust knocks Triple H out!

Hunter Hearst Helmsley has been eliminated by Goldust in 6:43.

Not a bad show from our man Trips. Mero and Goldust in one corner, Owen and Austin in another. The timer comes up to tell us someone else is due in as Sable and Marlena look on from outside.

A Seventeenth Challenger Appears: Latin Lover.

Oh poor Latin Lover, who is the final AAA guy to come in and appears when everyone else has left. Poor son of a bitch. He superkicks Owen, which is nice, hits a lovely snapmare on him, sells like a boss for Goldust and Owen is thrown out before skinning the cat. Goldust dodges a Latin Lover dropkick and is eliminated by Owen.

Goldust has been eliminated by Owen Hart in 5:33.

The timer appears as Goldust limps out.

An Eighteenth Challenger Appears: Faarooq Asad.

The NOD music hits and for the third time this PPV, Faarooq appears with some NOD lads. He quickly tosses out Latin Lover.

Latin Lover has been eliminated by Faarooq in 1:47.

And I was there, thinking, wow, Faarooq looks great for a guy who has been running away from Ahmed Johnson for the last half an hour or so, and then out comes Ahmed to a huge pop. Stone Cold rolls out of the ring and Ahmed hits Faarooq with the biggest two-by-four I have ever seen, tossing him over the rope.

Faarooq Asad has been eliminated by Ahmed Johnson in 47 seconds.

Nooooow, this is where the rules begin to get fucky. Earlier, Ahmed jumped over the top rope himself so Faarooq’s interference didn’t cost him the match, his own stupidity did. Here, Ahmed enters the ring, hits Faarooq, who falls out. You could argue that Faarooq was escaping the monster two-by-four but even then, a competitor who had been eliminated was in the ring, interfering with the match. Now what happens here? What are the rules? If the Fed were smart, they would have DQ’d Faarooq as soon as he appeared, or, if they wanted to cause some real heel shit, they could have stopped the match then, restarted it from Faarooq entering, with Stone Cold, Owen and Marc Mero in opposite corners. The match could have restarted, the others could have knocked out Faarooq, big babyface pop and the match could have continued.

Either way, NOD leave and Marc Mero and Owen are eliminated offscreen.

Marc Mero has been eliminated by Stone Cold in 3:53.

Owen Hart has been eliminated by Stone Cold in 8:29.

The timer pops up and once again, Stone Cold is alone in the ring. He calls for the next person.

A Nineteenth Challenger Appears: Savio Vega.

Out comes Flintstones cosplayer Savio and the two men batter lumps out of each other. Savio hits the catapult and a spinning heel kick to the heel Austin. Savio is guillotined and Austin tosses him out.

Savio Vega has been eliminated by Stone Cold in 29 seconds.

Austin is the loneliest man in the ring. He asks for more. More does not arrive instantly.

A Twentieth Challenger Appears: Jesse James.

It’s the Roadie, Jesse James and he jumps in, hits Stone Cold with some lovely right hands, hits the Elvis collars, gets a boot in the gut, is tossed to the apron and knocked off.

Jesse James has been eliminated by Stone Cold in 46 seconds.

Stone Cold for the record fourth time this match, is alone in the middle of the ring. He jaws off to the crowd for a bit, raises his hands and celebrates as only ten men are left. The timer appears and he sits top rope.

A Twenty-First Challenger Appears: Bret Hart.

What a pop! The Hitman walks out and Stone Cold begs for him to enter. Both superstars go at it mid-ring. Bret hits the atomic drop, hits the clothesline, punches Stone Cold in the corner. Austin gets for him to stop, but Bret does not. Bret don’t care. Bret counters an Irish whip and the timer comes up. Who will interrupt this great match?

A Twenty-Second Challenger Appears: Jerry Lawler.

It’s fucking Jerry! He goes in the ring as Stone Cold takes the sharpshooter from Bret. Jerry jumps over the rope, takes two punches and goes back to the announcer’s table.

Jerry Lawler has been eliminated by Bret Hart in 4 seconds.

That’s a short, short, short time. Jerry makes out that he didn’t even remember being in the ring. Great stuff. Bret works over Stone Cold and hits the backbreaker. The timer appears.

A Twenty-Third Challenger Appears: Fake Diesel.

Ohhhh it’s Big Daddy Kane, wearing flared pants and a complete lack of fire. He jogs to the ring, smashes our man Bret on the back of the head and turns to Austin, back to Bret and we are waiting for seven more men as we reach the second midcard point of the night with lots of rest holds, no spots and just running out the clock. Speaking of, there it is!

A Twenty-Fourth Challenger Appears: Terry Funk.

Terry Funk runs out while the clock is still counting down. Eejit. He turns to Austin, jaws off to him, hits him a pair of times and hits the headbutt. The match is split into two pairs, Bret/Diesel and Terry/Austin. They’re all running out the clock and gassed. The timer appears and Terry botches a piledriver.

A Twenty-Fifth Challenger Appears: Rocky Maivia.

Do you smell what the Rock is cooking? No one does. He’s not the Rock yet, he’s still Rocky and he’s battering Kane as Terry gets caught up on the ropes. Terry is almost thrown out as Diesel attacks our boy Rock. Five men in the ring, all of them big names and the timer is here to throw a sixth at us.

A Twenty-Sixth Challenger Appears: Mankind.

Well, business is about to pick up! My legit favourite wrassler rocks to the ring, spinning in circles and looking deranged as fuck. He hammers on Terry and tosses him out, but Terry holds on. Six men in the ring. Austin hits a lovely suplex on Bret and loses a wrist strap. The timer appears as Bret puts on the sleeper that Stone Cold reverses into a stunner.

A Twenty-Seventh Challenger Appears: Flash Funk.

Terry’s evil twin Flash appears! Bret hits the piledriver on Stone Cold! Terry walks in a circle and is hit by Flash! Seven men in the ring, none of them ready to leave! This is a great, great matchup. The timer is here, who is next?

A Twenty-Eighth Challenger Appears: Vader.

The Mastodon! Big Van Vader! Mankind hides his remaining ear. Mankind almost falls out of the ring as Flash hits Vader, the fool. Vader fights back and Austin takes his turn attacking our man V. Eight men: Bret, Rock, Stone Cold, Vader, Flash, Terry, Mankind, Diesel. Who is next? The times appears to tell us.

A Twenty-Ninth Challenger Appears: Henry O. Godwinn.

Oh for fuck’s sake. C’mon, guys, we have Attitude Era Origins in the ring and you bring in Sloppy McComedy-Jobber? Nine men in the ring and it is officially a schmoz with only one man left. There is no structure, they’re just waiting for number thirty so they can do some elimination spots. Hillbilly Jim watches on, happy to get a payday.

The Thirtieth and Final Challenger Appears: The Undertaker.

The lights go out! Ha! It would be so good if the lights went on and there were more people in the ring! Undertaker takes his time getting to the ring and they cut off his music early. He goes in over the top rope, goes for Vader, knocks him down, does the same to Mankind, then Austin, then Vader again. Chokeslam to Austin, chokeslam to Vader, punch to his half-brother Kane-Diesel, he pops Flash Funk’s head into Diesel’s and goes to the Rock, who fights back, bless him. Vader throws Flash Funk out with a lovely fallaway slam.

Flash Funk has been eliminated by Vader in 6:12.

We’re down to nine men now and we need to cut off the chaff so that the wheat can have their big main event spotfest and show the winner. Henry Godwinn is actually hitting Undertaker. Bret hits a lovely Bret’s Rope elbow onto Stone Cold’s head. Sign in the crowd says, “WWF: Wild, Racky Fun!”

Rock is attempting to toss over Bret and the crowd wakes up until Vader comes to Bret’s rescue. Undertaker boots Henry off, but he holds on. What are these men waiting on? They are hanging in the corners, just waiting for the next spot… which isn’t coming any time soon. Undertaker gets Henry Godwin and tosses him off the top rope.

Henry O. Godwinn has been eliminated by The Undertaker in 6:11.

Eight men left and Stone Cold is almost thrown out. Rock is tossed to the corner and Mankind catches him in the Mandible Claw as the rookie attempts a lariat.

Rocky Maivia has been eliminated by Mankind in 13:01.

Seven men remain. Terry Funk and Mankind both go over the top rope but they hold on. Funk attempts to suplex Mankind back into the ring, but Mankind reverses and Funk falls to the floor.

Terry Funk has been eliminated by Mankind in 15:08.

As the camera focusses on Big Daddy Kane punching Bret in the corner, Undertaker boots Mankind off the apron.

Mankind has been eliminated by The Undertaker in 12:20.

Five men left – Kane, Undertaker, Vader, Bret, Stone Cold.

Outside, Mankind and Funk argue with each other. Vader attacks Taker and Austin saves Bret by battering Diesel. Bret grips Austin and tosses him out, but the refs do not see it as Mankind and Funk are distracting them. Austin slides in and eliminates both Taker and Vader in one fell swoop!

Vader has been eliminated by Stone Cold in 10:06.

The Undertaker has been eliminated by Stone Cold in 6:46.

Bret tosses Diesel out!

Fake Diesel has been eliminated by Bret Hart in 17:49.

Stone Cold runs to the ropes and chucks Bret out!

Bret Hart has been eliminated by Stone Cold in 21:42.

Entrant number five, Stone Cold Steve Austin is the winner of the 1997 Royal Rumble in 50:29 after surviving for 45:07.

2017 comments:

Basically a Who’s Who of the Attitude Era, but not a great Rumble overall and there were no spots.

1997 comments:

Who does this Stone Cold boy think he is?

Grade: C

Bret pops back into the ring and argues with the refs as Stone Cold leaves the arena. He goes straight to Vince, shakes him and basically rehearses for the Montreal Screwjob in ten months. It matters not. Stone Cold is going to Wrestlemania 13 to fight the WWF Champion for the WWF Championship. Great stuff, storyline-wise, absolute shite wrestling-wise. JR justifies Austin’s heel move and doesn’t help himself go over as a heel announcer because the crowd love both Austin and Bret.

Big boos from the crowd. Vince introduces the main event: Shawn vs. Sid.

On the Card will return on February 9 2017 with the fourth and final part of Royal Rumble 1997.

Attitude Era #8: Royal Rumble 1997 (Jan 19, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: My favourite wrestlers and a man who almost killed another man.

Cut to our boy Terry Funk, half-brother of Flash Funk. He cuts a promo.

Backstage, the NOD are there and Jacqueline and a nameless member are harassed for not fighting for Faarooq. He shouts in the camera and calls Ahmed a punk.

Back in the arena, Vader pops down to the ring. Vader is very happy to be here. No one else cares. I like Vader. I used to hate him, but I like him. There is little fanfare, however.

The gong goes, the arena darkens and our man Undertaker takes his slow, laborious stroll to the ring. The crowd sing along with his song! Terrific! I love this! Oh, to be in the crowd then, at the height of Taker’s in-ring prowess! The pop is so big that nothing else can be heard. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. There are no announcers speaking, either, which just adds to the mystique… until Vince fucks it. Lovely shot of the Undertaker on the steel steps where the ring of lights has been dropped so it halos him. Jerry asks if it is a flying saucer. Derp.

Taker has a teardrop tattoo on his cheek. He has killed a man. There is a very odd reason for this match: there is none. No feud. Just… Vader and Undertaker, getting a payday.

Vader def. The Undertaker via pin in 13:19.

Vader and Taker swap blows for a while until Vader makes the mistake of hitting Taker in the back and getting an eyeful for his effort. Taker goes to charge Vader, gets knocked down, sits up instantly and Vader takes over, knocking Taker down again and again only for Taker to sit up. Vader goes to leave but Taker hits him with a double axe handle nothing and lays Vader out on the floor. Vader hits a guillotine stunner off the apron and Vader goes for the back body drop off the ropes but Undertaker leg drops the back of Vader’s head! Taker then body slams Vader! And another leg drop! He’s like a better Cunt Hogan.

Undertaker gets Vader in an armlock, goes for Old School, falls and lands on his balls. Silly Undertaker. But how does a dead man sell a shot to the nuts? Legit question. Vader hits Undertaker between the legs a second time and he sells it.

Cut to Todd Pettengill in the crowd, interviewing a very sweet little girl who saved up her money last summer to follow Shawn Michaels about the place. She babysat to do that. What a girl. Fair play to her. Those sort of stories make me love being a wrestling fan.

Back in the ring, the Undertaker is getting punched by Vader. Both men are gassed and Vader is on Bret’s rope, hitting a lovely, safe Bret’s rope nothing. Pin attempt and a fail. Vader has a wee massage on Taker and the crowd cheer to get Taker to his feet. Big punches from the Deadman and he hits a lovely backdrop onto Vader. Lots of high-lift manoeuvres here from the Deadman. Taker attempts to hit the elbow and fails. Vader, once again, hits Taker in the dick. Vince asks if we will see the Vaderbomb. Vader goes to Bret’s rope and jumps with Taker hitting a huge powerslam. Beautiful. Vader gets the Vader Bomb on Taker, but he kicks out, sits up, hammers on the big man, hits the jumping shoulder barge and goes for the second attempt at Old School. Vader is leaning on the ropes and could shake Taker off, but doesn’t.

Paul Bearer is here! Taker hits Vader with a great chokeslam, but Percy Pringle is looking at him, holding that Urn of his with a sneer. Taker does a lovely backwards-fall out of the ring, punches Paul and is shoved into the ring by Taker. Bearer crawls about, shouts, begs at Taker but is caught in a chokeslam. Vader is back in the ring, kicks Vader, punches Paul, clotheslines Vader out and falls with him. The French Announcer’s table (just replaced) is now the site of an Undertaker jump. Bearer pulls Vader to safety, but Taker has been hurt, hurt by that pesky guardrail!

Both men are taking their time and Paul smacks Taker on the back of the head with the urn, kisses it and sneers off. What a man. RIP in peace. Vader goes for the Vader Bomb slash Vader Drop slash fall, goes for the pin and takes Taker out in 13:19.

2017 comments:

Good match, just the right length, shame there was a lot of sitting around.

1997 comments:

God damn, but Vader got out of the ring quickly, didn’t he?

Grade: B

Vader escapes with Paul as his music hits. Undertaker is up, stares at the ref, as if to say, “Did you just let that happen, bro?” He then chokeslams the ref. Poor ref was hospitalised by Vader as well. He can’t get a break. Taker is angry, gosh, he is mad as hell. He starts tossing up chairs, shouting, throwing things, points at Vince, acts like it’s a screwjob of some kind. We see replays of the urn shot, the Vader Bomb/Drop and Taker shouts at the camera as he leaves.

Before he leaves, though, Jerry drops an absolute cracker: “That was a hard urn’d victory.” Actually amazing.

Cut to Stone Cold jawing off to the camera, telling them that he will not speaking until he goes through twenty-nine other pieces of trash.

Cut to the British Bulldog, who says he is amazing. And he is.

Back in the arena, no-entrance Jerry Estrada, Heavy Metal and Fuerza get ready for their match with Hector Garza, Perro Aguayo and Canek! The from AAA are ready to show these damned Americans who is the best Mexican.

Hector Garza, Perro Aguayo and Canek def. Jerry Estrada, Heavy Metal and Fuerza by pin in 10:56.

I don’t know much about these guys, so it’s going to be hard for me to tell you who does what. We have Estrada apparently starting off with Garza. Screw it, I’ll call them by their pants. We have yellow and black “Bee pants” vs. “Zebra pants”. JR says that these guys sometimes throw the rules out the window. Jerry says, “Like me!” and Vince replies with, “Yeah, but they’re atheletes.” Perro comes in, black pants and beats on star pants for a while. Lots of fast movements, here, stoppig and showboating. A lovely back body drop and star pants does bananas. The two luchas, red pants and singlet, run the ropes with a lovely hip toss, nice lariat.

JR explains the Lucha wrestlers. There is a missed senton and bee pants and zebra pants face off. Lots of backflips from zebra pants and a springboard back elbow followed by a lovely top-rope arm drag and a tiltawhirl backbreaker, second rope backflip and the two men shake hands before tagging out. Very nice. Red pants and star pants come in, do a test of strength and the two men do some lovely arm-drag-takedowns and dropkicks. A roll up gets nothing and singlet is in versus black pants. Lots of kicks from singlet until black pants knocks him down. Lovely arm drag takedown and black pants attempts a baseball slide, flying through the first and second ropes before tagging in bee pants and red pants.

Figure four attempt and zebra pants is in, dragging bee pants about with a lovely jumping clothesline and an STF. Zebra works on bee pants, tagging in black pants, who works bee pants legs over. Fallaway slam followed by a senton splash. Bee pants reaches for the tag but gets naught. Red pants is back in and bee pants dodges a spinning heel kick and is attacked by his own teammate by mistake. A tiny schmoz takes place and red pants lifts star pants up for the gorilla press. Zebra pants hits a jump to the outside and inside bee pants is press slammed by red pants, double stomp to the chest and the pin in 10:56.

2017 comments:

Fun match, but very disorganised with every man trying to get as many spots over as possible.

1997 comments:

Will we see these men again?

Grade: B

Vince tells us that we have the Royal Rumble match and the WWF Championship match to look forward to. There’s a promo for In Your House 13.

On the Card will return on February 2 2017 with the third part of Royal Rumble 1997.

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 #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Owen Hart and an English person beat two cattle rustlers.

Mr. Perfect’s fucking amazing song hits and down he comes with JR, walks around to the announce desk and puts on JR’s mic.

Goldust’s music hits and every bounty hunter in a six mile radius jumps up. Goldust comes! Gold dust falls from the ceiling! Letterbox and low FPS, Marlena and cigars. Mr. Perfect’s mic is, predictably, prefect.

Cut to the backstage and Intercontinental Champion Wildman Marc Mero is there with Mrs. Lesnar, Sable. Jerry shouts at him and the crowd pops for Sable. It’s embarrassing that a man of such talent (Mero) is in the shadow of a woman with only two talents (Sable), both of them artificial. A weird pyro goes off behind Mero. Jerry checks the success of Mero due to Sable. Shame.

WWF Intercontinental Championship match: Wildman Marc Mero (c) (w/ Sable) def. Goldust (w/ Marlena) via pinfall in 11:38.

The bell rings and Mero and Goldust square off. Mr. Perfect threatens both Austin and Hunter. Goldust tries to touch Mero and Mero fights back, upset at the potential homosexuality in Goldust. Wildman is all over Goldust, lots of lovely chain wrestling. Jerry and Vince compare Marlena and Sable like the perverts that they are. Mero and Goldust beat on each other in the corner. Vince explains that Faarooq was supposed to fight Mero but got injured and that Mero was “training” for a fight with him before the old switcheroo. Don’t know how you train for one wrestler in such a short period of time that means that you can’t just use the same tactics with another, similar wrestler. It’s not like he thought he’s be fighting Undertaker and got Matt Hardy instead, right?

Goldust spits on Mero and the Wildman replies to the critic’s “histrionics”, as Vince puts them, with a spinebuster and ground n’ pound. And the crowd goes wild. Dodgy head scissors and Goldust gets a huge slam followed by a senton suicide dive. Vince tells us to forget about it. Mero hits the slingshot leg drop on Goldust. Mero goes to the top rope and Goldust hits a super-backdrop-powerbomb combo. Outside, Mero’s head bounces on the steel steps. Jerry claims that Perfect cares less about Mero than Sable. Rest hold city in the ring.

Mero gets to his feet, fights back and Goldust takes over again. Sable starts her god-damned bad timekeeping, battering the mat with an awful 4/4 beat. Jerry makes fun of Sable’s lips and Mero gets hit with a clothesline. Vince asks us to forget about it. Goldust gets the mic and tells the crowd to shut the hell up and by God, they explode. He then threatens to sexually assault the crowd – “I’m going to stick my tongue down each end every one of your throats.” Jerry says that the Fed has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mid-90’s latent homophobia, everyone!

Mero hits a lovely moonsault but only gets a two. Goldust attempts the Final Curtain but Mero escapes it and is launches outside the ring. The two fans that HHH and Austin were roaring at earlier lean down and start touching Mero. Mr. Perfect goes off mic to help Mero and Trips turns up to confront him. Goldust goes to smack Perfect, who retaliates. Perfect follows Trips down the aisle and Wildman hits a Samoan Drop followed by a Shooting Star Press for the win in 11:38.

2016 comments:

Just like the first match, a potentially good match that is poisoned by Mr. Perfect taking interest away from the competitors. It’s not his fault. He’s just too good for everyone else.

1996 comments:

Not enough somersaults.

Grade: A-

Cut to a promo for the next match – Sycho Sid vs. Vader. It is the apparent Battle of the Powerbombs and we see the pair of them using powerbombs on different lads. Sid is taller and whisperier but Vader is heavier and has Corny on his side. Shawn is asked and the champ replies that both knocked him out, so they’re equally effective.

Cut to the ring and Sid’s mental Psycho-like song hits. Out he comes, Brock Samson himself, a man who is more charisma than cranium. The Sycho gets a monster pop. I know a lot of people slag Sid and fair play to them, because he isn’t the best, but I love him. I just think he’s tip top.

Vader asks what time it is. It is, of course, Vader time. Down he comes, the lovely man called Vader. I love Vader. I used to hate him, but now I love him. Jim Cornette is there, too, getting his payday any way he can.

Shawn’s music hits and… there is a tiny pop. I expected more. I think the crowd don’t really believe that he’s there, but he is, “the most charismatic WWF champion of all time” according to Vince. Shawn goes to Sid, shakes his hands, goes to Corny, steals his tissue, wipes his nose and throws it down. As Corny goes to pick it up, Shawn boots him up the arse and scarpers out of the ring. The match begins in earnest.

WWF Championship #1 Contender match: Sycho Sid def. Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) via pinfall in 8 minutes exactly.

The winner of this match gets to face off against Shawn at Survivor Series, so there is a lot riding on this for both men. They start punching in the middle and Sid takes over quickly with a huge leg drop that damn near takes off Vader’s head. Shawn is on commentary, high as a kite and having a great time. Vader batters Sid around the head for a while and takes him down with a shot to the neck. Irish Referee Tim White isn’t happy about that. Vader splashes Sid and Vince tells us to forget about it.

Sid is taking his time on the outside and as Vader and Irish Referee Tim White have a chat, Jim Cornette sneaks over and slaps Sid with a tennis racket. Jerry mentions Jake the Snake for some reason. Sid is on the apron and hits vader with a lovely sunset flip. Vader just sits on him. Vader hits Sid with a big clothesline and Sid replies with a backdrop. Norny is getting a brilliant beat going there, far better than Sable, anyways. Vader reverses an Irish whip, hits the big boot twice and Vince tells us we should forget about that. Sid attempts a flying lariat, which we knew would be a bad idea because he never does high-flying moves, and is caught in mid-air by Vader and body-slammed for his efforts. A big splash and Vader gets a close two-count.

Vader gets ready to drag him over for a confusingly named Vader Bomb (which is not a powerbomb) and Vince, once again, tells us not to remember it. Vader, however, lifts Side up after the pin. As Vader goes for another Vader Bomb, Sid lifts his knees, gives him a body slam and goes to powerbomb Vader, but Corny is sneaking in. Sid quickly runs to the ropes and tugs them upwards as Corny is entering, catching him just on his bollocks. Sid returns to Vader but as Irish Referee Tim White is attending to Corny’s bruised balls, Vader hits the low blow. Vader is in control! What is going to happen. He gets Sid into a powerbomb position but is unable to lift him and so punches Sid, Irish whips him and Sid retaliates with a very quick chokeslam and pin in eight of your Earth minutes.

2016 comments:

Obviously both men were being very polite with this. Sid, although a great showman, is not a fantastic wrestler and his moves smacked of SuperCena-style simplicity. The fact we didn’t see a powerbomb was upsetting as well. Oh well, friend vs. friend for Survivor Series and an eventual heel-turn on the cards, so that’s nice.

1996 comments:

Wait… a Vader Bomb isn’t a powerbomb? Then what’s a powerbomb called? I get that the slingshot splash is a bomb, but couldn’t they call it something else? A Vader Drop? A Vader Splash? A Vader Splat?

Grade: C

Michaels enters the ring behind Sid and the pair have a wee laugh with one another. Sid starts to point at his head and shout. They shake hands and the Pyro of Friendship hits above them.

Cut to promo for Survivor Series in New York on November 17th. Usual shite about New York: all the shots are sped up so the cars and people are just trails of light, blah de blah. The shot of Times Square has Sid on the big screen, though. We see Canuck Bret Hart lace his boots and pop on his protective eyewear, ready for the year’s anniversary that is the Montreal Screwjob. Another shot of Times Square with Shawn in the screen this time. We see a bunch of wrestlers hit each other when the announcer says, “we know these guys will survive the Big Apple, but will they survive the EEF Survivor Series weekend?” this statement is followed by a long shot of the Twin Towers. Ouch.

Back in arena with Dok Hendrix speaking to Sid and JR comes on to shout at Sid. JR asks simple questions to make Sid look like he’s about to take a heel turn. Sid, even with this railroad in front of him, forgets his lines and walks away, ashamed. Dok looks at the camera and says, “No Microphone problem then!” In the distance, a single, solitary trumpet plays a wah-wah-waaaaah as he shrugs into the camera.

Back at the announcer’s desk and Vince and Jerry stumble through the lines. Jerry actually praises JR, clearly remembering that JR is attempting to be a heel. We have lights on the buried alive mound.

On the Card will return on November 10 with the fourth and final part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 5

Previously on On the Card: Boiler Room Brawl.

Smash cut to Vader hugging air with Jim Cornette having a wild time behind him, Dok Hendrix in front. Cornette drops a promo about how Vader can beat Shawn. Vader’s music hits and out he comes, the big heap. 456 pounds of manliness walks past the old TVs that were used to watch the Boiler Room Brawl. The pyro is being set up as Vader can’t seem to find his way into the ring, throwing the stairs about the place. Vince bigs up Shawn a lot, but not as a competitor, more as a product of the WWF. He tells us that when he comes out, “you’ll know all about sports entertainment,” which is silly.

Shawn’s music hits and out he pops in sequins with José Lothario. The camera stays in strange places for a bit and when it comes back, we see that Shawn has a blonde girl around his neck. She gives him a kiss and some cunt behind her in the crowd does the V-finger-licking gesture for lesbians or whatnot. What an idiot. Vader is not impressed and just walks around the ring in circles. We don’t want a repeat of last month when the entire barricade fell. Shawn does his whole sexy boy entrance and the pyro goes off. The crowd are ballistic. Brilliant. I’ve barely seen or heard such a response from women for a wrestler. Maybe Val Venis.

One girl in the crowd is crying her heart covered eyes out. The bell does and we are starting.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels (c) w/ José Lothario def. Vader w/ Jim Cornette via pinfall in 28:59

Almost half an hour long? This better be the best damn match I’ve ever seen.

Earl Hebner is the official here today. Brown hair this time around. Just wait, Earl, the stress will get to you soon. Vader punches our man Michaels for a while and gives off to the champ, knocking him to the floor with a big shot. Michaels catches Vader’s boot, drops the man and starts wailing on him. JR says that this is smart, keeping the big man down. Vader is tossed over the top rope and Shawn goes for the baseball slide, knocking the wind from the big man. This is followed by a great suicide dive and Vader is down. Jim Cornette is chatting to Vader and Shawn slides back out, terrifying Cornette.

Michaels goes for the hurricanrana and jumps on his back for an electric chair, pulling Vader to the outside and going for another hurricanrana that Vader reverses into a powerbomb. Michaels is on the outside, he is hurt and Vader is in the ring. No count out yet. Vader is back outside and dragging Shawn to the stairs, up, onto the apron and then tosses Michaels inside. Vader hits Michaels with a great suplex.

Vader starts to beat on Michaels in the corner and Hebner is angry as shit about it. Two Irish whips, both of which turn Michaels inside out, the second one tosses him to the outside. Vader goes to leave and Michaels tries to enter. Hebner tells Vader to get away from him and spends a lot of time telling Vader that he cannot wrestle the way he wants to, which is odd. Vader hits Michaels with a great drop, goes for a wee walk with Michaels and goes for a backdrop. Michaels fights back and Vader takes control. Another backdrop and Michaels reverses. Each time Michaels gets a comeback, Vader knocks him on his arse. Even Shawn punching raises an awesome pop from the crowd, they are super behind him.

Michaels goes over the rope, pulls him back over, gets Vader in the head scissors and it is reversed as Vader, his head halfway up Michaels’ arse, throws him about the ring. Hug city.

Michaels is getting back from the hug, his foot is going. He goes for a knee, he goes for a clothesline, he goes for a baseball slide under Vader and hits him with a cheap shot in the nuts. Earl doesn’t do a God damned thing and the crowd pop. Your WWF Champ, a face, just low blowed his opponent and you are cheering. Shower of bastards.

Michaels slaps his elbow and goes to the top of the turnbuckle. He goes for the elbow, decides halfway through that he won’t be able to reach, lands on his feet, stomps Vader and starts shouting at him, stomping him again. Vader was supposed to roll away so that Shawn could land on his feet and do an elbow drop from a standing position, but he didn’t. The pair of them then toss over the edge and Michaels swipes at the cameraman in his face. He’s being an absolute cunt right now. Vader gorilla presses Michaels and Earl Hebner does the quickest count-out in history to give Vader the win…

But Jim Cornette isn’t happy. A belt cannot change hands on a countout. He wants a rematch. Irish Referee Tim White is there, ready to help Michaels up. Hebner comes out for a wee chat. Shawn starts to walk down the aisle, turns, decides that he is not gutless and returns to the ring, limping. After all his heel antics, this does little to endear him. Old Howard Finkel goes on the mic to tell the crowd that the match will continue and instantly, Vader is on Michaels, slapping the bejesus out of him. José Lothario is giving Vader some lip. Vader slashes at him and Earl drags José away, only for Jim Cornette to smack him with the tennis racket. In the ring, Vader hits Michaels with a belly-to-belly and a close two-count.

From a smark perspective, we know that the match is not nearly over yet. Neither man has hit his finisher. Vader sets Michaels up for the old powerbomb and Michaels punches the shit out of him, runs the ropes, does a kip-up, hits the big elbow and starts kicking the ground for the Sweet Chin Music. Cornette interferes, Michaels grabs his racket and goes to town on Vader and Jim Cornette. DQ on Michaels’ part and Vader wins again. Real heel activities from the Fed Champ. Once again, Jim is on the mic. A baker’s dozen of men in the ring. Cornette is double-dog-daring Michaels to restart the match and when Gorilla Monsoon says yes, the two men go mental on each other. Howard Finkel belatedly tells the crowd it’s a rematch.

Michaels hits the elbow (again), goes for Sweet Chin Music (finally) and pins Vader for the three in-

WAIT VADER KICKED OUT?

Michaels cannot believe it. The crowd cannot believe it. Vader and Michaels brawl, Earl is thrown to the outside. Vader hits the powerbomb and a second referee jumps in, but Michaels just kicks out on two. Vader drags Michaels to the turnbuckle to hit the old Vader Bomb. He stops… he climbs to the top and-

HOLY JESUS THAT MAN JUST MOONSAULTED.

VADER JUST DID A BACKFLIP.

VADER MISSED MICHAELS ON THE BACKFLIP.

Michaels rolls out of the way and drags himself up to the top rope, hits a moonsault of his own and gets the pin in 28:59.

FINALLY.

2016 comments:

Michaels comes across as such a ballbag in this match. At the time, he was a total diva backstage and this was one of the matches that led to him wanting to get away from Vader because he felt he was too snug with his moves. This was not a great match. It had the capacity to be and was very exciting on the outset but something in the execution and the mood following Vader’s botch really sucks the energy out of this bout.

1996 comments:

Christ Jesus, that man can moonsault.

Grade: B

Michaels and Vader roll about in the ring for a while. The baker’s dozen enter the ring again and we see replays of the moonsaults while everyone looks around, upset at the ending. Vader leaves, which is interesting as nowadays, he would beat down Michaels to get his heat back. Michaels limps about and the PPV is over.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: All of the matches were okay but not brilliant. Summerslam tried to cram too much into too little and wasted time with Mark Henry and the God damned King. I was going to give this to Owen but I feel that Undertaker did such a good job making us feel sorry for an unholy zombie wrestler, so well done, Taker, you are the man of these matches.

Woman of the Matches: I’m beginning to repeat myself here. Marlena, Sable, Sunny. It’s tough, I know, but I have to give it to Sunny. That big picture was great.

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

Best Spot: Once again, the first few minutes of Undertaker’s match was great. Very spooooky.

Hatches: Yokozuna.

Matches: Both The Smoking Gunns and Shawn Michaels retained their championships.

Dispatches: None! Everyone comes back!

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

Man of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, Goldust, Undertaker.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Shawn Michaels for his dedication to the craft, excellent matches and headlining every PPV so far.

Woman of the Matches: Sunny, Marlena, Sunny.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Sunny for being awesome.

Closing Statements: SummerSlam ’96 was a classic but not for the right reasons. Whilst there were some great matches there, it was marred by a less-than-stellar main event, long matches that went nowhere and lack of tension in the storylines. By this point, Camp Cornette and Michaels have been at war for ages and no one else is getting a looksee. Mankind vs. Undertaker is nice but we’re sick of seeing the Godwinns and the Gunns wrassle. Interesting characters, varied storylines and matches with a threat is what is needed. Hopefully we will see that soon.

On the Card will return on September 22nd with In Your House 10: Mind Games.

Attitude Era #2. In Your House 9: International Incident (July 21, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Goldust was there, so it was okay.

But back to the ring, Vince is talking about the main event: six-man tag between Camp Cornette and the People’s Posse. JR reminds us how this filler match came about with a shot of King of the Ring ’96 and the match ending between Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. It’s the same promo as earlier, chronicling even Warrior’s suspension. Brock Samson appears and yadda yadda yadda. This is just time wasting while they replace the ring mat.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Sid Vicious is one of the wrestlers responsible for the hatred against Hulk Hogan in the early nineties. Hogan had been running a Super-Cena style All-American character for years, always as a face. Being a huge box-office draw despite his limited moveset, it was only a matter of time before older fans rebelled. Similar to the “let’s go Cena/Cena sucks!” chants that we hear during RAW and other PPVs these days, the crowd booed Hogan and cheered Sid during the 1992 Royal Rumble. Despite the great crowd reaction, WWF retroactively made Sid a heel. It was the dislike of the Hogan gimmick and love of Sid’s mental charisma that did this.

Another shot of Sid appearing in his car, totally mental and smashing up the place. Dok Hendrix is chatting to the People’s Posse. Shawn is there, dressed like a damn idiot, like some sort of Village People reject. Ahmed Johnson is there with his shirt that says his name. Sid is in the background, towering over the other men. Shawn calls the People’s Posse a gang. Bit racist. Ahmed Johnson gibbers some indecipherable nonsense and then Sid legit says, “What he’s trying to say is-” and just goes on a rant of his own. Shawn gives an equally nonsense promo and when he mentions Sweet Chin Music, Sid looks around as if expecting a boot to be coming from nowhere. Shawn’s Sexy Boy music hits and the crowd go bananas.

All the kids run to the side as Shawn heads out. He walks straight down the centre and everyone is stretching their hands out to touch him. You know something is going to happen and it does. About twenty feet down the aisle, the right-hand side of the barrier just crumples and fans spill onto the ground. Shawn looks terrified and helps some people up before security usher him forward. Kids go to hug the champ and her spins into the ring for his pyro. Still cannot get over how amazingly over this cunt is. And he’s fucked on pills. You’re cheering a man who can’t tell you his own name!

Ahmed’s music hits and the Intercontinental champ comes down. Why they fire down the WWF Champion first is beyond me. Let the crowd wait. JR says, “This is the most emotions we’ve seen from Ahmed Johnson,” which is a nice way to say he’s wooden. Sid comes out to his Psycho music. Begin at least six and a half feet, the man is intimidating and had clearly had a wee bit of the nose candy before coming out. He Brock Lesnar jumps onto the apron and the three People’s Posse hug each other.

Vader’s music hits and the whole of Camp Cornette come out – Bulldog, Owen and Vader. It’s quite nice to have only two men with superhero names in the ring, though even Bulldog is known as Davey Boy Smith. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart is probably the smallest man in the ring and he’s a God damn Hart!

Camp Cornette (Vader, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog) w/ Jim Cornette def. The People’s Posse (Shawn Michaels, Sycho Sid, Ahmed Johnson) w/ José Lothario via pinfall in 24:32.

Jerry says that Camp Cornette is, “A well-oiled machine, with one goal in mind,” but refuses to say what the goal is. Could be anything, really. Could be beating People’s Posse, could be world peace, could be a second Holocaust. The men are heels, they’re capable of anything. Big Van Vader starts and points at Shawn, who is by the sidelines. Ahmed, the legal man, obliges and tags in the Heartbreak Kid, who bounces in to lock up with the Mastodon.

Editorial Spot: I have mentioned before that I do not like tag team matches and I will elaborate here: when a fan, a wrasslin’ mark if you will, looks at this card and sees six-man tag with the WWF champ, the Intercontinental champ, plus fan-favourites, they go ballistic. “Look at all these wrasslers!” they may claim before going and booking the match in their mind. This is good. This is what you want. As a wrasslin’ promoter, you want fans to look at your card and love it so much they can’t keep still. However, tag matches of any size do not equal that. Tag matches are very complex matches that involve a great deal of psychology, pantomime and storytelling.

Take one of the best tag teams in the world at the minute: American Alpha in NXT. Their form of psychology is basic but effective. Chad Gable goes into the ring, gets beaten up and calls for the hot tag on Jason Jordan at the end for him to wipe up, throwing spears about, tacking guys and finally hitting the double team finisher. It is simple but effective. By contrast, the Usos do the exact same thing in the Fed, but they have done it since time immemorial. It is boring now. We do not care about Uso-crazy or whatever nonsense they’re cooking up because they do the same stuff. They’re the drizzling shits.

In a match like this, you have a very talented tag-team wrestler in Bulldog. You have a talented mat-based wrestler in Owen. You have the most popular superstar in the Fed at the time in Shawn. The others are not good enough to keep up with that. Don’t get me wrong, Leon White AKA Vader is a lovely man, very well spoken and has a keen understanding of wrestling psychology but he is not used to tag matches. Sycho Sid and Ahmed are just tanks, they’re good for hitting things but there is nowhere near the same amount of skill.

I’m not trying to fantasy book this match, but if we were wanting to get some Vader/Sid match over, we’d need to book it right. Imagine if Owen started vs Sid. Sid knocks him flat within seconds and Owen scrambles back to his corner. Bulldog comes in and the pair size each other up. Bulldog is a bit faster and catches Sid in some suplex. He can’t move Sid. He does it a few more times and still Sid doesn’t move, stays standing. Let’s then say that Sid knocks Bulldog to the ground and Bulldog looks shocked, wide-eyed and amazed. He tags in Vader. Crowd goes mental as the two big men square up to each other. They trade blows, move for move, no man taking over for more than a few seconds. They’re running the ropes, big boots, the lot. A scramble to the outside. Both men attempt finishers and their opponents somehow escape. There is a move done and both men are out. The ref starts a ten count, the crowd are on their feet and just as he reaches nine, both men hot tag in their best teammates – Shawn and Bulldog, who just had a killer match last PPV.

Tag team matches are essentially tiny little wrestling matches linked together. They need to have their own distinct storyline and that storyline can be split, paused and continued later. That is the essence of a good tag match. Let’s see if we see it here in the ring tonight.

Vader is shouting, opening his arms for a hug, playing with Michaels. Michaels is legit scared because Leon is snug as a bug. In fact, Michaels didn’t like to wrassle Vader for that reason and it’s a damn shame. Vader picks Michaels up and the pair run the ropes for a while. Vader goes for the powerbomb (which is not, for some reason, the Vader Bomb, which is a slingshot splash from the corner) and Michaels reverses it into a Hurricanrana. Running the ropes and both men to the outside. Michaels does a baseball slide followed by a suicide dive off the top rope. Another jump from the apron but Vader moves. The wily bastard. Replay shows Michaels hit Vader a little high on the body, cracking his upper chest. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vader’s lower back is in pain now.

Vader goes for the backdrop. Michaels reverses and tags in Sid, who goes mental and cleans house. In comes Owen and Bulldog, both knocked down. People’s Posse celebrate in ring. All you’ve done is push people over. Owen comes in and Sid tags Ahmed who hits Owen with a series of great suplexes. Owen rolls out of the way of an elbow drop and tags in Bulldog. Bulldog goes to town on Ahmed who retaliates with a great spinebuster followed by the Pearl River Plunge for a two count.

Vader is in and beating on Ahmed while Shawn ignores the action and waves to the crowd. Ahmed and Vader hang on the corners for a while, both probably gassed. Vader goes to cross-body Ahmed and the big man catches him mid-air. Owen tags in and shows off that good old Hart charm and skill. The man should be fighting someone of his technical calibre, like his mental brother. Ahmed gorilla presses Owen and Sid is in again. With Owen probably being the smallest person in the match, it seems unfair that these two behemoths are going over on him. He agrees and tags in Bulldog.

Bulldog vs Sid is interesting because not only is Bulldog capable of making any match amazing, but he is legit strong as fuck, shown by how he effortlessly holds Sid up for a huge suplex, easily a few seconds. Vader sneaks in for the elbow drop and Bulldog goes for a near-fall. Vader enters legally and we have the two biggest men in the match against each other. Doesn’t last long though before Bulldog is back in. Brock Samson takes a few punches, but it only makes him angrier! He tags in Michaels and the crowd go ballistic. Michaels hits a double axe handle nothing and Bulldog sells it like getting hit by a truck. Pin and near fall.

Michaels works Bulldog in the corner and takes a hit from the ring post. Bulldog lifts him up and the champ Irish whips him into Vader who is standing on the apron. Michaels goes for the pin and notices Owen about to dive in to break it up. He moves out of the way and Hart elbow drops his own brother-in-law! The fool! Owen gets thrown out and when he’s on the apron, Bulldog tags him back in. Owen, still dazed from the throw, is pulled into the ring by Michaels. We have a bunch of roll-ups. So many that the ref fails to notice a legit pin and Owen is holding Shawn for longer than necessary. More pins and some great combos. The two men go for the bridge. Close falls and Cornette goes ballistic.

Bulldog is in and hammering Shawn left and right. Great powerslam followed by a leg drop. Running of the ropes and Vader is tagged in as Shawn goes out. Cornette is arguing with the ref, giving Vader enough time to lift Michaels up by the hair and wail on him in the corner. Irish whip to the corner and Shawn wraps himself around the ring post. Vader picks on Sid and the comically tiny referee tries to restrain him. Vader gets another two-count over Michaels. Rest hold city as Vince says, “Michaels cannot continue at this pace.” At this point, there is no pace, just hugs. Something is going on in the crowd and the camera refuses to look. Is it a run-in? Is Mankind getting revenge on Vader for his missing ear? Is Goldust coming to kiss Ahmed again? Has Jake the Snake had enough of Jerry’s jibes?

No, it’s a member of the crowd on the hard cam who tries to climb over the ring ropes. Bulldog and Ahmed run to beat him good-looking and he retreats. Bulldog actually walks the whole way over, probably to give the guy a message with his fists and feet. Knowing Bulldog, he’ll lift him up and hold him there for an impressive amount of time. Vader and Michaels are still hugging. JR sells the hug as strain on Michaels’ neck. The ref (who I keep thinking is Earl Hebner) is slapping the two men heartily in some devil Morse code. He tells off José Lothario. It’s the ref’s match now, circling the couple in the ring. Michaels fights back and is downed by Vader who goes for the belly flop, only to be knocked on his arse by Ahmed. Both men go for the hot tag but Vader gets to Bulldog first. By this point, Michaels has been in the match for some time.

Bulldog goes for what  looks to be a botched crucifix powerbomb. Michaels escapes, goes for the wraparound and Bulldog reverse it into a sidewalk slam. Owen pops in and the tempo rises before both men are down. Jim Cornette batters on the ring, once again keeping better time than that damned Sable.

Bulldog hits Michaels with a beautiful powerslam and Sid breaks up the pin by running the ropes and hitting Bulldog with a leg drop. Ahmed keeps perfect time on the ring apron by battering with his feet. Bulldog tags in Vader, who hangs in his corner as Michaels builds up for the hot tag and slaps in Ahmed. Ahmed wails on Vader but – the ref stops him!  He didn’t see the tag! In the corner, Camp Cornette beats on Shawn and… Bulldog makes the pin? But the ref didn’t see Bulldog tag in – because he didn’t! Inconsistent refereeing! Near for and Owen goes to dropkick Shawn but Micheals rolls out of the way and Owen kicks Bulldog. Hot tag and Michaels finally tags in Sid.

Sid chokeslams Vader. Sid chokeslams Owen. Sid chokeslams Bulldog. Ahmed comes in and they body double clothesline Vader. Sid launches Michaels off the turnbuckle onto Vader but the pin is broken up by Bulldog. Shawn looks at Sid. It is a longing look, filled with regret. Cornette throws the racket into the ring for Vader but Shawn takes it from him and beats him over the head with it. Heel move from the faces. Shawn goes for Sweet Chin Music but Cornette grabs his foot. Vader knocks him down and get the Vader Bomb and the pin in 24:32.

2016 comments:

It goes without saying that this is the best match of the night. It had crescendo booking, yes (when there’s nothing special for the whole match and then everyone hits their finishers at once) and Shawn was dead centre as always despite not being the biggest wrestler, strongest wrester or even most talented wrestler in the ring! That’s right, I said it. Some lovely hot tags in there and I felt excited by parts of it. Sid was the one who stunk it up, funnily enough, mostly out of his odd timing. The ending was fudged a bit as, once again, face Michaels used weapons against the heels. I’m not saying wrestling should be cut and dry, black and white, but come on, a little consistency regards the rules would be nice.

1996 comments:

Fucking Bulldog won, the heap of shite. Him and his fucking fat ear-destroying, canuck team.

Grade: A

As the referee rings for the bell, Camp Cornette cheer in the middle of the ring and Sid comes in to have a quick word with them all, powerbombing Bulldog and Owen. Sid’s powerbomb does not have a name, although it should be called, like, the Sidbomb or something. The Mood Drop? Something about the fact that the man is mental. Sid goes to powerbomb Vader but he escapes. Michaels suicide dives on to old ear-stealing Leon and the People’s Posse stand together mid-ring. Replays of the end of the match showing José Lothario giving Jim Cornette a wee bop in the face. Great catch by Vader at the end of the match. Michael’s music hits and he smacks of cunt Michaels right about now. The ending felt how Hogan would go over at the end of his matches.

Coliseum Exclusive Video of Jim Cornette bigging up the winners for a second before we get a quick recap of the night’s big matches, big bumps and most exciting angles, each one setting up for a much bigger match at SummerSlam 1996.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I don’t care what anyone else says, the only possible man in any of the matches has to be Goldust. The dedication to which he gives every promo, every line, every single second of his existence is so impressive. Comedy spots, whilst silly, do have a point. This is entertainment at the end of the day and good matches do not have to be The Godfather. Sometimes they can be Old School.

Woman of the Matches: We have the same set as last time: Marlena, Sable, Sunny, Diana Hart. Unlike last time, Sunny was crap. Sable is always crap. Marlena did not do a damn thing other than creep around with Goldust and Diana just smiled. I’m going to go for Marlena because I feel like I have to pick one, but this is during a time when women were not widely respected in wrasslin’.

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

Best Spot: The entire first minute of the Goldust vs. Undertaker match, up to and including Undertaker’s powerful uppercut.

Hatches: Bastard Justin Bradshaw, Savio Vega, Sycho Sid and Owen Hart on in-ring action and Jerry “The King” Lawler on commentary.

Matches: No titles were on the line.

Dispatches: Although this is not a proper dispatch, it is worth noting that Ahmed Johnson was diagnosed with legit kidney problems and required surgery just before the next PPV, SummerSlam and was out of action for a while.

Closing Statements: The entire PPV, although not great, and certainly not hard-hitting, high-flying, heart-stopping or piledriving, was fun and quirky in its own way. You can see how the Fed was trying to get people to tune in by offering them fun little spots as opposed to storylines. It is akin to graphics and gameplay in video games: most people can ignore bad graphics for great gameplay and vice versa. Great games have both, good games have one and bad games have neither. Wrestling matches require something to be on the line and the match to be full of fun spots. Bad matches have neither and are time fillers. Good matches have one and are either spotfests or storyline matches. Great matches have both and can be match of the year. This PPV had a mixture of good matches, but in actuality, nothing was on the line in any of them and I didn’t feel that I was seeing anything unmissable, being honest. The next PPV is SummerSlam, one of the Big Four along with Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. I genuinely cannot wait for that.

On the Card will return on August 18 with SummerSlam 1996.

Attitude Era #1. King of the Ring (June 23, 1996) Part 1

No one will dispute the fact that the Attitude Era was a wonderful time for wrestling. Not only did it rocket it back into the mainstream, but for a wrestling fan, it was the most exciting time to watch a bunch of grown men beat each other up for our entertainment. What people do dispute, however, is when the Attitude Era began. The WWF Attitude logo appeared at the 1997 Survivor Series – the same PPV that had the infamous Montreal Screwjob – but WrestleMania XIV is also cited as the beginning of the era with the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin. If we keep going, we can imagine that Goldust’s introduction, the use of Sable’s sex appeal, gore within matches and use of profanity through the mid-nineties could be the starting point of the era.

However, the “passing of the baton” as it were happened twenty years ago today on June 23rd 1996 with the fourth King of the Ring tournament. Over the next four weeks, I will review this important 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.

WWF King of the Ring 1996

To Battle is Honor… to Win is HELL.

That tagline makes no God damned sense, which is probably where the New Generation of the WWF is leeching into the Attitude Era somewhat. I mean, they tried to be edgy but Christ Jesus they did not do a good job. Are we to believe that winning is worse than losing? Then why take part? Why not just lose the payday? Wrestling is so confusing.

(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 which featured The Bodydonnas (Skip AKA Chris Candito and Zip) w/Kloudi def. The New Rockers (Leif Cassidy AKA Al Snow and Marty Jannetty) in a tag team match. It was forgettable. There was an equally forgettable dark match featuring a young upstart named Hunter Hearst Helmsley def. Aldo Montoya AKA Rat-Faced Knacker Justin Credible in a measly three minutes, which is cheap, even for a dark match.)

We’re treated to a promo clip show that looks like it’s been cobbled together in a dingy basement. It’s all flashes and filters and typewriter font. Remember that time when the level of the hipness of something was dictated by how much like a typewriter the font resembled? Well we’re deep into that territory tonight, people. The red WWF logo is followed by The Ultimate Warrior startling Jerry “The King” Lawler so much that the King hits him with a painting. We see Wildman Marc Mero do a bunch of hurricanranas on lads. Stone Cold looks middle distance. Vader jumps at Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who replies by holding Damien over his head and smiling. Mankind destroys a perfectly good coffin and the Undertaker looks mighty annoyed by that. Which is fair enough, like. Good coffins are hard to come by, and they’re Taker’s bread and butter, surely. They’re not cheap. In a stunning juxtaposition, we see the Godwinns do a jig with each other just before their former valet, Sunny, gets a good old kiss from Bodacious Bart Gunn. She then shows off her cleavage because it’s the Attitude Era, almost. To remind us of that, we have Goldust giving Ahmed Johnston the kiss of life and the man goes ballistic and smashes down a door because no matter how edgy this may be, it is still the nineties. Then, finally we see Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog punch the face off each other whilst Mr. Perfect looks on like the Adonis he is.

We are ready to start in the MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 8,762 attended. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart arrives with a booboo on his wrist, storming clean past Jumping Jim Ross and Pre-Mr McMahon Vince. All three are in tuxedos and looking snazzy as fuck. Even JR, despite the fact that he does not wear a tie, like an Amish man. The entryway is manned by two court jester-styled gentlemen and out walks our first participant…

King of the Ring Semi-final: Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Wildman Marc Mero w/ Sable via pinfall in 16:49

Stone Cold Steve Austin is rocking the moustache/soul patch combo in this match. He clearly saw Wildman Marc Mero’s mental horseshoe of a lip-warmer and thought, “I ain’t gone let no damn son-of-a-bitch beat me in no God-damned facial hair game.” It will be a while before his beard will grow to the iconic Stone Cold goatee that we are used to. But this is not a blog post on Stone Cold’s wonderful face. Bit of a promo showing how much of a dick Stone Cold has been over the last few weeks. He Tazzmissions and Stunners people left and right because he simply does not care. He gives off to the referee for a while. Out comes Wildman Marc Mero and his mental wife Sable before she went off to marry an infinitely inferior but much more popular man in Brock Lesnar. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart talks about his hand for a while and the two greasiest men in Christendom start to wrassle.

The match isn’t bad at all, a lot of near falls at the start and Stone Cold really sells his heel gimmick by glaring at Wildman any time he gets some offence in. Sable is trying to keep Mero in the match by hammering on the ring mat but she can’t keep time at all. Mero goes for the flying head scissors and Stone Cold stands outside forever, looking in at him. Stone Cold gets back in and we have rest holds to show off Marc Mero’s wonderful Solid Snake mullet. More rest holds. Sable keeps horrible time outside like some demented jazz singer. Irish Referee Tim White looks on as Stone Cold goes for the Lou Thesz Press and jumps too high, so just stomps a mudhole in Mero before going for the throat and shouting at the crowd. Great bump when Stone Cold rolls out of the ring and calls for a time out from the ref!

Test of strength from the cowardly hell Austin as he goes for the gut and holds Mero’s knuckles to ransom. A fan gently caresses Marc Mero as he lies outside. Stone Cold wastes no time removing the mats from outside the ring to expose the concrete before Bowl Cut Kid himself leans over the barrier and shouts at the camera. Mero takes a bump on the concrete and Stone Cold hits a brutal suplex in the ring. Stone Cold goes for Mero’s neck for a while like the bastard he is. Rakes Mero’s eyes on the ropes, Irish whips him from corner to corner. Sable prays to whatever God she believes in but none answer her. Dodgy ribbreaker from Stone Cold followed by a Boston crab. Stone Cold walks about for a while, keeping Mero from the ropes but the Wildman reverses it. Rollup to Irish whip and Stone Cold is back in control.

Another Boston crab and the two men have a wee breather while Sable hits the ring in some horrible 3/4 timing. Some nice near-fall reversals for a while and Stone Cold gets wrapped in a sleeper hold, reverse to a stunner. Wildman gives Stone Cold an ass-bump from the turnbuckle, a brutal missile dropkick that busts Stone Cold open legit. Then there’s a double axehandle smash followed by two dives over the rope from Marc Mero. Another drop kick and Stone Cold is bleeding bad when Mero gives him a hurricanrana off the top rope like a total psycho. Potential botched powerbomb before Stone Cold gets angry and stunners the Wildman for the pin in 16:49.

2016 comments:

Looking back after 20 years, this is still a decent match. Stone Cold is not amazing and it really is a Wildman match. He shows off all his moves and really comes over as a babyface in this match. The fact that Stone Cold survives all the offense and walks away with a bust mouth makes him look like a hero. Good match, good start.

1996 comments:

I actually did not watch KotR 96 until about 1998 because my family could not afford the channels that had wrestling and I could only see them by stealing VHS tapes from my friends. Back then, though, I remember being disappointed by the little blood, little boobs and this weird guy named Marc Mero. He didn’t exist two years later, funnily enough, and I could not really understand why. He seemed amazing with his flips and mental hair. Really, my biggest disappointment was the lack of Stone Cold glass smashing music.

Grade: B+

We have Dok Hendrix AKA Fabulous Freebird Michael Hayes interviewing Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Jake cuts a promo praising Jesus, who is the Christ.

Straight-up shoot fact: Stone Cold had been given a big smack in the mouth by Marvellous Marc Mero during the match and was driven straight to the emergency room after the match, sewn up and driven back to the arena for the King of the Ring final. Remember this. It is important later.

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Jake “The Snake” Roberts def. Vader w/ Jim Cornette via disqualification in 3:34

Big Van Vader, otherwise known as the man who ruined Mick Foley’s ear, is a towering beast of a man. Apparently, he’s a big softie in real life but that does not take away from the fact that the man is huge. At six-foot-five and 450 lbs, the man is a “mastodon” according to Vince. Owen rips on Jake Roberts, calling him 51 years old (changing it to 61 later), older than Robert’s real age of 41. Vince references the drug and alcohol problems old Jake has been open about recently. Jake, on his way to the ring, flings Revelations, his God-damned albino Burmese Python, towards Vader and Jim Cornette. Corny has a tennis racket for some reason. It’s all very strange.

Owen keeps talking about how old Jake Roberts is and Vince talks over him. Fuck Vince, even back before he became Mr. McMahon. Vader controls Jake until one single kick to the face turns the tide. Roberts calls for the DDT and is overpowered. Vader batters Roberts left and right. Roberts dodges a punch and hits Vader with a clothesline which barely fazes the monster. Roberts goes for the DDT and Vader, in the fall, pushes the referee and the ref disqualifies him! Whole match lasts 3:34. Vader beats the crap out of Roberts as Corny keeps the ref in the corner. Vader hits the Vader Bomb, the bell keeps being rung and the ref calls for more officials. Corny comes to his senses and holds Vader back. There’s a pushing match in the middle as Jake is brought backstage to advance into the final of the King of the Ring tournament with our man Stone Cold.

In a Coliseum Home Video Exclusive, it shows Vader crying like a child and bullying Corny, who seems to be in some sort of abusive relationship with Big Van. How odd.

2016 comments:

I love Vader, I love Corny and I love Jake Roberts, so this shit was amazing. Yes, the match was nonsense and seemed to be called on the fly, but I loved the pantomime of it. That said, it wasn’t a great match at all and I didn’t really understand the point of it. Who was going over here? Were we supposed to hate Vader and love Roberts? Because no one goes over. Vader looks like a big baby and Roberts looks old and weak. The win by DQ is a great way to get a villainous heel over but it looked like a genuine mistake (and the only time a ref has ever stopped a match because they were hit, in my memory).

Had Vader gone for a choke in the corner and the ref had tried to stop him, Vader had pushed him and the ref went flying, then Vader would have looked like a machine. That man can push a ref so hard, he springboards about the ring? What a champ! If Roberts had hit the DDT then and officials had entered the ring to check on his damaged neck whilst Vader rose to his feet in the background (he pushed a ref like a ragdoll and shrugged off a DDT? This man is a monster!) then Vader hit the Vader Bomb, both would have gone over. This was just sloppy.

1996 comments:

I hated Vader back in the day because he was the reason Foley lost an ear. I didn’t know who Corny was and Roberts was not a great watch.

Grade: D

On The Card will return on June 30th, 2016 for Part 2 of King of the Ring 1996.