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

 

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

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

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

WWF In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede 1997

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna) vs. Mankind.

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

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

Grade: A.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boooooring! Boooooring!

Oh. Well that is very disappointing, Rhode Island!

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

Twelve out of ten.

Grade: C.

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

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

Mankind rolls down the aisle after the heels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

All the referees!

Grade: B.

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

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

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

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

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

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

WWF King of the Ring 1997

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

I can’t stay mad at you, Chyna.

Grade: C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

I can’t stay mad at you, Mankind.

Grade: C.

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

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

ATTITUDE ERA #10: 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.