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?
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!
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!
Twelve out of ten.
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.
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.
All the referees!
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.