ATTITUDE ERA #8: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 1

On the Card: Attitude Era #10 WrestleMania 13 – March 23, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House 13: Final Four. It was okay. The next PPV was WrestleMania! The thirteenth of its name!

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 13: Final Four 1997

Heat!

That’s right, motherfuckers: heat!

If there is one thing I remember about WrestleMania 13, it’s that I was always told it was the greatest Mania of all time. Back in the day, my family couldn’t afford PPVs and sometime in 2000, Channel 4 here in Ireland got the WWF. It was terrific. Until then, I had to rely on my friends who sometimes taped parts of Raw and some PPVs. It was like a really bad jigsaw puzzle… or every JRPG where you need to collect the sacred relics to recreate the yadda yadda and one part is in the frigid northlands (my friend Peter may have had the first hour of the Rumble) and the second bit is in the swamp (my buddy Decky had a lot of Mania 14, but the rest was some badly-dubbed German porn) etc. etc. A lot of my wrestling knowledge of this time comes from these sketchy memories, later helped by the advent of DVD and my job in TK Maxx that fuelled my extensive PPV collection. What I remember about Mania 13 is that my buddy Shane had it on tape and it was amazing to watch.

This takes me back. The PPV opens with a WrestleMania retrospective (including, 30 seconds in, a lovely shot of Pamela Anderson). We see Undertaker, Stone Cold, NOD, Sid, Bret, LOD and an announcer who thinks that he is narrating Game of Thrones. He also calls WrassleMania “the granddaddy of them all”, which is great.

Brilliant early nineties snazzy music as the weakest pyro in Christendom announces our arrival to the Rosemount Horizon, Rosemount, Chicago, Illinois. Playstation presents WrassleMania 13! Our announcers are growling Vincent Kennedy McMahon… and we don’t know who else because he doesn’t introduce them! There were 19,197 in attendance, with 16,467 paying with 2,730 comps and an average ticket sale of $50 per person. 237,000 buys at home, a dip from the 290,000 the year before, but the lowest PPV sales since the 1986 Mania which had a quarter of a million buys. This marks the steady decline in sales that started in 1993 and just kept getting lower until the sales exploded again the next year. Since then, they have remained (fairly) steady and around the 1,000,000 mark.

It is worth noting that this is often cited as the beginning of the Attitude Era, along with King of the Ring (my own personal “beginning”) and Survivor Series 1997 and the “Montreal Screwjob”.

Some cunts in the front row, some smarky ones have Blue World Order signs and t-shirts.

And before anything else happens, just to remind people that before the Attitude Era, there was childish nonsense, the Godwinns music hits and the pair of them rock up with Hillbilly Jim.

 (Note: Before the PPV began there was a dark match featuring Billy Gunn defeating Flash Funk and his two Funkettes: Tracy and Nadine.)

The Fink introduces the four-team elimination match as Phineas I. Godwinn and Henry O. Godwinn slap the shite out of everyone’s hands.

We finally get introduced to our announce team: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Vince McMahon and Jumping Jim “JR” Ross. Out Spanish announcers and clear stars of the show are Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. French announcers are Jean Brassard and Ray Rougeau. Great. Vince says, “In any language, it spells, ‘excitement’.”

The Headbangers come down, old Mosh and Thrasher, and we get told the rules: A tag can be made to any man. Any man at all. Two partners can tag themselves in, if they damn well please. When one member of a team is eliminated, they are both eliminated and the last team remaining wins. What do they win? They are the number one contender for the WWF Tag Team Championship of course! And where are the Tag Team Champions? Later in the PPV they wrassle, so chill young blood.

Down come Stiffy McStiff, Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon. There is little craic from the pair of them.

Before the New Blackjacks come down, we see the New Blackjacks, Cunt Bradshaw and Blackjack Windham AKA Barry Windham.

All hell breaks loose and the bell goes.

Four-Way Elimination Tag Match for the Number One Contender for the WWF Tag Team Championship: The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) def. The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Windham and Blackjack Bradshaw, The Godwinns (Phineas I. Godwinn and Henry O. Godwinn) (w/ Hillbilly Jim) and Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon in 10:39.

Christ, what a long title, by gum.

Everyone is fighting each other and trying to get the teams to their respective corners (which is stupid on his part, the ref should not have allowed the bell to ring). Bradshaw and Henry wrassle for a bit. Thrasher is tossed in and takes a boot from Bradshaw. Bradshaw, of course, in decent shape for a change. Bradshaw tags in Phineas and I can see that the wide-angle hard cam has some frame rate issues and I (hope) it’s not my ancient DVD that is doing it. Mosh is tagged in and the pair have to wrassle each other. Both the Headbangers have metal t-shirts on, with Mosh rocking a Metallica and Thrasher with a White Zombie T. The pair of them actually fight and tag in Phil Lafon with a lovely double flapjack. Blackjack Windham is in with his big moustache. Doug Furnas rocks in and hits a jumping hurricanrana. He tries a leapfrog, is caught, powerbombed and Bradshaw is tagged in.

King debates whether or not if two team members are in the ring and pin each other… do they both leave? Yes. Yes they do. Bradshaw drops Doug onto the outside. Bradshaw gets himself DQ’d by throwing the ref onto the ground.

Blackjack Bradshaw has been eliminated by DQ. The Blackjacks are eliminated in 4:55.

Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon have been eliminated in 4:55.

Stupid, stupid Bradshaw. He really does come across like the king of cunts, doesn’t he? Well he is. He’s the worst.

Phineas bodyslams Mosh then bodyslams Henry onto him. Silly gooses. Lovely huge delayed suplex. Jerry makes a Clinton joke. Say it to my face, Jerry, I dare you.

Henry tosses Thrasher into the corner. They spit on each other for a while. Thrasher does a lovely Flair flop spot and Mosh is tagged. Both Henry and Mosh go over the top rope. Mosh goes in first and guillotines Henry before jumping from the top rope. He shouts at the camera and then tosses Thrasher off the top rope. Vince tells us to forget about it and we do.

Jerry asks Vince if he has any White Zombie CDs. He doesn’t get it. Lovely big moonsault from Thrasher and he hits the hot tag on Mosh. Phineas clears the ring, throws Thrasher out, goes for the Slop Drop but it’s broken up. Mosh hits the seated senton and gets the pin in 10:39

Henry O. Godwinn has been eliminated by Mosh. The Godwinns are eliminated in 10:39.

The Headbangers are the winners and Number One Contenders for the WWF Tag Team Championship!

2017 comments:

Not bad, actually, and the crowd seemed to be into it. Seemed like a match called on the fly and would have preferred if it was just Godwinns vs. Headbangers without the bit at the start, being honest.

1997 comments:

I like these Headbanger yokes. Maybe I should listen to some White Zombie.

Grade: B

JR tries to explain the seated senton to us. They go backstage.

There is a promo for In Your House on April 20th. It doesn’t have a name yet. It will be “Revenge of the Taker”.

Back in the ring, it’s the fucking Honky Tonk Man. Captain Lou Albano is there. He’s the best. JR namedrops the fact that Honky and King are cousins.

The Sultan’s music hits and out comes Sheiky Baby with Rikishi, who, despite being a Samoan, is pretending to be Persian. Bob Backlund is there too, for some unknown reason. Sultan wears a mask. He could be a great gimmick, but it isn’t. This is an Intercontinental Championship match but there’s no history here.

Down runs Slammy Award-winning proto-Rock, Rocky Maivia. He has the old sideburns there as well.

Sheiky throws the flag about. Close up of Tony Atlas, tag partner of Rock’s dad, Rocky Johnson.

WWF Intercontinenatal Championship match: Rocky Maivia (c) def. The Sultan (w/ Bob Backlund and The Iron Sheik) via pin in 9:45.

Rock and Sultan are cousins in real life. Later, Sultan will run over Stone Cold Steve Austin for The Rock. Honky gives off because he says Rock is growing sideburns to impress him. Rock does this weird finger thing and Sultan bops him. Kip-up and the Rock kicks the shite out of Sultan, throwing him out. Rocky goes top rope but Sultan doesn’t see him. The crowd roar, “Rocky sucks!” and we see the beginning of the hatred for Rock. Jerry says that Rocky’s name should be Rookie! Brilliant.

Sultan kicks Rock in the gut and Rock is up, taking a choke-throw to the corner. Sultan attempts to pin Rock and fails. Rock covers his mouth to have a chat with Sultan, fights back, ducks a clothesline, takes a knee to the knee for his trouble and a lovely backbreaker. Sultan goes top rope and misses Rock, but both sell it anyways. Another cover, another fail. Irish whip and Rocky hits the sunset flip. Sultan double-chokes Rocky to lift him up, hits the belly-to-belly and another pin attempt. The announcers shit on Sultan and his speed.

Rest hold city from the pair of them. Earl Hebner is watching. Jerry makes a Christopher Reeve joke. Oy vey. More rest holds from Sultan. Rock looks like he might be out. The crowd is quite, quite dead. Earl hits my favourite spot – the hand drop! On the third, Rock wakes up and both men hit the clothesline at the same time. Rock rolls over onto Sultan and after a kickout, both men jump up. Shite selling, boys. You can’t be unconscious and wake up in seconds. Lovely punches, lovely dropkick, Rock hits the belly-to-belly, gets a kickout after two, hits a lovely spinning DDT, goes to the top rope, hits the cross-body and Sheiky Baby is distracting the ref. Sultan is up, but Rock hits the punches, the kicks, gets a superkick to the jaw, kicks out of a pin. Sultan piledrives Rock into the damn canvas and Honky makes a wheelchair reference. For shame, boys. Rocky hits the roll-up and gets the win by pin in 9:45.

2017 comments:

An okay match. Badly paced, though and neither men know how to sell.

1997 comments:

Are all these lads related?

Grade: B

JR goes to speak to Rock and Sultan is up and beating on Rock with the Intercontinental belt. Sheiky Baby, Backlund and Sultan beat on Rock. Sultan hits the frog splash, Sheik gets the camel clutch, breaks back, makes humble. Rocky Johnson is in the ring! By Christ, he’s in, he’s battering on Sultan and helping up Rock. Sultan gets the flag, beats on Rocky Johnson, tears off his shirt and Sheiky goes to camel Clutch but Rock is up, knocking Sultan out, turns on Sheiky Baby, hits a lovely scoop slam and Rocky does the same. Both men punch out Sheik and the pair of them hug mid-ring, shirts off. Earl cleans the house.

On the Card will return on March 30 2017 with the second part of 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 #6. Survivor Series (November 17, 1996) Part 1

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

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

WWF Survivor Series

Back to Attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: A+

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

Cut to outside on New York City.

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

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

Previously on On the Card: Fuck Bradshaw.

Promo for the Undertaker vs. Goldust match later and Goldust himself is coming out to the ring! Great stuff. Cut to a music video promo for the Undertaker, not that one is needed because he’s the motherfucking Undertaker. Lots of flashes and slow motion of him in his western garb. Mankind appears and the video becomes less paranormal, more sinister. Then heavy metal guitar kicks in and Paul Bearer is spinning with the Undertaker’s urn all lit up like Old Gregg’s downstairs mixup. We see Taker doing some smithing by a furnace. Video becomes dark again and Goldust is there with Mankind but then it’s back to the heavy metal and the kickass chokeslams that Taker is known for.

Back in the ring, Marlena and Goldust are by the announce team. Goldust is looking wonderful. Goldie is amazing with his wig and feather boa. He’s spouting some nonsense like Brando in Apocalypse Now. Then he’s up and away. Why he did that by the announce team and not cut the promo in the ring is beyond me. Maybe they wanted Free-For-All, which is before the PPV to be free of actual plot.

Cut to promo about the main event match – Camp Cornette (Vader, Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart and British Bulldog) against The People’s Posse (Shawn Michaels, Sycho Sid and Ahmed Johnson).

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Sid wasn’t even supposed to be in the match. It was supposed to be Ultimate Warrior until he realised that touching men in a wrestling match is similar to being gay, or something just as insane. He left the Fed and would not return until three days before he died.

Shot of the end of King of the Ring where Camp Cornette attacked Shawn after the Michaels vs. Bulldog match. Ultimate Warrior actually appears before it cuts to Gorilla Monsoon, kayfabe WWF President, announcing the indefinite suspension of Warrior. He gives the reason as the legit reason Warrior and the Fed fell out – he no-showed a couple of shows. His reason was that he was pissed that McMahon was keeping money from him due for Warrior merchandise, but here he’s the bad guy, not McMahon. Even 20 years later, I’m a little dubious about this. But then again, the man had an ego so big he wouldn’t sell for anyone so it doesn’t surprise me. Shots of Warrior getting beaten by Camp Cornette until Corny himself drops a promo on Michaels. Shawn and Ahmed appear to reveal their partner – Sycho Sid! Brock Samson himself starts screaming like he saw a guy in a stormtrooper helmet fall out of a wall and Shawn giggles behind him like a schoolgirl. At Raw, we see Cornette throwing water in Shawn’s face. As Michaels chases the fat little turd, both guys are ambushed by Camp Cornette. A car bursts into the scene and Sid jumps out to help his buddies. The announcer mentions that Sid has been institutionalised and questions his ability to stay in the match.

José Lothario is in the ring with Jim Cornette. José walks out to Michael’s Sexy Boy music. Jumping Jim Ross is there in the middle of the ring to start this debate named Face-To-Face. The lights are being messed about with as Corny chews the scenery in the best way possible. He threatens José and claims Camp Cornette are going to kick The People’s Posse in the arse. He threatens to beat Joeé Lothario out if he touches him. José is not close enough to the mic or speaking slowly or loudly enough to be heard. He also calls the WWF Championship, “The World… Federation… Championship”. I understand English is not his first language but come on, bro. Corny takes offence to the broken English and the pair square off in the middle of the ring. Corny goes to hit Lothario with his tennis racket and there are punches thrown. Vader slithers in and walks menacingly towards Lothario before Michaels slides in, damn near slides the whole way out of the ring. Schmoz and everyone leaves.

Then we have everyone’s milquetoast motherfucker Special K himself Kevin Kelly, standing by our man Stone Cold. Kevin Kelly says that Stone Cold was “one count away” from being beaten by the Wildman Marc Mero, which was akin to saying that I am one election away from being president. Stone Cold threatens him by saying, “In one second, I’m-a knock the hell out of you, son!” K-K steps back and Stone Cold drops Austin 3:16. Close up of that half-baked tache/soul patch combo that he’s attempting to rock. Kevin Kelly cuts to the alleged boot to the face that Austin took that required over a dozen stitches to fix, a kick to the mouth during Wildman’s roll up. Austin threatens Mero and mentions Sable, which causes Kelly to quickly shoot back to the arena.

The announce team are quiet for a while and Jim Ross is having trouble with his mic.

Cut to the locker room and Camp Cornette is there. Jim is hidden behind Big Van Vader who barks at the camera. Owen and Bulldog feel each other up as Diana looks on, gormless and wondering what temperature cheese melts at. The whole thing is a clusterfuck. Cut to announce team as Bulldog starts talking. Back to the locker room. It’s just gibberish. Cornette is great but the other wrestlers are desperate to get their own words in. Vince is talking over them. Total shit show.

Good old monochrome promo for International Incident and so far there have been more promos than actual wrestling. But it’s okay! There’s the big red thundercloud and we’re going into the… après preshow promo package of showing things that happened, like, twenty minutes ago. Guff stuff. We see Cornette and Lothario… at about 12 fps by the looks of it. Cut to the title without any discussion. This whole thing looks like it’s been put together by a child. But wait! There’s a gunshot and kids crowd to the side of the ring! What could it be? Who could it be? Why, it’s Sunny and the Smoking Gunns! Jim Ross has his mic fixed and Bart Gunn lets Sunny into the ring. Cut to the Bodydonnas and Skip (Chris Candido) and Zip talk about the lack of Kloudi near them.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Chris Candido and Sunny were an item for years. She cheated on him with everyone.

The Bodydonnas come out (the title says Body Donnas) and the match is set to begin…

The Bodydonnas def. The Smoking Gunns w/ Sunny via pinfall in 13:05

This is not a match for the Tag Team Championships so who gives a good God damn. Sunny jaws off to the announce team and the Bodydonnas double team frosted tips Aaron Carter lookalike Billy Gunn. Vince debates that because the belts are not up for grabs, the Bodydonnas have a psychological advantage which makes no sense. Surely that they would try harder if the belts were on the line?

Sunny batters on the ring, keeping clearly better time than that useless Sable. She’s a terrible metronome. Bodacious Bart gives a killer clothesline to Skip. Or is it Zip? The announce team will not shut up about Jake the Snake. He was due to wrassle Mankind but due to injury, he was replaced by Henry O. Godwinn. Jerry makes fun of Jake’s drinking, setting up the match at Summerslam. JR calls Sunny a jezebel, which is pretty much his go-to taunt for women over the next few years. Sunny “collapses” after getting the vapours. SkipZip picks her up and she gives him a slap, distracting him enough for the Smoking Gunns to double clothesline him. The ref lets all this happen, the tall glass of water. Near fall and the Bodydonnas are still in the match.

JR and King rag on each other for a while. Bodacious Bart throws SkipZip so hard into the turnbuckle, the man damn near dies. Those old nineties rings just sound like hell. SkipZip goes to the top rope. Bart catches him into a powerslam. Botched double team of some kind and Billy goes ballistic. The Gunns wail on SkipZip and he retaliates, getting a mean old whuppin’ for his trouble. Jewish referee Harvey Whippleman, a man who, at the age of 30 looks twice that, has no idea what’s going on. He keeps getting distracted and runs after the faces when the heels are up to no good! Fuck Wall Street man, the big crime is this inconsistent refereeing we’re seeing here.

We hear that Brian Pillman is manning the WWF Superstar line, which is amazing. He’s be talking about Charles Manson or something mental to some 8-year-old child who is still wondering where Ultimate Warrior is. Billy does a huge jump off the top rope and SkipZip catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Right on his old Gunnlets! Billy ragdolls about the ring, clutching his precious, precious manplums. Of course, their oil baron father will take him out of the will now. Without any ability to sire his own, he is worthless. The Gunn name is in the hands of Bodacious Bart, and we know that he has lain with cattle on occasion. His kin will be beasts, abominations unto the Lord Our God Jesus Who Is The Christ.

Sunny doesn’t seem happy one way or the other. Still, though, she’s keeping perfect time on the ring there, battering 4/4. Billy trips Zip, not Skip. Ref gives him lip. Skip takes a trip. Skip lands the pin and SkipZip pins Bart in 13:05.

2016 comments:

Heap of shite match. It was a nothing match that did not advance the plot or the feud. All that happened was the heel champs were heels, the faces fought back, cheated and won. No one went over and it was just an excuse to show off Sunny (fair enough) and for the Tag champs to get a payday. At least put the belts on the line and make it interesting. Two out of three falls or something. Have SkipZip cheat and Sunny to get the belts taken off them somehow. Make the heels looks snivelling and by-the-book, not like the parodies they are.

1996 comments:

What are the Hollys doing in red pants? And why is Road Dogg missing his dreads? Crazy stuff.

Grade: C

Sunny acts like the parody of Texas she is and takes her cowboy hat on, stomping about the ring like a toddler. Sunny screams like a child, as if they lost the belts. Sunny is lying down in the ring, dying for a shag, the rascal. The minute Chris Candido’s back is turned, she’s at it. The reply shows the jump from the turnbuckle to a missile dropkick was landed painfully. Some wrestlers are stupid.

Cut to Camp Cornette. Mr. Perfect is speaking to them all and another replay of the José Lothario/Jim Cornette slapping match during Free For All. Vader is destroying the locker room for some reason. Diana watches on, weird face on her. Owen is killing it with his heel business. the lot of them are slagging The People’s Posse whilst Mankind’s weird music plays in the background. Back in the day, he had tense music to start and different, softer music to finish.

Straight up Shoot Fact: The choice of different music for entrance and exit was based on a scene from Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lecter murders the two prison guards.

The strange thing about the entrance music is that, despite the fact that every wrestler has entrance music, none play about with it that much. New Jack in ECW used to have Ice Cube and Dr. Dre’s “Natural Born Killaz” play throughout his matches on a loop, like he wanted the match to be an action scene in a movie. That said, though, New Jack also stabbed other wrestlers and was generally a cunt so his innovations with theme music are not as impressive.

Mankind is running around the ring in the dark like a mentalist. There is a window gobo in the centre of the ring and he struts about it for a while. Ould Henry O. Godwinn turns up with Hillbilly Jim. The house prop in the background (of In Your House fame) is surrounded by mountees. For, you see, we are in Canada, which means that most of the crowd… are canuck. And, as we all know, that is the greatest betrayal of all. You know who else is canuck? Wolverine. And Deadpool.

Mankind looks on, staring at Henry O. Godwinn as he dances with Hillbilly Jim. Mankind has pulled his hair from his head and now sports bald patches here and there. Yeah, Mick. They’re the weird ones.

Mankind def. Henry O. Godwinn via KO in 6:54

Henry O. Godwinn shouts, “Hooo-eee!” to the crowd and Mankind goes mental, beating him about the head and trying to bite him. Irish Referee Tim White is on the case, though. JR explains that Mankind has applied the Mandible Claw four times on the Undertaker, which seems both excessive and uninteresting. Irish whip and Henry hits Mick with one hell of a powerslam. Mankind goes to leave, thinks better of it and returns to the ring. He boots Godwinn to the ground. King quips, out of the blue, “One good thing about Canada: they don’t have an Arkansas, the state that gave us the Godwinns and a president named Bubba.

Fuck the King for besmirching the good name of Clinton.

King then makes a reference to Jake the Snake again: “Unlike Bubba, Jake always inhaled.” Godwinn, annoyed by this, beats on Mankind for a while and the ring is being stunk up by both these men. Great bulldog by Mankind followed by an elbow. Mankind roars for a bit, pulls at his hair and starts hammering Godwinn in the corner. JR tells us that he believes, “Mankind is the most dangerous man in the World Wrestling Federation. Mankind removes the mat outside the ring and gives Godwinn a neckbreaker to the concrete before throwing him back in the ring. Godwinn punches the psycho from his knees and takes over. Mankind jumps to the turnbuckle and cracks his head. Great clothesline from Godwinn and Mankind is thrown onto the exposed concrete.

Godwinn starts “hoo-eee!”-ing and Mankind becomes furious, applying the Mandible Claw, resulting in the knockout in 6:54.

2016 comments:

What can there be said about a match that lasts less than seven minutes, all of them uneventful? Sick bump to the concrete aside, the match was the drizzling shits.

1996 comments:

I love Mankind. I wish he would do bumps to concrete from higher places.

Grade: C-

Mankind rolls about the place as a guy in the crowd rocks a stormtrooper t-shirt, a clear reference to that one guy who fell through a wall. Mankind pure sprints down the aisle towards the mounties. They’re not impressed.

On the Card will return on August 4th with the second part of In Your House 9: International Incident 1996.

Attitude Era #1. King of the Ring (June 23, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Good Stone Cold match, crap Jake The Snake match.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: The Smoking Gunns (c) w/ Sunny def. The Godwinns via pinfall in 10:10

Oh those gosh-darned Gunns!

I will tell you one thing: during the nineties, the Fed knew how to properly gimmick up a tag team. I tell you what. I don’t need to know the damned backstory of these two teams. We have the hillbilly Godwinns against the Texan Gunns. I’m just going to assume that they’re cattle rustlers and oil barons. That’s it. That’s all I need.

The Smoking Gunns are Bodacious Bart Gunn and (Bad Ass) Billy Gunn before D-X turned him into a butt-loving butt lover. The Godwinns are Henry O. Godwinn and Phineas I. Godwinn AKA Mideon and are managed by Hillbilly Jim. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise that their initials spell HOG and PIG. They come to the ring with barnyard animals. This is a comedy tag team at its best because they’re loving their characters without it being too in-your face and over-the-top. This is either going to be the best match of the card or a filler.

Turns out it’s somewhere in the middle. I generally do not rate tag matches because they follow all the same tropes: your favourite wrestler watches a match three-quarters of the time whilst people you don’t care about build up to the hot tag where everyone is steamrolled and then pinned. Occasionally there’s some infighting and referee distractions and the rules don’t matter. But I am just so taken by the gimmicks in this match. The Godwinns come to the ring with baby goats under their arms. Both brothers are wearing dungarees and colourful Hoganesque yellow and red. There’s lots of dancing and swinging around. All very kid-friendly.

The Gunns cut a promo and by that I mean that Sunny cuts a promo. Say what you want about Tammy Sytch, the woman had charisma coming out of her eyes. No wonder Shawn Michaels and her would bump uglies for months. The Gunns come out, all in leather and jeans, full of smoke like they’ve been burning some of that Texas tea that they love so much. No wonder they’re the heels. The match hasn’t even started yet and I’m enjoying myself so much.

Cut to Free-For-All showing the Bodydonnas and “Kloudi” their new valet. The line between genuine comedy and so-bad-it’s-good comedy has blurred somewhat for me. Owen says Sunny is better than Sable, because the Gunns are tag champs and Mero has no belt. Sunny is clearly over with the crowd. One of the Godwinns tries to throw some slop over Sunny. Billy causes the distraction and Bart takes over as the match begins, 426 words later. Owen takes some time to say that Yokozuna is fat and Phineas (red Mideon) has one of his “spells” where he goes into a black rage. Kloudi appears at the bottom and calls Vince “Mr. McMahon” before blowing JR a kiss.

Henry Godwinn gets Bodacious Bart into an arm lock and he taps out – oh, but wait, it’s not an official tap out in some way, even though he slapped the ring thrice. Billy kicks Henry in the back, tags in, and the pair of them give a beatdown to the Yellow Godwinn. This whole time, Hillybilly Jim is presumably trying to sell the livestock to the crowd. Maybe Bowl Cut Kid buys one to sacrifice to whatever god he believes in, some Eldritch abomination, no doubt, that gives him his wicked powers. Bodacious Bart gets some licks in and Henry gets a roll-up and almost gets the three. Both men go down and we’re building up to the hot tag. Phineas gets excited and the ref goes to calm him down before Bart casually steps into the ring, claps his hands together to simulate a tag and the ref is none that wiser.

Those damn cheatin’, rootin’, tootin’ Gunns!

Bart goes for the leg drop and misses, leading to the hot tag, a schmoz and in the rabble, a boot goes over the back of the head of Phineas Godwinn and Billy Gunn pins him for the win in 10:10.

2016 comments:

This was a terrible match, even by tag team midcard nineties standards, but I am so taken by this backstory that the Gunns and the Godwinns have some family feud over land that I enjoyed thinking of vignettes where the Gunns would be trying to rustle some cattle from the Godwinns and they would have these harebrained traps set up like simpletons. In my mind, there was a lot of hat-stomping. None of these vignettes ever existed, of course, they were all in my head, which goes to show that this match was so unentertaining that I had to find enjoyment in my imagination. In 2016.

1996 comments:

I didn’t put any weight into tag matches during this time because there were only about four tag teams in the whole company. And let’s face it, no good tag teams would come along until The Acolytes, Brood and Hardys. I probably skipped this match, if I’m being honest.

C-

As the Gunns leave to a chant of SUNNY! from the crowd, we cut to Fabulous Freebird Dok Hendrix interviewing Camp Cornette: Corny, Bulldog and Clarence Mason, who is a Johnnie Cochran analogue, though I like to believe he is a member of the USCIS. Corny cuts a killer promo on Michaels and there is a lot of anger behind it, which is fair enough because at this time, Michaels was an absolute diva. Corny has a bunch of great stories about Shawn being a total son of a bitch at this point in history. Mr. Perfect comes in and Bulldog starts shouting at Michaels, ending with, “you’re mine in less than a few short hours away,” which seems redundant. His wife, Diana Hart-Smith, is hanging out behind him, presumably checking out his backne.

The Ultimate Warrior def. Jerry “the King” Lawler via pinfall in 3:50

The music hits and Lawler comes out with his shit-eating grin. The King is at King of the Ring, which makes the tournament superfluous. He inspects the regal merchandise as an RF Video sign hangs behind him. This is before his full-time commentary post in the fed, though he had commentated PPVs in the past, and his patter is instantly recognisable. He calls the people of Milwaukee losers and spends a good amount of time building some cheap heat from the crowd. A girl wearing a Marilyn Manson t-shirt does not appreciate his shit. He drops some pretty harsh words to members of the crowd, calling specific ones fat, ugly and at one point tells a pair of girls that they have faces that “turn men into, well, people like Goldust.” Even for mid-nineties heat, it’s pretty harsh stuff.

This goes on for damn near five minutes. We see a cut from two weeks ago where the King hit Ultimate Warrior on the back of the head with a painting. Jerry doesn’t seem to notice the huge Warrior pyro that is set up behind him in the ring, and seems shocked when Warrior’s music hits and the pyro lights up. Down runs the man that selling forgot and he starts hyping up the crowd by shaking himself like a big bowl of jelly. He is basically a buff Santa, let’s face it. Lawler hits him with the King of the Ring sceptre and the ref stupidly rings for the bell before spending the first minute trying to stop Lawler from choking Warrior with the damned sceptre. Surely foreign objects are some of the things you need to check for before starting a match?

Warrior fights back and actually sells the punches Lawler dishes out. Lawler uses his hand tape to choke Warrior for a while and hits his piledriver. Warrior no sells it, because he’s a cunt. He runs about the ring like child, hits a couple of clotheslines, a jumping lariat and pins Lawler for the win.

2016 comments:

Holy crap! A Warrior match! This is going to be- oh wait, is that it? I had fond memories of the Warrior from being a child, which was his entire point, I suppose, and Lawler is a fantastic heel, so thought this would be similar to what it was – cheating Lawler gets the upper hand and eventually is toppled. I did not realise that Warrior was going to be such a cunt about the whole thing, but it wasn’t long before he left the Fed (this would be his last PPV appearance as a performer, though he appeared at WrestleMania XXX after being inducted into the Hall of Fame) and you could see he did not give a shit. Honestly, the only reason the man lived so long on his diet of steroids, homophobia and insanity is because he was determined that his last act in the Fed was not this shitty match, but that amazing promo he cut when being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He died one day after his final appearance on RAW.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: He legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993 and his children carry “Warrior” as a surname. That’s pretty boss.

1996 comments:

Holy crap! The annoying announcer was a wrestler?

D

On the Card will return on July 7th with the second part of King of the Ring 1996.