Ruthless Aggression #20. Vengeance: Night of Champions (June 24, 2007)

On the Card: Ruthless Aggression #20 Vengeance: Night of Champions – June 24, 2007

The Ruthless Aggression Era was a time when the WWE roster was so huge and so varied that they had no way of continuing storylines each week on their two main shows – RAW and Smackdown – and so they created the draft where wrestlers and announcers would be drafted onto either one of the two shows. Smackdown wrestlers would not (usually) be able to appear on Raw or interact with Raw wrestlers and vice versa.

Ten years ago, on June 24, 2007, Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007 aired. It was a WWE PPV, as WWE had dropped Brand-named PPVs after No Way Out in February. This one was tri-branded and had Raw, Smackdown and ECW matches on the card. It is noticeable for taking place on June 24th, 2007, which was the date that Chris Benoit hung himself after murdering his wife and son. He no-showed this PPV and was replaced by Johnny Nitro in the CM Punk ECW Heavyweight Championship match. I will go into more detail about this horrific crime and the effect it had on the wrestling business as well as myself in the conclusion to this review. For now, I will state that personally, the PPV came at a time where I had grown weary with professional wrestling, confused by the sheer number of wrestlers and unwilling to spend so much time per week watching hours of footage and trawling through shows, replays, promos and matches. I simply watched the PPVs. Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after a decade as well as my original thoughts as a younger man watching it at the time.

WWE Vengeance: Night of Champions 2007

Night of Champions

Did it just use its own name as a tagline? My God.

The promo package tells us that everyone wants to win the gold, which is true, and that this PPV has a gimmick where every belt is on the line! Whaaat? I’m sure this has happened before.

Batista and Edge in a Last Chance Match. Yeo. Will Batista win? Probably.

Bobbo Lasher and Mick Foley and Randy Orton and Booker T and John Cena for the WWE Championship. Mentalnuts.

There’s a shot of an altar with… wrought iron? Tentacles? Who knows? We are welcomed into the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas by Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “the King” Lawler. But first, Justin Roberts introduces Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo! That’s right, old Blackjack Winham and IRS, brothers-in-law and members of the US Express. They won the belts twice in 1985 and held them for a total of 137 days. Not too shabby. Cut to some lovely footage of the lads with Captain Lou Albano.

No time! No time to talk! Old Jeff and Fat Matt Hardy are rocking to the ring, beltless. They lost the belts to Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch on the June 4th RAW, one day after beating the World’s Greatest Tag Team in a ladder match at One Night Stand. Some facts there for you.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a dark match that featured Super Crazy and Carlito. At least one of them should not have been there.)

Finally, JR and King introduce us to the announce team alongside 15,000 roaring fans in the arena and 247,000 at home (a drop, once again, from the 337,000 the year previous). JR and King represent RAW and… there are other announcers, too, apparently, but we will get to them soon enough. JR states that Cade and Murdoch are opportunistic for taking the belts one day after a big ol’ ladder match. The crowd bay for the Hardys.

Tag Team Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy.

Champs never come out first but always get first billing. Them’s the rules.

We have nine matches on the card. Almost all of them will be sub-ten-minutes. Fat Matt to start off against Cade. JR gives off about Cade and Murdoch for a while. Despite their match at Judgment Day, Cade and Murdoch are the nasty heels. Cade holds out his hand, shit eating grin upon his face, and Matt takes advantage, making the audience cheer for him. Lovely running of the ropes and Jeff hits a cross-body to knock Cade down. Jeff is in and they botch a leg-drop-senton double team. Murdoch comes in and a botched swinging neckbreaker. Murdoch gets a kick in the face and lovely enziguri before Matt comes in with an axe-handle nothing. Lovely Poetry in Motion and slingshot baseball slide. Matt comes in and both Hardys clean house. Matt and Jeff stand in the ring as Cade and Murdoch say, “fuck it!” and walk off. Hardys roll out and beat on them for being cowards.

Both Cade and Murdoch rock in and Matt takes pity on Murdoch, who begs for his life. Murdoch tags in Cade sneakily and as Matt squares up to Murdoch, Cade Pearl Harbours him. Crowd bay for Jeff and the hot tag is built up. Murdoch’s eye is hurt from an injury at Smackdown, I think. Cade pops in and works on Matt’s left knee. Murdoch comes in and does the same. Matt fights back but Murdoch takes over with a single legged Boston Crab. Matt crawls away to the ropes and fails to reach them. More pressure applied to Matt’s knee. Matt might tap out. Jeff is desperate to get in and Matt kicks Murdoch on the face, runs up the hot tag, Jeff bounces in and botches his way through a clearing of the house.

Cade gets pinned but kicks out. Jeff retaliates, hits a lovely twisting moonsault, fails another pin. Sit-out vertical suplex and Jeff goes to the top rope and twice does Murdoch knock him off. Lovely sit-out spinebuster by Cade and they retain by pin.

Lance Cade has pinned Matt Hardy. Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch retain the World Tag Team Championship in 08:55.

2017 comments:

Good opener. Both teams are very good, though have distinctly different styles. Although the Hardys were not as high-speed as they usually are, it was a clean win and both teams go over. Well, it wasn’t totally clean and the champions are obviously cheaters, but that’s that.

2007 comments:

No Swanton? No Twist of Fate? No wonder they lost.

Grade: B.

Matt looks on in horror as Lance and Trevor leave. Trevor has a wee word with the US Express there. Neither look impressed. Matt sits near Jeff as replays the closing moments, including the seemingly botched interruption. The champs say, “All by the rules!”

Cut to Booker and his mental with Sharmell. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Booker – since Wrestlemania 23, in fact. Booker – in an English accent, no less – states all of his championships and gives his Queen a resume that proves that he should be a champion tonight.

Cut to Cowardly Cole and Cunt JBL. They talk about Eddie and JBL talks about his Eddie’s career will be intertwined with his own. Yes, but not because you’re a good wrassler, JBL, but because Eddit accidentally cut himself badly in a fight. We see a match betwixt our boy Eddie and Bork Lensar, who is a shaved gorilla, but otherwise a lovely bloke.

Crowd chant for Eddie as his less-interesting nephew Chavo comes out.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Chavo was one of the gentlemen who Benoit got in contact with regarding his suicide. Chavo had spoken to Benoit on Saturday and Benoit had told Chavo that he loved him, which Chavo later said sounded “off” to him. Chavo was also a recipient of a text from Benoit and his wife’s phone giving their address. Spooky.

Chavo is the Cruiserweight champion… and comes down first, apparently. God dammit, Fed. Is it just me? Am I wrong. No. No, it is the Federation who is wrong.

Cut to Dean Malenko, the man of 1000 holds, which would be interesting, of course, if not for Jericho, who knows one more.

Jimmy Wang Yang turns up, the resident redneck. What a lad. I love this boy. He’s brilliant. He’s a real lad. Look at him, with his moustache and the whole wife-beater-and-jeans thing going on. He’s like Dean Ambrose, only with talent.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship match: Chavo Guerrero (c) vs. Jimmy Wang Yang.

Referee Charles “Little Naitch” Robinson there as Cole tells us that the first Cruiserweight Champ was Brian Pillman. That was back in WCW, but they don’t tell you that. Jimmy hits a lovely hip toss and a roll-up but fails. Chavo’s father, Chavo Classic was also Cruiserweight Champ. Chavo calls the ref over, takes advantage of the situation and attacks Jimmy before tossing him into the corner. Jimmy takes over, hits a lovely dropkick and an amazing suplex. Pin and fail.

Jimmy does a sweet run up Chavo’s body and backflips. Chavo baseball slides Jimmy on the apron and tosses him back in, going top rope but getting an enziguri from Jimmy to knock him to the outside. Jimmy goes top rope and hits a cross-body. Jimmy rolls Chavo back in and hits the pin but fails. Fantastic hip-toss from Chavo into the corner, by Christ. Nice side-suplex from Chavo and a pin but fail. Chavo gets Jimmy in a hold and he fights back, tosses Chavo, gets reversed, falls, and Chavo hits the senton. Very confident Guerrero. The crowd chant, “We want Wang!”

Jimmy fights back and hits a wonderful backdrop followed by an Atomic drop onto Chavo’s balls. Jimmy hits an odd cartwheel attack, another cross-body from the top rope and almost a pin-fall. Chavo hits the Three Amigos and gets boos. Jimmy escapes, goes for a pin but Chavo has the bottom rope. Chavo rolls out of the way of a moonsault and hits a Gory Special attempt. Roll-up and Chavo kicks out. The crowd boo. Jimmy is lifted onto the turnbuckle, is knocked onto the ground and Chavo hits the frog splash for the win.

Chavo Guerrero has pinned Jimmy Wang Yang and retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in 10:16.

2017 comments:

Good old match. Not as flippy as we expect from Jimmy, but he was so over, it didn’t matter.

2007 comments:

Man, fuck Chavo.

Grade: B.

JR uses the Owen Voice to tell us about Vince McMahon’s alleged death by limo explosion.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: This is infamous because the Raw following Vengeance was due to be a tribute to our man Vince, but it was changed, obviously, to a tribute to Benoit before the news was revealed hours later about the truth of Benoit’s actions. At the ECW the following night, Vince took back the Benoit reference and began the long, arduous process of bleaching him from the WWE.

JR introduces a look into Vince’s “mindset”, showing his last moments and the premonition he had about a dark cloud that then was revealed to be his upcoming death. Twice, Vince looks behind himself and then he hesitates before opening the door to his limo, he steps in, steps out and blows up. The footage was made from spliced footage filmed the Sunday before Raw and an outside agency – Zenith Pyrotechnology – was called in to make it look as effective as possible. Crowd sing, “Na na na na! Waaaay, goodbye.”

Then there’s an opinion piece as to who was responsible for Vince dying. Cut to Bobby Lashley being asked if he had anything to do with the death. He says he wishes Vince was alive to see the look on his face when he wins the belt tonight.

Cut to Tazz and Joey Styles wanking off about Tazz being the greatest ECW Champion of all time.

CM Punk comes down. This is a match to determine who should be the ECW Champion. As mentioned, his opponent in this match was going to be Benoit. Punk half-heartedly throws his t-shirt into the crowd.

For some reason, Justin Roberts introduces Johnny Nitro before he enters the Titantron. No Melina or paparazzi or Joey Mercury tonight so it’s clear that Johnny was added as an afterthought. But Melina is actually on the card tonight, so I don’t see why they couldn’t have her walk him to the ring?

Match for the vacant ECW World Championship: CM Punk vs. Johnny Nitro.

Johnny takes the time to get out of the corner as the crowd chant, “We want Benoit!” Gulp.

The two circle one another and Johnny actually checks the chants before CM Punk kicks the shite out of Nitro, who rolls out of the ring, steps on the apron, slaps Punk and is chased about the ring. Punk slaps the face off Nitro and he gets a lovely springboard kick to the head from Nitro. Punk shakes off the cobwebs as Nitro gets him into a rest hold for a bit as they decide on the next spot. Punk fights out, gets a clothesline to the face and then a boot from Nitro.

Lovely armbar. The crowd want Benoit and he shouts, “You got Johnny Nitro!” The announcers discuss the late change and what that means for Johnny in Kayfabe. Backbreaker and another sleeper hold. Punk fights out of it, gives a lovely enziguri to Nitro and both men take their time getting up. Punk takes over, booting Nitro all about the place and attempting a pin. Nitro reverses a knee lift and Nitro gets a pin with his feet on the ropes but the ref sees it. Punk goes for the GTS but Nitro escapes into a sunset flip which Punk refuses to Aloha Arn. A bulldog from Punk and he pops up to the top rope, attempts a springboard which Johnny escapes from. He then hits a swinging elevated neckbreaker and get the pin.

Johnny Nitro has pinned CM Punk to win the ECW World Championship in 8:00.

2017 comments:

Going through the motions. Neither of the men had a chance to put on a great match and you could see Punk was Grumps McGraw in this match.

2007 comments:

Where was Benoit?

Grade: C.

So, it turns out that Punk was going to fail anyways. That’s a kick in the teeth, isn’t it?

Cut to WrestleMania XII where Bret and Shawn squared off in an Iron Man match for the championship. Shawn refused to submit at the end of the match and it continued under Sudden Death, which is a nice way of saying that now it is a normal match, I guess. Shawn got the pin after a Sweet Chin Music.

Cut to Mick Foley in the locker room, wrapping his knuckles. Randy is there and threatens Mick saying that he has ended careers. Mick reminds Randy that he’s an absolute headcase. Randy says that he won the last match they had. He won it. He won that match.

Cut to Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and his Intercontinental Championship win. He then pops out himself, waves to the crowd and gets more than the US Express earlier.

Out comes the current Intercontinental Champion, Santino Marella, who was apparently just a fan until he beat Umaga in Milan.

Out comes Umaga, who was an absolute murderer until Cena destroyed him. Now he’s back to just being another wrestler. He shouts at the ring steps for being a mean old set of steps.

WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Santino Marella (c) vs. Umaga.

Umaga screams and Santino dodges out of the way of his charge, attempts a roll-up and fails. Santino is on Umaga’s back and the Samoan drops backwards, squashing Marella. Umaga goes for a splash and Santino gets the knees up but no joy. The crowd chant, “Umaga’s gonna kill you!” and the Samoan gets the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on Santino. Marella fights back, attempts to run away and he sells his hand being paralysed. Umaga lifts him up, beats him in the corner and after the shortest five count in history, the ref calls for a DQ.

Umaga has been disqualified by failing to move away from the corner after a five count. Santino Marella retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship by default in 02:34.

2017 comments:

Ugh. If you’re going for a short match, make it believable. Have Umaga fight the referee, maybe, toss him, refuse to let go, bloody Santino up. It just looks like Umaga has been unfairly treated. Shit. Who is the heel here?

2007 comments:

This Santino might be the best champion ever.

Grade: C.

Umaga chases the referee, goes top-rope and splashes Santino. Why? He should be mad at the ref. The crowd chant for “U-Mah-Gah!” and he leaves. He’s clearly not a heel. He rolls back in, shots the thumb and hits the Samoan Spike into Marella’s throat. The crowd chant, “One more time!” but he does not hit it one more time. Maria rocks down the ramp and rolls into the ring to look after Santino. Replays of the ref giving a five count and instantly calling DQ. As Daniel Bryan would say, “He has until five, referee.”

Cut to an ad for Summerslam, featuring Jackass.

Cut to Coward Moustache Michael Cole and Cunt JBL as they talk for some time about the limo explosion. Daniel Beck, the lead federal investigator for the incident. He tells us that forensics have confirmed DNA evidence for Vince, the limo driver and another third party, who is a “well-known personality”.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Cunt President Donal Trump legitimately thought that Vince was dead. I would normally take the time to point out how imbecilic this was… if not for the fact that stocks dropped because of the storyline, showing that money doesn’t necessarily equate to common sense.

Reminder that tomorrow is a three-hour celebration of Vince. Eep.

Cut to Magnum TA, former US Champ, who survived a car crash that left him in the wreck for two hours before ambulance arrived. This car crash ended his career and it was feared that damage to his vertebrae would leave him paralysed for life, but he was able to walk again with the aid of a cane.

MVP appears, ready to kick arse in his onesie. Farty pyro fires off. He squares off to Magnum TA who is standing beside Sign Guy, who has a sign that says, “A Horseman vs A Horse’s Ass”. Brilliant. The jerk beside Magnum TA is doing the Cena, “U Can’t C Me” sign.

Big woo as walking leather handbag Ric Flair walks to the ring. His entrance is cut short as MVP dives out of the ring to jaw off to Flair. Flair has been drafted to SmackDown at the grand old age of 58. Oy vey.

WWE United States Championship match: Montel Vontavious Porter (c) vs. Ric Flair.

Bell rings and MVP jaws off to Flair before the two lock up. MVP gets Flair in a corner, shouts shit in his face and the two argue before Flair woos and gives MVP a slap. Flair struts in the centre of the ring, MVP takes his time on the outside before rolling back in. The two bucks shout at each other and taunt. Flair gets cheers and MVP gets booed. Flair gets MVP into a leg lock and there’s a lovely wee rest hold. MVP gets to the ropes and Flair attempts a leg snap. Rake of the eyes and Flair is lifted onto the apron before being booted off. The champ goes out, picks up Flair and hammers his head off the apron. Pin in the ring followed by another and some punches before another pin and rest hold. Flair has bladed.

Flair gets to the ropes to break the hold and MVP stomps him. Flair is in the corner, takes some shots but survives. Some Flair chops and punches before a big back drop from MVP. He checks his chest and zips back up his top. Yeo. Rest hold city over here. A lone fan in the crowd woos. Flair fights back and knocks the champ back. Lovely fireman’s carry into gorilla press and a pin but still no win. The announcers talk about other champs and how they would feel about MVP. Flair hits a jawbreaker and slaps MVP on the ropes. Dodgy botched choke into backdrop and Flair chops away at MVP, runs the ropes and hits the high elbow. Back body drop and Flair is still in control, going for the ten punch in the corner but only getting five before MVP escapes.

MVP goes for another boot in the corner but misses. Flair attacks the knee, struts and attacks the knee again. Figure Four is locked in and MVP is reaching for the ropes before reaching it easily. Flair takes a thumb to the eye, hits the Playmaker for the win.

MVP has pinned Ric Flair and retains the WWE United States Championship in 8:43.

2017 comments:

Nice of them to unwrap Flair and feed him the Lazarus Solution to resurrect him once again.

2007 comments:

Did we really think Flair could ever win?

Grade: C.

Maggle tells us that Flair was in control. We see the ref pull Flair away – not DQing him like they did to Umaga – and MVP leaves, still the champ.

Backstage, Todd Grisham speaks to John Cena, who hits Todd and gives the big thumbs up to the camera. Edge appears and the pair waste time talking about the failed Vince McMahon Whodunnit. Cena tells Edge that he’s too soft to kill Vince. Edge basically implicates himself and the FBI guys appears to ask Edge some serious questions about a death that never actually happens.

By the side of the crowd is Rick Martel and Tony Garea, who were Tag Team champs back in the day. A different tag team, of course, to the World Tag Team Champions earlier… Confused much?

Deuce ‘n Domino come out, all shoo-bopping and doo-wopping with Cherry on her roller blades. I like this gimmick. It’s silly. Deuce lifts up Cherry and walks her three steps. They won the tag team belts from Paul London and Brian Kendrick. Deuce and Domino make fun of Martel and Garea, saying that the place stinks and that they thought the old champs were dead. Stay classy.

Sgt. Slaughter’s music hits and out he rocks, saluting to everyone, pointing and shouting. Then out comes legit murderer, Jimmy Snuka. This is the second match in a row with ancient wrestlers fighting new wrestlers. Cunt JBL talks about calling Ron Simmons and starting up the APA. Cole tries to be his friend. JBL turns him down.

Tag Team Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Deuce ‘n Domino (c) (w/ Cherry) vs. Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.

Deuce starts off and Cole tells us that it’s a bit odd that Snuka and Slaughter are tagging together as they feuded back in the day. Botched running of the ropes and jumping as Domino jumps too early and lands on Snuka’s neck. He hits Domino a bunch and tags in Slaughter, who hits a pump-handle gutbuster and snapmare for a pin. Big fail. Slaughter tosses Domino about and gives him a back body drop. Another pin. Another fail.

Slaughter hits the Cobra Clutch and finds the rope pretty quickly. Big elbow shots and Domino takes a big old clothesline. Another Cobra Clutch and Deuce walks back. Deuce hits Slaughter, why he doesn’t tag in is beyond me. Finally, he does and a ref distraction causes the choke from Domino. Domino tags Deuce in.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Deuce is, of course, the son of Jimmy Snuka.

Deuce is beating on Slaughter, looks at his dad, goes to the top rope, hits a taunt on Superfly, does a big splash but fails. Slaughter goes for the tepid tag and the dad whups his son for a while. Snuka pins his son and Domino jumps in to break it up. Slaughter pulls him out and Superfly hits his son with a ribbreaker. He goes to the top rope and Cole fucks up the naming of the splash. Domino fails to knock him off – probably a botch – and Snuka hits the splash, rolls through and Deuce gets the pin.

Deuce has pinned Superfly Jimmy Snuka to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship in 6:34.

2017 comments:

Jesus, boys, at least do a bit of training before getting into the ring.

2007 comments:

Did we really think that Deuce ‘n Domino won by accident?

Grade: C.

The heel champs beat on the losers and Martel and Garea run in to save them. Big cheer as the winners run off. Then Superfly’s music hits as the old men are awkward mid-ring. Replays of the “win” and subsequent beat-down.

Coming up next, it’s the last chance match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Edge vs. Batista. Replays of their last few matches and we’re all very impressed with Edge’s thong.

Cole talks about Harley Race, an eight-time NWA champion and King of the Ring winner.

The champ, Edge comes out first once again. Because why wouldn’t he? Edge lists his belt for the farty pyro. He is called the “Ultimate Opportunist”, which is not really true, is it? If it were, he’d be taking every opportunity he could, including DQing himself in order to retain quickly.

Batista rocks out with his new haircut, hits his gatling gun pyro and strolls to the ring, rocking on his toes. Cole tells us that he asked Batista, “What are you gonna do tonight? It’s your last chance,” which is almost as stupid as when he asked Austin, “Are you ready to enter hell?” back in 2001, the fucking ghoul.

Batista rolls out, chases Edge off and hugs Harley Race. Real babyface.

Edge kisses the belt and the bell is rung.

Last Chance Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. Batista.

Batista cannot wait to get his hands on Edge, going for his legs almost instantly. The pair hammer on each other and Batista hits the pin pretty early on but fails to keep him down. A wee rest hold from the two men and Batista stalks his enemy, constantly holding onto rest holds. Edge fights back and gets the Animal in the corner, but is limping from the damage pretty early on. Lovely Bossman Slam from Batista followed by a pin that fails. Annoying whistling person in the crowd. Batista gets thrown out of the ring and lies there for a while. Edge rocks out, hitting the axe-handle-nothing from the apron. Batista lifts Edge up but he escapes and reverses it into a lovely push into the steel ring post.

Batista reenters the ring and Edge is on him, hammering him on the back of the neck. Edge runs Batista’s shoulder into the steel post and we stand around for a while. Very slow pace here. Batista goes to the apron and gets hit with a baseball slide. Edge hot-dogs and grandstands for the crowd as Batista really sells the baseball slide. Batista rocks back into the ring and he have… armbar city. Both men are either gassed or purposely bringing the pace down. I can’t wee why. Batista hits an arm drag, is thrown – once again – into the corner, shoulder first, and follows it up with a short, sharp tug. Batista falls back, has trouble getting to his feet and does so, fighting back before a drop-toe-hold moves straight into an armbar. Armbar city.

Batista lifts Edge into a fireman’s carry into a Samoan Drop but Edge holds on, holding as tight as he can. Batista battles to his feet, punches Edge, lifts him into the corner and gets a boot to the face for his effort. Batista’s veins are all twisted and gross. Edge drives at Batista, but the Animal hits a murderous clothesline. Ten count starts.

Both men are up and Batista hits a looooovely back body drop. It is beautiful. Batista then hits a swinging Rock Bottom on Edge but fails to hit the pinfall. He sets up the Batista Bomb but Edge escapes and hits the DDT. Edge is amazed that it means nothing. He rocks out, grabs his belt and the ref shouts at him. Roll-up from Batista. Roll-up from Edge. Dominator attempt by Batista, Edge-O-Matic from Edge. Both men are down, both men are up and a spear from Batista knocks the champ down. Edge whups his arm right up to hit the Animal with a low blow.

Edge has disqualified himself by an illegal action. Batista is the winner of this match but Edge still retains World Heavyweight Championship in… 16:50?

Something fucky’s going on here. Same thing happened ten years ago at In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker with Owen Hart and British Bulldog being illegally pinned by the Legion of Doom.

Teddy Long rocks out and restarts the match. He adds the stipulation that a further DQ will cause Edge to lose his championship. Edge bounces back in and the bell goes despite the fact that Batista is not ready. Edge prepares for the Spear, hits it and almost gets the pin! Almost! Edge runs out, gets a chair, remembers that it will mean he loses and rolls in only for Batista to attempt the Batista Bomb and throw Edge over the top rope. Batista gets thrown into the steel steps and then hits Edge with the Batista Bomb. However, he took so long that Batista gets counted out.

Batista has gotten himself counted out. Edge is the winner of this match and retains World Heavyweight Championship in 16:50.

2017 comments:

Have a screwy ending, only to restart the match… and have another screwy ending. Nice, guys. Very nice.

2007 comments:

Disappointed.

Grade: C.

No good storyline in this match. Batista has lost his chance to win the championship. He’s furious. He picks up the champ and hits a second Batista Bomb, his music plays and he leaves the ring. Batista punches the ring a bunch of times and the replays of his loss play. Distraught, he walks up the tron.

Cut to JR and Jerry, who talk about Fabulous Moolah, the madam. They have a wee laugh and show the original screwjob where Moolah was the “Spider Lady”, completely revising history, the bastards.

Melina appears with her paparazzi, smiling as she rocks down and splits to enter the ring. Bless her, she tries awful hard.

Candice Michelle appears, slapping hands and wearing… a garter belt to hold up her trousers? Weird. So weird.

WWE Women’s Championship: Melina (c) vs. Candice Michelle.

Right, everyone, take a knee. This is the piss break match, I guess.

Melina raises her hand for a test of strength, kicks Candice right between the legs and is thrown into the corner, hitting Melina with a head-scissors submission, moving into a tarantula before being kicked outside. Melina sits on the apron and tries a head scissors of her own, rolls into the ring and attempts a pin. Melina pops Candice into the corner, hits the double knees and gets another head-scissors on her before attempting a takedown. The announcers call Melina a “playboy wannabe”, reducing her to a glamour model. Bow and arrow submission followed by a pin attempt. Melina goes over the top rope and Candice hits a weak powerslam, shakes her hips and hits an elbow. Pin attempt and fail.

Bulldog by Candice and another pin attempt. Melina hits a Neckbreaker and fails again on the pin. Both women run the ropes and Candice wins by a pin after an embarrassing roundhouse kick. Her top also falls down.

Candice Michelle has pinned Melina to win the WWE Women’s Championship in 4:07.

2017 comments:

Embarrassing.

2007 comments:

She’s crying because she knows how shit it is.

Grade: Not a match.

Awful, just awful. Women wrestlers deserve better than this.

Cut to a promo for… WrestleMania? Oh, on DVD. Three discs, or so I’m told. Five hours of extras. Four hours of actual WrassleMania. Cunt Trump gets top billing.

Justin Roberts introduces Cunt JBL, who used to be a WWE Champ. He gets the grip to hand a piece of paper to Roberts and says that he must read from the paper, exactly. It wanks JBL off for a while. Fuck JBL.

Promo for the Five-Pack Challenge, which JR says is… “So unique.” It’s not. We see Mick, Booker, Cena, Randy and Bobbo Lasher as champions as they say what it means to be a champion. The five men tell the camera who they are. We see their “best moments”, which involves mostly Mankind.

Justin Roberts describes the chaos that will unfold: all five men will fight and the first to get a pinfall or submission will win. No eliminations.

Bobbo Lasher comes out first with his golden shower.

Micker Foley comes out next, facing it up.

Booker comes out with Queen Sharmell, the best queen. He has an odd animal fur cloak on. Weird dude. JR calls Sharmell beautiful. She is, she’s great looking. Long bloody entrance, mind.

Then Randy comes down with his great entrance theme tune, taking half an hour to get to the ring, jogging for a bit like the smelly jobber that he is. He hits the legend killer pose mid-ring and that’s him.

Cena keeps us waiting, you know, all four men await him and the crowd goes ballistic the second that his music hits.

Five-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Mick Foley vs. King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) vs. Randy Orton.

All five lads are in the ring, finally, and the match begins. Booker leaves and Sharmell gives him a lovely massage. Cena bops Randy, who gets a back-body drop from Lasher and is tossed over the rope by Mick. Booker comes in, tosses Cena out and hammers Lasher. Lashley hits a thunderous clothesline and tosses him out, hitting a very dangerous looking suicide dive onto all four men, picks up Booker and rolls him back in. Mid-ring, Lasher hits the Rack Attack and Cena breaks up the pin to big boos. Both big men face off and trade punches mid-ring. Lasher hits a great spinebuster and both men roll to the outside. Cena takes a bomp to the head from the steel steps and Lasher begins to prepare an announcer’s table for a bump.

Randy and Foley interrupts it as Booker and Foley fight by ringside. All the other men have a wee lie down, waiting for their own personal spot. Foley takes a real bad looking steel ring step bump and it’s Randy and Lasher’s turn to fight. Lasher counters an RKO, walks straight into an FU and is clobbered through the ECW announce table. Booker and Cena have a scrap in the ring mit Flair chops. Booker cracks Cena in the face with a boot and some lovely knees and Irish whip. Cena fights back and clobbers Booker before taking a Scissors kick to the back of the neck. Randy breaks up the pin and gets a punch to the face before Cena – no selling the Scissors kick – knocks him out, hits the sit-out powerbomb, attempts a Five Knuckle Shuffle but eats an RKO. Randy attempts the pin and Foley breaks it up, cracking Orton with elbows and a knee to the head before turning on Booker for a boot and hitting the double underhook DDT.

Foley whups Mr. Socko out of his jocks, eats a superkick from Booker and both he and Randy fall with a double clothesline. Foley throws the sock into the crowd and takes a steel chair into the ring. Cactus bops Bobby with the chair followed by Booker. Cena gets to his feet and eats a chair before Randy stops the carnage. The Viper stalks Foley, gives him the punt kick. And Cena gets ready for the FU with Booker, tosses him out and hits Mick with one instead for the pin.

John Cena has pinned Mick Foley to retain the WWE Championship in 18:08.

2017 comments:

Spotfest, but a fun spotfest.

2007 comments:

Mick was in it. Match of the Year.

Grade: A.

The DVD I was watching had the match at maybe 10 minutes, they must have cut out some rest holds. Cena celebrates and the WWE moves into a new and terrifying era.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No big stand-out winners but I’d say the final match was fast-paced and fun and put the onus on John Cena’s shoulders.

Woman of the Matches: Am I to choose between Melina, Candice Michelle and Sharmell? I choose Sharmell.

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

Best Spot: The parade of specials at the end of the Five-pack challenge.

Hatches: Jimmy Superfly Snuka.

Matches: Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch retain their World Tag Team Championship; Chavo Guerrero retains his WWE Cruiserweight Championship; Santino Marella retains his WWE Intercontinental Championship; Montel Vontavious Porter retains his WWE United States Championship; Deuce ‘n Domino retain their WWE Tag Team Championship; Edge retains his World Heavyweight Championship belt; Candice Michelle has the only title change of the evening, winning the WWE Women’s Championship from Melina for her first reign; and Cena retains his WWE Championship.

Dispatches: We say goodbye to everyone: Batista, Bobby Lashley, Booker T, Candice Michelle, Carlito, Chavo Guerrero, Cherry, CM Punk, Deuce, Domino, Edge, Jeff and Matt Hardy, Jimmy Superfly Snuka, Jimmy Wang Yang, John Cena, Johnny Nitro, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Mick Foley, Melina, MVP, Randy Orton, Ric Flair, Santino Marella, Sgt. Slaughter, Sharmell, Super Crazy and Umaga.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

Every “Big Four” PPV (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble) I will choose a man and woman to be inducted into the hall of fame. I have done another one today because this is the final PPV in the Ruthless Aggression section of this blog. A man and woman must have been named either a Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches in the previous months since the last “Big Four” PPV (since WrestleMania 23). Once a man or woman is inducted, they may not be inducted again but can still win Man of the Matches or Woman of the Matches. Through this, we can course the dizzying highs and savage lows of the wrestling landscape throughout the years. If no one new has been given the title of Man or Woman of the Matches, then a candidate will be chosen from the highest-rated matches since the last “Big Four” PPV – WrassleMania 23. If no one is to be found there, then we go to the next highest-rated matches and so on. If we (unlikely) get to the bottom of the pile, then the Hall of Fame will remain empty to show the excellent calibre of the wrestlers and shallow roster.

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels (Summerslam 06), [REDACTED] Benoit (Survivor Series ’06), Joey Mercury (Royal Rumble 07), Stone Cold Steve Austin (WrestleMania 23).

Nominated for Man of the Matches: John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge and Shawn Michaels (Backlash 07), CM Punk and Elijah (Judgment Day 07), Batista and Edge (One Night Stand 07), John Cena (Vengeance: Night of Champions 07).

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… CM Punk and Elijah Burke!

Previous Women of the Matches: Queen Sharmell (Summerslam 06), Trish Stratus (Survivor Series 06), Victoria (Royal Rumble 07), N/A (WrestleMania 23).

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Mickie James (Backlash 07), N/A (Judgement Day 07), N/A (One Night Stand 07), Queen Sharmell (Vengeance: Night of Champions

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Mickie James because Queen Sharmell cannot win twice!

In Memoriam

Each WrestleMania (and the final PPV in this case), I will go through the people who we have seen wrassle and lament for their passing. This list is a bit shorter due to the fact that the shows have been so recent.

  • Andrew James Robert Patrick Martin AKA Test, March 17 1975 – March 13 2009; accidental overdose of oxycodone.
  • Christopher Michael Benoit, May 21 1967 – June 29 2009; hanging.
  • Edward Smith Fatu AKA Umaga, March 28 1973 – December 4 2009; heart attack caused by acute toxicity.
  • Harry Fujiwara AKA Mr. Fuji, May 4 1934 – August 28 2016; old age. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 by Don “The Rock” Muraco.
  • James Reiher Snuka AKA Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, May 18 1943 – January 15 2017; unidentified terminal illness. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 by Don Muraco, though his profile is no longer available due to his alleged murder of Nancy Argentino in 1983.
  • Jonathan “Jon” Rechner AKA Balls Mahoney, April 11 1972 – April 12 2016; heart attack.
  • Lance Kurtis McNaught AKA Lance Cade, March 2 1981 – August 13 2010; heart failure caused by intoxication from mixed drugs.
  • Nelson Lee Frazier Jr AKA Viscera AKA Mabel AKA Big Daddy V, February 14 1971 – February 18 2014; heart attack.
  • Roderick George Toombs AKA Rowdy Roddy Piper, April 17 1954 – July 31 2015; cardiopulmonary arrest caused by hypertension. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Ric Flair in 2005.
  • Virgil Riley Runnels Jr AKA Dusty Rhodes, October 12 1945 – June 11 2015; a bad fall. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 by his sons, Cody (Stardust) and Dustin (Goldust).

Closing Statements: I think that it’s only fair that I explain why I have decided to end this section of the blog at this PPV and it will come as no surprise that it is because of Chris Benoit. At the time of his death, professional wrestling had been an interest that had dwindled for me to a once-a-month event, more frequently if a match on Raw or Smackdown was highly gimmicked or was heard to be amazing. The only thing keeping me watching was – as I’m sure other fans were – the anticipation that if I stopped watching, I would somehow miss something amazing. Chris Benoit’s murder/suicide (although completely unrelated to storyline professional wrestling) stopped me watching for a while. As the details about the weekend of murders came to light, I realised that I could not watch a sport that allowed its employees to take such a punishment that would cause them to have brains in such disrepair that they could be brought to kill their son and wife. I still sometimes feel conflicted about it. The WWE, in fairness to them, took precautions to ensure that their employees are healthier today than they were back then. I feel that the wrestling now is better than it was in 2007 and even during the Attitude Era. Now, the wrestling is the best in the world and that is because the wrestlers are healthier and not taking chair shots every night. It’s a shame three people had to die for that to happen.

Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 1

On the Card: Attitude Era #12 In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell – May 11, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House, the fourteenth of its name and its subtitle was Revenge of the ‘Taker. Yeah, not Undertaker… ‘Taker. Oh, old Vince would have gone bananas over young Vince for that. It was an okay PPV, as they all seem to be these days. The next PPV was its sequel: A Cold Day in Hell.

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 15: A Cold Day in Hell 1997

“There’s gonna be a whole lotta whoop-ass goin’ on!”

Ha. That tagline was obviously not written by Stone Cold. It may as well have said, “And this here is gonna be the final say because Steve Austin told you!”

The grey-blue screen reminds us that we’re watching WWF and then moves to that old familiar video of crosses and the moon and Undertaker talking slowly interspliced with images of Taker and Stone Cold. We hear their voices and some quotes far better than the one above.

Farty pyro starts off the show as Jumpin’ Jim Ross announces a happy Mother’s Day and welcomes us to the sold-out Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia for the fifteenth In Your House event. Wonder how many mothers are there? No idea, but I can tell you that there are 9,381 people in attendance and 201,565 watching at home. I’m sure some of them are mothers.

Our announcers are JR and Jerry “The King” Lawler. We see the main event: Undertaker and Stone Cold. There’s a sub-main-event: Vader vs. Ken Shamrock in his first PPV event as a competitor. Another match will be Ahmed Johnson vs. all three members of the NOD.

No time to chat! Farty pyro goes off once again and Flash Funk appears without his Funkettes. He rocks to the ring alone, but he’s such a big old face that the crowd don’t seem to care. The Spanish announcers today are Tito Santana and Carlos Carbrera. Hugo Savinovich is not here today. I could not find out why. The French announce team appear as well, which is nice of them. It’s Ray Rougeau and Jean Brassard. They make silly faces. JR mentions that the Funkettes aren’t here and Jerry wonders that it might be because Chyna is ringside and they are concerned for their wellbeing.

Big old European Union song hits and out strolls Teeeeerrrrrrripple H and our lady Chyna. Some smelly mark at ringside tugs at Hunter’s coat. He barely reacts. The audience are alongside and below the level of the ramp, which is weird. Replays of old televised events where Chyna gives Mankind a low blow in previous matches. She’s a cheeky lassy.

(Note: Before the PPV began there was a match on Free-For-All featuring Rockabilly defeating Jesse James. I actually have that match on this DVD for some reason but I would rather not watch it.)

Flash Funk vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna).

The two men lock up mid-ring and Flash does a lovely sexy dance. Trips fights back and Flash gets him in a headlock, runs the ropes, lovely athleticism and selling from Helmsley as Flash shoulder barges, jumps and hip tosses. Cut to the audience where we see five empty seats for the Hart Foundation to sit in. We saw them during Free-For-All.

Flash does a bunch of rolls and flips and kicks HHH out before doing an awkward jump to the turnbuckle and cross-body. He hits a baseball slide but misses and as Trips grabs the ref to protect himself, Chyna knocks Flash down. Big boos from the crowd. Chyna is stony-faced. Mid-ring, Trips takes over, runs the ropes, hits the high knee and slaps Flash’s chest with Flair chops. Trips taunts mid-ring and JR notes that Chyna is not there for moral support. Jerry makes a Cunt Trump reference.

Chyna pulls the legs out from underneath Flash and hits a suplex, chokes Flash (who slaps like a girl, hilariously) and has a lovely rest hold. Rest hold city. Big boot to the face from a prone Flash and Trips keeps Flash down, who rolls outside. Trips gets him on the apron and, after a while, knocks him down onto the steel ramp. This is the first time we’ve seen a steel ramp in a PPV. Trips rolls Funk in, goes top-rope, hits a top-rope nothing (with theatrics) and Flash lifts the boot up to crack Trips’ face, who Flair flops. Almost no selling from Trips as he’s back up, getting chopped by Flash and a lovely back body drop and clothesline. He goes to the corner, hits a slingshot spinning leg-drop followed by a reverse cross-body and refuses the pin. Helmsley takes the Shawn inside-out-bump in the corner, but as Flash goes top-rope again, Trips gets behind him and hits a backdrop (that Flash oversells and lands face-first on the ground. Trips hits the Pedigree for the win.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley has pinned Flash Funk in 10:05.

2017 comments:

An okay opener, but it’s all Flash Funk. Trips does not sell well and although he has moments of brilliance, he calls the rest in.

1997 comments:

I love this Chyna woman but she hates men’s balls.

Grade: B.

Chyna lifts up Flash Funk, trots him around the ring and drops him balls-first on the top rope. The rascal. Trips laughs his arse off.

Replays and then cut to JR mid-ring as he’s telling the audience that they’re about to speak to Ken Shamrock. There is some footage of Shamrock in UFC. Shamrock is on the screen and hits a weirdly intense promo before showing the Vader/Mankind attack from earlier in the night.

Mankind rocks out with some lovely smoke rolling across the floor. JR drops a quip that Mankind has been dropping elbows on his classmates since he was a child. Cut to the Mankind/Undertaker match where he hits a fireball onto Undertaker’s face.

Backstage, Rocky is chatting with Todd. Replays of the Survivor Series in November and Rock winning the Intercontinental title in Feb and losing it to Owen in April. Rock spouts a quick promo, nothing compared to the ones he’ll have later, bless him. He comes to the ring with a bit of a fanfare and we learn that he is the first third-generation wrassler, apparently.

Mankind vs. Rocky Maivia.

Mankind rocks in the corner and Rock spaces in the ring. The ref stands between them and as Rocky stands, turns and checks his elbow pads, Mankind jumps up and Rock beats him, tossing him out of the ring. Mankind pulls Rock out, rakes the back, bounces his head off the apron, rolls in and boots on Rock. JR mentions that we have not seen Paul Bearer in ages. Lovely powerslam from Rock and an elbow. Rock has Mankind in an arm bar, holding the Mandible Claw back. Mankind escapes, runs and Rock slips the legs out from under him before Rock gets tossed outside and takes a senton from the apron from Mick. Big punch and Rock is on his knees outside. Mankind pulls Rock in, puts him in the corner and punches in him. JR mentions that the WWF magazine calls Mankind a “loving father”. Bit of kayfabe-breaking there.

Mankind squeals like a pig, lifts up Rock, bounces his head off the turnbuckle, runs at him in the corner but Rock casually strolls away. Double clothesline and both men are down. Rock snapmares Mankind over the top rope and both men brawl on the ramp. Rock hits a Rock Bottom on the ramp and the sound is enough to make my guts churn. My God. Rock rolls Mankind back in, attempts the pin and fails. JR asks “how in the hell do you learn to fall on a steel grating?” Jerry says, “watch your mouth. Pottymouth Ross.” The show is called “A Cold Day in Hell”. Come on.

Mankind gives Rock a fantastic clothesline and takes an inside cradle and clothesline from behind. JR says that Mankind might be knocked out – and he sells it well with his arm in a weird position. Rock hits his shoulder-breaker, goes for the cross-body on the top rope and Mankind rolls through into the Mandible Claw, getting the win.

The Rock has submitted to Mankind’s Mandible Claw. Mankind wins by submission in 8:46.

2017 comments:

It’s nice to see Rock and Mick together, but it’s sad that it wasn’t that great of a match. Sick bump onto the outside, but otherwise forgettable.

1997 comments:

Mick Foley was in it, Match of the Year.

Grade: B.

Barely time to celebrate before we cut to JR in the ring telling the audience that they are ready for the Gauntlet match with Ahmed Johnson vs. the NOD. We see a replay of Crush fighting three men in a row to show how hard he is. I can’t see who these two nameless wrestlers are but the third one was Ahmed.

On the Card will return on May 18 2017 with the second part of In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell.

Attitude Era #11. In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker (April 20, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Weird Rock match.

Weird cut (must be my DVD) to Sable and Marvellous Wildman Marc Mero. Sable has won a Slammy and mutters her way through a promo. Dok Hendrix asks Mero about his Golden Gloves history as Stone Cold causes hell behind him. It’s very funny. Bulldog and Owen leave with what seems like a golf club. Weird.

Vince can’t seem to understand. He says that it’s a “wild and crazy night”.

Jesus Christ. Jesse James rocks down to the ring, singing a country song. Some mark in the crowd sings away. Jeff Jarrett says he sings that song.

Out comes the Honky Tonk Man. Fuck this guy. The crowd loves him though. Jerry goes crazy because they’re cousins. He sings away. Shit.

Honky gets the mic and cuts a great promo. He threatens to bring out a protégé and screws up the intro as Rockabilly – fucking Billy Gunn – comes out. JR disappears to talk to Honky. Two weeks ago, Billy Gunn got punched by Billy and Honky took him on anyways because he’s an idiot.

Jesse James vs. Rockabilly (with The Honky Tonk Man).

Nice to see Road Dogg and Mr. Ass before it all went south.

Billy hits Jesse and does a dance. Christ. This is going to be hard to watch. Lovely hip toss where Billy jumps very high and yelps, “Oh Jesus!” as he goes over. James jumps off the apron, hammers Billy with a great shot. He threatens Honky, who says, “You’re a goof!” Billy asks for a time out and gets a cheap shot in. Lovely Famasser from Billy when Jesse telegraphs a back body drop. Billy points at his arse, foreshadowing his later moniker.

They talk about Stone Cold getting attacked earlier and apparently Austin is “shaken up”. Bollocks. Lovely neckbreaker and pin attempt. Irish Referee Tim White shrugs. Apparently in the Superstar Room, where viewers can ring in to chat to stars, Sunny and Brian Pillman are asking some personal questions. Billy does a dance, big jump, misses Jesse and faceplants. Both men are down but crawl around until Jesse hits the punches, knocks the fuck out of Billy, goes for the ten punch, gets a whole ten, goes some dances and runs the rope before being tossed out of the ring. Rockabilly falls out of the ring and rolls him in, does a dance and sets up for what seems to be… a superplex? There’s a quick roll-up and Jesse gets the pin.

Jesse James has pinned Rockabilly in 6:46.

2017 comments:

Moments of greatness interspaced with shite.

1997 comments:

These two are relics.

Grade: C.

Honky goes to hit Jesse with the guitar and misses.

Backstage, Kevin Kelly is chatting to Austin. He denies medical attention – and has no injuries to show – and screams. Gorilla Monsoon is hanging about. He says that no one knows who is hurt more than Steve Austin – other than a doctor, apparently – and has moved about the card to ensure that Austin can have more time to heal.

The lad Lance in the Hart locker room repeats everything just said. Bulldog and Owen talk some nonsense about Stone Cold poking his nose into people’s business.

Back by the arena, Vince introduces the next match with a promo showing wrestlers looking scared. Lovely stock sound effects in a modulator, all reversed and twisted. The line, “The deranged battlefield of the mind,” is used amidst children crying. It’s real hammy shit. Paul Bearer is there, too. We see the Paul-in-a-cage match, the Boiler Room Brawl and replays of Mankind using flash paper to get some fire in Taker’s eyes. Lots of use of “blind” and “vision”

Backstage, balding Mankind and screechy Paul cut a promo with Kevin Kelly.

Smoke crawls from the In Your House house as Mankind rocks in with Paul Bearer. He has… a fire extinguisher with him. Brilliant. The sound on my DVD gets a little warped then, like they left the modulator on.

The lights flicker and the crowd goes apeshit as the bells go to announce ‘Taker arriving with some Revenge. He rocks in with some crazy armour on like Viggo the Carpathian. He tosses something into the ring (might be the belt) and attacks Mankind to start the match.

WWE Championship Match: The Undertaker (c) vs. Mankind (with Paul Bearer).

Lots of spooooky smoke in the ring there.

Taker hammers on Mankind in the corner for a while, his hair covering his eye due to the injury. Taker was supposed to be a Deadman, though, impervious to pain. Taker does his Michael Myers sit up and Mankind runs at him. Both men fall out of the ring and land on their feet. Taker ruthlessly throws Mankind into the railings, lifts him and tosses him into the crowd. Undertaker throws him right back onto the mat and rolls in and out of the ring to break the count before hammering Mick’s head off the railings.

Undertaker throws Mankind back into the ring and beats him on the ropes. JR rhymes off a bunch of facts for Mankind’s injuries – the best day of his life was when he lost an ear, one leg is longer than the other due to injury. Taker goes for Old School and continues to beat on the mental man. Paul runs onto the apron and as Taker grabs him, Mankind bonks him on the noggin with the urn. Mankind yanks his hair out like the big psycho he is. It’s Mankind’s turn to take over. Jerry and JR talk about Vader for a bit. Jerry sings Vader’s theme. Mankind hits the spinning neckbreaker, attempts a pin and fails. Paul Bearer is very angry about it.

Mick hits the Vulcan Nerve Grip. Rest hold city.

The crowd chant, “Rest in peace!” as Taker fights back, punching Mankind out of the ring. Taker gets dragged out and the two men have a chat before Mankind gets his head thrown into the steel steps. He retaliates by hitting Undertaker with a pitcher of water. Vince questions how it isn’t a DQ. Mankind gets a chair and hits Taker in the head. No DQ so far. Big Texas Red is getting his head kicked in. Mankind goes to Bret’s rope and hits Undertaker with an elbow to the outside. He boots Taker in the head when he stands up. Close up of Undertaker and his made-up eye.

Big old piledriver in the centre of the ring from Mankind. Taker fights back but gets another piledriver. Mankind squeals like a pig, boy! He follows Taker about, punching him every step of the way until Undertaker eventually retaliates. Lovely running of the ropes and jumping clothesline to allow Taker to fight back. Taker turns on the ref and there is a predictable ref bump. Mankind hits the Mandible Claw and a second ref arrives before being tossed out. Paul throws in a chair and Mankind leaves to get the steel steps. As Mankind lifts them mid-ring, Taker sits up, boots the steps – and Mankind – lifts the chair and cracks Mankind with it. Jerry cannot hide his genuine horror.

Mankind is thrown out, gets his head caught in a hangman, the very thing that lost him an ear. In escaping, the mask goes flying and Undertaker tosses him off the apron  through a table. Undertaker hits a chokeslam and gets the one, two and Mankind kicks out. Great.

Taker slits his throat, hits the Tombstone Piledriver and gets the three.

The Undertaker has pinned Mankind in 17:26.

2017 comments:

Brilliantly brutal.

1997 comments:

Well, Mankind is dead, I guess.

Grade: A.

“It’s a good thing Paul Bearer is wearing a dark suit,” is said as Taker drags him into the ring and there’s a Botchy McBotchface between all three men. Taker has something in his hand, it seems like… yes! It’s flashpaper! He hits Paul with it. The announcers let on it’s some sort of magic or something. Vince considers whether or not it was called for. Oh, now is not the time to get all moral. The music hits and…

On the Card will return on May 4 2017 with the third and final part of In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

It was just a spot with a match prelude.

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

Great. Let’s get this terrible party started.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

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

Attitude Era #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 2

Previously on On the Card: One amazing opening match.

Cut to the “bowels of the building” where Kevin Kelly is there to interview Mankind and Paul Bearer. Kelly tells them that Paul has to be raised above the ring in a cage. Paul claims that he is no animal. Mankind screeches out some threats to the Undertaker in the form of cannibalism.

Back in the arena, the cage is ready for Paul to enter. Mankind’s music plays and Paul comes out, claiming that he is not going into a cage, but we all know he will. He bumps into a cameraman and shouts at him for some time. Cheeky rascal. Paul gives Mankind the urn and the pair of them rock and screech mid-ring. JR reminds us that it has only been six years since Undertaker arrived in the WWF. The announcers wonder if Paul will fit into the cage.

The bells toll and the arena dips into darkness as the Undertaker descends from above with huge bat-like wings. As he lands, the spotlight on him disappear and some men get him out of his harness. When he reappears in the blue light, we see he has a teardrop tattoo on his cheek. The Undertaker has killed a man, it seems, and done hard time for it. JR comments on Taker’s ring attire. It’s very leather.

Paul is finally in the cage and as the bell rings, Mankind sneaks from behind and shoves Undertaker’s head into the metal bars of the cage. Bastard.

Paul Bearer in a cage match: The Undertaker def. Mankind via pin in 14:52.

Camera from within the cage – CAGECAM – shows Paul. We can hear him screech from within. Mankind and Taker beat on each other outside of the ring before rolling back in. Taker throws Mankind into the corner with ruthless abandon and follows it up with a drop-toe-hold, something that JR tells us he has never done before. Taker gets Mankind into an armbar in an attempt to hyperextend the elbow. He gives up, stomps Mankind’s right hand – his claw hand – and rolls outside to continue the battering. JR considers that Mankind’s hand is broken.

Undertaker goes for a big elbow and Mankind moves. He knocks Undertaker outside, but the Deadman lands on his feet. The fight spills into the fans. We have an idiot with an ECW shirt on. Fool. The men go back into the ring. Another shot from the cagecam featuring Paul Bearer. Mankind does a wee senton onto the standing Undertaker from the apron. JR considers that Mankind’s hand might well never function again. The boys are courting disaster being in the ring with Bearer suspended above them. Mankind flings Taker into the corner and Vince asks us to kindly forget about it. Another throw into the corner and Taker springs off it to hit the elbow. Mankind attempts to escape and fails. Taker actually bites Mankind’s fingers, becoming a cannibal in the interim. Taker gives Mankind the Irish whip, ducks for a slam and Mankind gives him a brutal piledriver.

Mankind calls for the claw but Undertaker refutes him, getting him into the chokeslam. The crowd ask them to “Rest in Peace!” Mankind escapes the chokeslam and is put into the Tombstone position. He escapes from this and gets Mankind in the Mandible Claw. Mankind is thrown into the barricade and JR tells us that Mankind wears no helmet. Undertaker goes for Old School and some smart cunt in the crowd hits the airhorn as the crowd hit a revival of the “Rest in Peace!” chant. Mankind goes to the top rope and Taker sits up – always a bad move when a big man goes aerial. Taker tries fight Mankind off, but is thrown to the mat. As Mick hits the double-axe-handle-nothing, Mark reverses it into a chokeslam which is reversed into a Mandible Claw and we have a lovely lie down from the lads. Vince says, “Progress is totally halted!”

My favourite spot comes up as the ref holds Undertaker’s hand aloft and drops it thrice. On the third drop, Taker holds tight and reverses the Claw into a chokeslam. JR tells us that Mankind’s hand is surely damaged. Mankind hits another senton but Taker dodges it. He rolls Mankind into the ring and gets the madman on the ropes. A reversed Irish Whip into a sleeper into a backdrop. Mankind pulls a shiv out of his trunks and hits Taker with it. The official sees naught. Paul Bearer shakes the cage – be careful, Paul, you could kill every man in the building if you fall. Mankind on Taker’s back in the corner and Taker turns it into a Tombstone Piledriver, pinning Mankind mid-ring for the win and Paul’s soul in 14:52.

2016 comments:

Good match. Shoot, that makes two matches in a row! What is this? The Attitude Era? Must be… oh wait, that’s not due to start for another year… oh well.

1996 comments:

I am so scared for Paul Bearer.

Grade: A-

Paul is lowered to the ring and Taker removes his prize. With Taker now being an ex-con, we can only imagine the horrors he has ready for Paul Bearer in the-

Oh wait, what the fuck? It’s the Executioner, Terry Gordy! Out he runs to defend Paul Bearer’s honour! Executioner beats on Taker mercilessly. Taker fights back and Exectutioner escapes with Paul and Mankind. Undertaker never got a chance to get his hands on Bearer. Rascally. Undertaker paces in the ring and we see some replays of the Tombstone Piledriver as Taker takes a knee in the blue ring.

Cut to backstage and the WWF is on AOL! Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon have two people with lanyards and the biggest laptops I have ever seen. They look very uncomfortable.

Back in the ring, Sunny runs down to the announcer’s desk, shaking herself with reckless abandon. Nice wee wave to our man Howard Finkel. Vince dances with Sunny and we cut to Dok Hendrix in the back with Crush, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Intercontinental Champion Trrrrrrrriple H and our boy Goldust with Marlena. Goldust plays with Hunter’s hair. Trips and Jerry both cut promos on Marc Henry. Crush and Goldust say about three lines. The music hits as Crush arrives to the ring, all dreadlocks and goatee, followed by The King, who shouts at the crowd and tells them to shut up. Goldust arrives with the letterbox screen. JR complains that Goldust was… “short” with him. Sunny complains that Triple H has the gold… but lost his valet. Sunny calls JR chubby.

Sable’s music hits and out she comes… with her husband, Wildman Marc Mero. No one pays attention to Mero. His Roman candles hit as Mrs. Future Lesnar claps politely. Sunny makes an implant joke. Out comes The… Stalker? Barry Windham? The member of the Four Horsemen? Some weird music hits and Rocky Maivia comes out. Who is this new man? Who is this- Oh, we all know who The Man Who Would Be The Rock is. Let’s not lie about it. He recently did a Rock Reacts video on this, his debut, and I will slip his reactions and points in with the review. He has a mop of curly hair. He looks like a Flintstones reject and he doesn’t know where the hard cam is. He thinks its behind him, so we’ll see him back a lot. The Rock looks amazing.

Mero is on the mic and hyping up the crown with his mental mullet. He introduces our man Jake Roberts, who walks out with Revelations his huge python. The size of his snake! He can barely lift it over his head, by God!

Wee shot of MSG on the outside as we get set up mid-ring.

Survivor Series Tag Team Match: Rocky Maivia, Jake Roberts, The Stalker and Marc Mero (w/ Sable) def. Crush, Jerry Lawler, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Goldust (w/ Marlena) via elimination in 23:44.

The faces chase the heels out of the ring and Mero is due to start with Jerry. The two men are about to fight until the audience chant, “Burger King!” to The King. The Stalker gets tagged in and Jerry tags out, pulling in Trips. Mero goes after him and the blueblood rolls outside, desperate to get his title back.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Mero’s debut was at WrestleMania XII when Sable was his Valet. After a loss to a no-selling Ultimate Warrior, Trips beat on Sable mercilessly until her husband came out and saved her. Trips and Mero have a storied past, it seems.

Goldust slides in and the two married men with their wives outside beat on each other mid-ring. Lovely hip toss from Mero followed by a great back body drop. Goldust is being thrown about like a ragdoll. Attempted pin as Sunny rips on Sable and praises Marlena. The Stalker comes in and whips Goldust about until HHH is tagged in. They go for the test of strength and Mero is tagged in as Trips tags out. Crush pops in with his white-boy dreads and forehead tattoo. Rocky is tagged in and the “powerhouse” as Vince described him is thrown into the corner where The King legit cracks him a few times, shoulder barges him down and Rocky just pops right up. So sexy. Double jumps and a dropkick as King falls out of the ring, retreating from fear.

Vince then drops that Dwayne Johnson is taking the name of his father and grandfather. Alright.

Trips and Rock are in the ring and we see a foreshadowing of main events of future past. Goldust comes in after Trips hits a great suplex and hits an elbow. Cover attempt and Rock survives. Lovely drop on the top rope and Crush is in with a ribbreaker. Lovely slap to Rock’s face followed by a body slam and The King is back in, being an arse. Trips is tagged in and batters Rock in the corner. The two men share some sloppy punches with Rock lifting Trips for a back body drop, calling in Jake the Snake, who clears house. Another back body drop and Jake calls for the DDT but Hunter fights back. Mero jumps in to protect his friend but Goldust is taking over. Jerry is in now, a sequel to their matches earlier. Jake is sloppy on his feet and Lawler insinuates that he is drunk. Jake hits Lawler with the DDT and eliminates King with a pin.

Jerry “The King” Lawler has been eliminated by Jake “The Snake” Roberts in 10:01.

Goldust is in and taking over where Jerry failed. Goldie holds Jake in a sleeper hold for some time as The Stalker hammers his feet on the apron. Jake escapes and tags Barry who attacks Goldust with a brutal Irish Whip and great suplex. Harvey Whippleman is outside. Great lad. Goldust goes for the double-axe-handle nothing, gets a punch to the gut as he lands and hits a great flip. Crush kidney-punches The Stalker and gets a curtain call for the pin. The bell doesn’t even ring.

The Stalker has been eliminated by Goldust in 12:44.

Mero is in, kicking his husband-brother in the face. Goldust replies with a kick of his own and Hunter is tagged in to take over. Mero is beaten in the corner and Sable hits a terrible beat on the apron. 4/4 timing, Sable, for Christ’s sake. Trips hits an awful knee drop, missing Mero by a good half a foot. Crush is tagged in and gives Mero a bearhug as he walks him around the ring. A pair of rib breakers followed by a leg drop but Mero kicks out. Goldust comes in, hits Mero with a great shoulder barge and barely gets the pin. Crush comes back in and attempts the cover but Mero is still kicking out. Someone is battering the steps. Who is it? Some cunt.

Trips has Mero in the abdominal stretch and holds it forever as Sable attempts her beat but fails once again. Give it up, Sable, you’re never going to be a musician. Abdominal stretch city over here. Mero finally escapes, hits the sunset flip and Trips aloha-Arns it forever before finally tagging in Goldust. Goldust quickly tags out and Trips is back in, getting a spinning head scissors for his effort. Mero falls out of the ring, jumps to the top rope and hits the Merosault – a moonsault from the top rope – for the pin.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley has been eliminated by Wildman Marc Mero in 19:20.

Crush is in now, headbutting Mero, attempting a gorilla press, forgetting it and taking a dropkick from Mero. Mero attempts a senton suicide dive but hits the floor instead. In the ring, Wildman takes another headbutt and Jack comes in to save him-

Oh. Wait, what? It seems Wildman was actually eliminated. Huh.

Wildman Marc Mero has been eliminated by Crush in 20:36.

That was pathetic. Obviously the lads are running over time then because that’s two eliminations in just over a minute.

Jake is in with Crush and is hit with a brutal throat shot, the “Heart Punch”.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts has been eliminated by Crush in 20:54.

Rocky is on his own. He looks back to his corner and finds it wanting. He looks to Crush and Goldust. He’s fucked. The crowd legit starts chanting his name. For real. This is his debut match and the crowd are chanting The Rock’s name. Crush goes for the test of strength. The kids shout, “No!” yet he does it anyway. Rock goes for a small package and fails, hitting a body slam, beating on Goldust, getting some babyface fire. A double Irish whip followed by a crossbody on both heels. Rocky is pounding it stacks but Crush is taking over. Both heels are mid-ring and Crush attempts a heart punch, receiving a crossbody for his effort followed by a pin.

Crush has been eliminated by Rocky Maivia in 23:12.

It’s now Rocky and Goldust! Two of my favourite wrestlers!

Straight-up Shoot Fact: When The Rock pinned Crush, he hid his face and thanked him for it. So sweet.

Goldust takes a punch from Rock, fights back and Rocky hits his running shoulderbreaker, his original finisher, getting the pin and the win in 23:44.

Goldust has been eliminated by Rocky Maivia. The survivor is Rocky Maivia!

2016 comments:

Good debut from our man The Rock. The fact that this newcomer started in MSG, on Survivor Series, won his first match and eliminated two people in less than a minute is nothing short of prophetic. I don’t always like The Rock, especially later when his main events versus Trips were boring as all hell, but he pulls out all the stops here tonight. Fair play.

1996 comments:

I don’t like that Rocky lad. He looks like a Samoan Hogan. Samogan.

Grade: A

Three great matches in a row? Truly this is the end times.

Rocky is looking at the entrance, where he believes the hard cam is. It isn’t. He’s a damn fool. Why doesn’t the ref tell him? Sunny says she’s proud of Rocky and hasn’t even had the chance to seduce him yet. What the fuck?

On the Card will return on December 1 with the third part of Survivor Series 1996.

Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: An androgynous man in latex is beaten by a feral child as who huge men attempt to lift one another.

Cut to a promo for the Mankind vs. Undertaker feud involving Mankind attacking Taker repeatedly, beating a casket, appearing in places he should not be, stealing an urn, forcing Paul Bearer to betray his beloved Undertaker, cutting the ring and emerging from it, the Boiler Room Brawl, and now… this, the first ever Buried Alive match where The Undertaker is going outside his usual duties of embalming bodies and arranging tasteful floral decorations for the dearly departed and is actually becoming a gravedigger, which is a different job entirely. But, when you put your body into the care of the Phenom, you get the full package.

In the arena, Vince reminds us that this match is unsanctioned and the Fed takes no responsibility for what happens in this match. Mankind appears with Paul and they nervously make their way to the ring. Vince describes Paul as “bulbous” and Jerry calls him a Jack o’ Lantern.

The gong hits and The Undertaker’s music blares. The Undertaker makes his way to the ring slowly, taking his time to walk past the grave. Jerry says that it is raining. When the lights come back on, little time passes before Taker runs at Mankind and the bell rings to start the match.

Buried Alive match: The Undertaker def. Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) via vivisepulture in 18:25.

“A slugfest ensuing, right off the bat,” according to Vince. The fog clears quite quickly as Taker takes over, kicking Mankind right into the barrier, cracking his head on the metal. Undertaker takes no time in jumping from the turnbuckle to the outside, diving on Mankind. They are close to the grave right now, close already to the hole that they need to push themselves into. Mankind attacks Taker with the butt of the shovel and attempts a suplex into the hole, but Taker reverses it into a roll-up and the pair fall down the hill and back into the ring.

Close up to a child in the audience who Jerry describes as “a creature, all right!” Taker gets the microphone cord to choke Mankind and Jerry makes a sports reference. Mankind is in the crowd now and they fight through it, with Mankind eventually being thrown back over the barrier and Taker dives over it to attack him. Crazy son of a bitch. Vince describes the match as, “Mankind and the Undertaker, having a row.” It’s a bit stronger than a row, Vince.

In the middle of the ring, Undertaker goes for Old School and Paul Bearer pulls the rope, sending Taker to fall, testicle-first onto the ropes. Mankind takes over, screeching like a stuck pig and choking Taker. The announcer’s talk about Mankind’s mangled ear. Paul passes Mankind some kind of shiv and he uses it on Taker. Vince, who, I might remind you, owns the company and allows this unsanctioned match to happen (thereby unofficially sanctioning it) claims that even if it is a no-holds-barred match, a shiv should be illegal. Well, yes. That makes sense. Anything that can legit kill a man should be illegal, even if the match is no-holds-barred.

Undertaker gets the shiv, fights back and hits the leg drop on Mankind before going after our boy Paul. Mankind has a chair, though, and is chasing Taker with it. Taker replies with a boot to the balls to disable Mankind but Paul blindsides him with the urn and Mankind cracks Taker with the chair before… licking it. The crowd chant, “Rest in peace!” at them both.

Mankind walks Taker up to the grave and kids reach out to touch them. They’re at the edge of the grave and Undertaker rolls in! He’s done for! Go, Mick, cover Mark in some dirt! Undertaker fights back, though, pulling Mankind in. Mankind replies with dirt to his face and attempts a hip toss into the grave but it is reversed and Mankind rolls down the hill before they go back into the ring. Mankind hits a brutal piledriver and Jerry marks out at his own move. Mankind then attempts a pin, obviously fails because you can’t pin your opponent in a Buried Alive match and pulls his own hair out in punishment. Taker fights back with some great punches.

Mankind DDTs Taker onto a metal chair. Absolute bastard. Undertaker sits up paranormally and hits Mankind in the back with the chair followed by a leg drop with the chair on his face. Paul shakes his head in disgust but then looks up, sexily, his finger on his lips as if to say, “I won’t tell.” Jesus Paul, come on. This is 1996. Wrestling is still PG, you tease. I just realised that the referee is Earl Hebner. This is how much fun I’m having with this match. Mankind takes off the mat and attempts a piledriver onto the concrete but Undertaker reverses it into a Vertebreaker/sit-down combo. The Steel steps are thrown into the ring and Mankind takes a shot to the face for his effort followed by a shot to the back. Undertaker hits Mick with the Tombstone Piledriver, points to the grave plot and drags Mick to the edge, lifting him in a fireman’s carry and bringing him there.

At the grave plot, Mankind hits the Mandible Claw on Taker and steals the urn to crack Taker but the Deadman gets a chokeslam for his attack. Mankind moves to the end of the plot to… find his oxygen canister, I guess and he is covered in barely enough dirt to finish the match in 18:25.

2016 comments:

Great match. Wasn’t the biggest fan of the constant roll-to-the-grave-have-a-fight-then-roll-back-in-the-ring-for-a-while-then-back-to-the-grave aspect of the match, but absolutely great storytelling, fantastic gimmick and the lads really gave it their all. No need for blood, no need for death-defying moves, just two men who hate each other and want to almost-legitimately kill each other.

1996 comments:

Mankind was in it. Match of the Year.

Grade: A+

Undertaker is told to stop burying Mankind but he does not. He pushes away not one but two referees and continues to throw dirt on Taker. Then… wait… what? Who the fuck is this? A masked man? A lucha? He hits Taker with the shovel and jumps into the grave to dig out Mankind. This masked man then covers the Undertaker in dirt. Mankind helps. Lightning flashes with lots of mental strobes. I’m having a seizure. A confused and swervy seizure. The crowd chant, “Rest in Peace!” and Goldust arrives with a shovel, followed by Trips and Cunt Bradshaw. Paul oversees it, could probably do with a bit of physical work as well, but he does have to hold the urn, I suppose.

The men turf the dirt on Taker, each one potentially murdering a man. People are throwing things in, sodas and the life. You gotta believe that each of these men legitimately are concerned that Mean Mark might not get out of this alive. They’re throwing about a ton of dirt onto a man, like. Jerry sounds concerned as well. I’d like to think that they actually knew everything about this gimmick and that they knew Mark would be safe… but a part of them would probably be figuring out an alibi as well.

After five minutes, the heels have almost completely filled the hole in and thunder booms. The heels… wait… is that Crush? Did Crush come out as well? When did he get here? Anyways, the heels scarper at the sound of thunder but Paul, Mankind and Executioner throw some final handfuls of dirt in the grave and retreat.

Cut to a Coliseum Home Video exclusive of Paul shouting at Mankind in the Boiler Room as Karl Orf’s O Fortuna from the Carmina Burana plays in the background. Mankind talks about maggots eating the Undertaker. Paul introduces The Executioner, a huge, silent, masked man.

Back in the arena, a very badly CG’d lightning bolt hits the graveside and an explosion of sparks erupts as The Undertaker’s hand bursts from the grave, curling into a fist for the audience.

(Note: Though Dark Matches normally take place before PPVs begin, in this instance, there were two dark matches after the Buried Alive match. The reason for this is not entirely known as both matches were PPV quality with one being a six-minute filler tag match between The Godwinns and the New Rockers with the second… being Shawn Michaels defending his WWF Championship title against Goldust! Goldie had already fought an 11-minute match with Marc Mero for the Intercontinental belt and just buried Taker alive and then had another 13-minute match with Shawn for the WWF Championship! Mental stuff. We may never know why these matches were relegated to dark matches however a few reasons might be… Wrestlers wanted a payday and there was no time for their matches on the card… Shawn might not have wanted to be on a PPV and not main event it and as this PPV was based around the Buried Alive match, Shawn would need to be on the undercard and he wasn’t happy about that… Shawn and Goldust weren’t feuding at the time and Shawn and Sid were about to start feuding for Survivor Series… Vince didn’t want the audience to leave on a bum note… The dark matches could be reshown or redone on RAW or a later PPV…)

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No one really stands out here other than both Undertaker and Mankind but I’m choosing Undertaker for putting on one of the best matches of his career.

Woman of the Matches: Between Sunny and Marlena…? Again? Oh, wait, Sable was there too. I’m going to choose neither.

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

Best Spot: Undertaker flying over the barrier onto Mankind.

Hatches: The Stalker (Blackjack Mulligan), The Executioner (Terry Gordy, one of the Fabulous Freebirds).

Matches: Owen Hart and British Bulldog retain the Tag Team belts. Wildman Marc Mero retains the Intercontinental belt.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: I liked this PPV and it was certainly one of the better In Your House shows. The main event was fantastic and I am honoured to have been alive to see it… unlike the Undertaker.

On the Card will return on November 17 with Survivor Series 1996.

Attitude Era #4. In Your House 10: Mind Games (Sept 22, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Great Mark Henry match! And Goooooooldust!

Cut to Kevin Kelly backstage with our boy Shawn Michaels. Mankind has spoken about Paul Bearer leading him to his destiny. Michaels talks about being the best wrestler in the WWF and how he is going to go out and wrassle the wackiest guys ever. Kevin Kelly wonders aloud if Paul Bearer might use the casket. Michaels replies with the face that there’s not an awful lot going on upstairs with him and this is to his benefit as you cannot play mind games with someone who has no mind. Fair enough. Michaels says that he is about to leave to go to the ring and has no idea how it is going to go.

Back in the ring, a bunch of monks are leading a casket to the ring. Paul Bearer follows, his face scrunched up in a twist of disgust. JR says that “Mankind will do anything to his own body to win.” Mankind sits up in the casket, walks past Shawn’s pyro and rocks in the ring, cradling the urn of the Undertaker. It makes little sense for him to do that. The reason that the Undertaker gains his power from it is because it contains the ashes of his family… the family that he possibly killed.

Shawn’s music hits and there is a deafening pop from the crowd. Howard Finkel can hardly be heard. No barricades break this time as he pops into the ring, poses and the pyro goes off. Brilliant. He’s just a sexy boy, after all. Mr. Perfect says, “Look at Mankind! He doesn’t even know what’s going on with all the cheering and yelling,” as if he is a horse or some easily-spooked dog.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels (c) def. Mankind via pinfall in 26:25.

Earl Hebner is the ref here. Both men circle each other before locking up. Michaels takes a terrific shot to the jaw and several punches to the face that he sells well. Mankind flips him high and then both men go over the top rope. Mankind wastes no time in chucking Michaels into the barricade and lifts the mat to expose the concrete. Michaels dropkicks the mat and then stomps over Mankind, climbs the turnbuckle and does a great cross body before rolling into the ring. His back is covered in gold dust. He was here.

Michaels jumps off the steel steps, rolls Mankind into the ring and hits him with a double axe handle smash. Mankind’s boot is caught, he is spun and punched a bunch of times. A body slam to the mat and Michaels hits the elbow before going for the Sweet Chin Music. Mankind sensibly runs out, screeching and begging Paul for the urn. Mankind finally goes back into the ring and the men beat on each other in the corner for a while. Mankind Irish whips Michaels and the champ goes for the crossbody but the madman retreats. Michaels does some ground-and-pound followed by a Russian leg sweep and some spooning. Michaels fights back and the punches he cracks Mankind with look legit.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Mick Foley has an awful lot to say about this match. From his first book, quote: “We put twenty-seven minutes into what was undoubtedly the finest match of my carerr. There is no doubt in my mind that it was the best match of the year and one of the greatest in history.” Big words. He doesn’t actually explain how the match is good, though.

Earl shouts at Michaels and JR says, “It’s outta hand!” Michaels gets thrown to the outside and as Mankind moves the Spanish announcer’s table, Hugo Savinovich politely tells him not to until Michaels jumps over the table onto Mankind before suplexing him onto the steel steps, where he catches his leg. Looks rough. In the ring, Michaels tackles Mankind’s knee, throws him onto the casket and batters away on the left knee, even going to far as to push Earl Hebner away when he chastises him.

Mankind gets a leg drag with a twist from Michaels followed by a figure four. Great spot as Mankind falls back in pain and Earl starts to count the pin. Brilliant. Another fantastic dropkick from Michaels onto Mankind. He rolls him into a half-Boston crab and Paul holds the urn in front of Mankind as something to crawl towards. Michaels hits Mankind with a tilt-a-whirl pin, jumps for the head scissors and Mankind drops him back, hitting Michael’s neck on the top rope. He then takes what looks to be a pen from Paul Bearer’s pocket and stabs himself a bunch of times in the leg. Hardcore.

Mankind boots away on Shawn Michael’s head, gets him in the corner and cracks him with a running knee. Mankind then bites Michaels on the forehead. Mental. Michaels fights back with a backdrop followed by some meaty punches. Mankind is in tatters at this point… and covered in gold dust. Irish whip to Michaels and he baseball slides through Mankind’s legs. Quick scramble and Michaels is Irish whipped into the corner, is wrapped around it and falls into the tree of woe. Great punch to the face by Mankind and Earl tries to stop him but to no avail. Mr. Perfect: “The Heart Break Kid may be broken.”

Michaels goes to the outside and Foley follows him, getting some abuse from the crowd especially some lad in a green shirt. Mankind misses a knee to Michaels face and a drop toe hold drives his own head into the steel steps. Suplex into the ring from the apron is reversed but Michaels lands on the apron and jumps in to avoid Mankind’s run that ends up with Mick bouncing off the turnbuckle. Fantastic body slam in the middle of the ring and a two count. The two men run the ropes and Mankind gets caught in a hangman, the very move that caused him to lose an ear!

He escapes and after an aborted Mandible Claw, Mankind is thrown into Savinovich’s lap and cracked twice by a steel chair. Heel move, Michaels. Shawn then goes for Mankind’s claw hand. Shawn jumps off the ropes onto Mankind’s claw hand and is thrown outside the ring for it. Mankind jumps off the apron onto Michaels. Mankind dives out and hits mankind with a swinging neckbreaker.

Michaels gets back in and a leg drop on his neck stops him. Mankind goes for the cover but Shawn kicks out. He gives Michaels a brutal piledriver but Shawn kicks out… twice. He does some lovely leg-grip pin but Shawn kicks out. Mankind throws steel chairs into the ring and Earl removes them. Mankind goes for the casket and Shawn rolls in but jumps out quickly. Irish whip to jumping clothesline to kip-up combo, Michaels beats on Mankind, gets him with the body drop and jumping elbow but doesn’t get the pin. He goes for the second elbow but Mankind hits the ropes and Shawn lands on his bollocks. Mankind goes to the top rope and backdrops Shawn to the Spanish Announcer’s table on the outside. Vince is there to check on both men and Shawn is up in seconds, followed by Mick.

Paul Bearer distracts the ref as Mankind goes to the top rope with a steel chair. Michaels jumps up, kicks Mankind in the face and goes for the one… two… damn this is a slow count.

Oh that’s why. Vader is here. Vader, who fought Sid on the preshow dark match is here. Camp Cornette! Revenge!

Earl hits the bell despite the fact that Vader never lifted a finger onto Michaels. Paul Bearer comes in and bops Shawn on the head. Sid comes in and bops Vader. In the ring, Mankind is on his feet and he gets the Mandible Claw on Michaels, Bearer opens the casket to put Michaels in and-

OH SWEET JESUS THE UNDERTAKER IS ALREADY IN THERE.

Brilliant stuff all together.

Undertaker chases Mankind out and Shawn celebrates in the middle of the ring, exhausted, ready for a lie down.

The show ends with Paul and Mankind in a Coliseum Home Video Exclusive as both men shout at each other in the boiler room. P-Bizzle even took off his jacket. Back in the ring, Michaels tells an audience member to turn their sign upside down. Ha. Really nice moment, making sure that people don’t look like fools. Then he shows his arse tattoo and jumps out of the ring, hugging all the fans around the ring. He even goes to the announcers, ignoring Mr. Perfect, apologising to the Spanish announcers and their poor table. Highlights of the backdrop onto the table, Undertaker appearing etc.

2016 comments:

Was it the best match of the year? No. Was it Mick Foley’s best match? One of the best. Was it Shawn’s best match? Not even close. It was okay.

1996 comments:

I hope in the future all the matches involve people going through tables.

Grade: B

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: You know what, I’m going to say Mark Henry. For real. You deserve it, bro.

Woman of the Matches: Between Sunny and Marlena? I’m going to choose Sunny again.

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

Best Spot: That back drop onto the table. Well done, boys.

Hatches: Farooq (dark match performer), Mark Henry (as a performer), Hunter Hearst Helmsley (as a run-in).

Matches: Owen Hart and British Bulldog win the Tag Team belts from the Smoking Gunns. Shawn Michaels retains.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: I have a soft spot for Mind Games, even though it’s not a great PPV all together. It’s the perfect PPV from the end of the New Generation to show new viewers what wrestling is all about – big characters, big drama and a fantastic finish.

On the Card will return on October 20th with In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Jesus Christ, Jerry and Jake.

Vince introduces the Boiler Room Brawl promo, which is a fine promo. We see Mankind decimating Taker over five months. The Dead Man barely gets a look-in. Mankind batters pipes, holds rats and is generally a bit weird. The title card for the Boiler Room Brawl match has steam appearing from… just about anywhere. Doesn’t even need to be pipes, apparently.

Undertaker’s music hits and out comes big Paul Bearer, holding the Undertaker’s urn, talking to it and heeling it up, at one point becoming Nuclear Bearer. JR says, “It is impossible to predict what will happen here, there is no precident, nothing like this matchup has ever happened before and I am surprised that Gorilla Monsoon has sanctioned this,” which is a fair enough statement to make, mostly, until we remember that it is basically a race from a boiler room to the ring. Like a ladder match, it is a simple match to win no kayfabe but is seems impossible for professional wrestlers to do it.

A bunch of TVs have been set up around the ring for the crowd to witness the action backstage. Unless you have a front row seat, you can probably see fuck all. I re-read the part in Mankind’s first autobiography, Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, and in it, he mentions nothing about the monitors, other than the crowd were watching them. He does mention that it was his concept and he had pitched some similar ideas to WCW and the entire setup was one that could only really be shown on TV and so was a great ratings draw. He explains that the actual match was filmed in one take with one cameraman the day before the PPV aired and that when they escaped from the boiler room, with Mankind leaving first, they finished the filming and continued where they left off the night of the PPV.

Cut to Taker standing outside the boiler room door, with a referee opening it for him because dead men don’t use knobs, apparently.

Mankind def. Undertaker via urn steal in 26:40.

Mick mentions that the match was too long, so let’s see if that’s true. There is little commentary, really, and this makes the match all the more sinister. Undertaker takes his time opening the door that says BOILER ROOM DANGER, obviously wishing to kill Mankind, but also understanding the importance of following instructions.

The boiler room is pitch dark, with only a light from the camera and some fluorescent lights above to show the action. Lots of tension here as Taker walks slowly through the boiler room and the commentators describe the action, building up the fight that is yet to happen. Taker walks in and Mankind sneaks out, hitting him with a 2×4. He breaks apart a palette and starts going to town on the Deadman. Of course, Mankind is squealing like a pig. He has been interrupted and was in the back, building a cabinet for Ahmed Johnson to hold his kidneys. He has a fresh one each day. Very expensive. Thousands of people die.

The two men really go at it – Makind’s workbench gets a doing as well, no tools to be seen, though. It looks like a gymnast’s horse, so he was probably getting a bit of exercise in before he and Mark Henry go to the Olympics. Taker is thrown into the boiler and Mankind starts making velociraptor sounds. The screen goes all fuzzy for a while and Vince says, “Technical difficulties.” Undertaker is thrown into the corner and knocks over lots of stuff. This boiler room is an absolute mess. Mick clearly has much better things to be doing with himself, apparently.

Mick doesn’t run back to the ring, he jogs back and forth, allowing the Deadman to get a weapon. Mick spins a wee wheel and some “steam” hits Undertaker in the face (probably a gimmicked pipe or fire extinguisher). Lots of bins are thrown about and people are hit with sticks. Mankind was involved in all the Boiler Room Brawls during WWF’s time and it makes sense because he spends all his time in boiler rooms. This doesn’t make sense once you consider that they are different boiler rooms, but presumably he lives in all boiler rooms at once. Mankind’s arm is sliced and there’s a wee bit of blood coming from him, but not enough to keep us happy. We wish for more blood, Mick!

His squalling and screeching is getting on my tits, though.

Mankind finds a ladder attached to a wall and decides to go for a wee walk up it and a jump off it onto Taker followed by the shittiest DDT in history. He beats Taker with a stick and then… drags him backwards? Listen, man to Mankind, Mick, just run outside. Go. Run to the ring, get the urn, be done with this insanity. If you want to win the match, you can. If you lose, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Screen goes a bit weird again and the crowd boo so much. When it comes back, we see a glimpse of a bodyslam of some description, followed by our boy Mick climbing up another ladder, this one wooden and free-standing. Vince says, “He’s going for that elbow again,” and Undertaker sits straight up, starts yanking at the ladder and is tipped back.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: This was a botched move that caused Mick to have sciatic nerve problems for the next seven months. It was so bad that he thought that he may have to retire.

He’s up and getting hammered by Taker and the Deadman is leaving. Foley is after him, whipping at him with chains and he takes a wicked uppercut for his troubles. Undertaker has a cut elbow, too, which is bad because about a week later, he would have a staph infection so bad that Mick said, “his elbow was swollen to twice its normal size. Staph infection was a common casualty of the business, but this was the worst case I had ever seen. A doctor was brought in and lanced the elbow. He then squeezed hard, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that pus shot ten feet across the room.”

Sexy.

The pair of them hang out for a bit and Taker hits Mankind with a fire extinguisher in the face. That is, he turns one on. He doesn’t abtually hit him with it. As Mankind fights his way out, one of the announcers says, “Unbelievable,” in the most bored tone he can muster, as if personally offended at what he’s just witnessed, frustrated that Mankind has a can-do attitude.

The camera angle changes and we see Mankind bursting out of the boiler room, hitting Taker and pushing him back in. He then uses a bin to barricade the door. Lots of wrestlers are out in the corridors, shouting and getting on. Undertaker bursts out, passed the Godwinns and several other unnameable wrestlers including SkipZip and Mark Henry! As the fight continues, Al Snow (Leif Cassidy) stands to one side and Goldust sneaks out, presumably to pinch Undertaker’s bum on the way past. We go past shirtless Stone Cold and… who is that? Is that Billy Gunn?

Nope, it’s cunt Bradshaw. Fuck him.

One of the referees quips that it looks like a prison riot, which is nonsense as no one is being shivved or raped. Mankind throws some “scalding hot coffee” over the Undertaker and someone sets a fire or turns on the smoke machine to sell it. Mankind escapes into the arena but Undertaker is after him with a brutal clothesline and cracks Mick with a 2×4. They beat each other gradually towards the ring. Wires from the TV screens trail across the floor. Not very safe and JR states as much seconds before Mankind rolls one over. Paul Bearer is in the ring, literally larger than life. He’s looking very relaxed though, probably because he knows what is coming up next. Mankind exposes the concrete floor and hits a weak looking piledriver.

Paul Bearer wobbles back and forth. God I miss him.

Mankind is on the apron. Bearer could run away, but doesn’t. Taker has Mankind’s ankle and the pair of them are on the apron, punching and grappling. JR says, “Their bodies just have to be achy.” Aye, Jim, like a breaky heart. Undertaker slingshots Mankind off the apron by pulling on the top rope. Undertaker is in the ring and the crowd are going wild. Down he goes onto the one knee… and Paul Bearer does nothing. He looks away. Mankind is in! Paul Bearer is laughing! The motherfucker! He’s done betrayed Taker! Mankind crawls towards Uncle Paul. Taker sits up and Mankind, in true Mankind style, just runs back and beats on Taker some more. Bearer drops the urn and kicks Taker, falling to the ground and wailing. Between Mankind and Bearer, the pair of them will just squeal like pigs all night. Bearer cracks Undertaker once again with the urn and hands it to Mankind for him to get the win in 26:40.

2016 comments:

A great concept match and a great match in concept. Mick says himself that it was seen as either a classic or a disaster. I would say both. It could have been done far better if more time was dedicated to the spots, maybe even having two or three cameramen in the room at once, add to the tension, or even have the whole thing done via security cam footage. As it stood, the opening was amazing, the middle bit was okay, the run through the locker room area was great fun and the ending was naff. All in all, an okay match.

1996 comments:

This is the greatest thing ever. They should use weapons more often.

Grade: B

Bearer and Mankind leave the arena, with Bearer yelling, “Ohhhhh yeeeees!” in his own classic style. Vince says, “the treachery of Paul Bearer,” and the man himself looks dead in to the camera and shouts, “I’m Paul Bearer and you’re not!” He winks at the camera and taps his head as well. Brilliant man. The crowd are throwing shite at the ring.

Undertaker’s music hits for one second, one single “Dong!” and the lights go down. There is druidic chanting and a bunch of lads in hoods walk to the ring. Two of them enter the ring and lift the Undertaker up, walking him to the edge of the ring where the rest of them carry the Deadman backstage. The music hits once more and then stops again. A hushed silence as the Undertaker is carried back by the druids.

On the Card will return on September 15th with the fifth and final part of SummerSlam 1996.

Ruthless Aggression #6: SummerSlam (August 20, 2006) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Great Chavo vs. Rey fight and regrettable Big Show vs. Sabu match…

Cut to JR and The King as they have to big up the bloody Diva’s Search, We do see Layla, though, who is one of the best Divas of the modern era, though we haven’t seen her in a while. She is then bullied by the Divas locker room. Funny that they’re showing this despite the fact that there is no women’s match this evening. They initiate her by showering her in cold water with her arse out. Awful.

I know I give off about the sexploitation of the women in wrestling, especially at around this time, but every now and again something will happen and I will place my head in my hands and wonder why to Christ it was still happening. Garbage.

Promo for the Hogan vs. Orton match, showing Hulkamania runnin’ wiiiild, brother. JR questions if Hogan is the Babe Ruth or Michael Jordan of wrasslin’, which is about right as Jordan wore a Hitler moustache just as Hogan was a racist. We see Randy flirting with Brooke Hogan and then giving her old man an RKO as she looks on gormlessly. Amazingly, Hulk actually sells it. We see Randy “killing” legends, which just involved him bullying and beating up old wrestlers. It’s easy to RKO Mae Young or Moolah, though the latter will sell you into some kind of sex ring if you’re not careful.

The entire promo builds up to the point that Randy has a history of successfully “killing” legends by beating them either in ring or in a parking lot or whatever and Hulk says that he will never be one of those legends. Fair enough, seems like a good build up to a match… if we didn’t have twenty-plus years of Hulk Hogan in the Fed to know that the fucker is an absolute cunt and doesn’t care what he does as long as he goes over in the end. So we know that Hulk is going to win. We know that already, brrrrrrother.

Randy’s brilliant “Burn in my Light” song hits and the lad comes down. Six-five, two hunnerd an’ fiddy pounds of destruction. Twenty-six years old at the time and smug as shit. Debuted three weeks before his twenty-sixth birthday. He hits his pose and golden showers fall from behind him as Lilian Garcia introduces him. Randy stands mid-ring, bouncing as Hulk’s “Real American” theme plays. He gets a huge pop, which is interesting.

Hulk comes down to the ring. Six-eight, three hunnerd an’ twenny-two pounds of cunt. Fifty-three at the time, debuted three years before Orton’s birth and won his first championship on January 23, 1984 in Madison Square Garden from the Iron Sheik, who was made humble. A lot of people like Hogan. I never did. I found him boring and bland as well. And he’s a racist. I hated him before that, of course, I hated that he never sold and always went over even if he should not have. And he ruined perfectly good t-shirts. Prick.

This intro is too long. Go and hit him, Randy. Go on. Smack him in the face.

Hulk doesn’t remove his bandana to reveal his mental hairline.

Hulk Hogan def. Randy Orton via pin in 10:56.

Bell rings and both men circle the ring. Hogan looks like he doesn’t want to be there, and knowing Hogan, he probably doesn’t. It was about this time that he had the infamous video about him being racist. Cocky.

Hogan and Orton lock up and Randy is flung across the ring. They lock up again and get into a headlock. Hogan gets to his feet, pushes Orton away and Hogan’s bandana falls off. He slaps his arse in reply. Another headlock. I haven’t said this in a while: headlock city. It’s headlock city! In the Ruthless Aggression Era!

Orton takes over and walks Hogan about the ring with a barrage of punches. Hogan is on his back on the apron and Randy doesn’t stop. Hogan is taking his time and Randy roars, “Get up!” pulls on Hogan’s hair and goes to smash his head into the turnbuckle but Hogan reverses. Of course he does. Hogan goes for the ten-punch, gets nine plus a bite. He then rakes Orton’s eyes twice. Come on, Hogan. That’s against the rules, you gooch.

Hulk beats on Orton on the ropes. JR calls Brooke Hogan “A rising singing star,” that “Randy has… feelings for,” but then says that wouldn’t be a good word to use. Hogan rakes Orton’s back and chest for a while. Like a cat. Hulk Hocat? I know I can do better than that. Hogan is dragged out by Orton and his knee is worked on, the one that has been replaced, apparently. Randy goes to the top rope, goes for a cross-body-nothing and Hogan dodges. In the corner, Hulk gets to his feet and punches on Randy, goes for the big boot, gets the dropkick in reply and slithers about for the RKO, rolling like a cat. Hulk refuses to turn around and finally when he does, Randy hits him with the worst sold RKO of all time and the pin in-

Oh. Hogan’s foot was on the bottom rope. Lilian even makes an announcement telling us so. Hulk Hulks out, gets some punches in, big boot, leg drop and the pin in 10:56.

2016 comments:

I am loathe to mention anything positive about Hulk Hogan because I hate the cunt and his racist, self-concerned ass has no place in modern wrestling. However, I can appreciate the fact that without him, there would be no wrestling. The match was okay. Randy and Hulk told a story and it wasn’t old-school wrestling for the most part. Randy did a great job of selling all of Hulk’s awful moves, but, of course, Hulk goes over.

2006 comments:

This Randy Orton fellow is great, treating Hogan like a real person now and again.

Grade: D

Hogan celebrates for ages, genuinely about five minutes, slaps a fan on the back who has a Hogan tattoo and leaves, finally.

It’s actually raining outside in Boston, but inside, Mick Foley is staring middle distance before getting a hug from Melina as he reveals that he has seen a different side of Ric Flair. Melina is asking Mick to reconsider his match this evening. He tells her that she’s wrong and she secretly likes it.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: As mentioned in the Vengeance 2006 entry to this series, Ric and Mick have had some trouble in the ring, outside of it and on the pages of their respective books. Ric called Mick a “glorified stuntman” and Mick did not respond. He later expressed that he respected Ric but was upset to be thought of that way. Trrrrrrriple H, a man who respects and works closely with Mick, even took Ric’s side as Ric was HHH’s mentor. This entire feud is bullshit because neither men are willing to keep it kayfabe and you can see that there is some genuine resentment there.

In the ring, Lilian is explaining the rules of an I Quit match. Match goes on until one of the competitors says, “I quit” into a microphone. There is no DQ.

Mick’s music hits and the flannel-wearing legend comes out… after about thirty seconds. Forty-one at the time of filming, six-two, two hunnerd an’ seventy or so (his weight fluctuated severely around this time due to his semi-retirement and inability to do a lot of locomotion). He carries a trashcan. JR wonders if either Foley or Flair will physically be able to say, “I quit,” considering the platform upon which they would be doing it.

Flair’s music hits and out he comes. Fifty-seven, six-one and two-forty-two pounds of wickedness. JR references the troubles that Mick and Ric had in WCW (Ric was booker and did not like Mick because he thought he was a garbage wrestler and did not book him well, once telling him, “You’re going to be in a wheelchair by the time you’re thirty and no one will care.”). Mick punches Ric and the match begins prematurely.

“I Quit” Match: Ric Flair def. Mick Foley via quitting in 13:14.

Mick pounds away in the corner with his forearms, runs into his head with a running knee, wastes no time in bringing over the trashcan to crash his head. He hits the “Bang bang!” pose, pulls out Mr. Socko and applies it for about three seconds. He is instantly on the mic, walking over to Flair to give him the chance to quit, but no dice. Foley wraps some barbed wire around his fist and is about to give Flair a shot when the Nature Boy grabs him by the balls! Oh so painful! In the confusion, Foley falls and Flair removes the barbed wire and Socko, putting them on himself and striding towards Foley with murder in his eyes.

A Flair barbed wire shot to the chest, followed by three more and Foley is out of the ring, Flair following him and tossing him into the steel steps. The pair roll about the place for a while and Foley takes the time to get out the barbed wire board last seen on ECW One Night Stand. Flair takes the chance to blade and the two men are back in the ring, bleeding everywhere. Foley rubs the wire in Flair’s face, throws the board at him, jumps on him with it, the whole nine yards. Foley brings the mic over but Flair only says, “Kiss my ass!” so Foley busts him with the mic.

Thumbtacks! Foley gets thumbtacks out, the wicked son of a bitch! Jerry states that this type of wrestling is not his style and Foley instantly body slams Flair onto the thumbtacks. There is little build up. Foley takes out Barbie, the barbed-wire baseball bat and JR says, “Damn the barbed wire!” Flair fights back through the barbed wire attack and low blows Mick before throwing him into the corner, getting Barbie and beating on Mick. Foley has a great bump where he just falls with a huge slam. Flair gives Mick the mic, but no magic words yet. Another low blow followed by a Barbie shot with Foley on the apron and Mick goes flying off the apron, damn near killing himself. Paramedics are called and Melina rungs down.

The paramedics tell the ref that Mick is done and the ref calls for the bell. Flair gets the mic, angry, and jumps out, lifting Foley back in, rolling him through the thumbtacks. Christ of almighty. More Barbie attacks and Flair is on the mic again. Foley screaming in pain. Flair wonders aloud if Mick has had enough and Melina throws in the towel, shouting, “He quits!” calling for a second bell. She kneels beside him, making sure that her arse his showing. Flair denies her attempt to save Mick, gets Barbie, rolls through the pins and just as Flair is about to bust one or both of them with Barbie, Mick gets on the mic and quits in 13:14.

2016 comments:

Just like the Big Show/Sabu match earlier, this is garbage wrestling of the highest order. Spot after spot after spot and although I enjoyed this match far more than the Extreme Rules match, I put that down to the competitors as opposed to the actual match. I didn’t feel that there was a great story here and the whole Melina-quitting-for-Mick-who-takes-one-for-the-team-to-save-her spot could have been better executed.

2006 comments:

Mick Foley was in it. Match of the year.

Grade: B+

Flair is pushed away by the ref and his hands raised. JR raises concerns over the fact that Flair would ever strike a woman and the Nature Boy rolls out of the ring with Barbie, bleeding from every part of his body. JR says, “These men were wrestling to eradicate!” and Jerry, rightly, replies with, “This wasn’t wrestling, JR.” And it wasn’t. Nice close-up of our man Mick, bust open. Fair play, Mick. He pulls himself to his feet with difficulty.

On the Card will return on September 3 with the third part of SummerSlam 2006.