Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Ken Shamrock!

Replays cut to two weeks ago at Raw is War where Austin stunnered Undertaker and the Deadman replies with a chokeslam – which the announcer incorrectly states is a Tombstone Piledriver – and cut to the arena where Austin’s music hits and he rocks down to the ring, pointing at the crowd. Two smelly marks go ballistic for him. Austin goes to the corner, jaws off to the crowd for a bit. There’s a lovely shot of the crowd. A lot of Austin 3:16 shirts.

Undertaker’s bells ring and down comes the WWF Champion – second, for good reason – and takes his long walk to the ring. He stands at the ring steps and stares at Stone Cold for a bit before popping the lights on with a raise of his hands. He’s dressed like Vigo the Carpathian again. Austin stands nose to nose with the Deadman, showing how tall he is. The crowd go ballistic as the Hart Foundation – mental Brian Pillman, Owen Hart, Bret Hart, British Bulldog and Jim “The Anvil” Neithart – stroll down to take their seats. Austin and Taker are united – briefly – in their distaste for the Harts. As Earl Hebner roars off to the newcomers, Austin’s patience grows thin and he attacks Undertaker from behind, starting the match.

WWF Championship Match: The Undertaker (c) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Stone Cold chases Taker around the ring, not even letting him get his jacket off, bouncing his head off the turnbuckle. Big pop as Taker fights back, Austin slides out and runs to the Hart Foundation, dragging Owen Hart over the barricade and beating the shite out of him. Undertaker breaks it up, throws Owen back over the barricade, rolls Austin into the ring – after tossing him into the steel steps – and continues with the match. Austin takes a jumping clothesline from Taker but the subsequent pin bears no fruit.

Undertaker twists Austin’s arm and hits some shoulder barges. The two men have a wee chat mid-ring and we cut to the Hart Foundation before back in the ring where Taker is halfway through Old School. Referee Earl Hebner is sliding about the ring. Austin hits a snapmare and holds Taker there for some time. Taker rolls him over into a pin but Austin rolls back. Rest Hold City. Even the announcers are silent for some time. Quite awkward. Taker attempts to get rid of Austin but another snapmare and another roll into pin and more Rest Hold City. Austin shouts his spots at Taker and together, they stand up. Austin finally gets Taker to his feet and gets shoved away in an Irish Whip. Taker does not sell the shoulder barge and another snapmare into more Rest Hold City. Bret smiles at the camera.

Christ, this is slow, isn’t it? Something is happening, apparently, as the crowd stand. Cut to Anvil shouting something. Taker hits a terrific backdrop, Austin lands it, hitting Taker’s left knee and hammering on him. Taker fights back, chokes Austin and tosses him into a corner. The crowd go bananas. Austin has Taker’s leg and wraps it around the ring post. He does it a few times. Austin gives the Hart Foundation the finger. Big pop from the crowd. Austin’s face takes a shot from the ring post. He drags Taker over to the ropes and butt bumps Taker’s knee once again. He is focussing on Taker’s knee for ages.

Austin dodges a backbody drop and Austin hits the STF on Taker. Taker gets to the ropes, breaks the hold and gets an elbow to the throat for his effort. Good man, Austin. More butt bumps to Taker’s knee but the Deadman retaliates by kicking Austin out over the ropes. JR puts over both Austin and Undertaker’s toughness. Bit of ankle locks here from Taker onto Austin. He fights back. Punches to the face. Taker is up, beating on Austin mercilessly. Single-leg Boston Crab on Stone Cold. Austin rolls out and calls a time out on Taker but he gets given no quarter. Austin attempts a figure four and fails. Austin rolls out, drags Taker halfway out, batters the knee off the apron edge and attempts a pin.

Very slow match. Time wasting. Lovely suplex in the middle of the ring. Austin foolishly believes that this will cause a pin attempt. Lovely martial arts kick from Taker followed by a second Old School attempt but – as we can all guess – Austin stops this one, dropping Taker on his Dead, Dead Balls. Austin goes for the Bret’s Rope Superplex, but gets pushed off. Elbow from Taker and Austin is up. Taker hits the sleeper and Austin replies with a jawbreaker – or, as King rightly says, “Almost a stunner!”

Stone Cold bounces Taker’s head off the corner, hammers him in one corner, threatens the ref and takes a shot to the balls from Austin. Ref Earl Hebner shouts at Austin, who gives him the finger behind his back. Undertaker low blows Austin and when he gives off to Earl, he gets the double fingers from the ref himself followed by a chokeslam. Austin fights back, hits the stunner mid-ring and JR goes bananas as the bell rings…

Brian Pillman! You wacky banana! He was battering the ring bell to cause the distraction.

Taker sits up, hits the Irish Whip, getting Austin up for the Tombstone but Austin retaliates, getting Taker up for a Tombstone of his own! But wait, Taker fights back, finally hits the Tombstone and the slow three count for the win.

The Undertaker has pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin for the win in 20:06.

2017 comments:

Not a great match. Very slow. Lots of time wasting. Seemed like a house show, almost. Very disappointing.

1997 comments:

Who are these mediocre wrestlers?

Grade: C.

Shameful main event from both men. The Hart Foundation rock into the ring and hammer on Taker, stomping a mudhole in him. Austin sees Bret in the wheelchair, tips him over and goes after the Foundation with Bret’s crutch. Undertaker chokes Owen as Austin stands on top of the turnbuckle, watching the Foundation leave. Fink announces that Taker is still the champ and Austin Stunners him, rolls out of the ring and back in with the crutch, following the Foundation out of the arena. Undertaker follows, very upset about the whole thing.

Despite all this, after the lights went down, there was another match not televised between the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Owen Hart and the British Bulldog for the WWE Tag Team Championship, of which LOD were the challengers. It was a loss by DQ. Kind of explains the entire PPV, doesn’t it?

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No real stand-out matches or competitors here, so I’d have to go for Ahmed Johnson for lasting over ten minutes in the ring. Good man, Ahmed.

Woman of the Matches: Just Chyna, I suppose.

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold and Undertaker Tombstone reversal.

Hatches: None.

Matches: Undertaker retains his WWF World Heavyweight Championship; Owen Hart and the British Bulldog retain their WWF Tag Team Championships.

Dispatches: No real dispatches. Faarooq is out until Ground Zero; Flash Funk is out until One Night Only; The Rock is out until Badd Blood.

Closing Statements: Not a good PPV at all. No great matches, no great spots, very short. All in all, a real disappointment.

On the Card will return on June 8 2017 with King of the Ring 1997.

 

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Attitude Era #11. In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker (April 20, 1997) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Brilliant Taker and Mankind match.

Cut to a promo for Undertaker… and Stone Cold? Oh, it’s a promo for the next In Your House.

Dok Hendrix is speaking to Bret. Bret is very Canadian. In the background, Owen and Bulldog stand. You can hear Paul yelping in the background. Bret cuts a heel promo, total anti-American and his music hits. Bret appears from the In Your House house with the rest of the Hart Foundation but Irish Referee Tim White stops them heading to the ring. Monsoon appears and tells them all to fuck off and they do.

Glass smashes and out comes the meanest son of a bitch you’ve ever seen. JR tells us that he is not a role model.

Number One Contender match for the WWE Championship: Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Austin slides into the ring and whips the face off Bret for a while. JR says, “Bret can outwrestle Austin, but Bret can’t outfight Stone Cold.” Would have been better if he had used “Hitman” in there. Lovely punches, running of the ropes, suplex and chokes. They brawl to the outside where Stone Cold throws Bret into the steel steps twice. Austin goes into the ring and does the Bret-raise-the-roof taunt. Bret goes for a stroll and Austin bounces his head off the barricades. Earl Hebner shouts at him and Austin gives Bret an axe-handle-nothing from the railing! Very nice!

Austin hits a Bret’s rope elbow with theatrics (the middle finger). Bret escapes a pin and Stone Cold follows him. Chairs go flying and Monsoon is chastising him. Stone Cold takes the chair from Bret and there’s a ref bump – AGAIN – that Bret takes advantage of by hammering Stone Cold’s knee with the chair. Bret gets Earl up and hits Austin for a while.

Brian Pillman and Sunny have just interviewed Mankind on the Superstar Line, by Christ.

Stone Cold fights back and gets knocked down. Bret hits a figure four on the ring post and hits Austin’s knee with a chair. He’s a real bastard, isn’t he? JR says hello to the fans in the UK and Jerry says hello specifically to Princess Diana.

Bret and Austin wrassle on the ground as a cut shows Paul on a stretcher, in a lot of pain, moaning about his face. Austin’s brace has been removed by Bret and gets stomped. Austin is not in a good way. This looks legit painful. Earl roars at the two men to get back into the ring and Austin punches Bret in the dick. Big old Bionic Elbow. Stone Cold gets some tape and chokes Bret. Bret’s rope elbow but Bret moves out of the way and takes over, stomping Austin’s leg. Austin fights back, attempts to suplex Austin out of the ring but Bret retaliates. Bret hits the figure four mid-ring and both men have a lovely lie down. Every time Austin falls back, the ref hits the pin. Austin finally turns Bret over and his instantly finds the rope. I don’t understand the figure four reversal.

Bret hits Austin once again and attempts the figure four on the steel ring ropes. Stone Cold tosses Hart into the crowd and beats on him with his left elbow. Bret is strong back in to the ring mat and bounced off the guardrail. Stone Cold hits the clothesline from the apron. Austin cracks Bret with the Irish whip and hammers his head with fists and the loosest pin in history. Bret gets a boot in the stomach and Austin attempts the piledriver but his leg buckles. Lovely storytelling. Bret attempts the Irish whip but topples when running.

Vince wonders why Bret isn’t just hitting the Sharpshooter to finish Austin. Austin flapjacks Bret onto the turnbuckle and attempts the stunner after a pin but Bret grabs the ropes. Bret brings Austin over to the corner for a great superplex. Bret attempts the Sharpshooter and Austin nails Bret with his own leg brace. Austin hits a Sharpshooter of his own and Bulldog and Owen Hart come to Bret’s aid. Stone Cold knocks them back is Irish Referee Tim White chases them away. Second Sharpshooter from Austin. Gorilla Monsoon has a wee walk in the background and Davey Boy comes in to hit Stone Cold with a chair.

The British Bulldog has hit Stone Cold Steve Austin with a steel chair, causing outside interference and awarding the match to Stone Cold in 21:09.

2017 comments:

Lovely match, very good storytelling and great selling ruined by a shit finish.

1997 comments:

I hate the British.

Grade: A.

The Fink announces that Stone Cold wins and Bret stalks the place in a big old fit. He gets the ring bell, goes to hit Austin but Stone Cold retaliates with a chair and hits the Sharpshooter once again. Referees enter the ring. Owen and Bulldog run out. All hell breaks loose. Both men are hurt – “Casulties of war!” as JR says. Fans give Bret the finger. Stone Cold’s music plays as he hits the corners of the ring, raises his hands and jaws off to the crowd before leaving.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I would love to nominated Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart once again. Brilliant match

Woman of the Matches: No women were here tonight, other than Sable and fuck her.

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold hitting the Sharpshooter on Bret.

Hatches: None.

Matches: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog retain the WWF Tag Team Championship amidst dodgy finishes; Rocky Maivia also technically lost the match but retained the WWF Intercontinental Championship due to a countout; Undertaker retained his WWF Championship; Stone Cold Steve Austin became the number one contender for said championship.

Dispatches: No real dispatches. Billy Gunn and Jesse James are out until Survivor Series 97 when they make their PPV return as the New Age Outlaws. Bret disappears until they return to Canada in In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede. Honky returns at the 1998 Royal Rumble.

Closing Statements: It was an okay PPV that had one half of a terrific tag team match and two long-ass singles matches with four of the greatest wrestlers on God’s green Earth.

On the Card will return on May 11 2017 with In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell.

 

ATTITUDE ERA #8: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 3

Previously on On the Card: Chyna.

Promo for Bret and Stone Cold. Bret says that he’s been screwed by Shawn, Stone Cold and the WWF. Just wait nine months, brother. Stone Cold gives off to the Shitman, beats on him and whups his aaaaass. The announcer lets on that Stone Cold is some sort of false prophet. We see Bret applying the Sharpshooter.

Ken Shamrock is mid-ring, an absolute tank of a man. He is terrifying, no doubt about it.

Backstage, Stone Cold is walking towards the ring. It’s so weird to hear the smashing glasses without the crowd going berserk. Stone Cold has a special sheet of sugar glass set up with Austin 3:16 written on it. As he walks near it, it shatters and he walks right through it. I love him. By Christ he’s great.

Bret’s music hits and, of course, he gets a bigger pop that Stone Cold. Farty pyro. He walks over the broken glass, strolls right up the aisle and Vince says he has a mixed reaction. No mix. He’s getting a pop, by Christ. Vince is just making it out that he’s a tweener. Bret enters the ring and Stone Cold tackles him, forcing the bell to ring to begin the match.

Submission match with Ken Shamrock as special guest referee: Bret The Hitman Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin via Sharpshooter in 22:05.

Stone Cold is battering the shite out of Bret but then the pair of them roll out of the ring. No pinfalls, no count out, no disqualifications. It’s what later becomes known as an “I Quit” match, though it is not named as such. Bret tosses Austin into the barricade and he replies by suplexing Bret on, his balls hitting the metal. McMahon tells us to forget about it. The two men run into the crowd. Austin steals a beer and throws it onto Bret, stomping a mudhole in him and walking it dry. The crowd get around the camera and Stone Cold is looking for weapons but can’t find any. Bret drags Austin up the stairs and some dopey fan tries to touch the wrasslers. King says, “Hit that drunk!”

The pair of them are lost in the crowd. Austin takes a bump onto the steps. Punches are thrown. A chant rises. Finally, they get back into the ring and Stone Cold tosses Bret into the steel steps. He follows it up with a jump from the apron after flipping the bird. Good man, Stone Cold. Stairs are lifted up and Austin takes a nasty fall on his arse. Bret batters away with the fists on Austin. Both men roll in and Bret hits the swinging neckbreaker, goes to his own rope and drops the axe handle on Austin.

Bret knocks Austin’s knee, softening him up for the Sharpshooter. Shamrock asks Austin if he wants to quit. He says, “No!” obviously. Sure the match has hardly started. We still have fifteen minutes left. Bret bumps like a boss, crashing down on the left leg of Austin. Stunner from Stone Cold and he has some time to recover. King says something sensible, “You need to be careful. Bret can’t submit if he’s unconscious.”

Bret gets up, not really selling the Stunner, and gets a hanging Figure Four on the turnbuckle corner. Austin escapes and rolls out. Bret rolls Austin back in and goes for the ring bell, picking up a blue bell with – what looks like – pee stains all up on it. Bret puts the chair around Stone Cold’s ankle and the place erupts. As he goes top rope, Austin jumps up and busts Bret on the head and back with the chair. Body slam, Irish whip, Stone Cold back in control. He gives a lovely snap suplex, goes to Bret’s rope and hits the double-fingers and the elbows.

Cut to Bret’s daughter in the audience, hands over her face. King laughs. Russian leg sweep and submission. King calls for Austin to break Bret’s neck. Cunt. Bret’s dad looks horrified. Ould Stu. Austin hits the Boston Crab. Bret drags himself to the rope, laboriously, and breaks the hold. It’s no DQ. It should not have made a difference! Stone Cold attempts to get Bret into the Sharpshooter and the crowd pops. Bret fights Austin off and gets tossed out of the ring. Austin taunts the crowd, leaves and gets tossed past the cameraman into the announcers and the timekeepers. Austin takes the time to blade and has bust himself wide open.

Steve is thrown into the ringpost and is bust very badly. Bret hardways Stone Cold some more. Austin is bleeding a lot. Backbreaker followed by a Bret’s rope elbow. A chair shot to Austin’s injured knee. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter and is unable to get it in. Blood is everywhere. Bret beats on Austin’s face and gets a kick to the balls for his effort. Austin is bleeding heavily and lifts Bret by the hair, tossing him into the ring post. He stomps a mudhole in Bret and walks it dry. Bret it put on top of the turnbuckle and both men fall with a superplex. Austin is a bloody mess. Bret gets thrown out and he gets some electrical cord. Both men face the hard cam and as Bret chokes, he lifts the ring bell up and smashes Austin.

Bret goes for the Sharpshooter. Austin can’t reach the ropes. He’s a bloody mess, looking up, screaming, shouting, “Nooo!” the blood squirting from his head, dripping down into his teeth. He half-breaks the Sharpshooter, tries to reach the rope. Ken asks, “Steve! Do you submit? If you do not answer, you will lose!” Austin passes out and Ken rightfully ends the match, giving the win by submission to Bret Hart in 22:05.

2017 comments:

Slow-paced, brilliantly fought match. One of the best matches from either men and one of the best WrestleMania matches of all time.

1997 comments:

Good man yourself, boys. What more can be said?

Grade: A

Bret goes to beat on Austin some more and Shamrock gives him a little suplex. Big pop from the crowd as Bret is making his heel turn. Boos from the crowd as he leaves. Bret looks genuinely pissed off, like he can’t understand the whole heel/face dynamic. Reminds me of the time Batista had a huff.

Austin is getting help from the ref, stunners him to zero applause and leaves to applause, limping is way backstage alone. He gets big, “Austin! Austin!” chants at a time when chants did not exist. He walks backstage, limping the whole way. What a man.

JR and Vince put over the Bret Hart heel turn. Big closeups of the blood. King puts over Stone Cold and says he did not submit.

Back stage, Faarooq is with Todd Pettengill, Nation of Domination and Immigration Clarence Mason. Faarooq gives off about the Road Warriors and Ahmed Johnson.

In the arena, NOD’s music hits and JC Ice and Wolfie D absolutely kill it with their nice white boy rap. The NOD have brought lots of weapons. They all lift their fists together. Fucking great stable. In the ring tonight is Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega. Vince tells us that WrestleMania is going to be in Boston next year and not to buy tickets.

Ohhhhhhh what a rush! The Legion of Doom, those enemies of the Super Friends! Black Manta, Giganta, Toyman, the Riddler, Lex…. Wait… I’m thinking of the other ones. Sorry, you mean The Legion of Doom/The Road Warriors/The Hell Raisers/The Hell Warriors/LOD 200 and LOD 2005. Hawk and Animal rock down to the ring with their spiked armour and with Ahmed Johnson, who has some spiked armour of his own. What a bunch of yokes.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The team were known as both the Road Warriors and the Legion of Doom through their time. They were originally managed by Paul Ellering and have had Sunny and Christy Hemme as valets. Previous members of the team have included Crush (who they fight tonight), Dusty Rhodes, Puke (also known as Droz), and Heidenreich.

These men are so over. The crowd is going bananas for them. They have actually brought a kitchen sink to this match. Faarooq attacks the lads and the bell rings.

Chicago Street Fight: The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson def. The Nation of Domination via pin in 10:45.

No countouts, no disqualifications…. Unless the storyline calls for it, of course. This should be a schmoz, but it might not be. LOD stereo gorilla press JC Ice and Wolfie D. Clarence Mason gets thrown about. Hawk gets the crap kicked out of him by everyone and Faarooq batters Animal. Ahmed jumps into the crowd after Crush and hammers him with a trash can. Hawk has the 2×4, misses Savio, hits the ring ropes and the wood fires into the air. He catches it! Anmial has Faarooq on the announce table… and botches it. Was it supposed to be a piledriver? Apparently.

The crowd chant for LOD. A fire extinguisher has went off ringside. The match collapsed into a schmoz with no spots. One of the NOD lads sets up a street sign in the corner and hawk is thrown into it. JR says, “This is amazing. This is a history-making WrestleMania,” and although I know this is garbage wrestling… I’m enjoying it. Ahemd body slams Faarooq through a table. The French announcers are gone. Crowd chant for LOD. Another fire extinguisher used. Brilliant. This is top class. Savio tries to get the trash can on Ahmed but it falls off. He gets a rope and puts it around Ahmed’s neck, a lovely wee noose. Looks like we’re gonna have a good, old-fashioned lynching, boys!

Hawk goes into the ropes and hits the double clothesline. King quips, “That was the first wrestling match I’ve seen all night.” One of the NOD guys seems to be D’lo Brown. Nice one, D’lo! The parking sign is being swung about. Faarooq his choking Hawk and Crush is battering on Animal. There’s a good old stomping happening over on Ahmed. Something happens with the noose and we see that Hawk pulled Faarooq off the top turnbuckle. Faarooq is getting lynched by Ahmed and he is finally released. Vince states that there has to be a pin at some point and Ahmed takes the hint, setting up the Pearl River Plunge. The ring is cleared and Crush is set up by LOD for the Doomsday Device. Great stuff. Ahmed has the 2×4 and there is a weak battering with it and a loose pin for the win in 10:45.

2017 comments:

Garbage wrestling, waste of time, no spots and no storyline… but I fucking loved it. Seriously. What a fun match. It was just a bunch of lads hitting each other with things.

1997 comments:

This… this is terriric. What type of match did you say that was? A hard… core match. Hardcore, huh? And what would softcore be? Oh right. Well I much prefer hardcore, thank you very much.

Grade: A

NOD pop back in and people are Pearl River Plunged left and right. Double Doomsday Device on JC Ice and Wolfie D. Ahmed’s arse cheek is out. Nice.

That was easily the piss-break match but it was fucking great. I love LOD. Big Roid Bellies on them.

On the Card will return on April 13 2017 with the fourth and final part of WrestleMania 13.

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

Previously on On the Card: Dissention in the ranks!

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

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

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

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

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

2: There are no countouts or disqualifications.

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

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

Yeeeeo. Vader is throwing stuff around by the ring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

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

Grade: A

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

Woman of the Matches: CHYNA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previously on On the Card: Mexicans steal the show!

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

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

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

The 1997 Royal Rumble.

A First Challenger Appears: Crush.

A Second Challenger Appears: Ahmed Johnson.

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

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

A Third Challenger Appears: Razor Ramon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Phineas I. Godwinn.

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

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Stone Cold Steve Austin.

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

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

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

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

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Bart Gunn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Eighty Challenger Appears: The British Bulldog.

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

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

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

A Ninth Challenger Appears: Pierroth.

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

A Tenth Challenger Appears: The Sultan.

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

An Eleventh Challenger Appears: Mil Máscaras.

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

A Twelfth Challenger Appears: Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

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

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

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

A Thirteeth Challenger Appears: Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart.

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

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

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

A Fourteenth Challenger Appears: Goldust.

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

A Fifteenth Challenger Appears: Cibernético.

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

A Sixteenth Challenger Appears: Marvellous Wildman Marc Mero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Seventeenth Challenger Appears: Latin Lover.

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

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

The timer appears as Goldust limps out.

An Eighteenth Challenger Appears: Faarooq Asad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Nineteenth Challenger Appears: Savio Vega.

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

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

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

A Twentieth Challenger Appears: Jesse James.

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

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

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

A Twenty-First Challenger Appears: Bret Hart.

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

A Twenty-Second Challenger Appears: Jerry Lawler.

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

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

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

A Twenty-Third Challenger Appears: Fake Diesel.

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

A Twenty-Fourth Challenger Appears: Terry Funk.

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

A Twenty-Fifth Challenger Appears: Rocky Maivia.

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

A Twenty-Sixth Challenger Appears: Mankind.

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

A Twenty-Seventh Challenger Appears: Flash Funk.

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

A Twenty-Eighth Challenger Appears: Vader.

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

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

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

The Thirtieth and Final Challenger Appears: The Undertaker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bret tosses Diesel out!

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

Stone Cold runs to the ropes and chucks Bret out!

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

Who does this Stone Cold boy think he is?

Grade: C

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

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

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

Attitude Era #6. Survivor Series (November 17, 1996) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: The debut of the Scorpion King!

Cut to a promo for Bret Hart being Canadian, the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. When he says Stone Cold’s name, the crowd pops. We see Stone Cold kicking ass, beating on his ex-partner, we see him stunning everyone, beating on people backstage and calling Bret Hart a Shitman. He then calls himself the best there is. Cheeky rascal. This promo is great and really gets you ready for Stone Cold and Hitman.

Backstage, Stone Cold calls Bret a cliché and says that he will give him an ass-whuppin’.

Out he comes out to his smashing glass theme. Fuck yes. This is amazing. I am so pumped for this and so is the crowd. Stone Cold is almost damn-near smiling. This is the start of the Attitude Era right here. Business is about to pick up.

Backstage, Bret Hart is bigging up Stone Cold, saying he has respect for Stone Cold and will beat the respect into him if necessary.

Bret’s music hits and the crowd explodes. The purple hearts are everywhere… the doors open… Bret is nowhere to be seen- oh there he is. Phew. Got worried for a moment. Pyro goes off as Bret soaks up the applause. The lights dim, focussing on the ring. This is a real big-match, main event feel. Face Bret goes to a wee pup in the front row and gives her his glasses. Lovely guy. Stone Cold looks on, disgusted at Bret’s weakness. Vince tells us that the winner of this match will become number one contender.

Number One Contender Match: Bret “The Hitman” Hart def. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin via pin in 24:41.

Stone Cold and Bret stand toe to toe in the middle of the ring. Austin is giving Bret some shit and follows it up with double fingers to Hart’s face. Brilliant. What a guy. The pair finally lock up and have a chat in the corner. Irish Referee Tim White splits them up and Bret pushes Austin away. The pair lock up again and have a little grabby brawl. JR tells us that neither of the men have submitted and it may come to that in this match. Another lock-up and Stone Cold gets Bret’s wrist, jerking at it. Bret rolls into a kip-up and reverses, screaming, “C’mon!” at Austin. The crowd chant, “Let’s go, Bret!” like a bunch of smarks.

A few reversals followed by a lovely takedown and the two men are on the ground. Bret hammers a knee into Stone Cold’s ribs, continuing the hammerlock. Stone Cold gets to his feet, hits a lovely drop-toe-hold but is reversed into another hammerlock. JR bigs up Rocky and says that he has one hell of a future in the Fed. Stone Cold takes over and drives the elbow into Bret’s spine. JR points out that Bret has been slow and careful whereas Stone Cold has been high-impact thusfar. Bret takes over and gets Austin in another wristlock. The commentators talk about cowboys and JR reminds us that he’s from Oklahoma. Irish whip and Stone Cold drops Bret on the top rope. Stone Cold steps on Bret’s back, choking him with the bottom rope. God-damn son of a gun.

Irish Referee Tim White is giving it loads to Stone Cold, who isn’t happy about it. Austin taunts the crowd as JR tells us how much Stone Cold has been attacking the upper body of Bret. Vince considers that the Stunner might be the move to take down Bret. JR repeats his earlier points. A pin attempt followed by another but Stone Cold gets a two on both. Vince drops that both men are using killer psychology in this match with Bret being forced to take a risk and take a risk he does as both men trade blows with Stone Cold coming off the stronger, choking Bret in the turnbuckle. An Irish whip and Bret reverses it with a great clothesline followed by an atomic drop, another clothesline and a roll-up for the near fall.

Bret hits the side-Russian leg-sweep and only gets another two-count. Bret goes for the bulldog but Stone Cold pushes him away, taking over. Stone Cold goes for the suplex, attempted reversal and Austin sits Bret on the top rope, goes for a Bret’s rope superplex but Bret counters, throwing Stone Cold off and hitting the elbow from the top rope. Brilliant. Bret goes for the Bossman slam but Austin rakes his eyes. Stone Cold throws Bret to the outside and takes the time to check his kneepads. Austin hits the double-axe-handle on Bret and rolls in to break the count before throwing Bret into the ringpost. Stone Cold takes the time to jaw off to the crowd and Bret knocks him into the audience! Bret fires Austin into the barricade and Stone Cold rolls the whole way out of the ring, seemingly looking for a place to blade. Bret takes a great slingshot catapult into the Spanish announcer’s table, completely flooring Hugo Savinovich. Poor son of a gun. JR complains that this sort of thing always seems to happen to the Spanish guy. Austin hits the flying elbow from the apron onto Bret’s throat. The crowd chant for Bret and as he gets onto the apron, stone Cold suplexes him into the ring. Motherfucker.

Stone Cold hits another elbow from Bret’s rope and another kick-out followed by another. The crowd are chanting, Stone Cold is giving it his all and flings Bret into the corner. Stone Cold taunts the crowd some more, goes to have a wee word with Bret on the ropes and goes for another pin attempt for a two. The crowd are now having duelling, “Let’s go Austin/Let’s go Bret!” chants. Brilliant. Stone Cold gets the abdominal stretch in and pulls on the rope to clinch it in. Irish Referee Tim White sees this, berates Stone Cold and gets the fingers for his effort. Stone Cold punches Bret and the pair trade blows for ages. Stone Cold finally falls but Bret doesn’t stop. Double reversal of an Irish whip and Austin’s neck hits the top rope. Bret goes for the pin but gets naught. Bret hits Stone Cold with a brutal piledriver but Stone Cold kicks out. A lovely backbreaker from Bret and The Hitman goes to the top rope but Stone Cold knocks him onto his arse and beats on Bret, going to the top to hit harder. Both men are set up for the superplex and it is anticlimactic. Bret pulls his feet up to pin Austin but only gets a two.

Bret grabs Stone Cold from behind and Austin reverses it into a Stunner but Bret kicks out! Another pin, another kick out, another pin, another kick out, some punches, another pin, another kick out. Irish Referee Tim White can’t believe it. Stone Cold hits the Texas Cloverleaf and Bret is dragging himself to the ropes, finally grabbing the bottom one, but Austin refuses to let go. Bret is on his feet, in the corner and Stone Cold is kicking some ass as Stone Cold throws Bret into the corner, hitting his ribs. Another pin, another kick-out. Stone Cold gets Bret into a surfboard but Bret is up, he’s getting Austin into the sharpshooter but Stone Cold has the ropes and the submission is broken. Bret hits the Irish whip and the sleeper hold. Stone Cold reverses it into a Stunner and hits Bret with the Million Dollar Dream but Bret kicks off the turnbuckle and rolls it into a pin for the win in 24:41.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Though Wikipedia claims the match was 24:41, it was closer to 30 mins from bell-to-bell.

2016 comments:

Dream matchup from two dreamy men.

1996 comments:

Best match of the night so far.

Grade: A

Austin can’t believe it! He didn’t let go of the Million Dollar Dream and it cost him the victory!

I can’t believe it! Every match so far has been amazing!

Bret celebrates as Austin goes backstage, scowling like a man scorned. Replays show Austin’s hubris as he refuses to release the hold on Bret that called his demise this match. Silly goose. Bret faces it up with the crowd, exhausted. He will now face either Shawn Michaels or Sycho Sid at the next PPV: In Your House 12: It’s Time.

On the Card will return on December 8 with the fourth and final part of Survivor Series 1996.

Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House 10: Mind Games 1996. It was an okay PPV with a great main event and Mick Foley’s finest (in his own opinion). The next PPV was called In Your House 11: Buried Alive and was a part of a long-running collection of PPVs called In Your House. The purpose of the In Your House PPVs were to give the audience a cheaper and more frequent WWF experience. At the time, the WWF only had four big PPVs – Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania near Easter, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series near Thanksgiving. The months in between were filled with In Your House PPVs and this was one of them.

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

WWF In Your House 11: Buried Alive

Dead or Alive!

Playstation presents this particular PPV, so you know we’re in the heady depths of the 90s. The poster shows the Undertaker getting ready to give you a nice massage as Mankind rises from a grave in the background, doing his best impression of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The moon is white and full and… wait… is that Paul Bearer’s face on the moon? Is Paul Bearer the man on the moon?

Big red WWF screen hits and there’s a cross, lightning, and The Undertaker cuts a promo interspaced with Mankind screaming from inside a box. Lots of shots of Undertaker digging some dirt as well. He mentions that he is judge, jury and executioner and obviously then also undertaker, mortician and gravedigger at the same time. The man will do anything for a payday.

Carl Orff’s O Fortuna plays. I had a wee look at the Wikipedia for O Fortuna and not only is wrasslin’ hidden in the “Live and reality TV and Radio” section as opposed to the “Sports” section, but Mind Games is not mentioned, only when Undertaker makes his entrance at WrestleMania XIV and when Stone Cold was crucified on Raw, both in 1998. Fun.

Fireworks go off as Vince welcomes us to the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana for In Your House 11: Buried Alive. 9,649 in attendance, a drop from previous In Your House PPV, Mind Games, which had 15,000 in attendance and is the second lowest attendance in this blog so far, with the lowest being King of the Ring 1996 with an attendance of 8,762. Our announce team is Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Jumpin’ Jim Ross has no mic at the moment and will go through some serious audio issues throughout this PPV as his mic will continuously cut out which was unrelated to (but worked quite well with) his current heel turn. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are in the midst of a rarely-seen announcer heel-turn. JR complains that he has no mic and Vince gives him his… two seconds before music hits and we need to go into the ring.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a 30-minute show called Free-For-All, which was the nineties equivalent of the Preshow, full of promos and summaries of recent TV matches. There was an exclusive match on Free-For-All and had little to do with the actual PPV: Cunt Justin Hawk Bradshaw vs. The Stalker AKA Barry Windham AKA Blackjack Mulligan Jr. Barry is the brother of Kendall and Stephanie Windham, the latter of which went on to marry Mike Rotunda AKA Irwin R. Shyster. The marriage spawned two boys, Windham and Taylor Rotunda, known now as Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.)

Whose music plays? Why, it is none other than a young Hunter Hearst Helmsley, walking to stage with the bimbo of the week. As Vince is introducing him, JR complains about whether or not his mic is working. Jerry says, “You’ll either see the Stone Cold Stunner or the Pedigree!” which makes sense as HHH is fighting Stone Cold. I mean… that’s how wrestling works.

Cut to the back and Stone Cold is standing with Kevin Kelly who asks if Stone Cold’s game plan has changed as he was originally due to wrassle Savio Vega, but the Flintstones cosplayer got injured, forcing HHH to come in. Austin replies that it doesn’t change his plan one bit and references his King of the Ring promo: “Stone Cold’s got a list and everyone’s on it.” Austin then threatens Bret Hart and says that if people have a problem with Stone Cold’s language, they can kiss his ass.

Stone Cold’s smashing glass music hits as he goes to the ring, jaws off to the crowd. A Shawn Michaels cosplayer gives him the finger and they spend some time discussing the finer things in life. Irish Referee Tim White is in the ring and holds Austin back from Trips as the former walks to his turnbuckle. The Bimbo of the Week gives her best Diane Hart Smith impression. JR still has mic problems.

Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley via pinfall in 15:30.

In two years, this is the kind of match that would main event a WrestleMania and in two years after that, it’s the type of match that would make me want to switch off my TV, but more on that later… much later.

The two men stand in the ring. Stone Cold is staring at Bimbo and HHH points at her. Great arm drag takedown and HHH bows to Stone Cold, who stares at him. Austin leaves to shout at some fans. HHH walks out too to have a wee shout. So far, we’ve had an arm drag. Brilliant psychology. Stone Cold arm drags HHH and then gives him the double finger in his face before retreating to the corner. JR is still having mic issues and I wonder if this is why there’s a slow pace in the ring. Stone Cold does some lovely chain wrestling and he gets an elbow to the jaw for his effort.

The men lock up followed by some lovely chain wrestling and another punch to the jaw which HHH takes this time. JR still has mic issues. Irish Referee Tim White is having a chat with Trips and, once again, the two men lock up, followed by a push, slap from the blueblood and punch from the Texan. This is about the third time that Trips needs to reenter the ring. Another lockup and they run the ropes followed by a great snapmare. Stone Cold batters away on Trips’ shoulder. The mic issues are part of an aborted attempt to make JR heel.

Trip batters Stone Cold with some great chops and he retaliates with a clothesline. Another armbar and they sit for a while. Armbar city. Jerry and Vince talk about Connecticut and JR makes fun of the place, calling it an “overpriced hellhole”, which should be called “many monied heck hole” but is cheerfully withdrawn. The two men batter each other senseless with Stone Cold winning some points by punching Trips in the corner but the Blueblood soon takes over and controls the Texan with some powerful backdrops, bodyslams and a number of near-falls. JR is sarcastic and calls Jerry the ”play-by-play guy,” which he appears confused by. Stone Cold gets some momentum and the two run the ropes with some sleeper counters until Stone Cold reverses one into the Stone Cold Stunner. Trips reacts by hitting the Flair flop. Austin attempts the pin and Trips actually kicks out! It is 1996 and someone kicks out of the Stone Cold Stunner!

Stone Cold hits the elbows from Brets rope and two pin attempts barely hit. Trips retaliates with the double knees and as both men as lying in the ring, the crowd pops as Mr. Perfect walks to the ring in a lovely blue suit. Doesn’t he look sharp? Perfect is due to wrassle HHH on the next Raw and he makes his way to the Bimbo of the Week. HHH leaves the ring to confront him but Stone Cold batters him and turns on Perfect for interrupting the match. Water is thrown in the face of Perfect and HHH takes advantage of the distraction to take control of the match. HHH is about to hit the Pedigree and leaves the ring to shout at Perfect but Stone Cold catches up with him and gets a suplex to the concrete for his efforts. There may be a double-count-out in the first match of the night. HHH attempts the Pedigree again but it is countered into a catapult onto the steel steps.

Stone Cold rolls Trips into the ring and misses a Bronco Buster on the ropes, flips off the crowd, flips off Trips and hits him with a no-kick-Stunner for the pin in 15:30.

2016 comments:

A slow start match that quickly escalates into an Attitude Era spotfest as Perfect enters. This is probably the most Attitude Era that wrestling has become so far in 1996.

1996 comments:

Mr. Perfect, did you just kidnap that nice young lady?

Grade: A

Very good start to the PPV and Stone Cold celebrates by raising both his fists on the turnbuckle as his Breaking Glass theme tune plays him out. He wastes no time in heading backstage, leaving Irish Referee Tim White to help Trips into the back.

On the Card will return on October 27 with the second part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at International Incident 1996 and its lack of importance in the Attitude Era – the bad matches, lack of title shots and storylines; essentially it was a cheap attempt to get more money from marks and give everyone a payday for little effort. The next PPV was SummerSlam 1996, one of the Big Four PPVs – Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania near Easter, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series near Thanksgiving.

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

WWF SummerSlam 1996

Opposites Attack!

The poster has Vader and Shawn Michaels looking at each other. Vader is giving it a big roar, but Shawn just looks a little pissed – as if someone cut a wicked fart and he was just getting the briefest scents. Vader has probably followed through. No wonder he looks so upset.

Big red WWF screen hits and we’re given a promo package in black and white. We see Vader and Mankind – “The monsters that wear masks.” Mankind is called, “deranged” and Vader, “brutal, ruthless, executioners of a sinister plan.” Shawn and Taker are shown as “the monster slayers”. They really big up the fact that Shawn is 200 pounds lighter than Big Van Vader. Taker is called, “the mysterious light in the world of darkness,” which is bollocks because he’s dead. They then call him a “reaper” and I am sick of this analogy already.

Big shot of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Some football thing? Or is it baseball? The Gund Arena (now the Quicken Loans Arena. Quicken Loans’ HQ is called… The Qube. The qunts) and it’s WWF SummerSlam, presented by super size Stridex pants. Huge pyro goes off. The place is really huge, actually, you can hardly see the damn ring from up here. The attendance was a very specific 17,000, which was a good bit more than International Incident’s 14,804, but also far more suspect. We have eight matches on the card, one of which appeared on Free-For-All. All of the matches look to be over ten minutes long (other than the squash and the gimmick match) with two approaching the half-hour mark. This is going to be a fucking great PPV as all the storylines have been building towards this, including the two main events, the first between Undertaker and Mankind and the second between Vader and Michaels. Your announcers are Vince McMahon, calling Cleveland the “new American city”, along with Jumping Jim Ross and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. Big Curt is wearing a tactical turtleneck and blue blazer, unlike Owen who was the Blue Blazer. JR still refuses to wear ties as he considers them verboten.

 (Note: Before the PPV began, there was a 30-minute show called Free-For-All, which was the nineties equivalent of the Preshow, full of promos and summaries of recent TV matches. There was an exclusive match on Free-For-All and had little to do with the actual PPV. It was a Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Yokozuna match. The match, which lasted less than two minutes. Involved Stone Cold going to bounce off the ropes and stopping several times. Eventually, Yokozuna went to the corner and the ring ropes broke. Very embarrassing for Stone Cold to be in such a shitty match and for Yokozuna to have the weight that eventually killed him become a joke.)

Upbeat music hits and out Fred Flintstone cosplayer Savio Vega. There is now an attempt at a Titantron on the walkway, with images of the wrasslers being shown, in this case Savio Vega and Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart. Vega is very happy about wrestling tonight and springs about the ring like a damn bouncy ball, dancing and embarrassing himself. Owen’s music hits and out he comes, selling his “broken” wrist that has been in a case for many moons. He slaps a sign out of two fluorescently dressed gentlemen’s hands. More selling of that wrist and Vince questions the wrist cast – not its legitimacy, which is airtight, but whether or not Owen should be able to wear it in-ring.

Owen Hart def. Savio Vega via TKO in 13:23

Twice in a row, Savio Vega has been the curtail jerker and twice he has been beaten. The world has moved on from the Flintstones, my friend. We’re into better cartoons now, like Biker Mice From Mars. Vince mentions that Jim Cornette is not about. Considering we have Bulldog and Vader on the card as well as Mr. Perfect on commentary, I’m not surprised. The man needs a payday, not a coronary. Owen goes for the cheap shot on Vega. The ref is Irish Referee Tim White, a man known for not taking shit. JR states that the cast is a weapon and that there is nothing wrong with his arm. No one disagrees. JR wonders how Owen passed the pre-match checks with a wrist so bad.

In right, Owen is doing a great job with Savio. So great that the Fed decide to show a backstage shot of good old Jim Cornette cheering on the man named Vader as we works some ‘ron. Owen Hart has great teeth but no lips. An awful lot of arm locks here for the Columbian. Owen does some fantastic flips, gets in a lock and can’t reach the ring ropes. JR mentions that Owen Hart is 1994 King of the Ring Winner, defeating such wrasslers as Tatanka (Lakota for “buffalo”), The 1-2-3 Kid (X-Pac) and Razor Ramon (Scott Hall).

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The tagline for the 1994 KotR is “The Perfect Father’s Day Card” which is a nice play on words, I suppose.

Owen throws Savio into the turnbuckle a few times. On the hard cam, there’s an absolute hero dressed as Goldust. Vince actually says nice things about Bret Hart, which is nice considering in a year and a half, he’ll be fucking him over. Irish Referee Tim White is telling Owen off but to no avail. Owen does a wee armbar takedown on Savio, gets a two count and he chastises the ref. Tim White plays it cool though. Savio bites the arse off Owen. Owen tries to wrap Savio in the ropes.

Something happens to the side as a bunch of fans stand up. Even Owen watches. Oh, who is it, but Clarence Mason, the wheeling and dealing legal counsel. Of course we all know that Clarence Mason was really part of immigration, here to arrest Owen, Savio or both for being illegal immigrants. In Trump’s America, they are verboten. Vince mentions that Mason represents Crush, who we have not met yet, but he’s just as exciting as his name suggests. Owen goes for the pin, lifting his legs onto the ring ropes like an absolute bastard but only gets the two. Savio goes for the pin but gets the same. Savio hit Hart with a fucking great spinning hell kick followed by atomic drop and a shower of clotheslines. Owen begs for mercy but none is given.

Thirteen punches in the corner and Vega his Owen with a big leg drop followed by a sidewalk slam. Owen hits Vega with the neckbreaker and goes up top. Missile dropkick and another two count. Owen acts like he has won, climbs to the turnbuckle and gets a super backdrop for his effort. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart’s cast has bust Savio in the back of the head. What a mistake that was! Owen takes the cast off and bops Vega in the old head with it. Apparently Irish Referee Tim White saw nothing. Owen moves the comatose Vega into the sharpshooter and gets the TKO in 13:23.

2016 comments:

Owen is a great lad and Savio is just as talented. What a curtain jerker. Best first match so far.

1996 comments:

Who is this Flintstone cosplayer?

Grade: B

Clarence Mason raises Owen’s hand, holding onto it for the long walk to be deported back to the rustic north of Canada. Slow motion of the Canuck using his evil plastered arm to knock the innocent Vega to the ground. Out comes Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw AKA Cunt JBL. He has a shouting match with Vince as Perfect looks on with a smirk. Bradshaw cracks Vega in the back of the head on his way out, cementing his status as a total bastard.

On the Card will return on August 25th with the second part of SummerSlam 1996.

Attitude Era #2. In Your House 9: International Incident (July 21, 1996) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Not even Mankind could save this PPV.

Cut to the crowd and they’re all standing as Howard Finkel announces the King of the Ring, Stone Cold Steve Austin. He strolls out with his fingers in the-

Wait what the fuck?

He’s holding his index fingers in the air. The man has not yet learned to extend his middles. The poor bastard.

Anyways, JR says that Austin has a “bad attitude”. He has attitude all right… WWF attitude. Amirite?

Austin starts jawing off to the ref and the crowd give the thumbs down. Sable’s music hits and Wildman Marc Mero comes down. Sable is wearing a revealing outfit, covering about as many inches of skin as her IQ, or at least skill in keeping a damned beat on the fucking ring mat. Marc Mero’s tan is on so thick, Sable sticks to him momentarily. It’s not pleasant. Stone Cold is the heel here and Jerry is right behind him, which is weird because he’d spend most of the Attitude Era talking about how much of a cunt the man was.

The ring bell goes and it is time for…

Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Wildman Marc Mero w/ Sable via pinfall in 10:48.

JR describes Wildman and Stone Cold as, “two great representatives of an… outstanding athletes representing the new generation of the WWF. These guys are young, they are hungry and their best years are way ahead of them.” It is true for at least one of them. The lads run the ropes and the pair go down. Some springing about, armbars and the like. Shot of Sable looking very happy and clapping. Obviously Sable is a terrible valet because she’s not even parking the car. Useless.

Wrist lock city. King calls Stone Cold “harelipped” and says that Austin’s lip was burst from nose to mouth, which seems like a lie. Some matwork followed by a great bridge from both men. The pair struggle for a backslide before Stone Cold gets some punches from old Golden Gloves. Stone Cold rolls out and calls for time out before walking after Sable. She moves as slow as a horror movie heroine escaping an axe-wielding villain. Mero goes for the roll up and Austin holds his mouth – it was the same move that reportedly sent him to the emergency room. Mero looks concerned and Stone Cold pokes his eye. Vince roars, “There’s nothing wrong with his mouth!”

Idiot.

Mero is on the outside and Austin is dragging the Wildman to the corner to hit a weak catapult to the ringpost. JR wonders aloud, “Why did he do that? What was the need?” To win, presumably. Vince calls for Austin to be disqualified for hitting Mero on the ropes. Sable goes to help her husband and Stone Cold kicks and roars. Sable is helping her husband up and hits some terrible 3/4 time on the mat. She’s doing more harm than good. Vince seems to complain after every Stone Cold attack with, “What was the meaning of that? What’s that all about?” as if the man has never seen a fight, let alone a wrasslin’ match, let alone runs an entire company.

Stone Cold slaps the back of Mero’s head and goes off the ropes to a botched Bronco. The crowd go a bit wild as the announcers say, “What’s this? Look at this!” yet the camera does not change. On the hard cam, we see a bellhop move across in front of the ring. Stone Cold seems to botch a powerbomb and keeps Mero on his shoulders for an embarrassingly long period of time before the two men fall over to the outside. The bellhop brings Jerry Lawler a piece of paper, Marlena in tow. Why this is happening in a Mero/Austin match is beyond me. Mero hits a sweet moonsault from the apron to Austin followed by a jump from the apron to the ring. Ten punch at the turnbuckle followed by an attempted hurricanrana. Stone Cold reverses it by throwing Mero onto the ropes, catching him on his Marclets. Reversed stunner. Shot of Marlena. Actual stunner. Stone Cold wins by pinfall in 10:48.

2016 comments:

Botchamania here. I can count a number of fucked up moves and I don’t know if it’s Mero’s fault for not hitting them correctly or Stone Cold’s for assuming Mero knows more than he does. Not the match I expected and not as good as their King of the Ring match. I didn’t like the Marlena angle either. Don’t have other angles in a match, it cheapens the two men in the ring.

1996 comments:

Terri and Sable? I’d be happy if it didn’t take away from the mediocre wresting.

Grade: C

We’re not getting a good average on the first four matches (only three of them actual matches in the PPV, by the way) and we are over half way through the set matches, yet under an hour of the PPV has elapsed. We were promised two hours of action. Action of a hard-hitting, high-flying, heart-stopping and piledriving nature. I feel cheated by this. Stone Cold leaves and Sable enters the ring for her husband. Stone Cold has a star on his bottom. The stunner looks really brutal from this angle, almost as if the opponent trips just as Stone Cold slips.

Bob Backlund is in the crowd. He’s campaigning, apparently. JR says, “Here’s a look now at the Undertaker… musically,” and we cut to the same promo from before. Lots of green screen here. Taker’s voice sounds so young. Once again, we cut to some Mankind, some Goldust, some blacksmithing. Can’t get over how unsafe a blacksmith Undertaker is. I just notice that there is a “record scratch” sound effect in the middle of it. In a Goddamn Undertaker promo.

Back to the ring and JR states that the crowd of 14,804 is the biggest crowd to watch an In Your House PPV live. The next PPV, Mind Games, had an attendance of 15,000, reportedly, but that might not count because it’s a very specific number, isn’t it?

Goldust comes out, all low FPS letterboxed screen and gold dust falling from the sky. This is going to be a great match. Goldust is the shit. I remember hating him back in the day because he would feel wrestlers up and maybe it was WWF’s latent homophobia as well. Either way, I don’t think Goldust was gay, he was just… what are the kids calling it now? Genderfluid? Shit I don’t know.

Vince calls Goldust, “the most bizarre individual ever to step foot in the WWF.” Jr says Goldust is, “in great shape.” Both those statements are probably lies, especially if anyone has met The Iron Sheik. Taker’s music hits and Paul Bearer comes out, followed by the man himself, taking his damn time coming to the ring. We have about an hour of this PPV left and at this rate, the last match will be about 5 minutes long. Taker seems to have forgiven Bearer for battering him about the head with that damn magical urn of his. Minutes later and Taker is finally in the ring. Bearer gives the urn to the ref and slowly begins to disrobe Taker. Vince ponders whose ashes are in the urn.

The Undertaker def. Goldust w/ Marlena via DQ in 12:07.

Brilliant spot as Goldust refuses to enter the ring. Taker’s big ginger roots are showing, staring through the hair. The bell rings and Goldust is still in the ring. Do these officials know nothing of the rules? Pricks, the fucking lot of them. Goldust is time wasting and not getting counted out. Taker makes a move and Goldie damn near jumps over the barrier. Paul Bearer is squealing away in the background like a stuck pig.

Spot of the night so far when Goldust grabs the ref as a shield to protect him from Taker. The ref is terrified and Taker is not moving. Goldust (whose bottom is threatening to eat his suit) stares at Taker, gingerly steps forward and bravely, stupidly, does his weird chest-feeling Goldust move right in Taker’s face. Taker uppercuts Goldie and the perverted Hollywood Critic bounces out of the ring. He threatens to leave, his junk pushing up against his weird lycra bodysuit for all the world to see. Jesus, Dustin, you couldn’t wear a cup?

Vince calls Marlena Goldust’s “director”, which is weird because she never bloody talks. Pfft. Artists. The ref finally starts a count out, after Goldust has been out of the ring for a minute or more. Undertaker is out, slapping Dusty and hits him with an unimpressive chokeslam onto the steep steps. Goldust lands on his hungry butt. It is embarrassing in its stupidity. He hits a ring worker on his way down. Taker is back in the ring and Goldust is taking his time. Out comes Taker, smacking our man Goldust. Taker lifts the steel steps and Marlena dives in front of Goldust. The crowd goes bananas, but, alas, the Phenom drops the steps to the side.

Goldust starts to chew on the turnbuckle in an attempt to remove the padding on the steel rings that hold the ropes together. Clearly a set up for some spot later. I can read this shit like a book. The pair trade blows left and right, slamming each other into the turnbuckles like ragdolls. Undertaker goes for Old School and Vince calls out, “What athleticism!” as if it’s impossible to walk on ropes when holding your opponents hands. Taker is knocked to the outside and lands perfectly on his feet. Goldust’s hungry bum yearns for Taker’s defeat. Goldust takes a great Flair Flop into the centre of the ring and goes straight for the turnbuckle padding when he gets up. Goldust pummels at Taker on the ground and throws the Deadman outside… again.

Vince is shite at telegraphing spots. As soon as someone starts a spot, he’s there with the, “Oh golly gosh, what is this?” business. Anyway, Undertaker takes some steel steps to the spine. Dusty applies a mini camel clutch, threatening to fuck Taker’s ass and make him humble. “Rest In Peace!” chant pops from the crowd, led by our man P-Bizzle. Taker goes for the scoop and gets a handful of Goldusts Goldlets. Another scoop and the Tombstone Piledriver. Taker goes for the pin and pauses. Is he gassed? Is he-

OH CHRIST.

Out from underneath the ring, rises the brown form of Mankind, pulling Taker underneath the mat. The ref gets rid of the scalpel as the ref pantomimes a, “Where did they go?” look. Marlena is crying away and Vince ponders, “How did he do that?” How, indeed, Vincent? How, indeed?

Mankind pops up like Punxsutawney Phil and smoke rises from the hole from which he emerged. The lights flicker and Paul squawks like a damn parrot. Jerry states unequivocally that, “Not even the Undertaker can rise from this,” and JR understanding the absurdity of that statement, adds, “He might be unconscious! The Mandible Claw!” More smoke puffs from the hole, presumably to hide Taker’s eventual appearance from the other side of the ring. He batters Mankind down the aisle and into the house, like an unruly child getting beating by an embarrassed mother.

2016 comments:

This is just another shitty match in an evening of shitty matches. Other than the start, which was grade-A comedy, the rest was guff and just time wasting until Mick got his act in order to jump up from beneath the ring.

1996 comments:

Not even Mick Foley can save this match from bad lights flickering and time-wasting.

Grade: C

Vince says, “Unbelievable! I think we have seen it all but… who knows?” With just under an hour on the clock, Vince, I wouldn’t like to think that is just it. Some of the crowd throw a cardboard crown at Jerry. Security come over to tell them off and calm them down. Backstage, in the boiler room, Mankind and the Undertaker beat on each other. Fakest “camera shut off” effect and back to the announcer team where Jerry says, “I think the ring’s on fire.”

Exclusive Coliseum Video footage of the upcoming Summerslam Boiler Room Brawl match between Taker vs Mankind. Kevin Kelly is having a chat with Goldust, Marlena and Mankind. Mick goes on some rant about his mother while holding Goldust’s wig. Mankind starts headbutting whatever it is that Goldie is lying on. One of the lights above starts to swing back and forth.

On the Card will return on August 11th with the fourth and final part of In Your House 9: International Incident 1996.

Attitude Era #1. King of the Ring (June 23, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: GOLDUSSSSST.

King of the Ring Final: Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Jake “The Snake” Roberts via pinfall in 4:28.

Stone Cold’s music hits, which is actually the Ringmaster’s theme as he won’t get the glass smashing for a number of months. Out he comes, passing his former Hollywood Blondes teammate on the way in. He says nothing to him, probably because Stone Cold can’t talk that much. Vince reveals that Stone Cold was legit sent to an emergency room and received 16 stitches to his lip and tongue. Jake Robert’s music hits and down he comes, dragging Revelations in his bag. Stone Cold is on him, battering at the ribs like a mental case. JR puts both men over, detailing their injuries. Stone Cold jaws off to Roberts, shouting at him to get up, wailing on his injured ribs.

Roberts actually grabs at Irish Referee Tim White’s hand in what seems to be legitimate pain, though could be the 41-year-old refusing to break kayfabe. Stone Cold slaps him and Jake fights back, knocking the Rattlesnake-to-be onto his arse. Stone Cold retaliates and starts ripping at the bandages covering Jake’s ribs, as if removing the flimsy piece of fabric will somehow break the healing spell that keeps his bones strong.

Motherfucking Gorilla Monsoon comes in! He starts shoving Stone Cold about and shoos him away, as if Gorilla, lacking a medical licence, can do some good. Owen calls Gorilla an ape, which is technically true: gorillas, as we all know, are from the family Homindae, known as the “great apes” along with orang-utans, chimpanzees and the species that Gorilla Monsoon is a member of: human beings

Jake gets helped up by Monsoon and soon rallies, knocking Stone Cold down with huge clotheslines. The crowd rises with him at this stage and Vince calls for the DDT. Austin fights back, hammering at Roberts’ ribs in the corner. He mounts the turnbuckle and shouts to the crowd. One stunner later and Stone Cold gets the pin, gets the win and is King of the Ring in 4:28.

2016 comments:

Match was guff, but it’s what happens after the match that is important.

1996 comments:

Stone Cold beats another old man half to death. What a guy.

C-

Here it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Stone Cold Steve Austin is crowned King of the Ring 1996. Dok Hendrix is waiting there for him. Stone Cold looks absolutely amazing, by the way. The man looks better now than later when he’s guzzlin’ beer an’ kickin’ damn skulls. But we’re not here to talk about how good looking Stone Cold is, we’re here to talk about the greatest, most important promo ever and the genuine beginning to the Attitude Era. I’ll just paste the entire promo ad verbatim.

“The first thing I want to be done is to get that piece of crap out of my ring. Don’t just get him out of the ring, get him out of the WWF, because I’ve prove son, without a shadow of a doubt – you ain’t got what it takes anymore. You sit there and you thump your bible and you say your prayers, and it didn’t get you anywhere. Talk about John. 3:16… Austin 3:16 says: I’ve just whipped your ass!”

Dok Hendrix tries to tell him to lay off, but the Texan is having none of it, laying into Roberts’ alcoholism:

“All he’s gotta do is buy him a cheap bottle of Thunderbird, and try to dig back some of that courage he had in his prime. As the King of the Ring, I’m serving notice to every one of the WWF superstars. I don’t give a damn what they are, they’re all on the list, and that is Stone Cold’s list, and I’m fixing to start running through all of them.”

The crowd starts to boo and Steve just tells them to piss off! Brilliant stuff.

“As far as this championships match is considered, son, I don’t give a damn if it’s Davey Boy Smith or Shawn Michaels. Steve Austin’s time has come, and when I get the shot, you are looking at the next WWF champion, and that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold said so!”

Out he goes without even taking his crown and-

HOLY SHIT IS THERE A SEGA SATURN BLIMP IN THE DAMN MECCA WHAT

Owen starts talking about how he’s just trying to do commentary without trouble and Mr. Perfect’s music hits. Good God almighty, I am psyched for this already. Mr. Perfect is one of the all-time greats and his music is fantastic. He pops a chewing gum, drops the wrapper, gives a wee wave behind and strolls to the ring in his snazzy black and white striped top. What a lad.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels (c) w/ José Lothario def. The British Bulldog w/ Jim Cornette and Diana Smith via pinfall in 26:24

Jim Cornette must have had a hell of payday tonight, coming out for a three-minute nothing with Vader followed by a half-hour main event. The man was lining his pockets because of the Fed. Davey Boy Smith walks out with his wife, flexing his arms, looking like a burst sausage with those ugly muscles. I used to hate the Bulldog because I’m Irish and the fact that he was pro-Britain rubbed me up the wrong way. Now, I love him because he was a great wrestler, but I still cannot get over my hatred for his stupid roid body. Turns out some fans agree with me because Davey is roaring at some ones front row.

Owen is on the table, telling Bulldog he loves him. Michaels’ music hits and the crowd goes wild. Out comes Shawn with José Lothario and the girls start screaming. At the time, this must have been amazing. How many main eventers have this sort of reaction from both genders? He’s a cross between The Rock and a Chippendale, only with the drug problem of a Skid Row stripper. His entrance lasts for a legit two minutes.

Gorilla Monsoon is in and at this point there are seven people in the ring – the two wrasslers, their managers, the ring announcer, the referee and the president of the WWF. Finkel makes an announcement that Mr. Perfect can stay as a referee… but has to do it outside the ring. He is replaced by Earl Hebner and the crowd go ballistic because Hebner is the motherfucking shit. Or maybe because the heels have been fucked over. It’s hard to know. Vince quips, “There’s nothing wrong with having two referees, that’s for sure!” and then states the odds for the idiots in the audience.

Bulldog gets some boos by waving the Union Jack flag. Michaels gets a USA chant going. I would have hated the former as a child and hate the latter as an adult. The match starts and Davey pushes Michaels away twice. Owen says, “We all know Michaels is a gutless coward,” and Vince replies, “We do not know anything like that.” Some great chain wrestling follows and Michaels takes over to show that he is the superior wrestler but that Bulldog is the stronger of the two. Vince says the match will fall down to luck.

Rest hold city is turned into a great off-the-ropes spot into two hurricanrana spots. Corny tries to hit Shawn with his racket and Michaels disarms him and whups the manager on the arse with his own weapon. Crowd goes mental. Vince: “Cornette got a hot seat!” Diana looks on. She is attempted to look concerned, but really just looks like she smells something familiar yet strange, or trying to remember what she needed to get from the shop. Probably sausages.

Chin lock city, which is disappointing as a lot of this match is waiting around for the next spot. Maybe that’s what Diana is thinking about. Bunch of chain-wrestling to a disappointing stand-off to arm bar city. Jericho would be proud because these men are going through all 1004 of his holds. JR notes that Davey Boy is right handed and that the left arm, the one that Shawn is working on, is naturally the weaker of the two. Bulldog boots Michaels’ in the head and throws him into the turnbuckle. Bulldog denies a head scissors takedown and back to arm bar city. Diana looks on, frowning. She shouts, “Come on Davey,” but the results are inconclusive.

We get a side-by-side shot of the action in the ring compared to Diana’s face. She does not react in any way, except when a fly lands in her open mouth or something. Bless her, they obviously told her to look concerned and she is. Since they told her that Davey would lose, she’s just wondering how hard he can lose and why she has a sudden craving for barbeque. Vince says that Lothario, like Michaels is, “an underdog, not gifted in size or strength.” Michaels gives Bulldog an arm bar… takedown! Exciting! Bulldog lifts Michaels into a gorilla press and walks backwards, dropping him over the top rope onto the mat. Vince goes insane and calls for Bulldog’s disqualification. I did not realise that this was in some way an illegal manoeuvre within wrestling.

On the outside, Mr Perfect is arguing with José Lothario, or, as Owen puts it: “José Lothario is arguing with Mr. Perfect. They should deport him back to Tijuana.” Michaels is covered in gold dust and my bounty hunter instinct goes off. That boy gets everywhere. Bulldog throws Michaels back in and Owen explains that Bulldog doesn’t want to win by countout, he wants to win by pinfall. As it is a championship match, titles would not change hand on a countout anyway. Davey is covered in gold dust.

Bulldog fires Michaels into the corner and the sweetest wrap-around bump of the evening until two seconds later when Bulldog turns him inside out with a grotesque clothesline. Bulldog goes for the surfboard to pin but Michaels stays in the match. Sleeper hold for a while and Michaels escapes, getting a knee to the abdomen for his effort. Michaels gets Irish whipped and thrown high into the air by Bulldog. JR: “You normally get peanuts for a flight like that!” Near fall followed by chin locks. Bulldog is shouting away: “Give up!” Vince references the Cliq, which is interesting.

Straight-up shoot fact: When Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) and Diesel (Kevin Nash) left the Fed for WCW, they were involved in the infamous “curtain call” scandal where they shared a hug in-ring with kayfabe enemies but legit friends Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Vince was furious about this but couldn’t punish Hall or Nash as they were leaving. Neither could he punish Michaels, who was a huge box office draw and champ at the time. So, it came to HHH who was due to win this very King of the Ring to take one for the team and he was demoted to dark matches and jobbing for a while. He took it like a champ, though, and this worked in his favour. It wasn’t long until he was midcard, then had his own stable with Michaels named D-Generation X, ended up riding Vince’s daughter and owning half the fucking company in ten years.

Great running of the ropes into a lariat by Michaels. He tries to get some momentum but Bulldog hammers him with a great clothesline. Corny shouts at Michaels and Mr. Perfect shoos him away to check on Michaels. USA chant starts up. Chinlocks. Always with the chinlocks. Irish whip and Michaels reverses it into a crucifix. Bodyslam reversed into a bodyslam and Michaels is knocked down. JR: “Sweet Chin Music was on the jukebox but nobody came to it.” Diana looks on, still frowning. She’s going to give herself worry lines, that one. Brutal piledriver by Davey and Shawn is down. Bulldog goes high and seems to slip as he jumps, landing too short and awkwardly. Owen claims Lothario shook the ropes.

Bulldog gets whipped into the corner and it’s Michaels turn to go high. Bulldog hits a fantastic dropkick to Michaels face on the turnbuckle. Superplex from the top rope and Michaels is practically thrown halfway over the ring. Bulldog pops Michaels on the turnbuckle and tries for a super backdrop which Michaels reverses into a crossbody. The pair run the ropes and both are down. Hebner starts a countout and gets to seven before anyone moves. Michaels goes for a hurricanrana and Bulldog reverses into a sitout powerbomb. Another near fall. Michaels fires Bulldog into the turnbuckle and the Englishman flips before hitting the turnbuckle, springing off it and landing facefirst in the ring. Christ, what a great spot. He twitches like a man near dead.

Hebner starts another countout and more Irish whips to a lariat. Both men are down and BOOM Michaels gets the kip-up. The crowd go ballistic. They know what’s coming. He stomps about the ring, hits Bulldog with a body slam, hitting Hebner by mistake. Elbow drop into Sweet Chin Music. Michaels goes for the pin and Mr. Perfect stops him to hit the one-two-three in tandem. Michaels retains via pinfall in 26:24.

2016 comments:

Brilliant stuff marred by rest holds. The spots were worth it though with both men giving it their all. they went to entertain the crowd and did a damn good job of it.

1996 comments:

I would not have watched a match with Bulldog in it.

A

Owen pulls Mr. Perfect out of the ring during the pin and claims that it was only a two-count. He dives in afterward to confront Michaels. Some punches, atomic drop and Irish whip into clothesline. Owen gets a figure four. Shawn beats the shite out of Bulldog and Owen before the numbers game is too much for him. Double suplex to Michaels and then AHMED JOHNSON runs to the ring and cleans house. The crowd are loving it. In comes Vader and Camp Cornette take over. The ring bell is rung and some fan on the hard cam who looks like the Dude throws up the X symbol. Michaels is up and a double axe handle from Owen drops him. It all becomes a schmoz and stops being fun as it’s all called on the fly. Vader goes for the Vader Bomb and out comes Cunt Warrior to save everyone and tell them how gay people are going to destroy America or whatever. Michaels’ music hits and the fan favourites hug each other.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: At the end of the PPV, there were some great matches but only one man can be the Man of said Matches. I want to give it to my boy Goldie or even Stone Cold for that killer promo. I would be remiss if anyone other than Michaels gets it. He threw his body around with such reckless abandon and hit almost every spot with skill and precision.

Woman of the Matches: Not many to choose from here, with the only women being present all valets. I want to give it to Diana for her gormless expression but I would be silly to award it to anyone other than Sunny. She actually makes a match about oil barons and pig farmers entertaining.

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

Best Spot: Michaels kip-up to Sweet Chin Music combo.

Hatches: Technically all of the wrasslers in the PPV are hatches as they appear for the first time on this blog, but none are legit hatches as they have wrestled in the Fed before now. Still, I will name them thusly: Ahmed Johnson, Leif Cassidy (Al Snow), Bart Gunn, Billy Gunn, Goldust, Henry O. Godwinn, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Jerry “the King” Lawler, Jim Cornette, José Lothario, Mankind (Mick Foley), Wildman Marc Mero, Marty Jannetty, Phineas I. Godwinn (Mideon), Sable, Shawn Michaels, Skip (Chris Candido), “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, The Ultimate Warrior, The Undertaker, Big Van Vader and Zip all competed. Owen Hart provided commentary with Jumping Jim Ross and Vince McMahon. Triple H and Aldo Montoya (Rat Faced Knacker Justin Credible) were involved in a dark match.

Matches: Ahmed Johnson’s first title reign as Intercontinental Champion. Both Tag Team and World Champions retain.

Dispatches: The Ultimate Warrior performed his final match for the Fed at this PPV.

Closing Statements: Other than the fantastic promo from Austin and the highlights of the final match, this PPV was nothing to write home about. Wrestling was not due to become huge for another year or so yet, so it’s not surprising that this PPV seemed like it was phoned in. There were a few shitty quick matches and the rest were full of rest holds. Still, it had some big names and paved the way for the wrestling we all enjoyed over the next few years.

On the Card will return on July 21 with In Your House 9: International Incident.