Attitude Era #13. King of the Ring (June 8, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: The Kind was there, so it was shite.

Backstage with Todd and Flyin’ Brian Pillman with his mental eyes. Brian rips on Stone Cold in barely comprehensible promo asking for the Boy Toy to violate the Rattlesnake. Stone Cold sneaks up from behind and batters Pillman, closes a mesh door and sticks Brian’s head down the toilet, shouting the entire time. What a lad.

Nation of Domination rock out with their amazing theme song. Old Clarence Mason is there with Crush and D’Lo Brown, blessed be their names. I love how Crush is the only white guy there. And I love how the Nation have two matches this evening as well. JR tells us that Crush’s tattoo is a Hawaiian symbol… a declaration of war.

Then Goldust comes out… but he doesn’t initially have his Shattered Dreams filter on. Marlena is there with him and the crowd love her. She’s just terrific. Terri-rific. Oh yes. I went there. Terri is rocking the cigar as Goldie removes his fluffy Ric Flair gown. JR tells us that Marlena and Goldust are not the Brady Bunch. No. No, they are not. Goldust is rocking the new facepaint and, once again, the bell rings before Crush is even in the ring.

Crush (with D’Lo Brown and Immigration Clarence Mason) vs. Goldust (with Marlena).

Crush lays the boots and fists into Goldust, throwing him out of the ring. JR tells us that Crush has respect for no one, judging by his (legit) police report. Goldust bounces Crush’s head off the ring steps and pops into the ring to lay the slaps onto his opponent. JR tells us that Pillman is suicidal! What the heck?

Ten-punch in the corner with theatrics, which involves Goldie touching himself and then forcing Crush to touch him. Lovely neckbreaker from our perverted Hollywood critic. Shot of Marlena looking lovely. The pace has slowed down. Crush tosses Goldust into the corner and our man hits it with some slap. Lovely belly-to-belly followed by stomps. I love both these men, they come across as great competitors, willing to put on a good show regardless. I’m obviously a huge Goldust mark. Crush bops Goldust in the kidneys and JR name-checks Stan The Man Stasiak, another favourite of mine.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Stan “The Man” Stasiak is the father of Shawn Stasiak, known as Meat. He is now a chiropractor and motivational speaker, would you believe it? He is another favourite, although I don’t really know why.

Lovely backbreaker from Crush and pin attempts that fail. JR mentions our man Dusty Rhodes, Goldust’s father. Great lad, baby.

Rest hold city from Crush on Goldie. JR and Vince take the time to wank off the Fed for a while. Crush does a great arse-bump on Goldust followed by another. Despite these two men being amazing, the pace has slowed to a crawl. Goldust, according to Vince, in “obvious pain”. It’s Gorilla Monsoon’s birthday, or a few days afterwards at least. He’s at home, not well, though he would live for another two years or so yet. My favourite spot as Goldust’s hand is raised and dropped three times and on the third, he fights back. The crowd chant his name. Crush goes for a third arse-bump and Goldust spins, cracking him in the balls. Big pop. Goldie’s shirt is open. Running of the ropes and Crush shows amazing strength as he lifts Goldust up for a Gorilla slam gutbuster. Goldust kicks out.

A lovely elbow from Crush followed by a Vulcan Nerve Pinch. Goldust throws Crush to the ground, shouts, “Come on!” and does a Shane-O-Mac-style chops, followed by crotch grab.

Outside the ring, Immigration Clarence Mason and D’Lo Brown corner Marlena. Goldust stands behind D’Lo, arms crossed, as the crowd warn them that he is behind them. Goldust fights them off, gets Crush into the ring and hits the Curtain Call for the win.

Goldust has defeated Crush by pinfall in 9:56.

2017 comments:

Goldust and Crush do their best. Both are great lads.

1997 comments:

I tell you what, I can’t get enough of this Gold fellow. He’s top class.

Grade: C.

Not a great match and no real storyline either. He attempts to lift Marlena, gives up halfway through and the pair snog the face off each other. Tomorrow, Goldust will be taking part in a European Championship match… but why wasn’t that on the PPV? Monday Night Wars, brothers. Oh, and the European Champ is Bulldog and he’s booked for the next match.

Backstage, we have the Roidy Magoos, Legion of Doom and Brock Samson himself, Sycho Sid, along with Fabulous Freebird, Dok Hendrix. Hawk, the less roidy of the two, tells us that revenge is a dish best served cold and by-diddly-do-squat, they’re serving the coldest dish in town. Not a great start to their culinary careers, but hey, if it’s turtle soup then it’s served cold anyways. I’ve watched Batman. Animal roars out for a while, turns to Sid and says he’s a weak link. Sid tells us he’s the ruler of the world and then hushes for a while and no one can hear what the fuck he’s saying.

Off to Todd Pettingil, Dok’s brother from another mother, who is standing with the Hart Foundation: Slammy-Award-winning Owen Hart, Natty Daddy Jim The Anvil Neidhart and British Bulldog. Owen and Bulldog are Intercontinental and European champs respectively and are holding their gold. Bulldog batters through about five different accents and forgets his lines because he’s a dope. Owen tells Todd to hold his Slammy so that all the people…

He doesn’t finish his line.

Owen tells LOD that they have lovely facepaint but their Halloween outfits won’t beat family. Jim threatens Sid personally, telling him he doesn’t know crazy. He laughs and abruptly stops as the Hart music hits.

Out come the Foundation first, even though they’re champs (though not defending either belts this evening, robbing the crowd of a title defence). Owen has given Anvil a Slammy to hold. Bless him. Earl Hebner is getting a word from backstage and chats to Howard Finkel about something.

Ohhhhhhh. What. A. Rush.

LOD have a fucking terrific theme song. I love the pair of them, but they couldn’t sell water in the desert. We hardly get their theme before Halloween Sycho Sid comes out. He gets a pop, fair play to him. Some smelly mark in the front row has a “SID: RULER OF THE WORLD” sign. His music is not great but no one cares because he’s coked up and ready for a right. Vince verbally wanks off Sid for a while as his SID pyro pops behind him, covering the ring in a lovely golden shower.

The Hart Foundaion (Owen Hart, The British Bulldog and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Sycho Sid.

I love how Sid keeps his big old hairy chest. No waxing for this young fellow-me-lad.

Animal and Owen are to start off. The crowd are chanting for LOD already. Animal lifts Owen up and gives him a wee toss.

But who gives a fuck? Goldust, Marlena and Crush are on the superstar line.

Owen and Animal have a wee chat as Owen stomps Animal in the corner and takes a lovely catapult into the corner followed by a beautiful powerslam. Sid is tagged in and marks out to himself. Eye rake as Sid attempted an arm twist but Sid knocks Owen down. Show of strength between the two men. Owen stops and tags in Bulldog, who shows his muscles, the big old burst sausage. Sid is pantomiming, showboating and hotdogging. Finally the two attempt a strength check but Bulldog lifts Sid for a delayed suplex. Sid punches Anvil and Owen before tagging in Hawk.

Anvil comes in then and stands against our boy Hawk. The two fail to sell with one another and Hawk actually rolls his eyes at Anvil. Hawk hits a clothesline, Anvil does not sell it and Animal pops in. Bulldog attempts to break it up and the crowd bay for LOD. Sid is in and everyone beats up Anvil for a while. Hawk is back in and he and Anvil don’t sell some more. Bulldog is in – Christ, it’s the fucking revolving door of tags – and hits a piledriver on Hawk, who fucking no-sells it, the cunt.

Animal is in, then, Vince questions how they could kick out of a fucking piledriver and there’s a roshambo as people are thrown into steps and have a wee chair thrown at them. Owen slingshots Anvil into Animal. Great Aloha-Arn from Jim and Animal, broken up by Owen. JR makes a Stradivarius reference. Owen punches Animal and – you guessed it! – no selling at all at the bazaar. Hawk pops over and all hell has broken loose. Double clothesline from Owen and Bulldog on Animal. Bulldog goes to the corner but Animal is up, catching him mid-jump, going to the turnbuckle himself and getting superplexed off by Bulldog. Anvil is beating on Animal again for a while and then giving him a wee rest hold for a while. God knows the man needs a lie down after refusing the sale so much. Animal fights back, gets a wee knee to the gut for his effort and is tossed into the corner. Owen is Irish whipped by Anvil and hits a neckbreaker but Animal kicks out.

Animal gets jumped on and Tazzmissioned by Owen. The big man falls to his knees but Animal forgets to sell, jumps up, tags in Hawk, who bodyslams Owen, goes to the top rope, misses, gets his own bodyslam from Bulldog, held by the ankle and is chicken-winged by Bulldog and Owen. Anvil is in, Animal knocks them down. Sid strolls in, cleans house and it’s a schmoz. Earl has no fucking control over the match. Big chokeslam from Sid and he goes for the powerbomb -giving Bulldog a lovely wedgie in the meantime – but Owen gives him the sunset flip off the top rope and gets the pin.

Owen Hart has pinned Sycho Sid. The Hart Foundation defeat the Legion of Doom and Sycho Sid in 13:37. Leet O’Clock!

2017 comments:

I cannot, in all conscience, recommend this match for the amount of ego floating around in it. Of all the men, the smallest one, Owen Hart, is the only one with any care for the fans. Real shame. I love LOD, but they love themselves a lot more.

1997 comments:

What a rush.

Grade: C.

The winners get the fuck out as quickly as they can. They even forget their belts. You can imagine that they were genuinely pissed off. Anvil is shouting at Earl as he walks away.

We see the King of the Ring table. Next up is the King of the Ring final with our man Mankind versus Triple H.

Cut to the best promo in wrestling history where Stone Cold shouts at Jake Roberts.

On the Card will return on June 22 2017 with the third part of King of the Ring 1997.

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ATTITUDE ERA #10: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 4

Previously on On the Card: Best WrestleMania match followed by basically every midcard Mania match ever.

Another ad for In Your House 14. April 20th. Blaze it.

Another shill for Sky Sports and a lovely shot of Vlad and Faith No More Guy wearing a BWO t-shirt.

Oh Shawn! The sexy boy returns to shake hands with all the kids. He’s a great lad. A great, drug fuelled lad. The audience won’t let go of him. Potential riot erupting here. Shawn pops into the ring… no, he won’t, he goes around to the announcers, clearly winged off his tits. The music replays and his second round of hand-shakes is far faster. Finally, he enters the ring, the lights dim and he hits his pose, considers taking off his jacket, but the farty pyro hits before he has a chance to. What a guy. Another shot of Vlad in the audience and a sign saying, “Vince McMahon is God.” No. He wrestled God.

Backstage, Sid hits a whispery shouty promo. We all know how this match is going to go, but this is before the streak, really. Since his introduction in Survivor Series 1990, Undertaker has been undefeated at the five WrestleManias he has attended – VII, VIII, IX, XI, XII (he did not attend X due to injury) – and this includes his abortion of a match against Giant Gonzales, which he was knocked out in.

In the arena, Undertaker starts his entrance which is not as long as the entrances that he has had in the past. The announcers are (rightly) silent and should be any time this cunt turns up. Brilliant shot of the Taker through the smoke, the crowd being lit now and again by the strobe. He gets to the ring and finally, people can talk.

Shawn is winged off his tits as JR references the streak. He says that he has, “Never lost at WrestleMania as the Undertaker.” But he has never fought at WrestleMania as anyone other than the Undertaker.

Sid’s music hits and he heads down to the ring, finally getting the boos he deserves. He is huge. JR tells us that Sycho Sid is not afraid of the dark. Shawn says that he, however, is afraid of the dark. Fair play, Shawn. You’re also afraid of coming down though, aren’t you? JR tells us that this is going to be a slobberknocker and it probably is. Ten years later, at No Way Out 2007, Shawn will fight Undertaker alongside Batista and Cena. They also have one of the best Royal Rumble finishes at Rumble 2007.

The SID pyro burns itself out.

No Disqualification match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker def. Sycho Sid (c) via pin in 21:19.

The two men square off. Bret Hart comes out, killing any heat. He enters the ring, gets the mic and gives off to Shawn, saying he has a “pussyfoot injury… stay out of this match.” Bret then says he is no longer friends with Taker. Sid pisses himself laughing as Bret aims on him, calling him a fraud and that he deserves the championship. Earl Hebner looks on as Sid kills the heat by powerbombing Bret in the centre of the ring. He takes the mic and tells Bret to get out of the ring. His heel-turn is complete. Sid then shouts, “Hobble on, crybaby!” Undertaker takes the time to attack Sid and the bell rings again to restart the match. Once again, brother, both men need to be in their corner before the bell goes.

Taker jumps at Sid in the corner. Michaels says, “Bret talks about being screwed. I’ll tell you what, the Undertaker has been given the shaft and never complained.” Undertaker goes for the Old School and jumps at Sid in the corner. He is caught and held in a big bearhug. Brilliant. Both men have a wee sit for a while. Both King and Shawn argue for a while. Good. This bearhug goes on… for… ever… It’s the main event at WrestleMania, by Christ. Some battering and then more bearhugs. My God.

Taker is thrown out of the ring, lands on his feet and is kicked into the French announcer’s table along with Carlos Carbrera. Sid points at Earl and says, “Shut up!” He does this twice. Sid tosses Taker through the table but it just falls over. Vince finally tells us that this match is no disqualification. Pin attempt mid-ring. Failure. Shawn puts over Taker and says that it’s hard to see when he’s hurt because he doesn’t show any emotion. Sid hits the Camel Clutch on Taker, breaks back, makes humble. Sid goes to the top rope, hits the double axe handle and Taker is rolling over, fighting back, bopping Sid with great big punches.

Irish whip rehearsal and a lovely powerslam from Sid followed by three pin attempts in a row. Mon Sid. Big old leg drop. Sid has Taker in the corner and looks to be biting his face. Sid, are you biting people now? No DQ or no no DQ, that’s awful. Taker hits the jumping punch and Sid gets the Deadman in the corner. Taker throws Sid out, rolls out after him and throws him into the crowd for about the fifth time tonight. The pair trade punches over the barricade and smacks Sid’s head off the steps. Taker goes for the high elbow, misses and the two men have a wee lie down for a while. Hard body shots from Taker followed by a big powerslam, sexy 69 pin attempt and fail. JR states that this match will not be won by a lateral press or punch, but by something bigger.

Nerve pinch by Taker and Sid is on his feet, fighting back. Taker clotheslines Sid down, pin attempt and fail. Earl Hebner isn’t doing a fine job tonight. Both men double boot each other and fall down go boom. Sid is up first, hammering Taker on the back with both fists. Sid looks worried. He goes to Bret’s rope and hits the double axe handle on Taker. JR wonders, after Sid kicks Taker, “if there is a heart in that body.” Another axe handle, another pin attempt, another fail. After Taker kicks out again, King quips that it must be demotivating to continually be denied a win. “It must do something to Sid’s mind… if he has a mind.”

Sid goes top rope, Taker sits up, punches Sid and he falls on his balls. Taker pulls Sid off the turnbuckle for a powerslam. It’s Taker’s turn to go top rope and he hits the jumping clothesline. Pin attempt and fail. King says that they’re both reluctant to use their finisher unless it doesn’t work. Taker pulls his thumb over his throat, goes for the Tombstone and Sid reverses it into a Tombstone of his own. Taker pin and the Deadman kids out. Sid throws him out of the ring.

Big punches from Sid and Taker gets the chokeslam ready but Bret appears and hits Sid twice with a chair on the back. No disqualification here. Sid is thrown into the steel ring post spine first. Taker rolls Sid into the ring, chokeslams the big Brock Samson motherfucker to the canvas but Sid kicks out. Taker runs the ropes and falls from an attack to the knee from Sid. He goes for his powerbomb, but Bret is back… again. Sid gets guillotined by Bret, a Tombstone from Undertaker and the slowest pin count in the world leaves Undertaker the new World Heavyweight Champion in 21:19.

2017 comments:

Slow, no real storyline and Bret had to be relied upon to bring drama to this match.

1997 comments:

Not the best way to end this PPV, being honest.

Grade: B

The Phenom is “finally” WWF champ, despite having held the title back in 1991 for six days between Survivor Series and This Tuesday in Texas. Thunder and lightning hits as Vlad and Faith No More Guy cheer him on. Taker holds the belt up and that’s all she wrote.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I would love to nominated Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart for the best WrestleMania match so far.

Woman of the Matches: Chyna. No question.

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold bleeding out in the Sharpshooter.

Hatches: This is the Attitude Era debut for Road Warrior Animal, Road Warrior Hawk, the ringside debut of Chyna, D’Lo Brown, Bob Backlund. JC Ice and Wolfie D were in the ring for once and Ken Shamrock was special guest ref. Mosh and Thrasher made their debuts as well.

Matches: The Headbangers are now number one contenders for the WWF Tag Team Championship and the champions, Owen Hart and the British Bulldog, retain their title; Rocky Maivia also retained his Intercontinental title; and The Undertaker defeated Sycho Sid to begin his second reign as WWF World Heavyweight Champion.

Dispatches: Let’s see now here now. JC Ice and Wolfie D are gone from PPVs and Bob Backlund won’t reappear until the 2000 Royal Rumble. Hillbilly Jim and Sheiky Baby won’t reappear until the Gimmick Battle Royale at WrestleMania X-7. Mosh and Thrasher are gone until Ground Zero, Phil Lafon and Doug Furnas are gone until Survivor Series 1997, The Sultan won’t be back for two years and then he’ll be known as Rikishi, Sycho Sid is out until King of the Ring,

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Big Van Vader, Stone Cold (ineligible), Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Bret Hart for that amazing match.

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny, N/A, N/A.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Chyna, Chyna.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Chyna!

In Memoriam

Each WrestleMania, I will go through the people who we have seen wrassle and lament for their passing. Cheery.

  • Alejandro Pérez Jiménez AKA Mini Mankind, May 15 1975 – June 29 2009; poisoning caused by drugs added to their drinks.
  • Andrés Alejandro Palomeque Gonzalez AKA Abismo Negro, July 1 1971 – March 22 2009; drowning.
  • Brian William Pillman, May 22 1962 – October 5 1997; heart attack caused by arteriosclerotic heart disease.
  • Captain Lou Albano, July 29 1933 – October 14 2009; heart attack. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Joe Franklin in 1996.
  • Chris Candido AKA Skip of the Bodydonnas, March 21 1972 – April 28 2005; pneumonia due to blood clot after a broken leg caused by an injury in a steel cage match.
  • David “Davey Boy” Smith AKA The British Bulldog, November 27 1962 – May 18 2002; heart attack.
  • Doug Furnas, December 11 1959 – March 2 2012; hypertensive heart disease.
  • Gorilla Monsoon, June 4 1937 – October 6 1999; heart failure due to diabetes. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Jim Ross in 1994.
  • Héctor Solano Segura AKA Héctor Garza, June 12 1969 – May 26 2013; lung cancer.
  • James Brian Hellwig AKA The Ultimate Warrior, June 16 1959 – April 8 2014; heart attack caused by atheroscleroticcardiovascular disease.
  • James Reiher Snuka AKA Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, May 18 1943 – January 15 2017; unidentified terminal illness. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 by Don Muraco, though his profile is no longer available due to his alleged murder of Nancy Argentino in 1983.
  • Joan Marie Laurer AKA Chyna, December 27 1969 – April 20 2016; accidental overdose.
  • Mario Pérez Jiménez AKA Mini Vader, December 18 1966 – January 23, 2016; death.
  • Michael Hegstrang AKA Road Warrior Hawk, January 26 1957 – October 19 2003; heart attack.
  • Owen Hart, May 7 1965 – May 23 1999; internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma from a fall during Over the Edge PPV event.
  • Pedro Aguayo Ramírez AKA Perrito Aguayo, July 23 1979 – March 21 2015; cardiac arrest caused by a cervical stroke from three fractured vertebrae.
  • Rodney Agatupu Anoa’i AKA Yokozuna, October 2 1966 – October 23 2000; pulmonary edema. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by The Usos and Rikishi in 2012.
  • Terry Ray Gordy AKA The Executioner, April 23 1961 – July 16 2001; heart attack caused by a blood clot. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by his brother Ray Gordy in 2016.
  • William Alvin Moody AKA Paul Bearer, April 10 1954 – March 5 2013; heart attack. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Kane in 2014.

Closing Statements: Was Shane correct? Was it the best WrestleMania of all time? Nooooope. It was good and the Stone Cold/Bret Hart match was terrific, but the main event was weak and the undercard was unflattering. If you take out the Submission Match, the card was drizzling. With it in, it is merely very, very good.

On the Card will return on April 20 2017 with In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.

 

Attitude Era #8: Royal Rumble 1997 (Jan 19, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Stone Cold cheats his way to victory.

Promo for the bad attitudes from the two men. We see Sid’s heel-turn where he attacked José Lothario. No apologies from Sid. Bad CGI of Shawn looking out a window into a WWF arena. The two men kick seven shades of shite out of one another and Sid powerbombs José’s 19-year-old son.

But back to the crowd… and then another cut to JR speaking to Shawn Michaels at Superstars. Shawn slurs through a promo. He says José means more to him than any other person on God’s green earth other than his mother and father. He’s threatening Sid saying that the champ will not be fighting just Shawn, but also thousands of San Antonians. Bit pointed.

Cut to Shawn and José walking down towards the ring. Vince says that it is a long walk. Music hits, crowd goes wild and Shawn leaves the Gorilla position to high five the crowd and say, “Yeah!” a lot. The big ring of lights is centre stage as Shawn poses, firing off some pyro mid-ring. What a matchup! What an entrance! This is what wrestling would grow into, where the entrances are almost as important as the action in the ring. The song repeats and… is that Sunny in the crowd? Jeepers. Sunny days indeed.

Cut to the back where Heel Sid walks slowly down the same corridor, heading to Gorilla position and out into the arena. Big boos from the crowd, actually. Fair play to them. Laser on his face as he punches the crowd’s fists and asks them if they know who the man is. The man is (supposedly) you, Sid. Sid sees Superfan Vlad and ignores Superfan The Dude (Faith No More Guy), who is wearing a blue BWO t-shirt. JR tells us that Sid has a “smattering of fans”, which is interesting considering so many were desperate for touching him.

Big SID sign in pyro goes off behind him.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels def. Sycho Sid (c) via pin in 13:49.

Sid and Shawn square off. Sid gives Shawn one shove and he rolls right back. A second shove and Sid takes over, tossing Shawn about. HBK replies with a crossbody and kicks Sid out of the ring. Big pop from the crowd. Referee Earl Hebner holds Shawn back as we wait for Sid to get up. Shawn moves him back and goes out to help Sid up. Sid smacks Shawn and he reverses. Sid throws Shawn into the ring, lifts for the gorilla press and Shawn escapes with a rake to the eyes. Shawn goes top rope and Sid catches him for a powerslam. Front row is José’s son, who gives such advice as, “Get him!”

Sid gives Shawn a Camel Clutch, breaks back, makes humble. Sid bumps Shawn and gives the Camel Clutch again. JR tells us that this is the last time José Lothario will manage Shawn… it’s also the last time we see Shawn for a while, but that’s neither here nor there. Sid goes for a third bump, Shawn dodges it and takes over, giving some lovely punches, taking a huge turnbuckle bump, turned inside out, upside down and falls outside. Shawn lies there as Sid scoops Shawn, smashes him into the ring post once, twice and tosses Shawn in the ring for the pin.

Sid lifts Shawn up and hits him on the lower back. Sid gets Shawn in a rest hold and HBK fights to his feet before turned inside out by Sid’s clothesline. Sid taunts the crowd, goes for a pin, fails. Brilliant toss to the turnbuckle and Sid does the same again, catching Shawn for the bear hug. JR puts over the fact that Sid is keeping it simple. Shawn has said that he has “the flu”, that is to say “been strung out on pain pills for ages”. Cut to shots of Hawn’s parents ringside. Looking desperate.

Michaels hits Sid with a great Atomic Drop. He goes to Brets rope and attempts a jumping punch twice, Sid catching him on the second. The bear hug lasts forever and is a soft, soft, lovely bear hug. Sid goes for the pin, fails, leg drops, pins, fails. Chinlock city. It’s been sit down City over here. Shawn gets up, bodyslams Sid, hits the lariat, kips up, goes for a top-rope elbow, nails Sid and tunes up the band. Sid catches Sweet Chin Music and tosses Michaels out. Somebody tell these boys that the Royal Rumble match is over. Sid powerbombs Shawn to the outside and goes to chokeslam both Lotharios, Jr and Sr. Shawn fights back and Earl takes a ref bump. Sid chokeslams Shawn, goes for the pin, the official is out and a second ref comes in for the count, hitting the one, two and Shawn kicks out.

Sid causes another ref bump as the second one is hit by Sid. José goes to the rope, distracts Sid and Shawn gets a camera, knocks Sid down, goes for the pin and Earl makes his way laboriously to count the pin but Sid kicks out! My God! Shawn tunes up the band and hits Sid with Sweet Chin Music, getting the pin and win in 13:49.

2017 comments:

Worst match I’ve seen of Shawn’s so far in this blog. Really bad. No psychology, no real energy, just a bunch of rest holds followed by a spot at the end.

1997 comments:

Shawn looks like a drug addict.

Grade: C

Shawn bows to the crowd, his own hometown crowd and is awarded the WWF Championship by José Lothario. He celebrates with everyone else as the song repeats and some fucker whistles as loud as he can. For real, it is suuuuper loud. Go and shut up, eh?

People begin to file out as he goes to the parents and gives them a wee cuddle. He hugs his family and it turns out that the whistler is his sister! He climbs over Jerry, pats Vince on the back, almost strangles him with a hug and shoves his arse in his face. Whistling continues as he does a wee tour of the crowd, shaking hands with everyone. We see a replay of the heel move Shawn had busting Sid with the camera and getting the pin. Both superfans Vlad and Faith No More Guy shake his hands as the song repeats! Then we have a recap of the entire PPV from the HHH vs. Goldust match to NOD vs Ahmed, Vader and Taker (mit Paul unt Urn bump), the Royal Rumble feat. Stone Cold, giant 2×4, Bret coming out and Austin’s “elimination” followed by Bret’s tantrum. Then we see the match again! More Sid bumps and Shawn winning! The PPV ends with a bit of a wet fart.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: Legit bad PPV with little big men other than, of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin who survived for over 45 minutes in the Royal Rumble, eliminated 10 people and, like Christ before him, was struck down and rose again to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

Woman of the Matches: There were literally no women in this PPV other than Jacqueline, Sable and Marlena.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Best Spot: There were none, but I’ll put in Stone Cold’s false elimination and clearing the house in ten seconds flat.

Hatches: We have Canek, Cibernético, Mil Máscaras, Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, Jerry Estrada, Latin Lover, Perro Aguaya, Pierroth from the AAA alongside Terry Funk and Curtis Hughes. Terry Funk will disappear for two years and return at the 1998 Royal Rumble, Curtis Hughes will not be back until Unforgiven 1999 and the AAA guys? Well… just check dispatches.

Matches: Hunter Hearst Helmsley retains his Intercontinental Championship and Shawn Michaels wins the WWF Championship for his second reign.

Dispatches: Canek, Cibernético, Mil Máscaras, Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, Jerry Estrada, Latin Lover, Perro Aguaya, Pierroth, Razor Ramon, José Lothario, Jake Roberts, Diesel (until he returns as Kane) and Jerry Lawler and Shawn Michaels (until KOTR 97).

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels, Undertaker.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Flash Funk, Leif Cassidy, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Austin for winning the Royal Rumble!

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny, N/A.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: No one, No one.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… No one again, for the second time in a row!

The Year in Reviews

Each Royal Rumble, I will give you some information of the past year of reviews for you stat-heads out there.

In 1996, the biggest movie at the time was Independence Day, which made $817,400,891 worldwide, followed by Twister and Mission Impossible. The biggest hit single of the year was Los Del Rio’s “Macarena”, which is shite, followed by Spice Girls “Wannabe” and Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”.

Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton win their second terms as President of Russia and the USA respectively, the Nintendo 64 and Pokémon Red and Green are is released in Japan, a meteorite from Mars contained evidence of primitive lifeforms and Carl Sagan died.

In wrasslin’ news, the WWF Championship was held by Bret for 133 days since Nov 19 1995 until Shawn Michaels held it for 231 days from March 31 to November 17 where Sycho Sid held it into the New Year. Goldust held the Intercontinental Championship for 71 days from January 21 until he lost it in a match to Savio Vega and won it again the same night to hold it for 83 days from April 1 until Ahmed Johnson won it at King of the Ring, June 23; he vacated it after legit kidney problems (kayfabed as an attack by Faarooq) and Marc Mero won it on Sept 23, held it for 28 days until Triple H won it on Oct 21 and brought it into the New Year. The Tag Team Championship was brought into 1996 by the Smoking Gunns, who vacated it on Feb 15 after 143 days of holding it due to Billy Gunn having a neck injury. The Bodydonnas picked it up on March 31 and held it for 49 days until the Godwins picked it up on May 19, held it for a week, dropped it to The Smoking Gunns on May 29 and they held it until September 22 when The British Bulldog and Owen Hart brought it into the New Year. We had the Curtain Call at MSG, the formation of the NWO with Razor Ramon and Diesel leaving for WCW and the rise of Stone Cold and The Rock. Kurt Angle also won Olympic gold with a broken fuckin’ neck.

Closing Statements: A real let down and, unfortunately, it seems to be the end for Shawn Michaels for the next wee while.

On the Card will return on February 16 2017 with In Your House 13: Final Four.

Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 5

Previously on On the Card: Undertaker tears the house down in a crap match.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix is speaking to Bret “The Shitman” Hart, as Stone Cold calls him. Dok reminds us of the fight that Bret had against Sid this morning on Superstars where Shawn Michaels, Bret and Sid had a roshambo outside the arena.

Shawn’s music hits, interrupting Bret’s interview. Bret shouts over the music and walks off. Some real heat there between the pair of them. Don’t worry, Bret, it will only be eleven months until you’ll be free from Shawn for some time. Shawn does his pose mid-ring, which is nice of him. He touches some fans, clearly destroyed on his drugs. Vince tells Shawn that it is loud in the arena and only due to get louder when Bret arrives. Shawn says, “It doesn’t get much louder than when HBK is about.”

Bret’s music hits and the crowd goes mild. After Shawn’s entrance, they find it hard to psyche up. Pyro goes off, Shawn bounces about the ring and finally people chant his name. Bret gives his shades to the kids as Shawn rambles on. The boy is strung out. He’s a bit embarrassing, actually, especially when he can’t put two words together.

Sycho Sid’s music hits. I love Sid. He’s charismatic as fuck. He probably loves his cocaine as well. He’s punching fists left and right. Shawn calls him, “The WWF’s most expensive piece of luggage.” Christ, Shawn. Sid’s pyro hits, spelling his name, which is Sid. The crowd isn’t as excited for Sid at this point, but they’re all cheered out by this point, probably. Shawn is rambling on. Why doesn’t Vince cut him off? Because money.

Before the bell goes, Bret attacks Sid with his back turned! Just like earlier today! By God!

WWF Championship Match: Sycho Sid (c) def. Bret “The Hitman” Hart via pin in 17:03.

Bret beats on Sid in the corner and gives him a fierce headbutt before moving to the other turnbuckle and being countered. Sid takes over, kicking Bret mercilessly and hitting a body drop on him. Lovely kick to the face and Sid stomps on Bret for a bit. Irish whip and Sid ducks but Bret sees it a mile off, dragging Sid’s eyes on the ropes. Bret hits the knee drop, goes for the headbutt to Sid’s balls and the pair trade punches, which Sid wins. Bret runs outside, around the ring and back in but Sid catches him, shouts at the crowd and gets told off by Earl Hebner, who, as we all saw earlier, will push a wrestler if he needs to.

Back in the ring, Sid is beated by Bret, who he tosses over the top rope. Sid batters Bret against the barricade, removes the protective padding for the second time the night and is about to hit the powerbomb when Bret fights back, charging Sid into the steel ring post. It takes a lot out of him, however, and Bret rolls him in, goes to his own rope and ropes the double axe handle onto Sid’s back. Shawn is in one half of the screen and bigging up the Sharpshooter. Rest hold and chin lock city as Sid has a wee lie down. Irish whip into the corner followed by a lovely snapmare. Bret lays into Sid’s ribs and then gets some more chinlocks, because why not? Another side-by-side shot of Shawn and the action. He is unable to keep still while talking.

Bret goes straight to the turnbuckle and removes the padding, exposing the steel. Isn’t that a heel move? Isn’t that the mnemonic? Heels use steel? Faces use… stfaces? Sid stops his hard head hitting the steel ring and is knocked back. Pin attempt by Bret followed by a Russian Leg Sweep, another pin attempt, a suplex and a jump to the second rope and a double axe handle with another pin attempt. Vince wonders what you need to do to defeat Sid? Maybe something bigger than a double axe handle smash. Bret goes to his rope, Sid tosses him off, gives him a big boot and finally he’s in charge once again. Lovely powerslam by Sid onto Bret and Shawn points out that “Sid hooked the leg… every now and again, the big man will surprise you.”

Sid takes over, going for a pin after a clothesline. He misses the leg drop and Bret goes for the Sharpshooter, but Sid fights back. Then Stone Cold comes out for the third time this PPV. Then Owen Hart, King of Farts turns up with Bulldog and drag him back. Bret’s knee is hurt and Jr says that Stone Cold’s new ally is Sid, even though Sid doesn’t seem to know that Bret is hurt. He almost seems offended that Stone Cold would do that. The gall of him! Cheeky Texas Rattlesnake!

Sid gets Bret into a shoulderbreaker and Bret falls off his shoulder, tries to throw Bret into the corner but Sid botches the toss into the corner so tries again. This time, Bret’s head hits the exposed turnbuckle face-first. It’s an awful embarrassment. Sid chokeslams Bret to a big applause. Big pin and Bret kicks out. The crowd explodes. Michaels puts Bret over and Sid goes to clothesline Bret but the Hitman tosses them both over. Bret steals Shawn’s chair but before he can use it, Sid knocks him down. Bret, Shawn and Sid are standing near each other and Sid pushes Shawn down. Michaels goes to the apron and Sid Irish whips Bret into Shawn, hits the powerbomb and the pin in 17:03.

2016 comments:

Good ending, but slow, plodding match due to Sid’s lack of cardio. The Shawn bits seemed tacked on.

1996 comments:

Is Shawn Michaels on The Weed?

Grade: B

Shawn rolls on the floor as Sid celebrates, going to the top rope with his WWF Championship. Both Bret and Shawn sell their “injuries” from the head bump and Bret has a legit bloody nose. Bret beats on Shawn, pulls on his shirt like a hockey player and the referees have to break up the fight, seing Bret to the back. Sid stands over them both, still the champion. Shawn runs backstage, angry and shouting at fans. Replays of the head bump, powerbomb and pin end the PPV as Sid slowly walks down the ramp. Shawn shouts into an unworking mic.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I wasn’t too impressed with anyone here other than Leif Cassidy and Flash Funk. Considering both of their records within the Fed, I’d like to give it to both.

Woman of the Matches: There were literally no women in this PPV… other than Sable, but I forgot about her until right now.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Leif Cassidy and Flash Funk.

Best Spot: Flash Funk’s moonsault to the outside.

Hatches: The Executioner as a competitor.

Matches: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog retain their Tag Team Championship, Hunter Hearst Helmsley retains his Intercontinental Championship and Sycho Sid retains his WWF Championship.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: A real let down after Survivor Series, but it was clear that they were saving their best matches for the Rumble the next month.

On the Card will return on January 19 2017 with the Royal Rumble 1997.

Attitude Era #6. Survivor Series (November 17, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Two of the all-time greats, Stone Cold and Bret, have a five star match.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix is speaking to Sid who looks like Brock Samson but sounds like an absolute Christopher Walken.

Cut to the gate and out comes Super Mario himself, Captain Lou Albano. He has no music although he should have Cyndi Lauper playing over him.

The motherfucking Nation of Domination music plays. Fuck yes. Old JC Ice and Wolfie D come out, rapping like the whitest of all white men, followed by Immigration Clarence Mason, Faarooq, and two of their unnamed goons in suits. Faarooq fires up the old fist there for the crowd. Good man yourself.

Out comes Rick Bognar AKA Fake Razor Ramon, or, as my wife calls him, Razor Ramen. She does it without sarcasm as she just (constantly) misreads his name. I could do worse, I suppose. JR complains that people are booing Razor as he is, “bigger, younger, stronger, better-looking than the first guy to have that name.” As he says this, Bowl Cut Kid himself pats him on the back. Surely this is the greatest point in Bognar’s life. It’s all downhill from here, bro. I love how Ross is attempting to heel it up and legitimately accepting that characters in wrestling are just that – only chracters.

Out comes Diesel, played by Dr. Isaac Yankem himself, Glenn Jacobs. He is now known as Kane.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: After the Curtain Call that took place in this very arena – Madison Square Gardens – in May 19, 1996, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash left for the WCW, leaving their characters – Ramon and Diesel – behind. Their return was part of an aborted attempt to heel up JR, which is impossible as he is fucking awesome and the fans went with whatever he said.

Vader comes out to little fanfare, which is a shame considering he was main event status in past months. Jim Cornette is on commentary and slagging JR.

Their opponents arrive with a very short intro each: Savio Vega with a little dance; Yokozuno, described as, “even bigger than you, Jim Cornette,” by Vince (Jim: “I led Yoko to the WWF!” JR: “You led him to the buffet table!”); Flash Funk, the proto-Godfather with his Funkettes, the double-hos (JR: “I’ve never seen the yellow and red look so good in Madison Square Gardens!”); and “The Mystery Partner”, Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Jim Cornette can’t believe it. Yokozuna takes forever to get out of the ring as the bell tolls.

Survivor Series Tag Team Match: Faarooq, Vader, Razor Ramon and Diesel (w/ Clarence Mason and Jim Cornette) vs. Flash Funk, Jimmy Snuka, Savio Vega and Yokozuna ends in double disqualification in 9:48.

We have Flash Funk starting with our man Vader. Jim Cornette can’t believe it. Vader pushes Funk over and flexes but Funk just kip-ups and does a sexy little hip move. Vader hits a stiff clothesline and Flash runs the ropes before hitting a spinning heel kick that Vader begins to bump for about ten feet before Funk hits him. Vader is knocked outside and Funk moonsaults from the top rope to the outside. Vader hits Funk with a Vader Bomb and Yokozuna runs in with his big bottom filled with farts.

In comes Savio and Faarooq. Razor Ramon jumps in and Savio goes mental on him, dodging a kick and getting a lovely five-punch in the corner. Razor catches the cross-body and hits a fallaway slam to allow our boy Ka- I mean, Diesel into the ring. Diesel beats on Flash funk for a while but Diesel catches him in mid-air with a great clothesline. A moment of Aloha-Arning from Diesel but he escapes and tags in Faarooq. Funk is running rings around everyone. Faarooq catches him and hits a great spinebuster. Vader comes in, knocks Funk out and there is a schmoz in the corner as Savio beats on everyone.

Big Daddy Kane Dieself is on Yoko’s corner and Superfly Jimmy Snuka is in to a big pop from the crowd. Vader is in, throwing Snuka into the ropes and Superfly headbutts him before bodyslamming Vader. What a move! Snuka is in trouble in the corner and Razor takes over. Snuka slips between his legs and Savio Vega is in. Diesel pops in and Vader pulls the ropes so Savio falls outside. Faarooq takes the time to attack Savio and Cornetter slags Ahmed. Diesel hits the Jackknife Powerbomb on Savio and gets the pin.

Savio Vega has been eliminated by Fake Diesel in 08:39.

Snuka beats on Diesel and in comes Razor. Another headbutt to Razor and a knee to the face. Snuka goes to the top rope and hits the splash to pin Razor.

Razor Ramon has been eliminated by Superfly Jimmy Snuka in 09:28.

Diesel comes in and cracks Snuka with the steel chair. The whole thing descends into anarchy and chairs are thrown everywhere. Savio Vega comes out and both teams are disqualified despite only one member of each team using weapons in 9:48.

2016 comments:

To say this is the worst match of the card should not be a complaint as this card has been terrific so far but this would be a bad match even if it had gone out on Sunday Night Heat. Awful, disgraceful, terrible attempt at wrestling.

1996 comments:

That Diesel fellow. I like him. I wish he were more… on fire.

Grade: F

Promo for the upcoming Shawn vs. Sid match. We see Shawn sliding down to the ring on a rope as the announcer tells us that all men have wanted to be the champeen. We see Sycho Sid cutting his mental promos. We see Shawn versus Vader, Bulldog and Mankind. Misunderstandings breeds contempt and Sid attempts to justify his insanity. Shawn is being cocky. Story of his life.

Out comes Sid with his Stone Cold jacket on. Sid’s mad music hits and out he comes, offering fist bumps to all and sundry. Is he a heel? Is he a face? The crowd threaten to spill into the aisle once again as Sid asks the crowd if they happen to know who the man is? It’s you, Sid. You’re the man. JR tells us that SID stands, not for Sidney, but for Suddenly I’m Dominant.

Picture in picture tells us that Shawn Michaels and Jose Lothario are on their way to the ring. Shawn is a bit distracted but once his music hits… well, it’s Shawn. He’s got the moves. The fans are actually grabbing onto him and holding him back from the ring. Security are called. Bowl Cut Kid looks on, his kingdom falling into disarray. Shawn slips into the ring and hits the pyro, pulling off his chaps. Oh, what a time to be alive! Sid nods away. The bell rings.

WWF Championship Match: Sycho Sid def. Shawn Michaels by pin in 20:02.

Both men go to the corner and Shawn chucks something in his mouth. The pair lock up and Shawn falls down to Sid’s punches with Michaels springing back up with each shot. Referee Earl Hebner says something to Sid and Shawn takes over, sliding between Sid’s legs, punching Sid to the ground and getting him in a bit of a rest hold. Shawn slaps Sid. Sid boots Shawn. Head scissors and a kip-up. Both men are great here tonight. Sid lifts Shawn into a gorilla press and goes for the back body drop but Sid attempts to give him the powerbomb. Shawn escapes and stands outside for some time.

Sid is getting angry and runs after Shawn, who runs about the ring and finally rolls in to take over. He gets a bunch of boos as well! My God. Is he going heel? The crowd dislike him. A “Sycho Sid!” chant rises. Shawn continues to work on the leg of Sid and goes into the figure four leglock. Sid tries to hang on but finds it difficult. Wrestling Caesar in the front row looks on unimpressed. JR takes this time to talk about how awesome Shawn is. Sid rolls over to “reverse” the figure four and Shawn gets the ropes to break the hold. The crowd boo heavily. Shawn drags Sid mid-ring but Sid fights back. On his feet, our man Sycho gives Michaels a kick to the ribs and watches him for a while.

Sid is in control, reverses into the cameraman and pushes the camera away angrily. Sid boots on Michaels and goes for the big boot, misses and Michaels continues to beat on Sid with a dropkick to the knee followed by a great boo from the fans. Michaels attempts the figure four and gets kicked twice. Michaels almost rolls outside, gets back in and Sid knocks him right back out. Sid takes Michaels to the entrance and gorilla presses him onto the railing. Crazy times. The crowd cheer Sid on and JR reminds us that Bret is set to take on the winner of this match. Sid kicks Shawn in the face and rolls him in. Sid goes for the pin but Shawn kicks out.

Great back body drop from Sid. Michaels is getting his fuck kicked in in the corner. JR tells us that Sid doesn’t need to be technically sound because he’s huge. An Irish whip in the corner and Michaels is turned inside out. He stunners Sid and goes for a crossbody but Sid catches him and hits the ribbreaker for a two-count. Sid hits a brutal Irish whip to Michaels and another. The clank of the turnbuckle is loud. Michaels calls for another Irish whip but Sid just punches him a bunch of times. Michaels starts to punch back but the crowd are not happy. Lovely bodyslam by Michaels and he goes to Bret’s rope for a lovely axe-handle nothing that he does a perfect bump for.

Million Dollar Dream city in the centre of the ring and there is two close two-counts before Shawn fights back. What a great bunch of boos from the crowd. Shawn goes for Sweet Chin Music but it is caught, countered and chokeslammed. Sid calls for the powerbomb and stands centre stage. Sid also is facing away from the damn hard cam. Shawn hits a roll-up and escapes the powerbomb but Sid is angry and hits a lovely powerslam to Shawn who escapes and kips up only to be mowed down by Sid. Another close two-count but the match continues.

Sid is in the corner, stealing the camera and Earl watches him, waiting for the cue. Jose is on the apron and Sid hits him with the camera. Shawn hits the Sweet Chin Music and chooses between the pin and Jose. He chooses Jose, pops out and asks for help. Sid is there, rolling Shawn into the ring and Michaels reverses a cross-body to hit Hebner. Shawn is still looking after Jose and takes a camera to the back of the head. Sid is no longer face! Or at least that’s what’s supposed to be happening!

Back in the ring, Sid goes for the powerbomb, hits it sloppily and Earl hits the one-two-three for Sid to win the WWF Championship in 20:02

2016 comments:

The weakest of Sid and Michael’s matches so far, and beset with timing issues, but still good.

1996 comments:

I don’t know who to love or hate. The crowd were not very clear about how they wanted me to feel.

Grade: B

Shawn runs to the outside to look after Jose, taking the heat away from Sid, who is celebrating mid-ring. Some smart cunt out in the audience has an NOW sign. Wrong company, bro, but we get that you’re a fan.

Sid has his time to celebrate but the crowd is still treating him like a face. Vladimir is there to hug Sid, which is nice for both of them. Sid asks the crowd if they happen to know who the man is and he fist bumps them all.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I’m going to go for Bret Hart. What a guy,

Woman of the Matches: Let me guess… Sunny, Marlena and Sable, right? Christ. None, once again.

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

Best Spot: Flash Funk’s moonsault to the outside.

Hatches: A few, mostly in the dark match: Bob Holly, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Crush, Fake Diesel, Doug Furnas, Flash Funk AKA 2 Cold Scorpio, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Phil Lafon, Fake Razor Ramon, The Sultan AKA Rikishi, Road Dogg Jesse James, Salvatore Sincere, The Iron Shiek, Rocky Maivia AKA The Rock, Uncle Zebekiah AKA Zeb Coulter.

Matches: Sycho Sid begins his first reign as WWF Champion.

Dispatches: None.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Mark Henry, Undertaker, Bret Hart.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Undertaker for just being fucking awesome.

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Sunny, N/A, N/A.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… No one because I have already chosen Sunny.

Closing Statements: Survivor Series 1996 was one of the strongest cards I have seen so far… until the last two matches let it down. I have the distinct feeling that that may have been because of the guys backstage rather than the talent of the men in the ring. I love Survivor Series every year and it’s nice to see that it was still amazing twenty years ago.

On the Card will return on December 15 2016 with In Your House 12: It’s Time.

Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Owen Hart and an English person beat two cattle rustlers.

Mr. Perfect’s fucking amazing song hits and down he comes with JR, walks around to the announce desk and puts on JR’s mic.

Goldust’s music hits and every bounty hunter in a six mile radius jumps up. Goldust comes! Gold dust falls from the ceiling! Letterbox and low FPS, Marlena and cigars. Mr. Perfect’s mic is, predictably, prefect.

Cut to the backstage and Intercontinental Champion Wildman Marc Mero is there with Mrs. Lesnar, Sable. Jerry shouts at him and the crowd pops for Sable. It’s embarrassing that a man of such talent (Mero) is in the shadow of a woman with only two talents (Sable), both of them artificial. A weird pyro goes off behind Mero. Jerry checks the success of Mero due to Sable. Shame.

WWF Intercontinental Championship match: Wildman Marc Mero (c) (w/ Sable) def. Goldust (w/ Marlena) via pinfall in 11:38.

The bell rings and Mero and Goldust square off. Mr. Perfect threatens both Austin and Hunter. Goldust tries to touch Mero and Mero fights back, upset at the potential homosexuality in Goldust. Wildman is all over Goldust, lots of lovely chain wrestling. Jerry and Vince compare Marlena and Sable like the perverts that they are. Mero and Goldust beat on each other in the corner. Vince explains that Faarooq was supposed to fight Mero but got injured and that Mero was “training” for a fight with him before the old switcheroo. Don’t know how you train for one wrestler in such a short period of time that means that you can’t just use the same tactics with another, similar wrestler. It’s not like he thought he’s be fighting Undertaker and got Matt Hardy instead, right?

Goldust spits on Mero and the Wildman replies to the critic’s “histrionics”, as Vince puts them, with a spinebuster and ground n’ pound. And the crowd goes wild. Dodgy head scissors and Goldust gets a huge slam followed by a senton suicide dive. Vince tells us to forget about it. Mero hits the slingshot leg drop on Goldust. Mero goes to the top rope and Goldust hits a super-backdrop-powerbomb combo. Outside, Mero’s head bounces on the steel steps. Jerry claims that Perfect cares less about Mero than Sable. Rest hold city in the ring.

Mero gets to his feet, fights back and Goldust takes over again. Sable starts her god-damned bad timekeeping, battering the mat with an awful 4/4 beat. Jerry makes fun of Sable’s lips and Mero gets hit with a clothesline. Vince asks us to forget about it. Goldust gets the mic and tells the crowd to shut the hell up and by God, they explode. He then threatens to sexually assault the crowd – “I’m going to stick my tongue down each end every one of your throats.” Jerry says that the Fed has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mid-90’s latent homophobia, everyone!

Mero hits a lovely moonsault but only gets a two. Goldust attempts the Final Curtain but Mero escapes it and is launches outside the ring. The two fans that HHH and Austin were roaring at earlier lean down and start touching Mero. Mr. Perfect goes off mic to help Mero and Trips turns up to confront him. Goldust goes to smack Perfect, who retaliates. Perfect follows Trips down the aisle and Wildman hits a Samoan Drop followed by a Shooting Star Press for the win in 11:38.

2016 comments:

Just like the first match, a potentially good match that is poisoned by Mr. Perfect taking interest away from the competitors. It’s not his fault. He’s just too good for everyone else.

1996 comments:

Not enough somersaults.

Grade: A-

Cut to a promo for the next match – Sycho Sid vs. Vader. It is the apparent Battle of the Powerbombs and we see the pair of them using powerbombs on different lads. Sid is taller and whisperier but Vader is heavier and has Corny on his side. Shawn is asked and the champ replies that both knocked him out, so they’re equally effective.

Cut to the ring and Sid’s mental Psycho-like song hits. Out he comes, Brock Samson himself, a man who is more charisma than cranium. The Sycho gets a monster pop. I know a lot of people slag Sid and fair play to them, because he isn’t the best, but I love him. I just think he’s tip top.

Vader asks what time it is. It is, of course, Vader time. Down he comes, the lovely man called Vader. I love Vader. I used to hate him, but now I love him. Jim Cornette is there, too, getting his payday any way he can.

Shawn’s music hits and… there is a tiny pop. I expected more. I think the crowd don’t really believe that he’s there, but he is, “the most charismatic WWF champion of all time” according to Vince. Shawn goes to Sid, shakes his hands, goes to Corny, steals his tissue, wipes his nose and throws it down. As Corny goes to pick it up, Shawn boots him up the arse and scarpers out of the ring. The match begins in earnest.

WWF Championship #1 Contender match: Sycho Sid def. Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) via pinfall in 8 minutes exactly.

The winner of this match gets to face off against Shawn at Survivor Series, so there is a lot riding on this for both men. They start punching in the middle and Sid takes over quickly with a huge leg drop that damn near takes off Vader’s head. Shawn is on commentary, high as a kite and having a great time. Vader batters Sid around the head for a while and takes him down with a shot to the neck. Irish Referee Tim White isn’t happy about that. Vader splashes Sid and Vince tells us to forget about it.

Sid is taking his time on the outside and as Vader and Irish Referee Tim White have a chat, Jim Cornette sneaks over and slaps Sid with a tennis racket. Jerry mentions Jake the Snake for some reason. Sid is on the apron and hits vader with a lovely sunset flip. Vader just sits on him. Vader hits Sid with a big clothesline and Sid replies with a backdrop. Norny is getting a brilliant beat going there, far better than Sable, anyways. Vader reverses an Irish whip, hits the big boot twice and Vince tells us we should forget about that. Sid attempts a flying lariat, which we knew would be a bad idea because he never does high-flying moves, and is caught in mid-air by Vader and body-slammed for his efforts. A big splash and Vader gets a close two-count.

Vader gets ready to drag him over for a confusingly named Vader Bomb (which is not a powerbomb) and Vince, once again, tells us not to remember it. Vader, however, lifts Side up after the pin. As Vader goes for another Vader Bomb, Sid lifts his knees, gives him a body slam and goes to powerbomb Vader, but Corny is sneaking in. Sid quickly runs to the ropes and tugs them upwards as Corny is entering, catching him just on his bollocks. Sid returns to Vader but as Irish Referee Tim White is attending to Corny’s bruised balls, Vader hits the low blow. Vader is in control! What is going to happen. He gets Sid into a powerbomb position but is unable to lift him and so punches Sid, Irish whips him and Sid retaliates with a very quick chokeslam and pin in eight of your Earth minutes.

2016 comments:

Obviously both men were being very polite with this. Sid, although a great showman, is not a fantastic wrestler and his moves smacked of SuperCena-style simplicity. The fact we didn’t see a powerbomb was upsetting as well. Oh well, friend vs. friend for Survivor Series and an eventual heel-turn on the cards, so that’s nice.

1996 comments:

Wait… a Vader Bomb isn’t a powerbomb? Then what’s a powerbomb called? I get that the slingshot splash is a bomb, but couldn’t they call it something else? A Vader Drop? A Vader Splash? A Vader Splat?

Grade: C

Michaels enters the ring behind Sid and the pair have a wee laugh with one another. Sid starts to point at his head and shout. They shake hands and the Pyro of Friendship hits above them.

Cut to promo for Survivor Series in New York on November 17th. Usual shite about New York: all the shots are sped up so the cars and people are just trails of light, blah de blah. The shot of Times Square has Sid on the big screen, though. We see Canuck Bret Hart lace his boots and pop on his protective eyewear, ready for the year’s anniversary that is the Montreal Screwjob. Another shot of Times Square with Shawn in the screen this time. We see a bunch of wrestlers hit each other when the announcer says, “we know these guys will survive the Big Apple, but will they survive the EEF Survivor Series weekend?” this statement is followed by a long shot of the Twin Towers. Ouch.

Back in arena with Dok Hendrix speaking to Sid and JR comes on to shout at Sid. JR asks simple questions to make Sid look like he’s about to take a heel turn. Sid, even with this railroad in front of him, forgets his lines and walks away, ashamed. Dok looks at the camera and says, “No Microphone problem then!” In the distance, a single, solitary trumpet plays a wah-wah-waaaaah as he shrugs into the camera.

Back at the announcer’s desk and Vince and Jerry stumble through the lines. Jerry actually praises JR, clearly remembering that JR is attempting to be a heel. We have lights on the buried alive mound.

On the Card will return on November 10 with the fourth and final part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #3. SummerSlam (August 18, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Owen Hart. That is all.

Cut to the boiler room where Todd Pettengill is walking through, calling Mankind’s home “creepy” and explaining that the matchup has no rules other than that the first person who gains possession of the urn will be victorious. No chat as to where the urn is or why Mankind wants it. I know why Taker wants it – a fine urn is hard to come by and urns and coffins are the man’s bread and butter. Todd goes on to say that the boiler room is “dark… ominous… there are things in here… there are pipes…” He stumbles onto Mankind who calls him “Tom” and says that there is no place like home. He then licks the pipe because Mankind is fucking mental.

Music hits and who should come out but those damn New Rockers (Leif Cassidy AKA Al Snow and Marty Janetty). No team with “New” at the top of their name are ever good, other than the New Age Outlaws, but only because there are no Old Age Outlaws, except maybe for now. The Bodydonnas (written again as The Body Donnas) come to the ring. Boring. The Godwinns rock down (shot of Vlad the Superfan before the Godwinns appear) and Hillbilly Jim has a dawg with him. Both Godwinns have pigs. Great bunch of lads. The pigs are having a nice wee squeal to themselves. Those Damn Gunns come down with Sunny. Sunny is looking wonderful, as per usual. JR says she has confidence, and why wouldn’t she? This was a time when Sunny was queen of the castle and riding all within. Sunny refuses to give the belts to the ref. Someone in the crowd wants to marry her and good old Bodacious Bart Gunn lifts her to the ground.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: The Smoking Gunns (c) w/ Sunny def. The Bodydonnas, The New Rockers and The Godwinns w/ Hillbilly Jim via pinfall in 12:18

This match has eight people in it (ten if you count Jim and Sunny; thirteen if you count the animals) and it is still shorter than the previous match. It is also the only tag team match on the card and is for the WWF Tag Team Championship aaaaand it’s an elimination match. That’s a lot of things.

Billy Gunn and Henry Godwinn start off. The Godwinns shout, “hooo-eee!” into the air and double G start off with a bit of back and forth, great Irish whip into a hip toss. Henry goes some mental move and out he rolls. SkipZip tags in and Henry tags out. As an elimination match, each time a tag team member is eliminated, the whole team is eliminated. It makes much more sense to stay out of the ring as much as possible. The Gunns are talking as the pair in the match run the ropes. Both stop and tag in both Gunns! The Gunns are now the legal men… against each other! In any other tag match, this means one could pin the other and the Gunns would win, but as this is an elimination match, they’re fucked!

The Gunns can’t believe their eyes. Sunny shows her bum to the camera. The Godwinns jump off the apron and won’t allow themselves to be tagged. SkipZip allows himself to be tagged in and Billy is tossed around like a mad one. Leif Cassidy cracks SkipZip on the back of the head and Billy gets the pinfall to eliminate the Bodydonnas. Sunny shouts at Mr. Perfect, who just looks on as if to say, “Will you fucking not?” Perfect mentions that it’s a good strategy to allow the other teams to beat themselves up. Marty Janetty (Tag Team Champ with Shawn Michaels many moons ago) beats the head off Henry Godwinn and tags in Bad Ass Billy Gunn, who has an Owen Hart wrist. Henry hits Billy with a sidewalk slam and goes for the pin, but it’s interrupted as if everyone wants the Gunns to stay in to get a beating from the other teams. Henry hits an inverted DDT (Slop Drop) on Marty Janetty and eliminates the New Rockers with a pinfall.

It’s Gunn vs. Godwinn. Oil baron vs. cattle rustler. Sunny making perfect time on the ring apron like a metronome. Vince says, “It doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win. It could be disqualification, countout, as long as you win,” which is bollocks because those are two ways a title can’t change hands. Elimination matches are silly. Time wasting city as Henry is beat on by those damn Gunns. Bodacious Bart beats Henry in the corner for a bit. Henry fights back with an atomic drop. The pace really slows down to accommodate these teams. Billy goes for a cross-body and Henry catches him mid-air. Phineas is dying for the hot tag. The man is covered in pig pee.

Hot tag and the teams kick the tripe out of each other. Old Phineas hits the inverted DDT (known as the Slop Drop) on Billy and goes for the pin but Sunny is distracting the ref. Bart capitalises by hitting the double axe handle nothing on Phineas, rolls Billy over for the pinfall in 12:18.

2016 comments:

This was obviously a filler match. It had one or two nice spots, but no storylines were developed and no new teams went over. We just hate them all a little more.

1996 comments:

All of these damn team members are interchangeable – other than that guy who looks like Nick Carter.

Grade: C

Hillbilly Jim is in the ring, checking on the Godwinn boys. JR tells us that the Gunns had no advantage walking into this match, but survived “by hook or crook.” Sunny gets the mic and you know shit is going down when that happens. She has little intonation; the woman just screams as loud as she can. She tells people to look at the woman next to them and calls them fat. The camera aims at a woman in the crowd. Pretty pointed. Sunny gives the place a present and a huge, must be damn near 30-foot-high picture of Sunny unrolls and hangs just off the ring. JR calls her, “a very conceited young lady,” and is disappointed by the whole thing. He also tells us that she, “missed a much-needed trip to the woodshed,” which sounds like just the type of thing the Godwinns are up to this weather.

Vince thanks the crowd and there is a promo package showing Cleveland. The narrator asks what is the “coolest way to get to Summerslam” and the Godwinns answer by saying it is… Rapid Transit, of course! Cleveland’s own transit system! The Gunns are using a horse that Sunny quips is, “almost as good looking as me!” Probably not as hung as you, Sunny, the balls on you. The horse and the transit system have a race. I swear to you, this is a promo for a fucking train. The two teams cut a promo about air conditioning. This is… what is this?

Cut to Jerry “the King” Lawler has a back and forth with some baseball players. The most exciting sport in the world vs. the most boring. Savio Vega, Sunny, Godwinns and future hand-father, Mark Henry is there to… help paint a wall. I swear to you, this is a promo about trains, baseball and paint. Bob Holly appears and gives a kid the stink-eye. Watch out, boy, Hardcore Holly ain’t nothing to fuck with. Taker and Bearer give away an entire funeral, apparently.

Back to the arena, thank Christ, and I never thought I was as happy to see The British Bulldog come to the ring like a burst sausage. Cut to Dok Hendrix with old Brock Samson himself. The Bulldog’s music is still playing loud in the background as Sycho Sid tries to cut his mental promo about being the ruler and master of the world. Sid looks two seconds away from either a heart attack or stroke. His music hits mid-promo and Sid has to shoot off to get in the match with Bulldog. Say what you want about Stabby Sid, he looks the part. Cocaine is one hell of a drug. Bulldog flexes in the ring while Sid is just talking nonsense to the crowd, blinking continuously, pointing at the lights and spouting shite. Some idiot wants Sid for Pres, which is mental because his foreign policy is bollocks and he has no political experience. Despite this, Sid is over as fuck.

Sycho Sid def. The British Bulldog via pinfall in 6:24.

Vince reminds us that you use what you have as an asset. Sid is getting the crowd all hyped up and the pair lock horns. Irish whip shows that the Bulldog, despite his sausage appearance, is not strong enough to knock over Sid and he is so upset by this that he goes to leave the damn arena. Sid gets the crowd whipped up into a “PSYCHO SID!” chant and some fat fuck wearing a “Bishoff Sucks” t-shirt sits only feet away from Goldust Kid, who is still the best audience member so far. Sid gets Bulldog into a headlock and Bulldog actually lift Sid up, who retaliates with a shite judo throw. Pin attempt into kip-up by Sid.

Bulldog does a fucking great delayed suplex on Sid. Immigration is very happy about that. Immigrants, it seems, are like Pokémon and the more Bulldog beats on Sid, the easier he will be to catch. More chinlocks followed by Sid battering the ring, which should be a count out, but doesn’t count… out. Sid is knocked to the back and we show Vader and Cornette watching the match. This shit is awful. What’s the point? I’m not watching either of them. I was, however, watching Bulldog’s trunks get eaten by his bum. Another delayed suplex and another chinlock. Sid fights back, slaps the shit out of Bulldog and some guy in the audience bows to him. All he did was slap a motherfucker.

Great powerslam from Bulldog and Cornette comes out to berate Immigration. Bulldog goes for another powerslam but Sid retaliates with a chokeslam followed by the most over powerbomb so far and Sid pins Bulldog for the win in 6:24.

2016 comments:

Oh man. Sid is so over. I mean, I know he’s a good wrestler as well, so there’s no reason why I should be annoyed about him, but can you not be more like Shawn and be over and still a fantastic wrestler? Give the crowd a show. This was a squash. A great squash, but still a squash.

1996 comments:

Take that, Bulldog, you (otherwise fantastic wrestler with whom I have a personal grudge due to misplaced aggression at your nationality (which I suppose technically makes me a racist)) cunt.

Grade: B

Both Immigration and Cornette shout on the outside and try to hug Bulldog better. Sid is fantastic, even though he’s not looking at the hard cam. Replay of the powerbomb (which actually looks a bit dangerous as Bulldog drops about a foot onto his goddamned neck).

On the Card will return on September 1st with the third part of SummerSlam 1996.

Attitude Era #2. In Your House 9: International Incident (July 21, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Goldust was there, so it was okay.

But back to the ring, Vince is talking about the main event: six-man tag between Camp Cornette and the People’s Posse. JR reminds us how this filler match came about with a shot of King of the Ring ’96 and the match ending between Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. It’s the same promo as earlier, chronicling even Warrior’s suspension. Brock Samson appears and yadda yadda yadda. This is just time wasting while they replace the ring mat.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Sid Vicious is one of the wrestlers responsible for the hatred against Hulk Hogan in the early nineties. Hogan had been running a Super-Cena style All-American character for years, always as a face. Being a huge box-office draw despite his limited moveset, it was only a matter of time before older fans rebelled. Similar to the “let’s go Cena/Cena sucks!” chants that we hear during RAW and other PPVs these days, the crowd booed Hogan and cheered Sid during the 1992 Royal Rumble. Despite the great crowd reaction, WWF retroactively made Sid a heel. It was the dislike of the Hogan gimmick and love of Sid’s mental charisma that did this.

Another shot of Sid appearing in his car, totally mental and smashing up the place. Dok Hendrix is chatting to the People’s Posse. Shawn is there, dressed like a damn idiot, like some sort of Village People reject. Ahmed Johnson is there with his shirt that says his name. Sid is in the background, towering over the other men. Shawn calls the People’s Posse a gang. Bit racist. Ahmed Johnson gibbers some indecipherable nonsense and then Sid legit says, “What he’s trying to say is-” and just goes on a rant of his own. Shawn gives an equally nonsense promo and when he mentions Sweet Chin Music, Sid looks around as if expecting a boot to be coming from nowhere. Shawn’s Sexy Boy music hits and the crowd go bananas.

All the kids run to the side as Shawn heads out. He walks straight down the centre and everyone is stretching their hands out to touch him. You know something is going to happen and it does. About twenty feet down the aisle, the right-hand side of the barrier just crumples and fans spill onto the ground. Shawn looks terrified and helps some people up before security usher him forward. Kids go to hug the champ and her spins into the ring for his pyro. Still cannot get over how amazingly over this cunt is. And he’s fucked on pills. You’re cheering a man who can’t tell you his own name!

Ahmed’s music hits and the Intercontinental champ comes down. Why they fire down the WWF Champion first is beyond me. Let the crowd wait. JR says, “This is the most emotions we’ve seen from Ahmed Johnson,” which is a nice way to say he’s wooden. Sid comes out to his Psycho music. Begin at least six and a half feet, the man is intimidating and had clearly had a wee bit of the nose candy before coming out. He Brock Lesnar jumps onto the apron and the three People’s Posse hug each other.

Vader’s music hits and the whole of Camp Cornette come out – Bulldog, Owen and Vader. It’s quite nice to have only two men with superhero names in the ring, though even Bulldog is known as Davey Boy Smith. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart is probably the smallest man in the ring and he’s a God damn Hart!

Camp Cornette (Vader, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog) w/ Jim Cornette def. The People’s Posse (Shawn Michaels, Sycho Sid, Ahmed Johnson) w/ José Lothario via pinfall in 24:32.

Jerry says that Camp Cornette is, “A well-oiled machine, with one goal in mind,” but refuses to say what the goal is. Could be anything, really. Could be beating People’s Posse, could be world peace, could be a second Holocaust. The men are heels, they’re capable of anything. Big Van Vader starts and points at Shawn, who is by the sidelines. Ahmed, the legal man, obliges and tags in the Heartbreak Kid, who bounces in to lock up with the Mastodon.

Editorial Spot: I have mentioned before that I do not like tag team matches and I will elaborate here: when a fan, a wrasslin’ mark if you will, looks at this card and sees six-man tag with the WWF champ, the Intercontinental champ, plus fan-favourites, they go ballistic. “Look at all these wrasslers!” they may claim before going and booking the match in their mind. This is good. This is what you want. As a wrasslin’ promoter, you want fans to look at your card and love it so much they can’t keep still. However, tag matches of any size do not equal that. Tag matches are very complex matches that involve a great deal of psychology, pantomime and storytelling.

Take one of the best tag teams in the world at the minute: American Alpha in NXT. Their form of psychology is basic but effective. Chad Gable goes into the ring, gets beaten up and calls for the hot tag on Jason Jordan at the end for him to wipe up, throwing spears about, tacking guys and finally hitting the double team finisher. It is simple but effective. By contrast, the Usos do the exact same thing in the Fed, but they have done it since time immemorial. It is boring now. We do not care about Uso-crazy or whatever nonsense they’re cooking up because they do the same stuff. They’re the drizzling shits.

In a match like this, you have a very talented tag-team wrestler in Bulldog. You have a talented mat-based wrestler in Owen. You have the most popular superstar in the Fed at the time in Shawn. The others are not good enough to keep up with that. Don’t get me wrong, Leon White AKA Vader is a lovely man, very well spoken and has a keen understanding of wrestling psychology but he is not used to tag matches. Sycho Sid and Ahmed are just tanks, they’re good for hitting things but there is nowhere near the same amount of skill.

I’m not trying to fantasy book this match, but if we were wanting to get some Vader/Sid match over, we’d need to book it right. Imagine if Owen started vs Sid. Sid knocks him flat within seconds and Owen scrambles back to his corner. Bulldog comes in and the pair size each other up. Bulldog is a bit faster and catches Sid in some suplex. He can’t move Sid. He does it a few more times and still Sid doesn’t move, stays standing. Let’s then say that Sid knocks Bulldog to the ground and Bulldog looks shocked, wide-eyed and amazed. He tags in Vader. Crowd goes mental as the two big men square up to each other. They trade blows, move for move, no man taking over for more than a few seconds. They’re running the ropes, big boots, the lot. A scramble to the outside. Both men attempt finishers and their opponents somehow escape. There is a move done and both men are out. The ref starts a ten count, the crowd are on their feet and just as he reaches nine, both men hot tag in their best teammates – Shawn and Bulldog, who just had a killer match last PPV.

Tag team matches are essentially tiny little wrestling matches linked together. They need to have their own distinct storyline and that storyline can be split, paused and continued later. That is the essence of a good tag match. Let’s see if we see it here in the ring tonight.

Vader is shouting, opening his arms for a hug, playing with Michaels. Michaels is legit scared because Leon is snug as a bug. In fact, Michaels didn’t like to wrassle Vader for that reason and it’s a damn shame. Vader picks Michaels up and the pair run the ropes for a while. Vader goes for the powerbomb (which is not, for some reason, the Vader Bomb, which is a slingshot splash from the corner) and Michaels reverses it into a Hurricanrana. Running the ropes and both men to the outside. Michaels does a baseball slide followed by a suicide dive off the top rope. Another jump from the apron but Vader moves. The wily bastard. Replay shows Michaels hit Vader a little high on the body, cracking his upper chest. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vader’s lower back is in pain now.

Vader goes for the backdrop. Michaels reverses and tags in Sid, who goes mental and cleans house. In comes Owen and Bulldog, both knocked down. People’s Posse celebrate in ring. All you’ve done is push people over. Owen comes in and Sid tags Ahmed who hits Owen with a series of great suplexes. Owen rolls out of the way of an elbow drop and tags in Bulldog. Bulldog goes to town on Ahmed who retaliates with a great spinebuster followed by the Pearl River Plunge for a two count.

Vader is in and beating on Ahmed while Shawn ignores the action and waves to the crowd. Ahmed and Vader hang on the corners for a while, both probably gassed. Vader goes to cross-body Ahmed and the big man catches him mid-air. Owen tags in and shows off that good old Hart charm and skill. The man should be fighting someone of his technical calibre, like his mental brother. Ahmed gorilla presses Owen and Sid is in again. With Owen probably being the smallest person in the match, it seems unfair that these two behemoths are going over on him. He agrees and tags in Bulldog.

Bulldog vs Sid is interesting because not only is Bulldog capable of making any match amazing, but he is legit strong as fuck, shown by how he effortlessly holds Sid up for a huge suplex, easily a few seconds. Vader sneaks in for the elbow drop and Bulldog goes for a near-fall. Vader enters legally and we have the two biggest men in the match against each other. Doesn’t last long though before Bulldog is back in. Brock Samson takes a few punches, but it only makes him angrier! He tags in Michaels and the crowd go ballistic. Michaels hits a double axe handle nothing and Bulldog sells it like getting hit by a truck. Pin and near fall.

Michaels works Bulldog in the corner and takes a hit from the ring post. Bulldog lifts him up and the champ Irish whips him into Vader who is standing on the apron. Michaels goes for the pin and notices Owen about to dive in to break it up. He moves out of the way and Hart elbow drops his own brother-in-law! The fool! Owen gets thrown out and when he’s on the apron, Bulldog tags him back in. Owen, still dazed from the throw, is pulled into the ring by Michaels. We have a bunch of roll-ups. So many that the ref fails to notice a legit pin and Owen is holding Shawn for longer than necessary. More pins and some great combos. The two men go for the bridge. Close falls and Cornette goes ballistic.

Bulldog is in and hammering Shawn left and right. Great powerslam followed by a leg drop. Running of the ropes and Vader is tagged in as Shawn goes out. Cornette is arguing with the ref, giving Vader enough time to lift Michaels up by the hair and wail on him in the corner. Irish whip to the corner and Shawn wraps himself around the ring post. Vader picks on Sid and the comically tiny referee tries to restrain him. Vader gets another two-count over Michaels. Rest hold city as Vince says, “Michaels cannot continue at this pace.” At this point, there is no pace, just hugs. Something is going on in the crowd and the camera refuses to look. Is it a run-in? Is Mankind getting revenge on Vader for his missing ear? Is Goldust coming to kiss Ahmed again? Has Jake the Snake had enough of Jerry’s jibes?

No, it’s a member of the crowd on the hard cam who tries to climb over the ring ropes. Bulldog and Ahmed run to beat him good-looking and he retreats. Bulldog actually walks the whole way over, probably to give the guy a message with his fists and feet. Knowing Bulldog, he’ll lift him up and hold him there for an impressive amount of time. Vader and Michaels are still hugging. JR sells the hug as strain on Michaels’ neck. The ref (who I keep thinking is Earl Hebner) is slapping the two men heartily in some devil Morse code. He tells off José Lothario. It’s the ref’s match now, circling the couple in the ring. Michaels fights back and is downed by Vader who goes for the belly flop, only to be knocked on his arse by Ahmed. Both men go for the hot tag but Vader gets to Bulldog first. By this point, Michaels has been in the match for some time.

Bulldog goes for what  looks to be a botched crucifix powerbomb. Michaels escapes, goes for the wraparound and Bulldog reverse it into a sidewalk slam. Owen pops in and the tempo rises before both men are down. Jim Cornette batters on the ring, once again keeping better time than that damned Sable.

Bulldog hits Michaels with a beautiful powerslam and Sid breaks up the pin by running the ropes and hitting Bulldog with a leg drop. Ahmed keeps perfect time on the ring apron by battering with his feet. Bulldog tags in Vader, who hangs in his corner as Michaels builds up for the hot tag and slaps in Ahmed. Ahmed wails on Vader but – the ref stops him!  He didn’t see the tag! In the corner, Camp Cornette beats on Shawn and… Bulldog makes the pin? But the ref didn’t see Bulldog tag in – because he didn’t! Inconsistent refereeing! Near for and Owen goes to dropkick Shawn but Micheals rolls out of the way and Owen kicks Bulldog. Hot tag and Michaels finally tags in Sid.

Sid chokeslams Vader. Sid chokeslams Owen. Sid chokeslams Bulldog. Ahmed comes in and they body double clothesline Vader. Sid launches Michaels off the turnbuckle onto Vader but the pin is broken up by Bulldog. Shawn looks at Sid. It is a longing look, filled with regret. Cornette throws the racket into the ring for Vader but Shawn takes it from him and beats him over the head with it. Heel move from the faces. Shawn goes for Sweet Chin Music but Cornette grabs his foot. Vader knocks him down and get the Vader Bomb and the pin in 24:32.

2016 comments:

It goes without saying that this is the best match of the night. It had crescendo booking, yes (when there’s nothing special for the whole match and then everyone hits their finishers at once) and Shawn was dead centre as always despite not being the biggest wrestler, strongest wrester or even most talented wrestler in the ring! That’s right, I said it. Some lovely hot tags in there and I felt excited by parts of it. Sid was the one who stunk it up, funnily enough, mostly out of his odd timing. The ending was fudged a bit as, once again, face Michaels used weapons against the heels. I’m not saying wrestling should be cut and dry, black and white, but come on, a little consistency regards the rules would be nice.

1996 comments:

Fucking Bulldog won, the heap of shite. Him and his fucking fat ear-destroying, canuck team.

Grade: A

As the referee rings for the bell, Camp Cornette cheer in the middle of the ring and Sid comes in to have a quick word with them all, powerbombing Bulldog and Owen. Sid’s powerbomb does not have a name, although it should be called, like, the Sidbomb or something. The Mood Drop? Something about the fact that the man is mental. Sid goes to powerbomb Vader but he escapes. Michaels suicide dives on to old ear-stealing Leon and the People’s Posse stand together mid-ring. Replays of the end of the match showing José Lothario giving Jim Cornette a wee bop in the face. Great catch by Vader at the end of the match. Michael’s music hits and he smacks of cunt Michaels right about now. The ending felt how Hogan would go over at the end of his matches.

Coliseum Exclusive Video of Jim Cornette bigging up the winners for a second before we get a quick recap of the night’s big matches, big bumps and most exciting angles, each one setting up for a much bigger match at SummerSlam 1996.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I don’t care what anyone else says, the only possible man in any of the matches has to be Goldust. The dedication to which he gives every promo, every line, every single second of his existence is so impressive. Comedy spots, whilst silly, do have a point. This is entertainment at the end of the day and good matches do not have to be The Godfather. Sometimes they can be Old School.

Woman of the Matches: We have the same set as last time: Marlena, Sable, Sunny, Diana Hart. Unlike last time, Sunny was crap. Sable is always crap. Marlena did not do a damn thing other than creep around with Goldust and Diana just smiled. I’m going to go for Marlena because I feel like I have to pick one, but this is during a time when women were not widely respected in wrasslin’.

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

Best Spot: The entire first minute of the Goldust vs. Undertaker match, up to and including Undertaker’s powerful uppercut.

Hatches: Bastard Justin Bradshaw, Savio Vega, Sycho Sid and Owen Hart on in-ring action and Jerry “The King” Lawler on commentary.

Matches: No titles were on the line.

Dispatches: Although this is not a proper dispatch, it is worth noting that Ahmed Johnson was diagnosed with legit kidney problems and required surgery just before the next PPV, SummerSlam and was out of action for a while.

Closing Statements: The entire PPV, although not great, and certainly not hard-hitting, high-flying, heart-stopping or piledriving, was fun and quirky in its own way. You can see how the Fed was trying to get people to tune in by offering them fun little spots as opposed to storylines. It is akin to graphics and gameplay in video games: most people can ignore bad graphics for great gameplay and vice versa. Great games have both, good games have one and bad games have neither. Wrestling matches require something to be on the line and the match to be full of fun spots. Bad matches have neither and are time fillers. Good matches have one and are either spotfests or storyline matches. Great matches have both and can be match of the year. This PPV had a mixture of good matches, but in actuality, nothing was on the line in any of them and I didn’t feel that I was seeing anything unmissable, being honest. The next PPV is SummerSlam, one of the Big Four along with Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. I genuinely cannot wait for that.

On the Card will return on August 18 with SummerSlam 1996.