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.


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


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.



Previously on On the Card: We had a shitshow of a promo from JBL and a great Rey vs. Sabu match. What’s up next?

Promo to remind us that the upcoming fight is because of a feud starting at WrestleMania 22. Edge and Mick Foley had a great match and they became co-holders of the Hardcore Title. Mick is a heel now and I hate heel Foley so fuck this entire angle. Tommy Dreamer and Terry Funk come out and the match is made by Paul Heyman.

Mick’s music hits and the man comes down to the ring to mixed reaction. He has a mic in his hand, so this could either be great or crap. He says, “Yeah, I did sell out… I sold out Madison Square Garden.” He then bigs up Stephanie McMahon and introduces Edge.

Edge has his awesome music on. I love all of Edge’s themes. Lita is reacting to the fans as if they are diseased (which they might well be). Edge calls out the ECW fans and swears. He also tell them that is girlfriend is hot, which Lita is, let’s face it. Lita gets the mic and says Dreamer is the innovator of silence. The fan call her a crack whore. She says that her pin last week, where she sat on Tommy’s face was more action than any of the fans got in a year. Tommy and Terry then come out along with Beulah McGillicutty, Tommy’s wife! None of them look impressed. Referee John Finnegan (presumably Irish) he keeping the peace.

Tommy looks like hell. Beulah gets the mic and says that the trash that comes out of Lita’s mouth is more disgusting than the stuff she puts in it. Lita does the old tongue-in-cheek-blowjob sign and the crowd cheers. Because Lita is a woman, you see, she is promiscuous and thus the worst of us. Beulah says that since Lita loves threesomes, the match should be three-on-three. Then there’s a cat fight.

Extreme Rules Intergender Match: Mick Foley, Edge and Lita def.  Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer and Beulah McGillicutty via pinfall in 18:45.

The bell rings to a rousing chant of, “Fuck ‘em up, Beulah, fuck ‘em up!” and the groups go to their respective corners. According to Joey, Beulah was in one of the bloodiest matches in ECW history with Bill Alphonso wherein Alphonso needed a transfusion as he lost a third of the blood in his body. Edge farts around with Tommy for a while and Mick is tagged in, calling instantly for Terry to tag in. The guys actually do it instead of teasing it. Foley gets slaps from Terry and Mick decides to leave but soon Dreamer and Edge join the fight. Chairs are thrown, water is spat. Faces are slapped. A bin appears and Edge is hit by a… baking tray?

No, it’s a stop sign.

Edge takes a bin to the head and our man Tommy dropkicks a bin right in Mick’s face. Those bins just fold under any pressure. They’re like aluminium cans. They can’t hurt, right? Foley and Funk fight up the ramp and boys are tossed into the crowd. A ladder appears from somewhere. Unlike other tag matches where the action is split, both Edge/Dreamer and Foley/Funk are fucking around at the same time. Great bump on the ladder from the boys in the ring. Edge earns his neck problems. Three Stooges spot from Funk in the ring but it doesn’t last long. Funk and Dreamer set up the ladder. Funk is climbing up and Edge tips it. Very anticlimactic.

Tommy goes for the Dreamer Driver on Edge and Lita kicks him in the balls. Presumably Irish Referee John Finnegan tells her off. The crowd call her a crack whore. Again.

Motherfucking barbed wire board is brought out from underneath the ring. It is promptly dropped on Dreamer and as it is removed, it pulls at his skin. Ruthless. Edge and Mick look on, gormless. They lift the board again and Funk pulls at Edge’s legs, sending the barbed wire board to the ground, catching the Rated R Superstar’s face on the way down. Tommy is up and the crowd bay for fire. Are you not entertained?

Mick gets a weak Irish whip into the barbed wire. We’re going to get a lot of blood soon. The crowd think it’s awesome, though. Funk gets the board dropped on his face. Lita gingerly lifts up the apron and gives Mick some loose barbed wire that he wraps around his fist and pummels Funk with. Considering the camera angles and people hiding left and right, I’d not be surprised if everyone has bladed. Shot of a girl in the crowd, looking horrified. Funk is brought out, wailing about his eye. The crowd call Mick a sick fuck. Lita and Beulah haven’t even been in the match yet. Mick brings out a barbed wire baseball bat. Lita’s turn in the match where she leg drops the baseball bat into Tommy’s balls.

Mick gets out Mr. Socko! The crowd hate it! The Mandible Claw is applied to Beulah and Tommy fights back, bruised balls and all. Mick Claws Dreamer and Edge spears him. Lita fixes her boobs and the trio attack Beulah. Edge gets her in a suplex position from behind and – who is that? Is… Is that… IT’S TERRY FUNK! HE’S BACK! COMING THROUGH THE CROWD.


The girls fight outside and Dreamer sets up the barbed wire board. Funk sets the barbed wire two by four aflame and cracks Mick with it, setting his flannel on fire and into the barbed wire board. Extinguishers put him out just as Edge throws Funk onto the board as well. Dreamer wraps the barbed wire around Edge and the submission is stopped by Lita. Beulah jumps in and Joey screeches, “CAT FIGHT!” Dreamer hits Lita with the Dreamer Driver and both he and his wife cheer to the crowd. Edge takes Dreamer down, followed by Beulah and pins her with the organ grinder (mit thrusting hips) for the three in 18:45.


What a clusterfuck. It was partially the best match of the card for the extreme spots and the worst because there was no plot. Let’s get a barbed wire board. Let’s bump on the board. Let’s get a barbed wire baseball bat. Let’s bump with it. Repeat as they went up the tiers until fire came out and the match just fell apart there. The hells were horrible and there hardly felt like the faces got any offense.


Match of the year.

Grade: B

Edge’s beautiful song starts and he stumbles about. The announcer calls it “The Team of Edge and Mick Foley”, completely negating Lita’s involvement. Foley and Funk are still attached to the board. Funk is quaking and screaming in pain, really hamming it up. Replays of the organ grinder finish. Repulsive. The announcer’s say, “She’s a woman!” One of Funk’s biceps is being dug into by the barbed wire, bruising. Tommy lifts Beulah and they get a big chant. Funk begs to be cut out and some men come with clippers. He is bleeding bad and this kid, God dammit, this, like seven year old ginger kid is front and centre, clapping away. Who brought their kid to this?

A pensive John Cena considers his match as RVD shadow boxes in a dungeon of some description. Tazz and Joey have a wee chat about how great the main event will be. No one seems to care about the fucking match that just happened.

Balls Mahoney’s music plays and down comes the chair-swinging freak. The crowd chant “Balls! Balls! Balls!” He barely poses before Masato Tanaka comes down, super special tape on his shoulder.

Extreme Rules Match: Balls Mahoney def. Masato Tanaka via pinfall in 05:03.

The bell rings and Tanaka’s looking great other than those scars on his chest. Quick hip tosses, arm drags and Irish whips to start off with. This is the graveyard shift, a tiny match between not popular wrestlers nestled between the two big matches. Balls really hams up the punches and Tanaka sells it well. Balls goes over the ring ropes and swears loudly. Tanaka jumps over and botches a move. Balls calls for beer and cracks Tanaka with it. He calls for another and does the same. Tanaka repeats it and gets a chair with a fair smack as Balls dodges it. Chair goes into the ring and so do the wrestlers. Balls goes to the top rope and Tanaka superplexes him off it but only gets a two-count.

Tanaka goes to the top rope and Balls goes to give Tanaka a superplex as well but only gets a two-count. Balls, undeterred, goes for the chair and Tanaka has his. Duelling chair shots and Tanaka loses, getting bust with a brutal chair shot that bends the metal of the chair. Balls goes for the pin and gets it.


Not as bad as I thought it was going to be.


That chair shot alone made my teeth shake.

Grade: C

Balls has a great song, actually. It’s nice and has a good beat to it. Balls leaves, running off to cash in his five minutes of work. John Cena and Rob Van Dam have a lovely wee promo to remind the viewers of why this match is going on. RVD won the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrassleMania 22 and he cashed it in, making sure that it takes place at ECW. Cena’s title might go to Van Dam, ECW and thus change its name. Cena, the monster that he is, is in good form in this promo. He looks very threatening. The Stephen DeAngelis is about to announce the match when…

Oh God, Eugene.

The crowd are having none of this. The crowd chant, “Fuck you, retard.” Bad taste. Eugene starts a poem. The crowd tell him to shut the fuck up. Sandman’s music plays and down the man comes. It’s not the real Metallica music, though, and so screws up his entrance. When he busts himself, he very nearly knocks himself out. His walk to the ring is a little sadder than it should be. This is not going to be fun.

And it isn’t.

The crowd are baying for a mentally challenged man to be beaten up. Is this pro wrestling’s lowest moment? No, but it certainly this PPV’s. Sandman makes Eugene beg but he still beats on him. Shitty, shitty spot. The announcers call Sandman, “One of a kind” and then plug the new show on Sci-fi. He’s not one of a kind, he’s a cunt.

Not as big a cunt as Tazz, though, who is still making fun of Eugene and his mental disabilities.

Stephen DeAngelis attempts to get the main event started again and RVD enters to a decent enough response. Vlad the superfan is in attendance, I see. Joey mentions that RVD is the best wrestler to have never held a world championship. RVD high fives everyone in the crowd. Tazz calls Cena a “tough bastard” and both he and Joey big up the fact that RVD is popular but Cena is so hated that he tips the grading average and passes the rest of the class.

Cena’s music hits and the boos are phenomenal. He lifts the belt, dips his head and walks down. Quite nice because he is showing respect to the crowd, acknowledging his hate but also showing that he is the champ. Big closeup on the “if Cena wins, we riot” sign. RVD gets a huge pop for his introduction. He looks like he is ready to kill a motherfucker. Cena gets steady boos. He throws the t-shirt and hat into the crowd and they are thrown back. Cena then decides to throw the shirt back and it bounces from Cena to crowd to Cena to crowd. Along the way, it is spat upon, stamped upon and wiped on a butt. RVD takes this time to turn the chant into a “Rob Van Dam” chant. Toilet paper and bottles are thrown before the bell rings and “Fuck you, Cena. Fuck you, Cena,” chants rise. The bell rings and the two men clash.

Extreme Rules Match for the WWE Championship: Rob Van Dam def. John Cena (c) in 20:40.

The crowd then tell us that Cena swallows as RVD and himself slap each other in the corner. Irish whip and the crowd tell Cena that he can’t wrestle. Cena is obviously ticked by this and has a chat with Van Dam by applying a headlock. He sets up the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Van Dam jumps up and belts him one across the face. Lots of cheers. Cena and Van Dam are forehead to forehead and trade smacks. “Yeah!” for Van Dam and “Boo!” for Cena. The announcers call it unbelievable and phenomenal. The crowd cry, “Same old shit,” which is funny considering that they are on for Van Dam in this instance who hasn’t changed his moveset since the 90s.

Cena goes to the top turnbuckle and, in a change of form, actually hits a flying move, but it is a weak elbow to Van Dam. He holds up his belt to show who is the boss. The crowd tell him he is overrated. Van Dam hits a great moonsault off the steel steps. The crowd chant for RVD and he raises a chair in response. Cena is there, ready to beat on RVD and throws him into the cameraman. Cena then shoves RVD into the crowd, where he beats on his opponent, at one point punching him through a “Fuck You, Cena” sign.

Van Dam hits a corkscrew leg drop on Cena as he is dangling over the barrier. The crowd tell Van Dam to fuck up Cena and he does with a slingshot leg drop to the apron. Van Dam gets another chair and the announcers remind us that it is extreme rules. Van Dam does a leg drop on a chair onto John Cena followed by another corkscrew leg drop and a Rolling Thunder. Lots of leg drops. Cena is coughing and having trouble breathing. Rob goes for the chair and lays it on Cena, going for the split leg moonsault but Cena raises his knees and hits RVD with a brutal DDT onto the chair. Close pin and the crowd sandbag it by telling Cena he cannot wrestle. The champ sticks the chair between Bret’s rope and the top rope, catapulting RVD into it. Another close pin and no cheer from crowd.

Cena hits a sit-out powerbomb and the crowd say, “Same old shit,” so he goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, salute and the crowd call him an asshole. Cena goes for the FU (remember when it was called that?) and RVD escapes, striking Cena in the face. Both men are up and punching in the corner followed by an Irish whip. RVD goes to the top rope, throws Van Dam off with a super powerbomb and the crowd tell him he still sucks. Van Dam  lifts Cena over to the ropes and they botch some sort of throw. Van Dam dropkicks Cena for badness and goes to get a table. There isn’t enough room for him to get the table out easily and he awkwardly sets it up in the corner.

Cena goes for the STFU and Rob takes his damn time getting to the rope. It is laborious. Finally, his fingers reach the ropes and presumably Irish referee John Finnegan pulls at Cena. The two men squabble and Cena decks Finnegan before going to superplex RVD into the middle of the ring. Cena gets the steel steps and Tazz tells us that John is extreme. Weak stair shot and Tazz points out the silence in the crowd. A second referee comes to count the pin but RVD kicks out. Cena goes to FU RVD into the table but throws him outside instead. A trenchcoated helmet-wearing man spears Cena into the table and knocks out the new referee. Who is this man? What is his agenda? Why did-

Oh, it’s Edge. No mystery there. Why is it Edge? Feud.

RVD is up, hits the Five Star Frog Splash on Cena and goes to wake the ref but he won’t rouse from his slumber. It’s okay, though, because Jewish Santa Paul E. Dangerously comes to the ring and counts a very slow one two three to give RVD the win in 20:40.


It wasn’t a Cena match, it wasn’t an RVD match, it wasn’t even an Edge or Heyman match. It was a crowd match.


Here, boys, fuck up. I can’t hear the commentators.

Grade: B

Not the best match on the card, but certainly the best storytelling. It wasn’t a match between RVD and Cena, though, it was between Cena and the crowd. As Rob Van Dam celebrates, the ring is filled with a bunch of ECW guys including old favourites Kurt Angle and Big Show. To be fair, Kurt Angle was in ECW for one night but left after Sandman was crucified. Fact. The announcers do not seem surprised by the win, though, even though they’re both ECW guys. Way to sandbag it, gentlemen, it’s only the biggest point in your franchise’s history.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: Randy Orton. He was so good at being a smarmy heel. Can’t help but hate him.

Woman of the Matches: I wanted to give it to Lita considering her heelishness, but I have to give it to Beulah for taking that brutal spear from Edge. Fair play to you, love.

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

Best Spot: Irish whip to do-se-do to stereo Tarantula by Tajiri and Super Crazy.

Hatches: We had Jerry Lawer and Tazz as actual wrestlers as opposed to commentators, Randy Orton, Guido Mariatato, Tony Mamaluke, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Sabu, Mick Foley, Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, Beulah McGillicutty, Balls Mahoney, Masato Tanaka, Rob Van Dam. The only manager was Big Guido Screeching Joey Styles on commentating with Stephen DeAngelis as ring announcer.

Matches: Rob Van Dam defeated John Cena to start his first (and only) run as WWE Champion.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: It was a commercial success, but stank of WWE involvement, and not in a good way. They were clearly setting ECW up for its run on Sci-Fi and did not care less about whether or not it was faithful to the original ECW (which it was not). ECW was more than rabid crowds and blood, it was also superb storytelling and using these lack of rules to tell this story.

On the Card will return on June 25 with the RAW PPV Vengeance 2006.