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

Previously on On the Card: Ken Shamrock!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

Who are these mediocre wrestlers?

Grade: C.

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

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

Woman of the Matches: Just Chyna, I suppose.

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold and Undertaker Tombstone reversal.

Hatches: None.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

I hate the British.

Grade: A.

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold hitting the Sharpshooter on Bret.

Hatches: None.

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

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

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

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

 

Attitude Era #11. In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker (April 20, 1997) Part 1

On the Card: Attitude Era #11 In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker – April 20, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at WrestleMania 13. It was the WrestleManiaiest WrestleMania. The next PPV was In Your House, the fourteenth of its name and its subtitle was Revenge of the ‘Taker. Yeah, not Undertaker… ‘Taker. Oh, old Vince would have gone bananas over young Vince for that.

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

WWF In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker 1997

Ain’t no tagline here.

Lovely grey intro to show Mankind burning Taker with some lovely flash paper cut with Mankind screeching crazy stuff. Cut to the Undertaker’s Entrance and Big Texas Red’s voice as he reads from a piece of paper to tell him that he has a wicked rage. Lightning strikes! Pyro hits and the ring erupts as we are welcomed to Rochester Community War Memorial in Rochester, New York. What a place to have a wrestling PPV. Vince screams himself half to death… as a mariachi band plays. No time to introduce the announcers – Vince McMahon, Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler – as “rrrrrrrrrwhattaraaaaash!” and the motherfucking Legion of Doom rock out – Hawk and Animal – and the crowd go ballistic. Some smelly mark in the crowd is wearing the LOD armour. The grainy footage, awesome music and huge men make this especially terrifying. Christ, I remember watching this and thinking that these men were genuine monsters who lived in the Badlands.

Cut to two weeks ago at RAW where those gosh darned Godwinns throw their slop at Owen and Bulldog, but the pair duck and LOD get splashed! Oh, the humanity! LOD beat seven shades out of them for it, but then take a loss a week later due to Owen bopping one of them with the belt! The rascals.

Finally we see our announce team. They all look lovely. JR is shouting as fast as he can to get all the lines out as quickly as possible. There are 6,477 souls in attendance with a buyrate at home of 176,250. Vince calls LOD “pumped and jacked.”

Speaking of jacked, out comes Bulldog and two-time Slammy-Award-Winning Owen Hart.

(Note: Before the PPV began there was a match on Free-For-All featuring Flash Funk and his two Funkettes: Tracy and Nadine being soundly beaten by The Sultan (Rikishi).)

JR tells us that LOD need to win early because the longer a match goes on, the more chance that the agile gentlemen will win.

Tag Team Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal).

I’ve changed up the titles: order of entrance or champions first if it’s a title match. I like that the challengers come out first though. That’s very respectful.

I love how LOD are still introduced as Road Warrior Animal and Road Warrior Hawk. It’s nice.

Animal and Owen start off together. Animal beats seven shades out of Owen, even jumping in the air to shoulder barge him. The pair lock up and Owen stomp-punches Animal, applying a facelock and taking a lovely lift for it. Bulldog tags in, tassles and all. Hawk is tagged in and after a great dropkick, a pin attempt. Lovely pace here, really nice to watch. Hawk gives Bulldog a shoulder barge, Owen the ”shove it up ye” sign and Bulldog takes over after a telegraphed back body drop and stalling suplex. Owen is in and tries to hit the Sharpshooter as newly-faced JR talks about America and how great it is. Animal is tagged in and hits a fantastic snap powerslam. Beautiful.

Side-by-side shot of Stone Cold turning up as Animal hits a lovely gorilla press. Animal asks for a tag without even looking and Hawk gives a great splash from the top rope. Hawk is thrown into the corner and as he hits it, bumps into Owen who sells like death. The crowd are going ballistic. Bulldog tags in and stands over Hawk, stomping him. JR says some heelish things. Bulldog knocks Hawk to the ground, who is building to a hot tag. Owen hits the sleeper hold and Hawk passes out almost immediately. JR and Jerry have a wee back-and-forth. Bulldog lifts Hawk, who escapes it and tags in Animal for a fantastic super powerslam and the win.

Animal has pinned The British Bulldog to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in… 10:11?

I think my DVD skipped something because the timing was closer to seven minutes than ten. Maybe there were some rest holds they cut out. I’ve heard of them shortening DVDs before so this may be true.

Oh wait, a second referee turns up and announces that the pinfall does not count as Bulldog was not the legal man and so the match must continue and if Bulldog and Owen don’t go back to the ring by ten, they will lose the belts (an illegal action as belts cannot change on a countout regardless of whether illegal wrestlers were pinned or not). The crowd begin to count to ten. Bulldog and Owen rush in. Owen actually throws Hawk out. Owen tags in and knocks down Animal. The announcers give off about the inconsistencies. Brilliant. The crowd bay for LOD.

Owen distracts the ref as there is a sunset flip behind him. Vince calls Bulldog and Owen hooligans. We see the alleged illegal move that sends Owen out. Hawk is in, kicking seven shades of shite out of the boys. Dangerous-looking Doomsday Device where Owen damn near lands on his neck. There’s a pin and the ref stalls just in time for Bret Hart to pop in and cost LOD the tag titles.

Bret Hart has interfered with the match, meaning that The Legion of Doom win by disqualification. However, Owen Hart and The British Bulldog are still WWF Tag Team Champions in 10:11.

2017 comments:

That flew by. That was one of the best matches I have seen in this blog, by Christ. LOD destroyed Bulldog and Owen. Great pace, great high impact. Everyone looked fantastic. The only thing is the LOD are awful at selling and it would have been nice to see Owen and Bulldog maybe get close to winning a few times, two-counts, that sort of thing. First “match” was amazing, but the reset lost momentum, energy and wasn’t fun to watch, which was a shame.

1997 comments:

Who are these glorious men?

Grade: A.

Real shame. LOD were super over and should have won. They clean house as the crowd call the Hart Foundation all the cunts of the day. Both Hawk and Animal stand mid-ring, looking pissed off. The ref runs off from Hawk and Animal, who look legit pissed.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix says that Owen and Bulldog are lucky to win. Owen reacts amazingly when Hendrix tells him Stone Cold has arrived.

Back in the arena, a bunch of white boys raise their fists as Savio Vega and Crush saunter to the ring with JC Ice and Wolfie D. The Nation of Domination stand mid-ring, an absolutely great bunch of lads. By any means necessary. We see a replay of Savio pulling on Rock’s tights.

Backstage, my boy KK Kevin Kelly speaks to The Rock, who hammers through his promo with the same speed that JR rocks through his lines. Where is the charismatic Rock, you say? He’s about half a year away. Chill.

He pops down to the ring, doing his Rock walk despite still being Rocky Maivia. Though he speaks not like The Rock, he moves like him and jumps into the ring with his belt still on! The psycho!

Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Savio Vega (with Crush and the Nation of Domination).

Savio is knocked down instantly and Rocky pops the belt off, giving a lovely hip toss before Faarooq appears with his injured shoulder. Rocky does a lovely jump and two more hip tosses. Faarooq sits beside the announcers and due to microphone issues, we can’t hear him. JR gives him his own mic and Faarooq gives off about it. It turns out Faarooq has challenged Ahmed Johnson to a match against all the members of the NOD. In the ring, nothing happens. The crowd cheer for Rocky and he hits a lovely crossbody. Faarooq tells us that if Ahmed can defeat the NOD, then the Nation will be disbanded. Vince says there’s no way that Ahmed can defeat Savio Vega, Crush and Faarooq on the same night.

Faarooq has a great line – “It’s like we’re married, me and Ahmed – ‘til death do us part!” This is followed by a lot of death talk.

Vulcan nerve pinch mid-ring on Rocky. Rock hits a great bridging suplex but the ref is distracted – second time this night – and the pin is broken. Savio chops Rocky in the corner, getting big “woo!”s from the crowd. A pin attempt. A fail. Jerry says that Ahmed is hooked on ebonics. Rock hits a lovely spinning DDT – “a classic manoeuvre!” from Vince – and a pin attempt but fails. Roll up, pull of the pants and Savio attempts a shoulder barge but fails. Rock hits a fantastic backdrop-to-kip-up combo. Another pin attempt. Rock hits a lovely Rock Bottom and backslide. Crush stands on the hard cam like a goon and Rock is thrown into him. Crush hits the heart punch when the ref’s back is turned and the official begins a countout.

Rocky Maivia has been counted out, meaning that Savio Vega wins by countout. However, Rocky Maivia is still WWF Intercontinental Champion in 8:33.

2017 comments:

It was a storyline match where the action failed when Faarooq was cutting his promo. Not very good despite both men being amazing.

1997 comments:

Ohhhh. Tag team dissention?

Grade: C.

Two matches, two screwy finishes and two ref distractions. Not good.

Savio gives off to Crush, who walks into the ring. The crowd go bananas as Faarooq and Immigration Clarence Mason and the rest of the Nation head in. The men decide to just beat on Rocky instead. JR calls them a pack of dogs. Out comes Ahmed with a 2×4, shouting nonsense and taking off his top. The rascal. You can’t take him anywhere. Rocky gets to his feet. Ahmed calls Savio an illegal immigrant, Crush a convict and Faarooq, a black ass. He takes the challenge to fight all of NOD in one night. Rock is gone, the camera is on Ahmed. This was never a Rocky match, this was not about the Intercontinental champion, it was about NOD and Ahmed. Rock hugs Ahmed.

On the Card will return on April 27 2017 with the second part of In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

It was just a spot with a match prelude.

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

Great. Let’s get this terrible party started.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

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

Attitude Era #9. In Your House 13: Final Four (Feb 16, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Two pillars of wrestling have a decent match four years before they reach their peak.

Cut to a promo for WrestleMania XIII.

Back in the locker room, Kevin Kelly chats up Vader mit Paul Bearer. Vader says the following: “Stone Cold… Steve… Austin… You done let that canader… that… gator butt… get that canary mouth in trouble, brother.” He then gives off about Bret and Undertaker, hitting their catchphrases. P Bizzle comes over and straight-up shoots on them. Terrible promo.

Already in the ring are Doug Furnas and Philip Lafon.

British Bulldog music hits and out come Bulldog and Owen. Owen slides beneath Owen’s arms to be in front of the camera. Lovely. We see a shot where Bulldog was eliminated by Owen at Royal Rumble. Brilliant. Owen walks to Bulldog, gives him a pat on the chest and points, saying, “You.” Bulldog slaps back and says, “You,” to Owen. Owen shurgs meekly, points at himself, “Me?” he asks. Brilliant pantomime.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon def. Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (c) (w/ Clarence Mason) via pin in 10:30.

I just noticed that Clarence Mason is there. Isn’t he also working for the NOD? Are Owen and Bulldog not members of the NOD? Questions…

Owen starts off and Doug start off with some lovely chain wrestling. JR puts over both men. Owen kips up and runs to the corner where Phil is there. Owen hits the Irish whip, monkey flips Lafon into a pin and the pair trade rolling near-falls. King calls Owen, “Slammy-Award Winning Owen Hart”, which is the only way to describe him. Bulldog comes in and the pair have a lovely bunch of chain wrestling. Owen kicks Phil in the corner when he gets the Irish whip. Bulldog cheers to the crowd. In the corner, with the ref distracted, Bulldog attacks Lafon. JR says, “kick right in the kidneys… right in the Ahmed Johnsons.”

Owen gives a reverse-crossbody off his brother’s rope and it rolls into a pin. Lots of pins here. Bulldog is in and they give Lafon a lovely clothesline. Bulldog stomps Lafon and there is a lovely sunset flip but ref is distracted by Owen. Bulldog does a lovely flip and gets ready for the Sharpshooter but is hurt. JR tells us that Chyna, who does not have a name yet, has been ejected from the building but that Cornette, Sunny, Rocky and Trips are on the Superstar Line. Bulldog hits a lovely long delayed suplex and Owen dives off the top rope for a cross body. They trade near falls for a bit and distract the ref. Lafon bounces Bulldog and Owen’s heads together. Bulldog and Owen argue and they chare punches. Bulldog clotheslines Owen, almost ruins his chances to retain the championship and remembers right before Owen gets down for the pin.

What the fuck is happening? Lafon is back in and hits a lovely bridging belly-to-belly but fails. Doug hits a great hurricanrana and Bulldog breaks up a pin for about the fifth time. Lovely DDT and leg drop combo. Owen hits the enziguri on Doug and both men are down. Big hot tag being built up. Bulldog hits the dropkick, Lafon does a lovely wraparound sunset slip and Owen comes in but is tossed out. Bulldog has the powerslam but Owen has the Slammy and DQs himself before Bulldog has a chance to win. Win goes to Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon in 10:30.

2017 comments:

Very, very fast match. They crammed a twenty-minute match into ten minutes. Well done the lads.

1997 comments:

I hope Owen kicks the shite out of Bulldog.

Grade: A

Bulldog is furious with Owen. He throws his tag belt away. Crowd are baying for blood. He is furious that he lost. He grabs Owen’s Slammy and throws it, breaking it. Bulldog goes for Clarence Mason and finally leaves, but not before Owen lifts Bulldog’s arms in victory. We see a replay of the times that Owen and Bulldog have argued this match. Tag Team Turmoil! Dissension in the ranks!

On the Card will return on March 16 2017 with the fifth and final part of In Your House 13: Final Four 1997.

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

Previously on On the Card: Mexicans steal the show!

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

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

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

The 1997 Royal Rumble.

A First Challenger Appears: Crush.

A Second Challenger Appears: Ahmed Johnson.

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

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

A Third Challenger Appears: Razor Ramon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Fourth Challenger Appears: Phineas I. Godwinn.

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

A Fifth Challenger Appears: Stone Cold Steve Austin.

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

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

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

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

A Sixth Challenger Appears: Bart Gunn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An Eighty Challenger Appears: The British Bulldog.

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

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

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

A Ninth Challenger Appears: Pierroth.

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

A Tenth Challenger Appears: The Sultan.

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

An Eleventh Challenger Appears: Mil Máscaras.

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

A Twelfth Challenger Appears: Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

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

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

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

A Thirteeth Challenger Appears: Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart.

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

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

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

A Fourteenth Challenger Appears: Goldust.

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

A Fifteenth Challenger Appears: Cibernético.

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

A Sixteenth Challenger Appears: Marvellous Wildman Marc Mero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Seventeenth Challenger Appears: Latin Lover.

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

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

The timer appears as Goldust limps out.

An Eighteenth Challenger Appears: Faarooq Asad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Nineteenth Challenger Appears: Savio Vega.

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

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

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

A Twentieth Challenger Appears: Jesse James.

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

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

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

A Twenty-First Challenger Appears: Bret Hart.

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

A Twenty-Second Challenger Appears: Jerry Lawler.

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

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

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

A Twenty-Third Challenger Appears: Fake Diesel.

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

A Twenty-Fourth Challenger Appears: Terry Funk.

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

A Twenty-Fifth Challenger Appears: Rocky Maivia.

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

A Twenty-Sixth Challenger Appears: Mankind.

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

A Twenty-Seventh Challenger Appears: Flash Funk.

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

A Twenty-Eighth Challenger Appears: Vader.

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

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

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

The Thirtieth and Final Challenger Appears: The Undertaker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bret tosses Diesel out!

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

Stone Cold runs to the ropes and chucks Bret out!

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

Who does this Stone Cold boy think he is?

Grade: C

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

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

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

Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Flash Funk and Leif Cassidy tear the house down! Not literally, though, that happens later.

Razor Ramon and Kane-Diesel are coming to the ring and getting super boos. Nice pyro, though.

Cut to backstage and Slammy-award winning Owen Hart along with British Bulldog and Immigration Clarence Mason are being shouted at by Kevin Kelly, who gives the lads stick for their lack of cohesion as a team. They then arrive into the arena, full of piss and vinegar, ready to kick ass, chew bubblegum and quote old movies. Before the match begins, we see Owen and Bulldog attempt to attack Steve Austin in an earlier taping of Superstars but get knocked back by Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon. Owen takes the time to shout at the lads before the bell rings.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (w/ Clarence Mason) def. Fake Razor Ramon and Fake Diesel via pin in 10:45.

At the start, the first thing I notice is that the tag teams are in the wrong corners before moving to the right ones. Diesel beats on Diesel for a while before the strength takes over, shoving our boy Hart to the ground. Diesel tries again and Owen hits the damn kip-up.

Then Cybernetico and Pierroth appear by the side of the ring. These boys are from AAA, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración which stands for “Assistance, Assessment, and Administration”. And they are a wrestling promotion. I shouldn’t be surprised. There’s one in Japan called WAR… which stands for Wrestling and Romance.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The AAA doesn’t really have weekly televised events like RAW or Smackdown, instead it shows traditional PPVs… until the advent of a little TV show called Lucha Underground, of course.

JR completely sells the fact that the luchas are here and taking part in the Rumble next month. One of them removes their shirt like Hogan. JR tells us that the boy with the shirt off is Cybernetico. The Luchas leave with little event and Bulldog and Razor lock up. Business just picks up as the crowd rise to see Stone Cold come out. Bulldog attacks Stone Cold and a brawl takes place. One of the cameras is hit and now has a lovely pink sheen over it. Bulldog goes back in the ring as officials drag Stone Cold back into the locker room area. Owen and Bulldog take over on Razor, yanking on his arm until Razor hits Owen with the clothesline. Huge clothesline it is as well. Owen goes to the top rope and hits a great dropkick but gets nothing.

Diesel tips Owen out and throws him into the ringpost. Razor beats on Owen and gets Diesel in who hits the huge Bossman Slam and doesn’t pin Owen. JR goes bananas, screaming, “You’re supposed to cover him!” Even though JR is heeling it up, that might have been a legit shout. Diesel is back in misses an elbow drop but keeps the control on Owen. He’s fighting back to get to Bulldog but getting nowhere. Owen hits the enziguri on Diesel, builds up to the hot tag and Bulldog is in, hits Razor with a handful of clotheslines, makes the heels hit skulls, drops the legs and gets an almost pin. Bulldog hits the suplex – such power! – and gets nothing. All four men swarm in and Diesel and Owen go over the top rope. Razor gets Bulldog in a powerbomb position, but Owen runs in, hits the spinning leg kick and Bulldog gets the pin in 10:45.

2016 comments:

Good, exciting match near the end. It doesn’t start that way and the build up is long and boring, sadly, probably due to Razor and Diesel.

1996 comments:

I’m beginning to like Owen but I will always hate Bulldog.

Grade: C

Razor pulls on the ref and gives off to him. JR complains to the crowd. Stone Cold comes in, attacks Bulldog and is removed from the premises. Then we have a long “hurt” spot with our boy Bulldog. Then he walks out.

Promo for Shawn Michael’s video, Heartbreak Express.

Vince is in the ring, introducing our boy Ahmed as he comes in to a rapturous applause. He is after Faarooq, it seems, and will stop at nothing to get him. Why does he want Faarooq? Because.

Vince tells us that Ahmed vs. Faarooq will happen at the Royal Rumble. Ahmed gives off about everything that he has lost – girlfriend, house, car – but keeps his fans. The crowd is super loud right now, so loud that the normally unintelligible Ahmed is even worse.

Nation of Domination music hits and out comes JC Ice and Wolfie D to drop some phat rhymes for you. Faarooq takes the mic, threatens everyone in the damn arena and says he’s going to forge his own race of people. Ahmed has a chance to shout back. All the NOD raise their fists apart from Crush, who drops his almost instantly. Ahmed says he wants to fight right now and the NOD leave.

On the Card will return on December 29 with the third part of In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996.

Attitude Era #6. Survivor Series (November 17, 1996) Part 1

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

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

WWF Survivor Series

Back to Attack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: A+

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

Cut to outside on New York City.

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

Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Stone Cold! Triple H! Mr Perfect!

Cut to a recap of the Smoking Gunns/Godwinns debacle where Billy Gunn stole a smooch from Sunny, leading to them becoming Tag Team champs. Bart did not like, Sunny, however because she’s a sociopath and after the Owen and Bulldog prank at Mind Games, Sunny left the brothers. Both Gunns want the gold back for different reasons.

Cut to Dok Hendrix in the back, interviewing Bad Ass Billy Gunn about the upcoming match. Billy is desperate to have Sunny back and Bart reminds him that it’s more about the gold than the girl. Their music hits and the two cattle rustlers come to the ring, big smiles on their faces as JR struggles to get even one word out.

The Bulldog’s music hits and out come the lads. Bulldog, looking like a bust sausage, Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart and Immigration Control Clarence Mason, ready to deport them if they lose their gold.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) def. The Smoking Gunns via pinfall in 9:17.

Vince reveals the fact that another famous Hart, Bret “The S Hitman” Hart (according to Stone Cold) will be returning to the Fed shortly. Owen, of course, a brother of Bret and Davey-Boy is a brother-in-law. JR reveals that he is going to have dinner with Bret later.

Very nice chain wrestling from Billy and Owen as JR still has a bit of trouble from his mic. The effect changes until it sounds like he’s on the radio. Owen dodges Billy’s attacks and gets a clothesline for his effort. As Billy goes top-rope and jumps into a double-axe-handle-nothing, Owen clocks him right between the legs and tags in Bulldog quickly for a double clothesline. Owen hits the drop-toe-hold and Bulldog hits a leg drop on Billy’s head. Owen leaves and Billy takes over, pulling hair and dodging punches. Old Bart Gunn punches Bulldog in the face. Bulldog has some headlock city on Bart. Bart goes to the top rope and misses a lariat and Bulldog punishes him by getting him in a full-nelson as Owen dropkicks him.

Owen and Bulldog beat on Bart and there’s a revolving door of tag teams for a while. Vince points out that the tag team champs can deliberately lose by DQ, countout etc and retain the titles. Why don’t they do this? There is no downside to this other than them losing face… but if they’re heels, it’s exactly the type of thing a heel would do! Sunny keeps appearing on the screen and Jerry goes bananas each time. Owen has some hug time with Bart for a while as the pair discuss strategies. Bart is shot on the Irish whip and accidentally hits Billy. Neither men are happy with it, though Immigration Clarence Mason has a wee clap about it.

Billy and Bart double team Owen with a Russian Leg Sweep. Owen is body-slammed then elbow dropped then neckbreaker drop. Sunny watches on. Bart is in, swinging neckbreaker to Owen. Billy is back in and kicking on Owen’s head. Jerry quips that Bart has been on so many blind dates, he should get a free dog. Bart drops to his hands and knees. Billy runs, launches off Bart and the pair get ready to finish up. Bart holds Owen like a groom lifts a bride into their new home and Billy goes to the top rope. Unbeknownst to both of them, Bulldog is behind Bart, gripping his jeans by the belt. As Billy jumps, Bulldog pulls and Billy dropkicks Bart by mistake. The move was (apparently) called the Sidewinder and as Bulldog drags Bart out of the ring, Owen hits a jumping kick on Billy and gets the pin in 9:17.

2016 comments:

More of a storyline match for the Gunns as it is foreshadowing their inevitable breakup. For the Bulldog and Owen, it was more of a chance to show how awesome a tag team they are… although they don’t look that awesome next to the Gunns.

1996 comments:

I’m not racist but I hate The British Bulldog simply because he’s English.

Grade: B.

Immigration Clarence Mason is in the ring, shouting at the ref for some reason. Sunny is backstage, applauding the Bulldog and Owen. The Gunns leave, frustrated and upset. Barely any time is given to the celebration. As Vince is explaining a feud developing between Ahmed Johnson and Faarooq, JR takes to the centre of the ring and goes on the mic. He’s cutting a promo, claiming that Vince is messing about with his mic. He reveals that Bret is back the next night and that JR is to thank for having Bret back. JR says that he doesn’t need a mic any more and throws it to Vince before walking right out of the arena.

This is a hangover to some Heel JR business and doesn’t seem to go down well with the crowd. They’re on for JR. They’re on for Bret. They don’t like Vince. It is understandable how, in a few short months, Stone Cold would wage the same war against Vince after he screwed over another beloved member of staff… Bret Hart.

Vince continues his promo and we see Faarooq in his gladiator gear, calling out Ahmed. Ahmed appears and mutters his way through a very dangerous promo. That man can’t talk. I love him, but by Christ, I am terrified of him.

On the Card will return on November 3 with the third part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #4. In Your House 10: Mind Games (Sept 22, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Bradshaw. That’s how bad it was.

Cut to Jim Cornette promo with snazzy 90’s background music. Jim makes fun of the fact that his opponent in the next match, José Lothario, is old. We see José constantly get one over on Cornette. Cornette never gets the upper hand, other than on the mic, which is fair enough because Lothario can hardly speak English! We know who is going to win this shitstorm, at least have the decency of making it look like Corny is sneaky enough to get Lothario from behind or some shit.

Vader’s music hits and out comes Corny with some shiny full-body suit. We cut to backstage and “Razor Ramon” and “Diesel” AKA Kane. This is the beginning of an aborted arc that was due to turn JR heel and would make fun of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, both of whom recently left WWF for WCW. Corny gets on the mic and makes fun of the crowd and tells them that José is old. Irish Referee Tim White walks behind Corny, just destroying any heat the man had.

Shawn Michael’s music hits and out comes the man himself. José Lothario, that is, Shawn wouldn’t be seen dead leaving gorilla for anything less than main event. José is wearing his pants and jacket, clapping hands with the crowd and really facing it up. He, at the age of 61, is still in better shape than Bradshaw. Corny goes for the punch, José ducks it and the match begins.

José Lothario def. Jim Cornette via pin in 56 seconds.

Let’s not sell this as anything more than a joke, shall we? From the promo package, we see that Corny can’t even get the upper hand when cheating. He’s not a wrestler, he’s a mic man. You wouldn’t put Jimmy Hart in the ring, would you?

And I mean that, Jimmy Hart should never be near a ring, the man’s an asshole.

JR calls José 62 years old, which is false as he would not turn 62 until December 12th. He knocks Corny down, Irish whip on him followed by a crack off the turnbuckle. The announcers make fun of Jim’s weight. Vince’s new catchphrase seems to be, “Aaaaaaah fuggedabbit!” when the wrassler hits a particularly good move as the other tries to fight back. José hits two uppercuts (each with a “fuggedabbit!” He then gets the pin in 56 seconds.

2016 comments:

No.

1996 comments:

Why?

Grade: You do not deserve a rating, sir.

As José just walks straight out, he claps people’s hands and we are given a Coliseum Home Video exclusive interview with Savio Vega and Dok Hendrix. Savio is still covered in beer, the poor son of a gun. He mentions that he does not know if Razor or Diesel attacked them. Savio has some mad scars on the old forehead.

We cut back to the ring and Brian Pillman is on his way there, slapping at people and generally being Brian Pillman. He’s like Dean Ambrose or Kurt Cobain: handsome and mental. Bret had dropped some words for Brian: “You are a liar,” he said. He turned to his brother Owen and said, “You’re just as bad a liar as Brian! You’re both liars!”

Brian rasps on the mic, making fun of Philadelphia again. You don’t need to make fun of it, Brian, everyone who has been in Philly knows it’s a shithole. He calls the fans illiterate degenerates. Vince apologises. Out comes Slammy Award-Winning Owen. Owen is fantastic. Cut to a great “Owen Hart, King of Farts” sign. Owen talks about how he is the best Hart and Bret is jealous. Both of them rag on Bret and then the crowd. Owen reveals that Bret is afraid of turning up, but not afraid of Brian, nor Owen… but of Stone Cold Steven Austin.

Out comes the 1996 King of the Ring to his old music, still, and he’s wearing a great waistcoat and jeans. Stone Cold’s beard is looking great and he starts into a great promo calling Bret Hart less than a chicken… specifically, “The slimy substance that runs out the south end of a chicken.” Scathing. The guys crack up in the ring but Stone Cold’s verbal beatdown is not over.  “Let me make one thing clear… if you put the letter S in front of Hitman, you’ll see how I feel about Bret Hart.” Austin hopes that Bret is resigned so that he can kick his ass. The crowd do not like this and they are certainly not fans of Brian’s anti-Philly sentiments either. Some guys actually stand up to shout abuse, either not understanding that wrestling is scripted or, because they are Philly fans after all, genuinely looking to fight someone.

Cut to Mark Henry, the world’s strongest man, who has yet to make his Fed debut in the ring, as he walks around the City of Brotherly Love. He looks at buildings. He checks out the Liberty Bell. He looks at a statue of a founding father. He strokes a horse. We see the skyline and then the CoreStates Centre of which, Vince tells us, the people of Philadelphia are extremely proud. It’s only a building, jeepers, calm down.

Bulldog’s music hits and out comes Davey Boy Smith and his brother-in-law, Owen Hart, who left the ring just to reenter.

Cut to Dok Hendrix, who is standing in front of Clarence Mason, the famous immigration man.

Back in the ring, the Smoking Gunns come out. Bart walks on ahead of Billy and Sunny, like they’re all fighting. Bart shouts at them to hurry up. Do I taste tag team dissention in the air? The Gunns are the tag champs… but also heels. And both Owen and Bulldog are heels. This doesn’t make any sense. Who do we root for?

Sunny jumps into the ring and points skyward where her promotional image is set to unfurl, just like it did in the last PPV at Summerslam. There is a pop and-

OH WHAT.

The picture is defaced! 30 feet of moustaches and glasses on our beloved Sunny, signed with a “To Bulldog & Owen All My Love, Sunny *”

Those wicked whelps!

Sunny obviously has a tantrum about it as Billy attempts to comfort her. Bart just wants the match to start. They’re dying to give a whuppin’ to these darn Canuck-lovin’ Canucks. Sunny complains that “it’s not fair!” which is not a statement you would attribute to a defacing of your image, but there we go.

WWF Tag Team Championship Match: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog def. The Smoking Gunns (c) via pinfall in 10:59.

The bell rings and Billy and Owen start. Ould Clarence “Immigration” Mason comes down to the ring, of course, both Owen and Bulldog are immigrants and will be removed from the great country of America pretty quickly. Great chain-wrestling from Owen and Billy. Lots of running the ropes and holds. Bart takes over and shows his strength. Bulldog is tagged in and the two strongest men in the match batter each other as much as they can. Owen tags in and tackles Bart right in the back of the knee.

Owen takes advantage of Bart’s leg injury by busting him in the corner with two superb kicks. Bulldog takes over and repeats the damage. Owen is tagged back in and repeats his attack on Bart’s leg. Jr mentions that Bulldog and Owen are cutting the ring in half. Owen leg drops Bart’s leg and Vince tells us to fuggedabbit. Another tag and Bulldog is in again, holding Bart with a stalling suplex. Such strength. He follows it up with a great flip and goes for the pin but gets two.

There is some confusion as Owen pops in without a tag being seen by the ref. Vince quips that, “You must have to be Rubber Man or Plastic Man or… Andre the Giant to make that tag!” Near fall and we are told to forget about it again. Bulldog is in and his running of the ropes is stopped by Billy. The action spills to the outside and Bulldog is thrown into the steps. Back in the ring, Bart swings Bulldog around in some modified Irish whip. Bart gets on all fours and Billy launches off his back onto Bulldog in the corner. A tag and both JR and Vince wonder why such a thing has happened. Bart gets Bulldog into a sidewalk slam position and Billy mounts the turnbuckle. He jumps, double knees to Bulldog.

A pin attempt is ruined by Owen jumping from one corner, the distraction by Clarence Mason on the apron. Bulldog rolls over, gets the pin but Billy kicks out on two and a half. Bart comes in and hits Bulldog with a bodyslam followed by knees to his chest. Owen tries to break up the double-teaming in the ring. Bart is back in and not much is happening, all men are gassed. Bart goes to bodyslam Bulldog but he escapes, launching Bart into Billy and Sunny, who are having a chat in the corner. Bulldog hits Bart with the running powerslam and gets the pin as Owen boots Billy in the face to stop the pin break. Bulldog gets the three, the win and the Tag belts in 10:59.

2016 comments:

Always nice to see Bulldog. Confused about who to root for, Kayfabe, though.

1996 comments:

That’s a Tag Team belt change and no one seems to care.

Grade: C

Owen and Bulldog celebrate as the Gunns commiserate. The winner’s arms are raised on the outside, which makes no sense. I know why now: Sunny wants on the mic. Her words are more important than new Tag Team champs. Sunny calls the Gunns losers as they follow her about the ring. She calls them liars, stomps about and runs out of the arena as Billy follows her.

On the Card will return on October 6th with part 3 of Mind Games.