Attitude Era #9. In Your House 13: Final Four (Feb 16, 1997) Part 1

On the Card: Attitude Era #9 In Your House 13: Final Four 1997 – February 16, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at The Royal Rumble 1997. It was great, especially the Rumble itself, which had Stone Cold as its winner. The next PPV was In Your House 13: Final Four which boasted a main event elimination match for the vacant WWF Championship.

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 13: Final Four 1997

No tagline this time around and the poster shows Shawn Michaels getting bopped by Sid in the same ring as Austin is about to bop Bret. Ohhhh, this main event is going to be amazing!

There’s no Big Red screen now and it’s a Big Blue screen. Promo for Shawn Michaels, the most athletic and flambouyant champion ever. We see the four challengers: Stone Cold, Bret Hart, Undertaker and- wait? Undertaker? Vader? What the fuck is this? The poster showed Michaels and Sid. I’m confused. Tell me what this all means, Mr. Announcer man. We see Shawn looking sad, we hear that the four men are no longer role models. But no news as Western Union (The Fastest Way To Send Money Worldwide ™) presents a mountain that says, “Final Four” on it. Yet no news on where Sid and Shawn are.

I hear a sable. I know that Wildman Marvellous Marc Mero is on the way. I know that, according to our announcers, Jumping Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler, we are in the UTC Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee with 6,399 in attendance and a reputed 175,127 buys at home. Boys behind JR and King are using cameras, like old style recyclable ones. JR eludes to the fact that Shawn isn’t going to be champ again. Ominous. Someone jostles the hard cam and Jerry points his finger menacingly at them. It was a dad point, so it must have been Brian Christopher.

Our Spanish Colleagues are Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera who look very pleased with themselves. They chat and scream in Spanish before we are introduced to the French Announcers, Ray Rougeau and Jean Brassard who do the same but with moustaches.

Big pyro in the ring as Wildman (now just “Wildman”) is sporting an angry goatee and shouts at Sable, it seems. Oh no, wait, Leif Cassidy is in the ring without an intro, that’s what it is. And the bell is about to ring, but before it does, JR points out “the beautiful Sable” who is wearing sunglasses inside at night time because she is a twat… but also because, to be fair, that pyro is pretty dangerous.

(Note: Before the PPV began there was a dark match featuring the tag team talents of Phineas I and Henry O Godwinn defeating the new Headbangers: Mosh and Thrasher. Brilliant. Real men wear skirts.)

Wildman Marvellous Marc Mero (w/ Sable) def Leif Cassidy via pin in 9:30.

The match begins as King tells us that Leif can win if he grounds Mero. JR calls Mero “an unnecessary chancer”. King slags the high-fliers off for only good for getting themselves in hospital. Some lovely wrasslin’ from Mero and he keeps throwing Leif back, who rolls out and starts jawing off to Sable. She replies with a clap. She then gives Leif a kick and apparently she’s being kicking The Undertaker on Superstars. Are you mental, Sable? Mero hits the big leg drop in the ring, attempts a pin and fails.

Leif Irish whips Mero and gives a lovely dropkick to Mero’s knee followed by another and another. He’s stopping at the knee, keeping Mero grounded. JR tells us that Leif is underrated. Too fucking rights he is. It’s Al Snow! Leif gets Mero in a leglock and Sable batters the mat but cannot get decent timing at all. The crowd cheer as Sable walks around. God, wasn’t the Attitude Era brilliant? Just a bunch of lads shouting at women. Leif is in control, holding Mero’s leg and keeping him down. He locks in the… leglace? Did you call it a leglace?

So we still don’t know about Shawn. I do, but only because I lived through this era. The PPV so far has ignored the fact that Shawn has lots his smile. Hopefully more on that later.

Mero is up, fighting back and Jerry says, “Sable thinks her future is so bright, she needs to wear sunglasses at night.” He then lets on that Sable and Mero have submitted. Very good selling from Mero here. Congratulations. Mero hits a lovely enziguri and then a three-quarter nelson pin. Cassidy works the knee some more and hits the figure four. According to JR, the figure four hits seven different parts of his anatomy. Sable heels it up and pushes the bottom rope towards the men so that Mero can grab it. Leif confronts her, she slaps him and Mero dives through the ropes to protect his mental wife. Mero is up and seemingly forgetting his knee pain. Eejit.

Mero lifts Leif up for the Samoan drop, does a wee John Travolta in Pulp Fiction fingers on eyes sign, hits a lovely shooting star press (“the Wild Thing” according to JR) and gets the win in 9:30.

2017 comments:

A really good curtain jerker that is spoiled by some shoddy selling from Mero. Where did all that time attacking his knee go?

1997 comments:

Jaysus, Mero is a superman.

Grade: B

Sable immediately runs in to join her husband and JR says that it’s a different side of her. Jerry says, “Never hit a woman with glasses… always use your fist.” Classy and it’s only 1996. Flashback to Sable smacking Leif when he confronted her and-

Oh fuck, is that the Honky Tonk Man’s music? Sheeeeit.

There he is, the bastard, old Jerry “The King” Lawler’s cousin.

On the Card will return on February 23 2017 with the second part of In Your House 13: Final Four 1997.

Advertisements

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 3

Previously on On the Card: Fake Diesel! Owen Hart, King of Farts!

Cut to promo for HHH and references to his stock portfolio and aristocracy. We see the noble savage of Wildman Marc Mero and how their first fight came over a woman: Sable. Then we see Mr. Perfect being used as a pawn in the game to get the Intercontinental Championship as Perfect allied himself with Mero before stabbing him in the back. Then Trips stabbed Perfect in the back. And it’s all sponsored by Karate Fighters.

Sable and Mero come out to his mental Warrior pyro. JR tells us that the next time they’re going to be on the PPV is at the Alamo, where Billy Gunn and Road Dogg will be meeting Paul Levesque.

And out he comes to Ode to Joy! So he’s pro-EU is he? Nice one. Earl Hebner is there, too. JR asks if HHH and McMahon are neighbours in Greenwich, Connecticut. The bell rings as a zeppelin with the Karate Fighters logo upon it threats to wipe out the entire crowd. Oh, the humanity.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Marc Mero (w/ Sable) def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (c) via countout in 14:03.

Good God Almighty, it’s two men fighting over a woman, like the thugs they are. They lock up and Trips has the height advantage, though Mero has the moustache advantage. The pair have some feats of strength and some nice matwork. Trips is knocked down and Mero dances about happily. Trips botches and botches again. The announcers claim that they are trying to counter each other, but really they messed up. Knock into the barricade and some fans are pushed back. Couple of punches in the corner and Mero hits a lovely back body drop. Mero goes for the ten-punch but is countered. Both men lie on the mat for a while.

Trips goes to hit the pedigree but Mero throws him over the ropes to the outside. Trips hides behind Sable and pushes her into Mero before chucking him into the damn steel steps. JR talks some gyp about Trips being court-martialled in military school. Trips goes for the chair, hoping to get DQ’d and lose the match but keep the title but Earl stops him. Lovely backbreaker in the centre of the ring and there are some satellite problems apparently. Lovely backbreaker again and Earl isn’t in position to hit the full one-two-three. Then we have abdominal stretch city for a while as Sable hits improved time by the side of the ring. Jerry tells Sable to shut up by saying, “Shut up, Marlena… wait, no, that’s Sable.” He then says that Sable hates Trips because of his better hair.

Trips has his hand on the ropes and Earl kicks it. Trips pushes Earl and the ref pushes back. The pair argue in the corner for a while and the crowd go wild. Trips hits a top-rope-nothing and is countered by Mero. Mero hits the Atomic drop which is – according to Vince – right on his spine. Mero hits a jumping clothesline and throws Trips into the corner where he hits a Shawn Michaels spot and a head scissors. Jerry says Earl is biased. Both men go to the top rope and there’s a lovely hurricanrana followed by Mero going top-rope. Trips pushes Earl into the ropes, letting Mero fall onto his balls. A pin attempt from Trips gets nothing.

Trips goes for the Pedigree but it is countered into a catapult. Pin attempt and Trips is still in it. Mero goes to the top rope once again and hits the Merosault but Earl is hit too. Trips hits the neckbreaker, runs to get his Intercontinental belt, but Mero fights back before being hit and does the roll up. Finally, Earl rouses but Trips kicks out. Another Shawn Michaels corner toss followed by a suicide dive over the top rope. Then Goldust comes out! Fuck yes! Goldust! He’s the best!

Goldie hits Mero and Trips with the Intercontinental belt and Earl starts a countout, reaching a ten just after Wildman rolls in, meaning he wins the match by a countout but fails to win the belt.

2016 comments:

Fun match, certainly one of the best Triple H matches so far and Wildman didn’t botch too much.

1996 comments:

Goddammit Goldust, you pervert!

Grade: B

Mero is angry at this. He rolls Trips back into the ring after pushing Sable away, hits the shooting star press, attempts the pin before remembering the match is over, raises the Intercontinental belt anyways and leaves the arena. Strange, strange man. As Trips is leaving, Howard Finkel announces that Trips is still the champion and Goldust attacks him again.

On the Card will return on January 5 with the fourth part of In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996.

Attitude Era #6. Survivor Series (November 17, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: One amazing opening match.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

I am so scared for Paul Bearer.

Grade: A-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

Not enough somersaults.

Grade: A-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: C

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previously on On the Card: A tag match and a Bulldog match.

Cut to a promo of some ginger kid watching WWF with aliens. Mind Games is coming up next, I suppose.

Goldust comes out and Vince says he is the “most bizarre individual in the World Wrestling Federation history”. Golden dust falls from the sky and we get the old letterbox intro for the man himself. Marlena is there too. JR wonders if Mero’s high flying style will work in this match. Mr. Perfect muses that that style will get you in trouble.

Cut to Todd Pettengill interviewing Marc Mero. I say this with all sincerity: I love Todd Pettengill. I’ve seen the man interview, I’ve seen him interview and he was much too nice for the Attitude Era. There’s a great interview of him by James Delow of Gorilla Position here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fG5IoZZTMTA

Todd makes a pun of “All that glitters is definitely… GOLDUST!” and shows Mankind chasing Sable and calling her “mommy”. Sable, the useless fuck just stays there. Wildman Marc Mero’s eyebrows go bananas while he tells people to “put up or shut up”. Mero’s music hits and Sable is over but Mero… not so much. It’s sad that the crowd love her so much. Goldust crawling about the ring as Mero just swings about. Mr. Perfect tries to get himself over because he’s mad. Goldust sits on the bottom turnbuckle and the bell rings.

Goldust w/ Marlena def. Wildman Marc Mero w/ Sable via pinfall in 11:01.

Mero is walking about the ring for a bit and the two square off. Goldust’s bum is once again eating his suit and his balls are right there. Goldust slaps Mero in the corner and then uses Irish referee Tim White as a shield. You don’t fuck with Tim. Running the ropes followed by arm drags and Goldust recoils in horror, hugging the bottom ropes like a headcase. Some timewasting as Goldie beats on Mero followed by a pin attempt and a weak drop toe hold. Goldust kid in the audience is having a field day at this.

The match is so boring that the announcers talk about Ahmed Johnson. You know it’s a weak night when he’s the better alternative. Goldust gets an Irish whip, slides to the ground and gives Mero a punch. The Wildman pushes Irish referee Time White out of the way to run at Goldust, who tosses him to the outside. Mero goes back in and is thrown out again, dropped throat first on the barricade as Irish Referee Tim White shows he can count.

Something exciting is happening outside again as the crowd are on their feet. Who is it? Who is coming?

GOOD LORD IT IS MANKIND.

Slick Mick has come out of the boiler room to harass Sable, who is incapable of moving at any speed. Like a heroine in a crappy horror movie, she moves away just enough to create tension. Some officials come to corral him. There are a bunch of cattle rustlers in the back, just use them! I’d bet you the Gunns would be happy to lasso him and hogtie him. Shit, you could probably get the Godwinns to steal him afterwards!

Chinlock city and Sable, now relaxed after her Mankind fright, is still unable to keep time, playing in 5/16. Goldust slaps the Christ out of Marc Mero who is Irish whipped into the turnbuckle and retaliates with… a butt shot? Low blow on Goldust’s low hanging fruit and Mero executes an awesome back body drop followed by a big knee to the perverted Hollywood critic. Wildman goes for the 10 punch, gets to six and Goldust tips him outside. Mero is up quick as a flash and jumps over the ropes, rolls Goldust in and does a nice wee slingshot leg drop over the top rope. Mero goes for the shooting star press and would get the three count but old Marlena is causing trouble on the other side of the ring. Surely they should revoke her licence. Vince says that he has never seen anything like a shooting star press which is shite because he saw one last time. Mero does it every fucking match.

Goldust kicks Mero and the Wildman does not sell it. Goldust hits a fucking great Curtain Call and gets the pin in 11:01.

2016 comments:

Goldust is great but this was not a good match. It was an entertaining two-minute squash stretched out over ten minutes. No memorable spots and Mero fucked up a fair bit, no selling and just moving from spot to spot.

1996 comments:

Oh Mero, how the mighty have fallen! At least Goldust didn’t feel you up like he normally does.

Grade: C

Sable pops into the ring to comfort her husband. Goldust is still reeling from the attack on his nuts. He circles the Meros, shakes his bodonkadonk and crawls after Sable with his big black tongue. He goes to kiss Sable and Mero is up, punching and beating on Goldust before tossing him onto the top rope. Mero goes mental and Goldust crawls away. Sable cries. Fuck sake, Sable, man up.

Promo of Ahmed Johnson mumbling his way through a promo about pain. We see the attack by Faarooq (known as Faarooq Asaad) which caused the alleged kidney issues. In truth, Johnson had legit kidney troubles, but I cannot find if these were caused by the attack or whether it is just a nice coincidence. We see the man getting stitched up by some pretty beautiful young ladies. We also see that Ahmed Johnson had to have the title vacated as he could not compete. The man is pretty annoyed and claims that the belt is (erroneously) called “the WWF Intercontinental People’s Title” and then he gibbers on about something while Kevin Kelly looks on wondering “what the fuck”. Wee interview with Pam Taylor, Ahmed’s nurse, who claims that the injury is still bleeding and if they are unable to stop it, then they will have to remove the kidney.

What the fuck, America. Y’all lettin’ Ahmed walk around with a bleedin’ kidney? No wonder the boy can’t talk right.

Pam adds that without a kidney, Ahmed will never be able to wrestle, which is nonsense. I present to you exhibit A: Mick Foley, a man who has no internal organs at all other than a stomach filled with butter and the rest of his testicles, crammed in the space where once his non-ruptured vital parts were. Ahmed Johnson ignores that shit, though, and says that he will do what he wants to do. There is going to be a SUDDEN DEATH BATTLE ROYALE featuring Stone Cold, Savio Vega, Sycho Sid and Gooooldust. “Ahmed Johnson will be watching at home that night, watching another man win his title.” Wow, way to rub it in.

Out comes Sunny and Faarooq-

Wait what the fuck.

Why is Sunny here? Wasn’t she last seen with those damn Gunns?

Faarooq’s song is the same song that old movies set in Greece open to, which makes sense because our boy Ron Simmons is dressed like a god damn warrior. Faarooq gives off about the fact that he doesn’t have the Intercontinental championship because he beat down Ahmed. Ron Simmons could have cut a fantastic promo here if they’d made Todd look a bit more terrified of him and Faarooq didn’t sound like a spoiled child who hasn’t gotten his way. Sunny is great, hanging onto Todd and just being malicious. Sunny calls Faarooq a “modern day gladiator”. Sunny does a damn better job than Faarooq and looks the bee’s knees as well. What a wonderful woman.

Vince introduces a promo about old Jake the Snake talking about his alcoholism. It’s set to a background of jangly guitars, which clashes with Jake talking about his suicidal thoughts. Jerry lightens the mood by being an unrelenting cunt about things and cracking wise. In terms of dealing with addiction, the Fed have a serious topic here that they could do a lot with and they reduce it to Jerry making Jake look like a fool when the man should be lionised for his strength. Jake beats Jerry whilst wearing a flowery shirt. Jerry pours booze on Jake’s face.

Old Howard Finkel introduces the newest signee to the WWF, fresh off the 1996 Summer Ol-

HOLY FUCK LOOK IT’S MOTHERFUCKING BOWL CUT KID AND VLADIMIR

Where was I? Oh yeah, Mark Henry comes out, all in white. Vince couldn’t give a fuck despite the fact that it is his signee! They don’t even bother to explain how someone like Mark Henry, being a powerlifer could possibly be a good wrestler. Mr. Perfect gives him grief and Henry, not really knowing what the craic is, just shakes his hand anyways. The King comes to the ring, being a cunt as usual, with his bag of tricks (booze) and removes his jacket to show he’s wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey! In Cleveland! Apparently this is bad and the crowd are not happy about it, not one bit. He is getting such cheap heat! My God, the heat.

Jerry then takes out Jake Roberts’ new tag team partners: Jim Beam and Jack Daniels.

BECAUSE, YOU SEE, JAKE THE SNAKE ROBERTS IS AN ALCOHOLIC AND IS CURRENTLY IN TREATMENT AND IS RECOVERING. THIS MEANS IT IS FUNNY.

Jerry says that Jake’s wife is really ugly, but nothing that a light switch and a six pack won’t cure.

SEE ABOVE.

Jerry then rips on Mark Henry about the fact that he was at the Olympics and had no medals due to injury. He then makes some joke about having gold metals bronzed. The audience rips on King for being a Burger King, which he takes well. He does, however, make a cracking joke about how Jake has barthritis – that’s where you’re stiff in a different joint each night. That’s actually very funny. No caps lock needed.

Jake’s music hits and he gets a lukewarm reception. Vince bigs him up as much as he can and we are treated to another shot of Bowl Cut Kid and Vlad. Great stuff. Jake storms down to the ring and jumps in, eager for a fight. Hard as fuck Referee Harvey Wippleman holds the guys apart despite standing a good foot shorter than our man Roberts. Jerry has another present, a bag of his own with something inside… a magnum of booze. Hilarious. The whole time, Mark Henry is completely ignoring the action in the ring and saying, “I do not like snakes. But I like Jake Roberts.”

Roberts takes out old Revelations and Henry goes mental on the mic. It’s very funny. Jake accidentally stands on his snake as he’s wrapping him around Jerry’s neck. The snake goes for a wee stroll around the ring and Jake lifts him up, popping him in the bag. The bell rings and it’s time for the match, finally.

Jerry “The King” Lawler def. Jake “The Snake” Roberts via pinfall in 4:07.

Jake is going mental in the ring and Jerry refuses to enter, which is fair enough, because there is a huge snake in there. Jerry tries to offer Jake booze but the mic won’t work to tell him so. Jake runs around, bops Jerry’s head off the steel steps and goes to town with him in the middle of the ring. He then kicks Jerry in the nuts but is not disqualified. What? The pair crawl to the outside and Jake still hasn’t taken off his full entrance attire. Bowl cut kid is in the background there, chatting away. Jake gets himself tied up on the ropes and Jerry goes to grab a bottle of booze to feed it to him. DDT countered into a suplex and Jake takes over again.

The crowd start chanting for a DDT and the King grabs Harvey. In his confusion, Jerry gets the bottle, cracks Jake in the throat with it and pulls the tights for the pinfall in 4:07.

2016 comments:

How the mighty have fallen.

1996 comments:

I now realise why Jerry doesn’t wrestle anymore.

Grade: F

After that drizzling shit of a match, lightning strikes the ring, all the forces of Hell appear and drag Jerry “The King” Lawler to his eternal torment in the underworld.

Only joking!

The two men roll in the ring for a while as if they’ve just performed an hour-long match. Jerry cuts a promo on how Jake’s sore throat can be cured by a good old drink of booooooze. Jerry splashes it on Jake’s face before getting more booze and-

SWEET JESUS MARK HENRY ENTERS THE FRAY.

The World’s Strongest Man holds Jerry’s hand (bottle and all) away from Jake’s mouth. What a hero. Either a fan or a member of security takes the booze that Jerry dropped and sneaks it away. Toothless fan in the crowd jeers at the King as he walks past. JR snips that: “That was not an athletic contest that we witnessed. That was a humiliation,” which explains away The King’s entire career at this point. Jake is really selling the booze angle, retching by the side, trying to rid his body of the wicked demon drink. Mark Henry carries him down the aisle and then we cut to Bob Backlund, who is campaigning, apparently, in the crowd. Good man yourself, Bob. Grassroots and all that shite.

On the Card will return on September 8th with the fourth part of SummerSlam 1996.

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

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

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

Wait what the fuck?

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

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

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

The ring bell goes and it is time for…

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

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

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

Idiot.

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OH CHRIST.

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: C

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

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

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

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

No one will dispute the fact that the Attitude Era was a wonderful time for wrestling. Not only did it rocket it back into the mainstream, but for a wrestling fan, it was the most exciting time to watch a bunch of grown men beat each other up for our entertainment. What people do dispute, however, is when the Attitude Era began. The WWF Attitude logo appeared at the 1997 Survivor Series – the same PPV that had the infamous Montreal Screwjob – but WrestleMania XIV is also cited as the beginning of the era with the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin. If we keep going, we can imagine that Goldust’s introduction, the use of Sable’s sex appeal, gore within matches and use of profanity through the mid-nineties could be the starting point of the era.

However, the “passing of the baton” as it were happened twenty years ago today on June 23rd 1996 with the fourth King of the Ring tournament. Over the next four weeks, I will review this important 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.

WWF King of the Ring 1996

To Battle is Honor… to Win is HELL.

That tagline makes no God damned sense, which is probably where the New Generation of the WWF is leeching into the Attitude Era somewhat. I mean, they tried to be edgy but Christ Jesus they did not do a good job. Are we to believe that winning is worse than losing? Then why take part? Why not just lose the payday? Wrestling is so confusing.

(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 which featured The Bodydonnas (Skip AKA Chris Candito and Zip) w/Kloudi def. The New Rockers (Leif Cassidy AKA Al Snow and Marty Jannetty) in a tag team match. It was forgettable. There was an equally forgettable dark match featuring a young upstart named Hunter Hearst Helmsley def. Aldo Montoya AKA Rat-Faced Knacker Justin Credible in a measly three minutes, which is cheap, even for a dark match.)

We’re treated to a promo clip show that looks like it’s been cobbled together in a dingy basement. It’s all flashes and filters and typewriter font. Remember that time when the level of the hipness of something was dictated by how much like a typewriter the font resembled? Well we’re deep into that territory tonight, people. The red WWF logo is followed by The Ultimate Warrior startling Jerry “The King” Lawler so much that the King hits him with a painting. We see Wildman Marc Mero do a bunch of hurricanranas on lads. Stone Cold looks middle distance. Vader jumps at Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who replies by holding Damien over his head and smiling. Mankind destroys a perfectly good coffin and the Undertaker looks mighty annoyed by that. Which is fair enough, like. Good coffins are hard to come by, and they’re Taker’s bread and butter, surely. They’re not cheap. In a stunning juxtaposition, we see the Godwinns do a jig with each other just before their former valet, Sunny, gets a good old kiss from Bodacious Bart Gunn. She then shows off her cleavage because it’s the Attitude Era, almost. To remind us of that, we have Goldust giving Ahmed Johnston the kiss of life and the man goes ballistic and smashes down a door because no matter how edgy this may be, it is still the nineties. Then, finally we see Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog punch the face off each other whilst Mr. Perfect looks on like the Adonis he is.

We are ready to start in the MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 8,762 attended. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart arrives with a booboo on his wrist, storming clean past Jumping Jim Ross and Pre-Mr McMahon Vince. All three are in tuxedos and looking snazzy as fuck. Even JR, despite the fact that he does not wear a tie, like an Amish man. The entryway is manned by two court jester-styled gentlemen and out walks our first participant…

King of the Ring Semi-final: Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Wildman Marc Mero w/ Sable via pinfall in 16:49

Stone Cold Steve Austin is rocking the moustache/soul patch combo in this match. He clearly saw Wildman Marc Mero’s mental horseshoe of a lip-warmer and thought, “I ain’t gone let no damn son-of-a-bitch beat me in no God-damned facial hair game.” It will be a while before his beard will grow to the iconic Stone Cold goatee that we are used to. But this is not a blog post on Stone Cold’s wonderful face. Bit of a promo showing how much of a dick Stone Cold has been over the last few weeks. He Tazzmissions and Stunners people left and right because he simply does not care. He gives off to the referee for a while. Out comes Wildman Marc Mero and his mental wife Sable before she went off to marry an infinitely inferior but much more popular man in Brock Lesnar. Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart talks about his hand for a while and the two greasiest men in Christendom start to wrassle.

The match isn’t bad at all, a lot of near falls at the start and Stone Cold really sells his heel gimmick by glaring at Wildman any time he gets some offence in. Sable is trying to keep Mero in the match by hammering on the ring mat but she can’t keep time at all. Mero goes for the flying head scissors and Stone Cold stands outside forever, looking in at him. Stone Cold gets back in and we have rest holds to show off Marc Mero’s wonderful Solid Snake mullet. More rest holds. Sable keeps horrible time outside like some demented jazz singer. Irish Referee Tim White looks on as Stone Cold goes for the Lou Thesz Press and jumps too high, so just stomps a mudhole in Mero before going for the throat and shouting at the crowd. Great bump when Stone Cold rolls out of the ring and calls for a time out from the ref!

Test of strength from the cowardly hell Austin as he goes for the gut and holds Mero’s knuckles to ransom. A fan gently caresses Marc Mero as he lies outside. Stone Cold wastes no time removing the mats from outside the ring to expose the concrete before Bowl Cut Kid himself leans over the barrier and shouts at the camera. Mero takes a bump on the concrete and Stone Cold hits a brutal suplex in the ring. Stone Cold goes for Mero’s neck for a while like the bastard he is. Rakes Mero’s eyes on the ropes, Irish whips him from corner to corner. Sable prays to whatever God she believes in but none answer her. Dodgy ribbreaker from Stone Cold followed by a Boston crab. Stone Cold walks about for a while, keeping Mero from the ropes but the Wildman reverses it. Rollup to Irish whip and Stone Cold is back in control.

Another Boston crab and the two men have a wee breather while Sable hits the ring in some horrible 3/4 timing. Some nice near-fall reversals for a while and Stone Cold gets wrapped in a sleeper hold, reverse to a stunner. Wildman gives Stone Cold an ass-bump from the turnbuckle, a brutal missile dropkick that busts Stone Cold open legit. Then there’s a double axehandle smash followed by two dives over the rope from Marc Mero. Another drop kick and Stone Cold is bleeding bad when Mero gives him a hurricanrana off the top rope like a total psycho. Potential botched powerbomb before Stone Cold gets angry and stunners the Wildman for the pin in 16:49.

2016 comments:

Looking back after 20 years, this is still a decent match. Stone Cold is not amazing and it really is a Wildman match. He shows off all his moves and really comes over as a babyface in this match. The fact that Stone Cold survives all the offense and walks away with a bust mouth makes him look like a hero. Good match, good start.

1996 comments:

I actually did not watch KotR 96 until about 1998 because my family could not afford the channels that had wrestling and I could only see them by stealing VHS tapes from my friends. Back then, though, I remember being disappointed by the little blood, little boobs and this weird guy named Marc Mero. He didn’t exist two years later, funnily enough, and I could not really understand why. He seemed amazing with his flips and mental hair. Really, my biggest disappointment was the lack of Stone Cold glass smashing music.

Grade: B+

We have Dok Hendrix AKA Fabulous Freebird Michael Hayes interviewing Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Jake cuts a promo praising Jesus, who is the Christ.

Straight-up shoot fact: Stone Cold had been given a big smack in the mouth by Marvellous Marc Mero during the match and was driven straight to the emergency room after the match, sewn up and driven back to the arena for the King of the Ring final. Remember this. It is important later.

King of the Ring Semi-Final: Jake “The Snake” Roberts def. Vader w/ Jim Cornette via disqualification in 3:34

Big Van Vader, otherwise known as the man who ruined Mick Foley’s ear, is a towering beast of a man. Apparently, he’s a big softie in real life but that does not take away from the fact that the man is huge. At six-foot-five and 450 lbs, the man is a “mastodon” according to Vince. Owen rips on Jake Roberts, calling him 51 years old (changing it to 61 later), older than Robert’s real age of 41. Vince references the drug and alcohol problems old Jake has been open about recently. Jake, on his way to the ring, flings Revelations, his God-damned albino Burmese Python, towards Vader and Jim Cornette. Corny has a tennis racket for some reason. It’s all very strange.

Owen keeps talking about how old Jake Roberts is and Vince talks over him. Fuck Vince, even back before he became Mr. McMahon. Vader controls Jake until one single kick to the face turns the tide. Roberts calls for the DDT and is overpowered. Vader batters Roberts left and right. Roberts dodges a punch and hits Vader with a clothesline which barely fazes the monster. Roberts goes for the DDT and Vader, in the fall, pushes the referee and the ref disqualifies him! Whole match lasts 3:34. Vader beats the crap out of Roberts as Corny keeps the ref in the corner. Vader hits the Vader Bomb, the bell keeps being rung and the ref calls for more officials. Corny comes to his senses and holds Vader back. There’s a pushing match in the middle as Jake is brought backstage to advance into the final of the King of the Ring tournament with our man Stone Cold.

In a Coliseum Home Video Exclusive, it shows Vader crying like a child and bullying Corny, who seems to be in some sort of abusive relationship with Big Van. How odd.

2016 comments:

I love Vader, I love Corny and I love Jake Roberts, so this shit was amazing. Yes, the match was nonsense and seemed to be called on the fly, but I loved the pantomime of it. That said, it wasn’t a great match at all and I didn’t really understand the point of it. Who was going over here? Were we supposed to hate Vader and love Roberts? Because no one goes over. Vader looks like a big baby and Roberts looks old and weak. The win by DQ is a great way to get a villainous heel over but it looked like a genuine mistake (and the only time a ref has ever stopped a match because they were hit, in my memory).

Had Vader gone for a choke in the corner and the ref had tried to stop him, Vader had pushed him and the ref went flying, then Vader would have looked like a machine. That man can push a ref so hard, he springboards about the ring? What a champ! If Roberts had hit the DDT then and officials had entered the ring to check on his damaged neck whilst Vader rose to his feet in the background (he pushed a ref like a ragdoll and shrugged off a DDT? This man is a monster!) then Vader hit the Vader Bomb, both would have gone over. This was just sloppy.

1996 comments:

I hated Vader back in the day because he was the reason Foley lost an ear. I didn’t know who Corny was and Roberts was not a great watch.

Grade: D

On The Card will return on June 30th, 2016 for Part 2 of King of the Ring 1996.