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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: F

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dispatches: None.

On The Card Hall Of Fame

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

Previous Men of the Matches: Shawn Michaels.

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

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

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WWF SummerSlam 1996

Opposites Attack!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

Who is this Flintstone cosplayer?

Grade: B

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

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