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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 comments:

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

1996 comments:

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

Grade: A

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

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

The Go Home Stats.

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

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

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

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

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

Matches: No titles were on the line.

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

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

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

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

Previously on On the Card: Fuck Bradshaw.

Promo for the Undertaker vs. Goldust match later and Goldust himself is coming out to the ring! Great stuff. Cut to a music video promo for the Undertaker, not that one is needed because he’s the motherfucking Undertaker. Lots of flashes and slow motion of him in his western garb. Mankind appears and the video becomes less paranormal, more sinister. Then heavy metal guitar kicks in and Paul Bearer is spinning with the Undertaker’s urn all lit up like Old Gregg’s downstairs mixup. We see Taker doing some smithing by a furnace. Video becomes dark again and Goldust is there with Mankind but then it’s back to the heavy metal and the kickass chokeslams that Taker is known for.

Back in the ring, Marlena and Goldust are by the announce team. Goldust is looking wonderful. Goldie is amazing with his wig and feather boa. He’s spouting some nonsense like Brando in Apocalypse Now. Then he’s up and away. Why he did that by the announce team and not cut the promo in the ring is beyond me. Maybe they wanted Free-For-All, which is before the PPV to be free of actual plot.

Cut to promo about the main event match – Camp Cornette (Vader, Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart and British Bulldog) against The People’s Posse (Shawn Michaels, Sycho Sid and Ahmed Johnson).

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Sid wasn’t even supposed to be in the match. It was supposed to be Ultimate Warrior until he realised that touching men in a wrestling match is similar to being gay, or something just as insane. He left the Fed and would not return until three days before he died.

Shot of the end of King of the Ring where Camp Cornette attacked Shawn after the Michaels vs. Bulldog match. Ultimate Warrior actually appears before it cuts to Gorilla Monsoon, kayfabe WWF President, announcing the indefinite suspension of Warrior. He gives the reason as the legit reason Warrior and the Fed fell out – he no-showed a couple of shows. His reason was that he was pissed that McMahon was keeping money from him due for Warrior merchandise, but here he’s the bad guy, not McMahon. Even 20 years later, I’m a little dubious about this. But then again, the man had an ego so big he wouldn’t sell for anyone so it doesn’t surprise me. Shots of Warrior getting beaten by Camp Cornette until Corny himself drops a promo on Michaels. Shawn and Ahmed appear to reveal their partner – Sycho Sid! Brock Samson himself starts screaming like he saw a guy in a stormtrooper helmet fall out of a wall and Shawn giggles behind him like a schoolgirl. At Raw, we see Cornette throwing water in Shawn’s face. As Michaels chases the fat little turd, both guys are ambushed by Camp Cornette. A car bursts into the scene and Sid jumps out to help his buddies. The announcer mentions that Sid has been institutionalised and questions his ability to stay in the match.

José Lothario is in the ring with Jim Cornette. José walks out to Michael’s Sexy Boy music. Jumping Jim Ross is there in the middle of the ring to start this debate named Face-To-Face. The lights are being messed about with as Corny chews the scenery in the best way possible. He threatens José and claims Camp Cornette are going to kick The People’s Posse in the arse. He threatens to beat Joeé Lothario out if he touches him. José is not close enough to the mic or speaking slowly or loudly enough to be heard. He also calls the WWF Championship, “The World… Federation… Championship”. I understand English is not his first language but come on, bro. Corny takes offence to the broken English and the pair square off in the middle of the ring. Corny goes to hit Lothario with his tennis racket and there are punches thrown. Vader slithers in and walks menacingly towards Lothario before Michaels slides in, damn near slides the whole way out of the ring. Schmoz and everyone leaves.

Then we have everyone’s milquetoast motherfucker Special K himself Kevin Kelly, standing by our man Stone Cold. Kevin Kelly says that Stone Cold was “one count away” from being beaten by the Wildman Marc Mero, which was akin to saying that I am one election away from being president. Stone Cold threatens him by saying, “In one second, I’m-a knock the hell out of you, son!” K-K steps back and Stone Cold drops Austin 3:16. Close up of that half-baked tache/soul patch combo that he’s attempting to rock. Kevin Kelly cuts to the alleged boot to the face that Austin took that required over a dozen stitches to fix, a kick to the mouth during Wildman’s roll up. Austin threatens Mero and mentions Sable, which causes Kelly to quickly shoot back to the arena.

The announce team are quiet for a while and Jim Ross is having trouble with his mic.

Cut to the locker room and Camp Cornette is there. Jim is hidden behind Big Van Vader who barks at the camera. Owen and Bulldog feel each other up as Diana looks on, gormless and wondering what temperature cheese melts at. The whole thing is a clusterfuck. Cut to announce team as Bulldog starts talking. Back to the locker room. It’s just gibberish. Cornette is great but the other wrestlers are desperate to get their own words in. Vince is talking over them. Total shit show.

Good old monochrome promo for International Incident and so far there have been more promos than actual wrestling. But it’s okay! There’s the big red thundercloud and we’re going into the… après preshow promo package of showing things that happened, like, twenty minutes ago. Guff stuff. We see Cornette and Lothario… at about 12 fps by the looks of it. Cut to the title without any discussion. This whole thing looks like it’s been put together by a child. But wait! There’s a gunshot and kids crowd to the side of the ring! What could it be? Who could it be? Why, it’s Sunny and the Smoking Gunns! Jim Ross has his mic fixed and Bart Gunn lets Sunny into the ring. Cut to the Bodydonnas and Skip (Chris Candido) and Zip talk about the lack of Kloudi near them.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: Chris Candido and Sunny were an item for years. She cheated on him with everyone.

The Bodydonnas come out (the title says Body Donnas) and the match is set to begin…

The Bodydonnas def. The Smoking Gunns w/ Sunny via pinfall in 13:05

This is not a match for the Tag Team Championships so who gives a good God damn. Sunny jaws off to the announce team and the Bodydonnas double team frosted tips Aaron Carter lookalike Billy Gunn. Vince debates that because the belts are not up for grabs, the Bodydonnas have a psychological advantage which makes no sense. Surely that they would try harder if the belts were on the line?

Sunny batters on the ring, keeping clearly better time than that useless Sable. She’s a terrible metronome. Bodacious Bart gives a killer clothesline to Skip. Or is it Zip? The announce team will not shut up about Jake the Snake. He was due to wrassle Mankind but due to injury, he was replaced by Henry O. Godwinn. Jerry makes fun of Jake’s drinking, setting up the match at Summerslam. JR calls Sunny a jezebel, which is pretty much his go-to taunt for women over the next few years. Sunny “collapses” after getting the vapours. SkipZip picks her up and she gives him a slap, distracting him enough for the Smoking Gunns to double clothesline him. The ref lets all this happen, the tall glass of water. Near fall and the Bodydonnas are still in the match.

JR and King rag on each other for a while. Bodacious Bart throws SkipZip so hard into the turnbuckle, the man damn near dies. Those old nineties rings just sound like hell. SkipZip goes to the top rope. Bart catches him into a powerslam. Botched double team of some kind and Billy goes ballistic. The Gunns wail on SkipZip and he retaliates, getting a mean old whuppin’ for his trouble. Jewish referee Harvey Whippleman, a man who, at the age of 30 looks twice that, has no idea what’s going on. He keeps getting distracted and runs after the faces when the heels are up to no good! Fuck Wall Street man, the big crime is this inconsistent refereeing we’re seeing here.

We hear that Brian Pillman is manning the WWF Superstar line, which is amazing. He’s be talking about Charles Manson or something mental to some 8-year-old child who is still wondering where Ultimate Warrior is. Billy does a huge jump off the top rope and SkipZip catches him with an inverted atomic drop. Right on his old Gunnlets! Billy ragdolls about the ring, clutching his precious, precious manplums. Of course, their oil baron father will take him out of the will now. Without any ability to sire his own, he is worthless. The Gunn name is in the hands of Bodacious Bart, and we know that he has lain with cattle on occasion. His kin will be beasts, abominations unto the Lord Our God Jesus Who Is The Christ.

Sunny doesn’t seem happy one way or the other. Still, though, she’s keeping perfect time on the ring there, battering 4/4. Billy trips Zip, not Skip. Ref gives him lip. Skip takes a trip. Skip lands the pin and SkipZip pins Bart in 13:05.

2016 comments:

Heap of shite match. It was a nothing match that did not advance the plot or the feud. All that happened was the heel champs were heels, the faces fought back, cheated and won. No one went over and it was just an excuse to show off Sunny (fair enough) and for the Tag champs to get a payday. At least put the belts on the line and make it interesting. Two out of three falls or something. Have SkipZip cheat and Sunny to get the belts taken off them somehow. Make the heels looks snivelling and by-the-book, not like the parodies they are.

1996 comments:

What are the Hollys doing in red pants? And why is Road Dogg missing his dreads? Crazy stuff.

Grade: C

Sunny acts like the parody of Texas she is and takes her cowboy hat on, stomping about the ring like a toddler. Sunny screams like a child, as if they lost the belts. Sunny is lying down in the ring, dying for a shag, the rascal. The minute Chris Candido’s back is turned, she’s at it. The reply shows the jump from the turnbuckle to a missile dropkick was landed painfully. Some wrestlers are stupid.

Cut to Camp Cornette. Mr. Perfect is speaking to them all and another replay of the José Lothario/Jim Cornette slapping match during Free For All. Vader is destroying the locker room for some reason. Diana watches on, weird face on her. Owen is killing it with his heel business. the lot of them are slagging The People’s Posse whilst Mankind’s weird music plays in the background. Back in the day, he had tense music to start and different, softer music to finish.

Straight up Shoot Fact: The choice of different music for entrance and exit was based on a scene from Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lecter murders the two prison guards.

The strange thing about the entrance music is that, despite the fact that every wrestler has entrance music, none play about with it that much. New Jack in ECW used to have Ice Cube and Dr. Dre’s “Natural Born Killaz” play throughout his matches on a loop, like he wanted the match to be an action scene in a movie. That said, though, New Jack also stabbed other wrestlers and was generally a cunt so his innovations with theme music are not as impressive.

Mankind is running around the ring in the dark like a mentalist. There is a window gobo in the centre of the ring and he struts about it for a while. Ould Henry O. Godwinn turns up with Hillbilly Jim. The house prop in the background (of In Your House fame) is surrounded by mountees. For, you see, we are in Canada, which means that most of the crowd… are canuck. And, as we all know, that is the greatest betrayal of all. You know who else is canuck? Wolverine. And Deadpool.

Mankind looks on, staring at Henry O. Godwinn as he dances with Hillbilly Jim. Mankind has pulled his hair from his head and now sports bald patches here and there. Yeah, Mick. They’re the weird ones.

Mankind def. Henry O. Godwinn via KO in 6:54

Henry O. Godwinn shouts, “Hooo-eee!” to the crowd and Mankind goes mental, beating him about the head and trying to bite him. Irish Referee Tim White is on the case, though. JR explains that Mankind has applied the Mandible Claw four times on the Undertaker, which seems both excessive and uninteresting. Irish whip and Henry hits Mick with one hell of a powerslam. Mankind goes to leave, thinks better of it and returns to the ring. He boots Godwinn to the ground. King quips, out of the blue, “One good thing about Canada: they don’t have an Arkansas, the state that gave us the Godwinns and a president named Bubba.

Fuck the King for besmirching the good name of Clinton.

King then makes a reference to Jake the Snake again: “Unlike Bubba, Jake always inhaled.” Godwinn, annoyed by this, beats on Mankind for a while and the ring is being stunk up by both these men. Great bulldog by Mankind followed by an elbow. Mankind roars for a bit, pulls at his hair and starts hammering Godwinn in the corner. JR tells us that he believes, “Mankind is the most dangerous man in the World Wrestling Federation. Mankind removes the mat outside the ring and gives Godwinn a neckbreaker to the concrete before throwing him back in the ring. Godwinn punches the psycho from his knees and takes over. Mankind jumps to the turnbuckle and cracks his head. Great clothesline from Godwinn and Mankind is thrown onto the exposed concrete.

Godwinn starts “hoo-eee!”-ing and Mankind becomes furious, applying the Mandible Claw, resulting in the knockout in 6:54.

2016 comments:

What can there be said about a match that lasts less than seven minutes, all of them uneventful? Sick bump to the concrete aside, the match was the drizzling shits.

1996 comments:

I love Mankind. I wish he would do bumps to concrete from higher places.

Grade: C-

Mankind rolls about the place as a guy in the crowd rocks a stormtrooper t-shirt, a clear reference to that one guy who fell through a wall. Mankind pure sprints down the aisle towards the mounties. They’re not impressed.

On the Card will return on August 4th with the second part of In Your House 9: International Incident 1996.

Attitude Era #2. In Your House 9: International Incident (July 21, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at King of the Ring 1996 and its importance in the Attitude Era – the loss of Ultimate Warrior, Jake “The Snake” Roberts missing his chance for glory and, of course, the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin with the greatest promo of all time. The next PPV was called International Incident and was a part of a long-running collection of PPVs called In Your House. The purpose of the In Your House PPVs were to give the audience a cheaper and more frequent WWF experience. At the time, the WWF only had four big PPVs – Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania near Easter, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series near Thanksgiving. The months in between were filled with In Your House PPVs and this was one of them.

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 In Your House 9: International Incident

Two Hours of Hard-Hitting, High-Flying, Heart-Stopping, Piledriving ACTION!!

There is entirely no need for two exclamation points there, lads. One or none, everyone knows that. I have looked at this card and with a grand total of FIVE matches (six if you include the match on Free-For-All), of which most are around the 10-minute mark, I am concerned about the legitimacy of this statement. However, I will refrain from judging until I watch.

We are ready to start in the General Motors Place… wait, is that its actual name? It’s just called a “place”? What the fuck. Well, it’s the General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, I guess. 14,804 attended, which is almost double of the previous PPV, King of the Ring, where 8,762 attended. Your announcers are Vince McMahon, chewing the scenery, along with Jumping Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Vince is springing about the place, clearly high on cocaine.

Savio Vega’s music hit and out he comes, slapping hands and shouting at the crowd. Cut back to a match on Superstars and RAW where Savio Vega and “Hawk” Bradshaw AKA Acolyte Bradshaw AKA Shit-Eating Announcer JBL are having a whipping contest. Savio gets to the ring and JBL runs in with Uncle Zebekiah AKA Zeb Coulter. Both are jawing off to the crowd.

(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. This was an exclusive match on Free-For-All and has little to do with the actual PPV. This match was incorrectly reported on the Wikipedia page as being between Bradshaw and Hakushi.)

“Hawk” Bradshaw def. Savio Vega via pinfall in 4:41

As soon as Bradshaw gets into the ring, his 6 foot 6 frame hopping over the top rope, Savio Vega is on him. Five punches in the corner and Bradshaw is knocked for six. He throws Vega into the corner and lays into him. Knowing what I know about Bradshaw (that he is a cunt), those digs are probably stiff as Val Venis. Turnbuckle to turnbuckle before Vega dropkicks Bradshaw out of the ring and goes after Zebekiah. Bradshaw punches Vega’s tummy and goes for the face but Vega ducks and the dumb motherfucker punches the ring post.

It is very, very sloppy. Bradshaw is either not listening or ignoring Vega as there are a lot of no-sold moves and the entire thing lacks psychology. Vega knocks Brawshaw into the corner and hits him with a kick. Vega topples over the top rope and takes control of the match. Near fall and Vega goes for the cross body off the rope. Bradshaw catches him and Zebekiah trips him. Ref counts it as a pin and Bradshaw get the one-two-three on Savio Vega in 4:41.

2016 comments:

Fuck Bradshaw.

1996 comments:

Fuck Bradshaw.

Grade: D

After the uneventful and disappointing curtain-jerker, both Zebekiah and Bradshaw go to town on Savio Vega. The kicks look pretty brutal, too. The bell keeps ringing and the official is scared off. Zebekiah “brands” Vega by hitting him with some painted metal made to look like a cattle brand. A little racist.