Attitude Era #8: Royal Rumble 1997 (Jan 19, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Stone Cold cheats his way to victory.

Promo for the bad attitudes from the two men. We see Sid’s heel-turn where he attacked José Lothario. No apologies from Sid. Bad CGI of Shawn looking out a window into a WWF arena. The two men kick seven shades of shite out of one another and Sid powerbombs José’s 19-year-old son.

But back to the crowd… and then another cut to JR speaking to Shawn Michaels at Superstars. Shawn slurs through a promo. He says José means more to him than any other person on God’s green earth other than his mother and father. He’s threatening Sid saying that the champ will not be fighting just Shawn, but also thousands of San Antonians. Bit pointed.

Cut to Shawn and José walking down towards the ring. Vince says that it is a long walk. Music hits, crowd goes wild and Shawn leaves the Gorilla position to high five the crowd and say, “Yeah!” a lot. The big ring of lights is centre stage as Shawn poses, firing off some pyro mid-ring. What a matchup! What an entrance! This is what wrestling would grow into, where the entrances are almost as important as the action in the ring. The song repeats and… is that Sunny in the crowd? Jeepers. Sunny days indeed.

Cut to the back where Heel Sid walks slowly down the same corridor, heading to Gorilla position and out into the arena. Big boos from the crowd, actually. Fair play to them. Laser on his face as he punches the crowd’s fists and asks them if they know who the man is. The man is (supposedly) you, Sid. Sid sees Superfan Vlad and ignores Superfan The Dude (Faith No More Guy), who is wearing a blue BWO t-shirt. JR tells us that Sid has a “smattering of fans”, which is interesting considering so many were desperate for touching him.

Big SID sign in pyro goes off behind him.

WWF Championship match: Shawn Michaels def. Sycho Sid (c) via pin in 13:49.

Sid and Shawn square off. Sid gives Shawn one shove and he rolls right back. A second shove and Sid takes over, tossing Shawn about. HBK replies with a crossbody and kicks Sid out of the ring. Big pop from the crowd. Referee Earl Hebner holds Shawn back as we wait for Sid to get up. Shawn moves him back and goes out to help Sid up. Sid smacks Shawn and he reverses. Sid throws Shawn into the ring, lifts for the gorilla press and Shawn escapes with a rake to the eyes. Shawn goes top rope and Sid catches him for a powerslam. Front row is José’s son, who gives such advice as, “Get him!”

Sid gives Shawn a Camel Clutch, breaks back, makes humble. Sid bumps Shawn and gives the Camel Clutch again. JR tells us that this is the last time José Lothario will manage Shawn… it’s also the last time we see Shawn for a while, but that’s neither here nor there. Sid goes for a third bump, Shawn dodges it and takes over, giving some lovely punches, taking a huge turnbuckle bump, turned inside out, upside down and falls outside. Shawn lies there as Sid scoops Shawn, smashes him into the ring post once, twice and tosses Shawn in the ring for the pin.

Sid lifts Shawn up and hits him on the lower back. Sid gets Shawn in a rest hold and HBK fights to his feet before turned inside out by Sid’s clothesline. Sid taunts the crowd, goes for a pin, fails. Brilliant toss to the turnbuckle and Sid does the same again, catching Shawn for the bear hug. JR puts over the fact that Sid is keeping it simple. Shawn has said that he has “the flu”, that is to say “been strung out on pain pills for ages”. Cut to shots of Hawn’s parents ringside. Looking desperate.

Michaels hits Sid with a great Atomic Drop. He goes to Brets rope and attempts a jumping punch twice, Sid catching him on the second. The bear hug lasts forever and is a soft, soft, lovely bear hug. Sid goes for the pin, fails, leg drops, pins, fails. Chinlock city. It’s been sit down City over here. Shawn gets up, bodyslams Sid, hits the lariat, kips up, goes for a top-rope elbow, nails Sid and tunes up the band. Sid catches Sweet Chin Music and tosses Michaels out. Somebody tell these boys that the Royal Rumble match is over. Sid powerbombs Shawn to the outside and goes to chokeslam both Lotharios, Jr and Sr. Shawn fights back and Earl takes a ref bump. Sid chokeslams Shawn, goes for the pin, the official is out and a second ref comes in for the count, hitting the one, two and Shawn kicks out.

Sid causes another ref bump as the second one is hit by Sid. José goes to the rope, distracts Sid and Shawn gets a camera, knocks Sid down, goes for the pin and Earl makes his way laboriously to count the pin but Sid kicks out! My God! Shawn tunes up the band and hits Sid with Sweet Chin Music, getting the pin and win in 13:49.

2017 comments:

Worst match I’ve seen of Shawn’s so far in this blog. Really bad. No psychology, no real energy, just a bunch of rest holds followed by a spot at the end.

1997 comments:

Shawn looks like a drug addict.

Grade: C

Shawn bows to the crowd, his own hometown crowd and is awarded the WWF Championship by José Lothario. He celebrates with everyone else as the song repeats and some fucker whistles as loud as he can. For real, it is suuuuper loud. Go and shut up, eh?

People begin to file out as he goes to the parents and gives them a wee cuddle. He hugs his family and it turns out that the whistler is his sister! He climbs over Jerry, pats Vince on the back, almost strangles him with a hug and shoves his arse in his face. Whistling continues as he does a wee tour of the crowd, shaking hands with everyone. We see a replay of the heel move Shawn had busting Sid with the camera and getting the pin. Both superfans Vlad and Faith No More Guy shake his hands as the song repeats! Then we have a recap of the entire PPV from the HHH vs. Goldust match to NOD vs Ahmed, Vader and Taker (mit Paul unt Urn bump), the Royal Rumble feat. Stone Cold, giant 2×4, Bret coming out and Austin’s “elimination” followed by Bret’s tantrum. Then we see the match again! More Sid bumps and Shawn winning! The PPV ends with a bit of a wet fart.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: Legit bad PPV with little big men other than, of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin who survived for over 45 minutes in the Royal Rumble, eliminated 10 people and, like Christ before him, was struck down and rose again to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

Woman of the Matches: There were literally no women in this PPV other than Jacqueline, Sable and Marlena.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Best Spot: There were none, but I’ll put in Stone Cold’s false elimination and clearing the house in ten seconds flat.

Hatches: We have Canek, Cibernético, Mil Máscaras, Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, Jerry Estrada, Latin Lover, Perro Aguaya, Pierroth from the AAA alongside Terry Funk and Curtis Hughes. Terry Funk will disappear for two years and return at the 1998 Royal Rumble, Curtis Hughes will not be back until Unforgiven 1999 and the AAA guys? Well… just check dispatches.

Matches: Hunter Hearst Helmsley retains his Intercontinental Championship and Shawn Michaels wins the WWF Championship for his second reign.

Dispatches: Canek, Cibernético, Mil Máscaras, Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal, Hector Garza, Jerry Estrada, Latin Lover, Perro Aguaya, Pierroth, Razor Ramon, José Lothario, Jake Roberts, Diesel (until he returns as Kane) and Jerry Lawler and Shawn Michaels (until KOTR 97).

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, Undertaker.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Flash Funk, Leif Cassidy, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Austin for winning the Royal Rumble!

Previous Women of the Matches: Sunny, N/A.

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: No one, No one.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… No one again, for the second time in a row!

The Year in Reviews

Each Royal Rumble, I will give you some information of the past year of reviews for you stat-heads out there.

In 1996, the biggest movie at the time was Independence Day, which made $817,400,891 worldwide, followed by Twister and Mission Impossible. The biggest hit single of the year was Los Del Rio’s “Macarena”, which is shite, followed by Spice Girls “Wannabe” and Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”.

Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton win their second terms as President of Russia and the USA respectively, the Nintendo 64 and Pokémon Red and Green are is released in Japan, a meteorite from Mars contained evidence of primitive lifeforms and Carl Sagan died.

In wrasslin’ news, the WWF Championship was held by Bret for 133 days since Nov 19 1995 until Shawn Michaels held it for 231 days from March 31 to November 17 where Sycho Sid held it into the New Year. Goldust held the Intercontinental Championship for 71 days from January 21 until he lost it in a match to Savio Vega and won it again the same night to hold it for 83 days from April 1 until Ahmed Johnson won it at King of the Ring, June 23; he vacated it after legit kidney problems (kayfabed as an attack by Faarooq) and Marc Mero won it on Sept 23, held it for 28 days until Triple H won it on Oct 21 and brought it into the New Year. The Tag Team Championship was brought into 1996 by the Smoking Gunns, who vacated it on Feb 15 after 143 days of holding it due to Billy Gunn having a neck injury. The Bodydonnas picked it up on March 31 and held it for 49 days until the Godwins picked it up on May 19, held it for a week, dropped it to The Smoking Gunns on May 29 and they held it until September 22 when The British Bulldog and Owen Hart brought it into the New Year. We had the Curtain Call at MSG, the formation of the NWO with Razor Ramon and Diesel leaving for WCW and the rise of Stone Cold and The Rock. Kurt Angle also won Olympic gold with a broken fuckin’ neck.

Closing Statements: A real let down and, unfortunately, it seems to be the end for Shawn Michaels for the next wee while.

On the Card will return on February 16 2017 with In Your House 13: Final Four.

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 #8: Royal Rumble 1997 (Jan 19, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: My favourite wrestlers and a man who almost killed another man.

Cut to our boy Terry Funk, half-brother of Flash Funk. He cuts a promo.

Backstage, the NOD are there and Jacqueline and a nameless member are harassed for not fighting for Faarooq. He shouts in the camera and calls Ahmed a punk.

Back in the arena, Vader pops down to the ring. Vader is very happy to be here. No one else cares. I like Vader. I used to hate him, but I like him. There is little fanfare, however.

The gong goes, the arena darkens and our man Undertaker takes his slow, laborious stroll to the ring. The crowd sing along with his song! Terrific! I love this! Oh, to be in the crowd then, at the height of Taker’s in-ring prowess! The pop is so big that nothing else can be heard. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. There are no announcers speaking, either, which just adds to the mystique… until Vince fucks it. Lovely shot of the Undertaker on the steel steps where the ring of lights has been dropped so it halos him. Jerry asks if it is a flying saucer. Derp.

Taker has a teardrop tattoo on his cheek. He has killed a man. There is a very odd reason for this match: there is none. No feud. Just… Vader and Undertaker, getting a payday.

Vader def. The Undertaker via pin in 13:19.

Vader and Taker swap blows for a while until Vader makes the mistake of hitting Taker in the back and getting an eyeful for his effort. Taker goes to charge Vader, gets knocked down, sits up instantly and Vader takes over, knocking Taker down again and again only for Taker to sit up. Vader goes to leave but Taker hits him with a double axe handle nothing and lays Vader out on the floor. Vader hits a guillotine stunner off the apron and Vader goes for the back body drop off the ropes but Undertaker leg drops the back of Vader’s head! Taker then body slams Vader! And another leg drop! He’s like a better Cunt Hogan.

Undertaker gets Vader in an armlock, goes for Old School, falls and lands on his balls. Silly Undertaker. But how does a dead man sell a shot to the nuts? Legit question. Vader hits Undertaker between the legs a second time and he sells it.

Cut to Todd Pettengill in the crowd, interviewing a very sweet little girl who saved up her money last summer to follow Shawn Michaels about the place. She babysat to do that. What a girl. Fair play to her. Those sort of stories make me love being a wrestling fan.

Back in the ring, the Undertaker is getting punched by Vader. Both men are gassed and Vader is on Bret’s rope, hitting a lovely, safe Bret’s rope nothing. Pin attempt and a fail. Vader has a wee massage on Taker and the crowd cheer to get Taker to his feet. Big punches from the Deadman and he hits a lovely backdrop onto Vader. Lots of high-lift manoeuvres here from the Deadman. Taker attempts to hit the elbow and fails. Vader, once again, hits Taker in the dick. Vince asks if we will see the Vaderbomb. Vader goes to Bret’s rope and jumps with Taker hitting a huge powerslam. Beautiful. Vader gets the Vader Bomb on Taker, but he kicks out, sits up, hammers on the big man, hits the jumping shoulder barge and goes for the second attempt at Old School. Vader is leaning on the ropes and could shake Taker off, but doesn’t.

Paul Bearer is here! Taker hits Vader with a great chokeslam, but Percy Pringle is looking at him, holding that Urn of his with a sneer. Taker does a lovely backwards-fall out of the ring, punches Paul and is shoved into the ring by Taker. Bearer crawls about, shouts, begs at Taker but is caught in a chokeslam. Vader is back in the ring, kicks Vader, punches Paul, clotheslines Vader out and falls with him. The French Announcer’s table (just replaced) is now the site of an Undertaker jump. Bearer pulls Vader to safety, but Taker has been hurt, hurt by that pesky guardrail!

Both men are taking their time and Paul smacks Taker on the back of the head with the urn, kisses it and sneers off. What a man. RIP in peace. Vader goes for the Vader Bomb slash Vader Drop slash fall, goes for the pin and takes Taker out in 13:19.

2017 comments:

Good match, just the right length, shame there was a lot of sitting around.

1997 comments:

God damn, but Vader got out of the ring quickly, didn’t he?

Grade: B

Vader escapes with Paul as his music hits. Undertaker is up, stares at the ref, as if to say, “Did you just let that happen, bro?” He then chokeslams the ref. Poor ref was hospitalised by Vader as well. He can’t get a break. Taker is angry, gosh, he is mad as hell. He starts tossing up chairs, shouting, throwing things, points at Vince, acts like it’s a screwjob of some kind. We see replays of the urn shot, the Vader Bomb/Drop and Taker shouts at the camera as he leaves.

Before he leaves, though, Jerry drops an absolute cracker: “That was a hard urn’d victory.” Actually amazing.

Cut to Stone Cold jawing off to the camera, telling them that he will not speaking until he goes through twenty-nine other pieces of trash.

Cut to the British Bulldog, who says he is amazing. And he is.

Back in the arena, no-entrance Jerry Estrada, Heavy Metal and Fuerza get ready for their match with Hector Garza, Perro Aguayo and Canek! The from AAA are ready to show these damned Americans who is the best Mexican.

Hector Garza, Perro Aguayo and Canek def. Jerry Estrada, Heavy Metal and Fuerza by pin in 10:56.

I don’t know much about these guys, so it’s going to be hard for me to tell you who does what. We have Estrada apparently starting off with Garza. Screw it, I’ll call them by their pants. We have yellow and black “Bee pants” vs. “Zebra pants”. JR says that these guys sometimes throw the rules out the window. Jerry says, “Like me!” and Vince replies with, “Yeah, but they’re atheletes.” Perro comes in, black pants and beats on star pants for a while. Lots of fast movements, here, stoppig and showboating. A lovely back body drop and star pants does bananas. The two luchas, red pants and singlet, run the ropes with a lovely hip toss, nice lariat.

JR explains the Lucha wrestlers. There is a missed senton and bee pants and zebra pants face off. Lots of backflips from zebra pants and a springboard back elbow followed by a lovely top-rope arm drag and a tiltawhirl backbreaker, second rope backflip and the two men shake hands before tagging out. Very nice. Red pants and star pants come in, do a test of strength and the two men do some lovely arm-drag-takedowns and dropkicks. A roll up gets nothing and singlet is in versus black pants. Lots of kicks from singlet until black pants knocks him down. Lovely arm drag takedown and black pants attempts a baseball slide, flying through the first and second ropes before tagging in bee pants and red pants.

Figure four attempt and zebra pants is in, dragging bee pants about with a lovely jumping clothesline and an STF. Zebra works on bee pants, tagging in black pants, who works bee pants legs over. Fallaway slam followed by a senton splash. Bee pants reaches for the tag but gets naught. Red pants is back in and bee pants dodges a spinning heel kick and is attacked by his own teammate by mistake. A tiny schmoz takes place and red pants lifts star pants up for the gorilla press. Zebra pants hits a jump to the outside and inside bee pants is press slammed by red pants, double stomp to the chest and the pin in 10:56.

2017 comments:

Fun match, but very disorganised with every man trying to get as many spots over as possible.

1997 comments:

Will we see these men again?

Grade: B

Vince tells us that we have the Royal Rumble match and the WWF Championship match to look forward to. There’s a promo for In Your House 13.

On the Card will return on February 2 2017 with the third part of Royal Rumble 1997.

Attitude Era #8: Royal Rumble 1997 (Jan 19, 1997) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996. It was okay. The next PPV was the 1997 Royal Rumble, which was the tenth of its name.

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 Royal Rumble 1997

No More Mr. Nice Guy!

The poster shows Shawn Michaels staring deep into the camera, foreshadowing his potential heel turn and eventual rise to evil.

The Big Red WWF title screen goes straight a promo about Shawn Michaels being cocky and flamboyant. It shows his win over Bret Hart, his loss against Sid and now the rematch tonight in San Antonio. Cut to some of the worst CGI ever as Starburst Fruit Twists present The Royal Rumble 1997!

Big pyro in the arena and a disembodied hand picks up a hat offscreen. Vince tears his throat out welcoming us there and what a welcome it is. Vinnie O’Mac, Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are in the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas. 60,477 in attendance with 244,000 PPV buys at home.

Jim Ross tells us that there are no words to show how they feel. Jerry tells us that Shawn and Sid must put up or shut up.  Our Spanish Colleagues are Hugo Savinovich, Carlos Cabrera and Arturo Rivera, who shout over Vince’s introduction and dance. We have the French Announcers, Ray Rougeau and Jacques Rougeau Sr who do the same.

(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 a number of exclusive matches on Free-For-All which saw Mascarita Sagrada Jr. and La Parkita defeating Mini Mankind and Mini Vader in a small person’s wrestling match. Before that, we had two dark matches: Perro Aguayo Jr and Venum defeating Maniaco and Mosco de la Merced; Octagón, Blue Demon Jr. and Tinieblas Jr. defeating Heavy Metal, Abismo Negro and Histeria. The reason that those names are Spanish and you’ve probably never heard of most of them is because it was a deal made with AAA to include their wrestlers in the Royal Rumble, which is why Mil Máscaras, Perroth and Cibernético appear in the Royal Rumble match.)

Down comes my boy Goldust, the challenger for the Intercontinental Championship. Goldust looks fantastic as usual and I have missed him over these last weeks. Vince tells us that Goldust has become a fan favourite all over the world and with good reason because he’s fucking brilliant.

Cut to the Intercuntinental champion, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, who believes that all women love him. Goldust, on the other hand, is a bit mental. Jerry called Goldust a censored word and Goldust denied that fact.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: On the December 16th 1996 RAW, Goldie interrupted a scrap between Triple H and Jerry where the pair of them beat on Wildman Marc Mero. He fought Trips, saved Mero and returned to the ring to speak to Jerry, where The King asked him, “Are you? You are… you know…” and skirted around the issues. Vince tried to cut the feed before Jerry doubles down, calling Goldust a freak before finally asking if he was, “queer”. Goldust says, “nooooooo,” and punches Jerry out. Twenty years have passed since that fateful night when being gay was derogatory and worthy of heeldom. Le sigh.)

Trips tried to steal Marlena and he fought back. The announcer asks if they’re all just playing miiiiiiiiind games or not.

Ode To Joy plays and out comes Teeeeeeriple H and Mr. Hughes. Goldust wastes no time in getting to Trips and running down the ramp to find him.

Intercontinental Championship match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (c) (w/ Mr. Hughes) def Goldust (w/ Marlena) via pin in 16:50.

In the ring, Goldust is in control. Someone in the crowd has a “FLAIR GOD” sign as the announcers consider whether or not Curtis Hughes has a butling license to allow him to butle for Trips. HHH is thrown out of the ring and the pair waste a wee bit of time there. Lovely atmoic drop by Trips on Goldust. Trips goes for the Pedigree but Goldust reverses and catapults Trips out of the ring. Goldust removes the steel ring steps, drops it on Trips and is DQ…

Wait, no, Earl Hebner doesn’t DQ Goldust for some unknown reason. Trips Flair flops onto the steel steps to a big cheer from the crowd. Trips guillotines Goldust and the pair brawl in the ring leading to a pin attempt. Goldust roars and Trips hides behind Earl, getting in a cheap shot. Lovely look at Marlena and the crowd go bananas for her. Trips hits a double axe handle nothing off the top rope to outside as Hughes jaws off to Earl. Trips throws Goldust into the ring post and is about to toss him into the crowd but Goldust dodges. Once again, however, he uses the steel steps as a weapon. Why, Goldust, why?

Goldust beats on the knee of Triple H and loses his power as Goldust takes over, forcing the two men to have a little lie down. The crowd begin to die. Another shot of Marlena and the crowd come alive once more. This is the beginning of the Attitude Era: where the wrestling is crap and only the boobs matter. Goldust hits the figure four leglock, with Earl dropping for a couple of quick pin attempts. Goldust pulls on the ropes and Earl doesn’t break the submission instantly! Whaaaat.

Goldust followed Trips outside and knocks him down. Goldust batters Hunter’s head off the apron and feels himself up in ring. Once again, for the third time, Goldust uses the steel steps as a way to hurt Trips. JR really slags off Earl, saying that he has a bad attitude and that he is due to be down for the Championship match later in the evening and that if his attitude says the same, it will work in Sid’s favour. Goldust runs the ropes and attempts a crossbody, which Trips dodges, launching Goldust outside. Trips throws Goldie into the guardrail and JR gives off about breaking of the rules. I wonder if that is kayfabe or not. Trips does a lovely wee courtesy and gets boos. Outside the ring, both men have a wee sit. Trips takes Marlena’s golden chair and finally Earl Hebner decides to be a referee and stops it.

Cut to Todd Pettengill in the crowd with Collin Raye, an apparent country and western singer. I tell you what, Todd is rocking that goatee, hey. Fair play til ye. Todd makes Collin sing and then cuts him off. In the ring, nothing of note happens except that Trips hurts his knee. Lovely jumping clothesline from Goldust and the new face hammers the canvas in a Sable-embarrassingly good time. Lovely back body drop and he goes high on the ropes. Trips pushes Earl into the ropes and Goldust falls on his balls. Trips goes for the superplex but fails. Goldust goes for the big elbow and fails. Hughes sends Trips the Intercontinental belt and the heel takes time to snog Marlena, allowing Goldust to fight him off, steal the belt and wallop Trips in the face. The champ is down! Pin him! It’s a one, two… and Mr. Hughes drags Trips out. As Goldust is arguing, Trips sneaks around, hits a lovely clothesline, the Pedigree and the win in a very slow count in 16:50.

2017 comments:

An actually good curtain jerker, but it might be because of Goldust more than anything else.

1997 comments:

Oh Marlena, you’re to blame for this, somehow.

Grade: A

I love Goldust and I like Trips at this time when he had something to prove and tried his hardest.

Cut to Bret, who cuts a promo on how he’s always been a marked man and how he is at the bottom of the barrel and can’t go back farther. Nice.

Cut to Mankind, rocking back and forth in his Boiler Room, rambling incoherently.

Back in the arena and the motherfucking Nation of Domination come out. Wolfie D and JC Ice rap on the way to the ring. Old Immigration Clarence Mason arrive along with Crush and D’Lo Brown and every other black man that the Fed could find. Jacqueline is there, too! Isn’t that great? And, of course, the main man is Faarooq. They all throw up the fists and one of the guys in the front misses his cue. Silly NOD.

Promo for this black on black feud. Ahmed Johnson stumbles his way through words that no one understands as we see him win the New Sensation award at the 1996 Slammy Awards, he is the first ever Kuwait National Champion, Intercontinental Champion and had a legitimate kidney injury. Faarooq replied to Ahmed by forming the NOD, dropping Sunny, who was his manager when he was wearing that dumb gladiator outfit. Vader was involved as well because all heels hate together.

Out comes the Pearl River Plunge himself, over three hundred pounds of steroid-fuelled insanity. He sprints to the ring and tackles Faarooq, starting the match.

Ahmed Johnson def Faarooq (w/ the Nation of Domination) via DQ in 8:48.

Ahmed has a full head of steam on him as he batters into Faarooq mercilessly, throwing Faarooq from one corner to another. This is your basic babyface beatdown where the heel has no offence for the first few minutes. Faarooq tries to leave (because he is a coward, you see) and fails as Ahmed catches up with him. JR calls the NOD a “pack of dogs,” as Ahmed rips off Faarooq’s trousers. Faarooq has a belt and attempts to use it but it is taken from him. Ahmed hits the flying shoulder block and… Ahmed, who is a face, gets a belt and whips at Faarooq. What the fuck, rules? Is this the Royal Rumble or the… Rule… Rumble?

I tried.

Ahmed throws Faarooq into the old steel ring steps and gets covered in Goldust. There’s a mixup as one of the NOD gets pushed into Ahmed, sacrificed so that Faarooq may win. Faarooq sets up the steel chair and drops Ahmed on it. Faarooq then hits Ahmed with a chair.

Fuck sake, boys. Are there any rules at all in this fucking match? Christ of almighty.

Ahmed has a lie down for a while as Faarooq speaks to the crowd. Faarooq puts Ahmed on the turnbuckle and listens to the ref’s rules regarding holds on the ropes, jaws off to fat white men in the crowd and there is a lack of action as Faarooq wonders how to damage Ahemd more. He hits the camel clutch, breaks back, makes humble. He hits the arse-sit on Ahmed’s back and returns to camel clutching, breaking back, making humble. Ahmed lifts Faarooq up in the electric chair drop, falls back and Faarooq is the first one up, jumping off the top rope to be caught by Ahmed in a great powerslam. Faarooq catches Ahmed in mid-air and hits the spinebuster. Faarooq tells the crowd, as he has during this match, that he is baddest man. Ahmed is up, hits the spinebuster, Crush pops in and despite none of the Nod hitting any sort of offence, the bell is rung and a DQ is called in 8:48.

2017 comments:

Awful.

1997 comments:

Is this racism? I wouldn’t know. We don’t have white people in Ireland.

Grade: D

Ahmed is attempting to leave but moves after an NOD member who attacks him, battering him against the steel steps, moving them to the French announcer’s table, lifts the poor guy up for the Pearl River Plunge, botches it and the son of a bitch has to flip mid-air to land relatively safely. Ahmed doesn’t bother to remove the monitors before throwing him through. A replacement table is on its way. The poor NOD member seems to have his head hit by a monitor. God damn.

On the Card will return on January 26 2017 with the second part of Royal Rumble 1997.