ATTITUDE ERA #8: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 4

Previously on On the Card: Best WrestleMania match followed by basically every midcard Mania match ever.

Another ad for In Your House 14. April 20th. Blaze it.

Another shill for Sky Sports and a lovely shot of Vlad and Faith No More Guy wearing a BWO t-shirt.

Oh Shawn! The sexy boy returns to shake hands with all the kids. He’s a great lad. A great, drug fuelled lad. The audience won’t let go of him. Potential riot erupting here. Shawn pops into the ring… no, he won’t, he goes around to the announcers, clearly winged off his tits. The music replays and his second round of hand-shakes is far faster. Finally, he enters the ring, the lights dim and he hits his pose, considers taking off his jacket, but the farty pyro hits before he has a chance to. What a guy. Another shot of Vlad in the audience and a sign saying, “Vince McMahon is God.” No. He wrestled God.

Backstage, Sid hits a whispery shouty promo. We all know how this match is going to go, but this is before the streak, really. Since his introduction in Survivor Series 1990, Undertaker has been undefeated at the five WrestleManias he has attended – VII, VIII, IX, XI, XII (he did not attend X due to injury) – and this includes his abortion of a match against Giant Gonzales, which he was knocked out in.

In the arena, Undertaker starts his entrance which is not as long as the entrances that he has had in the past. The announcers are (rightly) silent and should be any time this cunt turns up. Brilliant shot of the Taker through the smoke, the crowd being lit now and again by the strobe. He gets to the ring and finally, people can talk.

Shawn is winged off his tits as JR references the streak. He says that he has, “Never lost at WrestleMania as the Undertaker.” But he has never fought at WrestleMania as anyone other than the Undertaker.

Sid’s music hits and he heads down to the ring, finally getting the boos he deserves. He is huge. JR tells us that Sycho Sid is not afraid of the dark. Shawn says that he, however, is afraid of the dark. Fair play, Shawn. You’re also afraid of coming down though, aren’t you? JR tells us that this is going to be a slobberknocker and it probably is. Ten years later, at No Way Out 2007, Shawn will fight Undertaker alongside Batista and Cena. They also have one of the best Royal Rumble finishes at Rumble 2007.

The SID pyro burns itself out.

No Disqualification match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker def. Sycho Sid (c) via pin in 21:19.

The two men square off. Bret Hart comes out, killing any heat. He enters the ring, gets the mic and gives off to Shawn, saying he has a “pussyfoot injury… stay out of this match.” Bret then says he is no longer friends with Taker. Sid pisses himself laughing as Bret aims on him, calling him a fraud and that he deserves the championship. Earl Hebner looks on as Sid kills the heat by powerbombing Bret in the centre of the ring. He takes the mic and tells Bret to get out of the ring. His heel-turn is complete. Sid then shouts, “Hobble on, crybaby!” Undertaker takes the time to attack Sid and the bell rings again to restart the match. Once again, brother, both men need to be in their corner before the bell goes.

Taker jumps at Sid in the corner. Michaels says, “Bret talks about being screwed. I’ll tell you what, the Undertaker has been given the shaft and never complained.” Undertaker goes for the Old School and jumps at Sid in the corner. He is caught and held in a big bearhug. Brilliant. Both men have a wee sit for a while. Both King and Shawn argue for a while. Good. This bearhug goes on… for… ever… It’s the main event at WrestleMania, by Christ. Some battering and then more bearhugs. My God.

Taker is thrown out of the ring, lands on his feet and is kicked into the French announcer’s table along with Carlos Carbrera. Sid points at Earl and says, “Shut up!” He does this twice. Sid tosses Taker through the table but it just falls over. Vince finally tells us that this match is no disqualification. Pin attempt mid-ring. Failure. Shawn puts over Taker and says that it’s hard to see when he’s hurt because he doesn’t show any emotion. Sid hits the Camel Clutch on Taker, breaks back, makes humble. Sid goes to the top rope, hits the double axe handle and Taker is rolling over, fighting back, bopping Sid with great big punches.

Irish whip rehearsal and a lovely powerslam from Sid followed by three pin attempts in a row. Mon Sid. Big old leg drop. Sid has Taker in the corner and looks to be biting his face. Sid, are you biting people now? No DQ or no no DQ, that’s awful. Taker hits the jumping punch and Sid gets the Deadman in the corner. Taker throws Sid out, rolls out after him and throws him into the crowd for about the fifth time tonight. The pair trade punches over the barricade and smacks Sid’s head off the steps. Taker goes for the high elbow, misses and the two men have a wee lie down for a while. Hard body shots from Taker followed by a big powerslam, sexy 69 pin attempt and fail. JR states that this match will not be won by a lateral press or punch, but by something bigger.

Nerve pinch by Taker and Sid is on his feet, fighting back. Taker clotheslines Sid down, pin attempt and fail. Earl Hebner isn’t doing a fine job tonight. Both men double boot each other and fall down go boom. Sid is up first, hammering Taker on the back with both fists. Sid looks worried. He goes to Bret’s rope and hits the double axe handle on Taker. JR wonders, after Sid kicks Taker, “if there is a heart in that body.” Another axe handle, another pin attempt, another fail. After Taker kicks out again, King quips that it must be demotivating to continually be denied a win. “It must do something to Sid’s mind… if he has a mind.”

Sid goes top rope, Taker sits up, punches Sid and he falls on his balls. Taker pulls Sid off the turnbuckle for a powerslam. It’s Taker’s turn to go top rope and he hits the jumping clothesline. Pin attempt and fail. King says that they’re both reluctant to use their finisher unless it doesn’t work. Taker pulls his thumb over his throat, goes for the Tombstone and Sid reverses it into a Tombstone of his own. Taker pin and the Deadman kids out. Sid throws him out of the ring.

Big punches from Sid and Taker gets the chokeslam ready but Bret appears and hits Sid twice with a chair on the back. No disqualification here. Sid is thrown into the steel ring post spine first. Taker rolls Sid into the ring, chokeslams the big Brock Samson motherfucker to the canvas but Sid kicks out. Taker runs the ropes and falls from an attack to the knee from Sid. He goes for his powerbomb, but Bret is back… again. Sid gets guillotined by Bret, a Tombstone from Undertaker and the slowest pin count in the world leaves Undertaker the new World Heavyweight Champion in 21:19.

2017 comments:

Slow, no real storyline and Bret had to be relied upon to bring drama to this match.

1997 comments:

Not the best way to end this PPV, being honest.

Grade: B

The Phenom is “finally” WWF champ, despite having held the title back in 1991 for six days between Survivor Series and This Tuesday in Texas. Thunder and lightning hits as Vlad and Faith No More Guy cheer him on. Taker holds the belt up and that’s all she wrote.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I would love to nominated Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart for the best WrestleMania match so far.

Woman of the Matches: Chyna. No question.

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold bleeding out in the Sharpshooter.

Hatches: This is the Attitude Era debut for Road Warrior Animal, Road Warrior Hawk, the ringside debut of Chyna, D’Lo Brown, Bob Backlund. JC Ice and Wolfie D were in the ring for once and Ken Shamrock was special guest ref. Mosh and Thrasher made their debuts as well.

Matches: The Headbangers are now number one contenders for the WWF Tag Team Championship and the champions, Owen Hart and the British Bulldog, retain their title; Rocky Maivia also retained his Intercontinental title; and The Undertaker defeated Sycho Sid to begin his second reign as WWF World Heavyweight Champion.

Dispatches: Let’s see now here now. JC Ice and Wolfie D are gone from PPVs and Bob Backlund won’t reappear until the 2000 Royal Rumble. Hillbilly Jim and Sheiky Baby won’t reappear until the Gimmick Battle Royale at WrestleMania X-7. Mosh and Thrasher are gone until Ground Zero, Phil Lafon and Doug Furnas are gone until Survivor Series 1997, The Sultan won’t be back for two years and then he’ll be known as Rikishi, Sycho Sid is out until King of the Ring,

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, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Nominated for Man of the Matches: Big Van Vader, Stone Cold (ineligible), Bret “The Hitman” Hart.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Bret Hart for that amazing match.

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

Nominated for Woman of the Matches: Chyna, Chyna.

The Winner and Entrant to the Hall of Fame is… Chyna!

In Memoriam

Each WrestleMania, I will go through the people who we have seen wrassle and lament for their passing. Cheery.

  • Alejandro Pérez Jiménez AKA Mini Mankind, May 15 1975 – June 29 2009; poisoning caused by drugs added to their drinks.
  • Andrés Alejandro Palomeque Gonzalez AKA Abismo Negro, July 1 1971 – March 22 2009; drowning.
  • Brian William Pillman, May 22 1962 – October 5 1997; heart attack caused by arteriosclerotic heart disease.
  • Captain Lou Albano, July 29 1933 – October 14 2009; heart attack. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Joe Franklin in 1996.
  • Chris Candido AKA Skip of the Bodydonnas, March 21 1972 – April 28 2005; pneumonia due to blood clot after a broken leg caused by an injury in a steel cage match.
  • David “Davey Boy” Smith AKA The British Bulldog, November 27 1962 – May 18 2002; heart attack.
  • Doug Furnas, December 11 1959 – March 2 2012; hypertensive heart disease.
  • Gorilla Monsoon, June 4 1937 – October 6 1999; heart failure due to diabetes. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Jim Ross in 1994.
  • Héctor Solano Segura AKA Héctor Garza, June 12 1969 – May 26 2013; lung cancer.
  • James Brian Hellwig AKA The Ultimate Warrior, June 16 1959 – April 8 2014; heart attack caused by atheroscleroticcardiovascular disease.
  • James Reiher Snuka AKA Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, May 18 1943 – January 15 2017; unidentified terminal illness. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996 by Don Muraco, though his profile is no longer available due to his alleged murder of Nancy Argentino in 1983.
  • Joan Marie Laurer AKA Chyna, December 27 1969 – April 20 2016; accidental overdose.
  • Mario Pérez Jiménez AKA Mini Vader, December 18 1966 – January 23, 2016; death.
  • Michael Hegstrang AKA Road Warrior Hawk, January 26 1957 – October 19 2003; heart attack.
  • Owen Hart, May 7 1965 – May 23 1999; internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma from a fall during Over the Edge PPV event.
  • Pedro Aguayo Ramírez AKA Perrito Aguayo, July 23 1979 – March 21 2015; cardiac arrest caused by a cervical stroke from three fractured vertebrae.
  • Rodney Agatupu Anoa’i AKA Yokozuna, October 2 1966 – October 23 2000; pulmonary edema. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by The Usos and Rikishi in 2012.
  • Terry Ray Gordy AKA The Executioner, April 23 1961 – July 16 2001; heart attack caused by a blood clot. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by his brother Ray Gordy in 2016.
  • William Alvin Moody AKA Paul Bearer, April 10 1954 – March 5 2013; heart attack. Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Kane in 2014.

Closing Statements: Was Shane correct? Was it the best WrestleMania of all time? Nooooope. It was good and the Stone Cold/Bret Hart match was terrific, but the main event was weak and the undercard was unflattering. If you take out the Submission Match, the card was drizzling. With it in, it is merely very, very good.

On the Card will return on April 20 2017 with In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.

 

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ATTITUDE ERA #8: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 3

Previously on On the Card: Chyna.

Promo for Bret and Stone Cold. Bret says that he’s been screwed by Shawn, Stone Cold and the WWF. Just wait nine months, brother. Stone Cold gives off to the Shitman, beats on him and whups his aaaaass. The announcer lets on that Stone Cold is some sort of false prophet. We see Bret applying the Sharpshooter.

Ken Shamrock is mid-ring, an absolute tank of a man. He is terrifying, no doubt about it.

Backstage, Stone Cold is walking towards the ring. It’s so weird to hear the smashing glasses without the crowd going berserk. Stone Cold has a special sheet of sugar glass set up with Austin 3:16 written on it. As he walks near it, it shatters and he walks right through it. I love him. By Christ he’s great.

Bret’s music hits and, of course, he gets a bigger pop that Stone Cold. Farty pyro. He walks over the broken glass, strolls right up the aisle and Vince says he has a mixed reaction. No mix. He’s getting a pop, by Christ. Vince is just making it out that he’s a tweener. Bret enters the ring and Stone Cold tackles him, forcing the bell to ring to begin the match.

Submission match with Ken Shamrock as special guest referee: Bret The Hitman Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin via Sharpshooter in 22:05.

Stone Cold is battering the shite out of Bret but then the pair of them roll out of the ring. No pinfalls, no count out, no disqualifications. It’s what later becomes known as an “I Quit” match, though it is not named as such. Bret tosses Austin into the barricade and he replies by suplexing Bret on, his balls hitting the metal. McMahon tells us to forget about it. The two men run into the crowd. Austin steals a beer and throws it onto Bret, stomping a mudhole in him and walking it dry. The crowd get around the camera and Stone Cold is looking for weapons but can’t find any. Bret drags Austin up the stairs and some dopey fan tries to touch the wrasslers. King says, “Hit that drunk!”

The pair of them are lost in the crowd. Austin takes a bump onto the steps. Punches are thrown. A chant rises. Finally, they get back into the ring and Stone Cold tosses Bret into the steel steps. He follows it up with a jump from the apron after flipping the bird. Good man, Stone Cold. Stairs are lifted up and Austin takes a nasty fall on his arse. Bret batters away with the fists on Austin. Both men roll in and Bret hits the swinging neckbreaker, goes to his own rope and drops the axe handle on Austin.

Bret knocks Austin’s knee, softening him up for the Sharpshooter. Shamrock asks Austin if he wants to quit. He says, “No!” obviously. Sure the match has hardly started. We still have fifteen minutes left. Bret bumps like a boss, crashing down on the left leg of Austin. Stunner from Stone Cold and he has some time to recover. King says something sensible, “You need to be careful. Bret can’t submit if he’s unconscious.”

Bret gets up, not really selling the Stunner, and gets a hanging Figure Four on the turnbuckle corner. Austin escapes and rolls out. Bret rolls Austin back in and goes for the ring bell, picking up a blue bell with – what looks like – pee stains all up on it. Bret puts the chair around Stone Cold’s ankle and the place erupts. As he goes top rope, Austin jumps up and busts Bret on the head and back with the chair. Body slam, Irish whip, Stone Cold back in control. He gives a lovely snap suplex, goes to Bret’s rope and hits the double-fingers and the elbows.

Cut to Bret’s daughter in the audience, hands over her face. King laughs. Russian leg sweep and submission. King calls for Austin to break Bret’s neck. Cunt. Bret’s dad looks horrified. Ould Stu. Austin hits the Boston Crab. Bret drags himself to the rope, laboriously, and breaks the hold. It’s no DQ. It should not have made a difference! Stone Cold attempts to get Bret into the Sharpshooter and the crowd pops. Bret fights Austin off and gets tossed out of the ring. Austin taunts the crowd, leaves and gets tossed past the cameraman into the announcers and the timekeepers. Austin takes the time to blade and has bust himself wide open.

Steve is thrown into the ringpost and is bust very badly. Bret hardways Stone Cold some more. Austin is bleeding a lot. Backbreaker followed by a Bret’s rope elbow. A chair shot to Austin’s injured knee. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter and is unable to get it in. Blood is everywhere. Bret beats on Austin’s face and gets a kick to the balls for his effort. Austin is bleeding heavily and lifts Bret by the hair, tossing him into the ring post. He stomps a mudhole in Bret and walks it dry. Bret it put on top of the turnbuckle and both men fall with a superplex. Austin is a bloody mess. Bret gets thrown out and he gets some electrical cord. Both men face the hard cam and as Bret chokes, he lifts the ring bell up and smashes Austin.

Bret goes for the Sharpshooter. Austin can’t reach the ropes. He’s a bloody mess, looking up, screaming, shouting, “Nooo!” the blood squirting from his head, dripping down into his teeth. He half-breaks the Sharpshooter, tries to reach the rope. Ken asks, “Steve! Do you submit? If you do not answer, you will lose!” Austin passes out and Ken rightfully ends the match, giving the win by submission to Bret Hart in 22:05.

2017 comments:

Slow-paced, brilliantly fought match. One of the best matches from either men and one of the best WrestleMania matches of all time.

1997 comments:

Good man yourself, boys. What more can be said?

Grade: A

Bret goes to beat on Austin some more and Shamrock gives him a little suplex. Big pop from the crowd as Bret is making his heel turn. Boos from the crowd as he leaves. Bret looks genuinely pissed off, like he can’t understand the whole heel/face dynamic. Reminds me of the time Batista had a huff.

Austin is getting help from the ref, stunners him to zero applause and leaves to applause, limping is way backstage alone. He gets big, “Austin! Austin!” chants at a time when chants did not exist. He walks backstage, limping the whole way. What a man.

JR and Vince put over the Bret Hart heel turn. Big closeups of the blood. King puts over Stone Cold and says he did not submit.

Back stage, Faarooq is with Todd Pettengill, Nation of Domination and Immigration Clarence Mason. Faarooq gives off about the Road Warriors and Ahmed Johnson.

In the arena, NOD’s music hits and JC Ice and Wolfie D absolutely kill it with their nice white boy rap. The NOD have brought lots of weapons. They all lift their fists together. Fucking great stable. In the ring tonight is Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega. Vince tells us that WrestleMania is going to be in Boston next year and not to buy tickets.

Ohhhhhhh what a rush! The Legion of Doom, those enemies of the Super Friends! Black Manta, Giganta, Toyman, the Riddler, Lex…. Wait… I’m thinking of the other ones. Sorry, you mean The Legion of Doom/The Road Warriors/The Hell Raisers/The Hell Warriors/LOD 200 and LOD 2005. Hawk and Animal rock down to the ring with their spiked armour and with Ahmed Johnson, who has some spiked armour of his own. What a bunch of yokes.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The team were known as both the Road Warriors and the Legion of Doom through their time. They were originally managed by Paul Ellering and have had Sunny and Christy Hemme as valets. Previous members of the team have included Crush (who they fight tonight), Dusty Rhodes, Puke (also known as Droz), and Heidenreich.

These men are so over. The crowd is going bananas for them. They have actually brought a kitchen sink to this match. Faarooq attacks the lads and the bell rings.

Chicago Street Fight: The Legion of Doom and Ahmed Johnson def. The Nation of Domination via pin in 10:45.

No countouts, no disqualifications…. Unless the storyline calls for it, of course. This should be a schmoz, but it might not be. LOD stereo gorilla press JC Ice and Wolfie D. Clarence Mason gets thrown about. Hawk gets the crap kicked out of him by everyone and Faarooq batters Animal. Ahmed jumps into the crowd after Crush and hammers him with a trash can. Hawk has the 2×4, misses Savio, hits the ring ropes and the wood fires into the air. He catches it! Anmial has Faarooq on the announce table… and botches it. Was it supposed to be a piledriver? Apparently.

The crowd chant for LOD. A fire extinguisher has went off ringside. The match collapsed into a schmoz with no spots. One of the NOD lads sets up a street sign in the corner and hawk is thrown into it. JR says, “This is amazing. This is a history-making WrestleMania,” and although I know this is garbage wrestling… I’m enjoying it. Ahemd body slams Faarooq through a table. The French announcers are gone. Crowd chant for LOD. Another fire extinguisher used. Brilliant. This is top class. Savio tries to get the trash can on Ahmed but it falls off. He gets a rope and puts it around Ahmed’s neck, a lovely wee noose. Looks like we’re gonna have a good, old-fashioned lynching, boys!

Hawk goes into the ropes and hits the double clothesline. King quips, “That was the first wrestling match I’ve seen all night.” One of the NOD guys seems to be D’lo Brown. Nice one, D’lo! The parking sign is being swung about. Faarooq his choking Hawk and Crush is battering on Animal. There’s a good old stomping happening over on Ahmed. Something happens with the noose and we see that Hawk pulled Faarooq off the top turnbuckle. Faarooq is getting lynched by Ahmed and he is finally released. Vince states that there has to be a pin at some point and Ahmed takes the hint, setting up the Pearl River Plunge. The ring is cleared and Crush is set up by LOD for the Doomsday Device. Great stuff. Ahmed has the 2×4 and there is a weak battering with it and a loose pin for the win in 10:45.

2017 comments:

Garbage wrestling, waste of time, no spots and no storyline… but I fucking loved it. Seriously. What a fun match. It was just a bunch of lads hitting each other with things.

1997 comments:

This… this is terriric. What type of match did you say that was? A hard… core match. Hardcore, huh? And what would softcore be? Oh right. Well I much prefer hardcore, thank you very much.

Grade: A

NOD pop back in and people are Pearl River Plunged left and right. Double Doomsday Device on JC Ice and Wolfie D. Ahmed’s arse cheek is out. Nice.

That was easily the piss-break match but it was fucking great. I love LOD. Big Roid Bellies on them.

On the Card will return on April 13 2017 with the fourth and final part of WrestleMania 13.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

It was just a spot with a match prelude.

Grade: B

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

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

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

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

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

Great. Let’s get this terrible party started.

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 comments:

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

1997 comments:

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

Grade: B

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

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

ATTITUDE ERA #8: WRESTLEMANIA 13 (Mar 23, 1997) PART 1

On the Card: Attitude Era #10 WrestleMania 13 – March 23, 1997

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House 13: Final Four. It was okay. The next PPV was WrestleMania! The thirteenth 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 In Your House 13: Final Four 1997

Heat!

That’s right, motherfuckers: heat!

If there is one thing I remember about WrestleMania 13, it’s that I was always told it was the greatest Mania of all time. Back in the day, my family couldn’t afford PPVs and sometime in 2000, Channel 4 here in Ireland got the WWF. It was terrific. Until then, I had to rely on my friends who sometimes taped parts of Raw and some PPVs. It was like a really bad jigsaw puzzle… or every JRPG where you need to collect the sacred relics to recreate the yadda yadda and one part is in the frigid northlands (my friend Peter may have had the first hour of the Rumble) and the second bit is in the swamp (my buddy Decky had a lot of Mania 14, but the rest was some badly-dubbed German porn) etc. etc. A lot of my wrestling knowledge of this time comes from these sketchy memories, later helped by the advent of DVD and my job in TK Maxx that fuelled my extensive PPV collection. What I remember about Mania 13 is that my buddy Shane had it on tape and it was amazing to watch.

This takes me back. The PPV opens with a WrestleMania retrospective (including, 30 seconds in, a lovely shot of Pamela Anderson). We see Undertaker, Stone Cold, NOD, Sid, Bret, LOD and an announcer who thinks that he is narrating Game of Thrones. He also calls WrassleMania “the granddaddy of them all”, which is great.

Brilliant early nineties snazzy music as the weakest pyro in Christendom announces our arrival to the Rosemount Horizon, Rosemount, Chicago, Illinois. Playstation presents WrassleMania 13! Our announcers are growling Vincent Kennedy McMahon… and we don’t know who else because he doesn’t introduce them! There were 19,197 in attendance, with 16,467 paying with 2,730 comps and an average ticket sale of $50 per person. 237,000 buys at home, a dip from the 290,000 the year before, but the lowest PPV sales since the 1986 Mania which had a quarter of a million buys. This marks the steady decline in sales that started in 1993 and just kept getting lower until the sales exploded again the next year. Since then, they have remained (fairly) steady and around the 1,000,000 mark.

It is worth noting that this is often cited as the beginning of the Attitude Era, along with King of the Ring (my own personal “beginning”) and Survivor Series 1997 and the “Montreal Screwjob”.

Some cunts in the front row, some smarky ones have Blue World Order signs and t-shirts.

And before anything else happens, just to remind people that before the Attitude Era, there was childish nonsense, the Godwinns music hits and the pair of them rock up with Hillbilly Jim.

 (Note: Before the PPV began there was a dark match featuring Billy Gunn defeating Flash Funk and his two Funkettes: Tracy and Nadine.)

The Fink introduces the four-team elimination match as Phineas I. Godwinn and Henry O. Godwinn slap the shite out of everyone’s hands.

We finally get introduced to our announce team: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Vince McMahon and Jumping Jim “JR” Ross. Out Spanish announcers and clear stars of the show are Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera. French announcers are Jean Brassard and Ray Rougeau. Great. Vince says, “In any language, it spells, ‘excitement’.”

The Headbangers come down, old Mosh and Thrasher, and we get told the rules: A tag can be made to any man. Any man at all. Two partners can tag themselves in, if they damn well please. When one member of a team is eliminated, they are both eliminated and the last team remaining wins. What do they win? They are the number one contender for the WWF Tag Team Championship of course! And where are the Tag Team Champions? Later in the PPV they wrassle, so chill young blood.

Down come Stiffy McStiff, Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon. There is little craic from the pair of them.

Before the New Blackjacks come down, we see the New Blackjacks, Cunt Bradshaw and Blackjack Windham AKA Barry Windham.

All hell breaks loose and the bell goes.

Four-Way Elimination Tag Match for the Number One Contender for the WWF Tag Team Championship: The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) def. The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Windham and Blackjack Bradshaw, The Godwinns (Phineas I. Godwinn and Henry O. Godwinn) (w/ Hillbilly Jim) and Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon in 10:39.

Christ, what a long title, by gum.

Everyone is fighting each other and trying to get the teams to their respective corners (which is stupid on his part, the ref should not have allowed the bell to ring). Bradshaw and Henry wrassle for a bit. Thrasher is tossed in and takes a boot from Bradshaw. Bradshaw, of course, in decent shape for a change. Bradshaw tags in Phineas and I can see that the wide-angle hard cam has some frame rate issues and I (hope) it’s not my ancient DVD that is doing it. Mosh is tagged in and the pair have to wrassle each other. Both the Headbangers have metal t-shirts on, with Mosh rocking a Metallica and Thrasher with a White Zombie T. The pair of them actually fight and tag in Phil Lafon with a lovely double flapjack. Blackjack Windham is in with his big moustache. Doug Furnas rocks in and hits a jumping hurricanrana. He tries a leapfrog, is caught, powerbombed and Bradshaw is tagged in.

King debates whether or not if two team members are in the ring and pin each other… do they both leave? Yes. Yes they do. Bradshaw drops Doug onto the outside. Bradshaw gets himself DQ’d by throwing the ref onto the ground.

Blackjack Bradshaw has been eliminated by DQ. The Blackjacks are eliminated in 4:55.

Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon have been eliminated in 4:55.

Stupid, stupid Bradshaw. He really does come across like the king of cunts, doesn’t he? Well he is. He’s the worst.

Phineas bodyslams Mosh then bodyslams Henry onto him. Silly gooses. Lovely huge delayed suplex. Jerry makes a Clinton joke. Say it to my face, Jerry, I dare you.

Henry tosses Thrasher into the corner. They spit on each other for a while. Thrasher does a lovely Flair flop spot and Mosh is tagged. Both Henry and Mosh go over the top rope. Mosh goes in first and guillotines Henry before jumping from the top rope. He shouts at the camera and then tosses Thrasher off the top rope. Vince tells us to forget about it and we do.

Jerry asks Vince if he has any White Zombie CDs. He doesn’t get it. Lovely big moonsault from Thrasher and he hits the hot tag on Mosh. Phineas clears the ring, throws Thrasher out, goes for the Slop Drop but it’s broken up. Mosh hits the seated senton and gets the pin in 10:39

Henry O. Godwinn has been eliminated by Mosh. The Godwinns are eliminated in 10:39.

The Headbangers are the winners and Number One Contenders for the WWF Tag Team Championship!

2017 comments:

Not bad, actually, and the crowd seemed to be into it. Seemed like a match called on the fly and would have preferred if it was just Godwinns vs. Headbangers without the bit at the start, being honest.

1997 comments:

I like these Headbanger yokes. Maybe I should listen to some White Zombie.

Grade: B

JR tries to explain the seated senton to us. They go backstage.

There is a promo for In Your House on April 20th. It doesn’t have a name yet. It will be “Revenge of the Taker”.

Back in the ring, it’s the fucking Honky Tonk Man. Captain Lou Albano is there. He’s the best. JR namedrops the fact that Honky and King are cousins.

The Sultan’s music hits and out comes Sheiky Baby with Rikishi, who, despite being a Samoan, is pretending to be Persian. Bob Backlund is there too, for some unknown reason. Sultan wears a mask. He could be a great gimmick, but it isn’t. This is an Intercontinental Championship match but there’s no history here.

Down runs Slammy Award-winning proto-Rock, Rocky Maivia. He has the old sideburns there as well.

Sheiky throws the flag about. Close up of Tony Atlas, tag partner of Rock’s dad, Rocky Johnson.

WWF Intercontinenatal Championship match: Rocky Maivia (c) def. The Sultan (w/ Bob Backlund and The Iron Sheik) via pin in 9:45.

Rock and Sultan are cousins in real life. Later, Sultan will run over Stone Cold Steve Austin for The Rock. Honky gives off because he says Rock is growing sideburns to impress him. Rock does this weird finger thing and Sultan bops him. Kip-up and the Rock kicks the shite out of Sultan, throwing him out. Rocky goes top rope but Sultan doesn’t see him. The crowd roar, “Rocky sucks!” and we see the beginning of the hatred for Rock. Jerry says that Rocky’s name should be Rookie! Brilliant.

Sultan kicks Rock in the gut and Rock is up, taking a choke-throw to the corner. Sultan attempts to pin Rock and fails. Rock covers his mouth to have a chat with Sultan, fights back, ducks a clothesline, takes a knee to the knee for his trouble and a lovely backbreaker. Sultan goes top rope and misses Rock, but both sell it anyways. Another cover, another fail. Irish whip and Rocky hits the sunset flip. Sultan double-chokes Rocky to lift him up, hits the belly-to-belly and another pin attempt. The announcers shit on Sultan and his speed.

Rest hold city from the pair of them. Earl Hebner is watching. Jerry makes a Christopher Reeve joke. Oy vey. More rest holds from Sultan. Rock looks like he might be out. The crowd is quite, quite dead. Earl hits my favourite spot – the hand drop! On the third, Rock wakes up and both men hit the clothesline at the same time. Rock rolls over onto Sultan and after a kickout, both men jump up. Shite selling, boys. You can’t be unconscious and wake up in seconds. Lovely punches, lovely dropkick, Rock hits the belly-to-belly, gets a kickout after two, hits a lovely spinning DDT, goes to the top rope, hits the cross-body and Sheiky Baby is distracting the ref. Sultan is up, but Rock hits the punches, the kicks, gets a superkick to the jaw, kicks out of a pin. Sultan piledrives Rock into the damn canvas and Honky makes a wheelchair reference. For shame, boys. Rocky hits the roll-up and gets the win by pin in 9:45.

2017 comments:

An okay match. Badly paced, though and neither men know how to sell.

1997 comments:

Are all these lads related?

Grade: B

JR goes to speak to Rock and Sultan is up and beating on Rock with the Intercontinental belt. Sheiky Baby, Backlund and Sultan beat on Rock. Sultan hits the frog splash, Sheik gets the camel clutch, breaks back, makes humble. Rocky Johnson is in the ring! By Christ, he’s in, he’s battering on Sultan and helping up Rock. Sultan gets the flag, beats on Rocky Johnson, tears off his shirt and Sheiky goes to camel Clutch but Rock is up, knocking Sultan out, turns on Sheiky Baby, hits a lovely scoop slam and Rocky does the same. Both men punch out Sheik and the pair of them hug mid-ring, shirts off. Earl cleans the house.

On the Card will return on March 30 2017 with the second part of WrestleMania 13.