–Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are still taping shows in Newark, Delaware.
–Jim Ross and Todd Pettengill are doing commentary today and they recap the WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament semi-finals, which were held on WWF Superstars. They still appear to be in Liberty, New York in a high school gymnasium. Although this was not a great financial period for the company I have to envy some of these people that got to attend these smaller shows. I would have loved for the WWF to come to my small community during this time period.
This week’s column is dedicated to the memory of Owen Hart (May 7, 1965 – May 23, 1999).
by Logan Scisco
Legion of Doom losing that tag team titles on last week’s show to Jesse James
and Billy Gunn is shown. How will the
LOD react to this defeat?
Cornette are doing commentary and they are in Norfolk, Virginia.
Champions Jesse James & Billy Gunn come out and James tells us that the
Legion of Doom are not in the building.
Gunn says that they are going to wrestle the Headbangers in a non-title
match tonight, but before they can finish their comments the Legion of Doom
charge into the ring in street clothes and no face paint and run off the
the Tumbleweed to beat Taka Michinoku on Shotgun Saturday Night is the Lazer
Tag Slam of the Week.
be the guest ring announcer for the next match.
Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semi-Final Contest: Taka Michinoku beats Aguila with the
Michinoku Driver at 4:19:
the high spots. Aguila nearly advances
after wrapping up Michinoku in a La Magistral cradle after Michinoku misses a
moonsault, but Michinoku rallies from that point and wins. Can Michinoku win with anything other than a
Michinoku Driver? Rating: **
interviews Goldust and Luna Vachon. Luna
does the talking, as Goldust crawls around in dominatrix gear and is attached
on a chain. Luna announces that Goldust
should be known as “The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust” and warns Vader that
pain is coming. She and Goldust make out
on the canvas to end a very creepy segment.
the Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Jerry Lawler defeats Tito Santana,
dressed in his El Matador gear. Lawler
will face Sunny in the finals.
Elimination Match: D-Lo Brown (w/The
Nation of Domination) wrestles Miguel Perez (w/Los Boricuas), Chainz
(w/The Disciples of Apocalypse) & Recon (w/The Truth Commission) to a no contest
at 2:05; Miguel pins D-Lo after blocking a monkey flip at 3:13
longer in the company, so he won’t be with the Disciples of Apocalypse
anymore. This is clearly a bit of Vince
Russo booking since he is putting the spotlight on some of the younger stars of
some of these groups like Recon and D-Lo.
Of course, with all of the different factions at ringside it is only a
matter of time before everyone starts fighting each other and that’s exactly
what happens when the match gets down to Chainz and Perez. So much for this match amounting to anything
for anybody. Rating: ½*
comes out and WWF & European Champion Shawn Michaels is in a wheelchair. They run down Jim Neidhart some more and
Triple H tells Sergeant Slaughter that he’s going to put him away for good at
In Your House. Michaels says that he is
in a wheelchair because Chyna has been putting him through some intensive leg
exercises so that he can increase his pain tolerance and be prepared to face
Ken Shamrock at In Your House. Michaels
tells Triple H to test his pain tolerance and in a slightly funny bit, Michaels
boot twists a full 360 degrees and he feigns that he is in pain.
1-900-747-4WWF to find out which WWF superstar has threatened to quit the
Montreal screwjob is shown to fans who didn’t buy the pay-per-view.
breaks down the Steve Austin-Rock feud over the Intercontinental title.
hour, Jerry Lawler replaces Jim Cornette on commentary.
Nation of Domination) beats Vader via count out at 5:07:
the Nation salute as the Rock makes his entrance. At the beginning of the match, Steve Austin
drives into the arena in his Austin 3:16 truck and decides to watch the match
from the hood with some beers. As with
most of these segments, it’s tough to focus on the match since the camera keeps
panning back to Austin, but what we do see is pretty good. Goldust comes out and beats on Vader behind
the referee’s back and that incenses Vader, who chases after him and loses the
match. Rating: **
video package is shown.
match is the second light heavyweight championship tournament semi-final
between Scott Taylor and Brian Christopher, but after Taylor’s entrance Kane
comes out and decimates him. Paul Bearer
repeats the fact that Kane will keep destroying people until the Undertaker
agrees to fight him. Since Taylor is in
condition to compete, Christopher advances to the finals of the
out and refuses to fight Ahmed Johnson tonight because Ahmed is not on his
level. Commissioner Slaughter comes out
and books Jarrett to face the Undertaker at In Your House. Jarrett isn’t too happy about that.
hypes the Sergeant Slaughter-Triple H match at In Your House.
Match: “The Road Dogg” Jesse James &
“Bad Ass” Billy Gunn (WWF Tag Team Champions) beat The Headbangers by
disqualification when the Legion of Doom interfere at 2:45:
Headbangers begin the hot tag comeback, the LOD make their predictable run-in and
cost them the match. James and Gunn run
to the locker room and peel out of the arena in a car, while the Headbangers
and LOD argue in the ring.
recaps D-Generation X’s beat down on Jim Neidhart last week.
interviews Marc Mero and Sable and Cornette tells Mero that “people” are saying
that Sable is the true star of their team.
Mero tells Sable that she is nothing without him and he does an exhibition by punching hand mitts that have Butterbean’s face in them. One of them flies off during the exhibition,
so Mero gets mad at Sable, says she abandoned him during his knee injury, and
she’s worthless. Best segment of the
show and it really made you want Butterbean to beat Mero within an inch of his
life at In Your House.
to get your commemorative box set of all of the WrestleMania’s on VHS. It’ll cost you $79.99 (plus $11 shipping
& handling). That’s not a bad deal.
Screwjob is shown again and Lawler insists that Bret Hart submitted and the
referee made a legitimate judgment call in ending the match. This makes the implicit argument that Bret is
a sore loser.
(w/D-Generation X) pins Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart after hitting him in the back
with a steel chair at 2:31:
the match because evidently Neidhart’s nickname in the locker room is “the
White Rhino.” Neidhart dominates
Helmsley throughout the match with power moves, but Shawn Michaels distracts
him on the apron and Helmsley uses a chair that Chyna tosses to him to win the
Neidhart gets Pedigreed on a chair and Michaels spray paints “WCW” on his
back. They handcuff him to the top rope
and Sergeant Slaughter and Ken Shamrock run out and as Neidhart
holds Chyna back, Shamrock puts Michaels in the ankle lock and Slaughter puts
Triple H in the Cobra Clutch as we go off the air. A nice closing segment that finally gave DX
some comeuppance for their actions during the last month and redeems at least
some of the show.
home” show, since Shamrock didn’t get any comments heading into his first (and
only) main event WWF title match and I don’t think adding Undertaker-Jeff
Jarrett is going to increase the buys of the pay-per-view. Still, despite some of the bad segments, like
the Four Corner Match, there were some pretty good segments like the Mero-Sable
interaction, Rock-Vader, and Taka-Aguila to at least balance it out. What is surprising is that this show scored a
3.0 rating despite running a Triple H-Neidhart main event, which shows how
invested fans were becoming in the WWF product.
Cornette are in the booth and they are live from Fayetteville, North Carolina.
comes out, billed as “Handsome” Harvey, to Rick Rude’s theme music as Ross and
Cornette make jabs at Rude. Wippleman
welcomes out D-Generation X, but WWF Champion Shawn Michaels pushes him down,
says he’s not hard to replace, and runs him out of the ring. Michaels feigns like he cares about what
happened at Montreal and says he and Bret are going to patch up their
differences later tonight. You know, if
you ran this together with when Bret actually returned to the company it would
make perfect sense.
Team Championship Contest: “Road Dogg”
Jesse James & “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn defeat The Legion of Doom (Champions) to
win the titles when Gunn pins Animal with a victory roll at 6:23 shown:
their age, which creates a brawl on the ramp before the match. Since James and Gunn are finally facing the
only team in the division with any heat, the crowd is buzzing for this
encounter. James and Gunn do a great job
keeping Hawk in peril, working a false tag spot and a spot where Gunn keeps
Animal off the apron so Hawk cannot tag out.
The referee gets bumped on an Animal shoulder block and doesn’t see the
James smack Animal in the back with a chair when Gunn is set up for a Doomsday
Device. James and Gunn score the upset
when a second referee counts the fall.
It’s really strange to see that finish work in the heel’s favor. The crowd is in shock over the result as the
Legion of Doom’s last tag title reign in a major promotion comes to an
end. The new champions quickly run to a
car in the parking lot and speed away, although they almost smash into a limo pulling
into the arena while doing so. Rating:
Fighters Holiday Tournament semi-final, Sunny beats Shrimp Scampy, who is
fawning over her instead of focused on his Karate Fighter.
that Jesse James & Billy Gunn nearly T-boned earlier is shown. Is Bret Hart inside?
in a wheelchair, pushed by a nurse.
Michael Cole interviews him and Goldust claims that he is now a
quadriplegic. Goldust has this role down
pat, as he has Cole cross his legs and put a blanket over him and then thanks
the fans for their support. Vader comes
out and threatens to make Goldust a permanent part of the wheelchair, but when
he goes after him, the nurse, who reveals herself as Luna Vachon, sprays
alcohol in Vader’s eye and Goldust gets out of the wheelchair and attacks
him. This was great stuff.
recaps the Triple H-Commissioner Slaughter feud.
Slaughter, who receives more boos than cheers.
Slaughter puts his Sergeant Slaughter hat on and turns into the Sergeant
character. Slaughter announces that his
match against Triple H will be a boot camp match, which he says we can consult
the Iron Sheik about if we don’t know what it is, but that conjures up bad mental
images. A completely over the top promo,
but it’s so campy that it’s entertaining and it made me want to see the match,
regardless of how bad it’s probably going to be.
Championship Tournament First Round Match:
“Too Sexy” Brian Christopher (w/Jerry Lawler) defeats Flash Flanagan
with a Tennessee Jam at 3:32:
somersault plancha we don’t get to see it until a replay. See, that’s the problem with this
tournament. Aside from Taka Michinoku
and Brian Christopher we haven’t seen these guys, so why should we take them
seriously? Christopher busts out a
sunset flip-style powerbomb from the ring to the arena floor and from that
point on he squashes Flanagan, so there’s not really a point in rating this.
to find out why Vince McMahon isn’t on commentary and what pending legal
litigation he is dealing with.
entrance and song plays us into the second hour of the show. Jerry Lawler also replaces Cornette in the
comes out and Triple H says that he isn’t scared of Sergeant Slaughter. Instead of having a meeting between Shawn
Michaels and Bret Hart, as promised at the top of the hour, DX brings out a
Bret Hart midget and humiliates it. Now,
you can take this segment seriously and rant about how bad it was. However, I just take it in stride with DX’s
juvenile gimmick and found it funny.
After all, if you thought Bret was showing up on this show I’ve got a
bridge to sell you in my hometown.
out and threatens DX, but Michaels holds him off by massaging his ego and how
he was the best part of the Hart Foundation.
Michaels offers him a spot in DX, an offer that expires at the end of
Austin having supper with a fan who won the Survivor Series Super Supper
Sweepstakes is shown.
hypes Butterbean, who will face Marc Mero in a four round “tough man” match at
In Your House.
beats Savio Vega via submission to the ankle lock at 5:18:
of a boost out of it as the Los Boricuas stable never caught on and sunk his
WWF career. Savio controls most of the
match, which is enough to put you to sleep, but Shamrock eventually snaps and
wins. Ross says that this shows Shamrock
is getting more dominant, but if you are struggling against Savio Vega at this
stage of his career then I don’t see how you can say that about yourself. Rating: ½*
up in his Austin 3:16 pickup truck.
the Nation of Domination and at this point based on the booking and scheduling
of interview time it is clear that the Rock is the focal point of the
group. This is an important interview
because it is where the Rock found his character. He starts referring to himself in the third
person, refers to himself as “The Rock” consistently, and calls himself the
“People’s champion.” As the Rock cuts
his promo, lights cut on and off and “Rocky sucks” appears on the Titantron to
help the fans chant along. Steve Austin
appears on the Titantron and is playing with stuff in the production truck and
warns the Rock that when “3:16” appeared on his beeper (remember those?) that
he’s in trouble, but see, it is actually a taped segment. Austin appears through the crowd and in a
nice touch, the Rock checks his beeper and gets big eyes, and Austin attacks him
and clears the ring with a chair to end a great segment. The heat for this feud is nuclear and Vince
had to be smiling ear to ear.
backstage complaining about his locker room, water, and food. He also complains about his opponent, Chainz
(it’s actually Crush), and says he is not wrestling until Vince McMahon lives
up to his contractual obligations. Crush
wins the match by forfeit, but Kane comes out and destroys him in short
order. This was Crush’s WWF swan
song. Gerald Brisco accidentally bumps
into Kane and gets chokeslammed too.
Match: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn
Michaels (WWF & European Champion w/D-Generation X) beats Vader with two
Sweet Chin Music’s at 2:38 shown:
attack earlier in the show. Before the match, Michaels announces Jim Neidhart
as the newest member of DX. After the commercial
break, we join this in progress and Vader manhandles Michaels, even when DX
interferes behind the referee’s back.
Vader goes for a Vader Bomb, but Triple H throws hot coffee into Vader’s
good eye and Michaels wins this one in short order. I won’t say that this made Vader look weak by
any means, but I hate short matches like this when it comes to using your top
talent. It does show you how good DX
were at the heel role in that I hated their actions in this match over fifteen
Neidhart poses with Michaels and Triple H, but Chyna gives him a low blow and a
beat down results.
did a great job getting over the major players and the Austin-Rock segment was
the highlight of the show. A very
entertaining two hours of television, although I will readily concede that part
of that entertainment was at Rick Rude and Bret Hart’s expense.
summarizes the interactions between Bret Hart and Steve Austin on last week’s
show. There’s a cool timeline in the
bottom right of the screen that tells the time of their various interactions on
last week’s show.
Jerry “the King” Lawler, and Jim Ross are in the booth and they are coming to
us from Omaha, Nebraska.
comes out and says that he has a sensitive side and asks the crowd to pray with
him. Pillman prays for Bret Hart’s quick
and successful recovery, the people that enjoyed the street fight on last week’s
show, and the destruction of Steve Austin.
Austin comes on the Titantron and says Pillman better pray that he doesn’t
come down to the ring because Bret won’t be there to save him. Pillman taunts Austin further, so Austin
arrives, but outwits a sneak attack by the Bulldog and Owen and makes his exit
through the crowd. Pillman continues his
prayer with Owen and the Bulldog, who continue to pray for Bret. Owen does a hilarious job, as usual, but
Austin comes down with an axe handle and breaks up the Hart Foundation’s
prayer. A great opening segment, with
Pillman doing a great job on the mic.
Austin’s heat is off the charts here.
that Bret Hart is on his way to the arena and the announce crew hypes Owen Hart
challenging Rocky Maivia for the Intercontinental title and the British Bulldog
facing the Undertaker.
continuing his prayer in the locker room.
Contest: Flash Funk pins Rockabilly
(w/The Honky Tonk Man) with a hurricanrana at 4:22:
actually gets a reaction. Bret is shown
arriving in the arena in the back of an ambulance under an armed guard, which
is a great visual. Funk flies all over
the place in an attempt to make this the first interesting match of Rockabilly’s
career, but Rockabilly finds a way to slow things down when he seizes control. Rockabilly dances too much after a tornado
DDT and he wants the Honky Tonk Man to deck Funk on the apron, but
miscommunication results and Rockabilly gets pinned. However, to get his heat back, Rockabilly
nails Funk with the Honky Tonk Man’s guitar.
wheel Bret out onto the entrance ramp and he rants about how America hates
people that tell the truth. Bret tells
the crowd that they are sick and depraved because of their lust for violence
and the crowd pops huge for that. Bret does
a great put down of the “USA” chant by saying “my mother’s American” and
smiling and says he’d love to send Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels to the
hospital this evening. This was another
awesome promo and Bret was at his best on the mic with this anti-American
Philip LaFon say that they haven’t been accepted by American wrestling fans
because they are wrestlers and not entertainers. They complain that they haven’t won the tag
team titles because the crowd isn’t behind them. This was Furnas and LaFon’s heel turn, but
they lacked the mic skills to make this work.
Doom defeat Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon when Animal pins Furnas after a Hawk
flying clothesline at 3:46:
Doomsday Device on the Shotgun Saturday Night leading up to this show. This match is an interesting clash of styles,
as the Legion of Doom’s power offense goes against the technical skills of
their opponents. They run through an abbreviated
tag team formula, with everyone getting involved around the three minute mark
and the Legion prevail because they are the only credible face team in the tag
division. I wish I could have seen these
two teams square off on pay-per-view. Rating:
Furnas and LaFon, who demand a rematch because the referee cost them this
interrupting Sunny’s segment on Shotgun Saturday Night is shown.
model the Austin 3:16 t-shirt, which you buy for $20.00 (plus shipping &
handling). Finally, a piece of
merchandise that actually made the company money!
Ahmed Johnson, who sent the Sultan to the hospital with his 2×4 attack last
week. Ahmed flips out thinking about the
gauntlet match he has with the Nation at the In Your House and tells Vince to
remember he was a gang member. Vince’s
reply is hilarious: “I think we’ve had enough
Bulldog preps Owen for his match with Rocky Maivia for the Intercontinental
title and Brian Pillman offers some prayers with the
on Chyna on Raw last week is the Super Clean Slam of the Week.
Championship Match: Owen Hart defeats “The
Rock” Rocky Maivia (Champion) with a bridge cradle at 8:24 to win the title:
that he can watch his brother wrestle for the Intercontinental title and Owen
dedicates the match to Bret. In a
telling sign, the Hart Foundation is the most hated group on the roster, but
Maivia comes out and does not even generate de facto face heat during his
entrance. Owen spends a good deal of the
match working the leg and kicks out of the soon to be named Rock Bottom when
Maivia stages his comeback. Owen floats
over Maivia during this rally and wraps him up in a bridging cradle and that’s
enough to give Owen his first WWF singles title. The Bulldog and Bret stage a fun celebration,
with Bret taking the belt and the Bulldog wheeling him in circles. Owen bumped around well for Maivia, but his
victory didn’t feel like a big deal because of who he beat for the belt. Rating: **½
out with a wheelchair and an axe handle and sits in the center of the ring. Austin asks the crowd if they want to see a
wheelchair match and he asks Bret to come out.
However, Austin changes his mind and says that he’d just end up getting
out of the wheelchair and destroying Bret.
Austin tells the Undertaker that at In Your House he’s going to win the
title, but as he turns to leave, the Hart Foundation appears on the Titantron
and Bret promises Austin that he will end up in the ambulance that he arrived
in for tonight’s show.
on Good Morning Kuwait that got him detained in Kuwait is shown.
highlights Ken Shamrock’s UFC career and what he has done in the WWF so far.
Real Double J” Jesse James with a Vader Bomb at 1:35:
have had him ambush James during his entrance and beat him to a pulp without an
actual match taking place. As it stands,
we do get a match, but a massacre is a better way to put it as Vader destroys
James with his big moves. The crowd pops
big for the beating.
Vader and asks if Vader has any remorse or shame for what he did in Kuwait and
how he embarrassed his family and the WWF.
Vader says he has no regrets and he apologizes for nothing. Ross asks Vader if he overreacted and Vader
begins to bully him. Ross breaks kayfabe
and calls Vader “Leon”, trying to sell this as Vader breaking from the script,
but Shamrock comes to Ross’s rescue and gives him a belly-to-belly suplex. The crowd is hot for Shamrock-Vader, so the
segment did what it was supposed to do .
Marlena that she isn’t to follow him to the ring tonight when he faces Hunter
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) by count out at 4:46 shown:
the sense that the feud went on forever without giving us any quality matches. I’m quite surprised they never tried to run a
mixed tag team match on pay-per-view out of this pairing. Yes, the Marlena-Chyna parts wouldn’t have
set the world on fire, but they could have easily booked around it. This match proceeds like many of their
previous ones, with Goldust starting with a quick flurry and Helmsley slowing it
down. Luckily we get a commercial break
to spare us much of that. Marlena comes
down to ringside when Chyna attacks Goldust and when Goldust distracts Chyna, Marlena
throws powder in Chyna’s eyes. Blinded,
Chyna goes after Helmsley and raises him off his feet with a choke, which is
something I bet she wishes she could do these days. That costs Helmsley the match and honestly
this was the first tolerable match in their feud. Rating: **
Undertaker appears on the Titantron and gives some generic comments about
facing Steve Austin at In Your House.
and models an Undertaker t-shirt, which you can buy for $20 (plus shipping
prays for the British Bulldog to have the strength to defeat the Undertaker.
Bulldog (European Champion) by disqualification when Owen Hart interferes at
and the Bulldog speaks highly of Bret.
The Bulldog doesn’t quite understand non-title, as he pledges to win the
WWF title for the Hart Foundation. After
the Bulldog turned heel in 1995, he and the Undertaker seemed to face off on
Raw at least two times a year in singles matches and those matches were usually
main events. There’s not much in this
one, as we cut to a break twenty seconds in and Owen interferes to prevent the
Bulldog from getting finished off after a chokeslam.
and Austin proceeds to grab the WWF title and celebrate with it. The Undertaker confronts him, but quickly
eats a Stunner after Austin throws the WWF title to the ground. The Undertaker quickly revives himself,
though, and chokeslams Austin. Austin
recovers and notes that Bret is by himself on the entrance ramp and goes near
him, but Jim Neidhart appears and rescues Bret.
Bret smiles and smashes Austin with his crutch and Austin falls off the
entrance ramp as we close the show. Paramedics
tend to Austin, thereby making Bret’s prophesy of Austin riding to the hospital
in the ambulance he arrived in come true.
A great closing segment and we now have the complete Hart Foundation of
Bret, Owen, Bulldog, Neidhart, and Pillman.
the camera with a smile and crazy eyes.
work and a hot crowd that got behind many of the big moments on the show. Owen winning the Intercontinental title made
all of the anti-Maivia diehards happy and there was a great story arch in this
show as well, with Bret promising to send Austin to the hospital and accomplishing
that goal at the end of the show. A
great effort of storytelling that put you on the edge of your seat for next