Survivor Series Countdown: 1997

(2011 Scott sez:  This one probably needs a redo, for formatting if nothing else.) The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 1997. – Well, hit #200,000 on the Archives came and went, and the winner
was…ME!  No, just kidding, it was Tom Carroll, who is apparently a
sado-masochistic freak because he picked this show, one which I
specifically said I didn’t want to do many times before this.  Well,
hey, I’m not bitter or anything, just because this is the show that
ripped the hearts out of every Canadian wrestling fan in the country.
Well, I suppose it could be worse — I was going to do Slamfest 95 and
"Razor Ramon" for another Coliseum Video rant, but I scanned through
them and they’re boring as shit.  Well, Slamfest has a ****1/2 Kid-Ramon
v. Diesel-Michaels tag title match from late 94, and a pretty good
Owen-Anvil v. Bret-Bulldog match, but the rest is horribly boring.– Live from Montreal, Quebec. – Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler. – Opening match:  The Headbangers & The Blackjacks v. The Godwinns,
Billy Gunn & Road Dog Jesse Jammes.
No entrance music, no catchphrase,
no heat…who the hell are these guys that look so much like the New Age
Outlaws?  Roadie does some ultra-cheap heat drawing on the way to the
ring, calling the face team "Steers and Queers" and then coining the
phrase "Buttbangers" for Mosh and Thrashers.  Billy Gunn doesn’t ask
anyone to suck it, but then he probably wouldn’t get any response even
if he did.  Future compatriots Bradshaw and Phineas (Mideon) start in
the early going.  The Outlaws both refuse to tag in.  Henry comes in,
lumbers around for a while, and gets pinned on a rollup by Bradshaw.
Phineas gets routed by Windham, but gets a clothesline on Windham and
pins him.  Pathetic.  Mosh comes in and dominates Phineas, and Billy
Gunn finally tags in, to pretty good heel heat.  Fans chant "faggot" en
francais, but Gunn still manages to reverse a bulldog for the pin.
Phineas comes back against Thrasher and gets dominated by a wristlock,
which he proceeds to confuse with a wristwatch.  Ahem.  See, because
Gorilla Monsoon’s favorite saying is…oh, never mind.  They literally
just stand around for a minute at the time, not really doing anything.
What a mess.  Thrasher goes to the top with a buttdrop for three.  We’re
down the NAO v. Thrasher & Bradshaw.  Bradshaw whoops JJ, but Jammes
gets a fluke pin on a rollup.  The Outlaws double-team Thrasher and get
the win after a bad-looking Gunn legdrop off the top, which misses by a
foot.  Ugh.  What a horrible choice to start.  -**  For point of
reference, it was generally considered a bad idea by the smart community
for Gunn & Jammes to get the win here, showing that Vince is a either a
genius or has someone in his organization with a better eye for future
talent than I. – The Truth Commission & Jackyl v. The Disciples of Apocolypse. Jackyl
decides to do color commentary and allow his guys to wrestle 3 on 4.
Sadly, Jackyl is the BEST WRESTLER IN THE MATCH, and he’s doing the
friggin’ color commentary.  Pier-seven brawl to start.  The Interrogator
gets a quick pin on Chainz with a side slam.  Jackyl makes his one
appearance in the match, hitting a kneedrop on Skull before being pinned
with a sidewalk slam and eliminated.  Recon gets whomped by Crush (to a
big face pop), but makes the comeback against 8-Ball.  The switcheroo
causes him to get pinned after a clothesline, however.  That’s a popular
finisher tonight.  Sniper gets double-teamed by DOA, but a cheap shot
from Interrogator (Kurrgan, in case you didn’t know) allows Sniper to
get the pin with a bulldog.  So that leaves Crush and one of the twins
against Sniper and Interrogator.  Dumb note:  There’s a guy at ringside
with a very accurate looking Sting outfit.  The twin gets pinned with a
side slam from Interrogator.  Crush pins Sniper with a half-assed
tilt-a-whirl, and Interrogator pins Crush about 2 seconds later with his
one move, you guessed it, the side slam.  Better than the first match,
but we’re still not out of the negative stars yet.  Maybe next match…
-* – Steve Blackman, Marc Mero, Vader and Goldust v. Doug Furnas, Phil
LaFon, Davey Boy Smith & Jim Neidhart
.  Huge face pop for the Canadian
team.  Jim notes that the atmosphere is like the Stanley Cup finals,
with the Canadiens taking on the Rangers.  Obviously JR isn’t a big
hockey fan.  Mero and Bulldog start off as the fans chant for Sable.
Vader comes in and destroys Bulldog, but falls prey to his patented
"come off the second rope and get powerslammed" move.  Mero and LaFon go
next and Mero gets caught in the face corner. Blackman comes in and
looks pretty good against LaFon, but then *I* could look good against
LaFon.  Blackman fights out of the ring and gets ambushed by Team Canada
and counted out.  Neidhart and Vader wallop each other next, but a Vader
splash ends the Anvil’s night.  LaFon comes in with some spinning kicks,
sending Vader out of the ring.  Vader comes back and dominates, hitting
a second rope splash for the pin.  Furnas tries his luck but gets
nowhere, as Vader nails him and Mero comes in to clean up.  Merosault
gets two.  Bulldog comes in and beats the crap out of Mero.  Powerslam,
but Mero escapes.  Mero and Furnas have a show of fisticuffsmanship, but
sneaky Furnas gets a wrestling move in there (a rollup) for the pin.
Vader’s back in to beat on Furnas, but Bulldog gets the tag.  Vader goes
for the tag, but Goldust refuses.  He has a broken hand, you see.  This
was the start of TAFKA Goldust.  Furnas hits a lowblow with the ref’s
back turned and gets two.  Vader goes for the tag and Goldust walks.
Furnas hits an awesome overhead belly-to-belly on Vader and gets two.
Rana gets two.  Nice bumping from Vader there.  Vader gets the advantage
and forcibly brings Goldust in, who rolls out and heads for the dressing
room.  Vader fights off Doug Furnas and the Bulldog long enough to hit
the pump splash on Furnas for the pin, but Bulldog nails Vader with the
ring bell while he’s celebrating for the winning pin and a HUGE pop.  Now
THAT’S more like it.  *** – Video package recapping the debut of Kane. – Kane v. Mankind.  Kane destroyed Dude Love to set this up, as Mick
changed back to Mankind to deal with the problem.  In one of the
stupider ideas of the 20th century, the entire match is done under
Kane’s red light. This is Kane’s in-ring debut.  Mick takes the steps
off the head pretty quickly.  Kane absolutely destroys Mick.  Ve-ry
Slow-ly.  Kane puts his head down and gets piledriven.  Mick gets the
Mandible Claw on Paul Bearer, which allows Kane to sit up and shove him
off the apron, through the poor, abused Spanish table.  Mick nails Kane
in the Titanium Testicles and DDTs him on the floor.  He drops the elbow
off the apron.  Kane hops back up and slams Mankind off the apron, to
the floor.  Mankind pulls himself into the ring, crawls to Kane’s feet,
and painfully pulls himself up to his feet…and Kane casually
tombstones him and gets the pin.  Awful match with a couple of good
bumps.  * – Michael Cole interviews Vince McMahon backstage, who promises that the
match will actually happen tonight. – Faarooq, Kama, D-Lo Brown & The Rock v. Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson &
The Legion of Doom.
It’s hard to hear the pre-match interview with the
faces over the "Rocky Sucks" chants.  You know, now might be a good time
to do a reunion of the Nation, with Rocky, Godfather, D-Lo and Mark
Henry all enjoying huge babyface heat right now.  Anyway, Rocky pins
Hawk with Rock Bottom about 30 seconds in.  Ahmed gets beat on in the
Nation corner — and there’s that chant again.  Ahmed escapes the
Dominator and hits the Tiger Driver for the pin on Faarooq.  D-Lo comes
in with the Lowdown as Faarooq lingers at ringside.  Ahmed with a Falcon
Arrow, and Rocky tags in.  Ahmed comes off the ropes and Faarooq hooks
the leg, and Rocky pins him.  Ahmed and Faarooq fight back to the
dressing room.  Shamrock comes in and dominates, trading kicks with
Kama.  Animal and Kama do a boring segment.  Astonishingly, there’s
three future IC champions left in the match.  Fans amuse themselves by
chanting…well, you know what.  It’s about Rocky, at any rate.  Kama
showboats and gets rolled up by Animal for the pin.  D-Lo has a try and
gets killed by Shamrock.  With the ref distracted, however, they do a
double-team ballshot and take control.  And the fans chant their
favorite phrase.  Man, Vince must have been creaming at the heel heat
for Rocky.  D-Lo misses a moonsault by a mile and Shamrock hot tags
Animal.  But the Outlaws come out and piss off Animal, who chases them
and gets counted out.  So Shamrock is 1 on 2 against Rocky and D-Lo.  He
clotheslines Rocky out of the way and anklelocks D-Lo for the
submission, leaving Rock v. Shamrock.  Rock blindsides him with a chair,
but it only gets two.  Hurricane DDT gets 2 1/2.  People’s Elbow gets
ZERO reaction…and a two count. Shamrock reverses the second DDT
attempt into a Northern Lights suplex.  Double KO.  Both up, and
Shamrock hits a rana.  He snaps and applies a Herb Kunze armbar into the
anklelock for the tap-out and the victory.  Ending sequence saved it
from mediocrity and sent both guys on the road to stardom…well, some
more than others.  *** – Michael Cole talks to some dumbass Quebecois in the cheap seats. – Intercontinental title match:  Owen Hart v. Steve Austin.  Of course,
Owen broke Austin’s neck at Summerslam 97, but lost the match and the
title.  Austin forfeited the title, and Owen won the tournament for the
title.  This is the rematch.  Crowd is about 50/50 here, but Austin
quickly adapts the heel role, jawing with the fans.  Crowd chants for
Owen to "break his neck".  Man, that’s cold.  Owen goes for a piledriver
early to a big pop, but Austin reverses.  Owen gets posted and runs, so
they fight to the entrance and back.  Austin tosses him back in and Owen
rolls out again, so they brawl by the announce position.  Owen chokes
out Austin with a cable, yelling "Disqualify me!" so he’d keep the
title.  Slugfest in the ring, which Austin wins.  Stunner and it’s over
just like that.  This was like a RAW match.  1/4*  Team Canada attacks
and gets Stunnered as well. It was obvious Austin should NOT have been
wrestling here. – Well, a pretty lacklustre show all around, with nothing terribly
noteworthy happening and… What do you mean there’s another match left? Oh, yeah, that’s right…*that* match. – WWF World title match:  Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels.  Everything that
can possibly be said about the events surrounding this match have been
said, so I’ll just talk about the match, which is something no one has
done for a year and a half.  Shawn brings a Canadian flag with him,
which he proceeds to wipe his ass with, pick his nose with, and then
throw on the ground and hump to firmly establish him as the heel.  The
interviews leading up to this match established the template for the
20-minute interview to open RAW.  Bret attacks Shawn before the bell and
they brawl into the crowd, with Bret pounding the hell out of Shawn.
The Stooges and Vince come out to try to talk some sense into them, thus
giving Vince a viable reason to be at ringside.  Michaels rams Bret to
the stairs and chokes him out with a flag, then they brawl back into the
crowd again, and down the aisle to the entranceway.  Michaels takes a
nasty suplex on the concrete, and visibly calls a spot while he
recovers.  Bret tosses him over a barricade and nails him with a fire
extinguisher.  Vince stands ominously in the background, trying to
convince them to go back to the ring.  They do so, and the bell finally
rings to start the match.  Bret chokes Shawn out with the flag of
Quebec, legdrops him, and gives him an inverted atomic drop.  Shawn
comes back with the flying forearm (big boos) and kips up.  He punts
Bret right in the head.  That looked a little stiff.  They fight outside
the ring again and Shawn drops Bret on the steps, then rams the Canadian
flag in Bret’s throat.  The pole, not the flag.  Shawn throws him back
in and hits an axehandle off the top, then applies a front-facelock.
Bret tosses him off to escape as Ross points out the insult involved in
using one’s own move on them.  Shawn takes control with a slam and a
bodypress off the top, reversed for a two count.  Bret kicks at Shawn’s
knee and applies the ringpost figure-four.  Bret continues working on
the leg. Fans chant "Bret sold out" and he applies a standard
figure-four.  Shawn reverses and Bret makes the ropes.  Cross-corner
whip and Bret starts the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM.  Legsweep, suplex,
backbreaker, but Shawn pulls Earl Hebner in the way of the elbow off the
second rope.  *Cue ominous music*  Shawn rakes the eyes, and applies the
Sharpshooter, and, well, you know what happens from there.  ***1/4 The Bottom Line:  You know, I was watching American Justice last night,
and one of the stories for "Bad Cop Week" was the Rodney King beating.
The description of the trial talked about how the jurors had to watch
the tape of the incident over and over, hundreds of times over the
months that the trial dragged on.  In the beginning, one of the jurors
would break down and cry at the violence and brutality displayed in the
video, but after seeing the same thing over and over, frame by frame,
they learned to ignore the emotional nature of the video and view it
objectively in order to make a fair decision.  In fact, by the end of
the trial, the weak juror made a turnaround and had become one of the
strongest supporters of acquittal for the police being tried.  The point?
Sometimes it just hurts less after a while, I guess, no matter how bad
it was to begin with. But maybe that’s just the cynic in me talking. Can’t really recommend the show — If you’ve never seen the match, rent
Wrestling with Shadows instead, which has all the backstage stuff to
boot.