The Princess Review on the Legends of Wrestling Roundtable: Texas Wrestling

One final Dusty-related piece from me:

First here’s Dustin’s eulogy: https://twitter.com/Goldust/status/611569470147031040
And here’s Cody’s eulogy: https://twitter.com/StardustWWE/status/611332890568327168/photo/1

And here’s wonderful obit/feature on Dusty and his time in Tampa: http://tbo.com/Obituaries/private-funeral-in-tampa-today-for-wrestler-dusty-rhodes-20150617/

And here’s my piece on Legends of Wrestling Roundtable: Texas Wrestling

Your panelists are: Jim Ross, Michael Hayes, Dusty Rhodes and “Cowboy” Bill Watts. With Mean Gene Okerlund moderating the conversation. Number of cowboy hats on the set are two but the “Cowboy” isn’t wearing one. Rhodes is the only actual Texas-born person on the panel.

— Ross starts out by saying Texas had five full-time territories and as an Oklahoma guy Ross says there’s no state that comes close to Texas for producing stars. He goes into the Dallas territory with the Von Erichs and from there with Paul Boesch in Houston, Gory Guerrero in El Paso, Joe Blanchard in San Antonio and Dory Funk Sr. in West Texas. Ross said guys could bounce from territory to territory in Texas and make a good living without leaving the state.

— Hayes talks about some guys could only draw in Texas and other guys could draw anywhere but Texas, making that area really unique.

— Dusty talks about the wrestling tradition on the West Texas State football team that included the Funk Brothers, Tito Santana, Ted DiBiase, Tully Blanchard, Bruiser Brody and of course Dusty himself. Dusty cracks a joke about Watts booking him nine times in a week.

— Hayes takes credit for making Dallas hot, which is somewhat true and somewhat of an embellishment. Hayes says the promoters in Texas weren’t often put over but the panel reminds him that Boesch was highly revered by the boys and promoters alive. Dusty says Boesch was the best payoff in the territory era.

— JR talks about the Von Erichs a little and how he came across them when Watts would book them for Mid-South TV. And then he talks about how strong the Von Erichs were because of their TV coverage. He makes the comparison of the old wrestling fan being like a NASCAR fan as they would watch all the different promotions they could on TV.

— Dusty puts over Texas as the greatest state in the union and the greatest football team in the union. And tries to talk about JBL but ends up telling a story about him hitting a home run against Abilene Christian. That’s Dusty for ya. Back to wrestling and Dusty says the Freebirds-Von Erichs encaptured the Dallas market and we see a long clip of a Freebirds vs. Von Erichs (Kevin, Fritz and Mike) in a street fight at Texas Stadium.

— JR says Dusty was the quintessential Texas wrestler because he went to every territory around and drew money everywhere. Ross said this is a bottom line business and Dusty proved his value. From a technical standpoint Ross said Dory Jr. was probably the best. And we saw a clip of the Funk Brothers absolutely destroying the faces in Florida, including breaking Dusty Rhodes’ arm. Fans were pelting them with trash. And more clips of Dory beating Thunderbolt Patterson in a NWA title defense in Florida.

— Hayes said Dusty was so good as drawing money he could get other wrestlers’ payoff…other wrestlers meaning Hayes himself of course.

— JR said for modern times Stone Cold is the man. Texas guy, born there, trained there and started in Dallas but in a bottom-line business no one sold more.

— Watts and Hayes put over the Guerrero family as a whole and then some of the great Latin talents that came from Gory Guerrero’s promotion in El Paso.

— Hayes and Watts talk about Dick Murdoch and how great the Dusty-Murdoch team was as the Texas Outlaws and how choatic their fights were. Dusty tells stories about Murdoch working for San Francisco and how he might have gotten into some weird stuff out there. We see clips of the Outlaws reuniting to take on Bob Roop and Harley Race in 1975 at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. Roop and Race did damage to Rhodes’ throat and Rhodes recruited Murdoch to help him and as legend goes the card sold out in a few minutes once the match was announced. When Dusty piledrives Roop on the concrete the place goes absolutely ape shit. And back in 1975 if you got piledriven on the concrete, it was pretty much instant death. Rhodes and Murdoch just continue to beat the shit out of Race and Roop, who the medics are trying to take out on a stretcher. Rhodes is narrating this with Gordon Solie and getting hyped up more by the second. Amazing, wild stuff and it was cool to see the Outlaws be total heels in their actions but they were the faces and had the crowd eating out of their hands.

— Watts talks about Rhodes’ wife being a tremendous Tex-Mex cook and then they get deeper into the Latin talent like Jose Lethario and El Santo and of course Mil Mascaras. And when the real Mexican superstars came into the Texas territory for spot shots they sold big tickets. Ross talks about how the Mexican fans knew the Mexican stars from the Puerto Rican stars and would punish the promoters that tried to pull one over on that fan base and bring in a Puero Rican star and push him to the Mexican fans.

— Watts tells a Terry Funk story about him getting drunk and ribbing his ex-wife and her new boyfriend, who were shacking up in the house he lost to her in the divorce.

— Dusty talks about Terry Funk shooting out the traffic lights in those one-horse towns around the canyons. Dusty tells a tremendous story about him and Nick Bockwinkle trying to rib Terry but Terry caught on to it and ribbed Bockwinkle instead.

— Watts talks about Dory Jr. ribbing Hansen and making him tear out his shoulder trying to knock down a street sign after Dory did it with one he gimmicked.

— More Watts this time talking about the Von Erichs and how big David’s funeral was. Watts said Fritz never really understood the problem his sons had with substance abuse. He talks about how Kerry was so huge but he was caught up in drugs as was his brother Chris. The only one who generally avoided the hard drugs was Kevin, who is the only surviving brother.

— Hayes said the tragic part of the Von Erich story was that the great memories they left for the people in Dallas are often just a footnote. He says Fritz got a lot of flack for taking care of his boys but when they had the right opposition, like the Freebirds, he let things escalate and get huge.

— Dusty talks about the super shows and how Vince rn the showdown at Shea and Florida did the Tampa show at Tampa Stadium and Fritz did the shows in Dallas. Hayes said the Texas Stadium shows were the largest houses in Texas until the WWE had the Royal Rumble in 1997 and the two Wrestlemanias in Houston.

— Ross talks about Wrestlemania 17 and how much he loved the Astrodome and puts over how great of a show that was….and wrestling fans agree as it’s widely considered the best Wrestlemania and arguably the best PPV of all time. We see clips of the Rock-Austin main event from the Wrestlemania 17 card.

— The panel gives praise Shawn Michaels and Ross says he’s the best “big match” perform to ever grace the ring. This was taped as a lead-in to Wrestlemania 25 too so once again Shawn was about to deliver another classic (depending on who you ask). Hayes says he continues to get better.

— Hayes mentions the other Texas guys that fell to substance abuse and brings up Gino Hernandez. Ross said Hernandez had the potential to be great and Watts said Gino’s attitude was that he wanted to work and he wanted the responsibility to be the man. And then somehow Watts goes back to putting Dusty over.

— Dusty tells a story about having to turn down a booking because his father died the same day Dustin was born. He barely had enough money to cover the funeral but Fritz gave him an envelope with money to cover the cost. Dusty said years later he was able to go back into Dallas and had the resources to give Fritz the money back and said he didn’t feel right until he did that.

— Hayes talks about Blackjack Mulligan and Dick Murdoch buying Amarillo territory from Dory Sr. Dusty said it included a “trunk factory” where they could make the wrestlers gear. He says the first trunks they sent him were too big and they misspelled “DR” on them. “I’m heavy, you know, but these would have fit Beulah the Cow.” Dusty said Blackjack and Dick were at gunpoint with each other from time to time and sold the territory within a year as only Dory knew how to make Amarillo work.

— Watts said he had Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen as a team but broke them up because he could see they were both going to be stars. Watts said Bruiser was a different type of talent as he would make a deal with a promoter and look at the house and then would hold up the promoter for more money. Watts speculates that was much of the reason he got murdered by Invader I in Puerto Rico.

— Dusty and Watts talk about Ernie Ladd and he was from Texas. Watts said when Ernie died he cried for four days. Ross said Ernie, like Dusty, outgrew Texas pretty quickly and became an international star.

— Watts tells a story about the time Brody didn’t want to sell for Danny Hodge because he didn’t think Hodge looked big and strong enough. Now Hodge, who’s badassedness is legendary, beats the fuck out of Brody and Brody starts screaming for mercy and Watts tells Brody to “show him your arms and big muscles!”.

— Okerlund puts over Watts for his Hall of Fame induction and the show closes.

The Bottom Line: The first 30-35 minutes were great and it slowed down a little after that. My main beef was that they spent very little time actually talking about the memorable angles run in the Texas promotions other than the Freebirds-Von Erichs from WCCW. Fun discussion though as Hayes tends not to be as overbearing with Dusty and JR on the same panel.

Princess Rant: Wrestlemania XI

Why? Why not…Besides I’ve never seen this card in full
before.

The Princess Rant on Wrestlemania XI

Held on April 2, 1995 from the Hartford Civic Center, home of the Whalers!

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler


The Allied Powers vs. Eli and Jacob Blu

Wow what a fall from grace for Lex Luger. He cheap shots Bret Hart before
Wrestlemania IX, is part of the double main event at Wrestlemania X and now is part of a heatless opening tag match at Wrestlemania XI. Meanwhile Dutch Mantel
(playing the role of Uncle Zebediah tonight) is a hot heel managerial act 20
years later. Go figure. Neither Lex nor Davey Boy gave two shits about this tag
arrangement and it shows. They do some power stuff and then the Blu Brothers
take over and pull some switcheroos and do some stuff.  Finally Eli or Jacob (or Ron or Don) miss a
flying elbow. Hot tag to Luger and he does all his power stuff (Clotheslines
and powerslams). He hits the bionic forearm but the brothers do another switch.
They go for a piledriver on Luger back when those things were legal but Luger
makes the blind tag to Davey Boy, who comes off the top with a sunset flip and
gets the three count. Yikes

(Allied Powers def. Blu Bros., pinfall, *, below average power tag match. Had
the Allied Powers actually gotten the push they needed that led to the eventual
breakup I believe that there might have been money in DBS-Luger feud.)

JR, shunted from announcing duties, interviews Uncle Zeb and it’s silly.

Vince goes to Nicolas Turturro, from New York Undercover or NYPD Blue or
something, who tries to interview King Kong Bundy and a few others but his mic
isn’t working.

Super hilarious interview with Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid with Waltman has
this super stare at the camera. This has to be seen to be appreciated.


Intercontinental Championship: Jeff Jarrett vs. Razor Ramon

Jarrett was the champion here, after beating Ramon at the Royal Rumble with
assistance from the Roadie. Hence Razor is seconded by the Kid, who is dressed
like a member of the Cobra Kai in what had to be a rib or a dare or something. Meanwhile
Razor’s vest looks like he bought it at a second hand store. These guys were
great. By the way twenty years later, the Roadie is on the Wrestlemania card.
Who would have guessed? Razor damn near trucks a HORDE of ringside media there
for Lawrence Taylor and jumps on Jarrett immediately and eventually dumping him
to the floor with a clothesline. Jarrett uses trickery to take control but
falters on a second rope sunset flip. More heel miscommunication as Jarrett
bangs into the Roadie for a two count. Razor goes for the Edge but the Roadie
saves him. So Jarrett and Roadie decide to take a walk but Kid cuts them off
and sends Jarrett back into the ring. Razor with a rollup for two.  Jarrett goes to the eyes but misses a sit
down splash. Razor sends the Roadie into the post and Jarrett follows behind
when he is dumped over the top. Jarrett back in the ring and he catches Razor
with a neckbreaker and two dropkicks. Finally the sit down splash works for
Jarrett and then he sends Razor into the corner hard. Enziguri misses but Razor
misses an elbow and Jarrett covers for two. Side elbow by Jarrett gets two and
Jarrett goes for the chinlock to extend the heat segment. Razor quickly fights
out and gets a backslide for two. Jarrett with a clothesline for two. They try
a slugfest that Razor wins but Jarrett goes to the sleeper. Razor escapes but
Jarrett with a head smasher for two. Back to the chinlock for Jarrett. Razor
fights out again and they knock heads after a rope sequence. They both get up
at six and connect with roundhouse rights at the same time for another double
knockout. Razor gets the groggy cover for two. Another slugfest that Razor
wins. Jarrett goes for a high cross body but Razor catches him with a fall away
slam. Razor tries to distract the ref for the Kid to interfere but Jarrett foils
it and Razor misses a middle rope elbow. Knee breaker from Jarrett and it’s
figure four time. Jarrett gets a couple of two counts and some assistance from
the Roadie but despite it all Razor fights out and reverses the hold. And then
the kid gives Razor some assistance in a funny bit. Both guys are worse for
wear and Razor is really selling the knee. Second rope backdrop suplex from
Razor but he can’t capitalize with the cover. Despite barely being able to walk
Razor goes for the Edge and of course Roadie comes in and clips his knee again
for the disqualification. The Kid comes and does his usually shit that gets a
rise out of the crowd but Jarrett pancakes him and puts him in the figure four.
Razor makes the save and we’ve got a pretty wild brawl actually.

(Ramon def. Jarrett, disqualification, ***1/2, I thought this was a hell of a
match with some good near falls and a great pace, especially for a Jarrett
match.)

Ross argues with Jarrett afterwards. Jarrett has a bloody nose.

Nicolas Turturro is hanging out with the Corporation and Jenny McCarthy and
Shawn Michaels and Sid. And yeah it’s as big of a car wreck as it sounds…and
then a Sid promo takes it beyond that. God bless that guy.

Right to the next match. No bullshit with this Wrestlemania.


King Kong Bundy vs. The Undertaker

Bundy is part of the corporation and they have the urn after IRS repossessed it
at the Royal Rumble. I love that gimmick. Undertaker’s entrance is really
subdued by his standards – just him and Paul Bearer walking to the ring with
the music in the background. No druids. No pageantry outside of the gimmick.

The referee for this match is an American League umpire, Larry Young, in a random
mention. Anyway Bundy tries to jump Undertaker and fails so Undertaker hits him
with old school, which wasn’t Old School at the time. Bundy doesn’t leave his
feet until three clotheslines later, however. Bundy clotheslines Undertaker
over the ropes but he lands on his feet and steals the urn from DiBiase, thus
killing the point of the match. However, DiBiase calls Kama to ringside, who
beats up Bearer and takes it back. He would eventually melt it down and make a
gold chain out of it. Anyway Bundy does some shit, lots of choking and stuff. A
really lazy knee drop gets two and you know that blew Bundy’s fat ass up so he
needed to go to a chin lock. Bundy hits the avalanche. Undertaker no sells it
however, slams Bundy and hits the flying lariat for the pin. This was a year
before Undertaker could have the occasion good match and two and a half years
before he had Bret and Shawn to carry him to some memorable stuff.

(Undertaker def. Bundy, pinfall, ½*, boring as
hell)

Nicolas Turturro looks for Pamela Anderson but can’t find her and wonders what
she’s doing…Instead he runs into Lawrence Taylor’s All-Pros. Seeing the
gone-too-soon Reggie White makes me sad. Next Turturro walks in on Bob Backlund
playing chess with Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

Back to the ring and Owen Hart is walking to ringside. He found himself a
partner and it’s the guy that beat his miserable loser brother Bret and that
man is Yokozuna. Holy shit this was a heck of a surprise at the time I would
assume. The backstage interview with the bumbling Smoking Gunns tells me they
didn’t see it on the booking sheet either. They probably assumed that Yoko was
a sloppy worker after dealing with Mabel but of course Yoko was apparently one
of the safest big men ever.


World Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart & Yokozuna vs. The Smoking Gunns

Owen and Billy start off and get into a slapping contest and then the Gunns go
to the arm. Crowd pops for the Yokozuna tag and he gives Bart a one-armed slam
but misses an elbow. One thing about Yoko, he was well over 500 pounds in this
match but he gets up so quickly from missed moves and has that instant agility.
I was always impressed with the fact that he cut a decent pace. Back to the
match, the Gunns control Owen with a double side Russian legsweep and a double
dropkick that sends Yoko to the floor. Guns do a suplex/reverse neckbreaker
combo. Bart sends Owen into the corner, hard and get a two count. Sidewalk
slam/legdrop combo gets a long two count after Yoko distracts the ref. Owen
makes a blind tag and reverses an irish whip. Drop toe hold leaves Billy prone
for the leg drop and he stumbles to the floor. Hart sends Billy into the post.
Billy tries to win a slugfest against Yoko and fails miserably. Yoko goes to a
nerve hold. Heels try a double team but Owen hits Yoko accidentally with the
missile dropkick. Hot tag to Bart and a press slam to Owen. Head smasher to Yoko
and the Gunns go for a double team but Owen holds the rope to send Bart to the
floor and Yoko catches Billy with the awesome fat belly to belly suplex and the
crowd gives a MASSIVE pop for the Bonzai drop. Owen tags in and thinks about
the sharpshooter but Billy is fucking DEAD so he decides to just pin him
instead.

(Owen/Yokozuna def. Smoking Gunns, pinfall, **, The Gunns were a big, athletic
team that probably would have gotten over if they weren’t saddled with the
cartoonish gimmick. Twenty years later Owen is dead, Yoko is dead, Bart Gunn is
dead as far as the WWE is concerned and Billy Gunn is on the card. Who would
have guessed?)

Todd Pettengil talks to Bam Bam Bigelow. Yep


Submission Match: Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund

Normally I don’t feel bad for worldwide mainstream star Bret Hart but this
seems about as low as it gets given he closed the show the year before. Hell
didn’t turn out well for any of the three main eventers did it? Oh well at
least now I know why that entire horde of media is at ringside.  Special guest referee is Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Hart pounds away with punches and a couple of headbutts. He goes for the
sharpshooter but Backlund avoids it. Hart with an elbow drop and a pretty
advanced rope choke on Backlund. They go to the floor and Hart roughs him up
there. Sharpshooter #2 is foiled by Backlund but the figure four is effective
as Piper is hilariously up in Backlund’s grill “WHADDYA SAY!” Backlund reverses
the hold and Hart makes the ropes. Hart with a single leg grapevine as Piper
does his best to keep the fans entertained. Backlaud rallies but Vince is busy
talking about the WWF Français and WWE Deutschland announcer parings. Backlund
escapes with a stiff leg to the mouth and goes for the crossface but Hart backs
into a corner and Backlund goes after the arm with armbar takedown and then a
hammerlock. A nasty elbow to the much and back to the armbar. If this match is
booked for 30-35 minutes I think this would be pretty damn good but clearly it
isn’t and Backlund’s style doesn’t exactly compress itself for timing. More
solid arm work but Bret slams his way out of it. Side backbreaker from Hart and
the middle rope elbow. Sharpshooter is applied but Backlund gets to the ropes.
Hart with a corner whip and a charge but Backlund escapes the flying shoulder.
Backlund’s deranged look when he’s about to apply the crossface chicken wing is
pretty awesome. Backlund gets the chicken wing but can’t fully apply the
crossface, Hart reverses the hold cleanly and gets him off his feet. After
fighting a little longer Backlund submits to his own hold. The World rejoices!

(Hart def. Backlund, submission, **1/4, they did some nice things and I could
see where they wanted to go but time didn’t allow it to get there. Backlund’s
arm work was solid.)

JR interviews Backlund after the loss, Backlund says he saw the light. Poor JR.

Back to Nicolas Turturro, who can’t find Pamela Anderson. Did someone check
Tommy Lee’s dick? She spent a lot of spare time hanging around that. Just a
suggestion.

Todd Pettengil interviews Diesel. The usual Big Daddy Cool spiel.

Howard Finkel introduces that solid array of D-List celebrities. Jonathan
Taylor Thomas is your guest time keeper. Crowd responds with about as much
excitement as I expect. Nicolas Turturro is your guest ring announcer and to
his credit he seemed tickled to death to be there. I mean if you agree to it
you might as well have fun.


WWF World Heavyweight Championship: Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel

Shawn has a bubbly Jenny McCarthy and Sid with him. Diesel found Pamela
Anderson, she was on Tommy Lee’s dick like I thought. She looks pretty pissed.
They actually did the glass breaking entrance for Diesel?? Surprising how
everyone remembers when Austin got it two years later but no one remembers it
here. Oh well. Shawn goes for a charge right away and gets sent over the top so
Diesel can bring Anderson in the ring and parade her around. Man she really can’t
even act like she’s excited to be there. Real match starts and Michaels is
moving like a sumbitch. As Nash said in Austin’s podcast that first rope
sequence with Shawn was always going to be a doozy because of his movement and
it was, I counted four reversals and three ducks before Diesel clobbers him.
Michaels goes to the arm but Diesel launches him across the ring then gives him
a huge back body drop. Diesel sends Michaels over the turnbuckle again and onto
a cameraman, who Shawn kindly dragged away from the ring. Michaels goes after
Diesel in the corner but gets rejected with an elbow. Shawn avoids a press slam
and goes for a suplex. Bad idea as that gets reversed and a knee lift sends him
to the floor. Diesel looks to capitalize but Shawn goes to the eyes. A sunset
flip attempt is thwarted as my feed messes up a little. Diesel misses a big
boot and Michaels clotheslines him over the top. Michaels goes to the air and
hits a high cross body to the floor. Baseball slide hits square in the mouth.
Second time misses and Michaels is introduced to the mat. He shoves the
cameramen out of the way so they could do a spot on the post with Diesel
missing an elbow. Crowd starts huge “Sid” chant making him the most over guy in
the match. Shawn keeps Diesel on the floor and hits a splash from the ring
apron. Well Shawn is trying to get them to stop chanting Sid. Ok WWE Network,
why is this feed so fucked up? It seriously just froze? Are you kidding me? Don’t
make me go to YouTube. I will do it. Diesel is in bad shape with his ribs while
Sid creeps toward the champion before the ref stops him. Diesel back in the
ring and Michaels starts working on the ribs and the knee. Multitasking at its
finest. Michaels back to the top and hits a bulldog for two. Diesel reverses a
corner whip but Michaels hits a springboard back elbow for two as the crowd is
starting to appreciate his effort and a “Let’s Go Shawn” chant begins. Michaels
uses the knee on Diesel’s ribs and then hits the big elbow for two. Damn he is
putting it all out there for the people. Diesel escapes a front face lock with
power so Shawn hits a running elbow. Diesel tries the rally but Shawn slaps on
the sleeper to slow him down. After a minute or so Diesel gets to his feet and
backs Michaels into the corner. Corner clothesline and a second one from the
champ. He hits the snake eyes and the sit down splash and then sends Michaels
to the floor. They fight on the outside for a bit. Back in the ring and Diesel
pounds away so Michaels escapes again. Fighting on the floor and the official
twists his ankle coming out to the floor to keep Sid away. Sweet chin music hits
Diesel solid back in the ring but Hebner struggles to get in the ring and it
just gets a two count. Sid removes the padding of a turnbuckle but Diesel gets
a backdrop suplex. Still Michaels is first to gain consciousness and covers for
two. Michaels goes to the ropes for something but Diesel catches him and hits a
sidewalk slam. Diesel catapults Shawn into the buckle but not the exposed top
turnbuckle, the center one. Diesel finally hits the massive boot and a horrible
jackknife that damn near broke Shawn’s leg gets the three count. Great match!

(Diesel def. Michaels, pinfall, ****, wasn’t the most memorable match for
either guy but still amazingly good stuff from a fully healthy Shawn Michaels
and Nash back when he was motivated to be somebody.)

Post-match Sid tells JR it ain’t over while Diesel celebrates with the
D-listers.

Whoever uploaded this card to the Network server needs to be fired.

A second post-match interview with Michaels and Sid and it’s a big whine fest.

The corporation is introduced. It’s Tatanka, Nikolai Volkoff, IRS, Kama, King
Kong Bundy and Ted DiBiase. Not exactly the 1927 Yankees or anything. LT’s
group is Ken Norton Jr., Chris Spielman (who my husband says is one of the best
guys around), Rickey Jackson, Carl Banks, Steve McMichael and of course the
late great Minister of Defense, Reggie White. They have a little brawl with the
corporation as the crowd finally wakes up with a big LT chant.


Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor

Wanna hear something odd? They dub over Salt-n-Pepa singing “Whatta Man” with
both the Monday Night Football theme and their generic old school Wrestlemania
music. Why would they have to dub over a LIVE performance? Whatever.

(After many issues with the network feed on my laptop I’m switching to the iPad
to see if it’s any better.)

Pat Patterson is the referee for obvious reasons (in case this becomes a
clusterfuck…by the way iPad feed seems MUCH better FWIW).

LT slaps the shit out of him and hits a massive flying forearm. Clothesline
sends Bigelow over the top and the crowd responds with a little shock. Bigelow
back in the ring and he misses an avalanche, Taylor with a bulldog for two and
a couple of the stiffest forearms you’ll see this side of Japan. He hip tosses
Bigelow to the floor and the two factions congregate out there. Back in the
ring Bigelow starts working over Taylor with completely loose stuff in
comparison and a headbutt. I’m shocked Bigelow wasn’t busted open hardway from
one of those forearms, that shit looked PAINFUL. Taylor is already a little
blown up so Bigelow slams him but misses a falling headbutt. Big clothesline
from Taylor, exploding clothesline but Bigelow intercepts his high cross body
and sends him into the corner. Bigelow stays in control with some basic stuff
and then a Boston crab. I give Bam Bam a lot of credit; he’s working a sensible
match, not doing anything crazy but keeping it dramatic and generating good
babyface heat for Taylor’s comebacks. Bigelow with a knee lock now and Taylor
makes the ropes to break the hold. Modified crossbow from Bigelow as Taylor is
getting a much-needed breather. Taylor with a forearm and then a backdrop
suplex. Bigelow is up first with a double axe and a couple of falling headbutt
into the mid section. Bigelow goes to the top and hits the crossover splash but
he hurts his knee and rolls off of Taylor after the one count. He goes back and
makes a proper cover for two. Irish whip but Bigelow sets too early and Taylor
goes for the powerbomb but smartly feels uncomfortable with the move and falls
back like a gut wrench suplex. He gets two and saves a life (temporarily as it
would turn out). Bigelow with the enziguri for two. More falling headbutts and
Bigelow goes to the top and hits the top rope headbutt for another two. He’s
just killing his finishers tonight. Hope that $100,000 check was worth it!
Taylor back up with forearms and shoulderblocks. He revs up and hits two
thunderous forearms and goes to the middle rope and hits a big forearm to the
temple for the three count. He could teach guys how to throw a proper forearm.

(Taylor def. Bigelow, ***, better than it had any right on earth to be thanks
to the professionalism of Bigelow and whoever taught Taylor how to do things he
would feel comfortable doing.)

Bottom Line: Two three-star matches and a four-star match makes this a
perfectly watchable card. The atmosphere is underwhelming and it feels more like “In Your House: Wrestlemania”
than  Wrestlemania if that makes sense
but the work is generally pretty good.

If I had the power of history to re-book here’s what I do:

Allied Powers vs. Smoking Gunns (Tag Title change and it’s there I set up Yoko’s return and the eventual Allied breakup at Summerslam)

Owen Hart vs. 1-2-3 Kid (Random filler stuff to get two workers on the card)

Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie vs. Undertaker (We’ll figure it out)

Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (I-C title rematch here, we’ll get Razor the title back before this card and do the Wrestlemania X rematch with Shawn going over)

Bret Hart vs. Diesel (Gotta get Diesel over here. I do it by Hart getting him in the sharpshooter, Owen coming down and ringing the bell prematurely to make Hart think he won and Owen distracting him for Diesel to get the jack knife and the win)

Bam Bam vs. LT (This part worked the first time)

We can throw another match on there. Toss Marty Jannetty against someone they are trying to get over a little (Tatanka? Kama? Backlund?). Wasn’t much to work with but they could have done better.

In other news (if you’ve read this far) I am planning on doing five Wrestlemania threads:

Pre-Show from 5-7

And hourly from 7-8, 8-9, 9-10 and 10-close
The Wrestlemania card resets at the top of the hour so I don’t think it’ll be an overrun issue. They have tightly booked it that way for the past 6-7 years.

The Princess Rant for WrestleWar 1992

The best gimmick match in wrestling history? Quite possibly. Meanwhile I have a question for debate. Better tag team wrestler: Arn Anderson or Bobby Eaton?

The
Princess Retro Rant for WCW Wrestlewar 1992: War Games

From the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum in Jacksonville, Fla.

Hosted by Jim Ross and Jesse “The Body” Ventura


U.S. Tag Team Championship:  The Taylor
Made Man & Greg Valentine vs. The Fabulous Freebirds

I’m assuming “Badstreet USA” was dubbed over but the ‘Birds were in a weird
babyface run and cutting bad songs as “musicians” so this could easily just be
one of those. The Taylor Made Man is Terry Taylor doing a cheap rip off of Ted
DiBiase’s gimmick down to the tear away tuxedo shirt. Greg Valentine is…well
Greg Valentine. The Freebirds are Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin.  Taylor and Valentine are the champions and
BILL ALFONZO~! is the referee.

Taylor and Hayes start out and do a ton of posturing and strutting and other
forms of stalling and fanfare. Taylor makes the blind tag but goofy heel
miscommunication leads to a near fall by Hayes. Hayes gets the first impact
move in – a hip toss but when he goes for it the second time Valentine clubs
him with a forearm. Hayes comes back with an atomic drop and a couple of
clotheslines that get a two count.  Hayes
chops away before tagging Garvin and the Freebirds decide to work on Valentine’s
arm to set the pace. Garvin tries a roll up but Valentine counters and misses
the elbow. Freebirds double team the arm and continue the basic work as the
crowd chants DDT. Valentine fights out and tags Taylor, who misses an elbow.
The Freebirds continue to work on Taylor’s arm with a succession of quick tags
and arm bars. High cross body (actually not very high at all) gets two. Garvin
drops a leg on Taylor’s arm and tags back to Hayes. Sticking with the arm and
Taylor tries to headbutt his way out of this predicament but Hayes casually
grabs Taylor’s ponytail and pulls him down. Finally Taylor breaks the arm but
gets back body dropped. Hayes follows with a running elbow and an elbow drop
for a two count. Crowd still chanting DDT as Taylor uses leverage to send
Garvin to the floor. Valentine roughs up Garvin while he’s down there.

Back in the ring Taylor with a jawbuster and now Valentine in the ring and he
lays in the chops. Corner whip but Valentine eats boot off the blind charge.
Garvin goes for the tag but Valentine cuts him off. Garvin, however, gets a
suplex on Valentine although Garvin was worse for wear. Valentine tries a
splash and hits knees but manages to hold off Garvin long enough to tag Taylor.
Taylor with a corner clothesline and a chin lock to break up the movement.
Garvin with a clothesline out of the hold and a hot tag to Hayes. He takes on
both guys and we’ve got a donnybrook here. Hayes goes for the DDT on Valentine
but Taylor hits the five arm on Hayes for a near fall. Wow I thought that would
finish it. Valentine with a backbreaker gets two. Valentine gets in all of his
traditional offense including the great headbutt to the lower abdomen.
Valentine tries another splash that hits knees but Valentine rolls into a tag
and Taylor goes to the eyes to maintain control. Hayes reverses an irish whip
but sets too early so Taylor hits a doctor bomb for two. Tag to Valentine and
he goes right to the figure four so Garvin quickly jumps in to break that up.
Valentine decides to go with a step over armbar. Hayes gets vertical and gets
chopped a few times for doing so. Valentine with a hard corner whip and he
couldn’t follow up because Hayes oversold it. Taylor tagged in and he tries to
ram Hayes’ head into the turnbuckle but Hayes reverses it and drops him with a
left. Hot tag to Garvin and he cleans house on both men. Double clothesline by
Garvin but Valentine trips him off the ropes and Taylor hits a knee drop for
two. Taylor goes for a slam but Garvin rolls over and hits the DDT for the pin
and the belts. Crowd goes wicked loud for that. Freebirds were over in Jacksonville.

(Freebirds def. Taylor/Valentine, pinfall, ***1/4, old school Southern formula
tag team match with four veterans that know how to do it. Fun stuff.)

Tony Schiavone, looking quite svelte, and Eric Bischoff do some post match
analysis before our next match.


“Young Pistol” Tracy Smothers vs. Johnny B. Badd

Jesse goes straight for the gay jokes of course and…well Mero gives him no
reason not to, wearing more makeup than a room full of Italian housewives.
Smothers is going to play the heel in this match as he makes a point to
complain about Badd pulling the tights early. Badd with a hip toss and an
armdrag that forces Smothers to take a powder. Badd gets a cross body for two
off of a rope sequence and then an armdrag that transitions right into an
armbar. Smothers gets back to his feet and corners Badd. Smothers roughs up Badd
in the corner and hits a jumping side kick to the face for two. Smothers does a
little more “martial arts” and hits a BEAUTIFUL flying back elbow from the top
for two. Smothers goes back up to the top and hits a cross body but Badd rolls
over and gets a two count. Smothers, however, stays in control and hits another
jumping side kick for two. For those wondering I think his tag partner, Steve
Armstrong, had left for the WWF at this point. Smothers hits a few more chops
and gets another two count. A body slam attempt is countered into an inside
cradle for two but Smothers gets the chinlock. Badd rallies with a high knee
and a series of punches. Powerslam from Badd and a top rope sunset flip gets
two but Smothers is up first. He misses the side kick and Badd hits the “kiss
that don’t miss” (a punch to the face) for the three count.

(Badd def. Smothers, **3/4, perfectly acceptable stuff that could have been
really good with 3-5 more minutes.)

Missy Hyatt talks with the Freebirds and PRECIOUS~! With brown hair no less.  She looked pretty good too.

More analysis from Tony and Eric.


Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. Scotty Flamingo

Speaking of Missy Hyatt, Bagwell is one of the boys she brought into Atlanta I
believe. Scotty Flamingo is/was better known as Raven. They slap each other in
the face several times and finally Flamingo dumps Bagwell to the floor but
Bagwell jumps back in the ring and tackles Flamingo. They go back to slapping
each other. Are they going to use their nails next? Maybe some hair pulling?
Anyway Bagwell does something and gets a back suplex for two. Flamingo tries a
suplex but Bagwell reverses it and gets two. Flamingo recovers to send Bagwell
to the floor. Back in the ring Bagwell counters a kitchen sink knee with a
rollover for two. Flamingo recovers with a back suplex. Snapmare and Flamingo
hits the fist drop from the second rope for two. Flamingo with a chin lock and
we wait. Thankfully he goes to the choke and gets a two count. Back to the chin
lock for Flamingo. They do a few rope sequences before Flamingo lands a high
cross body that sends both guys over the top rope. Both men are back in the
ring. Bagwell sends Flamingo to the canvas face first but Flamingo fights back
on the ground. Bagwell rallies back with a hip toss and a clothesline. Bagwell
to the second rope and hits a double axe to the head. Fisherman’s suplex gets
two when Flamingo has his foot on the ropes. Bagwell with a roll up but
Flamingo reverses it and grabs the tights for the three count.

(Flamingo def. Bagwell, *1/2, both men…or at least Flamingo were capable of
better.)

We look back at the events that led to this tag match between Ron Simmons and
JYD against Cactus Jack and Mr. Hughes. Cactus and Abdullah beat up Simmons at
Superbrawl and JYD SLOWLY came in for the save. JYD was so slow had it been a
shoot Simmons would have easily been dead.


Cactus Jack & Mr. Hughes vs. Ron Simmons & Junkyard Dog

Wow JYD is super fat, he makes Cactus look like a light heavyweight in
comparison. Not sure why they dubbed over Simmons’ “Doom” music with this
techno scratching crap but whatever. Anyway Cactus jumps JYD on the ramp and
after a short brawl Cactus takes him out with the suicide elbow. Bang Bang for
sure. JYD does the stretcher job and after a short delay Simmons decides to go
at it alone and damn near kills both guys with a double clothesline. Cactus
decides to chill for this one and let the homeboys battle it out.


Ron Simmons vs. Mr. Hughes

Simmons beats him up with power stuff and Hughes takes a powder. Back in the
ring and Hughes takes control with a clothesline and an elbow drop for two.
Hughes slams Simmons and hits a knee drop for another two count. Jesse points
out that he loves Hughes wrestling with his shades on. Hughes and Cactus do
some more cheating but Simmons rallies with a hip toss. In a funny spot Cactus
tries to tag in but Fonzie is having none of it. Hughes misses a sit down
splash and Simmons rallies with the big spinebuster. Cactus tries for the save
but Simmons cuts him off at the ropes and hits Hughes with the running tackle
for three.

(Simmons def. Hughes, pinfall, ½*, nothing of note there.)

Tony and Eric talk about JYD’s potential injury. He would return or maybe not. A
few months after this Hughes would go to the WWF at the request of the Undertaker.


Todd Champion vs. Super Invader

They are really busting out the big names for this one. Somehow Harley Race got
stuck with the Super Invader but he would eventually just saddle up with Vader
full time. For those that don’t know the Super Invader used to be known as “Hercules”
in the WWF but you give a guy a mask and all of a sudden he’s a Thai fighter.
Go figure. As for the match Invader does all that “oriental” stuff, which means
he chops to the throat a lot. Champion is a big, good looking kid. Not sure if
he was worth a shit in the ring but I’m surprised Vince never threw a worker’s
contract his way. Not much going on here, Invader goes hard with the chinlock
and then a clothesline before dumping Champion to the floor. Back in the ring
and Invader goes up to the top and gets caught with a boot to the face.
Champion hits an ugly shoulderblock and a slightly better spinning elbow but
Invader catches him on the third move with a stun gun. Praying powerbomb
finishes this snoozefest.

(Invader def. Champion, pinfall, ½*, nothing of note here either.)

And we’re right to the next match.


Richard Morton vs. Big Josh

Big Josh is the late Matt Bourne in a smiling Billy Jack Haynes-Paul Bunyan
Northwoods type gimmick. Richard Morton is Ricky Morton using his legal name.
Morton tries to play cat and mouse with Josh but eventually he gets caught and
beat up with power stuff. Morton catches Josh with a knee lift off the ropes
and he rips Josh’s flannel shirt off because he’s really angry I guess. Josh
corners Morton, however and roughs him up. Running forearm hits Morton stiff as
hell. Damn I felt that one. Josh misses a corner elbow and Morton with a back
suplex. Inverted atomic drop from Morton and a knee drop. Morton, playing the
heel, goes for the choke. Josh fights off a roll up but misses an elbow and
Morton gets a two count from all of that. Morton with a snapmare and another knee
drop for two. Morton with an armbar and he takes it to the ground. Josh fights
to get back to his vertical base and easily breaks the hold. Morton goes for a
monkey flip but Josh casually stomps him in the face. Body slam and a big elbow
drop gets two. Josh sets too early off of an irish whip and Morton kicks him in
the mouth. Back to the arm for Morton and he adds a few elements to the armbar
because Morton always tried hard. Headbutt from Josh breaks the hold and hits a
beautiful belly to belly suplex. Josh corners Morton and gets a double
underhook suplex for two. Morton goes to the eyes and then to the ropes but
gets caught with the spinebuster and the northern exposure (a running butt splash)
for the pin.

(Josh def. Morton, **1/4, nothing offensive here.)

Tony and Eric give us more analysis! Talking light heavyweight championship
here and former tag partners exploding! We see a clip from the WCW Saturday
night where Zenk and Pillman set up their match by arguing while wearing some
of the best clothing Chess King could provide.


WCW Light Heavyweight Championship: Flyin’ Brian vs. The Z Man

Jesse is reveling in the two pretty boys clashing and asks Ross who is going to
cheat first. Both guys keep it scientific to start and do an extended rope
sequence before trying for dropkicks at the same time. Pillman gets a drop toe
and goes to the arm. Zenk fights out and another rope sequence sees both guys
try for arm tosses. Pillman gets a snapmare and a knee drop for a two count.
Pillman goes to the side headlock but Zenk gets an armdrag and he works the
hammer lock for a while before going to the armbar. They do more rope stuff and
Pillman gets the head scissors take down on a counter and he goes to the arm
before switching to a sitting head scissors. Zenk fights out and gets a
backslide for two and then a sunset flip for two so Pillman chops the shit out
of him. Indian deathlock from Pillman as he works the leg and then moves down
to the knee and ankle specifically. Pillman drops the elbow on the knee and
starts wrenching away. Pillman extends Zenk’s hamstring a couple of times but
misses a somersault senton. Suplex from Zenk gets two and now Zenk works on the
back with a couple of knees. Backbreaker by Zenk and a springboard splash
catches knees. Pillman goes back to the leg and drops the elbow on the knee a
couple of times. Anklelock from Pillman turns into a half crab. Zenk fights to
his feet and hits an enziguri for the near fall. Zenk with a corner whip but he
misses the flying knee and Pillman applied the figure four and both guys start
SLAPPING each other. Awesome.

Zenk furiously fights the hold and turns it over but Pillman turns it back,
however Zenk grabs the ropes and forces the break. Another nasty chop from Pillman.
He goes for a slingshot shoulderblock but Zenk catches him with a powerslam for
a near fall. Zenk lays in the chops and but Pillman with a arm crucifix for two
and a half. Pillman sets Zenk up on the ropes and goes for the superplex but
Zenk dumps him off the ropes and climbs to the top where he hits the cross body
and gets another two count. The competitors do another rope sequence and knock
heads to temporary stop the flow. After a short double count Zenk hits a
flapjack for another two count. Zenk misses the elbow drop but catches Pillman
with a straight kick for two. Zenk goes for the top rope dropkick but Pillman
moves out of the way and gets the double leg rollup for the pin!

(Pillman def. Zenk, pinfall, ***3/4, that turned into a hell of a match.)

And right to the next match.


Takayki Iizuka & Tatsumi Fujinami vs. The Steiner Brothers

Now when I WANT the WWE to overdub generic music with the “Orient Express”
theme it doesn’t happen. MAKE ME HAPPY NETWORK!! Anyway the Steiners are the
WCW World Tag champions but this match is to determine the IWGP Number One
contenders.

Scott and Fujinami start and do some scientific stuff to start and it looks
like they will wrestle a more Japanese-style match to start at least. Scott
tries to give Fujinami the reverse slam and almost breaks his neck. Iizuka
comes in for some and the reverse slam hits cleanly. Scott then stiffs Fujinami
on a forearm because he was pissed. Iizuka tagged in and he slams Scott, hits a
second rope elbow and then a somersault double kick from the top for a two
count. Nice. Iizuka gets a boston crab. Iizuka turns it over into a double leg
but Steiner bridges out of the pin and hits the underhook power bomb. Scott puts
Iizuka over his shoulder and tags Rick who comes off the top with the elbow for
a two count. Tag to Fujinami and we go back to a headlock to slow the pace down
but Rick with a vicious release belly to back suplex for two. Damn. Tag to
Scott and he hits Fujinami with an elbow and now a single crab. Jesse points
out that Iizuka is bleeding from something Steiner did, probably the elbow from
the top. Tag to Rick and they let Fujinami out of the corner. He gets Rick in
an electric chair and tags Iilzuka who hits the cross body from the top but
Steiner turns it over in the air for two! Steiner gets a football tackle and
another two count before Iizuka tags out. Fujinami comes in and works on the
leg with a variety of things including a single leglock and a super hamstring
extender using the second rope. Tag to Iizuka and he does a sit down splash on
the leg. Rick finally tags out and Scott hits a tilt-a-whirl slam for two.
Scott applies a chicken wing and then gives Iizuka a T-Bone suplex before
tagging in Rick again.

Rick with a step over armbar and then Rick scoops him up and runs him into the
corner. Tag to Scott, who hits an abdominal stretch slam for two and back to
the ground stuff. Iizuka is taking an ass whipping in there. Iizuka tags
Fujinami and he goes after both Steiners so Rick gladly beats the fuck out of
him for daring to bow up. Fujinami with an abdominal stretch on Scott and he
pulls it back into a pinning hold for two. 
Scott fights back to his feet and tags Rick back in. He and Fujinami
continue their brawl but the Japanese corner Rick only for him to easily muscle
out and give Iizuka and ridiculous belly to belly overhead suplex as Jesse
loves this shit. Scott snapmares Iizuka and sends him into his corner where
Fujinami makes the tag. The Japanese try a double team but Scott with a double
armdrag and Rick with a springboard double clothesline. Scott sets up Iizuka
but the referee is concerned with Rick so Fujinami gets a belly to back suplex
on Scott. Nasty german suplex from Iizuka with an aborted release. SPIKE
PILEDRIVER~! from the Japanese team and Iizuka comes in with a top rope
dropkick, illegally I might add. Fujinami with a sleeper and now the dragon
sleeper but Scott gets to the ropes. Regular sleeper and Scott kicks Fujinami
to the face and hits a clothesline. Scott and Fujinami knock heads and both
guys retreat to the corners for the tags but Rick gets the hot tag. Big
Steinerline and an elbow gets two. Belly to Belly rollover suplex for two. All
four men in the ring. Steiner with a belly to belly from the top and that
finally gets the pin.  Oh my goodness!

(Stieners def. Fujinami/Iizuka, ****1/2, that match went into the awesome zone
as Iizuka and Fujinami were willing to die for my pleasure.)

Jesse and JR recap the goodness we just saw.

Tony and Eric with some more analysis. Will Sting and Nikita Koloff get along?
Can the Dangerous Alliance stick together?


Wargames: The Dangerous Alliance (“Ravishing” Rick Rude, “Stunning” Steve
Austin, “The Cruncher” Larry Zbyzsko, “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson and “Beautiful”
Bobby Eaton) vs. Sting’s Squadron (Sting, Nikita Koloff, Barry Windham, Ricky “The
Dragon” Steamboat and “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes)

Funny thing is you can pretty much mix any of these ten guys in a tag match and
get an easy ***+ out of it. Ok I haven’t seen this match in a good long time so
I am going to guess who bleeds:

All right Austin and Anderson are obvious ones for the DA while Dustin and
Windham probably started blading on their way to the ring. Zbyzsko isn’t much
of a bleeder and neither is Koloff so let’s eliminate them. Ricky Steamboat has
his nose taped so there’s a good chance he’ll bleed. I’ll say Eaton will show
some red and that’s all. So Austin, Anderson, Eaton, Steamboat, Windham and
Rhodes are my designated bleeders for this match. Let’s roll.

Austin and Windham will go for the five minute period. Slugfest to the shock of
no one, Austin tries to send Windham to the cage but Windham blocks it. Back
and forth action as Austin back drops Windham and drops an elbow. They work to
the other ring as Windham tries to send Austin to the cage but he blocks it so
Windham DDTs him instead. Windham tries to rub Austin’s face in the cage but he
blocks it and clotheslines Windham over both ropes and the other way. Austin
tries to use the top of the cage for leverage but gets a flapjack for his
trouble and now Windham sends him into the cage twice! Austin is the first
gusher of the night as Windham bites him and adds a kneelift. Coin toss goes to
the DA, I’m shocked. Rick Rude comes in for the 2-on-1 and he roughs up Windham
and goes to the eyes. Rude goes with the intensity and power to take the
advantage but Windham blocks the cage attempt. Austin fights back to his feet
and hits Windham with a clothesline from the middle rope. The heels team up and
send Windham to the cage not once but twice and I’m sure Windham is bleeding so
two down and four to go.

Steamboat comes in for the Squadron and he goes CRAZY. Austin is sent into the
cage, a DDT for Rude, a DDT for Austin and the crowd is LOVING it. Austin’s
face is completely submerged with blood. Fuck TV PG man. Steamboat with a
franksteiner on Rude and some ground and pound as the faces are rolling.
Windham is back to his feet and they double team Rude. Anderson gives the heels
the 3-on-2 advantage and he DDTs Windham and then goes to the other ring to hit
Steamboat with the spinebuster. Double boston crab by Rude and Anderson on
Steamboat and he’s tapping out but this long before that was a way to submit.
Windham tries to save his partner but the numbers game is too great. All five
men are now in one ring. Nasty piledriver by Rude on Steamboat and then he
launches the Dragon into the other ring! Steamboat and Rude clothesline each
other. Dustin Rhodes on deck and its bionic elbow time for Anderson and a
clothesline for Austin. Now Steamboat has a Boston crab on Rude with Windham
adding to the punishment. Electric chair for Rhodes on Austin while Windham has
Anderson’s head wedged in between the rings! Wild action everywhere and now
Steamboat with a figure four on Rude. I need to breathe for a second.

Zbyzsko is the seventh man in the ring giving the DA a 4-3 advantage and Medusa
climbs the cage to slip the phone to her men before Sting chases her off. Rude
goes after Steamboat’s nose while The Enforcers torture Dustin Rhodes and send
him into the cage. Anderson sends Windham hard into the cage as Rude puts a
sleeper on Steamboat. Sting evens the battle and a facebuster for Anderson, a
jawbreaker and press slam for Rude. Sting sends Anderson into the and back
drops poor Austin into the cage. Austin has taken a grade-A shitkicking tonight.
Medusa tapes Eaton’s hand while Sting grates Anderson’s bloody face into the
cage. I love it! I LOVE IT! Austin with a ridiculous lariat on Rhodes while
Windham and Larry Z knock each other out with something else. Eaton gives the
DA its final one-man advantage of the night, he sends Steamboat into the cage.
Rhodes with a big boot on Austin and Rhodes is wearing a serious crimson mask.
Eaton sends Windham back into the cage as Zbyzsko and Rude are trying to loosen
a turnbuckle. Windham with a figure four on Anderson while Steamboat chops
Zybykso in the corner. Crowd chanting for Nikita as we have 30 seconds left
before The Match Beyond begins. Koloff sends the Anderson into the cage and
extends a hand to Sting. They do a stare down and then Nikita pushes Sting out of
the way and takes a double clothesline from Austin and Anderson. The faces rally
back with clotheslines of their own, high five each other AND NOW ITS ASS
KICKING TIME as the place is about to riot! Rude goes back to working on that
turnbuckle. Sting with a Stinger splash on Anderson and the Scorpion deathlock
but Eaton broke it up.

Dustin with a figure four on Zbyzsko while Nikita continues to make Austin’s
shitty night even worse, just torturing him in a corner. Rude breaks the figure
four that Dustin had but Koloff just chokes him out. Rhodes misses a top rope
elbow on Austin. Steamboat with a sleeper on Rude but Eaton and Zbyzsko corner
Sting and Larry Z grabs the steel hook on the buckle and accidentally hits
Eaton in the shoulder with it. Sting sends Zbyzsko to Larryland and then slaps
a shoulderbar on Eaton. Sadly the Beautiful one only lasts about 15 seconds in
the hold before calling it a night. Final blood count was Anderson, Austin, Windham
and Rhodes. It looked like Eaton was actually hit with the bar because he had a
NASTY purple bruise, although that could have come from anything. Unbelievable
match.

(Squadron def. Dangerous Alliance, submission, *****, I would say it is the
greatest gimmick match of all time.)

The Bottom Line: Something for everyone here and no complaints from me. One of
the great PPVs when both promotions were doing different things extremely well.

The Princess Retro Rant for Wrestlemania XIV

Why the hell not? Besides you guys gave me 4,500+ comments last night so you deserve a reward.

The Princess Retro Rant for Wrestlemania XIV

From the Fleetcenter (now TD Garden Center) in Boston, Massachusetts.

Hosted by Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler

The opening to this Wrestlemania was just great. The only
thing edited was “M&M Presents” since I guess sponsors don’t get a double
plug.


15-Team Tag Battle Royale

Yeah I’m not going to list off the teams, you can certainly look on Wikipedia
if you want. There are a lot of Boricuas and NoD members in there along with
some old favorites like The Headbangers, The Quebecers and The Rock & Roll
Express. Really I think this was just a match to highlight the WWF’s shitty tag
division at the time. The repackaged LOD get the final entrance as they were the
“mystery team”. They gave them an overhauled look and Sunny and called it LOD
2000. The crowd seemed to like it or like Sunny, who was still pretty cute in
1998 although the fall from grace was coming soon. People not involved in the
match like Kurrigan and Barry Windham entered to prolong feuds that no one gave
a shit about. Things slow down a bit as LOD, The Godwins, The New Midnight
Express and the DoA are left. Godwinns eliminate Skull or 8-Ball and the other
one eliminates the other Godwinn. The farmers come back in and drop the LOD
with their slop buckets so we are down to two. The New Midnight Express was a
short-lived and poorly-conceived team of Bob Holly and Bart Gunn. Not sure why
they couldn’t pay to bring in Bobby Eaton. Bob and Bart sucked but either one
of them with Bobby Eaton and at least there’s some credibility. The purist in
me thinks Bob Holly and Bobby Eaton might have been a solid tag team. Hell
Bobby Eaton and my herb garden could be a solid tag team. Anyway LOD wins and
whatever. No rating needed but outside of Sunny there wasn’t much to see here.

Good lord there are a shit ton of (insert statement) 3:16 signs here.

They show all of the Wrestlemania weekend festivities including the DX Public
Workout. FanFest and the Hall of Fame hadn’t been created yet but they were
close.


WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: TAKA Michinoku vs. Aguila

Aguila’s main contribution to the WWF and mainstream wrestling society was
being repackaged as Essa Rios with a new manager named Lita sometime in early
2000. So it’s safe to say Aguila was the most important wrestler in the
division’s short history for that reason alone. He also wrestled sans mask as
Papi Chulo sometimes. Aguila starts hot with a moonsault to the floor but TAKA
responds with a crazy top rope cross body to the floor. TAKA hits a few low
dropkicks for a two count but Aguila backdrops him to the floor. TAKA climbs
the ropes slowly and Aguila hits a top rope arm drag and does like three more
with various flips to get TAKA out of the ring and there he hits a crazy
running hands free corkscrew plancha. Fuck that. TAKA goes for a corkscrew moonsault
and misses but Aguila hits a traditional one for two. TAKA responds however but
his splash hits knees. Poor guy has no luck tonight. Aguila sets TAKA on the
ropes and hits a solid top rope hurricanrana. TAKA comes back with a top rope
missile dropkick but the Michinoku driver is countered into a frankstieiner
which is countered into a powerbomb for two. TAKA misses a moonsault and Aguila’s
la magistral gets two. Aguila goes for a top rope something and gets caught
with a dropkick and then the Michinoku Driver hits for the three count.

(TAKA def. Aguila, pinfall, **1/2, total spot fest but they didn’t look sloppy
doing it. Short and sweet).

Gennifer Flowers interviews The Rock during his beta testing phase. The
charisma is there but the content isn’t quite what it would become. His answer
on how to solve the homeless problem is pretty funny. Plenty of jokes about
oral sex too, of course.


WWF European Championship: HHH vs. Owen Hart

HHH gets his first live entrance and there would be many more to come. Chyna is
going to be handcuffed to Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter to hopefully foil her
interference plans. Crowd is loving Chyna standing up to Slaughter and threatening to
whip his ass. Owen catches HHH with his back turned and goes to town with a
back body drop and a big clothesline. A corner clothesline and 10 corner
punches from Owen. Frankensteiner gets two. HHH comes back with a back elbow
and gets Owen out of the ring. Chyna tries to take a shot but she’s got
Slaughter to contend with, meanwhile HHH tries to attack but eats post instead.
Back in the ring Owen catches HHH and goes for the sharpshooter but HHH rakes
the eyes. Owen lowers the head too early and HHH hits the old knee smasher. A
clothesline follows and HHH roughs up Owen in the corner. Back the the center
of the ring and the Harley Race knee hits and gets two. Suplex from HHH and the
CLASSIC knee drop follows. Owen tries to fight back but a blind charge eats
boot. DDT from HHH gets another near fall.

Owen tries to rally again but HHH gets to the ankle, which Owen had sprained
several weeks ago. Step over toe hold from HHH as we see BLOOD. Owen looks like
he’s bleeding hardway from the nose. Back to the ankle for HHH as Ross notes
that Owen just took his cast off today. Owen tries to rally again with some
wide punches. He corners HHH and drives a couple of shoulders. Blind charge but
Owen ducks the boot and butterflies HHH in the post. Top rope dropkick from Owen gets a near fall. Awesome belly to belly overhead suplex gets two. Leg lariat
gets two. Enziguri from Owen hits but he does it to the injured ankle. Finally
he gets two. Another franksteiner attempt is countered into a powerbomb for two.
HHH posts Owen but Owen fights back and hits a top rope cross body for two. HHH
reverses the corner whip and goes for the pedigree but Owen counters into the
sharpshooter, however HHH kicks away and Owen hits the corner and falls with
his head “accidentally” dropping down low on HHH. Another pedigree attempt is
successfully countered into the sharpshooter but Chyna helps HHH get to the
ropes as Slaughter proves to be useless. Owen with some ground and pound and
the ref pulls him off and that allows Chyna to throw powder in Slaughter’s
eyes. She gets a low blow on Owen and the pedigree hits this time for the three
count. Tim White uncuffs Chyna and she beats the shit out of Slaughter for good
measure. Geez….Owen would have been better off on his own.

(HHH def. Hart, ***3/4, really liked this match a LOT more after 15 years.
Great action and near falls galore.)

They do a video sequence to set up the mixed tag match. This is a strange one
as Marc Mero does a heel turn and aligns with Goldust only to turn back when
Goldust put his hands on Sable to break up a fight between her and Luna. Crowd
was absolutely feeling Sable when she started fighting back.


“Marvelous” Marc Mero & Sable vs. TAFKA Goldust & Luna

Everyone knows how I feel about Mero’s “Marvelous” gimmick, it was truly
awesome and it sucks that he was so injured he couldn’t capitalize on it….that
and his now ex-wife kept powerbombing the shit out of him. Anyway, typical
mixed tag rules. The boys start and Mero with a head scissors take down and a
clothesline. Goldust tags Luna but she bails when Sable comes in and tags back
out. Tough luck. Boys time again and Mero back drops Goldust and tags Sable as
they pull a nice double team. Luna, once again, decides to take away from Sable
so it’s boys again and Mero does his boxing stuff but eats boot on a blind
charge and a big clothesline from Goldust. He gives Mero a hangman and Luna
adds a cheap shot. Mero back with a high cross body for two but he sets too
early and gets uppercut. Crowd wants Sable as the boys knock heads and start
the double count. Both tag and Sable with a double leg takedown and ground and pound on
Luna to a MASSIVE crowd pop. Holy shit I forgot how over she was. Hair whip for
Luna and Sable knocks out Goldust before clotheslining Luna over the top. She’s
on a fucking rampage. Luna makes the tag and Sable just punches Goldust out of
the ring. Mero sends him into the stairs and back in the ring but a slingshot
splash catches knees. Sable threatens Goldust which allows Mero to hit a low
blow but the TKO is countered into a DDT. Curtain call is countered into a knee
lift and Mero hits the Merosault for the first time in like a year, that’s a
springboard moonsault BTW. A blind charge hits elbow but Mero posts him and
hits a top rope frankensteiner for two! Man it sucks that he got injured
because he had the goods. Luna tries to get involved but more heel miscommunication
leads to a near fall. TKO hits but Luna stops the count so Sable tags in and
tries to pin Goldust her but the ref is distracted. Meanwhile Luna scales the
ropes but accidentally splashes Goldust. Powerbomb from Sable gets two. Luna
tries to choke as the crowd goes apeshit for Sable. They gotta send this home
quickly and shortly after I type that it’s TKO for Luna and a three count.
Story was that Sable was totally unprofessional and Luna and Dustin gave her
MUCH more than she deserved given how she acted. So in hindsight this is
annoying to watch but at the time they gave the people exactly what they wanted.
Mero’s face turn lasted until a week later I think.

(Mero/Sable def. Goldust/Luna, pinfall, ***1/4, damn near everything was clean
and Mero pulled out all his old stuff in his last good performance.)

Tennessee Lee (Rob Parker) introduces Gennifer Flowers and Jeff Jarrett. They
do a little spot that draws no response before she grabs the cue cards for her
ring introduction duties.


WWF Intercontinental Title: The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock

The Rock has Kama, D-Lo and Mark Henry with him but no Farooq. Shamrock goes to
town right away sending Rock to the floor. Rules state that Rock will lose the
title if he is DQ’ed. Shamrock follows the Rock outside and sends him into the railing.
Rock tries to send Shamrock into the steps but Shamrock reverses it. Rock
reverses a corner whip but gets clotheslined out of his boots. Ground and pound
from Shamrock but Rock sends him through the ropes. Rock follows him out and
sends him to the ring steps. Back in the ring and Rock hits the body slam and
the beta version of the People’s Elbow as it’s not officially named that yet.
Shamrock comes back and sends Rock over the top. Shamrock follows him out with
a clothesline and goes for a chair. He knocks the ref down and drops the chair
so the Rock hits him square in the face for two. Shamrock rallies back with an
elbow and a side leg kick. Powerslam from Shamrock gets two. Belly to belly
from Shamrock and it’s ankle lock time and Rock taps out immediately to a big
crowd pop.

(Shamrock def. Rock, submission, **, pretty easy work for Shamrock but he wouldn’t
get better until the Owen program.)

Shamrock with a belly to belly for D-Lo, one for Kama and an amazing one for
Mark Henry. And it’s back to the ankle lock for the Rock. Farooq comes down for
the save but nope he decides against it as the Rock is bleeding from the mouth.
Officials finally get Shamrock off the poor guy so he beats up three referees
and you see where this is going. Pat Patterson tries to calm Shamrock down as
the paramedics come out for the Rock. Referee overturns the decision because
Shamrock lost his fucking mind. So he goes back and beats up the Rock some
more.

(Rock def. Shamrock, referee decision to DQ, **, mostly a squash to give
Shamrock some heat).


Dumpster Match for WWF Tag Team Championship: New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack
& Chainsaw Charlie

Actually it’s not Charlie this night, he’s 100% Funk U baby. Rules are simple,
first team to end up in the dumpster loses. I’ll assume this is a no
disqualification match with Texas Tornado rules. Cactus sends Road Dogg into
the side of the dumpster and hits him with a running knee. Billy Gunn with a
hangman on Funk. Dogg hits Cactus with a cookie pan as Gunn chokes away at Funk
on the inside. Cactus goes for a running tumble and misses, damn near breaking
his neck. Gunn sends Funk into the railing and they back drop him into the
dumpster. One down. Dogg with a vertical Russian legsweep that sends Cactus’
head into the dumpster. Cactus into the dumpster and the Outlaws double team
Funk and send him in the dumpster. They try to close the dumpster but Cactus
fights out with a mandible claw. Funk revives himself and hits Gunn over the
head with a baking pan. Back in the ring, neckbreaker from Cactus, hangman
neckbreaker from Funk. Cactus sends Gunn to the floor and hits the Cactus elbow
from the apron to the floor. In the ring Funk with a DDT. Cactus pulls out a
ladder to a crowd pop. Cactus and Gunn fight on the ladder and end up in the
dumpster. Gunn powerbombs Funk into the dumpster and they double team Cactus
Jack. More brawling and a few replays of the ladder spot gets us to the Outlaws
fighting Cactus in the back. They send him into some plunder but he rallies
back with a chair. Double armed DDT to Gunn on a pallet and Funk returns with a
forklift. Cactus stacks the Outlaws on the forklift and they dump the Outlaws
in a second dumpster and seal it shut for the titles.

(Funk/Cactus def. Outlaws, dumpster diving, **1/4, silly brawling but nothing
too offensive.)

Video review of the Undertaker-Kane feud and Paul Bearer is pretty damn good
with the rhetoric in this one.

Pete Rose trolls the shit out of the Boston crowd and we discussed that a few
weeks ago, how ‘bout it?


Undertaker vs. Kane

The Undertaker’s entrance is pretty damn elaborate even by his lofty standards.
Face off to start and Kane no sells some of the Undertaker’s offense because he
doesn’t do that yet. Kane tries to overpower Undertaker but a blind charge eats
boot. Kane with a short-armed clothesline but the Undertaker no sells that and
we’re back at square one. Kane tries to get the Undertaker in the tree of woe
but he’s a little too tall for that to be effective so he goes to the choke.
Kane’s slow, plundering offense continues, he suplexes Undertaker on the ropes
and hits a top rope forearm that sends the dead man to the floor. Punch. Punch.
Punch. Punch. Punch. Occasional choke. Punch. Punch. No sell. Repeat.
Undertaker jumps on Kane’s shoulders but Kane gives him an electric chair that
looked awful and could have broke Mean Mark’s leg. Kane sends ‘Taker into the
steps and then uses the steps as a weapon a few times. Back in the ring, Kane
with a suplex and finally the Undertaker responds with a clothesline but Kane
hits the chokeslam for two. Chinlock time so I make a phone call. Finally
Undertaker dumps Kane to the floor but he doesn’t go down, ‘Taker boots him to
the floor and goes for the hands free plancha but Kane sends him into WWE
Deportes. Top rope clothesline from Kane gets a near fall. We evolve to a
slugfest and a rope sequence allows Undertaker to catch him into a tombstone
but Kane reverses it for a two count. Undertaker hulks up and hits Kane with a
clothesline and then a chokeslam as the crowd wakes up. Tombstone hits and gets
two. Undertaker hits a the big legdrop but Kane sits up so Undertaker
tombstones him again for a two count. Top rope clothesline from Undertaker and
the third tombstone finally sends Kane to pasture.

(Undertaker def. Kane, pinfall, *1/2, boring as hell)

Post match Kane tombstones Undertaker on a chair. Still boring as hell.

Video review of the main event is mostly centered around this Mike Tyson fella.


WWF World Heavyweight Championship: Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin

Mike Tyson is your special enforcer and god bless him it looks like he’s having
the time of his life. The camera shows Steve Austin making that walk from the
dressing room and then the glass breaks and the pop is huge. The Tyson-Austin
face off makes me wonder how much more money they would have gotten if they
just ran with that match instead. Now we see Michaels, along with DX, take the
walk. HHH tells the camera he’s number one and Shawn says “this is for you
world” (actually he says Earl, as in Earl Hebner, which makes sense because he was sick…world didn’t make sense). Live music entrance for HBK just adds to the pre-match package.

HBK starts with a little stick and move stuff, mostly to frustrate the
challenger but Austin hits a huge axe and sends Michaels into the buckle twice
and back drops him to the floor where HHH shields some of the crazy bump. HHH
quickly gets involved and sends Austin into the railing which gets the referee’s
attention. He forces them to leave ringside and Austin attacks HHH as he leaves
but he walks into an HBK clothesline. Michaels grabs a cymbal stand and hits
Austin with it, then sends him into the side of a dumpster. Back to the ring
and Austin catches Michaels coming off the ropes and sends him flipping into
the buckle. Inverted atomic drop by Austin and it gets two. Austin goes to the arm
and later hits a stun gun for two. Stunner attempt is foiled but Austin sends
Michaels from the ring apron to the WWF Americana table. Ouch. Austin sends
Michaels into the steps and gives him a couple of elbows. Back in the ring,
elbow drop to the back of the head and then the FU elbow gets two. Chinlock by
Austin but Michaels counters with a jawbreaker.

HBK decides to go for the leg but Austin uses leverage and sends Michaels to
the post but Michaels back drops Austin over the security railing and hits him
with the timekeeper’s bell. Michaels clearly laboring in pain now as the
adrenaline and cortisone shots are wearing off. Back in the ring and Michaels
with some ground and pound. Snapmare from Michaels and he thinks about doing
something else but thinks better of it and goes back to the leg. Michaels flips
off the crowd and that wakes Austin up, who tackles Michaels and sends him
flying over the top rope. Michaels back to the leg and he wraps it around the
post this time. Back in the ring and Michaels continues the leg work but Austin
gets a near fall on a cradle. Back to the leg for HBK and he hits a sit down
splash on the leg that looks like it hurts him more than Austin. The challenger
takes a powder and HBK hits him with a baseball slide. Tyson sends Austin back
in the ring and HBK clips him from behind and slaps on the figure four. After a
couple of minutes Austin turns it over and forces the break.

Austin rallies again and catapults Michaels into the post and gets a rollup for
two. Sleeper hold by HBK. Austin tries to fight out and they accidentally
eliminate the referee. Austin back in control with a back body drop but
Michaels answers back with the flying forearm. Michaels slowly climbs the ropes and hits the big elbow although it’s clear he can barely move. Probably
got the go home sign a little early as HBK goes sweet chin music and Austin
counters into the stunner, HBK fights the first one off but the second one hits
and it’s time for a new era with Tyson making the three count. Austin and Tyson
make up and HBK is left laying.

(Austin def. Michaels, pinfall, ****, tremendous effort given what both men
were going through. Had they been 100 percent I have no doubts it would have
been a five-star match but they did all they could and made it work.)


The Bottom Line:
Kevin Nash said on Stone Cold’s podcast that Kevin Sullivan
predicted the WCW’s demise after watching this card. Hard to say exactly what
made this card work so well, maybe it was the fact that Michaels’ loss and his
departure from the promotion due to injury eliminated the last real remnants of
everything that had happened in 1996 and 1997. No matter whose side you were on
everyone could start fresh and there was no doubt that the right guy was chosen
to move forward. There wasn’t that one great match and not many “Wrestlemania
moments” but Wrestlemania XIV and the following night on RAW let the world know
that the WWF wasn’t going anywhere. 

Princess Rant on the Infamous Halifax Raw of 1997

Scott’s not going to review the box set so…why the hell not?

RAW
IS HALIFAX

From Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 21, 1997

Hosted by Vince, JR and The King

JR does the intro spotlighting how Bret Hart can be so hated in one country and
loved in another. The soundbites from Canadians are awesome, especially the guy
with about three teeth wearing something that looks like Carolina Panthers
gear. Hart’s sound bites on Canada talking about taking care of their people
and a land not riddled with racial prejudice makes it seem like quite the utopia.
Husband and I spent part of our 10-year anniversary in Canada so I’m down with the Great White North…although I’ve heard Canadians hate that term. Geez.

The classic 1997 RAW Intro. We got Hart, HBK, Ahmed, Sid and Austin as the
primary figures. And lots of pyro. Can’t forget the pyro. And I sort of miss
Vince saying “IT’S MONDAY NIGHT RAAAAAAAAW!” We’ve got a triple threat tag
match, HBK and the big six-man flag match which was currently just an open
challenge from Bret, Bulldog and Owen to whomever. No opening promo so let’s
get to the matches!


Vader (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Ken Shamrock

Shamrock actually gets a huge pop, the first and last time he would be cheered
in Canada. This is a rematch from IYH: Cold Day in Hell. Shamrock goes for the
takedown but Vader backs off in the corner. Shamrock with some leg strikes but
doing no damage as Vader stalls. Crowd is just going apeshit for no reason in
particular. We finally get a collar and elbow tie-up and Vader with a thumb to
the eye but his hip toss is reversed to a take down. However, Vader up first
and clubs Shamrock before dropping him with a clothesline. Vader with a elbow
to the mid section and a second one. Vader hits the big splash and gets a two
count. The referee admonishes Vader for something so Bearer can rough up
Shamrock with his shoe. Vader then throws Shamrock to the floor and sends him
into the stairs. Back in the ring and Vader continues clubbing as the crowd
starts to get behind him? Powerbomb is countered and Shamrock rallies with a
belly to belly suplex and a single leg lock. Bearer interferes again and this
time Shamrock clocks him. Back in the ring Vader drops an elbow and slams him.
Vader goes to the second rope and hits the splash but barely gets two. Shamrock
mistimed his kick out there and made the move look weak. Vader bomb attempt
hits knees and Shamrock kicks the shit out of Vader in the corner. Shamrock
goes for a frankensteiner but Vader dumps him over the top. Vader gets
admonished by the ref some more and the Bulldog comes out and powerslams
Shamrock on the steel ramp. Oh yeah they are fighting at Summerslam. Anyway
Shamrock gets counted out.

(Vader def. Shamrock, countout, **, match had some potential if not for the
stalling and a few issues. Not sure why they felt like they needed to keep
Vader strong as he was pretty much wallowing in the mud by this point. Shamrock
still hasn’t been pinned.)

More Canadians profess their love for Bret Hart. They really went to great
efforts to find the goofiest looking jokers possible too.


Brakus
is coming. That one didn’t work out.


Vince
is in the ring to interview The Hart Foundation. Crowd goes absolutely
RABID. The pop is pretty awesome and the Halifax arena is small and intimate
enough to really bring it out on television. Hart mostly panders to the crowd
and makes fun of Texas, which that state certainly deserves. The weird thing
about this whole angle is I never really understood how much Canadians hate the
United States of America. I know this is just a “work” and all but…fuck that
this is REAL heat as far as this crowd is concerned. Good stuff from Bret and
Owen but Bulldog’s promo fell flat. They call out their respect opponents for
Summerslam – Undertaker, Austin and Shamrock. Owen suggests that Austin can
suck his toes and that queues up Austin to interrupt. He says he’ll shove all
their toes up their asses and agrees to take part in “the stupid little flag
match.”

Let’s go back to last week when Los Boricuas “accidentally” messed up one of
the motorcycles from the DOA. And they fought. Shitty brawl too. Really this
whole gang wars thing sucked without any blood or workrate…preferably blood.


Bryan Walsh vs. Brian Christopher

Walsh claims he’s Canada originally and now resides in Rhode Island, like there’s
a difference. He has two little cute Canadian flags and of course the crowd isn’t
feeling him. He looks like Paul Orndorff without any of the muscle tone or a
good tan…hell maybe he is Canadian. Shockingly Christopher doesn’t get blown up
walking to the ring. He beats up Walsh and defaces his little flags for the
cheap heat. Walsh rallies with a monkey flip and a second one. Christopher
fucks up and simple transitional move but his the stroke and a pretty nice
release german suplex. Rollover suplex gets a two count, he misses a fist drop
and Walsh gets a body slam and an elbow drop. Christopher back with a bulldog
as JR chides Lawler for being Christopher’s dad. Second bulldog attempt is
unsuccessful as Walsh gives Christopher the 10 punch and a drop kick.
Christopher reverses a high cross body into a slam and gives Walsh and inverted
bulldog and a top rope leg drop for the pin.

(Christopher def. Walsh, pinfall, **, much better than I expected)


The Truth Commission
from South Africa is coming…actually I think they already
came or were coming next week. Wow only 10 years after Colonel DeBeers completely dragged every bit of heat out of the evil South African character. Not much came of them outside of Kurrigan
although I thought Recon and The Sniper were an ok tag team.


Sable
flaunts her stuff as Marc Mero stands there pissed. Ahhh “Marvelous” Marc
Mero had so much potential once he got it going.

They do a little video package on Mick Foley, as he had recently showed the
Dude Love character. Of course this was all set up by a tremendous set of
interviews between Foley and JR to get him over. It worked. Of course I don’t
think they have tried it much since. What made this whole thing work was how
much they acknowledged Foley’s past. They even show “Jack Foley” getting his
ass kicked by the British Bulldogs. I remember Dynamite Kid being especially
dickish to him in that match. The Austin-Foley interaction actually set up
their great program roughly a year later. I admit I fell hook, line and sinker
for the whole story and when Dude Love came to help Austin win the tag titles I
legitimately felt happy for Mick Foley the person and the fact that he was
finally getting this acceptance that he yearned for…like any of that shit was
real…and naturally those were the emotional strings they were looking to tug. Of
course I doubt they thought Foley would later become a multi-millionaire
best-selling author but that’s what happens when the right guy gets the right
vehicle.

Austin begrudging shows respect for Foley but he hates him and hates the idea
of having a tag team partner because…well because he says so.

Can we get a match? No, just more stuff from last week? Okay, the Godwinns
attacked the Legion of Doom. And now the LOD drops a promo. And even though
they were pretty much booked to look like a bunch of pussies at this point,
Hawk still cuts a cool promo.

And now we have a match.


The Godwinns vs. The New Blackjacks vs. The Headbangers


The winner of this match faces the Tag Team Champions, Austin & Dude Love,
next week. The rules are just odd. Three men in the ring at once and you can
only tag your partner. Windham, PIG and Mosh start things off and it’s a bunch
of guys clotheslining each other.  No
real flow to this one. HOG hits a nice flapjack on Thrasher for two and then
Hog and Bradshaw knock each other out with clotheslines. Putting all three guys
in the ring at once is one of those ideas that probably sounded good in theory,
but it’s impossible to follow and the crowd is completely disinterested. Ross
says there’s never a dull moment in these types of matches but I vehemently
disagree. The Godwinns win, not sure how, really don’t care.

(Godwinns def. Headbangers & Blackjacks, DUD, I’d give it negative stars if
I paid attention.)

Time for the War Zone…which has the exact same intro as RAW, they couldn’t have
switched things up a little? Yay, more pyro, can never have enough pyro!


JR
welcomes Shawn Michaels to the ring and he’s completely in heel mode. It’s
actually refreshing to see too as he knew they were going to hate him and he
completely goes over the top, even working in a couple of quick crotch chops as
we hadn’t officially gotten to that point yet. He does a back flip off the top
rope to fuck with those people that bitched about his knee injury. Seriously
the jeers are completely drowning out the announcers. HBK quickly mocks the
fans and mentions something about the US freeing Canadian ferries and says they
will free the heterosexuals too. He proceeds to make Canada his bitch and just
trolls the fuck out of the crowd. Oooo…a “faggot” chant; how American of you
Canadians…and HBK retorts “if I didn’t know any better I’d think you were
talking about me.” He throws his hat in the ring for tonight’s stupid little
flag match. But that’s not his only announcement as he says he’ll be the
special guest referee at Summerslam. Which match? Well of course Shawn Michaels
only works one match…the Main Event. The stipulation is either he calls the
match fair or he can’t wrestle in the U.S. which means he “will have to wrestle
in front of you guys for the rest of his life.” And declares “if you can’t
trust Shawn Michaels, who can you trust.” This was absolutely a road test for
his DX persona and it was awesome.

More Canadians cracking at Americans, one of them looks like Kip Dynamite. I know
this had to be some sort of an inside joke.


Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/Chyna) vs. The Patriot

The Patriot is greeted exactly how you would expect…but much worse…shockingly
no one throws a beer on him. If they had I might have declared this the
greatest crowd ever. Wilkes says something about supporting your country and
patriotism is never bad thing but pick better role models than Bret Hart.
Personally Owen was my role model of the group so I’m good. HHH jumps him to
start and the crowd explodes with cheers. Patriot no sells some of HHH’s
offense and hits him with a couple of shoulders. Powerslam from the Patriot
gets two as The Hart Foundation saunters to the broadcast table. Patriot with a
suplex but now the camera is completely on Bret bitching at Vince about
something. Owen tries to hold Hart back and it looks like he’s successful but
Hart returns and slaps McMahon’s headset off. Crowd is about to riot. McMahon
shouts back at Hart as the Foundation tries to hold him back. Hart comes back
again and he and McMahon have a PULL APART BRAWL! Holy shit. McMahon actually
gets the better of it as he pulls Hart’s shirt over him in a nod to
hockey-style fights…that will soon be outlawed in hockey. Crowd is the red
zone right now, like they are rushing the railings and completely stretching
the lengths of whatever security is there. Patriot comes to break things up and
the Harts jump him as several referees and officials come out to break up the
melee. This was incredible stuff as it felt like two guys having a legitimate
fight. First of all McMahon had never gotten physically involved up to this
point despite six months of Hart and Austin and HBK and everyone bitching at
him. So finally he was brought over the line. Also we’re now really
acknowledging the fact that he’s the guy calling the shots in this company. Of
course we already knew that but it hadn’t completely been spelled out on WWF
programming before. The whole thing had me in SHOCK when I saw it live.

(Patriot vs. HHH is a no contest due to unforseen brawl between company owner and talent, match looked to be able *1/2 and the brawl was a solid ****1/2, needed blood and a connecting punch.)

After the break Paul Bearer takes about Kane being alive…yeah whatever…talk
about a segment that could have easily been scrapped because no one was
thinking about it at that exact minute. Anyway he reveals his proof that Kane
was alive.


Farooq vs. Goldust

Shockingly Goldust gets a huge face pop despite being part of the opposition in
the 10-man tag a month ago. Goldust jumps Farooq to start as the announcers
talk about what just went down and King chides McMahon for his decision making.
McMahon says “oh no” and leaves the broadcast table. Farooq hits Goldust with a
clothesline from the second rope as McMahon takes the walk of shame past a
booing crowd. Ross says that there has been an altercation with Bret Hart and
Shawn Michaels in the back and Michaels has been injured. Meanwhile in the ring
Goldust hits Farooq with a bulldog. Kama the Godfather pulls Goldust outside
and beats the hell out of him while Marlena inadvertently distracts the referee.
Back in the ring Farooq hits a dominator but the referee claims he saw interference
he didn’t see and disqualifies Farooq.

(Goldust def. Farooq, disqualification, DUD, this match was background noise
and nothing more.)

Back in Shawn Michaels’ dressing room he’s clearly “injured” and cursing out
McMahon and the stooges as the crowd approves of what apparently just went
down.


Stupid little Flag Match: Bret Hart, British Bulldog & Owen Hart vs. Steve
Austin and  ???

Before the match Hart wants to hear ‘O’Canada’ which I must admit is quite the
jam up national anthem if there ever was one. Austin comes out by himself but
is quickly joined by Dude Love. They decide to go at this two on three and the
Harts quickly take control of the brawl to start the match. Owen dumps Love and
Bret hits Austin with an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline that sends him
to the floor. Owen hits an enziguri on Love and tries to climb but Austin dumps
him to the floor. JR sends it to a break and as he does the bell tolls. Uh oh.

We’re back and the Undertaker has joined forces with Austin and Love. Bulldog
and Owen work over Love but Owen sets too early and gets kicked. Love sends Owen
into the turnbuckle and makes the lukewarm tag to the Undertaker. He cleans
house and puts a double armed chokeslam on Owen. Now the more traditional
one-armed chokeslam gets a cover but this is a flag match. Tag to Austin and he
pounds on Owen and drops him with a clothesline. Suplex from Austin, snapmare
and the FU elbow drop. Austin with a chinlock and he heels it up by putting his
feet on the ropes. Ross says USA Network will stay with the match until we get
a winner. Owen fights out of the rest hold but runs into a kitchen sink knee.
Tag to Love and he drops Owen on his head but Owen reverses a neckbreaker into
a DDT. Austin comes in to stop Owen’s momentum and Love slaps on a body
scissors…hey why not? Owen fights out of it but Love goes to the eyes. Tag to
Austin and he sets Owen on the top rope, going for a superplex and but Owen
dumps him off the ropes. Austin tags Undertaker as we take another break.

We’re back and Love has a sleeper on Owen but he counters with a suplex and
misses an elbow drop. Love misses a clothesline and Owen hits a leg lariat.
Still the heels keep Owen from the tag, Owen misses an enziguri and Austin goes
for the sharpshooter. Owen kicks out of him and gets the hot tag to Bret. He
goes for the ringpost figure four but Love hits him with a clothesline. Austin
tags Undertaker and gives Bulldog a chokeslam and goes for the tombstone but
Bret breaks it up. A slugfest ensues and they fall victim to a double
clothesline but the Undertaker sits up and begins the climb. Owen stops him
there’s a race to make the climb as Brian Pillman comes from out of nowhere and
impedes the Undertaker allowing Bret to grab the flag and celebrate with his
countrymen.

(Hart Foundation def. Austin, Love & Undertaker, capture the flag, ***1/4,
decent match, ridiculous heat.)


The Bottom Line:
A pretty incredible RAW on several fronts. The wasn’t much actual wrestling to speak of but you saw the first glimpse of the new
Shawn Michaels persona and the beginning stages of the Mr. McMahon
character.  The crowd was absolutely molten
and the main event was solid work. Definitely worth tracking down on YouTube
(pretty much every 1997 RAW is on there) and watching.

The Princess Rant for Armageddon 2000

As promised, some good ole fashioned man-on-woman violence for all of you!

Armageddon
2000

From The Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Alabama

Hosted by Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler

The main event for this card is a 6-man Hell in a Cell match for the WWF Would
Heavyweight Championship. The premise is that the commissioner Mick Foley booked
this match in hopes that someone’s career would end since his career “ended”
earlier in the year in such a match. Before the card began Foley said if one of
the six men in the match were injured he would resign.


Six-Person Intergender Elimination Match: Team Xtreme vs. The Radicalz

This is the Malenko-Guerrero-Saturn edition. They recap the reason for this
match as Malenko put up his light heavyweight title in a match on Smackdown
against Lita and she put up a date as collateral. Malenko won of course, and
got his date. Once they got to the hotel, Lita seduces him a little bit and the
Hardyz jump him. I tell you “Ladies Man” Dean Malenko had potential if for no
other reason than how deadpan and short Malenko is. My husband chimes in by
saying Lita looks like she would be a tremendous lay. Ahh marriage is good when
your mate feels comfortable saying how well another chick can fuck and normally
I would let this go but this needed further explanation so here’s the
conversation in short form:

Me: So would you say she’s probably better in bed than Trish Stratus?

Him: Oh most definitely.

Me: Most fans would probably disagree.

Him: I don’t know about that. I think most fans would lust after Trish more but
if you asked the simple question of who would probably be better in bed most
fans would say Lita.

Me: Interesting.

Him: Trish is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, she’s also a yoga chick so there’s
some serious freak potential there but something tells me she has a lot of
parameters. Whereas Lita might say something like ‘wow I haven’t fucked using a
cattle prod since I was a teenager’.

My husband folks, I love him.

Anyway, the Radicalz are accompanied by Terri for whatever reason. Scotty will
be upset to see no color coordination with the Radicalz this night. Pier six to
start but the Hardyz quickly take control with a double suplex on Saturn and a
coolio double electric chair on Guerrero. The Radicalz bail but Jeff Hardy hits
a plancha on Guerrero and Malenko. In the ring Saturn takes control of Matt
Hardy with a headbutt and a leg lariat. Crowd is all over Eddy. Suplex by
Saturn and a take to Guerrero, he hits an elbow on Guerrero but gets caught
with a hot shot on a blind charge. Hot tag to Jeff Hardy and he cleans house
before giving Guerrero and back body drop. The heels recover but Guerrero can’t
connected on a top-rope hurricanrana. Melee ensues and Lita gives Guerrero a
twist of fate that sets up the swanton for the first pin. Next fall starts
immediately and Jeff Hardy hits a whisper in the wind on Saturn. Four men in
the ring now and a leap of faith on Malenko but when the brothers try it on
Saturn he catches Jeff Hardy and kills him dead with a Death Valley Driver.
Next fall as Matt Hardy and Saturn trade close falls. Terri gets involved long
enough for Saturn to hit a crescent kick on Matt. German suplex gets two for
Saturn. Matt Hardy counters a head scissors into a sidewalk slam and hits the
middle leg drop for twoo. Malenko tries to interfere but fails so Hardy hits
the twist of fate on Saturn for the three count. Terri doesn’t approve of these
actions so she slaps Matt Hardy and gets speared by Lita as a result. The distraction
works, however, as Malenko sneaks behind Hardy and rolls him up for three. Down
to Malenko vs. Lita and I’m sure “The Shooter” is thrilled that after 15 years
in the business working his way up from Japan through the Indys and getting
stiffed on half his paychecks by Paul Heyman and being called a vanilla midget
by Kevin Nash that he’s now facing a chick during the height of popularity for
the top promotion in the states. Anyway they do a reversal sequence and Lita
gets a head scissors and a victory roll for two. Malenko reverses a corner whip
but hits knee on a blind charge. Moonsault by Lita gets two. Rollover DDT from
Lita but she gets caught on the top again and Malenko with a top-rope superplex
and he lets her up at two. Two short-armed clotheslines and a back elbow crush
Lita but he’s not done. Backbreaker and he lets her up at two again. And you
guys were DEFENDING this in the Open Mic thread? Wow. Finally Texas Cloverleaf
ends it. Malenko finishes the deal by tossing her out of the ring. I must say
it was some awesome heel work from him.

(Radicalz def. Team Extreme, pinfall, ***, quick but effective.)

(Lillian Garcia catches up with Kurt Angle as he’s prepping for the Main Event.
Kurt asks Lillian if she is Bulgarian and this leads to him talking about his
Olympic accomplishments.)


European Championship: William Regal vs. Hardcore Holly

Regal goes into an awesome spiel cracking on the crowd. (“It’s all very well
and good to love your farm animals but loving your farm animals is something
completely disgusting and you should all stop it.”). Hardcore Holly goes to
town on Regal and sends him to the floor. Regal drags him out and they start
laying in the stiff shots. Regal sends Holly to the post but back in the ring
Holly with a back suplex for two. Holly goes to the top but eats a boot. Regal
with the classic European uppercuts and and he posts Holly on the ropes and
hits a top-rope superplex for two. He tries a second cover for two and a third
that gets two. Regal with the bow-and-arrow submission. Holly reverses an
underhook suplex into an inverted electric chair for two. Clothesline from
Holly and a beautiful drop kick. Suplex into a slam by Holly and he climbs to
the top and hits an Alabama Jam for two. He goes for a frankensteiner but Regal
catches him and delivers a powerbomb. Regal with an STF but Holly gets to the
ropes. Holly hits Regal with a short forearm and as the referee checks on
Regal, Raven comes in and hits a DDT on Holly. Hmmmm. Regal rolls over and
makes the cover for three.

(Regal def. Holly, pinfall, **1/2, short but it was fine.)

(Rikishi cuts his promo. I never got behind Evil Rikishi. Just think the powers
that be overthought a perfect acceptable, entertaining mid-card act that needed
to be kept strong enough to move into a main event slot if needed. Anyway there’s
talk of an alliance with Kurt Angle and Triple H)


Val Venis vs. Chyna

Yes! More man on woman violence…and to be fair the women get their shots in
too. Chyna charges Venis and hits him with forearms. Smart adjustment because
he punches sucked but her forearms look good. Ivory tries to help her Right to
Censor brother and gets beat up too. Chyna absolutely potatoes Venis in the
corner. He misses a clothesline and she hits a DDT for two. Venis reverses an
irish whip and hits two kitchen sink knees and a side Russian legsweep. Venis
was actually a solid in-ring talent for a while but seemed to get
disinterested. His character had a certain shelf life. Venis dumps Chyna for
Ivory to get in a few shots. Back in the ring, Venis with a double underhook
suplex for two. He wins a slugfest and slams Chyna but misses an elbow. Chyna
rallies with a knockout forearm and a back body drop. Swinging neckbreaker from
Chyna gets two. Venis gets another knee but a beautiful lariat from Chyna gets
two. Wow. Chyna is running low on moveset so she kicks Venis a few times (which
he oversells) but gets caught with a powerslam. Venis goes for the money shot
but misses, Chyna gets two. Body slam by Chyna but Ivory trips her and like and
idiot Chyna chases and gets caught in a fisherman’s suplex for the pinfall.
Chyna tries to get some retribution on Ivory but Venis gets her with that spinout
powerbomb.

(Venis def. Chyna, pinfall, **1/2, perfectly acceptable wrestling again)

(Stephanie and Vince discuss their concerns about the Hell in a Cell. Hmm, it
doesn’t look like Stephanie has any tits in this promo. Had she gotten them
yet? I thought she had.)

(Kevin Kelly gets some thoughts from the Undertaker. He’s in his American
Badass phase but not quite Booger Red yet. This was when his transformation as
a worker began. He says not much of note other than he loves making guys bleed.
Long promo but it was good stuff and they showed clips of his matches with HBK
and Foley. The bumps Foley took were just incredible in hindsight.)

(Mr. McMahon promo. Not sure why he has a cane but he must’ve have blown his
knee out doing something. He promises the match won’t happen and bad mouths
Linda, who he was “feuding” with at the time. He calls himself a concerned and
compassionate humanitarian. Didn’t draw much heat surprisingly.)


Last Man Standing: Chris Jericho vs. Kane

This program started when Jericho accidentally spilled coffee on Kane. Kane
eventually through him through a glass window and chokeslammed him through a
table. That Kane, always overreacting. Jericho eventually got some retribution
but not enough to stop the Big Red Machine.

They start brawling on the ramp way and into the backstage area. Kane rams
Jericho into a truck bed but misses a shot with a shovel. Jericho throws some
mulch in Kane’s eyes and in a random spot, both guys punch Mideon, who was probably
out of position, before brawling back to the ring. Jericho sends Kane to the
ring barricade and sends Kane into the post and the stairs. In the ring,
Jericho hits a back elbow from the top. Jericho clotheslines Kane over the top
but runs for a cross body and gets caught. Kane rams Jericho into the post
twice and powerslams him on the arena floor. Kane rams Jericho’s head in the
steps and boots him in the head. Another shot in the steps (Jericho yells out ‘FUCK’)
and we’re back in the ring. Side backbreaker from Kane and he corners Jericho
where he can deliver a couple of shoulderblocks. Pace of the match has slowed
down considerably. Kane with a body vice and he dumps the lifeless Jericho as
Teddy Long starts the count. Jericho is up by 7. Kane with another corner whip
but he eats boot on a charge. Jericho goes for a leg lariat but Kane catches
him and slams him. Kane misses the elbow and Jericho hits the leg lariat this
year. Lionsault, however, meets knees. Kane climbs to the top and hits the
top-rope clothesline. More clobbering by Kane as this match seems like it’s
going on and on. Jericho gets up at five and suffers a NASTY chokeslam. Great
selling from Jericho there as Long counts until 9. Kane, rightfully pissed,
grabs a chair and goes to the gut and then the back with the chair. Tombstone
attempt on the chair but Jericho slips out the back door and goes low. DDT from
Jericho sends both men to the canvas. Jericho is up first and grabs the chair
for the head shot. Jericho hits a flying forearm and the missile dropkick from
the top. Running bulldog and he sets the chair on Kane and hits the lionsault
but naturally hurts himself in the process. Kane gets up at nine and Jericho runs
right into his boot. Kane press slams Jericho from the ring to the floor and
they fight up the ramp and around the ring entrance way where there are a ton
of used cars at for whatever reason. Kane tries to chokeslam Jericho off a
platform but Jericho fights out of it and bulldogs Kane through a table. Part
of the set was a stack of oil barrels which Jericho pushes on top of Kane to
trap him and allow Long to make the ten count.

(Jericho def. Kane, ten count, **, a long, plundering match that didn’t deliver
on the promise of a crazy brawl.)

(Mick Foley says he’s responsible for this match and he’ll be happy when its
over.)

(Shawn Michaels is entertaining the fans at WWF New York. He talks with JR
about the Hell in a Cell. He said he was guinea pig for the match. He said a
six-man match means anything can happen. He said it’s tailor-made for the
Undertaker and in the cell he’s a different man.)


Tag-Team Title Turmoil! Edge & Christian vs. The Goodfather & Bull
Buchanan vs. The Dudley Boys vs. Road Dog & K-Kwik

Well we a lot of explaining to do here. The champions are the Right to Censor
Group. K-Kwik is also known as R-Truth. Road Dog was the doctor of
thug-o-nomics long before that smiley punk John Cena. One fall wins the titles
here.

RTC jumps the Dudleys to start until the ref chases Goodfather. D- Von gets a
flying back elbow on Bull but he responds with a big boot. Goodfather with the “Legal
Escorts” train but he tries it again and gets clotheslined. Road Dog tags
himself in and Goodfather tags Road Dog. Edge tags himself in and he pounds on
Road Dog and mocks the Dudleys. Four men in the ring and in a cute spot Bubba
Ray and Road Dog do Road Dog’s punching combo on Edge and Christian but they
turn on each other for the double knockout. Resetting things and Road-Dog and
K-Kwik with a double hip toss and a legdrop/elbow drop combo on Edge. Side heel
kick from K-Kwik but Christian bails out his bro and they go to work on K-Kwik’s
shoulder. They are cutting the ring off in a quarter and I’m appreciating it.
Kwik fights back but Edge with an armbar DDT for two. Goodfather enters the
ring with a rest hold because…that’s what a match with eight men needs.
Buchanan in with an elevated armbar and Edge tags himself in but K-Kwik makes
the hot tag to Bubba Ray. He cleans house on the Suicide Blonds and then Right
to Censor. We’ve got like six men in the ring. Road Dog dumps Goodfather and
Buchanan. Kwik tries to do a plancha on both men but they catch him with a
double slam. Road Dog with a double clothesline on them but Stevie Richards
hits a Stevie kick on Road Dog. Back in the ring the Dudleys give Edge the “Wuzzup”
drop and they grab a table. A table clothesline on RTC and a back in the ring a
Doomsday Device (!!) on Edge. Christian interrupts the count and Buchanan comes
in the ring but he gets a 3D and Goodfather gets a 3D. Christian in the ring
and ANOTHER Wuzzup Drop. D-Von goes for the table but Stevie Richards with a
DDT on D-Von. Edge with a spear on Bubba Ray in the ring for two. Christian
gives Bubba Ray the unprettier and that’s enough to get the pinfall.

(Edge & Christian def. World, pinfall, ***, hot finish really pumped this
one up a bit.)

(Meanwhile Stephanie tries to talk sense into Triple H but he doesn’t care
because the title is the most important thing in the world to him. Corny but I
miss these sort of passionate promos from competitors that actually made the
World championship seem like it was everything.)


Intercontinental Championship: “The One” Billy Gunn vs. Chris Benoit

Gunn is the champion. Stop laughing. Seriously he’s the champion going into
this match. Benoit lays in the stiff shots but Gunn with a drop-toe hold and a
couple of armdrags. A hip toss slam from Gunn gets two and he sends Benoit over
the top rope. Out to the floor they go and Benoit is run into the post but he
sends a charging Gunn into the steel steps. Back in the ring the Benoit decides
to work on the knee with some nastiness. Kneebreaker is countered into a sunset
flip for two but Benoit with a dropkick to the knee. Benoit with a sit down
splash on the knee and a nasty legwhip take down. Figure four from Benoit and
the crowd even in 2000 was quick to add the ‘Whooooooo’. Benoit tortures Gunn
for a bit but Billy turns it over until Benoit reaches the ropes. Gunn tries to
turn the tide with a corner whip but he misses a charge and Benoit with the
rolling German suplexes. Benoit misses the swan dive headbutt, however. Gunn
tries to rally, a powerslam gets two and he adds a press slam and a jackhammer.
Gunn gets the Fameasser but Benoit kicks out at two. Gunn goes for a cobra
clutch but Benoit counters it with the crossface but Gunn gets to the ropes.
Benoit argues with the ref and Gunn goes for a tilt-a-whirl slam but he botches
it…or he sold the knee injury…I think it was a botch. Gunn reverses a corner
whip but his charge hits boot this time. Back suplex from Benoit gets two. Gunn
tries a small package for two but Benoit gets the second crossface on him and
Gunn taps out.

(Benoit def. Gunn, submission, **1/2, mostly Benoit beating the shit out of the
overmatched Gunn.)

(JR and Stone Cold are chatting and JR talks about how it ruined Foley and HBK’s
career. Stone Cold says you can’t prepare for this match and it’s going to be
flat out brutal. Typical Stone Cold stuff.)


Triple Threat Match for Women’s Title: Molly Holly vs. Trish Stratus vs. Ivory

Ivory’s Amish girl get up is hilarious. She really owned that character. Molly
beats the crap out of Trish to start as Ivory observes. Trish back with a
monkey flip and Molly lands on her feet but walks into a clothesline from
Ivory. Molly foils Ivory and Trish’s double team with a drop kick. Ivory and
Trish fight over a double DDT and agree on a double suplex. Ivory cheap shots
Trish and covers Molly for two. They argue and Molly hits a double cross body
for two. Ivory charges Molly and gets dump for her efforts. Molly with a
RUNNING LIGER BOMB (!! ) on Trish but Ivory dumps her and gets the cover for
three. T(est) and A(lbert) come out to antagonize and bully poor Molly but
Crash Holly tries to come to her rescue. T&A see the positive numbers game
and answers his call but the APA return to beat them up. Bradshaw’s clothesline
from Hell on Albert wakes the crowd up.

(Ivory def. Molly & Trish, pinfall, **, all for Molly’s work in the ring)

(Rock electrifies the crowd and does impressions of each of his five
competitors. Naturally the crowd was eating out of his hand.)


6-man Hell in the Cell for WWF World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle vs.
Triple H vs. Rikishi vs. The Undertaker vs. Steve Austin vs. The Rock

Angle is your defending champion. One fall wins. Triple H used his instrumental
theme for whatever reason. I’m guessing they just loaded the wrong one into the
sound system because he was using “My Time” at this point.

Austin is the last to be introduced as four men stand in the cell and Angle
holds off. Austin grabs Angle before going in and let the mayhem begin! Paired
out we have Austin-HHH, Rock-Rikish and Angle-Undertaker. No one is in the ring
yet. Now Undertaker-Angle go in as the door is chained shut. Undertaker with a
corner clothesline on Angle for a two count. Undertake chokes Angle out with a bandanna as Rock and Rikishi are in the ring. Rock with a flying lariat sends
Rikishi back to the floor. HHH and Austin in the ring, HHH with a face buster
but Austin with the Lou Thesz press and the ground and pound. Fuck you elbow
gets a two count. Austin chokes HHH on the middle rope and hits a running sit
down splash for two. Now Angle tosses Rock in the ring. HHH hits the Harley
Race high knee on Austin and wraps his leg around the post. In the ring, Rock
gets on Angle and hits a samoan drop for two. Angle hits Rock with an elbow and
they all tumble to the floor again. Undertaker and Angle in the ring and Angle
out of the ring. On the floor HHH gives Austin a suplex. Right now the pair
offs are Angle-Rikishi and Undertaker-HHH. Austin goes after HHH himself and
Rock jumps back on Rikishi. Clothesline from Austin to HHH and he starts
grinding HHH’s face in the cage. He works HHH around the cage and we have our
first bleeder of the night. I think this was HHH’s fourth bloodletting in a PPV
that year. Rikishi is choking Undertaker on the fence but Austin is just using
HHH’s face as a cheese grater. Ewwww. They try to get back in the ring but
Rikishi drops a leg on the back of Austin’s neck. Ouch. Rikishi helps HHH up
and they hug so naturally HHH gives him a pedigree for two. Rock and HHH face
off and Rock with a floatover DDT for two. Angle makes the save and he gives
Rock the Olympic slam for two. Austin made the save. Stone Cold Stunner for Angle
gets a huge pop and a two count. Undertaker with a chokeslam on Austin for two.
HHH with the save and we’re back to square one. Undertaker introduces HHH to
the cage on all corners as HHH is bleeding like a stuck pig. Undertaker spears
HHH into the cage. In the ring Austin drops Rikishi with a clothesline and he
clotheslines Undertaker over the top, he landed on his feet of course. Lou
Thesz Press and ground and pound for Rikishi as…Vince comes to the ring and has
brought a mulch truck with him. Undertaker sends Austin into the cage twice as
Vince wants to tie the truck to the cell and pull it down. The door was ripped
off but McMahon isn’t satisfied! In the ring Rikishi with a butt splash on Rock
but Rock comes back with a clothesline as the construction man ties chains to
the cell.

Mick Foley now comes down and demands the stooges and McMahon leave. He beats
up Patterson and Brisco and has security escort McMahon from the ring. Meanwhile
HHH escapes the cage and Austin goes out after him. Austin with a clothesline
to the back of the head and he sends HHH into one of those demolition cars.
Austin grabs a camera on a crane and shoots it into HHH. Another f-u elbow.
Meanwhile the other four men have left the cage. Austin continues pounding away
but HHH sends Austin through the window of the construction truck and he is
bleeder No. 2. Rock with a double noggin knocker on Rikishi and Angle. Rock
goes back to beat up on HHH and he slams him into the area with the cars. Rock
and HHH stand on the hood of a car and Rock goes for the Rockbottom but HHH
counters, goes low and hits the pedigree. Rock becomes the third bleeder. Undertaker
knocks down Angle and Rikishi. Austin sends Rikishi into a car as HHH works on
the Rock’s cut. Undertaker slams Angle on the hood of a car. Austin grabs HHH
and catapult him into a car window. The window does break. Angle tries to win a
slugfest with Undertaker. Austin tries to maim HHH with an oil drum but misses.
Some of the guys are heading back to the ringside area. Undertaker thwaps Angle
with the mic and chokes him with the cord. Everyone back to ringside or close
by. Angle with a chair and he smokes Undertaker with a nasty head shot and he
is bleeder number four. HHH climbs to the top of the cell while Undertaker
sends Angle over the ring barricade. Austin is climbing the cage as well as
they fight on top of the cage. HHH teeters on the edge but he fights back. Now
Angle is climbing the cage as Austin hits a stunner on HHH. Austin goes to
beating up Angle and now Undertaker joins the party at the top of the cell.
Undertaker rams Angles head into one of the support beams. HHH goes low on
Austin as Angle is bleeding as well bringing the count to five. HHH climbs down
and Austin follows him while Undertaker and Angle continue their fight. Rikishi
starts to climb and he gets to the top. Undertaker, gets a chair from somewhere
and kills Angle dead with a chair shot. Rikishi grabs the chair and he takes on
both men. Angle descends from the cage and Undertaker now pounds on Rikishi as
they fight to the edge of the cage. Austin and HHH are in the ring as
Undertaker has Rikishi teetering on the edge and chokeslams from the top of the
cage to the bed of the truck. It was covered thoroughly with mulch and I think
I see a mattress in there too so it’s a fairly safe landing.

Meanwhile in the ring, Rock and Austin face off to a mega pop. Slugfest is
even, Austin goes for the stunner but Rock counters and gets a spinebuster.
Rock makes the gesture for the people’s elbow but HHH with a clothesline. Rock
hammers on HHH and sends him over the top with a right hand. Angle charges and
gets a Rockbottom! Two count as Austin makes the save. Austin finally gets the
stunner on the Rock but HHH makes the save and gives Austin a neckbreaker,
meanwhile Angle inches his hand on the Rock and gets the pin! Angle tries to
celebrate but Austin gives him a stunner because he’s a sore loser.

(Angle def. Rikishi, Rock, Austin, HHH, Undertaker, pinfall, ****1/4, just a wild,
crazy, ridiculous brawl featuring the guys that have defined a generation of
wrestling…and Rikishi.)


The Bottom Line:
Well this was the final WWF offering for 2000 and it capped
out a tremendous year, arguably the best wrestling year the promotion has ever
had. This card itself was a mixed bag. The main event delivered but the
undercard wasn’t great and certainly below the expectations they had established months earlier. They tried a few things out of the ordinary in the
final couple months of 2000 but going into 2001 they were going back to what
brought them glory – Benoit leading a strong mid-card, Edge and Christian &
The Dudleys ruling the tag teams and a build to Rock-Austin II. The result was arguably the best Royal Rumble of the 2000s and the best Wrestlemania to date.

Princess Rant for Wrestlemania XV

I’ve
always talked about how much this Wrestlemania sucked but I haven’t watched it
in 14 years so it’s time for a full recap.

I’m excited that my awesome husband bought us tickets for Amy Schumer next week
as she is one of my favorite comedians. In case you have been living under a
rock she used to date Dolph Ziggler and admittedly broke up with him because he
was too much for her in bed. Nice to know someone’s willing to  put one of Dolph’s talents over. You can watch the clip here: http://teamcoco.com/video/amy-schumer-pro-wrestler

She was on Conan this week and talked a little about their relationship. Shame
she wasn’t a bigger name when they were dating because the WWE would have
plugged the shit out of it. It’s funny how they met because basically he was
trying to pick her up on Twitter and she wasn’t responding so he had his
followers Twitterstalk her and eventually she came around to him and they
hooked up a few times. Ahh modern love.

Anyway off to the rant.

Wrestlemania XV: The Ragin’ Climax
From The First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pa.
Hosted by Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler

The opening with Freddie Blassie was really good. So there’s one thing going
for it

Boyz II Men sing America The Beautiful.


Triple Threat for Hardcore Championship: Al Snow vs. Hardcore Holly vs. Billy
Gunn

Snow is big time over because we’re in Philly and he wasn’t too far removed
from his ECW stint. Holly isn’t over because he’s a dickhead. Gunn, however, is
shockingly over as Philly fans hadn’t realized how much he sucked in the ring
yet. And you wonder how did Mr. Ass claim this title? Well it was the old
switcheroo as the New Age Outlaws decided to make a short run at some singles
championships with Gunn going after the Intercontinental title and the Road
Dogg going after the Hardcore title but somehow they ended up with the other
man’s gold.

Gunn goes for his spiel but Snow jumps him and we’re off. Holly sends Gunn
inside out with a sick clothesline and Snow jumps on him and pounds on both
men. Snow takes it to the floor and sends Holly into WWF Deportes. Gunn comes
out to the floor but he is sent into the stairs. Holly and Snow fight up the
ramp and Holly suplexes Snow on the soft black mat. Gunn jumps back in the fray
and tries to piledrive Holly but Snow saves him. Snow goes for the plunder and
finds a hockey stick to do some damage with as the crowd chants “let’s go
Flyers”. Gunn grabs the stick and breaks it over Holly’s back. Snow grabs a
broom while Gunn sends Holly into the ring. Snow goes low on Gunn with the
broomstick and starts pounding on both men. Snow uses part of the hockey stick
to clothesline Holly. Gunn grabs a chair but Snow beats him to the punch with
the hockey stick. He then grabs the chair and works on both men. He sets the
chair up and hits Gunn with a leap of faith. He tries the same on Holly but
misses and Gunn sends Holly over the top to catch a breather. He gets Holly
back in the ring but Snow takes both men down with Head. Snow goes back to the
floor and grabs a table. Snow tries to whip Holly in the table but Holly comes
back with a clothesline. Gunn WALLOPS Holly with a chair and beals Snow through
the table to a HUGE POP. Wow. Gunn with a chair-aided fameasser on Snow but
Holly interrupts the count at two, dumps Gunn and pins Snow himself.

(Holly def. Snow & Gunn, pinfall, **1/2, not a bad opener at all, I forget
what I gave this one the first time around.)


World Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett vs. D-Lo Brown & Test

Hmm, how did this team happen? Oh well they had a battle royale during Sunday
Night Heat with the final two men remaining getting a title shot so there you
go. D-Lo is accompanied by Ivory while Test is accompanied by his beautiful
hair. His shirt says “Guns don’t kill people. I kill people”, hmm that wouldn’t
fly in 2013 WWE. Test and D-Lo argue from the onset. If Test were alive he
would probably be the leader of Aces & Eights.

D-Lo and Test jump the champs and Test hits Owen with the big boot, sending him
to the floor. D-Lo with a hip toss and a clothesline on Jarrett as both men tag
out. Test hits Owen with a nice powerbomb but Owen counters the pump handle
with an enziguri. Owen goes for the sharpshooter but D-Lo saves him. Test tags
out and D-Lo slams Owen and hits his signature legdrop. Owen rallies back with
a leg lariat and his sweet gut wrench suplex. Double clothesline from the
champs and they make a wish on D-Lo. Jarrett with a sit down splash and another
tag, they miss the double clothesline but D-Lo hits his. He dominates both guys
and hits the low down on Jarrett for two. Now the melee begins as the ladies get
involved. Terri Runnels comes out for some reason; she had an issue with Ivory.
In the ring D-Lo goes for a powerbomb but Owen hits him with a dropkick from
the top rope while the ref is distracted, Jarrett rolls up Brown and gets the victory.
D-Lo and Test argue and fight after the match.

(Don’t Piss Off Canada def. D-Lo & Test, pinfall, *1/2, Owen and Jarrett
were a good team but needed a better team to get the most out of them. Still I
believe this was Owen’s final PPV match and he won so that’s a good thing.”


Brawl For All: Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn

Gorilla Monsoon is one of the ringside judges and gets a massive pop from the
crowd that makes me feel good. It would be his last Wrestlemania and one of his
final appearances in the WWF before he died.

The fight lasts less than a minute as Butterbean completed obliterates Gunn
with a right hand. Why the fuck they would subject Bart Gunn to a shoot match
against a professional, seasoned boxer is beyond me. Believe it or not Bart
Gunn was the only redeeming thing from the stupid Brawl For All series and they
actually might have had something there. Part of me thinks he was punished for
making Steve Williams look bad but that’s the booker for being stupid enough to
book a guy they had big plans for in a shoot fight.

(Butterbean def. Gunn, knockout, DUD, it was a very impressive punch.)

(They show Mankind and The Big Show brawling during Sunday Night Heat. Big Show
was waiting for Steve Austin and as the two brawled, Austin just sorted of
strolled by.)


Mankind vs. “The Big Show” Paul Wight

Hey that’s how he was billed so don’t look at me. The winner of this match is
the referee in the main event. The Big Show represented the Corporation at this
point so it was important to the McMahons that he win. Big pop for Mankind.
Wight has his usual offense; it really hasn’t changed much in 15 years. Some
punches, some headbutts, a boot here and there. They go to the floor and
Mankind rams Show into the steps twice but he goes for a DDT and Show sends him
into the post. Back in the ring and Show with a couple of chops to the chest
and a knee smasher. Side Russian legsweep (!!) by Show but he misses with the
big right and tumbles to the floor. Foley grabs Socko and gets it on Show twice
but Show hammers his way out of it. A third mandible claw and Foley kicks Show
in the nuts to assist him as Show goes to his knees. Foley jumps on Show’s back
and Show gets to his feet and crushes Foley with the fallback slam. Foley would
say he was legitimately hurt on that move. Show sends Mankind to the floor and
grabs a chair, he hits him with a couple of nasty chair shots as the referee
admonishes him. Back in the ring, Show grabs another chair and chokeslams
Mankind on it, drawing a disqualification. He then continues to kick Mankind’s
ass as McMahon wonders what the hell Show is doing. McMahon slaps Show a couple
of times as Show ponders hitting him but backs off. Another slap, however,
triggers his anger and he drops McMahon with a right hand.

(Mankind def. “The Big Show” Paul Wight, disqualification, *1/2, a sloppy,
disjointed brawl.)


Four Corners Elimination Match for Intercontinental Title: Road Dogg vs. Ken
Shamrock vs. Val Venis vs. Goldust

Road Dogg is your champion here. Goldust has The Blue Meanie and Ryan Shamrock
in his corner. Apparently Ryan Shamrock had been messing around with Venis too…hell
I don’t know, I try to block as much of this Vince Russo shit out of my mind as
I can. I think Shamrock had recently left the Corporation. Ken Shamrock that
is, not Ryan.

All four men start out and Shamrock dumps Goldust. Road Dog and Shamrock give
Venis a double elbow and then Shamrock clotheslines Road Dog as Cole completely
botches the rules of the match when he says the champion is at a decisive
disadvantage. This is untrue because this is an elimination match and not a ‘first
pinfall wins match’. Lawler tries to save him but Cole continues to babble away
and makes something up about a coin toss that determined who would start the
match. Shamrock continues hammering away but Road Dog gets a dropkick and tags
in Goldust, who hits Shamrock with a spinebuster. Shamrock tags Venis, who
holds off Goldust to pound on Shamrock some himself. Goldust interrupts with a
sit down suplex and goes for the curtain call but Venis counters and gets a
spinebuster of his own. Venis sets too early on an irish whip and gets head
cracker and a clothesline for his troubles. Goldust sets Venis on the top and
botches a superplex but they don’t repeat the spot and Venis improvises and
hits a top rope bulldog for two. Fisherman’s suplex from Venis also gets two.
They knock heads and Venis accidentally headbutts Goldust in the groin. The miscommunication
gives Shamrock a chance to DDT Goldust and Road Dog a chance to DDT Venis.
Goldust recovers first and gets two.

Road Dog jumps in the fray again and comes in for Goldust  as Shamrock distracted the referee.  Venis, however, takes control with two corner
clotheslines. He goes for a northern lights suplex but Road Dog blocks and Road
Dog hits his punching combo on Venis, this Goldust and then hits the chicken
leg knee drop on Shamrock to a major pop. The New Age Outlaws were tremendously
over with this crowd. Too much celebrating, however, and Venis suplexes Road
Dog from the second rope but Dog hits the pump handle slam and tags Shamrock.
Shamrock catches a charging Venis with a drop toe and the ankle lock but Venis
gets to the ropes. Shamrock goes for a clotheslines but Venis ducks Shamrock
hits the floor where his “sister” bitches him out. Venis hits Shamrock with a
baseball slide and both men go to the floor. They fight up the railing and get
counted out. Shamrock runs to the ring and snaps, giving both Goldust and Road
Dog belly-to-belly suplexes to no crowd reaction at all. Goldust recovers first
and gets a two count. Road Dog reverses an irish whip and Ryan Shamrock
accidentally grabs Goldust’s leg, temporarily distracting him, he recovers to
catch a charging Road Dog with a powerslam but Road Dog rolls through for the
cover.

(Road Dog def. Goldust, Venis, Shamrock, pinfall, ***1/4, Criticize me if you
want but I kind of dug that match. Non-stop action, no rest and all four guys
came to work. Venis was particularly good at carrying the action.)

(We recap the HHH-Kane issue that led to our next match.)


Triple H vs. Kane

As Kane comes to the ring he is “jumped” by the San Diego Chicken, who turns
out to be Pete Rose in costume. Kane gives him the tombstone, the second year
he suffered such fate. Kane looks to the entrance way for HHH but instead HHH
comes from the crowd and gives Kane a low blow. Kane recovers with a big boot
but HHH sends Kane over the top where he lands on his feet of course. Kane
misses a clothesline and hits the post. HHH sends him into the post a second
time and then the steel steps. Kane tries to get back in the ring but HHH hits
him with a high knee and then sends him into WWF Americana. Back in the ring
and Kane recovers and tosses HHH over the top, he doesn’t land on his feet.
They continue to fight on the floor and Kane posts him on the ringside
barricade and clotheslines him into the Mean Street Posse (nice seats guys).
Kane works on the back, sending HHH into the post three times. Back in the ring
as the pace of this match went from slow to nearly stationary. Kane whips HHH
in the corner as the crowd tries to get the guys to pick up the pace. Kane
continues his assault however, some punching and some choking involved. Kane
with the leg drop and that gets two. More sleep-inducing “punishment” from Kane,
who was about four years away from improving his pacing. He climbs to the top
and HHH catches him with a slam. Kane recovers but misses a blind charge. HHH
with a face buster and the Harley Race knee as Chyna comes down. Kane uses the
distraction to go for the tombstone but HHH counters to the pedigree but Kane
counters that and drops an elbow as both men pass out (probably from boredom).
Chyna pushes the steel steps in the ring, Kane tries to use them but gets
caught with the drop-toe hold and falls face first on the steps. They are back
out of the ring and HHH goes for a pedigree on the steps but Kane back drops
him to the floor in a surprising great bump. Back in the ring and Kane gets the
chokeslam as Chyna wants to come in the ring and finish the job. Kane turns his
back on her like an idiot and Chyna hits him with the chair. It doesn’t hurt
but she distracts him enough for HHH to hit Kane with the chair twice and give
him the Pedigree. Chyna and HHH make up to a massive pop. He got disqualified
by the way.

(Kane def. HHH, disqualification, **, boring as hell but it picked up a little
at the end there.)

(Kevin Kelly talks about the main event referee situation. Paul Wight is
arrested and Mankind has been hospitalized but Mr. McMahon comes out to
disclose that he actually has a referee shirt in his bag and says “no more
controversy.”)

(Rapper Big Pun is shown in the crowd. He’s dead now. So that’s three on the
death count so far.)


WWF Women’s Title: Sable vs. Tori

Sable’s got a new attitude as she was working on sort of a heel run. Tori
borrowed the her outfit from Cheetara of the Thundercats. Sable quickly dumps
her with some boots so loose even Jackie Gayda-Haas would blush. They fight
outside the ring as Tori, god bless her, has to sell these awful shots. Sable
does hit a high-spot, a cross body from the ring apron to the floor. She
decides to grind and Tori hits her with an awful clothesline that hits Sable’s
implants. A couple of corner clotheslines but Sable reverses it and misses the
charge, Tori with a rollup for two. These two bitches actually try the roll
up/bridge spot and it misses. Tori accidentally takes out the ref, Sable
botches a Power bomb and Tori tries her own when Nicole Bass comes from nowhere
and beats Tori up while the referee (who did the best ring work in this match)
is still out. Second Sablebomb hits and gets the pin.

(Sable def. Tori, pinfall, DUD, 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.)

(Degeneration X does an interview, they are a happy family now don’cha know)


WWF European Championship: Shane McMahon vs. X-Pac

Shane-O-Mac is accompanied by Test, guaranteeing Test two paychecks from this
event. Wow his hair is beautiful; I wish he were alive so I could figure out
what product he uses it in. Maybe it’s a Moroccan Oil Treatment or something.

X-Pac is jumped by Patterson and Brisco as he comes to the ring but he quickly
dismisses  both of them and races to the
ring. Shane stalls for a bit by X-Pac hits a spinning heel kick and pounds away
in the corner. Shane escapes before the Bronco Buster but X-Pac catches him up
the ramp and gets him back in the ring. Test, however, evens thing and posts
X-Pac in the post, ouch, that’ll tear your asshole apart. X-Pac gets in the
ring at nine and Shane hits a double axe. He roughs X-Pac up in the corner and
adds a slap. Body slam and Shane goes for the corporate elbow but it misses.
However, the ref is distracted by Test and Shane gets a low blow on X-Pac. Test
gives Shane his weight belt and he straps X-Pac with it a few times but charges
and gets sent over the top. Plancha to the floor by X-Pac and he beats up the
Mean Street Posse for kicks. Test, however, drops X-Pac with a clothesline.
Back in the ring McMahon drops an elbow than goes to the middle rope and hits a
front elbow, ala Bret Hart. Shane goes to the top but X-Pac with a counter and
a superplex for two when Test pulls X-Pac out of the ring. X-Pac sends Test to
the stairs, however, and X-Pac grabs the leather strap and GOES TO TOWN on the
fortunate son. Kick combination and a bronco buster by X-Pac but while the
referee checks on Shane, Test wallops X-Pac with the European belt and it gets
two. Shane decides to go for his own bronco buster but misses. Test tries to
interfere again and X-Pac hits him with the bronco buster as HHH and Chyna
comes down to ring side. X-Factor for McMahon but Chyna distracts the ref which
gives time for HHH to pull the SWERVE and give X-Pac the Pedigree to help
McMahon get the pin. Great turn as the crowd did a collective gasp. Test and
HHH beat down X-Pac and then beat down the New Age Outlaws until Kane makes the
save. So we get two heel turns and a face turn in one match while Chyna goes
from heel to face to heel in 20 minutes. Not quite Bret Hart-Steve Austin
double turn but not bad.

(Shane McMahon def. X-Pac, pinfall, ***, not bad as Test and Shane were
tremendous in their blatant cheating.)

(They recap the Undertaker-Corporation feud, which is was a weird heel on heel
feud as Undertaker was harassing Vince through Stephanie, making Vince both an
evil corporate heel but a sweet dad that is concerned about his daughter. The whole
thing was a total mess and led to a bunch of people being crucified and the
creation of “The Union” and then the “Corporate Ministry”. Vince Russo had
enough ADD to fill a day care center at this point.)


Hell in the Cell: Big Bossman vs. The Undertaker

The Undertaker’s music KICKED ASS during this phase. Everything else about the
character sucked but Jim Johnson was not playing when it came to the tunes. I
might have this on an iPod somewhere (take a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_tqIAdQzKo)

Undertaker charges as the bell rings but Bossman is too quick and lays in the
first shots. Undertaker reverses and he lays in the body shots before going to
the head. He sends Bossman into the corner but gets hit with an elbow, Undertaker
comes back with the clothesline and gets a two count. Undertaker telegraphs a
back body drop but gets caught with a neckbreaker for two. Crowd, unsure of who
to cheer for, is dead. They fight to the floor as Undertaker sends the Bossman
into the cage twice but Bossman changes the tide and sends Undertaker into the
cage. Bossman grabs his handcuffs and ties the Undertaker to the cage. He grabs
his nightstick and gives Undertaker three shots but as the Undertaker fell he
broke those cheapo handcuffs. Undertaker with a weak blade job, really weak, as
Bossman continues the assault with the baton. Undertaker, however, sends
Bossman into the cage a few times. Undertaker grabs a chair and hits Bossman on
the back a couple of times. I think Bossman has a weak blade job too as the
crowd is just shitting on this match. Undertaker with the float over
clothesline for two. Undertaker goes for old school but Bossman kicks his leg
out and sends him into the cage. They go for an epic slugfest while I can
literally hear conversations in the crowd as they have no clue who to cheer
for. Undertaker goes low and goes for the tombstone, Bossman escapes but misses
a clothesline and the second attempt at the tombstone gets it.

(Undertaker def. Bossman, pinfall, *, horrifically uninspired and boring. I
think this was 6 or 7 in the streak.)

Now the fun begins as The Brood (Edge, Gangrel and Christian) propel from
cables connected to the top of the arena (so they DID do this the month before
Owen’s death. Wow). They were also part of the Ministry of Darkness, which
included like 25 people. They bust through the cage and give the Undertaker a
noose. Then they connect back on their cables and fly back to the top of the
arena while the Undertaker works the noose around the Bossman neck. Paul Bearer
lifts the cage and the Bossman gets HANGED?!?!?!! Are you fucking kidding me?
It’s clear from the clip on the back of the Bossman’s ring gear that he’s
supported but still. What. The. Fuck. Like what were they thinking? Who green
lit this bullshit. And Michael Cole says this is a perfect time to recap last
night’s Wrestlemania Slam Jam. Ummm no, I just saw a guy get hung, I don’t give
a shit about the Slam Jam or Rage party or whatever it was.

Anyway, Main Event time and thankfully Jim Ross replaces Cole for the match
commentary.


WWF World Championship: The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Vince McMahon comes out in his referee gear but the Commissioner Shawn Michaels
makes an appearance and explains to Vince that there is only one man that can
assign an official for the main event at Wrestlemania. Quick hint, it’s not
Vince. Shawn in a nice way tells Vince to get to stepping and bars the
Corporation from ringside.

Slugfest to start things and Rock dumps Austin over the top rope. He sends
Austin into WWF Deportes and chokes him out with his t-shirt. Back in the ring
and Rock lays in the boots but Austin sends Rock over the top rope and then
over the ring barricade. They fight into the crowd and then back to ring side
where Austin unceremoniously dumps Rock over the top and then over another
barricade and into another crowd. Rock recovers and clotheslines Austin over
the barricade back to the ringside area. He chokes Austin with a TV wire and
the fight up the ramp. Austin whips Rock into the steel railing and nails him
with a clothesline. He goes for a piledriver but Rock back drops Austin onto
one of the lights onto one of the ring entrance lamp lights. Nasty bump but
relatively safe. They continue to fight as Austin sends Rock into one of the TV
cranes and hits him with a clothesline. Now he chokes Rock with the TV wire.
This is a no-disqualification match if you were wondering. Austin sends Rock
into the Wrestlemania logo and they continue to brawl up the ramp. They return
back but Rock suplexes Rock on the ramp way. They fight back to the announce
tables and Rock spits some water in Austin’s face. Austin with a hangman on
Rock and he sets up on the table and hits an elbow but the table didn’t break.
They try it on WWF Deportes again and the table breaks this time. Austin grabs
some water and spits it in Rock’s face. Rock recovers and wraps Austin’s leg
around the post but Austin stops it from happening a second time and sends Rock
into the steel steps.

Back in the ring and Rock pulls a Rockbottom out of his ass for a two count. Rock
decides to grab a chair but Austin beats him to the punch and grabs the chair
but Rock ducks and poor Mike Chioda takes a WICKED chair shot from Austin. Rock
with a neckbreaker and he grabs the chair but Austin tries to counter with the
stunner but Rock hits an elbow. He finally gets some chair shots on Austin’s
leg, chest and finally and a knockout shot to the face but the second referee
can only get to two. Rock with a chinlock as everyone needs a bit of a break.
Austin fights out of the hold but gets dropped with a clothesline and Rock
teases a people’s elbow but goes back to the chinlock. Austin fights out again
but Rock hits a Samoan Drop for two. Rock gets pissed with Tim White’s slow
counts so he gives him the Rockbottom. Austin hits a stunner and Rock does the
somersault sell. Earl Hebner runs in but only gets a two count. Crowd not happy
with that one. And now Vince McMahon comes back down to ringside. Austin grabs
a chair and goes for the kill but Rock goes low. Vince comes in the ring and
drops Hebner so he and Rock can double team Austin. Mankind now stumbles to the
ring and he drops McMahon to the dismay of Rock. Austin with a roll up for two.
Lou Thesz press and the fuck you elbow drop but Austin sets too early and gets
dropped with another clotheslines. Rockbottom hits flush but Rock decides it’s
time for the Corporate Elbow but it misses. A second rockbottom is counted into
the Stone Cold Stunner for the three count and a new champion. Awesome brawl.

(Austin def Rock, pinfall, ****1/4, overbooked near the end but this was just a
ridiculous balls-to-the-wall brawl that would define many Rock-Austin
encounters.)

After about five minutes of chugging beer Austin beats up McMahon for fun.


The Bottom Line:
Tremendous Main Event aside this card just didn’t have the chutzpah
to take advantage of the hot Philly crowd. Give me a better Mankind-Big Show
brawl and a better HHH-Kane match and something better than that god awful Hell
in the Cell and maybe we’ve got something. But for the most part it was a
boring card with disjointed booking that Rock and Austin worked their asses off
to salvage and they almost did it but not quite.

Princess Extended Rant: Bad Asses

Doing this one by request and it’s fine because it was a fun discussion.

I have 2 or 3 more of these I will do before starting the Wrestlemania project, which will include a review of the “The True Story of Wrestlemania”, which is a very good documentary in a lot of ways.

I picked three matches to review from this discussion. One I got more than I expected and the other I was hoping for a chance to rate five stars but it never got there.

I’m also guessing the Iron Sheik is pissed he wasn’t mentioned in this discussion and promises to make some guys humble as a result.

Bad Asses

Your panel is Jim Ross, Michael Hayes, Mick Foley, Tazz and Pat Patterson

Ross explains the two categories of Bad Asses, either the guys you just didn’t want to mess with at a bar or the guys with a strong amateur fighting background that could put you to sleep. And of course there are guys, and they mention Mad Dog Vachon, as guys who combined both.

Patterson said he’s never seen a guy tougher than Vachon in or out of the ring. Hayes said people that messed with him did so because he was just 5-foot-8, which allows Tazz to chime in on behalf of short people. Foley talks about how the old school wrestlers were much tougher and we chose based on their real fighting ability and were almost pushed to fight out in the streets. Ross said the flip side was if you lost a bar fight, you were generally pushed out of the territory. Hayes said that the local bar people who thought they were hot shit didn’t have the same mentality as the wrestlers, who would do anything to win a fight even if it meant gauging an eye out.

Speaking of which Patterson brings up Haku, whose bad assed-ness is legendary among fans and workers (there are a million YouTube snippets of guys talking about him. Even the tough guys like “Dr. D” David Schultz didn’t want to get on his bad side. Tama has a hilarious story about Haku beating up Brutus Beefcake and Hogan having to come in and beg him to stop). Patterson also said that Kurt Angle could put a hurting on someone if necessary (Well he was a fucking Olympic gold medal wrestler). Tazz says that a bad ass can also be a guy that can take a beating and mentions Foley, who sadly isn’t on the list. Tazz talks about Gpysy Joe as says he was one of the toughest wrestlers he ever knew. Hayes then mentions how big of a stooge he is which brings laughter.

Back to Haku and Ross says that the Samoan guys in general are all extremely tough going from Afa and Sika forward. Ross said back when the fans were rabid and brought weapons to the cards in those houses in the deep south territories the Samoans still had no fear. Patterson said the Samoans were great guys but once they got into a fight good luck at pulling them off. Foley said the Samoans guys all had legendary stories including the Barbarian and Foley said the only guy he feared was his wife. They talk about Peter Maivia too and Patterson said he was nothing compared to his wife. He relayed a story of the couple getting arrested in San Francisco and within no time the station was surrounded by Samoans that stayed them until the couple was released without incident.

Foley talks about Mr. Saito throwing policemen around and Ross makes a crack of how many cigarettes and Ken Patera used to smoke while in jail cells. Tazz tells the story about the McDonald’s incident. Foley amends it to say that he heard Patera and Saito were nice at first but the worker denied them service and overplayed his hand so Patera allegedly threw a rock thru the window and the fracas begin with Patera and Saito generally beating the fuck out of the cops for a while under order was restored and both guys spent a year and a half in the slammer.

Next the fellas talk about Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen and their great history of beating the hell random folks in bars. Tazz said his character was booked to be a bad ass in ECW and because it was he basically wrestled and went straight back to the hotel to avoid confrontation (I’ve met Tazz a few times and he’s an extremely nice guy so I understand his point. You never know what you could get into). Hayes said Brody was a bad ass in the ring and you knew you were going to get potatoed a few times if you were booked on a card with him.

Highlights of Bruiser Brody kicking the crap out of Abdullah the Butcher from World Class. (His death is still one of the most disgusting things in history. Not wrestling history but human history. I can’t believe the guy that killed him just continued to wrestle and book without incident. Even worse workers that knew Brody and were cool with him still worked under this guy. Tony Atlas, who wasn’t particularly friendly with Brody has the most definitive comments in my eyes. Personally I believe it was a total setup by Invader #1 and Carlos Colon. They intended to kill him that night and they backed each others stories up and both can burn in hell).

Ross says there are three levels of bad asses, the guys that work and go home, the ones that go to the bars and hope for trouble and the amateur studs that want to be left alone and will respect you if you respect them. Foley has a story about Angle from when he fought Tazz at the Royal Rumble and he goes to Foley and said “hey, what do I do if Tazz tries to test me?” and they all start laughing. Foley explains to Angle that he seriously doubts that would happen and Tazz is just thankful Angle didn’t have a flashback from the Olympics or something. Foley said that Angle was still new and innocent to the business and even though he could obviously handle himself he wasn’t sure what was proper protocol if such a situation came about. They talk about the Lesnar-Angle Ironman while Tazz talks about their competitiveness between the two when the three of them rode together.

Back to Brody, Hayes says that the bottom line was when you wrestled Brody bitching about him being stiff was a pointless exercise. Hayes says that one night when World Class and Joe Blanchard’s southwest wrestling indy ran in San Antonio the same night Brody suggested they meet Blanchard’s group at a location and kick their ass. Now of course Buzz Sawyer and The Road Warriors are with the Mid-Atlantic group working with Blanchard that night and Hayes is like…”ummmm, maybe that’s not the best idea and convinces them to go drinking instead.” (Hayes was definitely not a bad ass and proud to admit it in this discussion but imagine Sawyer and the Warriors randomly running into Brody and like Terry Gordy, that shit would get ugly).

Ross talks about Harley Race and how he was brought up on beating people up legitimately. When asked who was tougher between Race and Brody, Ross says it’s like choosing to die by a handgun or a rifle (great line). Foley talks about the legend of Race’s left hand and Harley’s quote that “if I hit anyone with my left and they don’t go down, I will walk around them to see what’s holding them up.” Foley said Harley’s way of talking was bad ass in itself and relays a story about how he intimidated a physician in Maryland to make sure Foley’s injury during a match was handled by the commission.

Highlights of a Race interview and yeah he definitely sounds like he will fuck you up bad.

Time for a match review.

Haku vs. Harley Race
Royal Rumble 1989 from The Summit in Houston, Texas
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Nothing like killing two bad asses with one stone. This is the battle for the King crown from the first PPV Royal Rumble.

Race attacks Haku by tipping over his chair and sending him into the post. Into the ring we go and Race with a knee lift, a clothesline and a suplex for two. Race’s left-handed clothesline looks pretty bad here. Back to the floor and Haku sends Race into the post and drops him with a reverse knife edge. Back in the ring and Race with a headbutt low and an inverted atomic drop. Two elbow drops from Race get two but Haku is back with a reverse thrust kick and he roughs Race up in the corner. He gives Race a corner whip that sends him over the top rope. Race back up and Haku clothesline him back in the ring. Haku with some stiff shots and a headbutt. He pounds away but Race retaliates with a few headbutts and both guys start no selling them. Race with another clothesline and a piledriver but that only gets two. Wow. They knock heads, slowly, and Race oversells another tumble to the floor.

Haku suplexes Race back in the ring and gets two but misses a big elbow drop. Race with one of those left hands and a delayed vertical suplex for two. Race sends Haku to the floor and goes for a piledriver but Haku backdrops him to escape. Haku bangs Race head on the mat and then rams his back into the side of the ring. Race rallies and gets his piledriver on the floor but it was a little weak. Back in the ring, reverse neckbreaker from Race gets two. Race continues laying in the shots and his clothesline looks much better. Knee drop gets a two count. Slugfest that Haku wins and he beats up on Race in the corner for a bit. Scoop slam and he climbs to the top but misses the diving head butt. Race goes to the middle rope and he misses the swan dive headbutt. Both men back up and Race with a knee lift but he misses a rope move and Haku his sweet Tonga chin music for the pin.

(Haku def. Harley Race, pinfall, **3/4, a little slow but a good match and probably Harley’s last good one before he retired.)

*********

Tazz said that perception is reality and one of the things about Brody and Race is they looked the part. Tazz brings up Vader and says that even before he knew him he looked like a bad ass. They promise to get to Vader after a break but they don’t (probably because Shawn Michael made him cry after a match one time). Patterson talks about the Samoans again and says that every time he beat up Peter Maivia at the Cow Palace the Samoans would jump on him. One time Sika got hit over the head with a Billy club and basically no sold it.

Ross goes to Stu Hart and talks about Hart putting a hold on him and he was happy it was waist up because he was pissing on himself after a few minutes. Ross does a funny impression of Stu warning him before applying the hold. They talk about how Stu is always tries to grab guys when he talks to them and Patterson always had to keep himself away (yep even Patterson isn’t letting just any man grab him). Ross says he was arguably the baddest mofo in Canada and they go into the dungeon and Stu torturing the guys. They mention how much Stu enjoyed fucking up Superstar Billy Graham and they go through the great lineage of guys that came through the dungeon (WWE DVD idea! Best of the Dungeon! I know they did the Hart Foundation thing but the best of the dungeon graduates gives many more options. Unless they already have released one, in which case nevermind!).

Patterson randomly mentions some of the tough guys getting beat up in the bars because they started drinking and it’s hard to beat up someone when you’re drunk. Tazz asks about Angelo Mosca and asked Patterson if he was a bad as he looked. Patterson said he never saw it but he would never mess with him. Out of the ring Patterson said Mosca was a big teddy bear.

Foley mentions Exotic Adrian Street and they crack on his gimmick for a bit before Ross mentions that he’s actually married to his valet, Miss Linda. Ross talks about the great tough guys that come from England like Billy Robinson, William Regal and Hooker Heath. Foley shares a story of Street, or tries too, before going off track and talking about Downtown Bruno going through dirty clothes to get a pair of underwear. He gets back on track when talking about Street showing him the different levels of pain and he experienced a “10”. They talk about Fit Finlay and Regal both idolizing Street and Hayes adds that Miss Linda was tough as hell too.

Foley shares a story about a fight breaking out in Alabama and Miss Linda was the first wrestler in the ring. Foley is upset that the many times he talked to Street (and I believe he still has a wrestling school in northwest Florida) that he didn’t ask him to teach him some of those defense techniques. Ross mentions Luther Lindsey being a tough guy and Patterson talks about how difficult it was to escape his stretch holds.

Match Review Time

Billy Robinson vs. Abdullah The Butcher
From All Japan Pro Wrestling on Dec. 9, 1976
Announcers is a guy speaking in Japanese

Abby isn’t mentioned in the show but I don’t think there are people lining up to meet him in a dark alley either, unless they ordered take out from his Ribs and Chinese food joint in Atlanta. Right away Abby jumps on Robinson and takes the match to the floor where he roughs him up in a variety of ways, mostly dumping him on a ring table or sending him into the post. He doesn’t let Robinson get in the ring, hitting him with a headbutt every time he tries to enter. Back to the floor and Abby continues to send him into furniture. Finally Robinson is in the ring where Abby headbutts him…and sends him right back out of the ring. I love the fact that Abby has carved out like a 50-year career with maybe two or three wrestling moves of note. Robinson crawls back in the ring and Abby headbutts him again to send him out. Robinson tries to fight back, or at least defend himself, and he lands a couple of forearms. Abby drops him again with a headbutt. Robinson goes downstairs a few times and they trade forearms with Robinson getting the best of the exchange. Two drop kicks sends Abby to the floor. He grabs a chair but Robinson takes it away and hits Abby with it. He gives him a second chair shot and roughs him up on the floor. Abby tries to get back in the ring but Robinson hits a dropkick and follows him to the floor. They fight up the entrance way or rather Robinson fights and the bell rings as I’m guessing they chose to throw this one away.

(Robinson & Butcher fight to no contest. Not really worth rating as it was just a brawl to set up a longer match down the road.)

*********

Ross says the toughest guy he saw was, of course, Danny Hodge. Patterson said Hodge didn’t have the reputation but Ross said he didn’t need it. Ross shares a story of Hodge baiting a Louisiana hardware salesman into challenging his toughness. Hodge breaks a series a pliers and apples until the point of when the guy brings in the local arm wrestling champion (Hayes’ comment about did either one of them have any place to be is pretty funny). He tries to put a grip on Hodge and Hodge takes his best shot and Hodge returns the favor and turns the guy to tears. Hodge was both an Olympic wrestler and a champion boxer. Hodge has the amateur equivalent of the Heisman named after him. Patterson said Hodge still respected professional wrestling despite his shoot fighting background.

They talk about an amazing story about Hodge escaping a submerged car with some form of a broken neck and walking up the embankment to safety while holding his neck in place (huh? we have a winner folks!).

Patterson said that a lot of amateur guys tried pro wrestling but only a handful made it like Hodge, Jack Brisco, Kurt Angle, Pat O’Connor, etc.

Time for a match that I’ve never seen before.

Iron Man Match for the WWE Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar
Smackdown from September 18, 2003
Announcers are Michael Cole and Tazz.

This is the third in their set of classic encounters. Lesnar is the heel and Angle is something between a face and a non-heel. Angle sort of became the ultimate tweener about 2001 or so and just fought whoever was in the way. Funny thing about theme music, Kurt Angle’s music was giving to The Patriot back in 1997 and it seemed goofy for him, maybe a little overboard, but for Angle is was a perfect fit. Strange how those things work.

Lesnar jumps on Angle to start and chokes away in the corner. Corner whip from Lesnar and he follows in with a shoulder. Brock beals Angle from one corner to the another, Angle tries to rally by catching Brock coming in on a charge. Angle with a dropkick to the knee and a clothesline to take control. Angle with the belly to belly overhead suplex and Brock decides to take a breather. Brock fakes a knee injury to take control again and uses more power stuff on Angle but Angle comes back with three armdrags and Brock heads back to the floor. Brock grabs the steel steps but nothing comes from it. Lesnar doing some serious stalling right now and the crowd doesn’t appreciate it. Literally he’s wasted about four minutes here. Finally he baits Angle and gets a hangman. Brock jumps back in the ring and goes to the power stuff and the choking but Angle with another belly to belly and his clotheslines Lesnar back over the top. Lesnar grabs the knee again and does a better acting job this time. Angle follows Lesnar out and fights him on the floor. Angle sends Lesnar to the steel steps but Lesnar rallies and sends Angle into the side of the ring and a spinebuster into the post. Lesnar sends Angle into the ring and he grabs a chair. He absolutely DESTROYS Angle with the chair, giving Angle the first fall via disqualification.

After the 15 seconds rest, Angle is still in bad shape and Lesnar toys with the champion a little bit before hitting the F5 and evening the match at 1-1. After the 15 second rest Lesnar continues to toy with Angle and slaps on the angle lock with forces Angle to tap out take a 2-1 advantage with the falls. After a commercial break we’re back and Lesnar gives Angle a kitchen sink knee for a two count. During the break Lesnar hit an Angle slam but couldn’t get a pin. Lesnar whips Angle into the corner and follows in with a shoulder tackle. More ruff stuff in the corner, including a couple of headbutts. Brock tries another shoulder charge but Angle moves and tries to battle back. Flying forearm and three german suplexes from Angle, with him releasing on the third one. Lesnar uses leverage to send Angle to the floor, however. Lesnar sends Angle into the ring barricade and hits an F5 on the floor. Lesnar makes his way back in the ring but Angle is counted out and down 3-1.

After a commercial break we are back and Lesnar sends Angle to the floor with a back elbow. Back in the ring and Lesnar roughs up Angle in the corner before dropping a couple of elbows and getting a two count. Lesnar stays in control until Angle hits an Angle slam out of nowhere and closes the gap to 3-2 with a little more than 30 minutes remaining on the clock. Angle jumps on Lesnar right after the 15 second period and lands a leg drop. Snap suplex by Angle into a float over cover for two. Lesnar tries to rally but Angle dumps him on his head with a belly to back suplex. Angle pulls down the straps and goes for another angle slam but Lesnar counters into the F5 but Angle escapes that and slaps on the ankle lock. Lesnar rolls through and tries to send Angle into the official but Angle puts on the brakes, but Lesnar goes for the clothesline which Angle ducks and Brian Hebner takes FULL ON. Wow. Angle slam hits but there’s no ref so Brock goes low. He goes to the floor, grabs the title belt and absolutely wallops Angle with it. He awesomely tosses the ref into the position and gets his fourth fall. That was a great sequence. Commercial break.

We’re back with 25 minutes left and Angle pulls Lesnar to the floor and sends him to the steel steps. Time for a sense of urgency from the champion. He climbs to the top and hits an axe handle on Lensar to the floor (OH YEAH!). Back in the ring and Angle gets a near fall. Angle to the top again and he hits a beautiful missile drop kick for another near fall. Angle with a scoop slam and he goes for the moonsault which looks great but misses when Lesnar casually scoots out of the ring. Both men struggle to their feet, Lesnar misses a clothesline and Angle gets a rollup for two but Lesnar nails the clothesline on the second try. Ridiculous belly to belly suplex from Lesnar sends Angle across the ring and gets a near fall. Lesnar goes for a second belly to belly but Angle knocks him down and slaps on the ankle lock, Lesnar rolls through and sends Angle to the floor. Lesnar joins him on the floor and sends the champion into the steel steps. Back in the ring and Angle escapes the pinfall at two at we are down to 20 minutes. Lesnar grabs the steel steps but Angle hits a baseball slide and the move backfires on the challenge. Angle quickly rolls Brock into the ring and gets two near falls. Angle gets nasty with Lesnar in the corner, choking away. Running back elbow from Angle gets two. Commercial break.

During the break Brock hits a massive top-rope superplex and goes up 5 falls to 2 with just 14 minutes remaining. Both men on the floor and Lesnar sends Angle into the announce table. Lesnar tries to give Angle the F5 into the post but Angle escapes and gives Lesnar the move instead. Lesnar is banged up in both knees. Angle rolls Lesnar back in the ring. Texas cloverleaf from Angle and Lesnar fights to the ropes so Angle switches to the ankle lock and pulls Lesnar back to the center of the ring. Lesnar fights to the ropes again. Lesnar somehow pulls another F5 out of his ass but he can’t capitalize due to his bad knee and just gets a two count. Lesnar slowly climbs to the top but Angle springs up and meets him there with a top rope belly to belly for a three count with less than 10 minutes left. After the 15 second rest, Angle stomps a mudhole into Lesnar and walks it dry. Suplex by Angle and he pulls up his straps just to pull them down again, Angle slam attempt is thwarted and Brock hits a DDT for a super near fall. Seven minutes remaining. Slugfest and Angle wins but Lesnar with the belly to back suplex and a second one that’s even better as we approach the six minute mark. Third belly to back suplex takes us under six minutes. Lesnar goes for a fourth and Angle hits the suplex instead and a second one from the champion! Lesnar blocks another suplex attempt and tries to reverse but Angle rolls through and slaps on the ankle lock right in the center of the ring. Lesnar gets to the ropes twice but Angle pulls him off and gets the submission with four minutes left.

Angle down 5-4 with three and a half minutes left and Angle goes right back to the Angle lock but Lesnar escapes but Angle comes right back with an sort of an STF type of hold. Tazz says it’s a freestyle bow & arrow so I will defer to him. Lesnar rolls out of the ring and tries to escape so Angle slaps on the ankle lock on the outside as we are under two minutes. Lesnar escapes the ring again but Angle sends him into the steps. Back in the ring and Angle hits the triple…make that the quadruple german suplex and Lesnar hits a low blow with 30 seconds left as the crowd gets rabid but Angle with another ankle lock and the grapevine. We’re down to 10 seconds….5 seconds and Lesnar holds on as the bell rings and Lesnar wins the championship!

(Lesnar def. Angle, 5 falls to 4, ****1/4, they had to protect Lesnar for the first 35 minutes of the match and once they got past that point it was very good stuff with tons of high impact suplexes and submissions. Lesnar tried and using the heel tactics was a good way to tell the story but the fact is he didn’t have enough in his arsenal to go sixty minutes. Angle does this with Michaels in 2005 and it’s an easy ***** affair, their 30-minute version on RAW’s homecoming was damn close and you felt like they only pulled out half of what they could do.)

********

Tazz says that one of the difficulties of the transformation for shooters to pro wrestling is because it goes against everything they are taught as amateurs from giving up the body to showing no emotion. Ross said Shelton Benjamin is one of today’s bad asses; he was a national champion as a wrestler and a sprinter (which is off the charts in terms of athleticism. I ran track in college at a Division 1 program and there aren’t too many guys that could sprint and then wrestle heavyweight or much less sprint carrying that sort of weight). Ross said if Benjamin was brought up in the territory days he’d be much more polished and hungrier than he was perceived. They talked about the amateur guys who struggled with the performance part of the business like Brad Rheingans, who was a terrific shoot wrestler and a great trainer but didn’t have the charisma to make it big.

Ross talks about one of the current guys on the roster (at least when this was taped) that is a bad ass, The Undertaker. Ross says he’s as mentally tough as anyone around. Foley says he guarantees there aren’t many conversations in the dressing room wondering how tough the Undertaker is. Same with Stone Cold (Debra might disagree). Ross said both guys started in World Class as low-card guys and developed that toughness, developed the ability to withstand injuries. Patterson and Tazz talk about their love for the business and how long it took for them to get to the main card and all the shit they had to go through to get there. They all agree that anyone that spends any considerable time in the business has to have a real level of toughness. Hayes also says that beyond mental and physical toughness Undertaker had to deal with a lot of shit workers.

Foley said once Undertaker got in the ring with great workers people finally saw how good he was, Hayes mentions how good Undertaker-Batista was at Wrestlemania (I had it at ****, fabulous power match). They show highlights of that match. Ross said there’s no doubt that the Undertaker is a Hall of Famer and he had good matches with guys that were limited. Ross closes with saying that one of the great things about the business is being surrounded by so many talented workers with diverse levels of toughness. Fun discussion here and well worth seeking out.

Princess Extended Rant: Heat Seekers

I downloaded a few of these things and wanted something to get my ranting feet really planted before I do my Wrestlemania project in the near future. This year’s theme is gimmick matches and it will start with the Body Slam Challenge at Wrestlemania and go from there.

An “extended” rant is one where I take the subject and add in a couple of matches that were highlighted in the program and do reviews on those matches in full.

I hope you enjoy. I’m sure there are some spelling errors in here as I’ve been horribly distracted but I’ll read it later and make edits. I apologize ahead of time.

Legends of Wrestling: Heat Seekers

The panel for this episode is Jerry Lawler, Michael Hayes, Jim Ross, Mick Foley and Eric Bischoff

Ross and Lawler explain the term heat and says in this texture it’s people that have developed a reputation of being difficult to do business with. Hayes says they are “whiners, bitchers and complainers” so naturally Ross says naturally they should start with Michael Hayes.

Ross stays there was no coincidence that Hayes had a cup of coffee in Memphis, and one in the WWF and one in the AWA and says the Freebirds had success in World Class as they stayed there for about a year. Lawler decides to tell a story about burning Hayes’ hair after The Sheik taught him how to do a firethrow. This was Hayes’ first appearance in Memphis by the way. And Hayes’ response to the story is “you burnt my hair”. So they crack on Hayes’ hair for a minute. Hayes basically wanted a little extra money for almost losing that rug and Lawler says he went on a classic tirade and threatened to sue everything walking. Hayes said he made an extra $100 for his efforts and Ross responds “so you left there with a $125 that night.”

Hayes is next and mentions Lex Luger. He says he personally didn’t have an issue with Lex and they used to ride together because they both liked classic soul music. Hayes said Luger felt like he was better then the rest of the boys but says that he isn’t sure that Lex wasn’t responsible for guys getting treated better and getting some guarantees in their contracts.

Lawler mentions Lex’s football background and says that he never was really one of the boys. Hayes said that Lex did draw some money but he was set up for that by being a horseman and turning on them. He adds that the thought was that anyone could’ve drawn money in that situaton but Hayes disagrees with that and says that Lex brought something to the table. (I would agree with that, not everyone put in that position could draw but the people really bought Luger as a major threat.)

They show highlights of Luger-Flair from Bash 1988 (I gave it ****. They would have a couple better matches but this one was damn good and the ridiculous pop Luger got when the fans thought he won tells me that the NWA and Crockett missed the boat on that one for at least a quick title reign)

Bischoff and Hayes talk about Bischoff stealing Luger for Nitro and Bischoff said that they can agree that no one ever steals Lex, they just get burned by him. Bischoff says he didn’t interact with Lex much before he went into power but he saw how he treated people. When he walked in the room he gave everyone else the impression they didn’t matter.

(There is one clip here where Dillon is cutting a promo with Lex standing there and he randomly slaps the U.S. Title belt and then holds up the four fingers and it’s fucking hilarious. I don’t why but I have to watch it at least three times before moving on.)

Foley says that many of the “heat seekers” are going to be guys who weren’t brought up in the business and didn’t have the appreciation for the guys that paved the road. Bischoff goes one step farther and says that Lex was embarrassed at being called a wrestler. Bischoff says Sting convinced him to resign Lex and Bischoff said he gave him a ridiculous low-ball offer with the hopes he wouldn’t take it but he did and added that he never really got to the dollar amount he had when he was hot in the early 90s.

Foley comes to Luger’s defense a little and mentions that he and Sting let Foley work out free at their gym and also mentions the match with Flair at Wrestlewar ’90 and says Luger came with his working boots. He says that it happened with Steamboat as well and whenever you put Lex with the right guy he could work. Hayes agreed but says despite that Luger couldn’t get over being a pro wrestler and the stinch he felt for being considered that.

STOP.

Time for a match rant

NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
Wrestlewar (2/25/90) from Greensboro Coliseum in Greenboro, N.C.
Hosted by Jim Ross and Terry Funk

Flair has Woman (R.I.P) in his corner. They introduce Sting first, with “Man Called Sting” dubbed over his generic guitar music. Sting looks awesomely late 80s/early 90s with the muscle shirt and the grey nut hugger workout shorts. Long story short this was Sting’s spot, Sting blew the fuck out of his knee at Clash XI or something during a run-in. Sting was placed on the shelf and Luger was the replacement and had to turn face as a result, ending an awesome heel run. They try to dub Luger’s music with his generic late 90s them instead of his more awesome late 80s music. But the dub messes up and the original music wins out. Hell yeah! No dubbing needed for Flair because he rules like that. Luger is the U.S. Champion at this point.

They have their little feel out process just to draw the fans in a little, after all we’ve got an hour time limit and you have to expect them to use at least 30 minutes of it. Luger with a headlock and Flair escapes. Time for a test of strength and you know this isn’t going to work out well for Flair. Shoulderblock sends Flair to the floor to discuss strategy with Woman. Flair tries a little psychology to get into Luger’s head and goes downstairs with a knee. Flair with a whip to the corner but Luger explodes out of it with a clothesline. Flair takes Woman and decides to go home but Luger picks him up and takes him back to the ring. Flair with a hangman but Luger no sells and…there’s something about Flair selling Luger’s poses that make me laugh. Luger goes to town on the champion and it’s press slam time. Flair definitely stalling like a champion, on the Memphis scale it rates about an 8.5 but Ross explains the method to his madness as it’s keeping Luger from getting into a flow. Flair goes low to gain a quick advantage but it’s press slam No. 2 and a cover but Flair is hugging the ropes. Flair does to the body again and hits the chop but Luger no sells and it’s press slam No. 3. Bearhug by Luger and it gets a couple of two counts before Flair goes to the eye and stops the Lex Express. Both guys struggle to their feet but Luger is there first and hits 10 corner punches as we get our first Flair flop. Luger beals Flair across the ring and goes for a running clothesline but Flair smartly ducks and Luger goes flying over the ropes.

Flair joins Luger on the floor and lays in his first bit of effective offensive as he sends Luger into the railing. The chops work this time around. Flair sends Luger into the ring and back out of the ring. Woman distracts the ref while Flair rams Luger into the railing again and does more dirty tricks. Flair keeps Luger on the floor but knocking him off the apron every time he tries to come back in. Luger back in the ring, snapmare from Flair and the classic knee drop. Another snapmare and a second knee drop gets two. Flair with a chop but Luger answers; he answers again and wins the slugfest but misses the corner charge. Flair works on the arm and cheats by using the ropes to make a hammerlock more painful than usual. Back to the hammerlock and using the ropes. Naturally the referee doesn’t see it but has suspicions. Flair back to the chops and then the arm but Luger back with a clothesline but Flair goes to the eye. Flair chokes Luger on the ropes and Woman adds in a cheap shot. Flair back with the hammerlock and Luger makes a fight of it to get the crowd back in things. Luger goes for the punch but the ref blocks it so Flair gets a cheap shot in. More rope choking and Woman with another cheap shot. Flair with more arm work and a knee drop on the arm. He tries for a rope-assisted pin but Luger kicks out. Flair corners Luger but Luger is pissed and just chokes the champion. Corner whip and Flair takes the ride up and over the top. Now Luger rams him into the railing and all of a sudden those chops ain’t working no more. Luger botches a sleeper but slaps it on and takes Flair to the ground. Two count but Flair’s foot is on the ropes.

Luger goes for a second sleeper but Flair counters with a back suplex. Flair goes to the apron and tries to suplex Luger to the floor but Luger suplexes him back in the ring and then posts his leg. Wow. Flair tries to go to the ropes but Luger drags him back. Luger tries to go for the figure four and butchers it horribly so Flair, the professional, rolls through and thankfully they don’t repeat the spot. They botch a double knockout shot (WTF is happening??) and don’t repeat that so Luger gets the powerslam for a near fall. Flair goes for a chop but Luger no sells, Flair goes for a flying forearm and just bounces off of Luger. Flair goes to the floor and back to the eyes. He’s sort of half-assedly selling the leg and just decides to give it up. Back in the ring, Flair’s hip toss is blocked, Luger with a backslide for a near fall. Luger with corner punches but Flair with a botched inverted atomic drop. I think it was supposed to be a missed move and Luger was to hit a clothesline but they were totally off in this match and Luger sells it, unless it was a legit hamstring injury. Fuck if I know. Flair actually hits a top-rope move which shocks the hell out of me and then he hits a second. This is like bizarro world. It gets a near fall. Flair with a beautiful double underhook suplex and a two count. Sleeper hold by Flair and Luger goes to his knees as we prep for the next big rally.

Luger answers the call and fights out of it, Flair with a roll up for two but Luger hits a clothesline and gets a near fall himself. Luger misses the big elbow drop and both men are down. Flair with a big chop and a kneebreaker. Flair goes for the leg and a second kneebreaker. Flair with a splash down on the leg and hits a knee drop on the leg. Figure four time and right away Flair grabs the ropes for leverage as Nick Patrick wonders why the top rope is shaking. Flair back to the ropes and gets two. Sting comes hobbling down to the ring to root Luger on and Luger turns it over but Flair turns it back and both men grabs the ropes. Sting hypes Luger up (COME ON!!!! KICK HIS YOU KNOW WHAT?!?!) and he slaps Luger. That woke him up. Chop is no sell, a trip into the railing is no sold and it’s business time baby. Powerslam on Flair but the champ goes to the eye and climbs the ropes, Luger tosses him across the ring. Clothesline city. Clothesline nation. Clothesline universe sends Flair over the top rope but you can’t win the match there so Luger suplexes him back in the ring for two. Another powerslam and it’s time for the Human Torture Rack. Instead Luger covers for two when Woman rakes his eye. Luger grabs Woman and Flair hits him and the referee with a knee. Luger no sells. Patrick not so lucky, however. Luger with a corner whip and catches Flair coming off the top with a clothesline and a cover but no referee. Luger with a superplex but no referee. The Andersons run in and Luger beats them up so now it’s torture rack time. The Andersons ponder coming back in the ring but they see a very vulnerable Sting and go on the attack so Luger drops Flair and beats up the Andersons while Patrick counts him out. Horseman beat down follows until the Steiners make a save. Luger was always booked like a chump, it had to be a rib.

(Flair def. Luger, countout, ***1/2, man they botched so much shit in this match. I am giving it the mandatory Flair vs. broomstick rating because it was entertaining enough but still on the low end of Flair-Luger matches. No excuse for it either as these two had just faced off at Starrcade 89 after taking a year off from each other. I think they did much better in the rematch at Capital Combat.)

********

Ross tries to get into trashing Buff Bagwell but Foley changes tracks with a funny Goldberg story and adds in a couple funny lines about DDP loving Santa Claus. Foley said he liked Goldberg. Lawler says he likes him too. Hayes says he was a nice guy away from the business and does a lot of good things for kids and pets. Within the business Goldberg was tough to deal with because he didn’t understand how good WCW made him look and how they protected him.

Highlights of Goldberg-Raven for the U.S. Title and there’s no doubt the crowd was into Goldberg huge. Match was decent as Raven did a great job of selling and carrying things. Let’s see how good it was.

U.S. Heavyweight Championship: Raven vs. Goldberg
Monday Nitro, April 20, 1999
Hosted by Tony Schiavone, Larry Zybysko and Mike Tenay

WCW brought in Michael Buffer for the announcements if you wanted to know how much they wanted people to buy into this one. Raven gets the first blow in and catches Goldberg on a corner charge and a dropkick. Raven sends Goldberg to the floor but Goldberg sends Raven into the railing twice and Raven goes straight into crazy bump mode. Goldeberg with his weirdo single leg roll through take down that makes no sense in turns of match flow. Goldberg with a high kick that sends Raven to the floor but he gets a chair there and goes to town. Drop-toe hold onto the chair by Raven and it gets two. More chair work as this is a Raven’s rules match. Sleeper hold turned into a chinlock by Raven as the crowd gets restless real fast (they were conditioned to 45-second matches). Goldberg fights out of the hold and into the corner. Raven with a corner whip and a corner clotheslines but Goldberg no sells and hits the spear. Wow the crowd pop was deafening. The flock attack and gets disposed of. Bye Kidman. Bye Sickboy, Here’s a spear for Horace and a jackhammer for Reese. Van Hammer didn’t make the bus I guess. Raven tries to leave but the fans drag him back in the ring. Spear and Jackhammer give Goldberg his first major title. If I remember this drew a huge rating, not as big as when WCW STUPIDLY gave away Goldberg-Hogan but whatever.

(Goldberg def. Raven, pinfall, **1/2, entertaining crap like I remember. Raven should have gotten a raise for his part.)

*********

Hayes said that Goldberg couldn’t get comfortable in a place where he wasn’t the top star and were around guys of equal or greater stature like Austin and Rock. Bischoff said he likes Goldberg but hated working with him and said that his lack of knowledge about the business made him paranoid and people around him (HMMMM, I wonder who) made it worse by getting in his ear.

They all like Goldberg outside of the business and blame Nash, Hall and Hogan and manipulating him. Ross said he came to the WWE thinking he would be cast at John Wayne and that wasn’t the case.

Lawler brings up Paul Heyman and Foley comes to his defense right away. Ross relays a rumor of Lawler breaking Heyman’s jaw during his time in Memphis because Heyman was so annoying. Lawler confirms it. (Proudly) He explains why, basically it was one of those huge Memphis drawn-out feuds with Lawler and Dundee and Austin Idol, etc. etc. It was built to a scaffold match (which brings out Jim Cornette comments) and Heyman, after weeks of promotion, flakes out because he’s scared of heights. Lawler waited a couple of days to punch him.

Foley liked him enough to be hurt when Heyman dissed him a few times backstage and called him a whore. Of course then Foley admits he returns for the money. No shit. Who doesn’t? Foley thought he was great in ECW and he gave the guys freedom to develop their talents, especially with their promos and credits his and Austin’s improvement on that. They compared him to Jim Jones (ouch) and said that he could make a speech that would motivate guys that weren’t making much money into doing crazy shit to their bodies.

Lawler said that Heyman got some heat for putting so much of the business out there on the internet while the rest of the old guard was trying to keep the magic behind the curtain (Bobby Heenan made similar points in his 2001 interview about the disclosure of the business ruining the future). Hayes said there was a method to Heyman’s madness and gives him credit for his way of protecting his less-than-stellar workers with really cool highlight videos of their matches, rather than the full matches, and he loved a me-against-the-world mentality.

And there are clips of some Heyman speech at the…I think the Manhattan Center or somewhere in New York.

Ross said Heyman’s us-against-the-world mentality was typical of most manipulators. Of course Ross admits that the WWE was cutting checks of Heyman to help ECW while Heyman was speaking to the boys that worked for him about the evils of the WWE. Love the irony there. Bischoff says that was part of the anti-establishment environment Heyman was creating. Foley said Heyman and ECW got Vince interested in the Attitude Era. But Hayes says it was more Shawn and HHH and, to an extent, the nWo over than ECW.

They get into a discussion about ECW and Foley said he had fun with him leaving and mentioned that while the ECW fans didn’t like the WWE, they respected Vince whereas they absolutely hated Bischoff and WCW.

Time for some Scott Hall bashing (which seems mean given his current state). Bischoff said he hated dealing with Hall backstage over anyone else. Bischoff talks about how the Hall-to-WCW stuff came about. DDP approached him and convinced him despite Bischoff’s concerns about what he heard in WWE (I totally don’t believe that. I think he jumped in feet first and he should have because that was a huge coup for WCW). Bischoff met Hall and laid the law down telling him what he’s heard and warning him not to bring the garbage to WCW because they didn’t need it and he was happy with where the promotion was at that point (I think he’s lying again unless “laid down the law” is an insider term for “treated to a nice dinner, an open bar tab and a wild night at the Gold Club). Bischoff said he was great at first but once things got off track it was bad. Hayes wonders if he’s a manic depressive. Ross said that Hall was fine his second time around but his tenure ended on that fateful plane ride.

Foley has a story about Hall and he approached Foley as he was entering the promotion. Hall bitched about the fed and told Foley that “you know if you bust your ass around here you might make 400 or so.” and Foley is like “$400.000!?!?!” which was more than he ever made. He didn’t appreciate Hall looking down on such a sum and remembered making $25 from the Jarretts for a night of work. Hayes said when Hall is doing well he’s a great guy and a great worker and fun to be around.

Lawler is sick of the bullshit and wants to talk about someone they all hate and have nothing nice to say. Enter Vince Russo. Hayes talks about Russo and Ferrara doing the “Oklahoma” thing and calls Russo an asshole. Ross said he’s worked with some real characters but hates Russo. He said the first time his children saw the Oklahoma skit they fell out of love with wrestling. First he was pissed they were watching Nitro (I was about to say).

(Now I have a very liberal sense of humor. And it takes a lot to offend me. So I didn’t have a problem with them lampooning Ross. On the surface the commentary parody was funny. Making fun of the Bell’s palsy wasn’t funny. Had Ferrara not smirched his face to mimic the ailment I would not have had a problem with it and I don’t think many other people would have.)

The panel asked if Oklahoma was worse than Vince doing a “Dr. Heiney” skit I don’t remember seeing. The punch line of that skit was Ross pulling his head out of his ass. He said that Oklahoma bothered him more because his kids were upset about it. Ross says that we’re all fair game in the end. Hayes and Foley disagree and Foley says some things are too mean and the fans don’t necessary want to see it. Hayes says that the nWo satire on Arn Anderson’s speech was meaner. Bischoff says he regrets it and it’s all mean spirited.

Bischoff does say that Vince does his weird stuff for entertainment whereas Russo did things because he had a personal axe to grind. Bischoff says he allowed it to happen and he shouldn’t have. He didn’t understand what Arn was going through and when he began to realize the extent of the injury it really bothered him that everything happened the way he did. Hayes says that Vince is just as willing to be part of the punchline as he is part of the joke. Bischoff says the weird irony of life is that Arn Anderson was the one to inform him that he had a segment where he was going to get shoved into Big Dick Johnson’s ass. Bischoff wasn’t cool with it but he realized he was paid to do and not to think. And when it came down to performing the act Arn talked Bischoff through the whole thing. (I didn’t fully do that story justice but it shows you how good of a guy Arn Anderson is.)

They talk about Bischoff’s comic stuff, like the Redneck series with Austin and that when Mae Young gave him a bronco buster during that bit she loaded her crotch with sardines (Holy shit, that’s disgusting). They crack on Bischoff’s follies a little more, completely going off track now. They go into a few Vince stories and say that you can blame everything on Vince and that allows Foley to do a book promo (A running gag in this series when Mick is on).

Ross wants to get to his Bagwell story and it’s about Buff’s mom, Judy, calling in sick for his son. Ross told her that he would love to talk to her again about anything other than her son because he’s a man and he need to handle his own business. He then told Buff at TV to never have his mom call again unless it’s to say Happy Birthday. Hayes reveals that Missy Hyatt brought Buff in the business (and surely sucked his dick too, looking at the panel I’d guess Lawler and Hayes probably got similar Missy treatment at some point through the years) and they all agreed they “liked” Missy Hyatt and Ross suggested they say something quick before she calls her lawyer. Hayes said that Eddie Gilbert should be involved in any such conversations and sadly he can’t be. And Ross says a death is an oddly appropriate way to end this episode.

Princess Pick: 2009 Smackdown Elimination Chamber

Two down, two to go, this ranting stuff is like riding a bike.

I was watching some old Royal Rumbles and I’m just curious how the 1990 Rumble never gets mentioned in the “best ever” category. It’s, at worst, a ****1/2 match. I get it, Hogan won and Mr. Perfect didn’t and that sucks for people that hate Hogan but the match is almost as good as the 1992 and the star power is damn near equal if not slightly better because guys like Andre, Dusty and Demolition were in it. There were a couple of moments that really stood out for me:

— When Piper entered (at No. 6 I believe) it set off a crazy two-minute sequence between Piper and Jake “The Snake” vs. Savage and DiBiase, which would have been a ridiculous tag match during that era – a crazy brawl at MSG or Boston that would have grown legendary on some Coliseum video compilation. The crowd exploded during this sequence and seemed to stay on their feet for the rest of the match.

— It was Andre’s last great performance. Even by his limited physical standards at that point he busted his ass in that match and sold for everyone. You ever want to see Andre selling offense from Bret Hart? It was in the 1990 Royal Rumble.

— The Hogan-Warrior showdown. Still cool 22 years later.

Anyway I think I’m alone in believing that’s a ***** match and at worse the third best Rumble in history. Just watch it again; it’s 60 minutes of awesome. I promise. Princess would never, ever, ever lie.

Smackdown Elimination Chamber from No Way Out 2009

Event held on February 15, 2009 from Seattle, Washington

Hosted by Jim Ross and Tazz

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber: Edge, The Undertaker, Triple H, Vladimir Kozlov, Jeff Hardy and The Big Show

Wow, remember the days when Kozlov was getting a main event push? He absolutely stunk during that phase but he gradually got better, at least good enough to be functional, and then they release him. Same thing happened to Chris Masters, who didn’t stink as bad, but still got better with time. It doesn’t always make sense to me. I guess it didn’t help that Kozlov looked like a cross between Eddie Munster and Jay Leno on HGH.

Undertaker, Big Show, Kozlov and Triple H get the pod treatment, which sort of sucks for Edge since he was the champion going into this thing. He will start the match with Jeff Hardy. Five minute intervals again.

Hardy jumps on Edge to start, hitting two sit-down clotheslines but Edge with a huge boot to end the rally. Crowd with a chant for Hardy already – a precursor to his big push in later months. Edge chokes Hardy on the middle rope and lands a splash for two. Hardy rallies with a head scissors, inverted atomic drop, double-legged splash, low dropkick combo. Hardy goes for the twist of fate but Edge tries to counter with the Edge-u-cation which is countered back into the twist of fate. These two had chemistry for the ages even though you knew who was going to win every encounter. Hardy goes for the swanton but Edge wisely scoots out of the way. Edge goes for the spear but Hardy catches him in a small package for three! Holy crap, I forgot they jobbed Edge out in four minutes. Everyone in the pods is highly entertained by this and Edge throws an awesome temper tantrum. Oh well, he figures out a loop hole later in the night. 10 seconds until next entrant.

Kozlov is next and he kicks Hardy right in the face. Kozlov’s issue was he only knew a few moves regardless of the situation and couldn’t sell so it was up to the guy he was in the ring with to make him functional. Luckily Hardy sells like a champion as Kozlov’s wide array of shoulder blocks seem effective. Kozlov tosses Hardy in the cage a couple times and gives him a fall away slam back inside the ropes for a two count. Kozlov drapes Hardy on the top rope, headbutts him a few times in the back and hits another fall away slam for two. Backbreaker from Kozlov gets two and now a bearhug. Hardy fights to his feet and fights out of the hold but a shoulderblock grounds him again. Kozlov with a running power…nope Hardy escapes and dropkicks him into the corner. Hardy with a slingshot double-leg kick in the corner that gets two. Hardy with the whisper in the wind as we hit the ten second mark.

Big Show is next and he just steps over Kozlov to abuse Hardy. Show with a headbutt and Kozlov joins in on the action as the guys decide to team up and beat down Hardy to the dismay of the crowd. Show with a body shot, Kozlov with a body shot as it’s a battle of one upsmanship. Show with a body slam on Hardy and now Kozlov with a body slam on Hardy. The pace of the match has slowed tremendously. Hardy tries to fight back but Show stops it with a headbutt. Kozlov with an elbow drop. Show adds a big chop as the two bigger men size each other up for a second and then decide to continue their abuse on Hardy. Kozlov makes the first move, knocking Show down with a battering ram and Show takes exception to it. Big man slugfest that Show wins but Kozlov blocks the suplex. Show misses an avalanche and Kozlov lands the shoulders as we hit the 10 second mark.

Triple H is in and it’s game time. Let the knees fly! Knee smasher for Show, the Harley high knee for Kozlov. Massive spinebuster on Show and Hardy tries to stop the rally so HHH clotheslines the shit out of him. Kozlov charges and HHH ducks and lets him go flying out of the ring. HHH sends Kozlov into the cage and goes for the pedigree on the steel but Show drags HHH back into the ring and roughs him up in the corner. Crowd chanting for HHH. Show with a sidewalk slam on HHH gets two, Kozlov roughing up Hardy in the corner. Kozlov with his 40th elbow drop of the match on Hardy. Crowd ready to see the Undertaker. Show goes for the chokeslam but HHH fights out only to run into a press slam. Show and HHH go out to the steel platform and Show sends HHH into the cage. Show avalanches HHH and then catches Hardy trying to sneak attack him and sends him into the cage. Show tries to avalanche both men but misses. Hardy and HHH back in the ring and give Kozlov a double suplex. Hardy and HHH fight each other and Hardy hits a whisper in the wind as we are down to 10 seconds.

Here comes Mr. McCool and it’s a rare time that five of the six are in the match. Usually they max out at four. Undertaker goes right after Show and then beats up on Kozlov, who botches the hell out of snake eyes. How the fuck do you botch that move? Undertaker dominating and was about to hit a double chokeslam on Hardy and HHH until Show interferes. Flying clothesline for Show and Undertaker takes HHH to old…nope he audible and jumps onto Show, who was ready but Taker still hits the DDT on the steel. Now he takes HHH to the old school. Big boot for Hardy but Kozlov hits a shitty spear and goes back to the shoulder blocks. I tell you Kozlov keeps it close to the vest. He gives Undertaker some corner punches and that’s not a smart move because about 30 seconds later he takes his last ride and heads back to the USSR. Show chokeslams Undertaker. HHH tries for a pedigree and Show back drops him over the ropes and on to the steel. Hardy tries to attack Show and he catches him and sends him into HHH. Show sends HHH into the steel and tries to do the same with Hardy but Hardy sticks the landing and climbs the pod. Show climbs after him and Undertaker climbs after Show. Undertaker with a superplex on Show and HHH hits a pedigree on the prone show while Hardy recovers and hits the swanton from the top of the pod! HHH covers Show for three and we’re down to three!

Undertaker escapes Hardy’s whisper in the wind and starts brawling with HHH, sending him over the corner and out onto the steel again. Undertaker tries to go old school again but HHH shakes the ropes from the outside and knocks Undertaker off. Hardy uses the Undertaker’s prone body to do a leap of faith on HHH but gets caught with the tombstone on his way back in to end his night and a hell of an effort. Down to two.

HHH charges and Undertaker hits him with the big boot and roughs him up in the corner but HHH escapes a running big boot and they go tumbling to the steel. HHH sends Undertaker into the cage and back into the ring. HHH to the top and he jumps right into a chokeslam for a near fall. HHH tries to rally but Undertaker hits snake eyes, however, HHH catches him with a spinebuster coming off the ropes. I love when two guys know each other’s moveset so well they can use logical counters. The spinebuster gets two. We go back out to the steel as the crowd has dueling chants, which is pretty cool and appropriate as it was split 50/50 for this segment. HHH goes for a pedigree on the outside but Undertaker counters with a slingshot into the cage. Undertaker goes for a tombstone, HHH counters and they flip into the ring but Undertaker counters THAT and hits the tombstone but HHH’s foot is on the ropes at two and three-quarters. HHH hits a pedigree out of desperation and THAT only gets two. They stand and slug it out in an epic scene. Undertaker wins the slugfest but HHH sends him into the corner and does corner punches, Undertaker tries for the last ride but HHH escapes and hits the pedigree for three! Holy shit that was an awesome finish!

(HHH wins Elimination Chamber via pinfall over Undertaker, ****1/2, once Kozlov was gone that sucker got damn good. I remember wanting to see Undertaker-HHH at Wrestlemania after this short encounter. Unfortunately we got Shawn Michaels instead and…well…that didn’t suck either. As for those of you wondering about Edge he would sneak attack Kofi Kingston before the World Championship match, take his spot and win that title.)

Princess Pick: ECW Extreme Elimination Chamber

In preparation for my Wrestlemania project this year, which is going to be special stipulation matches, I wanted to knock a few Elimination Chamber matches out of the way and I have a couple more rants I’m going to do before the end of the month.

Anyway I’ll do four EC matches, the 2006 ECW Extreme one, the 2009 Smackdown Chamber and both the RAW and Smackdown Chambers in 2010.

We start with the ECW one from December of 2006. Enjoy.

ECW Elimination Chamber from December to Dismember 2006

On December 3, 2006 in Augusta, Georgia

Hosted by Joey Styles and Tazz

ECW Championship Match: The Big Show, Test, CM Punk, Bobby Lashley, Hardcore Holly and Rob Van Dam

Big Show is the champion. He, Punk, Test and Lashley start out in the pods. Each pod has a weapon inside of it. Show has a barbed wire baseball bat, Test has a crowbar, Punk has a steel chair and Lashley has a table.

Holly and RVD, who had a **** encounter in the early days of the ECW television show start this one out. Five minute intervals for this one. They actually start out with some basic wrestling but that stops after about 30 seconds. Clothesline by Holly gets a one count and he roughs RVD up in the corner and tosses him out of the ring to the metal flooring. RVD rallies and goes for something off the top rope, Holly ducks it, RVD hangs on the fence and tries a cross body but Holly ducks that too. Holly sends RVD into the cage and body slams him on the steel. Holly goes to the top and but eats boot as we hit the two minute warning. RVD gives Holly the one-man rolling thunder on the steel. RVD tries to suplex Holly on the steel but Holly reverses and suplexes RVD back in the ring and gets a two count. Beautiful dropkick from Holly gets two as we hit the 10 second mark.

Next is in Punk, who gets a great crowd pop and a chant going right away. He hits Holly with the chair and has a springboard clothesline for RVD. Punk tries to toss the chair at RVD but he catches it and tosses it right back. RVD gives Punk the monkey flip on the chair but Punk rallies with a legdrop on RVD and a springboard back kick to Holly. RVD is busted open. Punk sends him into the corner (where a chair is) and hits a vicious kick to the side of the face. Punk goes for Holly but Holly catches him coming off the top and sends him into the cage. Holly covers for two. All three men are back in the ring and Holly gives Punk a side suplex. Holly with chops on Punk and a top-rope superplex as we hit the one minute warning. RVD covers Punk for two then Holly covers Punk for two. Punk reverses an irish whip and gives Holly a high knee but the bulldog is countered by RVD kicking Punk in the face.

Test is next in the match and he hits Punk in the chops with crowbar before digging it in against RVD’s cut. Kinda gruesome I suppose. He goes and chokes Punk away with the crowbar but Punk counters with a hangman. RVD clotheslines Holly twice and nails Test with the chair, one for Holly too and then a Van Daminator for Punk. RVD with the five-star for Punk and the three count. They didn’t really want to pull the trigger on Punk until allegedly Shawn Michaels told them to. Thank God that guy was around. Test has both RVD and Holly in a vulnerable position and hits the yakuza kick on Holly for a botched three count. Ref said that Holly got the shoulder up at two but still eliminated him. Announcers were rightfully confused but smartly ignored it after it was obviously botched. Meanwhile RVD is perched and hits Test with a flying kick. RVD climbs up onto a pod but it’s the Big Show’s pod and he holds RVD’s foot allowing Test to club him a few times with a chair and toss him from the pod. Test places the chair on RVD’s face and climbs the pod himself and hits the test elbow! Well you could have counted to a hundred there. And we are down to three and about a minute of dead time.

Finally the buzzer goes off but Paul Heyman’s goon squad attacks the official and keeps Lashley’s pod locked. So Lashley uses the table to bust through the steel chains on the top of the pod and he climbs out that way. Lashley catches Test with a top rope clothesline and sends Test into/through the pod. Lashley continues his grade-A shitkicking on Test with his very limited repertoire. Test tries to rally but about a minute later Lashley kicks a chair in Test’s face and brutalizes him with the crowbar before hitting a spear and ending Test’s night with a minute remaining before the Big Show enters. Lashley tosses weapons at Show’s pod in preparation.

Show is not exactly in a rush to enter to the ring and he grabs the gimmicked barbed wire bat first. Show attacks with the bat but Lashley blocks with the chair. Lashley ducks another shot and attacks with the chair. He tosses Show in the cage twice and then through one of the pods. Show is bleeding but rallies and beals Lashley back into the ring. He hits a huge clothesline but Lashley blocks the chokeslam and counters with a DDT. Show misses and avalanche but catches Lashley on an attempted cross body, Lashley escapes the powerslam, however, and hits the spear for the three count. Show was basically a transitional champion, winning the title when RVD got busted for pot, and he held it for a while until the guys felt like they found the right guy to replace him. Lashley was designated as that guy and they were not messing around with his push. Little doubt as to who was going to win this one.

(Lashley wins Elimination Chamber via pinfall over Big Show, **1/2, it was a decent match for this format with a couple of cool spots and a good enough pace. However, it wasn’t the balls-to-the-wall brawl it needed to be. Test was probably the most impressive man in the match. Definitely curious as to what would have happened to Lashley in the long run. They put him in some pretty high profile situations before he was injured and negotiated his release to do….whatever the hell he’s doing now.)