WWF Ground Zero This afternoon I had a family function to attend and had to tape the program later review. Here is my report.
We start with a recap of the fall of Shawn Michaels - obviously this is the real main event of the PPV. In fact the Patriot/Bret Hart is not even mentioned.
During the intro by McMahon, Jim Ross and the King they finally get around to mentioning the Title match briefly - then they go right into a video recap of the Goldust/Pillman debacle.
Goldust (w/Marlena) vs. Brian Pillman - retirement vs. 30 days of service match - Goldust dominates the early going but that can't last. It seems obvious that Pillman has to win this match. He just signed a big contract a year ago. Still it doesn't look good the former Horseman as Goldust continues to pound him down. The match goes out to the floor and Pillman gets creamed on the ring steps. Later Goldest drags him to the corner and hammers his bad leg against the ringpost. Finally Goldust goes for a bulldog and gets shoved off to the mat. Now Pillman has the upper hand. Brian is limping but he looks maniacal. A Camel Clutch keeps Goldy on the mat. He eventually powers out of it but is done in and can't follow up. Moments later Pillman takes too long getting to the top and gets caught. He then gets catapulted to the railing outside. On the floor, Goldust holds Pillman so Terry can slap him. Back inside Runnels goes for a superplex but gets shoved off. Pillman is perched on the top turnbuckle but loses his balance when Goldust stumbles against the ropes. Goldust goes for the Curtain Call and gets it but the referee has been felled and isn't there to make the count. Goldust goes to revive the referee and Pillman heads for the ropes where Marlena has mounted the apron. She swings at him with her purse but he grabs it. Then he brains her husband with it. He takes the pin and then forces Marlena from the ring and out to his car. He drives away just as Dustin catches up to them. Back at ringside the King is showing us that there was a half a brick in the purse.
Scot Putsky vs. Brian Christopher - this strikes me as a nothing match - I can't get excited about either of these guys. In fact it was more fun watching their fathers wrestle a while back. Christopher is the superior wrestler by along shot - he dominates throughout most of the match. After several exchanges Putsky falls to the outside and just lays there clutching his knee. The ref goes out to check on him and decides to end the match. The KIng can't resist taking a mic down and taunting the injured man. He is as obnoxious as he always is. A camera close-up shows that Putsky's patella is floating - he has dislocated his knee. Cut to Sunny hyping the Hotline with a story about Pillman calling from his car and Marlena's voice in the background.
Triple-Threat Match - Los Baricuas/DOA/NOD - we get an extended video review of the feud to this point. No wonder they decided to expand this PPV to three hours...
Actually the combatents are Savio Vega, Crush and Faarooq and this is what used to be called a Texas Tornedo match. All three in at the same time - no disqualification - anyone who gets a pinfall is the winner. Crush hits the ring last and attacks both the others - he gets double-teamed in return. Then things break down and, basically, these guys take turns wailing on each other. Faarooq turns out to be the one with the smarts. He dumps Crush out of the ring and then tries to pin Savio. He almost scores but Savio isn't ready to give up. Savio gets knocked to the corner and so Crush and Faarooq go at it. Savio barely prevents the pin over Faarooq who has been powerslammed by Crush. It goes that way for several minutes - two guys have at it while the third slumps in the corner or picks himself off the floor. It's pretty funny when you think of it - this is the original NOD fighting among themselves...
At one point towards the end, Faarooq worked a rest hold on Savio while Crush just paced around the ring. They start cooperating but neither will allow the pin. They throw Savio's inert form to the floor and go at it. Savio keeps coming back to spoil the pinfall. Then the teams change - now its Savio and Crush working on Faarooq. They put him down and then Crush turns on Savio and knocks him back out to the floor one more time. Crush turns on Faarooq again and is ready to polish him off after a Heart Punch when Savio comes out of nowhere with a round kick and changes his destiny. Savio takes the pin. Cut to Austin's Video for sale...
El Torito vs. Max Mini - super-lightweights get it on. Max is 86 lbs. -fight a very Luche Libreish match with all kinds of suicide dives and spinning head scissors. The "Little Bull" is much larger then his opponent and uses his size advantage well. Max Mini gets his little can kicked through the balance of this match. El Torito has a bad habit of biting his opponent during rest holds. It eventually leads to Max biting the ref to show him what's going on! When the Bull is about to win he starts head-butting his prone apponent. The little guy keeps coming back and even manages a pin attempt or two. The bigger guy is dealing more punishment and controls the match. Suddenly Max takes to the air and ends a flurry with a Asahi Moonsault. But the Bull just climbs right back into the ring - Max is stuck boosting himself back in and gets caught as he rolls forward. He flees to the other corner and the Bull rushes in and misses. He is down as the little guy climbs the ropes and throws a flying Frankensteiner - he fails to get the pin but then on the next exchange he uses a Sunset Flip in the center of the ring and succeeds.
Video review of the Stone Cold saga ending with Slaughter's statement about Austin's suspension. Slaughter waits in the ring to do his job. He explains the purpose of the action then Jim Ross calls Dude Love to the ring. He voluntarily relinquishes his title belt. Stone Cold is called to the ring. He comes to the ring in civvies and approaches Slaughter with the belt over his shoulder only to detour to a second turnbuckle to display the belt to the fans. He then crosses over again and shows Ross the double bird before mounting the opposite corner. He comes back and, after some fooling around throws the belt at Slaughter's feet then allows him to bend over and retrieve it. He then tells Jim Ross to say his piece. Ross says basically "Get well soon..." so Steve grabs him and puts a Stone Cold Stunner on him!! They are trying to cart Ross away as Austin is restrained by his Tag partner. Slaughter is threatening him with fines. We go to the back where Owen Hart and the British Bulldog swear undying enmity against Austin.
Fatal Four-Way match - Godwins vs. Hart Foundation vs. Headbangers vs. Road Warriors - Tag Team Title on the line - the Warriors enter last but get to strut there stuff before the fight starts. Henry vs Thrasher to start then Thrasher tags in Phineous. Henry tags in Mosh. Mosh works on Phineous over then hands off to Animal. Phineous the upper hand and drags Animal to his corner where the switch is made. Henry and Animal match strength. Finally Hawk tries to tag in the Bulldog but he refuses to tag. Animal tags him upside the head so he enters the ring against Phineous. The Godwins are definitely working as the best tag team here. Animal throws himself over the top rope at one point then crawls back in and gets creamed for several moments. The Godwins bring in a bucket but the Warriors got hold of it and used it to get disqualified. They are eliminated. The Headbangers have the advantage of not being embroiled in a feud with anyone in the ring. The Godwins then wrestle exclusively against the Headbangers until Phineous gets rolled up and pinned. Now it's Owen/Bulldog vs. Headbangers.
Of course neither will allow the pin to happen - always the partner runs in when needed. Bulldog and Owen steadily take the initiative. Mosh gets in and cleans house but it is their swan song it seems. The ex-champs are seemingly in the drivers seat but then Owen spins a kick into the Bulldog's chops. The Headbangers start to doubleteam but the Bulldog gets up in time to thwart them. Then Steve Austin runs down and puts the stunner on Owen! He is pinned and the headbangers are our new Tag Team Champions. They exit through the crowd.
The next PPV will be Bad Blood and features the Undertaker.
JR is shown backstage sitting up and holding an ice pack to his neck as he talks to Sgt. Slaughter.
Bret Hart vs. The Patriot - WWF Title contest - we get some video on Del Wilkes and then Sunny interviews him. It is short and sweet - I'm going to win again...yatta, yatta, Dream on flag-boy... The young interviewer tries to convince us that this is the greatest challange Hart has ever faced. Bret says he'll moidelize the guy... And then he heads to the ring. The crowd hates him. So does the Patriot. I'm sure that will be his undoing. Hart goes right to work on him. He starts setting up the Sharpshooter right from the beginning. He seems to be trying to end the match early. In fact he is just punching and choking his opponent. Wilkes comes back with a clothesline finally and gets to dish out some hurts. Hart allows himself to be knocked to the outside and then uses the respite to break the Patriot's momentum. He comes back in cautiously but gets arm-dragged and barred. Wilkes is back in charge. He slows down the pace considerably now. Working the arm-bar. Hart is backed into the corner and comes out kicking at Wilkes left knee. Hart takes over again and methodically works on the injured leg. He caps it by taking him to the corner and slapping on his peculiar version of the Figure Four. He releases the hold after a little while and stops to stare down McMahon, who is talking about him not too kindly at that momant. The Bulldog shows up at ringside. The match begins to see-saw. The Patriot is pulling ahead now. The Bulldog tries to distract him but it backfires - but still it succeeds - Patriot is lured outside the ring but that backfires too because Vader shows up! He gets some shots in on the Bulldog and Bret. Meanwhile the match goes on. Back in the ring the Patriot seems to be carrying the day. The interlopers have been taken away. Hart keeps coming back on his opponent until the ref gets knocked down. The Patriot has the pin but they are too close to the ropes. It starts to see-saw again, mostly on the mat until Hart rams himself into a corner. Wilkes slaps on a Sharpshooter!! But Hart reverses it!!! The Patriot didn't seem to give up but the ref ended the match by awarding it to Bret Hart. Hart went to work on his vanquished opponent afterward and then went over and broke the American flagpole, then choked the Patriot with the flag!!! Hart the decks Pat Patterson!!! He goes back to work on Wilkes then finally leaves the ring. Hart won the match legitimately - no rematch for Wilkes... In the back, Hart calls all Americans losers.
Video review of the Michaels/Undertaker feud.
Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker - Michaels is interviewed before the match. He's gonna win...yatta, yatta... he goes to the ring first. The crowd reaction is ecstatic both ways for a few moments then it seems to die down to a mild roar. He spends overly long and they have to play his song over. It looked like his pyrotechnics misfired as well. Then the lights go out...
The Undertaker enters with his usual pomp and circumstance. He looks pissed. He also takes his time - more then usual I think. Michaels uses the referee to hold off the onslaught but the Undertaker just swats the ref aside. Michaels is heading away but can't get anywhere with UT all over him. He takes his opponent up to the In-Your-House set and manhandles him there then tosses him down the ramp. Back in the ring area he gets smashed into the ring steps then choked with a microphone cord. UT drops him on the railing then gives him an uppercut to propel him onto the Spanish Commentators' table then throws him on the railing again!!! Back in the ring he continues his assault.
Slaughter sends in a new referee who tells Shawn to get back into the ring. He then goes in and confronts UT - Michaels takes advantage of th distraction and clips UT's knee. He is in control for a few moments but gets overwhelmed again. He is in charge for several minutes until he tries his rope walks and gets upset. Still he comes back again. Now the ref is letting him get away with murder... Michaels finally manages to get a chair into the ring but it gets used on the happless referee!!! Michaels mounts the top and drops the elbow - the ref comes too enough to count but UT kicks out. Meanwhile Rick Rude has come to ringside and hands Michaels a set of brass nucks!! UT takes the nucks in the face and goes down - another referee runs in but only gets a two count. Michaels throws him out of the ring! Hunter Hearst Helmsly and his thugette are waiting to take him out. Michaels hits the second ref then shoves the Undertaker out to their tender mercies. They rough him up good and ram him into the ringsteps again. In the ring Michaels rams Earl Hebner into the turnbuckle then goes back to work on UT. On the outside Hunter and Chynna grab him and Chynna delivers a forearm. UT is distracted and gets creamed again. Michaels chokes him with the mic cord. Back in the ring Michaels blocks a Tombstone attempt then tries to throw some "chin music" - UT blocks it then grabs a choke. He bulls Shawn into a corner and starts raining body blows. He uppercuts him onto the turnbuckle then steals the brass nuckles from Shawn's tights and uses them. He turns and nails Helmsley then crawls over to cover Michaels. The ref is too slow and Shawn kicks out. UT chokeslams the ref!!! Michaels attacks but gets reversed - another referee (#4) comes in and stops the match. UT and Michaels and Hunter continue to battle. UT gets tied up in the ropes and Chynna goes and gets a chair. She gives it to Shawn who tries to use it but has it kicked into his own face when UT raises a boot. It goes on and on - officials come down and are ejected - other wrestlers come down en masse and finally break it up momentarily. UT is hard to hold onto and he gets one more good shot (a suicide dive into the whole mess of people around Michaels) in to end the carnage. he wins through DQ.
Fade to black...
A fairly good PPV show with too much talk. They could have done this card in two and a half hours without all the hype...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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