By Ervin Griffin, Jr.
Part 19: USA VS. Canada.
After losing the cage match with then WWF Champion "Sycho" Sid by a screwjob on RAW, Bret Hart was in a p*ssed off mood heading into WrestleMania 13. At the Slammy awards on Friday of that week, Bret tried to enjoy himself. He even shook hands with Sid at the award ceremony. Even there, however, he couldn't escape the venomous tounge of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. As Austin stepped up to accept a award for "Freedom Of Speech," he had this warning to Bret:
"It'll never be over. Never, ever, ever Bret. Not until your a** goes back to Calgary and you're sitting at home watching "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on Monday Nights."- Steve Austin
Then came WrestleMania Sunday. The waiting was over and it was time for the submission grudge match between the two. Ken Shamrock, fresh (?) from the UFC, was asked to be the special referee for this contest. As for the match itself, Bret Hart and SCSA didn't pull out a can, a six pack or even a 40 ounce!!! THEY PULLED OUT A KEG OF WHUP-A** ON EACH OTHER!!! They fought into the stands, used chairs on each other, ran each other into guardrails, etc. You name it, they probably did it!!! Anyway, SCSA utilized his "Stone Cold Stunner", a weird neck wrencher, a boston crab and a superplex to try to get the victory. Bret, likewise, used his RPFF (Ring Post Figure Four), fists, and ultimately the "sharpshooter" to gain victory. Austin, to his credit, was busted open by the "HitMan" earlier in the bout and was placed in the "sharpshooter." Austin valiantly tried to power out of the hold but could not as he was losing too much blood. Austin ultimately passed out and referee Shamrock had no choice but to end the match. Bret, still feeling that his job was not done, tried to re apply the hold but was stopped by Shamrock. Shamrock and Bret almost had it out but Bret thought better of it. The fans virtually booed "The HitMan" out of the arena for not fighting Shamrock but I, personally, think it was a wise move. I mean, he had already wrestled (or fought) a hard match with SCSA. To fight Shamrock in his tired condition would've been suicide!!! While I can't tell the fans who to cheer for, I think Bret did the right thing by not fighting Shamrock right there.
Later in the card, Bret came out at the begining of the WWF Championship match between The Undertaker and "Sycho" Sid. He also had some comments for guest commentator Shawn Michaels as well as the two participants:
"Hey Shawn Michaels!!! Why don't you take that p*ssy-foot injury and go back and find your smile, but whatever you do, you stay out of this match!!! As for you (UT), I just want to let you know, that when you slammed that door on my head, you slammed the door on our friendship and there is going to be a new set of rules from here on out!!! As for you (Sid), you know and I know and everyone watching this thing knows, that that belt doesn't belong to you!!! It'll never belong to you!!! Everyone in this arena and everyone watching knows that I am the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be!!!" - Bret Hart
With that, Sid threw a smashing forearm and delivered a thunderous powerbomb to Bret!! Sid then said:
"HEY!!! YOU TAKE YOUR WHININ' A** OUTTA HERE!!!" - Sid
With Bret gone, the match got underway. Later on, however, Bret returned to interfere twice, costing Sid the WWF Title. The next night on RAW, Bret apologized to all of the wrestling fans around the world except those in the USA. His rational was that he felt that the US fans had turned their backs on him and declared war on the United States. Shawn Michaels, in response, came out and said that the fans have the right to cheer or to boo whoever they want. He then challenged Bret to a fight right then and there despite having a bad left knee. Bret declined the invitation but that would prove to be part of a trap as Bret kicked Shawn in his knee as Shawn was leaving!!! He then applied the RPFF on Shawn, causing more damage to the knee!!! Bret was finally chased away by Sid.
Later on that program, Bret attacked then WWF Intercontiental Champion Rocky Maivia after Rocky finished his matchup. He challenged the young champion to a title match for the following week. That week, however, SCSA returned to action and had this to say to his nemisis:
"One of these days!!! I am going to look over your grave and it will read---HERE LIES BRET "THE HITMAN" HART!!! THE BIGGEST PIECE OF CRAP THAT EVER WALKED THE FACE OF THE EARTH!!! AND THE REASON HE'S LAYING HERE IS THAT "STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN KICKED HIS PINK AND BLACK A**!!! AND THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE, 'CAUSE STONE COLD SAID SO!!!" - Steve Austin
Also on this same night, Bret patched up things with Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith to reform the Hart Foundation. As for Bret's challenge to the I-C belt, let me say that he could've won because he kicked Rocky Maivia's overrated butt all over the ring but I think that he wanted to make a statement rather than win the title!!! As he put Maivia in the RPFF, SCSA came down to attack Bret but was jumped by Owen and Smith. The Road Warriors came down to chase off Owen and Smith as Austin chased after the "HitMan."
Two weeks (or so) later, Austin came down at the beginning of RAW IS WAR and declared a challenge to Bret for a non-sanctioned "street fight." Bret Hart accepted the challenge with this reply:
Later in the night, Austin was in the ring awaiting Bret Hart. Bret came down but had a plan. As Austin was waiting for Bret, Owen and Smith attacked Austin and a three man gang up insued!!! Shawn Michaels came down to assist Austin but the damage had been done as Bret got the advantage that he wanted. Later in the "match", Bret tried Austin's "chair across the ankle smasher" but missed!! I'm not sure but I think he injured his knee in the attempt. Austin made matters worse by smashing the chair into Bret's knee and continued to do so!!! Finally, after giving Bret "the double middle finger", he placed the "sharpshooter" on Bret and held it for about 3 minutes!!! Bret's knee was severely injured as a result and Austin again attacked Bret on the ambulance!!! Bret would be sidelined for about four months.
While Bret was recovering, his Hart Foundation was joined by the late Brian Pillman and Jim "The Anvil" Neihart. In the weeks that followed, Bret foolishly had a face to face interview with Shawn Michaels and dared him to "superkick" him in his weakend state!! Shawn, unable to resist, kicked him out of his shoes and over his wheelchair!!! Now, I don't condone what Michaels did but I have to say (in this case) Bret asked for it. I mean, did he really think that Michaels wouldn't take the opportunity to strike him? Especially since he was provoking him? Personally, I would left the Foundation down at ringside for that one.
Anyway, Bret was scheduled to come back at the 1997 King Of The Ring to face Shawn Michaels but his bad knee and another attack by SCSA left him no choice but to scrap the match. Later that summer, Bret and Shawn were involved in an off-camera dressing room confrontation over comments that Shawn made about Bret possibly having an affair with Sunny (Tammy Fytch). These stories were proven later to be untrue but Bret was furious at Michaels for even suggesting it in the first place!! Personally, I don't know if this was a work or not but if someone had put out rumors about me having an affair with a woman when I am a married man, I'd be ready to pound some butt!!
Finally, Bret issued a challenge for the next IYH in Montreal, Canada for an ten man tag match with four American wrestlers. Goldust, The Road Warriors, Ken Shamrock and SCSA stepped up to the plate and the stage was set for Bret's return to the ring.
Next: Return Of The Champ
Coming Soon: Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair
If you have a question, comment, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the
Live from the Cow Palace in San Francisco - they start with a reading of the Sting intro by an adult voice for a change. Tony Schiavone welcomes us to the program. He is joined by Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay.
Booker T vs. Rick Martel (Champion) - World TV Title match - the winner of this match will face Saturn later in the card. Booker T attacks with his usual aggressiveness and takes the early advantage. Martel is knocked to the outside. Back in the ring, Martel starts strong but goes down again. We see the Flock sitting ringside as the match continues. The match is see-sawing with Booker holding the upper hand for the most part. If Booker has one flaw it would appear to be his tendancy to grandstand for the crowd. He could have gotten the pin after a sidekick but he wastes too much time acknowledging the fans. Soon afterward he is back dropped out to the floor. Martel follows him out and turns up the heat. Booker is reeling around the outside of the ring. Back inside, Martel continues his assault with a vengence. He is working on the lower back. The challenger finally comes back with a side salto and now its all Booker T until Martel slips in a power slam. He drops to the mat and applies a reverse chinlock. Booker T breaks free but gets whipped and has a Spine Buster applied ala Arn Anderson. Martel gets the Crab but is too close to the rope and is forced to break. The match see-saws again and Booker takes the initiative. Now he gets the Spine Buster then goes to the top but misses his splash. None the less he comes back strong and a Harlem Side Kick gets him the pin. Immediately Saturn hits the ring and the referee decides to start the second title defense (hardly seems fair to Booker T).
Saturn vs. Booker T (Champion) - World TV Title match #2 - the match goes out to the floor almost immediately where Saturn presses his automatic advantage. Back in the ring he is firmly in control until he goes for a lariet out of the corner but is caught and slammed by his opponent. Both guys are down and Saturn rolls out to the floor. Moments later Booker T throws a springboard splash but injures himself in the process. Saturn recovers first and throws his own splash off the apron and manages to injure himself as well. They both struggle back into the ring where Saturn resumes his attack. He throws a super-plex with puts both guys down for an 8 count. Saturn recovers first again and takes his opponent up for a second super-plex but Booker drops him on his face. Now the Champ is in the drivers seat, but not for long. In a moment Saturn is back and teaching a suplex clinic to the Champ. Both guys are out on their feet by this time. Saturn has the advantage but just barely. Everytime they go down together they seem to stay there for a 5 or 6 count. Still Saturn maintains his control of things. This is definitely the best match we've seen out of Saturn in WCW. We hear that Martel has been diagnosed with a knee injury in the back. In the ring both guys are down for the count again. Booker gets the advantage this time with a Sidewalk Slam. He follows up with a scissor kick then goes to the top but misses his flying finish. They struggle some more then Booker gets loose and throws one more Harlem Side Kick and gets the pin. Booker T is the undisputed Champion.
We see Chris Jericho with Mark Maddon and Lee Marshall chatting on the Internet.
La Parka vs. Disco - Grudge Match (of sorts) - only the presence of Disco makes this match PPV quality (barely) - La Parka gets a chair shot right off the bat and holds the advantage for about 10 seconds. Disco comes back and holds the initiative for a while then gets dumped to the outside. La Parka goes out behind him and steps up the pace, using his size advantage to stay on top of his opponent. Back in the ring he continues his attack until Disco shoves him out under the bottom ring. Out on the floor it's Disco's turn to dish out some punishment. La Parka flees back into the ring and then catches Disco coming in. He applies some martial arts kicks to maintain his advantage. Now it is all La Parka and he drops down to rest with a reverse chinlock. Disco fights to his feet and turns the tables. He holds the initiative only briefly as La Parka comes back with more kicks. Disco falls to the outside and seems to have injured his knee. La Parka throws a Suicide Dive to seal the deal. Back inside La Parka goes for a pin but fails. Whipped to the corner, Disco side steps and La Parka rushes in to taste the ringpost. Disco is back. This match is turning out better than I expected. The referee gets thumbed in the eye and can't see for a bit. La Parka brings his chair in and sets it up but Disco is loose. They end up on the top turnbuckle struggling for position. Disco wins the struggle and sends hia opponent crashing into the chair face first. Moments later he gets the Chartbuster and the pin.
Mean Gene is with JJ Dillon - they talk about Nick Patrick. Dillon asks Patrick to come to the mic. He says that Patrick is reinstated immediately Patrick expresses his delight and starts talking about being the referee for the Hogan/Sting match. Dillon kills that idea and leaves. Patrick says this isn't over...
Brad Armstrong vs. Bill Goldberg - this is an unadvertised match - they probably should have dug up a better opponent for this monster. Not that I don't like Armstrong, because I do, but we've seen this match before and it was a rout. As expected, Brad puts forth almost no offense - his side Russian leg sweep - normally a devastating move - has virtually no effect. Usual ending. People are going to get tired of Goldberg if they don't give him some real competition soon.
Juventud Guerrera vs. Chris Jericho - Mask vs. Cruiserweight Title match - Jericho is reluctant to remove his belt as usual lately. He actually starts the match with it on. The referee can't get him to take it off until Juvi kicks him in it. Guerrera is hot tonight and dominates the early exchanges until Jericho asserts his superior size. The match goes to the outside and Jericho goes down and plays possum while the referee starts to count him out. Juventud goes back out and drops an elbow to wake him up. Back in the ring the match is see-sawing again with Jericho showing his flying ability. Back to the floor they go and Jericho sets the ringsteps up to use as a springboard. He launches himself but Guerrera levers him onto the railing. Back in the ring Jericho comes back strong but now he's grandstanding and wasting opportunities. Still he maintains his advantage but his frustration is clearly growing. Guerrera misses a top rope Hurrancanranna and Jericho goes up but gets drop-kicked to the floor. Air Juvi time! Back in the ring, Guerrera upsets Jericho's climb to the top and spikes him. The 450 Splash is successful, the bell rings and Guerrera thinks he's won but Jericho had hold of the rope - the match continues. Now the match still favors Guerrera who continues to pound on his opponent. The match begins to see-saw again and eventually Jericho grabs a Boston Crab (Lion Tamer) out of an attempted Hurrancanna. Juventud taps out. Now he has to unmask. Jericho continues to taunt him as he slowly removes the face covering. Underneath it he's actually quite an attractive young man but is clearly disheartened. He mouths his love to his family toward the camera.
Chris Benoit is in the back chatting on the Internet.
Steve McMichael vs. The British Bulldog - Grudge match - they should put the Bulldog up against Goldberg - now that would be a match! Mongo attacks on the bell and gets dropped to the mat. Mongo comes back with a gut wrench suplex then puts the boots to his opponent. He dominates the next several exchanges then misses a leg drop. The Bulldog comes back with a Sharpshooter! Mongo gets to the rope and escapes. He then re-asserts himself. The match has been pretty even so far. The match goes out to the floor where Mongo maintains his advantage. The Bulldog gets smashed into the ringsteps but he comes right back and slams Mongo's arm into the ringpost. The Bulldog continues to attack the injured arm and they go back into the ring. Mongo is fighting with one arm tucked against his chest. He can't even put it down for the three-point stance. Moments later he tries for a Tombstone but can't use that arm at all. The Bulldog drops him to the mat and applies an armlock submission. McMicahels screams in pain but won't submit. The refree ends the match anyway and declares Davey Boty the winner. Mongo shoves the ref down afterward and leaves yelling that he didn't give up.
Chris Benoit vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Champion) - US Title return match - the two shake hands before the match - they start by exchanging wrist locks. The match seems pretty even as it goes on. They stick to wrestling for perhaps a minute and a half and then start unloading the rough stuff. Benoit goes for the Crippler Crossface early but DDP escapes quickly before Chris can get it cinched in. This match has a furious pace. DDP tries for a Diamond Cutter but Benoit slips away to the floor. He takes his time out there to recoup. Back in the ring they go nose to nose then slap each other. Now we have a full tilt brawl. DDP gets the advantage but then uses a cavelier cover and fails to pin his man. Benoit jumps up and drop-kicks DDP in the knee. Now it is all Benoit but he is winded and not quite up to speed. He snap mares DDP then grabs a kind of reverse Cobra Clutch that I haven't seen before. It proves to be effective as DDP sinks to a prone position. Eventually he fights to a seated position then uses a jaw-breaker to escape. Benoit moves right in and pounds his opponent into the corner. Page recovers briefly but Benoit comes back with a snap suplex. He applies the reverse Cobra again. DDP gets upright and snap mares him off. Benoit comes back with a sleeper. He is thrown off and comes back with it again. A standing vertical suplex puts both men down. DDP recovers first and hits his spinning clothesline. He mounts the turnbuckle and launches himself in an abortive flying Diamond Cutter attempt. He only suceeds in knocking Benoit down. Moments later Benoit gets his Crossface but DDP is in the ropes. They struggle again and Benoit throws a series of three German Suplexes and almost gets the pin. A series of pin attempts follows but no cigar for either man. A couple of more exchanges and then DDP flips Benoit over his head and gets the Diamond Cutter. DDP pins his man and retains the Title.
We are told that the Giant missed his flight connection and won't be here tonight. We get a Giant tribute video instead.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Lex Luger - no DQ match - Savage looks definitely distracted as he takes his time getting to the ring. The Steiners music starts to play and is cut off - then Lugers music takes over. Luger is heavily taped from the parking lot attack Thursday night. He hesitates ringside before entering the ring. Savage holds his ground, waiting for Luger to enter then attacks immediately. Luger goes for a Press Slam and can't manage it. Savage goes right to work on the ribs. Luger is knocked over the top to the floor. Savage follows him out and drops him on the railing. Back inside Luger is obviously hurting and in a lot of trouble. Savage continues to strike at the ribs of his opponent. Luger has no offense whatsoever. He does manage a cradle but can't hold Savage for the pin. The fight goes back out to the floor. Luger's head is run into the railing, Savage is slowing down and seems less focused at this point. They fly over the railing together and Savage uses a chair on Luger. They continue to fight - or I should say Savage continues to fight out in the crowd. They are sent back to ringside by Security. Luger is still taking it severely. He finally manages to block a railing shot and reverse it. But there is no respite as Savage comes right back. Back in the ring, Luger suddenly comes to life and gets a powerslam then racks his opponent. Liz runs in and puts her finger in Luger's eye to break that up. Now the nWo hits the ring and both wrestlers are fighting them off! Luger fights his way clear and goes over and puts Savage in the rack again! Hogan has appeared and calls off the thugs, leaving Savage to lose the match.
The Outsiders (w/Dusty Rhodes) vs. The Steiner Brothers (w/Ted Dibiasi) - World Tag Team Title match - Hall conducts his survey before the Champions enter. he gets a big response for the nWo chant this time. Rick starts against Hall. Hall throws his toothpick - Rick throws his fist and we are underway. Steiner dominates his opponent from the get-go pounding him into the corner then throwing an over-the-head belly to belly. Nash come in and gets his clock cleaned. The Steiners go into their usual duel pose then Scott attacks Rick!! He hits him several times then attacks Dibiasi! He touches hands with Hall in the nWo gesture!! The Outsiders double team Rick while Scott stands by refusing to tag. Scott fights on valiantly but is overwhelmed. The Outsider's Edge puts him down for the count. Scott personally hands the belts obver to the new Champs then leaves with them.
Promo for the next PPV - Uncensored.
Hollywood Hogan vs. Sting - World Title Rematch - Michael Buffer introduces the combatants. Surprisingly, Hogan comes to the ring alone. Sting comes running to the ring and Buffer finishes his introduction as he bails out. Hogan flails Sting with the Title belt as he hits the ring and gains the immediate advantage. Sting isn't out of his duster yet as Hogan chokes him on the mat. It comes off as Sting is flung to the outside. Hogan continues his assault with a vengence on the outside. So far he is overwhelming his opponent. A policeman at ringside seems to really be enjoying the match. Back in the ring, Hogan is demanding that Sting "tell them who the man is!" Now Sting starts to come back. He is booted in the midsection and downed again. Hogan pounds him in the corner, whips him to the opposite corner and clotheslines him. Hogan is really showing us a lot in this match. He slams Sting then turns his back. Sting pops to his feet and then the crowd goes wild as Sting starts his first offensive flurry. he takes Hogans belt off and starts whipping him with it. Hogan tries to leave but Sting follows and drags him back. He continues to pound on the Hulkster at ringside. Then he throws a Stinger splash and misses, crashing onto the railing. Now Hogan is back and uses a chair. Sting is down on the floor as Hogan puts his belt back on. Sting rolls back into the ring followed by Hogan. In the corner Hogan bites the forehead of his opponent. Then he is whipped and Sting gets the Stinger Splash and the Scorpion but Hogan reaches the ropes. In the next moment the referee (Charles Robinson) gets sandwiched and knocked out. Nick Patricks runs in to take his place but he doesn't favor Hogan - he is doing his job! Hogan can't keep Sting down for the count. They get into a knucklelock which Hogan breaks up with a boot. Hogan is yelling at Patrick but he continues to call it like he sees it. Hogan holds the advantage still as it goes out to the floor again. Patrick is right there telling Hogan to take it back into the ring. Sting makes a come back and the fight goes back inside where Hogan slips in a low blow. Patrick warns him but doesn't stop the match. Now Hogan is pounding on Sting without effect. He stands there and takes it then comes back. He gets two Stinger Splashes and then a Death Drop but Hogan kicks Patrick as he goes down. Patrick is out of it. The nWo hits the ring and Sting is fighting for his life. Savage runs in and knocks Hogan out, leaving behind a can of spray paint. Stings takes the pin as Patrick counts with his left arm. Sting then spray paints Hogan's chest with the letters WCW. JJ Dillon comes down and awards the Title to Sting.
I have to say that was one of the best PPV's I have seen all year...
At least that's the way I see it...
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