By Ervin Griffin, Jr.
Part 21: Degeneration X
After regaining the WWF World Title and dispatching The Patriot, Bret Hart had to deal with an old nemisis in the form of Shawn "HeartBreak Kid" Michaels. This time, though, Michaels didn't come alone. He formed "Degeneration X" with Chyna (Terri Power), Hunter Hearst Hemsley, and "Ravishing" Rick Rude. About a week or two before the "One Night Only" PPV in England, Triple H and Michaels attacked Davey Boy Smith and injured his left leg. This softened Davey for the WWF European Title match in England and enabled Shawn Michaels to win it!!
In the weeks to follow, Bret Hart issued a challenge to Shawn Michaels on RAW for a WWF Title Match at Survivor Series in Montreal, Canada. On the same night that he issued the challenge to Michaels, he suffered a countout loss to Triple H. But it was not without controversy as 1. Chyna prevented Hart from using the "HartBreaker" on Hemsley (My nickname for Bret's ringpost figure four) and 2. he was put to sleep with some "Sweet Chin Music" from Michaels (and got the nWo crotch symbol from Michaels as well). The following week, Michaels was involved in a title VS. title encounter with then WWF Intercontiental Champion Owen Hart. Hart had the match won when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin came out of the crowd and gave the "Stone Cold Stunner" to the referee!!! Thus, preventing either man from winning. Michaels, meanwhile, had given Owen some "SCM" when Bret came down and pounded a mudhole into Michaels!!! The next week, Bret was defending his title against former Ultimate Fighting Championship Superfight Champion Ken Shamrock!!! Shamrock had made Bret submit to his ankle-lock hold but the ref was knocked out. Bret regained the advantage thanks to a steel chair but as he put Shamrock into the "sharpshooter", Michaels came down and, once again, gave Hart the "SCM" treatment. When Shamrock came to the realization that he was DQ'ed due to Michaels interference, he snapped and tore into Michaels!!!
Then came Survivor Series on November 9, 1997. The Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels rematch was on. The ending, however, left a bad taste in everyone's mouth (including my American mouth) as the ref called for a submission victory in favor of Michaels when he caught Bret in the "sharpshooter." The ref, however, may have been acting under orders from Vince McMahon because Bret was exercising his right to look at other options after one year (he may be in WCW by the time you read this). I believe this was Vince's way of slapping the face of Bret Hart. He responded to Vince by spitting in his face!!! Even Michaels didn't seem to like how the match ended as he cursed out McMahon and the referee!!
Bret Hart, IMO, gave some of his best years to the WWF. Like him or hate him, he deserved better than the ending that Vince gave him at SS '97. Whatever Bret decides to do, I wish him nothing but the best!!! I don't know if he (Bret) surfs the net but I want to say to him:
"Bret Hart, thanks for 13 great years in the WWF. While I didn't always agree with you, I did know that when I saw you in the ring that I would be seeing a quality matchup!!! If you do go to WCW (which you may have had by the time this is printed), then I hope you have great success and add to your legend."
Who knows Solie readers. I might have be revisiting this series someday and add some more chapters to it.
Next: Book Of Lists
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
Macho Man's National Lampoon award is spotlighted in the opening video.
Live from the Greater Ohio Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Diamond Dallas Page will defend the US Title against Raven tonight.
Voodoo Child plays - here comes Hollywood Hogan and his thugs - oh yeah...and Bischoff too... the music switches to the nWo theme as they saunter to the ring. No sign of Ed Leslie, Hall or Nash. Bischoff poo-poos the idea of Savage as a "Real Man". He calls Savage "delusional..." Hogan rants his usual nonsense. He insults Miss Liz's "skinny legs" (dream on Hollywood Boy...) Brian Adams interrupts to say that Hogan has nothing to prove, he wants to take on Savage himself...assuming he shows up tonight... Cut to commercial.
Bill Goldberg vs. Vincent - Squash Time! 'Nuff said... I hope (for his sake) they don't pay this guy by the hour...
We come back to the WCW Motorsports report.
Prince Iaukea vs. Eddie Guerrero - the match barely gets underway before Guerrero complains about a hair pull (non-existent, of course). Iaukea seems to have the advantage until Guerrero drop-kicks him in the knee (ouch!!). He goes for a spinning toe-hold but the Prince escapes and comes back with a savate kick to the chin. Moments later the Prince climbs to the top but gets drop-kicked again - this time in the ankle! He tumbles to the mat. Eddie throws the Frog Splash to get the pin. Cut to commercial.
Two Nitro Grrrls and Kimberly hype the next Nitro Party remote spot at Duke University...
El Dandy vs. Juventud Guerrera - Dandy attacks before the bell and grabs the advantage right off the bat. We see members of the Flock coming down to take their seats as the match gets underway. In the ring Juvy has takes the initiative with a drop kick that knocks his opponent off the top turnbuckle then follows it up with a suicide dive. Back inside the match see-saws with Juventud gaining ground. After a pancake slam he throws his 450 splash and gets the pin. Konnan invades the ring after the match and taunts his coming Uncensored opponent by calling him by his real name. He challanges Juventud to a match next Monday night. Cut to commercial.
nWo music plays and Randy Savage comes to the ring. He calls Brian Adams and Hogan out for a palaver. They appear with Bischoff on the platform but don't approach the ring. He claims that the other nWo members are really talking about Hogan behind his back - he says t hey want to get Hogan out. He offers to "Crush" Brian Adams then he wants Hogan tonight as well! Hogan has trouble suppressing his laughter as he accepts the challange. Cut to commercial.
Video exploration of the Scott Steiner/Lex Luger feud.
Scott Steiner vs. Chase Tatum - newcomer Tatum is no match for his veteran opponent. In fact, he offers not a whit of offense during this rout. He's a big guy but Steiner manhandles him like a rag-doll. Steiner Recliner applied - that's all folks... Cut to commercial.
Video tribute to the Giant.
Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) vs. Jim Neidhart - didn't we just see this match in the last week or so..? Neidhart grabs a powerfull headlock and hold on for dear life. Hennig seems to be having trouble getting anything going during the opening moments of the contest. Rude is searching under the ring for something. Inside, Neidhart continues to gain ground until Hennig distracts the referree so that Rude can whack Neidhart with a 2X4! Afterward they attack Neidhart two-on-one until the British Bulldog runs in to help his brother-in-law. Cut to commercial.
Mike Tenay calls Raven to the ring for an interview. The Birdman comes down and slumps in the corner. Tenay has to stoop to interview him. He mentions the fact that Raven and DDP had the same mentor in the business. Raven whines about what a bad life he's had while DDP became famous. He plans to win the US Title tonight. His past pain is palpable...cut to video dedicated to Chris Jericho. This guy makes about as much sense as the previous clown...
Chris Jericho vs. Cyclope - Cruiserweight Title match - Jericho quotes the lyrics of a disco tune then rants up a storm. He says he knows 1004 holds (as opposed to Dean Malenko's 1000...) Cyclope gets in a brainbuster early on but fails to follow up. Moments later he goes for an Urracanranna but gets shrugged off. Jericho applies the Lion Tamer. It's left for Dean Malenko to come down and pull Jericho off by his gloden locks. He slaps on Texas Cloverleaf as we cut to commercial.
Scott Norton vs Renegade - here's a nothing match for you. Norton starts laying in bigtime shots in the corner right from the get-go. The Giant shows up and interrupts the match. He powerbombs Norton, then chokeslams the protesting Renegade. The gig guy grabs a microphone and taunts Nash, said to be at home with a bad back. Doug Dellenger chains his hands (because cuffs don't fit) and leads him away.
Raven vs. Diamond Dallas Page - US Title match - Raven gives DDP "one last chance" to beg him for forgiveness. He declares the match to be held under Raven's rules. DDP tells the referree to leave the ring. This begs the question of how either of them can actually win the match... They fight to the back of the arena and end up behind the stands where they encounter Chris Benoit thus turning this into a Three-way dance. No way to figure how anyone can be the victor here. Now they're back in the ring...all three of them!!! Ron Ryes (Big Ronn Studd) shows up to get involved, then Saturn puts the Rings on Benoit. They haul a safety rail into the ring and start throwing people onto it as we cut to commercial. Silly match...
Brian Adams (w/Hollywood Hogan) vs. Randy Savage (w/Liz) - Liz comes to the ring with a big smile on her face for some reason. Savage stops short of the ring and grabs a mic. He points out that his ex-wife and current manager was once Hogan's manager as well. He asks for her opinion about who the "Real Man" is - the answer is obvious. He then invite Hogan to ask his own wife who the "Real Man" is. Hogan attacks and gets creamed, Brian Adams suffers a similar fate. He's fighting both of them! And he's getting the best of them!! He downs Hogan in the ring and is attacked from behind by Adams - but Liz comes in and gouges Adams eye's - she then distracts Hogan so Savage can down him again. Finally Ed Leslie (still unidentified by the announcers) comes in and swings the balance. Other nWo thugs pound on Savage until Sting comes to his rescue. Fade to black...
Must have been a good show because it went by really fast...
At least that's the way I see it...
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