This program, of course was leading up to the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, which I reported on last night. Here in California this show was happening during the last hour of the PPV so, for me, it's a little out of order.
Shane introduced his father to start the show. He came out to his theme song, "No Chance in Hell." The chrowd tries to drown him out with an "A$$hole!" chant as he rolls video of his Royal Rumble victory followed by his defeat of Austin Saturday night (sort of) on RAW. He offered Austin a chance to get out of the cage match at the PPV (yeah right...) and/or to break his contract. Austin was watching from the backstage area but showed no reaction at first...then he broke the monitor.
It was announced that Road Dog had been severely injured backstage on Saurday (or whatever...) and would have to forfeit the Hardcore Title. Bob Holly would face Al Snow to determine the new Champion.
Dominic Donuche, the Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund showed up to help Mick Foley train for his match with the Rock.
Test (w/The Big Bossman) faced Viscera (the former Mabel w/Midion) who is dressing a lot snappier these days. It was basically a slugfest - no armdrags or drop toe-holds in this one. Viscera finished off the rookie with a piledriver and a big splash before the Bossman came in and got his man disqualified. Billy Gunn had a match with Tiger Ali Singh which was interrupted by Val Venis and Ken Shamrock (as could be expected).
Ivory and Debra got into a cat fight after Debra tried to turn the Tag Team Title match scheduled for the PPV into a six-person match.
While doing stair step training, Foley was attacked by the Rock. It was pretty strange that all these big strong trainers just stood around and let the attack happen.
At the end of the show McMahon wanted Austin to come to the ring but got Shawn Michaels instead. McMahon stood stone-faced while Michaels ranted. Stone Cold then showed up and had a few things to say himself. McMahon spit in his face trying to get him to break without success. Austin was calmly telling McMahon off as the program faded to black.
Shawn Michaels comes to the ring and then introduces Steve Austin and Mankind as the two participants in the main event at WrestleMania.
McMahon shows up looking much the worse for wear after last night's battle in the cage. He says he's a broken and humble man. The crowd says he's an "A$$hole!" He asks them isf they want blood...and says he had to have twelve stitches in his head, reminds us that he was thrown off the top of a cage...and says he wants to be a "better man" to "start all over" and "bury the hatchet" - he wants a "fresh start" (proving that he's the champion of including the most cliches in one sentance. He wants an apology from Austin! Austin obliges, saying, "I'm sorry I didn't beat your a$$ worse then I beat it." McMahon switches gears. He wants Shawn to order a rematch between Mankind and the Rock tonight. Mankind interrupts to say that he is in no shape to compete. He wants to do it next week. The Rock shows up at this point and insists that the match take place tonight. He orders Michaels to make the match (can he do that..?) Mankind says he'll take the match tonight. McMahon jumps in with a demand to have a ladder match. Shawn makes the match. McMahon then introduces Paul Wight as the special referee for the WWF Title match at WrestleMania.
Jeff Jarrett/Debra vs. D-Lo Brown/Ivory - mixed tag match - Debra takes a bump off the apron before the match gets started. She grins gamely as Jarrett helps her to her feet. The men mix it up to start the match. D-Lo misses a knee drop thus setting himself up for the figure four. Jarrett grabs it right away and Ivory has to come in and rake Jarrett's eyes to break it up. D-Lo comes back and flies all over Jarrett. Debra runs in which brings Ivory in - a cat fight erupts as the men's fight continues causing the match to be thrown out. Jarrett comes in with the (breakaway) guitar which Debra grabs to waffle Ivory.
In the back, Paul Wight is being welcomed into the Corporation as we cut to commercial.
HHH and X-Pac come out to make a statement. HHH goes into his misogynist rant against Chyna. He wants a tag team rematch against her and Kane. Shane escorts Chyna and Kane out onto the platform. He rules the rematch out and tells Chyna she has the night off. X-Pac then suggests that Shane trade places with Chyna. Shane begs off because of a lack of proper ring attire but then reverses himself to suggest that X-Pac will put his European Title on the line in the match then he'll accept. DX agrees. Cut to commercial.
Mankind is somewhere in the back using a ladder to painfully climb up out of the bowels of the arena.
Billy Gunn vs. Val Venis (w/Ryan)- Intercontinental Title match - this could be pretty good except that there is little doubt that Shamrock will show up and spoil it. Ms. Shamrock is a little more conservatively dressed tonight in a black sheath dress. Teddy Long is the referee. Billy opens up with right hands to start the match but Val ducks away and turs the tables, putting the boots to Billy in the corner. Billy comes back with a slam and a neck breaker to get a 2 count. Val comes right back and flattens Billy with a right hand but rushes ibnt a boot in the corner. He comes back with a drop-toe hold but things are firmly in see-saw mode as Billy hits a back body drop. Meanwhile Ryan has snuck onto the apron and gets knocked off which distracts Billy allowing Val to roll him up. Billy goes to check on Ryan as Venis celebrates his victory. Ryan returns to the ring where she makes the mistake of claiming some of the credit for the win. Venis immediately disputes her assertion and then dumps her. She is trying not to laugh as she pretends to be upset. Cut to a shot of the Ministry of Darkness on their way somewhere and then to commercial.
UT and his minions make their entrance as we return. He leads them to the ring. We are reminded that the Big Bossman was abducted from the arena in Memphis last night. We hear he "escaped" later. Paul Bearer introduces the Undertaker and tells Vince McMahon to listen to what he has to say. UT asserts that the WWF will "belong" to him in the fullness of time. He claims they let Bossman go last night. He says they can take any member of the Corporation out anytime they want. He claims that he owns the "key to your heart and soul." Big Bossman appears on the platform and issues a challenge to any three of the Ministry to face himself and two other Corporation members tonight. UT seems to accept the challenge but it isn;t really clear. Back in the hallway, Shane is psyching himself up for the tag match against DX which is next. After this commercial, that is...
Kane/Shane vs. HHH/XPac - European Title is on the line for this one (it's not clear who would win it but I assume that would be Shane) - the King asserts that whoever pins X-Pac would win the title - does that mean if HHH loses, the Title stays with X-Pac? Shane stays out of it as the match begins - Kane takes on both DX'rs. X-Pac is knocked to the floor where Shane attacks him then leads him right into Chyna's clothesline. Meanwhile, HHH takes on Kane in the ring. He does OK for a while but then Kane gets a boot in his face then downs him with a flying lariet. Shane wants in and Kane obliges only to find that HHH is playing possum. He takes over then tags in X-Pac who is all over the boss's son. He sets up the bucking bronco but Kane grabs him by the throat. X-Pac leaves the ring momentarily then runs back in and gets clobbered with the Title belt, which Chyna handed to Shane. Chyna lays Shane over X-Pac and he gets the pin. Shane McMahon is the European Champ!
Shane is being congratulated by the Corporate thugs in the back as we return.
Bob Holly vs. Steve Blackman - Hardcore Title match - I guess they are telling us that anyone can be the Hardcore Champ now. This isn't even a mid-card contest. Blackman meets Holly on the p[latform and the fight goes right to the backstage area. Blackman is immediately on the receiving end. They fight out to the loading dock and then onto the driveway. Holly gets kicked into a dumpster then Droz shows up and hits Blackman with a pole. He is unconscious and easily pinned. Holly returns to the ring and rants about the way he has been slighted during his WWF tour with lousy gimmicks and weak tag team partners (lets see, didn't he hold the Tag Titles with Waltman..?) Bart Gunn appears on the platform and issues a challenge for the Title next week on RAW. Holly accepts the match. In the back, Sable is seen heading for the ring as we go to commercial.
So now we have Sparky Plugg as the Hardcore Champ, Duane Gill as the Light Heavyweight Champ and McMahon's little boy as the European Champ...WWF Titles are being devalued right and left...
Steve Austin paces in the back as Sable is introduced showing a lot of cleavage. She mentions that her issue of Playboy comes out March 8th, plus covers of TV Guide and RAW Magazine...TV offers etc. The strange woman who ran in at the Rumble shows up and is restrained until Sable tells the security guy to let her come over. She then reveals a heel turn by telling the fan (who apparently only wants to tell Sable that she loves her) that she is just a "wannabe." Cut to commercial.
Mr. McMahon is instructing the Rock in the back as we return.
Test/Bossman/Ken Shamrock vs. The Acolytes/Midion - there's Butterbean in the crowd. The fight erupts with all six men immediately. Shamrock/Simmons and Bossman/Midion in the ring - Test/Bradshaw outside. It sorts out to Midion vs Bossman in a rematch of Sunday's rather lackluster contest between the two. A six man brawl erupts suddenly in the ring and then the lights go out. UT appears on the platform with Paul Bearer - then Viscera drags Shane out! UT speaks to Shane then grabs him by the throat. He pulls a folded paper out of his pocket and tells Shane to deliver it to his father. The match is forgotten as we cut to commercial.
The Rock vs. Mankind - ladder match for the WWF Title - I take it back, Maivia can get more cliches in then McMahon any day...all delivered while referring to himself in the third person. Mankind is headed into the arena as we cut to commercial.
Mankind makes his entrance as we return. He is limping noticeably. Steve Austin then makes his entrance - he's here to do commentary. Lawler takes pains to kiss up to him as he sits down next to the Kevin Kelly. They keep saying that the winner of tonight's match will face Austin at WrestleMania, but with five+ weeks to go, I doubt that is altogether clear. The Rock tosses a chair into the ring and starts smashing Mankind's knee against it. He goes out to get the ladder and brings it into the ring where Foley knocks him down with the chair then starts hitting him with it through the ladder. He delivers Mr. Elbow with authority then starts up the ladder. Maivia grabs the chair and whacks Mankind on the injured leg, knocking him off the ladder and collapsing it. He catches Mankind's leg between th halves of the ladder and lays in the chair shots. Maivia starts up the ladder but Mankind breaks that up with shots to the mid-section and knocking the "Great One" onto the top rope. Foley starts up the ladder again and is again knocked off and gets his arm tangled up in the ropes. Maivia delivers another chair shot then they take the fight out to the floor and into the ringside seats. They fight past the crowd ainto an open area on the other side where Maivia is smashed into thr railing. He recovers and they brawl back toward the ring. Mankind is clotheslined over the barrier back into the ringside area. Up the ramp they head and Mankind is suplexed there. Maivia gets hold of Mr. Socko and sails it out into the crowd. Back at ringside, Maivia is in charge until Foley reverses a whip and sends him hurtling into the steps. They fight to the Spanish announce table where Foley tries to set-up a piledriver but Maivia gets the Rock Bottom on the table which collapses. Maivia goes back to the ring and heads up the ladder but Mankind catches him and delivers a low blow then a DDT. Foley pulls out annother sock but as he approaches Maivia he has the ladder shoved in his face. The Rock starts up the ladder but Foley is climbing the other side. He gets the Mandible Claw at the top - but uh oh - here comes Wight. He chokeslams Foley off the top of the ladder and Maivia climbs up and retrieves the belt. The Rock Regains the WWF Title!! Austin is sneaking up on Maivia as we fade to black...
I'll be back tomorrow night with the Nitro Report. Until then...
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions