Volume 1, Issue 92
December 15, 1996
Editor's Note: Here is the second part of my Weekend Review along with my in-depth report of the In Your House: It's Time PPV. BTW - I'd like to thank the many readers who pointed out my error concerning the identities of the members of the Can-Am Connection in yesterday's edition - it has since been corrected.
The program opens with a surprisingly competitive match between Freddy Joe Floyd (Tracy Smothers) and Faarooq (Ron Simmons). I wonder if PG-13 are going to actually wrestle in the WWF or are they just "hood" ornaments for the Nation of Domination.
Shawn Michaels was a little less belligerent in his interview, but not much. He now allows that he will be happy to take on "...whatever is left" after the Title match between Sid and Bret Hart tonight. He had some critical things to say about Bret Hart, mentioning that Hart "sat in his house up in Calgary" and passed judgement on his (Shawn's) eight month Title reign. He stated that he is a professional and will sit ringside and not interfere as long as neither Sid or Bret try to get into "my business", but "I'm Shawn Michaels and I'll do what I want, when I want..." I see little chance that Bret will walk away with the title this evening. Knowing Hart's volatile temper he will almost certainly try to intimidate Michaels who will take offence...
Shortly after that interview Barry Windham gave Stone Cold Steve Austin a real run for his money as Jim Cornette tried to stir up trouble between Austin and the British Bulldog in his ringside commentary.
Again this morning the WWF is feeding us Pablum concerning the HHH/Mero situation. Now the whole "Perfect Alliance" storyline (which was abruptly cut short with Curt Hennig's departure) is being served up as "Hunter Hearst Helmsley's Master Plan". Referring to Mr. Perfect as "Helmsley's unwitting accomplice" and implying that the incident in which HHH pretended to injure Hennig's knee was a real attack and took place after the Title match with Mero. Does Vince McMahon really believe that WWF fans have such short memories?
Bret Hart was in the middle of excoriating Sid when HBK showed up and interrupted the interview. The two faced off verbally, Shawn getting the better of the exchange being that he has always been the more glib of the two. Shawn's complaint is that Bret has been talking him down behind his back, sending Doc Hendrix in as his "messenger boy", etc. He's questioning Brets status as a "role model". Bret's chances of regaining the Title continue to diminish...
I see Vader has been reduced to squashing jobbers...too bad he's been so badly misused.
The main event today was a grudge match pitting Savio Vega vs. Crush. There was some great action in this one. Despite his detractors, Vega is a formidable competitor and gave Crush all he could handle. During this match Jim Ross got in a snide remark (vis-a-vis the Hogan/Piper confrontation) about how "...none of the competitors in tonight's Title match are mising bodyparts..." Crush and Vega were eventually both counted out of the ring.
At the end of the show we saw an interview with the WWF Champ interrupted again by HBK who flung himself at Sid and started a melee. Among the figures who ran in to try and seperate the two was Bret Hart. Right at the end, as Michaels and Hart were being restrained from attacking each other, Sid got in a cheap shot by clobbering Hart from behind as the scene faded to black. So much for Bret's chances this evening...
Free-for-All: Rocky Maivia vs. Salvitore Sincere (Johnny Gunn) - this match is pretty evenly fought. Maivia is touted as a rookie but actaully Gunn probably only has a slight edge in that department. (We see Paul Bearer, Mankind and the Execututioner in an inset - Paul and Mike do all the talking...I guess the cat's got Gordy's tongue). The match is short and sweet - Maivia is about to win after putting on his shoulder breaker but Jim Cornette run in and Sal is disqualified.
Helmsley/Mero match promo - the same bullpucky we saw this morning.
A review of the interview-cum-melee involving Sid, Shawn and Bret this morning on SuperStars.
Jim Ross is trying to interview Bret Hart but can't get into his dressing room - there is a disturbance and JR parts a curtain to reveal Helmsley in a heated conversation with Marlena...(huh?) They seperate and HHH refuses to comment.
The PPV begins: It comes to us from the West Palm Beach Auditorium in Florida. I understand my friend Mike Brand of the Off the Top Rope newsletter is in attendance - I look forward to his first-hand report.
First up: Leif Cassidy (Al Snow) vs. Flash Funk (2 Cold Scorpio) - Cassidy is trying to shed his dorky New Rockers image (its about time). Flash dances to the ring with his entourage, pauses enroute to dance with Vince McMahon then continues to dance in the ring. He looks like the dork to me!
Flash Funk dominates the early going and seems to be one step ahead of his opponent. He misses his footing at one point when trying to mount the top turnbuckle but recovers quickly. Shortly thereafter Cassidy turns the tables and then suplexes Flash over the top rope to the floor. He next throws a devastating planche. Back in the ring the action is see-saw then it's all Flash Funk. He uses a back-handspring to gather momentum for a kick to the face and then executes a daring Swan Dive on his opponent whose out on the floor. Back inside there are a series of reversals then Funk is back in charge. Finally he hits his one-and-a-half forward somersault splash to win the match.
"Diesel"/"Razor Ramon" vs. Owen Hart/British Bulldog - Tag Team Title match - two AAA (Mexican) wrestlers show up ringside and distract the Champs giving Yankum the early advantage over Owen. The AAA guys leave and Steve Austin takes their place. He and Bulldog get into a ringside brawl but Bulldog gets back in time to beat the count and continue the match. The Champs' team work is superior and they take over. Owen gets dumped outside and "Diesel" rams his back into the ringpost
Back inside "Razor" wears him down with an arm bar - pounds him in the back then he hands off to "Diesel". He pounds on Owen a little and then hands it back. The crowd is chanting "Diesel Sucks!! Owen is still taking it. Finally he manages to tag Bulldog in who cleans house. Now the action is both inside and outside at the same time. Inside the Bulldog has "Razor" in postition for his running powerslam but Razor slips away. He goes for a Razor's Edge but Owen comes in a lays a reverse spin kick on him - Bulldog rolls him up for a the pin.
After the match Austin runs in and attacks Bulldog again - clipping him behind the knee - Owen seems curiously slow to react (JR noticed it too). Austin is hustled out of the ring area as Owen helps his partner to his feet.
Ahmed Johnson interview - he's nattering on about having lost everything but his fans when the NOD music blairs and Ron Simmons shows himself up in the stands. Faarooq rants about creating his own "race of people." Ahmed starts a "you're going down" chant in response.
During a Royal Rumble promo there are technical dfficulties. First the picture and the sound goes out - then the picture comes back without sound. They're showing the Mero/HHH promo silently.
Now the broadcast is back - still no sound - Marc Mero is making his entrance (great fireworks!) Actually this is kind of pleasant not having to listen to the Burger King talk Mero down...
Helmsley comes down as the sound comes back - then the picture and the sound go out again. Finally were back in full - fortunately the match hasn't started yet.
The match begins - Helmsley is not selling very well and is making Mero look bad. Things are pretty even in the early going. HHH goes for a Curtain Call early and gets dumped over the top to the floor. Outside he uses Sable as a shield then sucker-punches the Wild Man. He goes for a chair but the ref wrestles it away - the picture goes out again.
We're back and Helmsley is in charge in the ring. Vince is apologizing for the transmission difficulties.
Earl Hebner is right on top of things - he kicks Helmsley's arm away from the ropes during an abdominal stretch. HHH shoves Hebner and gets shoved right back. Hebner reads him the riot act and he collapses in the corner. Now its all downhill for the Champ. Mero takes over. As he's going up for super-plex we lose the picture again.
We're back - Mero's still in charge. He gets his Samoan drop. He goes up for his Shooting Star press but Helmsley shoves the referee into the rope, Mero loses his footing and tumbles to the mat. Both men are down.
Helmsley recovers first and fails in a pin attempt. He tries for the Curtain Call again and gets upset again. Moments later Mero hits the Mero-sault - close but no cigar. Hunter gets a neck-breaker then goes out to get the belt. He tries to use it as a weapon but Mero sidesteps and manages to roll him up. Unfortunately the ref is out on the floor after an earlier collision with Mero. Another exchange and then out to the floor again.
Goldust shows up and grabs the belt. He goes around the ring and brains the Wild Man then he hits the Champ as well! Mero recovers and rolls back in before the count. The picture goes out again.
We come back as Mero is preparing to throw his Shooting Star press just for the hell of it (I think it's in his contract that he gets to do it at the end of every match). He leaves in triumph, having scored a "moral" victory.
Goldust attacks Helmsley as he stumbles back up the aisle...he seems upset...
Doc Hendrix interviews Sid - they review the morning melee once again. Sid says he beat Shawn, who beat Bret - so he will beat Bret - sounds logical...
Undertaker vs the Executioner - Armegeddon Rules - No Count-out, No DQ, once pinned a competitor has a ten count to resume the match. As they run a promo we lose the picture again. Then the picture is back without sound. The sound comes back as they are explaining the rules.
The Undertaker enters (Gordy is already in the ring) Undertaker is alone so far...doesn't look like he's wearing leather for this one. Some non-shiney black material - velvet maybe.
Undertaker dominates this match as expected - Gordy is a has-been. Paul Bearer has to distract Undertaker in order for the Executioner to make any headway - he does it twice - the second time he brains UT with the urn (to little effect, I might add). The Mankind shows up and they gang up on Undertaker (it's legal since this is a no-DQ match). That's okay with Undertaker - he dominates both of them! They fight down the aisle to the "In Your House" set. They literally "tear the house down"! Then they head back toward the ring - the double teaming is starting to take it's toll when the Security forces show up and mace Mankind!!
Meanwhile the Undertaker and Executioner have left the arena and are presumably fighting it out in the parking lot. Back in the ring the Security guys are putting Mankind into a straight jacket!!! Gorilla Monsoon is ringside involved in this operation. Outside we see the Executioner tumbling into the fountain.
Undertaker comes back into the building and starts beating on Mankind (who is still trussed up) The Executioner comes back - dripping wet and quickly gets caught in the Tombstone Piledriver. He has a 10 count to get back into the fight but no soap. Undertaker wins.
Doc interviews Bret - they review the footage from this morning yet again... Shawn Michael's music plays and interrupts the interview - HBK is heading to ringside to commentate.
The Hitman makes his entrance - Michaels starts right in putting him down. His tune has changed considerably from a few weeks ago. He calls Hart pompous and arrogant. JR relates that description to "some people he has to work with..."
Sid enters - Shawn refers to him as an "expensive piece of luggage" implying that he has to be "carried". Hart attacks from behind before the bell sounds and takes the early advantage. But then takes a clothesline out of the corner - Sid stomps on him. Then he whips Bret into the ropes and puts his head down. Big mistake. Bret is in charge again...but not for long. Sid gets in a roundhouse right - Bret rolls out of the ring. Sid follows him and Bret runs around and tries to roll back in. He's not fast enough and Sid drags him back out to the floor. They are in and then right back out again. Sid pulls up the padding and attempts to get a powerbomb. Hart slips away and rams Sid's back into the ring post.
Back in the ring, Bret continue to work on the lower back. he's setting up for the Sharpshooter and Sid in trouble for the first time in the match. Hart is putting on some heavy shots while Sid is getting in no offense at all. Bret pulls the padding off one of the turnbuckles and tries to drive Sid's head into it, but Sid block the move. Hart goes back to work on the injured back then he climbs the corner ropes and gets caught and slammed. Sid punches his opponent, whips him and puts a boot in his face. His pin attempt fails. He goes back to punching until he misses a move and ends up on his back.
Hart goes for a Sharpshooter but Sid kicks him off and out of the ring. Austin runs in and clips him behind the knee (What is this? A theme show?) Starts to pound on Bret but Owen and the Bulldog pull him off. They depart. Bret is limping as he re-enters the ring.
Sid seems to hesitate - then goes to work. They struggle for position - Bret gets run face-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Sids gets his chokeslam but Bret kicks out! Another exchange and they tumble out to the floor. Hart goes for Shawn's chair - Shawn gives it up reluctantly but Hart gets caught before he can use it. Sid picks a fight with Shawn, who follows them back to the ring.
Back inside Bret gets whipped right into Shawn who is up on the apron. Sid powerbombs Bret and gets the pin.
Outside after the match, Bret attacks the still dazed Shawn and lays him out. That's all folks...
Not bad for $20...a few good matches - the Undertaker/Executioner brawl was pretty entertaining for a change, the Main Event could have had a better ending (like Bret winning - but I didn't expect that to happen) The other two Title matches were both pretty good. Even the Free-For-All opener delivered some pretty good action and the Cassidy/Funk match was excellent. Give McMahon an "A-" depite all the broadcast problems...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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