Wednesday 2 December 2020

WWF In Your House X: Mind Games Review!


Welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that will never preach toxic positivity! It’s WWF Mind Games where Shawn Michaels defends his WWF Championship against the deranged Mankind who has vanquished The Undertaker for now and with Paul Bearer at his side, I don’t know if Mankind can be stopped. Rounding out the card we have Undertaker vs Goldust again? But why? Jerry Lawler vs Mark Henry is happening so I guess that makes sense why Lawler beat Jake The Snake Roberts but I am not too thrilled about that match and The Smoking Gunns vs British Bulldog & Owen Hart? Have we finally put to the rest Phineas’ obsession with Sunny? Thank God if that’s true but you know the story by now In Your House PPVs are usually more digestible than the overblown big WWF PPVs so this has a strong chance of being better than Summerslam but that’s not saying much!


(Caribbean Strap Match) Justin Hawk Bradshaw W/ Dirty Dutch Mantel vs Savio Vega

Oh lord really? Savio sprints to the ring looking to beat up Bradshaw who whips Savio over and over, big strap shots to the throat. Bradshaw has the strap around Savio’s neck, huge toss across the ring. More whipping from Bradshaw, Savio stops Bradshaw from winning. Huge ECW chants ring throughout the arena, Bradshaw is pulled into the ring-post twice. Massive strap shot from Savio, Sandman tosses beer on Savio. Dreamer and Sandman are held back by Heyman, very interesting what could this all mean? Bradshaw applies a sleeper with the strap before transitioning to a headlock. Three buckle touches before Savio stops the big man in his tracks with a belly to back suplex. Bradshaw is waffled with the strap over and over, Bradshaw screams out in pain over and over.


Savio touches three but Bradshaw is determined to stop Savio and Bradshaw does just that. Savio is up first, clothesline and make it two from Savio. Spinning Heel Kick from Savio, Bradshaw stops Savio from winning with a mighty pull and a big boot. Clothesline from Hell, Bradshaw touches three but Savio has also touched three before being pulled into the fourth buckle.


Same finish I have seen in every single one of these stupid matches, one guy touches without the other noticing and boom they win with 4 touches to 3. The concept is dumb, the match is dumb and this is not a hot opening match just like Savio at Summerslam.


Winner: Savio Vega over Justin Hawk Bradshaw via Touching The Four Buckles!


Jim Cornette vs Jose Lothario

Cornette has been knocked on his ass multiple times by the manager and trainer Shawn Michaels so now they will be fighting in this ring tonight. Cornette is confident against the 62 year old Jose Lothario. Cornette is decked seconds into the match, a huge slap from Jose. Jose and throat thrust before Cornette begs for mercy, Jose yanks Cornette to the middle of the ring. Cornette is bounced off the buckle twice and a right hand knocks down Cornette. Big left hand and this match is over.


Wow I thought Cornette would do something to get some heat but Cornette gets slaughtered here and it was infinitely better than the actual opening match. Cornette takes big bumps and puts over Jose Lothario, not a problem with it at all.


Winner: Jose Lothario over Jim Cornette via Left Hand!


(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Owen Hart & The British Bulldog vs The Smoking Gunns © W/ Sunny

Sunny is paired with Faarooq but is still here with The Smoking Gunns, a heel vs heel match is not exactly my idea of fun. If anything Bulldog & Owen come up as babyfaces messing up Sunny’s picture that she shows before each match. Clarence Mason is here to manage the challengers, Owen gets rolled up by Billy for two. Billy and Owen lock-up, arm-bar from Billy before Owen counters. Shoulder tackle from Billy, hip-toss and arm-drags from Owen. Flying crossbody for two, side headlock from Owen. Leapfrogs before Owen small packages Billy for two, boot by Billy and a tag to Bart. Scoop slam but Bart misses the elbow drop, tag to Bulldog.


Side headlock from Bart, shoulder tackle to Bulldog. Schoolboy from Bulldog before a massive dropkick and arm-bar. Tag to Owen, chop block from The King of Hearts. Owen wrenches the leg of Bart, Owen uses the ropes to batter the left leg of Bart. Tag to Bulldog, wishbone split from the challengers. Knee to the left leg from Bulldog, make it two. Tag to Owen, kicks to the both legs from The King of Hearts. Leg trip and foot crank from Owen before a big leg drop and an Indian death-lock from Owen. Boston crab from Owen, Bart grabs the ropes. Tag to Bulldog, delayed vertical suplex from Bulldog. Massive leg drop with Billy making the save, Owen cheap-shots Bart. Spinning toe hold from Owen, small package counter for two before Owen lands a massive enzuigiri with Billy making the save.


Tag to Bulldog, Irish whip with Billy assaulting Bulldog. Massive clothesline from Bart, Billy stomps Bulldog on the floor and sends Bulldog into the steel steps. Billy is in, massive flying fist in the corner. Tag to Bart, Bart hobbles over and tag to Billy. Sidewalk slam/diving leg drop combination from the champions, Mason distracts the referee with Owen landing a diving fist drop. Two for Bulldog, Billy stomps the life out of Bulldog before tagging Bart. Knee drops from Bart, tag to Billy. Face-rake from Billy, reverse chin-lock and shot to the head from Billy. Tag to Bart, Bulldog avoids the running powerslam. Billy shoves Bart, Bulldog lands The Running Powerslam while Owen wipes out Billy with a spinning heel kick.


Well both teams are heels and the crowd never really get behind Bulldog & Owen as babyfaces so we have this awkward match and again, the camera misses Sunny distracting Billy which leads to Billy shoving Bart. Happy for Owen and Bulldog as they are tremendously entertaining and Owen covers for Bulldog’s flaws. The match really was a whole load of nothing, didn’t leave any sort of impression on me. Sunny breaks up with The Gunns though, could Sunny be moving onto bigger and better things?


Winners: Owen Hart & British Bulldog over The Smoking Gunns via Running Powerslam!


Jerry Lawler vs Mark Henry

Lawler’s promos are always top-notch but the matches are trash, this is Henry’s first match in the WWF so this could be quite the match. Lawler stalls like every WWF match that Lawler has had at this point, side headlock from Lawler. Arm-wrench and shove from Henry, side headlock from Henry. Hammerlock counter from Lawler, hammerlock counter and shove from Henry. Henry picks up Lawler and gorilla press slams The King, shoulder block does not work for Lawler. Henry side-steps Lawler and Lawler suicide dives into the guardrail, Lawler reaches down into his tights and smashes Henry in the face three times. Henry starts to shake off the attacks of Lawler, massive knees from Henry. Massive chop to the head, make it two. Argentine back-breaker ad this match is over, another DUD from Lawler.


Winner: Mark Henry over Jerry Lawler via Argentine Back-Breaker!


(Final Curtain Match) Goldust W/ Marlena vs The Undertaker

Having defeated Mero at Summerslam, Goldust is in the sights of The Undertaker again. No slow-motion here with Taker uppercutting Goldust over and over, Irish whips to the opposite buckle. Massive leg drop from Taker, two for The Deadman. Goldust rolls to the floor, Goldust hot-shots Taker and Marlena slaps Taker. Bad idea as Taker Irish whips Goldust but Taker lowers the head, massive neck-breaker from Goldust. Uppercut from Taker, Irish whip and big boot. Suplex from Taker, old school from Taker. Goldust is tossed to the floor, Marlena hands some sort of purse to The Bizarre One. Marlena is lifted up by The Deadman but Taker does not hit her, Goldust throws powder into the eyes of The Deadman. Goldust chokes Taker and lands a big right hand on the outside.


Goldust shoves Taker’s eye into the steel steps, Goldust hammers away on Taker. Taker avoids a right hand from Goldust but eats a massive clothesline for two, Goldust hammers away at Taker in the corner. Boot to the face from Goldust, belly to back suplex from Taker to slow down Goldust. Hip-toss from Goldust for two, Goldust claws at the face of Taker again. Taker begins to fight back as Goldust piles on the pressure, Marlena is with the referee as Goldust kicks low and whips Taker to the buckle. Goldust taunts for too long, Undertaker throws Goldust to the corner. Rights and lefts from Taker, an uppercut floors The Bizarre One. Goldust sends Taker to the buckle, Taker comes out with an elbow before running into a powerslam.


Taker sits-up, Goldust is right on the attack with right hands. Goldust misses a clothesline, flying clothesline from The Deadman. Goldust is whipped to the buckle, Goldust boots away Taker and climbs high. Taker grabs Goldust by the throat, massive Chokeslam from the buckle. Tombstone Piledriver and this match is over, Taker wins!


Decent, I have seen these two mix it up three times on PPV during this year, Goldust is not blowing me away like The Natural Dustin Rhodes would in WCW, Goldust is heavy on character work and Taker and Goldust do not seem to have good chemistry with one another. I look forward to Taker’s feud with Mankind continuing as they are just meant for one another at this point with Taker not delivering with any other opponent. As for Goldust, it seems like squandered momentum, a lot of stops and starts for The Bizarre One.


Winner: Undertaker over Goldust via Tombstone Piledriver!


(WWF Championship Match) Shawn Michaels © W/ Jose Lothario vs Mankind W/ Paul Bearer

Makes sense for these two to meet with Mankind being the biggest heel in the company at this point after defeating The Undertaker, the Mandible Claw has been protected as a deadly finish that spells the end of anyone so this is quite the match. Side headlock from Michaels ends in an elbow from Mankind, Mankind stomps away at HBK. Irish whip, back-body drop from Mankind. Cactus Jack clothesline to the floor with Michaels being shoved into the guardrail. Mankind wastes no time ripping up the padding at ringside and Michaels dropkicks Mankind and buries the challenger under the exposed concrete. Michaels double-stomps Mankind and lands a diving crossbody onto the challenger, Michaels shoves Mankind down with Mankind’s head bouncing off the concrete.


Back in the ring, diving axe handle from HBK. Irish whip with Mankind reversing, Mankind misses a clothesline. Jabs and rights from Michaels, big clothesline brings down Mankind. Scoop slam, diving elbow drop from HBK. Mankind dives out of the ring to avoid Sweet Chin Music, Mankind looks to the turn for comfort. Mankind drags HBK to the corner, they both trade the advantage with right hands. Michaels is whipped to the buckle, they blow a spot before Michaels pummels Mankind in the middle of the ring. Mankind counters a snap-mare for a possible mandible claw attempt but HBK is blocking the attempt. Michaels is in top-mount pummelling away on Mankind, Mankind is kicked in the head twice before answering with a right hand. Michaels is tossed to the floor, Mankind grabs the Spanish announce table while Michaels dives over the table and crossbodies Mankind.


By the steel steps, Michaels suplexes Mankind into them. Seeing the damage that had been done, Michaels chop-blocks the ankle of Mankind. HBK drives the knee into the coffin that Mankind arrived in, Mankind is like a wounded animal. Massive stomp from Michaels, Mankind elbows his way back into the match. Right hand after right hand, Mankind gets caught in the dragon screw from HBK. Michaels applies a figure-four in the middle of the ring, mankind screams out in agony. Mankind reverses the hold, whipping Michaels who dropkicks the knee of Mankind. Michaels drops both knees onto the leg of Mankind, single leg Boston crab from the champion. Crucifix into a sunset flip for two, Mankind counters a hurricanrana by dropping Michaels throat-first on the rope.


Mankind has a pen and stabs himself in the leg to get the feeling back into it, right hands and running knee in the corner from the challenger. Mankind is countered with a belly to back suplex, Michaels slides through the legs and trips Mankind. Right hands, Michaels flips out of the corner into the tree of woe. Mankind lands his elbow to Michaels who is in the tree of woe, make it double. Leg drop from Mankind, HBK rolls to the floor laying by the steel steps. Mankind charges and hits his knee off the steel steps, HBK drop toeholds Mankind into the steel steps. HBK wants to suplex Mankind into the ring, they struggle over the suplex. Mankind lifts Michaels to the apron, Mankind charges for a clothesline but hits the ring-post.


Irish whip and flying elbow from Michaels, Mankind runs into a powerslam for two. Michaels ties up Mankind in the ropes, Mankind could pass out. Michaels sends Mankind to the floor after Mankind locks in the Mandible Claw in desperation. Mankind has the hold once more before Michaels pulls Mankind into the guardrail by the announcers. HBK has a chair, Mankind misses a punch hitting the chair and Michaels cracks Mankind with a chair-shot to the leg and head. Michaels bites the hand of Mankind and wrenches away at the arm, Michaels stomps on the fingers too for good measure. Stretching and pulling on the fingers, Mankind is helpless as HBK continues his attacks. Massive stomps on the hand of Mankind, Michaels is relentless in his attacks. Mankind back-drops HBK to the floor, Cactus Jack elbow drop to the floor.


Mankind follows up with a swinging neck-breaker on the concrete, Michaels tries to re-enter the ring but Mankind guillotine leg drops Michaels and plants the champion with a double arm DDT for a close two. Pulling piledriver from the challenger, close two again for the challenger. Mankind attempts multiple pins but Michaels will not stay down, Mankind is frustrated so the challenger grabs a steel chair. Make it two, Mankind opens the casket. What’s the plan here? Michaels fights back with right hands, Mankind reverses the Irish whip but is waffled with a flying forearm. Kip-up, Michaels stomps Mankind over and over, scoop slam and diving crossbody for two. Mankind crotches Michaels who was climbing to the top rope, Mankind wanted a super belly to back suplex through the table but Michaels counters with a crossbody in mid-air.


Mankind is somehow up, chair in hand while Bearer has the referee distracted. Michaels runs up a chair and Sweet Chin Musics the chair into the face of Mankind, Michaels covers but Mankind manages to kick out before Vader runs down into the match. Flying forearm from Michaels knocks Vader to the floor, Paul Bearer cracks Michaels with the urn. Sid and Vader are brawling in the ramp, Mandible Claw from Mankind on Michaels. From the casket emerges The Deadman who hurls Mankind to the floor, and that’s all she wrote.


Great entertaining match that Mick Foley would speak very highly of when talking about his favourite matches that he took part in, they work a very fast pace with Mankind taking the best parts of his brawls with Undertaker and applying them to the main event scene with HBK. I really enjoyed the finish too, it sucks when there is a DQ in a main event but I thought it was too soon to squash all this momentum that Mankind had built up, conquering The Undertaker and despite how the Summerslam match is viewed, Vader was very unlucky to get beaten by Michaels and won the match twice so I could see some sort of triple threat between the three possibly or something involving all these wrestlers because they are a lot of loose ends to be tied up. Anyways, this match is exciting and a sign of things to come in the WWF with the WWF edging closer into the beginning of an era that we would all become very familiar with in the next few years. Mankind and Shawn Michaels have a great match and it’s the only match worth watching on this PPV.


Winner: Shawn Michaels over Mankind via DQ!


That was WWF’s In Your House X: Mind Games, a one match show if I have ever seen one, the WWF continues to give me reasons not to care about their pay per views with matches that simply do not have that spark or creativity in them. Savio vs Bradshaw is like any strap match you have seen before, same finish and same overblown routine, no reason to watch. Lothario beats down Cornette in less than a minute, Cornette bumped well but not a match in this man’s mind. Owen & Bulldog vs Gunns is all about Sunny breaking up with The Gunns, it’s heel vs heel which is always a bad idea if you are not turning someone by the end of the match. As a result, they go through the motions, fans are unsure who to really believe in during the match and then it ends, not really interested in The Gunns break up but interested in Sunny with Faarooq.


Jerry Lawler vs Mark Henry is every WWF Lawler match that I have seen since 1993, Henry could be swapped with Roberts, Warrior, Piper or Bret. There’s no heat, Henry almost kills Lawler with a gorilla press slam at one point and it’s just not very good at all. Undertaker vs Goldust is the same match I have seen twice before, Goldust does not have the chemistry with The Deadman. It’s boring despite Goldust being a big man who could thrown around Taker we never get that we get plodding slow action that leads to a tombstone, I have seen it already this year, didn’t need to see it again. Finally, the main event is very good if not great, they tear the house down and you get some really nice work from both men. Mandible Claw is protected, Mankind is protected. Michaels works an interesting strategy stomping away at the hand, taking away Mankind’s finish. The bump to the floor is wild as is three or four other bumps Mankind takes in the match and the finish leaves thing open for rematches and you also have an exciting close to the show. Watch this only for the main event and you will be a happy wrestling fan, avoid everything else. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Tuesday 1 December 2020

WWF Summerslam 1996 Review


Welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that keeps on ticking like Impact! It’s WWF Summerslam 1996, headlined by Shawn Michaels defending his WWF Championship against the monster Vader, the man who defeated HBK at In Your House International Incident! We also have Sycho Sid taking on British Bulldog, The Undertaker battling Mankind in a Boiler Room Brawl and Marc Mero vs Goldust! Lots of action on this card, the WWF is trying to make sure that Summerslam 1996 is not one you are going to forget anytime soon! Will WWF deliver though? That tag match does not fill me with joy while I am not sure if I need to see Jerry Lawler jobs to another bigger star from the WWF. Let’s go!


Owen Hart vs Savio Vega

Where has Vega been for the past few months? No idea but Vega is here slapping hands and I am not sure if Vega has ever been over in the WWF. Coming in as Ramon’s friend was a great start but booking never helped Savio while Owen Hart has been tremendous every time he steps into the ring, how that man has not been one of Michaels’ challengers for the WWF championship is beyond me. Owen still has his wrist cast, the weapon used to knock out Ahmed Johnson.


Owen tries clubbing Savio with the cast, the referee stops Owen from using the cast and tells Owen that it will be disqualification if Owen uses it in this match. Crowd chants for Owen, not a good sign for Savio. Savio tries working the arm, Owen wiggles free. Lock-up, arm-bar from Savio but Owen rakes the eyes. Clubbing blows, Irish whip and Savio leap-frogs Owen and hurls the arm into the turnbuckles three times. Arm-bar from Savio, big scoop slam but Owen dodges the elbow drop. Owen misses the fist drop, Savio works the arm wrenching and applying pressure. Big slam from Savio who continues with the arm-bar but Owen rakes the eyes.


Shoulder block counter from Owen, Savio drops-down and monkey flips Owen. Back into the arm-bar, Owen throws right hands before Savio makes Owen take Bret’s buckle bump. O’Connor roll for two, Owen kicks off Vega into the ring-post. Arm-Wrench from Owen, Owen drives his knee into the arm of Savio. Arm-bar from The King Of Hearts, single arm DDT from Owen for two. Stump-puller variation from Owen, Savio bites his way out as Owen locks Savio in the ropes, clubbing blows onto the arm. Slap from Owen, Savio chops back from the ropes. Owen clubs down on the arm once more, boot from Savio. Owen misses a dropkick, Savio misses his spinning heel kick. Owen misses his, Savio connects with a flying crossbody for two.


Clarence Mason is here to cheer on Owen, enzuigiri from Owen for a close two. Small package from Savio for two, chops and Irish whip from Owen. Savio reverses but Owen boots down Savio using the ropes for leverage for another close two. Schoolboy from Savio for two, spinning heel kick from Owen. Another close two, Irish whip to the buckle and Savio knocks down Owen with a huge spinning heel kick. Owen misses a right hand, inverted atomic drop and clotheslines by Savio. Owen begs off, ten punches in the corner. Whip to the buckle and clothesline, scoop slam and leg drop from Savio for close two.


Irish whip and sidewalk slam for two, Irish whip and Savio lowers his head. Owen answers with a neck-breaker, Owen climbs high. Missile dropkick for two, Owen climbs high again but Savio crotches Owen. Super back suplex, both men slowly get back to their feet but Owen clocks Savio with his cast and then applies The Sharpshooter! Owen Hart is your winner!


Slow to start, more to do with the fact that the crowd are far more receptive to Owen Hart than Savio Vega who’s been left high and dry for a number of months as a bland babyface. Things turn as they continue to tease near-falls, the crowd gets going into the match and Owen wonderfully cheats his way to victory by using the cast. Solid heel work from Owen, I will always state that Owen deserved so much more in the WWF. After the match Bradshaw floors Savio with a lariat, looks like another PPV feud for Savio but I hope something changes for Savio.


Winner: Owen Hart over Savio Vega via Sharpshooter!


(WWF Tag Team Championship Fatal Four Way Elimination Match) The New Rockers vs The Bodydonnas vs The Smoking Gunns © W/ Sunny vs The Godwinns W/ Hillbilly Jim

Oh my look at those New Rockers, I do feel for Cassidy because Snow was quite entertaining in SMW before coming to the WWF. I can’t believe I have to see The Godwinns near the tag team championships again because they almost ended my love affair with this year as they forced me to take repeated breaks during the review process. I cannot truly express my hatred for the character of Phineas and his love angle with Sunny. Speaking of Sunny, she’s here with the tag team champions.


Billy and Henry to start, Henry grabs the headlock. Shoulder block for Billy, make it two. Large Sunny chants tell you all you need to know about this match, Henry lands a massive hip-toss and right hand to Billy. Wheelbarrow slam from Henry, Billy tags in Skip. Henry tags in Phineas, shoulder block from Phineas. Billy and Sunny distract Phineas, Billy jaw-jacks with the fans. Phineas and Skip tag in The Gunns. The Gunns cannot tag in someone so they have to fight one another? Well obviously they do not, who thought that was a good babyface move from Bodydonnas or Phineas? Skip arm-drags Billy before Jannetty trips Skip and Billy pins Skip, what????????


Bodydonnas have been Eliminated!


Cassidy stomps and clotheslines Henry, tag to Jannetty. They pummel Henry, clothesline from Jannetty. Snap-mare and fist drop from Jannetty, tag to Cassidy. A few kicks from Cassidy before a tag to Billy, headbutt to Henry. Gunns and Rockers have words, Henry plants Billy with a sidewalk slam. Rockers elbow Billy by mistake, they are arguing before Godwinns lay-out everyone. Henry elbows Cassidy, Cassidy sends Henry to the buckle. O’Connor roll but Henry kicks Cassidy into Jannetty, Jannetty falls into the ring and Slop Drop from Henry and Rockers are eliminated!


New Rockers have been Eliminated!


Bart scoop slams Henry, knee drop from Bart. Irish whip to the buckle, Bart runs into a boot though. Clothesline from Henry, Henry cannot make the tag as Bart gets up and prevents the tag. Knees to the ribs, Henry screams out in pain. Henry headbutts Bart in the gut, right hand from Henry. Tag to Billy, Billy taunts and stomps Henry. Tag to Bart, inverted atomic drop from Henry. Eye rake from Bart, will this hot-tag just come already? Tag to Billy, stomps from Billy. Whip to the buckle, Billy is caught and slammed as he attempted his corner splash. Henry crawls and crawls, Phineas gets the hot-tag. Right hand after right hand, Henry clotheslines Bart to the floor. Phineas Slop-Drops Billy, Sunny is with the referee. Bart lands a diving axe handle and Billy covers for the win.


Once again, believing in The Godwinns has ended in Phineas having the briefest of hot-tags and losing the match due to interference. I appreciate Billy’s efforts to get heat but this feud is lame, always has been. Candido must have been legit injured, he was never involved in the match. Jannetty and Cassidy as heels? Interesting concept but you do not get much of it in this match and the finish, I mean why even bother investing in Phineas at this stage? I do hope there is a massive shake-up in this division soon or I will truly struggle to watch tag team wrestling during 1996 in the WWF.


Winners: The Smoking Gunns over Everyone Else via Diving Axe Handle!


The British Bulldog vs Sycho Sid

Now both of these men were awesome in the International Incident six-man tag match but they are alone tonight, one on one and I might just be slightly worried because Bulldog has a tendency to rely on that reverse chin-lock when they are waiting for the next spot. Sid is over big time though, Sid is milking the reaction. Headlock from Bulldog and the shoulder block does not knock Sid who lands a clothesline and scoop slam. Bulldog powders, Bulldog seems to have had enough. Bulldog rolls back into the ring as Sid continues to excite the crowd, side headlock from Sid. Takedown from Sid for a close two, Irish whip and Sid lowers the head. Kick to the head from Bulldog, delayed vertical suplex from Bulldog. Clarence Mason is here again, cheering on Bulldog this time.


Clubbing blows and stomps from Bulldog for two, Bulldog clotheslines Sid to the floor. Sid is clotheslined off the apron as Bulldog struts around the ring, Sid comes back though before missing a corner splash. Bulldog wants his powerslam, Running Powerslam connects. Cornette and Mason are having words, Bulldog was distracted by the two. Bulldog wants to do it again but Sid slips out, Chokeslam from Sid. Powerbomb from Sid and this is over!


Sid is over big time, continuing his momentum from the prior In Your House. We have an angle developing between Clarence Mason and Jim Cornette, I am intrigued to see where things go from here and the right man went over with Bulldog recently challenging for the championship, Sid is a star and with the right opponent, Sid can continue to deliver some good to great matches.


Winner: Sycho Sid over British Bulldog via Powerbomb!


Goldust W/ Marlena vs Marc Mero W/ Sable

This is an interesting one for sure, both men had great starts to the year but with the loss of his Intercontinental Championship to Ahmed Johnson and The Undertaker’s revenge, Goldust needs a win. Similarly, The Wildman needs a win after putting over The King of The Ring winner Stone Cold Steve Austin as consecutive pay per views. Lock-up, Goldust taunts and slaps Mero. Mero is irate, Goldust hides behind the referee. Headlock from Goldust, Mero leapfrogs and drops-down, big Japanese arm-drags before Goldust powders. Flying crossbody and drop -toehold from Mero before using an arm-bar on The Bizarre One.


Goldust elbows his way out, right hands from Goldust. Mero reverses an Irish whip and lowers his head, Goldust lands his drop-down uppercut and Goldust back-drops Mero to the floor. Mero is on the apron, Goldust nails Mero who lands face-first on the guardrail. Goldust drops Mero throat-first on the guardrail next. Clothesline for two, Mankind is here. There seems to be an alliance between Mankind and Goldust, Sable is petrified of Mankind. The referees are here, Mankind runs out of the arena. Reverse chin-lock from Goldust, Mero escapes but Goldust scores with a knee in the ribs. Shot to the head, kicks to the spine. Mero is whipped to the buckle but Mero jumps to the middle rope and lands an elbow to the head.


Mero fights back with right hands, inverted atomic drop. Jabs from Mero, flying clothesline floors Goldust. Irish whip, back body-drop and a massive knee-lift. Ten punches in the corner, Goldust and Mero tumble to the floor off a hurricanrana. Mero lands a tope con hilo, Goldust is down. Slingshot leg drop from Mero, Mero scoop slams Goldust. Wild Thing from Mero but Marlena distracts the referee, Goldust kicks out and Goldust runs into a powerslam for two. Goldust whips Mero to the buckle, stomp the knee. Curtain Call and Goldust wins, just like that.


So, most of the match has little to no-heat in it with not a lot going on at all between the ropes. Mankind came out and went, wonder where that will go? Also, debuting a new amazing move and having someone kick out of it? Really? That’s not what I want to see in my wrestling, the cameraman mostly missing Marlena distracting the referee? Sloppy work and again my boy Marc Mero gets undone by an attack on his leg that has not been established at all and the finish itself is sloppy which a mis-communication messing up both men’s timing and the result is ugly, genuinely thought Mero was going to counter but no, planted and things look bad for The Wildman.


Winner: Goldust over Marc Mero via Curtain Call!


Jerry Lawler vs Jake The Snake Roberts

Lawler mocks Roberts for his alcohol addiction, after a tonne of stalling Roberts chokes Lawler with Revelations. More stalling before Roberts sends Lawler into the steel steps, rights and lefts from Roberts. Snap-mare and stomp to the groin, scoop slam to the floor. Lawler is sent into the ring-post hard, make it twice. Lawler throws soda in the eyes of Roberts, Lawler ties up Roberts in the ropes. Roberts frees himself and tries for a DDT but Lawler back-drops Lawler. Roberts answers with a short-arm clothesline, Lawler uses the referee to avoid the DDT. Lawler has the bottle, Lawler nails Roberts in the throat and pulls the tights for the win.


Wow, Lawler actually won, Lawler has done the job to everyone but Roberts puts over Lawler. Speechless, fully shocked like something like this could actually happen. It was still garbage though!


Winner: Jerry Lawler over Jake Roberts via Bottle to The Throat!


(Boiler Room Brawl Match) The Undertaker vs Mankind

Paul Bearer places the urn in the ring, the winner must escape the boiler room and get their hands on the urn in the ring. This feud has been amazing with Taker being motivated for the first time in a long time, Taker is cautious after a series of attacks from Mankind. Mankind’s Mandible Claw has been firmly established as a deadly hold, this has been a thoroughly entertaining feud between two people beating the piss out of one another. Undertaker cautiously walks around the boiler room, Taker is uncharacteristically on edge. This is what Mankind has done to The Deadman, Mankind sneaks up on Taker. A pipe across the back from Mankind, punches and a bar to the head. Taker is down, Mankind stomps away like a man possessed.


Taker blocks the mandible claw, Taker lands trash can lid shots to the head over and over. Both men grab pipes, Taker waffles Mankind with the pipe. Into a locker goes Mankind, Mankind is down after another trash can lid shot. Mankind slips out of a scoop slam and hot-shots Taker off a wooden board, Mankind rakes at the face of The Deadman. Taker is rammed into a boiler and kicked hard in the ribs, Taker’s head meets the boiler once more. Mankind has a trash can, Taker is cracked in the head with the can. Across the ribs, Mankind smashes Taker once more. Mankind has the can but Taker has a pipe, whacking the can back into his face. Mankind blasts Taker in the face with steam from the boiler.


Taker smashes Mankind with a palette board, Mankind grabs another pipe and whacks Taker in the face and twice in the lower regions. Taker sells as if The Deadman is going to puke, Taker pulls down some pipes while Mankind goes after him once more. Mankind hurls Taker into a sliding door, running knee into the sliding door from Mankind. Mankind climbs a ladder and drops an elbow on Taker, Mankind waffles Taker with a board across the back. The feed cuts out but Taker is down with Mankind trying to do something with a ladder, Mankind is knocked off the ladder by Taker. Mankind crashes into a number of boxes while Taker looks to escape this room. Taker shoves Mankind into glass, Mankind grabs a chain and beats down Taker.


Taker stops Mankind from leaving, massive uppercut from The Deadman. Taker blinds Mankind with a fire extinguisher, Mankind and Taker brawl by the door with Mankind shutting the door on Taker’s face. Mankind places a bunch of items in front of the boiler room door to stop Taker from bursting through the door. Taker shoulder tackles his way through the door, all the superstars watch on as Taker and Mankind brawl. Mankind nails Taker with a desk before making his way closer to the arena.


Mankind has coffee and burns The Deadman, Mankind is close to the arena now appearing at the stage. Taker clotheslines Mankind down, Taker smashes the 2X4 across the back of Mankind. Headbutt from Taker, they are standing on the apron. Mankind rams Taker’s face into the steel steps, Mankind rips up the concrete floor. Pulling piledriver on the concrete from Mankind, Paul Bearer is fearing for his life. Taker grabs the ankle of Mankind, Taker uses the ropes to send Mankind to the floor who wallops his head off the concrete. Taker steps into the ring, Taker poses before Paul Bearer and Bearer turns his back on Undertaker. Mankind applies The Mandible Claw, Taker is out and Taker comes back to life which leads to Bearer slapping and kicking The Deadman. In a final act of betrayal, Bearer smashes Taker in the head and hands the urn to Mankind.


While the match was far too long for my liking, there were some really nice moments mixed in here. I loved Taker being cautious, it really puts over Mankind as a threat, Mankind could be the man who finally has the number of The Deadman. I also like how the commentators were mostly silent throughout the boiler room brawl, making it feel like a horror movie with both men brawling continuously. And the heel turn of Paul Bearer may not be executed in the cleanest fashion but once Bearer smacks Taker, there is no turning back and the crowd is in shock. There’s no way Paul Bearer could turn on Undertaker? It happened though, awesome moment that adds another layer of intrigue to this feud.


Winner: Mankind over Undertaker via Retrieval of The Urn!


(WWF Championship Match) Vader W/ Jim Cornette vs Shawn Michaels ©

At International Incident, Vader fulfilled what months of booking was leading to, Vader pinned Shawn Michaels. Not Owen Hart, Not British Bulldog, Not Diesel, none could pin Michaels shoulders to the mat but Vader did it with ease. One Vader Bomb and it was lights out for HBK, can HBK beat Vader? It feels like it could happen, this match is infamous for one moment but I wonder how the rest of the match plays out.


They lock-up, rights and lefts from Vader. Short-arm clothesline from Vader, Irish whip but Michaels blocks the boot and leg-trips Vader. Low dropkick from Michaels, Michaels throws kicks at the seated Vader. Rights and lefts from HBK, Vader reverses an Irish whip but HBK slides out of the scoop slam. Vader counters with an elbow, Michaels sends Vader to the floor though. Baseball slide from Michaels, Michaels dives to the floor and lands big right hands to the face of Vader. Michaels lands a diving axe handle to the head, hurricanrana from HBK. Michaels looking for a victory-roll, spilling Vader out to the floor. Plancha from Michaels does not work as Vader powerbombs Michaels on the floor.


Vader throws in a few slaps on the floor, Vader dumps Michaels back into the ring. Rights and lefts from Vader in the corner, suplex from the challenger. Clubbing blows to the chest from Vader in the corner, Irish whip with Michaels taking his bump before Vader sends Michaels to the floor with the second hard Irish whip. Back body-drop from Vader, Michaels stops the back suplex but Vader lands a big shot to the throat. Vader misses a corner splash but lands a vicious clothesline to floor HBK. Michaels flips out of a suplex, Vader side-steps Michaels but Michaels tries to skin the cat. Vader says screw that, picks up Michaels and hurls HBK to the mat. Standing crossface from Vader, Michaels begins battling back with big right hands, huge knee to the ribs. Clothesline but Vader stands tall, Michaels tries sliding through the legs but Vader stops Michaels.


Michaels blocks the hip splash with a big knee to the groin, clothesline from HBK. Michaels is on the top rope, Vader forgets to move so HBK stops in mid-air and kicks Vader in the head twice. Michaels ducks the clothesline of Vader and flying crossbody to the floor with both men spilling out. Vader Irish whips Michaels into the ring apron, Michaels is gorilla press slammed onto the guardrail. We have a count-out victory for Vader? Cornette is not happy because Vader does not want to win this way, Cornette wants the championship. Michaels is selling well, this match will continue and Vader clubs down Michaels on the aisleway. Vader threatens Jose while Cornette waffles HBK with the racket on the back.


Vader corner splash and a belly to belly suplex for a close two, Michaels blocks the powerbomb with right hands, two ducks and a flying forearm from HBK. Diving elbow drop from Michaels, Cornette grabs the leg of Michaels. Right hand from Michaels, Cornette whacks Vader with the racket over and over, Cornette gets knocked down too. Vader has the chair, Vader has beaten HBK twice as Vader wins by DQ this time. Cornette is still irate, Cornette wants one more try at beating Michaels. Michaels goes after Vader, sunset flip attempt from HBK. Vader tries a hip splash, Michaels dodges. Flying forearm, diving elbow drop and Sweet Chin Music. Vader kicks out at two and a half, side headlock from HBK.


Vader shoves Michaels into the referee, Vader powerbomb but there is no referee. A new referee comes out, close two for Vader. Vader wants his Vaderbomb, this could flatten HBK. Cornette tells Vader to go up top, Vader attempts the moonsault and Michaels moves out of the way. Michaels climbs high himself, Michaels is on shaky legs. Moonsault and Michaels retains his championship!


Not as horrid as you have thought or believed if you hear anyone talking about how Shawn Michaels treated Vader during this match, the mis-communication is an absolute overreaction from Michaels who could have easily hit the elbow and improvised into a different spot, he hit a number of forearms to knock Vader and two other elbow drops so one more would not have hurt. However, not a fan of Vader getting the two wins by DQ and count-out and then losing, restarting the match is alright sometimes but I think Vader kicking out of Sweet Chin Music is much more impressive and doesn’t stop the momentum of the match dead in its tracks like restarting it twice. Perhaps a racket to the face and a Sweet Chin Music could have better protected Vader but I do like the idea of Vader going big with the moonsault only to be defeated by Michaels landing the same manoeuvre and catching the big man by surprise. Despite the size difference, I never did feel Vader dominated HBK and threw him around like I expected, it was more of a subdued HBK performance for me and considering the quality of his 1995 and 1996, I would say this is a weaker main event but not as bad as everyone would have you believe.


Winner: Shawn Michaels over Vader via Moonsault!

That was WWF’s Summerslam 1996, a disappointing show from the World Wrestling Federation. So much of the card just felt like it was there and I wasn’t entertained throughout most of the show. Owen Hart vs Savio Vega was a decent opener, I don’t think anyone is truly behind Savio so it makes it difficult when Owen is so good and popular, I like the finish but it felt like a nothing match. The tag team match is abysmal, how The Godwinns are the main opposition to The Smoking Gunns I will never know and considered they have been beaten twice, we seriously need some new lifeblood in that division. Goldust vs Mero was ok, I thought neither man was amazing in this match and Mero showing off the shooting star press only to lose irks me big time, why bother showing that impressive move for a two count? Also Goldust stabs Mero’s leg to set him up for the curtain call, the leg has never been worked on at all during the match. Lawler vs Roberts was trash, what does it setup? Lawler vs Henry? I’ll pass! Undertaker vs Mankind had some really nice elements, the mandible claw is unstoppable, Taker being cautious of Mankind and the angle with Bearer turning his back on Taker was six years of hard work and the reaction was perfect, I just thought the brawling was a little boring in parts with little struggle or meaning to the blows. The main event is not as bad as people would have you believe, it’s good in parts but the double restart hurts the match massively! My recommendation is come see it for Paul Bearer betraying Taker and the main event, avoid everything else as it’s meaningless. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Thursday 26 November 2020

WWF In Your House IX: International Incident Review


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that retires more times than Terry Funk! It’s WWF In Your House IX: International Incident where our main event is a high-stakes six man tag team match as Camp Cornette take on Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson and Sycho Sid (Originally Ultimate Warrior was planned for this match). We also have Mankind vs Henry Godwinn, Undertaker vs Goldust and Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Marc Mero. Let’s keep the momentum going right? Well I mean a six-man tag match doesn’t fill me with hope but let’s see what the WWF does tonight!


The Smoking Gunns W/ Sunny vs The Bodydonnas

Skip and Zip are the babyfaces which is interesting to say the least, Billy eats a double back body-drop from Bodydonnas. Bart gets dropped with a right hand, The Smoking Gunns stall. Zip and Bart reset, boot and chops from Bart. Irish whip from Bart, Zip leapfrogs Bart and chops to no effect. Shoulder block from Bart, hip-toss from Zip. Arm-bar from Zip, Bart cannot shake off Zip. Tag to Skip, diving axe handle and arm-wrench. Quick tags and diving axe handles, Bart continues to have his arm worked by the Bodydonnas. Skip eats a forearm to the head and a clothesline for good measure, tag to Billy. Scoop slam and boot to the head from Billy, Irish whip but Skip counters with a headscissors takedown. Right hands from Skip, Skip lowers his head off an Irish whip and Billy lands a fameasser.


Skip dodges a splash and works the arm, Billy lands a right to the head. Skip lands a shoulder block, Sunny looks hurt who falls on the ground. Skip checks on Sunny, Sunny slaps Skip and The Gunns land a clothesline. Billy tags Bart, knee to the ribs from Bart. Bart whips Skip hard in the corner, make it two. Skip sends Bart to the buckle, Skip tries a crossbody but Bart lands a massive powerslam. Tag to Billy, Billy and Bart fuck up their spot. Billy spits at Zip, Billy and Bart stomp Skip. Skip fights out of the corner before Bart knocks down Skip. Bart steps on the throat of Skip, Billy lands elbows to the throat behind the referee’s back. Rope guillotine from Bart, tag to Billy. Billy shoves Skiip to the corner, eye rake from Billy who tags in Bart.


Bart whips Skip to the buckle, another blown spot. O’Connor roll from Skip for two, middle rope crossbody before Bart fires back with a clothesline. Tag to Billy, Billy is on the top rope. Diving double axe handle is countered with an inverted atomic drop, Skip tags in Zip. Right hands from Zip, Billy is tossed to the floor. Irish whip reversed by Bart, Billy trips Zip who was running the ropes. Bart whips Zip, sidewalk slam but Bart is looking for Billy and Sunny is arguing with Billy. Skip lands a missile dropkick with Zip landing on top of Bart for the win.


That was rough, few blown spots and The Gunns look to be figuring themselves out inside of that ring. Sunny is the best part of that tag team by a country mile, Sunny looks like a star compared to everyone in that ring, how is she not with a main eventer? Anyways, the cameramen miss the most important part with Billy and Sunny arguing which leads to the finish, they don’t even play it up afterwards so yeah, this match dragged.


Winners: Bodydonnas over Smoking Gunns via Missile Dropkick!


Henry O. Godwinn W/ Hillbilly Jim vs Mankind

Mankind attacks Henry from behind, punch after punch from Mankind. Stomps from Mankind, Irish whip and headbutt from Mankind. Henry answers with a right hand, Mankind is rocked. Powerslam from Henry, clothesline to the floor. Mankind re-enters the ring, rocking Henry and choking the hog-farmer. Henry fights back from his knees but Mankind headbutts and knees Henry. Henry takes down Mankind, right hand after right hand. Low blow from Mankind, Mankind is on the back of Henry. Henry rams Mankind into the buckle twice, Mankind headbutts and face-busters Henry. Running elbow drop from Mankind, running knee in the corner from Mankind. Leg drop while Henry is draped across the bottom rope, Mankind exposes the concrete.


Henry is tossed to the floor, neck-breaker on the concrete. Henry fights back from his knees in the ring, Mankind reverses the Irish whip and lands a corner clothesline. Henry dodges the corner clothesline, Mankind hits the ring-post hard. Henry scores with right hands, massive clothesline. Mankind lures in Henry, throwing Henry to the floor. Henry catches Mankind on the apron, gorilla press slam to the concrete. Slop Drop is blocked as Mankind holds onto the ropes, Mandible Claw from Mankind and this match is over.


A nothing match to put over Mankind, Henry hit some meaty looking clotheslines and right hands while Mankind took a bump to the floor on exposed concrete for Henry bloody Godwinn. Ridiculous but that’s Mick Foley torturing himself for the fans.


Winner: Mankind over Henry O. Godwinn via Mandible Claw!


Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Marc Mero W/ Sable

Rematch from King of The Ring, Austin went through Mero to get to the finals. Austin knees and batters Mero, big right hands from The Rattlesnake. Mero blocks the punches, Mero shows his superior boxing skills. Austin and Mero ducks clothesline, big crossbody from Mero for two. Arm-drag and arm-bars from Mero, Mero lands a leg drop to the arm. Austin reverses for a side headlock, takedown for a close two. Both men trade pin-falls attempts, Austin knees and punches Mero to block the backslide. Austin eats a boot though, rights and lefts from Mero. Austin is down, Austin rolls to the floor.


Austin stalks Sable, Mero lands an apron axe handle to cut that off. Austin tries a suplex but Mero goes for a rolling prawn pin for a close two. Austin fakes holding his lip, eye poke and clothesline to the floor from Austin. Austin drags Mero to the timekeeper’s area, catapult into the ring-post. Austin chokes Mero against the top rope, Mero is bounced off the apron into the guardrail. Snap-mare and a middle rope elbow from Austin for two, Austin is furious about the referee’s officiating. Irish whip from Austin, elbow from Austin. Camel clutch variation from Austin, Sable cheers on Mero from ringside.


Austin chokes Mero on the middle rope, Austin slaps Mero’s head again and again. Austin fakes out Mero but Mero crotches Austin on the top rope, Austin is down. Austin is rammed off the buckle, Mero is whipped. Boot from Austin, Austin’s variation of the stun-gun is countered. Mero hurricanranas Austin to the floor, apron somersault from Mero. Marlena gives Lawler a gold envelope, what does it mean? Apron moonsault from Mero, slingshot splash for a close two. Right hands in the corner from Mero, Mero wanted a hurricanrana but Austin crotches Mero on the top rope. Austin talks trash to Sable, Mero holds onto the ropes to avoid the stunner. Slingshot leg drop for a close two, Austin chop blocks Mero though. Stone Cold Stunner and it’s over!


What an abrupt finish, doesn’t do any favours for Mero who’s WWF run is looking a lot worse than when it started. However, I do enjoy these two working with one another, Mero continues to work well with The Rattlesnake. Some spots look nasty, Austin’s offence looks great no matter the occasion but I just wish Austin had worked the leg of Mero at some point. Things were setup with the catapult into the ring-post but it went nowhere to be honest, why take such a great looking bump to not play into the finish?


Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin over Marc Mero via Stone Cold Stunner!


Goldust W/ Marlena vs The Undertaker W/ Paul Bearer

Looks like a rematch from Beware of The Dog, nobody gets a win over The Deadman and gets away it, nobody! Fingers crossed that Taker works this match like the previous match with Mankind, lots of stalling before the bell. Goldust stares down Taker, Goldust walks up to the face of Taker and eats a throat thrust. Goldust begs off some more, Goldust eventually drags out The Deadman but Taker no-sells and Chokeslams Goldust on the steel steps. Goldust is bounced off the steel steps, Taker has the steel steps but Marlena is protecting Goldust. Taker throws Goldust in the ring, Taker chokes Goldust in the corner. Goldust exposes the top turnbuckle, there is a method to the madness but Taker whips Goldust to the corner and lands a vicious clothesline.


Leg drop from Taker for two, Goldust begs off before eye poking Taker, Knees from Goldust, big right hands in the corner. Irish whip to the buckle, Taker stops the throat thrust and Taker begins using right hands and throat thrusts on The Bizarre One. Old school from Taker, scoop slam but Goldust avoids the elbow drop. Goldust clotheslines Taker to the floor but Taker lands on his feet, Goldust kicks away Taker. Rights and lefts from Goldust, Taker hot-shots Goldust. Goldust manages to send Taker into the exposed buckle in the ring, Goldust punches and stomps Taker over and over. Taker is tossed to the floor, Goldust drops the steel steps across the back of Taker. Camel clutch from Goldust in the ring, Taker survives the hold and fires back with rights and uppercuts.


Goldust drops to a knee, Irish whip and boot from Taker. Taker wants the tombstone, small package for two. Goldust whips Taker, Taker ducks and lands his flying clothesline. Tombstone Piledriver and Mankind comes through the bottom of the ring and applies The Mandible Claw, Taker has been outsmarted by Mankind once more but smoke emits from where The Undertaker was, what is going on here? Eventually, Taker climbs out of the other side of the ring, hammering away at the deranged Mankind!


Much like their Beware of Dog match, I really didn’t care about the match between these two, Goldust stalls just like that awful match with Warrior for the beginning and the action never really gets going. However, the angle is the important part and it seems Taker has finally got the best of Mankind for once, I am looking forward to the next match between those two.


Winner: Undertaker over Goldust via DQ!


Camp Cornette (Owen Hart/British Bulldog/ Vader) W/ Jim Cornette vs Shawn Michaels/Ahmed Johnson/Sycho Sid

No Ultimate Warrior but what a replacement, an absolute killer in Sycho Sid who was reduced to a sidekick for The 1-2-3 Kid before everything turned with a neck injury. This is a massive match for sure, Vader and Ahmed to start but Vader wants Michaels. Ahmed obliges, HBK comes in to go one on one on Vader. They lock-up, Vader picks up Michaels with ease. Right hands from Michaels before Vader lands a throat thrust, Irish whip but Michaels ducks twice. Hurricanrana doesn’t work until a shove from Ahmed, flying clothesline and crossbody sends Vader to the floor. Baseball slide from HBK, plancha from Michaels. Michaels tries an apron dive but Vader dodges, Michaels smashes his face off the guardrail.


Vader lands rights and lefts in the corner, Michaels flips out of a back suplex and tags in Sid. Sid clotheslines all of Camp Cornette, everyone is down. Owen attacks Sid from behind, no effect! Clothesline from Sid, tag to Ahmed. German suplexes from Ahmed, Owen is destroyed. Ahmed misses a big elbow drop, tag to Bulldog who clubs Ahmed over and over. Irish whip but Ahmed reverses, massive fucking spinebuster from Ahmed. Ahmed wants to end this, Pearl River Plunge but Vader elbows the neck of Ahmed. Bulldog tags in Vader, Vader slaps Ahmed in the corner. Ahmed reverses and pummels Vader, Vader eye-pokes Ahmed. Whip to the buckle, corner splash from Vader. Rights and lefts from Vader, Vader tries a corner splash but Ahmed powerslams Vader for a close two.


Tag to Owen, stomps to Ahmed. Spinning heel kick from Owen, face-rake from Owen. Shoulder thrusts from Owen, Ahmed sends Owen to the buckle. Military press slam from Ahmed, tag to Sid. Irish whip and boot from Sid, corner right hands from Sid. Owen is sent flying into his buckle, Bulldog tags into the match. Bulldog boots Sid, stalling vertical suplex from Bulldog. Elbow drop from Vader, Sid kicks out at two. Bulldog tags in Vader, Vader clotheslines Sid down. Tag to Bulldog, headbutts from Bulldog. Right hands but Sid is shaking it off, right hand to Bulldog. Sid tags in HBK, diving axe handle for two. Irish whip to the corner but Michaels runs shoulder-first into the ring-post, headbutt from Bulldog. Bulldog is whipped into Vader, Owen elbow drops Bulldog by mistake. Michaels tosses Owen to the floor, HBK covers Bulldog for two.


Owen is legal now, HBK brings Owen into the ring. Michaels lowers his head off an Irish whip, rolling cradle from Owen for two. Owen gets caught in a victory roll for two, they trade pin-falls and wrestle excellently before Michaels bridges up. Backslide is countered by Owen for a clothesline, tag to Bulldog. Back body-drop, leg drop from Bulldog. Owen nails Michaels with the cast, Bulldog lands a clothesline and Vader is tagged into the match. Rights and lefts from Vader, whip to the buckle sends Michaels to the floor. Short-arm clothesline from Vader, standing cross-face from Vader. Vader sits in the hold while some dumb fan tries to enter the ring, Michaels fires back with right hands but Vader continues squeezing the life out of HBK.


Michaels escapes the hold but Vader clubs down Michaels, massive splash from Vader. Vader stands up with Ahmed clotheslining Vader down, what a clothesline. Michaels is pulled back by Bulldog, Bulldog applies an Argentine back-breaker but Michaels escapes, crucifix is countered into a Samoan drop from Bulldog. Bulldog whips Michaels to the buckle, Bulldog misses the corner splash. Owen comes in, eye-rake from Owen. Owen slaps on a side headlock, shove and drop-down from HBK with both men banging heads in the middle of the ring. Sid attacks Bulldog who was pinning Michaels after his collision with Owen, Michaels looks to make the tag.


Michaels tags in Ahmed, the referee did not see the tag? What? Camp Cornette decimate Michaels, Bulldog covers for a close two. Tag to Owen, Bulldog holds Michaels, Owen nails Bulldog with the missile dropkick by mistake. Crowd is in a frenzy, Vader and Sid are in. Sid clotheslines and chokeslams Vader, chokeslam for Owen too. Chokeslam for Bulldog, three chokeslams. In comes Ahmed, double clothesline to Vader. Rocket Launcher with Michaels onto Vader, Bulldog takes out Michaels. Bulldog and Ahmed are brawling, Michaels has Cornette. Vader has Cornette’s racket but Michaels sees it coming. Michaels nails Vader with the racket, two for Michaels. Sweet Chin Music is avoided as Cornette grabbed the foot of Michaels. Jose decks Cornette but Vader corner splashes Michaels and lands the Vader Bomb for the win.


That was an action-packed six-man tag team match, the crowd are absolutely bonkers for this match and rightly so, it gives you everything you want from every wrestler in this match. Sid looks like a million bucks chokeslamming and clotheslining everyone, Bulldog and Owen have their moments with Bulldog showing he could suplex Sid. Vader decimates the babyfaces, I just love when Vader is allowed to do his thing, Vader punishes Ahmed and Michaels throughout. Some nice tag team spots too mixed in and that finish sets up Summerslam perfectly with Vader pinning Michaels, Vader needed that after King of The Ring and the half-assed stuff they have been giving us when it comes to Vader. I loved this match, it was everything I could have hoped for and more, I thought Michaels would come away as the only bright spot but everyone looks great after this match and it’s the most fun I had watching WWF in a while, kudos to all involved.


Winners: Camp Cornette over Team Michaels via Vader Bomb!


That was WWF ‘s In Your House IX: International Incident, a pretty standard if not boring WWF In Your House that has an astonishingly good main event. Things kick off with a sloppy enough tag team match with a finish that is mostly missed by the WWF cameramen, not sure if there will even be any follow up on a breakup between Billy and Sunny. On the other hand, I’m glad I don’t have to watch Phineas be embarrassed and booked poorly. Things do not improve greatly when Henry Godwinn faces Mankind, the match is uneventful with Mankind trying to get a reaction by taking a bump for an opponent who frankly is not worth it. Austin vs Mero is solid but not on par with King of The Ring, Mero takes these cool looking bumps but they don’t play into the finish, I think of his leg buckling and the catapult into the ring-post but neither have resulted in the finish but miles better than the first two matches. Undertaker vs Goldust is all angle, Taker vs Mankind will be good I have no doubts considering they continue to beat the piss out of one another and then the main event just kicks all sorts of ass. Sid looks like a star, Vader looks like the new WWF Champion, HBK is as good as always, Ahmed and Bulldog and Owen all get their shit in, the crowd is alive and they wake up big time, it’s shockingly good and a rollercoaster ride especially with Jose and Cornette’s involvement at the end. One of the best matches of 1996 for me, the WWF is chugging along but still not firing on all cylinders despite the influx of new talent, let’s hope that the momentum continues with Summerslam 1996! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Monday 23 November 2020

WWF King of The Ring 1996 Review


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more interesting than a Jim Herd interview! It’s WWF King Of The Ring 1996, where one man can reach the ultimate goal and become King of The Ring which can lead to a WWF Championship match. Also, Shawn Michaels defends his WWF Championship against The British Bulldog after the controversial finish to their match at Beware of Dog. Ahmed Johnson gets his hands on The Bizarre One Goldust and The Ultimate Warrior battles Jerry Lawler! 1996 has been a mixed bag, I’ve enjoyed the work of certain talent while other matches and angles have been as flat and as bad as 1995. There is potential here with Vader possibly winning The King of The Ring, Ahmed destroying Goldust and Michaels having another show-stealing performance but only time will tell! Let’s get it on!


(King Of The Ring Semi-Final Match) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Wildman Marc Mero W/ Sable

Austin defeated Bob Holly and Savio Vega to make it to this match, Mero defeated Skip and Owen Hart. Big win for Mero over Owen Hart, surprised that Mero would not be a heavy favourite against Austin. Sable is already overshadowing poor Mero with her outfits, the poor guy never had a chance. Austin and Mero lock-up, side headlock from Austin. Takedown but Mero uses his legs to counter Austin, another headlock from Austin. Mero is in a hammerlock, Mero counters the hold. Austin counters again, tripping up Mero. Mero elbows his way free before Austin elbows Mero in the jaw. Lefts from Mero, shoulder block from Mero. Flying head-scissors from Mero, Austin is on the floor taking a breather.


Side headlock from Mero, Austin pulls his hair and breaks free with a big hip-toss. Mero kicks away Austin, arm-drag into a side headlock from Mero. Austin pulls the hair again, shoulder block from Mero. Austin answers with a Thesz press, elbows to the back of the head. Mero whips Austin though, massive back body-drop. Austin asks for a time-out, Austin slowly re-enters the ring. Austin asks for a handshake, test of strength. Austin boots down Mero, Austin assumes control. Mero answers back but Austin side-steps Mero who is wiped out on the floor. Austin rips up the protective padding, military press slam from Austin onto the concrete.


Austin poses in the ring, suplex from Austin. Elbow to the back of the neck, Austin is on the floor. Elbow across the throat, Austin does it again on the opposite side of the ring. Mero tries fighting back but Austin scrapes his boot across Mero’s face. Austin is whipped hard across the ring, Austin does it again for opposite buckle. Middle rope elbow from Austin for two, massive back-breaker from Austin for two. Boston crab from Austin, all solid work on the ribs and back of Mero from Austin. Mero desperately reaches for the ropes but Austin drags Mero back to the centre of the ring before Mero uses his leg strength to shake off Austin. Small package for two, Austin whips Mero. Elbow from Austin, stomp to the mid-section.


Austin applies the Boston crab once more, crowd is with Mero who reverses using his leg strength for a close two. Austin whips Mero to the buckle, Mero flips out of the suplex, variation of the O’Connor roll from Mero for a close two. Austin kicks out and nails a right hand, Mero reverses an Irish whip and applies a sleeper but Austin counters with a jaw-breaker. Whip to the buckle, Mero jumps to the middle rope and drives his elbow into Austin. Austin eats a massive dropkick from Mero, right hands from Mero. Ten punches in the corner, Austin is bleeding from the mouth. Irish whip, back body drop from Mero. Mero climbs high, diving double axe handle for two. Whip to the buckle, Austin counters with a boot, Irish whip with Mero sending Austin to the floor.


Mero takes out Austin with a tope con hilo, Austin is down and bleeding heavily from the mouth. Mero climbs high but Austin rolls out of the ring, suicide dive from Austin. Mero rolls Austin into the ring, missile dropkick from Mero. Two for Mero, Austin is placed on the top rope. Super hurricanrana from Mero for two, Austin catches Mero with a boot. Alley Opp bomb into a stun-gun, close two for Austin before Austin drops Mero with The Stone Cold Stunner!


That was the worker match of the night for sure, no surprise that they let these two go out there and tear it up as best as they can. With the right opponent  I do think Mero can get a lot done in the WWF, Austin was solid here and Mero is a much better babyface than Savio Vega so things are looking up for The Texas Rattlesnake. The finish looked great, I thought they shouldn’t have had the kick-out after the modified stun-gun but that’s just nit-picking. I do love Austin’s no nonsense style, really stands out in the WWF since coming in, similar to Triple H. Both men have been a breathe of fresh air in the WWF, cannot wait to see both of them develop over the next two years.


Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin over Marc Mero via Stunner!


(King of The Ring Semi-Final Match) Jake The Snake Roberts vs Vader W/ Jim Cornette

Vader vs Roberts, Roberts has been born again, recovering from his drug addictions to become a better man while Vader has been built solidly with victories over Razor Ramon and Yokozuna to name a few on his way to this match. Vader works the arm, Fujiwara arm-bar from Vader. Vader clotheslines Roberts down twice, massive splash from Vader for two. Irish whip to the buckle, boot counter from Roberts. Rights and lefts from Roberts, knee-lift downs Vader. Vader counters the DDT, massive hooks from Vader. Roberts fires back though, short-arm clothesline before Vader lands his hammer. Down goes Roberts, Irish whip to the buckle. Roberts dodges the splash, DDT from Roberts but the referee is wiped out by Vader. Vader is disqualified and Vader attacks Roberts after the match.


I was not kidding about that worker match, this was hardly a match it was so brief. Vader gets his heat back after losing, not the best decision to do this to Vader though. I don’t see why Vader was in this tournament to lose, seems like a step back considering how well we were doing. Roberts does well though with the match being so brief, we get exactly what we want as Vader decimates Roberts and then we have a beautiful DDT.


Winner: Jake Roberts over Vader via DQ!


(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) The Godwinns W/ Hillbilly Jim vs The Smoking Gunns © W/ Sunny

So, Phineas was in love with Sunny who manipulated the simple-minded Godwinn boy and The Smoking Gunns are heels because why not? He tag team division is quite brutal at this point anyways, Billy pisses off Phineas which leads to Bart destroying Phineas to kick us off, tag to Billy. Rights and lefts from Billy, Phineas is down. Slaps from Billy, Phineas comes back with right hands on Billy, right hands on Bart too. So, The Bodydonnas have a new manager who is clearly a man because Sunny left The Bodydonnas for The Smoking Gunns. Bart and Henry reset the match, hard Irish whip from Bart. Boot counter from Henry with a clothesline for two, Henry works the arm before tagging Phineas. More shots to that arm of Bart, it’s all on the left arm which is great considering Bart’s a southpaw.


Tag back to Henry, arm-breaker from Henry. Bart reveres an Irish whip, Billy lands a cheap-shot from the apron. Henry’s back is now the target, multiple stomps to the spine. Snap-mare with a knee drop for two, Bart is legal now. Knees to the spine from Bart, tag to Billy. Massive right to the spine, Henry counters the Irish whip but Billy lands his Fameasser years before it was a finisher for a close two. Tag to Bart, back-breaker from Bart. Bart stretches Henry across his knee, Henry is in dire straits. Billy whips Henry hard, Henry dodges the corner splash. Bart tags in illegally, back-breaker and elbow drop from Bart. Bart’s on the top rope, Henry dodges the leg drop.Phineas gets the hot-tag, right hands to both Gunns. Godwinns swing around and nail the Gunns, Bart nails Phineas from behind with a boot and just like that, Billy pins Phineas for the win.


Well, I definitely don’t want to see that match again. How am I meant to get excited or believe in Phineas again when Phineas cannot even get a hot-tag going, Henry as babyface-in-peril was a tough sell for me, I just had no patience for this match.


Winners: Smoking Gunns over Godwinns via Boot to the Head!


Jerry Lawler vs The Ultimate Warrior

Lawler blows most of the WWF away on the microphone, it’s a shame his comedy style matches do not pack the same punch in the WWF as they did in Memphis. Anyways, Lawler builds all the hype in this match with his promos just like with Piper and this match starts with Lawler cheating his way into a dominant position. Lawler smacked Warrior with his sceptre and choked Warrior with the referee helpless. Lawler chokes Warrior with his trench-coat, Lawler chokes Warrior with his fist-tape. Lawler runs into a boot, right hands from Warrior. Lawler uses something from his tights to smack Warrior, more choking from Lawler. Lawler wants the piledriver, Piledriver connects but Warrior no-sells it. Three clotheslines from Warrior, flying shoulder tackle and the match is over. What a waste of a match, I do love Lawler used as much cheating as humanly possible to try and defeat Warrior though.


Winner: The Ultimate Warrior over Jerry Lawler via Flying Shoulder Tackle!


Mankind vs The Undertaker W/ Paul Bearer

Mankind made his presence known at the previous In Your House, costing Undertaker the Intercontinental Championship against Goldust in their casket match. Mankind has continued to torment The Undertaker with his Mandible Claw, will Mankind be like those who came before him though? Will Mankind be like Giant Gonzalez? Like Kamala? Like The Million Dollar Corporation? Undertaker surprises Mankind by starting the match on the top rope, Taker pummels the life out of Mankind with rights in the corner. Mankind thumbs the eye, whip to the buckle but Taker flies out and pummels Mankind with rights and lefts.


Mankind is tossed to the floor, Mankind stalks Paul Bearer. Choke from Taker, Taker claws at Mankind’s face. Old School from Taker, hard Irish whip from Taker but Mankind answers with an elbow. Scoop slam from Mankind, Undertaker sits up but Mankind answers with a clothesline. Taker boots away Mankind but Mankind rips at the face of Taker. Stomps and running knee from Mankind, elbow across the throat from Mankind. Mankind has Taker down, Taker answers with right hands. Mankind answers with a clothesline, Mankind throws Taker to the floor. Mankind starts pulling out chairs, Taker boots the chair into the face of Mankind. Mankind is whipped into the apron and back body-dropped onto the chair and concrete.


Mankind is in the ring, looking to crawl away. Taker has the chair, Mankind is waffled in the spine with the chair. Taker chokes Mankind through the ropes with a boot, Irish whip and big boot from Taker. Mankind avoids the tombstone and lands a neck-breaker, leg drop from Mankind. Mandible Claw is blocked by Taker, Mankind decides to boot Taker in the ribs and head. Elbow drop from Mankind, Taker sits-up once more before Mankind looks for a nerve-hold on The Deadman. Taker begins to fade though, Paul Bearer is asking the people to come alive for The Phenom. Taker escapes and lands huge rights and lefts, Mankind is clotheslined to the floor.


Mankind pulls out Taker, rights and lefts from Mankind. Taker is down by the steel steps, Mankind runs at full-speed and knees Taker into the steel steps. Scoop slam on the concrete from Mankind, Mankind attempts the Cactus Jack elbow but Taker blocks with the chair. Chair-shot from Taker to the head, Mankind is down. Headbutts in the ring from Taker, Mankind is barely able to stand. Mankind reverses an Irish whip but Taker ducks and lands his flying clothesline.


Irish whip by Taker, Taker lowers the head and Mankind answers with a piledriver. Two and a half for Mankind, Mankind is angry at the referee and begins ripping out his hair. Mankind steals the urn from Paul Bearer, Mankind is stopped by Paul Bearer, Taker comes back up but Mankind has The Mandible Claw. Taker attempts a Chokeslam, Mankind falls back and Paul Bearer nails Taker with the urn by mistake and Mankind applies The Mandible Claw choking out The Deadman.


That was a very good match, I ‘ll call it a great match for Taker because of what I had to sit through for Taker over the last few years. Owen nails it as Owen states this is a new Taker and it sure feels like it. Taker is still slow at times, playing up his gimmick but we get a taste of Taker throwing those rights and lefts, ramping up the violence with the chair and just brawling with Mankind. Mankind more than holds his own, you can feel the hatred and fury behind each attack, Mankind is a great addition to the WWF roster and with Taker, Taker plays to Mankind’s strengths. Mankind takes an incredible beating here, the fans are all into this match and we get a finish that has you wondering did Bearer attack Undertaker or was it a honest mistake? Either way, that is a cleanest win you will see over Undertaker for quite some time.


Winner: Mankind over Undertaker via Mandible Claw!


(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Goldust © W/ Marlena vs Ahmed Johnson

Goldust gave Johnson CPR which led to Johnson murdering everyone in sight, Johnson sprints to the ring and clotheslines Goldust twice, Goldust rolls to the floor. Suicide dive from Johnson, hard Irish whip to the buckle which leads to Goldust powdering. Goldust manages to pull out Johnson but Johnson blocks Goldust’s attacks. Goldust meets the steel steps, Johnson has the steel steps but Goldust dodges. Johnson misses a corner splash, Goldust can finally land some attacks on Johnson. Massive slap from Goldust, right hands from The Bizarre One. Johnson meets the steel steps, Goldust smashes Johnson with the steel steps.


Goldust whips Johnson, flying clothesline from the champion. Right hands from Goldust for two, Goldust slaps the head of Johnson, rights and left to the body before applying a camel clutch. Johnson escapes but misses a corner clothesline, rights and lefts to the ribs from Goldust. Goldust chokes Johnson with the top rope, Goldust slaps the ass of Johnson rubbing his back up and down. Snap-mare with a reverse chin-lock, Johnson fights out and avoids a sunset flip, Goldust lands two big uppercuts though and continues to pummel Johnson. Goldust lands a massive piledriver, Goldust suggestively crawls up Johnson for a close two.


Camel clutch from Goldust, Johnson escapes with elbows. Three corner clotheslines, Goldust reverses the Irish whip to the opposite corner and drives a knee into the spine of The Bizarre One. Johnson fires back though, Johnson lands two right hands before missing a dropkick. Goldust is frustrated though, sleeper from Goldust. Johnson is out, Goldust wants to give him CPR again. Goldust does just that, Johnson comes back to life though. Johnson beats the piss out of Goldust, spinebuster from Johnson. Pearl River Plunge and we have a new champion!


I thought this was a little long, the heat segment on Johnson was lacking for me with Goldust not doing enough to keep it interesting as Johnson does not have what it takes to suck me in with his selling. However, there were little touches I really liked, Johnson is explosive as always so when Johnson lets loose and is allowed to destroy people, it’s fantastic fun. Some of Goldust’s antics were interesting to, large amounts of heat from the homophobic crowd. Big win for Johnson, if they can find the right opponent and the right feud, Johnson will continue to deliver in that role.


Winner: Ahmed Johnson over Goldust via Pearl-River Plunge!


(King of The Ring Final Match) Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Jake The Snake Roberts

Before the match begins, we have Brian Pillman in the WWF. Pillman had started his Loose Cannon gimmick, turning up in ECW and swearing right here on WWF PPV. Strong interview from Pillman, great look too. Pillman and Austin interact, Hollywood Blondes fans would be happy. Roberts is holding his ribs coming to the ring, Austin stomps the ribs over and over. Middle rope elbow to the ribs, Roberts is doing a fine job of showing how badly Vader damaged The Snake. Austin slaps Roberts, another slap from Austin. Stomps from Austin, Roberts fights back with massive kicks, a right hand floors Austin before Austin goes back to the ribs with a left hand. A stomp sends Roberts down, Austin opens up the injured ribs.


Gorilla Monsoon is here, standing inside of the ring as Austin continues decimating the ribs of Roberts. Monsoon is asking Roberts if he wants to continue, Roberts wants to continue fighting. Rights and lefts by Roberts, Roberts calls for the DDT. Austin backs Roberts into the corner, shoulder thrusts in the corner. Austin poses on the buckle, Stone Cold Stunner and we have a new King of The Ring.


I am not sure how to feel about this one, I thought they would have given more to Roberts considering how he refused to give up and they even had Monsoon come down and dramatically ask if Roberts wanted to continue the match. However, it’s a brief match and Austin still impresses with the attacks on the ribs, ripping at the ribs and even jumping Roberts to begin the match. 1996 could be a great year for the WWF as things develop, Austin cuts his iconic 3:16 promo after the match. Finally, seeing this for the first time I will be able to tell whether Austin exploded overnight or was it a much slower climb than the WWF narrative will tell you!


Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin over Jake Roberts via Stone Cold Stunner!


(WWF Championship Match) Shawn Michaels © vs The British Bulldog W/ Diana Hart Smith/Jim Cornette/Clarence Mason

Mr. Perfect is our special guest referee for this championship match, interesting to see Mr. Perfect back again considering how the last time Perfect was a referee we were meant to have a feud between Luger and Perfect but Perfect’s back problems flared up and we did not get that feud. We might get something out of this though, Michaels and Bulldog battled at Beware of The Dog which ended in controversy as both men had their shoulders counted to the mat and both men were declared winners before Gorilla Monsoon declared the match a draw and Shawn Michaels retained his championship so we have this rematch.


Monsoon is here at ringside, what is going on here? Mr. Perfect will be the official on the outside of the ring and referee Earl Hebnar will keep charge of things in the ring. Bulldog and Michaels lock-up, Bulldog shoves away Michaels. Lock-up, Bulldog shoves down Michaels too. Michaels takes the arm, Bulldog counters and wrenches the arm. Japanese arm-drag from Michaels, headlock takedowns from HBK but Bulldog counters twice before Michaels has his hair pulled by The British Bulldog. Bulldog escapes but ends up in another side headlock takedown from HBK. Bulldog pushes off HBK, shoulder blocks do not phase Bulldog who side-steps Michaels. Michaels skins the cat after a headscissors leaves Bulldog on the floor. Apron diving hurricanrana from Michaels, Cornette eats a boot and is whacked on the ass with his own racket.


Side headlock takedown from Bulldog, Bulldog is pushed off but Bulldog lands a shoulder block. Leapfrogs from Michaels, mis-communication in the middle of the ring. HBK escapes a military press slam, leg trip and arm-drags from HBK. Michaels continues wrenching the arm of Bulldog, Bulldog stomps on the face of HBK to escape the hold. Bulldog whips Michaels to the corner, second sloppy sequence from the two with HBK eventually getting down Bulldog with a Fujiwara arm-bar. Michaels tries a hip-toss, Bulldog misses a clothesline and Michaels clamps on a sleeper. Bulldog drives HBK into the corner, Irish whip to the buckle and down goes Michaels.


Two successive hard Irish whips from Michaels, snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock. Michaels escapes and lands a massive diving axe handle, knee-lift from Michaels. Bulldog reverses an Irish whip and military press slams Michaels to the floor, massive bump. Perfect argues with Jose while Bulldog goes after Michaels. Vertical suplex on the floor, Bulldog presses Michaels back into the ring for two. Bulldog clamps on a reverse chin-lock, Michaels sends Bulldog to the buckle with shoulder thrusts but Bulldog reverses an Irish whip. Michaels flips out of the corner and Bulldog annihilates Michaels with a clothesline. Bulldog wants a Romero Special, Bulldog transitions to a pin for a close two.


Another chin-lock from Bulldog, Michaels escapes before a Bulldog knee floors Michaels. Back body-drop from Bulldog, leg drop across the neck for two. Reverse chin-lock from Bulldog, Michaels escapes and lands a flying crossbody for two. Clothesline from Bulldog for a close two, Bulldog clamps on another reverse chin-lock. Irish whip from Bulldog, Michaels counters with a crucifix for two. Michaels wanted a powerslam, Bulldog counters but Michaels slides out. Michaels shoves off Bulldog, Bulldog holds onto the ropes to avoid the kick and lands a massive clothesline. Piledriver from Bulldog, Bulldog climbs high and misses a diving headbutt. Michaels did not even need to move, Bulldog jumped nowhere near high enough.


Michaels whips Bulldog hard, Bulldog and Michaels are down. Bulldog dropkicks Michaels to crotch HBK. Superplex connects, Michaels kicks out at two. Bulldog wants a super back suplex but Michaels floats over in mid-air, close two for Michaels. They trade right hands, both men collide as they bang heads. Michaels ducks a clothesline and tries a hurricanrana but Bulldog lands the most beautiful sit-out powerbomb for two and a half. Bulldog is whipped to the buckle hard, flipping on impact.


Irish whip from HBK, Bulldog reverses but Michaels lands the flying forearm. Kip-up from HBK, scoop slam with the referee being whacked by Bulldog’s legs. Diving Elbow drop from Michaels, Sweet Chin Music with Mr. Perfect looking like he was going to screw Michaels but no, Earl Hebnar keeps on counting and Michaels retains his championship. Owen and Bulldog attack Michaels after the match, Ahmed Johnson comes down and clears house because Ahmed Johnson is intense as fuck. However, here is Vader and Vader don’t care who you are because It’s Vader Time. Camp Cornette destroy Johnson and Michaels before Warrior makes the save to setup a six-man tag team match for In Your House.


Solid championship match, the first sequence dragged for sure with Bulldog being a little too reliant on the headlock to wear down Michaels. However, things start going faster after that with Michaels doing what he does best, being the most exciting man in the WWF without anyone coming close as a babyface. Bulldog is dominant and nails some great looking spots in the match, the suplex on the floor and the powerbomb stand-out for sure. Not sure what they wanted to do with the finish, what was the purpose of Perfect? What did that setup? Where was it meant to go? No idea but the action in the ring was solid after the first ten minutes, exciting finishing sequence with the confusion and the blown spots hurting the match’s final impression on me.


Winner: Shawn Michaels over The British Bulldog via Sweet Chin Music!


That was WWF’s King of The Ring 1996, a step in the right direction for sure for the World Wrestling Federation. Things kick off with Mero and Austin tearing it up, Mero shows a babyface fire that was lacking in his earlier WWF matches while Austin continues to be a menace and a no nonsense brawler who stands out among the talent in the company at the time. They work at a fast pace and get the crowd involved with a match that hits the right spot. Vader vs Roberts is all angle, surprised that Vader would not win the tournament considering where we are going but this fine as it leads into the angle of the final. The tag team championship match was worse than the slop in one of the Godwinn’s buckets, boring action with 2 teams who combined had less than half the personality of Sunny, I say again that Sunny is being wasted in the WWF. Ultimate Warrior vs Jerry Lawler was everything I expected it to be, it was what it needed to be and it was still ok at best.


Undertaker vs Mankind is the most interesting match Taker has had in years, it’s intense and Undertaker is working a faster-paced, Mankind is willing to do anything to get a reaction and Mankind goes over on Taker with The Mandible Claw. They brawled and just kicked the crap out of each other, using chairs and the concrete floor, it’s the kind of Taker match I have wanted for years and after suffering through all the lumbering giants, we finally have an interesting feud for The Deadman. Goldust vs Ahmed Johnson was fun in parts but far too long, they could have done much better with less time because Ahmed’s flaws are exposed here, his selling ain’t great and with his size, it’s hard to be sympathetic or believe in someone actually hurting him. However, when Ahmed comes back to life and powerbombs Goldust = Fantastic and underrated moment right there. The main event is a story of two halves, the first half has two mis-communications and blown spots along with a never ending series of headlocks. Part two is action, balls to the wall and both men taking impactful and meaningful bumps. Finish is a little confusing , still not sure what the purpose of Perfect was but I am glad to say that Michaels rose to the occasion again after a subdued performance with Bulldog at Beware of Dog. Things are improving slowly but surely, Austin and Mankind are solid additions to the roster and things could be very interesting as we continue through this year. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!