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!