Hello and welcome to another wrestling review on the only wrestling review series on the internet that is more controversial than an old veteran going over a young talent! It’s WWF In Your House: Canadian Stampede! We are in bizarro world King as Canada plays host to the World Wrestling Federation. This PPV is main-evented by a massive 10-man tag between The Hart Foundation and a team led by Stone Cold Steve Austin! We also have Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs Mankind, The Great Sasuke vs Taka Michinoku and Undertaker defending the WWF Championship against the man they call Vader! This is a stacked card especially with The Michinoku Pro talent which I am sure will be quite the experience.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley W/ Chyna vs Mankind
King of The Ring rematch with Mankind teeing off on Helmsley, running bulldog from Mankind. Scoop slam and leg drop, Double Arm DDT right off the bat. Mankind mocks the pose of Helmsley, Irish whip but Helmsley counters with a massive facebuster. Picking up steam, Helmsley is dumped to the floor. Cactus Jack elbow drop off the apron, close two for Mankind. Irish whip with Helmsley taking his tumble to the floor, Mankind is on the middle rope but Helmsley escapes the elbow drop this time. Mankind chases Helmsley up the ramp and lands a massive clothesline. Mankind wants a suplex and it connects! Helmsley is knocked off the apron to the floor with Chyna encouraging Helmsley to get back in the ring, shoulder thrust and sunset flip but Helmsley gets caught in The Mandible Claw before Chyna makes the save.
Mankind is not happy, getting in the face of Chyna. Helmsley tries a sneak attack but Mankind sees that coming with a massive kick, the referee takes a punch though. Helmsley whips Mankind and Chyna powerslams Mankind into the steel steps, Helmsley has a chair and waffles Mankind in the ankle that smashed into the steel steps. Massive chop block from Helmsley, big stomps to the knee of Mankind. Elbow drop onto that injured knee, Helmsley brings his knees down on that leg in the corner. Big right hands in the corner, Helmsley continues to punish Mankind with a figure four. Helmsley uses the ropes for leverage until the referee catches Helmsley, Mankind fires back with right hands. Irish whip to the buckle, Pedigree is blocked by Mankind who drops a low headbutt on Helmsley. Running knee in the corner and elbow to Helmsley who was in the tree of woe. Stump piledriver from Mankind but Mankind’s knee does not allow Mankind to use all his weight on the pinfall. Mankind charges in for the Cactus Jack clothesline, Mankind clutches his knee once more though.
Chyna steals the chair from Mankind, Helmsley cracks Mankind with the chair and Chyna lands a clothesline, all behind the back of the referee. Helmsley is on the top rope, Mankind crotches Helmsley. Mandible Claw, Chyna trips up Mankind as Helmsley distracts the referee. Mankind is rammed into the ring-post groin-first which looks very painful. Mankind is bashed off the guardrail, and the two brawl into the crowd for the double count-out.
Well I was going to say that this was a great opening match, Mankind is very popular as a babyface and Helmsley’s snob character is at its peak with Chyna adding so much to Helmsley. They have their spots down, Helmsley gets a chance to look aggressive while Chyna looks devastating constantly being a thorn in the side of Mankind while Mankind comes off as very sympathetic and lovable due to Chyna’s interference and Foley’s willingness to take some of the most brutal bumps I have ever seen. Would have loved to see Mankind get a little more retribution but things are only getting started and I am all in for this pay per view!
Taka Michinoku vs The Great Sasuke
WWF giving their answer to WCW’s cruiserweight division, it’s crazy to hear The Great Sasuke’s theme on the WWE Network. Regardless, these two have been tearing it up for years in Michinoku Pro while Sasuke tasted greater success with Sasuke mixing it up in NJPW and capturing the J-Crown. Both men are tremendous wrestlers and they had earlier had a phenomenal six-man tag at ECW’s Barely Legal so while I think the crowd may be lukewarm to the action at first, this match is going to be simply insane.
Lock-up and clean break from Taka, Sasuke grabs the wrist and wrenches the arm. Taka trips the leg, Sasuke goes for the cross arm-breaker before trading pinfalls. Spinning sole butt from Sasuke, snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock before a headscissors cover for two. Taka wriggles free into a headlock. Taka stretches Sasuke, elbows from Taka. Arm-breaker from Taka, Sasuke locks on a sleeper before Taka runs right into a spinning sole butt. Single leg Boston crab from Sasuke before Taka reaches the ropes. Big kicks from Sasuke before Taka palm thrusts Sasuke, dropkick to the back of the head. Low dropkick to the face, Sasuke sends Taka to the floor. Sasuke lands a diving thrust kick to the floor.
Sasuke works over Taka with massive kicks and a spinning sole butt before dropping Taka with a massive kick. Sasuke asks for Taka to stand up, more big kicks before Taka lands a dragon screw. Taka low dropkicks the knee, Taka springboard planchas onto Sasuke. Crowd appreciates that for sure, it looks beautiful. Taka flips out of the German suplex for a hurricanrana, two for Taka. La magistral for two, handspring elbow from Sasuke. Asai Moonsault from Sasuke to the floor, Taka regains control in the ring with a kick to the face and a springboard dropkick. Taka calls for the finish, Michinoku Driver for a close two!
Sasuke is still alive, Taka climbs high. Sasuke counters the crossbody with a beautiful dropkick, springboard moonsault for two. Massive powerbom with a Tiger Suplex for the win, Sasuke is your winner.
Like I said it would be, the crowd was lukewarm when the match started and once those two started flying, it was incredible. Despite Taka being the heel in Japan, the fans were huge fans of the smaller athlete here and Taka to his credit did the bigger dives and spots. I love watching these two during their days in Japan. Kaientai DX vs The Michinoku Pro stars like Sasuke and Super Delphin were always amazing matches. Great stuff here, very fun to watch as the crowd warmed up to the incredible action.
Winner: Great Sasuke over Taka Michinoku via Tiger Suplex!
(WWF Championship Match) The Undertaker © vs Vader W/ Paul Bearer
And now the match at Royal Rumble makes sense as Vader finally has his chance at the WWF Champion The Undertaker. Honestly, this should have come before Austin and Faarooq but I do enjoy the continuity. As for Paul Bearer being back in Vader’s corner, they haven’t really discussed why Taker no longer cares about the supposed secret.
Paul Bearer is cowering at ringside, the question on everyone’s mind is how will The Undertaker deal with Vader. The bell rings and Taker goes to work with big right hands and kicks, massive clothesline. Taker continues to dish out the pain to Vader, Paul Bearer is not a fan of any of this. Old School time, Vader is wiped out but it’s a close two. Vader is whipped to the buckle and explodes out with a hammer, Vader goes to work with rights and lefts. Taker ducks the clothesline and lands his flying clothesline for two, eye poke from Vader. Side headlock from Vader, Taker escapes and sends Vader to the floor. Brawling at ringside time, Vader sends Taker into the steel steps with Paul Bearer talking trash to Taker. Vader eats a hot-shot from The Deadman, Taker stalks Paul Bearer who is in a panic while Vader clubs Taker in the back of the head.
Paul Bearer wallops Taker with his shoe, short-arm clothesline from Vader. Middle rope clothesline from Vader for two, suplex from Vader. Big splash for two, Vader has a nerve hold but Taker battles out with those rights and lefts. Eye-poke and clothesline to Taker, Taker tees off in the corner with rights and lefts. Vader is wobbling, Chokeslam but Vader goes low as Paul Bearer distracts the referee. Vader runs into a tombstone attempt but Taker floats-over for a quick cover, Vader is whipped to the buckle. Elbow by Vader, big crushing hammer from Vader. Vader wanted a Vader Bomb but Taker goes low and lands a massive middle rope Chokeslam for two. Another Chokeslam with Vader kicking out again, they are putting Vader over big in this one. Taker calls for the finish, Tombstone Piledriver and Taker retains.
Considering how bad I thought this was going to be, this was one of the most pleasant surprises I have experienced while watching the WWF during this era. The fans love Taker and react big to everything he does, same with Vader when he lands a massive move. Plenty of big moves, big spots that are fun too and Vader comes off like a beast surviving the chokeslams only to eat that tombstone at the end. People love to criticize Vader in the WWF but the man had his moments even in defeat where he simply kicked all sorts of ass. Pleasantly surprised by this match, another good match in Taker’s WWF Championship reign.
Team Austin (Animal/Hawk/Goldust/Ken Shamrock/Stone Cold Steve Austin) vs The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart/Owen Hart/Jim Neidhart/Brian Pillman/British Bulldog)
While I may understand Austin & LOD’s deep-rooted problems with The Hart Foundation, Goldust and Ken Shamrock are interesting additions to the feud for sure but yes this is going to be a massive brawl. The biggest heel faction in the WWF against the babyfaces of the WWF. I wonder why HBK was not part of this show, what a team it would have been then right? Anyways, this is going to be a brawl and with a Canadian crowd firmly in the corner of The Harts, I wonder just how good this match is going to be, the crowd goes absolutely ballistic the second Pillman appears on the ramp.
Pillman’s first match on WWF PPV? I believe so, what a match to make your debut in, another big reaction for Neidhart. Bulldog comes off to a massive ovation and it gets bigger for Owen Hart. Buzzcut Owen Hart and just wait for what is coming next, it’s going to be the biggest pop of the night by far. Let it be known on this night, Bret was a Canadian Hero and I believe it!
Everyone is squaring off, this feels big. I do believe we will kick it off with Austin and Bret, we are not messing about on this night. Bret wins the war, Austin is pegged back to the corner. Right hand and stomps from Bret Hart, the arena is shaking it is unbelievable. Austin rakes the eyes and tees off with right hands. Whip to the buckle, Bret clotheslines Austin down and lands a headbutt. Inverted atomic drop and a clothesline, Bret rakes Austin’s face off the ropes. Low blow from Austin, knee to the face from The Rattlesnake. Austin stomps away on Bret, the fans do not like it one bit. Million Dollar Dream from Austin, Bret tries the WM VIII counter but Austin has it scouted. Austin misses his knee attack on the ropes, tag to Anvil. Boot from Anvil, Irish whip and Austin lands a Thesz Press on Neidhart.
Tag to Shamrock, Shamrock floors Anvil and goes for The Ankle Lock. Pillman makes the save, arm-drag from Shamrock. Anvil lands big forearms, Anvil tries a hip-toss but Shamrock rolls through for the heel hook. Shamrock and Pillman wrestling now, eye rake from Pillman. Pillman bites the head of Shamrock, chops from Pillman. Whip to the buckle and a back-breaker for two, Pillman starts slapping and stepping on the face of Shamrock. Whip to the buckle and Shamrock explodes out with a clothesline, Shamrock lands a belly to belly suplex. Tag to Owen, large Owen chants ring throughout the arena. Goldust comes in, right hands by Owen but Goldust lands a back body drop. Owen answers with an enzuigiri, eye rake by Goldust.
Ten punches by Goldust, tag to Hawk who slaps and chops Owen. Gut-wrench suplex and leg drop for two, scoop slam and fist drop from Hawk. Hawk goes high, diving body splash for two. Hawk misses a dropkick, Owen wants the sharpshooter but Animal makes the save. Bulldog comes in, delayed suplex on Hawk for two. Forearms and it looks like it’s time for a Running Powerslam, Goldust makes the save. In comes Bret, in comes Animal. Lock-up, headbutts and shoulder thrusts from Animal. Whip to the buckle, Bret blocks with a knee and a clothesline. Goldust wants in, test of strength with Bret going low with a big kick. Elbow to the head, Bret puts Goldust in the tree of woe as The Hart Foundation batter Goldust before we have a brawl between the two teams. Owen is now legal, back-breaker from Owen. Whip to the buckle, Owen misses a corner spear as Goldust dodges and Animal comes in for massive kicks.
Owen lands his spinning heel kick on Animal, Owen goes high and lands his missile dropkick and kips-up. Animal reverses an Irish whip, powerbomb from Animal. Beautiful powerslam, Animal calls for Doomsday. Doomsday Device and Anvil makes the save, everyone is brawling once more with Austin smashing Owen’s knee into the ring- post. Austin grabs a chair and waffles the knee of Owen. Bruce Hart tries attacking Austin, Bret makes the save as Austin scrambles away. We are unsure if Owen can continue while Austin and Anvil battle, kicks by Austin before a bearhug from Anvil. Austin is in the corner of The Hart Foundation, more war as Austin is battered. Austin fights back, Pillman is dragged into the ring. Stone Cold Stunner on Pillman, Bret pulls out Austin and wraps Austin’s leg around the ring-post.
Bret pulls out a fire extinguisher and smashes Austin’s knee before we see an apron Figure-Four but Hawk makes the save and batters Bret. Bulldog is with Austin, Bulldog stomps away as Hawk comes in now against Bulldog. Hawk slams Bulldog, Hawk goes high but Bulldog crotches Hawk on the top rope. Two for Bulldog, tag to Anvil. Double clothesline, tag to Bret. Anvil and Animal will continue the match, Austin is being taken to the back. Test of strength, Animal wins at first before rallying, massive kicks before a tag to Bret. Back-breaker and middle rope elbow combination, Bret ducks his head off an Irish whip and Animal lands a kick to the head. In comes Pillman who smashes Shamrock with a clothesline, Bret is going to work Shamrock now.
Shamrock sends Bret to the buckle, sternum-first goes Bret. Shamrock doesn’t want to go low on Bret, Bret clubs Shamrock and dumps Shamrock to the floor. Pillman spills Shamrock over the announce table as LOD come to the rescue of The World’s Most Dangerous Man. Russian leg-sweep on Shamrock in the ring, Goldust saves the match. In comes Bulldog with massive forearms, Shamrock is rocked and stomped by an irate Bulldog. Low blow behind the referee’s back from Shamrock, in comes Goldust. Massive clothesline, whip to the buckle with a running bulldog. Pillman stops the curtain call, big save from Pillman again! Goldust is up though, middle rope dive is stopped as Bulldog climbs back and nails a superplex. Hawk makes the save, Austin is coming back to the ring on one leg. Austin gets the tag and Bret gets the tag, they tee off on one another with Austin stomping away on Bret. Sternum-first bump as Austin is cooking, suplex from Austin for two.
Bret lands a neck-breaker from a lowered head Austin, back-breaker and Bret’s Rope Elbow Drop for two! Irish whip and a sleeper from Bret, Austin counters with a jaw-breaker. Bret kicks out and avoids a scoop slam attempting a sharpshooter but Animal makes the save with a clothesline. Austin applies the sharpshooter but here comes Owen Hart with the save. Tag to Owen with right hands to Austin, Owen lowers his head and eats a boot and a clothesline to the floor. Austin stomps Owen in front of The Harts, Austin grabs Stu and starts battering Harts at ringside, Bruce is in there. Owen rolls-up Austin with a handful of tights, can you believe it? Massive brawl with all Harts before The Hart Foundation stands tall to close us out!
What a match, what a crowd. That has to be up there with the Kobashi/Kikuchi vs Furnas/Kroffat tag match crowd, I mean they love The Hart Foundation and the match is just perfection. Everybody plays their roles so well and I love Owen getting to shine, Owen is so good and was given nothing for so long in the WWF. To see this match when he hits that dropkick and the place explodes, it’s beautiful. Austin and all the USA talent ramp up the heel factor, the crowd buys in and this might be Bulldog’s most energetic performance in years. You cannot watch this match and not get excited, it’s chaos from opening bell to end and when that finish comes, the fans are all for it. Maybe it could played out a little stronger with Owen coming out on one-leg and gutting it out, the finish was a little abrupt considering the little scuffle beforehand but this is one of my favourite matches of all-time.
Winners: The Hart Foundation over Team Austin via Handful of Tights!
That was WWF’s In Your House: Canadian Stampede, possibly the best WWF in Your House of all-time. The show is short but every match packs some sort of punch and there’s no dull moments. Helmsley vs Mankind is already becoming one of my favourite feuds with sympathetic glutton for punishment Mankind getting over big time against the snobby Helmsley and his bodyguard Chyna. The chemistry is there, these two need one another at this moment and time, it’s just working so well. We mix things up with a light heavyweight match and to nobody’s surprise, having two of the best talents in the world at that time tearing it up in the ring gets over by the end. I love these two, big fans of both and the crowd is lukewarm at first but the second Taka starts flying around, it’s a game-changer and it’s an entertaining and exciting match. Vader pulls out a great WWF performance vs Taker, this crowd helped for sure but the finishing stretch between these two alone was so much fun I could not help get sucked in along with the crowd. The main event has one of the hottest WWF crowds you will see on PPV, they react big to everything and this match just builds and builds until a very satisfying conclusion. Great PPV, the high point of 1997 so far and I would say watch this PPV because it is well worth checking out! Thanks again for coming to the blog and remember: there’s always another night!