Hello and welcome to another edition
of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the
internet that continues to confuse you more than an episode of Monday Night
Raw! It’s time for WWF Summerslam 1997 where Bret Hart looks to capture his
fifth WWF Championship against the seemingly unstoppable Undertaker! We also
have Stone Cold Steve Austin taking on the Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart,
Brian Pillman vs Goldust and British Bulldog vs Ken Shamrock! Lots of drama
involved in this one, Shawn Michaels is the special referee for the main event
which creates a massive obstacle for The Hitman. Meanwhile, this night will go
down in infamy for one moment and one move that would change the wrestling
business dramatically for sure. Can Summerslam be a home-run like Canadian
Stampede? Let’s find out!
Match) Hunter Hearst Helmsley W/ Chyna vs Mankind
This all kicked off at The King of The
Ring, these two despise one another with Mankind looking to destroy Helmsley
who cost him the chance to be the king of the ring. They battled to a double
count-out at Canadian Stampede and things have escalated week after week so now
we have to settle the score inside a steel cage match.
Helmsley starts the match by trying to
dive out the cage door, Mankind grabs onto Helmsley and yanks Helmsley back
into the middle of the ring. Right hands from Mankind, Helmsley tries to escape
again but Mankind is not going to let that happen. Helmsley is raked against
the cage before landing massive right hands in the corner. You know what’s
next, Mankind lands his running knee. Pulling piledriver that looks nasty from
Mankind, Chyna prevents Mankind from leaving through the door. Mandible Claw but
Chyna chokes Mankind through the cage with her belt, the crowd voices their
disapproval at this interference. Irish whip by Helmsley, Helmsley avoids a
boot but eats a discuss clothesline from Mankind. Chyna is climbing the cage
and low-blows Mankind who is on top of the cage.
Helmsley climbs up and suplexes
Mankind to the mat from the top of the cage, that looked so nasty. Helmsley
crawls towards the door and decides that Helmsley wants to beat up Mankind.
Mankind is rammed into the cage wall multiple times, Mankind’s head is banged
off the cage wall multiple times. Helmsley shows that mean-streak again while
smashing Mankind repeatedly and Mankind grabs the foot of Helmsley who has
almost escaped the cage. Helmsley is almost free, Helmsley boots down Mankind
but Mankind comes back and drags Helmsley back into the cage. Mankind tees off
on Helmsley with repeated right hands, Irish whip to the corner and a knee to
the head. Chyna lands a forearm through the cage.
Both men land inverted atomic drops
before Mankind lands a stiff clothesline, Irish whip and Helmsley counters with
a face-buster. Mankind blocks the suplex and sends Helmsley into the cage who
is in a tree-of-woe like position before Mankind lands a huge running elbow.
Helmsley meets the cage hard, again Helmsley meets the cage with Mankind in control.
Headbutt by Mankind, Helmsley back-drops Mankind into the steel cage. Helmsley
is climbing high, Mankind is battling with Helmsley on the top rope. Mankind
batters Helmsley who crotches himself on the top rope, Chyna looks on concerned
at ring-side. Helmsley is also caught in the top rope, Chyna is trying to free
Helmsley while Mankind crawls towards the door. Chyna rushes to the door and
smacks it off the head of Mankind before wiping out the referee.
Chyna has a chair and she throws it to
Helmsley, Pedigree is the plan but Mankind reverses and catapults Helmsley into
Chyna who was climbing the cage wall. Chyna is down, Mankind lands a massive
Double Arm DDT on the chair. Chyna is in the cage, Helmsley is not moving.
Mankind rips off his mask not wanting to win by escaping the cage just yet.
Mankind sits on top of the cage, Diving Elbow from the top of the cage. Right
into the heart of Helmsley, Chyna crawls in trying to pull out Helmsley but
Mankind is too fast and Mankind is your winner of this absolute war.
Fantastic opening match, it’s what you
want from a cage match with two people who despise one another beating the hell
out of one another inside of that cage. Great violence, great intensity from
Helmsley and Mankind. So many great spots, the superplex from the top to the
catapult into Chyna into that diving elbow, this match packs quite the punch
and it’s a great way to cap off the feud if that is it for these two but I have
a feeling it’s going to continue. One of my favourite matches of this era, a
great feud that just gets better and better. Happy for both men, this is what
they needed to get back on track!
over Hunter Hearst Helmsley via Escape!
Marlena vs Brian Pillman
Goldust continues his babyface run
against The Loose Cannon Brian Pillman, two men who met at Canadian Stampede in
that awesome 10-man tag. Happy to see Pillman in a singles match, curious to
see how Pillman does after his ankle injury. Pillman was more of a spectator in
the main event of Canadian Stampede, this match starts with Pillman jumping Goldust.
Pillman bites the head of Goldust, Goldust is whipped to the buckle and
explodes out with a middle rope elbow. Ten punches in the corner from Goldust,
Pillman tries the inverted atomic drop but Goldust dodges and kisses Pillman
who powders at this atrocity. Pillman goes low with a boot and chops The
Bizarre One, side headlock on the ropes from Pillman.
Irish whip and elbow from Pillman, Pillman
stalks Marlena. Goldust nails Pillman hard with a clothesline, chop and back
rake from Goldust. Pillman begs off with Goldust landing jabs, Pillman takes
advantage of Goldust lowering his head. Snap suplex from Pillman, Pillman climbs
high and is crotched on the top rope. Marlena blows her cigar in the face of
Pillman before Pillman uses Marlena as a shield and DDTs Goldust on the floor.
Diving clothesline from Pillman for two, Pillman clamps on a sleeper. Goldust
fires back, back-slide for two but Pillman is up first and lands a massive
clothesline for two. Goldust ducks a clothesline and lands a flying clothesline
of his own. Both are trading massive blows, Goldust wins the exchange. Running
bulldog is countered by Pillman, shoulder thrust from Goldust and a sunset-flip
but they botch it. They recover well with Marlena walloping Pillman in the head
and Goldust getting the sunset-flip for the win.
Solid at the end of the day, Pillman’s
cheating tactics are good fun and Goldust is getting good reactions between the
ropes, wish there could have been a bit more to the match. It never left second
gear for me, they just got on with it which is not a problem sometimes but I
just didn’t care when all was said and done.
over Brian Pillman via Sunset Flip!
The Godwinns vs
The Legion of Doom
LOD broke Henry Godwinn’s neck so The
Godwinns came back with a vengeance and now we have this match between the two.
It looked as if LOD would be tag team champions by this stage in the WWF but
with Owen Hart being a singles champion, it seems plans have changed. The
Godwinns have been part of some of my most hated matches of this era with
simpleton Phineas being among my most hated gimmicks of the time so as heels, I
am interested to see what the duo can do as I have long since lost my trust in
The Godwinns as babyfaces.
We start with a brawl, LOD clothesline
The Godwinns. Hawk lands an apron clothesline, Animal lands a shoulder block on
Phineas who powders to catch his breathe. Henry works on Animal who missed a
corner clothesline, Animal back-flips out of a belly to back suplex and lands a
clothesline to both Godwinns. Hawk wipes out Phineas on the floor, lock-up and Henry
clubs on Hawk. Hot-shot from Henry, Hawk dodges an apron leg drop. Hawk nails
Henry on the floor and sends Henry into the steel steps. Snap-mare into a leg
drop from Hawk for two, Henry goes low with a headbutt and a tag to Phineas.
Headbutt from Phineas, neck-breaker stretch from Phineas.
Hawk tags in Animal, lock-up and
Animal wrenches the arm. Irish whip with Phineas attacking Animal with a knee,
Henry wipes out Animal with a clothesline to the floor. Animal is bumped into
the guardrail, scoop slam for two. Tag to Phineas, bearhug from Phineas.
Phineas tags Henry but Henry misses a clothesline, Phineas comes in and gut
punches Animal. Phineas tries a middle rope clothesline, Animal nails Phineas
and tags Hawk. Powerslam from Hawk, Hawk is battering both. Corner clothesline
to Henry, clothesline to Phineas. Neck-breaker to Henry, Phineas makes the
save. Animal wipes out Phineas, LOD clothesline Henry. Hawk wipes out Phineas
with a diving clothesline before a Spike Piledriver puts down Henry.
Watchable but not much heat to it from
the fans, Hawk receives a lukewarm reaction to his hot-tag. And I do not want
to speculate on the personal life of Hawk at this point considering what would
be coming in terms of angles in The Attitude Era but Hawk seemed all over the
place at times here, timing was off and it made a little sloppy but that’s it
now. I imagine this feud is done and dusted, no harm done.
Winners: LOD over
The Godwinns via Spike Piledriver!
Bulldog vs Ken Shamrock
Continuation of The Hart Foundation
antagonizing every babyface in the WWF, Bulldog covered Shamrock with dog food
on Raw which leads us to this match. Shamrock comes down intense as always and
belly to belly suplexes Bulldog to begin, Bulldog meets the steel steps. Irish
whip, heel-hook from Shamrock but Bulldog makes it to the ropes immediately.
Clothesline from Shamrock for two, forearms and knee-lift from Shamrock.
Bulldog puts up a knee and clotheslines Shamrock down, headbutt from Bulldog. Suplex
for two, reverse chin-lock from Bulldog. Shamrock escapes but Bulldog goes low,
headbutts from Bulldog. Shamrock is being rocked, small package from Bulldog
Reverse chin-lock from Bulldog, Shamrock
is hurled into the ring-post hard. Hard Irish whip into the steel steps,
Bulldog has the steel steps but the referee stops this act of violence.
Shamrock punches and kicks back into the match before Bulldog lands a low blow.
Into the ring we go, right hands from Bulldog who continues teeing off on The World’s
Most Dangerous Man. Another chin-lock, Bulldog throws dogfood at Shamrock and
Shamrock loses his mind and batters Bulldog with the dogfood can. Shamrock gets
disqualified but gets over big-time as a loose cannon as he chokes out Bulldog
and body-slams about 5 referees.
Brief and still I had 3 chin-locks
from Bulldog, amazing how that man can go from a phenomenal entertaining
performer in spots but when Bulldog is in there by himself, it can be torturous
at times. Shamrock gets over big time which was tremendous, glad to see how
they are handling Shamrock in the WWF. Great reactions from the fans, a success
for sure despite the disappointing match itself.
Bulldog over Ken Shamrock via DQ!
DOA vs Los
So both Crush and Savio Vega had
caused problems within The Nation due to their hatred of one another, this
brings us to this match between the two groups. Like something out of The
Warriors but I guess a more appropriate reference would be to perhaps
capitalize on the feuds that rappers were having at the time, we have Gang-Warfare
Crush is the babyface leading a
tattooed biker gang against Savio and his Puerto Rican brothers, this match
starts with a brawl and DOA control the rings like babyfaces. Skull and Jose,
clothesline from Skull. Jose blocks with a boot and a diving clothesline to the
back of the head before a boot from Skull. 8-Ball lands a massive sidewalk
slam, here comes Crush who lands two leg drops. Miguel and Crush are in, Crush
lands a tilt-a-whirl slam for two before we have Chainz and Jesus. Chainz lands
a back body-drop and three elbow drops before tagging in Skull who lands
punches and tags in 8-Ball. Jesus is rammed into the buckle before Savio Vega
lands a corner spinning heel kick on 8-Ball. Jose and Miguel batter 8-Ball,
Miguel rams 8-Ball into the turnbuckle and lands a corner clothesline.
Los Boricuas batter 8-Ball behind the
referee’s back, Savio misses a clothesline and eats a clothesline from 8-Ball.
The Nation of Domination are here, Jesus and 8-Ball are going at it, both men
are down with Jesus keeping control. Triple beat-down behind the referee’s
back, Savio is now legal. Hip-toss out of the corner, reverse chin-lock from
Savio. Savio continues to wind up DOA as Miguel and Jose batter 8-Ball. Missile
dropkick from Miguel, more dropkicks and double teaming on 8-Ball. Reverse
chin-lock from Jose, 8-Ball fights out but Jose holds onto the leg. Miguel and
Savio beat down 8-Ball, Savio misses a corner splash. Tag to Chainz, military
press slams and boots all around. The match falls apart as the referee has no
clue what to do, Chainz clocks Ahmed. Pearl River Plunge on Chainz, Chainz is
thrown back in the ring and pinned off an elbow drop.
That heat segment on 8-Ball went on
way too long, match should have descended into chaos the second we saw The
Nation of Domination, crowd only cared for Ahmed in The Nation anyways. Easily
the worst match on the card, dragged and accomplished nothing.
Boricuas over DOA via Elbow Drop!
Championship Match) Owen Hart © vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Owen Hart managed to beat Stone Cold Steve
Austin at Canadian Stampede which kicked off this feud between the two, Austin
will kiss Owen’s ass if he cannot beat him inside of this ring. Now this match
going in we all know is going to be infamous for all the wrong reasons but
could these two work with one another? Was this a great match before the
piledriver? Let’s see!
Owen Hart jumps Austin with a chop-block,
Owen works the knee with kicks and sends Austin into the ring-post from the
get-go. Austin fires back with right hands, Lou Thesz Press from Austin. Owen
Hart takes the sternum-bump, Austin yanks Owen down by the hair. Austin chokes
Owen with the middle rope, Owen dodges Austin who puts on the brakes at the
last second and lands a clothesline for two. Austin works the arm, snap-mare and
knee drops onto the arm. Owen has the hammerlock, Austin counters with both men
countering before Austin drops Owen on the arm he has been working over. Arm-bar
from The Rattlesnake, flying elbow counter from Owen. Austin drops Owen but Owen
pulls Austin into the ring-post. Owen rams Austin’s arm into the steel steps,
Owen steps all over the arm.
Owen wrenches and bites the arm of
Austin, Austin is tied up in the ropes as Owen rips at the ringers. Stomps from
the champion, stun-gun counter from The Rattlesnake. Powerbomb from Austin who
clotheslines Owen to the floor, Owen calls for a timeout and tries to leave the
arena. Austin clotheslines Owen down, Owen begs for mercy in the ring. Owen lures
in Austin, big scoop slam and elbow drop for two, Irish whip to the buckle but
Austin explodes out with a clothesline. Owen kicks off Austin to avoid the sharpshooter
and lands a clothesline + a leg drop to the neck for two. Hard whip to the
buckle, headbutt from Austin. Austin rolls through a middle rope crossbody for
two, German suplex by Owen for two and a half. Camel clutch from the champion,
anything to wear down the neck of Austin.
Austin escapes but lowers his head on
an Irish whip, vicious DDT from Owen Hart for a close two. Reverse chin-lock
from The Rocket, Austin escapes and applies his own sleeper. Owen reverses for
his own, jaw-breaker from Austin. Austin goes to the middle rope, Owen cuts off
Austin. Russian leg-sweep for two, Owen applies a sleeper while using the ropes
for leverage. Referee Earl Hebnar catches Owen Hart cheating, right hands from
Austin. Irish whip, Owen counters and piledrivers Austin and breaks his neck
there and then. Owen starts walking around the ring stalling and we can see
something is very wrong. You can hear the concern of Mcmahon in his voice, Owen
continues stalling as Austin is in a bad, bad way. Austin struggles his way
into a roll-up and pins Owen Hart, Austin is your WWF Intercontinental
What a professional Owen is, Owen knew
shit was not good and did not stomp or try and work a different body part.
Injuring one of the top stars in the WWF when they are white-hot, could you
imagine how Owen must have felt at that time? The match was quite good before
the abrupt ending, Austin was so explosive inside of the ring, things will not
be the same from this point onwards but it was almost a blessing in disguise as
Austin would become more popular in the months where he was injured.
Cold Steve Austin over Owen Hart via Roll-Up!
Match) The Undertaker © vs Bret Hart (Shawn Michaels = Special Guest Referee)
If Bret loses, Bret will never wrestle
in the US again! Quite the stipulation for Mr. Canada himself The Hitman. Bret
has said many times that he has been screwed in the WWF, things could not be
more clear with Shawn Michaels being the special guest referee in this match.
Undertaker’s WWF Championship reign has been quite good so far beyond his match
with Faarooq but these two have faced off before, WWF Royal Rumble 1996 and it
was nothing to write home about at all with one spot sticking with me all these
reviews later and I will be so pissed if they do not replicate it during this
Bret jumps Taker who had not taken off
his jacket, Bret tees off with right hands but Taker is shaking it off. Taker
grabs Bret, rights and lefts from The Deadman. Irish whip and clothesline from
The Phenom, Bret powders but Taker rams Bret into the guardrail. Bret lays
against the ring-post, Bret ducks the clothesline and Taker hurts his arm. Bret
sends Taker into the steel steps, Taker sends Bret into the steel steps. In the
ring, back-breaker from Taker who stretches Bret across his knee. Headbutt from
Taker, Bret meets the turnbuckle. Bearhug from The Deadman, Bret bites his way
out but eats a big boot. Taker misses an elbow drop, Bret goes after the leg of
Taker. Repeated stomps, Bret stretches the leg over and over. Eye rake to Taker’s
eyes, Bret drops all his weight on the ankle of Taker. Taker fights back before
another eye rake, Bret stomps the hamstring of Taker over and over. Taker
attempts to club The Hitman but Bret is relentless going after the leg. Figure
four from Bret, Paul Bearer is waddling down to ringside, what could this mean?
Undertaker’s brother is still alive
but can Paul Bearer be trusted? Is Kane alive? Taker reverses the figure four and
Bret breaks the hold, Taker works Bret’s leg by driving it into the mat. Taker
decks Paul Bearer with a right-hand, Bret Hart chop-blocks Taker hard. Ring-post
figure-four from The Hitman, The Hart Foundation are at ringside while Michaels
and Bret Hart are having words. Taker collapses to the mat as Bret continues
working the leg, elbows to the knee with a grapevine from the challenger. Taker
grabs a headlock but Bret continues to maintain control, Taker uses his good
leg to kick Bret in the face. Taker beats up Pillman & Owen at ringside,
HBK takes the duo to the back. In the ring, Chokeslam from Taker. Michaels does
not see the pin, Taker is not pleased by Michaels not seeing the pin-fall.
Roll-up from Bret for two, Taker
clotheslines Bret down and has words with Michaels. Bret pulls out Taker, Taker
is rammed spine-first into the ring apron. Bret slams Taker into the ring-post,
Bret lands headbutt to the spine of The Deadman. Back-breaker from Bret, two
for The Hitman. Taker sits-up, suplex from the challenger and Bret’s Rope Elbow
Drop. Two for Bret, Taker sits up again. DDT from Bret for two, headbutts from
Bret. Taker stun-guns The Hitman, Bret answers with a Russian leg-sweep. Bret
wants the sharpshooter but Taker has Bret by the throat, Taker pummels Bret in
the corner. Hard Irish whip, Bret kicks away at Taker but Taker avoids the
chop-block. Both men brawl with Taker getting the victory in that contest,
flying clothesline by Taker.
Sternum-turnbuckle bump from Bret, two for
Taker. Boot by The Deadman and a leg drop for two, Taker Chokeslams Bret from
the apron back into the ring. 1…2.. Bret kicks out! Bret crotches Taker who was
going for Old School, Bret wants the superplex. Bret lands the superplex, Sharpshooter
from The Hitman. Taker muscles out of the hold, sending Bret to the floor with his
powerful leg strength.
Bret tees off with right hands,
clothesline from Taker. Tombstone is avoided by Bret who pulls Taker into the
ring-post, Bret locks in the Sharpshooter using the ring-post before Taker
shoves off Bret into HBK. Bret grabs a chair from ringside, Bret clocks Taker
in the head with the chair. Michaels is at ringside on one knee, Bret covers
Taker for a close two. Michaels spots the chair, Bret and Michaels are having
words, Bret spits on HBK. HBK swings the chair and waffles Taker in the head by
mistake. Michaels has no choice but to count and Bret wins the WWF Championship.
So this one actually was lacking for
me which is almost blasphemous for me to say considering how much I enjoy Bret’s
work and his 1997 work has been excellent but this feels a step down from his
matches with Austin and Taker is not the best when being worked on, always hard
to feel for the giant 6 foot 10 beast. And they did not repeat my favourite spot
of the crossbody counter into the Tombstone. Regardless, it just didn’t come together
in this match for me and that’s a shame because there were elements that made
it entertaining like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart bubbling over and resulting
it Michaels costing Taker the WWF Championship. It’s great to see another feud
come out of this match but will either man be the one to dethrone The Hitman?
Maybe not, could it be The Rattlesnake who takes the championship from Bret Hart?
Of course all speculation at the time if we only knew how much the WWF would
change in the next several months.
Winner: Bret Hart
over Undertaker via Steel Chair to The Skull!
That was WWF’s Summerslam 1997, a good
PPV showing from the WWF. It will be hard to top Canadian Stampede but this had
many moments during this show where I was really enjoying the action. Helmsley
vs Mankind in the cage could be considered a classic, it is a hot feud and the
fans are invested 100% which makes for matches with big reactions to all the
big spots. Foley tortures himself in the name of performance and is rewarded
with huge cheers when he leaves the steel cage. The likes of Pillman vs Goldust
& LOD vs The Godwinns are solid matches that do not overstay their welcome,
they give you the result they want and move on, my knock would be both feuds have
very good reasons to be heated but for one reason or another, we don’t get to
see those fireworks come out during the matches. The DOA vs Los Boricuas match
drags, it’s awful and I hate it. However, we have a big moment for Ken Shamrock
who looks like a star with his wild man attitude of destroying everything thin
sight, we have Austin vs Owen showing they can have a good match albeit the
ending is all that will be spoken about for the next number of months and a
main event that while it may not be a masterpiece or exciting affair, the ending
will have major effects on feuds going forward and you definitely want to tune
into RAW to see what happens next! The WWF without Austin until Survivor Series
1997 sounds bleak but HBK is back, could the WWF continue its good streak of PPVs?
Join me next time to see, thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another