Matches from History: IC Champ British Bulldog v Shawn Michaels

Craig Wilson

This match was broadcast on the 14 November 1992 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event and pitted the WWF Intercontientnal Champion The British Bulldog against Shawn Michaels, who would face the man the Bulldog defeated, Bret Hart, later that same month at Survivor Series.

The video is courtesy of the brilliant The Monsoon Classic YouTube channel, a page well worth checking out. You can also follow them on Twitter @Monsoon_Classic

The British Bulldog is out to a great pop as Vince reminds viewers of The Bulldog defeating Bret Hart in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley stadium at that year’s Summerslam event.

They look up to start but Bulldog pushes Michaels to the ground. A second lock up attempt yields the exact same outcome as Michaels looks frustrated. Heenan states that Michaels told him he was going to win the Intercontinental Championship here and face Bret Hart in a Champion versus Champion match at Survivor Series later in November.

Michaels slaps on a headlock but Bulldog whips him into the ropes and Michaels charges into him twice but that doesn’t move the Bulldog. Instead of trying a third time he slides through his legs and cheap shots him from behind, drawing the ire of Vince as Heenan defends Michaels.

Bulldog whipped into ropes but blocks an arm drag but Michaels counters and manages an arm drag then slaps on the short arm scissors. Bulldog rolls through and picks Michaels up, whilst still attached to his arm. He balances Michaels on his shoulder and drops him back.

Michaels now whipped into ropes and Bulldog press slams him and clotheslines him over the top and to the outside as Davey Boy winces and limps whilst holding his lower back. Michaels back Bulldog into corner and when referee breaks them up Michaels cheap shots him again. Bulldog then manages to block another whip attempt but is caught by Michaels who tries to slingshot him into the turnbuckle but the Bulldog powers out and Michaels is sent flying.

An arm drag then puts the reigning Intercontinental Champion in control as the Bulldog works on Michaels’ arm. Shawn then breaks this up with a punch to the face and a back elbow in the corner. Bulldog reverses whip attempt and then shoulder blocks Michaels to the mat but Michaels dodges another charge attempt and throws the Bulldog to the outside.

With the referee making the count, Michaels removes the turnbuckle cover. We return from a break as Michaels is still attempting to remove the cover as the Bulldog hasn’t yet made it back into the ring.

Back inside, and a snap mare takes Bulldog down as Michaels does more work to the lower back of the Champion and applies an abdominal stretch. Bulldog breaks out with a hip toss but misses a running elbow and Michaels gets a two count.

As Michaels works on Bulldogs back, Vince McMahon talks about the men that he has overcame since becoming champion. Another abdominal stretch as the referee is down asking Bulldog if he wants to tap out. Again the Bulldog breaks out and runs to the ropes and when Michaels puts his head down, he drives him face first to the mat as the crowd go wild.

Shawn is whipped into the corner and takes his trademark turnbuckle bump before being clotheslined to the mat and Bulldog slingshots the challenger face first into the turnbuckle and another clothesline gets him a near fall.

Hanging suplex secures the Champion another near fall here. Michaels reverses an Irish whip attempt and the Bulldog is sent back first into the turnbuckle that Michaels removed the pad from. Michaels then attempts to whip Bulldog into the other corner but instead he’s sent face first into that corner and Bulldog kicks him in the air and he lands groin first on the turnbuckle.

Bulldog goes up top and hits a superplex but Michaels is able to counter and lands on top of The Bulldog and scores a 3 fall and wins the Intercontinental Championship setting up WWF Champion Bret Hart v IC Champ Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 1992.

Elsewhere on that show, WWF Champion Bret Hart bested Papa Shango and in the main event The Ultimate Maniacs (The Ultimate Warrior and Macho Man Randy Savage) beat WWF Tag Team Champions Money Inc (Ted DiBiase & IRS) via count out. Post match, Razor Ramon, Ric Flair and Mr Perfect beat on Warrior and Savage.

Overall: A hugely important match in WWF history. Bret was meant to have lost the IC strap to Michaels at Summerslam until Bret convinced Vince that it would be better business sense, what with the event taking place in London, England, to have the Bulldog beat him. This match was when Shawn got his first shot of gold in the WWF.

For the Bulldog, this would be one of his final TV appearance during this run with the company. Prior to the 1992 Survivor Series both he and The Ultimate Warrior had been released (or fired depending on who you speak to) owing to, and again this depends who you speak to, asking for more money or for receiving growth hormones from England.

On This Day in Wrestling History…

Craig Wilson

On this day in 2000, at WWF No Way Out, in the opening match, Kurt Angle defeated Chris Jericho to win the WWF Intercontinental Title

Elsewhere on the card, The Big Show beat The Rock to become No 1 contender to HHH’s WWF title, The Dudleys bested The New Age Outlaws to win the Tag Titles, Too Cool (Rikishi Phatu, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Grand Master Sexay) defeated The Radicalz (Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn) (with Eddie Guerrero) and WWF Champion HHH pinned Cactus Jack to retain his title in a brutal Hell in a Cell Match that ended the show.

Retro Wrestling Reviews: In Your House 1

Craig Wilson

In 1995 WWF introduced more PPVs in order to bridge the gap between the then five major events they ran – Rumble, ‘mania, King of the Ring, Summerslam & Survivor Series. This event, ‘In Your House 1’ was the first of these, held in Syracuse, New York on May 14 1995.

In_Your_House_Logo


In-Your-House-1Your hosts Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix

Match 1: Bret Hart v Hakushi (w/ Shinja): A recap video of the feud to-date airs which kicked off on an episode of WWF Superstars in March of that year. Hakushi comes to the ring with his manager Shinja, who was Sato in the Orient Express in the early 90s.

Backstage Todd Pettengill catches up with Bret Hart, who plays up Hakushi’s undefeated streak before dedicating the match v Lawler to his Mother, this card is held on Mother’s day.

The two lock up early and Hakushi takes the early advantage. Bret breaks out and whips him into the ropes but Hakushi demonstrates his agility with a series of flips and cartwheels to avoid any attack. Test of strength lock up that Bret breaks up and Hakushi is able to get the advantage with a pull at Hart’s hair.

An early 2 count for Hakushi with a shoulder block before he starts to work on The Hitman’s arm and shoulder area. A quick roll-up gets Hart a 2 and then he starts to work on his opponents arm. Hart takes control with a driving elbow to the back of Hakushi’s head and a series of arm drags forces him out of the ring as he regroups with Shinja.

Back in the ring Hakushi hits Hart with a bronco buster in the corner. Hart attempts to block a slam attempt with a roll-up but that’s countered and he’s sent hurtling to the outside. Hakushi is then able to chock on Hart with Shinja distracting the referee before Hakushi takes his turn to distract the referee and his manager then chocks out Hart.

Back in the ring and a big chop sends Hart down before he’s whipped into the corner and Hakushi nails the cartwheel back elbow. Hart mounts a comeback but that’s foiled by a jab to the gut and Hakushi gets another near full, this time with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Another near fall follows with a top rope diving headbutt that Hart is just able to kick out of.

A slingshot diving headbutt misses and Hart is on his feat first and lands a series of punches. Punch to the gut off the ropes into a Russian legsweep gets Hart a 2 count while a running bulldog gets him another near fall. We’re in Bret Hart trademark move territory as we see the backbreaker and diving second rope elbow before Hart attempts a Sharpshooter. Shinja is up on the apron and Hakushi is then clotheslined to the outside whne back on his feet.

Hart is tripped as he runs off the rope and he then dives through the ropes onto Shinja. Back inside and Hakushi picks up a near fall with a dropkick. Hart then blocks a suplex attempt and instead suplexes Hakushi and himself over the top rope to the outside.

Shinja holds Hart’s foot and that allows his man to gain the upperhand with a top rope moonsault to the outside. Hakushi then attempts to suplex Hart back in but that’s countered with a sunset flip that Hakushi is able to block but Hart is able to pick up the win with a victory roll.

Overall: A great match there, no wonder it features on the best of In Your House. End to end stuff and a great opener.

Match 2: Jeff Jarrett & The Roadie v Razor Ramon: The Roadie is the pre Road Dogg gimmick of Brian James. Vince conducts a phone interview with the 1-2-3 Kid who was supposed to be Razor’s partner in this match and that’s why it is now a handicap match.

Ramon’s music gets a big pop from the New York. JJ tries a sneak attack but is caught and the referee tries to exert control over proceedings. JJ takes the early advantage after Razor is distracted by The Roadie.

A series of hard right hands sends JJ to the outside. Back in and Jarrett hits a right hand of his own before ramming Razor head first into the turnbuckles. He misses a dropkick and is clotheslined over the top rope and to the outside where the two fight until Roadie attacks from behind.

Razor is whipped into the turnbuckle then sent to the matt with an enziguri as JJ draws jeers from the crowd with his trademark strut in the ring. Off the ropes and JJ attempts a cross bodyblock but is caught mid air and takes a fall-away slam and The Roadie has to interfere to break the count.

The Roadie is in now and takes control with a series of elbow drops to the prone Ramon. JJ is tagged back in and he and Razor trade near falls until Ramon is knocked down with a back elbow. Razor blocks a suplex and gets a two count with a roll-up. Roadie is tagged in as the crowd get behind Ramon and he tries to fight back until he’s nailed from behind by Jarrett.

Jarrett is back in again but is caught coming off the top rope and Razor attempts a Razor’s edge but he is back body dropped to the outside where the Roadie catches him with a clothesline. Ramon is just able to break the 10 count. Back in and he rolls through a JJ crossbody for a two count but Jarrett is up first and remains in control with a spinning neckbreaker.

Another tag and the Roadie gets a two count following a knee drop off the second rope. Comeback time and Razor fights back and slams him face first into the mat. Jarrett is tagged in but Ramon continues his superhuman/John Cena esque comeback and tosses the heels together. Ramon hits a second rope superplex on the Roadie but Jarrett attacks from behind and floors Ramon. Jeff tries the figure-four leglock but Ramon kicks him off into the Roadie on the apron and hits the Razor’s Edge on Jarrett and gets the victory.

Post match, Razor tries to Razor’s Edge the Roadie but Jarrett clips the leg and Jarrett slaps on the figure-four leglock. Aldo Montoya runs in and takes out the Roadie but Jarrett blindsides him and they toss him to the floor. “A fan”, who would reveal himself as Savio Vega, runs into the ring and makes the save.

Overall: Really boring match that felt like it lasted a lot longer than the 12 minutes that it did.

Match 3: KOTR Qualifier Mabel v Adam Bomb: Men on a Mission had recently turned heel and were all business here – i.e. no rapping or general happiness as they made their way to the ring. This was, of course, the beginning of Mabel’s push that would lead to him winning the 1995 King of the Ring. Dok Hendrix makes Adam Bomb the favourite here in order to try and build Mabel up further.

Adam Bomb nails Mo who was hanging around in the ring too long; Mabel nails him from behind and hits an avalanche. Mabel misses a second avalanche and Bomb hits a shoulderblock knocking Mabel to the floor. Adam Bomb then, somewhat surprisingly, hits a pescado – I did not expect that. A slingshot clothesline from the outside gets Bomb a one count. He then hits a top-rope clothesline for the second one count in quick succession. Then Mabel floors Bomb with a spinning wheel kick and catches Bomb off a crossbody and hits a World’s Strongest Slam for three. Mabel qualifies for the King of the Ring tournament.

Overall: A quick squash match with the sole intention of getting Mabel over.

Backstage Todd Pettingill is with Razor Ramon who introduces us to Savio Vega, the mysterious man that rescued him from Jarrett and The Roadie.

Match 4: WWF Tag Team Championship Owen Hart & Yokozuna (w/Jim Cornette & Mr. Fuji) v Smoking Gunns: Pre-match, Jerry Lawler charges to the ring to try get his match with the injured Bret Hart going; Bret is shown in the locker room icing his injured knee.

Yoko was Owen’s surprise partner against the Gunns at WrestleMania XI, where they won the titles and tonight’s bout is the rematch. Yokozuna starts the match off with Billy Gunn. Billy applies a headlock but runs into Yoko; Billy hits a few dropkicks and tags in Bart Gunn, who takes a headbutt and Owen is in.

Bart is able to press-slam him and hits a dropkick before Billy is tagged back in and they duo hit a delayed vertical suplex/dropkick combo. The Gunns did have some pretty innovative tag team moves, to be fair to them. It is just a shame that the gimmick, much like others during this time, was so naff.

Billy gets distracted by Mr. Fuji waiving the Japanese flag allowing Owen to score with his enziguri. Yoko tags in and takes out Billy with a clothesline. Yoko then punches away on Billy  and then clamps on his trapezius hold. Owen tags in and hits a  neckbreaker before Billy gets a sunset flip for two. Owen puts him down with a spinning wheel kick and tags in Yoko who sets up Billy on the floor but misses a charge and goes shoulder first into the post.

Owen is tagged in but he misses a running corner dropkick and Bart gets the tag. With Yoko down on the floor the Gunns work over Owen and Bart hits a backdrop suplex. The Gunns score with the sidewalk slam/neckbreaker combo but don’t go for the pin straight away and Owen is able to kick out. Bart then misses a crossbody and flies through the ropes to the floor where Yokozuna squashes him with a 600+ pound legdrop before tossing him back into the ring where Owen is able to pin him and pick up the win.

Overall: Despite getting some offence in, this was essentially a squash match.

Todd Pettingill is with the WWF champion, Diesel who is in a sombre mood due to him losing his mother last year and it is on Mother’s Day. Diesel says he is 100%, from a Henry Godwinn beat down, acting in the employ of the Million Dollar Corporation. Diesel is coming for Sid after injuring Shawn Michaels on the Raw right after WrestleMania XI.

Match 5: Bret “Hitman” Hart v Jerry “The King” Lawler (w/His “Mother”): Lawler starts with a pre-match promo insulting Bret and his mother before dedicating this match to his “mother” at ringside, a woman thatlooks to be in her mid twenties.

Bret tells Todd Pettingill in the Gorilla position that his leg is fine and that he’s fooled Lawler. Bret limps to the ring and then shows Lawler he is fine; Lawler’s facial expression here is great. Bret beats Lawler and tosses him into the ring barricade. Back in the ring he snapmares Lawler and drops a leg before chocking him in the ropes. Bret attempts a backdrop but Lawler telegraphs it and hits a piledriver – a piledriver that Bret no-sells it and pops right back up.

Bret bulldogs the King and hits a piledriver of his own. Lawler tries to get to his Mother on the outside but Bret stands on him in the ropes. Lawler is able to rake Hart’s eyes and then bodyslams him. Lawler to the top and leaps but Bret pops up again and nails him on the way down.

Shinja reappears and distracts the referee and Bret whips Lawler into the ropes but he collides with the referee, who falls to the outside, but he gets his leg tied in the ropes and hangs there. Bret hits a Russian leg sweep and the driving second-rope elbow. Shinja shields the referee for Hakushi to run down and nail Bret with a top-rope double axe. Lawler sets Bret up for a pair of Hakushi swandive head-butts. At this point Shinja frees the referee so Lawler can jackknife cradle him for three. Post-match Lawler and Hakushi try to double team Bret but Hart able to fend them off.

Overall: Nothing great here, mostly Hart on the offence but Lawler is able to pick up the tainted win that sets up their “Kiss My Foot match” at the 1995 King of the Ring.

Sid says time has run out for Diesel and will become a symbol of many victories he will have. Sid calls himself the master and the ruler of the world.

Todd Pettingill and Stephanie Wiand give away a house in Orlando, Florida.

Match 6: WWF Heavyweight Championship Diesel v Sid (w/Ted Dibiase):

Diesel shoves Sid and pummels him and a series of clotheslines into the corner sees Sid to retreat to the floor. Diesel leaps off the apron with a double axe handle and tosses Sid back into the ring. Back inside and a series clotheslines knocks Sid down.

Sid fights back and is able to drag Diesel to the floor but Diesel beats him there and tosses him back into the ring. At this point Sid’s manager, Ted Dibiase, hops up on the apron and distracts Diesel which gives Sid the opportunity to knee him in the back and send him to the outside. Here, Sid continues his dominance and runs Diesel’s back into the ringpost.

In the ring and Sid continues to work on Diesel’s back with a number of clubbing forearms before he applies a camel clutch. Sid picks up a nearfall before reapplying the Camel Clutch; the referee checks Diesel’s arms but it only drops twice.

Diesel dodges a sit-down splash but Sid catches him with the one-handed chokeslam. Sid then hits the powerbomb and Vince McMahon calls him the new champion. Howsever, he takes forever gloating though, and only gets a nearfall. Sid misses a shoulderblock in the corner and Diesel scores with Snake Eyes, a big boot and the Jackknife follows.

Tatanka runs drawing the DQ finish and post-match, Dibiase joins his corporate team members for a three-on-one beat-down. Sid sets up another powerbomb but Diesel backdrops free and Bam Bam Bigelow runs in to even up the odds. The corporation scampers and sets up the main event at the next In Your House.

Overall: As boring a match as you would expect from these two superstars but at least the WWF had the decency to keep it short.

This ends the PPV portion of the show but Coliseum Home Video has two exclusive matches that were post-PPV dark matches.

Dark match 1: The Undertaker (w/Paul Bearer) v Kama (w/Ted Dibiase): Kama had stolen The Undertaker’s urn at WrestleMania XI and melted it down into a chain that he is wearing around his neck. Undertaker is in the midst of this awful Ted Dibiase/urn storyline that began at Summerslam ’94 and continued all of the way up to WrestleMania XII.

Kama “The Supreme Fighting Machine”, was the gimmick Charles Wright had between Papa Shango and the infinitely more over, Godfather.

Kama hits two punches but gets whiplashed off a telegraphed backdrop. Taker then dominates proceedings with punches before he hits Old School.

Kama is able to mount a brief come back with a vertical suplex but this is no-sold and Taker continues the beating. He misses a running clothesline and Kama begins to unload with punches into the midsection. Kama uses some roundhouse kicks and stomps to keep the Taker down.

On the outside, The Undertaker misses a charge and hits the ringpost shoulder first. Kama slams Taker’s back into the ringpost twice as Dibiase taunts Taker with the urn necklace. Back in the ring, Kama applies a half-Boston crab. Kama releases it and continues to work on the back before a bodyslam gets Kama a nearfall.

Kama is only able to get in a few more kicks before The Undertaker mounts his comeback. Kama cuts it off and applies a bearhug but Taker frees himself and gets a back suplex. The Undertaker then hits a big boot and a clothesline before a double clothesline sends both down.

Kama is up first but The Undertaker manages to nail the flying clothesline. Kama counters Snake Eyes into a belly-to-belly suplex and follows up with a series of elbow drops. Taker looks to be out, so Kama celebrates; Taker, of course, sits up and chokeslams Kama. Tombstone piledriver follows and the Undertaker gets the three count.

Overall: This is a woeful match. Too many rest holds and the crowd cared not a jot for Kama.

Dark match 2: Bam Bam Bigelow v Tatanka (w/Ted Dibiase): After losing to Lawrence Taylor at WrestleMania XI, he left Ted Dibiase’s Corporation and spent the rest of his WWF tenure as a babyface fending off Dibiase’s corporate charges.

Dibiase distracts Bigelow which allows Tatanka to get the early advantage here. Bam Bam comes back with clotheslines and a dropkick which forces Tatanka to retreat. Back in and Tatanka chops in the corner but Bigelow fires back with a clothesline and a tackle. Dibiase pulls down the rope which sends Bam Bam to the floor where Tatanka tosses him into the ring steps before hitting his Samoan drop finisher to Bigelow on the outside.

In the ring and Tatanka gets a nearfall with a crossbody. A chinlock follows until Bam Bam fights out but Tatanka rakes his eyes and stays in control. Tatanka reapplies the chinlock and again Bam Bam attempts to fight back but he misses an enziguri and it’s back to the reverse chinlock. Bam Bam tries a Samoan drop to Tatanka but the native American slides down into a sunset flip that Bigelow counters by sitting down.

They run the ropes and hit double crossbody blocks and both men are down. Tatanka is able to land a DDT, although a poorly executed one and he goes to the top. However, Bigelow counters on his way down then Tatanka charges Bigelow in the corner but meets a knee. Bam Bam then climbs to the top and nails a top-rope sunset flip powerbomb for the win.

Overall: As bad as the other exclusive dark match. It’s clear that Tatanka doesn’t really care by this stage of his WWF career and Bam Bam is utterly wasted having to take him on.

Overall: This card is exactly what you’d expect from the WWF at this stage. Nothing great in the ring, bar Bret v Hakushi, which I’ve included the video of in this post. 1995 really was a disastrous year for the company and it is a long way away from being able to mount a comeback.

Other than the novelty factor of being the first In Your House card, there really is very little going for this show.

Matches from History: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels v Stone Cold Steve Austin Wrestlemania 14

Craig Wilson

logo-wm14

Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler

The ‘special enforcer’ Mike Tyson is introduced first with the DX Band playing his introduction music. He’s jeered to the ring. Stone Cold walking back stage is shown on the screens to a huge cheer only eclipsed by the one that greets his music.

Backstage Shawn says “this is for you Earl” before hitting the ringm again played to the ring by the DX band, with the European Champion HHH and Chyna in tow. Of course, this is essentially Michaels’ retirement match as after this it would take WWF/E fans a further four years to see him wrestle in the ring again after an injury caused by hitting his lower back on the casket at that year’s Royal Rumble.

Michaels is dancing around the ring until he is brought back down to earth when Austin shows him the fingers. The trade blows early before they run around the ring. Back in and Michaels is thrown from corner to corner before being back dropped onto his DX teammates.

The rattlesnake goes after him but is jumped from behind by HHH and thrown into the railings. Despite being witnessed by the referee it doesn’t cause a DQ, instead HHH and Chyna are sent to the back by the referee. Austin follows them up to the back and sends HHH into the band stand. In typically ‘Attitude Era’ style this quickly looks out of control as they use anything that isn’t nailed down to beat on each other.

They slowly make their way back to the ring and Austin is tossed back in ans Michaels goes up top but is caught coming off the top with a punch to the gut. Michaels then botches his trademark way to taking being whipped to the corner. Austin gets a two count from that before working on the arm. Michaels dodges a clothesline but is dropped throat first over the rope and gets a two.

Michaels escapes an early stunner attempt and makes it to the apron before being launched face first onto the announce table then face first into the ring steps. Michaels is thrown back in and Austin gets two two counts following a driving elbow off the ropes.

Rest hold is split by a jawbreaker from Michaels but his attempt to wrap Austin’s leg around the ring steps is countered and the two brawl at ringside and Stone Cold is back dropped into the fans at ringside and Michaels rattles Austin with the ring bell.

Back in and Austin is in control and punches on the prone Austin. The pain that Michaels is in is obvious with Michaels wincing and clutching at his back constantly and taking an age to do anything here. Michaels works on Austin in the corner then snap mares him out – a move that hurts his back – and works away again on Austin.

Austin attacks Michaels as the Champion taunts the crowd and throws him to the outside. Michaels counters attempts to bring him back into the ring and is successful this time in wrapping Austin’s knee around the ring post. Back in and Michaels continues to focus on Austin’s already injured left knee as Michaels taunts Jim Ross.

A figure four attempt is countered and Michaels is sent shoulder first into the turnbuckle and Austin rolls him up for a two. Michaels is back up first and continues to work away on Austin’s knee. Austin rolls to the outside and a baseball slide sends Michaels into Lawler and Ross’ lap before Tyson sends him back in. As Austin remonstrates with Tyson, a chop block sends the challenger back down. It’s fire four leglock time again and this time Michaels locks it in right in the centre of the ring. Michaels uses the ropes for leverage which gets Austin a series of near falls. Austin then drags him into the ring and flips Michaels over and they break the move.

Both men are back to their feet and it’s comeback time. Austin catapults Michaels face first into the ring post and gets a two count. Michaels’ sleeper is reversed as Austin rams him back into the corner, taking out the referee in the process. Michaels charges in and Austin tosses him head first into the corner. Michaels is then sent, again, from corner to corner as Austin stops a mud hole in Michaels.

Big back body drop before Michaels ducks a back elbow and hits a flying forearm of his own and both men are down. A nip up and Michaels is back up first and climbs the turnbuckle and hits the flying elbow drop but the referee is still down.

The band is warming up as Tyson looks on at ringside. Austin ducks the sweet chin music and attempts a stunner which is reversed but he catches Michaels’ superkick and hits a stunner and Tyson is in to make the count and the Austin era begins.

Post match Michaels goes nose to nose with Tyson and is laid out with a right hand before Austin and Tyson celebrate in the ring.

A great match considering the obvious pain that Shawn Michaels was in throughout. The significance of this outcome is massive as we officially enter the height of the Attitude and Austin eras and the WWF/E would never look back.

Within a few years of this event both ECW and WCW were out of business and Vince McMahon’s, by now, WWE once again ruled the roost after taking over their main competitors. In fact, one month after the event, Raw beat WCW Nitro in the ratings for the first time in 84 weeks.

Elsewhere on the card, we’d see superstars that featured on the Wrestlemania 14 undercard, such as HHH, The Rock and Mankind rise to the top and enjoy spells with the WWE Title. Wrestlemania 14 saw the passing of the torch from Shawn Michaels to Steve Austin and officially ushered in the Attitude era, a new direction for the WWF.

Raw Rewind: 24 February 1997

Craig Wilson

This #Rawrewind is from the show after Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler invited Paul Heyman and “Extremely Crappy Wrestling” to show up at Raw. The main event this week is Farooq v The Undertaker and we also see a series of ECW matches.

Manhattan Centre, New York City.

Champion Roll Call:

WWF Champion: Sycho Sid
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Rocky Maivia
WWF Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jerry ‘the King’ Lawler.

Match 1: The Godwinns v The New Blackjacks: The Godwinns are out first as Jerry Lawler announces that the stars of ECW are in attendance this evening. The New Blackjacks are of course Barry Windham and John Bradshaw Layfield. The New Blackjacks attack from the outsidet but the Godwinns fight back and Phineas clotheslines Bradshaw to the outside as Henry slams Windham to the mat.

Vince announces The Undertaker v Farooq in the main event and Sunny v Marlena in an arm wrestling match. The Godwinns are still in control here as Vince tells us that this week’s Raw is from the very same arena that hosted the first episode of Raw.

Bradshaw briefly fights back but misses an elbow drop and Henry is tagged in before the Godwinns double clothesline Bradshaw for a two count. Vince alludes to fact we won’t see many scientific moves as Bradshaw and Henry Godwinn trade clubbing blows.

Windham catches Henry from the outside and the distracted Godwinn is clotheslined to the outside and Bradshaw gets a two count. Boot to the gut and Windham hits a boot to the head as the duo double team Henry Godwinn. Bradshaw is tagged back in and he clubs away on Henry. A sleeper attempt is countered with a back suplex and both are looking to tag their partners in.

It’s Phineas and Blackjack Windham now and it is the Godwinn that’s in control until Windham reverses with a jawbreaker and Bradshaw takes out Phineas with a clothesline and The Blackjacks pick up the win. Or do they? The second referee is in now describing what has happened.

Your winner: The New Blackjacks via pinfall. Windham picks up the pinfall after a clothesline, later to be known as the ‘Clothesline from Hell’, from Bradshaw. Post match The Godwinns slop-drop the referee and leave as their music blares.

Vince announces next up is their first ECW match as The Eliminators hit the ring with Paul Heyman.

Match 2: Little Guido v Big Stevie Cool : Paul E Dangerously joins commentary as Super Nova plays his powerlifting belt as if it was a guitar, Hulk Hogan-esque. Big Stevie Cool is Stevie Richards and he takes control with a Razor Ramon slam. Raven distracts and Guido gets a two fall.

Camera cuts to an interview with Goldust as he describes ECW as a b-movie whilst Guido remains in control. Stevie Cool catches Guido running into corner but Guido counters the counter with a powerbomb for a two count.

Cool breaks free and dodges a clothesline but Guido gets a two with a facebuster. Cool gets a two then with a Rocker Dropper before Stevie Cool hits a powerbomb. Stevie Cool warms up a Stevie kick and nails it for the three count.

Your winner: Big Stevie Cool via pinfall. Good match but the big story was being told on commentary with Heyman playing it up and Lawler putting it down.

Backstage interview with Sunny before The Honky Tonk Man hits the ring and it’s announced he is the referee for the arm-wrestling match which is up next.

Sunny v Marlena in an arm wrestling match: Sunny puts the boot into the New York crowd before Goldust’s music hits as Marlena makes her way, gingerly, to the ring. Sunny offers a forfeit whilst Marlena accuses her appointment of being a prostitute. We get a couple of false starts before Sunny throws powder in Marlena’s face. Then Savio Vega hits the ring and grabs her by the throat which brings out Goldust for their match.

Match 3: Savio Vega v Goldust:Goldust rams Vega head first into the arm wrestling table which is still in the ring. Vega is backed into the corner and Goldust punches away at him as we go to a break.

As we return we see Sunny throwing powder in Marlena’s eyes and in-ring it’s now Vega in control as PG-13 are now at ringside. Miguel Perez has joined on commentary and continues his feud with Vega and talks about how Puerto Rica isn’t proud of Vega’s actions in joining the NOD.

Vega picks up a nearfall with a sideslam off the ropes but Goldust kicks out. Vega then works on the prone Goldust as Crush now looks on at ringside. Goldust is backed into the corner and Vega lands a series of chops, greeted with “woooos” from the crowd.

Goldust is dragged to his feet and whipped to ropes and gets a two with a sunset flip as he telegraphs Vega’s backbody drop. Goldust is thrown to outside and Crush piledrives him with the referee distracted. Vega gets in the faces of the Spanish announces – remember they did Raw? – and Goldust is thrown back into the ring.

The pair trade blows as Goldust gains the upper hand until a shot to the mid section and a back kick knocks him back down to the mat. It’s rest hold time as Vega works on Goldust’s neck and they criss cross on the ropes before Goldust gets a two with a cross bodyblock.

Vega is up first and spin heel kicks Goldust for a two count of his own and it’s back to working on the neck as Perez continues to berate Vega for letting down his countrymen. Goldust starts a comeback with a series of punches and both men are down after he nails Vega with a DDT. Vega is up first and slams Goldust down but is caught by Goldust’s knees as he attempts a running splash.

Goldust is whipped to the ropes but Vega puts his head down too early and Goldust drops to the mat and jabs him in the face before a two clotheslines sends Vega down. Savio is backed into the corner and the Golden one climbs to the second turnbuckle and lands a series of punches to Vega’s head before slamming him to the mat. He’s caught going to the top rope and is knocked groin first to the top turnbuckle but fights out of the superplex attempt and counters with a kiss, of all things, and jumps from the rope, catches Vega’s foot and lands some boots.

Goldust’s attempts at a running move are foiled with Crush grabbing his foot and after that distraction he is nailed with a spinning kick but still manages to fight back. D’lo climbs to the apron before Crush enters the ring and puts boot to Godlust. Perez attempts the save and hits a dropkick from the top rope to Vega as he and Goldust double team Crush.

Your winner: Goldust via DQ. Surprisingly long match as the two go back and forth for the best part of ten minutes. Not a bad match as the whole NOD angle continues to dominate WWF programming.

Post match Jerry Lawler leaves the announce table to chat with Ken Shamrock at ringside. Lawler starts by asking if fans are familiar with the UFC’s Shamrock which gets a big pop. It’s alluded to that they have a lengthy background as Lawler talks about his own experience of mixed martial arts and asks Shamrock what it was like working out with Lawler. Shamrock then states he doesn’t know Lawler at all as Lawler talks about how he taught Shamrock all the submission holds. Vince pops as Shamrock brands ‘The King’ a liar as we get “Burger King” chants from the crowd.

After a Slammy advert we cut to Heyman saying that Raw has sucked and introducing Mikey Whipwreck. His opponent is Taz, the Human Suplex Machine.

Match 4: Mikey Whipwreck v Taz (w/ Bill Alfonso):An amateur style start as Taz goes for various submissions. On commentary Lawler states that Taz is too short which results in Heyman firing back about the irony of that considering Lawler’s stature and fact he headlined territories for so many years.

In the ring, it’s all Taz as he takes down Whipwreck with a Taz-plex but Whipwreck is able to get a two count with a sunset flip. A big clothesline puts Taz back into control and he throws Whipwreck down on the mat.

The crowd are distracted by the appearance of Sabu on the RAW sdign and he dives onto Taz’s ring entourage before making his way to ringside where Whipwreck is suplexed over the top-rope onto Sabu before a head and arm Tax-plex sets up Whipwreck for the Tazmission and that’s all she wrote.

Your winner: Taz via tap-out Post match Taz calls Lawler out as he continues to put the boot into Taz over his height.

Match 5: The Headbangers v The Legion of Doom: A huge pop for the returning Legion of Doom. Loud “LOD” chants from the crowd. LOD attack from the outset and both Headbangers are thrown to the outside.

LOD take turns at beating on Thrasher before he’s able to tag in Mosh. Hawk doesn’t even let Mosh get into the ring before beginning to attack him. Headbangers double team but Hawk fights back and chops away on Mosh in the corner. A gutwrench slam and fist drop gets a two count before Animal gets a two count with a stiff looking powerbomb. That is broken by Thrasher. Animal stays in control with a chinlock on Mosh but he makes it to the ropes.

Hawk is back in and gets another two count with a dropkick. Thrasher again breaks that and we see a body scissor from Hawk. A sunset flip attempt from Mosh is countered with a punch to the face and Hawk hits a hanging suplex. Most fights back but Hawk eventually tires of selling and beat down Mosh before tagging his partner in. Animal works on Mosh in the corner with some stiff looking forearms.

Animal puts his head down and that’s all Mosh needs to make the tag in. Thrasher doesn’t fare to well in the early stages and Hawk is back in who catches him with a running kick. Hower, Hawk charges into the corner and Thrasher dodges that and Hawk goes shoulder first into the turnbuckle. They double team Hawk on the outside as we go to a break.

We return with Thrasher being tagged in and catching Hawk with a clothesline from the top rope. That gets the duo a two count but Hawk kicks out. Hawk breaks a double clothesline attempt before knocking both Headbangers down with a clothesline of his own.

It’s time for a hot tag and Animal is in and works away on both Headbangers before Hawk knocks Thrasher to the outside. All four fight at ringside as we see Mosh thrown into the steps as both teams are counted out.

Your winner: No contest with both teams counted out. Post match, Thrasher eats a Doomsday Device.

We are now treated to the ‘Tell me a lie’ video with various shots of Shawn as well as teary eyed members of the crowd after his announcement of dropping the title.

Match 6: D-Von Dudley v Tommy Dreamer (w/ Beulah McGillicutty): After some early brawling, Dreamer hits Dudley with a frying pan and a cane that a fan had brought to the event. Dudley whips Dreamer into the ring steps then hits him to the head with a steel chair. Dreamer is hten side suplexed onto the chair and Dudley drops a leg across Dreamer’s face which has the chair over it.

Dudley places the chair under Dreamer’s head and goes for a top rope headbutt but misses and goes head first into the chair. Beulah then hands Dreamer but he takes too long with it and D-Von punches it into his face. Beulah is dragged into the ring but low blows D-Von and Dreamer picks up the win with a DDT onto the chair.

Your winner: Post match Buh Buh Ray rushes to the ring and the Dudleys 3D Dreamer. It’s time for The Sandman and The Dudleys take chair shots to the head as we see the Singapore cane but it remains unused as The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer stand in the middle of the ring. At ringside Lawler and Heyman go nose to nose.

A Jim Ross narrated feature is then played on Wrestlemania’s top two matches — Undertaker vs. Sid and Bret vs. Austin in a submission match. They showed Bret fuming in the locker room after his title loss the week previously to Sid.

Todd Pentingill interviews Ken Shamrock at ringside. Shamrock tells us that Raw has been exciting then introduces his wife and father who were sitting next to him. Shamrock, when asked, predicted Undertaker would win the Wrestlemania main event because he believes Undertaker is a more balanced fighter. He said he couldn’t pick a winner between Bret and Austin.

The Nation of Domination’s music interrupts as Farooq is rapped to the ring by PG-13. Farooq tells Shamrock that UFC is “catfighting” and the WWF is where “cats grown to be tigers” then calls out Shamrock.

Match 7: The Undertaker v Farooq (w/ NOD): After a lengthy time of The Undertaker standing in the ring with his music playing and the NOD talking at ringside, we’re finally underway as The Undertaker goes to the outside to get to Farooq.

Farooq sucker punches Taker in the ring but is taken down by a flying clothesline before Taker went old school. Farooq is rammed into the turnbuckle then takes a jab to the threat and a back elbow off the ropes.

A big clothesline then sends Farooq to the outside as the NOD rush to his aid. Big “Undertaker” chat from the crowd as Farooq finally makes his way into the ring. He catches an en rushing Undertaker with an elbow in the corner and whips him into the turnbuckle. However, this time he’s caught with a big boot rushing in and the deadman gets a two count.

Vince advises viewers that next week’s Raw is from Germany as Farooq is taken down with a short arm clothesline. Farooq gets a comeback and sends The Undertaker to the outside with a clothesline. With the referee distracted D-Lo attacks ‘taker at ringside.

After WWF Rewind footage of The Headbangers v LOD, we return with Farooq in control and a chop block sends ‘taker down. This is followed by a big slam but ‘taker gets his knees up to block a splash attempt.

The Undertaker is whipped into the corner and Farooq puts his head down but is caught with a leg drop to the back of the head. Farooq is then able to dodge a leg drop attempt and is back to working on The Undertaker’s leg including ramming into the ring post.

Back inside and The Undertaker fights back briefly before Farooq rakes his face and lands some punches in the corner. The Undertaker is whipped into the corner and catches Farooq charging in and throws him face first into the corner. Farooq is soon back in control with a chinlock which receives extra pressure thanks to the assistance of PG-13 on the outside.

A powerslam gets Farooq a two count as he ascends the turnbuckle but is caught coming off the top rope and is powerslamed to the mat. The Undertaker again slams Farooq and rushes to the ropes which are pulled down by D-Lo and The Undertaker is sent to the outside. Farooq charges with the ring steps but ‘taker kicks them into his face and rolls him back in.

The Undertaker no sells a piledriver which causes NOD members Crush and Savio to rush in which causes a DQ. Legion of Doom make the save as Raw goes off air.

Your winner: The Undertaker via DQ. Post match The Legion of Doom rid the ring of Nation of Domination members as The Undertaker looks on.

Overall: Certainly a very interesting card with the ‘invasion’ of ECW and the return of The Legion of Doom. Also we get plenty of hype for Ken Shamrock and, of course, the ECW matches. The WWF matches, however, are a bit lacklustre particularly the Farooq v The Undertaker main event.

Sunday Sermon: Should the Money in the Bank ladder match return to Wrestlemania?

Craig Wilson

At WM XXV Punk climbed the highest and would cash it in to defeat Jeff Hardy at 'Extreme Rules' 2009

At WM XXV Punk climbed the highest and would cash it in to defeat Jeff Hardy at ‘Extreme Rules’ 2009

Last Sunday’s Elimination Chamber PPV helped shape this year’s Wrestlemania card but there are still a few spaces to fill on Raw and Smackdown in the coming weeks. That said, the current WWE roster is at its biggest for some time and even with spaces to fill on the Wrestlemania card, there are a great number of superstars likely to have nothing booked for the biggest event of the Wrestling calendar. So, should the WWE bring back the Monday in the Bank ladder match?

Every Wrestlemania from 21 to 26 included the ladder match and gave Edge, Rob Van Dam, Mr Kennedy, Jack Swagger and CM Punk on two occasions, the chance to fight for any WWE Championship.

Now, I know that currently ‘Money in the Bank’ is one of the match stipulation events that help make up the WWE’s PPV calendar but I think the MITB ladder match should return to being at ‘Mania. Not only for the reasons in the opening paragraphs but also down to the fact that I don’t particularly care for the stipulation PPVs, Extreme Rules perhaps being the exception.

Take this year’s ‘Elimination Chamber’ PPV, the EC match itself was third from the end. The WWE would be far better reverting back to general PPVs instead of building events round a match type that doesn’t even headline the card.

It also makes the year’s booking very formulaic and takes away the meaning of the matches. Take Extreme Rules, those style matches should be used to end a feud rather than just being there to fill an entire card.

I think there’s a great deal of scope for the WWE bringing MITB back to the ‘mania card. In previous years it has been a spot filled highlight of the early part of the card and will give the WWE a chance to start, or further, a push of a current star. Let’s say that the ‘mania card features:

Rock v Cena, Punk v Taker or if taker is not back he is in a triple threat main, ADR v Swagger, Sheamus v Reigns, The Big Show v Ryback, Cesaro v The Miz, Kane v Bryan, a divas match and, say, a tag match title match.

That leaves many superstars, including, to name a few; Barrett, Kofi, Rollins, Bo Dallas, Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Orton, Jericho and Ambrose. And that’s before we factor in the soon to return Christian, who doesn’t have a bad history when it comes to performances in ladder matches at Wrestlemania…

Now, I’m not saying that those guys would all compete in the match but it does show the depth of the roster and sticking a number of them in the match would give a number of stars on the roster something meaningful do at Wrestlemania and to make a name for themselves on the biggest stage of them all.

In terms of booking, it gives the creative department an easy way of getting someone quickly into the title picture and, as this week’s Swagger’s DUI-gate has shown, anything can happen in the world of wrestling and having a potential back-up option isn’t always the worst case scenario to have.

With such a depth of talent on the current roster, and with few available places on the Wrestlemania card, the return of the Money in the Bank ladder match would give a number of stars something very meaningful to do at ‘mania. A match such as this makes much more sense than last minute thrown together matches that often crop up at Wrestlemania and can create a spot filled on the edge of the seat action that can fill 20 minutes on the evening.

On This Day in Wrestling History

Craig Wilson

On this day in 1991, WCW held Wrestlewar, the first PPV since their split from the NWA. On the card The Junkyard Dog, Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich defeated The State Patrol (Lt James Earl Wright & Sgt Buddy Lee Parker) & Big Cat to retain the WCW Six-Man Tag Team Titles, Terrence Taylor defeated Tom Zenk in a No-DQ Match, Lex Luger defeats Dan Spivey to retain the WCW United States Title and in the main event The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Barry Windham & Sid Vicious) & Larry Zbyszko defeated Sting, Brian Pillman & The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) in a War Games Match.

The only title change on the card saw The Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin & Michael Hayes) defeat Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed) to win the WCW World Tag Team Titles: