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In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede

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Ken Shamrock WWE

We take a random trip down memory lane to the In Your House series and today we are in “The Heart of the New West” Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede was the fourth pay-per-view the WWE had hosted at the time and was well received, drawing an attendance at the Canadian Airlines SaddleDome of 12,151 making 228K at the gate and an additional 60K in merchandise. This would break all revenue records at the time. The fans were pumped up on July 6, 1997 to hear Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler and Vince McMahon call this short card. The feature match had the feuding self proclaimed, “Canadian Hero” Brett Hart, leading a team of Owen Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Brian Pillman and The British Bulldog, facing off against Stone Cold Steve Austin and his group of outcasts. (Goldust, Ken Shamrock and the Legion of Doom). It was an interesting PPV as the rest of the world viewed The Hart Foundation as a Heel faction but in their home of Canada they were viewed as Baby Faces.

The opening vignette, done in black and white, is well put together and does a good job recapping the events that led to Canadian Stampede. The Narrator starts by telling us “We no longer live in a world of black and white, but gray rather”. He goes on to have some cool lines like “renegades receive a heroes embrace”, as the video shows Stone Cold pounding Steve-weisers. The video shows us Brett’s heel turn, including the iconic shot of Austin bleeding profusely as The Hitman applies the Sharpshooter at WM13, the creation of The Hart Foundation and the events leading to today. The segment ends with the Canadian Stampede logo flying through the dessert and pyro on the entrance stage. The crowd is popping as Vince introduces the event. Check these outfits out.

The first match on the card we see a future WWE Hall Of Famer and a already inducted WWE Hall Of Famer square off. The 2013 inductee, Mick Foley, as his Mankind persona, will meet the founder and producer of NXT and current executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative at WWE, Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Hunter would be joined, by his real life girlfriend at the time, “The Ninth Wonder of the World”, Chyna. Who would of thought that these two men would combine for a total of 17 Heavyweight Titles. Foley with four, if you count the TNA Title, and Triple H with 13, which is third all time, behind Flair and Cena. Oh, hindsight.

The 1997 King of the Ring winner, Hunter Hearst Helmsley enters the arena first, accompanied by Chyna, to a negative response. We see a vignette that compares Triple H’s “Blue Blood” upbringing to Mankind’s, which includes a clip from the early Dude Love promos Foley made as a teen. They are worth a look for any fan of the business. The video goes on to show highlights from there King of the ring match, that was full of outside interference from Chyna, in which Mankind took blows from both the Scepter and the Crown and a Pedigree through an announce table. Most likely the Spanish one. Mankind is on his way down next and I can’t forget how deranged and creepy I thought this was a kid. I Mean the dude would yank his own hair out for fun.

Triple H waste no time going for Mankind as soon as he hits the ring but he doesn’t take long to get back in the fight. Mankind hits the double armhook DDT and taunts Hunter with his own curtsy. The bumps are hard early and don’t slow down one step throughout. Mankind sends Helmsley over the top rope and hits his famous elbow drop from the apron. They continue up the ramp where Hunter takes a solid suplex and JR calls Mankind “The Prime Minister of Parts Unknown,” something I noticed and enjoyed. The crowd is really popping at this point and they are really into it early, understandably so. Mankind goes for an early finisher, The Mandible Claw, but this is where we get our first interference from Chyna. This leads to his really first offensive move of the match, Irish whipping Mankind to Chyna for the scoop slam into the steel stairs. Vince is quick to point out that Mankind hit his lower, left leg on the stairs. A statement that would prove to be Triple H’s work for the match. He waste no time going to work on the leg of mankind, a chair shot amongst other ways.

After some wear down, Hunter applies a figure four and uses the ring ropes for leverage behind the refs back, in perfect heel fashion. The ref breaks the hold after he catches Hunter in the act. This leads to Mankind countering a Pedigree with what Jim Ross calls an “inadvertent low blow. The King Continues with “now Chyna wont be happy about that”. Now there is a rib I am surprised Stephanie didn’t edit out. Mankind hits a brutal looking pull piledriver that shows exactly why the move isn’t in use much today. A double clothesline from Mankind sends both men over the top rope for yet another hard looking bump.  Mankind soon goes for a chair shot of his own but Chyna interrupts giving way for Helmsley to counter with a chair shot to Mankind’s injured leg. He goes for a second attempt that the referee foils but leaves a moment for Chyna to land a jarring clothesline on Mankind. Back in the ring Mankind counters Triple H’s attempt at a highspot and locks in the Mandible Claw. Only to have it spoiled by Chyna grabbing the leg and hitting a spread eagle low blow into the ring post. The match continues outside and into the crowd and before long, and obviously not ten seconds, we hear the bell sound. As the fight continue through the crowd we hear Howard Finkel announce a double count out. Soon thereafter Mankind slams Hunter in to the home team’s, The Calgary Flames, penalty box. Helmsley comes out of the box spotting some crimson on his face and the brawl continues with referees and Chyna in the mix until they can be separated.

Going into this match and watching Foley perform, I was expecting the hard bumps to fall on Mick. After watching it back i can say that Hunter took the hardest ones here but Foley didn’t disappoint. This match was amazing and watching it back I can see why these two Superstars went on to have the careers they did. It’s a shame things turned out the way they did with Chyna because she was also great here. I wish I could I have started this segment with TWO current Hall of Fame inductees and one future inductee.

There is a quick promo next for the Calgary Stampede that is taking place the same weekend as the Canadian Stampede. “The Greatest Outdoors Show On Earth”, The Calgary Stampede is a ten day, annual rodeo festival that the WWE modeled this event around. The promo shows the annual parade, which featured Miss Calgary 1997 Diana Smith, The wife of The British Bulldog, and The Hart Foundation.  Doc Hendrix, in his best FM radio DJ voice, would tell us that Brett Hart spent the whole day signing every last autograph. Bruce Pritchard would confirm this, on his podcast Something to Wrestle, saying that it was in fact true because someone never cut the line off and Brett didn’t want to disappoint someone who had waited. We also get to see a few bits of the Tug ‘O’ War match versus the local Calgary fire department. The only thing about this that I liked is they didn’t put the firefighters over on this charity event and beat them. This promo ends with The Hitman making an appearance at the Calgary Stampede to a great pop, of course. This leads us to Doc Hendricks, AKA Michael P. Hayes, interviewing The Hart Foundation.

Stone Cold would interrupt the interview at the start and be held back by Pat Patterson. Brett Would say “what’s it gonna prove if we beat up Steve Austin back here. It’s gonna prove he got beat up 5 on 1. That’s not what we want, we want 5 on 5.” This was different, as Brett has been a Heel in recent months in the WWE but would try to be made out as a Face in this promo.

The next match would start by Vince saying “some of the greatest athletes you’ll ever feast your eyes on, the light heavyweight division”. The match would feature The Great Sasuke squaring off against Taka Michinoku. This was an interesting match as it was different than what the WWE was accustomed to. This was a way to promote what would be a new title, The Light Heavyweight Championship. They really wanted Taka here but Michinoku felt like he owed one to Sasuke, as he was the owner and founder of Michinoku Pro Wrestling where Taka had gotten his start, so he came along for this match but would be gone soon after. The WWE would send Undertaker, Sunny and Chris Candino to Japan as part of the deal with Sasuke for a short tour. Enough of the setup and back to the mat.

Taka Michinoku would enter the arena first and The Great Sasuke would follow. When Sasuke enters Howard Finkels say “and also from Japan”. I found that entertaining as most of the commentary in this match is, as it is something different than what they normally call. The biggest take away from the commentary is that it seemed as only Jim Ross would know the names of the different moves used in this match.

The debut of these two Superstars is interrupted before it can begin as it is revealed that Hunter Hearst Helmsey, with Chyna still in hand, and Mankind still continue to brawl from the back and through the crowd. Hunter still wearing a “Crimson Mask”. This is another spot, like the lightweight guys, that is not familiar territory for the WWE at the time and is something, in my opinion, they acquired from watching ECW’s gaining steam.

After the interruption ends, the bell sounds and we are off to a slow start, but soon picks up and doesn’t miss a beat from there. After a few early 2 counts, off from some roll maneuvers, we get our first pop from the crowd with a nice roundhouse kick to Taka’s chest. The crowd is starting to really feel the match after some dropkicks, on Sasuke from Taka, that leads to a counter that sends Michinoku to the outside. The first big highspot comes when, off the top turnbuckle, Sasuke hits the face of Taka with, as JR would say, “a Martial Arts kick”. I expected a “what a maneuver” from Vince here to no avail. We get some more quality back and fourth that leads, to what I think is the biggest pop of the match, a springboard pancha from Taka off the top rope to the outside. Then we see our first false finish after Michinoku hits a hurricanrana on Sasuke. The next highspot would be a springboard moonsault from Sasuke off the second rope on the outside. More Pop. His momentum wouldn’t last long after a missle dropkick from the top turnbuckle is landed by Taka. He would follow up with a devastating Michinoku Driver, his finish, but would only get another two count. Michinoku would soon find himself in trouble when his highspot is countered with a dropkick to the midsection. The Great Sasuke would follow up with a “Razor’s Edge” type powerbomb and would get the three with a double armhook suplex/pin combination.

This match would show the level of the product that came from Japan at the time and that they still continue to produce until this day. I was entertained throughout the entire match and the high spots were amazing. The brutal kicks these two men took to the face were either amazing works or extremely dangerous. The crowd loved the match, as did I. This bout between The great Sasuke and Taka Michinoku is must see “Sports Entertainment”.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Mankind are at it again and this time outside in the back lot. Mankind bangs Hunter’s head off a bus before Chyna could grab hold of his arms. Helmsley soon unleashes a few punches on Foley that don’t appear to be pulled. Hunter would throw Mankind into some beer kegs before breaking a shovel over his back. They would find them self on top of some solid wood boxes and Triple H’s Pedigree would be countered. Mankind would ring Hunter’s head off a bus one more time before he is taken away by Gerald Brisco. The segment would end with a nice shot at Helmsley’s bloodied face. The way they continued this fight through the show was well done and would set them up for a steel cage match at SummerSlam 1997.

Vince and the boys would explain to use how Ahmed Johnson was originally supposed to get a Title shot here but succumbed to a knee injury in a tussle between the Nation of Domination and the biker gang themed, D.O.A. Vince was really pushing the gang angles here as they would be ever present in the coming months. I always liked Ahmed as a kid and it seemed like the company did too. Its a shame he was so injury prone.

Next we get a Vader promo where Doc asks, a strawberry blonde, Paul Bearer about the allegations of Undertaker killing his parents. Some strange shit I know. Bearer would go on about Taker murdering his whole family and some other nonsense about a mirror. This promo is the and goofy storyline is the only downside I found to this whole event thus far. We are introduced to the events leading to this match starting at The Royal Rumble. This is where we see Bearer betray The Undertaker with an urn shot to Taker’s head. Vader would land the Vader Bomb next and get the three count.

The challenger, Vader, makes his way down the aisle, accompanied by Paul Bearer first. This is the first real heat we are hearing here as Vader enter the arena and ring. The crowd goes nuts though when the bell sounds and The Heavyweight Champion, The Undertaker’s theme begins to play. This is a classic Taker entrance with the smoke, slow walk to the ring and purple lights. I found myself enjoying the whole mystique it presented, just as much as I did as an eleven year old watching this. When The Phenom hits the stairs and raises his arms “making” the lights come on, Vader has a truly spooked look on his face. Bearer is shown cowering in fear as Taker hands the title over and the bell sounds.

The Undertaker is first out of the gate with his lariat punches, a big clothesline and a leg drop, of the Hulk Hogan variety, for our first two count. The Deadman hit a big splash soon after that draws a positive reaction from the fans. Take goes to the top rope for his famous tight rope chop that if I don’t see in a Taker match, I am definitely disappointed. Another two count. Vader starts to gain some momentum after a splash, that Undertaker does his trademark sit-up from, but Vader is all over him with punches that are certainly making hard contact. It is been said by many Superstars that Vader didn’t pull his punches and when he hit you, he hit you. We see a sidehead lock applied by Vader next that is the only dull spot in the match and was probably used to regain their breath. The crowd rally behind Taker and he wiggles free and misses a big boot, that Vader still sells. I think he realized he had missed because he lands the next one and it sends Vader crashing over the ropes to the outside.

Vader reverses Undertaker’s Irish whip to the stair and Paul Bearer is done being scared and is now talking trash. We get some good back and forth but the crowd is electric and committed to the fight anfter Taker comes off the top rope for a clothesline. Another two count. For a 400 plus pound man, Vader takes another hard hump off an uppercut that sends him over the top rope and crashing to the outside. We get another trademark Undertaker move next, His backflip ring exit. He goes after Paul Bearer with his patented slow walk but Vader uses it to his advantage to blindside Undertaker. As the ref is telling Vader to re-enter the ring, Bearer goes to work on Taker with his shoe. Jim Ross would say “if the heel don’t get him the smell would”. Good ole JR. Vader and Bearer are getting great heat at this point when Vader hits a Vader Bomb for his first false finish. As Undertaker starts his rally back the camera is visibly shaking and the noise is at an insane level. Vader goes to work with some more of those big punches but Taker counters and is unloading some of his own punches. Watching these punches one thing is for sure, Undertaker didn’t sell a punch like Vader did, most likely because there was nothing to sell with Vaders, as they were real. The Phenom goes for a chokeslam but Vader counters with a low blow kick. Vader comes off the rope but is scooped into the Tombstone position. The spot next is a botched reversal from Vader on the Tombstone that ended up looking better than what the original called spot would have. The place is again shaking as Vader is on the ropes for another Vader Bomb but Taker lands a low blow of his own and that sets up for a chokeslam off the second rope. 1,2… kick out. Another chokeslam and another false finish that has the crowd on their toes. We see the “Throat Slit'” from The Undertaker with his thumb next and we get a successful Tombstone Piledriver on Vader this time and the classic Undertaker cover for the pinfall. This was another great match on the card and it didn’t disappoint at all. Vince tells as Taker is celebrating that we may see Undertaker’s brother at SummerSlam. I usually enjoy the bad matches, as its always fun to point out flaws, but this match, along with the PPV so far, have had few if any. Maybe the main event will have some…

There is a quick clip of more praise, from the Canadian fans, for the Hart Foundation along with more talk of a mile long line to meet Brett. Next is a quick promo vignette show the gang-style warfare, that has been present at the time. It starts, “The events surrounding the squared circle of late have made chaos and mayhem” an continues to show the feud between Crush’s DOA, Farooq’s Nation and the Savio Vega led, Los Baricuas. It would end with “nothing pales in comparison to the feud between Steve Austin and The Hart Foundation”. They hype the Canadian versus USA angle here, rightfully so as it created great crowd heat, and show the event leading to this match. Another great promo.

Doc has a quick spot with Austin’s stable were every gets some microphone work in. But when the mic comes to Stone Cold he just walks out and Finke introduces us to The Farmer’s Daughters, who will be singing the Canadian National Anthem. The Farmer’s Daughters best charting song was titled “Cornfields and Cadillacs”. By the title alone I’m sure it’s terrible. This was well done as it created heat with the people tuning in in the States. We are introduced to The Premier of the Providence of Alberta, Ralph Kline. No idea here. Next are The Hart Family matriarch and patriarch, Stu and Helen. The place pops for the Founder of Stampede Wresting, a promotion that was a Canadian staple until Vince bought it in 1985.

Goldust makes his way to the ring first and receives mostly boos from the crowd. Ken Shamrock, who’s next, receives some decent pop but the Legion of Doom get an even better response from the fans. But when we hear that glass break and Stone Cold Steve Austin enters the arena for the first time, the place is on fire with heat from the crowd. As he hits each turnbuckle the temperature surely rises. As Brian Pillman enters, waving his arms to pump the crowd, the buzz starts to gain. As Vince would say, “The Big Nasty Rhyno”, Jim Neidhart enters next and as each member enters the arena the rumble grows and grows in anticipation of their hero, “The Hitman”.  European Champion The British Bulldog, With Miss Calgary in hand, follows and Owen Hart is next, with his Slammys in hand and his IC belt around his waist. When the high pitch squeal of Brett Hart’s music comes on the place is electric.. This kind of response you will be hard pressed to find and is something you should watch as a wrestling fan. They make their way to the ring led by Brett, as they waited on the ramp for each other. Brett would put his glasses on his mother, a nice gesture from the heel.

Austin and Brett are on the ring first and are having a nice stare off. Here we hear JR mention that there are camera crews filming ringside for an upcoming Hitman documentary. This would go on to become Wrestling With Shadows. I would recommend this to any fan of from wrestling at the time as it offers some inside going-ons of the time. Brett would have to pick his spots in this fight as he was recovering from knee injury and his first one would set the pace for the fight. Austin lands some blows and is soon stomping a mudhole in the Hitman. If you listen carefully, you can hear Austin say “Fuck Off” to the Canadian fans. The crowd is giving the heat right back.

Everyone gets a chance to make an in ring appearance next, as the tags are spread around to give all the guys some spotlight. They go back and forth here shifting momentum and the crowd is reacting to every move, be it a suplex or a knee to the midsection. When Pillman comes into the ring we hear Jim Ross mention his run with the CFL team, The Calgary Stampeders. Every move Pillman does in the match is some kind of cheat tactic. Be it an eye rake, spiiting in someones face or breaking up a pinfall. He does an amazing job selling the fact that he is “The Loose Cannon”.  We get some more hot tags and momentum shifts. The crowd delivers their first dose of “Austin Sucks” chants that rumble the place. The first gang fight breaks out after the Hitman hangs Goldust in his corner and the boys go to work with their boots. When the fight breaks out the crowd is on their toes and the place is electric. The crowd is in this match 100 percent and erupts once again when Owen nails the missle dropkick from the top and does a kip up. His hype is cut short when the Legion of Doom about take his head off with the vicious Doomsday Device. Anvil stops the count ans our second gang fight breaks out. Austin is going to work on the knee of Owen, as he is pelted by ten dollar beers from the fans, when Bruce Hart grabs him from the crowd and exchange blows. The crowd heat is at an all time high and the “Austin Sucks” chants are in full effect.

Owen is led to the back as the match continues. Austin hits his first Stunner on Pillman soon after but Brett grabs his foot and leads him to the ring post were he goes to work with a fire extinguisher before applying a hanging figure four. The referees soon force Austin to the back and the back and fourth continues with some pop and nothing really worth noting, except a Powerslam from Davey Boy of the top turnbuckle that looked jarring. He gets the 2 as we see Austin limp back. We get a double hot tag next from Brett and Austin. The pair go back and fourth before Hart has the Sharpshooter applied and Animal breaks it up. This has the place shaking again. I cannot emphasis enough how much the crowd was into it. Must see stuff here. Austin applies a Sharpshooter of his own when we see Owen Hart limp back out to save his brother. Owen makes the hot tag but Austin sends him tumbling outside with a clothesline over the top rope and landing in front of his family. The top comes off the place when Stone Cold grabs Stu Hart but Bruce interrupts and is soon over the barrier brawling with Steve. Another battle breaks out as Austin gets back in the ring. But Owen makes the roll up, using Austin tights and keeping them Heels by doing so, ang gets the three. At this point the place just explodes. There is another tussel with all member in the ring, Hart family included, before the police break it up. Austin goes ballistic before he is cuffed and escorted out. The show goes off air with a nice moment of all the Hart family in the ring. This would be a highlight of the family as they are all here at this time.

This way an amazing PPV and was record breaking in all revenue. Dave Meltzer would rate the event high with the matches receiving 3,4,3.25 and 4.25 star ratings. I actually agree with Dave here, but think the last match could of gotten a 5 based of crowd heat alone. I would highly suggest watching this event.

Next week we will be taking a look at Badd Blood: In Your House that took place on October 5, 1997 with Shawn Michaels taking on the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match!


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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: Raw #3 January 25 1993

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Helo and welcome everybody to the next and latest instalment of our weekly trips through Monday Night Raw. Last night (in 1993 anyway) was the Royal Rumble pay per view. I did promise the results and here they are:

  • Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner beat Blake Beverly & Beau Beverly when Scott Steiner pinned Blake Beverly after a Frankensteiner
  • Shawn Michaels beat Marty Jannetty to defend the Intercontinental Title after a Superkick
  • Bam Bam Bigelow beat The Big Boss Man after a Diving Headbutt
  • Bret Hart beat Razor Ramon to defend the WWE Title after a Sharpshooter
  • Yokozuna beat Rick Martel, Ted DiBiase, Owen Hart, Ric Flair, Max Moon, Jerry Saggs, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Randy Savage, Papa Shango, Terry Taylor, Repo Man, Koko B Ware, Carlos Colon, Damian Demento, Brian Knobbs, Mr Perfect, El Matador, The Undertaker, The Berzerker, IRS, Tatanka, Fatu, Skinner, Earthquake, Tenryu, Samu, Typhoon and Virgil to win a Royal Rumble Match last eliminating Randy Savage

Or for more details, written by the lovely people at CHAIRSHOT feel free to head here:
http://thechairshot.com/2018/06/chairshot-classics-wwf-royal-rumble-93/

Right! Everyone caught up? Good, because that means it’s time for…

Raw #3
January 25 1993

Sean Mooney is STILL outside in the cold. He is joined by Repo Man who arrives in a tow truck. Repo says that beating Savage will be like reposessing a brand new Cadilac before heading into the Manhattan Centre.

We are joined on commentary tonight by Vince McMahon, Rob Bartlet and Bobby Heenan.

Randy Savage vs Repo Man

Remember a while ago we covered ‘Superheroes Of Wrestling‘ for ‘Leaping Through The Network‘? Remeber there was a painted faced tag team in S&M gear called Demolition? Repo Man is the one formally known as Smash from that team. Happens a lot in wrestling, characters getting repackaged. It’s always nice to catch up with a familiar face.

As Repo makes his entrance, Savage runs in and attacks Repo from behind without waiting for his entrance (cheer this man for backjumping the bad guy?) Savage attacks with chokes before dragging Repo to the outside where he hits a Snapmare and a Knee Drop. Throwing Repo back into the ring, Savage continues his attack on Repo with an Axe Handle and another choke before a second rope Knee Drop. Savage hits a Right Hand but Repo hits one of his own before tossing Savage out of the ring. Quick as a heartbeat, Savage is back in the ring and hits Repo with a High Knee in the back sending Repo out of the ring. Repo heads for the locker room but Savage chases him down and clubs him with an Axe Handle. Savage shoves Repo back into the ring and stomps and chokes Repo in the corner. Repo heads to the outside and Savage follows. Savage tries to ram Repo’s head into the ringside steps but Repo reverses it and rams Savage’s head into them before throwing him into the ringpost. Repo throws Savage into the ring and then into the corner and choking him. Repo then applies a Chinlock wrapping Savage with his legs in a body scissors. Savage powers out of it and hits a running Shoulder Block that knocks Repo down.

Back from the ads and Savage hits Repo wth a shot to the gut and one to the face but Repo sticks a thumb in Savage’s eye. Repo hits Savage with a Snapmare and a Legdrop for a two. Repo wears Savage down with another body scissors but Savage gets to the ropes so the hold has to be broken. Savage kicks Repo in the chest as he gets to his feet but is caught with a Clothesline as he turns around. Repo uses the top rope to choke Savage and then hits Savage with a Side Suplex that gets another two before applying another Chinlock but savage gets out of it with some elbows to the gut before hitting Repo with a Shoulder Block and a Clothesline. Repo regains control with a Right Hand followed by slamming Savage’s head into the turnbuckle and then hitting a Backbreaker. Savage catches Repo with a Clothesline and a Body Slam before winning the match with a Flying Elbow. Not a classic Savage match but at least he got his hat back. Just a shame it doesn’t go with this week’s outfit.

Winner: Randy Savage

It’s Coming. An ad airs for Wrestlemania 9 which airs on April 9th. Damian Demento is shown in this ad, it’s about as close as he is going to get to Wrestlemania.

Kamala vs The Brooklyn Brawler

Does this count as the Raw enhancement spot? Brawler is a known Superstar but he never wins!

Much like Savage in the last match (sort of) Brawler attacks Kamala from behind with Clotheslines and punches. An Irish Whip attempt is stopped by Kamala either by his size or his hand on the ropes (it’s hard to tell which) and Chops Brawler before an Irish Whip of his own but Brawler manages to avoid an Avalanche attempt and Kamala charges into the turnbuckles. Brawler then attempts a Bodyslam but can’t lift Kamala. However, Kamala can lift Brawler which Kamala proves when he Bodyslams Brawler. Brawler tries to confuse Kamala by offering to shake his hand, Kamala chops Brawler in the skull. Kamala whips Brawler off the ropes and Brawler ducks a Clothesline attemp only to be hit by a Superkick which is followed up with chops before Kamala presses Brawler in the corner and then chokes Brawler with his foot. Kamala chops Brawler in the skull again before using the top rope, and his leg, to choke Brawler. Kamala makes the cover but Brawler is laying on his stomach so it doesn’t count. Undaunted, Kamala hits Brawler with an Axe Handle and a Superkick before ramming Brawler’s head into the turnbuckle. Kamala sends Brawler off the ropes and hits him with a Big Boot. He makes the cover and again Brawler is on his stomach. Kamala then whips Brawler shoulder first into the corner before hitting a Big Splash. He makes the cover and after a few attempts at pinning Brawler on his stomach, he eventually rolls Brawler onto his back and gets the three count.

Winner: Kamala

Vince McMahon is at ringside with Slick and Kamala. Vince says the change in Kamala since he’s been managed by Slick has been outstanding. Slick says the credit goes to the fans for opening up their hearts. He tells Harvey Whippleman and Kim Chee that he won’t be responsible for what Kamala does to them.

Time for a PPV Report, right here on Raw!. Mean Gene plugs the VHS release and covers the results of last night’s Royal Rumble. I’m way ahead of him, results are at the top of this article. What he mantions that I didn’t is that Lex Luger is here as the Narsissus that Bobby Heenan was talking about in Episode One and Giant Gonzales is also in the WWE as he launched an attack on The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble.

We get an ad for IcoPro with Bret Hart and one for Slim Jim with Randy Savage.

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Chairshot Classics: WWF SummerSlam 1999

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All the Titles are on the line and we get a Main Event that features Mankind, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H. Plus one of the most controversial finishes of The Attitude Era. All this and more as www.thechairshot.com brings you another edition of Chairshot Classics!

We hop into the WWE Network’s DeLorean for a Trip to August 22, 1999 and we will spend the next few hours in The Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There is 17,750 people in the building and another 600,000 tuning in on PPV. The price at the time to rent on PPV was still around 30 bucks. The WWF is on a ratings tear and is destroying the competition. The Monday Night War rating at this time are as follows; 8/02-RAW-5.9, NITRO-3.1, 8/09-RAW-6.4, NITRO-3.1, 8/16-RAW-6.6, NITRO-6.6, NITRO-3.3. These numbers are absolutely crazy and its even crazier to think what the WWE would do to have these kind of rating again. Anything can happen in the WWF so lets get this show underway for “An Out of Body Experience”!

The show opens with a vignette showing all the special guest referee matches in the career of Stone Cold thus far and tonight is no different. It leads with the WrestleMania 14 where “Iron” Mike Tyson was the ref and betrayed the trust of Shawn Michaels by counting Austin’s pin and thus giving him the strap. Next is the night of May 31, 1998 where Vince is the special ref at In Your House: Over The Edge for a match between Austin and Dude Love. Austin would use Vince’s hand to make the three count after Dude Love misses with a Chairshot and knocks McMahon out. Finally we see how Shane ‘O’ Mac fast-counted on Steve to cost him the Strap to The Undertaker on May 23, 1999 edition of RAW. This all of course builds to showing Jesse “The Body” Ventura being declared the special guest referee for tonight’s Main Event. Ventura was the newly appointed Governor of Minnesota and this is his first appearance in the WWF since 1990. He had a falling out after he filed, and won, a lawsuit against Vince McMahon in 1994 over royalty money for Coliseum Home Video’s VHS releases of previous PPVs.

 

We enter the pyro filed Target Center and Jim Ross introduces us to his partner-in-crime for the night, Jerry “The King” Lawler. JR then ask us if we are ready for “An Out Of Body Experience”, as this is the tag-line for the event. The signs are in full force in the audience as Jim Ross is explaining how there are six Titles on the line tonight and that Ventura plans on providing “Law and Order” in the Main Event. Some of the signs read some funny stuff like “De-Bra Debra” and “I’m as hard as a ROCK”. I don’t imagine you could get away with signs like this on todays PG product. Ross tells us that the show sold out in less than hour as the broadcast cuts to the back and Ventura, in Zebra stripes, is standing by with Triple H and Chyna. He is telling them this is his state and he is the “Law and Order” around here and that if they break any of the rules out there they will have to deal with him. Triple H tells him “I’ll break whatever rules I want” and storms out. Such a rebel that Helmsley is.

 

It shows us a clip of from earlier in the day and it is of Chris Jericho arriving in the arena as Howard Finkel is carrying all his bags. Jericho goes on to ask him “Do you think Jericho is here to save the WWF Herald?” and “Don’t you believe in Y2J?”. He continues to call him Harold as Howard agrees with him. Jericho is awesome hear on the mic per usual and he has said he thinks this is his first good promo leading to his debut.

 

Back in the arena now and the place is on their feet as Jeff Jarrett’s theme begins to play. He makes his way to the ring and is joined by Debra, and her “Puppies”. Finkel then tells us that both the European and Intercontinental Championships are on the line. When they enter the ring Jeff is yelling at Debra for posing for the camera, and we can already hear Lawler starting with the “Puppy” talk. For those that may not know this is a reference to Debra’s large breasts. Jarrett then forces Debra to go to the back and this enrages The King and the fans. The fans begin to chant “Asshole” at Double J.

When she returns through the curtain we see her talking to D-Lo Brown, Jeff’s opponent and the IC and European Champion. Debra is asking D-Lo if she can join him instead at ringside and he obliges her. When the pair enter the arena the Target Center is absolutely shaking and Jarrett is as equally pissed as the fans are excited. But no one is more excited to see the puppies return that Jerry Lawler. The crowd is continuing to go nut as D-Lo hits the corners and Debra teases the removal of her jacket, even though it couldn’t possibly show off anymore. This leads to an ambush by Jarrett before the bell sounds and the lights are fully lit again. Jarrett delivers a series of punches until Brown hits a flying forearm coming off a reversed Irish whip. Jeff jumps over D-Lo on an Irish whip attempt but Brown rewards him with a scoopslam for his efforts. Another scoopslam leads to a pop from the crowd as Jarrett rolls from the ring to recover. The ref stops Brown from going after him and Jarrett tries to use this to his advantage. This backfires though and he is soon Irish whipped into a sit-down powerslam from Brown. There’s more pop from the crowd for this but it only gets the two count. Jeff would apply a rest-hold sleeper but D-Lo counters out of it and hits a powerplex. After the maneuver he goes to the ropes to amp the crowd up with his arms out and neck bobbing like crazy. This sends the crowd into an absolute frenzy, but King would attribute this pop to the puppies.

 

D-Lo attempts a lariat from the second rope but Jarrett manages to reverse it into a sidewalk slam. He follows it up by dropkicking Brown and sending him between the rope to the outside. Debra helps him to his feet but Jeff Jarrett is in waiting and comes through the ropes, hitting him with a baseball slide. He then goes straight for Debra and yelling at her to remain in the corner. Jeff then uses the ring steps to his advantage before returning to the ring. Jarrett attempts to jump from the apron on Brown but he manages to move and Jarret hits the apron. D-Lo follows the reversal up by clotheslining him over the rail and into the crowd. After a few punches from Brown, Jarrett reverses a suplex attempt over the railing with a backslide. He the throws Brown into the apron. After a whip to the ring post, Debra is again attempting to help D-Lo up. This of course pisses Jeff off again, who returns Brown to the ring after yelling at her. After some back and forth, Jarrett hits a cool armbar tornado DDT off the second rope. He doesn’t go for the pin, though, and instead goes over to berate Debra. He continues to work the arm of Brown as the crowd chants “We Want Puppies”. D-Lo regains some momentum after he reverses the ten count punches in the corner by flap-jacking the face of Jarrett into the turnbuckle. D-Lo follows this up by going “DownTown” and hitting his signature sit-down powerbomb that leaves both men on the mat. Both men return to their feet and after Jarrett ducks under a clothesline he catches a tilt-a-whirl slam and the crowd is popping when D-Lo follows it up with a jumping kick to the chest of Double J. He hits the “You betta recognize” leg drop but Jarrett manages to kick out.

 

After a suplex, D-Lo Brown is pointing at the corner and calling for a LowDown which is his version of a frogsplash. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, D-Lo has one of my top five frogsplashes of all-time. Jarrett rolls out of harms way making Brown miss and this is when we see Debra get on the apron. Jarrett is attempting to hit Debra with a guitar, but the ref is dividing the two. This is when we see Mark Henry slide into the ring and take said guitar. The twist comes next when Henry, who is allied with D-Lo, turns on his friend and blasts him with the guitar. This really gets the heat turned up with the fans. Jarrett makes the cover and gets the three count and the fans are pissed. Debra then joins Jarrett in the ring and is celebrating with him as if it was all a work. Henry joins in the celebration after slapping the face of Brown. This would lead to Mark Henry’s first title when on the following night’s RAW Jarrett awards him with the European Championship for his efforts. This was a good opening match, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it as well. The swerve ending was even well enough done. It’s worth a watch in my opinion and Jarrett did a good job keeping the heat up with the crowd. Match Time: 7:28

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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WWF Royal Rumble ’94

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In the words of Borat Sagdiyev, the 2MB Wrestling Podcast watch-along episodes have been, “Great success! High five!”. So this week the Royal Rumble run continues following the 1992 and 1993 editions with the beginning to the build of WrestleMania X, the ’94 Royal Rumble! After the classic that ’92 brought us, ’93 was a real disappointment. Let’s find out how this year holds up!

Match #1: Tatanka vs. Bam Bam Bigelow w/Luna Vachon
Bam Bam looks for an ambush before the bell and Tatanka avoids it, The Native American with right hands in the corner, Bigelow returns fire, scores with a dropkick and backs him into the opposite corner. The Beast from the East whips him across and charges in, Tatanka explodes out with a clothesline that staggers the big man, hits the ropes for a shoulder block, then again for a shoulder tackle and drops Bam Bam to a knee with a dropkick. The Native American heads back into the ropes and connects with a crossbody for a count of 2, catches Bigelow with an arm drag back up and hooks in an armbar, working over the left shoulder.

Bam Bam works his way up, rakes the eyes and shoots him to the ropes for a back body drop, Tatanka has it scouted, puts on the brakes and spikes him with a jumping DDT. He looks to the corner and heads upstairs for a crossbody, The Beast from the East ducks it, recovers and puts the boots to him, whips The Native American into the corner and follows him in with a splash. Bigelow sends him back across and goes for another splash, Tatanka sticks a boot up to the chin, goes back up top for a sunset flip, can’t quite get Bam Bam over and the big man simply drops down and squashes him. The Beast from the East drops a headbutt to the lower back, picks The Native American up for a big haymaker, Tatanka blocks it and fires back with overhand chops, Bam Bam absorbing them and clocks him with an enzuigiri for a count of 2.

Irish whip to the ropes and Bigelow grabs a bearhug, Tatanka starts to fade, the official checking his arm and The Native American getting a rush of adrenaline. He breaks Bam Bam’s grip with a series of overhand chops, hits the ropes and gets flattened by a shoulder block, The Beast from the East goes into the ropes for another, goes back to the well a third time and The Native American plants him with a powerslam for a near fall. Bam Bam’s back up and misses a wild right hand, both guys hit the ropes and think crossbody, colliding in mid-air. The Native American seems to get the worst of it, Bigelow up first to drive him head-first into the top turnbuckle, but it has no affect and Tatanka starts absorbing punishment and going into his war dance.

The Beast from the East puts a stop to that with another big enzuigiri, mocks the war dance, positions him on the mat and heads up top for the Bam Bamsault, but he doesn’t find the mark. Tatanka pulls himself up, goes to the top turnbuckle as Bigelow staggers to his feet, The Native American connects with a crossbody, hooks the leg and scores the pinfall.
Winner: Tatanka (Top Rope Crossbody)

  • EA’s Take: I’d only call this a decent opener, there was not much special happening here, although it’s always impressive to see Bigelow pull off a moonsault and this was one of the cleaner attempts from him I’ve ever seen. Originally, this was supposed to be Tatanka vs. Ludvig Borga after The Helsinki Hellraiser had (kayfabe) knocked Tatanka out of action with an injury and forced him to miss Survivor Series. The feud continued, but Borga would suffer a legitimate ankle injury just five days earlier and would be forced out, cancelling this match and plans for him to meet Earthquake one-on-one at WrestleMania. Real name Tony Halme, this is the last time we’d see Borga as he left the company soon after and wouldn’t be seen in a big-time American promotion again. Unfortunately, Ludvig was another case of a man who couldn’t get past his demons, struggling with drug and alcohol issues before taking his own life at the age of 47 in 2010.

Video: We take a look at the history of The Harts after there was turmoil between Owen & Bret at Survivor Series, ‘The Rocket’ would later speak to Vince McMahon about how he’ lived in Hitman’s shadow his whole life. Owen would challenge Bret to a match so he could prove himself, The Hitman later stating that people love controversy, but he will never step into the ring against his brother under any circumstances. The two would resolve their issues to keep the family together and looked to channel their energy towards something positive, Bret claiming they are a unit now and have their sights set on The Quebecers and the Tag Titles. Owen would apologize for saying some of the things he said, but he’d like to move on and make 1994 a memorable year for himself and his brother. The 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty would go on to win the Tag Championships on an episode of RAW, however it would be short-lived as The Quebecers took the titles back one week later.

Backstage: Todd Pettengill is standing by with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart & ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart, Bret speaking about how confident they are and vows to give everyone a shot at the Tag Titles after they become champions tonight. Owen states this is the happiest day of his life and the opportunity he’s been waiting for, claiming he will make his brother proud and bring the belts home to their mom and dad.

Match #2 for the WWF Tag Team Championships: WWF Tag Team Champions The Quebecers (Jacques & Pierre) w/Johnny Polo vs. Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart & ‘The Rocket’ Owen Hart
Bret & Pierre to begin the action, collar & elbow tie-up sees Pierre power The Hitman away, they lock-up again with the same results, this time Bret bouncing off the ropes with a right hand. He goes back to the ropes, slips out of a slam attempt by Pierre, pushes him to the ropes for a roll-up, Pierre hanging on to toss Hitman away. Bret runs right back in and gets planted by a body slam, Pierre hits the ropes, The Hitman pops up and buries a knee to the midsection, tags out and Owen comes off the top with a clubbing shot to the back. He grabs a wristlock, Pierre counters into one of his own, The Rocket rolls through to regain the hold, but Pierre goes to the breadbasket with a kick, snapmares him over and then hits the ropes for a shoulder block.

Back into the ropes he goes, Owen leapfrogs over and hits a hip toss into a cover for a quick 2 count, locks in an armbar, Pierre grabbing the hair and he slams The Rocket to the canvas before tagging out. Jacques comes in and mockingly claps for Owen, telling him he’s better than Bret and they exchange words. Jacques rakes the eyes off the lock-up, shoots him to the ropes for a back body drop, The Rocket puts on the brakes, hits him with a snap suplex, irish whip back to the ropes and Owen scores with a dropkick now, Jacques seeking reprieve in his corner and there’s a conference with Johnny Polo. Back to the center of the ring now, Owen attempts a kick that gets caught, Jacques toys with him, The Rocket brings the other foot around for an enzuigiri and gets a near fall.

Tag to Bret, Owen planking Jacques across his knee and The Hitman drops an elbow from the 2nd rope for another count of 2, utilizes a small package, but again Jacques kicks out. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Jacques tries for a back body drop again, Bret countering with a sunset flip for 2, Jacques looks to make a tag, but Hitman catches him with another roll-up from behind for a near fall. Pierre comes in and clobbers Bret off the kick-out, Owen steps in and gets clocked as well, The Quebecers working The Harts over in opposite corners, attempt to whip them into one another, The Hitman dropping down and Owen goes to a schoolboy on Jacques for 2. The challengers clear the ring and the champs look to regroup, Jacques finally sliding back in and instantly getting split by an inverted atomic drop.

Bret sends him to the ropes and goes to the abdomen with a right hand, Pierre gets the tag, Hitman slings him in from the apron, tag to The Rockeet and he whips Pierre into the ropes for a clothesline and another 2 count. He plants him with a gutwrench suplex for a near fall, drops a leg for another, Owen tagging back out and The Hitman goes to a wristlock. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Pierre scores with a powerslam for a count of 2, brings Jacques back in, he drives Bret head-first into the top turnbuckle, baits Owen into the ring to distract the ref and Pierre chokes The Hitman in the corner with the tag rope. Jacques shoots Bret to the ropes for a kick to the ribs that gets 2, Pierre re-enters the match, the champions with a double back elbow, Pierre clubbing him down to the mat and The Quebecers with more double teaming, choking Hitman on the middle rope.

The Rocket tries to intervene and takes the official’s attention again, Pierre with a head of steam for a seated senton to Bret’s lower back, tags out and Jacques hooks the leg for another 2. He whips Hitman to the ropes for a back elbow, tag back to Pierre, he comes off the 2nd rope, but Bret sticks his boot up under the chin and crawls to a tag as Jacques re-enters. Owen with dropkicks for both of the champions, shoots Jacques to the ropes for a back body drop, whips Pierre in for an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, then clocks Jacques with a spinning heel kick. He wants to hook in the Sharpshooter, Pierre tries to make a save and The Hitman drops him with a headbutt, the referee works to get Bret back to the apron and Pierre seizes the opening to save Jacques.

Pierre heads back to his corner and gets the tag, hammers Owen with a couple of rights, tag back to Jacques and The Quebecers with a double hot shot for a near fall. Pierre re-enters and the champions attempt a double clothesline, The Rocket ducks it, takes them both out with a double dropkick, crawls to a tag and The Excellence of Execution takes on both Quebecers by himself. He whips Jacques to the ropes for a fist to the ribs, plants him with a side russian leg sweep, turns back to Pierre to crack him with a backbreaker, then rams them into each other with a double noggin knocker. He sends Pierre spilling over the top after an atomic drop, Owen holds Jacques from the apron for his brother, Bret goes to hit the ropes, but Polo’s on the apron and he separates the ropes to dump The Hitman to the floor.

Bret writhes in pain on the floor while holding his knee, Owen tries to check on him and it distracts the official, The Quebecers taking the opportunity for double team punishment to the leg. Jacques sneaks in a cheap shot with a chair behind the ref’s back, Owen’s attempts to get involved continue to do more harm than good, Jacques now using Polo’s putter for more shots to Bret’s knee. The Rocket finally sends Bret back inside to avoid a count-out, Jacques is there waiting with stomps, tag to Pierre for a wishbone and he targets the injured leg.

Jacques re-enters to keep the punishment going, slaps on a Boston crab, Owen comes in to break it up, Jacques still able to hold The Hitman down and Pierre comes off the 2nd rope with a leg drop to the back of the head. Jacques positions Bret on the mat, the champions look for the Quebecer Crash to the injured knee, The Hitman avoids it and Owen calls for the tag. The Excellence of Execution tries to lock in the Sharpshooter from the canvas instead, his knee gives out on him, the referee decides Bret can’t go on and calls for the bell.
Winners and STILL WWF Tag Team Champions: The Quebecers (Referee Stoppage)

  • After The Bell: The Hitman seems to be hurt and can’t get to his feet, Owen arguing with the official for stopping the match, then turns and asks Bret why he didn’t tag him. The Excellence of Execution uses the ropes to pull himself to his feet and The Rocket continues to argue with him, kicks Bret in the bad knee and drops him back down to a chorus of boos. Owen takes his leave as multiple referees and WWF officials check on The Hitman, Ray Rougeau coming down to the ring for an update on Bret’s condition, stating it’s uncertain now that he’ll be able to participate in the Royal Rumble.
  • EA’s Take: This was a pretty sloppy tag team match considering the guys involved like Bret, Owen and Jacques are mostly known for being good workers and are all familiar with each other. A lot of the double team stuff that was supposed to be behind the ref’s back just didn’t work for The Quebecers, timing seemed to be off every time they went for it. This made the finish of a referee stoppage look questionable after he clearly saw a foreign object get used multiple times, yet there was no DQ called. Obviously the big takeaway here is Owen’s heel turn which had been building since Survivor Series and would become the most notable time of the younger Hart’s career. In my opinion, Owen was actually better than Bret with his combination of technical ability, high flying offense and was much better at promos. This feud would be a focal point for the company through most of 1994, leading to some of the best matches of the early 90’s.
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