Backstage: Todd Pettengill catches up with Owen Hart, The Rocket calling his brother Bret selfish. He thought he had the best partner in the world tonight to win the Tag Titles, but The Hitman’s selfishness got in the way, stripping away his chance when all he had to do was just tag him in. Owen claims Bret doesn’t care about him, therefore he doesn’t care about The Hitman being in the Royal Rumble and he’s only worried about himself now, vowing to win the Rumble and go to WrestleMania.
Match #3 for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Irwin R. Schyster vs. WWF Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon
Jim Ross & Gorilla Monsoon take over commentary from Radio WWF for this match. The Bad Guy throws his toothpick in the challenger’s face after the bell, Irwin doesn’t appreciate it and slaps him, Razor returns fire with a flurry of right hands, clearing Schyster out of the ring. IRS steps back inside, strikes first off the collar & elbow, drives Ramon head-first into the top turnbuckle and scores with big right hands. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, Razor connects with a fist to the chin, unloads with more punches and the challenger squirms away and under the bottom rope to the floor to regroup. He takes his time heading back into the squared circle, the champion with a side headlock off the tie-up, Irwin pushes him off to the ropes and gets knocked down by a shoulder block.
The Bad Guy goes back into the ropes, Schyster pops up and attempts a kick to the ribs, Ramon catches the foot, spins him around for an atomic drop, then levels him with a clothesline for a count of 2. He looks to go back to the side headlock and gets sent to the ropes again, IRS with a leverage move to toss Razor over the top to the floor, the challenger in pursuit and he rams the champion into the ring post, then flattens him with a clothesline and rolls back inside. Ramon pulls himself up to the apron, IRS drags him into the ring, plants him with a body slam and goes up top. He comes down and The Bad Guy sticks his boot up, the challenger sees it coming and blocks, delivers an elbow drop and hooks the leg for a 2 count.
He seeks to grind the champion down some more with a rear chinlock, Razor works to a vertical base and battles out, hits the ropes and runs into a knee to the breadbasket. Irwin with a leg drop to the lower abdomen, wants to ram Ramon head-first into the top turnbuckle, the champion blocks and turns the tables, Schyster quickly sneaking in a back elbow to stop any momentum. He snapmares The Bad Guy over and scores with a leg drop for another 2, goes back to the rear chinlock, IRS using the bottom rope for extra leverage out of sight of the ref. The champion finds a rush of adrenaline and gains a standing position, pounds the challenger with heavy rights, tees off with a discus punch, then tosses him with a fallaway slam for a near fall.
Irwin tries to beg him off to no avail, Ramon hammering away with more rights in the corner, irish whip across is reversed, Schyster doubles Razor back and the official gets squashed and dropped. IRS crawls to his briefcase and looks to clobber the champion, Razor feels it coming and scores with a big right, snatches the briefcase away and drills the challenger in the head with it. He disposes of the evidence and makes a cover, the referee is still laid out so there’s no count, Razor ducks a wild right hand, props IRS on the top turnbuckle and climbs to the 2nd rope for a super back suplex.
The champion calls for the finish and sets for the Razor’s Edge, Shawn Michaels hits the ring from behind and clobbers him in the back with the imposter IC Title, then high-tails it to the back and everyone’s down in the ring now. The challenger comes to and crawls to a cover as the ref starts stirring, drags himself over and counts to 3. Another referee comes down to the ring and explains what happened to the original official as IRS celebrates with the bogus title, the second ref snatching it away to show the evidence. Razor’s back to his feet and snatches Irwin off the 2nd rope into a Razor’s Edge, drives him into the canvas and now it’s over.
Winner and STILL WWF Intercontinental Champion: Razor Ramon (Razor’s Edge)
- EA’s Take: Great match, easily the best of the night so far. IRS’ gimmick invokes so many negative thoughts that it can even cloud the smartest of fans’ judgment, but he never really gets his due for just how good in the ring he was. Razor’s talents of course speak for themselves as one of the best working big men in the business (I call him a “big man” because he was 6’7″, but never wrestled like one so is never even thought of in that regard) and one of the shining stars of the WWF’s future. I liked the finish personally and thought that it really set the stage for what was to come at WrestleMania, the (not) first-ever ladder match to determine just who was the real IC Champion against Michaels. After Shawn was suspended for a positive steroid test and subsequently stripped of the IC Title, he refused to send it back to the company when they looked to crown a new champion (legitimately) and thus leading to the impostor title angle.
Video: The Undertaker has been building a special double wide, double deep casket to fit WWF Champion Yokozuna. The Deadman has been the only Superstar to force Yoko into showing any kind of fear, seemingly residing inside the champion’s head leading into tonight’s match. When Yokozuna is inside the casket and the door is closed, the only thing he will hear is the hounds of Hell, begging for his soul.
Match #4 – Casket Match for the WWF Championship: WWF Champion Yokozuna w/Mr. Fuji & James E. Cornette vs. The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer
The champion challenges Undertaker to meet him in the middle and they go face-to-face, Fuji instructs Yokozuna to back off, the challenger does the same and Yoko goes on the attack. The Deadman sees it coming and drives him head-first into the top turnbuckle, hits the ropes and staggers him with multiple clotheslines, goes back to the well for a big jumping clothesline and takes the champion off his feet. Big uppercut from Taker sends Yokozuna spilling to the outside, he stumbles face-first into the ring post, the challenger climbing out and he gets rammed head-first off the steps, but it has no affect. Undertaker returns the favor, Yoko heads back into the ring, The Deadman follows, grabs a wristlock and then walks the top rope to deliver a clubbing blow to the back.
Taker hits the ropes for another flying clothesline that misses the mark, he falls to the outside, Yokozuna is in pursuit, grabs a chair and tries to smash the challenger over the head. The Undertaker blocks, returns fire with a chair shot to the back, cracks the champion over the head, then grabs a different chair and jams it into the throat. Yoko gets his hands on some salt and blinds The Deadman with it, drives him into the steel steps, wallops him across the spine with the chair, then drops him with a shot to the skull. The champion in total control now, rams Taker’s head over-and-over again into the steps, rolls him into the squared circle, climbs back in and flattens him with a clothesline.
He motions for the casket to be opened and rolls Undertaker into it, the challenger’s not in all the way and he grabs Yoko by the foot, climbs back into the ring and they exchange right hands. The Deadman gets the better of it initially, Yokozuna grabs him for a desperation belly-to-belly suplex, starts to relax a little bit and the challenger sits right back up, grabbing him by the neck and delivering a chokeslam. Irish whip to the ropes is reversed, the champion ducks for a back body drop, Taker counters with a DDT, sits back up, calls for the casket to be opened and pushes Yoko inside. The Deadman climbs out of the ring to close the lid, Crush appears from behind him and goes on the attack with heavy rights and headbutts.
He throws the challenger back into the ring, shoots him to the ropes for a clothesline, Undertaker ducks it, levels him with one of his own and sends Crush to the outside with an uppercut. Kabuki runs down to the ring and goes after The Deadman, Tenryu hits the ring behind him and they shoot Taker to the ropes for a double clothesline. The Undertaker ducks under it and drops them both with a double clothesline, goes back to the casket to close the lid, Bam Bam Bigelow slides into the ring, Crush is back in, Kabuki & Tenryu working with them for a 4-1 advantage. The Deadman can’t beat the numbers game, Fuji steals the urn at ringside, Paul Bearer swiping it back and lays Fuji & Cornette out with it.
Yokozuna is finally revived, Taker using the power of the urn to mount a comeback, Bam Bam gets his hands on the salt bucket from behind and goes to knock him out, but hits Crush instead. Adam Bomb comes to the ring now, Taker starts working everyone over with the bucket, Jeff Jarrett is out at ringside, climbs to the top rope and gets hammered with the bucket on the way down. Undertaker fights everyone off, The Headshrinkers come out now, the champion is finally back in the ring and The Deadman continues to hold his own. Diesel is out next, the numbers finally catch up to Taker as Yokozuna steals the urn again, drops Paul Bearer with it, then clobbers Taker over the head.
He drops the urn and green smoke pours out of it, Crush delivering a vertical suplex to the challenger, Jarrett comes off the 2nd rope with a fist, Diesel drops a big elbow and Bigelow drops a headbutt of the top. The Headshrinkers with multiple Headshrinker Splashes, Taker’s laid-out lifeless now, they all roll him into the casket, close the lid and put a lock on it.
Winner and STILL WWF Champion: Yokozuna
- After The Bell: Everybody starts to wheel the casket to the back, the gong hits and green smoke pours out of the casket, the gong hitting again and the lights go out. Everyone backs away from the casket now and an image of Undertaker laying inside appears on the screen, he warns Yokozuna to not be proud because his spirit lays within the soul of all mankind. His eternal light can not be extinguished, soon mankind will witness the rebirth of The Undertaker. The Deadman states he will not rest in peace, electrical pulses surge through the casket on the screen and it explodes, Taker appearing over the video board and levitates up into the air. Paul Bearer is standing by the casket now and has regained possession of the urn, holding high into the air.
- EA’s Take: Boy, talk about theatrics huh? This is easily one of the stranger things WWF has done up until this point, but the best part is that it didn’t ever feel that strange at the time. The Undertaker was such a unique character that he really allowed the company to try new things creatively and get away with it. This is the real first-ever casket match, at least the version that we’ve all come to know and while the action wasn’t great, it did a lot in terms of character development for The Deadman. In reality Taker needed time away to heal a back injury, but this would be the first time he’d have a prolonged absence, something that would become par for the course later down the road. Taker was a character that really needed time away at points, always using his recovery time as a way to reinvigorate the gimmick. We would not see The Deadman again for 7 months, returning with a slight tweak to the look.