I guess before I continue the list, I should do some kind of filler intro thing first. Maybe on a later day I’ll go through the matches of this year’s show or whatever. I can’t really think of much in terms of Summerslam trivia outside of an interesting factoid I noticed involving Hulk Hogan. Basically, Hulk Hogan is not only undefeated, but he’s never had a single title match his entire time at Summerslam. Check it out.
Summerslam 88: Is in a tag match with champion Randy Savage against Andre and Dibiase.
Summerslam 89: Hogan is champ, but he’s in a tag match with Beefcake against Savage and Zeus.
Summerslam 90: Singles match against Earthquake while Ultimate Warrior is champ.
Summerslam 91: Is champ again, but he and Warrior are in a tag match against Slaughter and his cronies.
Summerslam 05: Is brought in for the dream match of Hogan vs. Michaels. Neither one is champ.
Summerslam 06: Is challenged by Randy Orton. Again, neither one is champ.
Now that I think of it, Ultimate Warrior’s undefeated at Summerslam too. Hell, he even showed up more often than Hogan until all the post-WCW hoopla.
Good, that filled up enough space. Back to the list!
21) SUMMERSLAM 1993
Date: August 30, 1993
Era: New Generation
Location: The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan
Known as: The one where Lex Luger choked and was happy about it
What was once meant to be the show that would give us Bret Hart vs. Hulk Hogan became something surely different. Hogan had left the company on bad terms and his replacement was the transforming of Lex Luger from a narcissistic jerk to a patriotic hero. With Yokozuna as a dominant champion, Luger makes his way across the country towards his big title match on the most American of all buses, the Lex Express. As for Bret, he’s been rewarded for his role at Wrestlemania 9 by winning the King of the Ring tournament. This caused him to start up a feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler and even though Lawler was gone from the company for several months, it says something that at the previously reviewed Summerslam 95, they were STILL feuding!
The intro is an update on the Lex Express as it’s made its way to Michigan. Late in the show, interviewer Joe Fowler talks to the bus driver about how awesome a guy Lex is for cruising through the country and greeting all the fans. Fowler, who must not have lasted long in the company, also interviews Michaels and has a very awkward interview with newcomer the 1-2-3 Kid. But if it’s awkward you want, look no further than Todd Pettengill. While him talking to pre-heel Owen and Bruce Hart is one thing, it’s near unbearable to have to hear him talk to the Steiner Brothers’ family in the audience. Really, when you look at the mid-90’s, that guy really made you feel more embarrassed about being a wrestling fan than anything else.
Also awkward is the Summerslam Hotline. They’d show the graphic of the logo and phone number (recreated without the number for the DVD release) with Vince McMahon hyping it up nonstop almost desperately to the point of repeating himself. Then we’d see ridiculous shit like Undertaker in full entrance gear with one of the red phones, talking to some guy about wrestlers who aren’t in the company anymore. Notice how Vince cuts off this conversation before we can hear much of his answer.
We also get a pretty awesome Jim Cornette promo about how badass Yokozuna is and how Luger’s going to let everyone down while it slowly zooms in on Yokozuna’s face. Then there’s evil newcomer Ludvig Borga walking around some condemned buildings in Chicago and claiming that this is the kind of country Lex Luger stands up for. To me, it’s merely a reminder that, oh yeah, this guy existed.
One of the worst parts of watching all these old matches is seeing what should be a great match on paper and then being supremely disappointed. This is the case of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase vs. Razor Ramon, which is the first real step in Razor’s faceturn. God, this should be a classic, but Dibiase’s on his way out and Razor’s on his way up. Dibiase attacks him from behind and puts the boots to him until the onslaught is reversed into a backdrop and a Fallaway Slam. Razor spends the next few minutes one step ahead of everything Dibiase tries to the point that Dibiase finds himself begging off. He tricks Razor, pulls him in the corner and starts laying into him. Dibiase puts Razor in a chinlock for a bit and instead of simply holding his arm up to show he’s still in the match, Razor actually holds both arms out in his fists-out trademark pose. That’s so corny I love it.
Dibiase still holds control and goes for the Million Dollar Dream. Razor stops him with an eblow to the ribs, but still gets beaten down. Razor ends up falling out of the ring and as the ref counts, Dibiase removes the corner pad. He brings Razor in, goes to slam his head into the corner, Razor does it to Dibiase instead, gives him the Razor’s Edge and it’s over. It’s a pretty average match. Something you’d see on the first hour of a mid-90’s Raw, not hitting its potential by far.
The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) defend the WWF Tag Team Championship against the Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Prichard) in the Steiner’s hometown. The Bodies go on the offense immediately and deliver a double suplex on Rick. They keep tossing Scott out of the ring so they can focus on Rick until the faces finally get it together and take over. They start completely kicking ass with suplexes and clotheslines with the Bodies being thrown around like ragdolls. Rick knocks both of them out of the ring and Cornette takes his team aside to talk strategy. When noticing the cameraman nearby, he flies off the handle and tells him to mind his own business.
The Bodies get their shots in. Prichard tosses Scott out of the ring and Del Ray hits him with a moonsault to the floor. He also hits my favoritest wrestling move THE FLOATOVER DDT and the two simply show some great double-team work. Del Ray hits a superkick, Scott kicks out and Cornette sneaks in a cheapshot with his racket to help out. Another FLOATOVER DDT is countered into a belly-to-belly suplex. Prichard tries a backdrop and gets it turned into an underhook suplex. Scott makes the hot tag and Rick goes to town, hitting a bulldog off the top onto Del Ray. Prichard whacks him with the racket and Rick kicks out. Prichard holds up Rick so that Del Ray will moonsault onto him off the top rope, but at the last second, Scott pulls Rick out of the way and Del Ray hits his own partner. Scott delivers a Frankensteiner and lets Rick get the pin. Very solid tag outing. It really shows me that one of the reasons the tag circuit in WWE sucks right now is that there’s no chemistry anymore. Guys may get along, but where are the double team maneuvers? That’s what makes tag matches fun.
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels defends the Intercontinental Championship against Mr. Perfect. Michaels had recently regained the title from Marty Jannetty thanks to the help of his new bodyguard Diesel. Unlike the opening bout, this one delivers a bit better. They mix it up really well to start with, ending with Mr. Perfect dropping Michaels out of the ring with a botched clothesline. There’s a lot of measured wrestling exchanges here with no clear advantage either way. Michaels tries jumping off the top rope and gets it turned into an arm drag, followed by Perfect working on the arm. Michaels dropkicks at Perfect and it’s turned into a Slingshot to the outside. Diesel distracts Perfect and allows Michaels to hit a superkick followed by an axe-handle off the apron. Michaels focuses his attacks on Perfect’s lower back until Perfect fights his way out and the match speeds up.
Michaels doing a backdrop is reversed into a roll-up, which is then segued into a Perfect Plex. Diesel breaks the pin. Michaels accidentally bumps into the ref, which allows Diesel to beat down Perfect outside the ring. Perfect is tossed into the steps, which hurts him to the point of suffering a loss by count-out. He attacks the two post-match, but gets killed by Diesel. Michaels is interviewed on his way backstage and sidesteps the accusations that he cheated by simply claiming that now we know who is the best Intercontinental Champion of all time.
To follow up on the Dibiase vs. Razor match, we have their buddies mixing it up with 1-2-3 Kid vs. Irwin R. Schyster. The Kid is coming off his rise to stardom as the ultimate underdog and we get another lame Raw-caliber match. The opening exchange leads to the Kid winning with a spinning heel kick. IRS backdrops him like 15-feet high into the air. Another try is reversed into a dropkick. IRS throws the Kid out of the ring and when he’s back on the apron, IRS tries that thing where you pull the ropes back and propel the opponent back in. The Kid lands on his feet and rolls him up, only to get a two-count. IRS puts him in a chinlock, the Kid escapes, delivers a flurry of offense, uses the moonsault as an exclamation point and… kickout. Kid keeps on him until IRS hits him with a clothesline and pins him. Yes, a clothesline.
Up next, we’re supposed to get Bret Hart vs. Jerry Lawler, but Jerry walks out on crutches, rails on the unsafe drivers of Detroit and claims that he got in a major car accident. Since he can’t wrestle, he’ll send his royal court jester in his stead. We end up with Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Doink the Clown in Doink’s only Summerslam appearance. Hey, sounds good to me. Doink comes out and pranks the Hart family by splashing Bruce with a bucket of water. Bret drags him into the ring, clotheslines him out and then proceeds to pummel him. Doink fights back, climbs to the top rope, gets crotched and then gets dropped onto his face. Bret keeps being distracted from the task at hand by conversing with Lawler until it catches up to him and Doink gets him from behind. He gives him a top-rope axe-handle and an STF while the crowd continues to cheer Bret on with chants of “GO BRET GO!”
Doink does his old Stump Puller submission move (it was only until watching this that I realized that Doink’s finisher was based on “pulling his leg”) and grabs the rope for leverage until the ref notices it and makes him break it. He goes to the top and jumps off for the Whoopie Cushion. Bret meets it with his knees up, killing Matt Bourne’s potential children. Bret hits his famed 5 Moves of Doom and puts Doink in the Sharpshooter. Lawler runs into the ring and hits Bret with a crutch, causing Bret to win via disqualification. WWF President Jack Tunney steps in and insists that since Lawler was lying about his leg injury, he has to wrestle Bret as advertised or he’ll be fired. Hence, we finally get Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler where the winner will be the undisputed king of wrestling.
Naturally, Bret is at a disadvantage due to having wrestled a clown already. That doesn’t stop him from brawling with Lawler in a one-sided fashion and smacking him upside the head with Doink’s bucket. I’d think that this would be an overall great showing, since they can both go in the ring, but I don’t get that from Lawler. All of his offense is based on using the crutch illegally and strangling him with it while the Harts try to convince the distracted ref to turn around. Bret gets Lawler off of him with a mule kick to the nuts, pulls down the straps of his singlet and deals out a well-deserved ass-kicking. He puts Lawler in the Sharpshooter and makes him submit, but he refuses to let go. Officials fill the ring and since they can’t remove Bret from Lawler, they reverse the decision and award Lawler the title of undisputed king via disqualification. Again, it’s something that could have been good, but comes off better on paper. The Doink pre-match was way better.
It’s also interesting to note that the Lawler/Cole feud really is an attempt to recreate this one, even down to the decision of this match.
Now it’s time to put over the new guy. Despite having just been Intercontinental Champion, Marty Jannetty plays the jobber role against Ludvig Borga. Borga hits Marty from behind as he walks to his corner, throws him across the ropes, tosses him straight into the air and punches him on the way down. He proceeds to strangle and slowly brutalize the guy until missing an Avalanche in the corner. No big deal as Marty runs directly into a clothesline. Marty escapes a bearhug, but he’s too hurt from its effects to pull off a bodyslam. They wake us up briefly by having Borga clothesline Marty into one of those awesome flipping sell jobs. Marty finally gets his second wind and nails Borga with two consecutive superkicks. It doesn’t knock him down, so he climbs to the top and delivers a crossbody. Borga catches him, drops him with a powerslam and makes him submit to the Torture Rack.
Now for one of the matches I wasn’t looking forward to watching. The Undertaker faces Giant Gonzales in an RIP Match. For weeks they would hype this match up without explaining what it even meant. At the last minute they tells us that it’s a no-DQ match. Oh. Okay. I will say that it led to one of my favorite commentary moments during an old episode of Superstars. The commentary team is Jim Ross and Bobby Heenan (wow, that sounds really good right about now) and Undertaker cuts a promo that involves the lights turning off and back on. Heenan then exclaims, “I know what RIP means! Ross is a pickpocket! Give me back my wallet!”
At this point in the feud, Harvey Whippleman has the Undertaker’s urn and Paul Bearer has been MIA. As the match begins, Undertaker goes at Gonzales with a series of thrusts to the throat, as there’s little else Undertaker can do, and then chokes him while standing on the second rope. Undertaker isn’t all that good in the ring during these days, but he tries his hardest to make this watchable. Gonzales is too atrocious, though. Just seeing him sell any attack by flailing his arms around makes you actually gain respect for the Great Khali. I really mean that. I enjoy Great Khali matches more because I’ve seen Giant Gonzales wrestle. Gonzales no-sells some clotheslines and throws Undertaker out of the ring. He beats him with a chair, flings him into the steps and Undertaker keeps using his strength to crawl towards the stolen urn.
Suddenly, there’s a loud gong noise and Paul Bearer walks out with a black reef. Harvey lunges for him and eats a clothesline. Bearer gets the urn and even though Gonzales has had things well in hand, he stares at Bearer and allows Undertaker the space to be revived. He sits up, repeats a few clotheslines, delivers some throat thrusts and drops the giant to his knee. Since Tombstones and chokeslams are out of the question, he nails him with a clothesline from the top rope and pins him. It’s a pretty dire match, but not nearly as bad as their previous bout at Wrestlemania 9. At the very least, it’s well-booked. After the match, Gonzales gets mad at Harvey, knocks him out with an ugly-looking chokeslam and drapes the black reef over him.
Now for the main event of Yokozuna defending the WWF Championship against Lex Luger. If Lex doesn’t win the title, he loses the right to a rematch. The Japanese national anthem is played for crowd heat purposes and Randy Savage appears as the Summerslam master of ceremonies. To keep with the build-up, Aaron Neville is brought out to sing the national anthem. The two competitors stare each other down as the crowd chants “USA!” Fuji sneaks in to distract Luger and Yokozuna goes for the attack, but it backfires. Luger starts out really strong, but gets laid out with an elbow. Yokozuna misses a legdrop. The two proceed to fight back and forth with Luger running into attacks and Yokozuna missing his own. Mr. Fuji goes for the salt in the eyes trick, but misses the shot. Luger punches Yokozuna to stun him and tries for a bodyslam, but fails. Yokozuna knocks him down with a sidekick.
On the outside, Yokozuna hits the Avalanche on Luger into the post. He swings a chair and misses, smashing the post instead and hurting his hands. Luger has him on the ropes with an axe-handle off the second rope, an axe-handle off the top rope and a forearm shot off the top rope. Yokozuna goes down, but kicks out. The two end up clotheslining each other. Cornette distracts the ref and Yokozuna uses the diversion to smack Luger with the salt bucket. He slowly makes the cover and Luger kicks out. Yokozuna gives him a belly-to-belly suplex and it’s another kickout. Yokozuna works him over some more and puts him in a trapezius hold to the patriotic chants of the crowd in hopes to wake up their hero. Luger breaks free, goes for a bodyslam and can’t do it. Yokozuna falls on him and almost gets the pin. Yokozuna gives a legdrop and sets him up for the Banzai Drop. Luger moves out of the way at the last second. Yokozuna misses an Avalanche, Luger finally bodyslams him, punches Mr. Fuji and takes off his protective elbow pad. He delivers a forearm shot (which is enhanced due to the metal plate in his arm) and causes Yokozuna to fall out of the ring, out like a light. Luger punches out Cornette and Yokozuna is counted out. Luger celebrates while a bunch of faces fill the ring to hold him up.
Of course, Luger just failed to win the title and killed his chances at a rematch. This is noted as one of the major dumb moments in WWE history, but watching this show, I can at least understand it. After all that hype, Luger had to win. They couldn’t put him in a position where he wasn’t standing tall. At the same time, he simply COULD NOT win the title. I mean… look at what that would have given us. Yokozuna was the only viable heel in a company filled with top faces. He had guys to play off of and would spend the next few months taking on Undertaker, Savage, Bret and eventually Luger again. Who was Luger going to face? Ludvig Borga? Keep Giant Gonzales heel and have that as a title feud? It could have been better, yes, but they wrote themselves in a corner and this is the best they could come up with.
I enjoyed the match, though. Far better than the Wrestlemania 10 rematch months down the line.
20) SUMMERSLAM 1999
Date: August 22, 1999
Era: Attitude Era
Location: Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Known as: The return of Jesse “The Body” Ventura
Steve Austin has been champ since defeating the Undertaker and needed a challenger for the upcoming Summerslam. Through a seemingly never-ending series of number one contenders matches spanning several Raws, the spot against Austin traded between Triple H, Chyna and Mankind until being settled on both Triple H and Mankind. Such a match would need a special guest referee and as a way to both ride the wave of popular media and do a callback to the very first Summerslam, the spot was given to none other than Minnesota Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
The intro shows us a brief history of crooked or controversial guest referees in WWF history, but chooses to ignore any instance that features a guy who isn’t with the company anymore, such as the Summerslam 97 main event. This is used to introduce Ventura as the ultimate in guest referees. Backstage, we’d see him yell at the three main eventers that he needs the match to end in a pinfall in the middle of the ring. Triple H argues with him, Mankind decides he’d rather talk politics and Austin just ignores him completely. Edge and Christian, having just turned face against Gangrel, give their first real promo and it’s pretty funny to watch. They haven’t developed any character or real personality yet, so seeing them then compared to how interesting they’d become in the decade that follows is kind of fun. Rock turns an interview with Michael Cole into just your average Rock promo. Al Snow talks to his dog Pepper about his upcoming match. X-Pac says that although he’s going to lose his match if you look at it on paper, he isn’t paper, so he won’t lose. Wow. That’s like the prototype for Batista telling Great Khali that basketballs don’t hold grudges.
Newcomer Chris Jericho chastises his sidekick Howard Finkel for being late and proceeds to interrupt a Road Dogg promo. Road Dogg whines about not being in the Hardcore Championship match, Jericho comes out to call him out on being boring and then Road Dogg follows up with a lesser comeback. Anyway, it’s good to see the Jericho topknot.
Our opener is D’Lo Brown defending the Intercontinental and European Championships against Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett is mad at the attention Debra’s been getting and sends her to the back to the chantings of “ASSHOLE!” D’Lo brings her out to be his valet, to the fans’ delight. This is a match that should indeed be great. They’re both solid midcarders, so I expect to see them deliver. Instead, we get a match that seems to be without psychology. It’s like watching someone play WWF Attitude. D’Lo does a move, then Jarrett does a move, then D’Lo does a move, then Jarrett does a move. The moves are fine, it’s just that nobody sells.
We start to get somewhere when D’Lo takes the fight to the outside and ends up being thrown into the post. Jarrett brings him back in for a armbreaker/DDT move off the second rope. The crowd simply doesn’t care, though and chants for Debra’s “puppies”. God, I’m glad “puppies” is no longer a thing. Lawler was insufferable. D’Lo gets Jarrett with a running powerbomb, does a Tilt-a-Whirl Sidewalk Slam, does his little head-shaking taunt and hits the legdrop. Off the top, he tries for a senton and misses. Jarrett figures he’ll end it with a guitar shot, but then starts arguing with Debra. D’Lo’s buddy Mark Henry gets in there, steals the guitar and then turns on D’Lo by breaking it over his head. Jarrett pins him, wins the two belts and he, Debra and Henry leave together. That’s the only random heelturn we get the whole night, so that’s nice.
Up next is a Tag Team Turmoil Match between Edge and Christian, the New Brood (Matt and Jeff Hardy), Mideon and Viscera, Droz and Prince Albert, the Acolytes (Farooq and Bradshaw) and the Holly Cousins (Hardcore Holly and Crash Holly), in that order. Edge and Christian take to the Goth Hardy Boyz with a series of great double-teaming attacks, but soon Gangrel gets a cheapshot on Christian and Matt almost pins him with a rollup. Jeff does a springboard moonsault, but Christian kicks out. He hits the Swanton and Edge breaks the pin. Christian takes a beating, only to persevere with a double reverse DDT on both Hardys. Edge gets in there and does very little damage before being heaved out by Matt. Things get really exciting on the outside as Jeff and Edge both run across different sides of the guardrail, jump at each other with Edge Spearing Jeff in mid-air. Matt follows up with a moonsault on Edge and works to give Christian a superplex. Instead, Edge grabs him for an Electric Chair Drop and Christian finishes him off with a top-rope elbow. The New Brood is out.
Viscera and Mideon appear to shit things up. Especially Mideon. While Viscera is able to toss Christian around like he was nothing, Mideon screws up an elbow drop and allows the tag. Edge tries to hurt Viscera, only to eat a spinning heel kick. Viscera accidentally crushes Mideon with an Avalanche, gets removed from the ring, Edge Spears Mideon and we’ve got our second elimination. Up next it’s Albert and Droz. Droz does nothing of note here, while Albert uses his power on Edge and Christian. He picks up Christian for a press slam, Christian slides out the back, fails at a roll-up and Edge knocks Albert out with a Downward Spiral.
The Acolytes enter and out-brawl the two exhausted wrestlers. Although Edge and Christian try to make a couple comebacks and defy the odds, they end up enduring powerbombs and spinebusters in reversal form. For once, they seem to have things in control. Farooq is double clotheslined out and Christian delivers a Tornado DDT on Bradshaw. Unfortunately, he kicks out. The four duke it out in the ring, Bradshaw feeds Edge the Clothesline from Hell and the Acolytes get the logical victory. That leaves Crash and Hardcore, who run in immediately and don’t do so well. Crash almost immediately falls to a Dominator from Farooq and Hardcore has to make the save. When Hardcore has things well in hand, Crash tags himself in and then runs right into a clothesline. Then Hardcore would tag himself in, they’d start arguing over who is going to make the pin, leading into the two fighting each other and Hardcore flings his cousin to the outside. He turns around into a Farooq spinebuster and loses the match. Afterwards, the Hollys continue to argue. Absolutely fantastic and fun tag match. Even with Mideon there!
Al Snow defends the Hardcore Championship against Big Boss Man. Snow perches himself on the setup near the entranceway and when Boss Man arrives, he splashes onto him. Road Dogg is on commentary at first, but since the whole thing takes off into the backstage area, Road Dogg decides to take a microphone and do commentary while following the action. This features the same problem as the earlier D’Lo/Jarrett match, but worse. Boss Man refuses to sell for most of the fight. It’s really off-putting and takes you out of the match. They use every weapon they can find, take the fight outside, Boss Man throws Snow through a plastic table outside of a restaurant and the two take the fight into a bar. Boss Man uses the Yellow Pages as a weapon, so credit for originality. More credit for originality to Snow, who uses a urinal cake as a weapon. They break beer bottles over each other’s heads, Snow borrows a chain from a nearby patron and uses that, performs a moonsault through a table and Boss Man no-sells that too! Boss Man has had enough of Road Dogg’s shit and shoves him. Dogg takes Boss Man’s nightstick and hits him with it, allowing Snow to pin Boss Man on the pool table. Soon after, he returns to the backstage area and beats up Blue Meanie and Stevie Richards for trying to steal his dog.
In a little bit, we’re going to have two other matches based on wrestlers using weapons, so this match comes off even worse.
Ivory defends the WWF Woman’s Championship against Tori. It’s a short match, only going four minutes. Tori runs into the ring and receives an axe-handle, but is able to deliver a powerslam. She hits a couple vertical suplexes, Ivory fights back with three consecutive snapmares, a really terrible Big Swing and Tori tosses in a Spear from out of nowhere. Tori does this weird backwards powerbomb facebuster thingy that involves putting her hands over Ivory’s crotch to pick her up. This is great just for Jerry Lawler’s commentary as he tells Jim Ross that he calls that one “my favorite move” and he’ll leave the research to Ross. There seems to be some confusion between the two on the ending as it takes a second Sunset Flip from Tori to end the match. Ivory sits down on her, grabs the leg and gets the pin, then tears apart the back of Tori’s top until Luna Vachon runs in and chases Ivory away. Yeah, not so good.
“The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock faces his rival “The Lethal Weapon” Steve Blackman in a Lion’s Den Match where weapons are allowed. Or as Batista once put it, weapons are not just welcomed… they’re allowed! So the two fight in this octagon cage that’s easy to climb out of. The problem already is that nobody is really sure of the rules. The commentators say that the referee has to open the door so the dominant wrestler will escape, but that doesn’t work out. Blackman has his nunchakus with him and uses them for a bit before missing a kick and getting punked out with Shamrock’s grappling skill. Shamrock tries his hand at the nunchakus, gets sweeped immediately and then is strangled. The next time he gets his hands on them, he simply throws them out of the cage, which is probably a pretty good idea considering.
He throws Blackman into the cage, gets a staff and… doesn’t really do any good with it. Blackman gets himself a pair of escrima sticks and beats Shamrock with them. Shamrock turn sit around by being thrown at the cage, jumping and bouncing off with a clothesline. Blackman tries to climb up to retrieve another weapon and Shamrock pulls him in for a powerslam. I’m actually really liking this match because the martial arts stuff is cool on its own, but the wrestling parts work just as well. I really wish Shamrock stuck around longer. Blackman gets the kendo stick and beats Shamrock down. The referee doesn’t open the door and we can’t tell if it’s because the ref refuses, Blackman refuses to leave or they just forgot how the rules go. He misses a pumpkick, misses a swing of the stick, eats a Shamrock belly-to-belly suplex, Shamrock freaks out like he’s wont to do and gets his hands on the kendo stick. He beats the hell out of Blackman with it, cracks it over his head to KO him and the bell rings because I guess he’s won. Even though he’s still in the cage. Oh, who knows. Other than that, it ruled.
Test and Shane McMahon have a “Love Her or Leave Her” Greenwich Street Fight, which is like a regular Street Fight Match, only Shane McMahon is in it and they’re fighting for Test’s right to date Stephanie. The Mean Street Posse (Pete Gas, Joey Abs and Rodney) come to the ring, all showing off their injuries from previous encounters with Test as well as showing off their Hawaiian shirts. Test tackles Shane on the outside, throws him in and gets hit with a Spear. Test still keeps the momentum on his side by throwing Shane like a ragdoll and beating him up in the crowd. Shane jumps at him off the guardrail and is met with a powerslam. Then Test press slams Shane into the Mean Street Posse. He attacks them first, but their numbers are too much and Test is put in peril. Shane gets incredibly creative with his weapons, hitting Test with a mailbox, a Do Not Enter sign and a framed group photo of Shane and the Posse.
He rolls Test into the ring and is surprised to see a kickout. Meanwhile, Stephanie anxiously watches the match backstage. Shane performs a corkscrew moonsault and misses. He tries to leapfrog over a running Test and instead gets grabbed for a powerbomb. Rodney distracts the ref long enough for Shane to kick out. Test accidentally boots the ref and the Mean Street Posse continue to gang up on him. They place him on a table, Shane climbs to the top rope and drills him through said table with an elbow drop. Both of them are rolled in by the Posse and when the ref makes the count, Test kicks out. Gas accidentally hits Shane with a sign and Joey Abs prevents the pin from taking place. Rodney nails Test with his arm cast and again he kicks out. Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco of all people come to save the day by beating up the Posse with signs of their own. Abs makes a run for Test with a chair and eats a boot to the chair to the face. Shane dives at Test, misses and gets a shoulder to the post. A Pumphandle Slam and a top-rope elbow is all that’s needed for Test to win the fight. Stephanie then comes out the back and the two lovers and their old man buddies walk away together. Match of the night by far.
X-Pac and Kane defend the WWF Tag Team Championship against Undertaker and Big Show. While Big Show’s in pretty good shape around this time, Undertaker’s at the end of his Ministry phase and isn’t all so good. The face team tries to duke it out and that doesn’t end well because, well, X-Pac. The heels double-team on Kane, but he clotheslines Big Show and X-Pac crossbodies Undertaker. Kickout. Undertaker easily takes over and X-Pac tags at the first chance. Kane clotheslines Undertaker out, X-Pac attacks Undertaker with little effect, Undertaker grabs him for a chokeslam and Kane saves the day by snatching X-Pac out of his hands and placing him in the ring. Kane handles himself well against both opponents and Big Show has to save his partner from being pinned after a top-rope clothesline. Undertaker turns it around with a DDT counter to a backdrop and gets Big Show to take over. Undertaker gets back in, he and Kane clothesline each other at the same time and they each make a tag. The hot tag to X-Pac is meaningless when you remember that he’s up against Big Show. He and Undertaker basically play volleyball with him by throwing him in and out of the ring. Undertaker also slams X-Pac’s crotch into the ring post for good measure. Kane saves X-Pac from Big Show’s chokeslam and X-Pac returns the favor from earlier by giving Show a low blow. He does the same for Undertaker by mule kicking him in the crotch and tagging in Kane. X-Pac sends Undertaker out of the ring with a spinning heel kick and gives Big Show the Bronco Buster. Undertaker pulls Kane out, throws him into the steps, Big Show stands up all angry about having X-Pac’s crotch in his face and chokeslams him.
Surprisingly, X-Pac kicks out! But then Undertaker comes in, gives him a Tombstone and pins him. The new tag champs then argue with each other while walking to the back. Fun underdog match if sluggish at times.
The Rock proceeds to bury “King Ass” Billy Gunn in a “Kiss My Ass” Match. The original rules are that the loser has to kiss the winner’s ass, but Gunn takes it a step further. He brings out a big, fat woman in a dress with instructions that Rock will be kissing her ass when he loses. Lots and lots of brawling between the two, including to the entrance area and near the Lion’s Den. In an amusing moment, the Rock steals Lawler’s crown, puts it on Gunn’s head and then punches him. Gunn takes over the match by hitting Rock with the ring bell. Unfortunately, Gunn is incredibly sloppy, so his offense isn’t the most fun to watch. He delivers a Stinger Splash and Rock decides to just get angry and fight back all of the sudden. After a DDT from the Rock, they’re both down. Rock then follows with pretty bad neckbreaker. It really is the battle of the guys with the sloppiest offense in wrestling. A Rock Bottom is reversed into the Famouser and rather than go for the pin, Gunn brings the fat woman in. He pulls up her dress, revealing stuff nobody wants to see and all of the sudden Rock grabs him by the head and shoves Gunn’s face into the woman’s ass. He hits the Rock Bottom, does the People’s Elbow and it’s all over. One of the Rock’s worst matches without a doubt. The commentary helped save this as Lawler kept trying to make Ross sick in regards to the fat woman.
The main event has “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defend the WWF Championship against Mankind and Triple H in a Triple Threat Match with Jesse “The Body” Ventura as the guest referee. Jesse starts out by telling the crowd how proud he is to be a wrestler and that anyone who criticizes this appearance should get over themselves. To start it off, Mankind and Austin double-team Triple H and Mankind gets the wrong idea as he ends up hugging Austin. When offered a handshake, Austin attacks Mankind and tries for a Stunner. Instead, he’s shoved into Triple H and they go out of the ring for a 3-way brawl. Chyna throws Mankind into a post and while Ventura breaks it up, Triple H hits Austin in the knee with a chair. When Mankind does the Mandible Claw to Triple H, Chyna grabs him by the leg and pulls him back so Mankind’s crotch collides with the post. Having had enough, Ventura ejects Chyna from ringside.
Since Austin doesn’t want Mankind’s help, Mankind helps Triple H instead until he decides to clothesline him out. Mankind does a senton off the apron and misses. The brawl between the three goes into the crowd and eventually goes back to the ring. Triple H tries to Pedigree Austin, Austin instead Slingshots Triple H into Mankind and then he delivers the Stunner onto Mankind. Triple H uses a chair to break the pin and nails Mankind in the head with the chair. Ventura refuses to make the count, making Triple H fume. When it looks like the two are about to fight, Shane McMahon runs in, argues at Ventura, takes a Stunner from Austin and gets thrown out of the ring as Ventura yells, “That’s for your old man, ya little bastard!”
Austin and Triple H clothesline each other and get back up to meet a Mandible Claw on each of them. Austin kicks him in the nuts, Triple H tries for a Pedigree on Mankind and Austin interrupts it with a clothesline. He slams their heads together, delivers a Stunner on Triple H and Mankind breaks the count. Triple H Pedigrees Austin, Mankind knocks down Triple H, gives Austin the double-armed DDT and pins him. Even I was surprised to see this development and I watched it when it originally aired! Mankind takes the belt and leaves victorious. That leaves Triple H to continually wail on Austin’s knee with a chair to end the show. Great to see the champ as an afterthought. Oh, well. Good match regardless.
Thanks to Bearnt! for uploading the Undertaker telephone segment for me.