Can Austin win the WWF title? Will the Nation of Domination disband? Read on!
For those that care, Rockabilly defeated Jesse James during the Free for All.
Prior to the opening match, we revisit Shotgun Saturday Night when Chyna interfered in Helmsley’s match against Mankind. In fact, she gave Mankind both a Mike Tyson-style uppercut and a kick reminiscent of Ronaldo. Like Ronaldo’s home country, Brazil, both shots were below the Equator.
Match 1: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Chyna) versus Flash Funk
Although Ross described the Funkettes’ absence as intimidation by Chyna, it’s merely a cost-cutting measure by the WWF. Bye, Tracy and Nadine.
After a leap frog by Helmsley, Funk hip-tossed and dropkicked him.
Ross then mentioned that the Hart Foundation purchased five front-row seats from a scalper. No, folks, StubHub wasn’t around back then to inflate ticket prices.
Regardless, Funk dropkicked Helmsley over the top rope to the floor.
He then leaped to the second turnbuckle and hit a lariat to Helmsley on the floor.
On the floor, Helmsley grabbed referee Jim Korderas so that Chyna could WAFFLE Funk from behind.
Methinks she didn’t get it from there, but now I’m hungry.
Nonetheless, Helmsley delivered a facebuster followed by a high knee.
While Funk was near the ropes, Helmsley distracted Korderas again so that Chyna could nail Funk a second time. How dastardly!
Helmsley then hooked a vertical suplex and followed with a knee drop for 2.
After another high knee, Helmsley put a knee into Funk’s back sending him face-first to the floor. OUCH!
Helmsley then mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate boot.
After a cross corner whip, Funk gave Helmsley a back drop.
He then clotheslined Helmsley, hit a corkscrew leg drop, and got 2.
Next, Funk mounted the top turnbuckle, hit a cross body block, but didn’t cover Helmsley.
He then gave Helmsley another cross corner whip which resulted in a Helmsley flip.
After a spinning heel kick, Funk mounted the top turnbuckle, but Helmsley crotched him.
Helmsley then joined and delivered a modified belly-to-back superplex.
To finish off Funk, Helmsley hit the Pedigree.
Summary: While Helmsley may know how to map out a match, he still has ZERO heat.
After the match, Chyna holds Funk overhead, walks over to the ropes, and crotches him on the top one. YEE-OUCH! According to Meltzer, Funk was none too happy about his position on this show.
A video featuring Ken Shamrock airs. Afterward, Ross interviews him. We then revisit the Free for All when Mankind and Vader attacked him in the locker room.
Prior to the next match, we revisit the FIREBALL from 3/31. Following that, we revisit the second fireball from IYH XIV. Now, I’m thirsty. Pour me a shot!
Backstage, Todd Pettengill interviews Rocky Maivia. During the interview, we revisit Survivor Series ’96 when Maivia made his WWF debut. Did success come too soon? Yes, but success has followed him ever since.
Match 2: Mankind (w/o Paul Bearer) versus Rocky Maivia
According to Ross, Maivia got married last week. Unfortunately, his marriage to Dany Garcia only lasted a decade.
After a back drop, Maivia delivered a dropkick.
He then clotheslined Mankind over the top rope to the floor.
As Mankind dragged him to the floor with him, he rammed Maivia face-first into the apron.
Maivia then reversed an Irish whip and hit a powerslam.
When Mankind dumped Maivia outside the ring, he delivered a somersault senton.
He then gave Maivia a knee to the face in the corner.
With Maivia still in the corner, Mankind charged but came up empty.
A double clothesline then put both wrestlers down on the mat.
Next, Maivia gave Mankind a snap mare over the top rope to the floor.
He then joined and delivered a uranage on the steel ramp. OUCH!
Back in the ring, Maivia got 2.
He then gave Mankind a cross corner whip, but Mankind collapsed to the mat.
Afterward, he delivered a belly-to-belly suplex for another 2.
Mankind came back with a discus clothesline.
When Mankind attempted a slam, Maivia countered with an inside cradle for 2.
As Maivia clotheslined Mankind from behind, he delivered a shoulder breaker.
He then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a cross body block.
However, Mankind rolled through and applied the Mandible claw.
Summary: Maivia’s days as a babyface are numbered. This match marks their first (of many) televised encounters. Unfortunately, it stunk on Melba toast.
We then revisit RAW is WAR from last week when Johnson spoiled Crush’s gauntlet series.
Backstage, Pettengill interviews Johnson who uses the word “brung” twice. Remind me not to recommend schools near Pearl River, MS.
Match 3 (gauntlet): Ahmed Johnson versus Crush (w/ the Nation of Domination)
Before the match began, WWF President Gorilla Monsoon ejected the NoD from ringside.
Johnson gave Crush a scissors kick and slammed him.
As Johnson missed an elbow drop, Crush hit a superkick.
He then slammed Johnson, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit a clothesline for 2.
Next, he gave Johnson a vertical suplex for another 2.
Johnson came back with a front suplex for 2.
When Crush reversed an Irish whip, he hooked a sleeper.
Johnson escaped but ate a knee to the midsection.
Meanwhile, with the NoD at the entrance, Crush waved them forward.
The NoD didn’t oblige, but Johnson rolled up Crush for 2.
After a piledriver, Crush signaled for the NoD again to no avail.
Crush then attempted the heart punch, but Johnson countered with a spinning heel kick.
Match 4 (gauntlet): Ahmed Johnson versus Savio Vega
As Vega entered the ring, Johnson delivered a back drop for 2.
He then gave Vega a pair of clotheslines, but Vega reversed a cross corner whip and delivered a spinning heel kick.
Shortly after, Johnson delivered a hip toss, mounted the second turnbuckle, but missed a diving head butt.
Vega then reversed a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
After Johnson hit a belly-to-back suplex, he got 2.
He then hit a powerslam for another 2.
When Vega sought refuge outside the ring, Johnson followed but ate a thrust kick.
Vega then grabbed a steel chair and hammered Johnson with it.
Without hesitation, referee Mike Chioda called for the bell disqualifying Vega.
After the match, Vega continues to pummel Johnson with the chair.
Match 5 (gauntlet): Ahmed Johnson versus Faarooq
Faarooq removed the sling to reveal that his shoulder had healed.
When Johnson hooked an inside cradle, he got 2.
He then gave Faarooq a spinebuster causing Faarooq to quiver.
Upon hitting the Pearl River Plunge, Johnson couldn’t capitalize immediately. Ultimately, he got 2 to a series of boos.
Faarooq then gave Johnson a chop block followed by a Dominator.
Summary: Horrible series of matches that served no purpose since Johnson failed.
We then revisit RAW is WAR from last week when Vader and Shamrock brawled.
Backstage, Pettengill interviews Vader. We then see the Mankind attack of Shamrock again.
Match 6: Vader versus Ken Shamrock
Victory can only be attained through submission or knockout.
After Shamrock took him down, Vader sought refuge outside the ring.
Believe it or not, Ross shilled the UFC PPV on 5/30. Former WWF wrestler Tony Halme (a.k.a Ludvig Borga) lost in the heavyweight tournament.
Upon Vader’s return, Shamrock delivered a belly-to-back suplex.
Lawler brought up the subject of the father of Shamrock’s claim that Ken should have been born during gladiator times. Ross then asked Lawler if he liked gladiator movies. HA!
Meanwhile, Shamrock countered a hip toss into an ankle lock, but Vader escaped.
He then gave Shamrock a short-arm clothesline as the Richmond faithful chanted “Sham-rock.”
Next, Vader suplexed Shamrock to the floor drawing some “oohs” from the Richmond faithful.
Vader then joined and rammed Shamrock face-first into the steps twice.
According to Ross, Vader’s nose was BUSTED OPEN. In fact, it was broken.
Back in the ring, Vader gave Shamrock a HARD cross corner whip injuring the back.
He then applied an ankle lock, but Shamrock escaped.
As Vader gave Shamrock another cross corner whip, he followed with an avalanche.
He then slammed Shamrock, mounted the top rope, but missed the moonsault.
After a powerslam, Shamrock hooked an ankle lock, but Vader made the ropes.
He then hooked a single leg crab, but Vader made the ropes again.
As Shamrock laid in some stiff shots, Vader DECIMATED him with a right hand. That was NOT worked whatsoever. Wow!
When Vader got too close, Shamrock hooked the ankle lock, and Vader submitted.
Summary: As a wrestling match, this was G-A-R-B-A-G-E. As a fight, it was stiff as can be. Your mileage may vary on the rating. Seriously, if Shamrock wants to be professional wrestler, he will need more training. Vader was legitimately injured.
Backstage, Pettengill interviews Austin. We then revisit RAW is WAR from two weeks ago when Austin hit the Stunner on Undertaker but ate a chokeslam as well.
Match 7 for the WWF title: Undertaker (champion) versus Stone Cold Steve Austin
As Austin and Undertaker went face-to-face, the Hart Foundation came to ringside.
Before the Undertaker could remove his jacket and belt, Austin ambushed him.
Undertaker came back, but Austin exited the ring to bring Owen over the steel railing.
After Austin nailed Owen, Undertaker joined and rammed Austin into the steps.
Undertaker then sent Owen back into the front row and clobbered Smith.
Back in the ring, Undertaker hit a flying clothesline for 2.
He then gave Austin the ropewalk shoulder smash for another 2.
Shortly after, Austin rammed Undertaker’s left leg into the ring post and flipped off the Hart Foundation. They’re #1 in his eyes.
As Austin argued with referee Earl Hebner, Undertaker made Austin HIT THE POLE.
Shortly after, Austin hooked an STF, but Undertaker made the ropes.
Austin continued to work on the leg until Undertaker booted him over the top rope to the floor.
When Undertaker joined him outside the ring, he rammed Austin into the steps again.
Undertaker then worked on Austin’s left knee and hooked a single-leg crab.
Shortly after, Austin hit a vertical suplex for 2.
Undertaker then hit a leg lariat, attempted another ropewalk shoulder smash, but Austin crotched him. OUCH!
As Austin joined him on the top turnbuckle, Undertaker countered a superplex with a front suplex.
He then missed an elbow drop as Austin got 2.
When Undertaker reversed an Irish whip, he hooked a sleeper.
On the other hand, Austin countered with a jawbreaker.
Undertaker then intimidated Hebner, turned around, and Austin punted him down near Emporia.
After Hebner admonished Austin, he turned around, and Austin flipped him off to a raucous ovation.
Undertaker then returned the favor by giving Austin a one-way trip down to South Hill. Neither man was singing baritone that evening.
When Austin complained, Hebner flipped HIM off. HA!
Undertaker then delivered a chokeslam, but Austin escaped to the apron.
As Undertaker approached him, Austin guillotined him using the top rope.
Austin then hit the Stone Cold Stunner.
Suddenly, the bell rang as Pillman had left his seat to perform the nefarious act.
Pillman screwed Austin!
Nevertheless, Undertaker sat up, reversed an Irish whip, and set up for the tombstone.
However, Austin reversed it only for Undertaker to reverse it again.
Undertaker then PLANTED Austin like a watermelon in springtime.
Summary: Decent main event with good psychology. Regrettably, it wasn’t Austin’s time to win the title.
After the match, the Hart Foundation hits the ring to ambush Undertaker. With Bret alone in the front row, Austin notices him. He then spills Bret out of the wheelchair, grabs a crutch, and storms the ring to chase off the Hart Foundation. Next, Undertaker chokeslams Owen as Neidhart assists Bret back to the locker room.
After ring announcer Howard Finkel announces Undertaker as the winner, Austin delivers the Stone Cold Stunner to the WWF champion and flips him off. He then saunters after the Hart Foundation with crutch in hand.
Conclusion: Except for the main event, the previous matches were nothing more than RAW fodder. The lower and midcard matches were abysmal at best. The only purpose of this show was to continue the Austin-Hart Foundation feud while giving Austin a PPV title shot. Unless you are a die-hard Undertaker fan or need each step of the Austin-Hart storyline engrained in your head, I would certainly avoid this show.