Live from Florence/North Charleston, SC

Airdate: May 26/28, 1996

Attendance: 6,000 (4,796 paid) in Florence, 4,500 in North Charleston

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler/Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect

For those unaware, this PPV has a unique story. As you can see, it took place in two locations on two separate nights. How and why did this happen? Well, during the show in Florence on 5/26, lightning from a major electrical storm hit a transformer that killed the PPV feed early into the broadcast. While good-paying customers sat at home watching a blank screen, the PPV didn’t return until there were twenty-five minutes of air time left.

So what happened while the lights were out? Believe it or not, with poor lighting supplied by a low-powered generator, the strap match, casket match, and Vader-Yokozuna all wrestled for the Florence crowd. The main event was cut short and became a source of controversy. More on this later.

How did McMahon fix this issue that wasn’t his fault? As fate would have it, due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a replay of the PPV was scheduled for Tuesday to compensate those who missed it on Sunday. Since the matches in the poor lighting could not be rebroadcast, the WWF reproduced the missing matches in North Charleston live on PPV.

During the Free for All, the Smoking Gunns defeated the newly-crowned WWF tag team champions the Godwinns and reclaimed the gold.

But, before all that happened, on Superstars, Mr. Bob Backlund had Mero in the cross-faced chicken wing then Helmsley gave him the Pedigree. A distressed Sable could only watch in horror as these shenanigans took place.

Prior to the first match, Dok Hendrix interviews Mero. The latter tells Helmsley: “Welcome to the Jungle.” I wonder if he received permission from Guns’n’Roses to use that line.

Match 1: “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) versus Hunter Hearst Helmsley


Rating: ****

Summary: Intriguing finish to a solid match between these guys. I wonder, though, was this enough punishment for Helmsley for the Curtain Call? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow night on RAW.

So before the Caribbean strap match could take place, the power was lost. When it resumed, it was time for the length-shortened main event.

Back in the locker room, Mr. Perfect interviews Jim Cornette who has the Smiths (the couple not the band), Owen (sporting a cast), and Clarence Mason with him. According to Cornette, Owen will be in Smith’s corner tonight.

Outside Michaels’ dressing room, Hendrix interviews the not-so-happy Michaels.

Prior to the next match, Mason, wearing a neck brace, serves Michaels with a summons for “attempted alienation of affection.” Oh, brother. Michaels rips it up much to the delight of the Florence faithful.

Match 2 for the WWF title: The “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (champion w/ Jose Lothario) versus the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Owen Hart & Diana Smith)


Rating: ***

Summary: According to Titan Sinking, Michaels was not too pleased with his match being shortened and acted out unprofessionally. Furthermore, Michaels took his frustration out by berating a sound technician who was in charge of entrance music. Michaels referred to this match as “the worst match of my career.” It had its moments, but felt very flat. Hopefully, at King of the Ring, these two can provide a better performance storyline notwithstanding.

Now let’s watch the matches they reproduced. This portion is also known as Beware of Dog 2.

Match 3 (Caribbean strap): Savio Vega versus Stone Cold Steve Austin (w/ the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase)


Rating: ****

Summary: That rating may seem high; however, the true outcome of this match has yet to be revealed.

After the match, Vega requested the music to be stopped and requested “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” by Steam for DiBiase.

Back in the AOL room, WWF champion Shawn Michaels is griping about the length of his title match chatting with the Kliq.

Prior to the next match, we see Vader’s destruction of Yokozuna from seven weeks ago.

Match 4: Yokozuna versus Vader (w/ Jim Cornette)


Rating: **

Summary: With wins over Razor Ramon and Yokozuna, it would appear that Vader is in the middle of a big push. On another note, if you like big man matches, this match was for you.

Promo for the King of the Ring live on PPV on June 23. Ross notes that Michaels will once again defend the WWF title against Smith. Also, the Smoking Gunns (now managed by Sunny?) will face the Godwinns with their WWF tag team titles at stake. Lastly, the Ultimate Warrior will face Jerry “The King” Lawler.

The bracket for the King of the Ring is shown:

  1. Neither Warrior nor Goldust advanced to the quarterfinals.
  2. Vader beat Ahmed Johnson.
  3. Henry Godwinn will face Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw.
  4. Jake “The Snake” Roberts faces Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
  5. Sparkplug Bob Holly squares off against Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  6. Savio Vega tangles with Marty Jannetty.
  7. Yokozuna wrestles against Owen Hart.
  8. And, Bodydonna Skip faces “Wildman” Marc Mero.

We revisit RAW…wait a minute! I haven’t seen this yet. You’ll get my $.02 in my Monday Night War report.

Match 5 for the WWF Intercontinental title (casket): Goldust (champion w/ Marlena) versus the Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)


Rating: **

Summary: Another table-setting match in a series of them on this show.

After the match, Mankind locks the casket and it begins to smoke. As both Goldust and Mankind return backstage, the casket is opened, and Undertaker is NOT INSIDE! Bearer is beside himself.

Conclusion: Mother Nature can be pretty nasty when she wants to be. She wreaked havoc on this PPV causing it to be split into two shows. Watching it all together was weird due to the main event being near the beginning of the show. On the one hand, a lot of table-setting took place, but on the other hand, the Mero-Helmsley match as well as the Caribbean strap match were both excellent. If you’ve never seen them, please give them a look. If you’ve seen this show before, a second viewing may not be worthwhile.

See you for the Monday Night War week 38!

Buyrate: 0.45

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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