Archive for the ‘1997’ Category

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Free For All Match
La Parkita & Max Mini vs. Mini Vader & Mini Mankind

Mini wrestlers from Mexico come to the WWF as a special attraction and a future division within it’s ranks. If you’re a fan of Mexican Lucha Libre then you’ll find it in your heart to take love this match. Max Mini rolls Mini Vader for the W.
Grade: DUD (A+ for entertainment)

 

1. WWF Intercontinental Championship
Hunter Hearst Helmsley (c) vs. Goldust w/Marlena

Not much of a wrestling match but a pretty good brawl. Both were in a heated feud at the time which made it more interesting and watchable.
Grade: B-

 

2. Farooq vs. Ahmed Johnson

Farooq was in the early stages of  leading the infamous pro black group stable, The Nation of Domination, and it’s first target was fellow black wrestler Ahmed Johnson. This was a very good feud with a lot of build up but compiled some of the worst matches you could ever lay eyes one. That says it all.
Grade: F

 

3. The Undertaker vs. Vader

Taker finally divorced from Paul Bearer and was on a solo journey to superstardom. Vader after having a monstrous 1996 was lost in the shuffle already beginning in 1997. This match was better than most would expect and a rare good big man match at the time.
Grade: C+

 

4. Heavy Metal, Jerry Estrada & Fuerza Guerrera vs. Hector Garza, El Canek & Perry Aguayo

This was a showcase from the Mexican promotion AAA. They’re some of the top luchadors from the country and known for their longevity in their respective careers. If you’re an admirer of lucha libre then you’ll be entertained with this match. Otherwise you’ll find it very spot fested and a bit sloppy.
Grade: C

 

5. Royal Rumble Match
Participants: Crush, Ahmed Johnson, Fake Razor Ramon, Phineas Godwinn, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bart Gunn, Jake The Snake Roberts, The British Bulldog, Pierroth, The Sultan, Mil Mascaras, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Owen Hart, Goldust, Cibernetico, Marc Mero, Latin Lover, Farooq, Savio Vega, Jesse James, Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, Fake Diesel, Terry Funk, Rocky Maivia, Mankind, Flash Funk, Vader, Henry Godwinn & The Undertaker.

Another fun rumble where a lot of guests from Mexico and legends were participating. Also Steve Austin’s meteoric rise was highlighted with pure dominance in this rumble and his heated feud with Bret Hart wrote another chapter in their history book. This is one of the first rumbles where actual feuds weighed on the outcome of eliminations.
Grade: B-

 

6. WWF Championship
Psycho Sid (c) vs. Shawn Michaels

Unless you’re a Shawn Michaels fan, you’re not gonna enjoy this match at all as Sid’s terrible wrestling is exposed and HBK’s performance wasn’t top notch either despite him being in his hometown of San Antonio. They had a good buildup to their matches with the exception of one match, all of them were mediocre at best.
Grade: C

 

Final Thoughts:

Another average to stinky depending on how you see it. The rumble served it’s purpose but as usual the rest of the card lacked any significance other than storyline chapters. I don’t recommend this show at all unless you want to watch all the rumbles for nostalgia leading up to the current year’s edition.

Verdict: 6/10

 

1. Steel Cage Match
Hunert Hearst-Helmsley vs. Mankind

This feud started off at the King of the Ring where both men as finalists clashed. Helmsley the winner of the tournament received his crown and destroyed it on Mankind’s face. The had been brawling ever since leading off to this match. For years and years, the Cage match is utilized as a climatic final battle to end a feud. Some men made their careers off of it and are remembered till this day while some never became the same again afterwards. This match defined that concept. It was wild & brutal to say the least and it was so fun to watch, especially with Mankind transitioning personalities throughout the match.
Grade: B

 

2. Goldust vs. Brian Pillman

The stipulation here is that if Pillman loses, he has to wear a dress and if Goldust loses, Marlena will go to Pillman for 30 days. Not a very good match and it’s a shame. Pillman had an automobile accident a year before and was almost paralyzed. His high-flying style was forever gone and he adapted a more brawling style. Also his demons were getting a hold of him and unfortunately it cost him his life 2 months later.
Grade: D

 

3. The Legion of Doom vs. The Godwinns

Not a bad match but not that amazing. I can’t even define on how to grade this one. Henry’s neck injury was played during the match and received a sick piledriver to further the damage.
Grade: C-

 

4. European Championship
The British Bulldog (c) vs. Ken Shamrock

If Bulldog loses, he has to eat dog food….really? Anyways, this match was quite fun to watch. Shamrock who is a UFC champion and King of Pancrase in the world of mixed martial arts has made his path in the WWF. There were a lot of basic maneuvers into it but quite acceptable as Shamrock was seen as a legit badass with a great submission wrestling background. Bulldog took this match like a pro and  pulled some good powerful shots that Shamrock took well.
Grade: C+

 

5. Los Boricuas vs. DOA (Disciples of Apocalypse)

Ahhh the Gang Warz in WWF, the memories! It all starts with the Nation of Domination led by Farooq and seconded by Crush and Savio Vega. Eventually they both get tired of Farooq and his focus on racism and leave. Crush founded the biker gang  DOA with Chainz and twins Skull & 8-Ball. Savio in return went back home to Puerto Rico and brought his friends Miguel, Jesus and Jose with him and they called themselves Los Boricuas. The match is less than impressive but it’s worth watching over the interference of Farooq and his Nation (D-Lo Brown, Kama Mustafa & Ahmed Johnson).
Grade: D

 

6. Intercontinental Championship
Owen Hart (c) vs. Steve Austin

If Austin loses, he would have to kiss Owen’s ass. This match was really really good. Filled with great wrestling and crowd interaction. Owen doing the usual cocky heel shenanigans never ceases to impress. This was also the infamous moment where Owen landed the inverted Piledriver on Austin’s head that would permanently damage his neck and shorten his career. Really scary moment as the man was helpless trying to continue the match. The outcome is obvious as it is still talked to this day as one of the scariest moments in the WWF encouraging people to not try any of this at home.
Grade: B

 

7. WWF Championship
The Undertaker (c) vs. Bret Hart (Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels)

Yet another stipulation for a Hart member and it’s that if Bret did not win the WWF title, he’ll never wrestle in America again. Also that if HBK favored the Undertaker in any fashion, then he’s banished from wrestling in America. With that out of the way, they had a good match but not the best they’ve ever had that’s for sure. The main attraction to all of this is the stipulations added to the match along with the story that came along with it. Bret was on a crusade to boycott America as he felt betrayed by them by favoring people like Austin and Michaels who don’t know any values. This made Bret reunited with this family and form a Hart Foundation stable becoming a pro Canadian team. After being loved and cheered for almost 10 years, Bret became the most hated superstar overnight that made the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff look like child’s play. Really good stuff here.
Grade: B

In conclusion, this was a very solid show from beginning to end. This was better than the previous year’s event over the fact that there was hope for the WWF to actually overcome a humongous war with WCW at the time. They transitioned from a family oriented show to a more darker and adult themed spectacle. Thus focusing more on the in-ring competition along with edgier angles.

Verdict: 8/10