The Netcop Rant for WWF Backlash.
– As a guide, I’m watching this on tape instead of live, and sober
instead of drunk. I know there are those of you who like to keep track
of these things when reviewing my reviews…
– Live from Providence, Rhode Island.
– Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
– Opening match: The Brood v. The Acolytes & Mideon. Christian and
Mideon have a bizarre staredown to start. Crowd seems less than
enthused by this one. Brood tries to double-team Bradshaw, but he
no-sells. Christian ends up playing Ricky Morton as the match drags on.
Hot ending as the Brood runs through their stuff on Bradshaw, with
Christian getting a two count off a swinging DDT, but the 10 punch count
gets reversed into a NASTY powerbomb for two. Christian and Edge do a
double-team pescade on Faarooq outside the ring, but Viscera waddles
down and squishes Christian, allowing Bradshaw to clothesline his head
off for the pin. Didn’t see all of it due to getting dinner, but it
– Hardcore title: Bob Holly v. Al Snow. Pretty standard hardcore
match, with the in-ring sequence lasting a couple of minutes (and an Al
Snow bladejob) before they fight to the parking lot and hit each other
on trucks and the dumpster. Hey, garbage wrestling. Cute spot as they
fight into the audio truck, and Holly takes a fall onto a waiting car.
Snow finds some conveniently placed frying pans and uses them for a two
count as we head back to the ring. Snow puts Holly on the TABLE OF
DEATH, but gets clocked with a frying pan. Holly superplexes him onto
the table. Nice spot. They lay around for a while, and Snow manages to
grab the Head and whack Holly with it for the pin. Man, that thing must
have a brick molded into it or something. I think I need a new rating
system for garbage matches — the star system doesn’t seem to work well
anymore. At any rate, this was subpar crap (as opposed to the
entertaining variety) so we’ll go **
– Intercontinental title match: The Godfather v. Goldust. Meanie
debuts his Sable-riffing bit on PPV. Godfather comes out alone, drawing
boos. So he brings out five hos and gets the face pop. Boring but not
terrible match, until Goldust does the powder routine from the hosue
show circuit, where he gets powder in the face and delivers the
Shattered Dreams to Meanie. Godfather uses the Ho Train and Pimp Drop
to finish it. Eh. Been there, done that. *
– #1 Contender’s match: The New Age Outlaws v. Jeff Jarrett & Owen
Hart. May I just say about Debra’s outfit: Hominahominahomina. Is she
just saving these “bikini and jacket outfits” for PPV or something?
Jarrett gets major heel heat by covering up Debra. The bad thing about
goig to a house show just before a PPV is that the guys basically just
run through the same match. Crowd gets an enthusiastic “Show Your
Puppies” chant going for Debra. The heels can’t get anything going
until a pier-six situation allows Owen to hit an enzuigiri and get the
advantage on Roaddog. JR posits that the crowd are dog-lovers. Owen
and Jarrett do the old-school “distract the ref and beat on the face”
bit to good heat a few times. Crowd keeps chanting for the puppies.
You know, one of these days Vince HAS to let us see them. Ross to
Lawler: “Do you have a breast fetish?” Gunn gets the hot tag and we do
simultaneous 10 punch counts. RD tries to solicit Debra’s attention,
and then hits a pumphandle slam for two. More brawling, and Owen gets
the Sharpshooter on Jammes, but Gunn hits the Rocker Dropper on Owen
while in the hold and gets the pin. Good ending. ***
– Shane runs down his father, then Vince and Stephanie retort.
– Boiler Room Brawl: Paul Wight v. Mankind. Winner escapes the boiler
room first. I assume this is pre-taped. Mick breaks a few sheets of
drywall over Wight’s head, so Wight stuffs him in a shopping cart and
rams him into some stuff. Some candy glass gets broken and both guys
blade. Mick is absolutely bumping for six here. Mick cracks open a
valve and Wight gets steam in the face. Mick dumps a pile of pipes on
Wight and crawls out the door, leaving a literal trail of blood.
Bossman and Test attack and get chased off by Wight. Can’t really rate
it — it was just brawling. It was okay.
– HHH v. X-Pac. Chyna is wearing the LOD Memorial Bra, complete with
steel studs. HHH has new music, too, generic rock stuff. HHH hammers
on X-Pac in the early going, and dumps him over the top rope in a good
bump from X-Pac. He gets the advantage back in the ring and goes for
the Broncobuster, but Chyna distracts him long enough to miss the move.
The announcers sell a neck injury for X-Pac as HHH wallops him. Man,
HHH hasn’t used the knee yet. And he’s being quite the dick here,
working the neck. You know the biggest tragedy about HHH’s heel turn?
He’s let his hair go to shit. He used to be a lousy wrestler who at
least had good hair, but now he doesn’t even have the hair. Good
psychology here from HHH, as Ross gets so concerned about X-Pac’s
continued well-being that he offers to ring the bell and stop it
himself. That’s why Ross is 10x better than Michael Cole. X-Pac makes
the comeback with the heel kicks and a swinging DDT. Chyna distracts
the ref, but it backfires as it allows X-Pac a low blow. They end up on
the floor and HHH hits the steps. Ref gets bumped on the floor on a
baseball slide. CUE THE OVERBOOKING! X-Pac gets the Carpetmuncher, but
Chyna lowblows him and hits an inverted DDT. Nice one, too. Lights
out, here comes Kane. JR gets to say “hellfire and brimstone”.
Chokeslam for Hunter. Chokeslam for Chyna. JR approves. Kane sets up
Chyna and HHH in a corner each, allowing X-Pac to hit the Broncobuster
on HHH to a big pop, and on Chyna to a bigger one. It’s all for naught,
however, as the second Broncobuster allows HHH to deck him from behind
and hit the Pedigree for the pin. He had to win folks, because he’s
going Main Eventer pretty soon. Best HHH match in a while. ****
– Ken Shamrock v. The Undertaker. I really hate that new mix for the
Undertaker’s music. The one on WWF the Music 3 is the best. And the
new outfit screams “S&M fetishist”. Undertaker controls early, but
Shamrock gets an opening and kicks away to the leg of UT. UT comes
back, but Shamrock gets going to the leg. This is, again, just like the
house show match from last week. This is an interesting attempt to
elevate Ken to the next level, I’ll give the angle that. Crowd loses
patience with this one fast. These guys are just not compatible
workers. Shamrock gets the Fujiwara armbar and the crowd breaks into a
big “boring” chant. Without Bret and Shawn to carry him, it’s becoming
apparent that Undertaker has outlived his usefulness as a wrestler. He
has the unmitigated gall to work in a bow-and-arrow. When has UT EVER
used that move? Nice move as UT legdrops Shamrock and Ken grabs the leg
and rolls into a submission move. UT reverses to a half-crab.
Undertaker: Submission fighter? UT is selling the leg injury well.
Bad looking pin as UT has a clear pin after a big foot but Ken forgets
to lift his shoulder at two. Hebner stops anyway. Ken hits the rana
and anklelock, but UT kicks out quickly. UT tries the tombstone, but
Ken gets the anklelock again. Bradshaw comes down with a baseball bat,
but Ken knocks him off and hooks an armbar. Now Bearer is up on the
apron, which is enough for UT to get a cheap win with the tombstone. UT
got seriously devalued here. ** Bradshaw delivers a Texas ass-whooping
for fun. Crowd has no reaction to any of it.
– WWF World title match: Steve Austin v. The Rock. Shane is of course
the guest ref. On Heat, it was announced that this is No Holds Barred
and if Austin touches Shane, he’s DQ’d and the Rock wins the title.
Quite the face pop for the Rock. We do a couple of minutes of wrestling
and then the brawl starts, as they had to the entranceway. Austin gets
put through the fence set up by the entrance. Austin reciprocates on
the Rock in kind, then drops a metal case on his head for good measure.
Rock get tossed through a pile of railings and Austin clotheslines him
off a pile of cases. See, Herb, Rock is taking bumps. Austin batters
the Rock some more and drags him to the ring. Rock takes a MAN-SIZED
bump, charging Austin but flying over the top. On cue, the Spanish
table gets destroyed by the Rock Bottom. Shane stops Austin from using
a chair, and Rock tosses him over the railing. Rock puts Austin onto
the announce table and steals a camera and does some camerawork,
shooting the crowd. Then, in a spectucular visual, he turns around to
see Austin giving him the double-bird and Stunner on the table. That
was just a magnificent bit. Back in the ring and Austin goes for the
Stunner, but Rock pushes him into Shane. Rock hits Rock Bottom and gets
two (with help from Shane). That didn’t work, so Shane grabs the WWF
title and charges, but hits Rock by mistake. Shane refuses to count and
runs. Except of course, that Vince is here with Earl Hebner and the
Stone Cold belt. Vince wallops Shane with the belt, and Rock hits
Austin with the other belt and gets a two count from Hebner. Austin is
up with the Stunner, and he hits Rock with the title for good measure
and gets the pin. Another great Rock-Austin brawl. **** Vince tosses
the skull belt to Austin and walks off. End of…oh, wait.
– In the back, Stephanie gets kidnapped by Undertaker: Limo Driver for
Hire. That’s not gonna lead to anything good, I can just bet.
– Back to the ring as Austin downs some frosty beverages (sources say
it’s actually Sprite, not beer), end of show.
The Bottom Line: Well, I was expecting nothing coming in, and although
it delivered two **** matches and nothing in the way of total crap, it
didn’t really leave me feeling terribly excited one way or another. So
thumbs in the middle this time out.