Thursday, August 13, 2015

WWF Summerslam 1996

This isn't off the Network, but I had it on my back-up drive, so...

1996 was the year WCW struck gold with the nWo gimmick that would dominate the rest of their existence for better or worse. 1996 was also a pretty miserable year for the WWF, as nobody seemed to give a shit about HBK and his boyhood dream story.

Steve Austin pinned Yokozuna after Yoko fell off the top rope due to one of the Turnbuckles snapping off. This was part of the pre-show and not the actual PPV event, but I guess it's worth mentioning to point out that despite claims to the contrary, Austin's run didn't exactly become hot stuff after that one promo he cut at King Of The Ring. He didn't get a title shot, he wasn't even booked on the PPV itself. It was only when he started feuding with Bret Hart that he started to gain momentum and... well...

Owen Hart defeated Savio Vega with a arm cast shot and a Sharpshooter. Started off a little lame, but got better as time went on. Nothing special, really, but this wasn't too bad.

Tag-Team Champions the Smoking Gunns (Bart and Billy) defeated the New Rockers (Marty Janetty and Al Snow), the Bodydonnas (Skip and Flip or whatever), and the Godwinns when Bart pinned Phineas to retain the tag titles. This was a thing that happened... it was a VERY long thing that happened... TOO LONG for that thing to happened... I almost fell asleep watching this. Tag-Team wrestling has rarely been a strong point in WWF or WWE, but this match had to be an example of the division's sorry state for the time. Gimmicks galore or something.

Sycho Sid defeated British Bulldog with a sick-looking powerbomb that has to be seen to be believed. Holy shit, did that look scary (in a good way, for once.) Typical power stuff from two big guys. Take it or leave it. But man, that powerbomb... WOW.

Goldust defeated "Wildman" Marc Mero. High point for the match was Mero pulling off what looks like a Shooting Star Press (flippy looking aerial move - see any Kidman match) and only getting two. Other than that... meh.

Jerry Lawler defeated Jake "The Snake" Roberts in a match that involved bottles of Jim Bean and a couple other beverages. This was aggravating to watch whether you knew about Jake's "personal demons" or not. I'm just... WOW.

Mankind defeated Undertaker in a Boiler Room Brawl. Boiler Room Brawl involves two guys fighting in a boiler room and the winner is the one who makes it to the ring. This is the match where Paul Bearer turns on Undertaker (the first time), smacking him with the Urn and allowing Mankind to win the match. This is a little slow-paced for my liking and probably not something I'd revisit any time soon, but it did plant the seeds for the Taker/Bearer feud that would eventually culminate in... well, you know.

The main event match between WWF Champion and Vader (with Jim Cornette) is a bit of a clusterfuck. See if you can follow.

After roughly ten minutes of action, both guys are outside and Vader beats the poo out of Shawn. Vader makes it back to the ring in time and wins via countout. BUT WAIT, for Corny is crying foul and thus the match is restarted. So after a few more minutes of action, Shawn grabs Corny's trademark tennis racket and whacks Vader with it, thus getting himself disqualified. BUT WAIT, for Corny is crying foul once again and thus the match continues. And then finally, after a few more minutes, Shawn bodypresses Vader for the pin and retains the title.

The story goes that Vader was suppose to win the match, but Shawn started to whine and thus the finish was changed to what we got. People praise this match like it's a fondly remembered classic or something, but other than Shawn bouncing around like a rubber ball, I wasn't really into this one. It was alright, I guess, but I'm just not a fan of this one for some reason.

Yeah, this Summerslam was a bit of a dud. I probably should have skipped straight to the last two matches, but even those didn't stick with me as much I thought it would. It seems rather sad when the only highlight of the show for me was a pretty sick looking powerbomb from Sid.

Oh well.

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