Thursday, February 14, 2019

WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre (Feb. 1999)

Consider this a bonus musings. A timely one, if you will.

So twenty years, in the midsts of the Attitude Era, the Monday Night Wars, and the never-ending Austin Vs. McMahon feud, the World Wrestling Federation held their February PPV offering on Valentine's Day. The main event is a Steel Cage match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. Vincent Kennedy Mac-Kuh-Man-Hun. This show was surprisingly outdrawn by the competing WCW Superbrawl show, featuring a match between Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan in what may be WCW's last good performing show in... ever.

It's been twenty years and I wanted to give this show a look.

Goldust defeated The Blue Meanie, who is dressed up as Goldust, but in blue and calls himself Bluedust. At the time I thought the whole Bluedust thing was stupid and didn't know at the time that this was a take on what Meanie did with Stevie Richards back in ECW when they came out as different characters before settling on the bWo, but even with that in mind, this was one thing that didn't need to come back to mind any time soon and that's not a good thing. It's also a stark reminder that, for all the praise that the Attitude Era tends to get, a lot of this stuff doesn't hold up over time. And then there's stuff like Bluedust that was never good and only gets worse with age.

Bob Holly defeated Al Snow in a Hardcore match that broke out of the arena, into the woods and eventually the Mississippi river, and eventually ended with Holly wrapping poor Al in some loosing fencing for the pinfall to win the vacant Hardcore championship, previously held by former tag champ and future ruiner of WWE Creative Road Dogg, who suffered an injury of some sort that I don't recall. There's a lot of walking between action bits and it's not as crazy as future hardcore matches of the day would be, but I liked this one for some reason. Perhaps it was the spilling out of the arena and into the river that made me chuckle and appreciate the way they pushed the Falls Count Anywhere aspect by having it done outdoors in the middle of the woods. It was creative, if nothing else, and I appreciate that.

Big Bossman defeated Mideon in a terrible match... next. Once upon a time, there were two factions. The Corporation headed by Vince McMahon and the Ministry of Darkness headed by Undertaker. And then they joined forces and swerved everyone with a memorable reveal that made absolutely no sense because it was fundamentally stupid and illogical. Then I remember who was writing this stuff and it made perfect sense. But yeah, the match sucked everyone. Enough said.

WWF Tag-Team Champions Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett defeated D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry in a dull clustermuck of a match to retain the tag team titles. The only noteworthy aspect about this match was that it was the debut of Ivory - the former Tina Ferrari from GLOW - a lady that somehow looks better as she ages. Other than that... man, Valentine's Day must suck for the suckers who got this show as a gift.

Val Venis defeated Intercontinental champion Ken Shamrock via small package and fast count administered by special referee and future AEW producer Billy Gunn to win the title. The story is that Val Venis was doing Ken Shamrock's (fake) sister and he's supposed to be the hero here. Apparently, things get weirder when Shamrock and his (fake) sister would start dating and... that's something I heard if that was true... then I honestly don't know why Vince didn't jump on that incest gimmick sooner. On a side note, Ken was also really sick during this match and that's why it wasn't as good as it could've been. Even without those tidbits, this was okay and tolerable.

Kane and Chyna (who had joined the Corporation or the "Corporate Team" as dumb fuck Michael Cole insists on calling it) defeated HHH and X-Pac in a solid tag match that meant nothing a month later when HHH turned on X-Pac because Vinny Ru loves his swerves.

The Last Man Standing Match between WWF Champion MANKIND and THE ROCK where it was announced that THERE MUST BE A WINNER... ended in a draw when both guys knocked each other out with chairs and were unable to stand. The crowd respond to this wonderful swerve by loudly chanting BULLSHIT. All the stuff before the finish was fine; a somewhat tamer version of their Royal Rumble match. Rock would beat Mick for the title the next night on RAW.

Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Mr. Vincent Kennedy Mac-Mahon in a Steel Cage Match to earn himself a main event WWF Championship match at Wrestlemania 15. Main event cage match saw the return of the Blue Bar Cage which has been painted black because THIS IS ATTITUDE, BABY! Vince stalls in the cage and goads Austin to come in, but Austin fakes a knee injury to bring out Vince. Vince takes the bait and a one-sided brawl takes place with Vince climbing and then falling off the cage and into the announce table below in a pretty sick visual. Poor fucker was in his fifties and took a bump like that. Unbelievably insane.

The crew tries to stretcher Vince out and award Austin the match via forfeit, but Austin says that's bullshit and proceeds to drag Vince back into the cage so that the match could officially begin and no we have the most one-sided brawl the likes of which you've never seen before in your whole entire life. This should've been the saddest thing to watch - seeing the biggest star of the company beat on a defenseless businessman - but this was Austin taking out all his frustrations on Vince with the most one-sided massacre ever and whenever Austin would attempt to walk out, Vince would flip him off, continuing the beating. It was satisfying and entertaining to anyone who wanted to see Vince get his.

And just as Stone Cold is calling for the Stunner to add that finishing touch, coming out of the ring through the floor is Paul Wight, the former Giant from WCW making his WWF debut in grand fashion by manhandling Austin for a bit before he tosses Austin into one of the cage walls. Said cage walls breaks open, Austin drops to the floor, wins the match, and a bloodied Vince looks like he soiled himself... again. This was fun, fun stuff.

For the time, this was the stopgap show between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania XV. There are a lot of nothing matches in the undercard that would quickly be forgotten - I never even knew Val Venis had won the Intercontinental championship - but it all built up to the main event, which was so great and so satisfying that it made sitting through all the earlier garbage worth it. The journey can be miserable if the ending and the payoff is good and this show is a good example of that.

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