Wednesday, March 16, 2022

WWF Fully Loaded 1999

It's 3:16 Day... allegedly. And so to celebrate the occasion, we're looking at an old WWF PPV from 1999. Today's offering is Fully Loaded '99, featuring the main event of reigning WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin defending his title against the Undertaker in a First Blood match, wherein the Austin/McMahon rivalry comes to an end... allegedly.

Okay, I'm excited. Not really, but let's check this shit out, bro.

Jeff Jarrett defeated Intercontinental champion Edge with interference from Gangrel to win the title for the fifth time - at the time a new record or something. Okay, so the night prior at a Toronto house show, Edge beat Jarrett for his first IC title. I don't recall the peculiars, but Edge won his first title at a house show close to home, which irks me that a little over two decades later, the hometown guy loses in their hometown because HEAT. Sadly, Edge's first reign with a belt ends a day later and Jarrett wins it back due to shenanigans. A perfectly acceptable wrestling match between young hot guy and slightly less young lukewarm veteran, who then gets his ass kicked by Steve Austin and that's the closest ol' Double J is gonna get to having a program with Stone Cold.

The Acolytes (Faaroooooooqqqqqqqqq & Bradshaw) defeated WWF Tag-Team champions the Hardy Boyz and Michael P.S. Hayes via a double power-bomb on Hayes to win the titles. I had forgotten that ol' Doc Hendrix was associated with the Hardyz once upon a time, but there you go. The crowd were really into these Hardy boys... er, I mean, BOYZZZZ. Looks like they have a bright future ahead of them. Bit of a clash between the brawlers and the speedy high fliers who take a billion crazy bumps, but this was fun stuff.

D'Lo Brown defeated European champion Mideon to win the title. For a bit of context, Shane McMahon was European champion and retired the title... then Mideon pulled it out of a bag and called himself European champion with Shane's blessing. D'Lo, being a prolific European champion, took offense to this and thus we have this match, which is not bad and fortunately, we haven't reached the Naked Mideon phase, so he's still wearing clothes. These are things I still remember from two decades ago, but I have no recollection of what happened on WWE television this past week... save for one bad thing. Anyway, this was fine and the right person won, so I'm happy.

Big Bossman defeated Hardcore champion Al Snow to win the title. Long before the days of Crash Holly and 24/7 defenses, the Hardcore title was the broken down title where guys fought backstage and beyond. And they sure as shit went beyond. Fighting through the arena, fighting outside, a golf cart fails to work, and after all that, Bossman pins Al on a fence for the title. See, give me more of this type of stuff for your hardcore matches and I'm a happy fucker.

"Big Show" Paul Wight defeated Kane via chokeslam after guest ref Hardcore Holly clipped Kane. Then Taker shows up and he and Wight beat up Kane for a bit, thus making this Big Show's 23,389,982th heel turn in his short, budding career. "This was a thing that happened" is the most diplomatic thing I could say about this match and fortunately, I'm feeling rather diplomatic for this show. I can't imagine why.

X-Pac and Road Dogg defeated Chyna and Billy Gunn to gain the rights to the D-Generation X brand... and then a couple months later, they all (minus Chyna) get back together with HHH, rendering this whole thing pointless and a complete waste of time. A nothing match with nothing happening and even moreso of a worthless match when you watch this with the benefit of hindsight.

HHH defeated the Rock in a strap match with interference from Billy Gunn, who ends up being the Rock's next opponent at Summerslam while Hunter gets his title match with Austin - sorry if I spoiled the movie for anybody. Fun and fierce little strap match, which ditched the lame "four corners" rule usually associated with this sort of match and instead it's a no-holds-barred match with a piece of leather used as a weapon. This match would begin HHH's ascent to the upper echelon and by the year's end, he would rule that echelon with a copper fist.

WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated The Undertaker in a First Blood match to retain the title. Per the match stipulations, Austin's win resulted in Mr. McMahon going bye-bye... but don't worry; he'd be back soon enough. They brawled, they beat the shit out of each, they bled, a camera was used, and then the ref saw Taker bleeding to call for the bell. Then Hunter shows up to beat up Austin, only for Rocky to fend him off. And the show ends with Stone Cold giving Vince McMahon the Stunner. I ain't gonna complain; this was a fun brawl with the right ending. Too bad the end result wouldn't last, but that's another story.

Hey, you know what? This was a pretty fun show. The matches were fun for the most part, some big stuff happened that ended up not sticking, and there was even some decent wrestling if you're into that sort of thing. I wouldn't call this one of the best shows I've seen, but for a typical B-level PPV event in the Attitude Era, this was better than I expected it to be and I'm almost tempted to keep going with the other PPVs down the road. All in all, a hearty thumbs up for Fully Loaded '99.

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