It’s time for another Retro Review! Once again this week I went to the randomizer and did exactly what I did the first time. And as you can tell, here were this week’s results:
In Your House: International Incident
I won’t lie, I was really hoping that it would land on Mind Games. I have not seen the Shawn Michaels/Mankind match in quite some time and wanted to rewatch that here. But we landed on the International Incident PPV instead.
The WWF is struggling at this point. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash had left for WCW. Two weeks earlier, Hulk Hogan joined them to form the nWo and start one of the best angles in the history of pro wrestling. Steve Austin won the King of the Ring the previous month but still is in the early stages of his push. The WWF has nothing to answer what WCW is throwing out at this point.
Shawn Michaels is your WWF Champion. And despite being one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, he just isn’t drawing huge as a champion. And he is about to start his program with Vader that was going to last all of 1996.
But, this is prime dickhead backstage Michaels and he wasn’t a fan of Vader’s stiff work in the ring. So Michaels quickly nixes that program. Vader got a raw deal in the WWF and even though the Heartbreak Kid is my favourite wrestler of all time, this is something I hold against him.
The original six-man tag had the Ultimate Warrior on the face team. But Warrior no-showed a bunch of house shows and was fired. So Warrior is replaced by Sid. How they got Sid during softball season is amazing to me.
We start with a clip from the preshow where Jose Lothario and Jim Cornette had a debate. Lothario went after Cornette, which caused Vader to come out, followed by HBK for the save.
Non-title: The Smoking Gunns w/Sunny vs The Bodydonnas
At this point Sunny was bouncing around between whichever team had the titles. I must say that I like Sunny’s cowboy outfit better than her outfit she wore when she was with the Bodydonnas. Sunny also refused to put the titles on the line in this match.
The Bodydonnas are working as faces in this match but you wouldn’t know listening to the silence in the crowd. The crowd finally gets into it as Skip connects with a head scissors takedown. But Billy Gunn comes right back with a Fameasser, though it is not called that yet. The Bodydonnas are sticking with the armdrag/armbar/wrist lock combos to start this match.
Billy gets sent to the outside and Sunny just collapses despite not being anywhere near the action. Skip thinks something is legit wrong with her. But as wrestling fans we all know this is a trap and the Gunns take him out. The crowd is finally into this match as they get behind Skip, hoping for a comeback. Skip connects on a nice crossbody off the top but Bart Gunn comes right back with a clothesline. A year later Bart would be KO’ing people.
Billy showboats a bit on the top and jumps right into an atomic drop. The sell is about a 6 on the Ric Rude scale. Zip gets the hot tag but Billy trips him. Bart picks Zip up for a sidewalk slam. He then awkwardly waits for a few seconds and looks around for Skip. Bart finally turns around and Skip hits a dropkick and Zip gets the pin.
WINNERS: The Bodydonnas – Decent match for an opener. The outside spot involving Sunny woke the crowd up and they were into the match after that.
Camp Cornette is interviewed. Jim Cornette says Jose Lothario pulled a switch blade on him during the Free For All incident, which I find absolutely hilarous. Cornette was great. He says he will refund everyone’s money if they lose the six man tag later.
Mankind vs Henry Godwinn w/Hillbilly Jim
This was originally supposed to be Mankind vs Jake Roberts. Storyline wise? Roberts was injured. Real life? Roberts no-showed. We don’t get the great Godwinn music which was the only good thing about this gimmick. For some reason Godwinn does a hog call. So Mankind does the smart thing and attacks Godwinn from behind.
A quick offensive comeback from Godwinn is squashed by Mankind. Lawler is taking every opportunity to rip on Jake Roberts here. Hillbilly Jim tries getting the crowd into it but this is right when Mankind runs his knee into Godwinn’s face.
Mankind pulls the mats off the floor and hits a neckbreaker on it. Back in the ring, Mankind misses a charge in the corner and jumps head first into the post, because Mick Foley does not give a damn. Godwinn goes to the outside and powerslams Mankind onto the concrete floor. Godwinn goes for the Slop Drop back in the ring, but Mankind holds the ropes and apples the Mandible Claw for the win.
WINNER: Mankind – Pretty much a Mankind squash. He’s in the middle of his Undertaker feud here so he was not losing this match.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Marc Mero w/Sable
Austin still has that crappy entrance music. Jim Ross says both of these guys have their best years ahead of them. Well he was right on one of them. Though Mero was entertaining when he went heel.
At this point I was more of a Sable kid than a Sunny kid. They keep playing up the kick from the King of the Ring by Mero that messed up Austin’s lip. Mero keeps control on the mat with some headlock takedowns. Austin bails to the outside and starts stalking Sable so Mero catches him with an ax handle.
Austin sells like he got clipped in the mouth again by Mero, but once again it is a trap and Austin attacks. Austin catapults Mero into the ringpost on the outside. Austin gets Mero on the apron but pushes him off and Mero goes right into the railing. Austin hits an elbow in the ring and we get a Vince “FORGET ABOUT IT” on commentary so go ahead and drink. Mero crotches Austin on the ropes.
Austin recovers first and goes for a powerbomb but Mero pushes off way too hard and they almost go flying over the ropes. They were supposed to do it anyway as they do a more controlled version. Marlena comes out and hands something to the announcers. Mero hits a moonsault to the outside. Mero sets up for what appears to be a huracanrana but Austin pushes him off and Mero lands on the ropes.
Austin goes for the Stunner but Mero holds the ropes. Mero hits a leg drop over the top for two and Hulk Hogan feels a chill down his spine. Austin recovers and hits a Stunner, a pre kick to the gut Stunner, for the win.
WINNER: Stone Cold Steve Austin – Okay match. These two are capable of better. The crowd is slowly starting to get behind Austin more and more.
The Smoking Gunns vs Ahmed Johnson and Shawn Michaels tomorrow night on RAW for the tag titles. Remember when they had plans for RAW before the PPV was over?
Goldust w/Marlena vs The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer
This is purple gloves era Undertaker. I always got a kick out of Paul Bearer making the refs hold the urn, with the Undertaker walking towards the ref after it. Goldust stalls for what feels like the entire quarantine period so far. He even uses the ref as a shield.
Goldust does his trademark taunt but Taker uppercuts him. Oh goody, Goldust goes for another walk. Let me go finish the laundry really quick.
The whites are folded and Goldust pulls Taker out of the ring. But Taker chokeslams Goldust on his ass on the steps. Taker picks up the steps and wants to slam them on Goldust but Marlena protects him, which causes Taker to drop the steps.
Undertaker works Goldust over in the corner as Goldust tries to take off the padding. Taker hits a leg drop for two and now Hogan’s spider senses are tingling.
You want to know how Taker is over? He’s dominating this match and the crowd isn’t bored as they chant “Rest in Peace” as he hits old school. Goldust gets dropped on the ropes but goes and rips the turnbuckle padding off.
Goldust sends Taker into it and starts laying in some shots. We are back to the outside again and Goldust drops the steps onto Taker’s back. Goldust’s offense is short lived as Taker starts his comeback. We actually see an Undertaker inside cradle.
Undertaker hits a Tombstone. But in another awkward moment, we have to wait for Mankind to come up from under the ring and pull Taker into the hole he made as he applies the Mandible Claw. Mankind reemerges as the lights flicker and Taker’s music starts and stops.
Taker finally comes out from the other side of the ring and fights Mankind to the back. I wonder if that took longer than it was supposed to.
WINNER: Undertaker via DQ? – It really isn’t announced. Lots of stalling early on and the match had no flow to it.
Vince makes sure to let the viewers know that Cornette’s claim he would refund the viewers if his team lost was Cornette’s own action and not the actions of the WWF.
Taker and Mankind are still fighting as they go into a boiler room. I wonder what that could lead to next month at SummerSlam?
We get the recap for this six man tag. They talk about the Ultimate Warrior being suspended for his failure to appear and then show the beatdown he took. The faces give an interview. Sid is happier than normal in his promo. Happy babyface Sid is weird.
Main event: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson and Sid vs Vader, British Bulldog and Owen Hart
This entrance is the famous HBK entrance where the railing falls over and fans tumble into the entrance way.
At this time 8 year old Justin thought Ahmed was awesome. Sid gets his classic Sid pop. I am a big Sid fan. I maintain had he put 100% effort into being a wrestler he could have been great. But Vader holds the honour of being the best big man in wrestling history. And I will fight anyone who disagrees with me.
Remember the days when a six-man tag could main event a PPV? Vader demands Michaels start the match with him. Vader gets some early shots in but Michaels uses his quickness to send Vader to the outside then hit a crossbody over the top to the outside. Vader recovers though and drops Michaels over the guardrail. Vader lands some shots in the corner and I’m sure HBK is not a fan of these.
Sid gets the tag and is moving like a spring chicken. He clears the ring of the entire heel side and the crowd loves it. Owen Hart tries attacking Sid from behind. It doesn’t work. Ahmed Johnson tags in and hits three really ugly waist locks. Ahmed goes for an elbow but misses. British Bulldog tags in but eats a Spinebuster from Ahmed then the Pearl River Plunge, which again, I loved as a kid. But Vader breaks up the count.
The crowd chants for Sid and you just know this is eating up 1996 Shawn Michaels inside. Vader hits one splash in the corner on Johnson. He goes for a second but Ahmed catches Vader but can’t capitalize. Ahmed eventually gets the tag to Sid, but Sid quickly finds himself in the same spot Ahmed was in as the heels work him over.
Michaels then gets the tag and he misses a charge at Bulldog and goes right into the ringpost. Vader is for some reason walking the apron and Bulldog runs into him going off the ropes, allowing the faces to get back in control.
Owen comes in and we get some really good near fall exchanges between them. Owen and Michaels had great chemistry in the ring. So naturally instead of more of that we get the Bulldog tagging in. Michaels runs the ropes but Owen catches Michaels with the cast he has on his arm. The ref asks Jim Cornette. Cornette tells him nothing happened. I don’t know about you but I believe him.
The match slows down a bit here as Vader applies a headlock. Michaels gets out of it but runs right into a Vader takedown and splash, but Ahmed comes in and takes out Vader. Michaels continues to get worked over by the heels. Bulldog hits his running powerslam. Sid comes in to break it up, but instead of hitting a regular leg drop, Sid runs the ropes then hits a leg drop. That makes everyone look bad as Earl Hebner stops his count. It appears Michaels makes the tag but the ref didn’t see it.
But don’t worry, Michaels eventually makes the tag to Sid who cleans house again. Ahmed and Sid hit a double clothesline on Sid. Sid catapults Michaels onto Vader. Cornette gets on the apron as Michaels grabs him. vader goes to use the tennis racket but Michaels catches him and uses it. Michaels only gets two. Michaels goes for Sweet Chin Music but Cornette grabs the foot of Michaels. Lothario and Cornette fight, but the distraction allows Vader to take out Michaels and hits a Vader Bomb for the win.
The faces get some heat back after the match. Michaels jumps over the ropes onto Vader but the heels eventually retreat.
WINNERS: Vader, British Bulldog and Owen Hart – That’s a really fun main event. I criticized a handful of spots but the overall match itself was fun and a good main event. Michaels eating the pin at the time was a pretty big deal if I remember.
Gorilla Monsoon is interviewed. He makes the Mankind/Undertaker Boiler Room Brawl match as Vader and Cornette come in and demand a WWF Title shot.
Overall, the main event is really good. But the rest of the show was ok-to-forgettable. The show at the time did the worst buyrate in the history of the WWF. And that is just the state the WWF was in at the time.
They were in the process of building up some new stars but they weren’t fully there yet. Everyone was talking about the nWo and WCW and the WWF was not the hot wrestling product at the time.
We will see what the randomizer comes up with next time. But I also take requests! So if you have a show you want me to review feel free to drop me a line at let me know!