Written by: Tom Hopkins
The Main Program
The main program is close to two hours long and deals with only one thing. The most grueling match in wrestling history. One where cold hard steel can be used to rip a man’s flesh apart and used as a weapon, but also blocks you in and you can’t escape. Yes, it’s the Steel Cage Match. Some WWE employees give their thoughts on the steel cage. The first match they talk about and show clips of is the Patterson/Backlund cage match from 09/24/79. Various WWE employees talk about each match by the way (mostly Gerald Brisco). They clip to the last few minutes of the match. It’s a fairly famous finish as Patterson knocked Backlund out through the cage door. The next big cage match would be the Sammartino/Zbyszko cage match from Shea Stadium (05/09/80), where Bruno came out the winner. Two weeks later, Bob Backlund would face Jimmy Snuka in a cage match at MSG on 05/19/80. The match would be highlighted by Snuka’s first leap off the top of the cage (40 possibly 45 feet in the air says Vince) and he actually missed the big splash and Backlund crawled out. Snuka’s next big cage match would come against Muraco, where Snuka would HIT the splash from the cage, but only after Muraco had escaped the cage. This would be the match that Mick Foley was in attendance for and would cause him to lead his life on a path of wrestling. They show a lot of build-up for the match, and it’s great. They would have their match at MSG on 10/17/83.
We take a break from WWF cage match action and go right to the NWA and the Tully Blanchard Magnum TA feud. Tully had won the US title with some interference and brass knuckles and the only way to end this feud would be an I Quit Match inside a steel cage. The match took place on (11/28/85) and we’re JIP on here. The full match is on the extras, but the ending is absolutely sick. They move onto the Hogan era and the blue cage. Hogan would have an incredible feud with Paul Orndorff. They had a cage match from SNME (01/07/87) where both men would leave the cage at the same time and feet touch the ground at the same time. Also in 1987, Ric Flair would be challenging Ronnie Garvin for the title, that Garvin won in a steel cage. Flair had experience with cage matches, having beat Race for the title in 1983 and losing to Dusty in a cage (both of which are on the Flair DVD). The full match is included in the extras portion.
We fast-forward 7 years to the Hart brothers feud and their awesome cage match from Summerslam. The next cage match they talk about is the Yankem/Hart match, but it focuses more on Lawler than anything else. The next match would be the HHH/Mankind Cage match from Summerslam 1997 where Mankind emulated his idol, Snuka, and also one of the few times he got knocked out in the ring (when Chyna slammed the door on his head). They talk about HHH and then go to a cage match between him and Rock that took place in Birmingham England shortly after HHH won the title in 1999. After that, we backtrack a bit to Austin’s steel cage match with Vince McMahon at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, where Paul Wight would first appear in the WWF and throw Austin through the cage to the outside. The next match shown are the Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian from Unforgiven 2000 where both members of the team had to escape to win. We go to the end where Edge and Matt Hardy are left in the ring. Jeff Hardy goes back into the ring and Lita interferes leading to The Hardyz winning the belt. The next two matches involve my favorite wrestler and yours, Kurt Angle. The first is a cage match from Raw in 2001 where Angle missed the big moonsault from the top, but still managed to win by climbing out. The last match they talk about is the Eddie/Angle classic from Smackdown that is featured in the extras portion.
Main Program Review
It’s actually a very good little program. It’s almost two hours long and they show a lot of clips of the matches. Most of the time they show usually the last 5-10 minutes of a cage match. It gives a really good scope on all the classic and important cage matches that have been had in the last 25 years. The real reason to get this DVD are the extras (as with any new WWE DVD release) but the main program is actually very good and very well done.
All matches are in a Steel Cage.
Funny thing about Disc 1, all 4 cage matches took place at Madison Square Garden. Not only the mecca of basketball (quoteth Michael Jordan), but the mecca of wrestling and truly the World’s Most Famous Arena.
1) Bob Backlund(c) vs. Pat Patterson for the WWF Title
This is from 09/24/79. We’re JIP with Backlund in control of Patterson. He drops a knee on Patterson and this is escape only rules. Backlund makes a break for the door but Patterson catches him. He knocks him down and makes his way out but Patterson grabs him by the legs and pulls him in. He picks Patterson up and sends him into the cage. A kneelift follows and Backlund climbs to the top. Patterson grabs his ankle to stop the descent and then sends him face first into the cage. Patterson again makes a break for the door but Backlund holds him in. He draws him to the center of the ring and rakes his foot across his face and makes a break for the door. Patterson grabs him and chokes him down in the corner. Patterson tries to climb out but Backlund catches him and tries to elbow him down. Both men are hanging at the top and Patterson elbows Backlund down. He’s hung upside down from the cage but gets up and gets one leg over the cage. Backlund quickly catches him and holds onto his leg. He pulls Patterson back in and Patterson wisely holds onto Backlund’s leg. They both tumble to the mat where Patterson starts working on the open wound of Backlund’s head. Patterson kicks Backlund down and tries for the top but Backlund grabs his tights and pulls him back in. That gets a punch to the face for his efforts and Patterson starts swinging away until Backlund makes the comeback. He shoulderblocks him down but he too falls down from fatigue. Backlund and Patterson make their way to the top then Patterson realizes Bob is trying to leave and catches him and brings him back down to the mat. Patterson continues working on Backlund’s open wound and they exchange blows again. Backlund takes Patterson over and slingshots him into the cage, leading Patterson to be cut open. Backlund crawls towards the open door but Patterson pulls him back in. Backlund responds by sending him into the cage a few times and dropping some fists on him. He tries to bring Patterson into the cage battering ram style but Patterson pushes him off and Backlund eats steel. Patterson climbs to the top but Backlund catches him and atomic drops him. Backlund makes a play for the top but Patterson catches up to him, climbs over, and tries to hit him with the brass knuckles he has. Backlund ducks the blows and Backlund elbows him down, but Backlund falls down as well. Backlund goes towards the door but Patterson catches him. Backlund kicks him off and manages to slide backwards out the doors onto the mat to retain the title at: 12:55. What a match. It is totally unlike anything that you’ll see now, but the build was so great and everything made sense, each move built upon the last and really, who thought two guys pounding on each other on their knees for a few minutes would make a **** match? ****.
2) Bruno Sammartino(c) vs. Ivan Koloff for the WWWF Title
This is from 12/15/75. Koloff attacks Sammartino before he’s fully in the cage but Bruno comes right back and he’s a house of fire sayeth McMahon. Sammartino whips him from pillar to post and sends him into the flimsy cage a few times. He knees him in the back and multiple amounts of punshes are thrown. Koloff is sent into the cage another time and more punching. All we need is a bearhug to know what decade we’re in. Sammartino sends Koloff to the ropes and Koloff comes back with a kick to the gut. It’s his turn to punch and kick and send Bruno the cage. He tries again but Bruno blocks and sends Koloff to the cage. They brawl for a bit and Koloff tries to go out over the top when Bruno’s standing right there, so Bruno just yanks him off. He sneds him into the cage some more. McMahon talks about the unbelievable punishment Koloff is taking and I talk about the punishment I’m taking watching this snoozefest. Koloff comes back and tries to leave but Bruno holds on to his leg. Koloff knocks him down and drops a knee. He tries to escape through the door but Sammartino holds on. Koloff has a small cut on his forehead now. Koloff is in control now and he punches Sammartino around. He sends him to the ropes but Sammartino kicks him in the gut. Koloff gets sent to the cage and is so pissed he charges Sammartino, who ducks and Koloff goes into the cage again. More cage bashing by Bruno and he sends Koloff to the corner. He punches him, then sends him to the corner again. Koloff quickly tries to bail but Sammartino catches him and, guess what, punches him! He knocks Koloff down and starts stepping on him! He sends Koloff to the cage again and Koloff is bleeding a little more now. He sends him to the cage one last time and non-chalantly walks out at: 9:43 (although it’s announced as 11:46) for one of the most anti-climactic finishes in cage history. Match was just punching and kicking and throwing into the cage. *.
3) Don Muraco(c) vs. Jimmy Snuka for the IC Title
This is from 10/17/83 and is probably one of the most famous cage matches in history, causing Mick Foley, Bubba Ray Dudley, and Tommy Dreamer to pursue a career in wrestling (they were all in attendance that night). The two men circle to start and they exchange blows early, which Snuka gets the best of. They lock up and Snuka gets backed into the ropes. He turns Muraco around to the ropes and punches him in the head. He chops away and Muraco calls for the door to be open. Snuka catches him and sends him headfirst into the turnbuckle. Muraco comes back with a knee to the groin and slingshots him into the cage, and Snuka is busted open already. Muraco grinds Snuka’s face into the cage and sends him into the corner. Muraco charges but Snuka puts up the feet to block. Snuka tries to climb over but Muraco catches him and slams him face first into the cage. Snuka is on straddling the cage now and knocks Muraco over. He climbs down back into the ring but gets caught by Muraco and and slammed off the top rope. Muraco tries to go out through the door but Snuka grabs him from behind and Muraco lowblows him. He tries to send Snuka to the corner, but its reversed and Muraco flips up and down onto the mat. He gets thrown into the cage and is busted wide open now. Snuka slams Muraco and hits a fistdrop off the second rope. Snuka punishes Muraco in the ring and headbutts. He goes off the ropes and hits another big head butt that is so powerful it sends Muraco through the ropes, through the cage door to retain the title at: 6:29. Snuka is so pissed he gets Muraco back in the cage, suplexes him then hits the superfly splash from the top of the cage to a massive pop. Match was really short by cage standards, but that spot is still impressive. **1/2.
4) Bob Backlund(c) vs. Stan Hansen for the WWF Title
This is from 04/06/81. Hansen attacks Backlund as he enters, but Backlund fights right back and sends Hansen in to the cage multiple times, then grinds his face into the cage. Backlund fights him off so Hansen tries to escape over the top, which doesn’t work. Hansen retaliates with a kick to the gut and a knee lift and it’s Backlund’s turn to get tossed into the cage. Backlund reverses an Irish whip and Hansen goes off ropes. He catches Hansen on the way back and sends him headfirst into the cage. He follows with a piledriver and makes his way to the top of the cage. Hansen comes after him and lowblows him, dropping him to the mat. He sends Backlund to the cage but Backlund blocks a third attempt and rams Hansen’s face into the cage. He grinds Hansen’s face into the cage some more. Hansen fights back with another kneelift but Backliund starts pounding away, revealing a gash on Hansen’s forehead. Backlund sends him to the cage some more and blocks a Hansen kick by holding his leg and kicking him in the nuts. Backlund tries to leave through the door but Hansen catches him. He sends him to the ropes and hits him with an elbow, then misses an elbow drop. Backlund begins just wailing away on the face of Hansen. He picks him up, sends him to the ropes and hits Hansen with a backdrop. Hansen fights back with a bodyslam and a knee dropand he starts his exit through the door. Backlund runs over and holds onto his leg to prevent hims from leaving. He pulls him in and tries to climb over him to exit but Hansen holds onto Backlund. Hansen works over Backlund with punches but Backlund catches him by the tights. Backlund tries climbing out now but Hansen catches him and the brawl on the top rope. They excahnge punches hip there and Backund headbutts Hansen off, but Backlund falls down as well. Hansen recovers first and climbs but Backlund pulls his feet out from under him and Hansen falls down, his face hitting the turnbuckle. This allows Backlund to exit through the open door to retain the title at: 8:45. I always enjoyed the beating down the other guy enough to escape bit. ***.
1) Tully Blanchard(c) vs. Magnum TA for the US Title in an I Quit Match
This is from Starrcade 11/28/85 and is I Quit rules. They lock up and Tully backs Magnum to a corner and doesn’t break clean, but Magnum pushes him off. Tully goes after the leg and takes Magnum down but he kicks him off. They roll around on the mat trying to gain the upper hand which Tully does. He pounds away on Magnum until Magnum starts fighting back. Magnum tries to send him to the ropes, but Tully blocks and elbows him down. Tully takes over and sends Magnum hard into the cage, which draws some blood. Tully works the face of Magnum and he breaks the hold with great strength, so Tully punches him down. An Irish whip is reversed and Magnum military presses Tully and drops him on the top rope. Tully is sent in the corner but a charge misses and Magnum hits the cage again. Magnum fights back and this time he sends Tully into the cage. He puts Tully in a hammerlock and sends him shoulder first into the cage. His shoulder is busted open now and Magnum gets the mic but Tully won’t quit and he head butts Magnum in the gut. Magnum fights back and continues working on the shoulder of Tully. Tully strikes back and Magnum is bleeding a lot now. Tully works Magnum over and asks him to quit, which he doesn’t. Tully hits him with the microphone and tells him to say it and Magnum still won’t quit. This leads to more punches to that open wound and Tully covers, forgetting the rules. Tully picks Magnum up like a bearhug and drops backwards, sending Magnum into the cage. He follows with an axehandle off the top rope and puts the mic in Magnum’s face again, but NO, NO is still the answer. Tully is mighty pissed and continues dropping the elbows, until Magnum rolls out of the way of the last one. Magnum knocks Tully down and puts the mic in his face but nooooooooooooooo—aaaaah is his answer. Magnum beands him with the microphone and puts it in his face again, but Tully screams no. They start pulling and tuggung on each other until Tully pokes him in the eye and connecting with a big right hand. Both men are wobbly and Magnum knocks Tully down and puts the mic in his face again, but Tully kicks Magnum off of him. They exhange blows in the ring and Magnum goes upstairs for the standing punches, only to get atomic dropped off. Tully pounds Magnum with the mic but Magnum emphatically says no to any quitting. Tully starts working on the defenseless Magnum and even pushes the referee down. A wooden chair is thrown in and Tully breaks it to make a spike out of it. He tries to drive it into the head of Magnum but he fights it off, and knees Tully off of him. Then he takes a shard of the chair and drives it into Tully’s fricken EYE. That, of course, gets Tully to quit at: 14:43 and Magnum is your new US champion. Holy Shit that was one intense brawl and the finish was amazing. Perfect cage match and perfect I Quit Match. *****.
2) Ric Flair(c) vs. Dusty Rhodes for the NWA Title
This is from the Great American Bash, 07/26/86. They circle to start and strut around a bit. Flair backs Dusty to the corner but Dusty punches Flair down a few times. Ric comes back with a headlock which he turns to a hammerlock which is reversed by Dusty and he turns it into a wristlock. Flair reverses that and tries to send Dusty into the cage but Dusty blocks and they circle each other again. Test of strength now so Flair kicks him in the gut. Dusty works the arm and takes Flair down. Dusty works the arm so Flair sends him to the ropes. Flair gets shoulderblocked down, then hiptossed and Flair tries to chop but Dusty chops him down just as hard and Flair bails to the corner. Flair comes back with some shots to the corner but an Irish whip to the corner is reversed by Dusty and he scoop slams him on the rebound. He works Flair in the corner but Flair kicks him out when the referee intervenes. They go off the ropes and Dusty grabs Flair in a sleeper. Flair makes the ropes though, but he’s down. He drops an elbow on Flair and that gets two. Flair sends Dusty to the ropes but get shoulderblocked down. Dusty goes off the ropes but gets punched in the gut. He sends Dusty headfirst into the cage, and he does it again. Dusty is busted open now and Flair drops a knee to the head. He covers but that only gets two. Flair grinds Dusty’s face on the ropes, then on the cage. Dusty goes to the apron between the ropes and cage and continues to get grinded into the cage. Dusty rolls back into the ring area and Flair drops a knee on the ankle of Dusty (which Flair had broken the previous year). He continues working on the ankle and then puts on the figure four. Dusty lays down a few times for two counts but he manages to reverse it, but Flair reverses that and uses the ropes, which the ref catches and makes him break the hold. Ric rubs Dusty’s face on the ropes again and kicks out Dusty’s knee. Ric drops a knee to the head and that gets two. He chops him in the corner and sets him up on the ropes. He charges but Dusty catches him with a clothesline for two. He elbows Flair but Flair comes right back and then tries to escape the cage (this is pinfall only rules) but Dusty grabs him and pulls him back in. Flair begs in the corner then tries to hit Dusty, which he blocks, and Dusty sends Flair into the cage. Dusty rubs Flair into the cage and Flair is busted open. Dusty tosses Flair into the cage once more and Dusty starts working on the ankle. Flair again tries to bail but Dusty catches him and pounds his head onto the top of the cage. He headbutts Flair off and Flair crotches himself on the ropes. Dusty again grinds Flair face first into the ropes and all. Dusty goes to punch Flair but Flair ducks and Dusty’s fist hits the cage. Flair chops him down then goes upstairs and you know what happens. Dusty puts the figure four on Flair now in the center of the ring. Ric manages to escape but just flops down anyway. Flair tries fighting back with shots to the gut and tries for a backslide but Dusty reverses for two. Dusty gets sent to the ropes and ducks a chop then comes back with a clothesline. He drops an elbow and that gets a two count. Flair again tries to bail but decides to hit a crossbody from the top rope for two. He tries to send Dusty to the cage again but it’s reversed and Dusty rolls him up off the cage. He knocks Flair down but misses an elbow drop. Flair tries to bodyslam Dusty but Dusty reverses that into a small package for the pin and the NWA Title at: 21:02. Really long and boring match. **.
3) Rock N’ Roll Express(c) vs. The Andersons for the the Tag Team Championship
This is from Starrcade 11/27/86. The Andersons get incredible heat and the Express get huge pops, especially from the female contingent. Ole anf Gibson start off and Ole gets pushed off into his corner. Both tag team partners enter and a mini-pier six envelops. Arn gets pummeled by Gibson and sent into the cage until Arn bails to Ole and makes the tag. Gibson holds him off and tags in Morton who steamrolls over Ole, until Ole takes him down with a snapmare, only to get kicked off. Arn tags in and Arn and Morton circle each other. They lock up and Arn knees him in the gut. He tries to send him to the cage but Morton puts the leg up to block. Arn bails then comes back with a headlock which Morton reverses to a hammerlock and then just punches him in the face. Morton starts working the arm and he tags in Gibson. Gibson gets backed to the corner but he comes out fighting and sends Arn to the opposite corner. Gibson charges with a high knee but Arn moves out of the way and Gibson’s knee his the cage. Now they have a body part to work on, and they do. Ole is tagged in and he works the leg a bit, then Arn is tagged in and it’s his turn to work the knee. Arn gets the spinning toe hold and he gets kicked off into the cage head first. Arn quickly tags Ole who blocks any tag attempt Gibson will make. He tries battling back but to now avail. Ole keeps on the leg until Gibson makes the ropes. Ole keeps pounding on the knee and twists his knee around in all sorts of ways. Gibson kicks him off and tries for the tag but Arn is tagged in and he prevents that. Arn keeps on the leg until Gibson tries to a kick, and Arn holds on so Gibson gets an enzuigiri and makes the hot tag to Morton, who gets creamed by the just tagged in Ole. He gets tossed into the cage multiple times and Ole chokes him with his boot in the corner. Morton is busted open now too, wearing the proverbial crimson mask. Arn is tagged in and he sends Morton to the ropes. Morton ducks a clothesline but Arn catches him with his spinebuster. Arn covers but Gibson makes the save. Arn tags in Ole who gets a double axehandle onto Morton’s arm. Ole hooks on an arm-bar but Ricky won’t submit. He kicks Ole off and tries to fight back with one arm but he gets shoulderblocked down by Ole coming off the ropes and both men are out. Arn is tagged in and blocks Morton from making the tag. Arn starts stretching out the neckof Morton and Morton starts fighting back with a series of right and even knocks him down. He comes so close to making the tag before Ole (just tagged in) makes the save. Morton is stuck in the corner but fights back until getting kneed. Ole goes to bodyslam Morton but Morotn cradles him up for two. Arn tries to come in but Gibson comes in to block him. Ole picks up Morton and Gibson dropkicks him, allowing Morton to fall on top of Ole for the pin and the win at: 11:40. The Andersons attack the champs afterwards but the Express bail through the cage door. Really hot and fast paced match. ****.
4) Bret Hart(c) vs. Owen Hart for the WWF Title
This is from Summerslam 08/29/94. The only way to win is to go through the door or over the top onto the floor. This is the silly blue cage version which was used due so bigger guys like the Hulk could escape over the top. A real mesh cage would replace this version around the time of the Attitude era. Owen attacks Bret as soon as he enters the cage and it’s on. Owen is a man on fire. He sends Bret to the corner and gets the standing punches on him in the corner. He follows with an uppercut and just kicks away. He whacks away until Bret gets him with an inverted atomic drop and then a clothesline. Owen recovers first though and stomps away at his brother. He chokes him using his Bret’s shirt. He keeps pounding away and tries sending Bret to the cage but Bret blocks that by putting his foot to the cage. Bret follows with a DDT and it’s Bret’s turn to wail away on his brother. He knocks him down and connects with a legdrop. Bret tries to escape but Owen quickly pulls him down. Owen tries for a kick which Bret holds onto and Owen follows with an enzuigiri and you could hear the impact from all the way over here. Owen tries to climb out but Bret catches him and gets a belly to back suplex on Owen who was standing on the top rope. Bret tries escaping through the cage but Owen holds his leg and he can’t make it. Owen sends him hard to the corner but Bret kicks him on the walk over and bulldogs him. Bret tries escaping again but Owen pulls him back, then jumps over him to try to escape. Owen is pulled back and Bret makes a beeline for the door. Bret is pulled in and Owen jumps halfway across the ring anf gets his body halfway out the door. Bret holds him in and claws at Owen’s face and drags him in. Bret drops an elbow to Owen’s head and Bret starts to make the climb over the top. Owen grabs at his ankle before he can get over and he scoop slams him of the middle of the top rope. Owen starts the climb and gets both legs over but Bret catches him and pulls him back in and over the top. They slug it out on the top rope and Owen knocks Bret down. He kicks him off and hits a missile dropkick on Bret. Owen kips up and makes a lunge for the top of the cage. He gets over but Bret grabs his foot before it gets over the top. Bret pulls on anything to get him back in and he climbs over Owen to the top. He straddles the cage but Owen won’t let him go. Owen brings him back in and they exchange blows on the top rope. Bret knees him in the gut and slams his back into the cage, causing Owen to fall off. Bret tries climbing over but Owen catches him and pulls him in. He tries for a piledriver in the middle of the ring but Bret reverses it into a back body drop. Bret pounds on his brother but Owen sends him to the ropes. He goes down and on the return they both shoulderblock each other, leading to a double KO. Owen makes a run for the cage door but Bret catches him and pulls him in. Bret knocks Owen down visciously and drops an elbow to his face. Bret tries to exit over the top but Owen catches a leg before he can. Bret kicks him off and tries to leave again but Owen is still there to catch him. Owen pulls him off and Bret lands hard on the ropes and the mat, injuring his knee. Owen calls for the door to be open and he tries exit that way but Bret still manages to catch him. Owen kicks him hard in the chest but Bret pulls his legs and drops a head to the gut. We go to wide angle camera and we miss something in the ring, but Bret is up and Owen is down and Bret climbs to the top rope. Bret tries for an elbow drop but Owen rolls out of the way. Owen is up and makes his way over the top and he gets one leg over before Bret prevents him from getting any further. Owen gets his leg free and he climbs over but Bret drives Owen’s head into the cage to hold him there. He gets Owen back over and down to the mat and Bret makes the mad run to the top. Owen catches him and hits a variation of what is now called the FU. Owen makes the climb to the top but Bret catches him and pulls him in. Owen tries sending Bret into the cage but Bret blocks and it’s Owen that is sent face first into the cage. Bret now climbs over and gets both feet over but Owen grabs Bret’s hair, pulls himself up and brings Bret back inside for a belly to back suplex from the middle of the top rope. Owen hits his piledriver and Bret may officially be dead in the ring. Owen is no worse for the wear either, and he struggles to pull himself up and over the cage. Bret grabs his leg before he can exit and climbs up to meet his brother. Owen pounds away at Bret and knocks him off the cage, but the momentum of those blows causes him to fall off too. Bret calls for the door to open and gets halfway out before Owen catches him. He gets three quarters out but Owen catches him. Bret goes wild and punches away to get Owen to loosen his grip and gets oh so close to leaving. Owen pulls him in and throws wild rights and almost makes it out. Bret pulls him in and slingshots him into the middle of the cage. Bret crawls to the door and gets half out before Owen lunges across the ring to catch him. Owen sends Bret hard to the turnbuckles. Bret tries to slam Owen but he goes up and over and behind and Owen tries to bounce Bret off the ropes but Bret ducks and Owen goes headfirst into the cage. Bret’s knee also hit the cage, making his climb to the top that much harder. Owen tries getting up but he’s too beat. He revives in time to grab Bret’s arm, as his two feet are already over the cage. Owen pulls him in and clubs away on his back and pulls him in. Owen sends Bret to the ropes and hits the spinning heel kick leading to a double KO. Owen starts to climb out of the cage but Bret grabs his leg. He climbs up with him but Owen kicks wiggles free and gets both legs over. Bret holds onto his hair and pulls him back onto the top rope. Bret tries to send Owen face first into the cage, but Owen blocks. He wails away at his brother but Bret won’t fall down. Bret kicks Owen in the face, off the top rope and Bret straddles the cage before Owen catches him and hauls him back into the ring. Owen gets a pair of forearm uppercuts on his brother. An Irish whip is reversed but Owen ducks a clothesline and hits a flying forearm of his own, knocking both brothers out. Owen recovers before his brother and makes the climb to the top and gets both legs over but Bret catches him and gets a superplex from the top of the cage! They’re both knocked out now and it takes Bret a few times to even get up. Bret crawls very slowly to the cage door but Owen crawls behind him and grabs his leg. Owen musters all the strength he can and pulls Bret in and puts the Sharpshooter on him. Bret grabs Owen’s leg to trip him up and put the Sharpshooter on him! That counter would cost him his WWF career a little over 3 years later at Survivor Series, as Patterson stooged that spot to McMahon so he’d know when to ring the fucking bell. Bret gets almost all the way over but Owen lunges and grabs Bret’s hair and pulls him in. He pulls him to the top and both men fall down. Owen crawls over his brother and climbs up but Bret catches him yet again. Owen is out over the top and Bret follows him there. They hang very close to the ground until Owen’s feet get hung between the cage and the ropes allowing Bret to jump down for the win at: 32:20. British Bulldog celebrates at ringside and Neidhart is so pissed he attacks Bret from behind. Anvil closes the door and chains it shut allowing Owen and Neidhart to pound on Bret in the ring. The whole Hart family tries to climb in but Anvil and Owen pick them off one by one. Eventually, the Bulldog comes in but Owen and the Anvil bail before anything happens. Well, that was quite the dandy, and easily the best of the blue-cage version matches we’ll ever see. *****.
5) Mankind vs. HHH
This is from Summerslam 08/03/97. HHH and Mankind had feuded really since the King of the Ring, so for the better part of 4 months they feuded and oddly enough, HHH’s feud that solidified him as a main event star was back in early 2000 with Mankind. Chyna is with HHH and this was before any of the surgeries. If you haven’t seen her before the surgeries, she was quite mannish with a sqaure jaw, flat chest and just muscles. HHH still banged her though. As soon as the bell rings, HHH tries to bail through the door but Mankind is right there and he yanks him in. Mankind punches HHH down a bit and HHH trie to climb over the top but Mankind catches him and tosses him off the top. Mankind grinds HHH’s face into the steel bars andthen gives him a series of rights in the corner and does his running knee to the face. Mankind follows with his version of the piledriver. He calls for the door to be open and Chyna closes it before Mankind gets there. Mankind preps for the Mandible Claw and gets it. Chyna reaches in through the cage, however and chokes him with her belt. HHH uses said belt to punch Mankind down. He sends Mankind to the ropes but Mankind stops to kick HHH. HHH holds onto the leg and spins him around which results in a clothesline. Mankind makes descent to the top and gets over but Chyna catches him and lowblows him. HHH goes up and suplexes him from the top of the cage. HHH heads for the door, then sees Mankind and decides he wants to punish Mankind some more. He sends him headfirst into the cage a few times and bows. He throws him to the cage another tim and drops a knee to the back of his head. HHH puts Mankind between the ropes and the cage and rams his the side of his head into the cage. He does this probably about a dozen times. HHH sends him to the cage again and starts climbing over but Mankind grabs his ankle. HHH straddles the cage as Mankind wallops him with punches. He pulls him back into the cage but HHH kicks him off. Mankind has to climb up again and he barely grabs HHH’s leg this time. He manages to bring him back in and then he sends him to the corner and knees him on the way out. Mankind works him over some more and grinds his head into the steel bars again. Chyna forearms Mankind to stop him from doing thatand HHH comes back with an inverted atomic drop. Mankind responds with one of his own and he follows by clotheslining HHH down. He sends HHH to the ropes and ducks down but HHH plants Mankind’s face into the mat. HHH tries to suplex Mankind but he can’t get him up. Mankind reverses and lifts HHH up and he hangs off the cage in a tree of woe. Mankind charges and HHH collapses to the mat. Mankind sends him to the cage a few times and headbutts him. He charges HHH but HHH backdrops Mankind right into the cage. HHH tries to escape over the top but Mankind catches up with him and they exchange blows on the top rope which leads to HHH getting crotched on the top rope. HHH tries to get off but his leg gets caught between the first and second ropes. Mankind crawls towards the open door but Chyna runs over and slams it on him (which legit hurt Foley) and then she knocks out the referee. Chyna tosses a chair into the ring which HHH catches and tries to pedigree Mankind on the chair. Chyna starts climbing up and Mankind reverses the pedigree and slingshots HHH onto the cage where Chyna was and she goes flying (in a really contrived spot). Mankind comes back with a double arm DDT to HHH on the chair. Mankind heads over to the cage and starts the slow climb to the top. The fans start chanting “SuperFly.” See, they had built to this match by saying how Foley wanted to become a wrestler when he saw Snuka jump off of the top of the cage onto Muraco at MSG and they showed footage of this to hype the match. Chyna tries to drag HHH out of the ring but I guess he’s too heavy because she can’t. Mankind gets over the top and inches from the bottom when he climbs back up to the top again and hits an elbow from the top of the cage. Mankind now goes over the top as Chyna goes in to pull HHH out. She blew her cue the first time and forgot about the big spot, I guess. Mankind gets out first to end the match at: 16:25. Afterwards, the Dude Love music hits and Mankind dances to the back. The match seemed to be built more towards Chyna’s spots than anything else, and it hurt somewhat, actually a lot when she blew the ending by jumping in before Foley’s big spot. **.
6) Shawn Michaels(c) vs. Marty Jannetty for the IC title
This is from 1993. Shawn is the champion and Shawn has Diesal in his corner so this would have to be sometime after May 1993, when Marty had already beat Jannetty and Marty won it back soon later. It sounds like Johnny Polo (Raven) and Gorilla on commentary, which is actually pretty funny. Jannetty controls things early and he sends him hard to the corner and follows with a dropkick. He sends him off the ropes and connects with a clothesline. Jannetty covers bu there’s no pinfall and Jannetty looks confused. Jannetty tries to send Michaels to the cage but he blocks with his foot and goes to work on Marty. Shawn hits with a dropkick then a backbreaker. Shawn goes for another dropkick but Marty catches his legs and slingshots him into the cage. Jannetty covers this time and referee Bill Alphonso jumps in and counts to two. Huh? Gorilla and Polo discuss this weird turn of events. Jannetty sends Michaels to the cage and tries to go out through the door but Shawn catches him. Shawn sends Marty to the corner but Marty moves out of the way of a shoulderblock and Shawn hits the steel cage. Marty goes to the cage door but Diesal holds the door shut. Marty kicks him in the face and tries to leave but Shawn pulls him back in. Shawn sends Marty to the ropes and he ducks a clothesline but Shawn uses Marty’s momentum to throw him into the cage on the way back. Shawn starts choking Marty and tosses him into the cage again. Shawn goes to exit through the cage but Marty pulls him back in. I guess you only have to reach the floor with any part of your body now. Damn, these rules are all over the place. Shawn fights off Marty and tries to exit over the top. Marty catches up with him and pulls his pants down in a shot I didn’t need. Shawn sends Marty to the ropes and grabs a sleeper hold. The referee comes in to drop the arm of Jannetty and it drops twice but the third time Marty revives. Marty charges the cage and ducks down, sending Shawn into the cage. They exchange blows which Marty wins and he atomic drops Shawn into the cage. Marty tries climbing out but Shawn catches up with him. Marty manages to get one leg over before Shawn pulls him in and tosses him to the mat. Shawn starts the climbg and gets both legs over but Marty pulls him by the hair back in. Marty starts climbing over and they both straddle the cage. They exchange blows and Shawn almost falls to the outside. They end up back inside and Marty tosses him off the top of the cage back to the mat. Marty starts climbing up, which draws Diesal. Marty kicks him through the cage which angers the big man and he climbs up to stop Marty. Meanwhile Shawn slides out through the door at: 13:11 to retain the IC title. Pretty bad match which is surprising given what they were capable of. The herky-jerky rules made it tough to follow too. **.
7) Edge vs. Kurt Angle
This is from Smackdown 05/30/02. Edge had beaten Angle in a hair vs. hair match and Angle was now bald, but he was wearing a fake wig to show he had grown back his hair at this time. This is escape or pinfall/submission rules. They lock up and Angle goes behind but Edge elbows out. They wrestle a bit and Edge goes behind and takes Angle down who quickly reverses. Edge gets back up and bodyslams Angle. Angle charges and get a drop toe hold for his efforts. Edge charges but Angle boots him in the gut. Angle sends him to the ropes and elbows him down. Angle tries to send him to the cage but Edge blocks. He sends Angle to the ropes and comes with a spinning heel kick. He tosses Angle into the cage and Angle goes back first into the cage. Edge goes to spear him but Angle ducks out of the way and Edge’s shoulder collides with the cage. Angle goes on the offensive and pounds on Edge in the corner. Angle suplexes Edge and covers for two. He works a front face lock on Edge on the mat but Edge makes it to his feet and powers out. He sends Angle to the ropes and Angle ducks a clothesline but gets caught in an overhead belly to belly release suplex. Edge goes to escape but Angle stops him. Edge kicks him off and clotheslines him from the top for two. Angle comes back with the rolling Germans suplexes and gets up to three. He pins him for two after the last one and Angle tries to go out through the door but he can’t get it open. Angle sends Edge into the cage head first a few times and goes around 3 of the 4 corners. Angle wails away at Edge’s face and Edge is busted open now. Angle pulls his hair back while putting a knee to the lower back to open up the cut more. Angle gloats over Edge but Edge pulls his legs and slingshots him into the cage then gets the Edge-O-Cution for a two count. He sends Angle to the ropes and backdrops him. Angle goes for a clothesline but Edge catches him and drops him down in a facebuster type move for two. Angle sends Edge to the ropes and Edge goes for a crossbody but Angle ducks and Edge hits the referee. Angle gets a release German suplex and makes the climb to the top of the cage. Edge climbs up with him and gets a back suplex and Angle flips over on the way down and lands on his stomach. Edge goes to the top and gets one leg over but not before Angle catches up and low blows Edge. He gets the Olympic Slam from the top rope and both men are out. Angle begins the climb to the top of the cage and he escapes the cage, but the referee is out. Hulk Hogan comes down and sends Angle to the cage a few times and throws him back into the cage. The match continues after the commercial and Angle gets the Olympic Slam for two. Edge sends Angle to the corner and the rebound gets an Olympic Slam of his own on Angle for two. Angle comes right back with the ankle lock on Edge but Edge rolls through it and sends Angle to the cage. Edge gets his own ankle lock but Angle spins out and kicks out of it. Edge tries tomake it to the door but gets kneed and hung up on the ropes. Angle tries to escape through the door but gets held back. Edge is still hung up in the ropes and Angle begins the climb to the top. Edge catches up to him as he gets both legs over the top. Edge headbutts him off the cage and Angle crotches himself on the open door. Edge pulls him back in and tosses him off the top rope. Edge is perched on the top rope and Angle foolishly charges only to get speared which is good enough for the pin and the win at: 14:38. Pretty good cage match. ***1/2.
The older material is in just pristine condition due to the WWE owning all the source material. The sound is as good as it’s gonna get, just like a regular TV sound, but the quality is amazing, especially on the older material.
C) Liner Notes
There is a one page DVD information sheet with the chapter listing and extras (w/match information) from disc one and the extras from disc two. There’s a 4-page insert on the WWE DVD’s currently available, and a contest for a Sony Dream System and a WWE DVD collection.
D) Easter Eggs
On Disc One, got to chapter listings, highlight Bruno Sammartino/Larry Zbyszko Feud and hit right twice to get Bruno and Vince commentating (in kayfabe) the end of one of their recent matches where Zbyszko attacks Bruno with a chair and Bruno bleeds like crazy, probably a .8 Muta. It’s about 5 minutes long.
Also on Disc one’s chapter listings, highlight Ric Flair vs. Ronnie Garvin and hit right twice to unlock the last 2 and a half minutes or so of their cage match from 1987 where Garvin wins the title.
Still on Disc One, go to the extras portion, highlight Don Muraco vs. Jimmy Snuka and hit right two times to unlock a 5 and a half minute interview of Muraco on Roger’s Corner where he ends up spitting on Snuka and Snuka hitting him with a plancha and then rips his clothes off to start their feud.
On Disc Two, go to extras, highlight Bret vs. Owen Hart to unlock an Owen Hart interview (4 minutes long) inside the steel cage a week before the match.
They have the usual WWE commercials before getting to the menu, this time for the Trish Stratus DVD, a promo for Wrestlemania XX, and the don’t try this at home stuff. The DVD is really awesome. The main program is actually really good and there’s some quality extras. The Tully/Magnum and Harts match are enough to get it alone. Another winner for the WWE.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.