Written by: Bob Colling
WWE The Attitude Era Volume 3 – Unreleased – Disc One
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin – Germany – April 1996
Austin backs Hart into a corner but lets go cleanly. Hart takes Austin down to the mat controlling his arm. Hart yanks on the arm several times until Austin drop toe holds Bret to the canvas but Hart quickly counters with a hammerlock to maintain control of the bout. Austin doesn’t do a clean break this time and pummels Hart with right hands. Hart manages to take Austin to the mat again working over the arm with an arm bar. Hart takes Austin over with a rollup but only gets a near fall before going back to the arm. Austin breaks free and rolls to the floor to regroup. Austin returns and gets the better of a test of strength kicking Hart to his knees. Hart slams Austin for a near fall. Austin sends Hart through the middle rope to the floor where Hart hits the railing as well. Austin comes off the apron to deliver a double axe handle. Austin tosses Hart shoulder first into the ring steps and the fans are letting Austin here it for his cheating ways.
Austin delivers another axe handle shot from the apron before sending Hart back into the ring. Austin rams Hart into the corner head first a few times followed by strikes to the midsection. Hart is sent hard into the gut first as Austin taunts the fans. Austin works over the back of Hart with several knee drops. Austin delivers a forearm drop across the apron before dropping Hart to the floor. Austin brings Hart back into the ring with a suplex from the apron. Austin leaps off the middle rope connecting with a forearm drop but Hart kicks out at two on the cover. Hart fights back with some punches but a knee lift to the gut cuts him off. Austin gets another near fall following a snap suplex. Hart attempts another comeback but Austin stops him with a boot to the gut. Hart goes for a sleeper but a jaw breaker puts an end to that quickly. Austin misses a splash into the ropes and flies off the ropes backwards onto the canvas. Hart drops Austin with a clothesline out of the corner and delivers an atomic drop followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Hart nearly wins with a rollup. Hart drives Austin down with a back breaker and a middle rope clothesline but Austin kicks out on the pin. Austin plants Hart with a power slam for another close fall. Austin regains control sending Hart chest first into the corner. Austin sets up for a superplex but Hart tosses him off and connects with a top rope forearm drop. Hart locks in the Sharpshooter and Austin gives up. (**3/4. A fine match between these two, as expected, though it lacked the emotion that they’d have in their matches that followed. That’s to be expected considering they weren’t involved in a feud, Austin was just a newbie still and Hart wasn’t even on TV. Still, some fine action even if it went on a little long.)
The Undertaker vs. Mankind – IYH Good Friends, Better Enemies Dark Match – April 28th, 1996
This is the first time these two ever competed against each other since Mankind made his debut twenty-seven days prior on RAW. Taker goes right after Mankind with several strikes in the corner. Taker sends Mankind hard into the corner and delivers a power slam. Taker comes off the ropes to hit an elbow drop. Mankind avoids an elbow drop and clotheslines himself and Taker over the top to the floor but Taker lands on his feet to send Mankind into the ring steps face first. Taker sets up to walk the ropes and comes down across the arm of Mankind. Taker runs into a back elbow shot and Mankind delivers a kick to drop Taker to the mat. Mankind connects with a discus clothesline and a seated clothesline before driving Taker face first into the canvas. Mankind leg drops Taker across the bottom rope. Mankind sends Taker knees first into the ring steps. Taker fights back with a series of blows but Mankind stops him with strikes of his own. Mankind with a power slam and a leg drop for a two count. Taker head butts Mankind into the corner and hammers away on him.
Taker is sent through the middle rope to the floor. Mankind decks Taker with a running forearm strike and gauges the face of Taker while the fans mock Mankind at ringside. Back in the ring, Mankind continues to work over Taker hitting a pull-up piledriver. Taker avoids the Mandible Claw by grabbing Mankind’s arm and kicks away on him. Mankind runs into a big boot and Taker connects with a running clothesline. Taker sends Mankind face first into the ring post and Mankind crashes to the floor. Mankind sends Taker into the railing and goes for a piledriver on the floor but Taker sends Mankind into the ring post back and head first and does the same into the guard railing. Taker grabs Mankind by the throat and hits the choke slam. Taker spikes Mankind with the tombstone and that’s good enough for a three count. (**1/2. Similar to the first match, it lacked crowd heat considering their angle hadn’t really jumped off yet. The brawling was effective, but I think these two are better when there is a stipulation allowing them to do whatever they want.)
The Undertaker & Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart & The British Bulldog – Kuwait – May 12th, 1996
Owen had his back turned to Taker on the apron and got knocked off, despite not being the legal man for the match. Owen decides to become the legal man and try his luck with Taker to start the match. Taker shoulder blocks Owen and hits a hip toss. Taker punches Owen in the chest and goes to walk the ropes and comes down across Owen’s arm. Bret gets tagged in and they double team Owen yanking his legs apart. Bulldog gets tagged in to allow Owen to recover. Bret arm drags Bulldog to the canvas and focuses his offense on the arm sending Bulldog into the corner and delivers several strikes. Bret atomic drops Bulldog and delivers an elbow strike. Bret gets a two count following a back breaker. Owen tags in and is sent to the floor as Bret breaks free from a hammerlock. Bret decks Owen with a clothesline for a two count. Bulldog trips Bret while he runs the ropes and allows Owen to get the advantage stomping on his older brother. Bulldog hammers away on Bret and tags in Owen to keep control of the match in their favor. Bret comes off the ropes to hit a cross body but only gets a near fall. Owen keeps control with a front face lock. Taker gets the tag but the referee was distracted by Bulldog. Bret is double teamed in the corner.
Bret knocks Bulldog down with a right hand and nearly tags in Taker but is pulled away. Bret clotheslines both Bulldog and Owen before tagging in Taker and Take cleans house hitting a choke slam on Owen. Taker lifts Owen up and hits the tombstone which is good enough for three. (*1/2. Basic of a match as you can get. Likely included for the name power for the time.)
WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin – Kuwait – May 12th, 1996
Austin is wearing pink wrist tape and tape around his biceps. Austin controls Michaels on the canvas with a side headlock. Austin decks Michaels while against the ropes and keeps control with several strikes. Michaels arm drags Austin a few times. Austin drop toe holds Michaels, but that gets countered and the champ keeps control with a hammerlock. They trade wrist locks with Michaels taking Austin down to the canvas. Austin drops Michaels with a back elbow shot and hits a middle rope forearm drop. Austin sends Michaels over the top but Michaels pulls himself back in and hits a hurricanrana. Austin low blows Michaels with the referee out of position. The lights go out, but I’m assuming that was just a mistake. They continue to wrestle but I can’t see anything that’s happening. Austin is working over Michaels in the corner as the lighting is improving a little bit. Austin hits an axe handle over the apron. Austin rams Michaels back first into the apron. Michaels nearly wins with a rollup but is met with a clothesline.
Michaels fights back with strikes and backs Austin into a corner but is met with a kick to the midsection. Austin hits a back breaker and gets a two count on Michaels. Michaels has a sleeper on Austin but that gets broken up with a jaw breaker. Michaels sends Austin into the turnbuckle and connects with a leaping forearm shot. Michaels atomic drops Austin and connects with a clothesline. Michaels comes off the top to hit a double axe handle but only manages a two count. Austin drops Michaels throat first across the top rope. Michaels almost wins with an inside cradle and drives Austin face first into the canvas. Michaels nails Austin with the Sweet Chin Music and gets the win. (**. Another basic match between two megastars. Thus far these matches aren’t lighting the world on fire, but considering they were dark matches, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise.)
Ultimate Warrior vs. Owen Hart – Madison Square Garden – May 19th, 1996
The fans welcome Warrior with a pretty good reception. Hart runs away from Warrior but they eventually get in the ring where Warrior delivers a few hip tosses and a scoop slam. Owen is sent over the top with a clothesline for good measure. On the floor, Owen attacks Warrior but again runs away. Hart hammers away on Warrior back in the ring. Warrior press slams Owen and catapults him into the corner! Owen is driven face first into the canvas and slammed down by his hair.
Hart delivers a spinning heel kick and clothesline to finally drop Warrior. With the referee distracted, Cornette jabs Warrior with his tennis racket. Owen leaps off the top to hit Warrior with a strike to the face. Owen drops Warrior with a kick to the head but isn’t wanting to sell for Owen all that much it seems. Owen comes off the top with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Warrior fights back with a vertical suplex.
Uh oh, Warrior is beginning to “Warrior Up” and runs over Owen with a series of clotheslines. Warrior with a leaping shoulder block and that’s good enough for a three count. (*. Well, Owen was able to hit a few good moves but the match just wasn’t good. Warrior selling for someone smaller than him was something I would need to get use to considering he mainly wrestled larger guys. Warrior isn’t designed to sell and that hurt the match, too.)
Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker – Madison Square Garden – August 9th, 1996
Austin with a right hand in the corner but Taker isn’t affected. Austin gets a few shots in but Taker continues to stalk towards Austin. Austin begs off to the floor as he isn’t able to hurt Taker. Austin goes after Bearer on the floor but backs off as Taker goes to the floor. Austin with several strikes as Taker enters the ring. Austin with right hand and boots in the corner. Taker tosses Austin into a corner and delivers a flurry of right hands. Taker with a big backdrop and right hand. Taker walks the top rope and jumps down across Austin’s arm. Taker chokes Austin in the corner and connects with a scoop slam. Taker misses a leg drop and Austin hammers away on Taker in the corner. They go to the floor where Austin sends Taker into the guard railing. Austin comes off the ropes with a forearm drop and gets a two count. Taker with a few right hands but Austin is able to sneak a low blow and gets a near fall. Taker drops Austin following several right hands but Austin comes back with a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Austin leaps off the middle rope and hit’s a forearm drop but Taker pops his shoulder up at two. Taker comes off the ropes and clotheslines Austin. Austin blocks a backdrop and pile drives Taker. Austin attempts a tombstone but Taker reverses and plants Austin with a tombstone. Taker goes for the cover but Mankind runs down and causes the DQ. (*. A rather flat match between two stars, which is unfortunate. The cheap finish doesn’t help matters. In a span of two years these two would headline SummerSlam in a highly anticipated match.)
After the match, Mankind is able to shove his fingers down Taker’s throat in the corner. Shawn Michaels runs down and makes the save for Taker. Goldust comes down as well and attacks Michaels. Jake Roberts has come down and gets in the action. Taker choke slams Austin and Michaels leaps off the top hitting a elbow drop. The baby faces stand tall to close out the show.
Prior to the next match, Goldust dances to Shawn Michaels music and sings along.
WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Goldust – IYH Buried Alive Dark Match – October 20th, 1996
Michaels punches Goldust and trips the challenger before walking across his back. Michaels sends Goldust to the floor and plays to the crowd. Michaels yanks Goldust off the apron and Goldust hits face first. Michaels hits a top rope axe handle for a two count. Michaels grabs Goldust’s groin and pulls on it before delivering a right hand. Goldust avoids a backdrop with a drop down upper cut and a clothesline sending Michaels to the floor. Goldust knocks Michaels off the apron with a right hand. Goldust drops Michaels throat first across the railing. Goldust hits a suplex from the apron to the floor for a two count. Goldust has a sleeper hold on the champ but isn’t able to make Michaels pass out long enough to win the title. Michaels hits a back suplex to break free from the hold. They collide after running ropes. Michaels hits a leaping forearm shot and plays to the crowd. Michaels backdrops Goldust and heads to the top rope. Michaels hits a top rope elbow drop. Michaels sets up for the super kick. Goldust gets up but ducks the kick and clotheslines Michaels for a near fall. Goldust seductively crawls onto Michaels and puts his mouth on his stomach before delivering a right hand. Michaels is sent chest first into the corner and Goldust attempts a lifting reverse DDT, but Michaels breaks free and kisses Goldust, who loved it. Goldust turns around and is met with the Sweet Chin Music which is good enough for three. (***. The most enjoyable match thus far, and it wasn’t all that long of a match, really. I liked the mind games and the finish.)
Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind – IYH It’s Time Dark Match – December 15th, 1996
Michaels wastes no time going after Mankind ramming his head into the announcers table and whacks Mankind over the back with a steel chair. Michaels attempts a backdrop but Mankind fights back with a clothesline. Mankind hammers away on Michaels in the corner and chokes Michaels briefly. Mankind baseball slides Michaels to the floor and sends Michaels into the ring steps head first. Mankind hits a running knee strike in the corner. Mankind goes for the Mandible Claw but Michaels is able to avoid it. Michaels drives Mankind down to the canvas with a back suplex. Michaels hammers away on Mankind in the corner with several strikes. Michaels hits a leaping forearm shot. Mankind has the Mandible Claw in and Michaels is beginning to fade. They crash through the middle rope to the floor. Michaels rams Mankind back first into the ring steps and ring post. Michaels slams Mankind’s hand onto the ring steps a few times. Michaels goes to the top and hits a double axe handle. Michaels heads to the top hitting an elbow drop. Michaels sets up for the Sweet Chin Music. Michaels goes after Paul Bearer but still hits the Sweet Chin Music and pins Mankind. (*1/2. Another quick match between two guys that had an excellent match in September. There seemed to be a lack of motivation on Michaels part in the match. A disappointing match, I’d say.)