WWE Greatest Wrestling Stars Of The 90’s
Written by: Tom Hopkins
Well, if they have an 80’s version, why not have a 90’s version?
The Main Characters
–If you were a huge star in the 1990’s in wrestling, and you don’t have a grudge against McMahon, you will be in this collection. Sure, this was copied and pasted from the 1980’s collection and I don’t care.
Wrestling had hit its peak in 1987 with Wrestlemania III and actually started a slow and steady decline into the 90’s. Sure there were big events like the Warrior/Hogan match but the business never attracted the numbers it did in the glory years of the 80’s. Throw in McMahon’s steroid trial and the general ineptness of the people running WCW and 1991-1995 were not good years. But then something happened, the NWO struck in 1996 making them the biggest and coolest things in wrestling and WWE countered with their attitude era storylines and the biggest star the industry had ever seen, Steve Austin. By the time the decade was closing, over 10 million people were tuning in every Monday night to for Raw or Nitro and the money was just rolling in.
The Film (2:14:41)
This DVD is done a bit differently than the 1980’s one. Most noticeably, the first disc has the main program focusing on all the stars instead of segmenting them onto the three DVD’s. That’s a huge plus since you have the main program and all the extra features on Disc One and all the matches on the subsequent two discs. We see a mash-up of the guys who will be in this DVD and we meet our host, Tazz, who was released or left the WWE between the time this was recorded and the DVD was released.
We start with the guy who led the WWE through their dark ages before passing the torch (albeit because injuries forced him into retirement rather than the goodness of his heart and what was good for the business) to Steve Austin and that man is Shawn Michaels. Shawn always wanted to be a single star and we see the heel turn against Jannetty to start his singles run. Patterson set Shawn up with Sherri, which established Shawn as a singles guy and Perfect first named him the Heartbreak Kid. Shawn won the IC title in 1992 at SNME, his first singles title and it was only up from there, becoming the first Grand Slam title holder and wrestling Bret Hart in an Iron Man match at Wrestlemania. We go to other highlights of Shawn’s 90’s run, including the Hell In A Cell Match, Degeneration-X, and finally his back injury and dropping the title to Austin.
We move from the smallest WWE champion of the decade to the largest, Yokozuna. I’m surprised he’s in here based on his relatively brief run as champ, especially losing to Hogan at WM9 immediately after winning the title. Yoko would get the title back at the King of the Ring once contract negotiations with Hogan broke down. The cheering of fans at ringside signaled the end of Hulkamania in that era. His weight soon became insurmountable and he was let go from the WWE and died in September of 2000.
We move from Yoko to another great Samoan wrestler, Rocky Maivia, who would become the Rock. He started in 1996 as a smiling babyface and was booed to high heaven. So he turned heel and was one of the biggest heels in the undercard around 1998. He was then elevated to World Title status by the end of 1998 and was thrust into a feud with Steve Austin culminating in their Wrestlemania XV match. They don’t mention his feud with Austin over the IC title, though. They also bypass his feud with Mankind which would’ve fit perfectly in here, especially since Mick is included in this disc.
Instead, we segue from Rock to the role of women in wrestling during the 90’s. Now, instead of wrestlers they were just eye candy for all the teenage boys to stare at. We look at Sable, Terri Runnels, Sunny, Debra McMichaels and some of the actual wrestlers from the time, Alundra Blayze and Chyna. It’s interesting that Alundra is included here thanks to what she did to McMahon. If you don’t know, she went and threw the WWE Women’s Title in the garbage live on WCW Nitro. These women all had one thing in common, great hair. Our next star has the same thing in common, for no star in the 90’s had better hair than Kevin Nash.
Kevin Nash started the decade as Oz in WCW. They show clips of that and it is as ridiculous as it sounds. He then became Vinnie Vegas, an Italian mafioso of some sort. So Shawn called up Vince and asked him to bring Nash to the WWE and Nash was brought in as Diesel as Shawn Michael’s bodyguard. All of a sudden, he had a gimmick he could use and shot to stardom, winning the IC title and then the World title in the span of a year. Ross tells us that Shane actually named Diesel and says that Nash wouldn’t have been the star he was without Shawn Michaels. Tazz mentions the Kliq which included Scott Hall and HHH. Nash and Hall bolted for WCW in 1996 and were huge heels as the Outsiders, then launched wrestling into the stratosphere by forming the New World Order. He would go on to defeat Goldberg at Starrcade, a move many saw to be the beginning of the end for WCW.
We move to Owen Hart, who I think is on here because of McMahon feeling like he owes him rather than his own accomplishments. I’m as big a fan of Owen as anyone else, but he was never considered THE guy in any promotion and his main event run in 1994 was only due to his brother rather than his own accord. He started the 90’s as one half of the New Hart Foundation and later High Energy. He wouldn’t really get big until he feuded with his brother, Bret, in 1994. This led to a classic match at Wrestlemania X that launched his heel run, a heel run that saw him knock out Shawn Michaels, win tag titles with Yokozuna and British Bulldog, win two Slammy’s, and perhaps more dubiously injuring Steve Austin and altering the course of the WWE forever. They talk about his role in the Nation of Domination and finally his tragic death.
We move to a guy who was featured on the Greatest Stars of the 80’s DVD, Ric Flair. Ric was still going strong well into the 90’s. He was still the man in WCW as the 90’s started until internal conflict led him to the hallowed halls of the WWE (even bringing the Big Gold Belt with him). While there, he won the WWE title in the greatest Royal Rumble ever and main evented a Wrestlemania with Randy Savage. HHH notes that kind of missed the boat with the whole Hogan/Flair feud. He went back to WCW by 1994 and was still a huge star when the company folded. He went back to the WWE to continue his career. He even wrestled well into the 00’s, probably hoping for inclusion on that collection, too. Really, Flair is one of the biggest stars of the 80’s, 90’s and all time.
Up next is Mick Foley, who started the 90’s in WCW as Cactus Jack. He was never what you would consider as having an athletic build. WCW was bumped from WCW and found a home in ECW, becoming probably one of the biggest stars there for his hardcore style and crazy promos. Mick would then go to WWE and give up the Cactus Jack character for the much more mentally unstable Mankind character. His debut in 1996 brought about one of the creepier characters to ever appear in WWE lore. He had great matches with Shawn Michaels and Undertaker in 1996. 1997 would witness the return of Cactus Jack and a feud with HHH, while 1998 would see such great highlights as his Over the Edge match with Austin as Dude Love and his epic, career-defining Hell In A Cell Match. Mick credits that match with the beginning of the end of his career. Mick even got a chance to hold the title in the final year of the 90’s by defeating Rock on Raw (where WCW gave away the ending, on Nitro). They mention the Rock and Sock Connection towards the tail end of 1999 and his final string of matches with HHH in early 2000. Mick is personally one of my favorite stars of the 90’s and of all time.
Mick had three personas’ in the 90’s and had success with all three. Not all gimmicks would provide success and we see a bunch of them, from Damien Demento, to the Yeti. There are a lot of great duds here. Certain characters get longer segments than others including: Bastian Booger, TL Hopper, Man Mountain Rock, The Goon, Bezerker, the Oddities, Repo Man, Duke the Dumpster Droese, Max Moon, Glacier, and the almighty Shockmaster who tripped in his WCW debut. They show that clip a bunch of times, and deservedly so.
Those were some bad gimmicks. We move to the next person who appeared on both collections; Hulk Hogan. By the early 90’s Hulkmania had started to not run as wild as it did in the past. Sure the year started off great with the Warrior title defense at Wrestlemania VI, but after Hogan won the title back the Hulkamania machine lost steam and he was out of the WWE by 1993. He would show in WCW a short time later in 1994 and didn’t really set the world on fire until the New World Order came about in 1996. Hogan as undoubtedly on top of the company and would ride that momentum to the end of the 90’s. Some may question whether that went too long, but that’s a discussion for another DVD. Hogan proved he had staying power and proved he could carry an entire promotion on his back no matter which promotion it was.
The New World Order was huge, but in the WWE they d their own rival organization called Degeneration X. Well, we’ve already profiled Shawn Michaels so let’s look at the other half of DX; Triple H. He was brought in as a blue-blood snob and was given an IC Title run in 1997. He would just shoot up from there, forming DX in late 1997 and when Michaels retired, HHH took control of the group. He enhanced their line-up with X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws and by the end of the decade he was in the main event, a spot he is still in to this day. They briefly mention his matches with the Rock over the IC title from this decade.
One of the biggest and most talked about stars of the 90’s was Bret Hart. When the 90’s started he was just starting his singles run and winning the IC title a pair of times. He had a classic match with British Bulldog at Wembley Stadium. By 1993 he had climbed to the top of the mountain, beating Ric Flair for the WWE title in a house show. He lost the title to Shawn Michaels in the Iron Man match, a match that Bret really appreciates. Hart also had an epic feud with Steve Austin that really made Austin’s career. His WWE career would end in controversy with the Survivor Series screw job. Bret went to WCW and won the title there before suffering a concussion at the hands of Goldberg that ended his career.
Of course, the monumental rise of wrestling in the late 90’s was due in some part to the promoters: Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman. McMahon played the role of the evil billionaire owner to a T in the late 90’s. They show clips of McMahon, Bischoff and Paul Heyman. Surprisingly, Lex Luger is up next. They start with his run in WCW as champ when Flair left, then WWE career with the WBF, then as the Narcissist, then as his Lex Express days. He never could win the title (cementing his status as a choker) and basically descended down the card until he left the WWE to appear on the very first Nitro. Now I see why he’s on here, since Jim Ross says he was big but never could win the big one.
Our next superstar is perhaps the biggest name to not work for the WWE once they became the only game in town and that is Sting. Sting is certainly one of the biggest WCW guys ever. I never really followed WCW so I don’t know too much about his career but this one hit all the highlights, from winning the WCW title to his darker image in the late 90’s. Tazz mentions how Sting never worked for the WWE (the only on this DVD to claim that) which he noted was odd since in the 90’s the market for wrestlers was at an all time high. Speaking of those who banked in on that, let’s visit Scott Hall. He floundered for a while in the WCW before coming to WWE in a Scarface inspired character named Razor Ramon. Razor was so bad that he was actually cool, and the fans really started to cheer for him, despite him not doing anything different in the ring. Razor was given the IC title, which Ross called very prestigious “at that time.” Way to put the belt over now, Jim! He had a classic ladder match at Wrestlemania X (the second match from that card featured on this program). His profile was so high that WCW signed him away and brought him into the promotion as part of an Invasion type angle, with Scott and Kevin calling themselves the Outsiders. He would win a pair of US titles at WCW and a ton of tag titles with Nash.
Hall called himself the bad guy, but the baddest of them all in the 90’s was the Undertaker. He debuted with the WWE at the end of 1991 and managed to stay as the Undertaker, truly an over-the-top gimmick, for the remainder of the decade. He made the gimmick work and was easily one of the most popular characters ever in WWE history. He won the WWE title in 1992 to earn his first title, and would win many more by the time the decade ended. Even going through crazy feuds with Yokozuna, Giant Gonzalez, the Fake Undertaker, among a host of others, he has remained the perennial WWE star, staying with the company up to today. He even put together an undefeated Wrestlemania streak that has reached 16 by the time this DVD has been released. No matter what your opinion of Undertaker, you can’t deny his role in the WWE and his impact on wrestling history.
No matter how big the Undertaker got, he and all the other superstars must bow to the biggest star not only of the 90’s but of all time, Stone Cold Steve Austin. He started the 90’s in the WCW and his biggest thing there was the Hollywood Blonds with Brian Pillman. While in WCW he was fired via FedEx and turned up in ECW, honing his interview skills that would catapult him into superstardom. He entered the WWE as the Ringmaster and was managed by Ted DiBiase, but once DiBiase left Austin was allowed to go out on his own. He won the King of the Ring in 1996 and his post-match interview started the catch-phrase Austin 3:16 says I just kicked your ass. From there you could see Austin’s star rising. He went from a feud with Owen Hart, suffered a terrible injury and that just helped his career. He started going against Vince McMahon and a feud was born that would carry the WWE through the 90’s and decisively end the Monday Night Wars. Austin was by far the biggest guy in all sports, selling more merchandise than anyone in history. It is fitting to end this with the biggest star of the 90’s and of all time.
This is quite a good look at the greatest stars of the 90’s. Sure you can argue it is pretty WWE-centric. Of all these guys profiled, only Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Sting could be considered WCW born and bred. All the other stars achieved their fame in the WWE. One thing to consider though is that Hogan, Nash and Hall were clearly bigger in the WCW in the 90’s than in the WWE and, honestly, what other WCW superstar could you put here that dominated the 90’s? I can’t think of any that would surpass any of the WWE guys on here. At 2 hours this is a perfect length to profile these 14 or so superstars. For the most part the continuity of the show was well done. The segments flowed from person to person and there really wasn’t a bad segue (except maybe the Divas-Nash one) and I could get into the program and not get bored. I was actually thinking at the end that the Austin bit should’ve been a bit longer. In the end, putting this as one main feature instead of being broken into three discs like the 80’s collection. Was it biased? Sure. But as they say, history is written by the winners and Raw did win the ratings war and thus, their stars were bigger than the ones down south in the 90’s.
1) Razor Ramon – Restaurant Vignette (1:46)
This is Razor at a restaurant. I remember his character debuting back in the day (this is when I first started watching) and damn he was really cool back in 1993. Razor says that the other WW(blank) superstars are afraid of him. A waiter tries to give him a bill which he refuses to pay and throws all the food on the floor. What a great vignette. This is what is missing from wrestling today, having promo’s and vignettes to reveal what the new superstar is all about, what his personality is.
2) Undertaker Builds A Coffin for Yokozuna (2:50)
This was during the crazy Yoko/Undertaker feud that ended at Royal Rumble 1994. This is basically Undertaker building a coffin, a large coffin, for Yokozuna.
3) Bret “Hit Man” Hart – New Generation Vignette (0:52)
This was in the mid-90’s when the WWE were getting trounced by WCW. This Vignette is very reminiscent of the Mean Joe NFL commercial.
4) Owen Hart Inside A Steel Cage (3:54)
Owen cuts a promo against his brother inside a steel cage in an empty arena. This is from an airing of Superstars from August 20th, 1994. Owen has the Anvil with him, too. Owen will win the WWE title from Bret, who ruined his childhood.
5) Shawn Michaels Press Conference from Wrestlemania XI (3:49)
This press conference was held on February 28th, 1995. Shawn has his new bodyguard, Sid, with him. This was a set-up to the Diesel/HBK match at Wrestlemania XI. He talks about his ladder match at Wrestlemania X.
6) Hunter Hearst Helmsley – “Riff Raff” (1:12)
This was one of the first (maybe the first?) vignette of HHH. He plays up the blue-blood snob thing speaking with a high-class accent and he says he will teach the WWE a lesson in class, civility and how to be a gentleman. Who knew that 4 years after this he would have the WWE title and a few years later would basically run the promotion.
7) Mankind – “And God Created Mankind” (1:09)
This is one of the creepy first Mankind vignettes. Mankind was just such a different character and Mick Foley played the crazed, haunted, human being perfectly well. God created Mankind on the 8th day and Mankind says he should’ve slept that day, too. Awesome vignette.
8) Scott Hall & Kevin Nash – “Modern Day Gladiators” (2:32)
This is a New World Order advertisement that features Nash and Hall. They call themselves modern day gladiators. The look and feel of these early NWO videos was really cutting edge, showing the low-tech kind of rebellion that the outsiders represented at the time. Interestingly enough, this is the only WCW vignette on this collection.
9) The Hart Foundation Reunites (6:23)
This is from the March 31st, 1997 edition of Raw. Owen tries to use a chair on Bulldog but Bret comes down and breaks that up. He gets on the microphone and blames the American fans for all the in-fighting. Owen breaks down in the ring and the three of them hug it out in the ring.
10) D-Generation X Reenacts the Montreal Incident (4:27)
Shortly after Bret was screwed by Vince McMahon, he wasted no time in insulting the legacy of Bret on WWE television, as shown in this episode of Raw from November 24th, 1997. DX introduces Bret Hart. Of course, instead of Bret we get a midget dressed like Bret.
11) The Rock Read Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Eulogy (7:48)
The Rock read Austin’s eulogy at the April 19th, 1999 edition of Raw. Rock says that Austin will be buried at Backlash and he has the Smoking Skull belt with him. Austin’s not happy with this and shows his displeasure by destroying the Rock’s new car with his monster truck. He then drives the truck into the arena to confront Rock. He knocks him out and drops him into the open grave at the entrance.
12) Stone Cold Steve Austin Remembers the Shockmaster (0:58)
Steve talks about the Shockmaster. If you don’t know who the Shockmaster is, he made his big debut in the WCW in a great way. He was to burst through a wall in his Stormtrooper helmet and have an automated voice talk for him. So the moment comes and Shockmaster (played by Tugboat) barrels through the wall, but not before tripping, falling, and losing his helmet. It was probably one of the most embarrassing things to happen to anyone in wrestling and is one of the funniest things I had ever seen.
—Disc Two— (2:42:51)
1) Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (15:47)
This is from a Madison Square Garden show held on November 30th, 1991. The fans are chanting, “We Want Flair,” and Flair comes out but without Mr. Perfect. The title is blurred out but it is really the WWE Tag Title belt. McMahon says that Tunney wanted to blur it out since he didn’t win it in the WWE but it was really because of legal reasons with the NWA. This was right before Hogan battled Undertaker for the WWE title which he lost to Taker thanks to Flair’s interference. Flair starts the match outside of the ring, drawing Hogan to chase him. Flair shows how smart he is by going into the ring and stomping at Hogan when he comes in. Flair is in control until Hogan comes back with a thumb to the eye and chops in the corner. Flair is sent to the corner where Hogan follows with a clothesline, leading to a Flair flop. Flair tries a hiptoss but Hogan clotheslines him down and then clotheslines him to the outside. Hogan tosses Flair around outside and suplexes him onto the mat over the concrete. Hogan brings him back inside where Flair begs off, then calmly kicks Hogan down and back suplexes him. Hogan comes right back up and Flair is tossed to the corner. He flips up but doesn’t quite make it outside. Flair tries a thumb to the eye and a chop, but Hogan no-sells it. Flair is sent to the corner where this time he goes up and over and is clotheslined off the apron to the outside. Flair starts to bail but Hogan catches him and brings him back. A series of eye-pokes follow and Flair heads upstairs only to be caught and tossed off. Big boot for Hogan and a legdrop and Hogan covers Flair. The ref counts to three but Flair’s foot was on the ropes and the ref says the match isn’t over. Wow, that is one of the first times the legdrop didn’t work, and during this time did anyone not get pinned by it other than Warrior? Hogan argues, allowing Flair to go to work on the leg of Hogan. Perfect now makes an appearance, distracting the ref, allowing Flair to post Hogan’s leg. Perfect joins in on the double-team, too. Flair keeps going for the knee and the figure-four is applied. Flair uses Perfect and the ropes for extra leverage. Hogan turns the hold around and the hold is broken. Perfect hands Flair some brass knuckles and he knocks Hogan out cold. He covers and gets the pinfall at 9:28. I can’t believe Flair got that pinfall victory. Tony Garea comes in and tells the ref that Flair cheated and they find the brass knuckles. Hogan is given the DQ victory. Flair tries to attack Hogan again but that ends badly for him as he’s tossed. Hogan continues selling the leg, though. That was an interesting match. Flair really used his guile to out-think Hogan and almost got a clean victory of the Hulkster. Hogan seemed energized working with the much better wrestler and I think this would’ve been an awesome Wrestlemania VIII main event. ***.
2) Bret Hart(c) vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWE Title (29:02)
This was the main event of the 1992 Survivor Series, held on November 25th, 1992. I feel like I’ve seen this match recently but I don’t remember where. This is an interesting choice in terms of Hart/Shawn matches to put on here. I would’ve gone with the ladder match myself, but that is just me. Shawn still has the Sherri sung theme song. This was when Bret was cementing his status as a fighting champ, taking on all comers. I don’t know if there was a reason for this match other than having someone who could work well with Hart. Shawn was the IC champ at the time, having beaten British Bulldog for the title on Saturday Night’s Main Event. They battle in the ring for a lock-up, which ends with Bret holding Michaels down. Michaels shoves Hart who responds with one of his own. Hart goes to work on the arm of Michaels, which Michaels reverses about 5 minutes later. Hart wisely charges the ropes and dumps Michaels to the outside. Michaels gets to the apron and Hart slingshots him into the ring and back to the arm. Michaels breaks and Hart responds with a flying bodypress for two, then a sunset flip for two. Hart goes back to the arm. Hart is wrestling a very smart match right now, outsmarting Shawn at every turn. So Shawn fights back with illegal rights, only to get clotheslined down for two and back to the arm we go. Shawn breaks and Hart charges only to get stunned across the top rope. Hart follows that up by charging at Michaels in the corner and ramming his shoulder into the ringpost.
Michaels follows that by sending Bret into the corner and covering for two. Shawn works on a side-headlock of his own. Bret breaks but walks right into a dropkick for two. A back-breaker gets two. Bret comes back with a swinging neckbreaker but can’t capitalize any further. Shawn sends Bret to the corner but a blind charge hits the boot of Hart. He bulldogs him but misses the second rope elbow. Shawn hits a flying elbow for two and goes to the reverse chinlock. They get back to a vertical base where Bret small packages Michaels for two. Shawn misses another charge and Bret follows up with a belly to back suplex. Hart slingshots Michaels into the corner, then whip him to the corner where Michaels ends up getting crotched. A back body drop for Hart gets two. A side Russian legsweep gets two for Hart. The backbreaker sets up the elbow from the second rope which does hit this time. Bret covers and gets a two-count. Bret superplexes Shawn and gets a two. Bret tries a sleeper but Michaels backs out of it, and into the referee. Bret attends to the referee and Michaels tries to counter. This whole thing leads to Bret getting dumped to the outside.
Michaels slams Bret on the outside before bringing Bret back in. Bret is sent to the corner again, and Shawn covers for two. Shawn back drops Hart for two. Michaels argues with the referee so Bret rolls him up for two. Bret walks right into the super-kick. Shawn tries for the teardrop suplex, his finisher at the time, but Bret fights out of it, only to get back suplexed for two. Shawn is flustered at all these near-falls. Bret charges back with a forearm and Michaels gets locked in the ropes. Bret charges but Shawn moves and Bret gets all entangled in the ropes. Shawn tries a dropkick from the second rope but Bret catches him and puts him in the Sharpshooter and that’s all she wrote at 26:40. This started off really slow but built well and you could see the makings of Shawn as a really good singles wrestler. ****.
3) Hulk Hogan(c) vs. Yokozuna for the WWE title (23:01)
This was a big turning point in the history of the WWE and took place on June 13th, 1993 at the King of the Ring. Having beaten Bret Hart at Wrestlemania, Yoko immediately challenged anyone in the WWE. Hogan answered the call and beat Yoko in record time for the title. This is Yoko’s rematch and by this time the WWE and Hogan were almost completely divorced and they didn’t want him carrying the belt anymore. Yoko has a bunch of photographers with him. Hogan comes out with Jimmy Hart in his corner. They stall for quite a while to start the match. Hogan tries to shove off Yokozuna but gets nowhere with that. Yoko takes over with the power game, tossing Hogan around and bodyslamming him. Yoko misses a splash in the corner and Hogan tries to punch Yoko down. Yoko is sent to the corner and Hogan follows with a clothesline. Hogan tries to bodyslam Yoko but fails miserably. He tries again and it’s another failure for Hogan. Hogan tries to clothesline Yoko down but falls prey to his own clothesline. Yoko misses a body splash and Hogan tries a running shoulderblock, only to get knocked down himself. Yoko grabs a bearhug but Hogan is able to break out of it thanks to the urging of the fans. He uses this newfound energy to fall victim to a belly to belly suplex for two. Hulk kicks out and Hulks up. A big boot still doesn’t send Yoko down. A second one and Yoko is still standing. A third one finally fells him. Hogan hits the legdrop and Yoko kicks out! Hogan doesn’t know what to do, so he punches Fuji on the apron. A photographer comes to the apron and his camera explodes in Hogan’s face. A legdrop for Yoko finishes this at 13:11. Hulkamania is dead, long live Hulkamania. What a statement that was for the Hulk sent by McMahon. His leg drop was decisively kicked out of and Yoko killed Hulkamania with the move that made him famous. To add insult to injury and really drive the nail into the casket, a banzai drop is added after the match. This match was terrible, but the story behind the match is fascinating. ¼*. The fans hate that decision and we see little kids crying at ringside. They’ll forget him in a few weeks anyway.
4) Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (25:27)
This was the opening match of Wrestlemania X held on March 20th, 1994. This is taken from my WWE: Bret “Hitman” Hart review.This was the opening match of Wrestlemania X, held on 03/20/94 at MSG. This is probably one of my favorite matches ever. Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are calling the action here. Owen breaks an early hold and cheers like he won the Stanley Cup. Fireman’s carry leads to a Bret headscissors, which Owen escapes from, and celebrates yet again. Bret with a takedown, but Owen makes the ropes. Owen comes back with a take down of his own, so Bret charges towards the ropes, ducks, and Owen goes flying to the outside. Owen is pissed and comes in and smacks his brother. Owen with a hammerlock, reversed by Bret, reversed to a headlock by Owen, reversed to an armbar by Bret. They continue with the nice reversal sequence, leading to a Bret reverse sunset flip for two, and Bret with an armdrag takeover. Owen escapes, leading to another reversal sequence ending with Owen getting monkey flipped then clotheslined to the outside. Owen starts to retreat but Bret runs out and throws him back in. Bret with a schoolboy for two, and Bret goes back to working the arm. Crucifix for Bret gets two, and he goes back to the arm. Owen comes back with a flying forearm, and he stomps his brother to the outside. Owen follows and smashes his brother’s back into the ringpost. Back inside and Owen goes to the Camel Clutch, all while yelling at his brother. Bret breaks but an Owen belly to belly suplex gets a two-count. Crossbody by Owen is rolled through by Bret for two, but Owen goes back to kneeing Bret’s back, and another Camel Clutch. Owen tries to bodyslam Bret, but Bret falls on top of Owen for two. Bret’s kicked to the outside when Owen kicks out and makes the apron. Owen tries to suplex him in but Bret flips over, which leads to an Owen turnaround and a German suplex gets two. Owen tries another suplex but Bret reverses into a small package for two. Owen flips out of a backbreaker then tombstones Bret. Owen goes to the top rope but a flying headbutt attempt misses when Bret rolls out of the way. Bret with a clothesline gets two. Side Russian legsweep gets two. Backbreaker leads to the elbow from the second rope for two. Owen regains control and tries for a Sharpshooter, but Owen wiggles free and tries for one of his own. Owen with a roll-up gets two.
Bret comes back and dumps his brother to the outside. Bret follows with a slingshot plancha, but he hurts his knee, the same knee he hurt at the Royal Rumble. Bret rolls Owen back in but Owen takes advantage and starts working the knee. Owen rams Bret’s knee into the ring post, works the knee, some more that leads to a figure four. Bret turns it around and Owen makes the ropes. Both men have a bum leg, but Owen’s isn’t as bummed as Bret’s is. Bret with an enzuigiri out of nowhere, and he works over Owen in the corner. Owen goes chest first into the turnbuckle’s and Bret hits a legdrop for two. Bret unleashes a running bulldog, still sells the knee, and covers for two. Piledriver for Bret gets two. Bret sets up his brother on the top rope, and unfurls a super-plex but even that only gets a two count. Bret with a sleeper, but Owen makes the ropes, drawing the ref, and he low blows his brother. Owen follows with a Sharpshooter, but Bret grabs Owen’s leg and puts on a Sharpshooter of his. Owen makes the ropes to break the hold. Bret is sent to the corner, Owen misses a charge and Bret tries fro a victory roll. Owen reverses it, sits on top of Bret and gets the pinfall and the huge victory over his older brother at 20:21. This was one of the best matches of the 90’s, and had a great storyline, great wrestling, and was an amazing thing to watch. *****.
5) Razor Ramon(c) vs. Diesel for the Intercontinental Title (8:22)
This was from an episode of Superstars which aired on April 13th, 1994. Razor charges in to fight Diesel, who has Shawn Michaels in his corner. Razor has the very manly hot pink boots on. Razor goes for an early Razor’s Edge, which Diesel back drops out of. Razor comes back with a clothesline and slugs Diesel out of the ring. Diesel gets to the apron and stuns Razor over the top rope. Diesel follows up with a short-arm clothesline and elbows in the corner. We enter what was a commercial break and return with Diesel dropping an elbow to the back of Razor. Diesel sits on the back of Razor, which leads to Razor getting up and sitting back down for a double-KO spot. Razor is up first and bulldogs Diesel from the second rope for two, then bodyslams him for two. Shawn gets to the apron and is knocked off by Razor. He charges at Diesel but runs into his knee. Shawn takes off the top turnbuckle but Diesel is sent to that corner and Michaels is tossed to the outside. Diesel no-sells that and sends Razor into the corner and a powerbomb finishes things at 5:47. That spot looked blown, was Diesel not supposed to go into that corner? It was a weird finish. The Kliq always sold for each other more than anyone else and always made sure to everyone involved in the match look good. **1/4. This would be Diesel’s first WWE title, but not his last. By December we would be the WWE Champ.
6) Sting vs. Vader for the International World Heavyweight Championship (15:50)
This is the first of 3 WCW matches on this collection and it took place at Slamboree from May 22nd, 1994. This is for the vacant International World Heavyweight Title. I forgot why this new title was created, but I am sure it was way too complicated and made no sense. It was WCW after all. We start off very slowly with some fans at ringside chanting, “Sting Must Die.” Vader corners Sting and pounds him down to the mat. He picks him up and short arm clotheslines him. Sting makes it back up and kicks Vader to the outside, into the arms of Harley Race, his manager. Sting suplexes Vader once he gets back into the ring but does more damage to his back than anything else. Vader takes control and a Vader Bomb gets two. Another Vader Bomb gets two. Vader then grapevines Sting in a submission and when that doesn’t work he just ground and pounds him. Sting makes an epic comeback out of nowhere and drops an elbow leading to a double knockout. Sting gets back up and tries a flying body press, but Vader moves and he hits the ref instead, knocking the ref out. Vader chokeslams Sting and covers but there is no ref. Harley Race brings in a chair and tries to whack Sting with it, but he its Vader instead. Sting DDT’s Vader and covers for two. Sting clotheslines Vader to the outside, then suplexes him in from the apron. He follows with another clothesline that sends Vader outside. Vader gets back in where Sting sets up for the Stinger Splash. Vader catches him and powerslams him. Vader doesn’t cover and instead tries a Moonsault. He misses and Sting covers, but Harley tries a flying headbutt to break the pin. He misses Sting and hits Vader, and Sting follows with a splash off the top rope for the pinfall and the title. The crowd cheering is piped in now, and judging by the reactions of some people at ringside, I think they were covering up some booing. Good match, with only a little bit of lethargic work at the beginning that brought this down. ***1/2.
7) Bret Hart vs. Diesel for the WWE Title (36:54)
This took place on January 22nd, 1995 at the Royal Rumble. This is taken from my WWE: Royal Rumble Anthology Volume II review. Diesel had beaten Bob Backlund, who defeated Hart at the Survivor Series in a long match, in 8-seconds for the WWE title. Lawrence Taylor is at ringside and Diesel goes over to him during his entrance. Bret and Diesel do a pound before the match, as a sign of respect, I guess. Diesel shoves Bret aside to start. It ensues into a slugfest. Hart tries for a cross body but is caught by Diesel and slammed down. Diesel misses an elbow drop and Hart tries to knock Diesel down but can’t. Diesel clotheslines Hart to the outside and a slugfest on the apron now. Bret, on the outside, grabs the leg of Diesel and rams it into the ringpost, trying to work the knee. Back inside and he is right after the knee. Bret puts Diesel in the figure four, but Diesel uses his height to reach the ropes. So Bret kicks him down and puts him back into the figure four. Diesel makes the ropes but Hart doesn’t release the hold right away. He sends Diesel outside and follows with a pescado. The tide turns slightly when Diesel sends Hart into the steel steps. Back in, Diesel sends Hart to the corner and works him over with elbows. Diesel with a side slam gets two. Diesel starts working the back of Hart and puts him in a body vice. Bret reverses to a sleeper which turns into a Diesel snapmare. Hart goes off the ropes and runs into a Diesel big boot. Elbow drop gets two for Diesel. Bret goes upstairs but Diesel catches him and Bret gets sent outside. So Bret grabs the legs of Diesel and ties his legs around the ringpost with the tape from his wrist. Bret goes to work and just stomps Diesel. Bulldog gets two. Bret with a backbreaker, followed with an elbow drop from the second rope for two. Bret tries for the Sharpshooter but Diesel makes the ropes. Diesel gets up and Bret clotheslines him over the top. Bret tries with a slingshot dive over the top, but Diesel catches him and rams his back into the ring post.
Back in the ring, Diesel hits his powerbomb and covers, but Shawn Michaels runs in to break the count. He barely makes it and it looked like Bret had to kick out. Hebner explains to Fink that the match must continue. Bret goes back to work on the knee and gets another figure four, but Diesel hits the injured ribs of Hart to break the hold. They brawl in the corner, with both men using the other’s weakness to their advantage. Diesel goes for a big boot in the corner but Bret moves out of the way and slides outside and again uses the ringpost to mash Diesel’s leg into it. He grabs a chair and uses it on the knee, and the ref still doesn’t DQ Bret. Bret comes back in and puts the Sharpshooter on Diesel, in the center of the ring. Owen Hart comes in to break the hold, unties the turnbuckle, and sends Bret’s chest right into it. Again, the match must continue. Diesel crawls over to the fallen Hart and covers for two. Diesel tries to send Hart to the uncovered turnbuckle but irony is a cruel mistress and Diesel instead gets his face planted in it. Slugfest and Hart can’t knock Diesel down. He finally slugs him down but Diesel is up quickly and delivers forearms of his own. Bret gets caught up, hanging upside down from the ropes and Diesel goes for the chair. Bret quickly escapes from the ropes. He looks at Diesel then goes down, holding his knee. Diesel goes over but hart was playing possum and small packages Diesel for two. Both men go to the ropes and we get a contrived ref bump. All hell breaks loose as Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett and Roadie gang up on Diesel and Owen and Bob Backlund run in and gang up on Bret Hart. That’s enough for the DQ, and we’re done at 27:27. I don’t know why all the other stuff was allowed, but this is what causes the DQ, which the ref calls a draw. The ending was just terrible, probably to protect both men, but everything before that was just great, with nice psychology used by both men. ****1/4. Bret and Diesel fight off the men and they share a male-bonding moment in the ring.
8) Bull Nakano(c) vs. Alundra Blayze for the Women’s Title (8:32)
This women’s title match took place on Raw which aired on April 3rd, 1995. This is the only women’s match represented on here. How soon after this match did Blayze throw the title into the garbage on Nitro? This is a Raw event from Poughkeepsie, which announcer Vince McMahon tells us. Bull attacks from behind and takes control early. Alundra gets in a quick hand-spring hurricanrana but Bull comes back with a clothesline and a couple of hair-tosses. A legdrop gets two. Bull starts stretching out the leg in a submission attempt. Blayze makes the ropes to break the hold, then bulldogs Blayze off the second rope. Blayze comes back with a clothesline of sorts, then a spinning heel kick. She hits a second rope legdrop, then another one, and covers for two. Blayze tries a sunset flip but Bull sits down for two. Bull goes for the Sharpshooter type move by locking up the feet, then pulling Blayze back like a bow and arrow. That was a crazy submission. A piledriver gets two. Bull heads upstairs but Blayze dropkicks Bull to the outside and Blayze follows with a cross body. Blayze tries for another hurricanrana which Bull reverses to a powerbomb for two. Bull hits a legdrop from the top rope for two. Bull tries for a German suplex but Blayze reverses it to a victory roll for two. Blayze gets her own German suplex for two. It didn’t work so she does another one for two. Blayze heads upstairs but is tossed out and lands on the steps. Bull follows with a pescado that misses, and Blayze German suplexes Bull on the outside. Blayze is then sent into the stairs. Bull bodyslams Blayze inside but misses a moonsault and this time a Blayze German suplex finishes this at 6:42. Bull definitely carried things here, as Blayze had only two or three moves that she actually used. Bull had a huge array of moves that you don’t see most male wrestlers use. Bull was an impressive worker here. **1/2.
—Disc Three— (2:56:02)
1) Diesel & Shawn Michaels vs. Yokozuna & British Bulldog for the WWE Title, the Intercontinental Title and the World Tag Team Titles (21:18)
This confusing match was the main event of In Your House from September 24th, 1995. Okay, follow me on this. Yokozuna and Owen Hart were the tag team title holders while Shawn Michaels and Diesel were the IC and WWE Title holders respectively. So a match was set where a title change would be guaranteed, since whoever was pinned would lose their title. The night of the show, Owen Hart no-showed and British Bulldog was put in Owen’s place, for reasons that would become clear by the end of the match. Yoko is just beyond fat here. By the way, we showcase the best matches of the 90’s on here, we have only 16 matches, and two of them feature Yokozuna. Interesting, eh? Two Yokozuna matches and three total WCW matches. History really is written by the winners. So Shawn Michaels and British Bulldog start. They have a very quick opening sequence that leads to Bulldog getting clotheslined to the outside and Michaels skinning the cat. Yoko comes in, which draws Diesel who slugs Yoko to the outside. When things clear up Yoko comes in to battle Shawn. Shawn quickly tags out when Yoko misses an elbow drop and Diesel takes Yoko down with a big boot that sends his fat ass to the mat. Diesel tries to drag him back in, only to get blindsided by Bulldog.
Bulldog tries to suplex Diesel but fails, so he repeats the spot and covers for two. Bulldog tries the running powerslam but Diesel shoves off and sends Bulldog to the corners a bunch of times. He tags in Michaels who hits a frog splash off the shoulders of Diesel for two. Bulldog comes right back and military presses Michaels onto the top rope. Yoko comes in and dumps Michaels, where Bulldog goes after him. Yoko and Bulldog continue to wear down Shawn Michaels. Yoko misses a Banzai drop and Michaels makes the tag to Diesel, who goes to work on the Bulldog. Yoko intervenes and all four guys get involved. Bulldog is sent into Yoko, who falls on top of Bulldog. Diesel connects with a big boot and calls for the power bomb but Yoko breaks that up and Samoan drops Diesel. Shawn superkicks Yoko out of the ring as Bulldog powerbombs Diesel and covers. Shawn hits a flying elbow drop to break up that pin. All of a sudden, Owen Hart comes down and misses an axehandle from the top and he is powerbombed by Diesel who covers for the pinfall and the titles at 15:45. Of course, the next night on Raw it was decided that Shawn and Diesel were not champs because they didn’t pin anyone who was involved in the match. So the guarantee of a title change was just all smoke and mirrors. There were too many blown spots in here, and the combination of Yoko and Diesel was deadly to the workrate. The parts with Shawn and Bulldog were thoroughly enjoyable, though. *1/4.
2) Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (22:55)
This is from In Your House which was held on February 18th, 1996. This is a #1 contender’s match for the WWE title, which will be contested at Wrestlemania. Shawn would dance on the roof of the house backdrop before making his way to the ring, then repels down. He tosses Owen out of the ring so he can dance some more before the match starts. Once the match starts he takes some precious time out of the match to showboat some more and get high-fives from the ringside fans. Owen does the same and goes outside for high-fives, but no one reciprocates. Michaels hits a reverse splash off the top rope to Owen on the outside then brings him back in where he gets a double axe-handle off the top for two. Michaels pulls the hair in a funny spot, then they both take each other down and kip-up. Shawn does a hurricanrana and punches Owen, leading Owen to respond with a belly to belly suplex toss. Owen stomps at the back of Michaels and hits a backbreaker. Owen puts Shawn in a camel clutch and then connects with a spinning heel kick that sends Michaels to the outside. Michaels gets to the apron and suplexes Owen to the outside and tries for another splash off the apron. Owen catches him and powerslams him on the floor in a really cool spot. Owen ascends to the top rope and a missile dropkick nets a two count. Shawn gets a roll-up from nowhere for two but Owen comes right back with a flying clothesline and locks Shawn in the Sharpshooter.
Shawn makes the ropes only to get bodyslammed and nailed with a snot rocket. Owen follows with an enzuigiri, which knocked Michaels out on an earlier episode of Raw, another element that tied into the match so well. Owen doesn’t allow him to be counted out and he drags Michaels back inside and covers for two. Owen charges at Shawn in the corner but gets hung up in the second rope. Shawn responds with a flying clothesline and knocks both guys down. Owen gets up first but Shawn kips right up and hits a flying forearm. He’s feeling it now, folks! Owen is bodyslammed and Shawn follows up with an elbow drop from the top rope. Shawn cues up the band but misses Sweet Chin Music. Owen misses an enzuigiri and Michaels connects the second time with the superkick for the pin and the victory at 15:56. That was a GREAT match. ****1/4. Shawn dances with a young fan to end the show.
3) Shawn Michaels(c) vs. Vader for the WWE Title (29:38)
This was the main event of Summerslam, held on August 18th, 1996. I feel like I’ve seen this one recently, too. Vader was featured in two matches on this collection, though never mentioned in the main program. That may have been a slight oversight as he deserved a little mention in there. They brawl to start, with Michaels landing a kidney shot then Michaels dumping Vader by charging to the ropes and ducking. Michaels connects with a baseball slide then a nice looking tope onto Vader. Vader makes it back to the ring where Michaels hurricanrana’s him. He tries for a victory roll but then headscissors Vader to the outside. He hangs onto the top rope and skins the cat. Michaels tries a slingshot plancha but Vader catches him and powerbombs him to the mat. Vader picks up Michaels, walks up the stairs, and just Michaels into the ring. Vader slows things down a bit and overpowers Michaels. Michaels is back dropped and Vader sets up for a belly to back suplex but Michaels blocks. Another attempt is flipped out of by Shawn. Vader misses a splash in the corner and Michaels staggers around as Vader casually clotheslines him down. Michaels flips out of a suplex and charges but gets sent to the outside. Michaels skins the cat and tries to headscissor Vader out, but Vader just picks him up and tosses him face-first onto the mat for two. Michaels slides underneath Vader, who tries a butt-splash but Michaels lifts his knees right into Vader’s groin. A flying clothesline sends Vader down and Michaels heads upstairs. Michaels drops a boot, but that looks like a blown spot. Maybe Vader was supposed to move? Shawn throws a hissy-fit, which is perfectly in character for him. So Michaels cross bodies Vader and both guys tumble outside. Vader is up first and drops Michaels onto the guard rail. Michaels is counted out at 13:10, but Cornette wants the match to continue so Vader can win the title.
The referee restarts the match with Michaels outside the ring and Vader comes over and attacks him and Michael’s manager, Jose Lothario. Cornette gets in a racquet shot, too. Vader hits a splash in the corner and gets a belly to belly suplex for two. Vader tries a powerbomb but Michaels punches out of it and knocks down Vader with a flying forearm. He heads upstairs and hits an elbow drop. He cues up the band, but Cornette gets involved. Michaels uses the racquet that Cornette threw in and gets himself disqualified at 17:36. Vader is victorious again, and again Cornette demands for the match to be restarted, which again it is. So the match continues with Michaels hitting an elbow drop and cueing up the band. He hits a sweet chin music but Vader kicks out! The ref gets bumped and Vader powerbombs Michaels. He covers but there is no ref. Another one runs down and Michaels kicks out at two. Vader sets up for the Vader Bomb but Cornette tells Vader to go upstairs instead. Vader misses the subsequent moonsault so Shawn hits one of his own to get the pinfall at 22:15. This was a good match, not as much fun as the previous HBK one. There seemed to be something off about this match. I’ve heard that Vader was supposed to win but Shawn basically complained loud enough to change that. The goofy faux-finishes took a lot of flow away from the match, too. ***1/2.
4) Mankind vs. HHH in a Steel Cage Match (22:28)
This took place at Summerslam, held on August 3rd, 1997. This is taken from my WWE: Bloodbath DVD review. 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 square 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 tries to climb over the top but Mankind catches him and tosses him off the top. Mankind grinds HHH’s face into the steel bars and then 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 low blows 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 time 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 that and 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. **.
5) Hulk Hogan(c) vs. Lex Luger for the WCW Title (10:09)
This title match occurred at the August 4th, 1997 episode of Nitro. The announcers mention that this is the 100th episode of Nitro. Luger reverses a hammerlock that Hogan sells as the most painful thing in the world. Luger shoves down Hogan and poses in front of him. Hogan comes back with some stomps to the corner and a bodyslam. Luger responds with his own stomps in the corner but Hogan counters with the Greco-Roman thumb to the eyes. Hogan poses as we head to commercial and we come back with Hogan holding Luger in a bearhug. A suplex for Hogan gets two. A belly to back suplex leads to a cover but Luger’s foot makes the ropes. Hogan chops down Luger for two. Hogan hits a big boot for two. His legdrop is also kicked out of by Luger. Hogan misses a second one and Luger gets his second wind. He clotheslines Hogan down, then a charging Hall, then he takes out Savage. Luger goes for the Torture Rack and Hogan taps out, giving Luger the title at 8:57. Wow, he didn’t choke! The WCW guys celebrate with Luger in the ring. The match was terrible but the point was shown that WCW won’t bow down to the New World Order. ½*.
6) Stone Cold Steve Austin(c) vs. Undertaker for the WWE Title. (26:54)
This was a Summerslam match from August 30th, 1998. I have to say, the WWE has gotten a lot better with the blurring out. You can hardly notice it on the ringposts compared to a few years ago. Undertaker pounds at Austin in the corner, to which Austin reciprocates. Austin is sent hard into the corner and clotheslined down for two. Austin flips him off (and why is that blurred?) and works the arm. Undertaker lowers his head for a back drop and Austin boots him, but they knock heads and Austin is momentarily stunned for real. So they repeat the spot and Undertaker blocks a suplex to get one of his own. He misses the elbow drop but hotshots Austin for two. Austin comes back and posts the leg of Undertaker. Taker comes back with his flying clothesline. This match is really herky-jerky, they go from move to move without any real consequence from the move before. Undertaker had his leg posted but was well enough to fly through the air. Taker tries for the ropewalk but Austin tosses him off and goes to work on Taker’s knee. Kane comes back to ringside and Taker tells him to go back to the dressing room. Austin looks like he’s bleeding hardway from the mouth now. Austin ends up on the apron and Undertaker chokeslams him in from the apron. This is followed up with an Austin clothesline to the outside (where is the flow of the match?) and they brawl outside and through the MSG crowd. Back in and Austin tries for the Stunner leading Taker to back out of the ring. Austin follows but is caught by Taker and rammed back-first into the ringpost.
We head back in and Austin charges but is tossed to the outside and lands pretty hard on the mat. Undertaker sets up Austin on the Spanish announce tableland hits a legdrop from the top rope onto the table, which didn’t break. Taker brings him back in and covers for two. Austin spits up blood which Ross labels as internal injuries. Taker misses a charge in the corner but Austin can’t capitalize. He charges again and hits Austin’s knee. Austin ducks a clothesline and a double clothesline knocks both guys down. Austin hits the Lou Thesz Press then hits a variation of the Stunner that looked like a blown spot, too. Austin covers for two. Undertaker gets another chokeslam and then crotches Austin on the top rope. Undertaker tries the ropewalk again but is low-blowed and an Austin stunner finishes things at 20:51. Undertaker hands the title to Austin in a show of respect after the match. The match never clicked for me. There wasn’t any flow to it. It was big move after big move with little regard for whatever big move was hit before. I guess that’s the type of wrestling Austin introduced during his tenure at the top. There were entertaining moments and for all the faults I had with it, it was still pretty decent. **1/2.
7) Bret Hart(c) vs. Sting for the WCW United States Title (18:30)
This is the final WCW match on this collection (only three out of 16 were from down south). It took place at Halloween Havoc which was held on October 25th, 1998. Hart bails early, causing Sting to run out and catch him and bring him in. They work a boring start, with the fans sitting on their hands the whole time. Hart gets a DDT for two. Some time later, Sting gets a small package for two. This is just really boring, mostly just punching and kicking. Hart misses a dropkick from the second rope and Sting puts on the Scorpion Death-Lock, but he was too close to the ropes and Sting has to break it when Hart makes the ropes. Hart leapfrogs Sting and hurts his knee in the process. He was just playing possum, allowing Bret to take out an illegal object. He can’t use it and Sting wraps it on his fist. He goes to use it on Hart but the ref stops him from doing so, allowing Bret to low blow Sting. They brawl to the outside, where some woman tells Sting how sexy he is. Sting is wrapped up on the apron and when the ref checks on him Sting accidentally elbows the ref. Bret adds a legdrop for good measure. Sting comes back with a clothesline but a charge hits the boot of Sting. Bret goes upstairs but is caught and crotched. Sting superplexes (from the top rope) Bret, whose legs land on the referee’s legs. Sting tries a Stinger Splash but he goes over Hart and hits his head on the ring post. Hart grabs the baseball bat and batters the back of Sting with it. Hart then drives the bat into the throat of Sting from the second rope and he revives the ref in time for Hart to put the Sharpshooter on Sting. Sting’s knocked out and the ref calls this match at 15:04. This was incredibly boring and neither Hart nor Sting worked the match to their strengths. Hart played the heel quite badly, and he didn’t work the match he was best at. This was a massive disappointment from these two. *1/2.
8) Triple H vs. The Rock in a Strap Match (24:14)
This is the Fully Loaded main event and it took place on July 25th, 1999. This is for a #1 contender’s match. Michael Cole interviews Rock before the match and he cuts his usually awesome promo. Rock charges right in and they immediately brawl to the outside, where the Rock takes a woman’s camera at ringside to snap a shot of HHH. Back in, Rock misses a blind charge and HHH clotheslines him down. They decide to leave the in-ring activity for a while and brawl into the audience. HHH finally uses the strap, pulling Rock into the steel barricade and whipping Rock with it, before covering for two. I guess this is a Falls Count Anywhere match. Rock counters a suplex for two so HHH sends Rock into a steel barricade by the entrance for two. They end up back in the ring where Chyna makes her way to ringside. HHH sees Chyna and tells her to rough up the ref. While this is happening the Rock catches HHH with a Rock Bottom, but the ref is distracted. HHH comes back with a low-blow and chokes Rock using the strap and the ropes for leverage. Rock eventually tosses HHH off, and the two slug it out. The Rock then uses the strap to pull HHH into the corner and a Samoan Drop gets two. They brawl outside again, where Rock whips HHH with the strap. It seems the strap has fallen off HHH, defeating the purpose of the strap match. Rock hits a DDT for two. Chyna distracts the ref and Billy Gunn runs in and clubs the Rock. HHH covers and gets a two. Rock hits a lowblow and bodyslams HHH and it is People’s Elbow time. Rock covers but Billy Gunn pulls the strap and pulls the Rock off of HHH. Gunn runs in and is Rock Bottomed and HHH uses this opportunity to Pedigree the Rock and pick up the victory at 19:22. I was just bored silly watching this match while they fought into the crowd, though the in-ring portions were quite watchable. **1/2.
This footage all comes from the 1990’s and is from the great collection of WWE and WCW videos from the 90’s and most of these were either on TV or PPV, so all are top-notch.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This was the standard WWE three-disc fold-open package. The liner notes detail the guys featured on each disc, as well as the dates and episodes of all the extras, which is a nice reference. It’s well done. I have to mention that the four stars on the cover are Undertaker, Steve Austin, The Rock, and Bret Hart. Yes the thing all four have in common is that they were all WWE guys. Taker and Rock never worked anywhere else and Bret and Austin achieved their greatest fame in the 90’s with the WWE. Funnily enough, Undertaker, Rock and Austin are represented by only one match each. Even Shawn Michaels is on the back cover. Only when you buy this and open it up do you see WCW guys and the only picture on the inside sleeves from WCW is Sting, since Hogan is seen with the WWE title and Hall and Nash are seen as Razor and Diesel. I love these little messages the WWE sends with collections like these!
D) Easter Eggs
1) Animal’s Stone Cold Story (0:41)
Animal brought his son’s hockey team to an event and brought them to the ring an hour early. Stone Cold actually went to the ring and said hi to everyone. Animal thought that was a great thing for him to do at the height of his career. To access this head on over to chapters and highlight Stone Cold Steve Austin and press right three times.
2) Sunny’s Raw Introduction (0:16)
This was the bumper before the Raw episodes where Sunny tells us (while in a bikini in the water) that the following program contains content not suitable for all ages. Sunny never looked better than she did here. Anyway, to access this go to chapters and highlight Women of the 90’s. Press right twice.
The usual WWE promos start off this collection (WWE 24/7, WWE Home Video, Saturday Night’s Main Event DVD, Starrcade DVD, ). I’ve mentioned it before, that history is written by the winners, and it couldn’t be more evident than here. There were 16 matches on this collection, and only three were from WCW and of the three, two of them featured WWE stars (Hogan and Hart). The rest of the 13 matches were all WWE, with four HBK matches, three Diesel matches (with no Nash matches), and two Triple H matches. Yes, there were TWO Triple H matches while Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, arguably the two biggest stars in the history of wrestling, were represented by only one match. Surprisingly, Undertaker is only on here once, too. I thought that Taker deserved to have at least another match on here for his long tenure at the E. Anyway, we can sit here and argue match listings all night long. It was a decade collection and for the 16 matches collected it was a nice mix of what the WWE perceives were the highlights of the 90’s. It is noticeably Attitude short (because of all the blurring) but it does include all the guys that were featured in the main program, so at least they maintained that consistency. One quibble I have is that there were a few matches on here that were available in the Summerslam collections but other than that we have a good mix of what happened in the 90’s. There’s no NWO, but there was a DVD for that already. Same with the Rock, and Austin, and Undertaker, and Triple H. What’s good about a collection like this is that there are things on here that haven’t seen the light of day for a long time, including some of the Raw matches, the Superstars matches, the MSG show with Hogan and Flair, as well as some IYH matches that will probably never be released. It was a good range of matches. I enjoyed the main program and thought it was a fair look at the 90’s, and the matches represented what they were talking about in that program. Yeah, it’s WWE-centric but there’s nothing we can do about it and for what it is, it’s pretty damn good.
9.0-9.5 Near Perfect, Highly Recommended
8.0-8.5 Really good disc, Recommended
7.0-7.5 Good DVD, Mildly recommended
6.0-6.5 Above Average DVD. Mildest of mild recommendations
5.0-5.5 Decent all around disc, but catch it on TV
4.0-4.5 Great Movie but horrible DVD
3.0-3.5 Horrible movie but great DVD
2.0-2.5 There’s at least some merit to this DVD, but not much.
1.0-1.5 Horrible DVD, don’t even bother
0.0-0.5 Worst DVD ever