WWF House Show 3/16/1997
Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation House Show
From: New York, NY
1.)The Sultan defeated Flash Funk
2.)The Blackjacks defeated The Godwinns
3.)Crush defeated Aldo Montoya
4.)Ahmed Johnson defeated Savio Vega by disqualification
5.)WWF World Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & WWF European Champion the British Bulldog defeated Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon to retain the titles
6.)Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Rocky Maivia by disqualification
7.)Faarooq defeated Goldust
8.)Vader defeated the Undertaker in a casket match
1. This is the first MSG house show to be televised since early 1992, and it would end up being the last MSG show to be televised. As you can see above, it’s not exactly a strong card. Jim Cornette and Jim Ross are the commentary team for the show.
2. Sultan attacked Funk before the bell to get the early advantage. Funk comes back with a superkick and on a second kick is able to send Sultan to the floor. Sultan gets the better of a test of strength but Funk arm drags Sultan after coming off the top and follows up with a couple of dropkicks. Sultan puts an end to the offense with a superkick of his own. Sultan continues to control Funk with a gut buster but only gets a near fall. Funk hits a spinning splash off the top and comes off the middle rope to hit a somersault leg drop but the Sheik distracts the referee. Funk signals for a 450 splash but instead leaps off the top to take Bob Backlund out with a strike. Sultan has recovered and plants Funk with a powerbomb. Sultan locks in the camel clutch and wins the match. (*1/4. Not a good match to start the show. The crowd doesn’t care for either man. They actually played Sultan’s music before the submission was given. Hopefully the show picks up or this could be a rough one to sit through. The crowd is making virtually no sound.)
3. All four men start to brawl both inside and out of the ring. Henry is double teamed but Phineas gets up to deliver a double clothesline. Henry press slams Windham and they legally start the bout. Henry scoop slams Phineas on top of Bradshaw for a two count. Bradshaw stops Henry with a big boot and Windham returns to action. Henry hits a snap suplex on Windham for only a near fall. Bradshaw kicks Phineas from the apron and Windham is able to keep control of the bout. Bradshaw delivers a few stiff clotheslines on Phineas in the corner for a two count. Phineas drops Bradshaw with a back suplex and tags in Henry. Henry enters, to no crowd reaction on the hot tag, and cleans house with clotheslines and scoop slams. Phineas is sent to the floor but Henry slams Bradshaw as he jumps off the top rope. Phineas is brawling with Windham on the floor. Henry hits a belly to belly suplex on Bradshaw for a near fall. Henry hits the Slop Drop on Bradshaw but Windham clubs Henry over the back and pins Henry despite not being the legal man. (**. A decent tag match that saw some okay brawling and whatnot. The crowd just doesn’t care for these guys.)
4. Bret Hart comes out to be interviewed by Michael Hayes. Hart has a cage match with Sid in a cage match on RAW. Hart would love to change the card for WrestleMania XIII. Bret feels like the Undertaker will be upset and notes that Sid has been lucky the two times he has wrestled Bret Hart. Hart considers a cage match to be his specialty. He is confident that he will win the championship. Bret is content with Ken Shamrock being the special referee. Bret is going to rip Austin apart at WrestleMania. He wants to snap Austin’s legs in half. Hart respects Shamrock and thinks that half the people believe Austin can win at Mania. By the way, Bret would wrestle Sid in a cage match on this show, but that would not be televised.
5. Crush is given a squash match on this MSG show. The match lasts less than two minutes in total. Crush won the match with a heart punch. After the match, the Nation stomps on Aldo because they are a gang and they can do that sort of thing. Ahmed Johnson runs out with a 2×4 to run the Nation away from the ring.
6. Two months ago, Savio turned on Ahmed at the same venue. So, this is Ahmed’s attempt at some revenge. I found it out that they gave both men entrances considering we had just seen them the previous segment. Vega is proud to be part of the Nation. Savio is trying to bring Ahmed into the Nation, it looks like. Obviously, this doesn’t work but it would work in a few months.
7. Johnson opens the match with a backdrop and Vega is begging off already. Johnson misses a spear in the corner and hits the turnbuckle shoulder first. Vega nails Ahmed with a spinning heel kick. Savio blocks a sunset flip by punching Ahmed on the head. Johnson plants Vega with a Rock Bottom and a scissors kick! Savio cuts Johnson off with a knee lift to get control of the bout. Ahmed makes his comeback with a clothesline but misses a scissors kick. Vega embraces his previous Kwang persona and drops Ahmed with a martial arts kick. Crush tries to hit Ahmed with a 2×4 on the floor but Ahmed blocks it. Johnson hits Crush and Vega with the 2×4 while the referee was distracted. Johnson hits a spine buster and signals for the Pearl River Plunge. Johnson hits the move but the Nation enters to attack Johnson and that causes the DQ. After the match, Crush drives the 2×4 into Ahmed’s chest as several officials run out to stop it. Faarooq has made his way out as Ahmed is being held. Faarooq whips Ahmed with his belt. (**. An alright match here as well, but I thought it did a good job of promoting the street fight at Mania. The match wasn’t overly good or anything, but there was some quality to it.)
8. Owen and Furnas kick off the tag team title bout. Furnas arm drags and hip tosses Owen in the opening moments of the contest. Lafon enters and works over Owen’s left arm. Bulldog is tagged in when Owen isn’t getting a clear advantage. Bulldog works over LaFon with right hands but Lafon takes Bulldog over with arm drags. Owen accidentally knee lifts Bulldog off the apron and they begin to argue. Lafon sends the champs head first into each other and nails Owen with a spinning heel kick. Owen is being worked over by the challengers, but that doesn’t last too long and Bulldog is tagged back in. LaFon misses a spear and hits the ring post shoulder first. On the floor, Owen hits a suplex though the camera didn’t pick that up. Owen is legally tagged in and delivers a backbreaker on LaFon but can’t get a Sharpshooter locked in. LaFon gets a couple of roll ups on the champs but each time the referee is distracted. Owen nearly wins with a kick to the head. Furnas gets the hot tag and hits a snap powerslam and overhead suplex on Bulldog for a near fall. Furnas nearly pins Bulldog with a standing hurricanrana. Bulldog is sent to the floor following a double shoulder block. Furnas tries to suplex Bulldog into the ring but Owen trips him and holds his legs down to get the three count. (**1/2. A decent tag match here as they seemed to worked well together. Furnas and LaFon were capable of some quality action and may have been a underrated team in the WWF.)
9. Chyna steps in front of Hunter to prevent Rocky from hitting him. Hunter takes Rocky down to the mat early on but Rocky counters with a hammerlock. Hunter slaps the back of Rocky’s head and taunts him early on. Rocky hip tosses and dropkicks Hunter and mocks the challenger afterward. Hunter drops Rocky throat first across the top rope. Hunter keeps the advantage with a swinging neckbreaker. Hunter nails Rocky with a high knee lift but only gets a near fall. Rocky attempts a big splash but Hunter gets his knees up to block it. Hunter gets a two count after a snap suplex and a knee drop. Rocky runs into a big boot in the corner and Hunter uses the ropes for leverage but still gets a near fall. Rocky arm drags Hunter off the top rope! Hunter flips in the corner after being sent in by Rocky, who follows up with a back suplex for a near fall. Rocky hits a fisherman suplex but only gets a near fall. Rocky gets another near fall with a belly to belly suplex. Rocky plants Hunter with a float over DDT! Rocky heads up top and hits a top rope cross body but Chyna pulls Rocky off of Hunter. Hunter recovers and plants Rocky with the pedigree but Goldust runs out and attacks Hunter to cause the disqualification! After the match, Goldust clotheslines Hunter to the floor. Chyna gets in the ring and Marlena comes in from behind to choke Chyna! (**1/4. An okay match at best, but they made Rocky look fairly weak here as it looked like Hunter had the belt won. There was some decent action but it felt rather slow to me.)
10. Faarooq is not interested in wrestling with a fairy. Goldust attacks Faarooq on the floor and they wrestle. Goldust slams Faarooq face first into the canvas but Faarooq clubs away on Goldust to get the advantage. Goldust avoids Faarooq in the corner and controls the leader of the Nation with an arm drag. Faarooq attempted a big splash but Goldust got his knees up. Faarooq is splashing down onto Goldust’s back after a commercial break. Goldust turns over and low blows Faarooq, who was flipping off the crowd just moments earlier. Goldust misses an elbow drop and that allows Faarooq to keep control of the contest. Faarooq gets out of a roll up and runs over Goldust with a clothesline. Faarooq attempted a backdrop but Goldust punches him. Crush trips Goldust from the floor and Faarooq spikes Goldust with a piledriver to win the match. (*1/4. Well, that wasn’t anything good. Just a rather basic match that was uninteresting.)
11. Michael Hayes brings out the WWF World Champion Psycho Sid for an interview. Hayes calls Sid a fighting champion and brings up how Sid will defend the championship against the Undertaker. Sid puts over Bret as being excellent and says he will beat Bret eight days out of the week because he will beat Bret twice on Saturday. Sid smells fear when Taker’s pupils go in and out. Sid says that the Undertaker is afraid that he can’t measure up to Psycho Sid. At WrestleMania, the Undertaker will rest in peace. Sid says he is the master and the ruler of the world. That was your typical ridiculous Sid promo.
12. Taker and Vader trade right hands in the middle of the ring. Vader splashes Taker in the corner and clubs away on the Undertaker. Taker turns the tables and hammers away on Vader in the corner. Vader walks right into a clothesline after sending Taker into a corner. Taker walks the top rope before jumping across Vader’s shoulder. Taker big boots Vader over the top and Vader lands on top of the casket at ringside. Taker scares Paul Bearer to the backstage area and whacks Vader over the back with a steel chair. Back from a commercial, Vader is working over Taker in the corner. Vader clotheslines Taker to the floor but Taker drops Vader throat first across the top rope from the apron. Vader low blows Taker to avoid a choke slam. Vader leaps off the middle rope but Taker catches him and hits a powerslam. Taker drives Vader down to the canvas with a choke slam. Taker spikes Vader with the tombstone! Taker looks to put Vader in the casket, but Mankind comes out of the casket and puts the mandible claw on Taker! Mankind puts Taker in the casket and Vader wins the match! After the match, Taker gets out of the casket and choke slams Mankind. Taker follows that up with a tombstone and Mankind is put into the casket! (*1/2. That was rather quick main event. The fans were into it, but it was rushed and could’ve been a lot better. I find it kind of odd that the top babyface main eventing WrestleMania jobs in the main event at a house show. Oh well.)
This was a weak lineup for a Madison Square Garden show. There wasn’t anything that stood out as being a overly good, but there was some decent action on the card. It wasn’t enough to make it a good overall show, though. Thus, I’ll give this show a thumbs down.
Thanks for reading.