|Guest columnist: Ian Challis
Apologies for the lateness of the report. A good reason to be had: I have
just entered...THE EXAM ZONE. It is for this reason that not ALL the King Of
The Ring shows will get my special attention this month. Just the all-time
greats like KOTR '95.
(Disclaimer: A lot of what is said below doesn't actually take place on the PPV. I think Ian was trying to be funny or something. I leave it to you to gauge his success. - CRZ)
Benoit quickly goes for the crossface, but Angle grabs the ropes and they hit the floor. Benoit stays in charge, tossing Angle into the steps and ringpost, but Angle ducks a clothesline and posts Benoit. Angle stomps him a bit and they go back inside, then Angle stomps him some more. Ankle lock attempt, but Benoit grabs the ropes. JR informs us that there's a commotion outside, and we cut backstage, where Ken Shamrock is going postal screaming Kurt Angle's name while pounding on Kurt's locker room door. Next to Shamrock, a Magical Monitor plays the ongoing match. Kurt looks worried and confused, but goes back to working on Benoit. Benoit blocks a charge, but Angle drop toeholds him and tries the ankle lock again. Benoit reverses, but Angle rolls through THAT, but Benoit reverses AGAIN and tries the crossface. Angle makes the ropes and they hit the floor again. Angle stomps Benoit as he climbs back in the ring, and gets some punchy kicky in. Suplex, and an overhead belly-to-belly. Angle tries another, but Benoit reverses to the crossface, and Angle makes the ropes. Sensing a pattern? Benoit grabs a cross armbreaker, but Angle's still in the ropes. Benoit clothesline, and Angle trips him and tries the ankle lock again. A high pitched voice can be heard screaming "ANGLE!!!" from the back, but Angle ignores it. Benoit grabs the ropes to break it up, so Angle chops him a bit. Rollup, but OF COURSE there's no pinfalls. Backstage, Triple H tuts at Angle's stupidity, and whispers something to Vince, who's standing next to him, watching on with disgust. Benoit follows that buffoonery up with a snap suplex, but Angle hotshots him and tries a modified STF. Benoit is, of course, in the ropes. Angle breaks, and Benoit takes him down and locks in the Walls Of Jericho to big pop. Angle powers out, and Benoit elbowdrops him and applies the Figure Four. Angle rolls to the ropes, so Benoit picks him up and gives him a kneebreaker. Some knee workage, another kneebreaker and a dragon screw legwhip sets up an ankle lock attempt(MOVESET!), so Angle does what anyone would do-he grabs the ropes. JR says something about Angle going steady with the ropes, then slips in a quick "kissing a redheaded stepchild cousin". Angle tosses Benoit outside and they brawl, than back inside and Angle stays in charge. Benoit fights back and gets a DDT, but Angle STRIKES with the Angle Slam and slaps on the ankle lock for the submission at 12:21. JR informs us that Ken Shamrock's head just exploded in the backstage area. Benoit goes to leave, pulling the medals out of his pants and throwing them down in disgust, but the ref calmly reminds him that there's one fall left. Backstage, Triple H, Vince and Steve Austin all tut at Benoit's stupidity.
The medals are suspended above the ring as Angle stomps Benoit a bit, and they hit the floor again. Benoit chops some meat on the floor, but gets reversed into the steps, and Angle grabs a ladder from under the ring. He sets it up and climbs, but of course, it's TOO SHORT. Angle dutifully stays at the top until Benoit comes in and shoves the ladder over, and they go to the floor again. Angle gets thrown into the crowd, and Benoit grabs the OFFICIAL ladder and climbs, but Angle makes it back inside and yanks Benoit down. Suplex, and Angle nails Benoit with the ladder. He tries it again and Benoit backdrops him to the floor, then gets in some ladder shots of his own. Back inside and Benoit climbs, but Angle gets a low blow and pulls him back down. Time for some WRESTLEMANIA X VIOLENCE! Angle props the ladder in the corner and throws Benoit into it, and Benoit responds with a catapult into the ladder. Irish whip into the ladder, and Angle scurries up it in the corner, but Benoit simply pulls the ladder backwards and it crashes down on Angle. German suplex, and Benoit wedges the ladder in the corner. Angle comes back with a clothesline and whips Benoit into the ladder. Snap suplex onto the ladder makes the crowd go "ooooooh!", and Benoit rolls to the apron, allowing him to pull the ol' "catapult the ladder into your opponent's face" trick. Benoit drops the ladder on Angle a coupla times then traps Angle under it and climbs, but Angle shoves the ladder over, hanging Benoit on the top rope. Angle spears him in the corner, but Benoit catches him with a quick crossface, but OF COURSE, there are no tapouts. Backstage, the Undertaker, Triple H, Austin and Vince all tut at Benoit's stupidity. Edge and Christian run in and break it up, beating on Benoit on the outside. Benoit manages to fight them off, but the timely distraction allows Angle to scale the ladder and grab his medals for the win at 24:00. Full of gimmicky goodness.***3/4 Angle bites them to check their authenticity, remembers where they've been, and hurls. Benoit slowly gets up with a smile on his face and takes the microphone from ringside.
Benoit: Hey Angle! Kurt Angle! I hope you like your medals! They're made of candy, just like your ass!
Angle shakes his head no, and Benoit suddenly frowns. He opens his pants, and removes a pair of crumpled-up gold packets, covered in melted chocolate. Backstage, the entire WWF locker room shake their heads and tut at Benoit's stupidity, as Paul E. makes jokes about Benoit's chocolate salty balls.
Test goes into a pillar, and Show goes after Rhyno, but Test sneaks up behind the big man and chokes him down with a hose. Show drops to one knee, and Rhyno runs an equipment case into his face. Test covers for two, then tosses Rhyno into a stack of equipment. Show throws Test into a cyclone fence, then breaks a wall with Rhyno's back. He pins Rhyno against a wall for two. Test saves, and Show goes for a chokeslam off of a loading dock, but Test blocks. He and Rhyno lay into Show, and knock him off the loading dock and onto some non-breakaway props. Ouch. JR comments "Oh, SOMEONE must have replaced those breakaway pallets. I sure hope Show didn't HURT himself!", then cackles evilly. Paul chews him out for breaking kayfabe. Then he chews himself out for using the word "kayfabe" on TV. Then he shouts the word "Extreme" really loudly to cover it up.
Test and Rhyno fight back to the ring and Rhyno stays in charge, sending Test into the ringpost. He fetches some plundah from under the ring, then goes for Test in the ring, but gets a trash lid knocked in his face. Test comes of the ropes but gets DDTed onto the lid for two. Rhyno pounds Test with the lid as Show drags himself back to the ring. He hits a SWANK chokeslam on Rhyno, but takes a Test Face Punt for two. Rhyno Gores Show, and Test nails Rhyno for two. Test sprays Show with a fire extinguisher and covers for two. Rhyno smacks Test with a trash can, then throws it at Show and Gores him off the ringsteps for the pin at 9:14. JR bursts into fits of Tazz-like laughter while screaming "Show jobbed again!", while Paul E. buries his head in his hands. Match was the usual stuff, although I AM digging Rhyno right now **
They go back inside and the chain is finally attached to each guy, allowing Kane to yank Trip over for some ass-whippin'. Kane gets some chain-whips in, but Trip wrenches on the arm and pulls it over the top rope. Trip goes to the top and hits a chainshot for two. Arm workery in the corner, and they go to the floor again. Tripper pulls Kane into the steps, and lashes the arm with the chain. He tosses kane back in and goes for a chair, but Kane pulls the chain and Trip smashes into the apron, inadvertently chairing himself. He blades, natch. Kane pounds him on the floor and hits a chainline. Back in the ring, and Kane rakes the chain over Trip's face. Kane tosses him to the floor and pulls out the ol' hangman spot, then gets a couple of chain-punches in. Back in, and Kane goes upstairs, but gets jerked off. Both men down. Kane's up first, and Trip knocks him down with the chain, then takes it outside again. They fight a bit, and Trip gets knocked into the crowd, then he pulls Kane into the barrier. Smartest Man In Wrestling, folks. Tripper scales the barrier, and Kane slams him off of it. Back inside, and Trip gets a BAD facebuster and a clothesline. Kane blocks the Pedigree and hits a low blow, and goes upstairs-flying chain lariat! Chokeslam, and Austin's in-and straight out again. Trip low blows Kane and holds him, but an Austin chairshot goes awry, hitting Trip. Kane nails Austin and covers Trip for the title at 12:29. Nice old-school clash.***1/4 Kane roars a bit with his new belt.
Second Round: The APA Vs. The Dudley Boyz w/Spike Dudley: The Duds try to pose-silly, silly hicks-and get jumped by the APA. Double shoulderblock on D-Von, and Faarooq gets a powerslam for two. Hangman b Bradshaw, but D-Von gets a shoulderblock on Faarooq and tags Buh Buh. He pounds Faarooq but misses an Avalanche. Bradshaw in, double shoulderblock gets a one count. Buh Buh dodges a clothesline and gets a sidewalk slam for two. D-Von in, and he gets a legsweep for two. Bradshaw comes back and kicks D-Von's booty. Nice "Get The Tabels" sign. Boy, those Sacramento fans. Fallaway slam on D-Von, and a big boot for two. Buh Buh saves and Faarooq clobbers him. They fight on the floor as Bradshaw puts D-Von upstairs. Buh Buh makes the save, and the Duds hit the Dudley Device. Wazzup for Faarooq, D-Von Get The Tables. Unfortunately, the Hollys do The Best Run-In In The Business, and D-Von takes the Best Alabama Slam Through A Table In The Business. Crash jumps Spike, distracting Buh Buh, and Bradshaw hits a Clothesline From Hell to advance at 6:26 total. Faarooq, Faarooq, Faarooq is on fire! Bradshaw too.
Third Round: The APA Vs. X-Factor w/Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know Albert: X-Pac looks naked without his beard. No, not naked...Twelve years old, that's what I meant. He gets a heel kick on Faarooq, but Faarooq fires back with a backbreaker for two. Bradshaw in, shoulderblock, suplex, AND a belly-to-back for two. Justin gets the tag, and Bradshaw shoulderblocks him. Popular move tonight. Justin hits the floor, and Bradshaw follows, and Albert levels him with a bicycle kick. Back inside, and Bradshaw powerslams Justin and makes the tag. Slam for Justin, and a Georgia Jam for two. Justin gets a facebuster, tag to Pac. Chokery for Faarooq, but he powerslams Pac for two. Bradshaw in, and he catches a Pac crossbody. Justin rushes him and eats a big boot, but Albert trips him and holds onto the feet, giving X-Pac the pin at 12:27 total. Yeah, they got everything they ever wanted.
Round Four: The Hardy Boyz Vs. X-Factor w/Albert: Pier four to start, duh, and X-Factor get whipped into each other. They hit a couple of double teams on Justin, and Matt takes his shirt. WHEEEEE! Pac lowbridges Jeff, though, and they post him on the floor. Albert presses him back into the ring, and the heels stomp him. Broncobuster, tag to Justin. Jeff gets a double dropkick, tag to Matt, who's a House Of European Fire. Second rope legdrop for Justin, Poetry In Motion for Pac. They hit the swanton/Twist Of Fate combo, but Albert drags Matt off of the cover. Jeff floors Albert with a suicide somersault dive, but in the ring Justin superkicks Matt and Pac gets the pin to advance at 16:56 total.
Round Five: X-Factor Vs. Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit: Wow, and I was all psyched for Hulk Hogan. Pier four AGAIN, and Jericho bulldogs Pac. Springboard dropkick for Albert, but he catches Jericho on the folow-up pescado and posts him. Pac gets a kick in on Benoit, and chokes him down, while Albert presses Jericho onto the crowd barrier outside. Justin comes in and gets the cornerbomb on Benoit for two. Chinlock, and Benoit fights out, getting a sunset flip for two. Pac comes in with his flying clothesline, and tries the broncobuster again, but misses. Hot tag Jericho, who's House Of Canadian Fire. Missile dropkick for two on Pac, and Justin hits the floor, the ref goes down from a Jericho flying forearm, and X-Factor get X Marks The Spot, no ref. Jimmy Korderas runs in and gets a two count. They try a spike piledriver, but Benoit trips Pac up top and Jericho catapults Justin into him. Albert comes in and gets double suplexed, then they suplex Justin on top of him. Double clothesline puts Albert on the floor, Walls Of Jericho for Pac, crossface for Justin, and they both cry uncle at 24:04 total. Benoit shoves Jericho and tells him to get the tables. Jericho refuses.
Round Six: Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit Vs. Edge & Christian: One last Pier Four for the night, and Jericho suplexes Edge while Christian sends Benoit into the steps. Edge hotshots Jericho and stomps him. Tag to Christian for some punchy kicky. That gets a two count. Edge in, dropkick for two. Chinlock, and Jericho fights out with chops. Edge knees him in the gut, tag to Christian. Jericho takes over on him, but Christian hits his slop drop backbreaker for two. Benoit comes in, allowing some heel stomping on Jericho. Tag to Edge, and he misses a dropkick, but gets hi knees up on a Lionsault and covers for two. Christian in and they try Poetry In Motion, but Jericho dodges and bulldogs Edge. Hot tag Benoit, who suplexes Christian out of his boots. SWEET German suplex gets two, and Edge gets the Edge-O-Matic. Jericho pounds him, but Christian takes HIM down. They try the stackerplex on Benoit, but Jericho saves and the faces hit a Doomsday Dropkick on Christian for two. Edge saves, and DDTs Benoit, then calls for the conchairto. The Chrises cut them off with stereo baseball slides, and try a conchairto on Christian. Edge saves with a spear for Jericho, and Christian rolls up Benoit for two. The Blondes try a conchairto on Benoit, but Jericho saves, and Benoit gets the crossface on Christian for the tap-out at 32:10. Jericho's sealed his fate, you know-that damn Triple H will NEVER let him become a grand slam champion. ***1/2 for the whole thing.
WWF Title Match: The Undertaker Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: Vince comes out for some humour-tinged guest commentary. Taker is bikeless, no doubt thanks to those pesky Boriquas towing the Rude American off behind their low rider. Those darn bike-stealing ethnic stereotypes make Taker EXTRA mad. The fight begins in the aisle, and it's OWN LAHK DONKEY KONG. Taker beats the crap out of Austin down the aisle, then back to the ring. He gets in some cable choke action, and tosses his bandanna at Vince. He's so rudo! More Austin pounding. Taker hits Old School off the crowd barrier and tosses Austin in the ring, and Austin bails back down the aisle. He finally gets some shots in, but Taker reverses a whip into the railings. More brawling back down to the ring, and Taker gets a chair, but Austin jumps him getting in the ring. He gets a swinging neckbreaker, and works Taker's knee in the corner. And works it. Taker breaks out and Austin misses a chair in the corner, allowing Taker to get his flying clothesline. Tombstone attempt, and Austin slips out, but Taker shoves him off a Stunner attempt and hits a big boot for two. Austin hits the floor and Taker beats him up some more. He goes for Vince, however, and Austin cheapshots him. Back to working the knee on the ringpost. Chopblock on the floor, and more knee stompage. Back inside, Austin works it some more and sneaks in a low blow for good measure. Legbar, then another two low blows, then back to the legbar. Taker legdrops his way out and hits an Irish whip, then throws Austin outside. Austin goes into the steps, then takes a chokeslam through the announce table!
The announcers remain silent, until Vince nudges JR and raises his eyebrows expectantly. JR sighs, rolls his eyes, and yells "OH MY GOD! AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, HE IS BROKEN IN HALF!!" Taker goes for Vince again, then goes back to Austin, covering him in the ring for two. Austin calls for a time-out as Taker stomps him. Heh. Slam and elbowdrop gets two. Back to the floor, and Austin nails Taker with a monitor. Austin rolls inside and taunts the crowd while Taker blades, then he removes a turnbuckle pad to expose the TINY STEEL RING OF DEATH. Austin beats up Taker on the floor some more, then gets a Thesz Press to BIG BIG heel heat. Austin grins at the crowd. He is the MAN. That gets two. And another. And another. Yet another. Taker fights him back again, so Austin kicks him low for two. Bossman straddle, and Austin stomps a mudhole. Heyman brings up managing both guys. Whoa, that's pretty, uh, weird. Vince begins cheering for Taker, and JR quickly reminds him that AUSTIN'S his man now. Austin gets a sleeper, which is quickly broken up with a belly-to-back by Taker. Austin chairshot and the Stunner get only a two, to a big pop. So Austin tries his NEW finisher-beating Taker into a pulp with the chair. Taker counters with a low blow, chokeslam and he wears Austin out with the chair. Isn't it Ironic. Don't you think? Triple H comes in with his trusty sledge, and Taker promptly nails him. Final shot for Austin gets two, broken up by Vince, so Taker goes for him. Austin tries to sneak attack Taker, and clobbers Vince instead. Such wackiness. Last Ride attempt on Austin, but Trip nails Taker with the sledge. Kane's out FOR REVENGE, but unfortunately the cameraman is so distracted by this that he misses Austin pinning Taker at 23:07.***1/4 It all ends rather quietly, with Austin and Trip just kinda grinning at the entrance while the Brothers Dead fume in the ring.
Final Thought: Good show, but nothing real historical in it. I'm sure all the Benoit Boyz will transform this night into some sort of Holy Event, marking his God-like ascension, and he did make the show much more watchable, but that was about it. What's happened since then, on the other hand...Now THAT'S good wrasslin'.
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