Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Thursday, 16 May 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF No Mercy UK 1999

WWE / WWF - No Mercy 1999 (UK VERSION) - Event poster
May 16th, 1999
Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester, England 

May 16th, 1999 was an important day for the superstars of the World Wrestling Federation. It was they travelled to the north of England for No Mercy, a UK-exclusive pay per view that would give its name to an event the company would run annually for the better part of the next ten years (and again in 2016 & 2017).

May 16th, 1999 was also an important day for your writer, not only because I was there in the crowd, but also because May 16th happens to be my birthday.

Yes, this marks the fourth (and I think final) time that we're reviewing an event I was there for in person. Unlike One Night Only 1997, Capital Carnage 1998 and Mayhem in Manchester, I remember nothing about the actual card.

All I remember is some guy in the crowd saying "this is so bad I wish I'd stayed home and had a wank" and the event coming to a close with the whole MEN Arena joining in singing Vince McMahon's theme tune, No Chance in Hell.

So much for a memorable 15th birthday, eh?






With that in mind then, let's head down to RPW's home city of Manchester, England and see what actually did go down at the first ever WWF No Mercy PPV.

We're Having a Triple Threat

Tonight's show began with one of the WWF's typically brilliant video packages. This one told us that The Undertaker and Triple H were leading the Corporate Ministry and that the two would go up against Stone Cold Steve Austin for the world title here tonight in Manchester.

Then following the usual pyro, crowd shots, and the briefest of welcomes from Jim Ross, it was straight on to the show.

The Corporate Ministry Will Have No Mercy

WWE / WWF - Shane McMahon leads The Corporate Ministry
And so we began properly with an in-ring promo from Shane McMahon.

Flanked by the entire Corporate Ministry, Shane-O-Mac told us that tonight, the Corporate Ministry would have no mercy on their opponents.

Geddit? Because the event was called No Mercy! Clever stuff indeed.

With the red-hot crowd calling him an arsehole at every opportunity, Shane told us that this meant The Acolytes and Viscera would have no mercy on Ministry defectors The Brood and that Mideon would have no mercy on his opponent, Kane.

Man, I'm starting to realise why I blocked this card from my memory.

As you might expect, he also told us that Undertaker and Hunter would show no mercy on Austin and that we would see a new WWF Champion tonight, though not before revealing that he'd brought the European Championship out of retirement for one night only to defend it against X-Pac.

Finally, we were told that tonight's triple threat main event would now be a No Holds Barred match. Though I get the logic of using that reveal to pop the crowd, let's be honest: Wasn't ever WWF main event technically no holds barred during the Attitude Era?

Though I question the logic of a one night only title defence (what happens if X-Pac wins, does he just retire the title again?), this was fairly compelling stuff by Shane that got the crowd plenty riled up and ready to see him and his gang get their arses handed to them here in Manchester.

Tiger Ali Singh vs. WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Gilberg

WWE / WWF - Tiger Ali Singh faced Gilberg
I'm starting to wonder what we British did to piss off Vince McMahon that he always gave us a Tiger Ali Singh match on our PPVs when the rest of the world were usually spared such an ordeal.

Tonight, Singh took to the microphone to inform us that the reason we all hated him is that we thought he should have been driving a taxi rather than wrestling. The crowd roared with approval at that one, basically cheering our own racism.

Singh's old-school yet effective heel promo, along with Gilberg's over-the-top entrance were both longer than the actual match itself. After about ninety seconds of action -which admittedly, the crowd loved- Gilberg hit a spear but spent so much time celebrating that Singh was able to get up, land a neckbreaker, and win the match.
Your Winner: Tiger Ali Singh

Backstage, we were shown Austin arriving at the arena "moments ago."

This was followed by a look back at how The Brood severed ties with The Ministry of Darkness. If you recall, it started when The Undertaker kidnapped Stephanie McMahon and Ken Shamrock took it upon himself to find her, mostly by putting Christian in an ankle lock until the future TNA Champion revealed Steph's whereabouts.

Naturally, this raised the ire of The Phenom, who subject Christian to several punishments (like a flogging and getting put in a match with Big Show) before ordering Edge and Gangrel to strap Christian to the Undertaker symbol.

Instead, the latter two stood up for their brethren and turned on The Ministry, becoming babyfaces in the process.

The Corporate Ministry (Farooq, Bradshaw, and Viscera) vs. The Brood (Edge, Christian, and Gangrel)

WWE / WWF - The Brood recover after a loss to The Corporate Ministry
Credit where credit is due, this one turned out to be way better than you might have expected it to, mostly thanks to the efforts of Edge, Christian and, to a lesser extent, Gangrel.

Flying around the ring no matter as to whether they were on the offence or defence, The Brood shone bright here, especially when contrasted with the slow, clubbing offence of the Ministry.

OK, so this wasn't an amazing match by any stretch, but let's face it:

When you see Viscera involved in anything, your mind flashes back to King of the Ring 1995 and you just know, deep down in your soul, that it's going to be horrible.

This, my friends, was not horrible, not by a long shot.

Unfortunately for the WWF's answer to The Lost Boys, simply looking good wasn't enough to secure them a victory.

Towards the finish, Shane McMahon came out with Mideon and when the match inevitably broke down into a six-man brawl, the former Phineas Godwin ran in and DDT'd Christian. That set up Bradshaw to deliver a Clothesline From Hell and pick up the three.
Your Winners: The Corporate Ministry

Post-match, Shane declared that his Ministry's 'No Mercy Mission' had begun.

Next, we got an indepth look at The Lethal Weapon Steve Blackman, who was about to participate in what was sure to be a thrilling match against Droz.

The Lethal Weapon Steve Blackman vs. Droz

OK, again, let's be fair:

This was a relatively decent match, but it was Sunday Night Heat decent and not pay per view decent.

Sure, Blackman and Droz could string together a few spots that might get them a round of applause from their peers at pro wrestling school, but none of it was all that interesting or entertaining.

After a few minutes of passable action, Blackman locked in a submission and got the three count.
Your Winner: Steve Blackman

Up next, we got a Beaver Cleavage vignette. You remember those, right?

WWE / WWF - Beaver Cleavage
What I don't remember, is whether they showed this live in the arena back on my 15th birthday. If they did, I can't imagine it being well received since we in the UK had never seen Leave it to Beaver and had no idea why this was supposed to be funny.

In this particular skit, Headbanger Mosh (Beaver) tried eating shredded wheat without putting any milk on it and then wondered why it tasted dry. He called for his mum, who came out and offered him some of her breast milk.

I'm serious.

Hello, Manchester!


Clearly, somebody backstage was watching the Blackman/Droz match and realised that if they didn't do something quick, the whole of Manchester was about to fall asleep. That's the only reason I can think of for sending Mankind out to work the crowd for a few minutes, even though he wasn't scheduled to wrestle until later on in the show.

WWE / WWF - Mankind cut a promo before facing Billy Gunn later in the show
In Foley's defence, he did his job very well and, watching back almost twenty years later, it's fair to say that his few minutes on the microphone were the highlight of the show up to this point.

Apparently, somebody had told Foley that we play football in Manchester, prompting him to ask us if the local team was any good. It figures that nobody told him we actually have two football teams.

The former Cactus Jack then got his biggest pop of the night by showing some love to hometown hero Davey Boy Smith before turning his attention to his upcoming opponent, Bad Ass Billy Gunn.

"You can say 'ass' here, right?" asked Foley. "Because I've been told I'm not allowed to say, wanker."

He delivered that last word with all the mischievous glee of a schoolboy who had just heard it for the first time, rounding off what was a very fun, if rather pointless, promo.

Killing a little more time, we got some pre-recorded comments from the fans as they were going into the arena. Sadly, not one of them said that someone was going to win whether they wanted to or not.

Mideon vs. WWF Tag Team Champion Kane

There's no polite way to say this:

This was all kinds of hot garbage.

I mean sure, if your idea of great wrestling is seeing two men trade punches and arm-wringers, then it's a five-star classic, but for the most part, this was horrible.

After four and a half minutes of nothing, Shane, The Acolytes and Viscera all ran in and attacked Kane.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Kane

Post-match, X-Pac ran in with a big stick and single-handedly saw off four men.

Debra is Our New WWF Women's Champion

On Raw, Sable and Debra had an evening gown match for Sable's women's championship. Debra got distracted by Val Venis, allowing Sable to strip her right off, but Commissioner Shawn Michaels had declared that the winner of the match was the lady who actually got her clothes stripped. Ergo, Debra was our new women's champion despite having never competed in a match.

#WomensRevolution

Ignoring what that says about the quality of the WWF Women's Division during the Attitude Era, this recap was shown as a way of explaining why the women's title was not on the line in our next match.

Tori vs. Nicole Bass

WWE / WWF - Sable w/ Nicole Bass
This was supposed to be Tori vs. Sable, but Sable came out and declared that the crappy English weather had given her a chest cold and she was unable to compete. Instead, Nicole Bass simply picked Tori up, slammed her down and pinned her.

Much like the earlier Singh/Gillberg match, the pre-match stuff was longer than the actual match. I swear, it's like the company really couldn't be bothered being in England tonight.
Your Winner: Nicole Bass

Afterwards, Jim Ross twice called Nicole Bass a shemale and even defended himself to Jerry Lawler. I'm not sure if this was a cruel joke, or if Ross genuinely thought calling Bass a shemale was a compliment.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Shane McMahon told Michael Cole that he would have no mercy for X-Pac. I wonder if the WWF really did fly Cole all the way to England just for this one, 20-second segment.

World Wrestling Federation European Championship
WWF European Champion Shane McMahon vs. WWF Tag Team Champion X-Pac

WWE / WWF - Michael Cole interviews WWE European Champion Shane McMahon
McMahon had beaten Pac for the title on Raw earlier in the year and successfully defended it (thanks to a Triple H heel turn) against him at Wrestlemania 15.

Since then, he'd retired the title, but brought it back out tonight for what turned out to be an almost identical match to the one they'd had back at 'Mania.

Not that this was necessarily a bad thing.

Featuring cameos from Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, Chyna, and Triple H, this was the best match on the card up to this point, with a red-hot crowd making it all the more enjoyable.

One of those rare matches where overbooking actually turns out well, this one ended when Hunter drilled Pac with pedigree, revived the knocked-out referee and draped Shane over his opponent for the three.
Your Winner and Still WWF European Champion: Shane McMahon

Afterwards, Kane came to his partner's rescue and helped him to the back whilst Shane McMahon bragged that it was "three down, one to go."

The Ministry Attack

Backstage, Michael Cole earned his paycheck by asking Mankind if he thought his arch-rivals the Corporate Ministry would interfere in his match tonight. As if on cue, the Ministry immediately showed up and attacked him.

Honestly, it was almost as if it were scripted or something.

Bad Ass Billy Gunn vs. Mankind

WWE / WWF - Billy Gunn faced MankindFoley was legitimately working hurt here, so the backstage attack angle was designed to eventually write him out for some healing time.

The attack also gave Gunn the opportunity to get some heat by declaring himself the winner when his opponent first no-showed. Before referee Teddy Long could raise Gunn's hand, however, Foley did show up and entered into a spirited brawl with Mr Ass.

Though it went a little too long, both men worked within their limited capabilities to deliver the best match they could have delivered.

Towards the finish, Gunn hit a piledriver on a chair and got a two count but the ring announcer rang the bell anyway.

OK, so I lied earlier when I said I didn't remember much from this show. Strangely, I do remember that.

The match ended abruptly after this. Gunn hit a Fameasser on the chair and this one was over.
Your Winner: Bad Bum Billy Gunn

In a classy move, announcers Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler gave a shout out to The British Bulldog, who was recovering at home from a career-threatening back injury following that stupid trapdoor incident back at WCW Fall Brawl 1998.

Bulldog would be back with the company by the year's end.

World Wrestling Federation Championship No Holds Barred Triple Threat Match
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H (w/ Chyna) vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

WWE / WWF - WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin celebrates his win over Undertaker and Triple H
I've said it before and I'll say it again:

If you've seen one Steve Austin main event, you've pretty much seen them all.

This was your typical brawl-around-the-arena-and-do-some-stuff-in-the-ring outing that Austin had pretty much every night of his main event run, and whilst it was entertaining, it wasn't amazing.

The story of the match was simple: Hunter and 'Taker teamed up to make it basically a handicap match until, predictably, the two couldn't agree on who should beat Austin and had a falling out. This turned it into your typical three-way until the whole Corporate Ministry ran in for the finish.

Seeking revenge, X-Pac, Kane, Mankind and The Brood all ran in to even the score. A wild brawl ensued, with all but Triple H and Austin ending up backstage.

One Stone Cold Stunner later and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still WWF Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Post-match, X-Pac returned, bringing Shane McMahon with him.

Pac and Austin then beat up HHH and McMahon and ended the show with a bunch of beers, bronco busters and Stone Cold Stunners.






Now that we've reached the end, I realise why I remember almost nothing about No Mercy 1999. That's because almost nothing happened. 

Yes, the overall storyline of the Ministry dominating but finally getting their comeuppance in the main event was told well, but most of the actual matches were so lacklustre that none of it felt like it mattered.

Sure, there was nothing technically *bad* about tonight's show, but outside of Foley's rather entertaining promo, there was nothing all that good either. 

Overall, two hours and sixteen minutes of meh that made no difference whatsoever.


1999 events reviewed so far
More WCW Slamboree views


Other UK event reviews: 
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Thursday, 9 May 2019

PPV REVIEW: WCW Slamboree 1999

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Event poster
May 9, 1999 
The TWA Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.

A favourite past time of wrestling fans the world over is to deride, ridicule, and basically shit upon Vince Russo and his work in pro wrestling. For many, Vinny Ru's time leading the creative direction of World Championship Wrestling was a crime that deserved no less punishment than to be the subject of online abuse for the next 20 years. 

But look, in Russo's defence, he wasn't even with WCW when the company decided to run its "Ric Flair in the Mental Institute" angle.

On paper, it sounded feasible:

Now the President of WCW, The Nature Boy had quite literally been driven mad by power, stripping off during promos and even referring to himself as the President of the United States.

Taking advantage of the situation, Commissioner Rowdy Roddy Piper had seen to it that Flair was committed so that he (Piper) could be in charge.

Yet when it played out on TV, it ended up being worse (or at least as bad) than even the most horrendous of Vince Russo's crimes against wrestling.






In his last act before being sent to what Tony Schiavone sensitively called "The Funny Farm," Flair had fired Piper, but then booked him in a match where the two would go at it for control of WCW.

No, this wasn't that Flair had fired Piper then changed his mind. In his insanity (or rather, the insanity of the WCW booking committee), Flair had decreed that Piper was both fired and eligible to compete for control of the company at the same time.

Tonight, the culmination of what has long been referred to as one of WCW's worst ever storylines would take place as Ric Flair, fresh from a stay in a state mental institute, would go one on one with Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Let's head down to St. Louis, Missouri and see how it all played out.

The Fate of WCW Will Be Decided

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Iron Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
Our opening video told us everything I've just told you about Flair and Piper as well as running down the rest of tonight's card and reminding us that we'd get to see the likes of Kevin Nash vs. WCW Champion Diamond Dallas Page, Sting vs. Goldberg and the match everybody had been dying to see:

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Brian Knobbs.

Before we got to any of that, however, we had our announcers Iron Mike Tenay, Tony Schiavone, and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan giving us their own unique take on the card.

Mean Gene Okerlund then came out to shill his telephone hotline to an audience who were beginning to learn that they could just use their dial-up modem and get all the same "exclusive rumours" for free.

With that, it was on to the action.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Triangle Match
WCW World Tag Team Champions Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. The Four Horsemen (Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Raven & Perry Saturn

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio
These three teams had been involved in a very entertaining feud over the past few weeks, so it was no surprise at all that when they delivered the goods when they finally met.

With The Four Horsemen team now heels, Saturn & Raven had become firm fan favourites whilst champions Kidman and Rey Mysterio -though still loved by the fans- had been having trouble getting on the same page.

Together, all three teams put on a very good opening contest in which team had a man in the ring at all times.

Towards the finish of this enjoyable outing, Arn Anderson got involved and blasted Saturn with a spinebuster. Dean Malenko locked on the Texas Cloverleaf, but at the same time a mysterious man wearing  DDP shirt, a sting mask, and a baseball cap came out of the crowd and decked Billy Kidman.

That gave Raven the chance to get the cover, the count, and the titles.
Your Winners and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Raven & Perry Saturn

Post-match, the mysterious man revealed himself to be a returning Chris Kanyon. The three then celebrated with the newly won titles.

Afterwards, we were 'treated' a video package featuring random clips of DDP which served no purpose and really had no place on a pay per view.

Speaking of which...

Stevie Ray (w/ Vincent & Horace Hogan) vs. Konnan

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Horace Hogan vs. Konnan
Apparently, there must be some licensing issue with Konnan's theme music for this event because not only is his original theme not featured, it's not even replaced with another theme like they do with DDP.

Instead, we just got blanket silence right up until the moment when Konnan tastefully invited one of the nWo members to toss his salad.

Note to self: Stop watching Konnan matches at lunch time - it will put you right off your food.

K-Dogg next invited Stevie Ray to peel his potatoes. To this day I'm not sure what that means, and I don't wish to find out. Stevie apparently knew, and it made him mad.

Or perhaps he was just mad that he'd forgotten his tights and was forced to wrestle in his pyjamas.

The match itself was about as uninteresting and uninspired as you can imagine. The only exciting moment came when Rey Mysterio came out to help his buddy Konnan even the odds against the nWo and eventually pick up the three count.
Your Winner: Konnan

Next, we got a similar video package to the earlier DDP one, except this one featured Page's upcoming opponent, Kevin Nash. The Nash video, however, was even more pointless than the DDP one because it didn't even show Big Sexy beating people up - just random shots of him smiling and throwing up the Too Sweet.

Backstage Shenanigans

Out in the Internet Location,  Rick Steiner spoke about his upcoming TV title match against reigning champion Booker T, after which there was yet another pointless video, this time featuring Sting.

Finally, we got a random candid shot of DDP talking to fellow Jersey native Bam Bam Bigelow who was on his way to the ring for our next match.

Hardcore Match
Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Brian Knobs

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Brian Knobbs faced Bam Bam Bigelow
If you've seen one WCW hardcore match you've essential seem them all.

This was the same concept as every one of the company's previous efforts to capitalize on WCW's popularity:

Load the ring with weapons, have both competitors use said weapons to hit each other with no regard for storytelling or psychology, then head up the ring entrance for a bit of a brawl.

Though I appreciate that both Bigelow and Brian Knobbs took some painful bumps here, the end result was not very entertaining.

After a fairly boring match, Bam Bam suplexed Knobbs through a merch stand and got the three.
Your Winner: Bam Bam Bigelow

After a quick look at how Stevie Ray had secretly been helping Booker T in his rivalry with Rick Steiner, the latter two men went to the ring for our next contest.

World Championship Wrestling World Television Championship
WCW World Television Champion Booker T vs. Rick Steiner

Though not the most exciting match in the world, this was a perfectly serviceable outing between two decent performers.

Not that it couldn't have been much better.


For the most part, it felt like the kind of the thing the company would use as filler on an episode of Nitro rather than a PPV-calibre wrestling match, but still, it wasn't terrible.

In the end, Scott Steiner came out and gave his brother the assist without Rick even being aware of it.

One top rope bulldog later and we had a new TV champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW TV Champion: Rick Steiner

So far, we were two title changes in as many title matches.

Scotty!

After a quick video package to hype our next match, we went backstage where Rick Steiner was seen wandering around and shouting "Scottay!' as though he were Timmy from Southpark.

Apparently, the Dog Faced Gremlin did know that Big Poppa Pump had helped him out after all, and went looking for him, bumping into Buff Bagwell en route.

Bagwell looked to be on his way to the ring, but wasn't, because current WWE referee Charles Robinson was.

Little Naitch Charles Robinson (w/ Ric Flair & Aysa) vs. Gorgeous George (w/ Macho Man Randy Savage, Miss Madness & Madusa)

If Gorgeous George wins, Macho Man is reinstated
WCW Slamboree 1999 - Ric Flair & Charles Robison (w/ Asya) confront Macho Man and Gorgeous George
Prior to the bell, Ric Flair invited a slutty-looking Madusa and the future Molly Holly, Miss Madness to his hotel room for a ride on Space Mountain. Little Naitch then took to the mic to warn Savage that, after he was done beating her, he was going to take Gorgeous George so that she could ride his space mountain.

Eventually, after much stalling the match got underway and, you know what, it was actually pretty good...

...Or at least as good as you were going to get from two non-wrestlers.

Trading some basic wristlocks and hammerlocks, the two gradually built up a fun little contest that no doubt surprised anyone who was expecting it to suck.

While George herself was no slouch, it was Robinson doing his Nature Boy tribute that was the real highlight here - even getting the trademark Flair Flop and other signature Slick Rick spots down to a tee.

Alas, imitating the Nature Boy wasn't enough to help him win the match.

After all that entertainment, Gorgeous George flew off the middle rope with the best elbow drop she was capable of delivering and won the match.
Your Winer: Gorgeous George

Up next, Buff Bagwell would finally get to challenge Scott Steiner for the US title. First, however, we got a look back at their rivalry, which mainly consisted of Steiner calling Buff a girl and Buff responding with such mature, well-thought-out insults as "Big Bad DooDoo Daddy" and "Big Poppa Dump."

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion Scott Steiner vs. Buff Bagwell

WCW Slamboree 1999 - The Steiner Brothers reunite
With several disappointing matches over and done with, your writer didn't have great expectations for this one.

Thankfully, Steiner and Bagwell surpassed those low expectations by creating a match which, while short, was as high impact as it was entertaining.

The crowd were super into it too which made things that much better.

Following an enjoyable bit of back-and-forth, the referee took a tumble allowing Rick Steiner to come in and turn on Bagwell, aligning with his brother.

One Steiner Recliner later and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still WCW United States Champion: Scott Steiner

Another pointless video followed, this one featuring Goldberg. Afterwards, Tenay, Schiavone, and Heenan killed a little bit of time by talking about the Sting/Goldberg match.

Yet another video package came next featuring both that match, the DDP/Nash match and, finally, the whole Flair/Piper ordeal.

I swear to you the whole looked like some 12-year-old kid made it on his first version of Windows Movie Maker.

Battle for Control of World Championship Wrestling
Nature Boy Ric Flair (w/ Arn Anderson & Aysa) vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Rowdy Roddy Piper faced Ric Flair for control of WCW
As Nature Boy made his way to the ring, Mike Tenay took the time to tell us about a new feature on the WCW Hotline:

The Ross Report.

Yes, you did read that correctly. Apparently, this was a report run by then-WCW magazine writer Ross Foreman, who is now Head of Media Relations for Impact Wrestling.

Flair started the match by firing the assigned referee and putting Charles Robison in his place.

What followed was ten minutes of outside interference, crooked officiating, chops and punching, broken up by the occasional back body drop.

while the lack of anything particularly novel might be enough to have a lot of fans giving this one the old "minus five stars," but there was something about the way this felt more like an old-school brawl than a wrestling match that made it surprisingly enjoyable.

Towards the finish, Piper looked to defy the odds by putting Anderson and Aysa to sleep, then KO'ing Little Naitch. Big Naitch, however, brought out the brass knuckles, nailed Hot Rod with them, and got the three count.
Your Winner: Nature Boy Ric Flair

WCW Slamboree 1999 - Eric Bischoff returned and joined forces with Rowdy Roddy PiperPost-match, a grey-haired Eric Bischoff strolled out to the ring and reversed the decision.

Bischoff hadn't been seen in many months. In fact, I'm pretty sure the last time he was seen was when Flair beat him for control of WCW back at the tail end of 1998, so quite how Bischoff still had any authority to reverse the decision will forever remain a mystery.

Irate at the decision, Flair kept screaming that he was the boss, then got into an insane argument with a little boy at ringside while Bischoff and Piper hugged it out in the ring.

That was all kinds of nonsensical.

Sting vs. Goldberg

This was a match to determine who was the 'Franchise Player' of WCW.

About two seconds into it, Sting and Goldberg botched a spot so badly it was impossible to even hazard a guess at what they trying to do.

It was so bad, in fact, that the match never recovered.

For the next couple of minutes, two of WCW's biggest stars gave us a sloppy, tedious match which had literally one good spot:


Goldberg spearing sting from out of mid-air.

At the finish, Bret Hart (who had kayfabe quit the company months earlier) came out and destroyed Goldberg with a chair.
Your winner via disqualification: Goldberg

The winner was never announced because The Steiner Brothers came out and attacked both men for no reason, though a DQ seems to be the result that makes the most sense here.

Finally, following another Windows Movie Maker package for the main event, it was onto said main event.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly) vs. Kevin Nash

WCW Slamboree 1999 - WCW Champion Diamond Dallas Page faced Kevin Nash
DDP was a heel now, partly because Randy Savage had helped him to capture the title the previous month at Spring Stampede, but also because he'd been getting too big for his britches and bragging about what a legend he was.

That had made Kevin Nash the babyface in this encounter, and at times it was like watching a main event from his 1995 run as Diesel all over again.

The first part of this match was monumentally boring. It looked to be all over when Savage came out and attacked Nash, leading to a DQ.

However, Eric Bischoff came out again and ordered that the match be restarted, declaring that it would go on "to the finish."

That effectively turned it into some kind of impromptu no-holds-barred match, with chair shots and low-blows taking place directly in front of referee Nick Patrick.

This part of the match was much more enjoyable, and ended with DDP getting jackknifed to hell.

A three count later, and WCW head booker Kevin Nash became our new champion.
Your Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Kevin Nash

Funny how that works, isn't it?







Only a month earlier, WCW had managed to crank out one of the best PPVs of the year in the form of the aforementioned Spring Stampede. With Slamboree 1999, however, the company had not only reverted back to delivering lacklustre shows, but they'd also somehow made things even worse than they'd been before. 

Indeed, when an inter-gender match between a non-wrestling female manager and a non-wrestling referee happens to be one of the most entertaining things on the entire card, you know you're in trouble. 

Sure, the opening tag team match was great fun, but other than that, nothing here was as enjoyable as Charles Robinson vs. Gorgeous George, and if that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about the state of WCW in the spring of 1999, then nothing will. 




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Thursday, 2 May 2019

28 More WWF In Your House Matches You Should Definitely Check Out

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - In Your House Logo
Well, we did it. On the road to reviewing every WWE PPV between Wrestlemania 1 and Wrestlemania 30, we've finally covered all 28 In Your House events, starting with the premier show in 1995 and culminating four years later in the month after Wrestlemania 15.

In doing so, we've seen so many great matches that, even though I put together my list of the Top Ten Best In Your House Matches a few weeks ago, I felt that I could have easily have made that a top twenty, or even thirty.

Ultimately, I decided against doing that, but I still didn't want to close this chapter of the Retro Pro Wrestling journey without looking back at some of my other favourite matches from the 28-show series.

What I've done today then, is go through all 28 In Your House shows and pick out at least one match that's worth watching from every show, excluding those already featured on the top ten.





Many of these aren't the main event, or even the most memorable matches from the shows they were on but were simply bouts that I enjoyed watching, and wanted to relive again.

Ready? Let's get into it.

In Your House 1: Bret Hart vs. Hakushi 


The very first In Your House match ever got the series off to a fine start at In Your House 1 back in May 1995.

This is typical of The Hitman's weird position in 1995 in which he mainly battled midcarders but still managed -much as he did here- to have the very best match on the show.

In Your House 2: Intercontinental Champion Jeff Jarrett vs. Shawn Michaels

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Jarrett

In Your House 2: The Lumberjacks is better known as being the night that Jeff Jarret 'sang' With My Baby Tonight, but immediately after that, he dropped the Intercontinental Championship to Shawn Michaels in a fantastic, 20-minute effort which unequivocally stole the show.

In Your House 3: Bret Hart vs. Jean Pierre Lafitte 



Hart and Lafitte had previously met at In Your House 2 and delivered a match which, though it wasn't terrible, wasn't much to write home about.

One month later, they regrouped at In Your House 3: Triple Header and put on the match of the night, a brilliant, 16-minute encounter that is still remembered fondly to this day.

In Your House 4: Goldust vs. Marty Jannetty


Making his WWF in-ring debut, Goldust locked up with Marty Jannetty at In Your House 4: Great White North in  a very solid effort that could easily contend to have been the best match on the show.

When said show featured the farce of Razor Ramon vs. Dean Douglas and Diesel vs. Bulldog (a match reported to be so bad it apparently made Vince Mcmahon throw his headset down in disgust) earning match of the night honours may not be such an achievement.

Still, Goldie and Jannetty entertained here, and deserve a place on the list.

In Your House 6: Shawn Michaels vs. Owen Hart


A month earlier, Shawn Michaels had won the 1996 Royal Rumble. Yet before he could make The Boyhood Dream Come True at Wrestlemania 12, he first agreed to put his title shot on the line against Owen Hart.

Duking it out at In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage, Hart and Michaels put on what I once called one of the best matches of 1996, a match that was every bit as good as you'd imagine it could be.

In Your House 7: WWF Tag Team Champions The Body Donnas (Skip & Zip, w/ Sunny) vs. The Godwins (Henry  & Phineas Godwin, w/ Hillbilly Jim)

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - Sunny and The Body Donnas

Of course, the best part of In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies, was the classic Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel match for the WWF title. 

That match was so good that it made into to the aforementioned In Your House Top 10, leaving me to find another match from that show to include here.

Sadly, there wasn't a lot to go on. Sure, Owen Hart and British Bulldog were pretty entertaining in their tag team match against Ahmed Johnson and Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, but I think an underrated highlight of the show had to be this one. 

We may crap all over the Body Donnas for their terrible gimmick, but the truth is that Chris Candido and Tom Pritchard were solid wrestlers capable of good things. Here, they dragged The Godwins to an enjoyable tag team match which I'm not ashamed to include on this list.

In Your House 8:  WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. British Bulldog


Having accused WWF Champion Shawn Michaels of hitting on his wife, Dianna, British Bulldog challenged Shawn Michaels for the WWF title in a very good main event which only just missed out on making it into the In Your House Top Ten.

It's worth pointing out that In Your House 8: Beware of Dog also featured a very enjoyable strap match between Steve Austin and Savio Vega (the one where Ted Dibiase left the WWF), but for my money, this one was just marginally better.

In Your House 9: Steve Austin vs. Marc Mero 


Back at King of the Ring 1996, Austin and Wildman Marc Mero had stolen the show with their King of the Ring final match.

One month later, at In Your House 9 - International Incident, they were at it again in a thrilling contest which gave that night's main event (Michaels, Sid & Ahmed vs. Owen, Bulldog & Yoko) a serious run for its money.

In Your House 10: WWF Tag Team Champions The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart Gunn)  vs. Owen Hart & British Bulldog

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - Sunny and The Smoking Gunns

Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind was clearly the best match at In Your House 10: Mind Games, but the whole point of today's post is to pick one good match from each In Your House that I didn't already feature in the aforementioned Top 10.

So I went with this one. While it may not have been anywhere near as good as Michaels/Mankind, Owen and Bulldog taking the tag team titles from Billy and Bart was at least very entertaining and proved to be the best match on the card that wasn't the main event.

In Your House 11: Undertaker vs. Mankind  - Buried Alive 


A rare heel vs. heel match between Steve Austin and Hunter Hearst Helmsley would have been my pick for In Your house 11: Buried Alive had Undertaker and Mankind not gone on to wage an all-out war on each other.

Competing in the buried alive match which gave the show its name, the two did the one thing they always did best when they worked together: 

Giving us something we'd never seen before.

Like their Boiler Room brawl at Summerslam 1996 and their Hell in a Cell classic at King of the Ring 1998, this unique match was unlike anything else on WWF programming and was all the more entertaining for it.

In Your House 12: Leif Cassidy vs. Flash Funk


There wasn't a lot to like about In Your House 12: It's Time. Even the main event (WWF Champion Sid vs. Bret Hart) left a lot to be desired.

Still, the show did have at least one good match - an opening contest between the future Al Snow and the former Too cold Scorpio.

In my original review, I called this:

A very enjoyable bout with lots of high flying and submissions held together by the kind of solid psychology that this kind of wrestling sometimes lacked.

I stand by this. Cassidy vs. Funk was about as good a PPV opening as you were going to get in mainstream American pro wrestling in 1996.

In Your House 13: WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & British Bulldog vs. Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - Owen Hart & British Bulldog


The fatal fourway match that gave the show its name was the real star of In Your House 13: Fatal Four Way, but this WWF tag team title match was pretty good in its own right. 

This was at the time when Owen and Bulldog were beginning to tease a breakup, but even when they were at odds with each other, the champs were still able to get the job done in a very good match which -along with the main event- stopped Fatal Four Way from being a total dud. 

In Your House 14: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin 

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart

One month after their legendary battle at Wrestlemania 13, arch-rivals Bret 'The Hitman' Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin met in a rematch at In Your House 14: Revenge of The Taker

The show also featured Undertaker vs. Mankind for 'Taker's WWF title. Both matches had something in common - neither were the best match the participants would have with each other, but despite that, both were still really, really good. 

Austin/Hart III for example, didn't live up to the aforementioned 'Mania classic, but it was still a great bout in its own right. 

In Your House 15: WWF Champion The Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin


Almost a year before he'd cement his status as the company's biggest ever headline attraction, Stone Cold Steve Austin headlined his first ever WWF PPV against reigning champion The Undertaker.

At the time that I first reviewed this show, the match didn't really do it for me, but I'm willing to accept that I was probably just in an off mood that day. After all, I've read nothing but high praise for the match from just about everybody else.

Besides, everything else at In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell was mediocre at best.

In Your House 16: WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku vs. The Great Sasuke


There's a good reason I often refer to In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede as one of my favourite PPVs of all time:

Every single match offered a lot to enjoy.

Of course, it was the main event, a wild, 10-man tag pitting The Hart Foundation against Austin, Shamrock, Goldust and The LOD, that really stole the show. That's why it ranked so highly in the list of the Top Ten Best In Your House matches ever.

Having said that, the other three matches were solid. Undertaker and Vader had a good big-man match, while Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley extended their wild, chaotic brawl throughout the show, spending most of the 'tween-match segments beating the life out each other.

But it was this, a crisp, light heavyweight masterpiece from Michinoku and Sasuke that really stood out.

Honestly, I'd add the whole show to this list, but if you only watch one match from it besides that incredible main event, watch Taka and The Great Sasuke trading stiff strikes, dazzling ariel moves and suplexes that were truly a thing of beauty.

This, my friends, was probably the best match Taka Michinoku would have in his WWF run.

In Your House 17: WWF Champion Bret Hart vs. The Patriot


Undertaker and Shawn Michaels stole the show at In Your House 17: Ground Zero, which is why they're on the top ten list.

Before those two kicked off the first chapter of one 1997's hottest rivalries, however, Bret put his title on the line against The Patriot in a match that was better than this sceptical fan anticipated.

In my original review, I wrote:

This wasn't the best Bret Hart match ever.
Then again, even the worst Bret Hart match is better than many other's best, and that was certainly the case here.
After a somewhat dull start, things quickly picked up, turning into a good match with a few exciting moments.
Sure, the ending was never in doubt - nobody ever expected The Hitman to lose, but that didn't stop he and Patriot from putting on a dramatic contest that would have been match of the night had HBK and Taker not delivered a masterpiece.

In Your House 18: Tarantula & Mosaic vs. Max Mini & Nova

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - Minis Match

In my original review, I called Badd Blood: In Your House 18 'the very definition of  one match show.'

I stand by that. The only really good match was the Undertaker/Michaels Hell in a Cell match, which  was so good it made it all the way to the number one spot in the Top Ten Greatest In Your House matches.

Still, with the death of Brian Pillman lingering over the show, the rest of Badd Blood was a relatively poor show. Even a tag team match pitting Vader and The Patriot against Bret Hart and British Bulldog failed to deliver.

Meaning that, since I've stubbornly committed to picking one good match that wasn't in the top ten from every In Your House card, the nod goes to this fun little minis match. 

In Your House 20: The Rock vs. WWF Intercontinental Stone Cold Steve Austin


Austin and Rock would face each other for the WWF title at the final ever In Your House, Backlash.

That match was so good it ranked highly in the top ten.

Two years earlier, however, the two men had met for the Intercontinental championship in a really good match at D-Generation-X: In Your House 19, a match that proved -if ever proof were needed- that these were two bonafide main event superstars on the very cusp of greatness.

In Your House 20: War of Attrition
The Nation of Domination (Farooq, D'Lo Brown, Mark Henry, Kama Mustafa, and WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock) vs. Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson, Chainz, Skull, and 8-Ball

WWE - 28 Great WWF In Your House Matches - The Rock and The Nation of Domination

Yep, I'm recommending a match featuring The Disciples of Apocalypse. That's how slim the pickings were for quality matches at No Way Out of Texas: In Your House 20.

Sure, the main event (an eight-man pitting HHH, Savio Vega and the New Age Outlaws against Austin, Owen, Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie) was awesome, but that already made it into the top ten. 

That left us with this, a match which was better than its list of participants may suggest. Though while the match itself was fun, it's the hilarious pre-match promo in which Rock upstages Farooq without saying a word that makes this must-see viewing. 

In your house 21 - World Wrestling Federation Championship
WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Dude Love


First of all, I'll make no apologies for including both Austin vs. Dude Love matches in this list. Both were tremendous fun and were very strong contenders for the top ten.

In fact, the biggest problem I had writing that top ten was debating whether or not to include at least one of these two matches.

In the end, I didn't, but that's to take nothing away from the quality of this one. Making his first PPV title defence, Austin laid out the blue print for how all of his main event matches would run for the best part of the Attitude Era

It was wild, it was chaotic, it contained a whole lot of brawling and was just about as good of a main event as you were ever going to see in 1998.

By far the best thing at Unforgiven: In Your House 21

In Your House 22: Austin vs. Dude Love 2


One month after Austin vs. Dude Love 1 ended in controversial fashion, the two went at it in a rematch with Vince McMahon as the special guest referee and The Undertaker stalking around the place to make sure McMahon didn't do anything shady.

The resulting match may seem overbooked by today's standards, but it was a hugely entertaining affair that more than made up for what was otherwise a disappointing show at Over the Edge: In Your House 22.

In Your House 23: Two out of Three Falls for the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental ChampionshipWWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock vs. Triple H

WWE / 28 WWF In Your House Matches You Should Watch - The Rock vs. Triple H

The Rock and Triple H would absolutely steal the show at Summerslam 1998 later that year in what is easily one of your writer's top five all-time favourite matches.

Before that, however, the two clashed in a two-out-of-three-falls match at Fully Loaded: In Your House 23, a match which most people have probably forgotten about but is absolutely worth tracking down.

In Your House 24: Cage Match to Determine WWF Championship Number One Contender - Mankind vs. The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock 

WWE / 28 WWF In Your House Matches You Should Watch - The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock vs. Mankind

Speaking of things long since forgotten, Breakdown: In Your House 24 isn't exactly a show that people still talk about today, but it did feature a few pretty decent matches.

Austin vs. 'Taker vs. Kane for the title was a whole lot of fun, but the real star of the show was The Rock who, at this event, made it known that he wasn't just The Rock: Popular Wrestler but that he was in fact, The Rock: Major Main Event Superstar.

His triple threat cage match against Mankind and Ken Shamrock may not be the best match you've ever seen, but it was a highlight of this show.

In Your House 25: World Wrestling Federation Light Heavyweight Championship
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku (w/ Yamaguchi-San) vs. Christian (w/ Gangrel)


X-Pac and D'Lo Brown didn't just steal the show at Judgement Day: In Your House 25, they put on an underrated classic that was one of the best matches of that year. It was so good, in fact, that I put it in the In Your House top ten, meaning I had to pick something else for this spot.

Unforunately, pickings were slim.

Judgement Day 1998 was not a good show, but it did feature this decent effort in which Christian beat Taka to become Light Heavyweight Champion in his debut WWF match.

This was a good performance from both men that would have been even better had the crowd actually cared.

In Your House 26: World Wrestling Federation Championship: WWF Champion The Rock (W/ Vince & Shane McMahon) vs. Mankind


Despite the whole show being name after his finishing move, The Rock's first WWF title defence on PPV was not the main event of Rock Bottom: In Your House 26.

That honour went to Austin vs. The Undertaker in a Buried Alive match.

What Rock/Mankind was, however, was the best match on the card by a long shot.

That's not to say it was the best match the two would ever have. Their Royal Rumble 1999 encounter a month later would far top this one, but this was still a hell of a match to watch.

In Your House 27: Vince McMahon vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Steel Cage 


Even if this match had sucked, it would still deserve a spot on the list thanks to the historical significance of Vince McMahon finally lacing up a pair of boots and going toe-to-toe with his arch-nemesis, Austin.

The fact that their steel cage match at St. Valentine's Day Massacre: In Your House 27 was an absolute riot was a very welcomed bonus.

In Your House 28: Triple H vs. X-Pac 


The main event of The Rock vs. Steve Austin in a Wrestlemania 15 rematch was by far and away the best thing at Backlash: In Your House 28.

It was so good in fact, that I put it on the Top Ten Greatest In Your House Matches Ever list, meaning I had to find something else for this one.

To be honest, there was a lot to choose from. 

Whether it was Hardcore Holly and Al Snow getting creative in their hardcore title match or The New Age Outlaws having one of their better outings against Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart, Backlash was a pretty fun show overall. 

Still, though this near-20 minute epic from former DX teammates Triple H and X-Pac had its down moments, it was still very, very good indeed.





Did I miss out your favourite WWF In Your House match? Come and let me know on the Retro Pro Wrestling Facebook page.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Top 10 Best Ever WWF In Your House Matches

WWE / WWF In Your House logo - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches
Next week on Retro Pro Wrestling we'll be looking at Backlash 1999, the 28th and final ever instalment of In Your House.

That means that, over the past few years, we've been through every single In Your House event ever and, you know what?

There was a lot of good stuff to enjoy on those shows.

Sure, there was a lot of crap too, but while the In Your House brand may have a certain whiff of mid-90s, New Generation era cheese about it, the 28-show series did actually produce a lot -and I mean a lot- of good matches.

So, to celebrate this milestone on the road to reviewing every WWF PPV up to Wrestlemania 30, I thought we'd take a look back at the ten best In Your House matches ever.

Before we do, a word about how I determined which matches made the list, and in which order they made it.






The following list is based on nothing more than how much I personally enjoyed the match. I'm not necessarily too concerned with the technical excellence of the wrestlers, the work rate or any of that nonsense - it's all about how much fun I had watching a bunch of men pretending to fight each other.

Without further ado then, here's just ten of the best WWF In Your House matches to have taken place between 1995 and 1999.

10: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel 

In Your House 7: Good Friends Better Enemies


As a 12 year-old kid back in 1996, I absolutely loved this match, and not just for the spot where Michaels and Diesel used Mad Dog Vachon's false leg a weapon.

This dramatic and violent (by the WWF's standards) No Holds Barred match was, in many ways, a precursor to the kind of stuff we'd later see in the Attitude Era, but of course, at the time I didn't know that.

All I knew was that this was a match unlike anything I'd seen as a WWF fan, and I absolutely loved it.

Watching it back years later, I was delighted to find that it had lost none of its appeal.

A forgotten highlight of the mid-90s, this is a match I highly recommend you check out.

9:  WWF Champion Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog 


In the first draft of this list, nine out of the ten matches included Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, or Stone Cold Steve Austin. While that does go to show what a great body of work those men created, I thought it might be good to change things up a little, so I put this match in. 

Not that the December 1995 match doesn't deserve a spot. With The British Bulldog challenging brother-in-law Bret for the title, all the attributes were there to make this one a fine follow-up to their Summerslam 1992 classic. 

In my original review, I wrote:

A hard-hitting, dramatic and utterly captivating main event match, things started off slow with some back-and-forth mat action before the two combatants gradually picked up the pace, beating the living daylights out of each other inside and outside of the ring
I stand by that. This may not have been my first choice for inclusion on the list, but it certainly belongs here.

8: Non-Sanctioned, Anything Goes Eight-Man Tag Team Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie, and WWF European Champion Owen Hart vs. Triple H, Savio Vega, and WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Road Dogg Jesse James) w/ Chyna


On the road to Wrestlemania 14, Steve Austin was at war with Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Owen Hart had their issues, and The New Age Outlaws were a thorn in the side of Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie. 

All eight men were set to meet in one big, eight-man tag team match but then Shawn Michaels suffered a devastating back injury and despite being advertised for the show, was switched out at the last minute for Savio Vega.

The wrestling world groaned in unison at such a poor substitute, but even that didn't stop this from being an incredibly fun main event that got us all well and truly fired up for 'Mania.

7: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels 

Ground Zero: In Your House 17

Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels at In Your House Ground Zero - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches

OK, so this wasn't the greatest Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match ever. Heck, it isn't even the greatest Undertaker/Michaels match on this list, but it's still very, very, very good.

The whole thing came about when Michaels, in his role as special referee, cost The Undertaker the WWF title to The Hitman back at Summerslam 1997 and would eventually lead -via Badd Blood- to a casket match at Royal Rumble 1998, the same casket match that would cause Michaels the injury which kept him out of the aforementioned No Way Out match.

Its context in wrestling history aside, however, this was was a fantastic match that saw Undertaker absolutely demolish Michaels before the whole thing descended into utter carnage.

Everything about it was an absolute joy to watch from start to finish.

6: WWF European Champion D’Lo Brown vs. X-Pac w/ Chyna 

Judgement Day: In Your House 25



Originally the only match on this list not to feature Austin, Michaels or 'Taker, X-Pac vs. D'Lo Brown was a surprising highlight of the WWF's 1998 pay per view offering.

The two met multiple times that year, but I don't think they ever quite managed to make the kind of magic they made back at Judgement Day.

5: Final Four Way Match for the Vacant World Wrestling Federation Championship
Vader (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart


A little after Shawn Michaels lost his smile, four of the WWF's biggest stars met in a brutally brilliant, brilliantly brutal four-way match to determine which one of them would win the title that poor old HBK had vacated.

The match is perhaps most memorable for Vader being busted wide open and wrestling the bulk of the match looking as though somebody had caved his face in with a hammer - this at the time when blood wasn't a common sight on WWF TV.

Still, that wasn't the only highlight. 

All four men worked their asses off to put on a compelling main event that was undoubtedly one of 1997's best. 

4: WWF Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind 

In Your House 10: Mind Games


Shawn Michaels vs Mankind at In Your House: Mind Games - Top 10 Best Ever In Your House matches

Mick Foley famously said that this was his favourite match and, when you watch it, it's easy to see why.

Foley was in the best shape of his career here, keeping up with champion Michaels for the better part of 30 minutes.

This one had it all. Actual wrestling holds (even from Mankind), wild, crazy brawling, and yes, Foley destroying his body by crashing off the top turnbuckle into the Spanish announce table.

In fact, just reading my original review makes me want to go back and relive the excitement of it all over again.

A true classic that was just about as good as you were going to get in 1996.

3: The Hart Foundation vs. Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust, and The Legion of Doom 

In Your House 16: Canadian Stampede 


Canadian Stampede is up there among my favourite PPVs of all time, and this fantastically enjoyable match is a big part of the reason why.

Of course, the match had the novelty value that the roles were reversed here. The Hart Foundation - usually the biggest heels in the company, were beloved babyfaces in their home country of Canada, making popular faces Austin, Goldust, Shamrock and the LOD into firm heels.

But that was only part of what made this such a wonderful match.

All ten men brought their A-game on that hot, summer night in Calgary. Add to that a red-hot crowd the likes of which you rarely saw in mid-90s WWF, and you had the perfect combination for a truly memorable main event.

2: WWF Champion Steve Austin vs. The Rock 

Backlash: In Your House 28



Yes, I'm cheating a little here. I haven't yet posted the review for Backlash, but man, this return match from Wrestlemania 15 was just so good that there was no way I couldn't include it.

Austin and Rock always worked well together, but in this April 1999 bout the two really excelled.

By using Austin's Attitude Era Main Event blueprint (wild brawling, trips up and down the ilse, a blatant disregard for the rules) and adding in Rock's own unique way of delivering an entertaining match (doing his own mid-match commentary for example), the late 90s' two biggest stars put on an impeccable performance that is well worth tracking down.

1: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

Badd Blood: In Your House 18


Didn't I tell you that their outing at Ground Zero wasn't the best Undertaker/Michaels match?

Just when you thought the two couldn't top their September '97 outing, they locked up again a month later in the first ever Hell in a Cell match.

By far the most violent WWF match in history up to that point, this one didn't just pave the way for what was to come, it set a standard for Hell in a Cell matches that only Mick Foley's career-defining moment in 1998 could match.

Here's what I said about it in my original review:

Certainly, one of the best matches of the year, most likely one of the best matches of the 90s, and easily the greatest match of its type, this groundbreaking first Hell in a Cell match was gloriously violent and brilliantly entertaining from beginning to end.

I don't believe I'm exaggerating there either. This really was that good.

In fact, it wasn't just good, it was important.

What a lot of people forget about this match is that it was a number one contender's match. The winner would earn a title shot against Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997, and we all know what happened there.

Plus there's the novelty of this being the first ever Hell in a Cell match and, oh yeah, a certain wrestler called Kane happened to debut in this match.





Combine all of these factors together, and I'm prepared to say that this wasn't just the best In Your House match from a technical standpoint, it was also the most important.

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.