Thursday, 14 February 2019

PPV REVIEW: WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - In Your House 27

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Event poster
February 14, 1999
The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee

From pretending to be a rooster to barking like a dog, dressing up in a giant turkey costume and being whatever the hell Bastion Booger was supposed to be, Vincent Kennedy McMahon had bestowed some pretty humiliating tasks upon his employees independent contractors over the years.

Yet for all the criticism levied at some of McMahon's more outlandish ideas, his staunchest supporters always had one very good argument in his defence:

He wasn't asking his performers to do anything that he, himself, wouldn't do.

Since the creation of the evil Mr McMahon character, the Chairman of the Board had proven that time and time again.

In his legendary rivalry with Stone Cold Steve Austin, McMahon had been ritually humiliated on a weekly basis, even going so far as to pee his pants in front of a global television audience of millions.






Now, The Boss was set to take the concept of leading by example one step further by stepping into the ring -or rather, into the cage- for his first professional wrestling match against his arch nemesis.

Here's what happened when Vince McMahon faced Stone Cold Steve Austin as the road to Wrestlemania 15 hit Tennessee.

Crazy, you're driving me crazy, my sweet Valentine...

Tonight's show was named after the original St. Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929, a horrific event which saw seven people murdered as a result of a rivalry between gangsters Al Capone and Bugs Moran.

In keeping with that period, tonight opened up with a video package that had a very retro, Prohibition-Era feel to it - all flickering black and white images and jaunty piano like something straight out of your local speakeasy.

As cute female voice sang about her sweet valentine driving her crazy, we were shown clips of Austin torturing McMahon, The Rock torturing Mankind, and The Undertaker being just a little creepy.


As intros go, this one was perfect, fusing the old-school inspiration of the event itself with the modern-day stories of heated rivals that we were about to witness.

Michael Cole then welcomed us to the show and introduced us to hometown hero Jerry 'The King' Lawler who, predictably, received a huge ovation from the live crowd.

With that, it was on to our opening contest:

Goldust vs. Bluedust

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Bluedust (Blue Meanie) faced Goldust
There are some things from the Attitude Era that just haven't aged well, and this is certainly one of them.

For whatever reason, Goldust had stolen Head from Al Snow, prompting Snow's J.O.B Squad buddy The Blue Meanie to steal it back. Not only that, but Meanie also blue himself and dressed up as a Goldust parody, Bluedust.

If you'd forgotten all about this, don't worry:

You're not the only one.

In fact, I think the whole Bluedust thing is one memory better left suppressed.

Thankfully, this horrible thing didn't last long. Goldust gave Bluedust a good spanking, hit the Curtain Call, and pinned him in about two minutes.
Your Winner: Goldust

Afterwards, Goldie smashed his rival with the Shattered Dreams.

World Wrestling Federation Hardcore Championship
Al Snow (w/ Head) vs. Bob Holly

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Bob Holly won the vacant Hardcore Title
So, here we have the first time the WWF Hardcore Championship would be contested on PPV.

Apparently, the previous champion, Road Dogg, had been injured, leaving Al Snow to battle his former J.O.B Squad mate, Bob (Not-Yet-Hardcore) Holly for the vacant title.

Wasting very little time in leaving the ring and heading out to the back, this quickly turned into a fun little hardcore brawl that saw both men smash random objects over each other's heads and throw one another into walls.

It's matches like this which make your writer realise why he preferred the WWF's Hardcore Division to some of the more extreme, death-match style wrestling.

While a lot of death matches were simply sick and brutal, the WWF's stuff has always been a little slapstick, and that's just fun.

Eventually, Snow and Holly battled outside to the bank of the Mississippi River. This would have been great if you could actually see what was going on. It was pitch black outside and, as such, there were times when you couldn't really see the action.

What you could see, however, was Holly wrapping up Snow in some chainlink fence and pinning him.
Your Winner and NEW WWF Hardcore Champion: Hardcore Holly

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 -The Undertaker summons The Ministry of Darkness
Prior to our next contest, we were shown footage shot earlier in the day in which The Undertaker spoke to his Ministry of Darkness.

Surrounded by fire and darkness, 'Taker told his troops that tonight was when their purpose in life began.

The whole thing looked pretty cool but didn't achieve much beyond promoting an upcoming Mideon vs. Big Boss Man match which I'm pretty sure nobody wanted to see.

Still, it was up next, so let's see it anyway, shall we?

The Big Boss Man vs. Mideon

Though the two veterans worked well together to produce the best match they could, that match wasn't what anybody in the arena wanted.

At one point, a very loud 'BORING!' chant fired up. Though that might have been an unfair assessment, it's true that this wasn't much to get excited about.

In the end, Boss Man hit the Bossman Slam for the three count.
Your Winner: The Big Boss Man

Post-match, The Ministry of Darkness surrounded the ring and then beat up Bossman as The Undertaker and Paul Bearer looked on.

Viscera gave Bossman a couple of huge splashes, then the Ministry carried him away backstage.

D'Lo & Mark Henry have their own 'secret weapon.'

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown reveal Ivory as their new valet
Out in the back, D'Lo Brown told Kevin Kelly that he and Mark Henry had something to counteract Debra, the 'secret weapon' that Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett had been using to dominate the tag division.

That something was Ivory, the former GLOW star who was making her first WWF PPV appearance here tonight.

Though not particularly captivating, this quick little promo did do a good job of getting us up to speed on Ivory's involvement in the upcoming match.

World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship
WWF Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart (w/ Debra) vs. Mark Henry & D'Lo Brown (w/ Ivory)

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Debra accompanied Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart in their match against D'Lo and Mark Henry
Before this one started, Henry took to the microphone to call Ivory his "baby" and give her some flowers. It's funny, but this is just another storyline that I have no recollection of.

Once the tag team champions arrived, they went at it with Henry & D'Lo in a match that was fairly formulaic from start to finish.

Nothing much seemed to happen until the finish, which saw D'Lo go up top for his frog splash. Debra tried to seduce the former Nation member, which promoted Ivory to go after her nemesis. With the referee distracted by all that, Owen Hart was able to smash Henry around the legs with Jarrett's guitar.

Double J himself then slapped on the figure four and this one was over.
Your Winners: Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Kevin Kelly interviews Mankind
Out in the back, Kevin Kelly and Mankind looked at a clip from Sunday Night Heat in which The Rock attacked Mankind and injured his knee.

Mankind told Kelly that the injury wasn't enough to stop him competing. In fact, he was about to go into a state of mental preparation ready for his world title showdown with The Rock later on in the show.

Hello, Kenny...

Up next, we were shown a recap of the rivalry between Ken Shamrock and Val Venis. If you recall, this all revolved around Venis getting together with Ken's sister, Ryan, and Shamrock being unhappy about it.

World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock vs. Val Venis (w/ Ryan Shamrock)

Special guest referee: Bad Ass Billy Gunn

Apparently, Val and Ken's rivalry was so intense that referee Earl Hebner had refused to officiate. For reasons that weren't exactly made clear, Bad Bum Billy Gunn stepped in to do the honours instead.

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Bad Bum Billy Gunn
Gunn came to the ring doing Road Dogg's usual 'Oh you didn't know?' spiel, and proved why that kind of thing was better left to Road Dogg in the first place.

Still, what he lacked in the intro department, Gunn more than made up for by being very entertaining as a referee.

Not one to show favourites, Gunn continually counted slow for both men and didn't really seem to fussy about enforcing the rules.

At one point, Venis had Shamrock in a chinlock and continually yelled "ASK HIM!" at the referee.

"ASK HIM WHAT!?!" yelled Gunn in response.

Of course, the referee wasn't the only one putting in the effort here.

Both Shamrock and Venis worked well together to put on a decent match, even if Shamrock was a little too vocal.

At one point, Shamrock questioned a referee decision by yelling -very loudly- "What the f**k!"

Then, while outside the ring, with camera and microphone pointing right at him, he told Ryan Shamrock to slap him.

Slap him she did, though not as hard as Billy Gunn slapped him later on.

The champion pushed Gunn, causing Gunn to strike Shamrock and throw him into the ring, where Venis quickly rolled him up and won the title.
Your Winner and New WWF Intercontinental Champion: Val Venis

Post-match, Billy Gunn brawled with Ken Shamrock then ran back to the ring to beat up on Val for a bit.

WWF European Champion X-Pac & Triple H vs. Kane & Chyna

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - X-Pac & Triple H
I genuinely believe that there were few more talented in-ring performers during the Attitude Era that Triple H.

Whether it was his classic ladder match with The Rock at Summerslam 1998 (still one of my all-time favourite matches) or any number of performances that he'd put on as the century drew to a close, Hunter was consistently involved in matches which, if they didn't outright earn Match of the Night honours, were at least in contendership for them.

Such was the case here, as the DX leader teamed with X-Pac to take on his former bodyguard Chyna and her fellow Corporation stablemate, Kane.

Chyna had recently turned her back on DX at the culmination of a WWF Championship match on Raw between Triple H and defending champion, The Rock.

Towards the end of that match -fought under I Quit rules- Hunter looked to have the champion in serious trouble. That's when The Corporation ran out and Kane lifted Chyna for a chokeslam. Big Boss Man told Triple H that unless he quit, Chyna would get it.

Hunter, being the gentleman and general good guy that he was, naturally obliged.

Except, of course, that was a rouse. Chyna then drilled her man with a low blow and revealed herself to be the newest member of The Corporation.

That took us to tonight where, in her third year as a WWF roster member, Chyna finally got to have her debut PPV match.

And man, what a match it was.

The match of the night up to this point, all four participants played their parts perfectly, working to create an exciting contest that was absolutely captivating from first to last.

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Chyna & KaneThe crowd were hot, the action was fast, furious, and hard-hitting, and the whole thing would have been nigh on perfect were it not for Shane McMahon.

The boss's son was on guest commentary duty and was highly annoying all the way through. Though that was his gimmick, it was so overplayed that at times it distracted from the action.

Speaking of McMahon, he got involved in the finish by drilling X-Pac with a clothesline. Barely flinching, 'Pac got up and chased Shane backstage, leaving Triple H to fend for himself.

At first he did fine, setting up Chyna to eat what looked to be a match-ending pedigree, only to get chokeslammed to all unholy hell by Kane. The Big Red Machine then draped Chyna's prone, lifeless body over HHH, the referee counted to three, and this one was over.
Your Winners: Kane & Chyna

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - Ambulances waiting for The Rock & Mankind
Out in the back, we were shown a couple of ambulances that were on standby in case they were needed to help Mankind and The Rock following their impending Last Man Standing match.

This was followed by a recap of the storied rivalry between champ and challenger. It was a rivalry that began with the great double cross and the crowning of The Rock as champion at Survivor Series 1998.

It was a rivalry which continued with a match at In Your House 26: Rock Bottom, with Mankind putting butts on seats by winning the WWF title on Raw, and with legendary battles at the 1999 Royal Rumble and Half-Time Heat.

Finally, it was a rivalry that would end tonight, with one last showdown before the two moved on to different things on the road to Wrestlemania 15.

World Wrestling Federation Championship Last Man Standing Match
WWF Champion Mankind vs. The Rock

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - WWF Champion Mankind
From bell to bell, champ and challenger waged an unholy war on each other, creating a match which -though different from their previous outings- was every bit as compelling.

They brawled from the ring into the stands and back again. They punished each other outside the ring. The Rock did his usual spot of breaking from the match to talk on commentary. Mankind did his usual spots of diving off the apron with an elbow and doing that suicidal clothesline thing where both he and his opponent tumbled from the ring.

They smashed each other with chairs. They pounded on each other with fists and well, basically, they knocked the ever-loving crap out of one another.

The result was a match that was chaotic, violent and thoroughly entertaining.

In the end, the two exhausted combatants both laid each other out with chairshots, and when neither man was able to answer Earl Hebner's ten count, the whole thing was over.
Draw (Mankind retains the title)

As the crowds chanted a very -VERY- loud chant of "BULLSHIT!" a gaggle of referees came down to check on them. Eventually, paramedics came down and, predictably, both men were sent away in those ambulances we saw earlier.

Finally, after one last look at the latest instalment of the McMahon/Stone Cold saga stretching from McMahon's win at the 1999 Royal Rumble, it was on to our final match of the evening.

The King Loses His Voice

Remember when the WWF used to use a black steel cage? One that was like the classic blue-barred cage but, you know, black?

That cage made its debut tonight, though it would go on to have a relatively short life.

While that was getting set up, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole talked about the upcoming match. As their doing that, I thought I might as well point out that, all the way through the show, Jerry Lawler had been losing his voice, and was clearly really struggling to speak here.

Steel Cage Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon

WWE / WWF St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999 - IHY 27 - A bloody Vince McMahon flips off Steve Austin
And so, this was it. The boss vs. the man who had been a thorn in his side for the better part of a year.

Indeed, whilst everyone remembers the year-long build up to Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan at WCW Starrcade 1997, not as many people seem to talk about the year-long build up towards tonight's epic main event.

When I say epic, I mean it. This was everything the blow-off to McMahon/Austin needed to be, and then some.

After a game of cat and mouse, Austin finally got his hands on the boss and clobbered him all the way through the crowd and back again.

Trying to escape, McMahon scaled the cage from the outside by was chased by Austin. On reaching the top, The Texas Rattlesnake threw his rival from the top of the cage. Vince flew through the air and took a wicked bump through the announce table.

We're talking a HUGE bump here, like Foley Hell in a Cell levels of huge.

It was insane, but it was only the beginning.

Paramedics ran down to stretcher Vince away as Howard Finkle took to the microphone to declare Austin the winner.

"That's bullshit!" yelled Austin as he grabbed the mic and reminded us that since the bell hadn't rung, the match technically hadn't even started. Not letting Vince get away so easily, he rammed his stretcher into the cage, threw Vince into the ring and beat him to a bloody pulp.

McMahon got not one bit of offence in the entire time. He took a beating and he took it hard, and every time Austin considered walking away to win the match, Vince flipped him off and took some more punishment.

It was awesome.

After taking the ass kicking of a life time, Vince finally got a little help thanks to the arrival of Paul Wight, then better known to fans as The Giant from WCW, but today better known to us as The Big Show.

"THAT'S PAUL WIGHT! THAT'S PAUL WIGHT! HE'S HUGE!" yelled Cole as Wight tore through the canvas and came to Vince's aid.

Last seen on PPV as Scott Steiner's tag partner in a losing effort against Rick Steiner at WCW Halloween Havoc 1998, Wight made his presence felt by picking up Austin and throwing him into the side of the cage.

There was just one problem:

Wight was so powerful that, when he threw Austin, he accidentally broke the cage. The cage wall swung open, Austin clung on, then dropped to the outside and won the match.
Your Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin

The victory meant that Stone Cold now had a title shot at Wrestlemania 15, though for now, he seemed more content with cursing out the man we'd soon come to call The Big Show.






After a lacklustre undercard, St. Valentine's Day really picked up from the DX vs. Corporation tag team match onwards. All three of the top matches on the card were tremendous in their own right, each one delivering something different yet equally as enthralling.

Though not a perfect show by any stretch of the imagination, the main events more than made up for atrocities like Goldust/Bluedust and actually made this one well worth checking out on the Network.



Other 1999 pro wrestling reviews:
Be the first to catch the latest Retro Pro Wrestling reviews by following on Facebook or Twitter @RetroPWrestling.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

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.