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WWE The Attitude Era Vol. 3: Unreleased (Blu-Ray Edition)
by Scrooge McSuck
- When we last left off (which was quite a while ago, sorry), we've wrapped up the 1st disc, containing the main feature with wrap around segments from Corey Graves. Disc 2 is entirely bonus features, with EVEN MORE bonus features that are blu-ray exclusives. I should be overjoyed, but then I remember the phrase "Coliseum Video Exclusive" and remember why I don't watch my old collection of those tapes any more, either.
Yokozuna vs. The Sultan:
Taped from Sun City, South Africa on September 14th, 1996, and the only match to feature commentary (thus far), with Jim Ross and Owen Hart calling the action. Seriously, whose idea of a sick joke is THIS match? A grotesquely out of shape Yokozuna versus a guy who was soon to be following in his footsteps (and I'm sure there's some blood relation to Yokozuna and Fatu/Rikishi, but hell if I know what it is). Did the Sultan even debut on TV yet? Yokozuna is so out of shape, he looks like he's having trouble walking to the ring and is sucking wind before the bell. They trade shoves and Yokozuna unloads with rights. He teases a Banzai Drop, but Sultan quickly hauls ass to the floor. Sultan goes for a shoulder tackle, but Yoko lays him out with an elbow. Sultan avoids an elbow drop and pounds away with forearms. Yoko sets up for a back drop, but Sultan slams him down with relative ease. The poor bastard looks like a beached whale, just lying there. Sultan with a Super-Kick for two, then it's time for a nerve hold. Yoko starts doing his version of the Hulk Up and lays Sultan out with a headbutt. He plants the Sultan with a slam, but misses (mostly) a running splash. The Sultan removes a turnbuckle pad, but Yoko blocks it and rams Sultan into the exposed buckle. Yokozuna with a clothesline and the leg drop finishes at 6:14. ½* Not the abomination I was expecting, but still not a good match.
Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:
From the unaired portion of IYH: It's Time. Goldust is fresh off a face turn, basically to kill the heat on the WWF for his lewd behavior. Austin makes a Hollywood Blondes "camera rolling" gesture on the way to the ring in a cute little nod. Then he makes kissy faces at Goldust because why the heck not, only the live audience will see this. Lockup into the corner and Austin gives him a pat on the butt. Another lockup and Goldust returns the favor. They take turns working the arm. Crisscross and they mistime a Thesz Press. Austin takes control, anyway, and hooks a chin-lock. Looks like Goldust has a bloody nose. Goldust comes back with a shoulder tackle and signature hook from his back. Goldust with a seated chin-lock. Whip to the ropes and Goldust with a sleeper, but Austin quickly counters with a jaw breaker. Goldust avoids a splash across the middle rope and hits a clothesline for two. Marlena blows smoke in his face to remind us she's at ringside. Austin sends Goldust to the floor and tries to whack him with the director's chair, but Goldust counters with a boot to the chest. Back inside, Austin with a blind low-blow. Whip to the corner and Austin with a bionic elbow. Goldust teases taking a walk, but Austin brings him back. Goldust with a roll up, and here's Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Whip to the ropes, Helmsley nails Goldust with the IC Belt, and the Stone Cold Stunner finishes at 8:38. Just a match, but they did a few goofy spots to have a little fun.
The Undertaker, Ahmed Johnson, and Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. The Nation of Domination:
From the Monday Night Raw taping on March 17th, 1997, just days away from WrestleMania 13. This incarnation of the Nation is Faarooq, Savio Vega, and Crush, with PG-13 and D'Lo Brown as lackeys, among others. We get a pier-six brawl to kick things off. Ahmed takes Faarooq over with a Power-Slam and tosses him to the floor, so he teases taking a walk, but Crush talks him back down to ringside. Once things settle down, we've got Goldust and Savio starting the match properly. Savio pounds away and takes him to the Nation's corner. Goldust takes Crush over with a sunset flip, but only gets a one count. Faarooq tags in and mocks Goldust's gestures. He tries to sit down across the back, but Goldust rolls over to get the knees up and lands a right. Savio cuts off the tag attempt and promptly misses a charge, ramming his shoulder to the post. Undertaker in and he cleans house. Heck breaks loose and Ahmed hits Faarooq with a spine-buster. Undertaker with the Choke-Slam to Savio and the Tombstone Piledriver finishes at 4:34. That was brisk. Standard after-the-show effort and rush to a finish. As you can tell, unless something stands out, I'm not going to bother with star ratings with dark matches.
WWF Championship Match:
The Undertaker © (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:
Taped from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 14th, 1997. Undertaker is the reigning WWF Champion, and Austin is a co-holder of the Tag Team Championship. This was during the period where Paul Bearer Blackmailed Undertaker to let him be his manager again. Austin avoids a lunge and gives Taker the double bird. Undertaker traps him in the corner and unloads with rights. Whip to the ropes, Undertaker goes for the Choke-Slam, but Austin escapes and flips off random fans. Back inside, Taker catches Austin coming with a boot to the face. Austin goes to work on the arm, but Undertaker quickly counters and hits the rope walk clothesline for a two count. Austin goes to the ropes to avoid further punishment and rolls to the floor for a breather. He grabs the ankle and pulls Taker to the floor, only to be sent into the ring steps. Back inside, Austin with a failed slam attempt. Whip to the ropes and Taker with a sleeper. Austin quickly escapes with a jaw breaker and lands a low-blow out of the view of the referee. Whip to the ropes and Austin with an elbow for two. Austin with a front face-lock to slow things down. Undertaker rams him into the turnbuckle to escape, but meets a boot on a charge. Austin with a sledge from the middle rope for two. Austin with a snap mare into a chin-lock. Taker escapes and gets the better of a slugfest. Whip to the ropes and Taker with the diving clothesline, followed by the Choke-Slam. Austin goes for the Stunner, but Undertaker blocks and finishes with the Tombstone Piledriver at 11:12. *1/2 I wasn't expecting much from this, and it delivered. Have I mentioned before that I never thought these two had much chemistry? As you can see, matches not taped from a PPV or Raw taping are getting ratings.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
The Legion of Doom © vs. Shawn Michaels & Hunter Hearst Helmsley (w/ Chyna):
Taped from Uniondale, NY on October 24th, 1997. I seem to recall local advertisement for this show, or maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. Michaels is the reigning European Champion and decides to make goofy faces for one of the ringside cameras, then uses a boom mic for the obvious joke. Animal and Helmsley lockup, and Animal wins that one with ease. Wait until 2002, I'm sure Hunter will be strong enough by then. Michaels tries to help, so Animal tosses both across the ring. Hawk tags in and tosses Shawn across the ring with a press slam. He rolls to the floor so Hunter and Chyna can rub his fanny. Whip to the corner, Hawk gets a boot up on the charge. Animal intercepts Shawn trying to run, tosses him back in, and Hawk clotheslines him back out, where Animal greets him with a clothesline that mostly missed. Shawn sells it like a champ regardless. Shawn escapes a headlock, but gets caught in a bear-hug. Animal bear-hugs Helmsley, too, and lays both out with clotheslines. Helmsley and Shawn with a double team spot (the Double Goozle?) to FINALLY make Animal sell. Whip to the ropes, Helmsley with a drop toe hold, and Shawn with an elbow drop. Helmsley with the running high knee for two. Whip to the ropes and Shawn hops on Animal with a sleeper hold. Animal with a back suplex, but Helmsley with the blind tag to cut off the tag attempt to Hawk and hook his own sleeper. Shawn takes a cheap shot at Hawk and cuts off another tag. Animal muscles his way to his corner, but a distraction has the referee miss the tag. We get heel miscommunication, and Hawk finally gets the hot tag. He unloads with rights and clotheslines. Shawn takes Animal out on the floor, leaving Hawk to fight by himself. Shawn cheap shots him with one of the belts and Helmsley covers for three at 13:06 for a title reign I don't recall taking place. HOLD THE PHONE, Tim White shows up to tell Earl Hebner what happened, so the decision is reversed. Dammit Shawn, learn to drop the belts in the ring like a pro! ** Shawn seemed game to actually work a match and troll people, and Animal tried, so there you go, enough work to get something watchable out of a match I feared would be 15-minutes of posturing.
Steve Austin & Cactus Jack vs. The Rock & D'Lo Brown:
Taped from Madison Square Garden on January 10th, 1998. As good as the product had become on television, the WWF roster had some serious depth when it came to the top of the card. It's no wonder the Austin vs. McMahon storyline was milked for so long. Cactus cuts a pre-match promo and I guess he was supposed to be Dude Love, but Dude Love sucks. D'Lo pounds away on Cactus to start. Whip to the ropes, Cactus with a shoulder tackle, followed by a leg drop. D'Lo gets a boot up on a charge and comes out of the corner with a clothesline. Cactus avoids a back drop and a big clothesline takes both over the top rope. Cactus teases high risk, but D'Lo casually walks away. Not the best camera work I've seen. Austin tags in for the first time and works the arm. He offers the tag to the Rock, but he won't accept it. Rock tags in when Austin's vulnerable, and we get a slugfest. Whip to the ropes, Austin with a shoulder tackle, followed by the Thesz Press and elbow drop. Austin goes for the Stunner, but Rocky bails, only to run into a clothesline from Foley. Austin with a boot to the throat while Cactus woks over D'Lo. Cactus nails Rock with a small table or possibly an ironing board. Back in the ring, Austin is easily having his way with D'Lo. Cactus with the steps, but Rock smacks them back in his face via use of a chair. On the opposite side of the ring, it looks like D'Lo used some baby powder to finally slow Austin down. D'Lo with a second rope fist drop for two. The camera misses what I assume is a People's Elbow on Cactus. D'Lo with the Frog Splash, and I'm amazed the camera caught that. Austin back drops D'Lo to the floor and pounds away on the Rock. Brown pulls Austin to the floor, teases a piledriver, and takes a back drop on the floor. Rock and Cactus fight beyond the curtain, leaving Austin and D'Lo in the ring. They return shortly after, and Cactus has a dumpster of goodies. Austin bashes D'Lo over the head with a garbage can, followed by a broomstick, and the Stunner finishes at 11:33, but we missed it to watch the Nation attack Cactus Jack. Austin with Stunners to Faarooq and Kama for the heck of it. The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust shows up for a beating, too. ** I dropped it by half-a-star for the poor camera work. Decent match, acceptable garbage match to finish off a show.
Steve Austin, Cactus Jack, and Chainsaw Charlie vs. The Rock & The New Age Outlaws:
Taped from the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ on February 22nd, 1998. Rock is subbing for Triple H for reasons unknown, but Hunter and Chyna are at ringside to support the Outlaws. TheHistoryOfWWE.com lists this as an "unsanctioned" match, meaning no rules, most likely. If it's not sanctioned, how can it be contested as an actual match with a WWF official? LOGIC IN WRESTLING! Road Dogg and Charlie (Terry Funk) start. Lockup and Funk quickly takes control with strikes and headbutts. Cactus with rights and a running knee to the face. Austin works the arm of Gunn. He connects with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a slingshot to the corner and a clothesline. Road Dogg comes in and meets the same fate. Rock comes in for their annual slugfest. Austin comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle and Thesz Press. He goes for the Stunner, but Rock bails, only to be met with a clothesline, a sequence done move for move in the last match on this set. Funk and Gunn roll around in trash, and suddenly we cut to a bunch of chaos in and around the ring. Cactus hip throws Gunn onto a table that doesn't break. He pulls a pair of tongs from his boot and does the obvious to Road Dogg's genitals. Rock with a low blow to help the Outlaws take control on Foley. Rock with rights and boots in the corner. He plants Foley with a slam and comes off the ropes with a tame version of the People's Elbow for a near fall. Gunn with a hangman's neck breaker for two. Road Dogg with a chair shot from the floor that I'm sure Foley regrets taking 20 years later. Gunn and Road Dogg with a back suplex/neck breaker combo. Road Dogg with a chair across the back, but a middle rope elbow is countered with a chair to the face. Austin with the hot tag, and might as well call the bell now, as he cleans house by himself. Kick Wham Stunner to Road Dogg finishes at 12:05. Post-match, Rock and Hunter eat Stunners, too. **1/2 Perfectly acceptable house show Main Event.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Triple H (w/ Chyna):
Taped from Anaheim, CA on March 13th, 1998. Yes, they taped two matches between Austin and HHH less than two weeks apart, and both matches found their way on an unreleased footage compilation. I hate to whine, but I've seen way too much Austin on this set already. Lockup, Helmsley with chain wrestling. Austin counters and gives him his signature salute. Austin with a side headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Hunter from behind to take control. That doesn't last long. Austin gets the better of a slugfest and hits the Thesz Press and elbow drop. Austin goes for the Stunner, but Hunter bails. Thank goodness Foley isn't at ringside for the blind clothesline spot. Back inside, Austin with an inverted atomic drop and clothesline for two. Either the acoustics of the arena are terrible, or this crowd sucks. Whip to the ropes and Hunter connects with the running high knee. Hunter wraps the leg around the post because he's the Cerebral Assassin... wait, that's not a nickname for another 18 months? Oh well, I'm sticking with it. He continues to target the knee, because it actually makes sense. Austin only has a giant bullseye on it in the form of a brace. Austin kicks off a Figure-Four attempt and rolls Hunter up for two. He whiffs on a clothesline, allowing Hunter to go back to work on the knee. Chyna with what I assume was a cheap shot on the floor, but bad camera work again. Back inside, and Figure-Four attempt #2 is successful. Yes, he uses the ropes for leverage, because he's a dastardly heel. Austin reverses the pressure, only to get choked out by Chyna (behind the referee's back, of course). Austin teases a comeback, but takes a knee to the face for another near fall. Helmsley with a rare trip to the top rope, and it doesn't go well. Whip to the ropes and a double clothesline puts both men down. Hunter gets into a shoving match with Earl Hebner, buying Austin time to make his comeback. Hunter turns himself upside down on a whip to the corner and walks into a clothesline. He goes for the Pedigree, but Austin counters and sandwiches Hebner between Hunter and the turnbuckle. Chyna tries to interfere, but it backfires. Stunner to Chyna, Stunner to Helmsley, and the three count is academic at 12:30. **1/2 Slow at times, but otherwise fine. You can say the same about 95% of any Triple H match from this point forward.
WWF Championship Match:
The Undertaker © (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:
Taped from Madison Square Garden on June 26th, 1999, the night before the King of the Ring PPV. Not to give anything away, but I highly doubt Undertaker loses the title here. Austin rushes in and immediately pounds away in the corner with rights. Taker shrugs it off, tosses Austin to the corner, and unleashes some strikes of his own. Whip to the ropes, Austin ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes with the Thesz Press. Austin with a boot to the head, followed by an elbow drop. We pan the crowd, ignoring the action in the ring. BONUS FEATURES! Taker takes a powder, but Austin follows. Taker counters a back drop with a boot to the chest. Austin does the same and drops him with a clothesline for two. Whip is reversed and Taker with a big boot. Bearer gets some cheap shots in with his shoe while Taker stalks Hebner. We pan the crowd again. Austin teases a comeback, but fuck if we're allowed to see it. I've seen more of the floor than of the action. Austin with boots and rights, but a piledriver on the concrete is interrupted by Uncle Paul, allowing Taker to regain control. Back inside, Austin's slam attempt backfires and Taker chokes. Taker with a chin-lock, and to the credit of the crowd, they've been hot all match. Austin fights free and a double clothesline puts both men down. Austin with more of the usual, stomping a mudhole and walking it dry. Taker goes for the Tombstone, but it's countered with the Stunner. 1... 2... and Paul Bearer pulls the referee out of the ring to draw the Disqualification at 11:22. Mideon runs in to eat a Stunner, because that should send the crowd home happy. * Undertaker was limited by nagging injuries and Austin was breaking down more and more, in desperate need of spinal surgery. In other words, this wasn't a shining example of their work.
The Hardy Boyz (w/ Lita) vs. Lo Down:
(Matt & Jeff Hardy vs. D'Lo Brown & Chaz)
Taped from Wall Street on October 25th, 2000, so you know not to expect a rating since this is just a glorified exhibition. This is pre-Tiger Ali Singh for Lo Down, so they're decked in black workout pants and have no direction other than to look up at the lights for a three count. The Hardys are the Tag Champions and Lita is the Women's Champion, but this is Non-Title. Matt and Chaz start. Chaz with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Matt with a hip toss, followed by a series of rights. Whip to the corner and it's Poetry in Motion. Chaz barely sells it, hits a clothesline, and tags out to D'Lo. They do a crisscross and sequence of counters until D'Lo hits a jumping heel kick. D'Lo with a slam and sloppy splash from Chaz for two. Chaz with a side slam and choking. Lo Down with double teaming in the corner. Whip to the ropes and Jeff with a sunset flip, but the referee is distracted. D'Lo with a slam, but he misses a moonsault. Matt with the hot tag, and he unloads with rights on both opponents. Jeff with a dropkick to clear D'Lo from the ring. Matt with the Twist of Fate to Chaz, and Jeff finishes with the Swanton Bomb at 4:01. Basic Jakked/Heat match. I guess they didn't get the memo that they didn't have to try and work a decent match.
... and now, MORE BONUS FEATURES! This time, the Blu-Ray Exclusives!
WWF Championship Match:
Shawn Michaels © vs. Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer):
Taped from Madison Square Garden on January 25th, 1997, and the second match between Shawn and Foley on the set (their Dark Match from IYH: It's Time was featured in the main feature). Shawn quickly knocks Mankind out of the ring and follows up with a baseball slide. Mankind avoids a second attempt and lands a knee to the midsection. Shawn uses Mankind's own trash can against him, places it over his head, and springs off the ropes with an axe-handle. Mankind removes the can, but is somehow wearing the garbage bag like a t-shirt. Mankind with a short clothesline, followed by a wedge inducing piledriver for two. Shawn skins the cat on a toss-over-the-ropes spot, so Mankind takes himself over with Shawn on a clothesline. Mankind plays opossum to throw Shawn into the security rail and bashes him across the back with a chair. Back inside, Mankind sets Shawn up in the tree of woe and connects with a running axe-handle smash. Foley with rights, running knee to the face, and double-arm DDT for two. The camera operator is nice enough to give Vladimir some face time to cheer Shawn on. He escapes a body scissors and takes Mankind over with a sunset flip, but is quickly laid out again with a diving clothesline. Whip to the corner, Shawn turns himself upside down, but manages to avoid another axe-handle. He goes for a blind body press and is met with an uppercut. Shawn counters a piledriver and Mankind meets the post. Whip to the ropes and Shawn with a diving elbow, followed by an enzuigiri. Michaels from the top with the flying elbow drop. He tunes up the band, but Mankind counters with the Mandible Claw. They take it to the floor, with Shawn ramming Mankind's head backwards into the post. Shawn buries Mankind under the ringside mats and smashes him repeatedly with a chair. Back inside, Mankind goes low while Hebner appears to be distracted. We cut ahead in the action, with Mankind applying the Mandible Claw, and this time Shawn going low. Mankind KO's Shawn with the urn, but Michaels kicks out at two. Whip to the ropes, Shawn ducks a clothesline, and Sweet Chin Music finishes at 13:58 (shown). Post-match, Sid shows up to demand a rematch in "his hometown", much like Shawn received in San Antonio. A rematch that never happened. ***1/4 Match was better than expected, with television effort from both and some cute spots. The stuff with Sid wasn't necessary to keep intact.
WWF Championship; Triple Threat Match:
The Undertaker © vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin:
Yay! More Undertaker vs. Austin! Taped from Anaheim, CA on June 28th, 1997. I'm pretty sure that card was taped from the crowd, but I'm too lazy to check my archives. As soon as the bell rings, the entire Hart Foundation run to ringside for a distraction, allowing Bret and Austin to form an unlikely alliance in putting a beating on the Champion. Taker gets sent to the floor for a 4-on-1 mugging and no officials seem to care. Undertaker eventually fights them all off, because he's the Undertaker, dammit. Bret and Austin are having a match while this is going on, but the camera is only concerned with the ringside stuff (and Neidhart having a good chuckle, it looks like). Taker finally puts himself back in the match and dominates. Austin with a flurry of strikes, but it's no-sold. Bret stomps Taker down in the corner while Owen tries to get the crowd to chant "Go, Bret, Go." Undertaker grabs the arm and gives Bret the rope-walk clothesline for a near fall. Undertaker with a Choke-Slam to Austin, but Bret interrupts the count with a chair shot. I guess it makes sense to cheat as much as possible since there's no disqualifications. Bret turns Austin over with the Sharpshooter, but Undertaker breaks the hold. He fights off the Hart Foundation for a second time and walks into a Stunner. Austin covers, but Bret breaks that up. Austin with the Stunner to Bret, and now he has to fight the Foundation. Pillman takes an awful Stunner. Undertaker clotheslines Austin to the floor, and a collision on the apron gives Undertaker the opportunity to put Bret away off camera at 8:28. I'll assume with the Tombstone. *1/2 Just stuff happening and a whole lot of bull-crap.
Long Island Street Fight: Dude Love (w/ Steve Austin) vs. The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Neidhart):
Taped from Uniondale, NY on October 24th, 1997. I didn't think this sort of match would be up Dude Love's alley. I guess this was originally scheduled to be a tag team match with Austin and Owen on opposite teams, but neck injuries suck. Bulldog attacks from behind and stomps away. Dude turns the tables, tossing Bulldog to the floor and going for a quick cover. Austin chases Neidhart around the ring with a chair while Dude and Bulldog disappear to the concession stand. They finally return with Dude rolling down a garbage bin filled with toys. What, no giant bag of popcorn? I spoke too soon. He whips out a bag of popcorn from a garbage can, and Bulldog SELLS being whacked with it. That spot alone earns 1-star. Will this be the first ever SIX STAR MATCH!? Probably not. Especially since that violates the rules of a rating system. Dude continues the comedy, using a crank on Bulldog's genitals. He goes for a piledriver onto a chair, but Bulldog counters with a back drop, then goes low with a hockey stick. Bulldog with a chair across the back. Anvil gives Bulldog a handful of his stash, but Dude knocks it back into bulldog's face, and he blindly punches Neidhart off the apron. Whip to the corner and Dude misses a charge. Bulldog places the trash can over Dude's head, but takes too long climbing the ropes and the incapacitated Dude Love knocks him off. Dude with a trash can shot, and it's time to tune up the band. Neidhart interrupts and posts him, so Austin casually gets in the ring and lays Bulldog out with a Stunner, allowing Dude Love to pick up the victory at 9:47. Post-match, Foley is hauled off, riding in the trash receptacle. All comedy. *1/4 So close, yet so far. I'll assume Foley collected the remains of the popcorn and ate it later to save on road expenses.
Ken Shamrock & Owen Hart vs. Faarooq & D'Lo Brown:
Taped from the Meadowlands Arena on February 22nd, 1998. This seems a bit random, but at least it's not the 7th version of Austin vs. Undertaker. Babyface Owen during the "Attitude Era" seems so weird, but also felt like a huge missed opportunity, if that makes sense. Faarooq and D'Lo tease taking a walk as soon as the bell rings. Owen and Faarooq start. Lockup to the corner and Faarooq pounds away with rights. Whip to the ropes, Owen with a clothesline, followed by a neck breaker. Owen with a drop toe hold and Shamrock with an elbow drop. Shamrock with rights and lefts, followed by a kick to the chest. D'Lo tags in and wants some of Owen. Shamrock responds with rights and a fisherman suplex. Whip to the ropes and Shamrock with a diving elbow. D'Lo wants to tag out, but Faarooq isn't in too much of a hurry to accommodate him. D'Lo with a cheap shot from the apron, allowing Faarooq to knock Owen out of the ring. It only took 5-minutes, but the Nation is finally on offense! D'Lo with a snap mare and second rope fist drop for two. Whip to the ropes and Owen with a body press for two. D'Lo recovers and lays him out with a clothesline, followed by a shot to the family jewels. Faarooq still can't catch a break, needing D'Lo to cut a tag attempt off. D'Lo with a slam for two. Faarooq with a shoulder tackle. He misses a second and Owen connects with the enzuigiri. Shamrock with the hot tag, running wild on both D'Lo and Faarooq. Whip to the ropes and Power-Slam to D'Lo, followed by a hurricanrana. Shamrock blocks a clothesline, takes D'Lo down, and the Ankle Lock ends it at 8:56. Post-match, Owen sweeps the legs of Faarooq and puts him in the Sharpshooter. ** Nothing terribly exciting, but perfectly acceptable wrestling.
Dogg Collar Match: The Road Dogg vs. Mr. Ass:
Taped from the Meadowlands Arena on July 31st, 1999. The New Age Outlaws EXPLODE! Yes, I made the "Dogg Collar" joke on my own. Creative genius in the making, I know. Yes, they actually wear the collars around their necks after "Mr. Ass" refuses for a few minutes. Road Dogg chases him down the aisle and throws him back in the ring to finally get the match started. Road Dogg swings Gunn around the ring with the chain so he can do a comical bump on the floor. Road Dogg with a dropkick and poses, allowing Gunn to take control. Gunn chokes him with the chain despite the pleading of Tim White. What, are you going to call for a DQ in a match where a weapon is part of the match? Whip to the corner, and Gunn practically trips himself up getting tangled with the chain. Road Dogg counters a stinger splash with a forearm and drops a headbutt below the belt. Road Dogg with his signature jabs and knee drop for two. Gunn goes for the Famouser, but Dogg side steps it, wraps him up with the collar, and rolls him up for three at 3:37. DUD Wow, only 4-minutes? What did they think they were booking, an episode of Raw? This wouldn't feel like a complete rip off. Then I remembered this match would likely suck given more time, so I guess I'm happy.
Final Thoughts: 8-hours of content is more than enough time to take a unique concept and completely destroy it. The idea of compiling matches that weren't meant for a television audience is something I thought I'd enjoy and recommend, since we've all complained about the constant recycling of classic matches. Had they kept this trimmed down to a 2-disc DVD or a stand-alone blu-ray, I might've been more forgiving, but to rely specifically on one era, one of the weakest eras when it came to the quality of the in-ring product, reminded me how shallow the talent pool was for the WWF, and with only a few exceptions, it seems too reliant on the same faces. 12 matches feature Steve Austin, 8 with the Undertaker, 8 with Mick Foley, 6 with Shawn Michaels, and so on. As much as I appreciate the abilities of most involved, I don't need to see them work the house show formula that many times without variety. Unless you absolutely need to see dark matches taped before In Your House PPV's or REALLY love Undertaker vs. Austin or Austin vs. HHH, I can't recommend this, neither for short-term viewing or binge watching.
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