WWF In Your House: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (February 1999)
by Scrooge McSuck
- Presented LIVE on Pay-Per-View on February 14th, 1999 from the Pyramid in Memphis, TN. The Main Event is the long-awaited match between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon, taking place inside of a steel cage. Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler are at ringside to call the action, unless otherwise noted.
Goldust vs. Bluedust:
It’s the blow-off to that awesome Goldust/Blue Meanie rivalry that lead to Meanie running around calling Goldust “mommy” and just being an annoying pain in the ass comic relief. I’ve always given credit to Vince Russo for giving guys stuff to do, but this kind of stuff… pass. Blue Meanie looks more like an even more out of shape Adrian Adonis in that robe, blonde wig and make-up. Goldust attacks before the bell and plants Meanie with a spine-buster. Whip to the ropes, Goldust connects with an uppercut, followed by a clothesline. Meanie takes a breather, showing off his Goodwill ring attire. Goldust throws him back in and pays for it. Meanie with kicks to the ankle and a spinning toe hold. Goldust kicks him off and gives him a wedgie. He sets up for Shattered Dreams, but Meanie frees himself and gets a boot up. He heads to the top rope, but misses a moonsault. Goldust with the Curtain Call, and that’s all she wrote at 3:09. Post-match, Meanie gets Shattered Dreams. DUD Meaningless comedy match to blow-off a feud. Russo.
WWF Hardcore Championship Match (Vacant):
Previous Champion, Road Dogg, was scheduled to defend here but who knows why he forfeited the title. Storyline injury? Real life injury? You never know with Russo. Holly has ditched the Job Squad and is now into hardcore wrestling, and this is shortly after the Hardcore Title became a regularly contested Championship. At first it felt more like a prop, awarded to Mankind and then practically stolen by the Boss Man before the Road Dogg’s reign stepped things up. Snow with a chair shot almost as soon as the match begins. They quickly wander through the crowd and to the backstage area. Holly with a fire extinguisher blast and a glass cup to the face. Snow with a pay-phone to the face (complete with one-liner), to remind us how dated even 1999 could be. Holly with floor tiles and a cooler to the face of Snow. Snow breaks a pair of broom and mops over the back of Holly for a near fall. They make their way outdoors. Holly bashes him across the back with a parking sign. They take turns ramming each other into a fence. Holly with a stop sign to the back of the head. The wheel barrel fails to cooperate. Snow dumps Holly into the river and misses a body press. Holly breaks a “stick” over Snow’s head and covers for two. Both men have trouble unraveling some chain link fence. Holly ends up wrapping Snow in it and covers for three at 9:59. And so begins the era of Hardcore Holly. *1/2 Standard hardcore action. The match gained minor notoriety because of them finding their way outside and into the Mississippi River, one of the first times I recall a match ending in a very unlikely place.
Al Snow vs. Bob Holly:
Big Boss Man vs. Mideon:
Part of the feud between the Corporation and the Ministry of Darkness. Yes, two heel stables are feuding, and the result? A PPV match between the Boss Man and MIDEON. Yes, Phineas Godwinn is still getting PPV shots in 1999. He comes to the ring with his glass-jar containing an eye-ball. Highlight of the Match™. Whip to the ropes and Boss Man with a shoulder tackle. Boss Man pounds away in the corner as we’re reminded that tonight’s Main Event will NOT feature a member of the Corporation at ringside. WWE loves telegraphing their finishes around this time. Boss Man misses a chair shot, allowing Mideon to come back with biting. Loud “Boss Man” sucks chant, because Memphis is into cult-like groups. Whip to the corner and Mideon follows in with a clothesline. Boss Man with an avalanche to crowd disapproval. Boss Man with a seated splash as we get a very loud “boring” chant. Mdeon counters a full nelson with a sloppy back suplex. More stuff happens and we get a double clothesline spot. Whip is reversed and the Boss Man Slam finishes at 6:21. Post-match, the Ministry (Acolytes, Brood, and Viscera) makes their way to ringside to assault Boss Man and the crowd goes nuts for Taker’s music. Did Memphis miss the memo where Taker was a devil worshiping cult leader? DUD Not one redeemable quality to this turd.
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
PPV debut of Ivory, probably best known for her work in GLOW and other women “wrestling” companies in the late 80’s and early 90’s. She seemed like an odd hire, having been out of wrestling for a while and in her late 30’s. Mark Henry is comfortably in his “Sexual Chocolate” phase. I’m amazed Russo didn’t introduce a second valet for this team named “Ebony”. It feels weird to see D’Lo working without the chest protector. Owen bitch slaps Henry and gets thrown into the corner for some punishment. Whip to the ropes and Henry with a clothesline. Owen takes D’Lo down with a bulldog and Jarrett follows with a dropkick. Whip is reversed and D’Lo takes Jarrett over with a Power-Slam. D’Lo blocks a cheap shot from Owen, but walks into a single-arm DDT. Double clothesline and wish-bone from the Champions. Owen with a spinebuster and Jarrett with a second rope fist drop. D’Lo blocks and counters a suplex, but the Enziguri puts him back in peril. Double elbow gets two. Whip to the ropes and a spinning heel kick gets two. Brown with a body press for two. Running Liger-Bomb connects, but D’Lo can’t cover. I love how EVERY move D’Lo does is called “Sky High” by Cole, as if he doesn’t know the difference. Henry gets the hot tag, splitting wigs like only he do. He misses a double avalanche, but D’Lo comes in to pick up the scraps. Sky High to Jarrett gets two, despite Henry being the legal man. D’Lo goes to the top, but Debra distracts him with cleavage. Ivory gets in her face, bringing D’Lo out of the ring. Owen whacks the legs of Henry with a guitar, complete with AWFUL over-sell, and Jarrett finishes with the Figure-Four at 9:34 to retain the titles. Post-match, Ivory rips off Debra’s blazer because it’s Attitude. ** This was mostly OK until the awful finish. I’m not arguing keeping Mark Henry out of the ring as much as possible.
Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett © (w/ Debra) vs. D’Lo Brown & Mark Henry (w/ Ivory):
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Billy Gunn, Shamrock’s latest rival, is the Special Referee, because Special Referees have ATTITUDE. You can tell how little wrestling experience someone has when they have trouble getting out of the ring, yet Ryan Shamrock (Ken’s story-line sister, but latter year’s girlfriend) proves it to be a difficult task. Slugfest to start. Shamrock misses a charge and Venis lays him out with a clothesline to the back of the head. Venis charges into the corner with a clothesline and takes Shamrock over with a snap-mare. Shamrock with a roundhouse kick to the chest. Shamrock pounds away as I find it to be a minor miracle he’s been the IC Champion for almost 4-months, during the era of hot shotting the belt. Shamrock with a slam and knee to the throat. Venis with a suplex and inverted atomic drop. Venis with an elbow drop, but Gunn makes a slow count because now he hates Venis, too, I guess. Venis rams the back of Shamrock into the post and slaps on a camel clutch. Venis with a long chin-lock as we get a tasteful shot of Gunn bending over. Shamrock with a DDT, but Gunn’s count stops at two. Venis grabs a sleeper but Shamrock counters with a back suplex. Power-Slam for another slow two count. Venis with a Fisherman Suplex and another bad count. Shamrock with a cradle for a legit two count. Venis with knees to the midsection and a Russian leg sweep. He heads to the top but Shamrock slams him off. Shamrock with a jumping heel kick and hurricanrana. He hits the belly-to-belly suplex and applies the Ankle Lock. Ryan Shamrock wakes up from her 15-minute coma of doing absolutely nothing but stand in one spot and “helps” Venis make it to the ropes. Gunn decks Shamrock, throws him into a small package, and gives a fast count to award Venis the IC Championship at 15:30. What a great way to win a Championship. *1/2 Problem with a match with the special referee stipulations: unless there’s an exceptional effort, there’s no way to make it interesting, because we all know the referee is screwing someone over. Ken Shamrock and Val Venis are nowhere near good enough to carry a match beyond these limitations.
Ken Shamrock © vs. Val Venis (w/ Ryan Shamrock):
Triple H & X-Pac vs. Kane & Chyna:
The night after the Royal Rumble, Chyna did the unthinkable and joined the Corporation. Now Kane has a love interest. Although his involvement with the Corporation was originally as blackmail, I think he’s cool with it now. X-Pac is the reigning European Champion, but it’s not like it matters. McMahon wanders to ringside to join on commentary and ruin the match before it can begin. Hunter pounds away on Kane, but gets laid out with a clothesline. Kane with a big boot, but the elbow drop misses. X-Pac tags in and hits a flurry of rights and kicks. Kane throws him into the corner and dishes out his own punishment. Chyna tags in and runs over X-Pac with a shoulder tackle. X-Pac avoids a charge, but Chyna rolls away from the Bronco Buster. Kane back in, basically fighting 2-on-1. Shouldn’t the FACE of the match be out-manned? Chyna whiffs on a cheap shot, but Hunter sells it anyway. Kane with his signature flying clothesline. Chyna throws some forearms and takes him over with a slam. She misses an elbow, allowing X-Pac to tag back in. DX with a double suplex on Kane. Chyna goes to the top and gets thrown off, but Kane catches her. Double DDT to Kane, because Chyna isn’t taking bumps tonight. X-Pac takes a shot at Shane, making him my favorite wrestler of the night. Kane catches a spinning heel kick and plants him with a slam. Chyna with a running power-slam for two. Chyna cheap shots Hunter for the hell of it and crotches X-Pac along the top rope. X-Pac teasesa comeback but gets caught in a sleeper. He escapes with a back suplex and hot tags to Hunter. He actually punches her a few times, although he clearly hits her in the neck. Whip to the ropes and Hunter with the running high knee. X-Pac with the Bronco Buster. Shane with a cheap shot from behind, but X-Pac runs him off. Hunter goes for the Pedigree, but Kane saves, plants him with the Choke-Slam, and puts Chyna on top for the three count at 14:46. ** As good as it was going to be with the handicap of Chyna. Shane’s awful commentary didn’t help things, and almost made the match unwatchable with volume.
WWF Championship; Last Man Standing Match:
Fourth PPV in a row with these two fighting for the WWF Title, and for the third time, it’s second from the top. Mankind regained the title on Halftime Heat, complete with the most comical, business exposing finish possible. Although there have been other matches like it (Savage/Crush, Taker/Executioner), this is the first time the Last Man Standing name has been used in the WWF. Mankind allows Rock to attack from behind, a symbolic gesture to the Royal Rumble handcuffing. Mankind with a belt shot, and we almost get a 10-count right there. Mankind chases Rock down the aisle and whips him into the entrance set. He tries it again, but Rock counters. Mankind regains control and DDT’s Rocky through a table for a 9-count. Mankind leads them back to the ring until Rock wakes up and takes him over with a back suplex on the concrete. Mankind with a slam and his version of the People’s Elbow… misses. Rock boots him to the floor and takes him down with three suplexes. Rock takes the time to sit in on commentary and trash-talk Mankind. Mankind with a dive over the table and a flurry of rights, followed by a running elbow from the apron.
Mankind © vs. The Rock:
Mankind brings the ring steps in the ring, but gets them booted back to his face. Rock with a series of chair shots to the previously injured knee. Rock whiffs on another swing and hits himself instead. Mankind with a swinging neck breaker on the floor. We’re back near the announcers table, a good sign the match is too long. Mankind goes for a piledriver, but Rock back drops him onto the timekeeper’s station! Rock throws the ring steps on his legs for added effect, but he still makes it to his feet. Rock with a slam and the Corporate Elbow for a 9-count. Rock continues putting the boots to Foley while cutting a promo and singing to turn face for the moment. Foley recovers and grabs the Mandible Claw, but the referee gets knocked out of the ring. Rock with a low blow and DDT. Mankind ducks a chair shot and connects with the Double-Arm DDT on the chair. Mr. Socko makes an appearance and it’s another Mandible Claw, but this time Rock kicks him low to escape. Foley has it applied again, and this time it’s countered with a Rock Bottom. Both men have chairs and it’s a double KO spot… and the referee counts them both out at 21:52 for a DRAW. COME ON! ***1/4 Another garbage finish in their long series of matches, but you can see the evolution of their work together. Unfortunately, it took a lot of effort and by the time they became really good, their program was over. In case you’re wondering, Rock won the title the next night on Monday Night Raw in a Ladder Match with, you guessed it, gratuitous interference.
Steel Cage Match: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon:
After a year long rivalry, after multiple screw-jobs, teased in-ring confrontations, and public humiliation (mostly with McMahon being made to look like the goat), we’re finally getting the dream scenario of Austin vs. McMahon, and without the benefit of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. In this case, and I’ll try and be short: McMahon, with a little help from the Rock, won the Royal Rumble Match (SWERVE!). The next night on Raw, he forfeited his title shot, so Commissioner Shawn Michaels popped up for a random “fine print” speech and awarded the title shot at WrestleMania to the runner-up, Steve Austin. Austin would immediately put his title shot on the line for a match with McMahon, and McMahon could hand-pick who the title shot is awarded to if he were victorious. As noted earlier, the members of the Corporation are BANNED from ringside. We’re still in the era of the big bars cage, but these are black, because black has ATTITUDE!
To the surprise of no one, the match doesn’t begin right away. McMahon stalls forever, teasing Austin from the outside, possibly borrowing from the book of Lawler, since we’re in Memphis. Austin gives chase, sending McMahon into the ring and hiding behind the door. Austin tries climbing in, but McMahon tries to swat him away. Austin teases a knee injury “slipping off” the cage, luring Vince to the floor in such a sucker move. Austin lays him out with a clothesline and throws him over the announcer’s table. He smashes him over the head with a fan and rams him into the post. Austin chokes with an electrical wire and slams him over the table, again. McMahon gets dumped over the barricade and Austin follows, stomping a mud-hole. McMahon rakes the eyes and rams Austin into the cage. He climbs over the barricade in questionable move, and wouldn’t you know it, Austin follows and pounds away at him. McMahon goes to the eyes again, but Austin shrugs it off and throws him back to ringside. Austin keeps pulling McMahon from climbing the cage and continues the punishment. McMahon climbs up again, and this time Austin follows. He rams him into the cage, knocking him off and through the Spanish Announcer’s Table! I guess this was before people knew better to undress the table and avoid landing on the monitors. They try carting McMahon away, but that’s not going to happen. Austin refuses the victory (with some colorful language), chases down the stretcher, and flips McMahon over. He forcefully puts McMahon in the ring… and finally, the bell rings.
Austin with a big clothesline and a second rope elbow drop. Austin goes up again and drops another. He teases leaving, but McMahon flips him off, so it’s back in the ring we go for another beating. Austin with mud-hole stomping. McMahon with a low blow out of nowhere and a sloppy throw to the corner. He actually makes an attempt to climb out, but Austin catches him quickly and slams him face-first into the cage, giving him a chance to blade. Not his best blade-job, but points for effort since it’s one, if not the first time, he ever did it. Austin climbs out, but another middle finger salute lures Austin back in. Austin waits casually for McMahon’s pathetic attempt to climb out before making him suffer. Austin with the Stunner. Suddenly, THE GIANT… err, PAUL WIGHT shows up by ripping through the canvas, and throws Austin into the cage. He hoists Austin up and throws him into the cage, but the cage breaks away, and Austin lands on the floor for the accidental victory at 7:55. Well, that was… odd. *** Hard to rate a McMahon match, but this was everything it needed to be. Austin spent a solid 15+ minutes just beating the tar out of him, and we got a pretty big debut to cap it off, even if the finish wasn’t the most desirable. The biggest part of the whole thing… the Big Show Era has begun!
Final Thoughts: For the first 90-minutes or so, this was looking to be just another bad PPV in a long line of them from the WWF. Ignoring the questionable finishes, Mankind and the Rock delivered their best match and the Austin/McMahon “match” was just gravy as long as Austin didn’t do another stupid job. Neither is a must-see classic, but both are good enough to just scrape by and make this a very, very, very mildly recommended show.
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