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WWF Fully Loaded 1999
by Scrooge McSuck
Presented LIVE on Pay-Per-View on July 25th, 1999 from the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, NY. Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. The show drew a sellout crowd of 16,605 and an estimated 350,000 PPV buys. Not only is that disappointing based on the recent trend of PPV numbers, but this is with a Main Event where Vince McMahon being part of the WWF was on the line. That means either the Austin vs Vince rivalry has finally lost steam, or the paying customers have grown untrustworthy of the company delivering on stipulations. Personally speaking, I took a break from watching WWF and went back to focusing on WCW. This is the last PPV where an entire hour of Heat was dedicated to matches and storylines, so we'll get that out of the way first and be thankful we won't have to worry about it again...
Val Venis vs. Joey Abs (w/ Rodney & Pete Gas):
Michael Cole notes "Val will have his hands full with Joey Abs." I'm sorry, I know you can't bury talent on the air, but the MSP are bottom-feeding scrubs in the eyes of every viewer, and Val is a former Intercontinental Champion. I'm reminded of the MSP involvement in the Shane-Test rivalry. Venus gets the early advantage, unloading with right hands. Joey Abs catches Val off the ropes with a side slam and unloads with rights of his own in the corner. Whip is reversed and Val follows in with a clothesline. Snap mare and Val covers for two. Abs ducks a clothesline and hits Val with a DDT. Venis avoids a flying elbow drop and catches Joey off the ropes with a spine-buster. Val with a pair of clotheslines, followed by a Russian leg sweep. Venus wastes time taunting Abs before unloading with mounted rights. Rodney and Pete Gas trip Val up, allowing Abs to nail him from behind with a clothesline. Test rushes down to ringside and lays waste to the Posse. This distracts Abs, allowing Val to hit him with a sit-out powerbomb for three at 3:16. After the match, Test wraps a chair around Joey Abs' ankle, but the rest of the Posse save. I don't need JOEY ABS being protected in a loss, but this was fine. *½
Countdown to the Millennium: 362 hours, 39 minutes, 40 seconds...
Meat (w/ Terri & Jacqueline) vs. The Godfather:
Kevin Kelly and Michael Cole blame Meat's recent win-loss record on being over-worked... in bed. OK, they didn't say those words, but that is the implication. "American Pie's Shannon Elizabeth guest stars on GvsE!" Thanks for sharing. Poor Meat can barely stay on his feet during Godfather's pre-match routine. Godfather would offer the Ho's, but Meat looks too pooped to pop. Godfather brings the fight, working Meat over...in the corner. Whip to the ropes and Godfather with a clothesline. Meat avoids the Ho Train but can't complete a powerslam. HE'S TOO EXHAUSTED. Meat recovers, hitting Godfather with a hangman's neck breaker. Godfather reverses a whip to the corner and hits the Ho Train on the second attempt. Pimp Drop (Death Valley Driver) finishes at 2:07. Terri doesn't seem too pleased and dumps a pitcher of ice water down his trunks.
Jim Ross conducts an infamous backstage interview with Triple H, talking about his punishment for the Curtain Call at Madison Square Garden, and trying to sound cool by getting bleeped about 10 times in a 2-minute spot.
We recap a GTV from Monday Night where Ben Stiller (star of the upcoming Mystery Men) and several co-stars (including Janeane Garofalo, Paul Reubens, and I believe Kel Mitchell) describes what he would do with Debra's puppies.
Christian vs. Viscera:
Cole and Kelly talk about the Brood going their separate ways. That wouldn't last long. BREAKING NEWS: Edge is the NEW Intercontinental Champion, crowned the night earlier in Toronto's SkyDome. There's controversy because it wasn't scheduled, because that's stopped title changes from happening before. Lockup and Viscera sends Christian to the floor. Christian throws forearms that have little effect. Viscera throws him into the corner and throws a series of rights and lefts. Viscera with a hip toss out of the corner. Christian avoids a seated splash and throws more punches, only to get planted with a belly-to-belly suplex. Viscera counters a crucifix cradle, splattering Christian with a Samoan drop. Gangrel makes his way to ringside, spitting the red liquid in Viscera's eyes. Christian dropkicks Viscera into the corner and stacks him up for three at 2:45. I didn't expect that result, honestly. Match was a complete clash of styles, even for how short it was.
Steve Austin gets jumped by the Undertaker and busted open, just hours ahead of their End of an Era FIRST BLOOD Match. That wraps up Sunday Night Heat, so time for the PPV…
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
Edge (c ) vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra):
So the night before on a house show held at Toronto's SkyDome, Edge was a last-minute substitution for Ken Shamrock and the thumbs up was given to the idea of doing a surprise title switch. At this point, Edge was a floundering tag team wrestler, so no one with half-a-brain would expect him to have much of a reign, especially coming into this PPV for the automatic rematch. Jarrett says no one is going to see the puppies, because they are his, and he's leaving with the title because he's the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time. They jockey for position as the crowd chants "We Want Puppies." Whip is reversed and Edge connects with a spinning heel kick. Edge blocks a hip toss and takes Jarrett over with a back-slide for two. Jarrett drops down to avoid a flying body press but gets caught with a sunset flip for two. Jarrett takes a powder and tries leaving with the belt. He takes advantage of Edge's aggressiveness and sends him crashing into the ring steps. Back inside, Edge surprises Jarrett with a modified Northern Lights Suplex for two. Edge avoids a charge to the corner, but the knee buckles and Jarrett quickly takes advantage. Edge blocks a Figure-Four attempt, sending Jarrett into the corner and rolling him up for two. Unfortunately, the kick-out from Jarrett sends Edge shoulder-first to the post, and Jarrett follows with a single-arm takedown. Jarrett with a seated splash across the ropes, capped off with a Fargo Strut. Edge escapes a sleeper, sending Jarrett into the turnbuckle. Jarrett cuts off the comeback, planting Edge with a flapjack for a two-count. Edge fights out of a second sleeper, grabbing the hold himself. Jarrett's counter is blocked and Edge rolls him up for two. Twisting sunset flip for two. Whip to the corner and they smack heads, setting up an inadvertent low blow. Edge with a pair of rights, followed by a jumping heel kick. Boot to the midsection and Edge comes off the ropes with a swinging neck breaker. Edge fakes Jarrett out with a dive off the ropes and cradles him for two. Tornado DDT connects. Jarrett avoids the Spear, sending Edge over the ropes. Suddenly, Gangrel's music plays, and "somebody" (clearly Gangrel) attacks Edge while the lights are flickering. The lights come back on and we see Edge standing triumphant over Gangrel. Back inside, Jarrett with a flying body press, but Edge rolls through for two. Whip and Edge sits down on a sunset flip for two. Leap-frog countered with a sit-out powerbomb for two. Edge hits the Spear, but Debra hops on the apron for the distraction. Jarrett knocks Edge into Debra, Gangrel hangs Edge up on the top rope, and Jarrett finishes with the Stroke to win his 6th Intercontinental Championship at 13:22. BUT ARE THE PUPPIES OK?!? After the match, a bandaged Steve Austin cleans house of Jarrett and demands a microphone to announce he's going to pay back Undertaker by busting him open before the match as well. Good match that got the crowd going after a few minutes of little reaction. ***¼
WWF Tag Team Championship Match:
The Hardy Boyz & Michael Hayes (c) vs. The Acolytes:
Yes, this is a 3-on-2 match with the Championship on the line. In a pre-match promo, Hayes takes credit for taking the Hardys from Curtain Jerkers to Champions. INSIDER LINGO RULES. The Hardys don't get much of a reaction as our second fluke champion(s) to start the show. The Acolytes bring the fight in the aisle. We're still waiting for a bell as the Hardys attempt to brawl with Bradshaw and Faarooq. Matt gets whipped into the steps and Bradshaw hits a Clothesline Not-Quite-From-Hell on Hayes. They finally get in the ring, with Jeff already looking rough (resists the obvious temptation). Whip and Jeff casually ducks a clothesline to dive over the top rope and take out Bradshaw. Matt wakes up from his slumber and nails both Acolytes with a moonsault from the top rope. Bradshaw catches a body press and throws Matt with a fall-away slam. Jeff comes off the top with a missile dropkick, allowing Matt to regain control. A pair of dropkicks send Bradshaw to the floor as the Hardys keep busting out spots that feel like stuff for the sake of doing it. Faarooq gets sent to the corner and Jeff follows in with Poetry in Motion. Tim White is making ZERO effort in getting one of the Hardy's out of the ring. Double suplex and Swanton Bomb gets two. Bradshaw cleans house and Faarooq plants Matt with a spine-buster. Four minutes into the match and Hayes FINALLY gets on the apron in proper position. Faarooq with a back breaker and leg drop for two. Whip and the Acolytes with a double shoulder block. Jeff saves Matt from a Powerbomb and HAYES gets the ice-cold tag. The crowd DOES NOT CARE about old, washed Michael Hayes. Bradshaw cuts him off and lands a boot to the face. HARD kick to the back, followed by an elbow drop for two. Hayes avoids disaster from Faarooq and tags in Jeff, who is greeted with a powerslam. Whip and Bradshaw counters whatever Jeff was trying to do by slamming him backwards from the top rope. How many times are we going to get one Hardy or Hayes coming in to save someone from a big move? Matt avoids the Dominator and hits a Twist of Fate to little reaction for two. Bradshaw knocks Matt's head into the 12th row with a short-arm clothesline and takes him off the top with a super-sized back suplex. No reaction for Jeff making the save on a cover. Jeff breaks a cane over Bradshaw's head but it only gets two. Poetry in Motion is countered with the Clothesline from Hell (Crowd pops) but Matt saves (no pop). Hayes tries helping but he eats a double-team powerbomb and the Acolytes win their 2nd Tag Team Championship at 9:36. Too many near-falls for a heatless match featuring a fluke babyface champion. Bradshaw was the best part of the match, and I say that with 100% sincerity. *¾
WWF European Championship Match:
Mideon © vs. D'Lo Brown:
Yes, Mideon is defending a belt he was awarded by the previous Champion, Shane McMahon, for the honorable action of rummaging through Shane's luggage. Mideon offers a slap and we get the most heatless exchange of blows. D'Lo gets the better of it, and the crowd finally pops when he yells for Mideon to get his a$$ up. D'Lo with the mounted rights in the corner, followed by a clothesline that knocks Mideon over the top rope. Brown hits a baseball slide and follows with a tope suicida. Credit to D'Lo going all out to make something out of a mid-card match with MIDEON. Mideon takes advantage of D'Lo's aggression and reverses a whip into the steps. Lawler asks J.R. if the UK is part of Europe. Mideon with a gut-wrench powerbomb for two. Mideon has ZERO HEAT. Mideon slaps on a "sleeper" and yells for the referee to ASK HIM. What a prelim attempt at getting the crowd to react. D'Lo escapes, but Mideon blocks a clothesline and connects with a neck breaker for two. D'Lo with a more serious comeback attempt until Mideon thumbs the eye. Whip to the ropes and D'Lo with a sunset flip for two. Mideon pops up immediately and lays D'Lo out with a clothesline. Lawler and J.R. speculate what "Feed Your Mind" on the back of Mideon's shirt means. Maybe a future in the culinary business. Mild "boring" chant as D'Lo hits a rough looking tornado DDT for two. D'Lo ducks a clothesline and hits the Sky-High. D'Lo with the leg drop and the Lo' Down finishes at 7:15, winning the European Championship for a 3rd time. Mideon offered nothing and the crowd couldn't care less about anything he did. ½*
WWF Hardcore Championship Match:
Al Snow © vs. The Big Boss Man:
Snow's still carrying around Head, which appears to have a spike driven into it. Seems like the match is built around Boss Man beating the piss out of Snow on Raw. I'm sure things won't escalate from here and reach ridiculous levels of storytelling. Snow meets Boss Man in the aisle and drops to his knees, begging Boss Man to hurt him some more. Boss Man obliges by assaulting Head. Snow has enough and tackles Boss Man to the concrete. They trade blows as they wander as far from the view of the audience as possible. Snow whacks Boss Man with a sand bag to make the save for Head. They make their way backstage, with more of the same. This is not the most inspired brawl in the history of the Hardcore Championship. Snow whacks Boss Man with a baking sheet and throws hot coffee at him. Snow puts Boss Man through a table with a suplex, but Boss Man is back up and smacks Snow upside the head with the coffee urn. Boss Man finds a football downs sign for some comedic relief. Snow rips out a potted plant and Lawler goes "That's going to cost us." Boss Man wraps a belt around Snow's neck and rams him against the wall. Snow with more dumb comedy as he cuts Boss Man off again. Boss Man leads Snow to the outside and gives him a bulldog on the sidewalk for two. Snow goes to the eyes and rings Boss Man's bell with a hubcap. Snow makes dumb faces until getting smacked with a BRICK. That's only a two-count. Boss Man handcuffs Snow to a fence and whips him repeatedly with a night stick. Despite Snow still being vertical, Boss Man puts a boot on his chest and the referee counts three to end this nightmare at 10:13. Nothing about this did anything for me. ZERO STARS
Kane vs. The Big Show:
is our special referee as he's pushing forward with his ridiculous claims of being a Super-Heavyweight. I honestly have ZERO memory of Kane and Undertaker having a short-lived alliance, which was broken up when Kane saw footage of Taker attacking best buddy X-Pac. OK, so THAT'S where they got the "X-Pac hugs Kane" clip I've seen in all future recap videos. Holly calls himself a big shot and says he doesn't have to be partial to anyone. Ross notes both Show and Kane are young studs in their 20's. Glenn Jacobs was born in 1967, for the record, but I'm nitpicking. Show attacks before the bell, and I swear no one cares. Whip to the ropes, Big Show press slams Kane clean over the top rope and splatters him on the arena floor. Show brings the fight to the floor and sends Kane into the post. Back inside, Kane cuts off Show with a boot to the face and unloads with rights in the corner. Holly forces a break, allowing Show to regain control. This match reminds me of the needless addition of a special referee mode in video games. I can say with 100% honesty that I never sat there thinking "Hmmm… maybe I'll be the special referee of a match so I can fast-count people. That sounds like a great time." The crowd gives almost zero reaction to everything Show does, including overdoing it with headbutts. Kane teases a comeback, only to get caught coming off the ropes with a boot to the face. Whip and a powerslam gets a two count. Show busts out a Russian leg sweep. Kane rolls away from a jumping elbow drop and throws more rights. Whip and Kane catches Show by surprise with a DDT. Kane with the flying lariat. He goes for a chokeslam, but Holly clips the knee, and Show hits the Show Stopper for a quick three-count at 10:12. X-Pac hits the ring and lays out Holly with a spinning heel kick. Now Undertaker is in the ring, and he plants X-Pac with a chokeslam. The crowd wants more gaga, chanting for Stone Cold, but we get more of the beatdown on Kane and X-Pac. Did we need this to go 10-minutes? *
Undertaker makes his way through the curtain and is greeted by Steve Austin, who follows through with his promise and busts him open.
Iron Circle Match: Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Blackman:
The fight takes place in the parking area, with the two men surrounded by vehicles. Blackman, a former ally of Shamrock, has gone out of his way to beat the crap out of Shamrock at every opportunity, including costing him the chance of repeating as the King of the Ring. That's two matches in half an hour that the live crowd gets to watch on TV. Winner is the first man to leave the circle, I guess. Blackman charges and gets thrown onto the hood of one of the cars, shattering the windshield. There goes a second windshield, followed by Blackman putting his foot through a window. Blackman slams Shamrock and punches him in the junk. Blackman technically leaves the circle to grab a chain. Shamrock gets slammed onto the hood for what feels like the 50th time. Blackman whiffs with a tire iron, opening the door for Shamrock to work him over. Shamrock wraps the chain around his TAPED fist, and goes to town. That's assault with a deadly weapon, sir. This PPV is reminding me why I stopped watching the WWF for most of the Summer of ‘99. Shamrock chokes Blackman out, and he's declared the winner at 4:00 despite not leaving the circle. Whatever. At least it was short. ½*
X-Pac & Road Dogg vs. Billy Gunn & Chyna:
This is for the rights to the D-Generation X trademark. Lawler and Ross make jokes about Billy's attire, which seems more fitting for Chyna. For Billy and Chyna, this is all about the money attached to the trademark, but X-Pac and Road Dogg are fighting for more than that. In all fairness, Chyna being an OG member of DX should give her first rights, but I don't know nor care how that stuff works. Chyna insists on starting for her team against Road Dogg. Chyna with a side headlock, followed by a shoulder block. Chyna wastes time in the corner, allowing Road Dogg to hit her with a dropkick. He sets up for the Pump-Handle Slam, but Billy pulls Chyna to safety. Billy in now, hitting Road Dogg with a Stinger Splash, followed by a clothesline from Chyna on the apron. Chyna with a snap mare out of the corner, followed by a pair of elbows for two. JR notes that doctors fear X-Pac has a concussion, but allow him to compete anyway. RESPONSIBLE DIAGNOSIS. Gunn with the delayed suplex. He attempts a diving whatever but meets a boot on the way down. X-Pac gets the tag and nails everyone with standing heel kicks, but Gunn quickly cuts him off with a Hot Shot. Chyna slows things down, hooking a sleeper. X-Pac escapes, only to get caught off the ropes with a powerslam. JR tries putting over women's athletics and flubs the line about the US Soccer team. GOOD JOB J.R. We get the front face-lock false tag spot. Gunn with a snap mare into a chin-lock. Another escape and another comeback squashed with a powerslam. Chyna sends X-Pac to the corner and the handspring elbow is countered with a clothesline. Road Dogg with the hot tag, running wild with clotheslines. Chyna enters illegally and Road Dogg gives her the jabs and knee drop combo for two. Heck breaks loose with all four participants in the ring. X-Pac gives Chyna a Bronco Buster to the biggest pop of the night so far. Gunn misses a Stinger Splash (thanks to Chyna pulling X-Pac to the floor for a brawl) and Road Dogg finishes with the Pump-Handle Slam at 11:43. Well, this was the best match we've seen in an hour, and that isn't saying much. **
Strap Match: The Rock vs. Triple H:
OH MY GOD, IS EVERY MATCH EITHER FOR A TITLE OR WITH A GIMMICK STIPULATION? AND IT STILL DIDN'T DO THAT GREAT A BUYRATE?! Winner here faces the WWF Champion at SummerSlam. Winner is the first man to score a pin-fall, so we won't waste time with the "touch the corners'' routine. Slugfest to start, before Rock even has the strap attached to his wrist. Lawler snatches a camera from a ringside fan and takes a photo of Hunter struggling to his feet. Hunter uses that as motivation to lay into Rock with right hands, but the first swing of the strap misses, allowing Rock to regain control. Back inside, Rock meets an elbow in the corner and gets laid out with a clothesline. We're in the Summer of 1999 and J.R. is STILL putting over the youth of the roster, even if the numbers don't add up (see: Big Show vs Kane). Back to the outside and Rock whips Helmsley into the steps. Is this the first (WWF) strap match where the wrestlers brawled into the crowd? Rock appears to be in control until Hunter yanks on the strap, pulling Rock into a steel guardrail. The advantage doesn't last, as Rock drops Hunter on the rail and lays him out with a right hand. Hunter sends Rock face-first into one of the hanging structures near the entrance and covers for two. Oh yeah, this is FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE as well. We finally got some good lashing with the strap, nearly 10-minutes in. Rock counters a suplex in the aisle and gets an arm across the chest for a two-count.
We're back in the ring for the first time in forever as Hunter unloads with more strap lashes. Rock fights out of the corner until Hunter drives a knee into the midsection. Rock goes to the eyes but runs into a high knee. Here comes Chyna, who according to Lawler, was told to stay away from ringside because Hunter wanted to win on his own. Rock takes advantage of the distraction with a Rock Bottom, but the referee is held up by Chyna. Rock gives up the cover to get his attention and Hunter surprises him with a low blow. Hunter sits on the top turnbuckle and chokes Rock out. Referee checks the arm, but it stays up on the third try and he jerks Hunter off the top rope (Jim's words, not mine). Why is the referee counting both men down? Again, Jim Ross said it, not me. Rock uses the strap to his advantage, pulling Hunter into a clothesline and Samoan drop for two. Rock gets dumped and Hunter removes the strap. It's No DQ, what could the referee do about it? Hunter fetches a chair, but Rock cuts him off with lashes from the strap. Back in the ring, Rock with a DDT for a near-fall. Chyna hops on the apron to distract the referee, allowing Billy Gunn to run in and smack Rock over the head with a club. Hunter covers, but it only gets two. Rock goes low to counter the Pedigree, plants Helmsley with a slam and connects with the People's Elbow, but Gunn makes the save. Rock catches him with a Rock Bottom, but the distraction allows Hunter to land a boot to the midsection and finish with a Pedigree at 19:22. I should've expected some foul play and overbooking. I guess this lines up Mr. A$$ to face the Rock. I'm sure he'll be able to hold his own. Match wasn't anything special, and I hated the lack of consistency with the rules. **½
WWF Championship; 1st Blood End of An Era Match:
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin © vs. The Undertaker:
As we've covered already, if Austin wins, Vince McMahon will never be seen on WWF TV again, and if Undertaker wins, Austin never gets another title shot. Austin regained the belt from Taker, defeating him the night after the King of the Ring, the second year in a row where Austin won the belt the night after the KOTR PPV. I know, a very random tidbit. Vince joins the commentary table for this one. No Paul Bearer at ringside with Undertaker. Austin and Taker brawl in the aisle before the bell. Taker avoids getting whacked with the belt and I'm already over seeing people brawl hundreds of feet away from the ring. Austin and Taker are playing on super high difficulty when it comes to their defense. Austin takes a surprising tumble over the barricade. Taker launches the steps, but Austin gets his hands up and mostly avoids contact. They get in the ring for the first time, with Taker putting the boots to Austin in the corner. Taker misses a running boot and gets hung up across the top rope. Now it's Austin's turn to stomp a mudhole in Taker and go for the cut on his forehead. Austin wraps Taker's leg around the post, but he goes to the well too much and takes another bump over the barricade. Taker follows while McMahon screams that Austin is bleeding. Amazing that they've found themselves in the exact same spot Rock and Hunter were brawling in less than half-an-hour ago. Austin avoids a pair of chair shots and gives Taker a drop toe hold onto the steps. Austin chokes Taker with some ringside cables and smacks him in the face with a table-top fan.
Back in the ring, Taker counters a back body-drop and we get a bizarre referee bump. Taker avoids the Stunner, but trips on Hebner and gets caught in the Andre Special(™). Austin fetches a chair but Shane McMahon sprints to the ring and takes an unprotected chair shot to the head. Taker with a boot to the face to save himself, followed by a boot to the family jewels. Austin returns the favor with a low blow of his own, followed by a Stunner. Vince tries to get involved, but Austin knocks him on his a$$. Austin grabs another chair, but Taker has the first chair and jams it into Austin's midsection. Taker throws Hebner into the corner for the hell of it. Suddenly, X-Pac shows up and kicks a chair into Taker's face.. Austin snatches a TV camera and blasts Taker in the face, busting him open to retain the WWF Championship and rid the world of Vince McMahon at the 16:00 mark. Austin celebrates by handing out Stunners until Triple H shows up. If that isn't enough, here's the Rock to make the save. Austin and Taker continue to brawl, because why the hell not. Vince McMahon would bid farewell the next night on Raw... and return to TV about 6-weeks later. I get where they were going for this one, so I'll be a bit more fair, because it wasn't their fault this show has been such a chore to get through. ***
Finals Thoughts: I can honestly say I've never felt such little joy in covering a PPV. There's boring shows, or bad shows that are easily to rip into, but this was excessive overbooked nonsense that was hard to care about, with match after match of dumb stipulations and repetitive brawling into the crowd structures. There's a couple of decent matches, so that alone saves it from being a worst of all time contender, but trust me, I never plan on watching this again. If you like gimmick matches for the sake of it and terrible championship representation, this is the show for you, otherwise take a pass.
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