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WWF In Your House: Backlash (April 1999)

by Scrooge McSuck

Stone Cold! Stone Cold!

- Presented LIVE on Pay-Per-View on April 25th, 1999 from the Providence Civic Center in Providence, RI. Weíve got all the fallout of WrestleMania XV and more, including the PPV debut of none other than Stephanie McMahon. When she was a REALLY bad actress and before the multiple boob jobs. Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are at ringside to call all the action, because all is finally right with this world. To the people who complain about how bad Michael Cole is... watch a show from 1999. Heís Jim Ross crossed with Gordon Solie on their best days in comparison to when he first got started.

The Brood vs. The Ministry of Darkness:

(Gangrel, Edge, and Christian vs. Midian & The Acolytes)
The Brood recently turned face after being kicked out of the Ministry, thanks to Christian being a wuss and spilling the beans to Ken Shamrock on the whereabouts of the "kidnapped" Stephanie McMahon. I guess it could be worse... it could be more Corporation vs. Ministry matches. I guess this month the spelling is "Midian." Make up your damn minds! Christian and Midian start with some crawling around. Whip to the ropes, Christian slips between the legs and connects with a spinning heel kick. Gangrel takes over, working on the left arm. Bradshaw tags in, no-selling Gangrelís offense. Gangrel goes for a body press, but itís countered with a fall-away slam. Crowd pops for no reason, so something mustíve happened in the crowd. Edge with a crucifix roll on Faarooq for two, followed by a heel kick. Faarooq recovers and plants Edge with the spine-buster. Midian with a delayed suplex for two. Edge with a sunset flip, but referee Teddy Long is distracted. Bradshaw with a diving shoulder tackle for two. Christian tries slugging it out with him, but Bradshaw fights off both him and Gangrel while Edge gets worked over by Faarooq. Crowd chants "Midian Sucks" even though heís not in the ring. Midian with of pair snap-mares and head-butt to the midsection for two. Whip to the corner, Edge gets a boot up on a charge, and comes off the middle turnbuckle with a spear. Hot tag to Christian. He unloads on Midian with rights. Whip to the ropes and he connects with a reverse DDT for two. Heck starts to break loose with all six men in the ring. Christian with a tornado DDT on Bradshaw for two. Bradshaw counters the mounted punches with a Power-Bomb, but Gangrel breaks the cover. Edge with a missile dropkick for a two count. Viscera waddles to ringside, squashes Christian against the ring, and the Clothesline From Hell finishes at 11:41. ** Hot finishing sequence aside, a very by the numbers effort. Still, considering it involved Midan, thatís considered a success.

- The Rock has arrived, dragging Steve Austinís smoking skull belt along the floor.

WWF Hardcore Championship Match:
Hardcore Holly © vs. Al Snow:

The graphic reads "Al Snow and Head", but thankful the Fink has enough dignity NOT to introduce the Head as an actual corner-person. These two had a "memorable" match for the Hardcore Title at St. Valentineís Day Massacre, so what can they do to top that? Holly cheap shots Snow with the belt for a near fall as the match begins. Whip to the ropes and Snow dumps him to the floor. Holly pulls out a jug of water and smashes it over Snowís face... did Snow already blade? Talk about showing color quickly for no reason. They fight through the crowd before coming back ringside. Snow with a slam and a moonsault off the security wall for a two count. Snow finds a hockey stick and shows off his Avatar martial arts skills. We set a table up in the corner, and boy does that thing look rickety. Snow with a cooking sheet across the head. Snow goes for a suplex on the concrete, but Holly counters with his own for two. They wander backstage, because the live audience pays to watch matches on a TV. Holly literally grabs a kitchen sink, but Snow blasts him in the face with a hose. Snow rams him into a parked car, constantly setting off the alarm. He smashes a broom stick across Hollyís back and now itís time for more walking. Holly dumps Snow into a giant dumpster, then dives on top for a near fall. Snow hip throws Holly onto the top of a car and drops an elbow for a two count. It was probably Finkís car, considering how often he was ribbed for Vinceís entertainment. They return to the ring because this match isnít already long enough. Snow whacks him with a frying pan and eyes the previously established table. Holly knocks Snow silly and puts him through the table with a super-plex! Holly gets an arm over Snow, but only gets two. Snow grabs Head and KOís Holly with it for three at 15:28. Technically Head made the cover, so shouldnít it be the Champion? Dammit Russo, it was right there! *1/2 Typical hardcore match of the era. Lots of walking around, random weapon shots, and just something to fill time. These matches definitely didnít age well.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Godfather © (w/ The Hos) vs. Goldust (w/ The Blue Meanie):

Yes, THE GODFATHER had a run with the Intercontinental Title. This is something that happened, letís just move on and pretend it wasnít an abortion of an idea. Meanie does his best (worst?) Sable impression, possibly making it the highlight of the match. Lawler asks J.R. which is his favorite Ho, and J.R.ís response is classic. "My wife is watching... Iíll tell you later." Goldust attacks from behind and pounds away. He winds up for a clothesline but goes flying over the top rope. He decides to take a walk, but Meanie talks him back into the ring. Godfather with a slam and leg drop for two. Meanie with a trip from the outside, allowing Goldust to take over. Irish whip and a clothesline gets two. Meanie hands off a bag of baby powder, but Godfather knocks it into Goldustís face. Meanie comes in and gets hit by the blinded Goldust. Godftather stands back as Goldust continues to hammer on him and gives him Shattered Dreams. Godfather finally has enough and finishes with a roundhouse kick, Ho Train and Death Valley Driver at 5:22. -* This might be the worst Intercontinental Title Match ever featured on PPV. Pretty sure this was Goldustís final PPV appearance until his return at the 2002 Royal Rumble.

The New Age Outlaws vs. Owen Hart & Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra):

Winners become the #1 Contenders and face Kane and X-Pac on the premiere episode of WWF Smackdown. Weíre in the random phase where Debra decided she would wear her business blazer with a bikini for each PPV. I like eye-candy, but my goodness, was it starting to be a bit excessive. Gunn teases a pre-match flash, but thankfully gets jumped from behind. Whip to the ropes and Gunn comes back with a drop-kick, followed by a press slam. Owen with a neck breaker on Road Dogg. Jarrett with a neck breaker and splash across the back. Whip is reversed and Road Dogg goes into his routine of jabs and the shake rattle ní roll knee drop for a near fall. We get heel miscommunication followed by simultaneous dropkicks. Jarrett with a distraction from the apron, allowing Owen to lay out Road Dogg with the enziguri. Owen and Jarrett with a double clothesline and wish-bone. Jarrett with a dropkick, sending him to the floor. Road Dogg with a long back-slide for two. Whip to the ropes and Owen hits a spinning heel kick for two. Jarrett with a power-slam for two. Whip to the ropes and we get a mid-air collision as the crowd continues to only care for Debraís "puppies." Owen with a sleeper. Road Dogg counters and a double clothesline puts them both down. Gunn gets the hot tag, throwing dropkicks and taking Jarrett over with a power-slam for two. A clothesline takes himself and Jarrett to the floor. Debra hops on the apron for a distraction, but Road Dogg uses common sense and hits Owen with a pump-handle slam for two. Owen with a spinebuster and Sharpshooter. Gunn hits the Fame-Asser, and itís good for three at 10:36. *** Total carry-job from Owen and Jarrett. The crowdís lacking ability to give a shit left a bad taste in my mouth.

Boiler Room Brawl: Mankind vs. Big Show:

Yay, another hardcore rules match less than 30 minutes since the last one ended. These two fought for the honor of being a special referee at WrestleMania XV, so their motivation to fight is just weak. Mankind attacks from behind with a pipe and various other plunder. Mankind does his best to Frame Grimes Show, but he muscles his way out of certain death and throws crap on Mankind (no, not literally crap). I love Foley, but anyone else kind of "meh" about his torn dress shirt and sweat pants look? Seriously... sweat pants. Show misses a KO Punch (before it was such a thing) and Mankind smashes some ceiling tiles over his head. Show stuffs Mankind into a shopping cart and pushes him into a stack of equipment. Mankind breaks a glass frame over his head, cutting up his hand in the process. He climbs a ladder and gets choke-slammed through two tables for it. Mankind is bleeding quite hard from his left hand. Showís offense continues to consist of some kind of whiplash effect. Mankind uses his knowledge of arcade beat-em-ups and whacks a random pipe to spew something into Showís face for bonus points. He low blows Show with a pipe and exits for the victory at 8:10, but Big Boss Man and Test ambush him to continue the punishment. Show recovers to make the save. Mankind with Socko and itís time for the Mandible Claw on Test. Odd finish. **1/2 Better garbage brawling than Holly vs. Snow.

X-Pac vs. Triple H (w/ Chyna):

X-Pac is one half of the reigning Tag Team Champions... makes you wonder why Kane isnít on the card. Direct fall-out from WrestleMania XV when Triple H turned on DX to join the Corporation. Hunter has some MAJOR generic heel music. Thank goodness he started using the "My Time" theme by SummerSlam. Slugfest to start. Hunter catches the heel kick, but X-Pac sends him to the floor with a jumping front kick. X-Pac gives chase, sweeps the legs and sends Hunter to the steps. Back inside, Hunter takes control with rights. Whip to the ropes and X-Pac takes a major bump, being thrown over the top rope. Chyna goes for a cheap shot, but X-Pac backs her up and nails Hunter coming off the apron. Hunter gets a boot up on a charge but runs into a spinning heel kick. X-Pac with his signature kicks in the corner, but a Bronco Buster attempt meets nothing but turnbuckle to turn the tables.

Hunter with a hard clothesline and punishing blows to the neck. Iím surprised J.R. hasnít used the "cerebral assassin" line, yet. Hunter with a swinging neck breaker for two. He grabs a front face-lock with extra gusto. X-Pac escapes with elbows, but gets thrown down with a snap of the hair. Hunter with a pair of knee drops to the back of the neck for two. He continues to target the neck, applying a modified Dragon Sleeper. X-Pac with kicks to escape. Whip to the ropes and a face-buster gets two. X-Pac gets dumped to the floor, allowing Chyna to get her token cheap shot in. Hunter with more blows to the neck as J.R. screams for the match to be stopped. Back inside, a surprise inside cradle gets two. Hunter with a clothesline for two. X-Pac escapes a sleeper and slaps on his own, but Hunter backs him into the corner to break it. X-Pac hops on again, with the same result. One more time, and Hunter counters with a back suplex. X-Pac with a pair of heel kicks. Whip to the corner and he comes flying out with a somersault clothesline. Tornado DDT gets a two count. Hunter goes for the Pedigree, but X-Pac counters with a leg sweep and a low headbutt for two. They brawl to the floor, with the referee getting wiped out in the process. X-Pac with the X-Factor. Chyna sneaks in with a low blow and takes him down with a reverse DDT. Suddenly, lights go out and here comes Kane. Good thing the referee is unconscious enough not to hear his music. Iím half-surprised he doesnít turn on X-Pac here. He plants Hunter and Chyna with Choke-Slams, sets them up in the corners, and X-Pac hits a pair of Bronco Busters. Hunter realizes his embarrassment and plants X-Pac with the Pedigree for the three count at 19:19. ***1/2 Slowed down a bit too much at times, but they worked hard and didnít over-book it... too much. You can see the seeds being planted for the eventual push of Triple H to the top of the card.

Ken Shamrock vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer):

I have a bad feeling about this one. More in the never-ending saga of Corporation vs. Ministry of Darkness. Shamrock is more of a baby-face than heel at this point, but heís still working for McMahon, but Vince is starting to show signs of being face, so... uh... shades of gray! Shamrock attacks before the bell with rights and lefts. Whip o the corner and ĎTaker with a clothesline for two. He goes to the top with Old School. Whip to the ropes and ĎTaker hits his diving clothesline for another two count. Shamrock avoids a charge and goes to work on the left leg. ĎTaker with a back suplex for two. Shamrock with a sunset flip into a leg grapevine. ĎTaker with legs across the face to escape. Shamrock blocks a hip toss and goes back to the leg grapevine, but this time he forces a break by grabbing the bottom rope. They take it to the floor, with Shamrock smacking ĎTakerís ankle against the ring steps. ĎTaker tries getting cute with a drop toe hold, but Shamrock turns things around and grabs a cross arm-breaker. ĎTaker finally takes control, ramming Shamrock into the various steel objects at ringside. Back inside, ĎTaker with a bow-and-arrow. Who had the bright idea to make this a submission exhibition? Why isnít J.R. screaming for this match to end, too? ĎTaker with a big boot for two... allegedly. Shamrock clearly didnít get his arm up. Shamrock with a hurricanrana for two. He goes for the Ankle Lock, but ĎTaker kicks him off. Shamrock counters a Tombstone attempt with the Ankle Lock. Bradshaw runs out for a distraction. Shamrock counters the Choke-Slam with the arm-breaker. Shamrock with a belly-to-belly suplex. He goes for a piledriver, but ĎTaker counters and the Tombstone (finally) finishes at 18:52. Post-match, Bradshaw puts a beating on Shamrock just for the sake of it. * As dull as watching grass grow. Even in an era when the style of match would be acceptable, it would still come across as awkward and lifeless

WWF Championship; No Holds Barred Match:
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin © vs. The Rock:

Rematch from WrestleMania XV, and to be fair, it is a match worth rehashing. Shane McMahon is YOUR Special Referee for this match. Rock is carrying around Austinís Smoking Skull Belt, because heís being a jerk. Austin bum rushes the ring and pounds away with rights. Shane with a distraction, allowing Rock to take control. Whip to the ropes and Austin with the Thesz Press, followed by the FU Elbow for only a one count. Whip to the ropes and Rock with a swinging neck breaker. Austin tries tossing him over the ropes, but Rock counters and lays him out with a clothesline. They wander around a bit until Rock KOís him with a fire extinguisher. Austin teases a comeback until being whipped into a piece of the entrance set. Austin regains control via suplex on the concrete and returns the favor, sending Rock into the other piece of the set. This canít be the safest location for anyone, especially Austin, to be taking bumps. Rock takes another bump into a piece of security rail and Austin comes off an equipment trunk with a clothesline. Austin uses the trunk to hit Rock head-on, but gets nailed coming off it attempting an elbow. Rock uses the trunk for attempted vehicular homicide, sends Austin into the boom mic, and knocks him down with a clothesline.

The finally make their way back to ringside with Austin sending Rock into the steps. Back inside, Austin with some mudhole stomping until Shane breaks it up. Rock charges and gets chucked over the top rope. Austin undresses the Spanish Announcerís Table, but Rock goes low and puts him through it with the Rock Bottom! Rock does his usual routine of the time, putting on a headset for some running commentary. He commandeers a camera and continues talking trash until he turns around, with Austin fully recovered, and takes the Stunner on the table while still holding onto the camera. Thatís an awesomely goofy spot that needs to be seen. We get a replay from the POV of Rockyís camera, and it is, indeed, awesome. Back in the ring, Austin goes for another Stunner, but Rock shoves him off and knocks him into Shane. Rocky with the Rock Bottom. Heís too hurt to cover, so Shane puts his arm across Austinís chest for a near fall. Shane brings the belt in the ring and accidentally knocks Rock out with it, but wonít count three. Austin chases him out of the ring, and here comes Vince, in possession of the Smoking Skull Belt, knocking out his son with it. Rock with a belt shot on Austin, and hereís referee Earl Hebner for a two count. Austin blocks another shot, hits the Stunner, and KOís him with the belt to retain at 17:10. Post-match, Vince gives back the belt as the improbable face turn continues. ***1/2 Great brawl with a wild finish. For once, and I mean that with deep conviction, we got the right finish with just enough shenanigans that it didnít turn into a farce.

- You thought the show was over? Nope. Stephanie McMahon is in a limo waiting for her dad, but who should be in the driverís seat to kidnap her? Undertaker. And yes, this is where the infamous "where to, Stephanie?" line comes from. Wow... that was as cheesy as I remember it being.

Final Thoughts: Probably the best WWF PPV since SummerSlam, with a hot Main Event, a handful of undercard matches delivering quality performances, and a minimal amount of crap. The show really ends on a cheap, corny, low-note, but thereís enough featured here that the negatives donít really become much of a factor. Solid Recommendation, especially compared to what the WWF was presenting on PPV for nearly half-a-year prior to this.

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