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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF King of the Ring 1996

June 25, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE King of the Ring 1996 Steve Austin Image Credit: WWE
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Leighty’s Retro Review: WWF King of the Ring 1996  

-So, this is a pretty historic show as a certain catchphrase was born and billions of t-shirts are still being sold to this day. Let’s get to it!

-Announce Team: Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Owen Hart
-Date: June , 1996
-The Mecca, Milwaukee, WI
-Attendance: 8762
-PPV Buys: 197,000

-Owen joining on commentary to replace Jerry Lawler, who is wrestling tonight, is just perfect!

”Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable)

-Austin beat Bob Holly and then Savio Vega to get to this point of the tournament and he debuted The Stunner in the win over Savio. Owen wants to know when a “girl becomes a good manager.” Mero beat Skip and then Owen Hart to get here. Owen makes sure to note that Mero pulled the tights and he went to congratulate Marc after the match, but slipped off the apron and accidentally hit him with his cast. I believe him! I should note this is WCW’s upper mid-card from a year ago exploding here! Mat wrestling to start as Austin gets a side headlock and takes it to the ground. The crowd starts chanting for Sable as Mero elbows his way out of the hold, but then runs into an elbow from Austin. They start exchanging strikes and Mero ends up getting a flying head scissors that sends Austin to the floor. Mero goes to fly over the ropes, but Austin runs away and Mero puts on the brakes. Back in they fight over arm control and Mero switches to a standing side headlock. Owen notes that he thinks Jake is in his 50s or 60s at this point instead of being 41 as mentioned by JR. Crazy they are making jokes about 41 being old. Owen also calls Sable a hose bag which has JR and Vince apologizing. Mero gets a backdrop and Austin bails to the floor and calls time-out. Back in Austin offers a handshake and the crowd doesn’t trust him. Smart crowd! Mero just ignores him and we get a Test of Strength. Hogan/Warrior this is not! Austin throws some boots and breaks Mero down to his knees. Mero fights back and the pace picks up so Austin just dumps Mero over the top to the floor. That would be a DQ in WCW, which I always thought was dumb. Austin exposes the concrete and just drops Mero on it with a Gorilla Press. Back in the ring Austin gets a suplex that looked a little weird as he took the bump on his ass instead of falling back with Mero. Elbow to the throat and then Austin uses the ropes to his advantage. He fires Mero into the corner and then again to the opposite corner. Austin gets a snap mare as Vince and JR were fooled into thinking he was going for The Stunner. Austin drops an elbow from the middle ropes for two. Austin shows some power with a gut buster and that gets two. Austin continues to work the back and abs with a Boston Crab. Owen notes that Mero is gutless as he tries to crawl to the ropes instead of powering it. Mero is able to turn over and uses his legs to break the hold. Mero gets a small package for a close near fall as Owen complains about a fast count. Austin knocks Mero back down and goes back to work on the stomach/abs. He goes back to The Boston Crab. Mero reverses into a pin for two, and Austin turns that into his own two count. Mero gets the same roll-up he used to beat Owen, but Austin is out at two. Owen notes that he didn’t hook Austin’s tights like he did his. Mero hooks a sleeper, but Austin breaks with a jawbreaker. Austin is now bleeding as his split his lip . Mero back with a dropkick as Austin’s mouth is filling with blood. Backdrop from Mero as this match is picking up now. Mero off the top with a double ax for two. Austin blocks a charge in the corner with a boot. Austin gets sent to the floor and takes a nasty bump as he hits his back off the edge of the ring. Mero follows with a somersault plancha. Back inside he goes back over the top onto Austin before firing him back in the ring. Mero heads up and gets a missile dropkick for two. Mero sets Austin up top and brings him down with a rana to pop the crowd and that gets two. The crowd is pissed with that two count! Austin gets a sweet looking Hot Shot variation for two and another great near fall. Austin has had enough and while there’s no kick, it’s still a Stunner and the pin at 16:50.

Winner: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin via pin at 16:50
-Started slow but got really good and they sucked the crowd into the match. This was Mero’s first loss in the WWF. Credit to Austin for fighting through with a busted mouth. ***3/4

-Jake “The Snake” Roberts is backstage and he preaches about the power above and with Him there is no way he can lose. If he can get by Vader he knows he has “Stone Cold” and he is going to do it.

Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

-Vader got wins over Ahmed Johnson (thanks to help from Owen who was only sticking up for his manager. Again, I believe him!) and then got a bye due to a double count-out. Jake got wins over HHH and JBL to get to this spot. As you all know by now, HHH was set to win this entire tournament, but The Curtain Call happened and wrestling history was changed forever. They lockup and Vader mauls Jake to start. He grounds Jake with an armbar and works that for a bit. Vader lets Jake up and then just flattens him back to the mat and then again. Vader with a splash that gets two. Jake gets in some punches and delivers a high knee as Vader just kind of stood there for him. DDT is blocked as Vader runs Jake into the corner. Vader mauls Jake in the corner with his punches to the body and the head. Jake back with more punches, but again Vader clubs him back to the mat. Vader misses a splash in the corner and Jake gets the DDT as Vader takes the ref down on the way. The ref calls for the bell and that’s how you give Jake the win without having Vader pinned I guess.

Winner: Jake “The Snake” Roberts via DQ at 3:34
-Nothing match with cop-out finish to try to protect both men. 1/2*

-Vader attacks Jake after the match to get some heat back and also give Jake some sympathy as he heads to the Finals.

The Smoking Gunns (c) (w/ Sunny) vs. The Godwins (w/ Hillbilly Jim and some goats)

-The Gunns beat The Godwins the previous month for the Tag Titles as Sunny keeps bouncing to whatever team has the Gold. It’s crazy how fast they got her away from Skip and Zip and to bigger and better things. Billy grabs the mic and talks crap to Phineas which lets Bart attack him from behind. The crowd starts a “Sunny” chant as she is the biggest star out there at this point. Billy gets tagged in and slaps Phineas around in the corner. He sets too early on a backdrop and gets kicked in the face and then clotheslined to the mat. Phineas goes crazy as he is having one of his “spells,” and Bart pulls Billy to the floor to save him. We cut to the back and meet Cloudy, who is the new manager of the Bodydonnas. I have no words! Back in the ring, Henry gets the tag and works over the arm of Bart. Tag back to Phineas and he clubs Bart to the mat. Tag back to Henry and he comes off the middle rope with a double axe. He goes back to the arm with a submission as the crowd starts another “Sunny” chant. Bart misses a clothesline, but Billy gets in a shot to the back from the apron that has JR losing it, but Owen thinks Henry just ran into Billy’s boot. I tend to believe Owen! They show a replay and Owen notes, “it’s hard to tell.” Billy in and he lands a punch to the kidneys. Bart back in and he gets a backbreaker as the crowd really doesn’t care about anything other than Sunny. Billy back in and he works the back some more as again the men in the crowd chant for Sunny. Henry gets a small package for two, but Billy goes to the back to end that rally. Phineas tries to get a “Henry” chant going, but it turns into a “Sunny” chant. Billy misses a charge in the corner and it’s a race to see who gets to their corner first. Phineas comes in too early and that lets The Gunns fake tag and the ref buys it as he heard the tag. Bart with a slam, but he misses the top rope leg-drop. Hot tag to Phineas and he runs wild on both Cowboys. Henry is back as all four men brawl. The ref forces Henry out and that lets Bart hit Phineas from behind with his boot and Billy falls over for the pin at 10:10.

Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions: The Smoking Gunns via pin at 10:10.
-Boring and dull with Sunny getting the only reaction. The Gunns winning was the right call though. *

-To the back where Jim Cornette and The British Bulldog hype up tonight’s Main Event with Shawn Michaels. Mr. Perfect (the hand picked ref of Cornette) is in the background getting ready. JR wonders how he can be objective. Owen notes they were all our golfing together and Perfect assured him he would call it down the middle.

-Jerry “The King” Lawler gets a chance to talk and runs down the local sports teams. It seems everyone in Milwaukee is a drunk. He then insults as many people in the front row as he can. We go back to RAW where Warrior made the mistake of wearing a baseball cap, which is the most unforgivable thing one can do in wrestling.

Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. The Ultimate Warrior

-This isn’t Memphis and Jerry doesn’t have the book, so he is toast here. Lawler decks Warrior in the small of his back with a scepter and then uses it to choke on the floor. Lawler chokes Warrior with his jacket and then uses some of the tape from his hands to choke some more. Warrior tries to fight out of the corner, but Lawler uses the tape to choke some more. Lawler goes to his tights and plays phantom foreign object as he tries to Memphis this match into something watchable. Lawler hits the piledriver and Warrior no sells because this’t isn’t Memphis. The Warrior no sells everything and starts running Lawler down with clothesline. He hits the shoulder tackle and that’s enough for the pin at 3:50.

Winner: The Ultimate Warrior via pin at 3:50
-It was short at least, but probably also too long. This ended up being Warrior’s last WWF PPV in ring appearance. 1/2*

-Warrior celebrates on The Throne and with The Crown before taking his leave.

-To the back where a physician works on Jake Roberts. Monsoon says he is going to let Jake fight tonight, but he will stop the match if needed.

-Recap of The Undertaker/Mankind feud! Mankind had been booked as Taker’s equal from day one and boy did it pay off.

Mankind vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer)

-This would be the first of their many, many meetings! In a cool visual Paul Bearer stands on the steps with the urn and as the lights come back up, Taker is perched on the top rope behind Mankind. He comes off with a flying clothesline and then just beats the ever loving tar out of Mankind in the corner. To the opposite corner for even more punches as Taker is a just a tad pissed off here. Mankind gets dumped to the floor and they seem to get lost as Mankind just walks around like he is waiting for Taker to do something, but nothing. Mankind goes back in the ring and Taker tries to rip the mask off. Taker goes Old School (before it was called such) to pop the crowd and then he chokes Mankind in the corner. Mankind lands an elbow out of the corner and follows with a bodyslam. Zombie sit-up, but Mankind just mows him down with a basement clothesline. Mankind stomps away in the corner and hits the running knee to the face. Mankind lands an elbow to the throat on the apron and they both end up the floor again. Mankind shrieks at some kids in the front row which makes them laugh. Mankind drops the Cactus Elbow off the apron and it’s kind of weird without the Bang Bang. Taker heads back in and starts firing back with kicks and punches, but gets caught with a discus clothesline. Back to the floor where Taker gets bounced off the stairs. Mankind finds some chairs and charges with one, but Taker gets his boot up and it smacks Mankind in the face. Taker hits a backdrop on the floor where Mankind also lands on the chair. Paul Bearer distracts the ref which lets Taker blast Mankind in the back with the chair. That’s just foreplay for these two! Taker preps for The Tombstone, but Mankind slides out and gets a swinging neckbreaker. Cool! Mankind drops a leg and in a cool character touch, Mankind pokes at Taker to see if he is still alive. He looks for The Mandible Claw, but Taker blocks so Mankind just kicks him in the face. Effective! Elbow drop, but Taker sits up and Mankind goes to a nerve hold. The crowd starts a Rest in Peace chant to fire up Taker and I am glad that ended up not sticking and the much cooler “Un Der Tak Er” chant took it’s place. Taker fires up and throws a flurry of strikes and sends Mankind to the floor with a clothesline. Mankind pulls Taker to the floor and now Mankind goes crazy with right hands and it leaves Taker leaning against the ring steps. Mankind runs halfway around the ring and hits the running knee against the steps. That drew a gasp from the crowd! Taker gets slammed on the floor without the mats and Mankind tries another Cactus Elbow, but Taker gets a chair up to block. I mean the ref saw that, but no DQ. He didn’t see the next one though as Taker just wraps the chair around Mankind’s head. Not having chair shots to the head anymore makes these ones look even more impactful. Back in the ring Mankind misses a clothesline which lets Taker connect with his leaping clothesline. Taker tries a backdrop, but Mankind puts on the brakes and hits the stump piledriver for two. Mankind is annoyed and starts banging his head off the mat and pulling his hair out. I loved the original Mankind character! Mankind grabs the urn from Paul Bearer and tries to use it, but Paul Bearer takes it back. Mankind goes after him while Taker slowly sits back up. Mankind gets the Mandible Claw while Paul Bearer is on the apron. He looks to deck Mankind, but he moves and Taker ends up getting hit in the head by accident. Owen is right there to question if it was an accident, and we would find out the answer two months later. Mankind goes back to The Mandible Claw and Taker is out at 18:19.

Winner via ref stoppage: Mankind at 18:19
-Strong first match between these two as they had instant chemistry. This was tame compared to future matches, but that’s fine as this was the first battle in their war. This win was much needed to make Mankind an equal and threat to Taker. Get used to seeing this match up the rest of the year. ***3/4

-Dok is backstage with Mr. Perfect who is the ref for Shawn/Bulldog II. Shawn Michales interrupts and wants Perfect to call this down the middle and raise the hand of the better man. Perfect says he will do the Perfect job tonight and call it down the middle.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Goldust (c) (w/ Marlena) vs. Ahmed Johnson

-They show Goldust giving Ahmed Johnson CPR on RAW and Owen sells it as Goldust saving Ahmed’s life while JR and Vince aren’t buying it. Cool spot as Ahmed busts through the doors of the King of The Ring set and knocks down the two men opening and closing the doors. Ahmed rushes Goldust with a clothesline before the bell and goes crazy with right hands though only half connect while the other half hit the mat. Another clothesline sends Goldust inside out as he is still in his robe and he bails to the floor. Ahmed dives out over the top and nearly breaks his neck on the way down, but Goldust did well in trying to catch him. Back in the ring Goldust gets tossed into the corner and bails to the floor again. He grabs Ahmed and pulls him to the floor, but Ahmed greets him with a right hand and sends him into the stairs. Ahmed grabs the stairs and tosses them, but Goldust is able to dodge. If you can dodge the stairs you can dodge a ball! Back in and Goldust continues to bounce all over the ring as pissed off Ahmed is dominating. He misses a charge in the corner and crashes over the top to the floor. Now Goldust heads out and throws some right hands as Vlad The Super Fan pops up in the front row. Cool! Goldust uses the stairs and drops them on Ahmed’s back. I guess he can’t dodge a ball! Back in the ring Goldust gets a clothesline for a two count. A slam followed by a reverse chinlock from Goldust. He nearly turns it into a camel clutch and then releases to land some rabbit and kidney punches. Ahmed powers up, but misses another charge in the corner and Goldust goes back to the kidney punches. The crowd freaks out as Goldust feels Ahmed’s ass as JR and Vince talk about mind games. Owen feel Ahmed blow himself up in the opening few moments and is paying for it now. Back to the chinlock and it gives me time to stare at the guy in the Brett Favre jersey. As a life long 49er fan I am obligated to boo that man and remind him that my Niners have beaten the Packers the last four times they have met in the playoffs. Goldust hits a piledriver that looked pretty awful and JR and Vince are noting he didn’t get all of it. Goldust slithers across for the cover which gets two though Owen notes the ref was so freaked out that he didn’t start the count on time. Man has a point! Man, we needed more of Owen on commentary! Ahmed starts firing right hands to back Goldust up in the corner and he hits a series of clothesline. Irish whip is reversed and Ahmed goes sternum first into the corner. Goldust follows with another shot to the kidneys and fondles Ahmed some more. The start trading blows in the middle of the ring and that benefits Ahmed. He tries a dropkick, but Goldust grabs the ropes and Ahmed crashes to the mat which lets Goldust get another two count. Sleeper from Goldust as this one is going a bit too long. For some reason Goldust releases as Ahmed’s arm had dropped twice. He slaps Ahmed around and tells the ref he needs mouth to mouth. He gives Ahmed mouth to mouth and probably not smart as Ahmed goes insane with right heavy right hands in the corner. Spinebuster and The Pearl River Plunge finish for the pin at 15:34.

Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Ahmed Johnson via pin at 15:34
-This started strong and they just went too long. The ending was weird too as Goldust had the match won, but released to play mind games and it cost him. Ahmed winning was the right call as he was red-hot at the time and they needed to take a chance. Injuries killed his career though and he never recovered outside of a brief run in early 97. **

-New month it’s WWE International Incident in Vancouver. I have actually never seen that show so that should be fun.

-Brian Pillman is here hobbling down the aisle on crutches. Vince notes he was in an automobile accident. JR gets the honor of interviewing Pillman and who knows where this will go. Pillman notes he can see why Dahmer tried to eat the people of Milwaukee and calls JR a stupid son of a bitch. He says we will find out soon if anyone in the WWF has the guts to stop him. He finishes by saying he will rape, pillage and plunder the entire Federation.

King of The Ring Final: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts

-Hollywood Blondes reunion in the aisle as Pillman acknowledges Austin, while he just stares at him and walks by. We would get more from the two of them throughout the rest of the year. Vince notes that Austin had to go to the emergency room to get sixteen stitches in his mouth and tongue. Jake is selling the beating from Vader as he makes his way to the ring. Austin attacks at the belly and goes right for the damaged ribs. He beats the piss out of Jake with shot after shot to the ribs and Roberts is selling it like death. Austin off the middle ropes with a double ax to the ribs as the ref keeps checking on Roberts. Austin slaps Jake in the face and calls him pathetic. Jake fights back with some kicks and a right hand. He can’t follow up though and one shot to the ribs snuffs out that rally. Austin removes the tape from Roberts ribs and lands some more shots. Gorilla Monsoon is out and he makes the ref back Austin into the corner as he check on Jake. Owen rightly points out that there was no bell, so Austin shouldn’t have to stop. I didn’t hear no bell! Jake tells Monsoon he wants to fight and he starts his rally to pop the crowd. DDT is blocked as Austin rams Roberts into the corner and delivers shoulder after shoulder. Owen is pissed at Gorilla for giving Roberts what amounted to a time out. Austin hits The Stunner and we have a new King at 4:36. JR notes this may only be the beginning for Austin and even that is underselling it.

Winner and King of The Ring: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin via pin at 4:36
-This went exactly how it should as Austin beat Jake’s ass and looked like a killer. *

-Austin ascends the stairs to the stage holding the throne, robe, and crown, but never sit in it, or puts it on. Next we get the famous promo that now everyone says made Austin the biggest star ever, but we all know it was the Bret Hart feud in the fall that got him there as the WWF still had him in opening matches or the pre-show for SummerSlam. 

Austin: “The first thing I want to be done is to get that piece of crap out of my ring. Don’t just get him out of the ring, get him out of the WWF. Because I’ve proved son without a shadow of a doubt, you ain’t got what it takes anymore. YOU SIT THERE AND YOU THUMP YOUR BIBLE AND SAY YOUR PRAYERS AND IT DIDN’T GET YOU ANYWHERE. TALK ABOUT YOUR PSALMS. TALK ABOUT JOHN 3:16. AUSTIN 3:16 SAYS I JUST WHIPPED YOUR ASS (good pop from the crowd). As he has to do is but him a cheap bottle of thunderbird and try to get back some that courage he had in his prime. As the King of The Ring, I am serving notice to every one of the WWF Superstars, I don’t give a damn what they are, they are all on the list and that’s Stone Cold’s list and I am fixing to run through all of them. As far as this Championship match is considered son, I don’t give a damn if it is Davey Boy Smith or Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin’s time has come and when I get the shot you are looking at the next WWF Champion and that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold said so.”

-Just awesome and again, they didn’t follow up immediately but you can’t deny this promo made Austin look like a star. Crazy we got this promo and then Hogan’s heel turn promo fourteen days apart. What’s even crazier is this is all thanks to The Curtain Call incident at MSG with The Kliq. Who knows how history changes if HHH doesn’t get punished and wins King of The Ring.

WWF Title: Shawn Michaels (c) (w/ Jose Lothario) vs. The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Cornette and Diana Hart-Smith)

-Mr. Perfect is the special ref for this one as they cover what happened last month when two refs got involved and counted each man down leading to a draw. Owen gives Bulldog a standing ovation on the announce desk. “We love you Bulldog. We love you Diana.” Owen is the best! Monsoon is here again and he tells Perfect he is the outside official and Earl Hebnar is the official inside the ring. JR brings up that the last time Perfect was a ref was at WrestleMania X and he didn’t do a good job. The crowd immediately starts with a USA chant to tick off Bulldog. Wait, I was wrong as Owen has clarified that they were actually chanting U-K. I’ll believe that as I wouldn’t call Owen a liar. Lockup and Bulldog shoves Shawn on his ass a couple times and Shawn is getting pissed. Shawn goes to work on the arm as Cornette and Perfect have a conversation on the outside. Shawn gets a takedown, but gets trapped with a head scissors and they repeat that a few times before Shawn gets smart enough to keep his head elevated. Shawn works a side headlock for a bit and Bulldog gets a couple two counts by rolling over, but Shawn turns it back. Shawn gets dumb again and tries to run Bulldog over and just bounces off him. He gets sent over the top, but hangs on and skins the cat back in and catches Bulldog with a head scissors and takes him to the floor. Shawn off the apron with a ugly looking rana as they were still figuring out how to take the move around this time if you weren’t a cruiserweight. Shawn gets in some shots on Cornette including hitting him with his tennis racket. Back in the ring Bulldog gets a side headlock. Shawn gets to his feet and tries to power his way out, but Bulldog pulls the hair to regain the hold. Shawn finally shoves off and something gets wonky as Shawn yells something to Bulldog. Bulldog gets a Gorilla Press, but Shawn slides off and goes crazy with arm drags and hooks an armbar with the final one. Shawn goes to a short-arm scissors and works that for a bit. Bulldog is able to get to his feet and Shawn is trapped on his back. Bulldog uses the ropes for a pin, but Perfect is there to break, though it took some time. Bulldog back to his feet and he just stomps Shawn in the face to break. Another weird sequence in the corner where they seemed slightly off the same page ends with Shawn taking Bulldog back to the mat with a hammerlock. Bulldog gets to his feet and catches Shawn with a hip-toss. Shawn tries one and flips over, but ducks a clothesline and gets a sleeper. Bulldog drives Shawn back into the corner to break. Heavy whip into the corner as Shawn starts bouncing around like a pinball. Bulldog hooks a chinlock, but Shawn fights his way out and gets a nice armbar takedown. Shawn off the top with a double axe for two. Bulldog sets too early on a backdrop and eats a hard knee to the face. Bulldog back with a Gorilla Press and he walks backwards and drops Shawn over the top to the floor. Vince wants a DQ for some reason, but this isn’t WCW. On the floor Bulldog gets a suplex and Perfect starts a count on Shawn, though it’s a slow one. Bulldog heads out and press slams Shawn back through the ropes and into the ring where he gets another two count. Bulldog back to the chinlock as Shawn is determined to get the 30 minutes he didn’t get last month. Whip to the corner has Shawn flipping upside down and back in where Bulldog destroys him with a clothesline. Surfboard from Bulldog as they are breaking out the moves tonight! Perfect on the apron to see if Shawn quits, but no dice. Bulldog slides back and Shawn gets a pin attempt for two. Back to the chinlock as we just passed the sixteen minute mark. Shawn fights out, but the comeback is snuffed out by a knee to the gut and then Bulldog sends him flying with a backdrop. Legdrop gets two as Owen mentions Bulldog didn’t hook the leg. Chinlock again! Shawn again fights up and they collide in mid-air where Shawn gets two, but gets his clock cleaned with a well placed right hand. That gets two for Bulldog! Back to their feet and Shawn is able to get a crucifix for two. Shawn tries a powerslam, but Bulldog reverses and Shawn escapes that. He tries for Sweet Chin Music, but Bulldog grabs the ropes to avoid and runs through Shawn with a nice clothesline! Piledriver from Bulldog and instead of going for a cover he heads up top. Just an awful diving headbutt misses as Bulldog basically slipped off the top rope. Owen tries to cover by saying Jose grabbed the ropes. Too funny! The Jose line, not Bulldog doing a belly flop. Shawn heads up, but Bulldog catches him with a dropkick and brings him down with a superplex for two. Bulldog sets Shawn up top and brings him down with a belly to back, but Shawn floats over on the way down and gets a two count. The start trading punches and then smack heads in the middle of the ring which leaves both men down. Both men up and Shawn goes for another rana, but Bulldog plants him with a sit-out powerbomb for two. That one drew a nice reaction from the crowd! Now Bulldog bumps like a mad man as he goes upside down in the corner off a whip to put both men down again. Shawn counters a whip and hits the flying forearm. He kips up and gets a slam that accidentally knocks the ref down. Shawn heads up and drops the flying elbow and now the band starts tuning up. Shawn kind of catches Bulldog with it and in comes Perfect to count with the ref. Owen pulls Perfect out, but Hebnar finishes the count at 26:25.

Winner and Still WWF Champion: Shawn Michaels via pin at 26:25
-They knew they were going long so they took their time getting there. They worked hard, but there were some weird spots that seemed off kilter and I just couldn’t get into it with the constant stops and starts between the headlocks. The ending was weird too with Perfect as he was no factor and not sure why he felt the need to count with Hebnar. Shawn winning was the right call though as Vader was set up as the Final Boss of Camp Cornette. ***1/2

-Owen hits the ring after the match and looks fresh beating the fire out of Shawn while rocking his tuxedo. Ahmed Johnson is here to even up the sides and he hits Owen with a Press Slam and Bulldog with a regular slam. Here comes Vader and he mauls Ahmed while Owen lays the boots to Shawn. The crowd starts a Warrior chant but he takes his time as Ahmed and Shawn get destroyed. He finally shows up to stop Vader from coming off the top and the place explodes. This was to set up the six man tag at the next PPV (Vince announces the match as we go off the air), but someone on the babyface side didn’t make it there. We will get to that next month!

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Good
The 411
This was a solid PPV though it didn't matter as WCW was about to drop a nuclear bomb on the industry that nearly killed the WWF. The opener, Shawn/Mankind and the Main Event were all enough to make this a good show. The rest was either bad or just okay. but the three good matches ate up most of the show. You also have the historic nature of this show as it was the birth of Austin 3:16 and both Austin and the WWE are making millions off of that to this day. Definitely check the show out as you could see some of the foundations that helped WWF make their comeback, pop up in more prominent roles.