wrestling / Video Reviews

Random Network Reviews: Badd Blood 1997

March 20, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Random Network Reviews: Badd Blood 1997  

Badd Blood: In Your House
October 5th, 1997 – Kiel Center in St. Louis, Missouri – Attendance: 21,151

So, here’s a show that I’ve been looking forward to pulling from my randomizer. Badd Blood from 1997 features the historic first ever Hell in a Cell match and it’s one I cannot wait to review. Unfortunately, there is something negative to discuss as earlier in the afternoon on this day, Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room. As a kid I remember hating that because Pillman was always cool to me. Another note to mention is that this would be the last Pay-Per-View to feature Vince McMahon as the WWF’s lead commentator, there is no WWF Title match and it has the debut of a future WWE Hall of Famer.

“In over 100 countries…” that old WWF signature was so damn cool. Our opening video package focuses on the Hell in a Cell main event between Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker, which was well built. The music playing throughout the arena is the future entrance theme of one Steve Blackman. Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross are on commentary.

The Legion of Doom vs. The Nation of Domination
The representatives of the Nation of Domination tonight are Rocky Maivia, Kama Mustafa and D-Lo Brown while the LOD couldn’t get a partner to replace the injured Ken Shamrock, so they go it alone. The Legion get in some quick offense, causing the heels to regroup outside. In typical Jim Ross fashion, he claims that Rocky is upset because the Miami Hurricanes lost yesterday. NOT EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED TO FOOTBALL! Hawk ends up in the heel corner, but spins out quicker than he’s probably ever moved. Kama works the double clothesline spot with Hawk, but both guys are up instantly. Animal gets the tag and hits a powerslam, so Rocky comes in and DDTs him. It seems like Animal will play the face in peril for a while. He does hit an impactful clothesline on D-Lo, but can’t make the tag. Rocky gets the tag and nails some shitty looking kicks in the corner. This is using the most basic of tag formulas as we now get the face tag that the referee conveniently misses. Hawk finally gets the hot tag and cleans house. They call for the Doomsday Device, but Faarooq comes down to distract them. Animal makes the mistake of following him outside, leading to a Rock Bottom for the win.

Winners: The Nation on Domination in 12:16
Not much here to really like. The Legion of Doom were pretty bland at this point and this was just completely basic stuff.

Sunny and Dok Hendrix plug the WWF Hotline. Vince McMahon then talks seriously to the camera about the death of Brian Pillman. Because of this, we won’t get Pillman vs. Dude Love but this upcoming match instead.

Max Mini and Nova vs. Mosaic and Tarantula
I expect this to be incredibly fast. Instantly Nova does a dive but gets taken down by the bigger Tarantula. They miscue and end up hitting each other a few times. All four guys brawl outside for a short while as Jerry Lawler makes little jokes. Max Mini enters and takes down Mosaic with a few hip tosses before a back body drop. Tarantula runs in and misses a front flip for the second time. Max gets a near fall with a hurricanrana but is taken down by the big guys. Mosaic and Tarantula are total heels as they get in a bunch of cheap shots. Tarantula actually jumps from the very top rope for a splash. I see guys (Ryback for example) that can only leap from the second rope. He then gorilla press slams Max Mini onto the announce table, which was cool. Inside, he continues to get destroyed by the bigger opponents. He rallies though, doing an odd rollup that seems to only get two, but the referee calls for the bell anyway.

Winners: Max Mini and Nova in 6:44
This was pretty much exactly what it should have been. A decent exhibition for the little guys to get in their offense. They tried, but did botch a few things, including the finish.

If any guys fell asleep during the last match, they wake instantly as Sunny comes out. She’s here to announce the Tag Team Title match.

WWF Tag Team Championship
The Headbangers (c) vs. The Godwins w/ Uncle Cletus

Oh my, the poor tag team division. This starts with a damn spitting contest between Mosh and Phineas before Mosh snaps off a hurricanrana, sending Phineas outside. Thrasher goes for one of his own from the apron but fucks it up COMPLETELY. Henry and Thrasher do battle in the ring, but nothing of real note happens. The Headbangers work some double team moves on Phineas for a bit. Phineas makes the tag to Henry and they beat on Thrasher who will be the one to make the eventual hot tag I guess. Lawler states that “if you don’t have electricity, you may be a Godwin” or something along those lines. So the Godwins are Amish? Thrasher gets a near fall but Henry distracts the official. He gets the tag and hits the best move of the match with a flapjack variation. Mosh gets the hot tag and takes out all Godwins, even Uncle Cletus! I do commend the Headbangers for having a very mosh pit like offense. They throw themselves around but it fits the gimmick. Mosh tries a dive but Phineas counters into a powerbomb to win as the crowd goes mild.

Winners and New WWF Tag Team Champions: The Godwins in 12:28
Judging by crowd reaction, not a single fuck was given about this title change. The match lasted far too long, had no heat and didn’t click. ¼*

The Godwins attack after the match, leading to an announcement that if they don’t leave, they’ll be stripped of the belts. We then go to a Steve Austin promo video as this was shortly after he broke his neck, but stayed on TV because he was RED hot. Michael Cole announces that Austin will forfeit the Intercontinental Title tonight to whoever wins it. Owen Hart appears in his fantastic “Owen 3:16” shirt, saying that he will win the title tonight. He stumbles through the promo.

Jim Ross is in the ring to introduce Canadian legend Gene Kiniski. They give him some award and the same goes for Jack Briscoe and Dory Funk Jr. They also honor Harley Race and Terry Funk, which I appreciate but this is boring as hell. After this, Vince gives another update on Brian Pillman and makes it seem like an angle.

WWF Intercontinental Championship Tournament Finals
Faarooq vs. Owen Hart

Owen Hart brings out a Canadian flag along with his two Slammy Awards. It’s clear on Owen’s face that he is not 100% into this match, most likely due to the death of his close friend. Glass breaks as Austin comes out and flips Owen the bird before sitting at ringside with the belt. He rings the bell before stealing Vince McMahon’s headset and joining commentary. The crowd is hot for Austin, but they are having trouble getting behind someone since both guys are heels. Owen nails a spinning heel kick before going straight for the left leg. The best part of this is Austin’s antics as he joins both the Spanish and French commentary teams. With the focus back on the ring, Owen tries a Sharpshooter but Faarooq kick shim off and hits a powerslam for two. Jim Neidhart comes to ringside as Faarooq hits a spinebuster. The Anvil distracts the ref, for no real reason as Owen isn’t cheating. Austin then runs and strikes Faarooq with the title, allowing Owen to pin him.

Winner and New WWF Intercontinental Champion: Owen Hart in 5:51
A clash of styles that didn’t click very well. It wasn’t bad, it just seemed like they were going through the motions while Austin did his ringside antics. This booking allowed Austin to face Owen for the belt before moving into a feud with the Nation. **

The Disciples of Apocalypse vs. Los Boricuas
I openly admit my love for 1997 in wrestling but man did I hate this gang warfare crap. Miguel, the hair Boricua, takes a beating from each member of DOA. Savio, about 20 pounds heavier than he was in 1995-1996, gets the tag and also gets worked over. This is basically each team tagging in different guys, so each one gets offense. The Fake Undertaker is in and he gets worked over in the heel corner. They then hit three straight corner clotheslines and a spinning heel kick, one by each member, for two. Fake Undertaker actually does a cross body but only gets two. I feel that Miguel’s body hair was somehow nastier than Albert’s. The tag finally comes to Crush, who is working his twelfth or so gimmick for the company. He nails a terrible looking back breaker to win.

Winners: The Disciples of Apocalypse in 8:04
Man this was dull. Neither team is good and this just sucked hard. I hated everything about it. DUD.

Michael Cole, looking like a boy band member, interviews Bret Hart and British Bulldog before their upcoming Flag Match.

Flag Match
WWF Champion Bret Hart and British Bulldog vs. The Patriot and Vader

The Hart Foundation vest that Bulldog had was legit. Before the match even officially begins, the four men brawl outside because country pride is important as hell. Bret Hart uses the Canadian flag he brought out to beat Vader with, but Vader turns the tide on him. The bell rings officially with Vader and Patriot alone inside, so why the hell aren’t they going for the flag? Patriot realizes this and attempts, but Bulldog stops him. They trade shots but things don’t get interesting until Vader and Bret come in. Vader just manhandles him in the corner before sitting on him for two. The others enter and Patriot totally whiffs on a dropkick. Bret locks Patriot in the corner Figure Four, which is still one of my all-time favorite heel spots. He also spits at Vader, because he was such a damn good heel. Sharpshooter is locked in, but Patriot counters into a poor excuse for his own Sharpshooter. Vader gets the slightly hot tag and body blocks Bulldog down, but he grabs the ropes on the pin. Bret gets the tag, applying the Sharpshooter on Vader. The illegal men have come in pretty much every two minutes throughout this match. The Patriot comes in, even though he didn’t get tagged and locks Bret in the Figure Four until Bulldog breaks it up. Vader goes for the flag, but Bret holds him back. It seems like these guys are kind of going through the motions. They don’t seem very motivated. Bret nails Vader with the ring bell outside, which he did behind the referee’s back even though there shouldn’t be any DQs in this match. The only way to win is pinfall, submission or grabbing the flag. Inside, Patriot gets a close near fall with a full nelson slam until a fan runs into attempt to get involved. The referee rolls him out while Bulldog puts the boots to him. Patriot goes to roll up Bret, who counters and gets the three.

Winners: Bret Hart and British Bulldog in 25:07
I had high hopes for this but it didn’t live up. Maybe it was because of Pillman’s death but the guys didn’t seem to be into it. It lasted too long for their efforts too. **

Hell in a Cell
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

Once they’re locked inside, Undertaker stalks Shawn Michaels, who bounces off the ropes right into a big boot that prompts Vince McMahon to say “this is not going to be pretty.” Shawn gets in some shots in the corner but Undertaker whips him to the corner for the trademark Shawn bump. Undertaker is just beating the hell out of Shawn all around this thing. He whips Shawn into the steel numerous times, connecting with clotheslines in between. Undertaker rams him into the cage and delivers SOUPBONES to the ribcage. He goes to drive Shawn headfirst into the steel, but it’s reversed and he’s thrown in. Doesn’t matter though as Undertaker bounces off and nails Michaels again. Shawn finally gets in some worthwhile offense with a suicide dive and then an elbow from the cage. He hits a flying clothesline from the apron, but Shawn is selling like a champ. He slams the steel steps on the spine of the Undertaker a few times. He then hits a piledriver onto the steel steps, which was pretty badass. The cameraman is very close so Shawn curses him out. He continues his offense with a double axe handle, though it didn’t look great since he couldn’t elevate with the ceiling being there. In a callback to what started this rivalry, Shawn gets a steel chair and drives it into Undertaker’s back. The Deadman is not done though as he is fighting back because nothing Shawn does seems to be enough. A back body drop launches Shawn onto the cameraman, which lead Shawn to beat him up. THAT CAMERAMAN HAS A FAMILY! Commentary plays this up great. Shawn holds serve while Commissioner Slaughter has the Cell opened to get out the cameraman. Shawn connects with Sweet Chin Music but Undertaker sits up instantly. BUISNESS JUST PICKED UP! Shawn runs and exits the Cell, which makes the cameraman stuff a brilliant move. Undertaker slingshots Michaels into the steel, which busts him wide open. In a moment that was replayed a bunch, Shawn is thrown into the Cell like a damn javelin and his face is crimson. Michaels, in a desperate attempt to flee, climbs the Cell. Undertaker follows and hits a back body drop out of a piledriver up there. He grates his face into the ceiling, which causes blood to spill on the camera lens under them, which is perfect. Shawn has the balls to take a gorilla press slam spot up there and tries to escape but is caught. Undertaker steps on his hand, causing Shawn to fall through an announce table! Undertaker pounds on him, bringing him back inside the Cell, and it is then locked. The beating continues when Undertaker nails a Chokeslam from the top rope. In a fitting move, Undertaker gets a steel chair and absolutely clobbers Shawn with it. He signals for the Tombstone when the lights go out. When they come on in their red glow, Paul Bear is walking out with Kane. THAT’S GOTTA…THAT’S GOTTA BE KANE! He rips the door off of its hinges and goes face to face with his brother. Nothing happens until he makes fire explode from the turnbuckles. He then Tombstones Undertaker and leaves. Shawn Michaels crawls over and barely gets his arm over Undertaker, scoring the victory.

Winner: Shawn Michaels in 29:57
Talk about an absolute classic. The first ever Hell in a Cell is still probably the best ever. The psychology of Shawn Michaels doing everything possible but Undertaker shaking off everything was great. Shawn took a beating, they went to the top of the Cell, the interference made sense and everything was perfectly done. *****

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
The show itself was pretty damn boring until the end. Besides the main event, only two matches earn two stars and they barely accomplish that. This may be because of the emotions after one their colleagues passed away, but everyone, outside of the Cell match, seemed to kind of mail it in. Speaking of the Cell, it is the only reason you should go see this and saves this from being a terrible score. It is one of the greatest matches of all time.

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Badd Blood 1997, WWE, Kevin Pantoja