wrestling / Columns

Ranking The PPV Matches of 1997

January 6, 2023 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Shawn Michaels The Undertaker Badd Blood Image Credit: WWE

-With my review of Starrcade 97 finished, I was able to do a retro review of every WCW, WWF, and ECW PPV from 1997. It was a fascinating year to look back on as ECW made their PPV debut, WCW was killing the WWF in the ratings and were building towards their biggest show in history, while the WWF was hanging on with the rise of Steve Austin and nearly destroyed themselves over Montreal. Here now are every PPV match ranked from worst to best in my opinion. As always it is cool to disagree and comment, but as the great Larry Csonka always said, don’t be a dick about it. Let’s get to it! 

207) Tables and Ladders Match: The Sandman vs. Sabu (ECW November 2 Remember) DUD

206) Goldberg vs. Steve McMichael (WCW Starrcade) DUD

205) Tough Man Fight: Marc Mero vs. Butterbean (WWF DX) No Rating

204) Steve McMichael vs. Alex Wrights (WCW World War 3) SQUASH 

203) ECW TV Title: Taz (c) vs. Pitbull #2 (ECW November 2 Remember) SQUASH

202) Spike Dudley vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (ECW Hardcore Heaven) SQUASH 

201) Leif Cassidy vs. Tiger Ali Singh (WWF One Night Only) 1/4*

200) The Godwins vs. Legion of Doom (WWF One Night Only) 1/4* 

199) Boot Camp Match: HHH vs. Sgt. Slaughter (WWF DX) 1/4*

198) Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Headbangers and New Blackjacks vs. The Godwins, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn (WWF Survivor Series) 1/2*

197) Survivor Series Elimination Match: Disciples of Apocalypse vs. The Truth Commission (WWF Survivor Series) 1/2*

196) Tarantula and Mosaic vs. Max Mini and Nova (WWF Badd Blood) 1/2*

195) Brian Pillman vs. Goldust (WWF SummerSlam) 1/2*

194) Larry Zbyszko vs. Eric Bischoff (WCW Starrcade) 1/2*

193) WWF Title: The Undertaker (c) vs. Faarooq (WWF King of The Ring) 1/2*

192) Savio Vega vs. Faarooq vs. Crush (WWF Ground Zero) 1/2* 

191) WWF Tag Titles: Road Dogg and Billy Gunn (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (WWF DX) 1/2*

190) WWF Intercontinental Title: Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Savio Vega (WWF Revenge of The Taker) 1/2*

189) Jeff Jarrett vs. VK Wallstreet (WCW Souled Out) 1/2*

188) Konnan vs. Hugh Morris (WCW Great American Bash) 1/2*

187) Ahmed Johnson vs. Crush (WWF Cold Day in Hell) 1/2*

186) Crush vs. Goldust (WWF King of The Ring) 1/2*

185) Buff Bagwell vs. Lex Luger (WCW Starrcade) 1/2*

184) Jeff Jarrett vs. The Undertaker (WWF DX) 1/2*

183) Mortis vs. Glacier (WCW Slamboree) 1/2*

182) Scott Norton vs. The Giant (WCW Fall Brawl) 1/2*

181) Fuerza Guerrera, Heavy Metal, Jerry Estrada vs. Hector Garza, Perro Aguayo, Canek (WWF Royal Rumble) 1/2*

180) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Scott Norton (WCW Souled Out) 1/2*

179) ECW TV Title: Shane Douglas (c) vs. Pitbull #2 (ECW Barely Legal) 3/4*

178) Alex Wright vs. Steve McMichael (WCW Halloween Havoc) 3/4*

177) WCW World Heavyweight Championship: Hollywood Hogan (c) vs. Sting (WCW Starrcade) 3/4*

176) Mexican Death Match: Hugh Morrus vs. Big Bubba (WCW Souled Out) *

175) Ahmed Johnson vs. Savio Vega (WWF Cold Day in Hell) *

174) The Godwins vs. Legion of Doom (WWF SummerSlam) *

173) Disciples of Apocalypse vs. Los Boricuas (WWF Badd Blood) * 

172) Los Boricuas vs. Disciples of Apocalypse (WWF DX) *

171) WWF Tag Titles: The Headbangers (c) vs. The Godwins vs. The Legion of Doom vs. Owen Hart and British Bulldog (WWF Ground Zero) *

170) WCW US Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Steve McMichael (WCW Bash at The Beach) * 

169) Los Boricuas vs. Disciples of Apocalypse (WWF SummerSlam) * 

168) World War 3 Battle Royal (WCW World War 3) *

167) Strap Match: Buff Bagwell vs. Scotty Riggs (WCW Uncensored) *

166) Public Enemy vs. Steve McMichael and Jeff Jarrett (WCW Spring Stampede) *

165) Steve McMichael vs. Reggie White (WCW Slamboree) *

164) WCW World Heavyweight Title: Hollywood Hogan (c) vs. The Giant (WCW Souled Out) *

163) WCW World Heavyweight Title: Lex Luger (c) vs. Hollywood Hogan (WCW Road Wild) *

162) The Hart Foundation vs. The Legion of Doom and Sid (WWF King of The Ring) *

161) ECW World Title: Raven (c) vs. Terry Funk (ECW Barely Legal) *

160) Steel Cage Match: Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper (WCW Halloween Havoc) *

159) Intercontinental Title: Owen Hart (c) vs. Steve Austin (WWF Survivor Series) *

158) Ahmed Johnson vs. Faarooq (WWF Cold Day in Hell) *1/4

157) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Owen Hart vs. Faarooq (WWF Badd Blood) *1/4

156) Randy Savage and Scott Hall vs. Diamond Dallas Page and Curt Hennig (WCW Bash at The Beach) *1/4

155) Tornado Tag: Harlem Heat vs. Public Enemy (WCW Uncensored) *1/4

154) WWF Tag Titles: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (WWF Revenge of The Taker) *1/2

153) Elimination Tag: Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael vs. Jeff Jarrett and Dean Malenko (WCW Road Wild) *1/2

152) Scotty Riggs vs. Buff Bagwell (WCW Souled Out) *1/2

151) Jesse James vs. Rockabilly (WWF Revenge of The Taker) *1/2

150) ECW Tag Titles: The Dudley Boys vs. FBI vs, Axl and Balls vs. Kronus/New Jack (ECW November 2 Remember) *1/2

149) King of The Ring Semi-Final: Ahmed Johnson vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (WWF King of The Ring) *1/2

148) Disco Inferno vs. Jacqueline (WCW Halloween Havoc) *1/2

147) Wrath vs. Glacier (WCW Great American Bash) *1/2

146) Elimination Match: The Godwins vs. The New Blackjacks vs. Furnas and LaFon vs. The Headbangers (WWF WrestleMania 13) *1/2

145) King of The Ring Finals: Mankind vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (WWF King of The Ring) *1/2

144) Faces of Fear vs. The Public Enemy vs. Harlem Heat (WCW SuperBrawl VII) *1/2

143) WWF Title: No DQ: Sid (c) vs. The Undertaker (WWF WrestleMania 13) *1/2

142) WWF Intercontinental Title: Rocky Maivia (c) vs. The Sultan (WWF WrestleMania 13) *1/2

141) Scott Putski vs. Brian Christopher (WWF Ground Zero) *1/2

140) WCW Tag Titles: The Outsiders (c) vs. The Steiners (WCW Road Wild) *1/2

139) Diamond Dallas Page vs. Curt Hennig (WCW Road Wild) *1/2

138) WCW TV Title: Prince Iaukea (c) vs. Steven Regal (WCW Spring Stampede) *1/2

137) #1 Contender’s Match: The Giant vs. Lex Luger vs. Booker T vs. Stevie Ray (WCW Spring Stampede) *1/2

136) Syxx vs. Ric Flair (WCW Road Wild) *1/2

135) Flash Funk vs. The Patriot (WWF One Night Only) *1/2

134) ECW Tag Titles: The Dudley Boys (c) vs. PG-13 (ECW Hardcore Heaven) *1/2

133) Scott Hall vs. Lex Luger (WCW Halloween Havoc) *1/2

132) TV Title: Saturn (c) vs. Disco Inferno (WCW World War 3) *1/2

131) Randy Savage, Vincent, Scott Norton vs. The Steiners and Ray Traylor (WCW Starrcade) *1/2

130) Vader vs. The Undertaker (Royal Rumble) *1/2

129) Randy Savage vs. The Giant (WCW Road Wild) *1/2

128) King of The Ring Semi-Final: Mankind vs. Jerry Lawler (WWF King of The Ring) *3/4

127) #1 Contender’s Match: Harlem Heat vs. The Steiners (WCW Great American Bash) *3/4

126) Ahmed Johnson vs. Faarooq (WWF Royal Rumble) **

125) Steve McMichael vs. Jeff Jarrett (WCW SuperBrawl VII) **

124) Buff Bagwell vs. Diamond Dallas Page (WCW SuperBrawl VII) **

123) The Nation of Domination vs. The Legion of Doom (WWF Badd Blood) **

122) WCW US Title: Curt Hennig vs. Diamond Dallas Page (WCW Starrcade) **

121) WWF European Title: The British Bulldog (c) vs. Ken Shamrock (WWF SummerSlam) ** 

120) Luna Vachon vs. Madusa (WCW Slamboree) **

119) Steve McMichael vs. Kevin Green (WCW Great American Bash) **

118) Survivor Series Elimination Match: Vader, Goldust, Marc Mero, Steve Blackman vs. Jim Neidhart, The British Bulldog, Doug Furnas, Phil LaFon (WWF Survivor Series) **

117) WWF Tag Titles: Bulldog and Owen Hart (c) vs. Mankind and Vader (WWF WrestleMania 13) **

116) WCW TV Title: Prince Iaukea (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. (WCW Uncensored) **

115) Flash Funk, Bart Gunn, Goldust vs. The Nation of Domination (WWF Final Four) **

114) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (c) vs. Goldust (Royal Rumble) **

113) Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Goldust (WWF WrestleMania 13) **

112) Justin Credible vs. Mikey Whipwreck (ECW November 2 Remember) **

111) Raven vs. Scotty Riggs (WCW World War 3) **

110) Flag Match: Bret Hart and The British Bulldog vs. The Patriot and Vader (WWF Badd Blood) **

109) Tommy Dreamer. Vs. Jerry Lawler (ECW Hardcore Heaven 97) **

108) WCW World Heavyweight Title: Hollywood Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Roddy Piper (WCW SuperBrawl VII) **

107) Marc Mero vs. Leif Cassidy (WWF Final Four) **

106) #1 Contender’s Match: Terry Funk vs. Stevie Richards vs The Sandman (ECW Barely Legal) **

105) WCW Tag Team Championship: Kevin Nash (c) vs. Rick Steiner (WCW Spring Stampede) **

104) Lex Luger and The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman (WCW Bash at The Beach) **

103) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Hunter Heart Helmsley (WWF FInal Four) **1/4

102) WCW Women’s Championship: Akira Hokuto vs. Madusa (WCW Spring Stampede) **1/4

101) ECW Tag Titles: The Dudley Boys vs. The Eliminators (ECW Barely Legal) **1/4

100) Konnan and Hugh Morrus vs. The Steiner Brothers (WCW Slamboree) **1/4

99) Vicious and Delicious vs. Harlem Heat (WCW Road Wild) **1/4

98) Jeff Jarrett vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Fall Brawl) **1/4

97) DDP and Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall and Randy Savage (WCW Fall Brawl) **1/4

96) WCW Tag Titles: The Steiners (c) vs. Steven Regal and Dave Taylor (WCW World War 3) **1/4

95) WWF Championship: Sid (c) vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF Royal Rumble) **1/4 

94) Tommy Rogers and Jerry Lynn vs. Lance Storm and Chris Candido (ECW November 2 Remember) **1/2

93) Chris Jerico vs. Masahiro Chono (WCW Souled Out) **1/2

92) WCW Television Title: Prince Iaukea (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr (WCW SuperBrawl VII) **1/2

91) WCW US Titles: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett (WCW Slamboree) **1/2

90) Flash Funk vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (WWF Cold Day in Hell) **1/2

89) Raven’s Rules: Saturn vs. Chris Benoit (WCW Starrcade) **1/2

88) Glacier and Ernest Miller vs. The Faces of Fear (WCW World War 3) **1/2

87) WWF Title: Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Ken Shamrock (WWF DX) **1/2

86) Return Death Match: Chris Benoit vs. Meng (WCW Great American Bash) **1/2

85) Brian Pillman vs. Goldust (WWF Ground Zero) **1/2

84) Mexican Death Match: Konnan vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. (WCW Road Wild) **1/2

83) Chris Jericho vs. Gedo (WCW Halloween Havoc) **1/2

82) ECW World Title: Sabu (c) vs. Shane Douglas vs. Terry Funk (ECW Hardcore Heaven) **1/2

81) WCW US Title: Curt Hennig (c) vs. Ric Flair (WCW World War 3) **1/2

80) Mankind vs. Rocky Maivia (WWF Cold Day in Hell) **1/2

79) WCW US Title: Curt Hennig (c) vs. Ric Flair (WCW Halloween Havoc) **1/2

78) WCW World Tag Team Titles: The Outsiders (c) vs. The Steiners (WCW Souled Out) **1/2

77) Harlem Heat vs. The Steiner Brothers (WCW Fall Brawl) **1/2

76) WWF Intercontinental Title: Steve Austin (c) vs. The Rock (WWF DX) **1/2

75) Chicago Street Fight: The Nation of Domination vs. Ahmed Johnson and The Legion of Doom (WWF WrestleMania) **1/2

74) El Torito vs. Max Mini (WWF Ground Zero) **3/4

73) Flag Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Tommy Dreamer (ECW November 2 Remember) **3/4 

72) Yuji Nagata vs. Ultimo Dragon (WCW World War 3) **3/4

71) Mankind vs. Kane (WWF Survivor Series) **3/4

70) Trios Match: Konnan, La Parka, Vilano IV vs. Juventud Guerrera Ciclope, Super Calo (WCW SuperBrawl VII) **3/4

69) WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Alex Wright (c) vs. Chris Jericho (WCW Road Wild) **3/4

68) 30 Man Royal Rumble Match (WWF Royal Rumble) **3/4

67) Rob Van Dam vs. Al Snow (ECW Hardcore Heaven) ***

66) ECW World Title: Bam Bam Bigelow (c) vs. Shane Douglas (ECW November 2 Remember) ***

65) Light Heavyweight Finals: TAKA Michinoku vs. Brian Christopher (DX) ***

64) WWF Tag Team Championship: The British Bulldog and Owen Hart (c) vs. Furnas and LaFon (WWF Final Four) ***

63) WCW US Title: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Chris Benoit (WCW Spring Stampede) ***

62) WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Starrcade) ***

61) WWF Intercontinental Championship: Owen Hart (c) vs. Steve Austin (WWF SummerSlam) ***

60) Yuji Yasuraoka vs. Rey Mysterio Jr (WCW Slamboree) ***

59) Career vs. Title: WCW Women’s Championship: Akira Hokuto (c) vs. Madusa (WCW Great American Bash) ***

58) Lance Storm vs. Rob Van Dam (ECW Barely Legal) ***

57) ECW TV Title: Taz (c) vs. Chris Candido (ECW Hardcore Heaven) ***

56) Death Match: Meng vs. Chris Benoit (WCW Slamboree) ***

55) Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Nation of Domination vs. Ken Shamrock, Legion of Doom, Ahmed Johnson (WWF Survivor Series) ***

54) Mortis and Wrath vs. Ernest Miller and Glacier (WCW Bash at The Beach) ***

53) WWF Tag Titles: The Headbangers vs. Los Boricuas (WWF One Night Only) ***

52) WCW World Tag Titles: The Outsiders vs. Ric Flair and Roddy Piper (WCW Great American Bash) ***

51) Taz vs. Sabu (ECW Barely Legal) ***

50) The Great Muta and Chono vs. The Steiner Brothers (WCW Bash at The Beach) ***

49) Psychosis vs. Ultimo Dragon (WCW Uncensored) ***

48) WCW Tag Title: The Outsiders (c) vs. The Giant and Lex Luger ***1/4

47) Wrath and Mortis vs. The Faces of Fear (WCW Fall Brawl) ***1/4

46) WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Ultimo Dragon (WCW Bash at The Beach) ***1/4

45) Vader vs. Owen Hart (WWF One Night Only) ***1/4

44) Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (WWF King of The Ring) ***1/4

43) WWF Title: The Undertaker (c) vs. Steve Austin (WWF Cold Day in Hell) ***1/4

42) Career vs Career: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan (WCW Bash at The Beach) ***1/4

41) WCW US Title: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Chris Jericho (WCW SuperBrawl VII) ***1/4

40) WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Dean Malenko (c) vs. Syxx (WCW SuperBrawl VII) ***1/4

39) Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (WWF Revenge of The Taker) ***1/4

38) WWF Title: The Undertaker (c) vs. Bret Hart (WWF SummerSlam) ***1/4

37) San Francisco Death Match: Chris Benoit vs. Kevin Sullivan (WCW SuperBrawl) ***1/4

36) Team WCW vs. Team nWo vs. Team Piper (WCW Uncensored) ***1/4

35) Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Syxx vs. Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Kevin Greene (WCW Slamboree) ***1/4

34) WWF Title: The Undertaker vs. Vader (WWF Canadian Stampede) ***1/4

33) Mankind vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (WWF Canadian Stampede) ***1/2

32) No Holds Barred: Submission or KO: Ken Shamrock vs. Vader (WWF Cold Day in Hell) ***1/2

31) Martial Arts Match: Mortis vs. Glacier (WCW Uncensored) ***1/2

30) Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Dude Love (WWF One Night Only) ***1/2

29) WCW TV Title: Alex Wright (c) vs. Ultimo Dragon (WCW Fall Brawl) ***1/2

28) Psychosis vs. Ultimo Dragon (WCW Great American Bash) ***1/2

27) WWF Title: Bret Hart (c) vs. The Patriot (WWF Ground Zero) ***1/2

26) War Games: Kevin Nash, Syxx, Konnan, Buff Bagwell vs. Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael and Curt Hennig (WCW Fall Brawl) ***1/2

25) WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero (WCW Fall Brawl) ***1/2

24) No DQ Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage (WCW Spring Stampede) ***1/2

23) WCW TV Title: Ultimo Dragon (c) vs. Steven Regal (WCW Slamboree) ***3/4

22) WCW Cruiserweight Championship: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr (WCW World War 3) ***3/4

21) Yuji Nagata vs. Ultimo Dragon (WCW Halloween Havoc) ***3/4

20) Light’s Out Match: Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page (WCW Great American Bash) ***3/4

19) WCW US Title: Ladder Match: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Syxx (WCW Souled Out) ***3/4

18) WWF Title: Bret Hart (c) vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF Survivor Series) ****

17) TAKA Michinoku vs. The Great Sasuke (WWF Canadian Stampede) ****

16) WCW US Title: No DQ: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Dean Malenko (WCW Uncensored) ****

15) Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio Jr (WCW Spring Stampede) ****

14) Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza, Lizmark Jr vs. Vilano IV, Psychosis, La Parka (WCW Bash at The Beach) ****

13) Steel Cage Match: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind (WWF SummerSlam) ****

12) Roddy Piper vs. Ric Flair (WCW Bash at The Beach) ****

11) WWF Championship: Bret Hart (c) vs. The Undertaker (WWF One Night Only) ****

10) WWF Championship: The Undertaker (c) vs. Mankind (WWF Revenge of The Taker) ****

9) Las Vegas Death Match: Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page (WCW Halloween Havoc) ****

8) WWF European Championship: British Bulldog (c) vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF One Night Only) ****1/4

7) Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (WWF Ground Zero) ****1/4

6) Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada, Yakushiji vs. Terry Boy, Dick Togo, and TAKA Michinoku (ECW Barely Legal) ****1/2

5) WWF Championship: Final Four Match: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Vader (WWF Final Four) ****1/2

4) The Hart Foundation vs. Goldust, Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock, Steve Austin (WWF Canadian Stampede) *****

-Austin gets booed out the building, but the smile on his face as he walks down talking trash shows he is having the time of his life. The Hart Foundation get introduced one at a time and the crowd noise is just off the charts and grows with each person. It brings a smile to my face which is good considering I try to forget that 4/5 of this team is no longer with us. Owen is loving the reception he is getting and again, I can’t help but smile. Bret comes out last and very few people will ever be as over at one moment of time as Bret is in this moment. Just insane! I’m exhausted just from the introductions and there is still the match to get to. Bret gives his glasses to his mom and that gives Lawler a chance to crack a joke. JR then crushes him for it! JR brings up that there are cameras at ringside filming a documentary about Bret’s life. Probably nothing of note ever came from that! Not like they would get access to an industry changing event. I’m sure we will never hear of it again and for those curious it’s something about wresting with shadows, or whatever. Let’s move on! This starts the only way it can and that’s with Bret and Austin beating the piss out of each other. Bret wins the initial slugfest and this crowd is again shaking the hard cam. Austin rallies to massive boos, but Bret turns the tide with a clothesline. Headbutt from Bret and an inverted atomic drop followed by another clothesline. Bret rakes Austin’s face on the ropes, but a mule kick to the balls turns things to Austin’s favor. He stomps a mud hole in the corner as we may have a riot on our hands. Million Dollar Dream and Bret knows how to reverse that, but Austin is hip to that this time and lets go of the hold to kick out. Nice play of their Survivor Series 96 match. Bret makes a tag to The Anvil and Austin ducks a clothesline leading to a Thesz Press. Shamrock gets the tag and Anvil wants to square off MMA Style. Good luck with that as Shamrock lands a head kick and goes to the ankle lock. Pillman breaks that up with the biggest smile on his face. Anvil delivers some forearms, but Shamrock blocks a hiptoss and gets a roll into a pin for two. Pillman gets the tag and Shamrock takes him down rather easily. Pillman goes to the eyes and gets the biggest cheers of his life. He fires off chops in the corner and it’s kind of weird seeing Pillman work in a WWF ring because it didn’t happen often sadly. Shamrock bounces out of the corner with a clothesline and hits a belly to belly suplex. Pillman bails and tags Owen, so Shamrock tags Goldust. The crowd really loves Owen! Goldust hits a backdrop, but Owen gets the enziguiri for two. Goldust back with the 10 punch in the corner as the crowd starts a thundering “Austin Sucks” chant. Hawk gets the tag and he drops a fist on Owen. He comes off top with a splash after nearly slipping off the top rope. Dropkick is avoided and Owen goes for a Sharpshooter, but Animal stops that. Bulldog gets a tag and hits a delayed suplex to an amazing pop. Basically everything is getting incredible pops or massive heat. This is just other worldly! Bret and Goldust end up in the ring and Goldust wants to play some mind games. JR mentions this is the son of Dusty Rhodes sizing up the son of Stu Hart. Nice! Goldust gets hung in the Tree of Woe and gets mauled by the Hart Foundation. That brings in everyone else and again, just chaos with crazy heat. In case you didn’t know this crowd thinks Austin Sucks. Owen in and he misses a charge in the corner, but gets a spinning heel kick on Animal. Missile dropkick follows. Animal catches Owen on a rana and turns it into a powerbomb. Powerslam sets up The Doomsday Device, but Anvil makes the save. Everyone starts brawling again and Austin wraps Owen’s knee around the post. He uses a chair for good measure. Bruce Hart tries to grab Austin and gets decked for it. Bret makes the save, but Owen is hurt and gets helped to the back. This crowd really hates Austin now. No matter as he goes to work on Anvil. Austin gets caught in the wrong corner though and this blood thirsty crowd loves seeing him get beat 4 on 1. Austin and Pillman have a go for old time’s sake. Pillman gets his pants pulled down just because and eats a Stunner, but Bret saves and wraps Austin’s knee around the ring post. He gets more creative than Austin though and uses a fire extinguisher. Ring Post Figure Four for good measure and Bulldog stomps Austin as well. Austin crawls to his corner and tags Hawk. He hits a slam on Bulldog, but gets crotched heading to the top rope. Austin gets helped to the back to even things at 4 a side. Animal and Anvil in and they hook it up for a Test of Strength. Animal gets the early advantage, but Anvil lands a kick to take control. Classic double team from The OG Hart Foundation in a wonderful touch! Bret sets too early on a backdrop and gets kicked in the chest. Shamrock looks for a submission but plays around looking for fan approval, so Pillman comes in with a clothesline. Shamrock got Bret on the ground, but Bret begs off and Shamrock lets him up. Big mistake as Bret suckers him in and tosses him to the floor. Pillman sends him into the railing and everyone starts fighting everyone again. Someone eats the stairs as Bret gets a Side Russian Leg Sweep for two as Goldust makes the save. Pillman and Hawk fight on the floor as Bulldog pounds away on Shamrock in the corner with aggression we haven’t seen in years from him. Shamrock goes low and makes the tag to Goldust. He gets a bulldog on The Bulldog. Curtain Call is stopped by Pillman, who is the low key MVP of this one for all his great timing with these saves. That man is having the time of his life out there and I am here for it! Superplex from Bulldog gets two as Hawk makes the save. The boos increase as Austin limps back to his corner. The race is on and tags are made to Austin and Bret as they have another go. This time Austin stomps a mud hole and Bret takes his sternum first bump into the corner. Suplex gets two! Bret catches Austin with a neckbreaker and drops an elbow from the middle ropes for two. Sleeper, but Austin escapes with a jawbreaker for two. Bret gets a spinebuster and hooks The Sharpshooter, but Animal saves. This is like every tag match in every wrestling video game as you can’t get a pin due to someone always making a save. Now Owen gets to be the biggest baby face who ever faced as he limps down to the ring. He gets the tag and brawls with Austin on the floor. Bruce gets involved and Austin grabs Stu for fun. Austin gets attacked by two Harts and it should be a DQ, but that ref wouldn’t get out alive. Austin gets rolled back in the ring and Owen gets a roll-up for the win at 24:32. The pop is so loud you can’t even hear the bell.

Winners: The Hart Foundation via pin at 24:32
-Very few matches have ever had the crowd reaction and heat that this one had. It doesn’t carry the historical significance of Rock/Hogan, Cena/RVD at One Night Stand, or Cena/Punk at MITB, but it was on the same tier as them as far as crowd reaction. The match itself was a wonderful piece of business as everyone got some shine and the 25 minutes flew by. Add everything up and this was incredible.

3) WCW Cruiserweight Championship vs. Mask: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr (WCW Halloween Havoc) *****

-Here we go!  Eddie is the ultimate dick heel coming into this one and Rey is rocking his famous Phantom gear.  This match is rather famous and let’s see how it holds up.  The crowd immediately starts a loud “Eddie Sucks” chant.  Eddie talks shit to start and takes a wild swing that misses.  Rey goes for a quebrada, but gets caught so he turns it into an arm drag.  They start flying all over the place and Eddie ends up on the floor.  Rey looks to fly, but tries a fake and lands on the apron, so Eddie just pulls him off by the legs and tosses him into the stairs.  He hits a sweet slingshot senton back in the ring and the crowd is pissed.  Rey back with a perfectly placed dropkick, but he tries a handspring and gets caught with a belly to back suplex.  Tenay tells us Rey is 8-0 in matches where his mask is on the line.  Sick looking tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two for Eddie.  Eddie tears at the mask to be a bigger dick.  He hooks an abdominal stretch and tears at the mask again.  He lifts Rey up and drops him back first on his knee and that gets two.  Eddie tries to hold Rey’s shoulders down and gets two.  Another try and again a two count.  Rey fights off his back and gets to his feet, springs to the ropes and backflips into a DDT.  THAT IS INSANE!  Dropkick sends Eddie to the floor, but Eddie is one step ahead as he rushes back into the ring and dropkicks Rey off the apron.  He heads back out and sends Rey into the security rail.  Back in Eddie goes to a camel clutch and tears at the mask.  Eddie releases and gets a Gory Special.  Rey turns it into an arm drag, but Eddie is right back on him with a basement dropkick to the neck.  Nasty!  He drops Rey with a shoulder breaker and hooks a modified bow and arrow on the mat.  Tenay is just spouting off all kinds of history and Heenan wants him to tell him something he doesn’t know.  I appreciate the history which is helping the story of this match and the importance of the stakes.  They battle in the corner as Rey fires back with right hands and chops.  Eddie cuts him off again and tosses him to The Tree of Woe.  Eddie with a dropkick, but Rey lifts himself up and Eddie slides balls first into the ring post.  Good thing for him it was padded by Slim Jim.  Rey off the top over the post onto Eddie.  He fires him back inside where Eddie tries another tilt-a-whirl, but Rey lands on his feet and snaps off a rana for two.  The crowd is rocking with them now!  Rey gets a version of what would become the 6-1-9 and turns it into a head scissors that sends Eddie to the floor.  REY SOMERSAULTS OVER THE TOP ONTO EDDIE AND TURNS THAT INTO A RANA!  UNREAL!  Back in the ring Rey gets a corkscrew moonsault followed by a slam and tries a split legged moonsault, but Eddie blocks with his knees.  Eddie powerbombs the piss out of Rey, but it only gets two.  “Eddie Sucks.”  That powerbomb was awesome!  Eddie charges and gets alley-ooped into the top buckle.  Spinwheel kick from Rey and he sets for the springboard rana, but Eddie catches him on the way down with a backbreaker.  Frogsplash is missed, but Eddie sets Rey up top.  He gets an elbow and looks for a top rope Razor’s Edge, but Rey turns it into a rana on the way down and hooks the legs for the pin and title at 13:51. 

Winner and New WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio via pin at 13:51

-I mean, what can you say about this one?  It’s still awesome and they do things that still haven’t been done twenty-five years later.  Both men spent years trying to match this and that’s an insanely high bar to reach.  Still awesome and the 1997 Match of the Year for WCW

2) #1 Contender’s Hell in a Cell Match: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (WWF Badd Blood) *****

-The story is simple: SHAWN CAN’T RUN!  TAKER IS PISSED!  SHAWN IS SCREWED!  The refs and Slaughter padlock the door as Shawn tries to bargain his way out.  Great facials from Shawn as it sinks in and he looks terrified.  Taker just calmly walks around the ring like stalking his prey. Shawn has no choice but to get back in the ring and Taker catches him with a big boot to the face. To the corner as Shawn starts bouncing all over the place, which again, proves his point when he stated he always sold like that against bigger guys. Taker with a goozle, but Shawn fights back because he knows he has no other choice at this point. He gets a flurry of offense, but Taker reverses a whip and Shawn pinballs out of the corner into a right hand for two. Old School which sends Shawn flying across the ring. Headbutt from Taker and he chokes with his boot. Legdrop from Taker gets two. Big backdrop as Shawn nearly hit the roof of the cage with his feet. The pummeling continues as Taker tosses Shawn over the top to the floor where his feet hit the cage on the way down. Someone in the front row wants Taker to make Shawn bleed and to “choke the shit out of him.” Shawn gets a thumb to the eye and tries to climb, but he has nowhere to go. Taker whips Shawn into the cell wall and catches him with a clothesline on the rebound. Nice! Taker decides to do it again because why not? Taker looks for a powerbomb, but Shawn grabs the cell to land some punches. It has no effect though as Taker just rams Shawn back first over and over again into the cell. To the stairs and then some heavy body shots as Shawn is getting beaten around every side of this Cell. Great spot as Taker bounces Shawn back first off the post and into the Cell and back and forth. This is wonderful! Shawn avoids being javelined into the Cell, but Taker just casually mows him down with a clothesline. Another trip into the stairs and then the point of the elbow to Shawn’s face. It’s just one of those days for Shawn! Shawn sent back into the Cell but ducks a clothesline and finally gets some kind of advantage as the crowd boos. They really hate this man! Shawn heads into the ring and catches Taker with rights as he gets up on the apron. The crowd boos which means that’s enough offense for Shawn as Taker drops him throat first on the top rope. Shawn beats Taker to his feet and knocks him off the apron into the Cell. Suicide Dive from Shawn sends both men into the Cell. Shawn climbs so he can drop an elbow. He continues on the offense as he uses the ring stairs. Shawn hits a sick piledriver on the ring stairs that sounded amazing. He then cusses out a nearby cameraman as things are a little crowed on the floor when they are near. Shawn heads up top and comes off with a double axe to Taker on the floor. Shawn heads outside and finds a chair which gets a great reaction from the crowd. He blasts Taker in the back and again, this crowd is pissed. Another shot to the back gets two. Taker starts firing back with right hands, but Shawn cuts him off and ties Taker in the ropes like Andre The Giant. Shawn gets too close though and gets caught with a boot to the face. He charges again and gets backdropped to the floor on top of a “cameraman.” Shawn loses it and punches the guy in the face and stomps his head as JR and Vince lose their mind on commentary. Great spot as they set it up through the match and it plays into Shawn’s known history of losing his temper in matches. It also sets up what’s next as a photographer inside The Cell asks for help. Back in the ring Shawn gets a flying forearm and is getting a bit cocky now. He drops the Macho elbow from the top (as JR makes sure to say nobody has in the WWF has ever done that move as well as Shawn Michaels….no JR). Shawn’s tunes up the band and Sweet Chin Music connects, but Taker sits-up and Shawn freaks the fuck out. He bails to the floor and gets out of the cage as the door was open to get the injured cameraman out. That is genius! Taker follows and slingshots Shawn into the cage and we have blood. Shawn is pouring blood as he gets ran face first into the Cell. Taker does it again, but Shawn gets desperate and l29ands a low blow. Shawn is out of options at this point and opts to climb the cage to get away from Taker and now we have magic! Taker follows as the crowd explodes! INJECT ALL THIS IN MY VEINS! Shawn tries a piledriver, but Taker backdrops out and that goes better for him than it did for Foley 2.5 years later. Shawn’s blood drips from the roof onto the lens of a camera in the ring and we get an audible “ah shit,” from the cameraman. Press Slam from on the roof and the crowd is losing it! Shawn tries to climb down the cage, but Taker steps on his hands and Shawn falls off the Cell and crashes through the Spanish Announce Table! HELL YEAH! JR lets us know that Shawn may be broken in half. Shawn is still breathing so Taker follows down and tosses Shawn onto the French announce table and then back onto what is left of the Spanish Announce Table. Taker beats the fire out of Shawn until they are back inside the Cell. JR is basically writing Shawn’s obituary at this point. Taker gets a Super Chokeslam off the top rope. Shawn’s still not dead so Taker gets a chair from under the ring. How poetic as he unloads with a crazy chair shot to the skill of Shawn. That is sick! Tombstone, but the lights go out and it’s Paul Bearer with the debut of Kane! Kane rips the Cell door off the hinges and has a stare down (the first of man) with his brother. Kane sets off his now famous pyro which leaves the crowd gasping. Kane lands a strike and hits a rough Tombstone (he would get better) as the crowd is not happy. Shawn crawls from out of a pool of his blood to get an arm on Taker for the pin at 29:59.

Winner: Shawn Michaels via pin at 29:59
-This is one of the greatest matches of all time and set the stage for what we expect from a Hell in a Cell Match. It was the first and is still the best one which is saying something beause there have been great ones. I didn’t say most famous one, but the best one. The story was amazing as it was straight out of a horror movie and even the ending worked as it took a monster to save Shawn. The stuff with setting up the cameraman spot and how it was a creative way out of the Cell is also amazing. Obviously a must watch match where 30 minutes will fly by.

1) Submission Match: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (WWF WrestleMania 13) *****

-Special Ref: Ken Shamrock

-They debut the kick ass shattering glass entrance for Austin here. Vince never mentions the UFC, but instead keeps calling it the Ultimate Fighting World. The crowd is pretty split as the match starts, but that would change shortly. No lock-up or stare down here as they just beat the hell out of each other to start the match. The fight heads to the floor, and they don’t let up one bit. Austin gets posted, but Bret gets dropped on the guard rail crotch first. Advantage Austin I would say. They fight over the railing and head through the crowd. This is just an intense, hate filled brawl and we are only two minutes into the match. Bret gets tossed into the hockey boards, but he fires back with some right hands. They head off the arena floor and up the steps through the crowd. Austin tries a piledriver, but gets back dropped down a few of the stairs. Ouch! They work back through the crowd, and make it back to the ringside area. Bret comes off the rail with a forearm as the crowd is popping like crazy. They haven’t seen anything yet. Austin regains the advantage after firing Bret into the ring steps. Austin flips him off, and hits a clothesline from the ring apron. Austin tries to use the steps, but Bret is able to land a boot to the mid-section. Now it’s Bret’s turn to get posted. They finally end up back in the ring, and Austin is in control. He makes the mistake of setting too early, and Bret snaps off a neck breaker. Vince says Bret will have an excuse if he loses this match. Awesome! Bret smartly goes after the injured knee of Austin and targets the big ass knee brace. Smart plan, I’d say. Austin gets out of the way off a move and snaps off the Stunner. It does no good though since there are no pin falls. Austin can’t capitalize though, and Bret locks in the ring post figure four to a huge pop. I appreciate the constant trash talking between the two as it adds to the hatred of the match. Bret grabs the ring bell, but stops because a chair looks better. He tries to Pillmanize the ankle, but he basically gave Austin a weapon and that’s never a smart move. Austin kills Bret with two chair shots much to the crowd’s delight, and now he is in control. He works the injured back of Bret with a snap suplex. JR mentions this match isn’t about posing or covering a bald spot. Funny that the man he is talking about ended up getting a run as the WWE champion years after the Austin and Hart had their last reigns. Austin sinks in a Boston crab to continue the damage on the back. Bret is able to get to the ropes, but that shouldn’t matter. Shamrock makes Austin break though. Austin decides to be a smart ass and go for the sharpshooter, but Bret breaks. Lawler says it would be great if Bret had to give up to his own move, and Vince mentions that it could happen. Damn and Montreal was still 7 months away. The brawl heads back to the floor and Austin gets whipped into the guard rail. This is where his head gets split, and we got some blood flowing now. Bret continues to be a merciless bastard as he pounds away at the open wound. The crowd pops huge at the site of the massive blade job. Bret starts to go through his patented Five Moves of Doom, but decides to grab a chair instead of applying the sharpshooter. He kills the knee of Austin with the chair and now goes for the sharpshooter. Austin is able to stop that with a rake to the face, and a well placed kick to the balls stops Bret cold. Bret takes his trademark corner bumps, and Austin stomps a mud hole in the corner. He gives Bret the double bird, and sets hip on the top rope for the superplex. That leaves both men down as Austin is now wearing the crimson mask. Austin recovers first and grabs some electrical cord. He starts choking Bret, but the ring bell comes into play as Hart clobbers Austin. Now we get the sharpshooter and one of the most famous finishes in wrestling history. Austin fights off the sharpshooter while the blood pours down his face and into his mouth. Sweet! The crowd has lost their minds at this point as Austin starts to fade. A massive Austin chant gives him a rush of adrenaline and he is able to power out, or so it seems. Hart still has the hold applied and just sits right back down. Shamrock keeps checking on Austin, but he won’t submit. Finally he passes out and Shamrock has no choice but to stop the match at 22:05. McMahon puts Austin over as the gutsiest man he’s ever seen. We aren’t done yet though because Bret isn’t finished. He attacks the knee to major boos from the crowd. Shamrock tosses Bret to a huge pop and the crowd wants to see them go. Bret says hell with that and walks away to a loud chorus of boos from the crowd. Austin gets medical attention, but is having none of that and stuns a ref. He walks out under his own power to a great reaction from the crowd, and that’s your double turn.

Winner: Bret Hart via ref stoppage at 22:05
-This is by far one of the most historic matches in wrestling history with one of the most famous finishes ever. This is the match that made Steve Austin, and started the downfall of Bret Hart (though nobody knew it at the time). Just an intense, hate filled classic that goes down as one of the greatest matches ever.

-The top 3 matches are always mention when talking about Match of the Year for 1997 and I give the edge to Bret/Austin because of the historical nature of the match. It just edges out Shawn/Taker but I can certainly see why someone would pick Hell in a Cell. This was a fun trip down memory lane and I want to thank everyone for the comments as we ran each PPV from 1997. Thanks for reading!