’97 IYH Revenge of the Taker Review: April 20


World Tag Team Championship
LOD def. Owen Hart & the British Bulldog (c) by DQ
Bret interferes and attacks Hawk after a Doomsday Device. I am a bit shocked at how I continue to grow disinterested/replused with the Legion of Doom when they are on TV.

Intercontinental Championship
Savio Vega def. Rocky Maivia (c) by Countout
Crush attacks Maivia behind the referee’s back leading to Maivia getting counted out. Savio is upset with Crush for costing him the title. Faarooq separates the two and they stomp down Rocky Maivia. Ahmed Johnson comes down and makes the save. Ahmed accepts the challenge of NOD. Ahmed says he’ll take on the illegal immigrant, the convict and Faarooq’s black a**. Ahmed says “You say I’m crazy, well I am crazy and I’ll fight you all on the same night.” You can’t criticize Ahmed for sounding scripted when he’s yelling with all his might.

Marc Mero is backstage and provides and update on his knee as it appears everyone is going down with knee injuries. Sable also thanks the fans for being Miss Slammy 97. As you can see she is more the focus in this segment than her husband. There is noise coming from the men’s room and agents and referees go in and out. Eventually we see Owen and Bulldog leaving with weapons and one agents says they attacked Austin.

Jesse James def. Rockabilly
The debut of Rockabilly with no reaction and terrible theme music. Honky Tonk Man says he was convinced after Rockabilly punched him,

Kevin Kelly is with Steve Austin after his attack. Austin is irate and says he’ll fight tonight. Monsoon say he’s rearranged the match ups and the championship match will go on next to buy Austin some time. I liked this logical explanation for why your championship bout wasn’t going to close the show. They interview Owen and Bulldog and Bulldog says Austin attacked Owen. Owen says Austin interrupted their match celebration. I love that their stories didn’t line up. Bret gets serious and simply asks “Who’s crying now?”

WWE Championship
The Undertaker def. Mankind
A bizarre video package leading into the match. This match was just a physical brawl. A good false finish as Paul Bearer is on the apron and Undertaker grabs him and Mankind nails the Undertaker with the urn for a two count. The sequence to end was tremendous. Mankind gets his head caught as the top and middle rope tie him up. Undertaker removes Mankind’s mask. Undertaker grabs the steel steps already in the ring and slams them into Mankind sending him flying and Mankind ends up going head first through the announce table. Undertaker tosses him back in the ring and hits a chokeslam but this only gets a two count. Undertaker hits a tombstone after this and gets the win to retain the WWE Championship. Post match is a bit awkward. Undertaker nails both Bearer and Mankind. It looked like Mankind was going to burn the Undertaker again and the plan was Undertaker to toss Bearer into the flame. Mankind can’t get the flammable paper to light and so Undertaker buys time with punches. Undertaker eventually grabs the lighter and after a few tries finally gets it to work and set a blaze to Bearer’s face. Bearer covers up with his suit coat and leaves with Mankind.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin def. Bret Hart by DQ
A good Hart pre-match promo saying he’s going to maim and cripple Austin. We see footage of Bearer being stretchered out prior to this match. This was a good match but any rematch of a classic just isn’t the same. Austin applies the Sharpshooter on Hart in a call back to how Austin passed out at Wrestlemania. Bulldog and Owen try to interfere but are held back. Bulldog eventually gets through and hits Austin for the DQ.

Overall I thought this was an okay show. A lot of stupid conclusions to every match except the WWE Championship but that match had an awkward post-match burning. It is great to see Steve Austin’s ascent to superstardom!


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