’97 IYH: A Cold Day in Hell Review: May 11

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I thought this was a pretty standard WWE pay-per-view with average to good matches. It is incredible to go back and see a card that included: Triple H, Mick Foley, the Rock, the Undertaker and Steve Austin all competing on it.

Hunter Hearst Helmsley def. Flash Funk
A little assistance from Chyna in this one as the addition of Chyna continues to help Hunter ascend, much like how Maryse has helped the Miz in 2017.

Mankind def. Rocky Maivia
This match was originally supposed to be Mankind versus Sycho Sid but the Rock became the replacement. Of course these two would go on to have an incredible feud later in 1999 but it was cool to see this match in their early careers. Maivia cuts a promo prior to the match saying perhaps it was too much too soon for him in his young career but it isn’t about his destiny but his determination; a generic promo proving that Maivia needed more attitude. Ross notes that in the RAW Magazine they bring up that Mankind is in fact a loving father and JR says “A father of what?” CC: Noelle Foley. Maivia hits a rock bottom (still not called that) on Mankind on the steel ramp. At the match’s conclusion, Maivia attempts a cross body but Mankind manages to sink in the Mandible Claw as they both hit the mat and Maivia passes out as Mankind picks up the victory.

Gauntlet Match
Nation of Domination def. Ahmed Johnson
JC Ice and Wolfie D rap noticeably off key during the NOD’s entrance. Ahmed has a good line prior to the match saying the issue is between him and Faarooq but he brought the other two to the dance so let them dance. Ahmed starts off first for Crush so I certainly tuned out. He defeats him. Next is Savio Vega. Vega is being dominated (forgive the pun) so he intelligently uses a steel chair to soften up Johnson for the final man as Vega is disqualified. Faarooq who had a fake arm injury takes advantage and surprisingly (albeit logically) capitalizes and defeats Johnson as the NOD remain intact and Johnson doesn’t overcome the odds.

Ken Shamrock def. Vader by submission
I was interested to see these two go at it. The template for how to do MMA vs. WWE Superstar would come 16 years later as Brock Lesnar squared off against John Cena in 2013. The ropes hurt this match as they had to break the holds every time one man would be pushed against the ropes which happened often in this one. Eventually it just became a wrestling match. I believe Shamrock broke the nose of Vader in this one prior to applying the Ankle Lock for the win.

WWE Championship
The Undertaker def. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
The Hart Foundation have finally arrived and now taken their seats in the front row. The first opportunity Austin has he exits the ring and drags Owen over the barricade and nails him. Undertaker comes for Austin and sends him shoulder first into the steel steps. Undertaker sends Owen back over the barricade with a shot of his own and punches the Bulldog for good measure. King notes “They are attacking our fans!”. The match picks up in the final sequences. Pillman hops the barricade and makes his way to the time keeper’s area. He rings the bell prematurely as Austin had just covered the Undertaker after a Stunner. Referee Earl Hebner admonishes Pillman as he stopped the count at 2. Austin reverses a tombstone attempt by the Undertaker but the Undertaker then reverses and drops Austin right on his head. This wouldn’t be the last time Austin is dropped on his head but this is equally as gruesome to see. Undertaker picks up the victory here but the Hart Foundation immediately rush the ring and attack him. Austin sees Bret alone and tips him over in his wheelchair. Austin and Undertaker clear the ring of the Hart Foundation and Undertaker chokeslams Owen. Austin then stuns the Undertaker and stares down the Hart Foundation. Undertaker eventually gets up and makes his way to the back as the show ends.

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