Saturday, January 10, 2015

WWF House Show 6/28/1997

With WCW holding a show in Inglewood, the WWF puts on as strong a show they possibly can in Anaheim as WWF World Champion the Undertaker defends against Steve Austin and Bret Hart in the main event.
World Wrestling Federation House Show 
Date: 6/28/1997
From: Anaheim, CA

Opening Contest: Flash Funk vs. Rockabilly: Billy drops Funk with a shoulder block early on in the contest and taunts the fans. Funk sends Billy to the floor but doesn’t follow up with the advantage. Funk comes off the top rope to take Billy down with an arm drag and continues to focus his offense on the left arm. Funk runs not a big boot in the corner and Billy drives Funk face first down to the canvas for a near fall. On the floor, Billy knocks Funk off his feet with a clothesline and follows up with a snap suplex on the outside! Funk avoids a splash in the corner and begins to battle back into the contest. Flash nearly wins with a spinning heel kick. Funk goes to the top and hits a cross body but Billy kicks out at two. Honky Tonk gets on the apron and nearly collides with Billy and Funk almost wins with a rollup. Billy plants Funk with a tornado DDT and gets the three count. (**. The fans were tricked a few times on the near falls by Funk and seemed to be interested in the match. It was an alright way to kick off the house show.) 

Second Contest: Kama & Faarooq vs. The New Blackjacks: All four men are in the ring brawling with Bradshaw and Faarooq being the legal men. Bradshaw runs over Faarooq with a clothesline and Windham tags in to maintain control of the match. Kama enters the match and neither him or Windham go down after a shoulder block collision. Windham backdrops Kama over the top to the floor but doesn’t follow up. Faarooq tags back into the match to try his luck with the Blackjacks. Bradshaw is sent to the floor by Faarooq and Kama gets a few shots in with the referee distracted in the ring. Windham comes over and saves Bradshaw but his partner continues to be worked over. Bradshaw rams Faarooq face first into the canvas and tries to make the tag but Kama cuts him off. Bradshaw has Faarooq on his shoulders and falls backwards to hit an electric chair slam. Kama gets tagged in to prevent a tag. Kama looks for a splash from the middle rope but misses it. Windham gets tagged in and he cleans house with scoop slams. Windham clotheslines Kama for a two count. All four men are brawling with Windham going for a superplex on Kama but Faarooq low blows him and Kama gets the win. (*. Well, that pretty much sucked. The finish was rather weak and the action given was lackluster.)

Third Contest: Jim Neidhart vs. Ken Shamrock: Neidhart ducks a high kick but not a leg sweep so he bails to the floor to stall. Ken takes Jim down with a fireman’s carry and maintains having control of the match. Neidhart hammers away on Shamrock but can’t hit a hip toss. Ken almost gets a win with a rollup. Jim works over Shamrock in the corner with a few strikes. Jim pulls Shamrock up by the head only to slam him back down a couple of times and hit a scoop slam. Neidhart goes to the middle rope but misses a big splash. Ken battles back with strikes in the corner and hits a standing hurricanrana! Shamrock quickly locks in the ankle lock and gets a submission. (1/2*. Yeah, Neidhart has never been a good singles wrestler. The fans are totally into Shamrock who has good ability already so early into his career.)

Fourth Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Owen Hart & WWF European Champion Davey Boy Smith vs. Legion of Doom vs. The Godwinns: Owen and Bulldog go right after Henry and Phineas but get ran over by Legion of Doom. All six men are brawling in the ring with Animal getting double teamed and Hawk working over Phineas. Animal runs over the Godwinns with a double clothesline. The referee isn’t even trying to get any order to the match. Henry slams Owen for a near fall. Henry is sent to the floor by Hawk and Animal nearly pins Owen. On the floor, Henry sent Hawk into the railing but Hawk came charging back with a clothesline. Henry dumps the slop bucket on Owen! Animal whacks Henry with the buckey! Owen pins Henry to get the pin. (1/2*. What a disappointment of a match that turned out to be. Had there been some kind of order to the match it would have been an acceptable match but it was just all six men brawling for five minutes or so. I’m quite disappointed with the delivery of that match.) 

Fifth Contest: Goldust vs. Vader: Early on, Vader shoves Goldust down to the canvas and gets on the microphone to rip on Goldust. Vader misses a sit down splash and Goldust hits a back suplex before hammering away on Vader in the corner with ten punches. Vader stops Goldust with a stiff clothesline and drops an elbow to the lower midsection of Goldust. Vader splashes Goldust in the corner and quickly hits a slam and goes to the middle rope. Goldust gets up and low blows Vader after Vader shoved the referee away. Goldust comes off the ropes with a clothesline and hammers away on Vader in the corner. Paul Bearer is on the apron but Goldust moves and goes to slam Vader but can’t do it and Vader lands on top for the win. (*. There was some decent action going in the match but it didn’t get a lot of time to really get anywhere of top quality. These two had some good matches three years prior in WCW so they are known to work well together. Yet again, another disappointing match.) 

Sixth Contest: Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind: HHH knocks Mankind down and taunts the fans. Mankind backs HHH into a corner and decks him with a right hand. Mankind ducks a clothesline and backdrops HHH and yanks HHH around by the hair to maintain control of the contest. Mankind works over HHH’s arm and yanks on the arm across his shoulder a few times. Mankind sends HHH to the floor and goes out to follow. Mankind is on the middle rope looking to elbow drop HHH on the floor but HHH runs away to avoid it. HHH fights back with a knee to the face and punches Mankind to the floor. On the floor, Mankind sends Hunter into the ring post shoulder first. HHH gets on the apron but is punched back to the floor by Mankind. Hunter attempts a sunset flip from the apron but Mankind blocks it only to be punched by Chyna. Mankind rolls to the floor and begins to stalk Chyna. Mankind punches HHH as he jumped off the apron. HHH sends Mankind into the ring steps to continue his control of the bout. Chyna is distracting the referee to allow Hunter working over Mankind. Back in the ring, HHH has an abdominal stretch on Mankind. Hunter uses the ropes for leverage until the referee sees it and Hunter shoves the referee, who shoves back and gets in Hunter’s face in the corner! Mankind fights back and hammers away on Hunter. HHH goes for the Pedigree but Mankind blocks it only to be kicked into a corner and falls onto Hunter’s groin! Mankind pummels HHH in the corner and delivers a running knee strike in the corner. HHH flips in the corner and gets stuck upside down to allow Mankind to hit a forearm drop. Mankind plants HHH with a double arm DDT but Chyna distracts the referee to allow HHH to kick out at two on the cover. Mankind clotheslines himself and HHH over the top to the floor and tries to use a chair but fails at doing so. The referee prevents HHH from using a chair and appears to have injured his leg doing so. Mankind crotches HHH on the top and Chyna enters to attack Mankind and causes a disqualification. (**1/2. A fine match between these two as they worked well but the non-finish is kind of lame. They kept it simple and didn’t do too much, but just enough to put forth a fine live event match for the crowd.) After the match, Mankind puts the mandible claw on HHH!

Main Event: WWF World Champion The Undertaker vs. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin: Taker gets double teamed in the corner as the Hart Foundation came out to distract Taker. Hart and Austin join forces to work over the champ in the corner for a period of time. Taker is on the floor fighting the Hart Foundation while Austin low blows Hart in the ring and goes to the top rope. Hart crotches Austin and yanks him off the top. Taker is really focusing on brawling with the Hart Foundation. Taker works over Austin in the corner and hammers away on Hart as well. Austin comes back with a series of strikes but Taker knocks Austin off his feet. Hart works over Taker in the corner with a few stomps in the corner. Hart hit a snap suplex on Austin and goes over to Taker to rake his eyes over the top rope. Hart atomic drops Austin but is stopped by Taker with a boot and comes off the top rope to come across Bret’s left arm. Austin works over the champ in the corner while Hart recovered in the opposite corner. Hart comes over and rams Austin into the corner. Austin sends Bret hard into the corner but is soon met with a choke slam from Taker who goes for the cover but Hart is given chair and whacks Taker over the back, but there isn’t a disqualification for that. Hart puts the Sharpshooter on Austin right in the middle of the ring! Austin holds on long enough for Taker to break the hold. Taker knocks the Hart Foundation off the apron and Austin hits the Stunner for a near fall as Hart broke the cover up. Austin hits the Stunner on Bret! Austin takes care of the Hart Foundation and is sent to the floor by Taker. Hart rolls Taker up for a near fall and collides with Austin on the apron. Taker is up and choke slams Bret to get the three and retain the title. (***. For a match that got just over nine minutes, I thought these three put on a fine match for a live event. Now, had they gotten double the time I’m sure it would have been a classic, but that’s too much to ask for on a house show, lets be realistic about that. A clean finish as well is always the right call for house shows.)

Final Thoughts: Well, there were a few disappointments on this show but the last two matches really left me satisfied with viewing it. It’s an average show with a couple of entertaining matches to close the event and makeup for a lackluster undercard.

For more house show reviews, head over to WRESTLING RECAPS!

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