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 411mania » Wrestling » Video Reviews

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From The Network- WWF at Madison Square Garden 3-16-97
Posted by Dylan Diot on 06.13.2014



WWF at Madison Square Garden
3-16-97
New York City, NY


Your hosts are Jim Ross and Jim Cornette.

After a five year hiatus, the WWF brought back live wrestling on the MSG Network a week before Wrestlemania XIII. This is a concept I wish they would bring back.

The Sultan w/Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund vs. Flash Funk w/Funkettes
Sultan attacks to start and he knocks Flash down a few times. Sultan rakes Flash’s face across the ropes and Flash fights back. Superkick by Flash and a second one knocks Sultan to the floor. Back in, Sultan knocks Flash down and they go to the test of strength. Flash with an arm drag taking Sultan off the top and he hits some dropkicks. Superkick by Sultan and he hits a gutwrench gutbuster for 2. Sleeper by Sultan but Flash fights out. Saito suplex by Flash and he goes up. Twisting splash off the top by Flash gets 2. Flash goes up again and hits a summersault legdrop. He covers but the Iron Sheik distracts the ref. Flash goes up and dives onto Backlund on the floor!!! Back in, Sultan counters a hurricanrana into a powerbomb. Camel Clutch by Sultan and Flash gives.
Winner- The Sultan ** ( Decent way to kick off the show. Flash showcased his aerial ability and Sultan got nice win heading into his Intercontinental Title match at Wrestlemania.)

The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas Godwinn) vs. The New Blackjacks (Blackjack Bradshaw and Blackjack Windham)
The Blackjacks attack to start and the Godwinns come back with clotheslines. Press slam by Henry to Windham and he tags Phineas. Bradshaw also gets the tag and Phineas hits a backdrop. Tag to Henry and he slams Phineas onto Bradshaw for 2. Back elbow by Henry gets 2. Big boot by Bradshaw and Windham tags in. Henry blocks a suplex attempt and reverses into his own for 2. Tag to Phineas and he goes after Bradshaw in the corner, allowing Windham to attack. Tag to Bradshaw and they hit a double shoulder block. Corner clotheslines by Bradshaw and he covers for 2. Tag to Windham and he hits a boot to the head for 2. Phineas tries to fight back but Windham pokes the eye and hits a Saito suplex for 2. Tag to Bradshaw and he goes to the Cravat. Phineas fights out and he hits a back suplex. Backdrop by Phineas and tags Henry. He hits some rights and hits a clothesline on Bradshaw. Henry cleans house and Bradshaw leaps off the top but Henry catches him with a powerslam for 2. Belly to belly suplex by Henry gets 2. Henry hits the Slop Drop but the ref is distracted by Phineas, allowing Windham to break it up and cover Henry for 3.
Winners- The New Blackjacks ** ( Rough and rugged tag match but it was better than you would image this match would be. )

Bret Hart comes out and claims that Psycho Sid has lucked out two times against him. He claims Steel Cage matches are his specialty and he compares Steve Austin to a lion. He is the hyena that will rip Austin to shreds. He promises to rip Austin’s legs apart.

Aldo Montoya vs. Crush w/Nation of Domination
Montoya grabs a sleeper on Crush but Crash powers out. He hammers away and goes for a suplex but Montoya escapes. DDT by Montoya and he goes up. Crossbody off the top by Montoya gets 2. Crush presses Montoya to the mat and he hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Heart Punch by Crush gets 3.
Winner- Crush * (This was a squash, but a spirited squash none the less.)

After the match, the Nation continues to beat down Montoya but Ahmed Johnson chases them away with a 2x4.

Ahmed Johnson vs. Savio Vega w/Nation of Domination
Before the match, Vega tells Johnson that he hasn’t gotten title matches because he’s a man of color. If he was white with blond hair, he would be getting more opportunities. He tries to recruit Ahmed into the Nation of Domination but Johnson attacks instead. Back elbow by Johnson and he hits a backdrop. Johnson charges in the corner but misses and hits the post shoulder first. Spinning heel kick in the corner by Vega and he hammers away. Vega chokes Johnson with his boot and Johnson tries a sunset flip but Vega blocks. He continues to choke away as we go to break.
Back and Johnson hits a Urinage. Scissors kick by Johnson but Vega comes back with a knee to the gut. Sleeper by Vega but Johnson fights out and hits some rights. Clothesline by Johnson and Vega comes back with a superkick. He knocks Johnson to the floor and Crush tries to nail Johnson with a 2x4 but Johnson blocks and nails Crush with it. He nails Vega with the 2x4 and he hits a spinebuster. Pearl River Plunge by Johnson gets 2 as the Nation attacks for the DQ. They beat Johnson down and Faarooq whips Johnson with his belt.
Winner by DQ- Ahmed Johnson **1/2 ( Solid match with Johnson looking like a monster and withstanding the tactics of the Nation. The finish was fine as it generated more heat for the Street Fight at Wrestlemania XIII. )

Owen Hart says he wants to put his and Bulldog’s European Title match in the past and want to use their match tonight to get ready for Vader and Mankind at Wrestlemania.

WWF Tag Team Championships- Owen Hart and British Bulldog © vs. Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon
Furnas and Owen start. They battle for control and Furnas hits a hip toss. He begins to work the arm of Owen and LaFon tags in. He continues to work the arm and converts Owen into a cover for 2. Tag to Bulldog and he hammers away on LaFon. LaFon comes back with some arm drags and Bulldog bails. Tag to Owen and he works the arm of LaFon. He goes for a dropkick but misses LaFon and nails Bulldog. They begin to argue so LaFon rams their heads together. Spinning heel kick by LaFon as we go to break.
Back and LaFon charges in the corner but misses and hits the post shoulder first. Back in, Bulldog stomps away and he chokes LaFon with his boot. LaFon gets a sunset flip for 2 as Owen distracted the ref preventing the 3 count. Clothesline by Bulldog and Owen tags in. He stomps the chest of LaFon and he hits a backbreaker. Owen goes for the Sharpshooter but LaFon blocks. Small package by LaFon but Bulldog distracts the ref, allowing Owen to kick out at 2. Enzuigiri by Owen gets 2. Gut wrench suplex followed by a leg drop by Owen gets 2. Chinlock by Owen but LaFon fights out so Owen hits a knee to the midsection. Tag to Bulldog and the champs hit a double clothesline for 2. The champs work LaFon over in the corner and Bulldog grabs a sleeper. LaFon breaks with a jawbreaker and Owen tags in. Clothesline by Owen and he chokes LaFon in the ropes. He jumps on LaFon in the ropes for 2 as LaFon grabs the ropes to break. DDT by LaFon and both men are down. Tag to Furnas and Bulldog. Dropkick by Furnas and he hits a powerslam for 2. Overhead belly to belly suplex by Furnas gets 2. Hurricanrana by Furnas gets 1 as Owen saves. Double shoulderblock to Bulldog and he bails. Furnas goes to suplex Bulldog back in but Owen trips him up and Bulldog falls on top for 3!!!
Winners and Still WWF Tag Team Champions- Owen Hart and British Bulldog ***1/4 ( Good fundamental tag match with four guys who thrive on technical wrestling. The match only suffered from a lack of heat as LaFon and Furnas made for the most boring generic baby faces despite their supreme talent. )

Hunter Hearst Helmsley denies Jim Ross an interview with Chyna since she is his employee. Hunter says she is his assistant and she takes care of his needs. Hunter says Rocky Maivia has been lucky before but this is a new Hunter Hearst Helmsley who takes what he wants.

WWF Intercontinental Championship- Rocky Miavia © vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley w/Chyna
Both men battle for control early and HHH toys with Rocky. Hip toss and a dropkick by Rocky and he mocks HHH. Arm drag and Rocky grabs an arm bar. Stun gun by HHH and he chops away on Rocky. Swinging neckbreaker by HHH as we go to break.
Back and Rocky gets a small package for 2. HHH works over Rocky in the corner and he stomps away. High knee by HHH gets 2. Abdominal stretch by HHH and Chyna assists for added leverage. Rocky hiptosses out and goes for a big splash but eats knees and HHH gets 2. Suplex by HHH and he hits a knee drop for 2. Backbreaker by HHH but Rocky fights back. He charges in the corner but eats boot and HHH rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for 2. HHH throws some kicks to the ribs and Rocky rolls to the floor. Back in, Rocky goes for the sunset flip but HHH blocks for 2. Back elbow by HHH and he hits a slam. HHH goes up but Rocky runs up and takes HHH off the top with an arm drag. Inverted atomic drop by Rocky and he hits some rights. Back suplex by Rocky gets 2. Fisherman’s Suplex by Rocky gets 2. Belly to belly suplex by Rocky gets 2. HHH pokes the eye of Rocky but Rocky comes back with a swing around DDT. Rocky goes up and hits the crossbody off the top for 2 as Chyna pulls Rocky off the cover!!! Pedigree by HHH gets 2 as Goldust breaks it up for the DQ. Goldust clears the ring of HHH and Chyna confronts him. Marlena comes out and she jumps on Chyna’s back!!! WWF officials separate everyone and HHH and Chyna bails.
Winner by DQ- Hunter Hearst Helmsley *** ( Very slow paced yet competitive match. Hunter was finally coming into his own as a worker around this time and helped a very green Rocky work a good match. )

Sunny comes out to sell some merchandise and introduce the next match.

Faarooq w/Nation of Domination vs. Goldust w/Marlena
Faarooq actually calls Goldust a fag prior to the match!!!! Goldust attacks him for that comment and he slams Faarooq’s face off the mat. Faarooq fires back and he charges in the corner but misses. Arm drag and Goldust grabs the arm bar. Goldust wraps Faarooq’s arm in the ropes and he covers for 2. He goes right back to the arm and Faarooq rakes the eyes of Goldust. Slam by Faarooq and he goes for a big splash but eats knees. Arm bar again by Goldust as he goes to break.
Back and Faarooq jumps on the back of Goldust. Goldust finally blocks it using his knee and both men are down. Goldust misses an elbow drop and he catches Faarooq with an O’Connor roll for 2. Clothesline by Faarooq and he stands on Goldust for the cover for 2. Crush trips up Goldust, and the distraction allows Faarooq to hit a piledriver for 3 after Crush shoves Goldust’s leg off the ropes.
Winner- Faarooq ** ( Very drone, simplistic match as they kept it as basic as can be and the finish was so abrupt and out of nowhere I couldn’t believe that made Goldust look that bad considering he was starting to get over as a face. )

Psycho Sid comes out and proclaims that Bret Hart is excellent and mentions something about beating Bret eight days out of the week, twice on Saturday. He claims that Undertaker’s pupils popped out in fear of Sid and he claims that at Wrestlemania, Undertaker will rest in peace. This was a Sid promo alright.

Undertaker says Psycho Sid is fighting a battle he can’t win and if he makes it past Bret Hart, at Wrestlemania he will rest in peace.

Casket Match- Vader w/Paul Bearer vs. Undertaker
Rights by Taker to start but Vader fires back. Avalanche by Vader and he hammers away on Taker in the corner. Taker tosses Vader into the corner and hammers away. Clothesline by Taker and he goes OLD SCHOOL~!!!! Big boot by Taker knocks Vader onto the casket and to the floor. Taker follows out and he drives a chair into the gut and back of Vader as we go to break.
Back and Taker misses an elbow drop. Vader clotheslines Taker to the floor and Taker snaps Vader’s neck off the ropes to come back. Back in, Vader clotheslines Taker. Taker goes for a Chokeslam but Vader goes low to block. Vader hits an elbow drop to the groin of Taker and he goes up. He leaps but Taker catches him with a sloppy powerslam on the way down. Chokeslam by Taker and he hits the Tombstone. Taker opens the casket and MANKIND COMES OUT AND GRABS THE MANDIBLE CLAW!!!!! Mankind knocks Taker into the casket and they close the lid. Taker pops out of the casket after the match and he Chokeslams Mankind. Tombstone by Taker and he rolls Mankind into the casket to end the show.
Winner- Vader **1/2 ( They kept the action rolling and worked a shockingly fast paced for these two, mostly likely because they were pressed for time on TV. Surprised by the result since Taker was about to main event Wrestlemania but Vader was going to be his first challenge before the Kuwait incident occurred so it made sense. )


The 411: This show was pretty much what it was advertised to be and that was a pre-Wrestlemania house show. The matches were decent for the most part but nothing was blow away and everyone was there to build to the big show at Wrestlemania. This isn't worth going out of your way to see unless your like me and enjoy the nostalgia of watching old televised WWF house shows.
 
Final Score:  5.0   [ Not So Good ]  legend





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