WWF One Night Only 9/20/97
HHH vs Dude Love
Vince started the show by saying HHH would be facing Owen Hart. Dude Love gave a pre-match promo with a terrible British accent and Vince references Austin Powers. You're telling me he saw Austin Powers in 1997, but hadn't even heard of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies even after 3 or 4 had been out? Dude Love is definitely the worst of the Three Faces of Foley, although probably the closest to the real Foley. This feels kind of like a house show match. I think the flat lighting and general grayness of the picture adds to that. Since this is a Dude Love match, it isn't the brawl with Foley taking stupid bumps. It is kind of interesting to see Mick working a straight match with chain wrestling and whatnot, though. One of Dude's goofy ass spots is doing the 10 corner punches, but with HHH in the tree of Keanu and with chops to his legs. Gotta get that set up for sweet shin music. Anyway, Chyna of course lays Dude out on the floor. Before that, HHH was being dominated by Dude "Mid-carder on a 70s MSG Show" Love. Mike Chioda gets ALL UP in HHH's ass. Actually runs him out of the ring. Super arm drag from Dude Love! Sweet Shin Music! Double arm DDT! Chyna puts HHH's foot on the ropes. Pedigree OUTTA NOWHERE gets the win for HHH. If you like the Mankind/HHH or Cactus/HHH matches, don't expect that out of this match. Because it isn't anything like those matches.
Fans gives their thoughts on various matches tonight. Are all British people this ugly? I mean, I'm not a rah rah USA USA kind of person, but these are some ugly people being talked to.
Sunny comes out to be the guest ring announcer.
Leif Cassidy vs Tiger Ali Singh
"I'm a true and proud Asian-Canadian who's on a mission." Tiger Ali just wants the kids to stay off drugs. Then he calls himself the true messiah. Wait. What a turn that took. Tiger Jeet gives a promo that no one understands. Is Tiger Ali supposed to be a face? That promo seemed like a parody. And Tiger Jeet is like the heelest heel there is. The UK fans certainly don't care for him. Nor do they care for Al Snow. King makes taxi driver jokes about Jeet's turban. Completely heatless and boring match. Tiger Ali is just bad. He wins with a Steiner bulldog.
Los Boricuas vs Headbangers WWF Tag Team Championships
Gross. The WWF mid card was ROUGH in 1997. Mosh and Miguel begin the match. Why are the Headbangers so over? I don't get it. I didn't like them as a kid, but I also didn't realize they were as over as they were. This show isn't looking good. Headbangers win. Titles retained. Get all of these cunts out of here.
EARLIER TODAY. JR got to speak with the British Bulldog. Bulldog is dedicating his match with HBK to his sister, who is currently battling cancer.
Flash Funk vs The Patriot
Lol at Patriot waving that flag like Big E and Rusev. The Patriot gets more reaction as a heel in the UK than he did as anything in the US. This is a random as shit match. Patriot against like...Anvil or Pillman would have made some sense. These two aren't meshing very well. It's a lot of obvious miscommunications and grabbing a hold to try to talk it out. Patriot wins with the Uncle Slam. This show sucks.
Legion of Doom vs Godwinns
Fuck. Hawk's pre match promo was about cows flying and birds shitting in his eye. These matches suck. LOD in general really doesn't have many good matches. Godwinns have no good matches. Together, they have had nothing but shitty matches. Who the fuck thought people want to see these teams doing rest holds? It should be a 7 minute match at most, all knocking the shit out of each other. No rest holds. Just big burly dudes hitting each other hard. But that isn't this match. This match is big burly dudes doing rest holds. Doomsday Device for the win. Man. FUCK this show. Been hot garbage and still has an hour and a half to go.
TO THE JR. JR brings Ken Shamrock to the ring. Due to an internal injury the night before, Ken will not be able to compete in his match tonight. Faarooq's spinebuster punctured his lung. As he's talking, Rockabilly hits the ring. Ken Shamrock makes a Harlem Globetrotters joke in reference to him. What? Shamrock puts Billy in the ankle lock.
TO THE BACK. Bret talks with Vince, who is still at the table. Bret gets an overall negative reaction even in the UK. Bret still believes that he's the same man and wrestler that he's always been. Straight traditional face Bret promo. Bret admits that the UK fans liking him matters to him.
Vader vs Owen Hart
Finally, something that has some potential. Bret got a mostly negative reaction, but Owen is over like a god. At first, at least. It turned more mixed as his entrance went on. Vader's power advantage is on display from the start. Owen responds with a frankensteiner that appears to stun Vader. Owen's crucifix was not well thought out, as Vader crushes him with a Samoan drop. With Owen already flattened, Vader hits a second rope splash. Owen kicks out to a huge pop. Sternum bump was more brutal than normal. Vader just sticks on working the ribs and mid section. He also does Fujiwara arm bars. Owen reverses the powerbomb. Enzuigiri. Sharpshooter! Vader got to the ropes. Body slam from Owen! Not just a body slam, but a stalling body slam. Owen is quickly squashed. Vader Bomb is countered. Missile dropkick nip up spot. Spinning heel kick. 2 count. Owen tries a top rope cross body and gets absolutely flattened with a powerslam. Vader wins. Pretty fun match, certainly by the standards of this show at least.
TO THE BACK EARLIER TODAY. Taker cut a promo on Bret Hart in the dark. Without HBK to ruin shit, Bret has to actually win on his own. Taker claims that Bret is a demon. A Damon Kane.
The Undertaker vs Bret Hart WWF Championship
Hopefully this is more fun than their other matches. Really the last chance to have an interesting match between the two. Taker starts by knocking the shit out of Bret. MOOEY TIE knees! Bret removes a turnbuckle pad. I have a feeling he's going to go sternum first into it later. In the mean time, Bret gets rammed into the post, slammed on the floor, and knocked all the way up to the entrance. Back in the ring, Bret hits a nasty DDT. This gets Bret on the offense and he works on Taker's head and neck for a bit. Then he takes the sternum bump on the exposed buckle. Heart punch! Mean Mark represent. Another one. Bret tries to stop the heart work by attacking Taker's knee. This is slightly more entertaining than their previous matches, but these dudes still don't click for me. The fans are into it, so what do I know. At some point, Bret gets knocked over the top and takes a camera man. An interesting spot of Bret trying a tombstone, Taker reversing it, then Bret holding on to the ropes, which allowed Taker to end up hanging Bret in the twisted ropes. He got disqualified for continuing to punch Bret. Then he chokeslammed the ref for it. Gerald Brisco also got chokeslammed. Title retained.
TO THE BACK. HBK cuts a cunty promo. What the fuck is he doing with his lip? It's like he's doing an Elvis thing or something.
Shawn Michaels vs British Bulldog WWF European Championship
Bulldog is, obviously, a god in England. HBK has plenty of women that desperately want to fuck him, though. Bulldog's power is much too much for HBK at the start of the match. And there are quite a few noticeable miscommunications in the first few minutes. Kind of weird since they've had a lot of matches together. Perhaps, and I'm just spit balling, HBK was either under the influence or being a dick head to make Bulldog look bad in front of his home crowd. HBK gets back dropped over the top and falls off that weird elevated platform the ring area is on. This is a weird match. A weird show. Rick Rude comes to ringside. He gets quite involved. I think HBK almost punched a fan in the front row. Despite Bulldog being the hometown hero, he's still wrestling like a heel, and HBK is at the height of being an absolute twat in the ring, so the flow of this match is janky as fuck. On the other hand: BACKLUND LIFT! HHH and Chyna have now come out. Bulldog gets FIRED UP and goes on a flurry of offense. Then he runs into the ring post. Two flying elbows from Shawn. Rude prevents the powerslam from happening. HHH gets decked. Bulldog attempts the powerslam on the floor, but Bulldog's foot slips off the platform. Superkick. Pedigree on the floor. Bulldog is rolled into the ring. HBK pulls his knee brace off and throws it to Diana Smith and Bulldog's sister. Figure four. Earl Hebner calls for the bell. New champion! Fans were not happy at the result. Garbage everywhere. Diana hopped the railing to attack Shawn. Chyna grabbed her. Bret and Owen hit the ring and ran DX off.
I would say, without hesitation, that this was not a good show. Owen/Vader is the only thing worth watching. Maybe the post match reaction to HBK/Bulldog. Everything else ranged from garbage to okay. Taker/Bret just don't mesh. The mid-card was DIRE in 1997. Austin's absence is really noticeable. The original card had Austin vs Bret, Owen vs Shamrock, and Taker vs Ahmed. That probably would have made for a better show. The crowd was super hot and rowdy, being the first PPV from the UK in 5 years. But even they died for shit like Tiger Ali Singh vs Al Snow and the Godwinns.