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Attitude Era Classics: WWF Badd Blood 1997

WWF Bad Blood

5th October 1997

Kiel Centre, St. Louis, Missouri

Announcers: Vince McMahon, Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler

Attendance: 21,151

Buy rate: 0.60

 

The main event was centred on the on-going feud between The Undertaker and the newly crowned WWF European Champion, Shawn Michaels. They had an epic match at Ground Zero but was declared a no contest due to both men laying their hands on the referee. A re-match was set for Bad Blood, but in order to get a decisive winner, the match would take place for the first time ever inside the 15 foot Hell in a Cell where the winner will face Bret Hart for the title at Survivor Series. Bret was also in action as well. He would team up with his brother in law, Davey Boy Smith, to take on Vader and The Patriot in a Flag match. Once again, the WWF Champion was cast aside as an afterthought.

Bad Blood would also be remembered for a sad moment too because just before the show was about to go on the air, it was announced that Brian Pillman had passed away from a drug overdose. He was 35. I’ll talk more about Pillman as the show progresses.

On a side note, if you look at the event poster, whys Undertaker holding a decapitated Undertaker head? Shouldn’t he be holding a decapitated Shawn Michaels head?

Our opening video package hypes up the Hell in a Cell match. Our announce team welcome us to the show. This would be Vince McMahon’s final pay per view as the lead play by play announcer. As The Nation of Domination make their entrance, a shaken Vince McMahon announces that Brian Pillman had passed away and at the time, the details surrounding his death were not yet clear.

 

Nation of Domination (Rocky Maivia, D’Lo Brown & Kama Mustafa) vs. Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal)

This was supposed to be a six man tag with Ken Shamrock teaming with the LOD but he was recently injured by Faarooq on Raw is War and so its 3 on 2 here after the LOD agrees to go at it alone. This version of the Nation is definitely an upgrade from the original and really was a good way to get over the new heel character of Rocky Maivia. The name change would come soon. No sign of Faarooq here since he is competing later on. I’m not really sure of any major issues going on between these guys, so I’m fairly certain that this is just here to put over the new incarnation of the Nation, and Rocky in particular as the star of that group. The match isn’t very good though. The LOD are quickly deteriorating in the ring with their best days long behind them. On the other side of the ring, Rocky is still getting into the swing of things, D’Lo is still very green, and Kama just never was that great ring wise. Very basic stuff here and probably not the best choice for an opener. Faarooq ends up heading down to ringside to distract the LOD leading to Rocky picks up the win for his team as expected, as he hits Hawk with the still unnamed Rock Bottom to score the pinfall.

Winners: The Nation of Domination via pinfall

Rating: ½ *

Nothing special, just a showcase to put over the new heel version of Rocky Maivia. The LOD were terrible. They’ve never been great wrestlers but this match showed that their glory days were well and truly behind them. It made sense for the Nation to go over not because of rising star, Rocky Maivia, but for D’ Lo Brown too. Another exceptionally talented wrestler.

 

Back at the announce desk, Vince McMahon gives the official word that Brian Pillman had passed away. He was due to compete against Dude Love (Mick Foley) but instead a replacement match will take place. The Dude Love/ Pillman match was to conclude the Pillman/ Marlena feud. Dude was wrestling to defend the honour of Goldust and Marlena’s love after Marlena was forced to spend 30 days with Pillman. Goldust and Marlena were set to renew their wedding vows on RAW then this would lead to Marlena turning heel and joining up with Pillman. RIP Brian Pillman.

 

Tarantula & Mosaic vs. Max Mini & Nova

Again this was thrown together at the last second to fill in time due to the tragic Pillman situation, so you can’t really criticise this one. Of course, it’s the Max Mini brigade so this is going to at least be mildly entertaining. For what it was, this was decent enough, although it sadly just reminds us that Pillman is no longer among us. The rules in this one require tags to be made, but all you need to do is get to your corner for another midget to come in. Anyway not much to talk about here. Mini picks up the win for his team with a crucifix on Tarantula.

Winners: Max Mini & Nova via pinfall

Rating: * ½

You could tell that the match was put together at the last minute. There were a few comedy spots but a few sloppy spots too, again, due to the circumstances, it was put together at the last minute and was a good filler match.

 

Sunny was introduced to the crowd as the guest ring announcer for the upcoming match. Sunny looks amazing and when I re-watch these shows, I’m surprised that she was hardly used as much. They could have at least made her a manager again.

 

WWF Tag Team Championship

The Godwinns (Phineas & Henry) /w/ Uncle Cletus vs. The Headbangers © (Mosh & Thrasher)

The Godwinns get their tag title shot here after picking up a non-title victory over the champs on Raw is War. That victory came thanks to the interference of their debuting manager Uncle Cletus, who was basically just another crazy hillbilly better known by his most recognisable persona, “Dirty White Boy”. He wouldn’t last very long and I think this could even be his only PPV appearance. Phineas takes issue with Sunny being at ringside so it’s nice to see a bit of continuity there. The crowd really does not care about this match though, and it’s pretty bad. It’s very sloppy and just a terrible match all round. The champions come up short here, as their brief title reign comes to an end when Phineas hits a powerbomb on Mosh to pick up the win. After the match, The Godwinns continue to attack the Headbangers before leaving the ring.

Winners and NEW WWF Tag Team Champions: The Godwinns via pinfall

Rating: ½ *

Such a train wreck of a match. No psychology or build up, then again, when I see the guys involved in the match, I guess I’ve set my standards up way high. The Godwinns would drop the titles to the Legion of Doom on Raw not long afterwards.

 

We are treated to a video package of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s rise to the top in the WWF. The video package consists of him giving everyone stunners and basically raising hell. It also shows the first ever Stunner he gave to Vince and Vince’s selling was hilarious! The video package did a great job of highlighting how popular Austin’s rebel gimmick was quickly becoming.

Michael Cole is with Owen Hart who is wearing an “Owen 3:16” shirt. Owen threatens Austin with a lawsuit if he gets involved with his match against Faarooq.

Back in the ring, Jim Ross and Sunny honour the St. Louis legends in attendance. These legends include Gene Kiniski, Jack Brisco, Dory Funk Jr, Harley Race, Terry Funk, Lou Thez and Sam Muchnick. Each legend got a video package and a plaque presented to them.

Doc Hendrix is interviewing Faarooq.  He says he’s going to take Owen out and become the I.C Champion tonight. He also doesn’t care about Austin Back at the announce position, Vince tells us that it appears Pillman’s death may have been due to a drug overdose, but we don’t have all the details yet.

 

WWF Intercontinental Championship

Championship Tournament Finals

Owen Hart vs. Faarooq

So Austin had been stripped of the title due to his neck injury and a tournament has been held to crown the new champion with this being the finals. One problem here – its heel vs heel which rarely ever works since the crowd don’t have anybody to get behind. Owen is wearing his classic Owen 3:16 says I just broke your neck shirt which brings Austin out to ringside. He gets on commentary for this one as he steals McMahon’s headset and is all over Vince. Commissioner Slaughter is also out here to ensure Stone Cold doesn’t get involved in the match. Austin’s antics at ringside taking announcer microphones (even joining the Spanish and French commentary teams) so he can talk is far more entertaining than what is actually going on in the ring here, so at least this isn’t boring. Owen seems out of it tonight, but that’s understandable considering his friendship with Pillman. Austin on the other hand is doing a good job at not letting it show as he’s trash talking as always. After a pretty basic match, Austin ends up making his presence felt as Jim Neidhart comes down to ringside and he and Slaughter get into a confrontation distracting the official. With all this going in, Austin comes in and whacks Faarooq with the I.C title belt which allows Owen to pin his opponent. Faarooq didn’t sell the title blow very well as he complaint to the ref about Austin’s involvement.

Winner and NEW WWF Intercontinental Champion: Owen Hart via pinfall

Rating: *

Don’t get me wrong, Owen Hart and Ron Simmons are two talented guys but Heel v Heel doesn’t really work and that was proved right here. Fans weren’t into it wither as they were too busy focusing on Austin at ringside. The idea behind the finish was that Austin wanted Owen to win so he could beat him for the title and get his revenge on him for breaking his neck.

 

Now we get a brief recap of the events leading to our flag match later on. Before we get there though, we have to sit through Los Boricuas vs. Disciples of Apocalypse for the 1437597849892306th time. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it, well, I could but that would be a lie.

 

Los Boricuas (Savio Vega, Miguel Perez, Jose Estrada Jr & Jesus Castillo) vs. The Disciples of Apocalypse (Crush, Chainz, Skull & 8-Ball)

We saw this at Summerslam and we’ve got it again. To be fair, this was also just thrown on to the card to eat up time, but the Gang Wars are really overstaying their welcome at this point since its just the same old stuff every time. At least the Boricuas have changed their outfit and are no longer wearing their terrible original attire. The match is just more of the same though which really renders the whole thing pointless as this feud never went anywhere. At least the Nation have pretty much moved on to better things. This time it’s the DOA who emerges victorious, as Crush pins Jesus Castillo following a 360 degree backbreaker thanks to the assistance of fellow biker Chainz. Crush scores the pinfall.

Winners: The Disciples of Apocalypse via pinfall

Rating: -*

My God did this match suck! It was Dull, boring and even worse than their match at Summerslam. I rated that match ½ *. You would have thought that this match would settle the feud right? Well, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but another match would take place at the December pay per view. Terrible match!

 

Michael Cole is with Bret Hart and the British Bulldog. Bret says that they are better than any American wrestlers and they will be victorious in the flag match.

 

As Bret and Davey are making their entrance, Doc Hendrix is with Vader and the Patriot. Vader: “Bret Hart calling himself the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be is a load of bullshit!” Vince nearly had a heart attack when he heard that.

 

Flag match

Bret “Hitman” Hart & The British Bulldog (Canada) vs. Vader & The Patriot (USA)

You can win by pinfall, submission, or capturing the other team’s flag. The thing devolves into a big brawl before the match even starts. Things finally get settled down enough to start, and the Patriot keeps trying to climb for the flag like an idiot. Bret just gives him a low blow. Bret tries to slug it out with Vader, which goes about as well as you’d expect. The match is oddly sluggish, consider three of the four participants are top-shelf workers. Bret applies the Sharpshooter to the Patriot, but Patriot reverses to his own. Vader goes up, but Bret shoves him off. Now, VADER tries a Sharpshooter, but Bulldog breaks it up. Well, that would have been interesting. Patriot comes in without a tag and locks in the figure-four on Bret. Bulldog is able to reach in and tag, though. Vader goes up for a moonsault and LANDS ON HIS FEET when Bulldog moves out of the way. That was fucking unbelievable especially by a guy like Vader. They all fight to the floor where Bret hits Vader with the ring bell. Patriot hits Uncle Slam on Bret, and a fan runs in. Security sees to him, Davey Boy manages to get a few digs in too. The ending is kind of disjointed as a result of the fan. Davey and Vader have to brawl to the floor while Patriot rolls up Bret inside. Bret simply reverses with a handful of tights. Even though they won, Bret & Davey didn’t celebrate with the flag. So much for this being a flag match, huh.

Winners: Bret Hart & British Bulldog via pinfall

Rating: **

They could have easily have done this match on Raw and had Bret take on Vader for the title with Davey Boy and Patriot in their corners or even a rematch between Bret & Patriot whiles Bulldog took on Vader. Patriot would drift away from the main event scene before being released in early ’98. Vader landing on his feet after the Moonsault was incredible. He has cemented his place on my “top 5 superstars” that’s for sure!

 

The Cell is being lowered down. We get a brief plug for Survivor Series next month in Montreal. We then head to the back for a brief word with the ever cocky Shawn Michaels who says he is the only guy crazy enough to get into the Cell with the Undertaker after their war last month. We then get a recap of the events leading to this match going all the way back to Shawn’s heel turn at Summerslam.

 

Hell in a Cell

Shawn Michaels /w/ Triple H, Chyna & Rick Rude vs. The Undertaker

Shawn cost Taker the title at Summerslam and turned heel. They had a pulled apart brawl the previous month in which the Undertaker REALLY got pissed. The cell was pretty much to make sure Shawn wouldn’t be able to escape. Shawn was European Champion at this point but it’s not on the line making it seem all the more certain that the Undertaker is winning. Shawn tries to run away at first but runs right into a boot. The Flair flip makes its appearance early. The announcers speculate on whether the Undertaker is just taking his time before finishing Shawn off. Shawn just gets tossed around here like a ragdoll. This is sort of the flipside of the Diesel match at “Good Friends, Better Enemies” as now Shawn makes his running seem obnoxious and cowardly rather than a strategy. Undertaker gets pushed off the apron to turn the tide. Shawn slams the ringsteps down on him and then piledrives him on top of them. Undertaker makes a comeback and backdrops Shawn over the top onto the cameraman (indy worker). Shawn gets pissed and beats up the camera guy. Ross: “Dammit, he’s got a family to feed”. This forces them to raise up the cage and they fight on top for a while leading to the infamous spot where Shawn falls from the edge of the cage through the announce table (a spot that seemed insane at the time until it was topped around nine months later). Taker tosses his bloody defeated carcass back into the ring and prepares for the finish…but, the lights go out. HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE!!! “That’s–that’s. That’s gotta be Kane! That’s gotta be Kane!” Yes, after months of speculation and Paul Bearer’s cryptic rants, Kane makes his WWE debut. Taker’s look is awesome as he stands in awe of the little kid he nearly burned to death (or was it Kane who set the fire?) all those years ago. Kane Tombstones the Dead Man straight to hell and leaves. HBK uses his quivering leg to push himself over and cover the Taker for the win

Winner: Shawn Michaels via pinfall

Rating: *****

Absolutely incredible match! I mean, do you expect anything less from Shawn Michaels and Undertaker? Shawn took a damn good beating and managed to get a victory after the interference from Kane. Speaking of Kane, he was booked as a dominant monster after he ripped the cage door off with ease and tombstoned his brother. In the space of 3 minutes, he was made to look like a unstoppable threat to all in the WWF. Nowadays, Kane has tried his hand at comedy roles which has took away from his menacing presence but back in the day, he was an absolute beast!

 

Triple H & Chyna help a bloody Shawn Michaels to the back as the show goes off the air.

 

Random Thoughts

  • The Hell in a Cell is the greatest gimmick match of all time. The fans were well into it and you could hear how excited they were when Shawn and ‘Taker battled it out on top of the Cell. The roar from the crowd when Shawn fell through the table was very loud because it was such a high risk spot at the time. The Hell in a Cell may have lost its shine in recent years, that’s due to over exposure but it will always remain an intimidating structure. Kane’s debut was well done is one of my favourite debuts ever. Undertaker’s face was priceless when he came face to face with his younger brother. He looked as if he saw a ghost and for the first time since his debut, Undertaker looked vulnerable. From all the challenges he had faced throughout his career, Kane looked the most threating of all. On a personal note, when I first heard about the Hell in a Cell match, I thought that fire would be involved somehow; little did I know that one day such a match would exist.
  • The death of Brian Pillman had a huge blow on everyone, and you tell in the cases of Bret, Owen and Davey Boy. I always feel sad whenever I think about Brian’s death. He was only 35 years old and still had more mileage left on his career. The most common thing I hear about Pillman is that he would have made an excellent booker once he’d retired. I agree. He had such a great mind for the business and his contributions would have made major benefits on the business. RIP Flyin’ Brian.
  • The Legends segment was well done and done with respect. I never understood why the WWE neglected their Hall of Fame between 1997 to 2003; I guess it’s the veteran wrestlers, who were uncomfortable with the nature of the product the WWE were producing at the time, distance themselves away from it. Bruno Sammartino being a prime example.
  • This is the first time we come cross Rocky Maivia during this Attitude Era Classic Series. He’s certainly come a long way right? It’s onwards and upwards for the future “people’s champion”.

 

Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker – Hands down, the best match of the show and one of the best matches of 1997.

Worst Match: Los Boricuas vs. Disciples of Apocalypse – Atrocious match. Sadly guys, the feud will still continue.

Attitude Era Moment: The Hell in a Cell. The birth of the greatest gimmick match ever. This isn’t the last we’ll hear about the Hell in a Cell though. The most famous Cell match takes place in 9 months’ time.

 

Top 5 Superstars:

1. Shawn Michaels – Took an insane amount of punishment throughout the match. The blade job was well done as well.

2. Undertaker – A very good effort on his behalf. He face when Kane came out was a picture.

3. Bret Hart – Did his best in such a meaningless match.

4. Vader – Landing on his feet after the moonsault warrens a place on my top 5.

5. Kane – Made such an impact in the space of 3 minutes.

 

Superstar Rankings

Shawn Michaels – 16pts

Undertaker – 14pts

Bret Hart – 13 pts

Stone Cold – 8pts

Owen Hart – 3pts

Mick Foley/ Vader – 2pts

British Bulldog/ Kane – 1pt

 

Overall Show Rating (Out of 10): 3

A pay per view which was saved by the main event. The main event was clearly head and shoulders above the rest, I guess this was down to the new stipulation chosen for the match but everything else on the card didn’t impress me. It’s hard to fault the guys too much because of the passing of Pillman. Overall, a below average show shaved by the main event.

 

Pay Per View Rankings

One Night Only – 7.5

Summerslam ’97 – 6

Ground Zero – 4

Bad Blood – 3

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One comment on “Attitude Era Classics: WWF Badd Blood 1997

  1. Pingback: Attitude Era Classics: WWF Badd Blood 1997 | RIF RASSLIN' | Alpha Channel

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