Match: Cactus Jack vs HHH
When: Raw – September 1997
Review: Raw in 1997 really did have a lot of great moments, and this is no exception, and arguably the best one. This isn’t just the match, this is also the awesome promo that first introduced Cactus Jack into the WWE after a 2 year hiatus. Not only is the promo great, but HHH seals the deal by reacting exactly as he should have; terrified. It’s a great brawl that you’d see thousands of times more, with a lot less talented people. It also has one of the sickest finishes I’ve ever seen to a match.
Finish: Cactus Jack piledrives HHH through the table
Match: Taz [C] vs Bam Bam Bigelow – Falls Count Anywhere Death Match – FTW Heavyweight Championship
When: ECW’s Heat Wave – August 2nd, 1998
Review: The story here is that Bam Bam had been fucked over by the Triple Threat, and needed help in getting revenge. He begged Taz for weeks, but Taz kept telling him to fuck off, until the day he came he told him that he wouldn’t be his partner, but his savior. Naturally, Bammer turned on him, and we were off and running. This was the return bout after their match from Living Dangerously, where they fell through the ring. With this match, it has it’s moments, as Bam Bam & Taz have chemistry while in the ring. Unfortunately, most of the match doesn’t take place in the ring. It’s interesting to note that Taz almost kills himself as he foolishly T-Bone Tazplexes Bam Bam into the audience, and while doing that he cracks his head on the guardrail. Devine intervention kept him from any serious injury though. Also, because Paul loved a good idea, he had them fall through the ramp this time.
Finish: Bam Bam taps out to the Tazmission
Match: Hardcore Holly vs Al Snow – WWE Hardcore Title
When: St. Valentine Day’s Massacre – February 14th, 1999
Review: This match isn’t much, honestly, but I think it’s worth seeing at least once. They go all over the place, and even have a few cool spots, like the busting of tile on faces. Michael Cole makes the mistake of saying Bob was once an Intercontinental Champion. I tell you, if he said that on a wrestling message board, the all knowing, vastly intelligent and superior IWC would make sure to correct him in a proper manner, while also revealing they’re ALL copy editors. It’s pretty cool to see the guys do battle down into the Mississippi River, as well as use the various things they find by the water bank.
Finish: Holly wraps Al into a roll of fence
Match: The Rock vs Triple H – Strap Match
When: Fully Loaded – July 25th, 1999
Review: This isn’t a touch all corners style of match, it’s more of a dog collar sort of match. They’re stuck, and it’s go time. Honestly, the only thing that really stuck out for me was the camera spot, which I always love. Of course, there’s a ton of people who run in, but what do you expect for 1999? Decent.
Finish: Triple H hits the Pedigree
Match: Test vs Shane McMahon – For The Right To Date Stephanie
When: SummerSlam – August 22nd, 1999
Review: I did a list of the greatest matches that kicked ass that had no right to, and this was number 1, baby. Test was unproven, and well, he was never proven, to be honest, but at this point we really knew nothing. And Shane McMahon? He’s the freaking son of Vince, no wrestler’s son has ever been shit, well, except Erik Watts & David Flair. Fantastic match that has everything from living room set-ups, mailboxes, and framed pictures being shattered over heads. Love it. We get a shot of Steph, pre-boob job, and it reminds me of what she said about them on Howard Stern. She said they looked like “melted packs of butter”. Man, I can’t think of a less-sexy way to describe boobies. Yikes. Anyway, it’s one hell of a match where they both gave their all, and thankfully this led to Steph being drugged and legally married to Hunter.
Finish: Test hits the pump-handle slam, then a flying elbow
Match: Big Show [C] vs Kane – WWE Championship Match
When: Raw – December 20th, 1999
Review: During a very short time when they were making sure to justify Big Show’s contract. I gotta be honest, I was not looking forward to this match. However, these two went all out and delivered one hell of a hardcore match. They went all over the place and used quite a variety of weapons, great stuff. The angle here was that if Kane lost, Tori had to spend a weekend with X-Pac. Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel like my girlfriend spending a weekend with X-Pac is akin to her being thrown into the needle pit from Saw 2. Great finish too.
Finish: Big Show powerbombs Kane through the announce table
Match: Hardcore Holly [C] vs The Headbangers – WWE Championship
When: Smackdown – March 16th, 2000
Review: This was when Crash was defending the strap 24/7. At first, it was a really funny concept until it wore out it’s welcome. This takes place at Fun Time USA, and we go through slides, test-your-strength machines, and a ballpit. It’s very entertaining, and serves it’s purpose.
Finish: Crash escapes
Length: about 4 minutes
Match: Shane McMahon vs Vince McMahon – Street Fight
When: Raw – October 29th, 2001
Review: Ugh, this match is terrible. A lot of people like their bout from WMX7, and I don’t even like that one. This is just slow, and a bad-example of a hardcore match that involves a lot of run-ins.
Finish: Angle hits Vince with a chair
Match: Ric Flair vs Vince McMahon – Street Fight
When: Royal Rumble – January 20th, 2002
Review: Man, alive. Vince is absolutely huge. This match reminds me of one thing I truly miss, Lawler being a heel announcer and kissing Vince’s ass to no end. It’s fantastic. The match itself is pretty much what you expect. I read Flair’s book, and he says that he wasn’t nearly at the level of confidence that he should have been, thanks to WCW. So, if he had, we might have had a better match. There’s a cool spot where Flair hits Vince with the monitor, then demands they play it back so he can watch it. Very cool. I’d also like to say that Vince is one of the very few who does the Figure 4 right, as he puts the pressure on the injured leg.
Finish: Vince taps to the Figure-Four.
Overall: There’s no massive classics, but you do get a slew of kick-ass matches, one of which was an unknown great. A pretty good mix-up, although I would have liked to see a few more selections from WCW in there. Only one major bummer out of the whole lot, so Caliber says that’s a pretty good outing.