No wonder “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is a loner. In the WWF’s tag team wars he hasn’t had much luck. That’s not to say he hasn’t been successful. The current WWF World Heavyweight Champion has won the belts on a number of occasions. It’s the partners he’s saddled with. Whether it’s Shawn Michaels, Dude Love or now The Undertaker; they either are or shortly thereafter become his sworn enemy. Even his former WCW World Tag Team Championship partner – the late Brian Pillman – turned on Austin when he migrated to the WWF.
I’ve heard of keeping your friends close and your enemies even closer…but this is ridiculous.
I’d hate to see Austin’s annual Christmas card list. What revised version is he working on? 316?
Facing three men out to tan his hide, Austin the odds crasher beat them again stripping Kane and Mankind of their tag team belts at the Fully Loaded pay-per-view streaming out of the Selland Arena in Fresno, California. However, the WWF rattlesnake left the arena without the gold around his waist as his partner The Undertaker took it upon himself to split the scene with both belts. Didn’t the Man From The Darkside’s mom ever teach him to share and share alike? Apparently not.
Controversy swirled around the main event from the start as The Undertaker arrived 20 minutes before the bout was scheduled to begin. That’s shouldn’t be a news flash to wrestling fans. As his belated arrivals on Monday Night Raw prove, The Undertaker seriously needs to invest in a new watch or one of those convenient wake-up services.
In the final minutes of the title match, Austin spiked Kane with a Stunner in the middle of the ring. Mankind made the save clamping the dreaded Mandible Claw on a surprised Austin. Stone Cold failed around his arms swinging wildly. The Undertaker stood glowering on the ringside apron. Austin escaped applying a Stunner to Mankind and crawled towards his corner. At first, The Undertaker made no effort to stretch out his hand. Then, he gave a sideways glance to the crowd and slapped flesh with Stone Cold for the hot tag.
The Undertaker chokeslammed Mankind putting an end to his interference. Turning his attention to his ibrotheri Kane, The Man From The Dark Side chokeslammed and Tombstone Piledrived him for the pinfall. As Austin looked on cursing out loud, The Undertaker threw a tag belt around each shoulder stomping up the entrance way.
As much as the tag title switch was startling, the Fully Loaded pay-per-view’s history-making moment was the submission match broadcast via satellite from the legendary Hart family wrestling school (fondly called “The Dungeon”) in Calgary. For most fans, it was their first look at a place where squared circle icons like Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Chris Benoit and The Junkyard Dog learned the difference between a head lock and a hammer lock from Hart family patriarch and Canadian wrestling legend Stu Hart.
In that unadorned basement room featuring only a padded green floor, wood paneling, water pipes overhead and a weight training station off to the side, Owen Hart and former Hart school trainee Ken Shamrock worked an ingeniously devised match despite missing insignificant props like the freaking wrestling ring or a crowd.
As Dan Severn officiated the unusual bout, Shamrock and Hart mashed each other’s heads into the wood paneling, swung off water pipes and tutored everyone in the finer points of mat wrestling. The Black Hart ruled his own backyard when Shamrock missed a back kick striking Dan Severn. With Severn down and out, Hart brained Shamrock with a weight then shook an unconscious Shamrock’s hand for the tap out win.
“You’re nothing. I rule The Dungeon,” said Hart to the former Ultimate Fighting Champion as he headed upstairs.
The next WWF pay-per-view is SummerSlam ’98 on August 30th.
WWF INYH: Fully Loaded results
Val Venis Vs Jeff Jarrett
: Southern Justice and Kaientai were tossed from ringside.
: Yamaguchi San provided the guest commentary saying Venis is in for a surprise on tonight’s Raw Is War.
: Toronto’s own Venis shoves Jarrett into Tennessee Lee and rolls-up Double J.
Winner: At 7 minutes and 45 seconds, Val Venis.
Match Rating: 7 / 10.
D-Lo Brown Vs X-Pac
: The Godfather and Chyna remain at ringside while other Nation and DX members are given the heave-ho.
: The Godfather clotheslines X-Pac from behind. X-Pac turns around and haymakers Kama. D-Lo crushes X-Pac with the Sky High drop.
Winner: At 8 minutes and 26 seconds, D-Lo Brown.
Match Rating: 5 / 10.
Faarooq and Scorpio Vs Terry Funk and Bradshaw
: In a pre-match interview, Funk announces that this will be his last match before a six month vacation. Bradshaw is miffed that he wasn’t told ahead of time.
: Scorpion lands the 450 Splash on Funk scoring the victory.
: An enraged Bradshaw clotheslines Funk inside the ring, clotheslines Scorpio outside the ring and smashes a chair over Faarooq’s back. Is this a prelude to Bradshaw joining up with Tennessee Lee?
Winner: Scorpio and Faarooq at 6 minutes and 49 seconds.
Match Rating: 3 / 10.
Vader Vs Mark Henry
: In an embarrassing performance, Henry flubs move after move. The Nation’s powerhouse kicks out of Vader’s splash. Henry splashes Vader for the win? A former WCW champ jobs to person who has no business being in the squared circle? Gimmie a break.
Winner: Mark Henry at 5 minutes and 3 seconds.
Match Rating: 0 / 10.
: The New Age Outlaws challenge Kane and Mankind to a title defense tomorrow night on Raw then brawl in the ring.
D.O.A. Vs L.O.D. 2000
: Ellering interferes kicking, choking and walloping on L.O.D.
: Animal and Hawk hit the Doomsday Device but Ellering distracts the ref. Animal pops Ellering while Skull and 8-Ball swap places. Animal is DDT’d.
: The Legion Of Jobbers drop another match.
Winners: D.O.A. at 8 minutes and 50 seconds.
Match Rating: 5 / 10.
: Mister McMahon and his entourage make their way to the ring. McMahon says that if The Undertaker doesn’t show he’s picked a “suitable substitution” for Stone Cold. Out comes The Brooklyn Brawler.
Owen Hart Vs Ken Shamrock (Dungeon, Submission Match)
Winner: Owen Hart at 4 minutes and 46 seconds.
Match Rating: 8 / 10.
Hunter-Hearst Helmsley (challenger) Vs The Rock (champion) (Intercontinental – Three Falls – 30 minute time limit match)
: The Nation and DX get the boot. Chyna stays.
: At 2:55, Chyna cheap shots The People’s Champion.
: At 10: 20, Henry splashes Hunter on the concrete floor. Billy Gunn attacks Henry.
: The Godfather comes out at 18: 33 but is forced back by The Outlaws.
: From out of the crowd, D-Lo mounts the top rope. Triple H crotches D-Lo and beans him with the European title belt. The Rock hits the Rock Bottom for the first fall at 20:20.
: The one minute rest period is shortened as the crowd boos.
: X-Pac also comes from out of the crowd face-slamming The Rock. Rocky Miavia hits the ref with a steel chair. Chyna low-blows The Rock, DDT’s him on the steel chair. Triple H gets a pin at 26:37.
: Hunter has the stunned Rock covered but the ref is receiving an assist to the back. Hebner takes over the officiating. Hunter executes the Pedigree at the 30 minute mark. Too little, too late. The match is ruled as a draw.
Winner: …and still WWF Intercontinental Champion, The Rock at 30 minutes even .
Match Rating: 9 / 10.
Sable Vs Jacqueline (Bikini Contest)
: Dustin Rhodes says a prayer beforehand asking God to forgive everyone for what they are about to see. He leaves by saying…”The Messiah is coming very soon.”
: Jacqueline is wearing a red G-String number and as she dances in the ring one of her breasts falls out in plain view.
: Sable comes out wearing a waist-length T-Shirt. She removes it to show a black G-String with a silver tank top. She explains that Vince McMahon wanted her to wear something more conservative. Sable disregards McMahon’s orders removing the tank top showing her chest covered only by an outstretched hand painted in black on each chest.
: An angry McMahon throws his jacket around Sable escorting her from ringside.
: The crowd cheered more for Sable so I guess she won though Jacqueline complains that Sable wasn’t wearing a legal swim suit.
Winner(s): Sable? Nope. The fans.
The Undertaker and Steve Austin (challengers) Vs Mankind and Kane (champions) (WWF World Tag Team Title Match)
Winners: …and new WWF World Tag Team Champions…The Undertaker and Steve Austin at 9 minutes and 41 seconds .
Match Rating: 6 / 10.
Total Event Time: 2 hours and 41 minutes.
Overall Event Rating: 7 / 10.