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Nickrj’s Rant for Summerslam 1997 subtitled Hart and Soul

 

This event took place at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford New Jersey on August 3rd 1997

 

It opens with the playing of the National Anthem as this capacity crowd hopes that the U.S.A will prevail over Canada

 

A video opens with the narrator talking about what would happen if life were fair between Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker.

 

Your hosts are Vince McMahon, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler

 

Opening Match: Steel Cage Match Mankind VS Hunter Hearst Helmsley

They show footage from the Canadian Stampede where these two brawled into the parking lot. On Raw Is War Mankind disguised as a cameraman attacks Hunter but Chyna comes in and jumps Mankind. For those who don’t know, the only way you win a steel cage match is by getting out of the cage either through the door or by climbing over the top and both feet have to hit the floor. Hunter tries to get out right away but Mankind stops him. He pulls Hunter onto his back and starts hammering on him. Hunter tries going over the top but gets pulled off. Mankind rubs Hunter’s face into the cage and pounds on him in the corner. He hits a charging knee in the corner and does a “Bang! Bang!” Mankind hits a piledriver. He sets for the Mandible Claw on Helmsley but Chyna climbs the cage and starts choking Mankind. Hunter now starts working on Mankind. Mankind comes back with a clothesline. He starts climbing the cage but Chyna goes over and gives a low blow. Hunter climbs up and does a suplex on Mankind from the top of the cage. Hunter tries going through the door but decides to ram Mankind’s face into the cage twice. Hunter does a courtesy and rams Mankinds face in the cage again. Hunter hits a couple of kneedrops and hammers on Mankinds head. Mankind is now caught between the ropes and the cage and continues to get rammed in there. Hunter starts climbing out of the cage but Mankind grabs the ankle and hammers on Hunter. Mankind gets kicked off but barely grabs Hunter’s leg as he escapes. Mankind hammers on Hunter and hits a kneelift. Mankind chokes Hunter on the top rope but Chyna nails Mankind. Hunter hits an inverted atomic drop and Mankind hits on of his own followed by a clothesline. Hunter comes back with a knee to the face followed by a suplex but Mankind reverses it and leaves Hunter hanging upside down. Mankind knocks him back in and throws him into the cage twice. Hunter backdrops Mankind into the cage. Hunter starts climbing out again and both men are hammering each other on the top rope Both men fall off with Hunter sitting on the ropes and he gets his foot caught. Mankind tries to go through the door but Chyna slams the door on Mankind’s head and she throws the ref into the steps. Chyna throws a chair into the ring. Hunter tries the pedrigree but Mankind drops Hunter and slingshots him into the cage knocking Chyna off. Mankind does a double arm DDT on the chair. Mankind starts climbing out of the cage as Chyna comes in but goes back out. Mankind stops just as he reaches the floor he takes off his mask and climbs back up He climbs to the top of the cage and elbow drops Hunter from the top of the cage ala Jimmy Snuka on the Maginifent Muraco. Mankind tries climbing out as Chyna tries to pull Hunter out through the door but Mankind reaches the floor first at 16:24. Terrific ending gives this match ***1/2. Afterwards Mankind’s lullaby win music starts but then stops. Dude Love’s music then plays and Mankind gets up and starts dancing to it as he leaves the ring.

 

Todd Pettingill interviews Governor Christie Todd Wittman who brought the WWF back to New Jersey. Gorilla Monsoon (his last day as WWF President as he turns it over to Sgt. Slaughter the next night on Raw) makes her the honorary WWF Champion. Basically a time killer segment as they take the cage apart. We get a look at the beach party that took place in the Arena parking lot earlier that afternoon.

 

Goldust VS Brian Pillman

If Pillman loses he has to wear a dress the next night on Raw. We get a look at the last Raw when Pillman attacks Goldust but Marlena jumps all over Pillman. Pillman attacks Goldust from behind to start. He hits a couple of chops in the corner but Goldust hits a back flying elbow to take advantage. He does the 10 punch count in the corner. Pillman misses an inverted atomic drop and Goldust bites his face. Pillman takes over and works on Goldust. He goes outside the ring to Marlena but gets nailed by Goldust outside. They go back in and Pillman telegraphs a backdrop and goes to work again. Pillman hits a snap suplex. He goes to the top but Goldust catches him and throws him into the ropes and outside. Pillman tries to get him to hit Marlena and he hits a DDT on the floor. He rams him into the director’s chair. Pillman hits a flying clothesline from the top for 2 2 counts. He hits a neckbreaker and goes to the chinlock. Goldust gets up and hits a backslide for 2. but gets knocked down again for 2. Goldust hits a flying clothesline and he and Pillman start exchanging slaps. Goldust misses a bulldog and goes outside the ring. Goldust hits a headbutt and a sunset flip but Pillman sits on Goldust’s face and Marlena hits Pillman on the loaded purse and Goldust flips him over for the pin at 7:14. Decent enough match **

 

Legion Of Doom VS The Godwinns

We get a look at Shotgun Saturday Night where the LOD use the Doomsday Device to break Henry’s neck (to the delight of many fans around here) but the Godwinns run in and nail the LOD with slop buckets and slop drop Hawk on the steel railing busting Hawk’s head open. All four men stare down to start and the LOD clothelines both Godwinns. Hawk clothelines Henry from the apron and Phenias gets clotheslined to the outside. Animal works over Phenias but misses a charge and Phenias works over him. Animal clotheslines both Godwinns. Hawk clotheslines on Phineas on the outside which JR calls a “Country Fried Clothesline” Hawk and Henry go at it now. Henry clotheslines Hawk from the top rope. But misses a leg drop from the apron. Hawk throws Henry into the steps. Hawk hits two legdrops for 2. Henry starts nailing Hawk and tags Phineas who hammers away on Hawk as well. Phineas does a submission using the neck. Henry comes back in and Animal comes back in. Animal goes to work on the right arm. Phineas kicks him in the back and both Animal and Henry gets clotheslined outside the ring. Henry hits Animal from the apron to the railing. Henry hits a slam for 2. Phineas comes in and rams Animal in the turnbuckle. He goes for a bearhug. Animal comes out and Henry comes in and misses a clotheline but continues to hammer on Animal and Phineas comes in but misses something from the 2nd rope and gets clotheslined. Hawk comes in hammers on Henry and hits a power slam Phenias and Henry both get pounded on. Hawk hits a clotesline on both Godwinns. Hawk hits a neckbreaker on Henry for 2. Both LOD’s get clothelines on Henry’s injured neck. They go for the Doomsday Device but Phenias stops it and gets clotheslined from the top. The LOD hit a spike piledriver on Henry for the pin at 9:50. Another fairly decent match with a pretty good ending *1/2

 

They then do the million dollar contest with two fans; Patrick Stevenson and Ryan Chadick getting to choose a key (which would open a coffin containing the million dollars) each live. Two more fans get to choose by phone. Funny as the first guy Todd Petingill calls isn’t home and the 2nd guy he calls gets a “The number you have dialed…” message. The third guy he calls is home but Todd asks if he’s watching Summerslam the guy says that he’s not. However nobody is able to win the million dollars.

 

European Title Match The British Bulldog VS Ken Shamrock

If the Bulldog loses the European title he must eat a can of dog food. We get a look at the arm wrestling contest on Raw Is War where Shamrock is winning so the Bulldog headbutts Shamrock nails him a few times with a chair and throws dog food in the face of Shamrock. Both men start by brawling with each other. Shamrock hits a belly to belly suplex and he has one of the best I’ve seen. He rams Bulldog’s head into the ringpost and the steps on the outside. Bulldog blocks an arm drag but gets into a pinning combination. Shamrock almost gets the ankle lock. He hits a clothesline for 2. He continues to pound on the bulldog. Shamrock walks slowly into a boot and Bulldog takes advantage. Bulldog hits a vertical suplex for 2. He goes to the chinlock. Shamrock gets up and takes a knee in the gut and Bulldog goes back to work on the neck. Shamrock gets up and hits a sunset flip for 2. Bulldog comes back with a clothesline and goes back to the neck lock as Shamrock spits out some blood. Bulldog hits a low blow in the corner. A small package gets 2. Back to the necklock. Bulldog throws Shamrock shoulder first into the ring post. Shamrock is thrown hard into the steps. Bulldog threatens to use the steps on Shamrock. Shamrock starts fighting back. Bulldog hits another low blow and takes Shamrock down. Bulldog pounds on Shamrock inside the ring and goes back to the neck lock. He throws Shamrock outsides the ring and slams him. He then takes some dog food and throws it in Shamrock face. Shamrock then snaps and goes crazy on Bulldog. He hits the Bulldog with the dog food can getting him DQ’d at 7:25. Another decent match but wrong ending **1/4. Shamrock then hits a sleeper hold although Vince and JR say that he’s choking him out. Shamrock holds on for 2 minutes making the Bulldog lose consciousness. Shamrock mercifully releases it and belly to belly suplexes 4 officials and then lets out a battle cry to a HUGE pop before he leaves the ring. Good way to get Shamrock over.

 

Todd Petingill interviews Shawn Michaels who is the guest referee in the upcoming title match and he says that he will be a fair impartial referee

 

We then get a look at the CLASSIC DOA Boriucas feud. It started when Farooq fires Crush and Savio Vega from the Nation of Domination and Crush and Savio form their own groups. This concept looked good on paper but too many bad wrestlers killed it. We then get a look at the AWESOME brawls between DOA and the Boriucas over the summer.

 

Eight man tag team match Los Boriucas (Savio Vega Miguel Perez Jr. Jose Estrada Jesus Castillo) VS The Disciples of the Apocalypse (Crush Chainz Skull and 8-Ball)

All 8 men brawl to start. DOA throw the Boriucas out of the ring. Skull beats on Jose next but runs into a foot and Jose hits a bulldog but runs into a kick. Vega gets a hip toss. 8-Ball comes in and hits a sidewalk slam. Crush comes in and hits a couple of legdrops for 2. Miguel comes in and runs into a tilt a whirl back breaker for 2. Jesus comes in and so does Chainz who hits a backdrop and three quick elbowdrops. Skull comes in and pounds away on Jesus and tags 8-Ball and the both throw Jesus into the corner. Savio comes in and gets a spinning heel kick. Miguel comes in and taunts the other DOA members to allow a triple team. Miguel clotheslines 8-ball in the corner and all 4 Boriucas beat up 8-ball in the corner. 8-ball comes back with a clothesline as the Nation (Farooq, D Lo Brown, Kama Mustafa and Ahmed Johnson) walk through the audience and towards ringside. Jesus comes back in and works on 8-ball some more and hits a fameasser. He hits a lame drop kick. Miguel Jesus and Jose triple team 8-Ball. They continue to beat up 8-ball in the corner. Savio comes in and does a hiptoss followed by a chinlock. Miguel hits a drop kick from the top rope and drags 8-Ball in the corner again. Jesus hits a dropkick and tags Jose. Jose hits a snap mare. 8-ball starts fighting back but Miguel gets the tag. He tags Savio who misses a avalanche in the corner and 8-ball tags Chainz and get goes to work on the Boriucas. All 8 men now brawl in the ring as Miguel pulls Chainz to the outside and Chainz nails Ahmed. Ahmed responds by hitting a Pearl River Plunge on the exposed floor. Savio hits an elbow for the pin at 9:06. Well I’ll be generous and give it ½* since it was fast paced. All 3 gangs now have another classic brawl

 

We get a look at the Steve Austin/Owen Hart feud that started at Canadian Stampede when Owen pins Austin using the trunks for the win for his team at the big 10 man tag. Austin decides to brawl after the match but he gets handcuffed and when Austin leaves the ring he gives the Harts the Double Bird. He does an interview saying that if he doesn’t win the Intercontental title from Owen, Owen can “Pull down his trunks, Pull down his little panties,” and Austin will kiss Owen’s ass. All this while they show Owen repeadily saying “I was the man that beat Stone Cold Steve Austin.”

 

Intercontinental Title Match Owen Hart VS Steve Austin

Michael Cole does a funny interview with Austin backstage as he’s walking towards the ring. He gets in the ring and gives Owen the doublebird but Owen takes him down by Austin’s injured leg. He goes to work on the injured leg and rams it into the ringpost. Austin starts fighting back with a Lou Thesz Press. He rams Owen stomach first into the buckle. He gives him a couple of hair slams. Austin chokes Owen on the 2nd rope but misses a butt splash. Owen gets clotheslined for 2. Austin goes to work on the abs and the right arm. He takes Owen down with it. Owen reverses the arm ringer but gets poked in the eyes. He gets snap mared and Austin continues to work on the right arm. They reverse it a couple of times. Owen gets slam with his right arm under him. Austin goes back to the right arm. Owen hits a flying elbow. Austin takes Owen down by the legs but gets rammed into the ring post and then into the steps. Owen starts working on the hands on Austin and tries to break the middle finger and tries to eat it. Great stuff. Owen ties Austin in the ropes and continues to work on the hand and pounds on him. Austin gets himself untied and hits a stungun on Owen. Nice counter and Austin hits a power bomb and clothelines Owen outside. Owen tries to leave the ring and get counted out but Austin doesn’t buy it and sends Owen back in the ring. He rams Owen’s head in the stage area. Back in the ring Austin pounds on Owen and Owen hits a belly to belly suplex followed by a neck breaker. Owen hits a standing legdrop for 2. He slams Austin and goes to the top and hits a flying elbow for 2. Owen tries to break Austin’s neck with a submission type move as JR notes that Austin has had neck problems in his career. Owen gets clothsedlined by Owen and goes for the sharpshooter but Owen kicks out and hits a drop kick followed by a legdrop to the neck for 2. Owen hits a headbutt in the corner and does a backward flying bodypress but Austin reverses it for 2. Owen hits a german suplex for 2. Owen does a camel clutch. Austin gets up and Owen hits a DDT for 2. Owen goes to the chinlock. Austin gets up and gets knocked down but hits the sleeper but Owen gets one of his own but gets caught in a jaw jacker. Austin goes to the 2nd rope but gets caught by Owen. Owen hits a side leg sweep for 2. Owen goes back to the chinlock and gets leverage with his feet on the ropes. Ref sees it and breaks it up. Austin hammers on Owen and here comes a VERY scary moment for the WWF and this was for real. Austin goes for a slam but Owen comes out of it and hits a piledriver. Austin CANNOT move because he has injured his neck. So Owen walks around the ring for a few minutes until Austin can start moving and he gives a weak roll up to pin Owen at 16:16 and become the new IC champion. Now if it weren’t for the injury this could be a ***** match here but as it is it gets ****.

 

We look at the Undertaker/Bret Hart feud. Bret Hart says that if he doesn’t win the WWF title at Summerslam he will never again wrestle in the United States. Shawn Michaels is announced as the guest referee and if he calls the match unfairly he will never again wrestle in the United States either. Bret Hart goes after Vince McMahon at the announce table. He says that he’s going to flush the Patriot down the toilet but the Patriot wins due to Shawn’s interference. Both men get into a seperation argument until the Undertaker appears with the WWF title.

 

WWF title match The Undertaker VS Bret Hart; Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels

Bret gets in the ring and demands that Oh Canada is played. Shawn Michaels then comes to the ring and does the Undertaker. Bret argues with Shawn before the match. Shawn checks the Undertaker. Bret holds the WWF title and starts going to work on Undertaker. Undertaker throws Bret into the corner and starts hammering Bret. He hits a clothesline. UT throws Bret into the railing outside then into the post. But then he clothelines the post and Bret takes advantage by throwing UT into the steps. UT catches Bret and hits him backfirst into the post twice. UT works on Bret inside now. UT hits a backbreaker and holds him on his knee. He gets a 2 count. UT hits a headbutt and rams Bret in the corner. UT does a bearhug. Bret bites UT to get out of it and runs into a foot. UT misses a flying elbow but continues to work on Bret. Bret ducks the big foot and starts going to work on the right leg of UT. Bret does two butt splashes on the leg. UT hits a right hand but Bret continues to go to the leg. Bret hooks UT’s leg around the ropes. He puts his weight on UT’s leg. Bret hits a headbutt and goes for the Figure Four leglock as Paul Bearer comes down to the ring. Bret gets a 2 count as UT sees Bearer. UT reverses the Figure Four and Bret reaches the ropes. UT goes after the leg of Bret and then goes outside and nails Paul Bearer and Bret clips the leg of UT. Officals come out and get Paul Bearer out of there and Bret does the figure four around the ringpost and almost gets DQ’d. Bret gets in Shawn’s face. He goes back in and continues work on the right leg as Owen Hart and Brian Pillman come down. Bret rams UT’s leg in the ring post and Shawn warns Bret. Bret is really working on the leg now. UT gets out and stomps on Bret’s face. UT goes outside and hammers on both Owen and Pillman and Shawn send them to the back. UT hits a chokeslam but Shawn is outside the ring and has his back turned to the pin. UT grabs Shawn and Bret rolls up UT for 2. UT clotheslines Bret and goes after Shawn again but doesn’t touch him. Bret drags UT outside and rams his back into the apron twice. Bret rams UT’s back into the ringpost. And Shawn tells Bret to get his ass inside the ring. Bret throws UT back in the ring and hits a double axhandle from the 2nd rope. Bret works on UT’s lower back. He hits a back breaker for 2. Bret hits a snap suplex. He hits an elbow from the 2nd rope for 2. Bret hits a DDT for 2. UT clotheslines Bret into the turnbuckle for 2. Bret works on the lower back and does a side leg sweep. He hits a legdrop and another one. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter but UT chokes Bret and gives a kneelift. UT pounds on Bret in the corner. UT runs into a doubleboot in the corner. Both men start exchanging blows and UT knocks Bret down. UT hits a flying clothesline. He rams Bret stomach first in the turnbuckle for 2. UT hits a big boot and a legdrop for 2. UT chokeslams Bret from the apron to the middle of the ring for 2 ½. UT does the top rope walk but Bret hits a low kick tries a superplex  twice and hits it. Bret gets up first and goes for the Sharpshooter and locks it in the middle of the ring. But UT breaks out of it and Bret goes flying outside the ring. Bret hammers on UT but UT hits a clothesline. UT signals for the Tombstone. He gets Bret up but Bret takes down the knee and tries to do the Sharpshooter around the ring post but Shawn yells at him and UT kicks Bret into Shawn knocking him down. Bret grabs a chair and nails UT in the forehead while Shawn is still down. Bret covers for only a slow 2 count. Bret hammers on UT as Shawn grabs the chair and questions Bret of using the chair. Bret spits on Shawn and Shawn tries to hit Bret with the chair but Bret ducks and UT gets nailed. Bret covers UT and he is pinned at 28:08 and Bret is the new WWF champion. This was a pretty good match with a lot of drama ***1/2 Afterwards Shawn leaves the ring in disgust and UT goes after him. Bret and the Hart Foundation celebrate in the ring as the unhappy crowd starts filing out of the arena to start the long drive home.

 

Summary: Hey, this was a pretty solid show apart from the Boricuas/DOA match. Everything except that match was either decent or good. And there was some history too with the Austin neck injury and Bret winning the WWF title for a record tying 5th time. Can’t lose with this video RECOMMENDED