February 18, 1996

Razor Ramon . . . digs out his work boots to cap off the feud with his former running buddy.

Shawn Michaels . . . isn’t perfect, but is still good enough to steal the show with Owen Hart.

Bret Hart . . . continues to prove why he’s the champion with his willingness to put on a show.

RAZOR RAMON vs. 1-2-3 KID (Crybaby Match)

Not only is this stipulation silly, but, considering the history between them, and the storyline of Razor being unable to get his hands on Kid, it’s unnecessary. If anything, a cage match would be more fitting. Anyone even remotely familiar at all with babies will know that, at worst, baby powder in the eyes is momentary distraction. It’s certainly not anything blinding like this match would have you think. The actual work here is quite good, Razor uses his size to throw around Kid and also tees off on him with punches. Kid uses his speed and kicks to get ahead, but tries for too much, like the beale toss, and winds up in trouble. Kid takes a big bump from the beale toss and another from the fallaway slam off the second rope. Only the long sleeper and Razor’s Hulk-up comeback from it are overtly bad. Razor has it won after the first Razor’s Edge (which is another big bump from Kid), but goes for the proverbial exclamation point with a second one.


This isn't even as good as the match they had the month before, and that was shown for free. Duke is all fired up and unloads on HHH with a pile of strikes and a bunch of spots where HHH gets whipped into the ropes and takes some sort of back bump. HHH stooges left, right, and center, but after a while even HHH's pinball impression starts getting old. HHH only gets a few chances on offense, and doesn't show anything special this time around, nothing as fun as him taking apart Duke's arm in their Free For All match. They work in the silly Pedigree counter where HHH has to let go of Duke's arms in order to take the back drop. Duke hits the Trash Compactor and has it won, but wants to use the trash can for revenge. The ref takes the can and HHH uses the lid to KO Duke for the win.


There's really nothing special here to see. The only thing that Davey can use against someone Yoko's size is the lariat, and Yoko takes it and sucks it up. Davey takes a couple of big bumps from Yoko in the form of the Samoan drop and a belly to belly, and puts over the belly to belly quite nicely, and then Cornette runs in for the DQ. Yoko wants to kill Cornette, Vader saves, and the heel beat down lasts almost as long as the actual match did.

SHAWN MICHAELS vs. OWEN HART (#1 Contender's Match for the WWF World Heavyweight Title)

No, this isn't a great match, but it is a good match. What keeps it from being great is Shawn not going along with Owen's gameplan of working over the back for the Sharpshooter. Sure, Shawn bumps like a fiend for Owen, but he doesn't get over the idea that Owen is succeeding in wearing him down. Even after Owen hits something big, like the powerslam on the floor, Shawn sells more in the vein of a KO than his back being hurt. Hell, after Owen has to break the Sharpshooter, one of Shawn's first spots is a jumping reverse prawn hold for a near fall.

Despite Shawn's selling issues, there are other areas where they come through big. They have some fun crowd playing early on, with both of them stalling to soak up the cheers of the fans, Shawn more successfully than Owen. Shawn also has fun pulling on Owen's hair and driving Cornette into heart failure. Neither of them holds back when it comes to bringing out good offense, and these two have the ability to pull out spots that most of the roster couldn't dream of. As frustrating as he was for not pulling his weight when Owen was working over his back, Shawn comes through huge when it comes to bumping for Owen's big moves, and Shawn's sell job when Owen hits the enzuigiri is perfect. The finish looks like a prototype for what Indy main events would rip off during the next decade, with the extended block and counter sequence, Shawn attempts the superkick and Owen dodges it, Shawn ducks a second enzuigiri and Owen gets up and turns into the superkick to give Shawn the WrestleMania title shot. It’s symbolic, in a way, that Shawn had to go through Owen before getting to Bret. He closes the chapter on this feud before moving on to bigger things. It's too bad that this wound up being their only PPV singles meeting during the year, this could have made for a fun program after Shawn got the title. ***1/4

BRET HART © vs. DIESEL (WWF World Heavyweight Title - Steel Cage Match)

For the second month in a row, a match that I'm expecting to hate winds up being not half bad. It's not even close to Bret/UT from the Rumble, but it's not horrible. Bret works largely the same as he did versus UT, he's not shy about letting out his aggressive side and he tends to focus on Diesel's leg, and this leads to a couple of nice teases where Bret will take out the leg and try to escape the cage.

What sets this apart from Bret/UT is that Nash doesn’t defer to Bret the way UT did. So, instead of long stretches of good work from Bret, with good selling from UT, we get shorter offensive bursts from Bret with Nash not selling nearly as well and him trying to work in offense of his own to keep the match even. Nash sold worlds better for Davey Boy back in October than he does here. I like Nash more than a lot of people do, but he was never an offensive machine and it shows here. The UT run in is fun, evening the score for Nash costing UT the title at the Rumble and setting up their match at 'Mania. The logic is suspect to me, though. The winner is the first person to touch the floor. So, if UT drags Nash under the ring, and the floor is under the ring (we've seen enough people crawl underneath the ring to know that) then didn’t Nash technically hit the floor first? Anyway, it's not the worst match in the world, and Bret puts on a good show when he's able to.

This is the end of actual PPV show, but Coliseum Video included a bonus dark match from the actual arena show.

GOLDUST © vs. THE UNDERTAKER (WWF Intercontinental Title)

Yeah, this match was better off staying in the dark. There's a few hints of Dustin letting out the actual worker in him, with an early powerslam and a piledriver, but for the most part it's the same Goldust that showed up at the Rumble, only less overt in his "mind games." UT hadn't really blossomed into a worker yet and it shows here. There are several times where the camera cuts away to focus on Marlena, and she's more pleasing to look at than the match is. UT hits the chokeslam and Goldust takes a walk to retain on a count out.

Conclusion: Honestly, the PPV portion isn't bad. It's just lacking anything outstanding. The closest is Shawn/Owen and even that had its problems.