September 20, 1997

I’d always thought the name of this show was because it was the first time the WWF did a PPV exclusively for their UK fans. The name meaning the UK got their own special big show for “one night only.” But it’s actually in reference to the Bulldog getting to wrestle in his homeland for “one night only.”

Dude Love . . . outworks HHH without even really putting in that much effort.

Owen Hart . . . lets Vader know *exactly* what time it is, and it’s not Vader Time!

Shawn Michaels . . . follows in the footsteps of Bret Hart and carries the Bulldog to a good match in his home country.


Wow. HHH looks like a Slim Jim compared to his current build. These two apparently had a bunch of great matches around this time, but this sure isn’t it. Foley was watchable, but HHH is pretty rough throughout. The only times the crowd wakes up when he’s on offense is when Chyna gets involved and when he cheats in some form, such as grabbing the ropes while he’s got Dude in the abdominal stretch. The rest of the match is made up of generic brawling, perfunctory holds, the facebuster, and Pedigree. Foley’s offense isn’t great itself, but at least it’s funny. He tunes the band before playing some sweet shin music, and does a funny bit where he trees of woe Helmsley and then does the ten-count punches to his leg. HHH is at least amusing when he cowers in fear from the referee after HHH shoves him and the ref shoves back. But, more of then than not, watching HHH is as exciting as watching Astro Turf grow.


The Headbangers get quite the big face pop, but I’m guessing it’s more due to the UK fans being a hot crowd in general rather than the Headbangers having a big fanbase. Considering they’re the champions, the Headbangers don’t really get to show off too much. Most of the offense comes after Mosh’s hot tag and goes to the finish. The bulk of the match is the Boriquas looking like a worse team than the Outcast Killas. There are a few nice kicks out of Savio and Miguel impresses with a standing moonsault, but other than that it’s just like HHH in the last match, generic brawling and time killing nerve holds. The announcers are so thrilled that they wind up making jokes during most of the Boriquas’ control segment. Thrasher tags in Mosh and he hits a nice rana as well as a powerslam, and catches Miguel sleeping and hits the Stage Dive to retain the titles. Mostly emasculated champs and underwhelming work from the challengers, what fun.


If there was a pairing that could produce a more generic power-guy and brawling match, I don’t know what it might be. Perhaps LOD vs. Kronik. They do next to nothing other than punching, kicking, lariats, and rest holds. You can tell how much thought is going into things when Hawk takes a shoulder bump into the post and the Godwins wind up working over Animal’s arm. Of course, the storyline to this feud is that the Warriors broke Henry’s neck, and when Hawk hot tags in, it’s Phineas who gets the neckbreaker. The Godwins work over Animal forever, then they work over Hawk forever, and then it finally ends with Phineas getting the Doomsday Device. So Bret/Undertaker got scrapped from the tape, but the world really needed to see this?


It’s Time! It’s Time! It’s Owen Time! What makes this such a fun viewing is that they’re both more than willing to make each other look good. Owen bounces left, right, and center for Vader, which isn’t a big shock. But Vader is willing to return the favor and let Owen look good, in ways that weren’t very common for Vader. A good example early on is when Owen surprises Vader with the rana. It really looked like Vader got spiked and he spent the next minute letting Owen tee off on him without defending himself, like he wasn’t quite all there. When Owen tries for the Sharpshooter, Vader doesn’t just use his power and kick Owen off, he struggles and gets the ropes to force Owen to break. Vader’s selling is especially good toward the end, as Owen is trying to put him away, and Vader is good at making it seem like Owen is about to pull it off.

The two big highlights of the match are both big spots from Owen, with enough build that the crowd pops big when they come. The best is the Sharpshooter, Owen had tried a few times to get the hold on, but after he suckered in Vader to catching his kick and eating the enzuigiri, Vader’s brains were scrambled long enough for him to lock in the hold. After that comes the big moment when Owen gets the bodyslam. It’s something else he’d been trying for, to the point that even Lawler was joking that Owen must be under some sort of delusion to think that he could do it. But, with adrenaline rushing after the Sharpshooter, Owen picks up Vader for the bodyslam and gets a huge reaction. The way the fans all eventually rallied behind Owen is also what makes the finish work so well. Owen capitalized on the missed Vader bomb with a leg lariat and his dropkick for some good near falls, and it looked for all the world like one more big shot from Owen would seal the deal. But, Vader managed to catch airborne Owen with a powerslam and steal it back. ***1/4


This isn’t the classic that it often gets praised as, but this is quite the good little match. Most of the reason that this is good is due to Shawn. He spends nearly the first half of the match bouncing like the proverbial pinball, and making Bulldog look like a million pounds in his home country. Despite being the champion and the overwhelming crowd favorite, Bulldog is just along for the ride. It’s not just Shawn bumping and selling, he’s also more or less putting himself into position for most of the spots they work. He charges so that Davey can catch him and do the big press slam, he tries for the crucifix and the rana, so Davey can show that he’s too strong for them to work and slam Shawn back down. But it’s all Shawn when it comes to getting from points A to B. Davey isn’t actively bad, he pulls off the spots just fine and the only real mark against him is when he seems to get confused for a second before dropping Shawn with the lariat. But, you’d think that Davey would have been more motivated than this for a main event title defense in front of his countrymen.

Although Shawn is mostly the reason that this is good, Shawn is also the reason why this is also not as good as advertised. He’s a complete bore when it’s his turn to work over Davey. Using Rude for the distraction is fine to get the ball rolling, but Shawn isn’t interested in working over Davey at all, he’s content to sit in rest holds for long stretches and let Rude, Chyna, and HHH interfere and distract the ref to keep the crowd hot. There’s a chance for Shawn to have some fun when Bulldog takes the shoulder bump into the post, but he doesn’t do anything. Considering the figure four finish, Shawn could also have stood to work over the knee and establish Davey having a bad wheel. The heat his off the charts, but Bulldog could probably defend against pretty much anyone except Bret and Owen, and the heat would probably be comparable.

The finish they work is good, although it’s a bit drawn out. Davey tries for the powerslam on the floor and loses his footing when he slips off of the landing that separates ringside from the crowd. It’d already been established as an issue when Shawn took a spill to the floor and wound up falling over it. Davey slips, HHH and Rude work the leg behind the ref’s back, and Shawn does an ugly figure four with Chyna and HHH lending their hands. It goes for, what seems like, ever before the ref stops it when Davey won’t quit and obviously can’t go on. This is the only time that Davey seems to show up. Things look hopeless for Davey, but he’s too proud to quit in front of his fellow countrymen and family. This should have logically led to Davey regaining the title the next time they went to England, but Vince screwed Bret in Montreal, Davey left, and the European Title quickly went down the card until it was retired less than five years after this. ***1/2

Conclusion: There’s good outings from the usual suspects, Shawn and Owen, but not much else. Foley/HHH have done worlds better, and the less said about the two tag matches the better.