20 YRS AGO: WWE at MSG with HBK & Taker vs. Goldust & Mankind, Austin, Triple H, JBL, Sid, Owen, Jake, Vader

Undertaker (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


This correspondent report from WWE’s house show 20 years ago this weekend was originally published in the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter #409. Check back to PWTorch.com for more fascinating flashbacks.

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WWF Big Bam Boom Tour
Sept. 29, 1996
New York City, N.Y. at MSG

Attendance: 3,950 paid

(1) Salvatore Sincere pinned Bob Holly with a full nelson drop. Sincere kissed and then slapped Holly. Holly hip-tossed Sincere in return and the fans popped. Holly nailed a frankensteiner and then went for a crucifix, but Sincere reversed it into a sideslam for the win. Okay match.

(2) Justin Hawk Bradshaw (w/Zebekiah) pinned Alex “Pug” Porteau with a lariat. Fans yelled “boring,” so Bradshaw gave the fans the finger. He then his the lariat for the win. Poor match. Brian Pillman then came out to marginal heat. He ripped on New York and called it a “hellhole.” He interviewed Sunny. She talked about Livewire and her standing for Faarooq and his dislike for the Godwinns. She said managing the Godwinns was the most disgusting two days of her life. Phineous came out with a bucket. Sunny called him a sweet heart, but then turned on him. When he was about to slop her, Billy Gunn attacked her from behind. Phineous chased everyone to the back. Nothing special.

(3) Jake Roberts pinned T.L. Hopper after a DDT. A short match of non-action. After the match put the snake on T.L. Nothing much to it, but the fans loved it.

(4) The Stalker pinned The Goon with a top rope suplex. The fans weren’t into this at all. The Goon had the advantage for the whole match until he got caught on the top rope. The Stalker followed up with the top rope suplex for the win.

(5) Owen Hart & British Bulldog outlasted The Grimm Twins, The Godwinns, and The Smoking Gunns in an elimination match to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles. Bulldog & Owen were cheered before the match and after their win. Henry Godwinn cleared the ring of the Gunns for a small pop. Phineous beat on Bart Gunn. The Grimms then tagged in and worked over Billy with kicks and punches. Billy shoved one of the Grimms into Bart who hit him with a forearm and rolled him up with a handful of tights which eliminated the Grimms. Bulldog then came in and wrestled the Gunns. Bulldog then tagged in Owen, but Phineous quickly cleared the ring of everyone for a pop. Owen and Bulldog took over offense and worked over Phineous’s legs. Owen hit an enziguiri. Phineous came back with a clothesline on both Owen and Bulldog. Phineous hot-tagged Henry who slop-dropped Owen. Henry covered Bulldog, but Owen came off the top rope and nailed Henry and then put Bulldog on top while the ref was distracted so Bulldog pinned Henry. It came down to the champs vs. the former champs. Owen faced Billy first. When the Gunns went for their finisher, Bulldog interfered with a clothesline leading to the pin. Not a very good match until, although the action picked up when it was down to just two teams.

(6) Vader (w/Jim Cornette) beat Sid in a lumberjack match. After about five minutes of stalling, Vader and Sid locked up. Sid hit three clotheslines sending Vader over the top rope. The lumberjacks threw him right back in. Sid bodyslammed Vader, but missed a punch and Vader shoved him over the ropes. The lumberjacks immediately threw him back in. Back in the ring Vader nailed a splash in the corner and scored a near fall. Sid blocked a suplex attempt, then hit his own. Sid then executed a legdrop and went for the cover, but Vader kicked out. When Sid set up the powerbomb, Austin began to enter the ring. Sid dropped Vader and turned his attention to Austin. Vader hit Sid from behind and followed up by attempting a gorilla splash. Sid, though, caught a falling Vader with his knees. Both men rolled to the outside. At ringside Sid punched Austin then rolled back into the ring. Austin snuck to the other side of the ring and snuck in a kick to Sid’s stomach. He then hit the Stone Cold Stunner. Vader then went to the top rope and executed a moonsault and pinned Sid. Vader and Sid had decent heat. A solid bout that built nicely. After the match Sid chokeslammed about six of the lumberjacks – which other than Savio Vega were all heels.

(7) Hunter Hearst Helmsley pinned Freddie Joe Floyd with the pedigree with a total squash. Quick match.

(8) Steve Austin pinned Savio Vega after the Stone Cold Stunner. They traded nearfall early. Austin got the advantage by hammering Savio with elbows. Vega went for a splash, but Austin brought his knees up. Austin nailed a second rope elbowdrop to the throat for another near fall. Austin threw Savio over the top rope. Outside the ring Austin ripped the mat off the floor and set up Savio for a piledriver, but Savio backdropped out of it. Austin nailed Stun Gun for three near falls. Vega hit a spinning wheel kick which popped the crowd. He followed with a sideslam for a two count. They followed with over six near falls with the crowd totally into it at this point, out of nowhere Austin hit his finisher for the win. A great final five minutes and a very good match, but not as good as their brawl at the Meadowlands a few months back.

(9) Marc Mero (w/Sable) beat Faarooq (without Sunny) via DQ to retain the Intercontinental Title. Faarooq hit a fallaway slam. Mero came back with a flying head scissors. He then hit a springboard type moonsault move. He followed up with a top rope frankensteiner to the floor. They brawled on the floor. Faarooq hit Mero with the IC belt for the DQ. A very short match with a stupid ending. The fans didn’t pop for the DQ. Not anywhere near the level of what a semi-main event should be.

(10) Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) & Undertaker defeated Goldust & Mankind (w/Marlena and Paul Bearer) when Michaels pinned Goldust after a superkick. A solid bout going nearly 30 minutes. Undertaker and Mankind brawled at ringside briefly. Mankind got tossed over chairs and into the railing in a vicious bump. Michaels then dove over the top rope onto Mankind, pounding on him aggressively. Undertaker then worked over Goldust. Michaels tagged back in, but when Goldust tagged out to Mankind, Michaels tagged in Undertaker. Undertaker and Mankind started really going at each other and the crowd popped for it. Undertaker and Mankind clotheslined each other over the top rope.

Undertaker went after Paul Bearer. Mankind went to hit Undertaker, but Undertaker turned around and blocked the punch and hit Mankind first. Bearer then hit Undertaker with the urn. Goldust and Mankind then beat on Undertaker until he hot-tagged Michaels. Michaels cleared the ring and then went for a superkick on Michaels, but Goldust grabbed his leg. Goldust then took over offense on Michaels, running his hand up and down Michaels’s leg. Mankind then tagged in and applied the Mandible claw. Michaels broke up the hold by throwing Mankind into Goldust.

Michaels finally hot-tagged Undertaker. The arena went nuts. Undertaker chokeslammed Goldust. Michaels then dropped his elbow. Undertaker and Mankind brawled to the back during which Undertaker gave Mankind a nasty a chairshot. That left Michaels vs. Goldust. When Michaels went for the superkick, Goldust ducked and returned with a clothesline for a two count. Goldust went for the curtain call, but Michaels slipped out of it Michaels then surprised Goldust with a kiss. Goldust slithered for a moment, but Michaels caught him with chin music for the win. The best match of the night.

Notes: Overall a good card only because of the main event and Austin vs. Vega. This was the first MSG event without local syndication to promote it, thus contributing to the drop in attendance for the second month in a row. The only localized TV promotion for the event consisted of one 30 second ad per cable show focusing on only the two main bouts. They return on Nov. 17 for Survivor Series. Tickets went on sale during intermission. They also announced that Hall of Fame Dinner tickets would go on sale Monday at Ticketmaster for Nov. 16 at the Marriott Marquis. Inductees this year include Pat Patterson, Jimmy Valiant, Johnny Valiant, Lou Albano, and Superfly Snuka. [Thanks to correspondents Chris Forbes and Mike Omansky]

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