SLAM! Sports SLAM! Wrestling
  July 3, 1999

News & Rumours
Canadian Hall of Fame
WrestleMania 31
WrestleMania 31 photos
Movie Database
Minority Mat Report
Results Archive
PPV Reviews
SLAM! Wrestling store
On Facebook
On Twitter
Send Feedback

Photo Galleries

SHIMMER taping (now both days!)

Cauliflower Alley Club reunion

Smackdown in Fresno

Raw in San Jose

WrestleMania 31: Main Events

WrestleMania 31: First Half Matches

WWE Hall of Fame


READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Montreal rabid for WWF action

By ERIC BENNER -- For SLAM! Wrestling
The night before the writing of this match report, the WWF was in full-force for its much-awaited Montreal house show. Or maybe it wasn't the WWF that was in full force - maybe it was the fans. With the house all-but-packed, and the screaming as loud as it really could be without massive throat trauma injuries, the noise was definitely in the range those red decibals you're not supposed to listen to.

I'd guess that almost eighteen thousand people showed up for the event, wearing about four hundred and fifty-five thousand Stone Cold T-shirts. No doubt, they wore it in vigil, as Austin had the night off. Everybody needs the night off eventually.

I had the view from the sky, on the rafter/cat-walk that is the press-box level, where there are nearly two hundred seats, where there were fewer than ten media people for the event, and where despite the one hundred and ninety leftover seats, my photographer was refused a chair. The view was still great, though, especially through the focus lens of the camera, which provides for a better view but horrible pictures. Wait a minute, I'm supposed to do something. It's on the tip of my tongue. Help me out, what is it? Oh yeah, the match report!

The action started out hot, and I do mean hot, for D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry vs. Droz and Prince Albert. I don't know if D'Lo is the most over wrestler in Montreal, but it sure sounded like it. In truth, I think the fans were just rabid for action. The match started out fast, and though the men involved were mastodons, the action stayed fast, probably because that's just what tag action allows. Cheap double-teams, rest without rest-holds, constantly fresh competitors. It was great. A fantastic match. If I were to use John Powell's trademarked "out of ten" rating system, I might give this one an eight. For the opening match, and for anything involving Droz and Prince Albert, that's quite high. D'Lo took the win with the sky-high and then the low-down.

Following that was another guy who got some of the loudest pops of the night, but I'm pretty sure his were deserved. The match is Godfather vs. Meat. You know, I've heard a lot of good things about this Sean Stasiak guy and all, but he didn't impress me at all. No real charisma to speak of, not a single manoeuvre of any skill executed, and the fans didn't even notice he was there. Godfather with the ten-second delay running splash and the death valley driver, er, wait, I mean the Ho Train and the Pimp Drop.

Number three pitted Al Snow w/Pierre against Steve Blackman's GI-Joe lookin' ass. Sorry to rip off, but that line was not only classic but also very, very apt. The match, considering the hard-core stuff we've been treated to lately, was basically lame, but it was the first real time that we've had a hard-core match in Montreal, so the crowd was into it. One table, three easily breakable chairs, and a baking sheet were all featured in the bout, but the truly remarkable hard-core stuff used had to have been the tweezers that Al Snow used on Blackman in the most painful - yeah, that's what I'm talking about - way. Al Snow takes the match by throwing Blackman from the top turnbuckle into the table on which he was set up.

Four's a charm, right? Oh, wait, no. That explains why this match, Kane vs. Mideon/Midian (make up your mind, WWF) was so useless. The only way they could explain Mideon/Midian getting in any offense was by having Kane get caught in the ring ropes over and over again. It got old fast. Choke-slam for the inevitable and much-awaited win. The fans were respectably dead for this match.

The fifth match was undoubtedly the show-stopper of this event. You remember that match at King of the Ring, the one between the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the tournament? The one where marketable American and Canadians with the blazing speed and soaring heights of luchadores fought for only about five minutes and everybody said they should have allowed it to go on for longer? Well, that's exactly what they did here, and the Hardy Boyz beat the Brood in a fantastic twenty-minute match that made a believer out of me. It may take me a few days to decide whether my new favorite wrestlers are the Hardy Boyz or whether it was the Brood (Christian and Edge) who made it look nice, but that sure was a great match. If the WWF intends to take all their small guys and put them together for the tag team division, I think that's a great idea. Their speed works much better in this forum. I think they may even have inspired me to pen them a column this week, so maybe I'll delay my other column ideas a little while. Hardy Boyz take the win thanks to interference from Michael Hayes and botched interference from Gangrel, and many apologies if my drooling over the match made my subsequent match report unclear drivel.

Match number six out of ten was originally supposed to be the main event, which one way or the other is just weird. The Big Show took on the Undertaker, and though they looked surprisingly crisp at the beginning, they wore down very quickly and the match slowed to a boring halt. Big Show attempted the choke-slam, Undertaker golottas, takes the DQ loss without anyone ever lifting anyone else into the air or doing any kind of interesting moves at all. No choke-slam, no tombstone, nothing. Post-match, the Acolytes interfered and attacked the Big Show, who cleaned house on three legitimate tough men, each of whom could probably take him. Yeah, right.

The seventh match was for the women's championship, and featured the only two actual 'wrestlers' in the entire women's division. I am talking about, of course, Debra and Sable. Or maybe I'm talking about Ivory and Jackie, who can actually take a bump. Either way, the match was kind of dull, since the crowd wasn't into women 'wrestling' and since the entire ring and basically all of wrestling is designed for males.

In the eighth match, Jeff Jarrett took on academy-award-winning actor and wrestler, Ken "uuugh I have internal injuries" Shamrock. With every step, with every motion, with every punch and kick, Ken "uuugh I have internal injuries" Shamrock was a virtuoso of faking pain. Despite the cheap offense Double J put up again him, Ken "uuugh I have internal injuries" Shamrock came through in the end, possibly because the crowd's constant demand for "puppies" was distracting Jarrett, who may have finally realized that nobody likes him for him. Anyway, Ken "uuugh I have internal injuries" Shamrock gets counted out chasing Steve Blackman, but not before he annoys the hell out of me again. Please, go back to the UFC, where you aren't asked to speak or fake a punch or, worse yet, an injury. Uuugh.

The semi-main event was some kind of America v. Canada shtick that I think nobody in the entire house got. The Acolytes, who seem more like representatives of hell than the United States to me, took on Val Venis and Test, who I think the average fan doesn't really care are Canadian. Bradshaw took a hockey stick to the ring, probably to flaunt the Dallas Stars winning the Stanley Cup, but I couldn't hear a word of it, because he doesn't really speak very well. I'm just assuming that's what he did, since that's what he had done previously in Ottawa. Oh yeah, and according to my notes, Al Snow was wearing a Montreal Canadians jersey before. That seems worth mentioning more because he looked like an idiot trying to suck up to the fans than because it affected his performance, which was probably more genuine without the jersery. Anyway, that little tid-bit was more interesting than the match, because the competitors decided that instead of wrestling, they'd try to solicit cheap heat from the fans every thirty seconds. Bradshaw got some "ass hole" chants, but nobody was into the match. Acolytes cheat and win. Or something.

Main event time. Big, no, wait, he's not big anymore. Bossman vs. The Rock. The Rock gets, of course, the biggest cheers of the night, and I wonder to myself whether Austin, who has always been somewhat less popular here than elsewhere, would have gotten bigger cheers than #2 face The Rock, who has always been somewhat more popular here than elsewhere. Ponder. I'll keep the match report short since the match was inexplicably the shortest on the card at about five minutes. It was a nightstick-on-a-pole deal, and the Rock got the nightstick after about two minutes, lost it when Bossman nailed him from behind, but then just forgot about the nightstick and gave Bossman the Rock Bottom and the People's Elbow, which blinded me with all the flashes it caused. 1-2-3, I'm out of the building.

The card was really good, I think, overall, and I have a new respect for house shows. People gripe and moan about not having enough wrestling on Raw, well, the WWF sure delivers at their local shows. Ten matches, about eight of them good, about four of them great. That's a better record than most pay-per-views come away with. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, but I really dig a show where the fans are loud, so a good chunk of that has to be due to them. The Montreal fans were really great, and I still maintain that we're one of about the five loudest crowds on the continent.

Wait, I can back that up. I've been to a lot of so-called 'loud cities'. I've been to the Boston Gardens and Fleet Center, Fenway Park, the SkyDome, the Air Canada Center, Maple Leaf Gardens, Yankee and Shea Stadiums, and Madison Square Gardens, but I can safely say that I've never heard a louder, drunker, rowdier crowd than in Montreal for wrestling or hockey. We just go crazy, I guess. Oh, and please don't email me from Nunavut or Charlottetown telling me that your local bingo center has a bigger pop or anything. If you haven't been here, I don't want to hear it, because there's no way to compare without just going to different places. No offense, I'm sure you have a loud audience in your local area, but the francophone audience in Montreal has a long-standing reputation of being very rowdy and loud. So much so that the WWF used to be afraid to put certain events on here for fear that some twists and turns would just piss us off and send us into riots. Watch Survivor Series, and watch how everyone from the time-keeper to the new champion to the CEO of the company leaves as soon as the match is over and not a minute sooner. That wasn't because of our warm welcome.

My final thought of the morning has to be that the WWF really pulled out all the stops on this one. There were like five wrestler appearances that day, and more coming today - you can read at least one article of mine later here - and I have to wonder, are they testing us? Seeing if we can pack the Molson Centre and be very loud for...I don't know, Monday Night Raw or a pay-per-view. I hope so, but that probably makes it wishful thinking. That's all.