Montreal rabid for WWF action
By ERIC BENNER
-- For SLAM! Wrestling
The night before the writing of this match report, the WWF was
full-force for its much-awaited Montreal house show. Or maybe it wasn't
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
red decibals you're not supposed to listen to.
I'd guess that almost eighteen thousand people showed up for the
wearing about four hundred and fifty-five thousand Stone Cold T-shirts.
doubt, they wore it in vigil, as Austin had the night off. Everybody
the night off eventually.
I had the view from the sky, on the rafter/cat-walk that is the
level, where there are nearly two hundred seats, where there were fewer
ten media people for the event, and where despite the one hundred and
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,
it? Oh yeah, the match report!
The action started out hot, and I do mean hot, for D'Lo Brown
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
men involved were mastodons, the action stayed fast, probably because
just what tag action allows. Cheap double-teams, rest without
constantly fresh competitors. It was great. A fantastic match. If I were
use John Powell's trademarked "out of ten" rating system, I might give
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
then the low-down.
Following that was another guy who got some of the loudest pops
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
and all, but he didn't impress me at all. No real charisma to speak of,
a single manoeuvre of any skill executed, and the fans didn't even
was there. Godfather with the ten-second delay running splash and the
valley driver, er, wait, I mean the Ho Train and the Pimp Drop.
Number three pitted Al Snow w/Pierre against Steve Blackman's
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
lately, was basically lame, but it was the first real time that we've
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
but the truly remarkable hard-core stuff used had to have been the
that Al Snow used on Blackman in the most painful - yeah, that's what
talking about - way. Al Snow takes the match by throwing Blackman from
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
caught in the ring ropes over and over again. It got old fast.
for the inevitable and much-awaited win. The fans were respectably dead
The fifth match was undoubtedly the show-stopper of this event.
remember that match at King of the Ring, the one between the
and semi-finals of the tournament? The one where marketable American and
Canadians with the blazing speed and soaring heights of luchadores
for only about five minutes and everybody said they should have allowed
to go on for longer? Well, that's exactly what they did here, and the
Boyz beat the Brood in a fantastic twenty-minute match that made a
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
division, I think that's a great idea. Their speed works much better in
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
take the win thanks to interference from Michael Hayes and botched
interference from Gangrel, and many apologies if my drooling over the
made my subsequent match report unclear drivel.
Match number six out of ten was originally supposed to be the
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,
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.
the Acolytes interfered and attacked the Big Show, who cleaned house on
three legitimate tough men, each of whom could probably take him. Yeah,
The seventh match was for the women's championship, and featured
two actual 'wrestlers' in the entire women's division. I am talking
of course, Debra and Sable. Or maybe I'm talking about Ivory and Jackie,
can actually take a bump. Either way, the match was kind of dull, since
crowd wasn't into women 'wrestling' and since the entire ring and
all of wrestling is designed for males.
In the eighth match, Jeff Jarrett took on academy-award-winning
wrestler, Ken "uuugh I have internal injuries" Shamrock. With every
with every motion, with every punch and kick, Ken "uuugh I have internal
injuries" Shamrock was a virtuoso of faking pain. Despite the cheap
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
"puppies" was distracting Jarrett, who may have finally realized that
likes him for him. Anyway, Ken "uuugh I have internal injuries" Shamrock
gets counted out chasing Steve Blackman, but not before he annoys the
out of me again. Please, go back to the UFC, where you aren't asked to
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
Test, who I think the average fan doesn't really care are Canadian.
took a hockey stick to the ring, probably to flaunt the Dallas Stars
the Stanley Cup, but I couldn't hear a word of it, because he doesn't
speak very well. I'm just assuming that's what he did, since that's what
had done previously in Ottawa. Oh yeah, and according to my notes, Al
was wearing a Montreal Canadians jersey before. That seems worth
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
the jersery. Anyway, that little tid-bit was more interesting than the
match, because the competitors decided that instead of wrestling, they'd
to solicit cheap heat from the fans every thirty seconds. Bradshaw got
"ass hole" chants, but nobody was into the match. Acolytes cheat and
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
myself whether Austin, who has always been somewhat less popular here
elsewhere, would have gotten bigger cheers than #2 face The Rock, who
always been somewhat more popular here than elsewhere. Ponder. I'll keep
match report short since the match was inexplicably the shortest on the
at about five minutes. It was a nightstick-on-a-pole deal, and the Rock
the nightstick after about two minutes, lost it when Bossman nailed him
behind, but then just forgot about the nightstick and gave Bossman the
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
house shows. People gripe and moan about not having enough wrestling on
well, the WWF sure delivers at their local shows. Ten matches, about
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
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
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
I've been to the Boston Gardens and Fleet Center, Fenway Park, the
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
drunker, rowdier crowd than in Montreal for wrestling or hockey. We just
crazy, I guess. Oh, and please don't email me from Nunavut or
telling me that your local bingo center has a bigger pop or anything. If
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
the new champion to the CEO of the company leaves as soon as the match
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
all the stops on this one. There were like five wrestler appearances
day, and more coming today - you can read at least one article of mine
here - and I have to wonder, are they testing us? Seeing if we can pack
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.