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  Sep 12, 1998



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

Friday's fight night delights


By RYAN PYETTE -- Calgary Sun
It was a rumble under the 'Dome.

A crowd of 15,000 wild and crazy wrestling fans got their fix as the world's top grapplers took to the squared circle and a couple of media-types -- including the Sun's own Eric Francis -- duked it out.

When it was all over, World Champ Stone Cold Steve Austin retained his belt, Francis fought to a draw with C-JAY's Joe Sports and WWF organizers boasted about biggest crowd to take in a wrestling match in Calgary history.

But the event was far from pretty.

Austin retained his heavyweight title in a fatal four-way bout against Mankind, Undertaker, and Kane.

With Undertaker mashing Mankind in the alleyway, Austin hammered Kane with his patented 'Stone Cold Stunner.'

However, guest referee Sgt. Slaughter, a noted Austin-hater, took forever to count Kane out.

Austin ran out of patience, flipped Slaughter out of the ring, and Stunned Kane again. Replacement ref Earl Hebner smacked his palm on the mat three times to give Austin, the meanest man in professional wrestling, a hard-fought victory.

Slaughter complained to Hebner after the match, so Austin Stunned the Sarge, leaving the Saddledome crowd in a complete frenzy.

But one ignorant fan stunned Austin after his fight, heaving a well-pitched cup of beer into the World Wrestling Federation champion's face.

Earlier, Calgarian Owen Hart mashed Ken Shamrock to the delight of the Calgary faithful. Shamrock, a noted fan favourite, seemed miffed at Hart's wonderful reception by the hometown crowd.

In a tag-team title bout, the New Age Outlaws beat DOA to retain the title, and Val Venis used his patented Money Shot to dismiss little-known Miguel Perez.

In the pre-wrestling media bout, Francis and Sports ended in a crowd-displeasing draw.

After the Alberta Boxing Commission failed to sanction the bout between the two feuding media types, massive 52-in. boxing gloves were used, much to the chagrin of the fans hungry for the splattering of either Francis' or Sports' blood.

The gloves, which were the size of Francis' cornerman, 300 lb. Marshall Ennis, made it difficult for either Francis or Sports to mount any sort of attack in the first round.

Round 2 had more flavour and energy, as both competitors managed to land a litany of blows to the head, including an impressive spinning back punch by Francis. In the end, neither of the combatants hit the mat, forcing guest referee Shelley BoBelly to call the bout a draw.

With the draw, both Sports and Francis managed to donate $1,000 to their respective charities -- the Special Olympics and the Humane Society.