Happy Saturday Everyone!
WWE are in Cardiff this weekend, so I decided to head back to another show they ran in the UK during the autumn in the form of Rebellion 99. Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara didn’t go on this trip and actually used it as a chance to negotiate with WCW whilst Vince McMahon was over in England. Also a notable storyline with Stephanie McMahon started on this show as well.
From memory there is some good wrestling on this one, although the show is also mostly typical Attitude Era stuff. I seem to recall that the match between Kane and Big Show over delivers, but we’ll see if I’m remembering that right or not.
The event is emanating from Birmingham, England on the 2nd of October 1999
Calling the action are Jim Ross and Michael Hayes
We open up with a fun video package hyping up the Main Event between Triple H and The Rock, with a posh British guy getting undercut by a gruff American. It’s an enjoyable juxtaposition.
As the show is in Birmingham I’ll keep a look out for Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion shirts. Heck, maybe even we’ll see a Walsall shirt if one of the Blog’s resident posters Klep decided to attend this one!
WWF Intercontinental Title
Champ: The Misogynist Jeff Jarrett w/ Miss. Kitty Vs WWF European Champion D’Lo Brown
Jarrett’s whole gimmick at the time was that he would beat up women, because Vince Russo seems to hate women for some reason. Brown had recently regained the European Title from Mark Henry, but it’s just Jarrett’s belt on the line here. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just make it for the European Title seeing as the show is actually in Europe and it would allow them to put Brown over. Jarrett ends up attacking a woman from the crowd when she can’t hoover stuff up to his satisfaction, which leads to Chyna making the save.
This was the zenith of Russo’s “SHADES OF GREY, BRO” nonsense, as Chyna was a babyface when feuding with Jarrett but a Heel the rest of the time. Eventually they’d pick a side of the divide for her and stick with it when she stopped managing Triple H. Brown runs wild to start, bumping Jarrett all over the place whilst the crowd enjoys themselves. It’s a fun opener as these two usually had good matches together. Jarrett eventually decides that he’s just going to flee with his belt and his bird, but Brown chases him down and brings him back to the ring.
Jarrett manages to use a sleeper to wear Brown down a bit back inside the ring, but Brown fights back, only to eat a Jarrett dropkick when he tries something off the second rope. This continues to be a solid well-worked match, with Jarrett now going after Brown’s arm and shoulder with the old Divorce Court arm breaker. Brown eventually makes the comeback, with the crowd continuing to enjoy the cut of his jib. Both men get some near falls, with the action continuing to be fun, and Jarrett eventually uses the hoover from earlier to clobber Brown whilst Kitty distracts the ref and that’s enough for three.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: JEFF JARRETT
A good match as always when these two went at it. Cheap finish, but at least we got a pin
Jarrett grabs a mic post-match and lays down the challenge to Chyna for later. This is basically just an episode of Raw that they made people in the UK pay for. In a way that was probably what the paying public wanted to see seeing as they didn’t do Raw tapings in the UK at the time.
Gangrel Vs The Godfather w/ The Ho’s
Godfather doing the gag where he comes out ho-less to boos only to then bring them out is always fun. The women are practically naked here tonight, which I’m sure made the parents in the crowd happy. At least in America they would normally have The Godfather’s lady friends wear something bordering on actual clothing. Gangrel gets a good pop on account of his cool entrance and the fact we tend to like gothic stuff over here.
Godfather declines to offer Gangrel the deal of taking a lady in exchange for forfeiting the bout as the crowd would rather see him give Gangy a good clobbering, so the match just starts instead. This is your standard under-card bout, with Godfather getting a babyface shine until Gangrel cuts him off and works some heat. It’s mostly punching and kicking, but it isn’t terrible or anything and they keep the resting to a minimum.
Gangrel’s offence during the heat looks decent, and eventually Godfather makes the comeback. The crowd isn’t really that in to the actual wrestling, but they do react when Godfather gets his trademark moves of Ho Train and Pimp Drop for the three count. Ross called it a “hard fought” victory, but it didn’t really feel like that to be honest.
WINNER: THE GODFATHER
About on par with something you’d see on HeAT or Shotgun. It wasn’t actively bad, but it was just two fellers having a match and the crowd didn’t really care once the entrances and catchphrases were done with
Godfather has the ladies dance with referee Tim White following the bout.
Michael Cole is backstage with Chyna. She accepts Jarrett’s challenge for later, because Jarrett has Va-Chyna Envy. Davey Boy Smith comes over to complain that he’s not getting a WWF Title shot, and he’s going to demand it from Vince McMahon.
Sexual Chocolate Mark Henry Vs Val Venis
Both these guys had “ladies man” gimmicks, and I believe they became a tag team briefly as well. This was during the period where they were trying to get Henry to quit due to his big 10 year contract, so they’d book him to look silly and mostly get his butt whipped by the majority of the roster. Venis references the Rugby World Cup during his pre-match spiel, and somehow manages to get through his entire promo without suggesting that the world is run by lizard people.
Henry was even more awful than he was during his “prime” here, and he wasn’t that good then either, so this match is a bit of a slog. There’s a reason some of us used to refer to him as “The Human Root Canal” during this period. Once again the Attitude Era crowd doesn’t really care about a match with lower card guys once the bell rings and the entrances are finished. Venis actually looks decent here, although Henry mostly lumbers around and just generally looks lost. Venis ends up heading up with the Money Shot and that’s enough for three.
WINNER: VAL VENIS
This was bordering on a squash win for Venis as Henry really was in the dog house during this period. I’m pleased that we’ve had three pin fall endings in a row though at least
Davey Boy Smith enters the locker room of Vince, Shane and Stephanie McMahon. Vince says that Davey has already had his Title shot and tells Davey to calm down. Davey says he won’t calm down and flings a bin in anger before leaving. It turns out that the bin hit Stephanie off screen though, leading to her being knocked out and having amnesia for a bit. Yes, they actually had the gall to do the old soap opera trope of a character waking up with amnesia. Because Vince Russo was watching a lot of Days of Our Lives whilst writing Raw that week I guess.
WWF Women’s Title
Champ: Ivory Vs Luna Vachon Vs Jackie Moore Vs Tori Power
Ivory seems to be a Heel here whilst the other three wrestlers would appear to be babyfaces if the entrances are anything to go by. Ivory would do stuff like wiggle her bum and rip off women’s clothes though, which would actually get you cheered during this period in WWF history. I actually find Ivory’s mega-bitch act to be pretty fun when I go back to watch these older shows. It actually gets worked into the match as well, as all three of the babyfaces team up to batter her until they start fighting over who gets to pin her.
The actual wrestling isn’t great here, and it always surprises me that Tori used to wrestle in Japan because they have pretty high standards over there and she never appeared to be at that level from watching her WWF stuff. Ivory tries to form an alliance with Jackie, but that of course goes awry, leading to Jackie clobbering away at Ivory. We get a quadruple sleeper spot at one stage, although it doesn’t get much of a reaction. Man, these Attitude Era shows could be absolutely brutal if you watch wrestling for actual wrestling. Ivory ends up catching Jackie with a belt shot whilst the other two wrestlers brawl and that’s enough for three.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: IVORY
This wasn’t very good sadly, although they were all doing their best
Stephanie McMahon is getting taken out of the venue on a stretcher. Davey Boy Smith is unrepentant though and won’t apologise.
Chris Jericho w/ Mr. Hughes Vs WWF Tag Team Champion The Road Dogg Jesse James
Road Dogg had been powerbombed through a table by Jericho on an episode of Smackdown, so there’s an actual storyline reason for this match to happen. This one has some good intensity, with Road Dogg attacking Jericho at the bell and brawling with him around ringside and into the crowd. It really does feel like a grudge match between two wrestlers who don’t like one another, which puts it a step above some of the other matches tonight that have really just felt like thrown together bouts you’d see on a random television show.
Jericho eventually manages get a desperation Stun Gun for the cut-off, which leads to Hughes getting some cheap shots in outside the ring for good measure, and that gives us our Heel heat segment portion of the bout. Jericho does a good job heeling it up, whilst Dogg does a good job selling, so the crowd remains invested and the heat segment is entertaining as a result. Sometimes a match will grind to a halt in the heat, especially if the crowd doesn’t care, but thankfully both of these guys are over enough that the crowd does care.
Road Dogg eventually makes the comeback, with Jericho bumping and selling for it nicely, and we head into the closing sections of the bout, with both men having chances to win it. Jericho misses the Lionsault at one stage, which leads to Road Dogg doing his punch combo. Jericho ducks on the final punch though, which leads to the ref going down. Hughes comes in with a chair shot to Road Dogg and then revives the ref just in time for Jericho to make a cover for two in a really good near fall.
Road Dogg makes another comeback and knocks Hughes off the apron, but Jericho manages to catch Dogg right in the Tennessee region and then follows up with a last gasp pinning attempt, which gets him the three count. That was a good Heel finish from Jericho and the chair shot near fall was very nicely done. They probably should have let Dogg have a proper near fall of his own following it rather than essentially going straight to the finish, but it was still a well-executed fake out that the crowd totally bit on.
WINNER: CHRIS JERICHO
This had good crowd reactions and the two wrestlers worked the match as a heated grudge battle, so it was entertaining and achieved what it was going for. It was certainly a pay per view quality bout, which is something you couldn’t say for some of the contests we’ve seen on this one so far. The show kind of needed a good match after the slew of bad to so-so ones, and these two wrestlers thankfully delivered one
We get to see footage of people queuing up to meet The Rock. It should shock nobody that this made Rock come across as a big star.
Non-Title Inter-gender bout
WWF Intercontinental Champ: Jeff Jarrett w/ Miss. Kitty Vs Chyna
Chyna would eventually win the Title from Jarrett at the No Mercy pay per view later in the month, although the WWF had to pay Jarrett $200,000 in order to get him to agree to do it seeing as he was actually out of contract by the time the show took place and he decided he wanted to jump to WCW with his buddy Vince Russo. This is non-Title here though, which I’m guessing is so that Chyna can win?
Chyna runs wild on Jarrett to start until Jarrett is able to catapult her into the corner for the cut-off. Chyna keeps coming though and gets a nice Electric Chair suplex. However, before things can go any further, Davey Boy Smith runs down to batter Chyna, possibly as a response to Chyna’s comments from earlier and also partly down to Chyna being associated with WWF Champ Triple H, who Bulldog wants a match with.
WINNER BY DQ: CHYNA
The match didn’t go on long enough for me to rate it to be honest. It seemed to exist more to make sure that Bulldog would get booed later on. He’s been all over this show tonight
Jarrett beats up Chyna following the match.
We get to see footage of fans meeting The Rock and Big Show at an autograph signing. The fans are very happy to see them and Rock actually hugs a young fan at one stage in a nice moment.
The Big Show Vs Kane
Let’s see if this match is actually good or if I’m just remembering it wrong. These two had been feuding for months at this stage, with them wrestling in singles bouts at King of the Ring and Fully Loaded, as well as a tag match at SummerSlam and a six pack challenge at Unforgiven. The idea behind the feud was simple enough. Both men are really big and they want to beat the stuffing out of one another. Some of their matches were pretty awful but the general premise often ensured the fans were invested in the battles at least.
This one is mostly just the two big dudes punching and kicking each other, but it has good energy and the crowd gets into it, so it ends up being fun and they don’t do a lot of resting either, which is admirable when you consider how much weight both men need to carry around out there. Kane even busts out some impressive moves for a guy his size, including a dropkick and an enziguri. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a classic or anything, but it’s a decent “hoss match” and probably one of the best battles the two had together.
It helps that the crowd really seems to like Kane, and they react positively whenever Kane gets some offence in, especially when Big Show cuts him off to work some heat. Big Show even busts out a Scorpion Death Drop at one stage before going to THE DREADED YOUNG LION BOSTON CRAB, although Kane refuses to submit. The crowd really gets behind Kane at this stage, and Big Show has to release the hold because he knows Kane won’t submit and he’s just wasting time, although the commentary team don’t explain it well.
Kane eventually manages to dodge an elbow drop and makes the comeback, getting a nice DDT in the process before heading up top for his trademark flying clothesline. They actually decide to make use of the No DQ stipulation when Big Show brings a chair into the ring, but Kane is able to kick the chair back into Big Show’s face and then follows up with a big body slam for the three count and big pop from the crowd.
This was still better than you’d expect considering the two guys didn’t necessarily have classics together. They didn’t really make much use of the stipulation outside of the one spot with a chair, and to be honest they could have just had the match under normal rules and still gotten away with that finish as it wouldn’t be a DQ for Kane to kick a chair back in someone’s face if they themselves had brought it in. They built nicely to Kane finally getting the big slam on Big Show and then smartly took it home at the peak without over-egging the pudding. This was fun!
Michael Cole interviews Triple H about what Davey Boy Smith has been doing. Triple H says he doesn’t care though, because all he cares about is retaining his WWF Title against The Rocklater on.
Davey Boy Smith Vs X-Pac
They have been attempting to make Bulldog as unlikable as possible in order to get him booed here. I honestly wonder why they even bothered? Just book him against a Heel who you don’t mind losing and let Bulldog work as a babyface for the night. Hardcore Holly or Mideon for instance. Someone that won’t be hurt from doing a job for the hometown hero. Smith does get some boos but some people are still cheering him as well, so the push to make him the top Heel on the show only partially worked.
A combination of injuries and bad lifestyle choices had made Davey a shell of his former self by the time this run came along, which just happened to coincide with possibly the biggest push he’d ever received in the WWF. He’d been pretty over in the 80’s and first half of the 90’s as a babyface, but he was still kind of getting pushed as a Main Eventer during one of the hottest periods in company history here and he just didn’t have enough left in the tank to make it work.
This match is still decent because X-Pac was a very good babyface at the time (no, seriously, X-Pac was beloved in 1999 as an underdog good guy) and the match has a good atmosphere due to the mixed reactions to Davey. Davey works a few chin locks, but X-Pac eventually makes the comeback and gets the Bronco Buster. Smith presses X-Pac crotch first onto the top rope to stop the comeback though and then follows up with a Powerslam for three.
WINNER: DAVEY BOY SMITH
I still don’t know why it was so essential to book Smith as a big Heel in England, but the match was fine once they got in there
Crash Holly and Hardcore Holly have an argument backstage about the metrics the English use. By the time you read this we might have gone back to imperial measurements so that the gammon’s can have yet another retrograde change for the sake of it because they’re bitter about people who aren’t like them.
Elimination Match for #1 Contender Status
The Holly Cousins (Hardcore and Crash) Vs The Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) Vs Edge and Christian
E&C are supposedly already the #1 ranked team but they are putting that on the line here because they are gutsy babyfaces. This is a fun contest, with all six guys going at it and the action being exciting. The Holly’s are actually kind of over here, but that doesn’t save them from getting eliminated when Bradshaw clotheslines poor Crash right out of his boots.
The Holly’s Eliminated by The Acolytes (Bradshaw Clothesline to Crash)
So now we have a standard tag match. I almost feel bad for Hardcore and Crash that they got dragged all the way to England for that, as they were barely in there and kind of got jobbed out, even though they were probably the second most over team in the whole contest. If they go and put The Acolytes over here when they are the team the crowd cares the least about then I’ll tut with derision right here in this very review.
Don’t push me WWF, I’ll giving you a solid tutting and won’t think twice about it! Christian gets worked over in The Acolyte corner for a bit, and he does an excellent job selling that, with the crowd getting behind him in the hope he will make a tag to Edge. Edge does finally get the tag and runs wild, with Christian coming in to help with a double dropkick at one stage. Bradshaw ends up giving Edge a clothesline, but Christian breaks up the pin and that leads to Edge getting Bradshaw with a Tornado DDT for the three count.
WINNERS: EDGE & CHRISTIAN
This was little bit short but E&C were way over and the crowd enjoyed seeing them win
Edge and Christian leave through the crowd following that.
We get a video package to recap the Unforgiven pay per view, where Triple H regained the WWF Title after winning a six pack challenge. Triple H was supposed to give Davey Boy Smith a Title shot following that, but he refused, so Vince McMahon booked Triple H against The Rocklater on in the show. Stone Cold was annoyed by that, but Vince appeased him by giving Austin a shot at No Mercy. That then led to Triple H and Rock having a match for the WWF Title on Raw, where Triple H won thanks to Smith getting involved. This then led to Vince booking Triple H against Dave Boy on Smackdown for the WWF Title, with Rock as the referee. Rock ended up screwing Smith in revenge for what happened at Raw, complete with Rock sliding along the mat in his designer shows before delivering the People’s Elbow in an iconic moment in WWF history. This was all done to kill time whilst they set the cage up in the arena.
We get a recap of Stephanie McMahon getting hurt earlier. Apparently she will be okay and Shane McMahon is on his way back to the arena, which might mean something bad is in store for Davey Boy Smith
Steel Cage Match – Escape Rules
Champ: Triple H Vs The Rock
Rock is way over of course. He even says “Birmingham” the correct British way as opposed to the weird American way whilst doing an awesome pre-match promo. This was a smart choice of gimmick match to close the show with as we love cage matches in the UK, especially during this period where you’d often get entire shows in cages. I remember seeing one of those “tribute” shows at the Stockport Plaza where they had guys dressing up as the WWF wrestlers and “The Undertaker” took on “The Dudley Boy” (Yes that was his name, even though he was clearly just supposed to be Bubba Ray) in a cage match. The crowd loved it too.
This is a good brawl inside the cage, with both men working a quick clip and the escape teases being on point. WWF cage matches usually always became climbing and crawling contests more than the hate-filled fights that cage matches originally started as elsewhere, just because the WWF felt they had to be different from other companies. This a good example of the WWF’s take on the genre though, with the big barred cage being unique to the company as well, as most other promotions tended to use mesh cages.
There’s a clear “You Talk Too Much” moment at around 2 hours 10 minutes that someone should send Maffew’s way, and now we’ll all have that song in our collective brains for the rest of the day. Sorry fam. Things get screwy in the closing stages, as the referee outside the cage gets bumped , when he take a chair away from Triple H, which means there is no one there to register the end of the match when Rock makes it outside the cage straight after.
Seeing as the referee is down, Triple H and Rock brawl into the crowd for a bit. The commentary team don’t mention this, but Vince and Shane being distracted by what happened with Stephanie means that they aren’t there to settle things down and declare Rock the new Champion, giving an actual storyline reason why this has been allowed to happen. Rock ends up clocking Triple H with a chair at ringside and Triple H comes up bleeding, because he loves Ric Flair and Flair would clearly blade in such a situation.
Rock even climbs up the cage and elbow drops Triple H through the commentary table for good measure, as he’s been giving Triple H a real kicking since the ref got bumped. The ref finally awakens just as Rock starts to climb out of the cage again, but Davey Boy Smith attacks Rock in order to put a stop to that, before beating up Shane McMahon and The Stooges for good measure outside the cage. They were certainly giving Davey the monster push here. Rock manages to catch Davey right in the Crown Jewels, but Chyna slams the door in Rock’s face (ironic considering that Hayes is doing commentary) and that allows Triple H to climb out of the human wreckage to retain his belt.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: TRIPLE H
It was Triple H Vs The Rock, so that’s almost always going to be good, especially from 1998 onwards. The overbooking was total Sports Entertainment, but it worked for the most part and they protected Rock in defeat
Vince McMahon locks the cage door following the match and even drops an F-Bomb to Davey Boy, which allows Rock to beat up Davey in order to send the fans home happy.
This was basically just an episode of Raw with a pay per view quality Main Event tacked on at the end. If that sounds like something you would enjoy then this is worth your time, but you’re not going to get much here that you wouldn’t get from a standard episode of Raw from this Era.
Mildly Recommended Show