Date: April 24, 2020
Host: Tom Phillips
We’re still doing The Matches That Made Us and believe it or not, this is one of the shows that I can enjoy the most. Not that it’s such a short show (which it is), but more along the lines of it’s nice to open the huge WWE Vault and showcase some of their stuff. It’s ok to have some classic footage instead of the completely unimportant cruiserweight show and it wouldn’t surprise me if it didn’t come back. It probably will, but I wouldn’t be shocked otherwise. Let’s get to it.
Tom Phillips welcomes us to the show and introduces us to tonight’s subject: Ariya Daivari.
Daivari talks about being a huge Steve Austin fan and sends us to our first match, from Survivor Series 1996.
Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart
The winner gets the title shot next month. Even Vince has to acknowledge the face pop Austin receives here in New York. Bret gets a great face reaction of his own but Austin really isn’t impressed with the pyro. JR thinks this might come down to a submission, which might be some great foreshadowing for Wrestlemania. He goes even further by saying Bret isn’t a clown or a trashman because he’s a wrestler. Uh, Doink and Droese were wrestlers to Jim. We’re still not ready to go as Vince possibly spoils the main event by saying the winner of this gets Sid.
Austin flips him off to start and we’re ready to go. Feeling out process to start as JR goes back to that submission idea. Vince: “How ironic would it be if Steve Austin put the Sharpshooter on Bret Hart and made him submit?” They trade wristlocks to start and you can see some extra fire in Bret for this match.
Bret takes him down and stays on the arm with a hammerlock until a hard elbow to the jaw puts him down. Austin keeps slugging away until Bret pulls him into another armbar. Bret: “ASK HIM!” Did Jericho get that from Bret? Steve comes right back with a hot shot and starts choking on the bottom rope.
We hit the chinlock and JR goes back to that submission idea again. That’s three times now and it’s really not adding anything new. Back up and it’s time for the slugout with Austin easily taking over as you would expect. Bret comes back with his usual offense but gets shoved chest first into the buckle, again as is his custom. Austin’s superplex is broken up though and Bret goes all the way to the top for the elbow.
They head outside with Austin driving the back into the post as the brawling continues to favor Austin while Bret wins the wrestling. Makes sense. Of course as soon as I say that, Bret throws him through (yes through) the barricade and Austin is suddenly reeling. Just because it’s required, they fight over the announcers’ table with Austin taking over (JR: “It seems that it always happens to the Spanish guys!”) and dropping an elbow onto Bret. The table actually doesn’t break though in a very rare sight.
Back in and we hit the abdominal stretch as Austin continues to know how to focus on a body part. The referee catches Austin holding the ropes (which doesn’t add leverage but helps block a hiptoss counter) so it’s time for a slugout, capped off by Bret hitting a Stun Gun for two. Austin is right back up with a top rope superplex but Bret does the lifting the legs spot (looked horrible here as they were both down for several seconds before going for it) for two.
The Stunner hits out of nowhere for two and JR makes a REALLY good save by saying Bret only kicked out because Austin rolled him away from the ropes. That protects the move, which is completely lost on today’s product. Austin grabs a Texas Cloverleaf, followed by a Bow and Arrow of all things. Unfortunately Austin makes the mistake of trying to mat wrestle with Bret and has to grab the ropes to avoid a Sharpshooter. Back up and Austin grabs the Million Dollar Dream but Bret walks the turnbuckle and flips back onto Austin for the surprise pin at 24:41.
Result: Bret Hart b. Steve Austin – Rollup (24:41)
JR: “I don’t think anyone, including Shawn Michaels or Sid, could have beaten Bret Hart in this ring on this night.” Vince: “I totally disagree with that.” No followup or anything and the tone was very heelish.
Daivari throws us to our next match, from 205 Live, July 9, 2019.
Oney Lorcan vs. Ariya Daivari
Anything goes. Lorcan charges up the ramp and the fight is on in a hurry. They get inside for the opening bell with Lorcan throwing him right back to the floor. It’s already time to throw some chairs inside as Lorcan wants to get violent in a hurry. Some running elbows in the corner have Daivari in trouble but he sends Lorcan over the top to get a breather. Daivari throws in a chain and pulls out a trashcan, with the delay letting Lorcan get in a suplex on the floor.
Let’s bring in a ladder, just to crank this one into high gear sooner. First though, the chain is pulled across Lorcan’s face, with Nigel saying it’s going to be hard to make it look worse. The ladder is set up in the corner with Lorcan sending Daivari into it for the crash. A suplex into the ladder is blocked so Lorcan settles for a hiptoss into the ladder instead. The half and half suplex onto a chair is countered into a reverse DDT, allowing Daivari to grab the chain again.
As Nigel talks about the Roddy Piper vs. Greg Valentine dog collar match, Daivari whips Lorcan into the corner with the chain around the neck. A camel clutch with Lorcan’s head inside the chair offers a rather good looking visual with Daivari ripping at the face to make it worse. With the hold not working, Daivari sits him in the chair and punches away but gets caught with a drop toehold into the chair for a double knockdown.
The running Blockbuster puts Daivari on the floor and a fired up Lorcan hits the running dive off the apron. The fans ask for and receive tables but it takes too long, allowing Daivari to hit a superkick. Lorcan rolls outside again but this time he pelts a trashcan at Daivari to knock him out of the air.
It’s time for six more chairs with Lorcan setting up for of them in front of the steps. Actually make that six and there is no way this is going to end well. Daivari uses the long breather to get in a shot of his own and a backdrop sends Lorcan off the steps and through all the chairs. Back in and Daivari starts setting up the table but goes for the ladder instead, drawing a YOU ARE STUPID chant.
The Persian Lion splash off the ladder gives Daivari two and you can hear Nigel losing his mind over the kickout. It’s time for another table but that one breaks as Daivari sets it up. That means another table with Daivari stacking it next to the previous one. Another splash takes too long though and Lorcan superplexes him through both tables for the pin at 20:56.
Result: Oney Lorcan b. Ariya Daivari – Superplex through a table (20:56)
Tom gives us a quick wrap up.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!