It’s been a while but we are back to finish all of our In Your House review fun. Now, maybe the best one ever: Canadian Stampede.
The open signature is the one I love. “In over 100 countries – in seven different languages…” We begin with everyone wearing ridiculous cowboy hats. There’s no video incorporated into the In Your House set.
Mankind and HHH are continuing their feud, first. Here, we will see a pretty standard and entertaining match that involves Chyna interfering anytime Mankind gets the upper hand. It ends with the two going into the crowd and fighting to a no contest. They’ll continue the feud with a cage match classic at Summerslam.
Someone took a camcorder to record the Calgary Stampede. Bret walks out on a shitty rodeo track and says hi to all the Canadians. His round black glasses are his heel glasses. He wasn’t giving away his mirror wraps anymore.
So Taka Michinoku comes out next and looks absolutely BORED. It’s funny because we all were too when he entered. He will fight the Great Sasuke, who was the promoter that allowed Taka to come to the US. In the middle of this match, these two get crazy. Sasuke does a karate kick off the top rope onto the floor! It’s crazy. Later, Vince calls Taka a “samurai warrior.” The match is great – except for the finish. Sasuke hits a horrid double underhook suplex and Taka doesn’t make any bump noise. The ref quietly counts to three. Vince is acting happy.
So, the WWE title is up next – already. It’s Undertaker vs Vader. Yeah – a main event none of us wanted to see. It was supposed to be Taker vs Ahmed Johnson, who had turned heel after he attacked Taker at King of the Ring. But, you see, Ahmed was an idiot. Still is. So, he injured himself in a segment with DOA when he got too rough. I guess he didn’t know wrestling was fake. So, Vader has to substitute, last minute. But the truth is, that’s probably the saving grace of what would have been a disaster. Paul Bearer cowers behind the ring apron. JR says “Pretty hard to hide when you’re 400 pounds.” King says, “You oughtta know.”
The angle they’re furthering is that Bearer is saying Kane is coming. And he’s calling Taker a “murderer.” Repeatedly. This is significant because it was one of the only times ever, even in the attitude era, that death or murder was mentioned by name. The match is a clusterfuck. It’s decided that it’s a good idea to let massively obese Vader reverse a Tombstone. He just falls on his ass. Taker then chokeslams Vader off of the top rope, but only after they both count to three and Vader builds up a good bouncy rhythm. Undertaker manages a Tombstone, somehow, on big boy. He pins him and wins. They act like no one has ever kicked out of two chokeslams. I’m guessing they had to promise Vader they would make him look strong.
The main event is up next. First, Stu and Helen and the priemer are honored. Stu and Helen get a great ovation. Stone Cold comes out mouthing off to all the Canadians. But man, the Hart Foundation gets the biggest ovation I’ve ever seen. Bret’s is thunderous. With headphones on, it really is probably the loudest ever. On commentary, JR mentions the cameras ringside filming a documentary on Bret Hart’s life. Wrestling With Shadows was the documentary and if not for Montreal, might have been a production few cared about. But, it just so happened to capture and document the events of Bret Hart’s final year in WWF. It’s great. Of course, WWE hates it because Vince is caught lying in it and HHH is caught lying in it to Bret’s wife.
Austin and Bret really kick off the match in what is basically the conclusion to their legendary feud. I love how that Austin does the Million Dollar Dream, like he did at Survivor Series 96, but this time when Bret counters, Austin escapes. The match goes into some really good back and forth stuff between all the people involved. Bruce Hart tries his damndest to get involved. No one has ever sought as much spotlight as Hamil hair Bruce Hart. Looks like John Denver’s hair bleached.
A cool moment exists where Neidhart tags Bret and they do a double team move – sort of a Demolition style finisher. It was acknowledged on commentary by Vince as being shades of the original Hart Foundation. I wish they had done a Hart Attack. Bret and Shamrock go at it and Shamrock grabs Bret’s leg on the ground. They do this spot twice and the second time Bret begs off, I think Shamrock believed him because he just lets him get up. But Ken may have believed Bret was begging off for real since Bret had knee surgery right before then.
This match has the fans so involved. Almost constantly. Bulldog goes for a superplex on Goldust and he lands kind of sideways on his back – instantly grabbing it. I bet that hurt. Austin comes back out after earlier injuries. He and Bret go head to head again. Then Owen comes out and saves Bret from Austin.
Once Austin goes outside, Bruce throws a soda on him again (I think he fucked up and did it twice. I think he wasn’t supposed to do it earlier in the match). Then, to Lawler’s delight, Austin grabs Stu. Hell breaks loose as about 32 men who all look identical to Stu Hart (his kids) all swarm. Bruce jumps over the rail and FALLS. Then, he actually gets a small chant.
In the mayhem, Owen rolls up Austin and, grabbing his asshole, pins him. In an iconic moment, Austin comes back, attacks the entire foundation, and gets handcuffed. He flips them off from behind his back as he’s led out.
“Look at this, McMahon. Stu and Helen are responsible for all of this.” – Jerry “The King” Lawler