Tape Reviews
Today in Wrestling History (November 17)
By Jared "JHawk" Hawkins
Nov 17, 2002, 00:00

Today in Wrestling History (November 17)
by Jared "JHawk" Hawkins

Contrary to what Dr. Tom may have told you in his Midweek News update, your resident Raw recapper does not have a drinking problem. Yes, yours truly was actually sober throughout the entire Katie Vick angle. If that didn't drive me to drink, nothing will.

PREDICTION: Tonight is the 16th Annual Survivor Series live from Madison Square Garden (aka McMahon's Sacred Groudnd) in New York City. Limited seating may be avaliable if you don't mind being blocked by part of the stage, and we're pretty much guaranteed one World Title change. My only fear is that due to the guaranteed one, they'll decide not to have the change we actually want to see. However, it does bring to mind the last time Survivor Series was held at MSG, where a title that we shouldn't have wanted to see wound up being cheered for.

The story so far: Following Shawn Michaels' split with Diesel at Survivor Series 1994, Michaels decided he needed a new bodyguard. That man was Sid Vicious, brought in as simply "Sid". And all was well until...

April 2, 1995: At WrestleMania XI, Shawn Michaels receives his shot at Diesel's WWF Championship. Sid interferes liberally. Eventually, Earl Hebner tries to back Sid off, but slips on a reporter's camera case and twists his ankle. While the referee is on the floor clutching his ankle, Michaels has Diesel down for at least a ten count. However, the match continues, and Diesel eventually wins with the Jackknife.

April 3, 1995: On a live Raw, Diesel tells Shawn Michaels that Shawn has a rematch if he wants it. Later, Shawn accepts it, but since he doesn't want any controversy, he offers to give Sid the night of the rematch off. Sid snaps and turns on HBK, "injuring" him with three power bombs.

Throughout the spring and summer, Sid vs. Diesel is the top WWF program and is nearly single-handedly the reason 1995 sucked so much (although King Mabel didn't help much either). Shawn returns from his "injury" after six weeks, and their rematch is quickly signed for SummerSlam. However, Gorilla Monsoon is named interim WWF President and decides that since Sid vs. Shawn is bound to suck, Shawn will instead defend the WWF Intercontinental Title against Razor Ramon in a ladder match. I didn't understand why the PPV blowoff wouldn't happen then, and I don't get it now either.

August 28, 1995: Shawn defeats Sid at a taping of Monday Night Raw with a superkick. This is a famous match for being the first match to have its result given away on Nitro when it airs two weeks later. This essentially blew off the feud outside of their "partnership" at Survivor Series 1995. Sid was gone by January.

June 29, 1996: The Ultimate Warrior misses a house show and is replaced by the newly named "Sycho Sid". The WWF decides that unless the Warrior posts a $100,000 appearance bond, he will not be allowed to work in the WWF again. This is actually used on television to legitimize the back-up plan for the summer, which is...

July 21, 1996: Sycho Sid replaces The Ultimate Warrior in the six man tag team main event of International Incident, teaming with Ahmed Johnson and old foe Shawn Michaels to face (and lose to) Camp Cornette.

October 20, 1996: Vader is scheduled to go over Sid in a top contenders match (and then to go over Shawn for the title at Survivor Series), but suffers an injury to his foot that leaves his status for Survivor Series in doubt. Sid ends up winning the match and the title shot. Vader does wrestle at Survivor Series and gets injured again when Yokozuna lands on him wrong after a suplex.

October 21, 1996: On a taping of Raw, Shawn and Sid team against The British Bulldog and Owen Hart. Things go well until Shawn misses a superkick and hits Sid by mistake. Thus, as we get to the Survivor Series, Sycho Sid is supposed to be the de facto heel despite not actually having turned on Shawn Michaels. Why the emphasis on "supposed to be"?

Without any further ado... We take you to MSG for Survivor Series 1996. (Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You might remember this show for such events as Rocky Maivia's WWF debut and the first battle between Steve Austin and Bret Hart.) Your hosts for this event are Vince McAsshole and Good Ol' JR.

One fall for the WWF Championship: Sucko Sid vs. The Holy Bible Kid (champion--w/Super Sock Jose Lothario)

Sid is introduced to a surprisingly loud pop. I mean LOUD! Shawn gets a loud pop as well, but it sounds MUCH more feminine in nature.

There's the bell. Collar and elbow, and Sid starts punching away, with each shot getting a good reaction from the crowd. Irish whip, but Shawn slides underneath Sid and begins punching, following up with a high cross body for 2. Headlock takedown, and Shawn holds the headlock. Sid into a headscissors (Wow!), and Shawn comes out of it swinging. Sid with a headlock takedown, reversed into a headscissors by Shawn, and Sid nips out and catches Shawn with a right hand. Slugfest, and Sid gets the better of it, eventually holding Shawn up for a Gorilla press (to a huge pop). Shawn slides out of it, whips Sid into the ropes, and teases a backdrop, but that leads Sid to set up a power bomb. Shawn slides out of the ring and takes a Tastykake break. Sid chases Shawn around the ring, and when they return, Shawn tries to neutralize Sid by going to work on the left knee. The crowd chants "Let's go Sid", and Shawn looks lost. Me too, Shawn, me too. Figure-four by Shawn, and the male portion of the crowd boos loudly. Well, they cheer the Yankees, what do you expect? JR mentions that this is how Shawn beat Diesel in April. Sid reverses the figure-four, and they roll into the ropes. Shawn immediately returns to working over the left leg. Shawn goes for another figure-four, but Sid kicks off and Shawn hits the ringpost shoulder first. Series of kicks by Sid to the shoulder and ribs. Sid tosses a camera aside before one of the kicks. Remember that. Sid actually sells the leg, then goes for one kick too many and straddles the middle rope. Shawn dropkicks the knee, then slams it into the mat. A series of kick-offs sends Shawn over the top, but he hangs on...right into a clothesline that sends him over and to the floor. Sid follows him outside, and they head down the aisle. Sid rams Shawn's back into the apron, then Gorilla presses him onto the guardrail. Ouch! More kicks from Sid, and he sends Shawn back into the ring. Sid with a slow cover for 2. Irish whip and a backdrop. And more kicks. And some forearms. Irish whip, and Shawn does a Flair flip and lands on the apron. When Sid comes after him, he clotheslines Sid onto the top rope. Shawn up top for a flying bodypress, but Sid catches him and takes him down with a backbreaker for 2. Dear God, what a pop for that! This crowd is SICK! Series of punches in the corner, then a hard whip into the opposite corner. And back into the other corner again as Shawn says "Bring it to me". JR suspects that Michaels might be trying the Muhammed Ali rope-a-dope to make Sid punch himself out. And sure enough, Shawn punches back as the crowd begins booing. Bodyslam by Shawn, and up to the middle turnbuckle...and Sid gets the boot up during the flying axhandle attempt. Sid with a cobra clutch (my God, a wrestling move! From Sid, no less!). Shawn's shoulders fall to the mat while in the hold, and there are a series of 2 counts. Shawn eventually fights out of it. Sid teases a choke slam, but it's blocked. Shawn teases Sweet Chin Music, but that's blocked...and Sid does get the choke slam in! Shawn is out, but Sid doesn't cover! Sid picks up Shawn to power bomb him, but Shawn is into a small package for a near fall. Sid whips Shawn into the ropes and powerslams him for 2. Another whip, and Shawn connects with a flying forearm. Kip up, but Sid mows him down with a clothesline and covers for 2. Sid sets up for a kick, but apparently trips over the camera cord, so he grabs the camera out of frustration. Jose Lothario is on the apron to say "Hey, you big meanie, don't do that", so Sid levels him in the chest with the camera. Jose falls off the apron clutching his chest as Shawn hits Sweet Chin Music. Shawn sees his former trainer and mentor clutching his chest and elects to leave the ring to check on him rather than go for the pin. I wouldn't do that Shawn, but then again, I don't have a plotline to follow. Back in, and Shawn goes for a springboard bodyblock, but Sid ducks and Shawn hits Earl Hebner. Shawn is immediately back outside to check on Lothario, so Sid simply grabs the TV camera and levels Shawn in the back with it. JR speculates that Jose might be having a heart attack as Sid rolls Shawn back into the ring. Power Bomb to a LOUD pop. The count: One. (Crowd: "ONE!") Two. (Crowd: "TWO" as female voices shout "NOOOO!") Three. Sid wins the WWF Title in 20:01 at MSG, and the crowd is apeshit over the title change. Shawn wakes up and immediately turns to check on his mentor, who is being stretchered out of the arena. Sid celebrates in the ring as Shawn crawls to the first aid area. Great match considering Sid was in it, but simply too slow in the first 12 minutes to be considered anything special, and they completely ignored Shawn's shoulder and Sid's leg by the time they went to the finish. Plus you really don't need the ref bump when a potential heart attack should be distracting enough. **

Aftermath: Yes, Jose Lothario's "heart attack" was just an angle used to try to show that Shawn Michaels was not just a ladies' man, but was also a "man's man". Nobody really bought it, and Lothario was done with being Shawn's manager after the Royal Rumble. Despite the pop at MSG for Sid, the title reign was short-lived. After Michaels cost Bret Hart his shot at Sid on December 15, Shawn regained the title from Sid at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio...Michaels' hometown, "coincidentally" enough. Of course, on February 13, Shawn "lost his smile" when he was scheduled to defend the title against Sid...but that's another column for another day.

What can we learn from all this? If you cheer for big guys who suck long enough, eventually they'll main event in McMahonland. Face it. In a just world, Vader would have won the title at SummerSlam 1996, gone on a rampage until at least the Royal Rumble (if not WrestleMania) where nobody even touched him, and we would have been spared the crapfest that was the main event of WrestleMania 13. Instead, we get backstage politics and Sid vs. The Undertaker main eventing the biggest pay-per-view of the year and boring me to death for 21 minutes.

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