On This Day: July 25, 1999 – Fully Loaded 1999:

Fully Loaded 1999
Date: July 25, 1999
Location: Marine Midland Arena, Buffalo, New York
Attendance: 16,605
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

So with 5 WWF PPVs left in the 1990s, I figured I might as well start getting that number whittled down. Not to mention that one of the 5 was a request so why not just get them all done? The main event is Austin vs. Taker in a first blood match where Austin can lose not only the title but also he would never be allowed to fight for the title again. If he wins he keeps the title and Vince can’t appear on TV ever aga. Other than that we have HHH vs. Rock in a strap match. The card is you standard 99 awesomeness so let’s get to it.

The opening video is about one of us has to go which is the basic theme of the show so there we are. There’s also a picture of a train. Sure why not. We get a clip from Heat where Taker jumps Austin and busts him open. Why that dastardly villain! Austin might need stitches. Vince denies being behind it.

Intercontinental Title: Edge vs. Jeff Jarrett

Edge is actually champion here having won the title at a house show like two days prior to this. Apparently Edge got the shot because it was supposed to be Ken Shamrock but Ken couldn’t get to the show for unspecified reasons, so this is a total shock to the fans. Debra is wearing a bikini and a jacket over it. She’s really not that hot either.

Edge looks really young to say the least. The fans want puppies as we start off very fast. I keep trying to get what the one thing that the Attitude Era has that today doesn’t and I think it’s the unexpectedness of things. I mean who would believe that Edge would win the belt at a house show the night before a PPV?

Look at what happened before the show: Taker jumped Austin. It’s something that adds to the main event and stacks the odds against Austin. Jarrett works on the knee which is smart if nothing else. Granted it also could be having guys like this get 15 minutes on PPV and time on Raw to show off. And now Jarrett goes to the arm. Why? Jarrett hooks a sleeper and of course it doesn’t work. Edge was REALLY good before he messed up his neck. He throws in the Sting headbutt to the balls.

Lawler refuses to acknowledge Edge as champion for some reason. Edge kind of hits a tornado DDT. He had the spear back then? I didn’t know that. He goes to the floor and someone attacks him in the dark. The lights come back on and there’s a big pool of “blood” and Gangrel is out next to Edge. Well that was rather shall we say pointless? The spear hits and Debra is up of course. Gangrel interferes and Jarrett hits the Stroke for the pin to get the title back.

Rating: B. Very solid match here. Again, Jarrett is great in the midcard. Edge got to showcase himself very well here so what more can you ask for? This got the time that it needed and it worked rather well I thought. Granted I really like Edge.

As Jarrett is getting the belt we cut to Austin getting taped up and he leaves. He runs out and stuns Jarrett and yells at Taker. He says Taker is going to bleed before the match starts. Again, it felt unpredictable, which makes it more exciting. Jarrett couldn’t even get out of the ring. That’s saying a lot as far as the rapid pace of the show.

Tag Titles: Acolytes vs. Hardy Boys/Michael Hayes

Yep it’s a handicap match. At this point I had zero clue which was Matt and which was Jeff. We start in the aisle where they just leave the belts. Who would have thought two of these four would win world titles? I don’t think this has started yet. According to Ross it has. Ah there’s the bell so Ross was wrong.

We have Farrooq and Jeff in there to start while Bradshaw beats up both guys on the floor. Matt takes out everyone with a top rope moonsault. They really were great fliers back in the day. Hayes is pretty freaking worthless here but what did you really expect? The APA takes over with just power. Matt picks to tag Hayes. Why in the world would you do that? We get a Freebird reference so I’m good for the night. There’s Jeff. Crowd is DEAD for this.

I think Lita helped them a good bit to say the least. The Hardys simply aren’t that good at this point. Bradshaw gets a nice belly to back suplex off the top. Not bad. Jeff clocks him with Hayes’ cane over the head. Poetry in Motion is still very much a work in progress here. Hayes comes in and a double powerbomb gives the APA their titles back. Edge, Christian and a ladder would be coming soon.

Rating: D+. I didn’t like it at all. Hayes was just in the way here as he’s old and most of the people here don’t know what he used to be nor do they care more than likely. The Hardys would dump him maybe the next night. Either way, the APA would lose the belts to Kane and X-Pac two weeks later so this was just to get Hayes out of the Hardy picture.

Austin is looking for Taker.

D’lo says he wants the European Title back. He’s rather good on the mic.

European Title: Mideon vs. Dlo Brown

Mideon literally found the belt in the back and said he was champion. I was hoping he would be naked Mideon but that came later I suppose. Ok so not everything in this era was a great idea. Well it’s different I guess. WCW would do the exact same thing with Jim Duggan and the TV Title in about 6 months but even fewer people cared.

D’lo is a guy that’s actually pretty sweet in the ring but he never got a push of note. I always liked him though. Mideon was a guy that had some of the weirdest gimmicks ever but he kept his job anyway so if nothing else he was good enough to keep around. Nothing bad about that at all. Mideon shouts loudly and I think he’s not supposed to be heard.

This is about as basic of a match as you can ask for. Definitely something that belongs on Raw. Smackdown didn’t exist as a regular show yet. Brown botches a tornado DDT for two. Mideon turns around and walks into the Sky High. Low Down gives him the title back to a surprisingly NICE pop.

Rating: C-. I like Brown so there’s your justification. This should have been on Raw though as there is nothing special at all about this match to warrant a PPV spot. To be fair though they kept it short so it’s not like this was eating up PPV time and it wasn’t really bad or anything. Just no need to put it on the PPV.

Three title matches, three new champions.

Austin is doing the same thing.

Snow is with Cole. Snow insisted that Boss Man beat him up. Head has had a spike driven through it and Snow is hearing the screams from it. This was OUT THERE.

Hardcore Title: Al Snow vs. Big Boss Man

Obviously this is hardcore rules. Snow meets him in the aisle and throws down Head and the belt. Boss Man picks up the Head and beats on the spike with the nightstick, bringing Snow to his knees in agony. Ah now the fight is on. Snow is in an anvil case now. That doesn’t last long as he nails Boss Man with a sandbag.

We haven’t even gotten close to the ring yet. Snow keeps telling Boss Man to hit him. We’re in the back now and there goes the cameraman. I’ve always loved Snow’s striking. Hot coffee to Boss Man. We have a first down marker. Sure why not? Boss Man tries to run Snow over with a golf cart but can’t start it. Much funnier than it sounds. Snow rips a potted plant up by its roots and hits Boss Man with it. Ok then. We’re outside now and a bulldog hits on the concrete for two.

Snow keeps yelling to make the voices stop and beats up Boss Man for not doing it. The people outside must be most confused. Yep let’s stop traffic for this fight. Snow is smiling now. I’m cracking up at this for some reason. This is like some weird torture porn. Snow is handcuffed to a fence and beaten with a rod for the pin I guess. Boss Man runs back into the arena to get his title.

Rating: C. I’m going with average here as it was a crap match but for some reason it was entertaining to me. Snow was NUTS and played that character better than anyone else ever could. I loved it, most won’t.

We recap Show vs. Kane which started as them one upping each other until Taker and Kane reunited. That didn’t last long as they started fighting again. Hardcore Holly is the referee here. Uh, WHY? Oh it’s the superheavyweight thing.

Big Show vs. Kane

I want to see the bullet Holly took for Vince as it must have been freaking huge for him to keep getting pushes, even small ones like this. This was when Show was face and was just going from feud to feud with zero direction. He would get the title in about 5 months. Kane is face too as this is just for bragging rights I guess.

Show hits a gorilla press on Kane. Show leads by one apparently. The big punch misses and we’re in straight big boy brawl mode here. The replay of Show throwing Kane over the top off the press slam has a great sound effect as he hits the ground. Even on Kane’s outfit the chop sounds good. DANG Show is scary strong.

How much of an explanation do you need for these two fighting? Show gets a sweet powerslam on Kane after saying I’m going to powerslam him. This match is an Ezekiel Jackson special: this right here is domination.

Kane makes his comeback and when he goes for the chokeslam he chop blocks Kane and Show hits his chokeslam and gets a fast count. X-Pac comes out and beats up Holly. Taker comes out and beats up X-Pac. Taker and Show join forces in the eternally changing polyamorous trio of big man bromances.

Rating: B-. That’s mainly for Show being freaking SCARY strong. What in the world was the need for Holly though? That makes no sense at all but it’s 1999 so there you are. Show vs. Kane is hard to get wrong other than at KOTR so this was fine. Show was very impressive.

Austin jumps Taker coming through the curtain and busts him open.

We recap Blackman vs. Shamrock, which can be called the Battle of Overrated Shoot Fighters. Seriously, neither guy ever lived up to their potential. Definitely not Shamrock.

Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Blackman

Of course it’s not traditional. We’re in the parking lot and they’re in a ring of cars. Various people are sitting on the hoods and smacking them in rhythm and I’m getting images of Freaks. Maybe 5 people will get that. They get their own entrance music for this. Think of Cena vs. Eddie from Smackdown one night.

Again, it’s unsanctioned but they use WWF music and a WWF referee. Should be noted that the newest of these cars might be ten years old. And they’re already outside the circle. I feel like I’m in kindergarten or something. Yep it’s boring already.

Blackman gets a chain from nowhere. Mabel and Slaughter are there in case you’re wondering for some odd reason. STOP THE FREAKING HONKING! Garbage can is brought in. Shamrock wraps the chain around his fist and a punch or 8 ends this. Oh ok the choke with the chain ends it.

Rating: N/A. Not a match or anything like that. Very short though so nothing unbearable or anything like that.

Terry Taylor, called Rooster, is with Taker. Taker beats him up!

Chyna and Billy Gunn say they’ll win.

Chyna/Billy Gunnvs. Road Dogg/XPac

The winner gets to call themselves DX. Ok then. Seriously, how did we never get the big Gunn vs. Dogg feud? They had a few matches but nothing big or long. Remember Pac got beaten up by Show and Taker so he’s not at full speed. Billy and Chyna have matching tights, including thongs.

After the usual intro from Roadie, we’re on. Something tells me the beating earlier was due to some slight to acute intoxication. Pretty sure the all male team is heel here but I’m not sure. Ok maybe it’s the opposite. God bless Russo. They argue over who started DX. Only Chyna can have a claim to that. The Outlaws finally explode and yep, Chyna and Gunn are heels. Chyna is rather sluggish here. Crowd isn’t really caring.

Why in the world do she and Pac need to be there? Gunn vs. Roadie is the MONEY feud here but they never pulled the trigger on it. Gunn hits a Jackhammer. Pac finally gets the tag and cleans ring for a bit and then that ends as he has to be beaten on to be worth anything apparently. This is a rather boring match to say the least. Ross makes gay jokes about Gunn’s tights. Pumphandle on Billy ends it.

Rating: D. Total misfire here as I was so bored on this whole match. Nothing of note here other than Chyna looking good of course. The angle was ok but there was zero point to this being a tag and not some form of the Outlaws going one on one.

Austin is ready.

We recap HHH vs. Rock. Oh come on like this needs an explanation. More or less it’s NOD vs. DX but at this point the face/heel dynamic has been flipped. If nothing else clips of the ladder match are always awesome. This was when HHH was going insane and turning into the Game. Rock accused HHH of sucking up to Vince. He hadn’t married Stephanie at this point.

HHH vs. The Rock

It’s a strap match and the winner gets the title shot at Summerslam. After HHH’s entrance Rock makes fun of Cole which is always great. Who would believe Cole would be employed longer than Rock? Rock thinks HHH was held down not because of politics but because he absolutely sucked.

Sweet goodness this would light the world on fire in a year. And it’s immediately on. Rock isn’t tied on yet. Like I said this was the main push for HHH to the level he’s at today as he rose to the title, winning it the night after Summerslam. Oh you win by pinfall here. Oh and I still hate this gimmick. We’re in the crowd now so I’m guessing this is No DQ? Apparently it’s falls count anywhere. Ok then.

We’re in the crowd for the better part of ever but at least the match can end there so it’s not pointless. A clothesline gets two for HHH as we discuss the MSG Curtain Call. Ross says the dirt sheets and internet made that up. Reality would suggest otherwise I’d say. We’ve been fighting 10 minutes and they were in the ring maybe 20 seconds. Hey we’re in there again! Here’s Chyna who was told to stay out by HHH. Rock Bottom hits but she’s on the apron.

To be fair though she caused HHH to lose his focus to allow the move to connect in the first place. HHH chokes Rock with the strap. HHH removes the strap after beating on Rock a lot. The problem with this is that he has given Rock a free weapon to use. And here’s Billy with a club to blast Rock to give HHH two. The elbow gets two as Billy grabs the strap, allowing the Pedigree to hit and send HHH to Summerslam.

Rating: B-. Not bad I guess but nothing compared to what these two would do. The interference was annoying but I liked the whole falls count anywhere thing which kept the crowd fighting relevant. Not a bad match but by comparison to the rest of their series, this was pretty weak.

We recap the epic feud with Austin vs. Taker/Vince which I’ve gone through time and time again. Basically Austin beat Taker for the title on Raw the night after KOTR and then Taker busted him open. He wanted the rematch to be first blood. Austin loses and can never challenge for the title again and if Taker loses Vince is off TV forever.

WWF Title: Steve Austin vs. Undertaker

Vince is on commentary here. He’s also on crutches due to a legit car wreck. Taker’s music at this time was awesome. The entrances take the better part of ever and they brawl in the aisle to start of course. Austin uses psychology and covers his head. See how much something like that aides things?

The idea here is more or less nothing but head shots which makes sense here so I can’t complain. And now it’s your standard brawl. These two had some serious lack of chemistry together and never had that great match you would think they would have. Austin goes for the knee, which makes sense if you think way too hard about it. Hard to punch someone hard when you’re on your back I guess.

After a lot of brawling and heads being looked at, we hit our climax (I wonder if it was good for them too) as Taker does the Andre spot of being tied in the ropes and Austin has a chair. Shane runs out and slides in but before his head is even up Austin drills him in a cool looking spot. Vince’s face is PRICELESS.

Taker unhooks the buckle but Austin hits the Stunner. This was back when Austin had abs if you can believe that. Austin takes a chair to the back from Taker after beating up Vince. X-Pac is here and more or less hits a Van Terminator on Taker. A TV camera to the head and then a quick cutaway for blading purposes keeps the title on Austin. Austin beats up Vince and fights Taker to end the show.

Rating: C-. Didn’t like it but it could have been far worse. It’s kind of a weak gimmick but it fit the angle so there we are. Austin would fight HHH at Mania but lose the title to Foley before going off for neck surgery and missing a year. Not a bad match but it was missing a spark definitely.

We get exclusive home video footage of HHH saying he’s ready for Austin and Vince being carried out.

Overall Rating: B-. Solid stuff here but at the same time there are some boring parts. One of the key things here is a TON of in ring time. There are very few backstage segments or moments that are just wasted. That’s the perk here. You have four new champions and five title matches. Every match has at least a decent angle behind it.

The wrestling isn’t great but it’s certainly not bad at all. Nothing jumps off the page, but the wrestling talent would be coming soon with Benoit, Angle, Jericho and Guerrero being there in less than 6 months. Good show overall but not great. Steady is a good word for it if that makes sense.

 

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my books from Amazon as low as $4 each at:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

4 comments

  1. Sebastian Howard says:

    ” Austin would fight HHH at Mania but lose the title to Foley before going off for neck surgery and missing a year. Not a bad match but it was missing a spark definitely.”

    Did you mean that Austin was going to fight Trips at Mania but he got injured or did you mix up the Summerslam triple threat with Mania?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    THat was supposed to say fight him at Summerslam instead of Mania.

  2. Sagar says:

    I just rewatched this show and damn that pre-match promo by Rock was epic. He took what had been HHH’s best promo up to that point and crapped on it in under a minute. This was also mere 3 weeks after he had buried Billy Gunn’s entire career and main event push in a single promo with the ‘God talks to Billy Gunn’ promo. Hilarious stuff as Rock was untouchable on the mic from 99-2001.

    Also, KB, I know this was one of your earlier reviews and you have mentioned that you don’t like your reviewing style from this time but I actually prefer this style over others as you had more candid comments about the show and the wrestlers throughout and not just straight up play-by-play which can tend to get dull at times. Same goes for the rest of your earlier ‘forum-era’ reviews as well. Not to say your current style is bad but these were fun too so you shouldn’t be too hard on them. The change of pace was refreshing and some of your remarks were hilarious. Cheers.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I like some of the older ones too. The play by play stuff is kind of hard to avoid at times though as 90%+ shows just don’t have enough to get overly annoyed about. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s someone pouring in fake anger/outrage over something. I do need to try to shake up some up the play by play only stuff though as it does get dry.