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[1996-05-26-WWF-Beware of Dog] Shawn Michaels vs Davey Boy Smith

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You can still feel the disarray after the power was out, as the arena seems distracted and the heat seems less than it should be. But Shawn is fired up and looks fantastic early on, pulling out lots of fun babyface sequences he almost never does. But what's weird is the environment in the crowd where you can hear a lot of people talking amongst themselves. I like Davey Boy's power moves here, especially the over-the-shoulder backbreaker. Shawn takes an amazing staggering bump off of a criss-cross sequence to the arena floor. He also does a really terrible slingshot clothesline. Earl Hebner takes a hell of a bump. The atmosphere is not befitting of a PPV main event here, and this feels far more like a modern-era RAW main event than a 90s PPV main event.

 

I know Shawn had some type of public freakout during or after this match, either directed at a fan or the timekeeper or because he didn't have enough time for the match or something, but it wasn't evident watching here. Anyone explain?

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Shawn's freakout (while he had Bulldog in a chinlock IIRC) was edited off the replay (which I think is the main version circulating) and home video.

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The version I have has Shawn telling some screaming woman in the crowd to "Shut up, ya fat skank." He shouts this while he's the one in a chin lock. I don't think we ever get to see whoever this screaing woman is, but Hebnar looks really uncomfortable at a few points as well IIRC.

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Shawn's freakout (while he had Bulldog in a chinlock IIRC) was edited off the replay (which I think is the main version circulating) and home video.

I don't think that this is true. Some guy uploaded his recording of the original PPV broadcast (complete with long "The WWF is experiencing a power outage at the arena. We will resume when power is restored" screen in the middle), and the main event was the same length as the one from the Coliseum Video release, with the same commentary and everything. If there was a difference, I couldn't spot it.

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Some guy uploaded his recording of the original PPV broadcast (complete with long "The WWF is experiencing a power outage at the arena. We will resume when power is restored" screen in the middle), and the main event was the same length as the one from the Coliseum Video release, with the same commentary and everything. If there was a difference, I couldn't spot it.

 

Oops. After reading in the Observer that the tantrum happened after the match, I went back and checked, and, yeah, there it was. Michaels storms over to (I think?) the timekeeper, shouts right in his ear, and keeps yelling at him while heading back to the ring to celebrate.

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Clarence Mason always cracked me up--here he's in a neck brace, cast, and walking with a cane because of Gorilla Monsoon grabbing him by the arm earlier in the night. And who is that guy standing behind Perfect & Diana? I'd swear it was Stephen Root, but I doubt it. Cornette announces that he's obtained an "official South Carolina manager's license" for Owen Hart, which Owen even shows to us. Odd bit of detail by WWF standards of the time. Owen's also wearing a University of Michigan jacket for some reason, as my respect for him suddenly lessens.

 

We still don't seem to have all the lights back, and even the segue to the Hendrix-Michaels interview is messed up on multiple levels. Little things like Shawn Michaels not wearing a jacket for his entrance also give this the feel of being "off." Vince has already announced the live matches for the IYH encore show, so at least someone was on the ball to get that done so quickly while the lights were out. Clarence Mason serves Michaels with a subpoena, claiming attempted alienation of affection. I like Vince's indignation at all this.

 

Yeah, what Loss said about the match. The story as I understand it is that Shawn (and I'd assume Bulldog as well) weren't aware that this match was airing on PPV until midway through or afterward, hence Shawn's frustration. as they were clearly going at half-speed thinking this was being done for the live crowd only. There are a few nice spots and a few moments where they're clearly taking it easy, leading to a screw finish, though as screw finishes go this wasn't bad. Owen eats a superkick but otherwise his being swapped in for Cornette plays no role. A disappointing match, but I'm tempted to give the entire company a mulligan on this, as there was no precedent for this sort of thing in the PPV era.

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I will give this a pass all things considered but man was it boring and mundane for most of the match. Maybe they didn't know they were on PPV but they were really mailing it in for the first portion of this and doing the bare minimum requirement. I have pretty much thought all Shawn PPV matches from 96 up this point have been great so it was unfortunate to see bad Shawn rear his head here first with the lackadaisical performance and secondly with the shit fit he throws later on. I hope the King of the Ring match is better as I always remembered digging this feud and the matches around it but this was a disappointment. **1/2

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Pretty lame promo from Shawn pre-match. I don't think the pre-match angle helped get the crowd ready for this match after the situation is already weird from the power outage. Match was really dull. It's competently worked by athletic guys who execute their stuff well, but just nothing's going on. Double count screwy finish. This doesn't make me excited to see any more of this series.

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Before the match starts, Clarence Mason cuts a horrendous promo on HBK, serving him a subpoena. Shawn rips up the paper, much to the crowd's delight. Even through all the shit the crowd had to deal with throughout the night, they stay hot.

This is a slow match with plenty of rest holds. It's weird seeing Shawn work in a couple of extended rest holds too, considering he's the smaller babyface. The finishing stretch picks the action up a touch. Bulldog gets German'd and both guy's shoulders are counted down, calling for a draw. The screwy finish, although executed well, makes Shawn looks like a weak face champion. I was hoping they would restart the match. Although factors like the storm and Shawn throwing a hissy fit didn't help matters, this was still a massive disappointment, especially when I have just recently watched Bulldog's excellent match from IYH5 with Bret Hart.

★★¾

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