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[1996-06-23-WWF-King of the Ring] The Undertaker vs Mankind


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I was watching this right now from this "The History Of Undertaker vs. Mankind" DVD set I bought about 4 years ago. I love this match. At the time, I was just starting to not hate Undertaker as much as I did for his first few years, mainly due to him starting to evolve the style he used. (Upon reflection, I like old Taker a lot more now than I did back then.) But I still fucking hated Paul Bearer at the time and thought he was just annoying and stupid. And even that changed a few months later when Bearer turned on Taker. And it's not exactly a clean win for Mankind here as Bearer "accidently" smacks Taker with the urn to set up the pinfall. It's a killer brawl here, and you see Taker's wrestling style evolve during the freaking match! It's so cool.

What I loved about the Taker/ Mankind feud, (and at first I hated Mankind as well because I was all, "Just have him be Cactus Jack...stupid Vince", but I warmed up to him fast because he was still the same guy and they had him kicking Taker's ass like no one else ever had done. I totally loved the fact that there was a guy who was Taker's Arch-enemy who was just as badass as he was and even creepier and totally crazy. To me, Undertaker's "#1 nemesis is and always will be Mankind.

 

Oh, and Goldust being a major part of the first feud is just extra great.

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  • 4 years later...

This was one of the first instances of the WWF allowing chairs and big garbage-style bumps in the opening match of a feud rather than a blow-off. It doesn't make for a great match, but it makes for a unique one at the time. Mankind shocks the world with a somewhat clean victory. Owen Hart immediately calls shenanigans--I don't know if they had the Bearer turn 100% planned yet but they were certainly testing the waters for it.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I really liked this match. Taker changing his style must have been a little eye popping at the time. Foley can't seem to work a match without taking at least one brutal looking spot & the irish whip into the ring apron at 100 mph takes the cake. He also takes two chair shots to the head. I loved Bearer getting the crowd riled up with the urn & chanting "Rest in Peace!" with them. Cool catch on camera. Mankind pinning The Undertaker clean, even if was set up by an accidental urn shot from Bearer, is a big moment. I've heard great things about this feud & am looking forward to seeing more of it. Based off Owen's commentary one can assume there were already plans or at least discussion of Bearer turning on Taker.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm going to watch every match of this feud which I haven't watched in years so I'm hoping it holds up.

 

I forgot they had that floating blimp in the arena lol, bring that back. This really was an underrated start to the feud and a different change for the undertaker where he is unsure of his opponent so he is going to throw everything at him.

 

I actually forgot who won here so I was shocked at the finish, kept both men strong going into their next match. ***1/2

 

Next, the Boiler Room Brawl.

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  • 2 months later...
  • GSR changed the title to [1996-06-23-WWF-King of the Ring] The Undertaker vs Mankind

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