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[1996-06-23-WWF-King of the Ring] Shawn Michaels vs Davey Boy Smith


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  • 4 weeks later...

Switching Mr. Perfect to the role of outside-the-ring ref right before the match really felt in some ways like a bait and switch, because they heavily teased some type of angle going into this show that never came.

 

In retrospect, this match is a little overbooked. There are too many people involved in this match -- Cornette, Perfect, Owen and Diana. It's nothing like Over The Edge '98 as a match, but it feels like a skeleton for it in some ways because of the stack-the-deck booking of it.

 

Shawn is really on here and seems motivated to give a better match than the one at Beware of Dog. There are a few moments where Davey Boy's timing is off and Shawn does a good job covering for him. Shawn is also clearly the one calling this match. I like the opening headlock/armbar stuff. Really basic, but well-executed, and Shawn does a lot of Steamboat-like stuff: the skin the cat spot, the deep armdrags, and some of the armwork is very Steamboat-like.

 

This is maybe the match where he wrestled the most like a world champion so far.

 

It's a shame Davey Boy is having an off night. He tries, but at one point, he climbs to the top and slips off and Vince and Jim Ross are kind of in disbelief over it. There are a few awkward moments like this that hurt the heat. Also, as well as Shawn does some things, there is some sloppiness here when he does some of the high-flying stuff like the headscissors on the floor that kinda has to be mentioned.

 

Still, great world title match atmosphere, great nearfalls and heat, and maybe the best traditional title defense-style match of Shawn's run. Awesome post-match overall.

 

Owen doing the missed enzuigiri and the leg lariat in the post-match while wearing a tuxedo is awesome.

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Owen tried to cover for Bulldog by saying Lothario pushed him off the top rope! Great ad lib from Owen

 

Davey was obviously off in this match. The spot where they basically ran into each other mid ring and in what must have felt like a half hour stood there looking at each other before they improvised stood out as the worst flub

 

the post match heel beatdown was great and the crowd went crazy for Warrior's save. Felt like a hot program

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I've never seen this match before so it was a gem to see. I agree that Bulldog was a little off but he still took some big bumps and Shawn held his own. Shawn getting the upper hand on both Owen and the Bulldog for what seemed to be 5 minutes before Ahmed ran in was a little weird.

 

Like I said in the other thread. Owen was great at commentary. Even though he was a heel, he seemed fair to all sides. Even HBK.

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  • 3 years later...

I am not sure what was going on with the 1,000 headlocks in this match. Was Bulldog really that blown up? Did he always wrestle like that? Perhaps I need to brush up on my mid 90's Bulldog. The agility of Bulldog in this match is amazing. The drop kick to Michaels while Michaels sat on top of the 3rd turn buckle. The obvious flip to the outside under the guise of a head scissors by Michaels. Very entertaining from start-to-finish. I remember loving it as a kid and it still holds up. Owen on commentary throughout the entire show (and especially this match) is great and brings everything to a different level.

 

If Dolph Ziggler is going to bump like Michaels and make comebacks like Michaels, he also needs to understand the effective offense Michaels used in his matches. Ziggler doesn't have anything that looks amazing or overly impactful. KOTR 96 is a great study for someone like Ziggler on how to work from the bottom, make comebacks, cut off your opponent, etc. etc.

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  • 1 month later...

The bait-and-switch with the referees was bullshit, as people were wishing/hoping for either a Shawn-Perfect program or even an alliance, and it ended up leading to nothing. Owen's rant about this development is absolutely spectacular--for a second, it's like Ventura and Hogan are back at it in 1989, as he complains about how the WWF officials are in Shawn's back pocket. JR even brings up Perfect's shenanigans at WrestleMania 10--perfectly logical, but those little historical nuggets being dropped in the WWF always surprise me a little.

 

Bulldog definitely brings this down a notch--as logical as it was (and well-called as it was by JR) the head-and-chinlockery got a little old, and there are some missed spots. But he also goes along with some pretty great spots--the head scissors to the floor, the cool powerslam and Sweet Chin Music tease, murdering Shawn with a Liger bomb when Shawn went for a second huracanrana, and a great flipping bump into the turnbuckle. The ending is really wonky and possibly mistimed on somebody's part, with a very pointless Earl Hebner bump. Take those flaws out and this would get remembered as a classic, instead of just a really good match. These two were extra-motivated after the Beware of Dog disaster and they don't quite get there, but it's an admirable effort all the same.

 

And a great post-match follows, with all the International Incident principals involved. Good crowd heat for this with Warrior drawing chants well before his appearance.

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  • 3 months later...

This match more than made up for the Beware of Dog fiasco and was just a step below the Bulldog/Bret matches for me. Bulldog's dive was awkward and he had a few other shaky moments but he also had some great moments of athleticism and I really enjoyed seeing the powerslam to the outside that sets Bulldog up for offense. Shawn again does a great babyface comeback and picks up a victory that feels well earned. Portions of the post match felt a little out of control with some people out of position but it did a good job setting up the main event of International Incident. ***1/2

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  • 1 year later...

The Perfect stuff is bizarre. I don't really get the point of having him out there if he isn't going to be involved in any meaningful way. They teased something big during the entire show with him & never delivered on it. Weird. Great match though. I liked the early mat work. Shawn's bump off the press slam to the floor is nuts. I didn't mind the chinlockery. They made the match interesting in between it with some great teases & cut offs. Davey Boy is a bit off here, but he also had some great spots like the sit out powerbomb for a near fall & the incredible flip bump into the turnbuckle. Shawn's comeback does feel earned, but I didn't like the finish. Too confusing with Owen pulling Perfect out of the ring. We don't even know what Perfect is up to still. The post-match is awesome though with Warrior getting a great pop to clean house. Camp Cornette's promo at the end is fantastic as well. Owen's promo is as good's as Cornette's. He had a great night on commentary. I never knew he could be so entertaining in the booth. Looking forward to International Incident based off the ending of this show.

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  • 4 months later...

FANTASTIC MATCH, This could be arguably, the best match Davey Boy ever had. His matches with Bret are very good but he seemed to be on another level here. He's not the smoothest wrestler like Shawn and there are always some brain fade moments in his matches but those mistakes looked very minor in this match.

 

I actually didn't mind the headlocks because it was after some big moves and therefore he was further weakening Shawn so it worked. The surfboard spot looked great and painful, I thought Shawn was going to get his arms ripped off.

 

Just when everything was going well........the finish happened. What was this. I'm not sure if Earl was supposed to stay down so Perfect could count or if Owen was to grab Earl instead of Perfect. I don't know but it's a minor issue that didn't ruin the match. Post match was great too. ****1/2

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  • 2 months later...

Really good matched worked well to feel like a hard fought, world title main event. Opening stuff was well done, punctuated with some energetic exchanges here and there. Davey's press slam dump to the outside was an awesome spot. That powerbomb ruled too. Maybe Shawn could have gotten some more offense. Finish was weird. Warrior showing up might be the biggest pop of the year so far.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-06-23-WWF-King of the Ring] Shawn Michaels vs Davey Boy Smith

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