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Charles (Loss)

[1998-08-30-WWF-Summerslam] Owen Hart vs Ken Shamrock (Lion's Den)

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This was a great match in a unique setting. Owen was a total pro here. I watch Shamrock and it makes me sad that his wrestling career didn't go farther than it did because he was very good. I think the Dungeon Match was slightly better, but this was excellent with lots of bumping that resonates more on the hard surface.

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Interesting, I thought this one was good, but it paled compared to the Dungeon match. That came across to me as containing more ingenuity, more savagery, and a smarter all around layout compared to this match.

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I go for this over the Dungeon match as it had just as much intensity to me and a longer length. The spots of shamrock being rammed into the cage and powering out of the Sharpshooter do wonders in getting him over to the crowd. The finishing sequence also made Owen look strong as he didn't back down from going into Shamrock's environment, he just got caught in a deadly submission. This is shaping up to be a great card at this point. (****)

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This was fine but felt less special than the dungeon match, where they did such a great job of incorporating the environment. Shamrock did some neat stuff, springing off the cage and such. But this felt like more of a standard wrestling match. Nothing wrong with that. I just thought the other one was particularly cool.

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I had little recollection of this and found it to be a most pleasant surprise. It was held in the Octagon (small version) but thankfully there was no pretence of faux-MMA. They did pro moves and ramped up the stiffness a few notches. Good usage was made of the surroundings and the sense of claustrophobia added to the intensity. The duration was just right and the finish was decent. Nice match.

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I liked the Dungeon Match a bit more because it felt more like a real fight in a gritty environment--I have no problem with going for wrasslin' over faux-MMA here but this is the type of match that's probably better served as a quick and decisive war as JR predicted. Instead, it's a bit more drawn-out. But man, what a balls-to-the-wall closing stretch. Shamrock was incredible here, probably his best performance in the WWF--maybe my personal favorite overall considering how low I am on the PWFG stuff. I expected WM14 to be a runaway winner for Major Show of the Year, but if I end up being higher on Austin-Undertaker than the other comments, then this show could find itself in contention.

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With the camera work this looks a little like something that would air on MTV. They battle in an imitation UFC cage while a ref watches from above! I dunno, this is conceptually interesting and it's cool that they did this, but I can't get into this late 90s WWF stuff much with the constant back and forth. The first couple seconds were intense but Shamrock standing up while he was pounding Owen on the ground took me a bit out of the whole thing and it just turned into a more regular, slightly clunky wrestling match. The slams into the cage etc. looked great but guys would just go on offense after absorbing this stuff. Owen has really great looking slams etc. and the spot where he tackles Shamrock into the cage after the Sharpshooter. Shamrock does some weird athletic stuff like bouncing off the cage etc. I guess they wanted him to be their version of Goldberg but it doesn't really work for me.

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