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[1999-02-14-WWF-St. Valentine's Day Massacre] Steve Austin vs Vince McMahon (Cage)

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This was all smoke and mirrors, but it was smart smoke and mirrors and was quite well done. Big props to Vince taking that bump off the side of the cage and doing a match between a wrestler and a non-wrestler that was not a letdown in any sense of the word. Vince keeps flipping Austin the bird every time he's about to leave the cage. Big Show's debut was well done in terms of establishing him as physically capable, but the finish was a weird one as they pretty much made him a dumb heel right out of the gate. Michael Cole saying "It's Paul Wight!" sucked too.

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This was better than it had any right to be. Honestly, if they avoided completely stinking the joint up most people would have been happy but they managed to put together a really smartly booked and entertaining match. The crowd was frenetic for Vince to get his after a year of screwing with Austin. Austin beat him like a drum (as he should have) and Vince's bloody face of desperation and Austin's reactions to him were perfect. I wonder how much Vince taking the table bump off the side of the cage was to one-up Bischoff getting powerbombed off the stage by Nash.

 

I liked Show's debut through the ring but agree that Cole announcing him as "Paul Wight" was terrible, as no one had heard that name before. Then he got the one night run as "Big Nasty" before finally setting on Big Show.

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Very fun spectacle that was exactly what it needed to be. Hot crowd, huge bump by Vince, well structured and full of enough tricks to keep it from getting boring. Show's debut was kinda dumb though. Why debut a monster heel only for his first act to be screwing up so the babyface wins?

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I loved this at the time and It holds up. I can't believe the owner of a multi million dollar company brawled with Steve Austin into the crowd. That might be more nuts than the bump off the cage. I liked Michael Cole saying "That's Paul White, he's HUGE".

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As my comments in the Diesel vs. Bret cage match show, I hate the hiding under the ring in a cage match gimmick. One of my overall pet peeves in wrestling. That aside, this was worked well with some good cat and mouse, Austin beating Vince's ass, Vince taking that great bump and both guy delivering on their promises. Vinces blade job here should DQ him from making any top 6 list (Grimmas). Fun match but not really a classic in my mind. **3/4

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About as good as you'd expect--Vince gets in a shred of offense, but not too much, and gives everybody who wanted to see him get destroyed what they came for. I don't hate the idea of hiding under the ring, but yeah, in kayfabe-ville it makes no sense for Paul Wight to wait for as long as he did. Why not pop out as soon as the bell rang, or while Austin was waiting for Vince in the cage? Of course, Loss already answered that in another thread--because there wouldn't be a match. Still, a minor complaint, and it's only a red-herring anyway with an actual finish that's much more creative. They made it clear through gestures that Vince was ordering Wight to heave Austin into the cage, so I don't think it does so much to make him look stupid--no, they'll take care of that in due time. Interesting that Cole spends so much time talking about how Austin "won't let Vince have the last word." What have I been saying about the difference between Vince and Bischoff at this time? Thanks for making my point, guys.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Vince McMahon - St. Valentine's Day Massacre 2/14/99

Well it certainly was aptly named because this was a massacre. One of the all-time great lopsided matches in wrestling history. It is the first blowoff to the original Austin vs McMahon feud before they added the Ministry in. It was expertly executed. No one wanted to see McMahon get in a lick of offense. No one came to see a competitive match. They came to see an ass-whuppin'. Thats one of the problems in today's wrestling everyone wants a good match. The Patriots put a hurtin' on the Fins yesterday and you know what my brother said this is his favorite type of games. You love the hero so much you just wanna see 'em kick ass. Goddamnit, I loved it! McMahon was great in the beginning, cowardly finding a way to draw Austin out of the cage so he could get in. He flips the switch from coward to asshole in a second. Taunting Austin "Get in here, you son of a bitch". Blocking Austin's way, Austin outfoxes the Chairman by feigning a knee injury. That's when he unleashes that can of whoop ass. Crowd brawling was perfect here. That table bump was insane! Austin hurling McMahon down the ramp on the stretcher! We get the guaranteed blood. We get the Stunner! What a pop! We get all the fixins'. My complaint is that they could have been more efficient about this. I thought they dragged things out a little and it got a little long in the tooth. Like he says the match aint over after the table bump because he has to deliver on some promises. It should have been right to blood and Stunners. Instead of all this, Austin is gonna walk out, but McMahon flipped him off so he came back for more bullshit. The finish was weird too. McMahon's Master Plan of The Giant beating up Austin backfires when he throws Austin through the cage. The Giant/Wight/Big Show looks like a massive fuck up. Austin was so dominant, but this kinda made him look lucky. It is very entertaining but I think it could have been even better. Still a great blowoff. ***3/4

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As was stated many times before, this is a total smoke and mirrors show. But it's a really fun one that gave the crowd everything they wanted with this one and sent them home happy. Sure, Big Show looks dumb for waiting so long and then throwing out Austin to victory, but just about everything before that was played out pretty smartly. Austin's hubris couldn't let him just win, no, he has to break Vince's will. And Vince's hubris couldn't let his ass-kicking end, he apparently had to stall for PAUL WIGHT who was taking his sweet-ass time. That bump was really nasty, so kudos to Vince for taking it. I can't say that this is a great match, but it's a good popcorn match that pleased the fans that night. The crowd was hot for everything.

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McMahon was pretty brave to brawl, with almost no protection around him, through a crowd of people that were cheering for Austin to SHOOT HIM WITH A GUN a few months earlier. Also crazy that McMahon takes that bump and injures his tailbone but keeps going. This was one of the last times I remember listening to the PPV on a scrambled PPV channel.  I didn't know who the hell Paul Wight was.

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The WWF held this pay-per-view in Memphis, and I can’t think of a more fitting setting for a match that relies heavily on smoke and mirrors and shenanigans. This is one of the best matches I’ve seen involving a non-wrestler. It’s got historic value because this is Vince’s first match ever. Austin beats Vince to a bloody pulp after about a year of build. This would have been an ideal time for Vince to take an extended break in front of the cameras, but I guess that works better for a territory than a major televised wrestling company. There may not be a better example of a match working on nearly every level despite very little wrestling actually taking place. It would rate higher for me but the finish knocked it down a peg or two.

Here's a link to my full review of the match, as part of my 365 Wrestling project.

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