Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Boo: Dig It!

From WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

Another novelty match to make its way into the wrestling world since the introduction of the Undertaker is the "Buried Alive Match."  The research I've done has only netted five of these matches in the history of the WWE.  I don't know why, but I thought there were more.  So since there's only a few, let's look at each one.

The first was back in 1996 at In Your House: Buried Alive.  Makes sense to call it that, right?  The premise is easy, knock your opponent into the open grave and start covering them with dirt.

Taker tosses Mankind 
The Undertaker battled Mankind in this match.  I always thought these two had really good chemistry and enjoyed their work.  This was a really intense rivalry in '96, which included the betrayal of Paul Bearer on the Undertaker.  Closing moments of the match, Taker choke slams Mankind into the grave and starts covering him with dirt.  Then Vince McMahon (who's doing commentary) says things are getting carried away.  It's a buried alive match, what do you expect.  Heck at one point Jerry Lawler declares that Mankind is dead.

He's alive!
Of course he wasn't, and the Undertaker ended up getting nailed in the back of the head by the Executioner (Terry Gordy) with a shovel.  Mankind comes back out of the grave and the two do a number on Taker.  He gets knocked into the hole and the heels start covering him with dirt.  Then a thunderstorm brews inside the arena.  It was pretty bizarre, but pretty cool too.  More heels join the fray burying the Undertaker alive.  As the bad guys celebrate backstage, lightning strikes the headstone and the Undertaker's gloved hand pops out from the dirt.  Vince McMahon marks out and the pay per view comes to a close.

Taker with the choke
Fast forward two years to the next encounter.  This time it was Undertaker facing Stone Cold Steve Austin at the Rock Bottom PPV. Austin was battling for a shot in the 1999 Royal Rumble.  If he won the match, he'd get into the battle royal.  Paul Bearer and the Undertaker had reunited by this time, and 'Taker was working as the heel for the match.  Austin got knocked into the grave at one point, but Undertaker failed to cover him with dirt, so the match resumed.  The two then started fighting with a gas can, and Austin nailed 'Taker with the stunner. Taker drops into the hole and Austin dumps a wheel barrel full of dirt on him, but again, it's not enough and Undertaker gets out.

Drink up!
Then there's an explosion and Kane emerges from the grave.  He and his brother start battling it out, as Austin left to chase Paul Bearer away.  Kane tombstones Undertaker as Austin arrives with a backhoe.  This is all he needs to put the lights out for 'Taker and win the second Buried Alive match.  No surprise here, Austin celebrated with a couple of beers on the grave before taking his celebration into the ring.

The third Buried Alive match was the first and only time it was sanctioned as a tag team match up.  And not just a tag team match, but the belts were on the line too.  Undertaker and Big Show were challenging the Rock 'n Sock Connection (Rock and Mankind).  Another interesting point here, this was the one and only buried alive match that was carried on free television (SmackDown!)  I guess the rules on this one was that only one member of the team had to be buried for the other team to win.  There was only one hole.  At one point Rock and Mankind racked the Big Show with a shovel and knocked him into the grave.  Undertaker made the save.

Mankind, Big Show, & the Rock
Another cool spot saw Big Show throw Mankind from the Titan Tron into the grave.  There was a camera in the grave this time too, so we got a different perspective and when Show came over to bury Mankind, he was met with a mandible claw courtesy of Mr. Socko.  Rock and Undertaker were fighting backstage when Triple H and Kane also got involved, as did Chyna.  I'm not sure why, but Triple H hit Big Show with a sledge hammer and then buried Mankind.  WTH?  Show and Taker won the titles as a result.  It all ended with Austin popping out of the ambulance on hand and beating the hell out of Triple H and then ramming the ambulance with a semi.  Oh yeah, H was still inside it.

Vince gets bloodied early on
The fourth Buried Alive match came in 2003 at the Survivor Series.  Vince McMahon and the Undertaker did battle in this contest.  The ironic part here is that Vince was feuding with Undertaker and his son Shane was feuding with Kane because the Big Red Machine had tombstoned Vince's wife Linda previously.  I'm guessing this is when the McMahons were in their family feud.  Vince juiced early in this one and bled like a stuck pig.  The match ended with Kane interfering.  Vince got the win, and Undertaker was buried alive.  This then lead to the Undertaker coming back for Wrestlemania 20, reunited again with Paul Bearer, and beating Kane.

Kane wins!
The final Buried Alive match came at the 2010 Bragging Rights pay per view.  Kane was defending the World title against Undertaker.  And not unlike past matches, 'Taker's opponent needed help.  The Nexus came out and jumped the dead man, assisting Kane in the match and burying his brother alive.

Undertaker has appeared in all five Buried Alive matches and has only won two of them.  Whether we'll see another one of this speciality matches remains to be seen.

No comments:

Post a Comment