Thursday, February 14, 2013

Throwback Thursday: It's a Massacre

St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1999)
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Valentine's Day 1999 was an interesting one in the WWF.  The Vince McMahon-"Stone Cold" Steve Austin feud was at a fever pitch. A month before, McMahon had screwed Austin at the Royal Rumble, by eliminating the Rattle Snake as Shane McMahon distracted the former champ.

So as you can imagine Austin had revenge on his mind and wanted a spot in the main event of Wrestlemania.  He and the chairman settled their differences inside a steel cage.  It was on the one and only St. Valentine's Day Massacre pay per view.  The two beat the hell out of each other until the closing minutes of the match when the mat split open and a newcomer to the company emerged.  It was Paul Wight (the former Giant of WCW and now Big Show)  Wight manhandled Austin and threw him around the ring like a rag doll.

The strength of the giant was so great that when he threw Austin into the cage, the side panel came loose and broke away from the rest of the cage.  Austin held on for the ride and simply dropped down to the arena floor, winning the match and a title shot at Mania.

A beaten and bloody McMahon
Photo courtesy: WWE
I loved the ending to this match.  It ranks among my all time favorite cage match conclusions, I think in part because it was an unexpected "Holy sh!t" kind of moment.  I knew the Giant was leaving WCW and heading to the WWF, but I had no idea how he was going to make his grand entrance.  Come to think of it, later that year another WCW refugee made a big, impressive debut in the WWF (Chris Jericho)

Despite the big debut, I feel like shortly there after the Big Show fell short.  He wrestled Mankind (who was the WWF champion at the Massacre) at Wrestlemania a month later.  I thought for sure he'd be some sort of dominant beast, but instead lost by disqualification and Mick Foley went on to referee the main event.  In the grand scheme of things it made sense, but at the time I wanted more out of the Show.

Goldust battles Bluedust
Other notables on the Valentine's Day Massacre PPV, Mankind and the Rock went to a no contest in a Last Man Standing contest. I had forgotten the two knocked each other out with chairs and no winner was ever declared in the match.  Rock would eventually win the title back though.  And for some reason, this match stuck with me too.  Goldust defeated his former protege Bluedust (the Blue Meanie).

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