Saturday, August 8, 2015

SummerSlam: A to Z: Lion's Den Matches

Owen Hart vs. Ken Shamrock
Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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The Attitude Era in the WWF saw an uptick in hardcore style matches.  Besides the Hardcore championship fans were introduced to Hell in a Cell and on a lesser scale Lion's Den matches.  The company was cashing in on the popularity of UFC and SummerSlam '98 and '99 former champion Ken Shamrock stepped into the den.

At SummerSlam '98 it was Owen Hart on the other side of the den against Shamrock.  Owen had another MMA competitor and champion turned wrestler Dan "The Beast" Severn in his corner.  I don't remember Shamrock and Severn ever actually having a match in the WWF, this may have been the closet the two MMA stars came to doing battle.  Shamrock not surprisingly won the match with Owen.  

Battling Steve Blackman
Courtesy: WWE
A year later it was Steve Blackman's turn to step inside cage.  This time around though the combatants were allowed to bring a weapon into the ring.  Shamrock ended up knocking out Blackman with a kendo stick to win the match.

Ref's eye view
Courtesy: WWE

On TV the Lion's Den matches came off just fine, but I would imagine seeing it at the arena would be difficult if you weren't seated right near that area.  Neither match lasted terribly long, so I guess that would make up for the lack of not being able to see.  

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