Many sites have a match of the week but ours is a little different. These matches are the ones that are fun to watch… in the non-traditional way.
Part 1: Enter the Basement!
“That’s the dungeon?!” Lawler exclaims at which time Jim Ross basically says “Of course it is.” This reveals a lot of Good Ole JR. This man has never experienced a real dungeon before and it breaks my heart. Since we are best friends, maybe I should take him out to one of my local dungeons and show him a good time.
From the time Shamrock walks down the stairs until the match starts I am laughing at so many little things about this that I don’t even know where to begin. This is already amazing.
Oh my god. Ken Shamrock‘s intense stare and growl before he walks down the stairs into THE Dungeon. Few things make me smile as much as this does.
I’m assuming it’s supposed to be a street fight mentality in terms of their gear? I’m going to believe Ken Shamrock walks around the streets in every day life wearing red shorts and an invisible shirt.
Even though I’d only just gotten back into wrestling when I watched this as a kid, the build up to this had me convinced it was going to be something insane on the same level as a Boiler Room Brawl. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler do NOT manage expectations whatsoever, with both of them reinforcing the idea that Stu Hart’s dungeon is… well, basically a dungeon where guys get tortured and tested. So, when it’s revealed as just this pokey little basement, King’s immediate reaction of ‘that’s the dungeon?!’ was exactly the same one as mine when I first watched this.
The image of Ken psyching himself up at the top of the stairs next to the hanging coats is great:
It’s all just so weird! There’s a guy with a boom mic in the background as Ken comes down to meet Owen Hart hanging out in one of his better t-shirts and some fetching zebra stripe shorts. Thank goodness Dan ‘The Beast’ Severn and his glorious moustache are prepped to call the action! It’s surely gonna be a classic, right?
Part 2: The Match Begins!
Severn gives the go ahead and this Empty Room Submission Match begins. Shamrock nearly kicks Owen through the wall and then suplexes him to the ground and it made me say “ouch” out loud (OOL, if you’re hip). This wall is taking a lot of abuse.
Owen hit Shamrock with a beautiful bridging german suplex but unfortunately can’t hold on for the pin because this is submissions only. This match is perfect in every single way.
Poor Owen Hart. From being stretched by his brothers and dad as a kid to getting thrown into the walls by a crazy MMA fighter as a big time WWF star, The Dungeon must be a place of horror for him.
Shamrock hanging on a wall before getting powerbombed was a cool spot. PWG apron spots has nothing on The Dungeon! Dan Severn makes for a very awkward referee. Almost as awkward as being Eddie “Eddie Edwards” Edwards mentor in ROH and chasing around Truth Martini. What a pro wrestling career of awkwardness for “The Beast.”
I genuinely marked out at seeing Owen’s spinning heel kick (aka the best move in WWF War Zone on the N64). There’s a lot of Owen being smashed into that unforgiving wood panelling. I wish so badly that there had been cameos from other members of the Hart family. Helen Hart wandering downstairs to tell them to keep it down, Bruce wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket and offering to train Ken, Stu grumbling like a psychopath.
JR takes a dig at the UFC by saying “it ain’t no octagon” or something like that. It’s a fairly dumb thing to say, but thinking about it, I would DEFINITELY watch UFC if it was just two guys having a fight in a basement.
Part 3: Sooner or later, everybody taps.
Owen going into the dumbbells didn’t look good but it made me think something broke in the room next to me. Shamrock has changed his offense strategy from “throw him into the wall” to “throw and kick him into everything” which seems to be paying off. I hope that room has a good air conditioner.
I’d like to pause right here and pay my respects to Dan “The Beast” Severn’s shorts here. For a split second I saw him in the corner of the room and was curious about why I didn’t know WWE had brought in Burt Reynolds and why didn’t I know he had such a muscular physique. It was just Severn. I should not have given my hopes up.
I loved that Owen threw Shamrock up into the air so his head would hit a pipe. There’s a lot of man noises during Owen’s Sharpshooter. WE HAVE A REF BUMP. THIS MATCH HAD A REF BUMP. Owen wins by hitting Shamrock with a weight and then making it look like he taps. Five golden stars from Orion’s Belt is what I am rating this match.
There are many Attitude Era finishes I hate. This was NOT one of them. Whoever wrote that Owen Hart would hit Ken Shamrock with a dumbbell and swindle Dan Severn into thinking Shamrock tapped out deserves a huge, a sticker and an ice cream sandwich. I think this means I’m treating Vince Russo to a day of love and friendship.
Fun match. I love unique match set-ups like this every now and then. The Dungeon seems like a more lively atmosphere for wrestling than the IMPACT Zone was! Maybe TNA should have ran shows out of there for the past decade.
There’s something satisfying about the sound of clattering dumbbells. Jerry Lawler continues to be pretty great by screaming ‘run him into the washing machine’! He also almost dies from pleasure at the sight of Shamrock getting his head smashed through the ceiling.
There’s a Severn ref bump followed by Shamrock getting belted by a dumbbell and a vintage Attitude Era finish, with Owen making Ken tap out which a groggy Beast doesn’t see for the sham that it really is. Incredible. Owen’s celebration is also great, albeit a little incomprehensible:
“I did it, WOO! You’re nothing! I am war (?) in the dungeon! I did it all by myself!”
And then Owen goes upstairs to get a victory sandwich, I guess?