Best: I’m Always Here For HBK/Bulldog
I hope they induct British Bulldog into the Hall Of Fame as “Best In Your House Main Event Jobber Of All Time.” Because he was. He just went out there and tore it up with Hart and Michaels and lost. But he was great at it. Michaels and Bulldog had two great matches in 1996 (and a really good one in 1997 that made Bulldog want to stop living or something according to Bret Hart). If you want to compare Hart and Michaels, don’t look at their matches against each other – mostly because none of them are good – look at their matches with Bulldog as that’ll be the best litmus test.
This match was really one of the few times Michaels had an athletic relatively smaller guy to wrestle while he was champion, so this really showcased his skill. There were a few too many rest holds in this match for my liking, something Michaels wouldn’t have done after he came back from his back surgery. I think HBK would get nervous about putting on long matches, so he’d fit in rest holds that he didn’t really need (see also: WrestleMania 23). But those nitpicks aside, HBK/Bulldog is rapid-fire back-and-forth insanity. HBK was still bumping like a heel and letting Bulldog get over his power moves, then HBK would switch to sentimental babyface and remind everyone about the story they’re telling.
By the way: British Bulldog needs a DVD set. Give me his tag team days, this era and his “I studied abroad in Jamaica” braid WCW era and my money is yours.
Worst: The Ending.
One of the best ways WWE booking has improved in the last 10 years or so has been the need to give us definitive endings to the big events. 1990s events were annoyingly convoluted and this is no different. Here we get Mr. Perfect stopping the ref from making the three count only to count along with him. Then we get Owen and Bulldog bumping for Michaels before Vader hops in and we have the end of KOTR promoting a Summerslam match they just came up with. Basically, this was a RAW ending.
With that said, oh man the Warrior/Ahmed promos could have been legendary. I just know that d*ckhead HBK was losing his mind thinking about being in a match with these two on his team.
Best: Summer 96 Was BOSS
As I mentioned before, there are only thee weeks between Hogan turning on WCW and joining the NWO and Austin’s KOTR promo. So we had Austin getting his character together, the NWO before they sucked and the Luchadores popping up in WCW. I don’t care how many hands wrestlers give birth to or times I have to watch Glacier, I’ll keep telling lazy ass Millenials that they didn’t get to live during the Golden Age. Whippersnappers.