May 22, 2009
Alexander Settee

European Championship Tournament Finals: Owen Hart vs. The British Bulldog (Monday Night Raw, March 3, 1997, Taped February 26, 1997, Deutschlandhalle, Berlin, Germany)

They’re still the Tag Team Champions at this point, but now they face each other for singles gold. Bulldog is the crowd favourite, but they’re not overwhelmingly against Owen or anything either. They start out trading holds and counters leading to a stalemate. Bulldog then hits a powerbomb off a rana attempt and then catapults Owen to the floor. He holds the ropes for Owen without incident, but then Owen rolls him up for 2. Bulldog regains control and starts working the arm as we take a commercial break. Back with Bulldog still working the arm. He gets a crucifix for 2. Owen slips out of a suplex, but misses an ensiguiri. Bulldog hits a monkey flip, but charges and gets backdropped out. Now Owen holds the ropes for him, again without incident. Bulldog then comes off the ropes and Owen does a leapfrog, but hurts his knee in the process. Nah, he’s just kidding, and attacks Bulldog after he backs off. Owen can’t get the Sharpshooter, but does get a spin kick, backbreaker, and slam for 2. Owen stomps him to the floor. Bulldog comes back in with a sunset flip for 2, but Owen then clotheslines him. He drops an elbow for 2 as we take another commercial. We return with Owen hitting a belly to belly suplex. Bulldog suplexes out of a rear chinlock and charges, but runs into a boot. Owen cradles him with his feet on the ropes, but only gets 2. Neckbreaker and 2nd rope elbow also get 2. He sets Bulldog on top, but Bulldog falls on him during the superplex attempt for 2. Bulldog comes back now with a clothesline and three suplexes for a 2 count. Corner whip sees Owen hit chest first, and Bulldog then picks him up and crotches him on the top rope. Owen escapes the suplex attempt, and then gets his own German suplex for 2. Corner whip is reversed with Owen trying to go over, but getting caught in the setup for the running powerslam. Owen hooks the ropes though and uses the leverage to fall on top for 2. Owen then comes off the 2nd rope with a bodypress, but Bulldog rolls through for 2. Owen comes back and hits the ensiguiri. He then hooks the Sharpshooter, but Bulldog makes the ropes. Irish whip is reversed leading to Bulldog setting up a backbreaker, which Owen then counters to a Tombstone, which is recountered to the running powerslam, but Owen still kicks out at 2. Owen gets a victory roll for 2, with Bulldog then reversing it and that holds Owen down for the 3 count at 17:22 (shown). Bulldog becomes the first European Champion. They tease that this will lead to tension between them, but for now they stand together. Great match. *****

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