November 12, 2009
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero

St. Valentine's Day Massacre 1999
February 14, 1999
The Pyramid
Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 19,028
Buy Rate: 1.21
Announcers: Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler

Dark Match:

Too Much defeat the Hardy Boys

Sunday Night Heat:

Viscera (Nelson Frazier) defeats Test (Andrew Martin) by DQ
Billy Gunn (Monte Sop) and Tiger Ali Singh (Jagit Hans) wrestle to a no-contest

1) Goldust (Dustin Runnels) defeats Bluedust (Brian Heffron) with the Curtain Call at 3:06

Fun Fact: In ECW, the Blue Meanie and his tag team partner, Stevie Richards, were known to parody numerous wrestlers for all different federations and eras. Well, Meanie decided to carry that practice on in the WWF, as he began mocking Goldust left and right. He even began sending videos out of him naked on a coach covered in blue, making weird gestures and veiled comments towards Goldust. The vignettes seemed to mock Goldust’s when he feuded with Ahmed Johnson in 1996. Meanie was trying to out mind game Goldust. The feud itself started when Blue Meanie recovered the stolen Head from Goldust and returned it to fellow JOB Squad member, Al Snow. Meanie would also start having wrestlers take a “blue-bath,” which was mocking Gangrel’s bloodbaths.

Fun Fact II: The girl playing Ryan Shamrock is Alicia Webb, who was actually a stripper from Houston when the WWF found her to be Ken’s sister.

Scott: Ugh, this was an absolutely god awful opener to this show. Goldust is fine, but the Blue Meanie is horrible. This match sucks on all levels, from workrate to the pitiful “You trust the slut too much” storyline; the slut being Ryan Shamrock, Kenny’s on-screen sister. The only redeeming quality about this match was that it was only 3 minutes. Not much more to say, just a piss poor opener. Grade: .5

Justin: This was actually a pretty entertaining storyline, but one that should probably have been blown off on a Raw, and not the opening match of a PPV. Goldust was getting really stale by this point, and definitely needed to jump ship and take some time away. He would get one minor push over the next month and then disappear for 2 and 1/2 years. This was also Blue Meanie’s final PPV match. He would stick around on TV for most of 1999, but wouldn’t make it to a big show again. Grade: 1.5

2) Bob Holly (Robert Howard) defeats Al Snow (Sarven) to win WWF Hardcore Title after hitting him with a wood palate at 9:56

Fun Fact: The Hardcore Title was actually vacant here, as Road Dogg had been the champion since he won the belt from the Boss Man on the 12/15 edition of Raw, but was injured/suspended (drugs) in early February and was forced to give the belt up. Snow and Road Dogg actually had a good thing going, as they had setup a series for the strap, and this was supposed to be the conclusion to the feud. Road Dogg had defeated Snow in a great outdoor brawl on the snowy 1/4 Raw and they had brawled with each other after losing a couple of tag matches together. It was a fun little angle that was derailed just a week before it finished, thus the Title was declared vacant and Holly was thrown into his first hardcore outing.

Scott: The first Hardcore title match in PPV history is pretty good. Snow, who may have finally found a niche here, takes a pretty good beating in this match. Holly also finds a good groove here, as both men battle for this belt throughout the year. This was a nice aspect to the shows that deviated from the regular main event and upper mid-card action. Sadly, Hardcore would get very stale after a couple of years, but it’s very entertaining now. Holly gets the pin at the banks of the Mississippi River. Grade: 3

Justin: A really fun brawl that set the template for future hardcore matches over the next couple of years. The first one that featured backstage brawling and outside action was Dogg vs. Snow on the 1/4 Raw, but this is the first one of its kind on PPV, thus kind of making Snow and Holly the new poster boys for the burgeoning division. There were some innovative spots here, as they battled down to the banks of the freezing Mississippi River and threw each other into it. In the end, Holly wrapped Snow in a fence and pinned him to win his first ever Hardcore Title, thus kicking off a new era in his career. Grade: 2.5

3) Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) defeats Mideon (Dennis Knight) with a Sidewalk Slam at 6:18

Fun Fact: On the 1/11 Raw, Undertaker made his long awaited return with a new look and attitude. He had been gone since losing to Steve Austin at Rock Bottom. A few weeks before that Raw, the newly formed team of Faarooq and Bradshaw, who had been christened the Acolytes by former manager, the Jackyl, attacked Dennis Knight at ringside and dragged him to the back. The next week, Knight sprinted to ringside asking to be saved and claiming he saw horrible things, but the Acolytes nabbed him again and dragged him back. The following week, video footage rolled of Knight locked in some sort of dungeon wailing away about being saved. Finally, on 1/11 everything was revealed. When Raw returned from a break, there was a huge throne, symbol and altar set up on the top of the ramp, and then out walked Undertaker with big, evil goatee and a large robe on, Paul Bearer with his hair dyed black again and the Acolytes. It was then revealed that Knight was laid out on the altar, unconscious. Undertaker went on to give some convoluted speech about freeing your mind and the time coming for his Ministry of Darkness to take control of the Federation. He then proceeded to draw a dagger and slice his symbol on Knight’s chest, and renaming him Mideon, which was confused as Minion for the first couple weeks. The whole scene was interesting, yet bizarre, but it instantly brought some life into 5 very stale characters, so it worked out there. The Acolytes also kidnapped Mabel at the Rumble, and he was sacrificed and renamed Viscera, another new, refreshed member of the Ministry. Now, Mr. McMahon wanted to nip this thing in the bud, as Undertaker had started making weird claims of wanting to take over ownership of the WWF, so he sent his enforcer in to take out Taker’s right hand minion, Mideon.

Fun Fact: The Acolytes made their first Raw appearance as a team on the 11/30 episode when they attacked Tiger Ali Singh and Babu after Tiger had finished wrestling Val Venis. The Acolytes were accompanied by the Jackyl and they put a big time beat down on Singh and Babu. Faarooq had gotten himself into fantastic shape and the two men seemed primed for a push.

Scott: Even though this PPV is great on many levels, some of these lower mid-card matches were quite forgettable. This was another match involving 2 guys who aren’t workrate wizards. The storyline also made no sense because we’re looking at two heels here. Boss Man is part of Vince’s heel corporation, and Mideon is part of Undertaker’s heel ministry. So, what do we believe, or care about here? It was two heel groups trying to take control of the Federation, so really the fans weren’t sure who to root for. In any event, Boss Man wins and is then carried back by Taker’s minions. Grade: 1.5

Justin: Solid storyline aside, this match was about as boring as you would expect, given who was involved. Mideon may be a new, fresh character, but the former PIG was still sub par in the ring, and while Boss Man could still bring it, he definitely needed someone better to work with to prove it. After the match, Boss Man is abducted, just like Knight and Mabel had been, by the Ministry, leaving many to wonder what would happen to Mr. McMahon’s head of security. There is not much else going down here, so we will roll right on. Grade: 1.5

4) Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart defeat D-Lo Brown (AC Connor) & Mark Henry to retain WWF Tag Team Titles when Jarrett makes Henry tap to the Figure Four at 9:33

Fun fact: On the 1/25 Raw, Jarrett and Owen received their tag title shot that they earned with a victory over the Outlaws on the 1/11 Raw. Halfway through the match, a new Blue Blazer entered the ring and hammers Shamrock with the guitar to give Owen and Jarrett the titles. The only twist was that this Blazer was African-American, which was pretty funny. Many rumors have said that it was Koko B. Ware in the role, which makes Justin’s heart a flutter. Owen takes a minute to let everyone know that this proves he was not the Blue Blazer in their post match celebration. We wish that were true.

Fun Fact II: This is the debut of Ivory, who was a present from D-Lo to Mark Henry. She would manage the duo through the summer, before splitting off and taking control of the suffering women’s division. Ivory was Tina Ferrari in the short-lived GLOW Federation.

Scott: This was a basic tag team match with a screw job ending. Jarrett finally found a nice niche with Owen, and their heel chemistry was excellent. D-Lo and Mark Henry were complete polar opposites. D-Lo is an emerging wrestling talent. Henry is well, an emerging fat piece of shit. Who, by the way, is making practically free money. I’ll keep mentioning that until he leaves. Which seems like it will never happen. Debra continues to flash her stuff for everyone, and it leads to another win for the team that was twisting in the wind with their solo careers, but was instant electricity as a team. Grade: 2

Justin: A sluggish match despite the awesomeness of the champions. Owen and Jarrett had finally found their niche after struggling with character issues throughout 1998, and seemed to be on the fast track to dominating the mid-card. D-Lo and Henry were gaining some steam as a mid-card act, but Henry would get injured again, leaving D-Lo to fend for himself for the summer, but would return to his best run in late 1999. Ivory adds a little spunk to this team, but she is mainly annoying, especially with that stupid scarf she waved around. There is some nice continuity here, as Owen waffles Henry in his bad knee, which allows JJ to lock on the figure four for the tap out. Grade: 2

5) Val Venis (Sean Morley) defeats Ken Shamrock to win WWF Intercontinental Title with a small package at 15:54

Fun Fact: This storyline was a bit of a throwback to the Jake Roberts/Rick Rude storyline from 1988, only with a different twist. Instead of the sex maniac being the heel, in this day and age he is now cheered, also he doesn’t make advances on his opponent’s wife, and rather he puts the moves on his sister. On an episode of Raw, Ken Shamrock’s sister, Ryan, was sitting ringside to watch her brother, but was enchanted and propositioned by the Big Valbowski. You can picture where it went from there, and you can imagine just how happy Shamrock was with this turn of events. All of this led to the big I-C Title match, and Billy Gunn was thrown in to ref just to make things interesting. As a side note, rumor has it that it was supposed to be revealed that Ken was in love with his sister, explaining his over-protectiveness, and they were to have an incestuous relationship, but family man Ken voted that idea down quite quickly.

Scott: Billy Gunn was the special referee for this one, as part of this whole storyline involving the title. Gunn’s singles push continues on, right now as a face. As a match it wasn’t too bad, as Venis is surprisingly stiff with Kenny, including some real stiff shots to the back on the post. However this is the time where many say the Intercontinental title is devalued with some of those that are wearing it this year. Not everyone is Shawn Michaels or Razor Ramon, but Val Venis isn’t the end of the world. Shamrock had a good run as heel champion, and he’s still part of the Corporation, but he is coming to the end of the line of his WWF run. Venis is the champ, and Billy Gunn still sucks. Grade: 2.5

Justin: A fun little match here that is just loaded with hatred between the three men. Referee Gunn adds to the drama, because you are just waiting for him to screw somebody, but you weren’t sure who. Shamrock definitely takes home the award for the dumbest guy of the night as he a) drops a clearly audible F-bomb on Gunn and when outside the ring, he was supposed to be slapped by Ryan, and to ensure this part of the match goes off without a hitch, he walks up to her and clearly says “Slap Me,” followed by her slapping him. Not a good night for the World’s Most Dangerous Man. Venis gets the big win here, but would only last a few weeks as champ. This little three-way feud was pretty interesting and would carry on over the next few weeks, only another character would be tossed into the mix to make it even more bizarre. Grade: 2

6) Chyna (Joanie Laurer) & Kane (Glen Jacobs) defeat Triple H (Paul Levesque) & X-Pac (Sean Waltman) when Chyna pins Triple H after a Kane chokeslam at 14:43

Fun Fact: Since late December, Mr. McMahon had forced Kane into servitude of the Corporation, and threatened him with a trip to the loony bin if his loyalty wavered. This led to some funny moments of the Corporation picking on Kane, knowing he wouldn’t do anything about it. One in particular was when Pat Patterson put funny signs on Kane’s back without him knowing. Anyway, Kane was being manipulated by Vince and there wasn’t much he could besides go along with things. So, on the 1/25 Raw, Hunter and Rock were in a World Title “I Quit” match. Well the Corporation had Chyna hostage, and said if Triple H didn’t tank the match they’d lay her out. Triple H caved and said “I Quit” and Chyna then preceded to low blow the leader of DX. Chyna sold out and joined the evil Corporation, turning her back on the man who brought her into the sport and joining the Boss. She began palling around with Kane and using her feminine wiles to get him to do bad things to D-X. All of this led to this big tag match.

Scott: The breaking down of DX is the genesis for this match. Kane is a confused heel and, I guess he is Chyna’s boyfriend? It was all kind of strange. Shane McMahon was at ringside doing commentary. He would really stick it to DX the following night on Raw, defeating X-Pac in a weird tag match to become European champion. That immediately de-valued what had become a nothing belt. This match was really great, and very fast-paced. Chyna was really getting her shots in, and Triple H was a good soldier in taking her best forearms. This was Chyna’s first real run against men, and she really worked well with everyone. Kane helps Chyna pin her ex-DX mate, and the feud continues after this solid effort by all four competitors. Grade: 3

Justin: A surprisingly excellent tag match that has some true drama and intensity, as all four played their roles perfectly, ensuring a highly believable and stiff match. You could really feel the hatred between the teams, and the fact that Chyna and Kane won only added to that drama and allowed the feud to continue. This is definitely a forgotten classic on a show that is overshadowed by its Main Event. This feud would burn on and play out in an interesting way at Wrestlemania. DX had dominated 1998, but the group seemed to be crumbling by the week. Grade: 3

7) The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Mankind (Mick Foley) wrestle to a no-contest in a “Last Man Standing” match when neither man gets up from equal chair shots at 21:51; Mankind retains WWF World Championship

Fun Fact: After he won the Title at the Royal Rumble and helped to eliminate Austin from the Rumble match, the Rock was ready to collect his $100,000 bounty that had been placed on Stone Cold’s head. Well, as the money was in transit to Raw, Mankind somehow managed to hijack the armored car and loot the bounty. He was then able to use the money to coerce Rock into putting his title up in an empty arena match against Foley at the special Halftime Heat show during halftime of the Broncos/Falcons Super Bowl. The match was…interesting and different, which was good to hook viewers during halftime. Mick won the match and regained the World Title for the 2nd time. Rock then played the rematch card, and talked Foley into one final Title match at this PPV.

Fun Fact II: The only other known empty arena match occurred down in Memphis in 1981 when Jerry Lawler defeated Terry Funk at an empty Mid-South Coliseum.

Fun Fact II: Counting all singles PPV and TV matches (7), here is the official Mankind/Rock record between November and February (all World Title Matches). Rock: 3 (Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, 2/15 Raw), Mankind: 3 (Rock Bottom, 1/4 Raw, Halftime Heat), 1 Draw (St Valentine’s Day Massacre).

Scott: For the fourth straight PPV, Rock and Mankind fight for the World Title. This time, the premise is to keep your opponent down for 10 seconds. This is the first “Last Man Standing” match on PPV, and it doesn’t disappoint. Honestly, I thought the double KO was unintentional. The next night, Rock wins the title and ends the feud in a ladder match with help from a new superstar, who we’ll discuss in the next match. I thought they booked that on the fly, because the shot that Mick Foley gives to Rock with the chair in this match is pretty flush, and the way Rock falls I swear I thought he was knocked out cold. Another great match between these two, but sadly, this is the last PPV match they would face each other. It was a good 4 month run. Mick now goes through a phase where his character continues to flourish, but sadly his in-ring work really hits the skids. Rock moves on to main event the biggest show of the year, and rejuvenates another feud, one that becomes the poster feud for the Attitude Era. Grade: 3.5

Justin: This was a great match and, fittingly, the best and last, well on PPV anyway, of a truly memorable blood feud. These guys started off shaky, but really grew to work well together and put on some memorable matches over this 4 month span. Rock’s pops were getting out of control, and it was getting quite hard to keep him heel much longer. Mick had a good run at the top, but was getting ready to be repositioned on the card for a while. This match is pretty brutal, but not as brutal as the Rumble affair. If I had to rate the matches in the series, it would go as follows. Best Atmosphere: 1/4/99 Raw; Most Violent: 1/24/99 Royal Rumble; Most Creative: 1/31/99 Halftime Heat; Best Angle: 11/15/98 Survivor Series; Best Overall Match: 2/14/99 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The Rock Bottom match was clearly the worst of the series and the Ladder Match on the 2/15 Raw was anti-climactic at best. Overall, the series of matches definitely launched both men into the Main Event picture and helped both become established stars, and you really can’t ask for much more than that. Grade: 3.5

8) Steve Austin (Steve Williams) defeats Vince McMahon in a Steel Cage match to win the Wrestlemania XV title shot when Paul Wight throws Austin through the cage wall at 7:51; The pre-bell fighting action was 14:10

Fun Fact: Well, after being screwed out of the Title Shot at the Rumble by Mr. McMahon and the Rock, Stone Cold decided to get even and flew down to San Antonio, TX to visit an old friend. At the beginning of the 1/25 Raw, Vince and the Rock came down to ringside to talk shop. Vince announced that he had no intentions of facing then-Champ Rock at Wrestlemania, so he waived his right to the match and said he would name a contender down the road. Well, it was about that time that Austin and Commissioner Shawn Michaels appeared on the Titantron, drinking some Silver Bullets, live from San Antonio. Michaels consulted his Handbook, which was a bottle of Jack Daniels, and let Vince know that if the winner of the Rumble were to forfeit his Title Shot, the runner-up would get it by proxy. Well, Vince didn’t particularly like that idea, so Shawn and Steve gave him an alternative: put the title shot up in a Steel Cage match at the PPV. Vince agreed and it was on. To add some drama to the match, on the special Saturday Night Raw on 2/13, Vince beat Austin 1-2-3 after a long gauntlet match where Austin was brutalized by Boss Man before Vince entered and pinned him.

Fun Fact II: Vince really broke his tailbone on the fall off the cage.

Fun Fact III: This is the PPV is where Vince debuts his “No Chance in Hell” theme he still uses today. The song had been used as the theme for the previous month’s Royal Rumble and Vince adopted it as his own.

Scott: The total action comes to 22:01, but only 7:51 came after the ball rang. This was the moment wrestling fans around the world were waiting for: Austin vs. McMahon in a cage. The Memphis crowd was absolutely off the hook for this one, and why not? It was a typical Memphis-style match. 14 minutes of stalling and histrionics before the match even starts. Austin starts in the cage, then he chases McMahon around the ring and McMahon is then in the cage. Austin plays possum, pretending to hurt his knee, and the fight is on. Two memorable moments come from this match. First, the long awaited debut of Paul Wight, known in WCW as The Giant. Just like Eric Bischoff took Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in 1996, Vince McMahon snagged a star from the competition when the competition was down. Wight comes through the canvas, and tosses Austin around like a rag doll. Fortunately for Austin, Wight didn’t know his own strength, and tossed Stone Cold through the cage wall, breaking the supports, and falling through the cage to the floor for the win. We’ll document Wight’s career to this point in our next review. The other moment was the sick table shot McMahon took when Austin tossed him off the side of the cage that broke his tailbone. It showed one thing: McMahon expects his roster to do exactly what he would do for his craft, for his passion. If a 50-something year old would take a table spot for the business, he expects his charges to do the same. That’s why Vince McMahon is a visionary. That’s why this was a great match, and why the Road to Wrestlemania has been so memorable. Grade: 3

Justin: Well, Scott pretty much summed it up. This is the exact definition of a blow-off: an overly hot crowd, two guys busting their ass after a year long feud, lots of blood, a big surprise ending and the face going over in the end. Just a great Main Event to cap off phase 1 of an awesome feud. This match is on the short list of Grade-A prime examples of what the Attitude era was all about. Grade: 3

Final Analysis:

Scott: Probably the best pre-Wrestlemania PPV since they started the February shows in 1996. Every match had a good story, most of the matches had a good workrate, and all the psychology you could shake a stick at. The Austin/McMahon storyline is cooking with Grade-A gas since last year, in particular since Austin lost the title in September. The crowds are rabid, the money’s coming in, and the road to Wrestlemania is humming along. Rock wins the title the next night, and the main event is set. Even if the end is predictable, it had some great moments along the way. This was a great set-up for it. The WWF had an opening to win the Monday Night War when Kevin Nash and Hollywood Hogan did their infamous “finger poke” match on Nitro, the same night Mankind won the WWF Title on Raw. That’s all the opening Vinnie Mac would need. Final Grade: A

Justin: For once, the February show is seen as more than a holdover event and more of a special attraction, mainly due to the fact that they chose this show to blow off the enormous Austin/McMahon feud. The show featured a solid undercard and three awesome matches to cap it off. The Federation was rocking and rolling and was on its way to its best year since the mid-80s. Wrestlemania was just weeks away, and the crowds were at a fever pitch for the biggest show of the year. Vince Russo’s true hallmark was continuing to shine through, as everyone on the card had a defined character and every match had a storyline behind it. Once the midcard began to get filled up with better workers and the Russo theory was applied to them, the whole package would be just about perfect. For now, we will take what we can get and it was clearly enough to push the WWF to the top of the wrestling world. Final Grade: A-

MVP: Vince McMahon & Steve Austin
Runner Up: Mankind & Rock
Non MVP: Goldust & Bluedust
Runner Up: Boss Man & Mideon

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