The Undertaker Vs Steve Austin – WWF Raw 24/06/1996
This takes place the night after the King of the Ring. Steve Austin won the KOTR tournament, and The Undertaker lost to Mankind after Paul Bearer “inadvertently” hit him in the head with the Urn, allowing Mankind to lock in the Mandible Claw.
For Austin, this match could be another stepping stone in his career. He just won the KOTR tournament, and now he had the chance to beat one of the biggest stars in the company.
For The Undertaker, this match would serve as a way to take out the frustration of losing the night before. Austin knows this, and makes damn sure to take the fight to ‘Taker before the bell. Despite this approach, Undertaker is able to fight off Austin, while The King gets up from commentary to question Paul Bearer over the incident the night before lol!
The match ends up on the outside, where Austin goes head first into the ring post and the steel steps. Not even the KOTR winner is able to slow down a pissed off Dead Man!
Not only are all the shots to the face a way for Undertaker to take out some of the frustration he has, but there is also a chance Undertaker can bust Austin’s lip open again, which required stitches the night before! Funnily enough, the one shot to the face, out of the ring post, steel steps and everything else, that looks the worst for potentially busted Austin open again, is a boot in the corner! I’m surprised that it didn’t cause the lip to bleed, regardless of the prior injury lol.
We go to a commercial break, and when we come back, The Undertaker is STILL dominating, until he makes one mistake by threatening a referee for telling him to get off Austin in the corner, and Austin charges out with a chop block to the knee. Time for some VINTAGE~! Undertaker/Austin match leg work!
During the leg work (which does get a little boring in places), Goldust comes out to do commentary. During the Mankind/Undertaker feud, Undertaker was also feuding with Goldust, and Goldust was getting the better of The Undertaker in the matches thanks to interference from Mankind. Always good when multiple feuds can be going at the same time between the same people, and they don’t turn into clusterfucks. It’s something that WWF did AMAZINGLY well in 1997 with Bret/Shawn/Undertaker/Kane for the second part of the year.
Finally The Undertaker is able to escape the grasp of Austin, hitting a chokeslam and going for a tombstone before Goldust gets involved and the match ends in a DQ.
Not too pleased with a DQ ending, but at least it makes sense. Austin couldn’t really afford to lose after winning the KOTR, and The Undertaker couldn’t afford to lose after losing at KOTR. With Goldust still involved in a feud with The Undertaker, getting involved in the match was perfect to continue their feud and not give either man a real win or loss. Aside from the DQ ending, this was a really good TV match for the most part. Undertaker looked strong and pissed off at the start, dominated Austin as if it was Mankind, and Austin looked awesome by dominating the second half. Just a shame some of the leg work got a little boring.