Undertaker Month – Review a Day #27

Posted on: November 27th, 2010 by Big Cal

The Undertaker Vs Mankind – SummerSlam 18/08/1996

I think I have seen this match before at some point, but remember little to nothing about it, other than the finish. Given their great KOTR match I have already watched this month, and a casket match from a house show, and their 1997 and 1998 matches I have reviewed previously (which will eventually make their way to the site), I am struggling to believe that this will be anything less than good. Then again, it IS a Boiler Room Brawl match, and the concept doesn’t scream “classic”. But if anyone can make a crazy gimmick match work, it’s The Undertaker and Mankind.

So what exactly are the rules to this match? Well, they start off in the boiler room of the arena, and their objective is to escape and make their way to the ring, and then take the Urn from Paul Bearer. At least we should get some good brawling during this whole thing :P.

Mankind is already in the boiler room, so The Undertaker has to enter and try to find the crazy bastard so he can beat the crap out of him and then escape again. Ummm… why didn’t he just go back through the door he came in? Is there another door they have to exit from? Why doesn’t Mankind just leave while Undertaker is looking for him? Well, I guess if I had to defend them not leaving like that, I would say that they both want to destroy each other first.

As Undertaker is making his way through the boiler room, Mankind sneaks up from behind and decks the Dead Man with… a very flimsy object lol. Undertaker battles back a little before getting a version of the Stunner on a wooden horse thingy that you might find in a school gym. I best Austin never thought of doing THAT!

Camera issues and the fact they start falling into the typical backstage brawling formula (slamming each other into walls) isn’t keeping me too interested in the match, but once they start trying to maul each other with weapons again it kinda picks up. Also, why the FUCK are the commentators NOT COMMENTATING? Every so often they will let out an “ohh!” and a few other random words… but why the hell aren’t they doing their fucking job? I know the action and whatnot should be what keeps me interested in a match, but no commentary can take you out of matches, especially when you can’t hear the crowd either as we are in a fucking boiler room after all. The only time we hear them is when they let out an “ohh!” or something.

In between the rather awkward silences and the boring wall slamming, we do get to see a few good spots, but nothing to make me think this match is going to end up being good. Shame, considering I came into the match expecting it to be at LEAST good. Now I’ll be shocked if it’s anywhere near good.

So, positives so far. Ummm… the Stunner spot on the wooden horse was kinda cool lol, and Mankind’s running knee to the face while Undertaker was against some steel looked and sounded great, and Mankind climbing a random ladder to hit an elbow drop to Undertaker on the concrete floor was great as well. The Undertaker, unfortunately, hasn’t done anything worth noting. Not often The Undertaker is the worst guy in a match…

Great, more “technical difficulties” with the camera going off, which gets the biggest reaction from the crowd so far (all be it a negative one), and seems to make the commentators speak a little too, for the first time in around 5 minutes.

Mankind again finds a ladder to climb, and is no doubt going for an elbow drop… again. But The Undertaker sits up, and HOLY SHIT at the spot we get! Foley is knocked back off the ladder and lands mostly on the concrete with the top half of his body landing on… a box. A single box. Yeah, bet that broke his fall lol.

Finally, they have made it to the exit. Maybe if they make it to the ring together we can get something that would resemble a good match.

LMFAO at Mankind escaping first and then trying to barricade the door with objects that weigh less than a WWE Diva. Undertaker just smashes through the door and the objects blocking it, and now the race to the ring begins! Not quite as exciting as it sounds.

Huh, the closer the two men get to the ring, the more the commentators speak. How very strange…

Both men get to the ring, but Undertaker is pretty beat up compared to Mankind, and a Piledriver on the concrete floor doesn’t help. Odd that as soon as they got to the ring area, things immediately started picking up lol. I get that Mankind was hanging out in boiler rooms and whatnot which was part of his gimmick at the time, but there was no need to make a fucking match out of it. Just stick these two in a ring and we’ll be good.

The Undertaker’s desire to keep control of his Urn forces him to get up from the Pilerdriver and send Mankind back first from the apron right onto the same concrete floor that Undertaker went head first into! The Dead Man then climbs into the ring, goes to Paul Bearer to receive the Urn, only for Paul to turn his back on him! SWERVE~!

Mankind locks in the Mandible Claw a couple of times as Paul Bearer looks on in sheer delight!

The Undertaker, betrayed and beaten up, looks up at Paul, wondering what is happening, and gets levelled by the Urn. Paul hands the Urn to Mankind, and the match is over.

Thank fuck.

Never thought I would be this excited for an Undertaker match to end… especially an Undertaker/Mankind match. It was just horrible for the most part. No commentary, silence from the crowd for the most part, boring and somewhat slopping brawling, and it lasted way too long. Everything they did once they got to the ringside area was good, but not good enough to bring up the match. Such a huge disappointment.

Rating: 1/2*

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