Flashback Friday! The End Of An Era: A Look Back at Fully Loaded 1999

Duane DooganCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2010

Welcome to my new weekly feature "Flashback Friday", where I'll be discussing old WWE events and hope to hear back on your memories of the event or if you hadn't before seen it and watched it on my recommendation what you thought of it. Suggestions for future Flashback Friday's are welcome also.

Anyway, to the topic at hand! WWF rolled into Buffalo, New York in late July 1999 for Fully Loaded, headlined by a match billed as "The End Of An Era" as The Undertaker challenged the World Wrestling Federation Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin in a First Blood match, the stipulation was simple, should The Undertaker win the Championship then Stone Cold would never again receive a shot at the title, however if Stone Cold retained successfully then we would never again see Mr. McMahon in the World Wrestling Federation.

For 2 years leading up to the event, Steve Austin's constant battle with his boss Mr. McMahon had the entire wrestling world on the edge of their seats, desperate to see who would get the better hand next. But it would all come to an end that night in Buffalo. To make matters worse, Undertaker attacked Austin on Sunday Night Heat before the event and cut Austin's head just a mere few hours before the first blood match.

As far as Attitude Era crowds go, I think the fans in attendance that night rank up there with the best. They were electric, through every interference in the main event to every chair shot they were on their feet, screaming out loud. During the pay-per-view we saw Stone Cold dish out some revenge and bust open the Undertaker before their match also, which proved to work to the Rattlesnake's advantage as he picked up the victory after destroying Undertaker with a television camera. However, the action didn't end there, The Rock and Triple H ran to the ring and began to brawl. Referee's and agent's couldn't separate Austin and Undertaker even after Earl Hebnar had rang for the bell. The end of the Austin-McMahon feud, the end of the Undertaker-Austin feud, it was truly the end of an era.

Other matches on the card featured Mr. Ass teaming with the "9th Wonder of the World" Chyna to take on the duo of Road Dogg & X-Pac to determine who would gain the rights to the D-Generation X trademarks. Earlier that month Triple H approached Billy Gunn asking him to take on Road Dogg & X-Pac (who were considered the remaining members of the faction following Gunn & Triple H's depatures) and earn back the commission cheque's that Dogg and X-Pac were stealing from them. In the end D-X reigned supreme as Road Dogg and X-Pac defeated their opponents and kept D-X alive!

In a great opener, Edge - who had won the Intercontinental Championship at a non televised event the night before in his hometown of Toronto defending against the man he dethroned for the title; Jeff Jarrett. Edge, who would go on to become a 9-time World Champion was experiencing his first taste of gold in the WWF, as he was predominantly paired with Christian and Gangrel in Tag Team matches since he debut a year earlier, didn't exactly enjoy a lengthy reign as Champion as a mere 24 hours following his victory he fell victim to Jarrett as he found redemption in taking back his Intercontinental Championship, albeit with a little help from his valet Debra.

Triple H who was rising slowly to the top of the WWF ranks, defeated The Rock to earn his first shot at the WWF Championship in a #1 Contender Bramha Strap Match. After leaving D-X, Triple H gained experience from standing alongside Undertaker in the Corporate Ministry and was now ready to move to that top spot in the company or at least compete with the best and he earned that right here as the man who won would get a guaranteed shot at the WWF Championship the following month at Summerslam! I never liked the concept of a strap match, certainly a 4-corner strap match but these two put on an entertaining contest, but by the standards they set the following year with their World Title feud this match - even though good - will not go down as their best.

In one of the strangest gimmick matches WWF showcased, and they've had some strange ones, Steve Blackman fought Ken Shamrock in what was called an "Iron Circle" match. They battled in the parking lot of the Marine Midland Arena inside a circle of cars - which were full of WWF Superstars - and the winner would be the man who would first leave the circle. A parking lot brawl you say? Yeah me too.

All round, it was the end of a crazy hot run for the WWF, some of the most exciting storylines of the Attitude era came from the months following WrestleMania XV to SummerSlam of that year. And this was bang in the middle of it! A great event at the time and the Main Event couldn't have been hotter. If you haven't seen it check it out, a great showing from a great time in wrestling.

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