History of In Your House with KB

Discussion in 'Old School PPV/TV Reviews' started by klunderbunker, May 16, 2009.

  1. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    In retrospect I don't think a lack of build is important at all. Old shows like that don't have highlight packages for the main event, certainly not to the extent they do now.

    Look at any show from about 10-15 years ago and they just have the announcers talk about the main event instead of showing jhow the match came about.
     
    #26
  2. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 6: Rage in the Cage
    Date: February 18, 1996
    Location: Louisville Gardens, Louisville, Kentucky
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler
    Attendance: 5.500

    This show took place an hour away from me, and somehow I never heard about it once. I didn’t know it was in Louisville until I rented the tape in May. That’s how great the advertising was. Anyway, this was the follow up show to the Royal Rumble and the build up for Wrestlemania 12. At the previous show, the winner of the Rumble was Shawn Michaels as he was finally launched into the main event scene which he has never really left.

    Also on the card, Goldust got the IC Title from Razor in what was supposed to be culminated in a street fight at Mania in March, but Razor was suspended for drug issues. He was gone in May and 8 days after his last match he was on Nitro, officially beginning the NWO angle which changed wrestling forever.

    The other big match was Taker vs. Hart for the world title, which Taker won by DQ when Diesel interfered at the end and was caught. Since Taker had his shot already, Diesel was named the new #1 contender, which is your main event tonight: Diesel vs. Bret in a cage match. Taker, for some reason, is YET AGAIN in the dark match, this time continuing his completely forgotten IC Title feud with Goldust.

    However, he’s featured prominently in the recap video at the beginning, so him doing something in the main event is pretty much a given at this point. In what I am completely stunned by, we start with that age old struggle of good vs. evil: Razor Ramon vs. The 1-2-3 Kid!

    Crybaby Match-Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid

    Ok, let me make sure I’ve got this straight. The Kid got his first win over Razor in May of 1993, and now, THREE YEARS LATER they’re still in the same program? My goodness this is absurd. You have one of the most over faces on the roster and you stick him with the exact same guy for this long? Seriously, no program goes that long. Even Austin and Vince had some time apart in their epic feud and I don’t think that went three years did it?

    Good grief no wonder Razor bailed as soon as he could. In this brilliant idea, they have a standard match and the loser is put in a diaper. As I’m writing this review, I’ve got my eyes closed and am shaking my head. This is mind numbingly stupid. Did Razor light Stephanie’s dog on fire or something one day?

    Fink is announcing tonight, so this show just went way up in value. They do us the favor of showing us the “in depth” history of these two, which apparently goes back 4 weeks instead of three years. Kid cost Razor the IC Title at the Rumble in case you were interested. The Kid brings out a stroller with a Razor teddy bear in it as my intelligence is withering away at this. Yes kids, the WWF can actually make you stupid.

    Oh and Kid’s face and heel music are still the same, which is never a good idea. Are you listening Jericho? Change your fucking music already. Holy shit the Kid used a springboard move. THAT’S WHAT HE SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE DONE! No one would buy the Kid, a guy that weighs about 210 being able to go toe to toe with anyone. Him using the ropes made sense, but I don’t ever remember him doing it other than right there, and so far he hasn’t done it again in this match. In a really dumb spot, DiBiase throws baby powder in Razor’s eyes. Ok, that makes sense.

    However, the referee is looking RIGHT AT HIM when he does it and says nothing at all. Kid is slowly starting to incorporate the crotch chop. The awfulness of that gimmick was apparently long standing. Oh great, it’s a sleeper. Oh sweet he’s not in it long. They botch……something. Not sure what that was supposed to be, and they end up in yet another sleeper, this time with Kid on Razor’s back. Oh the symbolism in that.

    The Kid, hanging on to Razor, forcing Razor to carry the Kid, yet at the same time cutting off Razor’s life and making him drowsy and boring. I’ve been watching WAY too much wrestling lately. Vince actually says Razor is going nighty night. My life is now complete. Eventually the powder trick backfires as the Kid takes it in the eyes, Razor’s Edge, 1, 2, Razor picks him up. I want to hurt that man severely.

    What have I done to deserve such torment? Why does this have to continue? Another Edge, and that ends it……please? THANK GOODNESS. Post match….damn it, the Kid is put into a diaper and fed a bottle as I could go for a bottle myself, but I’d like something with massive amounts of either alcohol or drugs mixed in so I can hopefully forget this match happened.

    Rating: D. The wrestling is ok I guess, but dear lord these guys have been either teaming or feuding for almost three full years. What’s the point anymore? No one wanted to see this match again. Razor would have drug issues soon thereafter and not get to have his blowoff match with Goldust at Mania. He would come back to job to Vader and he would be in WCW within a month. He’s a lucky man indeed.

    HHH vs. Duke Droese

    Droese is a wrestling garbage man. I wish I was making that up, and that’s all there really is to say about that. Duke says he’ll take HHH out like yesterday’s garbage. Duke’s nickname is the Dumpster. Who in the hell thought that would be a good nickname? Anyway, this started because HHH cut Duke’s hair on Superstars a few weeks ago.

    They had a one on one match before the Rumble with the winner getting the 30 spot and the loser getting the 1 spot. Duke of all people wound up getting the 30 spot and of course, he was gone in about a minute. This match is just hard to comment on as absolutely no one cares at all. The crowd is so dead that it’s pitiful. The biggest problem here is that no one, and I mean no one cares about Duke.

    I mean really, a fucking garbage collector? He has his name across his shirt. Is that in case he gets lost or something? They keep cutting to a split screen with HHH’s date and Lawler. No one cares. The hype for the Superstar line is never ending. It was a thing where you could talk to the wrestlers in the previous matches. Cool idea, but it was a one in a million shot of getting through. Either that or it was likely prerecorded comments.

    The crowd is so dead it’s pathetic. They were somewhat hot for the last match so it can’t be the crowd as a whole. This match is just awful in general. Duke hits his finisher but of course doesn’t cover. He instead goes and gets his garbage can, but the referee throws it out. HHH hits him with the lid and pins him.

    Rating: C-. Simply put, no one wanted to watch this and it was obvious. You could see that there were big plans for HHH, but no one knew how big. I’ll get to what the full extent of those plans were as well as how they inadvertently saved the company in our next review. Also, the next woman that HHH had with him will be known as Sable, at Wrestlemania.

    We see a recap of two weeks ago when Yoko turned face by attacking his manager Jim Cornette. That leads us to this match.

    For the first time, Yoko cuts his own promo, with no Japanese accent at all. He says he’s tired of Cornette taking all the credit for the work he did. Makes sense actually. Michael Hayes being taller than Yoko makes me laugh. Hayes saying get ready for a train wreck makes me laugh even harder.

    Yokozuna vs. British Bulldog

    Oh this isn’t going to be pleasant at all. Yoko at this point was just too fat to do anything with. He was nearing seven hundred pounds and was on his last legs in the company as well as in his career. They figured that the best way to do anything with him would be to put him with a power guy so they put him with Bulldog. It is failing miserably. Yoko is dominating at the beginning but after that it’s just bad.

    More or less Yoko destroys Smith and goes to set up for the Banzai but Cornette hits him in the back with the racket for the DQ. Post match Yoko stalks Cornette but Vader runs out to save him. He and Smith beat down Yoko after handcuffing him to the ropes. Suits and officials run in to break it up.

    Rating: F. This was five minutes of clotheslines, punches and forearms. Total waste of time and just a way to get Vader to look dominant as he was being pushed as the monster heel. Yoko’s size is just sad to look at by this point.

    We see a recap of Owen and Shawn’s rivalry, mainly focusing on Owen injuring Shawn to the point where he had to release the IC Title. Since then, Owen had been bragging about putting Shawn out of action etc. That brings us here, as Shawn had already won the Rumble and the guaranteed title shot. He puts it on the line for a chance at retribution with Owen.

    Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

    As I’ve said many times, this should have been your main event at Royal Rumble 1998 instead of Shawn vs. Taker or whatever. Owen did the run in at the end of DX IYH, yet Shawn was afraid Owen would shoot on him and humiliate him, so instead we got Shawn vs. Taker where Shawn hurt his back.

    Tell me Shawn vs. Owen after Montreal wouldn’t have been straight MONEY. A guy like Owen that could keep up with a guy like Shawn? How could that not just be sweet, factoring in the Montreal aspect? Oh well at least we get it one time. Here you are. Note the foreshadowing of the legendary WM 12 entrance by how he comes to the ring here.

    Shawn says he’ll win tonight and that’s a guarantee. He comes in off the roof of the In Your House set which is kind of cool. Owen bails as we fill in even more time here. We get fireworks before the match starts. The ending is pretty clear here but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to have a good match. Can’t beat that.

    Technical stuff to start which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Shawn is showboating already so at least he’s not wasting time in that regard. Owen heads to the floor and Shawn hits a huge dive to take him out. Nothing serious at all so far but it’s all Shawn. Both guys nip up and Shawn gets a Frankensteiner to continue his dominance.

    Big old belly to belly catches Shawn and Owen takes over. Jerry begs Owen to kick him in the head. You can’t say he’s not violent. Camel clutch goes on as Shawn is in trouble. Shawn has a bad head and neck so Owen goes on his back. Jerry gives Owen credit for the camel clutch. As in saying Owen invented it.

    After some brief comeback attempts by Shawn he gets a suplex over the ropes to the floor. There’s a different look here as it looks less professional which isn’t something you often have to say about a WWF show. And then Owen catches him in a powerslam from the apron to the floor which looked painful as hell.

    Back in the ring and Owen takes his head off with a running clothesline but doesn’t cover. Even Lawler thinks that’s a bad idea. Sharpshooter goes on but you can tell it’s not a Bret one as the bell hasn’t rung yet and we’ve had it on for more than 2 seconds. Ropes are grabbed shortly thereafter.

    I forgot how annoying Vince’s “HE GOT HIM! NO HE DIDN’T” stuff was. The head killing enziguri hits and Shawn goes to the floor. This only gets two though and the fans are happy. Or maybe they found pennies. Forearm and nip up follow but oddly enough Owen gets up first. How often do you see that?

    Big elbows hits and Shawn drills Cornette for general purposes. Enziguri #2 misses and Sweet Chin Music sends Shawn to Mania, which I’m sure he would have been at anyway but since that’s a common expression we’ll say it anyway. Solid match as you would expect. He dances with a little girl in the ring too.

    Rating: A-. This match made the show. Up until now it was one of the worst shows I’d ever seen but then we get to this. While it’s not a classic or really anything close to it, this is nothing short of a breath of fresh air. You have two guys that could go in the ring, a good storyline, and while it was fairly obvious Shawn would win, it was fun to see. Good match and light years ahead of everything else so far tonight.


    Next up we have an interview with the interim president of the company: Roddy Piper. At the time, Vince hadn’t been revealed as the owner of the company. He was just the commentator and nothing more than that. So, we had a guy that would be called the President. For years and years it was this guy named Jack Tunney (Santino referenced him before WM this year in case you were wondering where you had heard that name before).

    Once Tunney retired, Gorilla Monsoon took over. However, the night after the Rumble, Vader beat the hell out of him, so while he’s on the shelf, Piper is in charge. His run ends at WM 12. He starts off by saying that HBK better be ready because he’ll be in for the fight of his life no matter what and there must be a winner, which is foreshadowing the overtime in the Iron Man Match.

    He says he has no sympathy for Yoko getting beaten down earlier because Yoko is too big to be attacked like that. He insults Vader. Piper cracking jokes about Mr. T. is funny as hell. Piper makes Yoko vs. Vader for WM 12. That becomes a 6 man tag. Cornette and Vader interrupt but Piper shouts Cornette down which is just hilarious.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, take notes: these are two of the greatest, if not the two greatest talkers of all time in this business. More or less, Cornette says that Vader will crush everyone. Piper says that there’s going to be a fight at Mania. COrnette and his lawyer argue as Piper leaves.

    WWF Title: Diesel vs. Bret Hart

    As we’ve already established, this is a cage match and the rematch from the Survivor Series. They’re using the old school blue cage so this should be good indeed. Bret’s always had good cage matches and this was when Nash was still solid in the ring. Pretty slow start but that’s fine here. Right now it’s just a match with walls around them. Not bad by any means though. Bret works on Diesel’s knee for most of the match for your psychology aspect.

    This really is more of just a one on one match with the cage as a small element, which is workable. It’s been a good match thus far with a story to it. That story being that Bret is trying to incapacitate Diesel so his size can’t help him out of the cage. We also get some good false finishes as both get close to escape but the other makes a last second save. The way the commentators are talking, Bret is retiring after this match.

    I especially love how they talk about what a great champion Bret has been, when he’s been world champion less than three months at this point. Based on that commentary alone and knowing the hidden messages that come from commentators, it was obvious that Bret was winning here. The crowd is really into this so it’s going well at least. After nearly twenty minutes, Diesel is crawling for the door and he kicks Bret off of him so he’s all alone.

    As he’s about to get out, the mat splits open and the Undertaker rises through the hole, pulling Diesel down into it screaming. Smoke flies out of it as Bret climbs out of the cage to keep the title, setting up the famous Mania main event. Post match Diesel comes out of the hole and runs from Taker who climbs to the top of the cage to stare Diesel down as Paul Bearer arrives with a new urn.

    Rating: B+. Very solid stuff here. No one really expected Diesel to win but they made it entertaining anyway. Everyone knew Taker was going to get involved, but these two managed to make us forget about that. That is great work as they got our attention away so the ending was surprising. Solid stuff here and by far the best main event in the series’ history.

    In the back, Piper makes the obvious match for Mania: Diesel vs. Taker, to close the show.

    Overall Rating: C. There are only 5 matches so we have very little to grade. The first three matches absolutely sucked. There’s no other way to describe them. They were boring, uninteresting and just a waste of time. The other two matches however, the ones used to set up Mania which was the point of the show, were both very good if not great.

    It finished strong which was what it was supposed to do so it redeems a lot of the mistakes it made earlier. Not really recommended, but not recommended to avoid either.
     
    #27
  3. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    I thought Razor vs. Kid was very good indeed. It's just a shame the only thing people remember about it is the fucking awful ending with the nappy. I haven't got a long list of Sean Waltman matches that I enjoy, but that and his Raw mmatch with Bret Hart are the top two.

    Owen Hart vs. HBK is brilliant, another forgotten classic.

    Hated the main event, I thought it was seriously boring. The only intresting thing about it was the ending. Shame the ending hyped a mid card Mania match yet made one half of the Mania main event look weak.
     
    #28
  4. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    My issue with Razor and Kid isn't the in ring work. It's that no one wanted to see this match or this feud. Why should we? They had been feuding forever and it just kept going on and on. The in ring stuff was decent, but I was just bored with seeing these two in teh ring together.

    Absolutely on the Bret/Kid match. I had that on a tape somewhere and knew it was good stuff.

    Like I've said, you put those two in the main event of the Royal Rumble two months after Montreal for the title, and tell me that isn't the biggest match in a long time.

    I'm split on the main event. It was really just a token main event because no one thought Diesel had a shot. The match is good, but it's not great. Like you said the only part that mattered was at the end. I was glad though that we at least got a real main event for once instead of some ridiculous match that no one wanted to see. This was a world title rematch, and while the winner was obvious, it was decent.
     
    #29
  5. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies
    Date: April 28, 1996
    Location: Omaha Civic Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska
    Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Vince McMahon
    Attendance: 9,563

    So Wrestlemania has come and gone, and of course the big deal is that Shawn Michaels, the undisputed king of the midcard has broken through the glass ceiling and defeated Bret Hart to become the world champion, ushering in the new era of the company. No one knew what that era was, but I guarantee you no one knew about the juggernaut that was about to steamroll both Vince and the WWF that July when the NWO would form.

    Shawn would continue to be the face of the company until around November when a new star would emerge. Little did the company know (whenever I type that I always hear the voice from Stranger Than Fiction which always creeps me out) that by putting the title on Shawn, they ultimately made the move that would save them in the long run, but I’ll remain cryptic and explain that concept for later on for those of you that don’t get the historical aspect which would be impressive as it’s very indirect.

    Anyway, as for tonight, the title of our show refers to Shawn and Diesel, who are going to have their big match that would end their feud once and for all: a No Holds Barred match for the title. The most important thing about tonight though was very simple: it was Hall and Nash’s last televised appearances with the company.

    These departures, the so called Curtain Call incident, next months’ In Your House, and Bash at the Beach which was held in July of that year, are four nights that shaped the business as a whole and may be four of the 5 nights that are the reason the WWE won the Monday Night Wars. Explanations coming later including one in this review, but for now let’s start the show! Oh yeah and Foley is here now also.

    Standard recap video package to open as it once again tries to play this off as equal to Mania but no one really buys that. No one gave Diesel a chance as no one believed that Shawn was going to lose in his first title defense. It was simply not going to happen after the amount of time and effort he had put into his buildup.

    Diesel had turned on him at a house show which prompted Shawn to say what the company tried to build up as a famous line “I’m going to kick his 7ft ass.” Yeah that really isn’t that famous. Time for the first match.

    Owen Hart/British Bulldog vs. Jake Roberts/Ahmed Johnson

    This is kind of a rematch from Mania, minus Vader and Yoko per team. The whole showdown with Vader and Yoko never happened as someone woke up and realized that match would just bomb so they turned it into a 6 man by adding these guys. Owen and Bulldog were by far and away the best tag team around this time but they didn’t get the tag titles until September and they held them until May which was some kind of a record or something that I don’t feel like looking up right now.

    They were kind of emulating the original Hart Foundation with the power/speed and while it wasn’t as effective, it was good enough to dominate the tag division for about 9 months. Anyway, here we go in a rather pointless tag match.

    We get a pre match interview from Jake but Vince of course cuts off one of the best promo men of all time to push some stupid story, as Vince has to be the center of attention. Before the match, Cornette’s annoying lawyer has a court order banning Jake’s snake from being used. Jake of course rips it up and throws the snake on the heels. Why is it that every heel has a horrible fear of snakes? WWE needs a psychologist on staff to help deal with this.

    Apparently Johnson was a surprise partner, even though he was Jake’s partner last month. Part of the story is that Bulldog is worried he’s not as strong as Johnson based on arm wrestling or something. Oh and he broke Johnson’s thumb. So far this is a pretty formula based match with Jake and Owen doing most of the heavy lifting. Whenever Johnson is in, Bulldog runs to tag in Owen to avoid the confrontation.

    Johnson is over as we have a very hot crowd. Johnson somehow botches a clothesline. That’s like the most simplistic move of all time. DONALD FUCKING TRUMP did a decent one. Apparently this was supposed to be Bulldog vs. Jake. Vince of course says Owen would be nothing without Bret, even though Bret wouldn’t be around for about 6 months at this point.

    Jake is in the ring far more than Johnson as the company knew that Ahmed just flat out sucked in the ring but he was over and had a great look. We go to the rest holds as you can tell this isn’t going to be over anytime soon. This should sum up things very well for you: Jake is in the ring for about seven minutes straight, taking most of the offense.

    He finally makes the tag to Ahmed, and Johnson is literally in the ring 30 seconds before tagging back out. That’s how much faith they had in him. Ending comes when everyone is brawling and Bulldog hits Jake in the knee with Cornette’s tennis racket a few times and puts him in a leg lock for the submission.

    Rating: C. This isn’t a bad match. Ahmed had no business being on live PPV, but it’s not bad. It was decent for an opener and that’s about all you can ask for here. Jake shows he still has it and he would get a decent little push in the next few months. Nothing special really, but just a little something to keep the fans happy.

    IC Title-Ultimate Warrior vs. Goldust

    Yes that Ultimate Warrior and that Goldust had a match. Warrior had made a return at Mania, squashing HHH in less than two minutes and taking a Pedigree, yet being on his feet before HHH was. Goldust is accompanied by Marlena, who was supposed to be really sexy I guess, but she never did it for me at all.

    He’s also accompanied by his bodyguard Brusier Mastino. Earlier tonight….wait a second. Brusier Mastino? That’s the name that Kane used when he was a jobber in WCW back in the early 90s. That’s clearly not Kane here as he was playing Isaac Yankem at the time. What the hell? Why use the name of a guy that did absolutely nothing in WCW as a character here?

    According to Wikipedia, the man with Goldust is the same one that played Mantaur a year ago. What the hell? That’s really weird. Anyway, earlier tonight, Warrior was giving an interview when Marlena blew cigar smoke in his face and Goldust threw gold dust into his eyes. Why would you want to tick him off? GOldust ran away and fell, apparently hurting his knee. Goldust is coming off a mini feud with Savio, and McMahon says that he hopes that feud isn’t over. What is Vince on anyway?

    The music hits, the crowd pops, Vince screams, and Warrior jogs to the ring. The massive pyro display is kind of a cool touch for him. We haven’t started the match yet and Lawler is up to two movie references. Make that three, and there’s the bell. Goldust starts our epic showdown by hobbling to the back and apparently leaving.

    Then, in something you can tell Vince is furious over, the Warrior picks up Marlena’s cigar from the aisle and starts smoking it. The fans have no idea what to think of this, especially after this classic PSA from about 8 years ago.

    [youtube]ebN17xoJbLg[/youtube]

    Movie reference #5 by King. The bodyguard leaves as Warrior gets Marlena’s director’s chair and sits it in the middle of the ring. Mastino comes back with Goldust and Marlena, screaming “HE’S GOT THE CHAIR!!!”, like it’s the end of the world or something. As Lawler makes his seventh movie reference, Warrior is sitting in the chair, smoking the cigar, as the trio leaves to Lawler’s ninth movie title joke.

    Warrior keeps messing with his hair as Lawler calls him a Rebel Without a Clue for number 10. Goldust gets on the mic to say something but the fans boo him. He threatens to come out there and kiss every person if they don’t shut up as this continues to be the weirdest match of all time and we haven’t even started yet. Number thirteen hits as Goldust and Marlena get into the ring, while the cameraman keeps getting shots of her ass.

    Warrior holds up Goldust’s robe like a bullfighter. Warrior gives Marelena her cigar back which she pops right into her mouth like it’s no big deal at all. In what takes another full minute, Warrior gives Goldust his robe back, accompanied by the fifteenth movie pun by Lawler. I know you might be getting sick of my counting them, but seriously, they’re the most entertaining thing going on right now.

    This is at 10 minutes and counting so far and they haven’t even touched each other. Apparently Goldust being outside the ring for seven minutes isn’t enough for a countout either. McMahon says Warrior will do whatever it takes to get the match started. I’m not even going to acknowledge that with a joke or an insult. Goldust sits in the chair and rubs his chest as Marlena…does something.

    Even Vince is sick of the jokes at #18. Warrior takes the cigar again and puffs away as King is starting to repeat jokes. Vince asks what everyone is wondering: what is going on? Goldust sticks out his hand which Warrior puts the cigar into before clotheslining him to the floor. Goldust walks to the back for the count out. Are you fucking kidding me? THAT’S IT? The bodyguard takes some clotheslines and a slam as Warrior is announced as the winner.

    Vince and Lawler both say something to the effect of the winner of what contest? There was a match here? Post match, Lawler breaks into the twenties in jokes as Warrior puts Goldust’s wig on with the bodyguard’s hat over top of that and climbs the ropes to end this.

    Rating: G-. This is so bad it’s below an F. This went on nearly 15 minutes and the contact between the two was a cigar to the hand and a clothesline. The crowd was on fire before the “match” and then we get this? This is why Warrior is blacklisted in wrestling forever. Not this particular thing, but the full thing of shenanigans like this. This was a total waste of time, there was no match, and the fans had no idea what was going on. Easily the worst segment of all time.

    We cut to the back to see Bulldog FREAKING out about something as he tries desperately to get into Shawn’s dressing room, saying something about his wife Diana. This turned out to be the start of Shawn’s next storyline and his first real feud. The story would go on to be that allegedly Shawn either hit on or attempted to rape Diana backstage, which would turn out to be false and just a way to get Bulldog a title shot. This would lead to a match at the next In Your House.

    We come back to the arena with Warrior’s music still playing and you can see that Vince is fucking pissed at what just happened in the “match.” Vince attempts to play off his anger by saying that he’s mad that Goldust was such a coward. While that’s at least somewhat plausible for the time being, knowing that Vince was the boss the whole time makes it laughable. As he and King talk, apparently, IT’S TIME, IT’S TIME, IT’S VADER TIME!!!

    Vader vs. Razor Ramon

    And it’s official: Razor is jobbing on his way out. Since no one knew he was leaving though, this wasn’t a given domination by Vader at the time. This is an interesting pairing here, as Razor usually does a lot of power moves but in this case, he’s having to do more hit and run stuff.

    His size makes this plausible though, so it’s an interesting match. Vader of course dominates most of the match with Razor getting in some shots here and there, but ultimately getting knocked right back down by Vader. In an odd scene, Razor kicks out of the Vader Bomb. Razor amazes me by hitting a standard suplex on Vader after ten minutes have gone by. The more I see of his stuff, the more Razor impresses me.

    Razor hits his big man finisher with the second rope bulldog but that doesn’t work. He almost gets Vader in the Razor’s Edge following a missed Vader Bomb but he can’t do it. He does however hit an electric chair drop on him which is quite impressive. Finish sees Razor set him for the Edge but getting backdropped and Vader just sits on his chest for the pin.

    Rating: B. This was a very solid match. Razor made Vader look like a million bucks here, just like he should have. Razor’s last night would be three weeks away, but for all intents and purposes he was done after this match. Vader was going to be the top heel over the summer as he would eventually challenge Shawn for the title at Summerslam. I think Vince knew what he had with Vader, but Vader was too much of a business risk with how insane he was.

    After the match, Doc Hendrix shows up and says that President Monsoon has determined that based on Vader’s victory here, he’ll be on the next In Your House, facing Yoko. Vader had injured Yoko on Raw by breaking his leg, resulting in a very funny scene where they had to bring a forklift to carry Yoko out of the arena, but apparently it has healed.

    Cornette goes into one of his legendary rants, talking about how Yoko is a dead man. He says that Razor is the example of what Vader does to people in the ring. Razor came into this match as a handsome man and left looking like Margot Kidder.

    For those of you that don’t know, that’s the woman that played Lois Lane in the Superman movies. What that has to do with anything is beyond me, but it’s Cornette doing what he does best: ranting and raving like a crazy man.

    Tag Titles: Bodydonnas vs. Godwinns

    Ok, there’s actually a somewhat lengthy backstory here. The Smoking Guns had vacated the tag titles because Billy hurt his neck, leading to a tag title tournament. The finals were held on the preshow of Mania 12. Prior to that, Sunny, the Bodydonnas manager and the woman that I think was most of our first fantasies, won the Slammy for best buns (best ass if you’re still that innocent).

    At the end of the match, Phineas had the match won and Sunny allegedly flashed her ass at him, which is stupid because you can clearly see she’s covered up, but hell it was 1996 so it was shocking at the time. This led to the Godwinns losing the match.

    This is the rematch, but earlier in the night, once again on the preshow, the cameras saw Phineas and Sunny off in the back of the building and Sunny flashes her chest at him. Another thing, the Godwinns have comical nicknames. Henry O. Godwinn (HOG) and Phineas I. Godwinn (PIG). They have Hillbilly Jim as a manager now, meaning they can use his old music, Don’t Go Messin With a Country Boy, meaning they get huge pops.

    We cut to the back where Mr. Perfect, absolutely rocking the suit he’s in, is with Sunny and the champions. Sunny, looking instant orgasm hot, says that she showed PIG a thing or two and hits on Perfect, before saying that tonight the Donnas are going to outwrestle them. Perfect has a great line by saying that Sunny certainly has the greatest, most amazing pair of…….tag team wrestlers he’s seen in quite some time.

    Ok it was funnier when he said it.

    Anyway, on with the match. Of course, we have the biggest sex symbol in the history of the company on the way to the ring so we stay on a wide shot of the crowd the whole duration of their entrance. This is another standard though not bad tag match which really is a tale of two halves: to begin with the Godwinns just beat the living hell out of the champions before PIG gets beaten down in the other corner.

    This is what you would expect from two such teams. The big guys overpower the smaller ones as the smaller heels do what they can to hang in there until they finally get the advantage. This eventually leads to the power guys making their comeback. Anyway, that eventually happens and Sunny runs to the back, drawing all the attention with her. She returns with a signed photo of herself, autographed to Phineas.

    This distracts him as Jim is about to throw the slop onto Sunny. In the ring, Henry hits the reverse DDT on one of them, but he’s distracted by what’s going on outside. The BodyDonnas switch and Henry gets rolled up for the pin. After the match, the losers console their love struck partner, but as they leave he hides the picture in his overalls.

    Rating: B-. This wasn’t a bad match. It was standard formula stuff which is what most good tag matches are. The main focus was on Sunny which makes sense as she was the biggest star of all these people. There were some great theme-based tag teams back in this era and these were two of the most memorable.

    We cut to the back with Mark Mero apparently ticked off at HHH over being jumped earlier tonight on the preshow. Sable is jaw droppingly hot at this point and somehow people care even less about Mero than they would later on.

    Time for your main event recap. They screw up by saying No Holds Barred Championship, implying it’s a new title or something. You know what they meant, but it was written poorly. How sad is it that I rented this tape so many times that I haven’t seen this recap in years yet I know the narration word for word? You know, the build up for this is making it feel pretty epic. At the time, this was a big match as Shawn had never beaten Diesel.

    Shawn promises the Kliq a party tonight no matter what. Diesel says he’s got a surprise planned. I know what it is, but I won’t spoil it for you.

    WWF Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel

    JR is an interviewer. That’s just a shame. Maurice Mad Dog Vachon is in the front row. Shawn’s entrance is cool. He throws up a hand sign, power walks down the aisle, and takes off the vest and the belt before sliding in to start the slug fest. This is very fast paced and it’s working really well. We’re a minute into this and Shawn has come off the top rope twice.

    Once for a twisting moonsault and the other to hit Diesel in the head with the boot he stole from the Spanish announcer. Diesel gets the best snake eyes I’ve ever seen as he fucking throws Shawn up into the air to smash him down into the buckle. Diesel is just beating Shawn up at the moment but for some reason, considering it’s no holds barred, Diesel takes the tape off his wrist and chokes out the referee.

    Then he whips Shawn with the referee’s belt. Diesel hangs Shawn over the ropes, which is pointless as Shawn can clearly touch the floor which would just make him uncomfortable and not unconscious. This is getting damn violent. Not as bad as some of the future stuff, but at the time this was big stuff. Momentum swings when Diesel does the classic chair to the top rope spot to hit himself in the head.

    Shawn is doing the Ricky Steamboat method of getting the hell beaten out of him then doing something big to win. He’s getting the hell beaten out of him and having him kick out time after time makes him look strong. Diesel was leaving so it wasn’t a big issue at all. Diesel jackknifes Shawn threw the announce table, which was a new thing at the time so there’s no joke to it. Shawn looks dead after this, and rightfully so.

    Diesel goes into the ring with the title which is a nice touch. Vince screaming at Shawn to let it be over is so melodramatic it’s funny. Shawn of course doesn’t listen and is up on his feet like the true no seller he is. Shawn starts his comeback and we have no commentary which I really like. We all know Shawn’s moveset down to the letter when he’s making his comeback but it’s nice to just see it.

    It gives the sequence the feeling of a house show and it’s a very nice little break from the norm. Of course Vince can’t let us have something cool for awhile without him so he’s back. He hits some of the most wicked chair shots to Diesel I’ve ever seen. These two are putting on a hell of a show out there as you can really feel like they hate each other.

    While they were very close in real life, seeing them beat on each other like this is nothing but great as you can feel the natural chemistry that they share. This is great. Shawn hits the screw you elbow after a brief Diesel comeback but the kick is blocked, despite Vince screaming give it to him Shawn give it to him! Now we get the famous part of the match.

    Diesel goes over to Vachon, the guy from earlier, and attacks him. He chokes him to the ground and RIPS HIS PROSTHETIC LEG OFF. I don’t care how scripted it was, that was sick. There’s nothing at all that makes you a bigger heel than that.

    He attacked an old man and literally ripped his body apart. Shawn low blows him to stop him before hitting him with the leg, then hitting the chin music, after stomping loudly on the mat about 12 times. Seriously, if you hear the stomping, WHY WOULD YOU TURN AROUND? Also, the genius cameramen has the cameras on Shawn’s feet so you see Diesel fly back from the kick but not the impact of it. The pin ends the show.

    Rating: A+. I absolutely loved this match when I was a kid and I still love it to this day. It had the big match feel and it never lets up. These two had mad chemistry together and this is probably their best match ever. They don’t use a ton of weapons which is what makes this good. There are indeed a few good things in there but it never overshadows things to become stupid like a hardcore match.

    They use a chair, a rope, a boot (one time), and a prosthetic leg. The fire extinguisher and the table are semi weapons as it wasn’t the table that hurt but the power bomb through it, and the extinguisher is more of an annoyance than pain. Even with 6 weapons, it never gets old or boring as they’re well spaced out.

    This is just a fun match and a great way to make Shawn look incredibly strong in his first title defense. People still use this as a reference for Shawn’s ability in no rules matches, and it holds up today with ease. Great match and one you should all see.

    Overall Rating: C-. The main event is amazing, but the middle is killed worse than Mania 25 was by Kid Rock. It just sucks the life out of the show and it never recovers until the main event. However, I’d recommend that segment just to see how out there it is. Overall, this show is somewhere between good and bizarre.

    The main event is a great match and probably somewhere on my list of favorite matches of all time, but nothing else here is really good at all. There’s some ok stuff, but nothing ever rises above that. Avoid the show, watch the main event.
     
    #30
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  6. IrishCanadian25

    IrishCanadian25 Going on 10 years with WrestleZone

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    KB, some of your one-liners in these reviews are brilliant. I mean, better than Jerry Lawler in his puppy-loving prime.

    Awesome work.

    I did enjoy the IYH series, but between the match with Owen and this match with Diesel, Shawn Michaels basically took full ownership of the IYH's, and made the 12-PPVs / year idea credible. Honestly, had Shawn not stepped up to save this series, who knows if we ever would have made the move to 12 PPV's? Vince may have abandonned the experiment at this point, though he'd have only the creative team to blame.

    People loved The Godwinns for much the same reason they loved Doink when he went face - loveable losers with the over the top gimmick. The Godwins were effective, deplorable heels, but they also made very fun, lovable, charismatic faces. And yes, Hillbilly Jim wasn't much of an in-ring talent, but the man was damn charismatic, and fans loved to clap with him. He had a huge smile that made people appreciative of the art form - HOG and PIG got that and succeeded with it.
     
    #31
  7. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Yeah that's true about Shawn. More or less it was the Shawn Michaels show which was fine as he was the best in the company at the time. With Shawn out there you had at least a guaranteed solid match. Vince didn't really have a choice in this though as Eric started the idea.

    I liked the Jim character as a kid, primarily because he was from Kentucky. Anyone that hung out with Hogan was going to be over and Jim ran with it. You give a guy with that kind of natural charisma a Hulk Hogan rub and you know it's going to be a success. He found one thing that worked and he ran with it.
     
    #32
  8. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 8: Beware of Dog
    Date: May 26/28, 1996
    Location: Florence Civic Center, Florence, South Carolina/North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina
    Attendance: 6,000/4,500
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler/Jim Ross, Mr. Perfect

    We’re four weeks removed from our last show, and not a lot has really changed. Bulldog vs. Shawn is your main event for the title, and that’s all well and good. However, some of you might be wondering why there are two locations, dates and attendances listed for this show. Well, the answer is simple: it happened on two different nights and there were two different PPVs.

    This wasn’t intentional though, as during the Sunday night broadcast, a severe thunderstorm knocked out the power in the arena. While the people inside could still see the show to an extent, the feed was knocked out and the PPV went off the air.

    The opening match, Marc Mero vs. HHH and the main event, British Bulldog vs. Shawn Michaels, were seen as the power went off after the first match and was restored before the main event. For the second PPV, the two matches that were aired on Sunday night were simple re-aired However, the other three matches weren’t seen until later on, when the home video was released.

    The matches were recorded but I’m really not sure what version is on the video that I have. I’d assume it’s the originals, but I could be wrong. The second night’s matches were longer as there were two matches that weren’t redone, and on the first night there was a 30 second squash that wasn’t redone either, so we’ll be able to tell soon enough.

    Also, this is the first PPV to be held after Razor and Diesel left. At the super house show at MSG on May 19, we had the Curtain Call Incident. For those of you that don’t know, it was the show where Razor Ramon, HHH, Diesel and Shawn broke kayfabe and hugged as it was Ramon and Diesel’s last night with the company.

    Since Hall and Nash were leaving and Shawn was world champion, the blame and punishment was all on HHH. He was supposed to be given the King of the Ring that year, but because of this it was given to a bald headed man named Austin. After winning that tournament, he uttered the words “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass.”

    Wrestling was changed forever, and without the Curtain Call, it may never have happened. On May 27, Hall showed up on Nitro and wrestling would never be the same, so this is really a landmark time in the history of the sport. I’ll go more into the historical aspects of things later as also tonight something huge happened but no one really knew what it would be.

    Starting with this video, I’ll be including the Free For All match that airs. This was shown on the pre show as a free match in I suppose an attempt to get the fans that were on the fence to buy the show. Not sure how this particular pairing is going to do that but let’s try it out.

    Tag Titles: Smoking Guns vs. The Godwins

    The Godwins took the titles from the Bodydonnas at a house show a week prior to this, the same one that the Curtain Call happened at. Before the match, Mr. Perfect talks to the Godwins, but Sunny interrupts. Apparently Phineas signed a contract making her co-manager of the team. This is certainly from the first show as there was no dark match at the second.

    This is a very fast match as it goes less than five minutes. There’s about three minutes of a match and then Billy kisses Sunny, messing up Phineas long enough for him to get suplexed and pinned. Post match, the Guns talk to Doc Hendrix and use the words “more aggressive”, signaling their heel turn. They say they’re the champions and proud of it, which is fine as they won the belts more or less cleanly. No one cares really.

    Rating: C. There’s really nothing to say about this as it was so short it’s hard to grade. Granted it was on the free show, so what are you really expecting? Nothing great, but Sunny was as sexy as ever.

    Now onto the main show as the rest of the pre show is nothing but promos and recaps.

    Standard recap video to begin here. Shawn is great, we all love him, he might have tried to rape a woman, blah, blah, blah.

    HHH vs. Marc Mero

    This is the continuation of another feud that no one really cared about. It started at Mania 12 as Helmsley had Sable with him, but later said that Sable was a dime a dozen. Later on, he and Mero who was debuting that night. He and Helmsely got into a fight backstage and they had been feuding ever since with Mero being joined by Sable.

    Fairly slow pace to start as Mero keeps getting his shoulder worked over. It looks like HHH’s only desire here is to hit the pedigree, as for the most part that was the extent of his offense. Vince mentions the storms and says that if they leave they will indeed be back. If nothing else at least they mentioned that it was a possibility. Mero is getting his ass kicked so far as Vince is complaining about the officiating in the WWF as of late.

    He goes on to say that working on the shoulder is “smart on the part of Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s part.” Say that out loud and see how it sounds. Lawler continues chatting with HHH’s valet, who never talks or does anything at all for that matter. It’s been all arm work by HHH so far which is a different side to him that I really like. He even goes to the top and gets a decent looking chop.

    That was smart as HHH isn’t a high flier but he went for something basic that looked good. Well done. He tries it again a bit later and gets crotched, which is a nice little thing saying don’t try something you’re not experienced at more than you have to. Mero hurts his knee as this is getting solid time. We’ve cracked 15 minutes and this isn’t boring yet. It’s holding up quite nicely which is always a good sign.

    I really don’t like the ending here though. HHH has the pedigree hooked but drops it so Sable is sure to be watching. When he turns around he gets catapulted into the post and pinned. Way too abrupt.

    We cut to the back to see Cornette talking about how he has a big bombshell for the main event, but he’s got a good one before it: Owen is the manager of Bulldog for tonight only. He gets a great line in about how Shawn made his bed and he tried to get Diana in it but now he’s sleeping alone. This is definitely from the second show as we cut from this interview where Cornette talks about a match that hasn’t happened yet to the start of the main event, but I’ll save that for the end.

    I was planning on doing the original matches as well as the second editions of them, but as Beware of Dog 2 as they refer to it begins, they show why this would be difficult: not only did the feed get cut, but so did the lights at the arena.

    That’s right, the matches happened, but they happened in the dark. Due to that, we move on with the rematches. Also starting with this show, Jim Ross and Mr. Perfect are your commentators. JR saying that Austin is really tough is something that never gets old. There are no rules in this so they can beat on each other all day and all night if they want to. All that matters is touching all four corners. It’s kind of trivial but at the same time it makes the match have a nice flow to it.

    Strap Match: Savio Vega vs. Steve Austin

    Now this was still the Ringmaster version of Austin and not yet Stone Cold. The stars continue to align for the WWF as on Sunday night, you had a standard strap match. On Monday night, DiBiase, Austin’s manager, said that if Austin loses, DiBiase would leave the company. Obviously this was the case as DiBiase joined the NWO. This is the famous part that I’m sure you’ve all heard of about the development of the Stone Cold character.

    Once his manager left, the company had no idea how to use Austin. They knew in real life he was a redneck that could out curse a sailor. Since no one else had an idea, they said just do that on camera. The Texas Rattlesnake was born. Once again, something that seems so insignificant for the WWF, the power going out and DiBiase leaving, ultimately saves them.

    This is one of the matches where you have to touch all four turnbuckles, so this is one of my all time favorite gimmick matches. We start with your standard back and forth beatings with the strap which is always fun. The commentators call Savio a Caribbean legend. Far from it, but it’s an interesting idea. They go onto say that he’s never lost this kind of a match. Now I have no idea if that’s true or not, but even if it’s not, that’s brilliant.

    It makes Savio look like a bad ass in this match. You can see the future crazy man in Austin during this match as he beats the hell out of Savio with that strap. Apparently if Savio loses he becomes the Million Dollar Man’s chauffeur. The strap goes for 10 feet and we get a spot that I like as Austin backdrops him over the top but gets pulled out with him. That’s a good illustration of how these matches work.

    I’ve always loved this match as it offers a lot of fun spots and can go for a long while before you get a winner. This was Savio’s first feud worth anything and it’s really a good one. Granted, I think most of that was because of the guy he was feuding, but it was at least entertaining. At the time it was awful in my eyes, but now it’s quite good. This match is going on for a very long time but it’s still holding its own weight.

    Austin actually jumps from the top rope and hits the barrier on the floor. That’s amazing to see considering what happens to his knees in the future. This is a great fight as they’re beating the living crap out of each other. Things like that are always fun, but when they can keep you entertained for this long, you know you have something good going for you which is the case here.

    After over twenty minutes of nearly killing each other, we get to the ending which is Austin dragging Savio behind him and touching the buckles, but Savio gets them as well just behind him. Finally, it comes down to one buckle with the winner being the person that gets to it. They fight over the strap, but Austin accidentally slingshots Savio into it and sends DiBiase out of the company. Post match, Savio gets the crowd to sing that damn song when people are leaving.

    Rating: A. This was a great match. They beat the hell out of each other and it never got dull. They had a ton of time to work with and you could tell these guys wanted to beat on each other. It was the blowoff match for their feud and it went better than it should have. Excellent match, the best Savio ever had, and a great way to put Austin over without him getting pinned.

    Yokozuna vs. Vader

    This is the match that we were promised last month at Good Friends Better Enemies. It comes about 7 weeks after Vader hit three Vader Bombs onto the leg of Yoko on Raw, breaking it and sending him out on a forklift. We get the JR code talk, saying yes we know this match is going to suck but we have to put it on anyway because Vader needs someone to squash. However, this wasn’t the case on the last show from two days prior as Yoko pinned him after a Samoan Drop. Now however we move onto this which could be ok but it’ll likely suck.

    They start off by hammering each other with big shots. That’s fine as these kinds of matches follow a very specific formula. Usually they’ll beat on each other for the big showdown then one will take over with some bad offense until we get to our finish. We set for the big clash, but Vader pulls up twice. I get that the spot works once but after that it kind of loses its specialness. When they finally explode, Vader goes flying.

    That’s just not something that you say every day. Vader gets back in and just goes off on Yoko. Think of a Mike Tyson fight from the 80s or early 90s. That’s what you get here. However, he never goes off his feet. He actually hooks a takedown on Vader and takes control. This is mostly punching and ramming into each other. For the two guys that you have in there that’s as good as you’re going to get. That being said, this has been pretty good.

    Finally Yoko beats Vader down long enough to set up for the Banzai. However, Cornette interferes to try to hit Yoko with the racket. He gets beaten down too as Yoko sets for the Banzai on him. Vader saves him and Vader Bombs Yoko for the pin.

    Rating: C. This was a fun little match. It’s kind of like a cheap action movie. You don’t expect anything masterful, but you like what you get. Vader gets to beat the living hell out of Yoko and finally end this feud. This set up Vader as the challenger to Shawn’s title at Summerslam in a match that to this day I have never seen all the way through. Very fun little match.

    IC Title: Casket Match-Undertaker vs. Goldust

    Yes you read that right. This is probably the most forgotten feud in the history of the 90s. These two went at it for about three months but somehow Taker never won the title. Goldust kept escaping somehow, but no one remembers this at all. This match was designed to end the feud though with the ending to this match. We see a recap last night of Ahmed Johnson and Goldust beginning their feud.

    Taker appears behind Goldust to start the match. As can be expected, this is mostly Taker beating the living fuck out of Goldust for about ten minutes before a short comeback and then about five more minutes of beating down Goldust. The announcers are stunned when Goldust goes on offense and he’s the champion in this match. That’s saying a lot actually. At one point Goldust almost gets Taker in with the lid closed but Taker fights out.

    We end with Taker tombstoning Goldust, but of course when he pops open the lid Mankind is inside. Mandible Claw knocks the Deadman out to end this. Post match, Mankind screws the casket shut but once the lid starts smoking and is removed, there’s no Taker inside as the show ends.

    Rating: C+. Certainly not a match that was designed to mean much of anything. The whole point of this was to begin perhaps Taker’s best feud ever as he and Mankind finally get going. The match was almost a squash with Goldust absolutely getting his ass handed to him by Taker for about 15 minutes, then Goldust goes on some token offense for three before Mankind comes in to take care of the big guy. If you don’t take it seriously, you’ll like it.

    WWF Title: Shawn Michaels vs. British Bulldog

    After Smith makes his entrance, we cut to the back to Shawn, who says anything can happen and instead of Beware of Dog, it should be beware of Kliq. He makes his intro to a big pop as could be expected.

    As this is happening, Vince mentions that anyone that bought this PPV will be given a special encore of the show Tuesday night, which was actually a completely new show, save for the opener and this main event, which is kind of cool because the matches were extended on the Tuesday version. Cornette’s lawyer, Clarence Mason declares that Shawn will be sued for trying to break up the marriage of the Smiths.

    Nothing ever came of this at all. Shawn dominates the early part of the match with all kinds of jumps and flips and other TNA specialties. He then puts on a headlock for far too long and while it doesn’t bring the match to a screeching halt, it does slow things down. Shawn pre-injury is damn impressive. He’s all over the place but he never once looks like he’s just doing random moves.

    There’s a sequence to his stuff that most people just don’t have. Following a long short (yes that’s an oxymoron) arm scissors, Bulldog does the same, yet always impressive, lift up spot as these two did four years ago on SNME. More or less, Bulldog dead lifts Shawn with one arm. That’s just flat out amazing no matter who you’re for in this match.

    When Shawn is down, Bulldog does this weird little hop when he kicks Shawn. He kicks his left foot out before stomping with the right one. It’s a weird looking thing as Smith almost looks like he’s dancing. Bulldog beats on Shawn for about five minutes but Shawn makes his comeback, but instead of just pinning him, we get a longer sequence which is a very nice break.

    They trade the advantage for awhile but eventually we get a ref bump. Owen tries to interfere but gets a little chin music. Bulldog sets for the powerslam but Shawn gets out of it and lands a German suplex, but both men get pinned. Diana grabs the belt and tries to leave with it. To further prove why she shouldn’t be allowed on television, she holds it over her head upside down which makes her look even dumber than she already does.

    Monsoon comes out and literally grabs it out of her hands. He talks to the referees and the Fink. We get the official decision: a draw, meaning Shawn keeps the title but there will be a rematch. Until then, Shawn is the champion. His music and dancing play us out.

    Rating: B. This was a pretty good match. While it wasn’t a classic or anything, it did two things that great matches need to do: it surprised me with the ending and it kept me entertained. These two indeed had some chemistry together as the power game that Smith had was something that could have beaten Shawn and he was a somewhat believable challenger. They had a far better match a month later at King of the Ring where Shawn kicked his head off to pin him clean. This was good though.

    Overall Rating: B+. This one is really hard to grade considering all of the confusion that happens because of the storm. However, you get five matches here, and the worst is certainly watchable. There’s nothing bad on here and with the NOW being a strong force to come against, it’s a good sign to see all that the company had coming up. You have HHH, Austin, Taker/Mankind and Michaels coming on strong and you can tell they’re all going to do something.

    However, no one really remembers any of this because of how mind blowing WCW was at this time. If you watch this show out of the order that it was presented in on Tuesday night, it’s a fine way to spend two hours. Excellent show, by far the best In Your House so far and definitely a good way to spend two hours. Very high recommendation.
     
    #33
  9. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    IYH 7: This show, and match, was a brilliant way for Diesel to sign off from WWE. He couldn't have had a better last match on PPV. If only they'd put him with wrestlers like HBK throughout his title run. Not that there was really anybody that could go like HBK at the time.

    Shame it's the only quality match on the card. The Warrior/Goldust match is terrible, but I still prefer it over the nothing matches on the rest of the card.

    IYH 8: More of an intresting show than a good one. There's nothing wrong with any of the matches, Casket matches aren't good, Yokozuna wasn't likely to have a good match in his condition, and Bulldog was always hit and miss. Good job Steve Austin was on the show. Easily the first match in WWE where you thought he might become something.
     
    #34
  10. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Agree on 7. Diesel always should have been the 7ft bad ass that beat up on smaller guys and was practically unstoppable. Someone Shawn's size was perfect to make taht look legit. There was a great scene on Raw where Shawn jumped him and hit about 4 or 5 solid punches but Diesel shoved him away with one shot. That's your perfect illustration: everything Shawn has is matched by one shot from Diesel. How strong does that make him look?

    Pretty much agree on 8 as well. Yes casket matches are hard to make good because you don't really have to knock the other guy out to win it. Taker is the only person that's ever really been able to make them work but he was against a guy that just didn't work well with him. It was just there to further the Mankind feud anyway. Yoko was ok but this was his last decent outing. Very true on Smith.
     
    #35
  11. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 9: International Incident
    Date-July 21, 1996
    Location-General Motors Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Commentators-Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross
    Attendance-14,804

    We’re a month removed from KOTR 96 here where three things happened. #1, Shawn pinned Bulldog clean to retain the title, so that’s out of the way. Second, Mankind beat Taker clean by knockout. The Mandible Claw is now one of the most feared moves in the company as it actually beat Taker. That was huge at the time. The most important and by far most famous thing though was Austin won the King of the Ring tournament.

    While that is pretty much forgotten, his victory speech featured the debut of one of the most famous catchphrases of all time. He had beaten Jake Roberts in the final. Roberts had been using a preacher gimmick at the time, so Austin had this to say. For those of you that haven’t seen this before, watch it now. This is required viewing for wrestling fans

    [youtube]Extaq7gLLdQ[/youtube]

    And there you have it. The catchphrase that sold a million t-shirts is born. Austin rode that one line to the second biggest career in company history. He carried the WWF on his shoulders through their darkest days, and I don’t care who says otherwise, they’re wrong and I’ll argue that all day and never lose. Austin carried the WWF, and his persona was born on that night. His time would come, but at the moment it wasn’t quite there yet.

    However, and damn I’m getting goose bumps thinking about this, that line where he said he didn’t care who you were or what you did, he was coming for you, would result in the return of Bret Hart, and the absolute best feud I’d seen in years would start at Survivor Series.

    Oh and Ahmed won the IC Title that night too.

    This show might as well be called Summerslam Pre-Show. That’s all it is: a PPV build up to Summerslam. Your main event is a 6-man tag, with Camp Cornette vs. Shawn and his two face partners. The original team was Shawn, Ahmed and Warrior Warrior Warrior. However, Triple W decided to bail, for various reasons depending on what story you want to believe.

    Either way, he’s gone and was replaced by Sid. Other than that, this show is designed to build for the second Mankind vs. Undertaker showdown at Summerslam. The card here is one of the weakest of the entire series and perhaps the worst period. This should have been a Raw based on the look of it, but let’s give it a chance.

    Your opening video is………bad. All it consists of is a recap of the free for all which was Shawn’s manager Jose Lathario beating up Cornette but then Vader running in to beat him up. Shawn got there before it happened though. There’s no talking on this and if you didn’t know who these people were you would have no clue what was going on. Apparently if Cornette’s team loses he’s promised all of the crowd a refund so we have the ending of the main event sealed.

    Free For All: Justin Hawk Bradshaw vs. Savio Vega

    Yes that Bradshaw. This was back when the pre show meant something. You’d get an exclusive match with the regular commentators doing the talking. It really did a good job of getting you in the mood for the main show which is something that is severely lacking in today’s stuff as all you get is a recap. Back in my day your preshow often had something that would play a role later on in the PPV itself, so you had to make sure you saw this show.

    We actually get a recap of this mini-feud as they’ve met twice before. It is so weird to see JBL with blonde hair past his shoulders. He’s actually fatter than he was in his last run. Vega with a boot that almost hit Bradshaw and we wouldn’t want that to happen. There’s not much here as it’s really similar to a pre Raw dark match.

    That’s fine really though as it’s only meant to warm up the crowd. Neither guy was anything more than a jobber at this point so no one is really interested. Bradshaw wins after his manager Uncle Zebekiah holds Savio’s leg down. Post match they beat Savio down.

    Rating: C. Yes it’s boring and nothing special, but it wasn’t on PPV so what do you really want here? It’s a free match to get the crowd in the mood a bit. Based on that, it was fine for what it was. Nothing bad, just nothing good.

    Bodydonnas vs. Smoking Gunns

    This is non title for some reason. Sunny has jumped to the Gunns now as they’re the tag champions. To say that she looks hot as a cowgirl is like saying Norcal has a bit of muscle. She’s a goddess out there and she knows it. The cutoff shorts are amazing on her.

    The crowd is so dead for this match and all they care about is Sunny. Apparently Jake Roberts can’t wrestle tonight, which I think is storyline. Lawler takes another jab at Roberts’ alcohol problems, which was a storyline that I’ve never been quite comfortable with. Ross mentions the “attitude changes” of the Gunns, which is code for heel turn. Roberts was supposed to face Mankind so he’s been replaced by Henry Godwinn. Well that’s a great thing indeed.

    Ross says it’ll be a rugged match, which translates into: “We know it’s going to suck, but the show is 20 dollars so get over it.” Vince says that while the Bodydonnas are the quickest team in the company, which is probably true, the Godwinns are equally quick. Even JR asks if Vince meant the Godwinns and in a fairly stern voice, Vince says he did indeed mean the Godwinns.

    That makes no sense and you can hear JR is confused, as I am, by that statement. Anyway, something is wrong with Sunny as she collapses. It’s a fake obviously as the Gunns use it to cheat. The Gunns have taken over but I’m more interested in an Urkel rerun on Nick at Nite. The Gunns try the World’s Greatest Tag Team move with Billy trying to jump over Bart who is holding his opponent’s legs while his throat is on the rope.

    They botch it though as Billy can’t jump high enough. That’ makes me laugh. This match is running long here as it’s losing any steam that it had in the first place. I think the Bodydonnas are faces here but I’m really not sure. Apparently they had a manager that they fired to signify this, but it’s not sticking that well. Something is going on in the crowd as the fans are far more interested in that than they are in this match. The Gunns lose off of a missile dropkick from the top.

    In the back we have Camp Cornette who is mad about Lathario’s actions earlier, claiming it was like a gang assault. Owen has a cast on his hand for some reason and Diana isn’t going to be in the corner tonight because it’s no place for a lady. Thanks for wasting 80 seconds of our time.

    Mankind vs. Henry Godwinn

    Yeah it’s a squash. Godwinn was a modern day Hillbilly Jim (hell that was his manager) but a bit more serious. However, no one believed he had a chance here. Foley was at his all time strangest here as there was never anyone like Mankind in wrestling prior to this.

    The guy was just OUT there. He’d hit himself, pull chunks of his hair out and randomly scream. He was one of the few wrestlers that legitimately scared me as a kid. He beat the Undertaker who was one of my favorites and the mark in me was terrified of him being world champion. Anyway, there’s very little here. Godwinn pounds on him and nothing happens. Eventually Mankind gets the claw and Godwinn is out cold. This was nothing.

    Rating: C. Boring, but it got the job done. Mankind looks like even more of an unstoppable monster and that’s exactly what he was supposed to do. When he was in a team, Godwinn was ok. On his own, he was pretty boring.

    Steve Austin vs. Marc Mero

    The announcers put Austin over as being a huge star and they couldn’t be more right. Them calling him technically sound amuses me as I know what’s coming. For those of you that don’t know, before Austin hurt his neck he was a totally different style of wrestler. He even came off the top rope a few times. They try to push Mero as the same thing and I just shake my head. Not everyone can be a star Vince.

    This match is a rematch from the KOTR semis where Mero got beat by Austin, but during a rollup legitimately kicked Austin in the mouth and busted him open. Seeing Austin with writing on his tights is just odd to see. Sable’s hotness really should be illegal. She’s just gorgeous. This match is moving pretty slowly and I think that’s for the best. Austin’s style at the time was a more methodical one and that’s what you’re getting here.

    You’re really starting to see some of the flashes of Austin’s signature style coming on here. He’s stomping a lot, turning really fast with his arms at his side, etc. Austin actually goes for a springboard move. He had a bulldog but runs at the corner to walk up them. He got reversed, but it was still amazing to see him attempt it and make it look good.

    During the match, Marlena and the Usher come to ringside and hand King a letter or something. They leave with nothing really happening so that was kind of odd. Mero is just bland. His gimmick was that he was supposed to be wild, but that pretty much consisted of a lot of flips over the ropes and punches.

    He was ok, but he was just out of his league here. Austin back then was one of those guys that you could just see something special in. You knew he was going to break through the glass ceiling soon and the only question was when would it happen? Anyway, Austin wins with the stunner, minus the kick.

    Rating: B-. This match was designed to do one thing and one thing only: build up Austin. That’s exactly what it did too. Austin was the star in this match and did most of the work in it. He never was in any real trouble other than for a few seconds and he looked dominant over a guy that was a solid midcarder at the time. Good little match and it pushed Austin even harder by giving him another win to add to the pile.

    Undertaker vs. Goldust

    This feud just will never die will it? I can’t believe this thing has been going over four months and I literally don’t remember a single match they had. We get a recap of what this feud has been, which is more or less Taker beating the living fuck out of Goldust but never getting the IC Title, until Mankind debuts and beats on Taker some too. That leads us here, somehow.

    Of course, we get the endless stall from Goldust before the match starts and the insanely long entrance from Taker to fill in more PPV time. After about 5 minutes of stalling, Taker beats the living hell out of him. It’s a pure beatdown with very little from Goldust at all other than running from Taker. I really don’t get the point to these matches. We all know Taker is dominant and is going to crush Goldust, so why have them?

    Apparently he’s more aggressive this time though so he won’t get beaten up as badly. Why do I have a feeling that won’t do anything at all to help him? The movie references are already rolling but they’re not as funny this time from Lawler.

    Holy crap Taker used a small package, and a decent one at that. After about 10 minutes of Taker beating on Goldust, he hits the tombstone. However, as the referee is stalling to get to the finish, Mankind pops out of the ring (literally) and gets the claw on him.

    The lights flicker but there’s no Taker as Mankind looks into the hole. Taker pops out of another hole and fights Mankind back to the locker room. As the announcers talk while the ring is repaired, we cut to the back where Mankind and Taker are fighting in the boiler room. That’s your foreshadowing to Summerslam I guess.

    Rating: C-. This was what we had seen for four months now and still it’s not entertaining. Why Goldust is what I don’t get. He had no connection to Taker. No one remembers this feud for some reason. The whole point of this match was to have Taker and Mankind continue their feud so that’s fine, but it just was a stale feud by this point.

    In the back, Goldust is quoting movie lines while stroking Mankind’s hair while he calls Goldust’s wig mommy. It’s stranger than it sounds. They talk about the Undertaker, I think.

    Camp Cornette vs. People’s Posse

    Yes that’s what they were going by. Pre match we hear from the faces who say your basic face things. Shawn comes out first for some reason. As he’s coming to the ring, one of the barricades breaks and the fans fall into the aisle. Shawn keeps smiling though as clearly no one was hurt. One of the kids runs up and hugs him. Shawn is professional and hugs him back so that’s good to see.

    Sid has been turned face for some reason now. This can best be described as three matches in one: Shawn vs. Vader, Ahmed vs. Bulldog and Ahmed vs. Owen. Sid is just kind of along for the ride, which isn’t his fault. He was thrown into this thing a week ago with no real storyline at all.

    This match gets some decent time at over twenty minutes which should be a requirement for more than four people in a match. You have ample time to get all the feuds in and everyone has enough time to face everyone at least once. It’s kind of like an orgy: if you don’t get a sample of everyone, then it’s kind of a waste of time. You may be more partial to one person, but you need to sample them all.

    This is a very solid match. While I never have been a fan of tags like this to close a PPV, this is one of the best I can remember seeing. Shawn, the best in the match, is in the ring more than anyone. He flows very well with all three men which is saying a lot as they’re all very different styles. Ahmed is barely ever in, which means that they at least know he’s terrible in the ring.

    You get a lot of back and forth action with the heels dominating most of the match but the faces making the last minute save before things get too terrible. They hammer each other the entire match and it’s quite physical. You get combinations of all 6 guys which is always fun.

    Cornette panicking at every near fall is just great as he fakes heart attacks like no one else ever could. This show really was better at building up Summerslam as Smith and Sid have a lot of time together here and they would meet next month.

    Shawn and Vader of course would go on to headline Summerslam in a month in a showdown for the title. That of course is your ending here, as Shawn is setting for the kick but Cornette grabs his foot. Splash in the corner, Vader Bomb and the pinfall. The crowd and the announcers are stunned to say the least.

    Post match, the faces clear the ring and Shawn jumps Vader before they all pose. Poor sportsmanship there. He got beat clean.

    Rating: B. Very fun match that did its job. It built up for next month and it made people believe Shawn was vulnerable. It got the time that it needed and nothing felt rushed. Very well done match, but at the same time, this was the main event of the PPV. It’s by far the best match, but that’s not saying much.

    Overall Rating: D+. This show is bad, like really bad. It’s five matches: a non title match, three glorified squashes and a good main event. There’s little of interest throughout the whole show and there was no reason at all for this to be a PPV. I could easily see this being a Raw.

    Now I’m known to be a fan of this concept, but this was completely unnecessary. No need for a PPV here at all, and it showed. There is no thought, there is no effort, there is nothing at all to this show. Complete recommendation to avoid.
     
    #36
  12. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    Worthless show. The main event was ok, but it was Raw quality. It was there to set up HBK vs. Vader at SummerSlam. Didn't work though. Vader looked awful and he only won the match because of Jim Cornette. Hardly how you'd want to get your monster heel over before what is supposed to be the second biggest match of the year.

    I think it's safe to say that Shawn Michaels was a failure as a champion and he's seriously overrated. Thank fuck that he faces Mick Foley on the next IYH show.

    These shows are also missing Bret Hart. That becomes even more obvious once you get to 1998.
     
    #37
  13. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    I wouldn't say he was worthless. I'd say he was just up against far too powerful of competition. He certainly wasn't great and I'm not arguing that he was, but I wouldn't say worthless. When you're up against the NWO at nearly its peak and everything else that they had, how was he supposed to win over teh fans? Also, had he not gotten hurt he would have been right in the middle of Austin, Rock and HHH, meaning he likely would have gotten a few title reigns in there. The ratings still would have been high then. I think Shawn was just in a bad spot based on his competition. Not great but not awful.
     
    #38
  14. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 10: Mind Games
    Date: September 22, 1996
    Location: Core States Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Attendance: 15,000
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, Mr. Perfect

    Well, Summerslam has come and gone. Paul Bearer famously turned on Taker to join Mankind after the Boiler Room Brawl. Shawn survived against Vader, and Ahmed had to vacate the IC belt due to injury. Marc Mero would win it the night after this show though. Other than that, not a lot of note has happened. I remember being afraid as a kid that Mankind would take the title here.

    As silly as that was, it was a legitimate possibility. However, other than that this card looks pretty weak. Just six matches, but aside from one the shortest is a respectable 5 minutes and 13 seconds. This show gets a lot of praise though, so let’s see if it lives up to the hype.

    Free For All-Savio Vega vs. Marty Jannetty

    DAMN Jannetty just won’t go away will he? The most interesting part of this match is Jannetty’s partner in the New Rockers, Leif Cassidy, more commonly known as Al Snow at ringside. The crowd is chanting the name of some independent northeastern wrestling organization. There’s some dude in the front row that’s really short and looks tough. His tattoo says Toz or something like that.

    There’s some dude chugging beer next to him. The third guy there looks….well he looks……he looks hardcore. He’s hardcore? He’s hardcore? He’s HARDCORE! Bradshaw is in the back and apparently is angry that he’s never been on Pay Per View. Oh how that will change. Also, JR mentions he saw the Undertaker come in and go to his dressing room. How weird does that sounds?

    Anyway, we have a bad match to watch here. Vince and JR actually acknowledge the ECW chants, saying that this is the home base of their independent company. They thank them for joining WWF for the evening and are glad they bought tickets. My goodness…that was borderline classy.

    I know it was planned but still, they weren’t jerks about it. In something that is making me laugh, JR mentions he saw Jim Cornette eating two triple cheeseburgers from a fast food place. For some reason that I simply don’t understand, Jim Cornette’s eating habits at Wendy’s are legendary in the wrestling business. A number three combo large with no lettuce or tomato, extra cheese and no ketchup or mustard with a sprite.

    I didn’t look that up, I just knew it off the top of my head, and that’s exactly what he would order every time. Look it up on his website and you’ll see that I’m right. This match is just boring for the most part. It’s just your standard one on one match that ends with Marty getting reversed and pinned.

    Rating: D. There was nothing here and the talk of cheeseburgers was more interesting. That’s simply not a good sign at all. Nothing match and just relatively bland. It was free though so that helps things out.

    Good opening video but the editing is a bit odd. We get the package of Mankind vs. Shawn, then Goldust vs. Taker, then another on Mankind and Shawn. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Very lackluster welcome from Vince. There’s also no music playing, which just kind of kills the mood.

    Strap Match-Savio Vega vs. Justin Hawk Bradshaw

    This match is a result of what happened on the Free For All. See, again the match was bad, but it served a bit of a purpose for the PPV. I like how Savio is built up as a god in these matches. It’s something unique about him and it gives him a specialty, kind of like Foley and hardcore. Anyway, this match is rather infamous. Like I said this is ECW country.

    During this match, Sandman, Dreamer and Taz create a small riot in the front row as Sandman spits beer at Vega. There’s a huge ordeal and all kinds of security guarding them, which completely takes away from the match but who gives a damn about that. I particularly like how the commentators keep talking about how great this match is until the beer incident. Once that happens, they more or less make it sounds like it’s time to just end this.

    That’s a shame too as this wasn’t a terrible match. The stipulation was pretty random, but at least it was something that fit with Savio and continued this mini feud that had been going on for months now with no one caring about it. The finish though was exactly the same as Vega/Austin from a few months ago. Vega holds on to get the first three but then we get a tug of war and Savio is launched into the fourth corner.

    Rating: C+. Not bad at all really, but it’s overshadowed by the ECW incident. I’ve long since been a fan of this kind of stipulation, but I’d like to see it as a match for a solid feud and not just something that’s there for the sake of filler. As long as they had been feuding for, this was filler and nothing more. Not bad, but for seven minutes, what are you expecting?

    Jose Lothario vs. Jim Cornette

    This is just a manager vs. manager match. However, Cornette is more known for his eating abilities and not his work in the ring. Lothario trained HBK and Bobby Lashley, as well as had a relatively successful career in Texas during the 70s.

    This started a month ago in a face to face debate that of course turned into a fight. Since then, Super Sock, which was Lothario’s nickname, beat up Cornette on a regular basis. Of course, Cornette got in all the standard old guy jokes: when he was in school there was no history, his social security number is 1, etc.

    For some reason, before this match we jump to the back to see “Razor Ramon and Diesel” beat up Savio Vega. This was just a strange angle that never made a bit of sense to me at all. For some reason the decision was made to turn JR heel.

    He started going on these absurd rants about how he was the reason WWF was as successful as it was, and promised to bring back Razor and Diesel. They weren’t the real ones obviously and it was a bomb. The fake Razor never did anything of note but a year later the fake Diesel would become known as Kane.

    The whole thing made no sense at all and no one bought it. About a month later the company woke up and realized that JR simply isn’t a heel character so they just dropped the angle all together.

    Anyway, Jose comes out to Shawn’s music. This match is just hysterical. Cornette is about 240lbs but fat. Jose is 62 years old and in decent shape. He beats Cornette in about a minute, but the jokes that JR and Perfect get in during that time are just great. Cornette is without a doubt one of the funniest guys I have ever seen and this is no exception. He’s so on here it’s amazing.

    Rating: N/A. Hardly a match but not enough to grade really.

    Savio says he’s not sure who attacked him but it might have been Razor and Diesel.

    We go back to the arena where Brian Pillman comes out and says that he’s upset at Bret. Apparently Bret bailed out of an interview that Brian had set up. We see a video from Bret saying that there was never an interview and Pillman is lying. Pillman says that Philadelphia is a horrible city with drugs, prostitution etc. He says that he’ll bring out someone to clean up the city and out comes Owen.

    Owen says Bret needs to retire, and brings out Stone Cold. Austin says things like Bret claims to be the excellence of execution but Austin lives it instead of saying it. Austin is on top of his game here but it wouldn’t be until Bret answered his challenge that Austin was launched into the stratosphere. This was most entertaining.

    Tag Titles: Smoking Gunns vs. Owen Hart/British Bulldog

    Pretty much Camp Cornette was just handed the #1 contender spot simply because everyone knew they were the best team in the company. This match was pretty much just a formality to confirm it. No Cornette here though which is I guess because he got his ass whipped. Ah yes that’s where he is according to Doc.

    Was there anything Sunny didn’t look good in? Bulldog and Owen have commandeered the massive Sunny poster. YOU SWINE! Billy and Owen start us off. Could the Guns have been any more bland? Mason comes down with a clipboard. I believe this was due to a document Cornette signed which was him accidently signing away the control of his stable.

    Owen controls early of course since Billy has nothing at all. Ross brings up Vince’ indictment which has to be a line fed to him because if not then he would die. Perfect begins the lie about Billy being awesome. I couldn’t stand him eventually as he was constantly being pushed and he never deserved it whatsoever.

    The other two are in now and we get the white tights of Bulldog which make his ass look great. Chop block to Bart and he’s in trouble. Vince reads off Clarence’s business card to kill time. This isn’t much at all here as we’re just kind of going through the motions.

    All challenger dominance here. Enziguri on Bart gets two. The Gunns take over for a change of pace and still nothing is working that well at all. Sidewinder on Bulldog but Mason gets the referee. Slammy to Billy’s head doesn’t get us anywhere either. Crowd is rather dead here too.

    Billy takes over and you would think that would imply some pops from the crowd wouldn’t you? Apparently we’re playing the quiet game I suppose. Billy makes a stupid tag and Bart walks into the powerslam to give the heels the titles which they would hold forever. Sunny goes off on them afterwards, splitting with them.

    Rating: D+. Pretty boring here for the most part as the Gunns just sucked BADLY. This wasn’t anything special or even good as both teams knew there was no real point or heat at all here and it wasn’t any good. Boring match and the only thing it had going for it was that it wasn’t incredibly long.

    The Gunns would finally split up soon after this and pretty much no one would care. After this, the tag title would pretty much do nothing for about a year as Owen and Bulldog dominated the division. You’d get a random two superstar tag team reign (Austin/Foley etc.) or the off the wall reign like the returning LOD or the Headbangers.

    It wasn’t until November of the following year that the New Age Outlaws would form and breathe life into it as teams like the APA and the Hardys made the belts and the division worth a damn again.

    After almost two years of bullshit reigns by teams no one wanted to see, the Dudleys finally arrived as the hottest tag team act on the planet and brought in another golden age of tag wrestling along with the other two teams that everyone associated them with. And that’s enough Attitude Era tag team history for now. More in later reviews.

    Jerry Lawler vs. Mark Henry

    Oh damn it I forgot Henry debuted in this time period. We see a recap of Henry making some run ins to help out Jake Roberts against Lawler. Henry is pure face at this point and acts like Kurt Angle when he debuted. It’s a sight indeed. Lawler continues to prove why he’s one of the best mic men ever. His insults are so basic but his delivery is great and it just works.

    Lawler even insults Henry by saying he’s going to teach him all kinds of lessons. Lawler of course gets his ass handed to him. Henry has no offense at this point but that makes sense as he’s a rookie in his first match. He uses very basic moved like slams and chops, but for someone brand new that’s logical. However, when they’ve been with the company for twelve years it’s not acceptable.

    This is a pure comedy match with Lawler never being able to get anything going. He lands an illegal object to the head of Henry which does some damage. Henry comes back with more rookie offense of course and lands an over the shoulder back breaker for the submission. Think of the starting position for the Razor’s Edge but instead of lifting them up you pull them down so they’re being pressed against your shoulder.

    It really looks painful actually, despite Henry not using it right. Anyway, it was a decent debut. Post match, the New Rockers and HHH run out to try to fight Henry for absolutely no reason at all. They of course get beaten up. Pyro goes off for no logical reason and Henry celebrates.

    Rating: B-. It’s a comedy match for a gimmick wrestler’s debut. Were you expecting Steamboat/Savage here? For what it was, this was fine. It made Henry look good against a veteran that didn’t need a win and for a person like Henry at the time I really liked his offensive style. However, that was 1996. It’s now 2009 and Henry still uses the same moveset. That is unacceptable plain and simple.

    In the back we see the new tag champions with their new manager that lawyer guy. Apparently he tricked Cornette into signing their contract to him. No one cares.

    Goldust vs. Undertaker

    We see a recap, which implies Mankind is working for Goldust. Why would that make any sense at all? Why would a mid carder have power over a main eventer? Come on WWF, think please? This is a Final Curtain match, which means no DQ and you can only win by pinfall. Ok I guess. Yet again though, Taker is just beating Goldust up. At least this time it’s not as one sided.

    It’s still one sided, just not as badly. Marlena does nothing really. Taker picking her up by her elbows was cool though. More random moves from Taker including a vertical suplex. Goldust throws some dust into his eyes to take over and for the first time in five months, we see Goldust work over Taker. You get your basic stuff here, and then Goldust uses one of the most effective basic moves I’ve ever seen.

    Taker is in position for a reverse chinlock, but instead Goldust just covers Taker’s mouth and nose with his hands. That’s such a simple move but it’s actually brilliant. Then we get your standard Taker comeback after Goldust rubs his own chest a bit.

    Basic stuff but the crowd pops for it so it’s all well and good. Anyway, we get the chokeslam from the top and a tombstone to finally polish off this feud. Post match, the commentators talk about how they’re looking forward to Buried Alive next month, which really was a cool idea I think. It was absurd, but a good kind of absurd.

    Rating: B-. Far better than anything they have done before and for one reason: it wasn’t a squash. Goldust got in some good offense here and controlled a decent portion of this match. That’s really all I ask for is something somewhat competitive. Good match and while not a classic, it got Taker a decent win in his main storyline, which means it served its purpose.

    We go to the back to hear Shawn talk about how he really has no idea what he’s going to do here as he’s never faced someone like Mankind. That’s true, as there really hadn’t been anyone like Foley before in the company. Thank goodness he didn’t get his original name: Mankind the Mutilator, as that would have just not worked. Earlier today on Superstars Shawn was put into the Mandible Claw and it knocked him down for a long time. He says he’ll be making it up as he goes out there.

    WWF Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind

    This match has always been praised as a classic by both men. I’ve heard good and bad things about it, so let’s see how it holds up. Mankind was viewed as a legitimate threat to the title based on what he had done to Taker in the past. At this point though, he was still a relative rookie in the company, but that didn’t matter. That’s what WWE needs more of today: don’t start guys as rookies.

    Launch them into main storylines. Anyway, Mankind comes out in a casket and does his whole rock back and forth with the urn which was something I always liked for some odd reason. The crowd is insane for Shawn. I’ve never gotten how the reaction that the crowds give didn’t equal the ratings. Shawn was madly over, but he never drew anything as far as ratings went. Maybe it was the rest of the show or WCW, but for some reason there wasn’t a connection there.

    The announcers are really putting Foley over big here which is something that does a lot to help him in this match. He opens up hard by taking control, but eventually it goes outside and Shawn starts going nuts. He hits a cross body from the top to the floor and after pulling the mats up, jumps from the apron to the floor, shoving Foley’s head into the concrete in what is another basic but good spot.

    Not everything has to be flashy to look good. That move and Goldust’s smothering thing earlier are proof of that. This match has a weird flow to it. While it’s not a traditional face vs. heel formula, it has a unique formula that is working for some reason. Shawn is throwing everything he’s got at Foley but nothing is working. Most of it is Shawn on the offense using his standard stuff, but it’s just not working on Mankind.

    He’s having to get more aggressive in this match and it’s a style I like. This is very reminiscent of the Diesel match that he had at In Your House 7 and that just worked on all levels. This match is really the kind of stuff that the Attitude Era was built on which is likely why it was considered to be so good. You could say that it was ahead of its time I suppose.

    Anyway, Foley gets his knee slammed into the stairs a few times but that really doesn’t get Shawn anywhere. They keep going back and forth which is just great. Every time one gets anything going for them the other just takes it away from them. They’ve been going about 15 minutes and haven’t let up yet. We finally get the famous spot in the match as Mankind is thrown into the ropes and gets his head caught between them.

    As Shawn attacks, he gets stuck in the claw. They brawl on the floor for awhile and the Claw is locked on again but Shawn counters. Mankind accidently punches a chair and Shawn works on the fingers to take away the Claw, which is really smart actually. Somehow Mankind gets the advantage back and starts getting near falls. This match really is getting great now as it’s long passed just being good.

    Back and forth, all kinds of action, and if you were watching at this point you had the doubt in your mind as to whether or not Shawn could put him away, which is the golden key to any match: doubt. Foley can’t beat him so he pulls a Spunky and starts to beat on himself.

    After that Shawn makes ANOTHER comeback and starts beating the living fuck out Mankind. He’s jumping all over the place but finally, and I do mean finally gets crotched on the top rope to stop him. Shawn then gets belly to back suplexed from the top through the Spanish Announce Table, which was a brand new concept at the time and therefore not funny or ironic yet. After that, Mankind throws a second chair into the ring but Shawn gets in first.

    Mankind climbs the ropes but Shawn gets a running start and kicks the other chair into Foley’s face, which is called Sweet Chin Music. Not really but I’ll let it go. Shawn goes insanely slow so you can tell that this is your finish. And of course, here he comes: Vader runs in for the DQ and we get the bullshit finish to the great match. Post match, Sid runs out to fight Sid after Paul Bearer knocks Shawn out with the urn.

    He knocks Shawn out again for the second time in about 30 seconds with the Claw before signaling for the casket to be opened. Then, in one of the funniest scenes I can ever remember as a wrestling fan, the casket is opened and of course Taker is inside. The look on Bearer’s face is mindblowingly funny.

    The key here is that earlier the casket was opened and there was no Taker. He goes after Mankind of course and just looks absolutely awesome doing it. Foley looks scared to death and limps to the back with Taker following him as Shawn is declared the winner by DQ to end the show.

    Rating: A. This would be an easy A+ if it had a real finish. I don’t like the DQ here, but I really don’t have another choice I guess. There wasn’t anything that could have been done otherwise to keep Mankind’s heat going and not take the belt from Shawn or make him look weak. Either way, this was a great match with all kinds of back and forth stuff. Top level here all the way and I can see why they both rate this match so highly.

    Overall Rating: A. GIN! The company got it right, FINALLY. Every match on this card had a purpose, everything made sense, and above all else: THE MATCHES WERE GOOD! Let’s see what we have here: a gimmick match, a comedy match, a title change, a debut, the blow off to a feud, and a kick ass title match to close out the show and set up the main event for the next show. What more could you really ask for? This is a great PPV, regardless of what formula you’re following. Definite recommendation as this is two hours of what wrestling is all about.
     
    #39
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  15. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 11: Buried Alive
    Date: October 20, 1996
    Location: Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
    Attendance: 9,649
    Commentators: Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross/Mr. Perfect

    We’re a month removed from Mind Games and nothing has really happened. Obviously, your main event is the first ever Buried Alive match. For those of you that don’t know what that is, there’s a hole and dirt all around it in the arena. You knock your opponent out and throw them in it and bury them to win the match. Obviously, Taker has been involved in I think every one of them so far.

    They’re quite rare with I think 5 of them ever, the last one being in 2003. The world title isn’t even being defended tonight. Shawn would defend it in a post show dark match, pinning Goldust. Other than the main event, there’s nothing here worth mentioning. Sid and Vader have a #1 contender’s match, but like I said, it’s not worth mentioning. I mean……..oh damn it just start the show.

    I like the intro here as it shows Taker losing his cool for the first time in his career. He lost Paul Bearer which was a big deal at the time. Mankind was the first person to perhaps out-weird the Deadman and it was a very nice touch for a change of pace. The video is short and it leads us to our opening. From what I’ve found online, the Free For All featured a TWENTY MINUTE dark match between Barry Windham and Bradshaw.

    That is a bad idea for more than one reason. For one, Bradshaw couldn’t have a good twenty minute match if his life depended on it. Two, their styles just wouldn’t mesh at all. Third, the point of a dark match is to wake the crowd up and get their energy going. This is best accomplished in a match that goes at longest 8 minutes. It’s not enough to get emotionally invested in but it’s not too short that no one cares. Twenty minutes is main even length. I don’t know what in the hell they were thinking.

    Anyway, this is still during JR’s heel run. The point this time is that his mic doesn’t work so he thinks it’s a conspiracy against him. As part of this angle, about a month before this, he did something that’s never before been even discussed: he said that Vince has control over the company. Over the next year we would see the Mr. McMahon character grow before out eyes, but it was JR that started the whole thing.

    HHH vs. Steve Austin

    And so it begins. This is to the best of my knowledge the first time these two went at it in the WWF. It’s so fun to see these two future legends be on the verge of superstardom. We start off with a promo in the back from Austin where he cusses like a sailor, which was absolutely unheard of back then and mind blowing. Austin’s legendary persona has arrived now also: the vest, the pose, and above all else, the music is here.

    Austin’s style is really starting to come out in him. On the other hand you have HHH’s style starting to shine as well. He’s starting to shake off the blue blood style a bit for a more physical one. Now his big break through wouldn’t come for about another year, but you can see the groundwork. As this match goes on, JR is getting more and more angry about his audio difficulties.

    Every time he speaks he cuts in and out and I find it rather amusing. This was supposed to be Savio vs. Austin but I think the injury Vega had is for the best. The crowd is WAY into Austin. You could really tell he was going to be a star, but I don’t think anyone knew how big. Apparently Bret is coming back tomorrow night and JR claims responsibility for that. The mic cutting in and out is just funny.

    I’m assuming it’s a planned bit but if not JR deserves an award for comedy as he’s cracking me up. However, Ross working as the heel commentator just does not work at all. As for the match, it’s quite good indeed. These guys are young and hungry and if you need a definition of what that means, watch this match and you’ll be able to see it.

    These guys have such a natural chemistry that they were perfect to be the top feud for so many years. They’re flowing out there and it’s just great. In a weird thing that you don’t often see, we get a split screen of the announcers and the match. It’s rare to see the commentators during a match and it’s kind of interesting to see their reactions to things during the match for a change.

    JR forgets the name of the Stunner which amuses me. Perfect, who is facing HHH tomorrow night on Raw in what was designed to be HHH’s coming out party comes down to the ring. Perfect is absolutely ROCKING that blue suit. Was there ever a night where he didn’t look like a million bucks? He steals HHH’s escort which HHH doesn’t like that much. He has Austin in the Pedigree but goes after Perfect instead.

    Austin goes old school (no spamming there please) and hits a sling shot which gives us a Flair Flop from HHH. Austin gets back in the ring and flips HHH off and hooks the stunner for the pin, but still no kick first. The eyes on Austin are just amazing at this time. Vince says that Austin executed it excellently which is a great little touch.

    Rating: B+. While not a classic, this is just a fun match. You knew that this was the future of the company but you had no idea how big they were going to become. This would be the biggest feud in the company and the business for a long time and you could see how well these two worked together five or six years before that was the case. Austin was ready to jump up to the big leagues and tomorrow night his road to them would officially begin.

    We see a recap of the Smoking Gunns losing the Tag Titles, and somehow, I care even less about them than I did last month. I honestly didn’t think that was possible, but yes, I really don’t care even less. Seriously, what was the appeal of these guys?

    The cowboy aspect was they wore jeans and had country sounding music. They were ok at best in the ring and that’s all. There is apparently an argument between them over Sunny, as Billy wants her back but Bart wants the belts back. They say something else but there’s a documentary on the history of mops that’s fascinating me.

    Tag Titles: Owen/Bulldog vs. Smoking Gunns

    And here we have the required rematch that no one cares at all about. No one, and I mean NO ONE thought the Cowboys would get the belts back. This whole thing was just to get the titles on PPV and to give Owen and Bulldog another successful defense. In case you can’t tell, I absolutely can’t stand the Smoking Gunns. Let’s get this over with so they can split up next week and end them forever.

    Ross continues to say that he’s responsible for Bret returning the next night on Raw. Owen got a haircut apparently. That’s the highlight of this match so far. Ross is talking about horses or something like that. His mic is still fucked up as we see Sunny in the back watching the match. JR doesn’t like her as he thinks she missed too many trips to the woodshed. Ross has a wood fetish I think.

    The insults that he gives to McMahon are half shoots I think. Sunny is shown on a wider angle and it is clear that she was poured into that little red dress she’s got on. My goodness she was perfect. Ross mentions that he would hate someone using codewords that mean something else. That’s a bowling shoe ugly comment if I’ve ever heard one.

    Lawler has one of my all time favorite lines with “Bart has been on so many blind dates he should get a free dog.” Damn King was great in his day. The only thing at all interesting about this match is the finish and of course, Owen and Bulldog are responsible for it.

    Owen is set up for the I wish I had a Smoking Gun to use on them’s finisher but Bulldog sneaks behind one of them and as Billy is about to hit the legdrop half of it, Bulldog pulls him away and Owen hits his kick to pin him. Damn that was a long sentence.

    Rating: D. No one wanted to see it, it wasn’t any good, and no one believed there would be a title change. The Gunns were just so generic it was painful to watch. Owen and Bulldog weren’t exactly a brand new concept, but they were at least a great team. The highlight of the match was looking at all those curves on Sunny. I mean DAMN.

    We’re supposed to get a recap of Ahmed Johnson injuring Farrooq but instead JR has gotten into the ring. He blames Vince for everything and says that tomorrow night Bret will have some very interesting things to say. Ok, now Ross is just annoying. He says to watch Raw and then leaves for the night. After this bombed completely, Vince actually tried to turn him heel again two years later and it somehow failed even worse.

    So now we get the real recap, which shows Simmons (Farrooq) in his gladiator attire, which is another just failed attempt at a gimmick around this time. We then cut to Ahmed’s talk on the Free For All earlier today about how he’ll pay Simmons back for what he did. DAMN Ahmed’s nose is big.

    Like it’s wider than his mouth. His promos have gotten better at least, which isn’t saying much. Back when he debuted he had to take the up escalator to get to hell in that department. Anyway, he beats Simmons up with a board and Simmons can’t fight Mero for the IC Title tonight.

    So instead we get this.

    IC Title: Marc Mero vs. Goldust


    You know, Goldust might be the first man I can ever remember that gets an IC and WWF Title match in singles action in one night. This match is really only notable for the ending so let's get to that as fast as possible. Perfect comes out for commentary as Vince isn’t sure why he’s coming out. Shouldn’t he know everything going on here? Ross comes out with him which is odd.

    Perfect is having a match with HHH tomorrow but is doing commentary here. Mero says nothing of note before the match starts. It looks weird walking past a big mound of dirt for some reason. Mero has cool pyro if nothing else. Oh and he has Sable. Perfect goes on a big rant about HHH as there is no story here at all.

    Mero works on the arm to kill some time. The crowd is shall we say, bored out of their minds. Mero botches a headscissors and this is just not interesting at all. Tope con hilo by Mero and Goldust is in trouble, which means we’re going to switch that up here very soon.

    Yep there it is as Goldust powerbombs him out of the corner and doesn’t cover like an idiot. Getting near falls like that make some fans believe the title is in jeopardy. You can’t win the title if you don’t touch the guy right? Technically the match is fine but it’s not very interesting.

    Chinlock by Goldust and Mero is in trouble. And now Goldust has the mic. He wants the fans to shut up and if they won’t he’ll kiss them all with tongue. King makes gay jokes and they’re not really funny. Final Curtain is reversed into a rollup for two and Mero goes to the floor.

    We get a double feature of a move from five minutes ago. Perfect gets up and helps Mero up, drawing out HHH. Perfect drops Goldust and stalks HHH. Mero gets a Samoan Drop and gets the first win of his WWF career (I think) with the Wild Thing (Shooting Star Press).

    Rating: C+. Not bad, not great. Mero was one of those guys that no matter how hard they tried to push him he just was not going to get over as a big deal. He was ok and that’s all. The real highlight of his career is Sable who established a lot of the norms for what we now call divas, minus the ability to wrestle well that is. The SSP is always a good looking move if nothing else. HHH won the title the next night instead of fighting Perfect like he was supposed to.

    Sid vs. Vader

    This is billed as the battle of the powerbombs and is for the #1 contendership to the world title. After a recap, which includes the Cornette simile of Vader is going to go through Sid like ex-lax through a little woman (where IN THE HELL does he get these things?), it’s time for what was supposed to be the main event of Starrcade 93, which didn’t happen due to Sid stabbing Arn Anderson.

    Sid got into some really strange fights including that and an incident at a bar where he insulted all the small wrestlers, but Brian Pillman stood up to him. Sid stormed off to look for something to fight with (his arm was hurt) and came back with, of all things, a squeegee.

    Now for those of you not familiar, that’s the thing used to clean your windows at a gas station. Imagine a guy that’s 6’9 and has a reputation as a bad ass about to take on a full bar with a damn squeegee. He was laughed out of the place before a single punch was thrown.

    Anyway, the winner fights Shawn at Survivor Series. This show is sponsored by Playstation. That’s just weird to see as it was brand new at the time. Sid finally has his Psycho music going which always rocked. I really think he gets a bad rap for his career. He wasn’t as bad as people claim he was. He was a basic power guy, but his personality more than made up for it, and he got pops to go along with it, both in WCW and WWE.

    Shawn comes out to do commentary, minus the belt for some reason. I’ve always enjoyed him commentary as he’s got a natural humor to him. It’s also nice to hear someone that actually has been in the ring recently at a high level doing analyst work. He actually did regular commentary for a few months coming up so maybe this was a dry run for him.

    I really like this match. For one thing, it’s eight minutes even which helps a lot in that it keeps the weaknesses that the two have from being exposed. If your name isn’t the Undertaker, typically you don’t do well in long matches as a big man. Eight minutes is great for guys like this.

    Sid actually uses the strategy that a smaller guy would use and it works really well. It’s very back and forth with power vs. power but Sid uses some speed to his advantage. Shawn cheers for his friend Sid but says he doesn’t want to face either of these men at Survivor Series. Eventually this turns into a powerbomb contest with neither being able to get it. Instead, Sid uses a decent looking chokeslam considering who it was used on to get a quick pin. Afterwards, Shawn shakes his hand.

    Rating: B. While it was really just two big guys pounding on each other, this was a good match to me. They didn’t try to go out and do their normal stuff as Sid changed his style enough to make this interesting. The not winning with the bomb was a nice little change and showed intelligence on Sid’s part. Again, the key to this match was the length. Keeping it short kept it good.

    We see a promo for Survivor Series, which will be the night after the Hall of Fame inductions. Some of the greats inducted that night are: Mikell Scicluna, Lou Albano and Johnny Rodz. Damn, somehow they make Koko look successful.

    In the back, Sid is interviewed by Doc but JR interrupts and asks what will Sid do to win the title and talks about the history between Shawn and Sid. This is really pointless.

    We get a really good video package on Taker and Mankind’s history. This does a great job of showcasing how Taker has been thrown off his game during this and has had everything taken from him by Mankind, yet he’s never stopped fighting. It amazes me that this feud wouldn’t officially end for almost two more years at Hell In A Cell. This whole feud was brilliant and the credit should go to Taker and Foley. They were insanely great at this and the matches were excellent as well.

    Buried Alive: Undertaker vs. Mankind

    I don’t care what anyone says: Taker’s entrance will never get old. It’s so over the top that it’s amazing. There’s no robe or hat or coat or anything like that for Taker. It’s just the man himself. They start out fast and this is a fight, not a match. You can tell these guys wanted to fight and they got the chance. They trusted each other and because of that we got a lot of great spots from them.

    After about a minute they go to the grave which is set up really well. To begin with it’s up on a raised area so you can really see things well from in the crowd. This was before the big screens were brought in so that was a key element to matches like this. They fight back to the ring and this is really a physical match which works well for guys this big. They keep talking about how this match is unsanctioned.

    I’ve never gotten the point of that. If it’s unsanctioned, wouldn’t that mean that the company has no involvement with it? If that’s the case then why is there a WWF referee in a WWF ring on a WWF PPV in a match being called by WWF commentators? Can someone explain that to me?

    They brawl into the crowd for a short time and Taker shows off how great of an athlete he really is as he gets an amazing vertical leap to clear the guard rail in a clothesline. I was really impressed by this jump as it was just a straight jump over the railing. Very impressive looking. I just noticed something. Earlier in the video package for Survivor Series, they had a clip from this match. That’s just weird to me.

    I get that it was likely made after the show was but it’s just kind of surreal. Taker goes into the grave but fights out of it. The two guys fighting in a grave is just creepy looking all around. They fight back to the ring after Taker throws Mankind off the hill that the grave is on. They get stairs and a chair and proceed to beat the living hell out of each other with some sick sounding chair shots.

    Taker just kills Mankind here as it’s a straight fight and I don’t think Taker has ever lost one of those, at least not as the Deadman. They fight back to the grave after a tombstone. Mankind gets the claw on though, which shows how genius of a move that truly is. It takes very little strength and can be applied from anywhere. His head was tied between the ropes last month and he got it on.

    Anyway, of course Taker gets back in control and chokeslams Mankind into the grave which was a very cool spot since the way the lighting is set up he just disappears into the hole in the ground. Taker is declared the winner which is dumb as you can clearly see that Mankind has about half of his body not covered at all.

    Post match is the important part here though, as Taker keeps burying him. A masked man (Terry Gordy for you trivia geeks out there) later named the Executioner comes out and hits Taker with a shovel in the back of the head. He helps Mankind out of the grave and then starts burying Taker. The lights flicker and then go out for a bit as I’m guessing Taker is leaving the grave under the cover of darkness around this time.

    Either that or in about one minute two men using their hands can move enough dirt to fill a grave so deeply that a man as big as the Undertaker is completely invisible to the eye. Goldust, Bradshaw, Crush (WTF???), and HHH come out to help bury him. This goes on for about five minutes until thunder begins to rumble, sending the heels running away to end the show.

    OR DOES IT???

    We cut to the back where the masked man is revealed to be the Executioner (told you) and Mankind and Paul Bearer celebrate. We go back to the arena where Lawler keeps saying he told everyone it would happen. Suddenly a lightning bolt hits the grave and a purple gloved hand pops out of the dirt as Vince shouts about how he will never rest in peace to end the show.

    Rating: B+. Like I said earlier, this wasn’t a match but rather a fight. These two continued to beat the living hell out of each other but with a bit of a twist this time. It worked well though as the brawling is what both men were the best at. The post match stuff was fine as the crowd exploded when that hand came up and was hot as hell the whole match. Another example of a crowd making an angle work better than it should have.

    Overall Rating: B. Another solid show here as the formula is officially down to a science: a title match that no one really wants to see, solid midcard stuff, and a story that runs through the show (JR being a dick) and a solid main event that is the highlight of the night. Solid stuff throughout with only the tag title match being pretty boring. Other than that, good show. Main event isn’t so much good as it is fun to watch, kind of like a Jason Statham movie. Recommended if you have some time to kill.
     
    #40
  16. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    I think his back injury was serious, just not as serious as it was made out to be. I genuinely think he could've returned eariler than 2002, he just didn't because he was afraid he'd be slipping down the card. Which he would've done.

    I find it very odd that he returned after Austin had all but left, The Rock wasn't going to be a full timer agains and there were two brands.

    IYH 10: Anyway, HBK vs. Mankind is my favorite match of all time. I don't even notice the finish anymore. I'm not one for watching the same match more than a couple of times. There are so many I'd rather watch something new. But I have seen this match at least a dozen times. Easily.

    Great opening with the ECW guys, I loved Bulldog & Owen together and Mark Henry hasn't improved an inch in his whole time in WWE.

    No Austin as well, and he was on the Brawl For All at SummerSlam. Showing that WWE weren't that quick to dop something with him. You can probably thank Bret Hart for wanting a match with him at Survivor Series of that year.

    IYH 11: Overall it was poor. It's the best Buried Alive match that has ever been and it's the highlight of a poor card.

    Looking back, Vader was a joke in WWE. At least there's IYH 13 for him to redeem himself.
     
    #41
  17. IrishCanadian25

    IrishCanadian25 Going on 10 years with WrestleZone

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    Absolutely true. They pushed him properly in the early going, and the build up for his match with Michaels was strong. Having him basically be the last thing that Yokozuna dealt with before the end of his career was decent too. But beyond that, yes, WWF really missed the boat with Vader, considering how legit he was in WCW and Japan. I chalk it up to Vince being decisively anti-WCW, but I am not sure.
     
    #42
  18. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    Vader really was a joke in the company and I will always use the same reasoning no matter what: if Vince didn't create it, it wasn't a good idea. At least that's what he thinks. Think about it: Benoit, Jericho, RVD, Goldberg and i could go on. They were pushed, but nowhere near as hard as say Kurt Angle, who Vince gave his big break too. Angle is likely better than those first three and far better than the fourth, but not as much greater as the gap would indicate.

    Vader is no exception to this rule. After Summerslam he was barely ever in the main event again. He was in the Final Four main event but didn't even make the final 2. His push just died and he was an upper midcarder and then just fell off the face of the earth for awhile.
     
    #43
  19. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 12: It’s Time
    Date: December 15, 1996
    Location: West Palm Beach Auditorium, West Palm Beach, Florida
    Attendance: 5,708
    Commentators; Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

    This show was supposed to be headlined by Vader vs. Shawn 2 with possibly Vader taking the title but due to injury, Sid won the title at Survivor Series. Speaking of Survivor Series, a lot happened at that show. To begin with as I said Shawn lost the title to Sid. Granted, he hit Shawn in the back with a camera to do it, but Sid is YOUR WWF Champion.

    Also, Bret Hart made his triumphant return to the ring to go one on one with Steve Austin in what is a forgotten classic. It was a legitimate contender for match of the year, but the problem is they had perhaps the greatest match of all time 6 months later.

    The feud would obviously continue on. Also on that show, the fake Razor and Diesel wrestled and somehow have a tag title shot tonight. Taker also defeated Mankind but the Executioner kept him from beating up Paul Bearer, leading to an Armageddon Rules match tonight.

    Finally, Rocky Maivia, or the Rock for those of you without enough intelligence to put that together, made his debut. All of that leads us here, so let’s see what we’ve got to bridge the gap between the Survivor Series and the Rumble.

    Free For All

    We open the preshow with a recap from what happened that morning on Superstars. Shawn jumped Sid in a parking lot and Bret along with some referees tried to break it up. What would up happening was a wild brawl in which Bret got hurt. Shawn is interviewed about it and says he’ll be at ringside tonight.

    He goes off on Bret like I’ve never heard anyone do before, implying he wants to fight him again. This was supposed to be the beginning of the angle for Shawn vs. Bret II at Mania 13, but obviously that didn’t happen and we’ll cover why later. This was one of the best Shawn promos I’ve ever seen as he was borderline tweener here but clearly all face.

    Rocky Maivia vs. Salvatore Sincere

    Rock is billed as being from the South Pacific. What the hell? He’s getting a decent pop, but Lawler talking about how he’s proven nothing amuses me. Seeing these guys that are just starting their careers and are treated like Dolph Ziggler is today never ceases to amaze me. Anyway, his opponent is Salvatore Sincere. Oh my goodness where do I begin?

    There is one way and one way only to describe this man: the gay Santino. Go look him up and that is exactly how you would describe him too. The voice, some of the phrases such as “How do you say”, and the accent are all there. His nickname at one point was Mr. Italy. Cornette is in his corner for some reason. Apparently he wanted to be Rocky’s manager but was turned down.

    Maivia is called The Rock by Vince. Holy foreshadowing. Before I die, I will learn how to do a nip up. During the match for no reason at all we get an interview with Mankind, Executioner and Paul Bearer. Executioner has a weapon called the Asian Spike. IT’S HIS THUMB.

    There’ no tape on it, there’s no object on it. It’s his damn thumb. Other than that, Mankind says Santa won’t bring Taker any presents. Now back to the match. Rocky hits a shoulderbreaker but Cornette runs in for the DQ.

    Rating: C+. It’s a dark match. That’s all it is and that’s all it’s supposed to be. It was two guys that weren’t going to be on the PPV having a match to get the crowd’s blood pumping a bit. Nothing special happened and it gave Rocky a win. That’s all it was designed to do ant that’s all it did. Not boring but not great, this was perfectly acceptable.

    We get a recap of the IC Title feud between HHH and Mero, complete with Vince’s commentary saying he can’t stand people that think they’re better than others. What a great Nugget of thought. Apparently they’ve been feuding for 9 months but no one ever mentioned it to us. HHH with the help of Mr. Perfect they took the IC Title from Mero. Mero is interviewed by Doc. He’s added a new thing to his Wildman persona: he shouts a lot. Oh joy. Moving on.

    It’s time for the main show now as we have our intro which is about Bret and Sid in your main event tonight. It’s really short which is weird. The commentators talk about the main card for tonight as apparently JR is no longer a heel. This is apparently going to be abrupt tonight.

    Leif Cassidy vs. Flash Funk

    It seems like this should have been the Free For All match, but what do I know? Flash Funk is the Godfather-lite. He’s a pimp, plain and simple. He has a fedora, a fur jacket, and Funkettes, more commonly known as hoes. The music is catchy and he gets Vince to dance with him. It’s a sight that I either love or an disturbed by.

    Seriously, why is this on the PPV? Flash Funk is more commonly known as 2 Cold Scorpio. Now this is a hard character to summarize in a brief span, but here’s the best I’ve got: a combination of Jeff Hardy, MVP and Evan Bourne. Now make him 250lbs and a pimp and you have Flash Funk. He was the first person to regularly use the 450 splash in America, so he’s well known for his high flying.

    He was a big deal in ECW but never made it big in the major companies for reasons that I can’t figure out and don’t feel like looking up. Still, go find some of his ECW stuff. The guy was damn good. Cassidy is more commonly known as Al Snow and you know what he’s like.

    This match really does let them show what they could do though and on that level it works to no end. Both guys are high fliers and therefore you get some top notch moves out of them. Ross is on the King nonstop about him being able to fly around and heard that years ago he did a real dropkick. This is a jab at the King and a reference to something that did actually happen.

    In case you’ve never seen a Lawler match somehow, he knows about four moves: piledriver, punch, top rope punch and roll up. One night he was in Memphis at a local show where he is an absolute god and he from out of nowhere threw a dropkick. The place went dead silent and then the roof blew off. Jerry Lawler did a dropkick.

    He would do one about once a year but it was a legendary thing as he never varied from his normal repertoire for the most part. Anyway, Snow isn’t a guy that gets to show off that often but he really does have a lot of talent. This referee is counting WAY too fast.

    Snow even breaks out the Dragon Sleeper which is one of my all time favorite submission holds. I’m really liking these high flying moves. Granted no one could care less about these guys but they’re fun as hell to watch. Picture perfect moonsault by Snow. As perfect as it was, Funk’s was even better. We get 7 LONG two counts inside of thirty seconds in a great sequence. These guys are half killing each other out there and I wish it wasn’t having to end but Funk hits the 450 for the pin.

    Rating: B+. Holy shit what a match. They would never do a damn thing but this was freaking sweet. High flying, big spots, complete insanity and it worked really well. Imagine a WCW Cruiserweight match but with guys heavyweight wrestlers. It’s a spotfest but it’s a damn fun one and it got the crowd going. Well worth it if you’re just wanting to mark out a bit.

    Tag Titles: Owen/Bulldog vs. Razor Ramon/Diesel

    Of course these are still the fakes but since when has that meant anything. If they were the real ones you’d be having a champion vs. champion match at this time I believe. Of course though Vince has to get his jab in at the guys that deserted him or it wouldn’t be Vince now would it?

    It’s a dumb thing and all it was used for was to further the JR heel angle that was dead by this point. More or less this match happened to further the Austin/Bulldog feud that was going on which was a part of the Bret vs. Austin feud which would morph into the Canada vs. America feud that dominated next summer. More or less we have the tag champions against Kane and a guy that absolutely did nothing in his entire career.

    We start off decently enough but eventually Cibernetico and some other luchador come to the ring. For some reason that God himself knows, AAA and WWF had a working relationship for all of a month at the upcoming Rumble.

    A bunch of big names, mainly Mil Mascaras and Latin Lover were in the Rumble and no one had a clue who they were. Bulldog gets a great nickname here that I wish was used more often: the United Kingdom Powerhouse. JR is still having flashes of his heel turn as he talks about how the fans should thank him for bringing these two back.

    Austin walks out and does absolutely nothing wrong but he and Bulldog go at it in a good brawl but Bulldog gets back in and Austin leaves. If nothing else the fakes look a lot like their real counterparts. Smith’s suplex is an absolute thing of beauty. The fans hate the fakes so much that they’re cheering Owen and Bulldog who are typically heels. This match ends without a powerslam which is something I always marked out for. Austin comes back after it and takes out Smith.

    Rating: C-. This was a squash and a bad one at that. The problem is the fakes just were absolutely hated by the fans. Absolutely no one bought the idea and it failed miserably to say the least. Bulldog and Hart were both great wrestlers and they made short work of these awful (as a whole that is. Kane is always sweet) challengers. I’m pretty sure the fakes were gone after this.

    Ahmed and Farrooq now have a confrontation as Ahmed is legitimately injured at this point. However it starts out as a standard interview. Ahmed says he’s lost his car and his girlfriend because of this injury. Whoa, hang on a second. The car I could kind of see because he could have been unable to pay for it because of not being able to work.

    That at least makes sense, but his girlfriend? Ahmed is out with a kidney injury. How in the hell does that make him lose his girlfriend? Did the breakup line go like this: “I love you baby I really do, but this guy down at the grocery store…damn I mean his kidneys are fully functional. I’m sorry baby but that’s just too hot to resist.” That makes no sense at all. We get the official announcement of Farrooq vs. Ahmed at the Rumble.

    He gets very overly dramatic by saying the only thing left in his life is his fans. Of course Farrooq and his Nation of Domination make an appearance. I always liked the two incredibly white guys rapping the same lyrics that are playing over the loudspeaker. Now this was a very interesting stable, mainly because it was an actual stable with a theme.

    It was about 6 guys and it was a black supremacist group. Their motto was the same as Malcolm X: By any means necessary. They even do the salute like from the gold medal stand at the Olympics in 1968.

    Anyway, Farrooq says that he hates people like Ahmed even more than anyone else because Ahmed is an Uncle Tom sellout. Ahmed begins what would become the closest thing he would have to a catchphrase as he gets the crowd to chant You’re Going Down to Farrooq as the segment ends.

    For some reason the version I’m watching has the backstage promos cut out. I never got the tape of this one so I’m watching it online in case you were wondering. Bret had a promo in between here that I found elsewhere though. He says that he’s ready to go and doesn’t sweat Shawn. This really comes off as him being nervous and expecting to retire though, which is weird.

    IC Title: HHH vs. Marc Mero

    This is your rematch and apparently the continuation of a 9 month feud that no one noticed. Goldust had been pestering Sable to join he and Terri but it hadn’t worked. HHH had stolen the title from Mero with the help of Mr. Perfect who left the night after. There was a slight chance Mero would take the title back here but it was unlikely.

    Sable is in her traditional stuff here and looks amazing. The big blimp is still flying around and I never got the appeal of it. We hear about the Karate Fighters (modern day Rock Em Sock Em Robots) Championship tomorrow with King and Sable that went nowhere. I think Sable won by DQ when Lawler cheated. Well at least it was true to life.

    HHH hits the floor but turns his back and gets taken down. I really don’t like heel Ross. He’s just annoying as hell, even moreso than usual. Helmsley (wow that’s weird to hear) counters ten punches into a hot shot onto the top turnbuckle. That looked great.

    Apparently there are transmission issues with the satellite broadcasts. We hit the abdominal stretch and Mero is in trouble. HHH jumps into a boot and both guys are down. Million Dollar Kneelift has HHH reeling. Top rope rana looks nasty as the fans are waking up a bit here.

    Moonsault press gets two but Mero accidently punches the referee. HHH grabs the belt but can’t get anything with it. A rollup gets two as the referee is back up. Here’s Goldust of all people as both guys are out on the floor after Goldust knocks HHH into Mero.

    The referee starts counting both guys and only Mero gets back in. Wild Thing hits afterwards. Mero takes the belt anyway. Goldust beats up HHH in the aisle.

    Rating: D+. Again, not really an interesting match but it was fine for what it was. Goldust and HHH didn’t really do anything until after the Rumble as this was just a way to continue Mero and Goldust. Kind of a weird choice but it worked fine I suppose. Not a good match and not that interesting. The finish sucked too.

    Doc interviews Sid in the back about his match tonight. More or less he says that he beat Shawn, Shawn beat Bret, so he can beat Bret. Nothing of note here.

    Undertaker vs. Executioner

    This is an Armageddon Rules match, which means that once you pin your opponent they have to answer a ten count. Other than that, anything goes. Executioner has a big axe with him which makes me wonder if he’s overcompensating for something. He’s listed as being from parts unknown and his weight is unknown, in case you didn’t know he was supposed to be mysterious.

    In a Shockmaster moment he stumbles climbing the stairs to get into the ring and has to try it again. As that happens we cut to a recap of this mini feud and how it relates to the mega feud of Taker and Mankind. Executioner is really just a muscle guy that is there to help out Mankind and Bearer which is fine.

    If nothing else it takes Mankind and Taker away from each other for awhile which is what kept the feud fresh. That’s a lesson that WWE needs to learn. The people feuding don’t have to face each other every month. You’re allowed to have additional people brought in to help the feud.

    Anyway, I’m not expecting much here as it’s two big guys hammering away on each other with power moves. This is one of Taker’s specialties so it should be ok. And it is ok. It’s nothing great but it’s also nothing bad. I think however the company knew that Executioner wasn’t going to be able to have a good match with Taker so of course Mankind is under the announce table and pops out after about three minutes.

    Since it’s no DQ though that’s fine. We get a handicap fight for awhile with Taker taking control. They fight back to the set which is just the façade of a house. Executioner gets thrown through the window which isn’t made of anything and Mankind through the door. JR gets in the cheap line of they’re tearing the house down.

    Back in the ring for some reason that is never explained, security guards come down and mace Mankind and put him in a straightjacket. While this is happening the two people actually in this match brawl into the back and out of the building.

    The issue here is that there aren’t any cameras out there yet so we can’t see anything. Mankind entertains us by beating himself up while in a straightjacket which is actually impressive when you think about it. We finally get a camera outside to see Taker knock the Executioner into a fountain. Taker comes back inside to beat up Mankind some more but the wet head is back as well. Taker almost immediately tombstones him and the match is over.

    Rating: D. This was pretty boring. The problem was that it was a handicap match for the most part and that’s not what it was supposed to be. Of 11 minutes, Taker and Executioner were alone for about 4 of them. While it was a fun brawl, it really wasn’t that good. Mankind helped a bit but hurt it more as it was more about Taker and Mankind, which makes sense but doesn’t really help their feud at all. Not a fan of this one.

    Doc talks to Bret….again. He begins to tease his heel turn as he talks about how he’s the only person that matters to himself anymore. He’s tired of Shawn hogging the spotlight for the past eight months and all he wants to do is be champion again. In a nice touch as he’s talking Shawn’s music comes on which sets Bret off.

    Shawn is out for commentary again and again he cracks me up. He talks about how Bret’s got nothing on him except for being a pompous jerk. Sid comes out and HBK says he’s the most expensive piece of luggage in the company as guys like Shawn and Bret carry him everywhere. Ouch.

    WWF Title: Sid vs. Bret Hart

    On the poster for this show was the line Sharpshooter vs. Powerbomb. That’s a fairly accurate description of this match I’d say. The intros for this are taking forever as we have three people with full intros here. Bret is wrestling as the heel here which is just odd to see from him at this time of his career. Kind of nice for a change I suppose though. Shawn is the highlight of the match here with his verbal jabs at both guys.

    The first half of this match really isn’t much to talk about. Bret is beating the holy crap out of Sid. I think Sid has been on offense for about a minute. Nothing at all worth talking about here for Sid. Shawn talks about how his offense isn’t working which makes everyone scratch their heads. Eventually Sid starts his comeback but Bret stops that soon. Hitman goes to the floor though and Austin runs out and chop blocks him.

    Owen and Bulldog, who for some reason is in different tights than he was in earlier, run out for the save but Bret’s knee is hurt. Austin is announced for the Rumble which is no surprise at all. We get back into the ring but Bret’s knee is hurt. Shawn gets on Sid for not going after it which makes a lot of sense actually. They fight to the floor with Bret making a comeback of his own.

    He steals Shawn’s chair but doesn’t get to use it. Sid for no apparent reason shoves Shawn who hops up on the apron. Bret is whipped into him which causes him to get powerbombed and pinned. Shawn is down from getting knocked off but Bret beats him up anyway. Shawn eventually gets to a mic and says he’ll kick Bret’s teeth down his throat to end the show.

    Rating: D+. The only way I can describe this match is that it felt like it never got going. Bret’s early beating of Sid was just flat out boring. It went on almost ten minutes and was just a waste of time. The match got over seventeen minutes so it’s not like they were rushed or anything.

    It’s like they just never got anything going at all. Austin’s run in was about as pointless as you could get. It had nothing to do with anything, Bret’s knee didn’t cause any part of the finish and it took something away from Shawn interference. Just not a good way to end the show at all.

    Overall Rating: D. This show was just bad. The best match all night was Flash Funk vs. Leif Cassidy for crying out loud. That’s a match that had no bearing on anything and arguably should have been the dark match. This is another show that could have been a Raw. Nothing of note happened other than Sid being the person Shawn faces at the Rumble as champion. It was slow, the big matches failed to deliver and nothing happened. Just a bad show all around. Avoid this one.
     
    #44
  20. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    Vader didn't help himself by generally being piss poor. Sloppiness isn't going to help you in WWE if Vince isn't a huge fan.

    IYH 12: Meh show. Good little Leif Cassidy/Flash Funk match. But who really cared about either of those wrestlers under those gimmicks.

    Fake Razor & Diesel were actually quite good. Those two guys under a different gimmick would have gone far. I could definitely see fake Diesel as a future world champion. Although he doesn't have the teeth of a world champion.

    Marc Mero & Triple H is also entertaining, considering how poor Triple H was at the time.
     
    #45
  21. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 13: Final Four
    Date: February 16, 1997
    Location: UTC Arena, Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Attendance: 6,399
    Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

    Well we’re in between the Rumble and Mania and DAMN if it’s not a weird time in the WWF. There is no world champion at the moment but we’ll get to that. To begin with let’s recap the Rumble which should explain a lot. Three things happened there: Vader beat Taker with help from Paul Bearer, Shawn got the WWF Title back from Sid, and most importantly Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble in a stunning shock.

    OR DID HE???

    Well yes but he shouldn’t have. Your final five men were Bret, Taker, Vader, Austin and the fake Diesel (Kane). Mankind and Terry Funk were fighting on the floor which had the attention of the referees. During this fight, Hart eliminated Austin but no referee saw it. Austin got back in, eliminated Vader and Taker just after Hart eliminated Diesel. Austin took out Hart and the referees turned around to see him alone in the ring.

    Austin is declared the winner and therefore the #1 contender. HOWEVER, Gorilla Monsoon doesn’t like this so he makes a match for this PPV which he dubs Final Four. Austin, Hart, Taker and Vader, the final four men in the ring in the Rumble, would have a match at the PPV for the right to go to Mania. Ok, that’s all well and good. However, there was a special Thursday edition of Raw where Shawn forfeited the title, citing a knee injury and a lost smile.

    That night he had been scheduled to face Sid in a title match, so instead of just naming Sid Champion, the four way match at the PPV was now for the title with the winner facing Sid the following night on Raw for the title. Did you get all that?

    That leads us here. Also on the card we have Furnas and LaFon (don’t ask) challenging for the tag belts as well as Rocky Maivia defending the IC Title that he took from HHH on the same Thursday Raw against HHH in a rematch. This is your last PPV before WM 13, so it better rock. Let’s see if it rocks or just Flex Kavanas.

    Marc Mero vs. Leif Cassidy

    We open with this, as in just after the recap we hear Sable’s music begin. You can tell the camera people either don’t care about this match or are just really stupid as Mero is in the ring and his pyro is going off before we even see him for the first time.

    Sable has got her classic look down now: long blonde hair, one piece black leather outfit, big earrings and sunglasses. Just…damn. Anyway, Cassidy is already in the ring so how good are you expecting this match to really be? I actually like Cassidy’s stuff better than Mero’s. Let that sink in for a bit. Your psychology for this match is Cassidy works on Mero’s knee. Mero is your face here…I think.

    Actually it’s more like Sable is the face and Marc is her bitch but that’s neither here nor there. Snow really can carry a match when he’s allowed to. It’s not something anyone cares about though as it’s Leif Cassidy vs. Marc Mero but Snow (Cassidy in case you didn’t pick up on that) is handling this very well.

    Everything he does makes sense and has a point to it. There’s no noticeably stupid moves anywhere which is a very nice break. He goes after Sable though and Mero rescues her. After this he hits like three moves and no sells the knee injury to hit his shooting star press to win it.

    Rating: D. If I could split this up into two ratings it would be an F for Mero and an A for Cassidy. Mero was just awful out there. He was on defense for probably 80-85 percent of the match, slams Cassidy’s head twice, hits a bad Samoan drop and his finisher to win while no selling the whole point of the match. Snow on the other hand was crisp, solid, and logical. You’re facing a high flier, keep him on the mat.

    That’s smart wrestling and something that makes sense to do. He even threw in a figure four, which to be fair was the absolute worst I’ve ever seen but he was at least trying. I was impressed with him but Mero was just awful. Sable of course was the highlight with her looks, but it was close.

    Now we get a double shot of weirdness. To begin with, immediately after that match, Honky Tonk Man comes out. Now, that’s not incredibly weird because based on the reaction I would assume that he’d been around a bit lately as the announcers and the crowd don’t seem stunned by his appearance.

    I know he had an angle coming up that had either already started or started tonight but we’ll cover that later. The really weird part comes when he’s about to get into the ring.

    We cut to a video package recapping Shawn’s forfeiting the title which shows the entire speech, Gorilla’s announcement of the title being on the line in the Four Way, and then we go to an interview with Sid. Just comes from nowhere and while it would usually be fine, why have HTM come out and then show it? He didn’t even get to have his music end.

    As for the speech, here’s my take on it: you can believe him or not, and I personally think that he was at least half telling the truth, but he’s made it clear that the knee was nowhere near as bad as he implied. He had a minor surgery that could have waited but he says he very well may be retiring because of it. All I know is this: for a long stretch in that interview you could hear a pin drop in the audience.

    People were on the verge of tears because Shawn might have to go. You can like Shawn you can hate Shawn you can be indifferent to him as I am for the most part, but the people loved him and that simply cannot be denied. What I believe however is that he simply didn’t want to lose to Bret at Mania 13. It was very clear that was where they were going with things, but Shawn just didn’t want to do it so he backed out.

    Anyway, Sid says he’s taking the title tomorrow.

    Flash Funk/Bart Gunn/Goldust vs. Nation of Domination

    Flash’s entrance takes a ridiculous amount of time as he and his ladies, who are sexy in an odd way, just have to have a full dance sequence in the ring. As his illustrious partners make their way to the ring, we get a recap to explain this “feud”. Apparently all three of our jobbers have been unfairly beaten by the NOD thanks to their gang mentality. The Nation makes their entrance and look like the NWO.

    I kid you not, there are 9 people in this stable. A checklist: 2 white rappers, Clarence Mason, D’lo Brown, Farrooq, Crush, Savio Vega and two guys who were apparently actors hired to look like the NOD was bigger than it really was, which is actually a good idea. That’s a huge freaking stable and their coming through the crowd and rapping their own music was genius.

    This match goes under 7 minutes so this is going to be a relatively short review. Basically here all that happens is a six man tag. It’s as simple as that. This is a basic 6 man tag match. It’s not great and it’s not bad. It’s just your standard run of the mill 6 man tag. Faces start strong, heel takes over, you get a face comeback and the heels win. There is however one sick spot in it. Funk is getting double teamed by Savio and Farrooq.

    They send him into the ropes for a double clothesline but he grabs their arms and in one motion backflips over them to land a double clothesline of his own. I was damn impressed by this move as it just looks sick. Finish comes when Crush drops a leg on Bart to let Farrooq pin him.

    Rating: C-. Now stop me if you’re heard this one before: a cowboy, a pimp and a man that is of the homosexual persuasion walk into a bar. Seriously we have those three gimmicks against a group modeled on the Black Panthers. How over the top can you get? And Vince has the nerve to wonder why the NWO was kicking his ass in the ratings at the time? Give me a break.

    In the back Doc is with Steve Austin. He talks about how Austin hasn’t beaten any of the three men he’s in the ring with. Austin says he did at the Rumble and there’s a conspiracy against him by everyone in the company with any kind of power.

    IC Title: HHH vs. Rocky Maivia

    This is the rematch from three days prior as Rocky shocked the world and took the IC title from HHH. Helmsley has gotten to the best heel music I can remember in a long time as he comes out to Beethoven’s Ode To Joy now. Damn that’s some sweet music for a heel. He’s also dropped the random woman valet which helps a lot as well in my eyes. He’s becoming much more deadly in the ring and the HHH character is coming soon.

    Damn HHH is a twig at this point, maybe cracking 245 soaking wet. Rocky was still a rookie at this point but you could see the star in him just begging to get out with a gimmick change. HHH was on the verge of stardom but not as naturally. Early on the botch a baseball slide spot but HHH does a great improvised spot where he turns it into a drop toehold. This is a pretty good match so far with some good one liners from the King.

    HHH is so rich he takes taxis to drive in movies. You could see the chemistry that these two had even this young in their careers. They knew how to get the best out of one another and that’s not something that can be taught to you by anyone. The commentators do a comparison of the people that trained both men to kill some time. JR mistakenly says that was a nice slupex by HHH so you can see him starting to slip even 12 years ago.

    HHH and Hebner do their usual thing of Earl not being willing to be intimidated by HHH. HHH hits a perfect jumping knee to the face which might be the best he’s ever done. This is a very good match as it’s hard hitting and has a lot of near falls. However, they of course ruin it with the finish. Goldust whom HHH was feuding with at the time comes and stands in the aisle allowing Maivia to hit a German suplex to get the pin.

    Post match Marlena gets choked out by some big woman/man with black hair that would come to be known as Chyna. Goldust says “throw her in jail.” They did a decent job of implying she was just a fan but the replay of it kind of gives it away.

    Rating: B+. This was a very good match and if it had a finish could have been great. These two just put on great matches together no matter what and this was no exception. Rocky would go on to have a nice little reign with the title while HHH would go on to do nothing over the Summer but would starting hanging out with Shawn Michaels and that creature that just interfered in a little thing that would come to be called DX.

    Promo for Mania airs.

    Kevin Kelly interviews Vader who says he’ll be taking down all three men tonight. Paul Bearer says the same thing.

    Tag Titles: Furnas/LaFon vs. Owen/Bulldog

    This was a strange match. The story is that the champions have been arguing a lot lately and at the same time they lost in a Survivor Series match to these same two guys, resulting in this tag match. Now I know nothing about the challengers at all but to be fair I really hadn’t seen much of them. These guys were actually good. They were great movers out there and had some great technical stuff.

    The person that stood out the most though was the referee. He was just flat out bad here. He kept taking forever as he kept wanting people out of the ring etc. and while that’s fine to try to keep going, he took it way too far. Whenever there was a cover he’d check the two partners before he went to make the count. That’s a waste of time and looks bad. Also during the match the champions kept fighting, eventually seeing Bulldog intentionally clothesline Owen hard.

    Now once that happens it’s like a new match starts. The second match is far superior to the first one. Once they change gears, things get very good very fast. There was a ton of near falls and I actually believed that there would be new champions on more than one occasion. I knew who was going to win and I still believed otherwise. That my friends is compelling wrestling. The champions get hit with everything but they keep getting up every time.

    Finally the end comes and it is just strange. Bulldog gets one of the guys up for the powerslam and Owen hits the guy in the head with a Slammy right in front of the referee for the DQ. What in the hell? Why would you do that when your partner was about to hit his finisher which people didn’t kick out of? They fight even more afterwards with Smith throwing down the title and then even breaking the Slammy. He finally leaves with his partners.

    Rating: B-. Just like in the opening match this was a tale of two matches and two separate grades. The first half was just flat out bad. It wasn’t interesting and I was wanting to just fast forward through the match and get to the end. However once Owen and Bulldog got done fighting the thing turned into a great tag match.

    The ending just made no sense at all and was just to further the Bulldog/Owen angle which mostly ended with the debut of the European Title later on that month in which these two faced each other for the title.

    Doc is with the Deadman in that back who says he has rediscovered his edge which makes me expect the Rated R Superstar to pop up.

    WWF Title: Undertaker vs. Vader vs. Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart

    Lawler keeps asking what lucha libre means (the Spanish announcers keep saying it) and JR says rough wrestling for some reason. This is actually an over the top rope battle royal but you can also be eliminated by pin or submission, which is a very interesting twist. I’m not sure if I like it or not. It takes away Vader’s weight advantage but why would you try to pin someone when you can just knock them out of the ring?

    Bret of course gets a prematch interview. He says nothing can stop him from taking the title tonight. Bret’s jacket really is cool. JR says that even Wrestlemania wasn’t this exciting. Suuuuuure. Starts off with both singles feuds being renewed. Very quickly Vader and Taker figure out that going through the ropes is legal. Everyone just beats on everyone with them trading partners which further supports my orgy theory from earlier.

    Leaving the ring was critical here I think as it opens up a lot of alternative possibilities for these guys which is certainly a good thing. Vader gets cut BAD around his left eye. Like it looks as if it fell out and there’s just a hole there that’s shooting blood out of it. I finally found where it was and it’s not pretty. Within a few seconds he takes a chair to the face and he hits his eye on the stairs, right on the corner.

    They fight all over the arena and all fight each other at least once and in some cases twice. That’s what makes this match work as well as it is: you can keep the fighting fresh. Austin even breaks out a top rope clothesline which never stops making my head shake given how bad his knees got later in his career. After that we cut to the floor where VADER HAS BRET IN A SHARPSHOOTER. What the hell???

    Those things happen within a few seconds of each other. Damn I need my medicine after seeing that. Sadly enough it was a better one that the one Rock would use later in his career. We’re at 12 minutes and no one is out yet. That’s another thing that’s making this great is all four are in there for over half of the match so far. It’s more or less Bret wrestling Austin and Taker fighting Vader now.

    Bret sets Austin for a belly to back suplex and Austin BACKFLIPS out of it. DAMN Austin was the fucking shit before he got hurt. Vader’s eye is fucking sick right now. This whole thing is absolutely brutal and it’s a kick ass match so far. We’re at fifteen minutes and it’s still all four guys in there. Just as I finish typing that Austin is thrown out as Bret Hart uses what we would now call the FU to eliminate him. Bret Hart used an FU. Sly can never see this moment.

    His orgasm would flood Missouri. Taker gets knocked to the floor so we continue our orgy match with Bret and Vader getting it on for awhile. I will now pause to attempt to erase such a mental picture. Ok I’m back now as Vader goes to the top in a dumb move. Why would you do that when being knocked to the floor eliminates you?

    Bret stops him and lands a superplex from the top rope which is freaking insane given A) how long they’ve been going and B) the fact that Vader’s ass needs its own zip code. Taker breaks up the sharpshooter on Vader which makes no sense at all and even the announcers question it. Austin comes back out and beats up Hart some more to pretty much secure the fact that he’ll be winning this.

    Vader again goes to the ropes for a Vader Bomb but Taker sits up and hits an uppercut to the little Vaders to eliminate him so we’re down to Bret vs. Taker. Austin is still around after a chokeslam and for some reason he stops the tombstone. Taker and Hart both go for Austin but Taker is too slow.

    He turns around and is clotheslined out to make Bret the champion again. Sid comes out for the staredown after Taker storms off. Sid says let’s do it right now as we go off the air in the middle of the showdown. I like that ending as it leaves us on a cliffhanger for tomorrow’s show.

    Rating: A. This was a very fun match and the key to it was you knew there was going to be a new champion at the end so you had to watch all of it. Another key was that no one was eliminated until over half of the match was gone. This kept things fresh and made you want to stay until the very end to see how everyone went out. The leaving the ring was key as well as it allowed three separate one on one matches to occur throughout the match. Great match indeed and very fun.

    Overall Rating: B-. First two matches were pretty bad but the other three more than made up for them. By the middle of the main event I was hooked. The second half of the show was great with another solid Rock/HHH encounter, a solid and surprising tag match and a kick ass main event. Overall this show started slowly but kicked it into high gear at the end. Not great but certainly fun, this is worth a watch someday but don’t make it a top priority.
     
    #46
  22. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

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    Brilliant main event. It's surprising to me how this hasn't made it onto a Bret Hart, Undertaker or Steve Austin DVD. Shame that the title win was pointless. Bret Hart really isn't as smart as he thinks he is. It's obvious that he was being fucked with.

    Other than that match the card is a dud. The tag title match would be more intresting if Owen hart wasn't the only intresting character.
     
    #47
  23. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 14: Revenge of the Taker
    Date: April 20, 1997
    Location: War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, New York
    Attendance: 6,477
    Commentators-Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Vince McMahon

    So we’re now a month removed from Wrestlemania 13. Your biggest stories are of course Taker beating Sid for the world title and the legendary Submission match with Bret and Austin. Therefore Bret now looks like an ass while Austin is a walking deity. Your big matches here are Taker vs. Mankind for the title and then the real main event is Austin vs. Bret all over again, but this time there are no gimmicks.

    Aside from that it’s a pretty run of the mill show. Both of the other titles are on the line and we have a bad midcard match. This is really an odd time for the company as they were trying to start a new year for lack of a better term but they were kind of stuck in one place. That would change fast though, just not in the near future. Here we go.

    Much darker music for the main theme as they’re actually trying to play off the name of the show for a change. What a novel idea! Anyway, that’s quickly cut off by LOD’s music which will always kick ass. A bad angle was coming for these two but I’ll get to that later on if I can avoid it for tonight’s show.

    Tag Titles: LOD vs. Owen/Bulldog

    Short recap video showing how the champions have been messing with the LOD and costing them some issues with the Godwinns. They come out to Bret’s music which is a bit odd and not addressed. LOD is mad over in this match as the chants are ECW level. Bulldog is European Champion and Owen has two Slammys to go with the tag titles.

    As I watch this match, I start to notice a few things about the LOD. The first is I have never seen a tag team more over in my life, and that includes the Harts in Canada. The place is popping like crazy for every single thing they do. The other thing I notice is they really do nothing. The most complicated move either has done in five minutes was a powerslam. That’s actually quite impressive.

    Their appearance and personas have gotten them so over that the fans are either too impressed or too stupid to get how limited they were in the ring. I’m leaning towards the second actually. During the match, Austin gets to the arena late which is yet another instance of this happening.

    Someone give him a stern lecture and a firm finger shaking! JR and King are just ripping the hell out of each other in this match and it’s absolutely great. Oddly enough, JR is winning the battle of one line insults. Vince says that even King Kong would go down from Owen’s enziguri. No Vince, he wouldn’t.

    Eventually the LOD beat the living fuck out of both guys and hit a powerslam (go figure) from the middle rope to pin Bulldog and win the belts. Post match the celebration is on, but apparently it isn’t. Bulldog wasn’t the legal man, so this match must continue.

    The champions take over, with Smith in the ring which again screws things up as Owen was the legal man that caused all the issues. Once again though the LOD takes over and this time hits the Doomsday Device but Bret runs in and causes the DQ to end this.

    Rating: B-. This was a good match that did exactly what it was supposed to do: make LOD look dominant and let the heels keep their belts. It sets up a rematch as well so we have another month covered. The false finish kept things interesting enough to overlook the LOD’s, ahem, limited offensive skills. They were big, strong and cool looking and sometimes that’s all it takes.

    In the back Owen and Bulldog are interviewed by Doc. Bret is going to beat Austin apparently. Thank you for that insight.

    We go back to Sunny and Brian Pillman on the Superstar Line, costing only 1.50 a minute. They of course imply that that want to fuck the hell out of each other without ever saying it.

    IC Title: Savio Vega vs. Rocky Maivia

    The Nation’s entrance is still kick ass. No Faroorq that I can see though which is most weird. We see a recap of last week’s Raw where the Nation beat up Rocky after Savio cheated to pin him. Doc is with Rocky who says he’s been lucky so far in the WWF but Savio is in for a hell of a fight if he wants the title. Short but very sweet actually.

    Rocky is still coming out to generic rock song #87 at this point. Farrooq comes out about 20 seconds into the match because apparently that’s 20 seconds too much work for him. He has a shoulder injury but joins for commentary.

    After some difficulties with the audio, JR gives up his headset to Farrooq, who says that the black commentator is always getting held back. Not true as there never has been a black commentator at that point. Damn there really hadn’t been had there? Anyway, the match is boring but Farrooq says that he’s challenged Ahmed to a gauntlet match. If Ahmed wins the Nation disbands.

    This match is just not that interesting. It’s mainly Savio on offense with a few comebacks by Rocky here or there. Eventually they go on the floor but Crush hits his finisher on Rocky and he gets counted out. You can see the finish yourself. Post match Savio is ticked off and rightly so. They take their anger out on Rocky but Ahmed runs out for the save. He accepts the challenge Farrooq made.

    Rating: C. This was just there. It wasn’t interesting it wasn’t particularly good, just there. It was two guys wrestling but nothing at all was interesting about it. Farroq’s commentary was interesting and funny at least and it allowed the main storyline, NOD vs. Ahmed, to be continued. That’s all it got right though.

    Ken Shamrock is chatting on AOL with the fans. Two things strike me as odd here. AOL used to be a big deal. What in the hell happened to it? And Ken Shamrock on a computer is just an amusing sight.

    In the back still we see Sable and Marc Mero talking to Doc. Mero says his knee injury is going fine and he’ll be back in the summer. Just a causal interview until Steve Austin walks into the men’s room behind them. Mero getting interviewed near a bathroom just makes me laugh. You hear a loud commotion from inside it though and Owen and Bulldog run out, each carrying weapons. Earl Hebner runs out as well saying Austin got jumped.

    Jesse James vs. Rockabilly

    Oh damn it. Damn it damn it damn it. It’s fucking Rockabilly. I hate Rockabilly almost as much as I hate Illinois Nazis, and I hate Illinois Nazis. Ok, let’s get this over with. Jesse James will become known as Road Dogg. He used to be the Roadie so now he comes out to the song he sang and Jeff Jarrett pretended to perform at the second In Your House. He’s actually decent in this role as it just fits him well.

    He’s somewhat over because of the song too which is a nice little tune. Out next we have the Honky Tonk Man. He’s been looking for a protégé lately which makes me think he should join WrestleZone where everyone has a protégé, and in some cases many of them (I’m talking to you Norcal). Anyway, he says he’s found the perfect man: the artist formerly known as Billy Gunn, Rockabilly.

    You know, Monty Sopp should be commended. First off, he’s gone through life with the name Monty Sopp. Secondly, he has had some of the worst gimmicks in the history of wrestling. He’s been a cowboy, Rockabilly who I’ll get to in a minute, a guy named Mr. Ass, a gay man and now Cute Kip. The guy is annoying, but he’s had nothing to work with over the years.

    Rockabilly was a country/rock singer that danced badly but thought he was awesome. Absolutely no one cared at all, period. This went on for almost 5 months before on Shotgun Saturday Night (which needs a review of its own as the concept at first was great) these two were having a match and actually said that their careers sucked because of their gimmicks so they should team up.

    That’s just not something you hear that often. Road Dogg goes on this huge offensive streak to start. You know, he really was pretty good in the ring. He’s overlooked because of his antics in DX but he really was good in the ring. However, absolutely no one cared about either guy. They just weren’t interesting characters and felt like archetypes. However, at the end of the offensive rush which ends up on the floor, Dogg knocks Billy down with a clothesline from the apron.

    He then points at Honky and yells You’re Next! That’s fine and good and makes sense. However, the funny part is Honky’s response. After about 5 seconds of staring blankly, he shouts you’re a goof! And this guy was one of the top heels of the late 80s?

    You can clearly see a huge space of open area that doesn’t even have chairs in it. That means either ticket sales were awful or the place just didn’t make enough tickets available. There’s room for at least 400 more seats in there, and they’re right by the aisle.

    I can’t imagine seats in that location at a reasonable price wouldn’t sell. It’s not like the place is empty. Anyway, the match ends when Billy has him set for a DDT but walks slowly towards the corner and Roadie rolls him up to pin him. Post match HTM tries to hit him with the guitar but he bails.

    Rating: D. I hate to grade it so low because Road Dogg was really good in this match, but it comes down to one thing: absolutely no one was interested in this match at all. The gimmicks were WAY too similar and both men had to stop and dance between each move. It was just complete overkill for a match that no one wanted to see.

    This would have been boring at a house show, let alone a Raw or a PPV like this one. There’s nothing here at all. There was no story, no buildup, no angle or anything like that. It just wasn’t needed and it was awful, but that shouldn’t be blamed on Road Dogg at all. He was out there working his ass off.

    We go to the back for Doc to sell the Undertaker door cover. That’s a sign of the times in WWE I think as you can tell they were running low on money. They’re actually selling stuff in the middle of the show and it’s the middle of April. Cool idea actually but way overpriced for just a big poster.

    Kevin Kelly is with Austin and Monsoon in the locker room. Austin says that he’s fighting tonight no matter what. Austin’s line of “Bret’s ass is going to need medical attention after I get done with him. I don’t care how many people, even Owen, Bulldog, Stu Hart or all of Bret’s brothers want a piece of Steve Austin’s ass…” could have been worded MUCH better.

    Some douche named Lance Wright is with the Hart Foundation. Bulldog says Austin started it and that he and Owen were in the bathroom celebrating their victory. DAMN there are a lot of gay overtones on this segment. All three say Austin is going down tonight.

    We see a nice recap of Mankind vs. Taker’s feud. The editing on this is great as it’s just really strange with all of the cuts it does. It looks like something from the mind of a crazy man. Nicely done indeed. This feud was reignited by mankind throwing a fireball at Taker’s face and blinding him.

    Mankind is with Bearer and Doc and they say Taker will lose tonight.

    WWF Title: Undertaker vs. Mankind

    For Taker’s entrance we get the always cool shot of his gloved hand as he balls it into a fist. This is kind of the token first defense for Taker but it’s against someone that you could see beating him for the belt which gives it a very nice change of pace than most defenses like this. Of course this is a hard hitting fight to begin with them fighting all over the place and into the crowd for a bit.

    They hammer on each other until Taker goes for Old School but instead stands on the rope and dives off with a clothesline. Taker almost gets Bearer but Mankind makes the save. This is the same kind of match that they’ve had time and time again which means that it’s really quite good in all respects. Your main story here is that Taker’s forehead is burned and his eyesight isn’t perfect in this.

    Mankind uses a few weapons on him but for some reason there’s not a DQ over it which the announcers don’t understand. Taker has had mostly the same offense for years but it never has gotten old, at least not in my eyes. It’s as exciting today as it ever was. That’s part of the beauty of his character: it doesn’t get stale and if it starts to, he changes something so small that it reinvents him completely.

    We get a ref bump, after which the Claw takes out Taker. We get weapons introduced but the highlight is Taker throwing a dropkick into the stairs. Is there anything this guy can’t do? After this we have the big spot for the match which I think was planned but might not have been.

    Mankind is on the apron and Taker hits him with the stairs. Somehow, Mankind goes through the table head first. As in there’s a hole in the table and he’s down in it. It looked sick and painful as all hell. After that Taker lands a chokeslam and tombstone for the pin. He chases Paul around and catches him in the ring. He sits him in the corner and throws a fireball in his face which the announcers condemn but the audience loves.

    Rating: B. This was fine. It was two guys with a history fighting for the title. The chemistry was clear and the feud was well established. This saves about five minutes in the beginning because there wasn’t a feeling out process. I don’t recall a bad match from these two and this was good as well. There was good action, a bit of drama, and it continued the feud by allowing Taker to get some revenge on Paul. This was perfectly acceptable.

    The Hart Foundation are in the back and say that no matter what they won’t forgive the fans. Tonight it’s war: America vs. Canada, and so begins the final storyline for Bret in the WWF.

    Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin

    Before the match Owen and Bulldog are sent to the back. Austin comes out, still a bit shaky from getting beaten up and the fight is on immediately. Rattlesnake dominates the early part here, sending Bret into the steps time and time again. All of a sudden I have French commentary. Ok then. Austin imitating Bret signature pose is quite good indeed. American commentary back now.

    For the most part of this short match (12 minutes as compared to 17 for the previous one) it’s back and forth with Bret having a slight advantage. Bret works on Austin’s knee for the majority of the match which is standard operating procedure for him. That’s your main match: Austin fights, Bret kicks the knee, lather, rinse, repeat.

    The main stuff doesn’t really come into play until the end when Austin hits Bret in the head with the knee brace and puts him in the Sharpshooter, prompting Smith to come in and blast him with a chair. Post match, Austin destroys Bret’s knee with a chair. This would lead to a rematch either the next night or a week later where he would completely destroy it and Bret would miss some time with the injury.

    Rating: B-. The problem here is this match was a month after the Submission Match. That simply was not going to be topped and no matter what they did that’s what it was going to be compared to. It’s a good match, but by comparison it’s average at best. It’s not fair to make that comparison but that’s just the way people think.

    Overall Rating: B-. There’s one truly bad match on this show and it was easily the shortest as well. Definitely an ok show. It’s not bad but it’s not great either. It was coming off of Mania which is always hard to do so what can you really ask for? There’s enough decent stuff here to make it watchable but not enough to make it worth going out of your way to see so we’ll call it mildly recommended.
     
    #48
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  24. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell
    Date: May 11, 1997
    Location: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia
    Attendance: 9,381
    Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

    Well we’re a month removed from Revenge of the Taker and not much has changed. Austin got the #1 contendership so he faces the Deadman tonight. He’s still at war with the Harts and Bret is out with a knee injury for a few more weeks. Other than that, the only major change to the company is Owen beat Rocky Maivia for the IC Title on Raw. Other than that some of your matches are HHH vs. Flash Funk and Rocky vs. Mankind.

    Now what do you see in these two matches? You see established guys (Mankind and HHH) facing off with guys that they were trying to make things of (Rocky and Flash). That is something that is missing from modern wrestling and in my eyes it hurts the sport badly: you see no random matches. Everything has to have a point and a huge storyline. Not everything has to be directly associated with the main feud.

    Let’s say next Monday on Raw Batista faces Matt Hardy (or any midcard heel that isn’t in Legacy). Batista wins in say ten minutes. Afterwards he gets on the mic and says something like this: “Orton, you saw what I did to him in a match with rules. This is NOTHING compared to what I’m going to do to you in a cage on Sunday. In six days, you get locked inside of a cage. You get locked inside of a cage with an ANIMAL. You get locked inside of a cage with an animal that’s going to take your title and your career. See you on Sunday.”

    See what happened there? Batista and Orton didn’t physically interact, you have a new match that hasn’t been done either ever or in a long time, Hardy could look decent, Batista beats someone he’s supposed to beat, you get a mention of the main event on Sunday, and above all else, IT’S FRESH. That’s the key to all of that: it’s something different. You don’t have the same thing week after week and it’s something new. How nice does that sound?

    Anyway I’ve rambled enough. Let’s tear into this one.

    Typical intro which means it’s good. We see a package on Taker’s dominance and Austin’s anti-authority character which was over at this point to levels that were absurd. This might be classified as the top two faces going at it. Actually I think it is and that’s saying something since Austin was put into that spot just a month and a half ago. We also have a video screen in the place where the window of the house used to be.

    Flash Funk vs. HHH

    See I told you this would be happening. Apparently Chyna “intimidated” Flash’s women not to come to ringside. You know what that means: she wore them out with her manly penis. Anyway, HHH’s heel entrance is as sweet as ever here. They start off fast with a nice wrestling sequence including HHH breaking out a leapfrog. Apparently the Hart Foundation have bought 5 front row seats to the show tonight.

    On the Free For All Shamrock was beaten up by Mankind and Vader. Chyna interferes and continues her manly dominance by beating up Flash with a clothesline. For the life of me I don’t know what I was thinking in 7th grade. It was my life’s mission to see her naked and I think my balls dropped when I did. Anyway, she beats on Flash for a bit but nowhere near as much as JR would like you to believe.

    This is a pretty basic match which is what it should have been. HHH is on offense the majority of the time but of course in the end, Flash messes up going for the Funky Flash Splash. I’m going to now pause for a moment to allow that name to sink in for a bit. So after the FFS misses, HHH does a different kind of move that I think was a botch.

    They go to the top to do a belly to back suplex from the ropes spot, but Flash is flipped over his head and lands face down. It’s a bit hard to describe but I think you get the idea. Pedigree is academic after that. As JR screams about how much Chyna got involved, she lifts Flash up, carries him around the ring very slowly and crotches him on the top rope as they leave.

    Rating: B-. This was a way to get HHH a PPV win and that’s just fine. He was a bigger star than Flash and it made perfect sense here for this to be the outcome. Decent match with little to complain about, other than JR’s annoying yelling about Chyna. She literally does nothing for the last five minutes of the match but she changed the whole outcome somehow.

    We see UFC footage of Ken Shamrock, which is something you would never see today as UFC back then was seen as an outlaw group that would never do anything at all. Shamrock is interviewed and says that the attack earlier on won’t affect him in his match with Vader later on tonight.

    Mankind vs. Rocky Maivia

    We see a recap of Taker being burned by Mankind. Bearer hasn’t been seen since last month’s PPV. We hear from Rocky in the back and get a recap of his career so far, including his losing the IC title to Owen Hart a few weeks ago. Rocky was still a face at this point but he was getting more serious.

    The Rock was coming, but he was still a LONG way off at this point. This was a good match for him though as Mankind was coming off a title program with Taker but wasn’t quite in the highest echelon of main event guys just yet, at least not permanently. Rocky was known as the former IC Champion and hadn’t really established himself as a serious threat to anything.

    This is another example of a guy higher on the card mixing well with a younger guy on the card. The styles work really well together as well. This match is really physical and hard hitting which is what these two would have as their trademark in the future. Nothing really noteworthy here but that’s not to say this isn’t good, because it’s a very solid match so far. Rocky does however break out the Rock Bottom but no one knew what it was at the time.

    On a very good bit of commentary, Lawler says that Mankind and the Undertaker have done everything imaginable to each other in the ring. Oh that is almost prophetic. Rocky dominates for the most part but I the end his high cross body is rolled through into the Claw which knocks him out.

    Rating: B-. This was a solid match. This accomplished two things: it let Rocky look good but it kept Mankind and the claw looking dominant. That’s well done in both regards and both things came off really well. No reason for Rocky to win here and it became a catalyst for his heel turn.

    Steve Austin t-shirt advertisement. Holy fuck did they have a clue what they had with this?

    We get a recap of Monday where Crush was in a practice gauntlet match but the third man was beaten up and replaced by Ahmed Johnson in disguise. Moving on.

    Gauntlet Match: Ahmed Johnson vs. Savio Vega/Crush/Farrooq

    If Ahmed wins the NOD is disbanded. Before the match, Ahmed says it should be he and Faroorq because that’s all that matters in the end. The video screen really does a lot of good. Those videos are something we drastically take for granted. To kill some more time Gorilla sends the rest of the Nation away and it has to be one at a time. Crush starts for the Nation.

    Ahmed and Crush start us off. Crush misses a side kick so bad that I have never seen a worse one. It was just flat out terrible. Damn now he botches a second rope clothesline. What did I ever see in that guy? Oh that’s right. I thought Adam Bomb was the good member of Kronik. Mankind is apparently on the Superstar line. That would be a hell of an interview. After three minutes we’re in a rest hold. That can’t be a good sign.

    Ahmed in a lengthy match isn’t a good idea ever, which is why I think they’re going to the three shorter match formula. Harts still aren’t here. Apparently it’s Mother’s Day, so this is the one year anniversary of the first In Your House. Damn they’ve come a long way in a year. That’s something missing from modern wrestling. You could probably watch shows a year apart and without prior knowledge think they were the next week’s show, which is a really bad thing.

    For no reason at all, Crush calls for the Nation to come back and join him. These first two matches are going to suck for one simple reason: no one cares about anything but Ahmed vs. Farrooq. Ahmed counters the Heart Punch into a really bad spin kick that was so fast you couldn’t tell how bad it was.

    Savio is in second of course. Damn the replay shows that the kick almost hit him. How terrible a thing that would be indeed. Ross says Ahmed negotiates a two count. What a weird way of putting it. Did he even get an option for a three? If not he needs new legal counsel. Farrooq and Ahmed hate each other. Was there ever a reason given for this hatred? I’m thinking about it and I can’t think of one at all.

    Farrooq still has his shoulder in a sling. You might notice that I’m not talking much about the match at hand, which is for a simple reason: it’s the same formula that the other one had. All that’s different is the opponent, which isn’t saying much for the faith they had in Ahmed. Apparently he couldn’t handle two distinct match plans.

    Johnson’s tights always rode up on his ass for some reason. There’s just nothing worth talking about in this match. It’s Ahmed doing power moves and Savio kicking out. Savio gets DQed for using a chair, so it’s Ahmed vs. Farrooq, but Savio beats him down with the chair.

    Final third now. Apparently the injury is fake to his shoulder. Ahmed rolls him up quickly but aside from a massive pop, that gets a two. Ross calls him the former Ron Simmons which is just odd. In a very fast comeback, Ahmed hits his powerbomb to get the cover but he’s too worn out to cover him immediately and Farrooq gets up. Dominator ends it soon thereafter.

    Rating: D+. The wrestling was bad and this gauntlet format just wasn’t needed. All the crowd wanted was the two bulls to go at it and you could tell that by their response. For the first eleven minutes of the first two matches the crowd was dead. For the third match which lasted about two minutes they were white hot. Ahmed was way over and this was his rival. How hard is that to figure out?

    Promo for KOTR 97 with Lawler in a great comedy role. Youtube this as it’s pretty funny.

    Recap of Vader vs. Goldust on Monday night. Shamrock was on commentary and they had a big post match brawl. This was around the time when Shamrock was becoming a wrestler and had no clue what he was doing. Also the company had NO IDEA what they had with him.

    Vader is in the back and they reference the Kuwait incident. The quick version: they were on a tour of the Middle East and Vader was on a talk show where he legitimately beat the host up. He was in jail over there and it led to him being depushed. Vader says it’s time.

    No Holds Barred: Vader vs. Ken Shamrock

    The rule here is you have to win by knockout or submission, which was just thrown in to protect Shamrock which was a good idea at the time. Shamrock is mad over here. Ah I get it now. It’s a cross promotion as JR plugs UFC’s PPV. Shamrock doesn’t have the good music yet but I’m sure it’s coming. Lawler references the Inoki vs. Ali fight which was a truly legendary thing if you’ve never heard of it.

    Ali, the greatest boxer of all time would never admit it but he got dominated by the wrestler. Shamrock gets behind Vader and nearly throws him over his head in one of the best power/leverage moves I have ever seen in any sport. Vader was almost backflipped in this and my eyes bugged out at it. This is a really different kind of match than you’re used to as Shamrock is going for the leg and the knee.

    This is much more of an MMA match than a wrestling match, but there’s wrestling there as well. In this match Shamrock worked too stiff on him here and legit broke Vader’s nose with I think a knee. Vader hits a huge clothesline that nearly kills him. This is Ken’s first match (or at least in his first three) and he’s getting the loudest pops of the night. Now it’s a lot more like a wrestling match but it’s beyond saving at this point.

    Vader has no clue how to do any decent submission and it looks like he’s just laying on him. Vader misses the moonsault, which impresses me more and more every time I see it. Could this please just end? We’re at 10 minutes now. And now we get to the problem for this match: Shamrock’s submissions for UFC are basic moves in WWF. He goes for an epic half crab which is just boring looking. Vader taps to an ankle lock after about 2 seconds to end this.

    Rating: F. This was BAD. Wrestling fans do not want to see MMA on their shows and it’s that simple. Shamrock wasn’t ready for PPV. I don’t care what kind of athlete you are, wrestling is a different thing. You can’t just jump into it and Shamrock is no exception. If this was MMA or anything other than WWF it would have been great, but this is just a waste of almost twenty minutes.

    Austin is in the back and he says he doesn’t care about the Harts. We get a recap of the buildup which is really just a onetime brawl, but Austin is using the kick to the gut before the Stunner now, which Todd calls a knee for some reason.

    WWF Title: Steve Austin vs. Undertaker

    The crowd is split which is quite an accomplishment. As the match is about to start the Harts arrive with Bret in a wheelchair. Taker fighting with the belt on is just awesome looking for some reason. Both guys go after the Harts for no apparent reason other than they’re the bad guys I guess.

    Now these two guys are said to be the worst combination for main eventers in history and that they simply can’t have a good match. This is the exception. What a match this is. It never gets too big for itself that it collapses under its own weight. I think that’s the problem that all of the future matches would have: it was built to be a clash of two titans and while they had good matches, they didn’t live up to the hype.

    This had no hype so when we got a good match it looked like a good match, and this was a good match. It’s back and forth all match with the Harts getting involved here and there, usually to hurt Austin’s chances. That adds a bonus to the match that helps things out quite a bit.

    Austin works over the knee of the Taker which is very smart as always. You get a ton of near falls which adds even more intrigue. At the time, Austin wasn’t an A-list main eventer. He was just someone that hung around it without ever doing anything, sort of like Jeff Hardy for all of 2008 until the last show of the year. However, in this match he had people believing that he could do it.

    After an insane chokeslam, Taker’s tombstone gets countered but eventually is landed to absolutely kill Austin and end this. Post match, the Harts jump the rail and go after Taker, but this leaves Bret in a wheelchair all alone. Austin shoves him over and steals his crutch. He and Taker clear the ring and Austin lands the sickest shot with maybe anything I have ever seen to Davey Boy Smith. I mean he kills him with a shot.

    Of course he stuns Taker who goes after him to end the show. As we’re going off the air, on Mother’s Day, JR says that the WWF wishes their condolences to the family of some lady that passed away last night. No idea who it was, but thanks for fitting her in.

    Rating: B+. While not a classic, it’s probably the best Austin Taker match I’ve seen. It had a good amount of suspense to it and it all came together in the end. The key to the end of this match, very much like the HHH match earlier in the night was that while there was interference throughout, it wasn’t a deciding factor in the match. Check this one out if you’re a fan of either guy as it’s certainly worth it.

    Overall Rating: C-. This show is like your 5 year old child’s Christmas pageant. It isn’t very good but damn it they’re trying as hard as they can. That’s the case here. The show is bad, but there’s not a single person out there not trying. The problem is Shamrock’s match kills the show dead. Austin and Taker put on a great match but coupled with some other bad stuff at the beginning it’s just not enough to make the show good. In the end, it’s just on the verge of bad and passable, but I have to go with bad. Avoid except for the main event.
     
    #49
  25. Y 2 Jake

    Y 2 Jake Slightly Autistic

    Joined:
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    IYH 14: Undertaker vs. Mankind & Steve Austin vs. Bret hart were entertaining enough. But it was another poor show.

    I'm unsure if The Rockabilly was a letdown or if he was the exact caliber of wrestler I thought he would be.

    IYH 15: Better show overall. Undertaker vs. Austin is fine. But I don't think either of them worked as well together as you'd expect of those two. I think that'll be more obvious when they main event almost all of the 1998 PPV's together.

    Shamrock vs. Vader is a good, stiff brawl and the Nation Of Domination match is entertaing. Good even, considering who's involved in the match.
     
    #50

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