Revenge Of The ‘Taker. As in Undertaker. And him getting revenge. On Mankind. For burning his face! Yes a couple of weeks ago on Raw, Paul Bearer tried to reconcile with The Undertaker but the Dead man refused and it was of course a trap. Mankind came out from under the ring and lit some flash paper in Undertakers face burning the WWF champion. Tonight Undertaker and Mankind meet on PPV for the fifth time with the series tied at two a piece so far. Can Mankind cut Undertaker reign short? Also tonight we were supposed to see a match between Bret Hart and Sid but for some reason Sid couldn’t make the match so Steve Austin stepped in to replace him. Bret Hart has gone full heel since Wrestlemania and has aligned himself with brother Owen and The British Bulldog. The three men have become the Hart Foundation and speaking of Bulldog and Owen, tonight they defend their tag team titles against The Legion of Doom.
The Intercontinental title will also be on the line when Rocky Maivia defends against Savio Vega. Savio actually defeated Maivia on Raw last week with a little pull of the tights. He’ll be the only member of the Nation of Domination in action tonight. The other match advertised for tonight is Double J Jesse James against Honky Tonk Mans new prodigy. Honky Tonk tried to recruit Jesse James a few weeks ago but James refused. Honky then tried to get Billy Gunn but the former tag team champion gave Honky a right hand. So who will Honky Tonk Man bring to take on Double J tonight? Let’s get on with it.
We start with a video package hyping Mankind and The Undertaker. Vince McMahon then welcomes everybody to In Your House. Three title matches tonight and it’s time for the first.
Owen Hart & The British Bulldog (c) vs. The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal) – Tag Team Title Match
This is a big match. Two of the greatest teams of all time in my eyes and I am looking forward to this one. Both teams have two of the best win records of any tag teams ever, both are in the top ten. Bulldog and Owen come out to Bret Harts music which is interesting. They have joined up with Bret following his heel turn. This is Bulldogs 20th PPV in a row. Ridiculous. Owen and Animal start the match and it’s Animal throwing Owen around the ring. Animal is a big old boy. Owen tags out to the more powerful Bulldog and Animal tags Hawk who hits a big clothesline. These are four very experienced guys. Hawk hits a flying shoulder tackle on Bulldog but the tide soon changes. Bulldog hits a clothesline and a stalling vertical suplex. This has a big match feel. Owen is tagged in and comes in off the top before trying for the Sharpshooter. Bit early for that though, Hawk kicks him off and tags Animal. Animal locks on a sleeper as we see a split screen of Steve Austin entering the arena. Animal tags Hawk who hits a splash from the top on Owen for a two count. Owen reverses an Irish whip and both men collide in the corner.
Owen is first up and he hits an enzeguri on Hawk and tags Bulldog. Only three men have had more PPV matches than Bulldog and Owen. British Bulldog locks a sleeper on Hawk now. Bulldog tags Owen who also locks a sleeper on Hawk. This is the biggest test to Owen and Bulldog so far, no offence to The Fake Razor Ramon & Diesel, Furnas & Lafon and a dysfunctional Smoking Gunns. Hawk shoves Bulldog into Owen and tags in Animal. Animal then hits a powerslam from the top turnbuckle and pins Bulldog for the three! The Legion Of Doom win the tag team titles! New champs! The ending was a bit abrupt though. Another referee is down here. There are some discussions and an announcement is made that Animal didn’t pin the legal man! Therefore the match must continue! Owen and Bulldog refuse to continue but another announcement is made that if they don’t return to the ring then they will lose the tag belts. The match continues! Owen and Bulldog rush the ring and quickly take the advantage. Animal hits a sunset flip on Bulldog but the referee is distracted by Owen Hart. Bulldog tags Owen who misses a big splash from the top allowing Animal to tag Hawk. Hawk takes both men down with clotheslines and in comes Animal, all four men are in.
Hawk and Bulldog take the fight to the outside where Hawk disposes of Bulldog. LOD then hits the Doomsday Device! This one is over, Hawk pins Owen but the referee takes a while to count the pin and from nowhere Bret Hart comes out and attacks Hawk! The bell rings! Animal and Hawk win the match but not the titles because it’s a disqualification victory! Bret, Owen and Bulldog scarper and LOD don’t look happy. A fairly good match that felt a bit bitty. This one is far from over.
We get a quick interview with Owen and Bulldog who said they weren’t lucky, they beat LOD like they beat everyone else. Then we get a few words from Sunny and Brian Pillman who want people to phone the Superstar line. They’ll be up all night.
Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Savio Vega – Intercontinental Title Match
Rocky Maivia has defended his Intercontinental title on PPV twice already, once against Hunter Hearst Helmsley and once against The Sultan. Now it’s The Nation Of Dominations Savio Vega that gets a title shot. Savio was in the IC picture this time last year against champion Goldust but he gets a shot tonight. Rocky hits a couple of arm drags and out comes Faarooq with his arm in a sling. The whole Nation is out there now. Rocky hits more arm drags and locks on an arm bar. There are some problems on commentary so Jim Ross gives Faarooq his. Savio takes the advantage hitting a spinning heel kick on Rocky in the corner. Savio has been in the WWF for nearly two years now. Savio locks on a nerve hold but as he stands up Rocky rolls him up for a two. Vega goes back to the nerve hold as we hear about Faarooqs challenge to Ahmed Johnson. Rocky hits a fishermans suplex but D-lo distracts the referee allowing Savio to kick out and take the advantage. He hits a hiptoss for a two count then goes back to the nerve hold. Rocky ducks a roundhouse kick and then hits his trademark DDT. Maivia covers Savio for a two count.
Savio rolls Rocky up for a two. Rocky soon takes the advantage avoiding a shoulder tackle in the corner and hitting a belly to belly suplex for a two. Rocky then hits the Rock Bottom but Savio kicks out! Rocky bounces off the ropes but Savio sidesteps and throws him outside the ring, right on top of Crush. Crush isn’t happy and he hits the Heart Punch on the champion. The referee then counts Rocky out! Savio wins but it’s a count out victory so Vega doesn’t take home the title. Savio isn’t happy with Crush and the two argue in the ring. Cracks show in the Nation. Rocky is then thrown back into the ring and all members of the Nation stomp away at him but here comes Ahmed Johnson with a 2×4! He clears the ring in his big red pants. Ahmed then gets on the mic and accepts Faarooqs challenge of taking on all three members of the Nation Of Domination one after the other. Nothing spectacular in this match, a bit slow to start but not bad,
Dok Hendrix is backstage with Marc Mero and Sable now. Sable is a two time slammy winner whilst Marc Mero is out until the summer with a knee injury. Steve Austin walks past into the mens room and a load of referees follow. Bulldog and Owen then run out. Austins not good apparently.
“Double J” Jesse James vs. Rockabilly
Honky Tonk Man comes out and introduces his prodigy to take on The Road Dogg, the former Billy Gunn, Rockabilly! t’s basically Billy Gunn walking out dancing awkwardly. Ross interview Honky Tonk Man about why he’s taken on Billy Gunn after he punched him a couple of weeks ago and Honky said when he got punched by Billy that he knew he was the one. Jesse James hits some arm drags, a dropkick then clotheslines Rockabilly over the ropes. Double J then follows it up with a clothesline off the apron. We far tonight we’ve had a disqualification and a count out win, hopefully this one is a cleaner result. Jesse James throws Rockabilly back in the ring but gets a poke in the eye for his troubles. Rockabilly hits a legdrop to the back on Double J’s head and does some more awkward dancing before getting a two count. This is Bully Gunns first singles match on PPV, his first PPV appearance since In Your House 10: Mind Games when he teamed with Bart. He locks a chinlock on Jesse James now. Billy hits an Irish whip and a hard elbow. More dancing before Rockabilly just before he misses a big splash in the corner.
Double J has the advantage now, hitting some right hands to Billy and some short arm jabs. James hits a big clothesline in the corner before Rockabilly sends him to the outside. Please not another count out. Nope, Billy sends Jesse James back into the ring. More bad dancing from Billy. He then goes for a suplex but Jesse James rolls him up for the three! “Double J” Jesse James wins the match! That was a surprise! I thought we’d see a win for Rockabilly tonight to springboard the new gimmick. Honky attempts to nail the winner with his guitar but Jesse James gets out of the way. Slow and disappointing match here.
Dok Hendrix tries to sell us an Undertaker door banner now. No thanks.
To Kevin Kelly who is backstage with Steve Austin. Kelly asks Steve if he can fight tonight but Steve says you’ll have to kill him to keep him out of the ring. Gorilla Monsoon is there too and he says he’s going to buy some time by putting Undertaker and Mankind out next.
Now to some bloke called Lance Wright I think. He’s with Bret, Bulldog and Owen. Bret says the bottom like is “Who’s crying now?”. Brets promo have got a lot better since he turned heel.
Now we get a very strange promo for Undertaker and Mankind. One that doesn’t really make sense to tell you the truth.
Dok Hendrix is with Paul Bearer and Mankind. Bearer says tonight Mankind will be WWF champion. Mankind says this will be the greatest night of his life.
The Undertaker (c) vs. Mankind – WWF Title Match
Only the British Bulldog has fought on more PPVs consecutively than The Undertaker at the moment. And only Bret Hart has won more PPV matches than Undertaker at this point. This is the 5th PPV match between these two men. Mankind won the first 2 at King Of The Ring and Summerslam then Undertaker won the next two at In Your House: Buried Alive and Survivor Series. This is the first time the WWF title has been on the line between the two though. It’s also Undertakers first PPV defence since beating Sid for the gold at Wrestlemania. It’s Mankind second shot at the gold on PPV having previously lost to Shawn Michaels because of the Undertaker at In Your House: Mind Games. The two men get straight into it before the bell and exchange blows. Undertaker has a bandage on his head after Mankind burnt him on Raw last week. Mankind clotheslines Undertaker over the top and both men go out. Undertaker then throws Mankind into the barricade. Twice. Hard. They then fight out into the crowd, why aren’t they being counted out? Undertaker continues to smash Mankind skull off the barricade.
It must be hard after 4 matches to keep the match unique and different. Both men get back into the ring and Undertaker spins the arm round and heads to the top but he lets go of Mankind and then dives off with a big clothesline. The champ gets Mankind up on his shoulders but Paul Bearer gets up on the apron. Undertaker drops Mankind and goes over to Bearer allowing Mankind to smash him in the face with the urn. Challenger gets a two count. Mankind hits a neckbreaker for another two then locks on a nerve hold. Only Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and The British Bulldog have had more PPV matches than the Undertaker. A “Rest In Peace” chant breaks out. Undertaker unloads with right hands sending Mankind to the outside. Undertaker follows and slams Mankind head off the ring steps. Mankind then smashes a jug of water over Undertakers face. McMahon and Ross don’t know why that isn’t a disqualification and I don’t either. And on top of that Mankind smashes a chair over the head of Undertaker. Mankind goes up to the middle rope and hits an elbow to a prone Undertaker on the outside of the ring.
The bandage has come off Undertakers face and there is a big old burn mark there. Back in the ring and Mankind hits a piledriver for a two count. Mankind hits a second piledriver. Undertaker starts a comeback with a big clothesline. Mankind hasn’t actually won a PPV match since beating Undertaker at Summerslam last year. Undertaker goes for a splash in the corner but Mankind pulls the referee in the way and the ref gets squashed. Mankind manages to lock the Mandible Claw on the champion but there’s no referee. Undertaker is down and out. Another referee comes out and Mankind locks the Mandible Claw on him! That ref goes down and Paul Bearer throws Mankind a chair. Mankind decides to go out and throws the ring steps into the ring. Undertaker (sort of) dropkicks the steps into Mankind! I didn’t appreciate Mankind at the time but he was such a good worker. Undertaker smashes Mankind HARD with the steel chair. Ouch. Undertaker then throws Mankind out the ring and Mankind gets his head stuck in the ropes which allows Undertaker to rip off Mankinds mask!
Mankind gets up on the apron and Undertaker nails him with the steel steps. Mankind goes flying backwards and HEAD FIRST through one of the announce desks. Jesus Christ that was unbelievable. Undertaker puts Mankind back in the ring and chokeslams him. The referee is up now and counts a two. The champion then motions for the Tombstone and he scoops him up and drills him for the three. Undertaker wins the match and retains the title. After the bell Undertaker goes after Paul Bearer and it looks like Mankind was supposed to try and burn Undertaker again but instead get Paul Bearer but they completely botched it and in the end Undertaker lit the paper and burnt Paul Bearer instead. This match was great despite the aftermath. These two men just put on damn good matches.
Dok Hendrix is backstage with Bret, Owen and Bulldog. Bret says he’s beaten Austin twice and he’ll beat him again before beating everybody else in the WWF. He’s heading to ringside now with the tag team champions.
Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
As Bret comes out, the referees follows and eject British Bulldog and Owen Hart from ringside. They refuse to go until Gorilla Monsoon comes out and tells them they have to go. Austin comes out and he and Bret get straight into it. Surely Steve Austin has to win this one after losing two to Bret previously. The fight soon goes to the outside where Austin throws Bret into the ring steps. Gorilla Monsoon is at ringside. Austin throws Bret into the other ring steps and then the barricade. The two then fight out into the crowd where Austin jumps off the barricade and hits a double axe handle. They then get back into the ring where Austin comes off the second rope with a diving elbow for a two count. Bret Hart grabs a chair and takes it into the ring but Austin hammers it out of his hand. Austins then grabs the chair but Hart dropkicks him into the referee. With the referee down Hart nails Austin with the chair repeatedly to the knee. Hart hasn’t had a bad 1997 so far, he’s won his last two PPV matches. Bret continues to target the knee of Stone Cold to keep him grounded. Bret then locks a figure four around the ringpost which the official soon breaks up. Hart then smashes a chair into Austins knee again.
Austin starts a comeback elbowing and stomping away at Bret until the former WWF champion goes after the knee to take him back down. We see some footage of Paul Bearer being taken away on a stretcher as Bret takes off Austins protective knee brace. Austin uses a low blow as an equaliser and then drops a leg down on Brets crotch. Austin then pulls some tape from his wrist and chokes Bret Hart with it before going to the middle rope and attempting his elbow but Bret gets out of the way. Bret locks on a figure four now. Austin reverses the hold and Bret is quick to get to the ropes. Bret tries to wrap Austins knee around the post but Steve does a good job of blocking it. He genuinely looked like he wanted to avoid that one. Austin Irish whips Bret into the corner, nobody takes a better corner bump than Bret Hart. Austin gets a two count. Steve goes for a piledriver but his leg buckles and he drops Hart. Hart takes the advantage and tries throwing Steve into the corner but Stone Cold falls down in the middle of the ring. Austin takes the advantage dropped Bret on the top turnbuckle then goes for the Stunner but Bret blocks it.
Bret pops Austin on the top rope then hits him with a superplex! Bret then goes for the Sharpshooter but Austin grabs his knee brace and smashes Hart in the face with it. Austin then puts a Sharpshooter on Bret! But here comes Owen Hart and The British Bulldog! Bulldog drops a chair in the ring but Austin manages to fight them off. Referees come out to get rid of the tag team champions then Austin goes back to Bret and locks on the Sharpshooter again! Bulldog comes back though and smashes Austin with the chair! The bell rings, it’s a disqualification win for Stone Cold. The third screwy victory of the night. Bret goes out and gets the bell, meanwhile Austin has got a chair and it’s Austin that beats Bret to it! Stone Cold smashes Bret with the chair and then puts the Sharpshooter back on Hart. Referees break the hold and Bulldog and Owen come out and help Bret to the back. Austins music hits, he’s scraped a win back in this series, a series Bret wins. This wasn’t the best match between the two but it was still a really good contest. The feud between these two continues.
And that was the 14th installment of In Your House. It was an interesting one this. It was missing guys like Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Sid, Vader and Goldust. Ahmed Johnson and Faarooq weren’t in action either. So it was missing some top guys. The lower card as a result was bad. Jesse James and Rockabilly was bad. Two guys really floundering in the lower card. Billy Gunn is good but his new gimmick really sucks and his dancing is bad. Even so, I’d have though Rockabilly would have won the match to catapult his new gimmick. The Intercontinental title match wasn’t great either. I don’t know why Savio was given the shot, I wouldn’t have him down as the number one contender. Maybe they’re just stuck for decent contenders at the minute. Rocky isn’t great either and he’s starting to get shoved down our throats. I’d rather see Ahmed Johnson get another run with the gold. Speaking of gold, I think Owen and Bulldog keeping the straps was the right call. Drag this feud with the Legion Of Doom out a bit before they lost the belts. It was a bit of a confusing match between the two teams and I wasn’t a big fan of the ending, Bret clearly missed his cue. That feud continues.
Undertaker and Mankind was probably the highlight of the night for me. The two put on a decent match in what has been a never ending, but entertaining feud. Undertaker goes up in the series 3-2 but you get the feeling that it’s still not over. The aftermath was a complete botch with Mankind not being able to light the paper in Paul Bearers face quick enough so Undertaker doing the job for him. It’s funny, Undertaker is out of the on going rivalry between Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Sycho Sid and Shawn Michaels. I’d like to see him get a good run with the belt though, it’s definitely well deserved. Bret and Austin met in the main event in a match that was originally supposed to be a match between Bret and Sycho Sid. Austin won the match by disqualification which was the third screwy finish of the night. This show felt like a Raw in a lot of ways. Because of the three screwy finishes it felt like a show to develop storylines as opposed to finish them. All five matches on this show could happen again because of the way they ended. Overall a show that is worth watching for the last couple of matches.
Overall Rating: 58/100 (Ranked 16th out of 67)
Match Of The Night: The Undertaker vs. Mankind
Worst Match Of The Night: Jesse James vs. Rockabilly
Surprise Of The Night: Honky Tonk Man aligns with Billy Gunn
Worst Booking Of The Night: Jesse James beats Rockabilly
Superstar Of The Night: The Hart Foundation
IYH14 Will Be Remembered For: Undertaker burns Paul Bearer