Canadian Stampede. We’re in Canada for the sixteenth instalment of In Your House and that can only mean guaranteed popularity for The Hart Foundation. All five of them will be inaction following the challenge they made at King Of The Ring for any five men willing to accept their challenge. The challenge was accepted by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin who has had his fair share of problems with Bret Hart for nearly a year now, The Legion Of Doom who have had their issues with Owen Hart and The British Bulldog and those three will be joined by Ken Shamrock and Goldust. It will be very interesting to see who gets boo’d and who gets cheered tonight.
The WWF title will also be on the line tonight when Undertaker takes on Vader in a rematch from The Royal Rumble. Undertaker was supposed to take on Ahmed Johnson who had recently joined the Nation Of Domination but Ahmed once again got injured so Vader was drafted in as his replacement. Vader has Paul Bearer back by his side and recently Bearer has been claiming that The Undertaker killed his own family. Interesting stuff.
Also tonight we’ll get a rematch from the King Of The Ring final between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Mankind and a light-heavyweight clash between The Great Sasuke and Taka Michinoku.
We kick off with a video package highlighting how we no longer live in a world of black and white, instead grey. Tonight the villains are the heroes and the heroes are villains. The Hart Foundation are bound to get cheered in their hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Vince McMahon welcomes everybody like he always does. He’s alongside Good Ole JR and “The King” Jerry Lawler. All three are dressed as cowboys. Let’s kick things off.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Mankind
This is a rematch of the King Of The Ring final which Helmsley of course won. Howard Finkel even has a cowboy hat on tonight. I had no idea Calgary was such a cowboy town. Mankind gets straight into this one. He’s over as a face these days and hits a legdrop and double armed DDT in the early going. Mankind then bows to Helmsley! Hunter soon gets back into the match with a big knee to the face but then gets back body dropped over the top rope. Mankind then drops his trademark elbow on the outside. Mankind gets the first two count of the match. This is Mankinds first major feud since his battles with The Undertaker. He suplexes Helmsley outside on the steel ramp. At this PPV last year Mankind defeated Henry Godwinn who filled in for Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Helmsley tries to sunset flip his way back into the ring but Mankind drops the Mandible Claw! Much like the previous PPV though Chyna breaks that up.
Outside the ring Helmsley Irish whips Mankind into Chyna who powerslams him into the ring steps! Hunter then smashes Mankind with a steel chair! The referee doesn’t see it though. Hunter has won his last 4 PPV matches, beating Mankind, Ahmed Johnson, Goldust and Flash Funk. He works Mankinds leg now, dropkicking it in the middle of the ring. This feud could take both men to the next level. Helmsley locks on a figure four now but Mankind won’t submit. Mankind gets out of it and starts a comeback even getting out of the Pedigree. An accidental headbutt to Helmsleys groin evens the match out. There’s a good energy to this match so far. Mankind hits his running knee to Helmsley in the corner. Mankind then hits a piledriver on Helmsley for a two count. The strange one then clotheslines Helmsley over the top and goes out with him. He attempts to hit Hunter with a chair but Chyna grabs the chair off him and Helmsley ends up smashing Mankind with the chair with a little help from Chyna who distracts the referee.
Back in the ring and Mankind once again locks on the Mandible Claw and once again it’s Chyna who breaks up the hold! The two men then battle outside the ring and into the crowd. The referee counts both men out! This match is a draw, which sucks but it keeps this feud alive. The two men fight into the penalty box and through the crowd! Chyna is amongst it too and the crowd are loving it. This feud continues, I can definitely see a gimmick match in the future. Put them in a cage!
We get a video package now of the Hart Foundation on a float and some other stuff I don’t really care about. The long and short of it is that the Hart Foundation are very popular in Canada.
We go to an interview with the Hart Foundation backstage, Owen Hart has had a buzzcut. The interview doesn’t really get started because Steve Austin interrupts it.
Taka Michinoku vs. The Great Sasuke
Well this is the first ever Light-Heavyweight match. The Great Sasuke is a bit of a legend whilst Michinoku is making his WWF PPV debut. Sasuke is too actually. Before this one can get started Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley fight through the crowd. They’re still going at it! Anyway back to the ring and its a slow start between these two. The crowd don’t seem to into it. Taka takes Sasuke down and the two men exchange arm bars. Sasuke then hits a nice spinning heel kick and a snapmare into a chinlock. Sasuke turns it into a head scissors which Taka turns into an armbar. There’s a few “boring” chants. Sasuke hits another spinning heel kick then locks on a half crab. Lots of submissions in this one. This match is certainly representative of the Japanese style. Michinoku hits a right hand, a snapmare then a dropkick to the back of the head. He then sits Sasuke up and hits another dropkick.
Not sure who I’m suposed to be supporting here with Sasuke being the grizzled veteran and Taka being the up and comer. Sasuke sends Michinoku to the outside then dives out with a karate kick of sorts. Both men are down and out on the outside. Lets not have another double count out. It’s not, they both get back in and Sasuke hits some big kicks to Takas face and gut. Taka hits a nice dropkick to the knees which sends Sauke to the outside then springboards onto the top rope and leaps to the outside. Nice. Back in the ring and Sauke attempts a german suplex but Taka lands on his feet and hits a standing hurricanrana for a two. The action has got a lot quicker now as The Great Sasuke hits a backflip and an elbow to send Michinoku to the outside then a moonsault off the apron on Taka. Back in the ring and Taka hits a belly to belly for a two.
Taka hits a good springboard dropkick then motions for his finisher. And he hits it, the Michinoku Driver only get a two count though! Taka goes to the top but as he leaps off he gets dropkicked. Sasuke hits a springboard moonsault for a two then a powerbomb followed by a Thunder Fire Bomb which gets the three count! Big win for The Great Sasuke whilst Taka will have to wait for his first win in a WWF ring. This one started slow but got a lot better as it progressed.
Backstage Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley are still going at it. They battle outside and Helmsley is bleeding. Referees try to break it up but Mankind smashes Helmsley off anything he can find. Referees break it up successfully.
We see some footage of Ahmed Johnson getting injured again, he was supposed to be fighting Undertaker tonight but he’s been replaced by Vader.
Now backstage to Paul Bearer and Vader. Bearer has accused The Undertaker of murdering his family and he’s back in the corner of Vader. We see some footage from The Royal Rumble where Vader defeated The Undertaker. Could we see deja vu tonight? If we do, Vader will be taking the title.
The Undertaker (c) vs. Vader – WWF Championship Match
The Undertaker is one of two men to have wrestled on every PPV so far in 1997. Since beating Sid for the title at Wrestlemania 13, Undertaker has successfully defended the belt against Mankind, Steve Austin and Faarooq on pay per view. Only Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and The British Bulldog & Owen Hart have defended a title four or more times on PPV so with a win Undertaker will be joining that exclusive club. No champion has ever lost his WWF title at an In Your House event. For the third PPV in a row, the WWF title is the only belt up for grabs. Haha Jerry Lawler with a great dig at Jim Ross about his weight. Undertaker goes right for Vader, knocking him down with a clothesline and following it up with a legdrop for a two. Undertaker then hits a big splash in the corner for another two. Paul Bearer claims that Undertakers brother who the dead man thought was dead is actually alive. Undertaker spins the arm and goes up top, hitting his big axe handle for a two. Lots of near falls here so far. Vader hits a belly bump to get back into the match.
Undertaker hits his trademark flying clothesline for another two count. Vader hits some big lefts and right then a headlock to gain the advantage and slow things down. Vader was the last man to beat The Undertaker on PPV in a singles match. That was actually Vaders last win on PPV. Undertaker big boots him out of the ring then joins him outside but gets thrown into the ring steps. Vader hasn’t had much of a push as of late. His push came to an abrupt end at Summerslam nearly a year ago when he lost to Shawn Michaels in the main event. These two men were involved in the main event at In Your House: Final Four where Bret Hart won the WWF title. Undertaker comes flying off the top rope with a clothesline which gets another near fall. Undertaker uppercuts Vader out of the ring then goes after Paul Bearer but Vader makes the save. At this PPV last year, Vader got the winning pin for his team over then WWF Champion Shawn Michaels. Undertaker battled Goldust on that one.
Vader comes off the second rope now with a belly bump which gets a two. Vader hits a big suplex then a standing splash for a two before locking on a nerve hold. The crowd go nuts for The Undertaker. So much so that the cameras are shaking. Undertaker gets out of it but gets a thumb to the eye and a clothesline. Vaders last PPV match was a loss to Ken Shamrock in his PPV debut. He hits some big lefts and rights now as the crowd continue to get behind The Undertaker who fights back! He goes for a chokeslam but Vader gives him a kick to the balls. The challenger then runs at Undertaker but Undertaker catches him and spins him round for a Tombstone but Vader falls down the back and tries to reverse it but it doesn’t work and both men land in a heap where Vader gets a two count. They then get back up and Vader takes Undertaker down where he has him setup for the Vader Bomb! But Undertaker gets up and hit a low blow then a chokeslam off the middle rope! That gets the champion a two count.
Paul Bearer has been great on the outside. Undertaker hits another chokeslam for a two! Bearer wipes his brow but Undertaker motions for a Tombstone and he hits it! The referee counts three and Undertaker retains his WWF title. Paul Bearer can’t believe it. Undertaker is over as hell. He retains the WWF title in a perfectly good match between the two big men.
More shit in Canada. Yes, we know, The Hart Foundation are loved in their hometown.
We get a video package now of all the gang fights in the WWF. But then it concentrates on the Hart Foundation and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin has found some partners to fight with him tonight though.
We go backstage to Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and The Legion Of Doom. Goldust says he’s the peacemaker who put the team together. Shamrock says he’s used to fights and he’ll be in the zone. Animal says it’s going to be survival of the fittest, Hawk says what a rush and Steve Austin walks off with his team not far behind him.
A trio of women (Farmers Daughter?!) sing the Canadian National Anthem. The Fink then points out Ralph Klein, Stu and Helen Hart as well as their family. Bruce is there. He’s got sunglasses on. Time for the big one.
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart, Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Brian Pillman) vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Goldust, Ken Shamrock & The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal)
Steve Austin becomes the second man to have fought on all 7 WWF PPVs in 1997 so far. Bret Hart has wrestled on more PPV than anybody ever although Bulldog and Owen are also in the top 5. Shamrock looks to make it two wins from two tonight whilst Brian Pillman makes his PPV debut. Austin gets a very mixed reaction. The Hart Foundation come out separately to huge ovations. They soak it up on the entrance way. The ten men then all face up until just Bret and Austin are in the middle of the ring. The two rivals then go at it and the crowd love it. Bret hits some big right hands and stomps Austin down in the corner. Austin hits some rights of his own and the crowd boo. The audience tonight are firmly in the corner of the Hart Foundation. Bret hits a big clothesline but Stone Cold hits a low blow to gain control. Austin then lock on a million dollar dream. Bret rolls Austin up much like he did at Survivor Series but this time just gets the two.
Bret tags Neidhart which gets a big cheer. Austin gets the better of him with a Lou Thesz press then tags out to Ken Shamrock. An “Anvil” chant breaks out, this is the most over he’s ever been. Ken takes him down with a roundhouse kick then locks on an ankle lock which is broken up by Brian Pillman. Cue huge cheer. Neidhart then tags Pillman. I have never seen anything like this. The crowd is deafening. Pillman making his debut here bites and spits at Shamrock. He then hits a backbreaker and taps his hand. Pillman is awesome. But he gets hit with a clothesline from Shamrock and a belly to belly. Pillman tags Owen and in comes Goldust. Owen hits an enzeguri for a two count. A big “Austin sucks” chant breaks out and Goldust tags Hawk. Hawk hits a powerslam and a legdrop. Hawk then comes off the top and hits a splash for a two. OWen gets back into it though and tries to lock on a Sharpshooter which Animal breaks up. Owen then tags Bulldog who hits his trademark stalling suplex for a two.
Bulldog then hits the Running Powerslam for a two as Goldust breaks it up. Bulldog then tags Bret Hart and in comes Animal. He doesn’t do much, instead tags out to Goldust. Hart ties Goldust up in the corner where all five men stomp away at him. Animal comes in now and Owen Hart takes him out. But Animal hits a powebomb and a big powerslam. He then sets Owen up for the Doomsday Device and Hawk nails it! Two count as Neidhart breaks it up but then in comes everyone! All ten men go at it! Austin grabs a steel chair and smashes Owens knee with it! Then Bruce Hart tries to grab the chair off him! Neidhart and Austin seem to be the two official men now as referees and Bret check on Owen. Austin and Pillman go at it now with Stone Cold exposing Austins arse then hitting the Stone Cold Stunner! Bret then helps out his family and wraps Austins knee around the ring post before hitting his knee repeatedly with a fire extinguisher! Bret then locks a figure four on Austin around the ring post!
All hell has broken loose now with all 9 men (Owen has gone off injured) going at it. It eventually settles down and it’s British Bulldog and Hawk in the ring. Referees try to take Austin to the back now. Neidhart and Animal come in and have a test of strength. Shades of the original Hart Foundation now as Neidhart holds Animal for Bret. Animal tags Shamrock who can’t get the advantage because Pillman clotheslines him down. Shamrock throws Bret into the corner, Shamrock was referee for Harts match at Wrestlemania 13. Hart throws Shamrock to the outside where Pillman throws him into the Spanish announce table. The referee loses control again but back in the ring Bret hits a Russian leg sweep on Shamrock. Goldust breaks up the pinfall. Bulldog comes in now and hits Shamrock with right hands as the crowd go nuts. Shamrock hits a low blow and tags out to Goldust who hits a clothesline on Bulldog then a bulldog on Bulldog!
Goldust goes for the Curtain Call but Pillman takes him down with a clothesline. Bulldog then hits a superplex off the top but Hawk breaks up the pinfall. Steve Austin then makes his way form the back and reaches for a tag. Goldust tags Austin and here comes The Hitman! Austin stomps a mudhole on Bret then hits a suplex. Bret gets back into it with a neckbreaker then a backbreaker. This all looks familiar now as Bret hits the elbow from the second rope for a two count. Bret locks on a sleeper now but Austin gets out of it with a jawbreaker. Two count for Stone Cold. Bret then locks on a Sharpshooter but Animal breaks it up. Austin then locks on a Sharpshooter! Owen Hart then runs form the back and breaks it up! Bret tags Owen and it’s the two injured men going at it. Austin clotheslines Owen out of the ring Austin goes out and other Hart brothers jump the guardrail and get involved. Austin gets back in the ring and Owen rolls him up for the three! The Hart Foundation win the match but all ten men continue to go at it!
Other Hart Family members jump the ring and help out the Hart Foundation as security and officials get in the ring to break things up. I am very surprised it was Austin that took the pinfall in this one. It’s a huge win for the Hart Foundation in any case. I have never witnessed anything quite like this before Vince. The crowd were absolutely mental. It’s amazing how much that adds to the match. Austin runs down to the ring with a chair after the match and smashes Neidhart with it but the Harts jump him. Austin gets handcuffed and walked to the back. The ring then fills up with Hart family who were in attendance. Jesus Christ. What a match, what a night.
Well, what a pay per view that was. The attitude era is definitely up and running and although this show only had four matches, it was one to remember. Mankind and Hunter Hearst Helmsley kicked things off and both men are great workers. I don’t think Mankind has ever had a bad match. I wasn’t over-joyed with the result but the match itself was good. The draw keeps this feud going and into Summerslam I would suspect. Then we had the light-heavyweight division match. This seems to be a separate division, well that’s the way they’re marketing it anyway. The match between Sasuke and Michinoku started slowly but they soon picked up the pace and put on a great show. We saw moves that have never been seen before so I hope they’re both sticking around. I can see them creating a belt for the division too.
The third match was Vader who filled in for Ahmed Johnson against The Undertaker. Would Ahmed have won the title? I doubt it. Again, this match was good, the crowd were definitely into it, Undertaker was very over. Obviously this was thrown together at the last minute but it makes sense and all fits into the feud between The Undertaker and Paul Bearer. Then we had the main event which was just incredible. I have NEVER seen a crowd so into a match. I could watch it again and again. What a performance by all 10 men in the match. Overall it goes down as my favourite match of all time up to now. Brilliant pay per view from top to bottom and if this is a sign of things to come, I am looking forward to it.
Overall Rating: 76/100 (Ranked #1 out of 70)
Match Of The Night: Ten Man Tag
Worst Match Of The Night: Take your pick…
Surprise Of The Night: The immense reaction to the Hart Foundation & Undertaker
Worst Booking Of The Night: None
Superstar Of The Night: The Hart Foundation
IYH: Canadian Stampede Will Be Remembered For: The night of The Hart Foundation