Previously on On the Card: Not even Mankind could save this PPV.
Cut to the crowd and they’re all standing as Howard Finkel announces the King of the Ring, Stone Cold Steve Austin. He strolls out with his fingers in the-
Wait what the fuck?
He’s holding his index fingers in the air. The man has not yet learned to extend his middles. The poor bastard.
Anyways, JR says that Austin has a “bad attitude”. He has attitude all right… WWF attitude. Amirite?
Austin starts jawing off to the ref and the crowd give the thumbs down. Sable’s music hits and Wildman Marc Mero comes down. Sable is wearing a revealing outfit, covering about as many inches of skin as her IQ, or at least skill in keeping a damned beat on the fucking ring mat. Marc Mero’s tan is on so thick, Sable sticks to him momentarily. It’s not pleasant. Stone Cold is the heel here and Jerry is right behind him, which is weird because he’d spend most of the Attitude Era talking about how much of a cunt the man was.
The ring bell goes and it is time for…
Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Wildman Marc Mero w/ Sable via pinfall in 10:48.
JR describes Wildman and Stone Cold as, “two great representatives of an… outstanding athletes representing the new generation of the WWF. These guys are young, they are hungry and their best years are way ahead of them.” It is true for at least one of them. The lads run the ropes and the pair go down. Some springing about, armbars and the like. Shot of Sable looking very happy and clapping. Obviously Sable is a terrible valet because she’s not even parking the car. Useless.
Wrist lock city. King calls Stone Cold “harelipped” and says that Austin’s lip was burst from nose to mouth, which seems like a lie. Some matwork followed by a great bridge from both men. The pair struggle for a backslide before Stone Cold gets some punches from old Golden Gloves. Stone Cold rolls out and calls for time out before walking after Sable. She moves as slow as a horror movie heroine escaping an axe-wielding villain. Mero goes for the roll up and Austin holds his mouth – it was the same move that reportedly sent him to the emergency room. Mero looks concerned and Stone Cold pokes his eye. Vince roars, “There’s nothing wrong with his mouth!”
Mero is on the outside and Austin is dragging the Wildman to the corner to hit a weak catapult to the ringpost. JR wonders aloud, “Why did he do that? What was the need?” To win, presumably. Vince calls for Austin to be disqualified for hitting Mero on the ropes. Sable goes to help her husband and Stone Cold kicks and roars. Sable is helping her husband up and hits some terrible 3/4 time on the mat. She’s doing more harm than good. Vince seems to complain after every Stone Cold attack with, “What was the meaning of that? What’s that all about?” as if the man has never seen a fight, let alone a wrasslin’ match, let alone runs an entire company.
Stone Cold slaps the back of Mero’s head and goes off the ropes to a botched Bronco. The crowd go a bit wild as the announcers say, “What’s this? Look at this!” yet the camera does not change. On the hard cam, we see a bellhop move across in front of the ring. Stone Cold seems to botch a powerbomb and keeps Mero on his shoulders for an embarrassingly long period of time before the two men fall over to the outside. The bellhop brings Jerry Lawler a piece of paper, Marlena in tow. Why this is happening in a Mero/Austin match is beyond me. Mero hits a sweet moonsault from the apron to Austin followed by a jump from the apron to the ring. Ten punch at the turnbuckle followed by an attempted hurricanrana. Stone Cold reverses it by throwing Mero onto the ropes, catching him on his Marclets. Reversed stunner. Shot of Marlena. Actual stunner. Stone Cold wins by pinfall in 10:48.
Botchamania here. I can count a number of fucked up moves and I don’t know if it’s Mero’s fault for not hitting them correctly or Stone Cold’s for assuming Mero knows more than he does. Not the match I expected and not as good as their King of the Ring match. I didn’t like the Marlena angle either. Don’t have other angles in a match, it cheapens the two men in the ring.
Terri and Sable? I’d be happy if it didn’t take away from the mediocre wresting.
We’re not getting a good average on the first four matches (only three of them actual matches in the PPV, by the way) and we are over half way through the set matches, yet under an hour of the PPV has elapsed. We were promised two hours of action. Action of a hard-hitting, high-flying, heart-stopping and piledriving nature. I feel cheated by this. Stone Cold leaves and Sable enters the ring for her husband. Stone Cold has a star on his bottom. The stunner looks really brutal from this angle, almost as if the opponent trips just as Stone Cold slips.
Bob Backlund is in the crowd. He’s campaigning, apparently. JR says, “Here’s a look now at the Undertaker… musically,” and we cut to the same promo from before. Lots of green screen here. Taker’s voice sounds so young. Once again, we cut to some Mankind, some Goldust, some blacksmithing. Can’t get over how unsafe a blacksmith Undertaker is. I just notice that there is a “record scratch” sound effect in the middle of it. In a Goddamn Undertaker promo.
Back to the ring and JR states that the crowd of 14,804 is the biggest crowd to watch an In Your House PPV live. The next PPV, Mind Games, had an attendance of 15,000, reportedly, but that might not count because it’s a very specific number, isn’t it?
Goldust comes out, all low FPS letterboxed screen and gold dust falling from the sky. This is going to be a great match. Goldust is the shit. I remember hating him back in the day because he would feel wrestlers up and maybe it was WWF’s latent homophobia as well. Either way, I don’t think Goldust was gay, he was just… what are the kids calling it now? Genderfluid? Shit I don’t know.
Vince calls Goldust, “the most bizarre individual ever to step foot in the WWF.” Jr says Goldust is, “in great shape.” Both those statements are probably lies, especially if anyone has met The Iron Sheik. Taker’s music hits and Paul Bearer comes out, followed by the man himself, taking his damn time coming to the ring. We have about an hour of this PPV left and at this rate, the last match will be about 5 minutes long. Taker seems to have forgiven Bearer for battering him about the head with that damn magical urn of his. Minutes later and Taker is finally in the ring. Bearer gives the urn to the ref and slowly begins to disrobe Taker. Vince ponders whose ashes are in the urn.
The Undertaker def. Goldust w/ Marlena via DQ in 12:07.
Brilliant spot as Goldust refuses to enter the ring. Taker’s big ginger roots are showing, staring through the hair. The bell rings and Goldust is still in the ring. Do these officials know nothing of the rules? Pricks, the fucking lot of them. Goldust is time wasting and not getting counted out. Taker makes a move and Goldie damn near jumps over the barrier. Paul Bearer is squealing away in the background like a stuck pig.
Spot of the night so far when Goldust grabs the ref as a shield to protect him from Taker. The ref is terrified and Taker is not moving. Goldust (whose bottom is threatening to eat his suit) stares at Taker, gingerly steps forward and bravely, stupidly, does his weird chest-feeling Goldust move right in Taker’s face. Taker uppercuts Goldie and the perverted Hollywood Critic bounces out of the ring. He threatens to leave, his junk pushing up against his weird lycra bodysuit for all the world to see. Jesus, Dustin, you couldn’t wear a cup?
Vince calls Marlena Goldust’s “director”, which is weird because she never bloody talks. Pfft. Artists. The ref finally starts a count out, after Goldust has been out of the ring for a minute or more. Undertaker is out, slapping Dusty and hits him with an unimpressive chokeslam onto the steep steps. Goldust lands on his hungry butt. It is embarrassing in its stupidity. He hits a ring worker on his way down. Taker is back in the ring and Goldust is taking his time. Out comes Taker, smacking our man Goldust. Taker lifts the steel steps and Marlena dives in front of Goldust. The crowd goes bananas, but, alas, the Phenom drops the steps to the side.
Goldust starts to chew on the turnbuckle in an attempt to remove the padding on the steel rings that hold the ropes together. Clearly a set up for some spot later. I can read this shit like a book. The pair trade blows left and right, slamming each other into the turnbuckles like ragdolls. Undertaker goes for Old School and Vince calls out, “What athleticism!” as if it’s impossible to walk on ropes when holding your opponents hands. Taker is knocked to the outside and lands perfectly on his feet. Goldust’s hungry bum yearns for Taker’s defeat. Goldust takes a great Flair Flop into the centre of the ring and goes straight for the turnbuckle padding when he gets up. Goldust pummels at Taker on the ground and throws the Deadman outside… again.
Vince is shite at telegraphing spots. As soon as someone starts a spot, he’s there with the, “Oh golly gosh, what is this?” business. Anyway, Undertaker takes some steel steps to the spine. Dusty applies a mini camel clutch, threatening to fuck Taker’s ass and make him humble. “Rest In Peace!” chant pops from the crowd, led by our man P-Bizzle. Taker goes for the scoop and gets a handful of Goldusts Goldlets. Another scoop and the Tombstone Piledriver. Taker goes for the pin and pauses. Is he gassed? Is he-
Out from underneath the ring, rises the brown form of Mankind, pulling Taker underneath the mat. The ref gets rid of the scalpel as the ref pantomimes a, “Where did they go?” look. Marlena is crying away and Vince ponders, “How did he do that?” How, indeed, Vincent? How, indeed?
Mankind pops up like Punxsutawney Phil and smoke rises from the hole from which he emerged. The lights flicker and Paul squawks like a damn parrot. Jerry states unequivocally that, “Not even the Undertaker can rise from this,” and JR understanding the absurdity of that statement, adds, “He might be unconscious! The Mandible Claw!” More smoke puffs from the hole, presumably to hide Taker’s eventual appearance from the other side of the ring. He batters Mankind down the aisle and into the house, like an unruly child getting beating by an embarrassed mother.
This is just another shitty match in an evening of shitty matches. Other than the start, which was grade-A comedy, the rest was guff and just time wasting until Mick got his act in order to jump up from beneath the ring.
Not even Mick Foley can save this match from bad lights flickering and time-wasting.
Vince says, “Unbelievable! I think we have seen it all but… who knows?” With just under an hour on the clock, Vince, I wouldn’t like to think that is just it. Some of the crowd throw a cardboard crown at Jerry. Security come over to tell them off and calm them down. Backstage, in the boiler room, Mankind and the Undertaker beat on each other. Fakest “camera shut off” effect and back to the announcer team where Jerry says, “I think the ring’s on fire.”
Exclusive Coliseum Video footage of the upcoming Summerslam Boiler Room Brawl match between Taker vs Mankind. Kevin Kelly is having a chat with Goldust, Marlena and Mankind. Mick goes on some rant about his mother while holding Goldust’s wig. Mankind starts headbutting whatever it is that Goldie is lying on. One of the lights above starts to swing back and forth.
On the Card will return on August 11th with the fourth and final part of In Your House 9: International Incident 1996.