On the Card: Attitude Era #11 In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker – April 20, 1997
In the previous entry, I looked at WrestleMania 13. It was the WrestleManiaiest WrestleMania. The next PPV was In Your House, the fourteenth of its name and its subtitle was Revenge of the ‘Taker. Yeah, not Undertaker… ‘Taker. Oh, old Vince would have gone bananas over young Vince for that.
Over the next few weeks, I will review this PPV from the perspectives of a fan looking back at it after two decades as well as my original thoughts as a teenager watching it at the time (though this particular PPV was one I watched in 1998 as my family did not have the channels necessary to watch wrasslin’).
WWF In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker 1997
Ain’t no tagline here.
Lovely grey intro to show Mankind burning Taker with some lovely flash paper cut with Mankind screeching crazy stuff. Cut to the Undertaker’s Entrance and Big Texas Red’s voice as he reads from a piece of paper to tell him that he has a wicked rage. Lightning strikes! Pyro hits and the ring erupts as we are welcomed to Rochester Community War Memorial in Rochester, New York. What a place to have a wrestling PPV. Vince screams himself half to death… as a mariachi band plays. No time to introduce the announcers – Vince McMahon, Jumpin’ Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler – as “rrrrrrrrrwhattaraaaaash!” and the motherfucking Legion of Doom rock out – Hawk and Animal – and the crowd go ballistic. Some smelly mark in the crowd is wearing the LOD armour. The grainy footage, awesome music and huge men make this especially terrifying. Christ, I remember watching this and thinking that these men were genuine monsters who lived in the Badlands.
Cut to two weeks ago at RAW where those gosh darned Godwinns throw their slop at Owen and Bulldog, but the pair duck and LOD get splashed! Oh, the humanity! LOD beat seven shades out of them for it, but then take a loss a week later due to Owen bopping one of them with the belt! The rascals.
Finally we see our announce team. They all look lovely. JR is shouting as fast as he can to get all the lines out as quickly as possible. There are 6,477 souls in attendance with a buyrate at home of 176,250. Vince calls LOD “pumped and jacked.”
Speaking of jacked, out comes Bulldog and two-time Slammy-Award-Winning Owen Hart.
(Note: Before the PPV began there was a match on Free-For-All featuring Flash Funk and his two Funkettes: Tracy and Nadine being soundly beaten by The Sultan (Rikishi).)
JR tells us that LOD need to win early because the longer a match goes on, the more chance that the agile gentlemen will win.
Tag Team Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (c) vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal).
I’ve changed up the titles: order of entrance or champions first if it’s a title match. I like that the challengers come out first though. That’s very respectful.
I love how LOD are still introduced as Road Warrior Animal and Road Warrior Hawk. It’s nice.
Animal and Owen start off together. Animal beats seven shades out of Owen, even jumping in the air to shoulder barge him. The pair lock up and Owen stomp-punches Animal, applying a facelock and taking a lovely lift for it. Bulldog tags in, tassles and all. Hawk is tagged in and after a great dropkick, a pin attempt. Lovely pace here, really nice to watch. Hawk gives Bulldog a shoulder barge, Owen the ”shove it up ye” sign and Bulldog takes over after a telegraphed back body drop and stalling suplex. Owen is in and tries to hit the Sharpshooter as newly-faced JR talks about America and how great it is. Animal is tagged in and hits a fantastic snap powerslam. Beautiful.
Side-by-side shot of Stone Cold turning up as Animal hits a lovely gorilla press. Animal asks for a tag without even looking and Hawk gives a great splash from the top rope. Hawk is thrown into the corner and as he hits it, bumps into Owen who sells like death. The crowd are going ballistic. Bulldog tags in and stands over Hawk, stomping him. JR says some heelish things. Bulldog knocks Hawk to the ground, who is building to a hot tag. Owen hits the sleeper hold and Hawk passes out almost immediately. JR and Jerry have a wee back-and-forth. Bulldog lifts Hawk, who escapes it and tags in Animal for a fantastic super powerslam and the win.
Animal has pinned The British Bulldog to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in… 10:11?
I think my DVD skipped something because the timing was closer to seven minutes than ten. Maybe there were some rest holds they cut out. I’ve heard of them shortening DVDs before so this may be true.
Oh wait, a second referee turns up and announces that the pinfall does not count as Bulldog was not the legal man and so the match must continue and if Bulldog and Owen don’t go back to the ring by ten, they will lose the belts (an illegal action as belts cannot change on a countout regardless of whether illegal wrestlers were pinned or not). The crowd begin to count to ten. Bulldog and Owen rush in. Owen actually throws Hawk out. Owen tags in and knocks down Animal. The announcers give off about the inconsistencies. Brilliant. The crowd bay for LOD.
Owen distracts the ref as there is a sunset flip behind him. Vince calls Bulldog and Owen hooligans. We see the alleged illegal move that sends Owen out. Hawk is in, kicking seven shades of shite out of the boys. Dangerous-looking Doomsday Device where Owen damn near lands on his neck. There’s a pin and the ref stalls just in time for Bret Hart to pop in and cost LOD the tag titles.
Bret Hart has interfered with the match, meaning that The Legion of Doom win by disqualification. However, Owen Hart and The British Bulldog are still WWF Tag Team Champions in 10:11.
That flew by. That was one of the best matches I have seen in this blog, by Christ. LOD destroyed Bulldog and Owen. Great pace, great high impact. Everyone looked fantastic. The only thing is the LOD are awful at selling and it would have been nice to see Owen and Bulldog maybe get close to winning a few times, two-counts, that sort of thing. First “match” was amazing, but the reset lost momentum, energy and wasn’t fun to watch, which was a shame.
Who are these glorious men?
Real shame. LOD were super over and should have won. They clean house as the crowd call the Hart Foundation all the cunts of the day. Both Hawk and Animal stand mid-ring, looking pissed off. The ref runs off from Hawk and Animal, who look legit pissed.
Backstage, Dok Hendrix says that Owen and Bulldog are lucky to win. Owen reacts amazingly when Hendrix tells him Stone Cold has arrived.
Back in the arena, a bunch of white boys raise their fists as Savio Vega and Crush saunter to the ring with JC Ice and Wolfie D. The Nation of Domination stand mid-ring, an absolutely great bunch of lads. By any means necessary. We see a replay of Savio pulling on Rock’s tights.
Backstage, my boy KK Kevin Kelly speaks to The Rock, who hammers through his promo with the same speed that JR rocks through his lines. Where is the charismatic Rock, you say? He’s about half a year away. Chill.
He pops down to the ring, doing his Rock walk despite still being Rocky Maivia. Though he speaks not like The Rock, he moves like him and jumps into the ring with his belt still on! The psycho!
Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship: Rocky Maivia (c) vs. Savio Vega (with Crush and the Nation of Domination).
Savio is knocked down instantly and Rocky pops the belt off, giving a lovely hip toss before Faarooq appears with his injured shoulder. Rocky does a lovely jump and two more hip tosses. Faarooq sits beside the announcers and due to microphone issues, we can’t hear him. JR gives him his own mic and Faarooq gives off about it. It turns out Faarooq has challenged Ahmed Johnson to a match against all the members of the NOD. In the ring, nothing happens. The crowd cheer for Rocky and he hits a lovely crossbody. Faarooq tells us that if Ahmed can defeat the NOD, then the Nation will be disbanded. Vince says there’s no way that Ahmed can defeat Savio Vega, Crush and Faarooq on the same night.
Faarooq has a great line – “It’s like we’re married, me and Ahmed – ‘til death do us part!” This is followed by a lot of death talk.
Vulcan nerve pinch mid-ring on Rocky. Rock hits a great bridging suplex but the ref is distracted – second time this night – and the pin is broken. Savio chops Rocky in the corner, getting big “woo!”s from the crowd. A pin attempt. A fail. Jerry says that Ahmed is hooked on ebonics. Rock hits a lovely spinning DDT – “a classic manoeuvre!” from Vince – and a pin attempt but fails. Roll up, pull of the pants and Savio attempts a shoulder barge but fails. Rock hits a fantastic backdrop-to-kip-up combo. Another pin attempt. Rock hits a lovely Rock Bottom and backslide. Crush stands on the hard cam like a goon and Rock is thrown into him. Crush hits the heart punch when the ref’s back is turned and the official begins a countout.
Rocky Maivia has been counted out, meaning that Savio Vega wins by countout. However, Rocky Maivia is still WWF Intercontinental Champion in 8:33.
It was a storyline match where the action failed when Faarooq was cutting his promo. Not very good despite both men being amazing.
Ohhhh. Tag team dissention?
Two matches, two screwy finishes and two ref distractions. Not good.
Savio gives off to Crush, who walks into the ring. The crowd go bananas as Faarooq and Immigration Clarence Mason and the rest of the Nation head in. The men decide to just beat on Rocky instead. JR calls them a pack of dogs. Out comes Ahmed with a 2×4, shouting nonsense and taking off his top. The rascal. You can’t take him anywhere. Rocky gets to his feet. Ahmed calls Savio an illegal immigrant, Crush a convict and Faarooq, a black ass. He takes the challenge to fight all of NOD in one night. Rock is gone, the camera is on Ahmed. This was never a Rocky match, this was not about the Intercontinental champion, it was about NOD and Ahmed. Rock hugs Ahmed.
On the Card will return on April 27 2017 with the second part of In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker.