On the Card: Attitude Era #12 In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell – May 11, 1997
In the previous entry, I looked at 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. It was an okay PPV, as they all seem to be these days. The next PPV was its sequel: A Cold Day in Hell.
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 15: A Cold Day in Hell 1997
“There’s gonna be a whole lotta whoop-ass goin’ on!”
Ha. That tagline was obviously not written by Stone Cold. It may as well have said, “And this here is gonna be the final say because Steve Austin told you!”
The grey-blue screen reminds us that we’re watching WWF and then moves to that old familiar video of crosses and the moon and Undertaker talking slowly interspliced with images of Taker and Stone Cold. We hear their voices and some quotes far better than the one above.
Farty pyro starts off the show as Jumpin’ Jim Ross announces a happy Mother’s Day and welcomes us to the sold-out Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia for the fifteenth In Your House event. Wonder how many mothers are there? No idea, but I can tell you that there are 9,381 people in attendance and 201,565 watching at home. I’m sure some of them are mothers.
Our announcers are JR and Jerry “The King” Lawler. We see the main event: Undertaker and Stone Cold. There’s a sub-main-event: Vader vs. Ken Shamrock in his first PPV event as a competitor. Another match will be Ahmed Johnson vs. all three members of the NOD.
No time to chat! Farty pyro goes off once again and Flash Funk appears without his Funkettes. He rocks to the ring alone, but he’s such a big old face that the crowd don’t seem to care. The Spanish announcers today are Tito Santana and Carlos Carbrera. Hugo Savinovich is not here today. I could not find out why. The French announce team appear as well, which is nice of them. It’s Ray Rougeau and Jean Brassard. They make silly faces. JR mentions that the Funkettes aren’t here and Jerry wonders that it might be because Chyna is ringside and they are concerned for their wellbeing.
Big old European Union song hits and out strolls Teeeeerrrrrrripple H and our lady Chyna. Some smelly mark at ringside tugs at Hunter’s coat. He barely reacts. The audience are alongside and below the level of the ramp, which is weird. Replays of old televised events where Chyna gives Mankind a low blow in previous matches. She’s a cheeky lassy.
(Note: Before the PPV began there was a match on Free-For-All featuring Rockabilly defeating Jesse James. I actually have that match on this DVD for some reason but I would rather not watch it.)
Flash Funk vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Chyna).
The two men lock up mid-ring and Flash does a lovely sexy dance. Trips fights back and Flash gets him in a headlock, runs the ropes, lovely athleticism and selling from Helmsley as Flash shoulder barges, jumps and hip tosses. Cut to the audience where we see five empty seats for the Hart Foundation to sit in. We saw them during Free-For-All.
Flash does a bunch of rolls and flips and kicks HHH out before doing an awkward jump to the turnbuckle and cross-body. He hits a baseball slide but misses and as Trips grabs the ref to protect himself, Chyna knocks Flash down. Big boos from the crowd. Chyna is stony-faced. Mid-ring, Trips takes over, runs the ropes, hits the high knee and slaps Flash’s chest with Flair chops. Trips taunts mid-ring and JR notes that Chyna is not there for moral support. Jerry makes a Cunt Trump reference.
Chyna pulls the legs out from underneath Flash and hits a suplex, chokes Flash (who slaps like a girl, hilariously) and has a lovely rest hold. Rest hold city. Big boot to the face from a prone Flash and Trips keeps Flash down, who rolls outside. Trips gets him on the apron and, after a while, knocks him down onto the steel ramp. This is the first time we’ve seen a steel ramp in a PPV. Trips rolls Funk in, goes top-rope, hits a top-rope nothing (with theatrics) and Flash lifts the boot up to crack Trips’ face, who Flair flops. Almost no selling from Trips as he’s back up, getting chopped by Flash and a lovely back body drop and clothesline. He goes to the corner, hits a slingshot spinning leg-drop followed by a reverse cross-body and refuses the pin. Helmsley takes the Shawn inside-out-bump in the corner, but as Flash goes top-rope again, Trips gets behind him and hits a backdrop (that Flash oversells and lands face-first on the ground. Trips hits the Pedigree for the win.
Hunter Hearst Helmsley has pinned Flash Funk in 10:05.
An okay opener, but it’s all Flash Funk. Trips does not sell well and although he has moments of brilliance, he calls the rest in.
I love this Chyna woman but she hates men’s balls.
Chyna lifts up Flash Funk, trots him around the ring and drops him balls-first on the top rope. The rascal. Trips laughs his arse off.
Replays and then cut to JR mid-ring as he’s telling the audience that they’re about to speak to Ken Shamrock. There is some footage of Shamrock in UFC. Shamrock is on the screen and hits a weirdly intense promo before showing the Vader/Mankind attack from earlier in the night.
Mankind rocks out with some lovely smoke rolling across the floor. JR drops a quip that Mankind has been dropping elbows on his classmates since he was a child. Cut to the Mankind/Undertaker match where he hits a fireball onto Undertaker’s face.
Backstage, Rocky is chatting with Todd. Replays of the Survivor Series in November and Rock winning the Intercontinental title in Feb and losing it to Owen in April. Rock spouts a quick promo, nothing compared to the ones he’ll have later, bless him. He comes to the ring with a bit of a fanfare and we learn that he is the first third-generation wrassler, apparently.
Mankind vs. Rocky Maivia.
Mankind rocks in the corner and Rock spaces in the ring. The ref stands between them and as Rocky stands, turns and checks his elbow pads, Mankind jumps up and Rock beats him, tossing him out of the ring. Mankind pulls Rock out, rakes the back, bounces his head off the apron, rolls in and boots on Rock. JR mentions that we have not seen Paul Bearer in ages. Lovely powerslam from Rock and an elbow. Rock has Mankind in an arm bar, holding the Mandible Claw back. Mankind escapes, runs and Rock slips the legs out from under him before Rock gets tossed outside and takes a senton from the apron from Mick. Big punch and Rock is on his knees outside. Mankind pulls Rock in, puts him in the corner and punches in him. JR mentions that the WWF magazine calls Mankind a “loving father”. Bit of kayfabe-breaking there.
Mankind squeals like a pig, lifts up Rock, bounces his head off the turnbuckle, runs at him in the corner but Rock casually strolls away. Double clothesline and both men are down. Rock snapmares Mankind over the top rope and both men brawl on the ramp. Rock hits a Rock Bottom on the ramp and the sound is enough to make my guts churn. My God. Rock rolls Mankind back in, attempts the pin and fails. JR asks “how in the hell do you learn to fall on a steel grating?” Jerry says, “watch your mouth. Pottymouth Ross.” The show is called “A Cold Day in Hell”. Come on.
Mankind gives Rock a fantastic clothesline and takes an inside cradle and clothesline from behind. JR says that Mankind might be knocked out – and he sells it well with his arm in a weird position. Rock hits his shoulder-breaker, goes for the cross-body on the top rope and Mankind rolls through into the Mandible Claw, getting the win.
The Rock has submitted to Mankind’s Mandible Claw. Mankind wins by submission in 8:46.
It’s nice to see Rock and Mick together, but it’s sad that it wasn’t that great of a match. Sick bump onto the outside, but otherwise forgettable.
Mick Foley was in it, Match of the Year.
Barely time to celebrate before we cut to JR in the ring telling the audience that they are ready for the Gauntlet match with Ahmed Johnson vs. the NOD. We see a replay of Crush fighting three men in a row to show how hard he is. I can’t see who these two nameless wrestlers are but the third one was Ahmed.
On the Card will return on May 18 2017 with the second part of In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell.