On the Card: Attitude Era #9 In Your House 13: Final Four 1997 – February 16, 1997
In the previous entry, I looked at The Royal Rumble 1997. It was great, especially the Rumble itself, which had Stone Cold as its winner. The next PPV was In Your House 13: Final Four which boasted a main event elimination match for the vacant WWF Championship.
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 13: Final Four 1997
No tagline this time around and the poster shows Shawn Michaels getting bopped by Sid in the same ring as Austin is about to bop Bret. Ohhhh, this main event is going to be amazing!
There’s no Big Red screen now and it’s a Big Blue screen. Promo for Shawn Michaels, the most athletic and flambouyant champion ever. We see the four challengers: Stone Cold, Bret Hart, Undertaker and- wait? Undertaker? Vader? What the fuck is this? The poster showed Michaels and Sid. I’m confused. Tell me what this all means, Mr. Announcer man. We see Shawn looking sad, we hear that the four men are no longer role models. But no news as Western Union (The Fastest Way To Send Money Worldwide ™) presents a mountain that says, “Final Four” on it. Yet no news on where Sid and Shawn are.
I hear a sable. I know that Wildman Marvellous Marc Mero is on the way. I know that, according to our announcers, Jumping Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler, we are in the UTC Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee with 6,399 in attendance and a reputed 175,127 buys at home. Boys behind JR and King are using cameras, like old style recyclable ones. JR eludes to the fact that Shawn isn’t going to be champ again. Ominous. Someone jostles the hard cam and Jerry points his finger menacingly at them. It was a dad point, so it must have been Brian Christopher.
Our Spanish Colleagues are Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera who look very pleased with themselves. They chat and scream in Spanish before we are introduced to the French Announcers, Ray Rougeau and Jean Brassard who do the same but with moustaches.
Big pyro in the ring as Wildman (now just “Wildman”) is sporting an angry goatee and shouts at Sable, it seems. Oh no, wait, Leif Cassidy is in the ring without an intro, that’s what it is. And the bell is about to ring, but before it does, JR points out “the beautiful Sable” who is wearing sunglasses inside at night time because she is a twat… but also because, to be fair, that pyro is pretty dangerous.
(Note: Before the PPV began there was a dark match featuring the tag team talents of Phineas I and Henry O Godwinn defeating the new Headbangers: Mosh and Thrasher. Brilliant. Real men wear skirts.)
Wildman Marvellous Marc Mero (w/ Sable) def Leif Cassidy via pin in 9:30.
The match begins as King tells us that Leif can win if he grounds Mero. JR calls Mero “an unnecessary chancer”. King slags the high-fliers off for only good for getting themselves in hospital. Some lovely wrasslin’ from Mero and he keeps throwing Leif back, who rolls out and starts jawing off to Sable. She replies with a clap. She then gives Leif a kick and apparently she’s being kicking The Undertaker on Superstars. Are you mental, Sable? Mero hits the big leg drop in the ring, attempts a pin and fails.
Leif Irish whips Mero and gives a lovely dropkick to Mero’s knee followed by another and another. He’s stopping at the knee, keeping Mero grounded. JR tells us that Leif is underrated. Too fucking rights he is. It’s Al Snow! Leif gets Mero in a leglock and Sable batters the mat but cannot get decent timing at all. The crowd cheer as Sable walks around. God, wasn’t the Attitude Era brilliant? Just a bunch of lads shouting at women. Leif is in control, holding Mero’s leg and keeping him down. He locks in the… leglace? Did you call it a leglace?
So we still don’t know about Shawn. I do, but only because I lived through this era. The PPV so far has ignored the fact that Shawn has lots his smile. Hopefully more on that later.
Mero is up, fighting back and Jerry says, “Sable thinks her future is so bright, she needs to wear sunglasses at night.” He then lets on that Sable and Mero have submitted. Very good selling from Mero here. Congratulations. Mero hits a lovely enziguri and then a three-quarter nelson pin. Cassidy works the knee some more and hits the figure four. According to JR, the figure four hits seven different parts of his anatomy. Sable heels it up and pushes the bottom rope towards the men so that Mero can grab it. Leif confronts her, she slaps him and Mero dives through the ropes to protect his mental wife. Mero is up and seemingly forgetting his knee pain. Eejit.
Mero lifts Leif up for the Samoan drop, does a wee John Travolta in Pulp Fiction fingers on eyes sign, hits a lovely shooting star press (“the Wild Thing” according to JR) and gets the win in 9:30.
A really good curtain jerker that is spoiled by some shoddy selling from Mero. Where did all that time attacking his knee go?
Jaysus, Mero is a superman.
Sable immediately runs in to join her husband and JR says that it’s a different side of her. Jerry says, “Never hit a woman with glasses… always use your fist.” Classy and it’s only 1996. Flashback to Sable smacking Leif when he confronted her and-
Oh fuck, is that the Honky Tonk Man’s music? Sheeeeit.
There he is, the bastard, old Jerry “The King” Lawler’s cousin.
On the Card will return on February 23 2017 with the second part of In Your House 13: Final Four 1997.