Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: An androgynous man in latex is beaten by a feral child as who huge men attempt to lift one another.

Cut to a promo for the Mankind vs. Undertaker feud involving Mankind attacking Taker repeatedly, beating a casket, appearing in places he should not be, stealing an urn, forcing Paul Bearer to betray his beloved Undertaker, cutting the ring and emerging from it, the Boiler Room Brawl, and now… this, the first ever Buried Alive match where The Undertaker is going outside his usual duties of embalming bodies and arranging tasteful floral decorations for the dearly departed and is actually becoming a gravedigger, which is a different job entirely. But, when you put your body into the care of the Phenom, you get the full package.

In the arena, Vince reminds us that this match is unsanctioned and the Fed takes no responsibility for what happens in this match. Mankind appears with Paul and they nervously make their way to the ring. Vince describes Paul as “bulbous” and Jerry calls him a Jack o’ Lantern.

The gong hits and The Undertaker’s music blares. The Undertaker makes his way to the ring slowly, taking his time to walk past the grave. Jerry says that it is raining. When the lights come back on, little time passes before Taker runs at Mankind and the bell rings to start the match.

Buried Alive match: The Undertaker def. Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) via vivisepulture in 18:25.

“A slugfest ensuing, right off the bat,” according to Vince. The fog clears quite quickly as Taker takes over, kicking Mankind right into the barrier, cracking his head on the metal. Undertaker takes no time in jumping from the turnbuckle to the outside, diving on Mankind. They are close to the grave right now, close already to the hole that they need to push themselves into. Mankind attacks Taker with the butt of the shovel and attempts a suplex into the hole, but Taker reverses it into a roll-up and the pair fall down the hill and back into the ring.

Close up to a child in the audience who Jerry describes as “a creature, all right!” Taker gets the microphone cord to choke Mankind and Jerry makes a sports reference. Mankind is in the crowd now and they fight through it, with Mankind eventually being thrown back over the barrier and Taker dives over it to attack him. Crazy son of a bitch. Vince describes the match as, “Mankind and the Undertaker, having a row.” It’s a bit stronger than a row, Vince.

In the middle of the ring, Undertaker goes for Old School and Paul Bearer pulls the rope, sending Taker to fall, testicle-first onto the ropes. Mankind takes over, screeching like a stuck pig and choking Taker. The announcer’s talk about Mankind’s mangled ear. Paul passes Mankind some kind of shiv and he uses it on Taker. Vince, who, I might remind you, owns the company and allows this unsanctioned match to happen (thereby unofficially sanctioning it) claims that even if it is a no-holds-barred match, a shiv should be illegal. Well, yes. That makes sense. Anything that can legit kill a man should be illegal, even if the match is no-holds-barred.

Undertaker gets the shiv, fights back and hits the leg drop on Mankind before going after our boy Paul. Mankind has a chair, though, and is chasing Taker with it. Taker replies with a boot to the balls to disable Mankind but Paul blindsides him with the urn and Mankind cracks Taker with the chair before… licking it. The crowd chant, “Rest in peace!” at them both.

Mankind walks Taker up to the grave and kids reach out to touch them. They’re at the edge of the grave and Undertaker rolls in! He’s done for! Go, Mick, cover Mark in some dirt! Undertaker fights back, though, pulling Mankind in. Mankind replies with dirt to his face and attempts a hip toss into the grave but it is reversed and Mankind rolls down the hill before they go back into the ring. Mankind hits a brutal piledriver and Jerry marks out at his own move. Mankind then attempts a pin, obviously fails because you can’t pin your opponent in a Buried Alive match and pulls his own hair out in punishment. Taker fights back with some great punches.

Mankind DDTs Taker onto a metal chair. Absolute bastard. Undertaker sits up paranormally and hits Mankind in the back with the chair followed by a leg drop with the chair on his face. Paul shakes his head in disgust but then looks up, sexily, his finger on his lips as if to say, “I won’t tell.” Jesus Paul, come on. This is 1996. Wrestling is still PG, you tease. I just realised that the referee is Earl Hebner. This is how much fun I’m having with this match. Mankind takes off the mat and attempts a piledriver onto the concrete but Undertaker reverses it into a Vertebreaker/sit-down combo. The Steel steps are thrown into the ring and Mankind takes a shot to the face for his effort followed by a shot to the back. Undertaker hits Mick with the Tombstone Piledriver, points to the grave plot and drags Mick to the edge, lifting him in a fireman’s carry and bringing him there.

At the grave plot, Mankind hits the Mandible Claw on Taker and steals the urn to crack Taker but the Deadman gets a chokeslam for his attack. Mankind moves to the end of the plot to… find his oxygen canister, I guess and he is covered in barely enough dirt to finish the match in 18:25.

2016 comments:

Great match. Wasn’t the biggest fan of the constant roll-to-the-grave-have-a-fight-then-roll-back-in-the-ring-for-a-while-then-back-to-the-grave aspect of the match, but absolutely great storytelling, fantastic gimmick and the lads really gave it their all. No need for blood, no need for death-defying moves, just two men who hate each other and want to almost-legitimately kill each other.

1996 comments:

Mankind was in it. Match of the Year.

Grade: A+

Undertaker is told to stop burying Mankind but he does not. He pushes away not one but two referees and continues to throw dirt on Taker. Then… wait… what? Who the fuck is this? A masked man? A lucha? He hits Taker with the shovel and jumps into the grave to dig out Mankind. This masked man then covers the Undertaker in dirt. Mankind helps. Lightning flashes with lots of mental strobes. I’m having a seizure. A confused and swervy seizure. The crowd chant, “Rest in Peace!” and Goldust arrives with a shovel, followed by Trips and Cunt Bradshaw. Paul oversees it, could probably do with a bit of physical work as well, but he does have to hold the urn, I suppose.

The men turf the dirt on Taker, each one potentially murdering a man. People are throwing things in, sodas and the life. You gotta believe that each of these men legitimately are concerned that Mean Mark might not get out of this alive. They’re throwing about a ton of dirt onto a man, like. Jerry sounds concerned as well. I’d like to think that they actually knew everything about this gimmick and that they knew Mark would be safe… but a part of them would probably be figuring out an alibi as well.

After five minutes, the heels have almost completely filled the hole in and thunder booms. The heels… wait… is that Crush? Did Crush come out as well? When did he get here? Anyways, the heels scarper at the sound of thunder but Paul, Mankind and Executioner throw some final handfuls of dirt in the grave and retreat.

Cut to a Coliseum Home Video exclusive of Paul shouting at Mankind in the Boiler Room as Karl Orf’s O Fortuna from the Carmina Burana plays in the background. Mankind talks about maggots eating the Undertaker. Paul introduces The Executioner, a huge, silent, masked man.

Back in the arena, a very badly CG’d lightning bolt hits the graveside and an explosion of sparks erupts as The Undertaker’s hand bursts from the grave, curling into a fist for the audience.

(Note: Though Dark Matches normally take place before PPVs begin, in this instance, there were two dark matches after the Buried Alive match. The reason for this is not entirely known as both matches were PPV quality with one being a six-minute filler tag match between The Godwinns and the New Rockers with the second… being Shawn Michaels defending his WWF Championship title against Goldust! Goldie had already fought an 11-minute match with Marc Mero for the Intercontinental belt and just buried Taker alive and then had another 13-minute match with Shawn for the WWF Championship! Mental stuff. We may never know why these matches were relegated to dark matches however a few reasons might be… Wrestlers wanted a payday and there was no time for their matches on the card… Shawn might not have wanted to be on a PPV and not main event it and as this PPV was based around the Buried Alive match, Shawn would need to be on the undercard and he wasn’t happy about that… Shawn and Goldust weren’t feuding at the time and Shawn and Sid were about to start feuding for Survivor Series… Vince didn’t want the audience to leave on a bum note… The dark matches could be reshown or redone on RAW or a later PPV…)

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No one really stands out here other than both Undertaker and Mankind but I’m choosing Undertaker for putting on one of the best matches of his career.

Woman of the Matches: Between Sunny and Marlena…? Again? Oh, wait, Sable was there too. I’m going to choose neither.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: The Undertaler.

Best Spot: Undertaker flying over the barrier onto Mankind.

Hatches: The Stalker (Blackjack Mulligan), The Executioner (Terry Gordy, one of the Fabulous Freebirds).

Matches: Owen Hart and British Bulldog retain the Tag Team belts. Wildman Marc Mero retains the Intercontinental belt.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: I liked this PPV and it was certainly one of the better In Your House shows. The main event was fantastic and I am honoured to have been alive to see it… unlike the Undertaker.

On the Card will return on November 17 with Survivor Series 1996.

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Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Owen Hart and an English person beat two cattle rustlers.

Mr. Perfect’s fucking amazing song hits and down he comes with JR, walks around to the announce desk and puts on JR’s mic.

Goldust’s music hits and every bounty hunter in a six mile radius jumps up. Goldust comes! Gold dust falls from the ceiling! Letterbox and low FPS, Marlena and cigars. Mr. Perfect’s mic is, predictably, prefect.

Cut to the backstage and Intercontinental Champion Wildman Marc Mero is there with Mrs. Lesnar, Sable. Jerry shouts at him and the crowd pops for Sable. It’s embarrassing that a man of such talent (Mero) is in the shadow of a woman with only two talents (Sable), both of them artificial. A weird pyro goes off behind Mero. Jerry checks the success of Mero due to Sable. Shame.

WWF Intercontinental Championship match: Wildman Marc Mero (c) (w/ Sable) def. Goldust (w/ Marlena) via pinfall in 11:38.

The bell rings and Mero and Goldust square off. Mr. Perfect threatens both Austin and Hunter. Goldust tries to touch Mero and Mero fights back, upset at the potential homosexuality in Goldust. Wildman is all over Goldust, lots of lovely chain wrestling. Jerry and Vince compare Marlena and Sable like the perverts that they are. Mero and Goldust beat on each other in the corner. Vince explains that Faarooq was supposed to fight Mero but got injured and that Mero was “training” for a fight with him before the old switcheroo. Don’t know how you train for one wrestler in such a short period of time that means that you can’t just use the same tactics with another, similar wrestler. It’s not like he thought he’s be fighting Undertaker and got Matt Hardy instead, right?

Goldust spits on Mero and the Wildman replies to the critic’s “histrionics”, as Vince puts them, with a spinebuster and ground n’ pound. And the crowd goes wild. Dodgy head scissors and Goldust gets a huge slam followed by a senton suicide dive. Vince tells us to forget about it. Mero hits the slingshot leg drop on Goldust. Mero goes to the top rope and Goldust hits a super-backdrop-powerbomb combo. Outside, Mero’s head bounces on the steel steps. Jerry claims that Perfect cares less about Mero than Sable. Rest hold city in the ring.

Mero gets to his feet, fights back and Goldust takes over again. Sable starts her god-damned bad timekeeping, battering the mat with an awful 4/4 beat. Jerry makes fun of Sable’s lips and Mero gets hit with a clothesline. Vince asks us to forget about it. Goldust gets the mic and tells the crowd to shut the hell up and by God, they explode. He then threatens to sexually assault the crowd – “I’m going to stick my tongue down each end every one of your throats.” Jerry says that the Fed has a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mid-90’s latent homophobia, everyone!

Mero hits a lovely moonsault but only gets a two. Goldust attempts the Final Curtain but Mero escapes it and is launches outside the ring. The two fans that HHH and Austin were roaring at earlier lean down and start touching Mero. Mr. Perfect goes off mic to help Mero and Trips turns up to confront him. Goldust goes to smack Perfect, who retaliates. Perfect follows Trips down the aisle and Wildman hits a Samoan Drop followed by a Shooting Star Press for the win in 11:38.

2016 comments:

Just like the first match, a potentially good match that is poisoned by Mr. Perfect taking interest away from the competitors. It’s not his fault. He’s just too good for everyone else.

1996 comments:

Not enough somersaults.

Grade: A-

Cut to a promo for the next match – Sycho Sid vs. Vader. It is the apparent Battle of the Powerbombs and we see the pair of them using powerbombs on different lads. Sid is taller and whisperier but Vader is heavier and has Corny on his side. Shawn is asked and the champ replies that both knocked him out, so they’re equally effective.

Cut to the ring and Sid’s mental Psycho-like song hits. Out he comes, Brock Samson himself, a man who is more charisma than cranium. The Sycho gets a monster pop. I know a lot of people slag Sid and fair play to them, because he isn’t the best, but I love him. I just think he’s tip top.

Vader asks what time it is. It is, of course, Vader time. Down he comes, the lovely man called Vader. I love Vader. I used to hate him, but now I love him. Jim Cornette is there, too, getting his payday any way he can.

Shawn’s music hits and… there is a tiny pop. I expected more. I think the crowd don’t really believe that he’s there, but he is, “the most charismatic WWF champion of all time” according to Vince. Shawn goes to Sid, shakes his hands, goes to Corny, steals his tissue, wipes his nose and throws it down. As Corny goes to pick it up, Shawn boots him up the arse and scarpers out of the ring. The match begins in earnest.

WWF Championship #1 Contender match: Sycho Sid def. Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) via pinfall in 8 minutes exactly.

The winner of this match gets to face off against Shawn at Survivor Series, so there is a lot riding on this for both men. They start punching in the middle and Sid takes over quickly with a huge leg drop that damn near takes off Vader’s head. Shawn is on commentary, high as a kite and having a great time. Vader batters Sid around the head for a while and takes him down with a shot to the neck. Irish Referee Tim White isn’t happy about that. Vader splashes Sid and Vince tells us to forget about it.

Sid is taking his time on the outside and as Vader and Irish Referee Tim White have a chat, Jim Cornette sneaks over and slaps Sid with a tennis racket. Jerry mentions Jake the Snake for some reason. Sid is on the apron and hits vader with a lovely sunset flip. Vader just sits on him. Vader hits Sid with a big clothesline and Sid replies with a backdrop. Norny is getting a brilliant beat going there, far better than Sable, anyways. Vader reverses an Irish whip, hits the big boot twice and Vince tells us we should forget about that. Sid attempts a flying lariat, which we knew would be a bad idea because he never does high-flying moves, and is caught in mid-air by Vader and body-slammed for his efforts. A big splash and Vader gets a close two-count.

Vader gets ready to drag him over for a confusingly named Vader Bomb (which is not a powerbomb) and Vince, once again, tells us not to remember it. Vader, however, lifts Side up after the pin. As Vader goes for another Vader Bomb, Sid lifts his knees, gives him a body slam and goes to powerbomb Vader, but Corny is sneaking in. Sid quickly runs to the ropes and tugs them upwards as Corny is entering, catching him just on his bollocks. Sid returns to Vader but as Irish Referee Tim White is attending to Corny’s bruised balls, Vader hits the low blow. Vader is in control! What is going to happen. He gets Sid into a powerbomb position but is unable to lift him and so punches Sid, Irish whips him and Sid retaliates with a very quick chokeslam and pin in eight of your Earth minutes.

2016 comments:

Obviously both men were being very polite with this. Sid, although a great showman, is not a fantastic wrestler and his moves smacked of SuperCena-style simplicity. The fact we didn’t see a powerbomb was upsetting as well. Oh well, friend vs. friend for Survivor Series and an eventual heel-turn on the cards, so that’s nice.

1996 comments:

Wait… a Vader Bomb isn’t a powerbomb? Then what’s a powerbomb called? I get that the slingshot splash is a bomb, but couldn’t they call it something else? A Vader Drop? A Vader Splash? A Vader Splat?

Grade: C

Michaels enters the ring behind Sid and the pair have a wee laugh with one another. Sid starts to point at his head and shout. They shake hands and the Pyro of Friendship hits above them.

Cut to promo for Survivor Series in New York on November 17th. Usual shite about New York: all the shots are sped up so the cars and people are just trails of light, blah de blah. The shot of Times Square has Sid on the big screen, though. We see Canuck Bret Hart lace his boots and pop on his protective eyewear, ready for the year’s anniversary that is the Montreal Screwjob. Another shot of Times Square with Shawn in the screen this time. We see a bunch of wrestlers hit each other when the announcer says, “we know these guys will survive the Big Apple, but will they survive the EEF Survivor Series weekend?” this statement is followed by a long shot of the Twin Towers. Ouch.

Back in arena with Dok Hendrix speaking to Sid and JR comes on to shout at Sid. JR asks simple questions to make Sid look like he’s about to take a heel turn. Sid, even with this railroad in front of him, forgets his lines and walks away, ashamed. Dok looks at the camera and says, “No Microphone problem then!” In the distance, a single, solitary trumpet plays a wah-wah-waaaaah as he shrugs into the camera.

Back at the announcer’s desk and Vince and Jerry stumble through the lines. Jerry actually praises JR, clearly remembering that JR is attempting to be a heel. We have lights on the buried alive mound.

On the Card will return on November 10 with the fourth and final part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Stone Cold! Triple H! Mr Perfect!

Cut to a recap of the Smoking Gunns/Godwinns debacle where Billy Gunn stole a smooch from Sunny, leading to them becoming Tag Team champs. Bart did not like, Sunny, however because she’s a sociopath and after the Owen and Bulldog prank at Mind Games, Sunny left the brothers. Both Gunns want the gold back for different reasons.

Cut to Dok Hendrix in the back, interviewing Bad Ass Billy Gunn about the upcoming match. Billy is desperate to have Sunny back and Bart reminds him that it’s more about the gold than the girl. Their music hits and the two cattle rustlers come to the ring, big smiles on their faces as JR struggles to get even one word out.

The Bulldog’s music hits and out come the lads. Bulldog, looking like a bust sausage, Slammy Award Winning Owen Hart and Immigration Control Clarence Mason, ready to deport them if they lose their gold.

WWF Tag Team Championship match: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (c) def. The Smoking Gunns via pinfall in 9:17.

Vince reveals the fact that another famous Hart, Bret “The S Hitman” Hart (according to Stone Cold) will be returning to the Fed shortly. Owen, of course, a brother of Bret and Davey-Boy is a brother-in-law. JR reveals that he is going to have dinner with Bret later.

Very nice chain wrestling from Billy and Owen as JR still has a bit of trouble from his mic. The effect changes until it sounds like he’s on the radio. Owen dodges Billy’s attacks and gets a clothesline for his effort. As Billy goes top-rope and jumps into a double-axe-handle-nothing, Owen clocks him right between the legs and tags in Bulldog quickly for a double clothesline. Owen hits the drop-toe-hold and Bulldog hits a leg drop on Billy’s head. Owen leaves and Billy takes over, pulling hair and dodging punches. Old Bart Gunn punches Bulldog in the face. Bulldog has some headlock city on Bart. Bart goes to the top rope and misses a lariat and Bulldog punishes him by getting him in a full-nelson as Owen dropkicks him.

Owen and Bulldog beat on Bart and there’s a revolving door of tag teams for a while. Vince points out that the tag team champs can deliberately lose by DQ, countout etc and retain the titles. Why don’t they do this? There is no downside to this other than them losing face… but if they’re heels, it’s exactly the type of thing a heel would do! Sunny keeps appearing on the screen and Jerry goes bananas each time. Owen has some hug time with Bart for a while as the pair discuss strategies. Bart is shot on the Irish whip and accidentally hits Billy. Neither men are happy with it, though Immigration Clarence Mason has a wee clap about it.

Billy and Bart double team Owen with a Russian Leg Sweep. Owen is body-slammed then elbow dropped then neckbreaker drop. Sunny watches on. Bart is in, swinging neckbreaker to Owen. Billy is back in and kicking on Owen’s head. Jerry quips that Bart has been on so many blind dates, he should get a free dog. Bart drops to his hands and knees. Billy runs, launches off Bart and the pair get ready to finish up. Bart holds Owen like a groom lifts a bride into their new home and Billy goes to the top rope. Unbeknownst to both of them, Bulldog is behind Bart, gripping his jeans by the belt. As Billy jumps, Bulldog pulls and Billy dropkicks Bart by mistake. The move was (apparently) called the Sidewinder and as Bulldog drags Bart out of the ring, Owen hits a jumping kick on Billy and gets the pin in 9:17.

2016 comments:

More of a storyline match for the Gunns as it is foreshadowing their inevitable breakup. For the Bulldog and Owen, it was more of a chance to show how awesome a tag team they are… although they don’t look that awesome next to the Gunns.

1996 comments:

I’m not racist but I hate The British Bulldog simply because he’s English.

Grade: B.

Immigration Clarence Mason is in the ring, shouting at the ref for some reason. Sunny is backstage, applauding the Bulldog and Owen. The Gunns leave, frustrated and upset. Barely any time is given to the celebration. As Vince is explaining a feud developing between Ahmed Johnson and Faarooq, JR takes to the centre of the ring and goes on the mic. He’s cutting a promo, claiming that Vince is messing about with his mic. He reveals that Bret is back the next night and that JR is to thank for having Bret back. JR says that he doesn’t need a mic any more and throws it to Vince before walking right out of the arena.

This is a hangover to some Heel JR business and doesn’t seem to go down well with the crowd. They’re on for JR. They’re on for Bret. They don’t like Vince. It is understandable how, in a few short months, Stone Cold would wage the same war against Vince after he screwed over another beloved member of staff… Bret Hart.

Vince continues his promo and we see Faarooq in his gladiator gear, calling out Ahmed. Ahmed appears and mutters his way through a very dangerous promo. That man can’t talk. I love him, but by Christ, I am terrified of him.

On the Card will return on November 3 with the third part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.

Attitude Era #5. In Your House 11: Buried Alive (October 20, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at In Your House 10: Mind Games 1996. It was an okay PPV with a great main event and Mick Foley’s finest (in his own opinion). The next PPV was called In Your House 11: Buried Alive and was a part of a long-running collection of PPVs called In Your House. The purpose of the In Your House PPVs were to give the audience a cheaper and more frequent WWF experience. At the time, the WWF only had four big PPVs – Royal Rumble in January, Wrestlemania near Easter, Summerslam in August and Survivor Series near Thanksgiving. The months in between were filled with In Your House PPVs and this was one of them.

Over the next four 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 11: Buried Alive

Dead or Alive!

Playstation presents this particular PPV, so you know we’re in the heady depths of the 90s. The poster shows the Undertaker getting ready to give you a nice massage as Mankind rises from a grave in the background, doing his best impression of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The moon is white and full and… wait… is that Paul Bearer’s face on the moon? Is Paul Bearer the man on the moon?

Big red WWF screen hits and there’s a cross, lightning, and The Undertaker cuts a promo interspaced with Mankind screaming from inside a box. Lots of shots of Undertaker digging some dirt as well. He mentions that he is judge, jury and executioner and obviously then also undertaker, mortician and gravedigger at the same time. The man will do anything for a payday.

Carl Orff’s O Fortuna plays. I had a wee look at the Wikipedia for O Fortuna and not only is wrasslin’ hidden in the “Live and reality TV and Radio” section as opposed to the “Sports” section, but Mind Games is not mentioned, only when Undertaker makes his entrance at WrestleMania XIV and when Stone Cold was crucified on Raw, both in 1998. Fun.

Fireworks go off as Vince welcomes us to the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana for In Your House 11: Buried Alive. 9,649 in attendance, a drop from previous In Your House PPV, Mind Games, which had 15,000 in attendance and is the second lowest attendance in this blog so far, with the lowest being King of the Ring 1996 with an attendance of 8,762. Our announce team is Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Jumpin’ Jim Ross has no mic at the moment and will go through some serious audio issues throughout this PPV as his mic will continuously cut out which was unrelated to (but worked quite well with) his current heel turn. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you are in the midst of a rarely-seen announcer heel-turn. JR complains that he has no mic and Vince gives him his… two seconds before music hits and we need to go into the ring.

(Note: Before the PPV began, there was a 30-minute show called Free-For-All, which was the nineties equivalent of the Preshow, full of promos and summaries of recent TV matches. There was an exclusive match on Free-For-All and had little to do with the actual PPV: Cunt Justin Hawk Bradshaw vs. The Stalker AKA Barry Windham AKA Blackjack Mulligan Jr. Barry is the brother of Kendall and Stephanie Windham, the latter of which went on to marry Mike Rotunda AKA Irwin R. Shyster. The marriage spawned two boys, Windham and Taylor Rotunda, known now as Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas.)

Whose music plays? Why, it is none other than a young Hunter Hearst Helmsley, walking to stage with the bimbo of the week. As Vince is introducing him, JR complains about whether or not his mic is working. Jerry says, “You’ll either see the Stone Cold Stunner or the Pedigree!” which makes sense as HHH is fighting Stone Cold. I mean… that’s how wrestling works.

Cut to the back and Stone Cold is standing with Kevin Kelly who asks if Stone Cold’s game plan has changed as he was originally due to wrassle Savio Vega, but the Flintstones cosplayer got injured, forcing HHH to come in. Austin replies that it doesn’t change his plan one bit and references his King of the Ring promo: “Stone Cold’s got a list and everyone’s on it.” Austin then threatens Bret Hart and says that if people have a problem with Stone Cold’s language, they can kiss his ass.

Stone Cold’s smashing glass music hits as he goes to the ring, jaws off to the crowd. A Shawn Michaels cosplayer gives him the finger and they spend some time discussing the finer things in life. Irish Referee Tim White is in the ring and holds Austin back from Trips as the former walks to his turnbuckle. The Bimbo of the Week gives her best Diane Hart Smith impression. JR still has mic problems.

Stone Cold Steve Austin def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley via pinfall in 15:30.

In two years, this is the kind of match that would main event a WrestleMania and in two years after that, it’s the type of match that would make me want to switch off my TV, but more on that later… much later.

The two men stand in the ring. Stone Cold is staring at Bimbo and HHH points at her. Great arm drag takedown and HHH bows to Stone Cold, who stares at him. Austin leaves to shout at some fans. HHH walks out too to have a wee shout. So far, we’ve had an arm drag. Brilliant psychology. Stone Cold arm drags HHH and then gives him the double finger in his face before retreating to the corner. JR is still having mic issues and I wonder if this is why there’s a slow pace in the ring. Stone Cold does some lovely chain wrestling and he gets an elbow to the jaw for his effort.

The men lock up followed by some lovely chain wrestling and another punch to the jaw which HHH takes this time. JR still has mic issues. Irish Referee Tim White is having a chat with Trips and, once again, the two men lock up, followed by a push, slap from the blueblood and punch from the Texan. This is about the third time that Trips needs to reenter the ring. Another lockup and they run the ropes followed by a great snapmare. Stone Cold batters away on Trips’ shoulder. The mic issues are part of an aborted attempt to make JR heel.

Trip batters Stone Cold with some great chops and he retaliates with a clothesline. Another armbar and they sit for a while. Armbar city. Jerry and Vince talk about Connecticut and JR makes fun of the place, calling it an “overpriced hellhole”, which should be called “many monied heck hole” but is cheerfully withdrawn. The two men batter each other senseless with Stone Cold winning some points by punching Trips in the corner but the Blueblood soon takes over and controls the Texan with some powerful backdrops, bodyslams and a number of near-falls. JR is sarcastic and calls Jerry the ”play-by-play guy,” which he appears confused by. Stone Cold gets some momentum and the two run the ropes with some sleeper counters until Stone Cold reverses one into the Stone Cold Stunner. Trips reacts by hitting the Flair flop. Austin attempts the pin and Trips actually kicks out! It is 1996 and someone kicks out of the Stone Cold Stunner!

Stone Cold hits the elbows from Brets rope and two pin attempts barely hit. Trips retaliates with the double knees and as both men as lying in the ring, the crowd pops as Mr. Perfect walks to the ring in a lovely blue suit. Doesn’t he look sharp? Perfect is due to wrassle HHH on the next Raw and he makes his way to the Bimbo of the Week. HHH leaves the ring to confront him but Stone Cold batters him and turns on Perfect for interrupting the match. Water is thrown in the face of Perfect and HHH takes advantage of the distraction to take control of the match. HHH is about to hit the Pedigree and leaves the ring to shout at Perfect but Stone Cold catches up with him and gets a suplex to the concrete for his efforts. There may be a double-count-out in the first match of the night. HHH attempts the Pedigree again but it is countered into a catapult onto the steel steps.

Stone Cold rolls Trips into the ring and misses a Bronco Buster on the ropes, flips off the crowd, flips off Trips and hits him with a no-kick-Stunner for the pin in 15:30.

2016 comments:

A slow start match that quickly escalates into an Attitude Era spotfest as Perfect enters. This is probably the most Attitude Era that wrestling has become so far in 1996.

1996 comments:

Mr. Perfect, did you just kidnap that nice young lady?

Grade: A

Very good start to the PPV and Stone Cold celebrates by raising both his fists on the turnbuckle as his Breaking Glass theme tune plays him out. He wastes no time in heading backstage, leaving Irish Referee Tim White to help Trips into the back.

On the Card will return on October 27 with the second part of In Your House 11: Buried Alive.