Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 5

Previously on On the Card: Undertaker tears the house down in a crap match.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix is speaking to Bret “The Shitman” Hart, as Stone Cold calls him. Dok reminds us of the fight that Bret had against Sid this morning on Superstars where Shawn Michaels, Bret and Sid had a roshambo outside the arena.

Shawn’s music hits, interrupting Bret’s interview. Bret shouts over the music and walks off. Some real heat there between the pair of them. Don’t worry, Bret, it will only be eleven months until you’ll be free from Shawn for some time. Shawn does his pose mid-ring, which is nice of him. He touches some fans, clearly destroyed on his drugs. Vince tells Shawn that it is loud in the arena and only due to get louder when Bret arrives. Shawn says, “It doesn’t get much louder than when HBK is about.”

Bret’s music hits and the crowd goes mild. After Shawn’s entrance, they find it hard to psyche up. Pyro goes off, Shawn bounces about the ring and finally people chant his name. Bret gives his shades to the kids as Shawn rambles on. The boy is strung out. He’s a bit embarrassing, actually, especially when he can’t put two words together.

Sycho Sid’s music hits. I love Sid. He’s charismatic as fuck. He probably loves his cocaine as well. He’s punching fists left and right. Shawn calls him, “The WWF’s most expensive piece of luggage.” Christ, Shawn. Sid’s pyro hits, spelling his name, which is Sid. The crowd isn’t as excited for Sid at this point, but they’re all cheered out by this point, probably. Shawn is rambling on. Why doesn’t Vince cut him off? Because money.

Before the bell goes, Bret attacks Sid with his back turned! Just like earlier today! By God!

WWF Championship Match: Sycho Sid (c) def. Bret “The Hitman” Hart via pin in 17:03.

Bret beats on Sid in the corner and gives him a fierce headbutt before moving to the other turnbuckle and being countered. Sid takes over, kicking Bret mercilessly and hitting a body drop on him. Lovely kick to the face and Sid stomps on Bret for a bit. Irish whip and Sid ducks but Bret sees it a mile off, dragging Sid’s eyes on the ropes. Bret hits the knee drop, goes for the headbutt to Sid’s balls and the pair trade punches, which Sid wins. Bret runs outside, around the ring and back in but Sid catches him, shouts at the crowd and gets told off by Earl Hebner, who, as we all saw earlier, will push a wrestler if he needs to.

Back in the ring, Sid is beated by Bret, who he tosses over the top rope. Sid batters Bret against the barricade, removes the protective padding for the second time the night and is about to hit the powerbomb when Bret fights back, charging Sid into the steel ring post. It takes a lot out of him, however, and Bret rolls him in, goes to his own rope and ropes the double axe handle onto Sid’s back. Shawn is in one half of the screen and bigging up the Sharpshooter. Rest hold and chin lock city as Sid has a wee lie down. Irish whip into the corner followed by a lovely snapmare. Bret lays into Sid’s ribs and then gets some more chinlocks, because why not? Another side-by-side shot of Shawn and the action. He is unable to keep still while talking.

Bret goes straight to the turnbuckle and removes the padding, exposing the steel. Isn’t that a heel move? Isn’t that the mnemonic? Heels use steel? Faces use… stfaces? Sid stops his hard head hitting the steel ring and is knocked back. Pin attempt by Bret followed by a Russian Leg Sweep, another pin attempt, a suplex and a jump to the second rope and a double axe handle with another pin attempt. Vince wonders what you need to do to defeat Sid? Maybe something bigger than a double axe handle smash. Bret goes to his rope, Sid tosses him off, gives him a big boot and finally he’s in charge once again. Lovely powerslam by Sid onto Bret and Shawn points out that “Sid hooked the leg… every now and again, the big man will surprise you.”

Sid takes over, going for a pin after a clothesline. He misses the leg drop and Bret goes for the Sharpshooter, but Sid fights back. Then Stone Cold comes out for the third time this PPV. Then Owen Hart, King of Farts turns up with Bulldog and drag him back. Bret’s knee is hurt and Jr says that Stone Cold’s new ally is Sid, even though Sid doesn’t seem to know that Bret is hurt. He almost seems offended that Stone Cold would do that. The gall of him! Cheeky Texas Rattlesnake!

Sid gets Bret into a shoulderbreaker and Bret falls off his shoulder, tries to throw Bret into the corner but Sid botches the toss into the corner so tries again. This time, Bret’s head hits the exposed turnbuckle face-first. It’s an awful embarrassment. Sid chokeslams Bret to a big applause. Big pin and Bret kicks out. The crowd explodes. Michaels puts Bret over and Sid goes to clothesline Bret but the Hitman tosses them both over. Bret steals Shawn’s chair but before he can use it, Sid knocks him down. Bret, Shawn and Sid are standing near each other and Sid pushes Shawn down. Michaels goes to the apron and Sid Irish whips Bret into Shawn, hits the powerbomb and the pin in 17:03.

2016 comments:

Good ending, but slow, plodding match due to Sid’s lack of cardio. The Shawn bits seemed tacked on.

1996 comments:

Is Shawn Michaels on The Weed?

Grade: B

Shawn rolls on the floor as Sid celebrates, going to the top rope with his WWF Championship. Both Bret and Shawn sell their “injuries” from the head bump and Bret has a legit bloody nose. Bret beats on Shawn, pulls on his shirt like a hockey player and the referees have to break up the fight, seing Bret to the back. Sid stands over them both, still the champion. Shawn runs backstage, angry and shouting at fans. Replays of the head bump, powerbomb and pin end the PPV as Sid slowly walks down the ramp. Shawn shouts into an unworking mic.

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: I wasn’t too impressed with anyone here other than Leif Cassidy and Flash Funk. Considering both of their records within the Fed, I’d like to give it to both.

Woman of the Matches: There were literally no women in this PPV… other than Sable, but I forgot about her until right now.

Montel Vontavious Porter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Leif Cassidy and Flash Funk.

Best Spot: Flash Funk’s moonsault to the outside.

Hatches: The Executioner as a competitor.

Matches: Owen Hart and The British Bulldog retain their Tag Team Championship, Hunter Hearst Helmsley retains his Intercontinental Championship and Sycho Sid retains his WWF Championship.

Dispatches: None.

Closing Statements: A real let down after Survivor Series, but it was clear that they were saving their best matches for the Rumble the next month.

On the Card will return on January 19 2017 with the Royal Rumble 1997.

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Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Mero botches constantly and Sable can’t keep time.

Backstage, Dok Hendrix is speaking to Sycho Sid, wearing a wee baseball cap over his curly blonde Jew Fro. Sid cuts a mental whispery-shouty promo where he laughs, then is serious again. He’s like a proto-Joker but with more teeth. I can’t hear a damn word he’s saying but who cares? It’s Sid.

Back in the arena, Terry Gordy The Executioner is coming to the ring with our boy P-Bizzle.

But to a promo where we see Taker get backstabbed by Paul, Executioner and Mankind. The burial of the Undertaker was a symbolic one, where he was reborn as a legit demon or whatever.

This match is an Armageddon Rules match, where there are no disqualifications, no countouts and even a pinfall or submission is followed by ten seconds where a defeated wrestler may continue the match. So it’s basically a “this isn’t even my final form” match.

Taker has the fastest entrance of his career as he just comes out, walks into the ring and takes off his gear before being on the Executioner.

Armageddon Rules Match: The Undertaker def. The Executioner (w/ Paul Bearer) via pinfall and ten-count in 11:31.

Undertaker has makeup on that makes him look like he is frowning. He takes over instantly, rocking Executioner back and forth with back-body drops and throws. Executioner counters one Irish whip but gets a big boot in the face for his effort. JR says, “Have you ever had a friend turn his back on you? It’s heartbreaking.” Vince agrees. Jerry then says, “Have you ever had a friend…” and Vince gives off to him.

Undertaker has old Terry Gordy in the corner and is beating on him. He slowly strolls to the other side of the ring, gives Paul a dirty look and then charges into Executioner, misses, but wins him over once again, but misses his elbow drop. Undertaker is tossed out where Paul bops him in the back of the head with the urn. Big Red is showing his roots as Terry tosses him about. Undertaker takes over, reveals the concrete floor of the arena and is about to Tombstone him onto it when Mankind appears and he and Executioner double team Taker. It’s okay though because he sits right up after being knocked to the ground. What a guy.

Taker beats on the two cowardly heels and they move backwards to the locker room at a pleasant rate. They are outside the false house, walking over the astroturf when Taker chucks Mankind into the house, tearing down the front window. They disappear for a while until Mankind explodes through the door. Paul Bearer passes in front of the camera, wailing, “Mankind! Mankind!” Terry finally wins over Big Red and drags him back to the ring as the crowd chant, “Rest in peace!”

Undertaker beats on both Mankind and Executioner. Some officials in lovely turquoise shirts spray mace into Mankind’s face and Undertaker drags Executioner backstage to beat upon him in the lobby. Executioner is running for his life and making his way out of the arena, followed by fans. Back in the arena, the turquoise people finally get a straightjacket onto Mankind and he stumbles about, being corralled like a wild animal. Out comes Gorilla Monsoon and we cut to the outside of the arena where Undertaker knocks the Executioner into the filthy water of what appears to be the Atlantic Ocean.

Undertaker walks back to the ring, dipping his head as he walks through a door (the boy is super tall) and attacks poor, defenceless Mankind in his straightjacket. Reminds me of Thrill Kill, remember that game? It didn’t really exist, it was stopped in development for being too violent and changed into the Wu-Tang game Taste the Pain.

Executioner arrives. Apparently it wasn’t the Atlantic Ocean, it was just a huge fountain. Undertaker instantly Tombstones him, McMahon asks us to forget about it and the ref starts the ten-count. It is a fast ten-count and The Undertaker wins in 11:31.

2016 comments:

Not very good by anyone’s standards. It seems, like so many of Undertaker’s gimmick matches recently – Boiler Room Brawl, Casket Match, Buried Alive Match – to be based around one or two big spots and stretched for too long.

1996 comments:

How did the Executioner survive landing in American waters?

Grade: C

Big dyed Red, the Undertaker celebrates with barely-restrained frustration. Paul Bearer hides within the false house as Taker walks slowly towards him.

On the Card will return on January 12 with the fifth and final part of In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996.

Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: Fake Diesel! Owen Hart, King of Farts!

Cut to promo for HHH and references to his stock portfolio and aristocracy. We see the noble savage of Wildman Marc Mero and how their first fight came over a woman: Sable. Then we see Mr. Perfect being used as a pawn in the game to get the Intercontinental Championship as Perfect allied himself with Mero before stabbing him in the back. Then Trips stabbed Perfect in the back. And it’s all sponsored by Karate Fighters.

Sable and Mero come out to his mental Warrior pyro. JR tells us that the next time they’re going to be on the PPV is at the Alamo, where Billy Gunn and Road Dogg will be meeting Paul Levesque.

And out he comes to Ode to Joy! So he’s pro-EU is he? Nice one. Earl Hebner is there, too. JR asks if HHH and McMahon are neighbours in Greenwich, Connecticut. The bell rings as a zeppelin with the Karate Fighters logo upon it threats to wipe out the entire crowd. Oh, the humanity.

WWF Intercontinental Championship: Marc Mero (w/ Sable) def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley (c) via countout in 14:03.

Good God Almighty, it’s two men fighting over a woman, like the thugs they are. They lock up and Trips has the height advantage, though Mero has the moustache advantage. The pair have some feats of strength and some nice matwork. Trips is knocked down and Mero dances about happily. Trips botches and botches again. The announcers claim that they are trying to counter each other, but really they messed up. Knock into the barricade and some fans are pushed back. Couple of punches in the corner and Mero hits a lovely back body drop. Mero goes for the ten-punch but is countered. Both men lie on the mat for a while.

Trips goes to hit the pedigree but Mero throws him over the ropes to the outside. Trips hides behind Sable and pushes her into Mero before chucking him into the damn steel steps. JR talks some gyp about Trips being court-martialled in military school. Trips goes for the chair, hoping to get DQ’d and lose the match but keep the title but Earl stops him. Lovely backbreaker in the centre of the ring and there are some satellite problems apparently. Lovely backbreaker again and Earl isn’t in position to hit the full one-two-three. Then we have abdominal stretch city for a while as Sable hits improved time by the side of the ring. Jerry tells Sable to shut up by saying, “Shut up, Marlena… wait, no, that’s Sable.” He then says that Sable hates Trips because of his better hair.

Trips has his hand on the ropes and Earl kicks it. Trips pushes Earl and the ref pushes back. The pair argue in the corner for a while and the crowd go wild. Trips hits a top-rope-nothing and is countered by Mero. Mero hits the Atomic drop which is – according to Vince – right on his spine. Mero hits a jumping clothesline and throws Trips into the corner where he hits a Shawn Michaels spot and a head scissors. Jerry says Earl is biased. Both men go to the top rope and there’s a lovely hurricanrana followed by Mero going top-rope. Trips pushes Earl into the ropes, letting Mero fall onto his balls. A pin attempt from Trips gets nothing.

Trips goes for the Pedigree but it is countered into a catapult. Pin attempt and Trips is still in it. Mero goes to the top rope once again and hits the Merosault but Earl is hit too. Trips hits the neckbreaker, runs to get his Intercontinental belt, but Mero fights back before being hit and does the roll up. Finally, Earl rouses but Trips kicks out. Another Shawn Michaels corner toss followed by a suicide dive over the top rope. Then Goldust comes out! Fuck yes! Goldust! He’s the best!

Goldie hits Mero and Trips with the Intercontinental belt and Earl starts a countout, reaching a ten just after Wildman rolls in, meaning he wins the match by a countout but fails to win the belt.

2016 comments:

Fun match, certainly one of the best Triple H matches so far and Wildman didn’t botch too much.

1996 comments:

Goddammit Goldust, you pervert!

Grade: B

Mero is angry at this. He rolls Trips back into the ring after pushing Sable away, hits the shooting star press, attempts the pin before remembering the match is over, raises the Intercontinental belt anyways and leaves the arena. Strange, strange man. As Trips is leaving, Howard Finkel announces that Trips is still the champion and Goldust attacks him again.

On the Card will return on January 5 with the fourth part of In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996.

Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: Flash Funk and Leif Cassidy tear the house down! Not literally, though, that happens later.

Razor Ramon and Kane-Diesel are coming to the ring and getting super boos. Nice pyro, though.

Cut to backstage and Slammy-award winning Owen Hart along with British Bulldog and Immigration Clarence Mason are being shouted at by Kevin Kelly, who gives the lads stick for their lack of cohesion as a team. They then arrive into the arena, full of piss and vinegar, ready to kick ass, chew bubblegum and quote old movies. Before the match begins, we see Owen and Bulldog attempt to attack Steve Austin in an earlier taping of Superstars but get knocked back by Fake Diesel and Fake Razor Ramon. Owen takes the time to shout at the lads before the bell rings.

WWF Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and the British Bulldog (w/ Clarence Mason) def. Fake Razor Ramon and Fake Diesel via pin in 10:45.

At the start, the first thing I notice is that the tag teams are in the wrong corners before moving to the right ones. Diesel beats on Diesel for a while before the strength takes over, shoving our boy Hart to the ground. Diesel tries again and Owen hits the damn kip-up.

Then Cybernetico and Pierroth appear by the side of the ring. These boys are from AAA, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración which stands for “Assistance, Assessment, and Administration”. And they are a wrestling promotion. I shouldn’t be surprised. There’s one in Japan called WAR… which stands for Wrestling and Romance.

Straight-up Shoot Fact: The AAA doesn’t really have weekly televised events like RAW or Smackdown, instead it shows traditional PPVs… until the advent of a little TV show called Lucha Underground, of course.

JR completely sells the fact that the luchas are here and taking part in the Rumble next month. One of them removes their shirt like Hogan. JR tells us that the boy with the shirt off is Cybernetico. The Luchas leave with little event and Bulldog and Razor lock up. Business just picks up as the crowd rise to see Stone Cold come out. Bulldog attacks Stone Cold and a brawl takes place. One of the cameras is hit and now has a lovely pink sheen over it. Bulldog goes back in the ring as officials drag Stone Cold back into the locker room area. Owen and Bulldog take over on Razor, yanking on his arm until Razor hits Owen with the clothesline. Huge clothesline it is as well. Owen goes to the top rope and hits a great dropkick but gets nothing.

Diesel tips Owen out and throws him into the ringpost. Razor beats on Owen and gets Diesel in who hits the huge Bossman Slam and doesn’t pin Owen. JR goes bananas, screaming, “You’re supposed to cover him!” Even though JR is heeling it up, that might have been a legit shout. Diesel is back in misses an elbow drop but keeps the control on Owen. He’s fighting back to get to Bulldog but getting nowhere. Owen hits the enziguri on Diesel, builds up to the hot tag and Bulldog is in, hits Razor with a handful of clotheslines, makes the heels hit skulls, drops the legs and gets an almost pin. Bulldog hits the suplex – such power! – and gets nothing. All four men swarm in and Diesel and Owen go over the top rope. Razor gets Bulldog in a powerbomb position, but Owen runs in, hits the spinning leg kick and Bulldog gets the pin in 10:45.

2016 comments:

Good, exciting match near the end. It doesn’t start that way and the build up is long and boring, sadly, probably due to Razor and Diesel.

1996 comments:

I’m beginning to like Owen but I will always hate Bulldog.

Grade: C

Razor pulls on the ref and gives off to him. JR complains to the crowd. Stone Cold comes in, attacks Bulldog and is removed from the premises. Then we have a long “hurt” spot with our boy Bulldog. Then he walks out.

Promo for Shawn Michael’s video, Heartbreak Express.

Vince is in the ring, introducing our boy Ahmed as he comes in to a rapturous applause. He is after Faarooq, it seems, and will stop at nothing to get him. Why does he want Faarooq? Because.

Vince tells us that Ahmed vs. Faarooq will happen at the Royal Rumble. Ahmed gives off about everything that he has lost – girlfriend, house, car – but keeps his fans. The crowd is super loud right now, so loud that the normally unintelligible Ahmed is even worse.

Nation of Domination music hits and out comes JC Ice and Wolfie D to drop some phat rhymes for you. Faarooq takes the mic, threatens everyone in the damn arena and says he’s going to forge his own race of people. Ahmed has a chance to shout back. All the NOD raise their fists apart from Crush, who drops his almost instantly. Ahmed says he wants to fight right now and the NOD leave.

On the Card will return on December 29 with the third part of In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996.

Attitude Era #7. In Your House 12: It’s Time (Dec 15, 1996) Part 1

In the previous entry, I looked at Survivor Series 1996. It was an amazing PPV with the debut of Mr. Dwayne Johnston. The next PPV was In Your House 12: It’s Time and the main event was Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Sycho Sid for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

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 12: It’s Time

Sharpshooter vs. Powerbomb

Oh yes, what a tagline. The poster helps, showing Bret on the left and Sid on the right, the two distinct styles of the two men. This isn’t two equals going against each other, it’s a ring technician against a powerhouse and it’s going to be great.

The Big Red WWF title screen goes straight into a polite promo for MB Karate Fighters. Vince McMahon and Jumpin’ Jim Ross with Jerry “The King” Lawler roars hello to the West Palm Beach Auditorium in West Palm Beach, Florida to very little fanfare. Yes indeed, the attendance is a measly 5,708. Our Spanish Colleagues are Hugo Savinovich, Carlos Cabrera and Arturo Rivera, who don’t seem to be mic’d up and they’re bantering but we hear naught.

(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 which was Rocky Maivia defeating Salvatore Sincere with Jim Cornette. It ended in a DQ. Before that, there was a Dark Match featuring Brakkus and Dr. X. There were also two dark matches at the end of the PPV after the cameras turned off featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Goldust and Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind with Paul Bearer.)

The first match is introduced and down strolls Leif Cassidy AKA Al Snow, who is looking more like Snow each day. He has the big handlebar moustache and everything. All he needs is head.

Cut to the front and down strolls Flash Funk and his Funkettes, doing a nice little dance as he high-fives the crowd. They reach out and try to touch him but find nothing. One fan has Flash Funk’s name on a sign, written in tinsel. Vince has a wee dance with Flash but JR denies it, saying he came to call a match, not to dance. Fair play. The dance goes on for some time. The bell finally rings.

Flash Funk def. Leif Cassidy via pin in 10:34.

Both the lads are waving to the crowd though Leif is a bit of a heel here, so he is jeering at the crowd more. JR bigs up the fact that this is each competitor’s first singles match. Flash does a little dance and the two lock up, with Leif tinally tossing flash to the mat, rolling about, doing some lovely rolls until Leif is locked in an armbar by Flash. Leif copies and Flash does a lovely almost-Stunner reversal and a standing backflip before rolling into another armbar. Very mat-based just now. Funk botches a jump to the top rope, tries again and botches a lariat! Not great there, Funky. Flash funk, of course, evil twin to Terry Funk. Fact?

Flash seems to botch a head scissors but Leif seems to reverse it into a face-first powerbomb. Leif German suplexes Flash outside and then hits a springboard senton over the top rope onto Flash! Great stuff. In the ring, Leif dropkicks Flash, goes for the pin and gets a two. The crowd are chanting for Flash and he Pele Kicks Leif Cassidy right in the face. Skitter. Leif goes for the powerbomb and Funk escapes, does a dance and knocks Leif down. Leif hits a lovely spinebuster-sit-out-powerbomb-combo to Funk but gets only a two. Leif hits a Bret’s rope moonsault, but misses. Funk takes over, hitting a lovely handspring kick and Leif falls out of the ring allowing Flash to hit the suicide dive over the top rope. Funk hits the bodyslam followed by the moonsault but gets only a two. Cassidy hits the clothesline and the two men trade pin attempts for a while. Funk hits another Pele Kick and a lovely backdrop followed by another jump to the top rope. 450 splash and it’s all over in 10:34.

2016 comments:

Brilliant match from both men. Leif shocked me, I won’t be ashamed to admit. Great, great match. Well done, lads.

1996 comments:

These boys are better on their own than with others.

Grade: A

As the crowd dance and swing about, we have a promo for the 1997 Royal Rumble, which is due on January 19th, 1997.

On the Card will return on December 22 with the second part of In Your House 12: It’s Time 1996.