Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 4

Previously on On the Card: Ken Shamrock!

Replays cut to two weeks ago at Raw is War where Austin stunnered Undertaker and the Deadman replies with a chokeslam – which the announcer incorrectly states is a Tombstone Piledriver – and cut to the arena where Austin’s music hits and he rocks down to the ring, pointing at the crowd. Two smelly marks go ballistic for him. Austin goes to the corner, jaws off to the crowd for a bit. There’s a lovely shot of the crowd. A lot of Austin 3:16 shirts.

Undertaker’s bells ring and down comes the WWF Champion – second, for good reason – and takes his long walk to the ring. He stands at the ring steps and stares at Stone Cold for a bit before popping the lights on with a raise of his hands. He’s dressed like Vigo the Carpathian again. Austin stands nose to nose with the Deadman, showing how tall he is. The crowd go ballistic as the Hart Foundation – mental Brian Pillman, Owen Hart, Bret Hart, British Bulldog and Jim “The Anvil” Neithart – stroll down to take their seats. Austin and Taker are united – briefly – in their distaste for the Harts. As Earl Hebner roars off to the newcomers, Austin’s patience grows thin and he attacks Undertaker from behind, starting the match.

WWF Championship Match: The Undertaker (c) vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Stone Cold chases Taker around the ring, not even letting him get his jacket off, bouncing his head off the turnbuckle. Big pop as Taker fights back, Austin slides out and runs to the Hart Foundation, dragging Owen Hart over the barricade and beating the shite out of him. Undertaker breaks it up, throws Owen back over the barricade, rolls Austin into the ring – after tossing him into the steel steps – and continues with the match. Austin takes a jumping clothesline from Taker but the subsequent pin bears no fruit.

Undertaker twists Austin’s arm and hits some shoulder barges. The two men have a wee chat mid-ring and we cut to the Hart Foundation before back in the ring where Taker is halfway through Old School. Referee Earl Hebner is sliding about the ring. Austin hits a snapmare and holds Taker there for some time. Taker rolls him over into a pin but Austin rolls back. Rest Hold City. Even the announcers are silent for some time. Quite awkward. Taker attempts to get rid of Austin but another snapmare and another roll into pin and more Rest Hold City. Austin shouts his spots at Taker and together, they stand up. Austin finally gets Taker to his feet and gets shoved away in an Irish Whip. Taker does not sell the shoulder barge and another snapmare into more Rest Hold City. Bret smiles at the camera.

Christ, this is slow, isn’t it? Something is happening, apparently, as the crowd stand. Cut to Anvil shouting something. Taker hits a terrific backdrop, Austin lands it, hitting Taker’s left knee and hammering on him. Taker fights back, chokes Austin and tosses him into a corner. The crowd go bananas. Austin has Taker’s leg and wraps it around the ring post. He does it a few times. Austin gives the Hart Foundation the finger. Big pop from the crowd. Austin’s face takes a shot from the ring post. He drags Taker over to the ropes and butt bumps Taker’s knee once again. He is focussing on Taker’s knee for ages.

Austin dodges a backbody drop and Austin hits the STF on Taker. Taker gets to the ropes, breaks the hold and gets an elbow to the throat for his effort. Good man, Austin. More butt bumps to Taker’s knee but the Deadman retaliates by kicking Austin out over the ropes. JR puts over both Austin and Undertaker’s toughness. Bit of ankle locks here from Taker onto Austin. He fights back. Punches to the face. Taker is up, beating on Austin mercilessly. Single-leg Boston Crab on Stone Cold. Austin rolls out and calls a time out on Taker but he gets given no quarter. Austin attempts a figure four and fails. Austin rolls out, drags Taker halfway out, batters the knee off the apron edge and attempts a pin.

Very slow match. Time wasting. Lovely suplex in the middle of the ring. Austin foolishly believes that this will cause a pin attempt. Lovely martial arts kick from Taker followed by a second Old School attempt but – as we can all guess – Austin stops this one, dropping Taker on his Dead, Dead Balls. Austin goes for the Bret’s Rope Superplex, but gets pushed off. Elbow from Taker and Austin is up. Taker hits the sleeper and Austin replies with a jawbreaker – or, as King rightly says, “Almost a stunner!”

Stone Cold bounces Taker’s head off the corner, hammers him in one corner, threatens the ref and takes a shot to the balls from Austin. Ref Earl Hebner shouts at Austin, who gives him the finger behind his back. Undertaker low blows Austin and when he gives off to Earl, he gets the double fingers from the ref himself followed by a chokeslam. Austin fights back, hits the stunner mid-ring and JR goes bananas as the bell rings…

Brian Pillman! You wacky banana! He was battering the ring bell to cause the distraction.

Taker sits up, hits the Irish Whip, getting Austin up for the Tombstone but Austin retaliates, getting Taker up for a Tombstone of his own! But wait, Taker fights back, finally hits the Tombstone and the slow three count for the win.

The Undertaker has pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin for the win in 20:06.

2017 comments:

Not a great match. Very slow. Lots of time wasting. Seemed like a house show, almost. Very disappointing.

1997 comments:

Who are these mediocre wrestlers?

Grade: C.

Shameful main event from both men. The Hart Foundation rock into the ring and hammer on Taker, stomping a mudhole in him. Austin sees Bret in the wheelchair, tips him over and goes after the Foundation with Bret’s crutch. Undertaker chokes Owen as Austin stands on top of the turnbuckle, watching the Foundation leave. Fink announces that Taker is still the champ and Austin Stunners him, rolls out of the ring and back in with the crutch, following the Foundation out of the arena. Undertaker follows, very upset about the whole thing.

Despite all this, after the lights went down, there was another match not televised between the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) and Owen Hart and the British Bulldog for the WWE Tag Team Championship, of which LOD were the challengers. It was a loss by DQ. Kind of explains the entire PPV, doesn’t it?

The Go Home Stats.

Man of the Matches: No real stand-out matches or competitors here, so I’d have to go for Ahmed Johnson for lasting over ten minutes in the ring. Good man, Ahmed.

Woman of the Matches: Just Chyna, I suppose.

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

Best Spot: Stone Cold and Undertaker Tombstone reversal.

Hatches: None.

Matches: Undertaker retains his WWF World Heavyweight Championship; Owen Hart and the British Bulldog retain their WWF Tag Team Championships.

Dispatches: No real dispatches. Faarooq is out until Ground Zero; Flash Funk is out until One Night Only; The Rock is out until Badd Blood.

Closing Statements: Not a good PPV at all. No great matches, no great spots, very short. All in all, a real disappointment.

On the Card will return on June 8 2017 with King of the Ring 1997.

 

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Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 3

Previously on On the Card: The Nation of Domination were there with their nice, clean rap.

Backstage, Todd chats to nippley Vader and we see earlier in the day where Leon and Mick Foley rock in and beat up Ken. Vader says he was only playing. Vader tells us that Ken knows nothing about pain. It’s time, by the way. Vader Time.

The Fink introduces that this is a No Holds Barred match where there are no pinfalls or standing 8-count. The only way to win is by submission or knockout. My tape skips at that point and then Vader enters, showing off that left nipple once again. Jerry tells us that Vader isn’t a technical wrestler. He’ll just kick the shite out of Ken.

Out the man comes himself, dressed like Rocky. No pomp or circumstance, just batters into the ring, hiding behind fellow Irish Referee Tim White. Ken looks amazing.

No Holds Barred Match: Vader vs. Ken Shamrock.

Jerry tells us that Tim White has probably never had a match like this. Ken hits a boot to the legs and skips back. Vader circles the ring and Jerry references the Antonio Inoki/Muhammad Ali match. Ken gets a wristlock in place but Vader goes to the ropes and forces a break. Another stiff kick from Ken and Vader shoves him into the corner. Vader has about two hundred pounds on Shamrock. Shamrock gets the waistlock on with his big old roidy biceps. More stiff kicks and Shamrock hits an attempted German suplex. Vader escapes outside the ring. No countouts so no damage here, he can hang out there all night if he has to.

Back in the ring, Ken hits Vader with a great big German suplex and hammers Vader in the face. Irish Referee Tim White shouts at both men. Vader gets Shamrock on the ropes but Ken rolls into an armbar but fails to get the submission fully in. Ken gives Vader a wee boot in the bum but Vader uses his strength to just lift the man up. On the floor, Vader lies on Shamrock, taking his time and grabbing at Shamrock’s arm. The crowd bay for Shamrock and he rolls through into an armbar. Vader lifts Shamrock riiiight up and rolls through. JR calls it a “unique match”, which is to say, a “shite match”.

Vader suplexes Shamrock to the outside and the boy takes it like a champ. Fair play, Shamrock. Vader bounces Shamrock off the steel steps twice and Vader’s nose has become bust at some point. Shamrock fights back and hits the elbows to Vader’s head. In the ring, Shamrock holds onto the ropes for dear life and takes a thunderous Irish whip. Bad ankle lock and Ken fights back as best he can. Ken escapes and Vader gets him into a choke. Vader hits the splash in the corner followed by some kicks to the face and a half-hearted bodyslam. Jerry tells us that he is not a Vader fan, but a Shamrock hater. Vader goes for the slam, decides to hit the moonsault but rolls too late and Vader’s head bounces off Shamrock’s back. Shamrock fights back, hits a suplex and gets a knee lock on Vader but the rope breaks it.

More boots to the legs from Shamrock followed by a single-leg Boston Crab. Vader gets the ropes once again. Shamrock hammers Vader in the corner and he returns with an elbow on his own. Shamrock gets a quick ankle lock in and taps out instantly.

Vader has submitted to Ken Shamrock in 13:21.

2017 comments:

A No Holds Barred match in a time where submission matches were not a thing and one man wasn’t a submission specialist and the other wasn’t a wrestler. Sloppy.

1997 comments:

The size of Shamrock’s arms.

Grade: C.

On the Card will return on June 1 2017 with the fourth and final part of In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell.

Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 2

Previously on On the Card: The Rock turned up.

Nation of Domination rock out with Wolfie D and JC Ice. I love these boys. They’re amazing and it’s mostly because of their nice, clean rap. By any means necessary. Fist raise. Brilliant stable.

Backstage, greasy Ahmed is speaking to Todd. He mutters his way through a promo. Great stuff. He mentions parties and dancing and somebody going to the end. Indecipherable.

Out comes Ahmed to a huge pop. He hydrates… badly. The crowd go bananas. The NOD discuss by ringside. Ahmed wants Faarooq first. Gorilla Monsoon strolls out and chats to the NOD too. Immigration Clarence Mason shouts back. Lots of pointing and Gorilla tells the NOD to leave unless they’re wresting. One of them is D’Lo Brown, who clearly has no idea what’s happening. Crush sneaks into the ring and attempts a Pearl Harbour but the bell rings first.

Gauntlet Match: Ahmed Johnson vs. Three Members of the Nation of Domination.

Big old punches from Ahmed and Crush falls first, wavers on the second and falls on the third. JR tells us that Ahmed is a former gang member and had an abusive household. The NOD stand up on the Tron. Lovely image. Ahmed misses an elbow and Crush hits the superkick. Crush hits an awful Bret’s rope clothesline as Jerry reminds JR that it is the nineties. Crush has Ahmed in a Vulcan Nerve Pinch followed by a lovely suplex. Ahmed attempts a suplex of his own but turns it into… a brainbuster? It’s odd. Sleeper hold. Sleeper hold city. Crowd chant to wake Ahmed up.

My favourite spot of all time – the ref lifts and drops Ahmed’s arm. One falls, two falls, the third holds on, he fights to his feet and Crush signals for his NOD friends to come down but none do. Ahmed attempts the pin, fails and gets a piledriver for his efforts. Crush calls the NOD down again and they stay there. Crush telegraphs the Heart Punch and Ahmed dodges it before hitting a reverse heel kick for the win.

Ahmed Johnson has pinned Crush. Crush has been eliminated.

A new challenger appears! Savio Vega enters the ring.

Crush is disappointed and stares at his NOD pals as Savio limps down the aisle, but sprints into the ring with Ahmed and gets a back body drop for his effort. Savio hits a lovely spinning heel kick and rolls to the outside. Faarooq, it is seen, has an injury too – a hurt arm, it seems. Savio bounces Ahmed’s head about the place and yells at him to get up. JR thanks us for inviting the WWF into their home. He then shows off that no one else has the ability to do PPV, which might be a lie. Savio gives Ahmed a big punch and he sells it brilliantly, shadow boxing for a second before falling. Lovely snapmare and rest hold city. Vulcan Nerve Pinch but Ahmed fights to his feel, hits a hip toss, goes to Bret’s rope, misses a Bret’s Rope Nothing and some time passes while Jerry and JR wonder what Ahmed has on his nose.

Big punch from Ahmed and he tells Savio the next spot – Savio bounces on the turnbuckle, gets a backdrop and almost loses – but manages to kick out. Lovely powerslam but Savio kicks out anyways. Faarooq rolls his eyes as Ahmed calls for the Pearl River Plunge. Savio goes for a run, hits a superkick, gets a chair and bops Ahmed.

Ahmed Johnson has been hit by a chair wielded by Savio Vega. Savio Vega has been eliminated by disqualification.

Savio rolls Ahmed into the ring, gets the chair and cracks Ahmed with it. The NOD discuss this amongst themselves. Faarooq is standing on the ramp with his shirt off and rocks down the ramp.

A new challenger appears! Faarooq enters the ring.

Faarooq takes off his arm sling and beats on Ahmed for a bit. Jerry calls it, “a mother’s day miracle.” Ahmed attempts the small package but Faarooq escapes it. JR tells us Farrooq’s real name – Ron Simmons – and how he changed his name. Ahmed hits a lovely spinebuster and sets up the Pearl River Plunge, hitting it and going for the pin but Faarooq kicks out! What a lad! Faarooq goes for Ahmed’s knee and hits a splat for the pin.

Faarooq has pinned Ahmed Johnson. Faarooq and the Nation of Domination wins by pinfall in 13:25.

2017 comments:

A gauntlet match where the heels are far superior wrestlers to the face.

1997 comments:

I love the Nation.

Grade: B.

Cut to an ad, apparently and when we come back, JR is telling us about something that happened on Raw is War: Ken Shamrock was ringside, doing commentary when Vader beat seven shades out of Goldust, pinned him and the pair stared each other out. Shamrock just keeps telling people to shut up. He finally decides to enter the ring and Vader spits on him before Shamrock takes him down and the men roll about.

On the Card will return on May 25 2017 with the third part of In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell.

Attitude Era #12. In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (May 11, 1997) Part 1

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.

2017 comments:

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.

1997 comments:

I love this Chyna woman but she hates men’s balls.

Grade: B.

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.

2017 comments:

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.

1997 comments:

Mick Foley was in it, Match of the Year.

Grade: B.

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.