Sunday 21 February 2021

WWF In Your House: Final Four Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that will never freak out about a tier list. It’s WWF In Your House: Final Four! With Shawn Michaels capturing the WWF Championship at The Royal Rumble, Shawn Michael would lose his smile and now the WWF Championship has been vacated. It could be Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Vader or Stone Cold Steve Austin. 4 men doing battle for the WWF Championship, that’s all we are given going into this one so I guess we will see what is going to happen on the Road to Wrestlemania!


Marc Mero W/ Sable vs Leif Cassidy

Cassidy gets another chance to shine, last time it was with Flash Funk and this time it’s Marc Mero. Slap from Mero, arm-drag and make it two. Mero continues to work the arm of Cassidy who cannot catch a break here, Cassidy is shoved down again and again by Mero. The story here so far is Mero is a little more aggressive than before, perhaps a change of character. Cassidy lures Mero to the floor with Sable saving her husband. Mero lands a slingshot leg-drop for two, Mero talks trash in the corner with right hands before Cassidy goes to the knee. Basement dropkicks from Cassidy, perfect pinpoint attacks from Cassidy. Mero tries fighting back, Cassidy trips up Mero and applies a heel-hook.


Cassidy releases the hold but continues punishing the leg, Mero’s leg is driven into the mat. Mero begins brawling back, Cassidy thwarts his comeback with a massive elbows to the knee. Another variation of a heel hook with Cassidy, Mero continues to struggle to stay in this match. Mero fights back one more time with massive rights, enzuigiri that floors Cassidy. Oklahoma roll for two, Cassidy lands a shin-breaker and a big figure four from Cassidy. Mero makes it to the ropes thanks to Sable’s help, Cassidy is going after Sable. Slap from Sable, suicide dive from Mero. Rights on the floor, two mat-slams and Cassidy is rammed off the buckle, Samoan drop and it looks like it’s time for The Wild Thing. It lands and Mero wins!


A cold opening match for sure, don’t blame the crowd too much here though with Mero sliding down the card month after month and Cassidy being nothing of note on television at the time. Another odd dynamic to this one is of course the heelish behaviour from Mero and Sable, we have another heel vs heel match which really does not do any favours for the fans who are unsure of who to cheer throughout. Solid work from Cassidy and good selling from Mero but little reason to care about this match, one of he weaker opening matches I have seen in the WWF on an In Your House PPV.


Winner: Marc Mero over Leif Cassidy via Wild Thing!


Nation of Domination vs Flash Funk/Goldust/Bart Gunn

Well this is an interesting one for sure, I thought Ahmed Johnson would continue his feud with Faarooq here but we have a sort of random six-man tag with Bart Gunn, Flash Funk and Goldust taking on The Nation of Domination. Savio Vega is here in The Nation with Crush and Faarooq, can’t say I saw that coming but I don’t have an issue with it as Savio had been directionless for a while. We start hot with a brawl, the babyfaces clear out the heels. Funk gets the shine with a massive crossbody to the floor before Crush and Savio get in two cheap shots.


Faarooq and Goldust are legal, Goldust slams Faarooq’s head into the mat. Tag to Funk, spinebuster counter from Faarooq. Tag to Savio, Funk lands a corner clothesline before Bart Gunn sends Funk to the floor with a crossbody but The Nation catch Funk and batter the babyface. Savio lands a big back body-drop, Crush is in the ring with big headbutts and punches. Belly to belly suplex for two, tag to Faarooq. Measured right hand by Faarooq, Faarooq slaps and drops his weight on Funk’s back. Funk counters with a knee to Faarooq’s nether regions, Savio smacks Goldust in the face as Crush lands a spike piledriver on Funk for a close two. Headbutt from Crush, tag to Faarooq. Funk lands a double clothesline on Faarooq & Savio, could it be hot-tag time?


Tag to Bart, Bart clotheslines and hammer everything in sight. Faarooq eats a powerslam for two as Savio saves, in comes Goldust and Funk. Bart avoids the dominator, diving top rope bulldog from Bart but Crush leg-drops Bart on the back of the head and Faarooq steals the pin.


The easiest pay-day of Goldust’s career? The man hardly did a thing but all jokes aside, an interesting and controversial angle continues to gather steam with a win but I have to think plans changed with Ahmed Johnson suffering another form of injury that keeps us from having another encounter between the two.


Winners: The Nation of Domination over Team Flash Funk via Leg-Drop!


(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Rocky Maivia © vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley

Just months into his WWF Career and Rocky Maivia captured the WWF intercontinental championship from the clutches of Helmsley. The questionable booking of the championship continues with the title being passed around between Helmsley, Mero and Goldust as Ahmed Johnson’s injury continues to mess up the WWF. Helmsley wants to destroy Rocky who captured the championship on Thursday Raw Thursday.


Helmsley lost his championship due to underestimating the champion, will it happen again? Helmsley grabs the headlock, Rocky tries a drop toehold but Helmsley counters, applies his own and slaps the head of Rocky. They trade holds with Rocky landing a hip-toss, dropkick and a deep arm-drag. Rocky slaps the head of Helmsley who drags Rocky to the corner by the hair, they both slap one another. Helmsley backs away, Rocky lands a big back body-drop. Helmsley escapes the arm-bar and sends the champion to the floor, baseball slide and scoop slam on the floor from the challenger. Helmsley poses as Rocky struggles to make it back into the ring, Helmsley lands a massive elbow to the throat of Rocky who was hanging off the apron.


Rope guillotine from Helmsley, beautiful suplex from Helmsley. Knee drop from Helmsley for two, Helmsley applies the sleeper and uses the ropes for leverage behind the back of the referee. Hebnar kicks away Helmsley’s feet before Rocky almost steals the win with a small package again, nice call-back. Back-breaker for two, Rocky fights out but misses a dropkick as Helmsley holds onto the ropes. Rocky dodges the knee drop, eye rake from Helmsley. Whip to the buckle by Rocky, Helmsley misses a boot but connects with the clothesline. Helmsley climbs to the top rope, Rocky counters with a gut punch. Inverted atomic drop, right hands by Rocky. Helmsley flips out of the buckle, hard right-hand from Rocky.


Powerslam from Rocky, Diving Crossbody from Rocky for a close two. Helmsley begs off in the corner, ten punches from Rocky before a stun-gun into the buckle and Helmsley uses the ropes for leverage and gets a two. Irish whip by Helmsley but Rocky counters with a float-over DDT for two. Facebuster from Helmsley, neck-breaker too. Goldust tells Helmsley to kiss his ass as The Bizarre One is at ringside and Rocky steals the win with a German suplex!


Well it was solid for sure, the crowd hasn’t turned on Rocky yet and Helmsley was always fun to watch before his punishment due to The Kliq Incident. Neither man are on fire right now but they need the right angle and the right character change and it will be fine, we get to see something amazing here though as Chyna debuts choking the life out of Marlena at ringside, who was that Amazon? Who could she be? What’s going on? Helmsley might have an ace up his sleeve and what an ace it could be! Anyways, this was solid and better than anything I have seen so far on this card.


Winner: Rocky Maivia over Hunter Hearst Helmsley via German Suplex!


(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) Doug Furnas & Phil Lafon vs The British Bulldog & Owen Hart © W/ Clarence Mason

Continuing problems between Owen Hart & Bulldog leave a big cloud over this match, why is Clarence Mason still with these two? I thought Mason would take over from Cornette but Vader left the group and I honestly don’t see why he’s here. Anyways we actually have a babyface tag team who are credible against the heel champions.


Owen and Furnas start, great athletics with Furnas landing two deep arm-drags. Tag to Lafon, who shows some interesting leg-locks and transitions as Owen reaches the ropes. Owen tags Bulldog, Bulldog elbows Lafon. Lafon lands a knee, spinning sunset flip from Lafon. Bulldog eats a spinning heel kick from Lafon, Owen cheap-shots Lafon from the apron. Furnas complains and the champions double-team Lafon. Eye rake from Owen, Bulldog gets in some cheap-shots. Uppercut from Owen, Lafon sends Owen to the buckle who counters with a middle rope crossbody but Lafon rolls through for two. Eye-rake from Owen and a massive gut-wrench suplex for two. Back-breaker for two, tag to Bulldog. Double clothesline and wishbone-split, Bulldog stomps all over Lafon.


Lafon and Bulldog are in now with Bulldog landing a massive clothesline, stomp and tag to Owen. Lafon kicks off Owen to dodge a sharpshooter, Owen works the leg with stomps over and over. Bulldog waffles Furnas on the apron, Owen and Bulldog combine for a suplex/crossbody for two. Owen ducks his head off an Irish whip, small package reversals all around with the referee failing to keep control. Owen and Bulldog have words, Lafon is tripped by Bulldog. Owen nails Bulldog with a spinning heel kick by mistake, they have words again and slaps with Bulldog clotheslining Owen. Lafon lands a top rope splash with Bulldog saving Owen at the last second.


Furnas comes in, massive dropkick for two. Belly to belly suplex for two, tag to Lafon. Double back body-drop, two for Lafon. Northern Lights suplex from Lafon, Furnas lands a hurricanrana with Bulldog saving the match. Lafon and Bulldog brawl, superkick/lariat/DDT combination from the challengers for a close two. Owen escapes a suplex and wallops Furnas with a massive enzuigiri. Bulldog gets the tag, clearing the house with clotheslines and dropkicks. Lafon has the victory-roll for two, the match breaks down. Bulldog and Owen bang heads, Lafon covers Bulldog for a close two. Whip to the buckle, monkey flip is countered with Lafon eating a stun-gun, Bulldog wanted the Powerslam but Owen nailed Lafon with the slammy. Owen costs his team the match due to his actions.


Very good tag-team match, nice to have two teams who have chemistry and can work well together, it has been sorely lacking in the WWF at the time. I was sick to death of the heel vs heel dynamic and I mean how can you not find opponents for one of your most entertaining acts in Bulldog & Owen Hart? I really think the WWF did not appreciate what they had in these two, I am sure of it! Would love to see another match between these two, they were entertaining at Survivor Series and on this night, they kicked some serious ass. Lafon & Furnas tore it up in All Japan and Bulldog & Owen can go too so you have a kick-ass tag team match that continues the dissension angle between te two.


Winners: Phil Lafon & Doug Furnas over Owen Hart & The British Bulldog via DQ!


(WWF Championship Match) The Undertaker vs Vader W/ Paul Bearer vs Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart

Shawn Michaels had given up the WWF Championship, losing his smile and putting a wrench in the plans for Wrestlemania. Austin would win The Royal Rumble but Austin had originally been tossed out of the rumble by Bret Hart so the rumble was considered null and void with these four men now doing battle for the WWF Championship. The other interesting part to this match is that Sycho Sid, the former WWF Champion is waiting in the wings on Monday Night Raw. You can win this match by pin-fall, submission or tossing your opponent over the top rope just like the Rumble.


We are guaranteed a new WWF Champion but who will it be? Austin and Bret, no surprise there. Undertaker and Vader too brawl, flying clothesline from The Deadman as Bret tees-off on Austin. Taker is out for blood, Taker takes out Bret and wants old school on Austin. Austin is flattened, Vader lands a belly to belly suplex on Taker. Vader knocks Taker to the floor, Vader lands many blows to the ribs before Taker boots the chair back into the face of Vader. Austin elbows Bret for a two, Vader is sent hard into the steel steps. Vader is bleeding, Bret lands a back-breaker on Austin. Bret slaps a sleeper on Austin who counters with a jaw-breaker for two. Taker catches Vader, Chokeslam on Vader.


Stunner on Taker, two for Austin. Vader clobbers Bret for two, Austin tees off on Taker who reverses the hold. Rights and lefts by Taker, Vader smashes The Hitman with a chair to the spine. Austin wants a piledriver on the floor but Taker reverses for a back-drop, Bret clotheslines Vader. Taker suplexes Bret into the ring while Austin and Vader brawl on the floor, Austin dumps steel steps onto Vader who is bleeding from his eye badly. Bret goes after the knee of Taker, Bret elbows and elbows the knee while Vader smacks Austin into the guardrail. Austin cracks Vader with the championship, both men are brawling by the announce table. Taker clotheslines Bret down, Vader drags Bret to the ring-apron.


Austin and Taker are in the ring, Taker leg-drops Austin while Bret sends Vader over the guardrail into the crowd. Austin lands a diving clothesline on Taker for two while Sid watches on, Vader has Bret in the sharpshooter while Austin stomps the neck of The Hitman. Taker and Bret pummel Austin, they are all brawling by the ringside area. Lou Thesz Press from Austin on Vader, there have been many close-ups of Vader’s face throughout this match, they love that blood.


Bret piledrivers Austin for a close, two Vader wants a Vader-Bomb! Vader goes all the way up though, Taker dodges the moonsault. Bret tees-off in the corner with right hands on The Rattlesnake, Vader is choked with a camera cable. Bret lands a fist-drop on Austin for two, Vader and Taker trade control with right hands all around. Austin rolls-up Bret for two, Vader and Bret are slugging it out with Vader winning the war before a massive low-blow from The Hitman. Austin yanks Taker into the ring-post by his jewels, Russian leg-sweep by Bret on Vader for two. Vader is throwing haymakers on Bret while Austin survives being thrown over the top rope because we need a reminder of that stipulation.


Vader and Taker are brawling again, Bret is slugging it out with Austin. Bret dumps out Austin with little to no drama, big reaction from the crowd for the elimination. Vader zeroes in on a struggling Hitman, Taker clubs Vader from behind. Whip to the buckle, corner splash from The Deadman. Bret headbutts Taker, Taker battles back with headbutts of his own. Vader chop-blocks the life out of Taker, great move from Vader. Paul Bearer gets involved to take out Taker while Bret superplexes Vader in the middle of the ring. Bret slaps on The Sharpshooter, Taker clotheslines The Hitman down. Austin is here attacking Bret, no surprise there.


Vader slams Taker in the middle of the ring, Austin sends Bret into the ring-post hard. Vader is low-blowed out of the ring after attempting a Vader-Bomb, Taker dumped out his arch-rival with Bret running into a massive Chokeslam from The Deadman. Undertaker calls for his finish, Austin will not give up. Austin almost pulls out Bret, Bret rolls-up Taker for two. Bret pummels Austin , Taker hammers Austin but Bret dumps out Taker with a clothesline.


A lot to talk about in this match, the first being the monster reaction for The Deadman. Nobody was more popular than Undertaker in this match, the crowd reacted big to everything The Deadman did, especially dumping out Vader and that Chokeslam to Bret Hart. The world was ready for the reign of The Deadman, Vader battles through an impressive injury for the majority of the match, blood pours out of just under his eye. Gives a great amount of drama and feel to the match with the blood just gushing out and this monster powering through the injury to slap the heads of all around him. I thought there was a lot of downtime in this though, like an actual rumble. Fair few times where they just paired-off and nothing really happened of note, don’t know why they decided to kickstart the match and have nowhere to go from there. Austin’s elimination was odd, I expected it to happen at the hands of Bret but not like that, it was unexpected considering Austin just survived an attempt from Taker and looked to be catching his breathe. Nonetheless, when the match was firing on all cylinders, it was enjoyable and dramatic for sure. Odd way for Taker to lose though, Bret did not duck Taker’s attack making Taker look like an imbecile when watching it back but The Hitman stands tall at the end of a very entertaining match at times!


Winner: Bret Hart!


That was WWF’s In Your House: Final Four, a good In Your House PPV from the WWF with all three championship matches ranging from solid to entertaining. The show kicks off with a less than stellar encounter between heel Leif Cassidy and a heelish Marc Mero, not a fan of Mero’s work in the WWF with him being inconsistent and sliding up and down the card due to injuries while Cassidy isn’t being given much of a role on TV to shine so the crowd is less than receptive to the match with neither man drawing reactions from the crowd that you would want for a hot opening match. Wild Thing still looks great though and we march on through to a six-man tag that seems thrown together with Ahmed Johnson out of the picture so The Nation pick up the win over a team where Goldust does hardly anything and Flash’s entrance is longer than the man’s involvement in the match itself.


Things change though as Rocky and Helmsley have quite the competitive match for the Intercontinental Championship with Helmsley no longer underestimating the younger rookie. Would have been nicer to see Rocky come out on top without the distraction from Goldust to establish Rocky as a credible champion and not just a fluke winner but with Helmsley’s booking over the past number of months, I don’t know who you would consider a worthy holder of the championship except for one of the men in contention for the world championship. Regardless, the match is solid with Helmsley showing what he can do given the right opponent while Rocky proves to be more than reliable as a babyface, imagine what they will be like in 3 years in time! The tag team championship match is also enjoyable with 4 very good workers showing how tag team wrestling should be done without the heel vs heel dynamic, Lafon & Furnas have an interesting style with a lot of what they did in All Japan being carried over to the WWF, it can be hit and miss but when they start busting out suplexes, superkicks and cool DDT combinations I am all for I while Owen is a tremendous little shit inside that ring while Bulldog brings the power. The main event brings tonnes of excitement with little moments of brilliance from all four involved, there is a downturn in the action mid-way through that makes the match drag a little but once we hit the home-stretch, it’s all guns blazing and the fans get their money’s worth on this night with a new WWF Champion. Good start to 1997 so far, Taker is climbing up in popularity once more and there is a new star in Stone Cold Steve Austin, things could be finally getting better for the WWF. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Saturday 13 February 2021

WWF Royal Rumble 1997 Review!


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that continues to bring the noise! It’s WWF Royal Rumble 1997! Headlined by one Shawn Michaels challenging for the WWF Championship against Sycho Sid, we also have the return of Ahmed Johnson against the man who took him out Faarooq, The Leader of The Nation of Domination. Other notable matches include Goldust vs Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the WWF Intercontinental Championship and Vader vs Undertaker so I guess the Mankind feud is done then? However, the main attraction is The Royal Rumble match itself, who will be heading to Wrestlemania? The Hitman? Stone Cold Steve Austin? Who knows?


(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Hunter Hearst Helmsley © vs Goldust W/ Marlena

Helmsley had survived Mero which led to Goldust turning babyface as Helmsley went after Marlena so the Intercontinental Championship still revolves around this three but hopefully, this match will be something special. Helmsley is a very-good worker, bringing a quality to his matches since debuting in 1995. This match gets a promo package so that’s an improvement already, adding to this match. Goldust pummels Helmsley in the ramp before we get into the ring, Goldust pummels Helmsley. Helmsley is thrown to the floor, Helmsley is dropped on the guardrail hard. Helmsley meets the buckle, ten punches in the corner from The Bizarre One. Helmsley lands an inverted atomic drop, right hand from the champion.


Early pedigree attempt with Goldust catapulting Helmsley to the floor, Goldust picks up the steel steps and drops them across the back of the champion. Helmsley hot-shots Goldust before Goldust blocks off Helmsley with a boot, big clothesline from Goldust. Helmsley hides behind the referee, low blow from Helmsley. Goldust is dropped to the floor, Helmsley lands an axe handle to the floor. Helmsley wanted a knee but Goldust dodged, Helmsley smashes his knee off the guardrail. Goldust drops the steel steps on the knee of Helmsley. Knee drop from Goldust, Helmsley crawls to the ropes but Goldust yanks Helmsley to the middle of the ring. Elbow drop from Goldust who works the leg, figure-four leg-lock from Goldust.


Helmsley makes it over to Mr. Hughes, chop-block from The Bizarre One. Goldust drops Helmsley knee-first onto the steel steps, Goldust ducks a clothesline and misses a flying crossbody in the ring. Goldust spills to the floor, Helmsley whips Goldust into the guardrail. Helmsley takes Marlena’s chair, the referee takes away with the chair. Knee drop from Helmsley in the ring, a foolish manoeuvre from Helmsley. Goldust is crotched on the top rope after fighting back, Helmsley pushed the referee into the ropes to build to this moment. Goldust headbutts Helmsley away, Goldust misses a diving top rope elbow drop. Mr. Hughes has thrown the championship to Helmsley who kisses Marlena but Goldust has the championship and clocks Helmsley. Hughes pulls Helmsley out of the ring, Hughes is arguing with the referee. Goldust clocks Hughes but eats a clothesline from Helmsley. Pedigree and it’s over!


Not my idea of a hot opening match but let’s take a look at the arena here: it’s a stadium arguably the biggest place the WWF has ran in quite some time. The feud may be heated but the action is not, Goldust and Helmsley spend a lot of time on the floor brawling and it’s kind of dull. As Goldust the character has been a lot of fun but the wrestler just ain’t blowing me away in the ring, it will be interesting looking back on his WCW work where Rhodes showed how good he could be. They worked hard on this night, just didn’t connect with the crowd or reach that next level.


Winner: Hunter Hearst Helmsley over Goldust via Pedigree!


Faarooq W/ Clarence Mason/Crush/PG-13/Associates vs Ahmed Johnson

Faarooq injured Ahmed, Ahmed has been sorely missed and they waste fuck-all time reminding you why Ahmed was so much fun to watch. Ahmed pummels the bejesus out of Faarooq, I would have opened with this. Faarooq is rammed off the ring apron, Faarooq is tossed back in the ring. Ahmed kicks Faarooq in the ribs, Ahmed is looking down on Faarooq. Eye rake by Faarooq, Faarooq goes to the kidneys, Faarooq is thrown something by Crush but cannot use it, Ahmed lands a massive flying clothesline. Ahmed grabs the item and whips Faarooq like a dog, Faarooq meets the ring-post and the steel steps. Faarooq uses one of the Nation’s member to blind-side Ahmed with a massive clothesline, Faarooq grabs a chair. Kidney shots from Faarooq, back-breaker onto the chair from Faarooq. Chair to the kidneys, no DQ from the referee? Massive kicks to the ribs, Faarooq is large and in charge.


Camel clutch from Faarooq, Ahmed bridges up and electric chair drops Faarooq. Faarooq wanted a shoulder block from the top but Ahmed counters for a powerslam. Ahmed gets caught with a spinebuster by Faarooq, Faarooq wastes too much time talking trash, spinebuster from Ahmed. Crush is in the ring and gets dumped on the floor, Ahmed starts punching everything in sight. The match is thrown out, Ahmed continues wiping out everything in sight before wanting to powerbomb a Nation member through a table and damn, Ahmed destroys the table with The Pearl River Plunge!


Fun end of story, love Faarooq trash-talk have no idea why but that voice and the way he carries himself is simply awesome. Two big bastards kicking the shit out of each other as well, it starts perfectly with Ahmed destroying Faarooq and if you have to have a DQ finish, Ahmed makes it worth it by decimating everything in sight and hurling that guy through the table. Faarooq went for the injured ribs, that’s all good with me that’s what I want to see. They live to fight another day, these two will brawl again and I will be looking forward to it.


Winner: Ahmed Johnson over Faarooq via DQ!


Vader vs The Undertaker

So I have no idea why these are two fighting, things have not been good for Vader since Summerslam but that’s what happens when you have to deal with mid 90s Shawn Michaels and his politicking ways. It begins with a brawl, Vader and Taker throw hands before Taker ducks his head off an Irish whip. Clubbing blow by Vader but no effect, The Deadman is coming back into this before Vader lands an elbow and clothesline. Taker sits-up, Vader Hammer from the big man. Taker continues to get up, Vader powders and is upset with these events. Axe handle from the apron by The Deadman, hot-shot from Vader to derail the Taker train. Vader ducks his head off an Irish whip, leg-drop guillotine style from The Deadman. Vader manages to stop Old-School by dropping Taker on the top rope.


Vader pummels Taker in the corner, clothesline from Vader. Middle rope clothesline from Vader, two for Vader. Vader clamps on a rest-hold, Taker fights back with lefts and rights. Vader eats a belly to back suplex, Vader regains control and poses for those in attendance. Taker counters the middle rope shoulder block for a powerslam, Undertaker ducks off an Irish whip and Vader plants Taker with a Vaderbomb. Taker kicks out at two and is on his feet, rights and lefts. Flying clothesline from Taker, Old School from The Deadman. Chokeslam from Taker, Paul Bearer is here at ringside staring down Taker. Vader is clotheslined to the floor, Taker pummels Paul Bearer with a massive right.


Paul Bearer is begging for mercy, crawling around the ring on his knees. Taker is going to chokeslam the big man, Vader is up though. Right hand for Paul Bearer, clothesline over the top rope. Taker and Vader brawl by the guardrail, Taker has set up the steps for something. Taker wanted a running clothesline but Paul Bearer pulled Vader free, Vaderbomb and it’s over!


What? After months of doing nothing after his match with Shawn Michaels, Vader defeats The Undertaker thanks to Paul Bearer? Well I am in utter shock, I did not see that coming at all. It was what I expected from these two, some big looking spots but neither known for their selling prowess so the match lacks in that department and the finish just comes out of nowhere to me. I guess this is the next chapter in Taker vs Paul Bearer.


Winner: Vader over The Undertaker via VaderBomb!


Fuerza Guerrera/Heavy Metal/ Jerry Estrada vs Perry Aguayo/Canek/Hector Garza

Heavy Metal and Garza to start, they trade holds with both trading control. Heavy Metal has a side headlock on Garza, Garza lands a belly to back suplex. Aguayo is slapped twice by Estrada, Aguayo continues to out-smart Estrada before Estrada lands a big shoulder blocks. Aguayo sends Estrada to the floor, tag to Canek. Canek and Guerrera, hip-toss by Canek. Guerrera lands a corner clothesline, middle rope crossbody from Canek. Scoop slam by Guerrera, Canek dodges the senton bomb. Canek lands a diving crossbody, Guerrera tags in Heavy Metal. Canek tags Garza, lots of theatrics here. Metal lands a handspring elbow, Garza lands a diving arm-drag. Tilt-a-whirl back-breaker by Garza, more theatrics.


Aguayo and Estrada, Aguayo tags in Canek. Canek and Estrada trade arm-drags with Canek landing multiple dropkicks. Canek misses a corner splash, schoolboy for two. Tag to Guerrera who dropkicks Aguayo, rights and kicks before Aguayo chops down Guerrera. Guerrera lands a big elbow, Guerrera misses the dropkick with Aguayo lands a big hip-toss. Guerrera is on the floor, Aguayo tags out to Garza. Metal and Canek come in though, Canek lands a clothesline and a figure four. Canek tags Garza who lands a slingshot splash, flying clothesline by Garza. STF from Garza, Estrada makes the save but Garza attacks the leg again. Tag to Aguayo, Samoan drop and senton but Estrada interferes again.


Canek and Guerrera end up in the ring, military press slam by Canek. Aguayo brawls on the floor with Guerrera, Canek presses Estrada to the mat. Garza misses a splash, Estrada is on the floor. Garza lands a corkscrew splash. Aguayo double-stomps Metal for the win.


Flat as a pancake and if you are trying to hype the fans up, having your older talent in the ring is probably not the best idea. Would have made a more of an impact with Garza and Heavy Metal I imagine. As it stands, a nothing match that was killing time.


Winners: Perry Aguayo/Hector Garza/Canek over Heavy Metal/Jerry Estrada/Fuerza Guerrera via Double Stomp!


The Royal Rumble Match

30 men in an over the top battle royal with the winner main-eventing Wrestlemania against the WWF Championship, we know the match and we know the rules. Both feet have to touch the floor, the higher the number the better your odds of winning the match. Let’s do this!


Entrants 1 to 5

I break them into blocks of five so that they are easy to follow for everyone, number one is Crush with all his Nation buddies while number two is Ahmed Johnson so the feud continues, Clarence Mason is freaking out because Ahmed wants blood. Crush goes for the ribs, over and over from Crush. Ahmed fires up, massive right hands with a clothesline. Crush and Ahmed are rolling around the ring brawling, Crush is waffling Ahmed. Stomps by Crush, Crush attempts to dump out Ahmed but it does not go to plan. Number three is Fake Razor Ramon, Razor throws rights and lefts at Ahmed. Ahmed dumps out Razor immediately! Bad times for The Bad Guy!


Razor Ramon has been Eliminated by Ahmed Johnson!


Ahmed dumps Crush to the apron, Crush hangs on though with Ahmed Johnson seeing Faarooq on the ramp, Ahmed eliminates himself and chases after Faarooq!


Ahmed Johnson Eliminates Himself!


Number four is Phineas Godwinn, Phineas is attempting to throw out Crush but Crush is not giving up just yet, Crush takes down Phineas and lands big boots. Number five is Stone Cold Steve Austin, business has just picked up! Phineas goes after Austin with stomps, clothesline from Phineas. Crush lands a big right to Phineas, headbutt to the kidneys as Austin slowly pulls himself up using the ropes. Middle rope clothesline from Austin who decks Crush and Phineas dumps out Crush before Austin nails his Stunner and dumps out Phineas.


Crush has been Eliminated by Phineas Godwinn


Phineas Godwinn has been Eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin


Bart Gunn has been Eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin


Entrants 6 to 10

Number six is Bart Gunn who Austin dumps out rather quickly but in at number seven we have Jake Roberts who tosses the snake at Austin. Right hands by Roberts, arm-wrench from Roberts. Austin staggers Roberts with right hands but Roberts won’t let go of the arm. Number eight is The British Bulldog, Austin dumps out Roberts who wanted his DDT with a big back body-drop!


Jake Roberts has been Eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin


Bulldog comes in and waffles Austin with a clothesline and stomps in the corner, Running Powerslam from Bulldog. Number nine is Pierroth, spinebuster from Bulldog. Snap-mare and elbows from Bulldog, clothesline from Pierroth. Austin and Bulldog start hammering Pierroth, number ten is The Sultan. Bulldog and Austin are brawling in the corner, Bulldog wants to punish Austin as Sultan and Pierroth square off in the opposite corner.


Number 11 to 15

Number eleven is Mil Mascaras, the size of his upper body is tremendous, big rights on Sultan and flying headbutt from Mascaras. Headbutts from Sultan, number twelve is Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Helmsley hammers Bulldog, Sultan and Helmsley work together. Mascaras begins battering Helmsley, Bulldog clotheslines Sultan out of this match!


The Sultan has been Eliminated by The British Bulldog!


Number thirteen is Owen Hart, Bulldog and Owen Hart are in the ring together, Owen takes his time making it to the ring. Owen goes after Austin, they are squaring off in the corner. Bulldog saves Owen, Austin is a constant target for Bulldog and Owen tries helping out. Owen dumps out Bulldog by mistake, does Bulldog believe Owen?


British Bulldog has been Eliminated by Owen Hart!


Number fourteen is Goldust, Goldust goes after Helmsley. Number fifteen is Cybernetico, Cybernetico goes right after Mascaras. Goldust takes off the head of Helmsley with a clothesline, Mascaras wants the mask of Cybernetico. Owen stomps the life out of Austin, Helmsley is smacking around Pierroth.


Number 16 to 20

In a moment of madness, Mascaras dumps out Pierroth and Cybernetico before diving to the floor with a Diving Crossbody so he’s gone as Goldust dumps out Helmsley, revenge for earlier on in the night.


Cybernetico & Pierroth have been Eliminated by Mil Mascaras


Mil Mascaras has been Eliminated


Hunter Hearst Helmsley has been Eliminated by Goldust


Number seventeen is Latin Lover who lands a massive superkick on Owen Hart, Goldust almost dumps out Owen but Owen survives, Owen clotheslines Goldust out of the match!


Goldust has been Eliminated by Owen Hart


Number Eighteen is Faarooq, Latin Lover punches Faarooq in the face but Faarooq knocks Latin Lover over with a big back body-drop. Faarooq briefly brawls with Austin before Ahmed comes down with a massive 2X4 and wallops Faarooq out of the match. Owen Hart and Mero are dumped out by Austin, Austin is all alone.


Latin Lover has been Eliminated by Faarooq


Faarooq has been Eliminated by Ahmed Johnson


Owen Hart & Marc Mero have been Eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin!


Number nineteen is Savio Vega, these two know each other quite well. Savio goes right after Austin, tonnes of punches from Savio. Catapult to the buckle, Spinning Heel Kick from Savio. Stun-gun from Austin and Austin clotheslines Savio out of this match.


Savio Vega has been Eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin


Number twenty is Jesse James, haven’t seen James in over a year I imagine with Jarrett gone from the WWF. Corner clothesline from James, Austin dumps out James by throwing him to the apron and elbowing The Roadie to the floor.


Jesse James has been Eliminated by Stone Cold Steve Austin


Entrants 21 to 25

Number twenty-one is The Hitman Bret Hart, Austin knows it’s game on! Austin says bring it but can he match The Hitman, Bret lands right after right with Austin in deep trouble. Inverted atomic drop and clothesline, corner punches from Bret. Bret hits a big clothesline, rocking Austin. Number twenty-two is Jerry Lawler as Bret Hart applies The Sharpshooter on Austin. Lawler jumps in immediately and Bret knocks Lawler over with two right hands.


Jerry Lawler has been Eliminated by Bret Hart


Bret continues torturing Austin, middle rope elbow and a headbutt. Back-breaker, number twenty-three is Fake Diesel. Diesel hammers Bret, elbows in the corner and some knees for good measure. Number twenty-four is Terry Funk, left hands from Funk. Bret stomps on Diesel while Funk goes after Austin, Austin almost dumps out Funk right away but Funk hangs on, left hands from Funk on The Hitman. Texas Piledriver, number twenty-five is Rocky Maivia. Rocky pummels Austin, Rocky goes after Diesel. Rocky tries dumping out Austin, Bret tosses Funk at the ropes but Funk holds on again. Diesel elbows and boots Rocky in the head.


Number 26 to 30

Number twenty-six is Mankind, Mankind goes after Funk. Funk is almost dumped out again but Funk will not let go, Austin suplexes Bret and lands big right hands to the head. Number twenty-seven is Flash Funk, Bret piledrives Austin in the middle of the ring. Funk crossbodies onto Funk and Diesel, Diesel boots down Funk. Number twenty-eight is Vader, things are about to get interesting. Vader pummels Bret with big claws, Funk tees-off on Vader but Vader just clubs down Funk. Austin goes after Vader, Vader lands his Vader Hammer on Austin.


Bret tries going after Vader, Bret uses rights to the head and ribs. Eye poke from Vader slows down Bret, number twenty-nine is Henry O. Godwinn. Henry clotheslines Vader, Diesel and Rocky almost go over but they hold on. Funk chops Rocky in the corner, Mankind and Henry are brawling while Vader hammers Funk in the corner. Austin goes after Bret again, number thirty is The Undertaker. The crowd erupts for The Deadman, things should be interesting now as that ring has to empty soon.


Taker goes right for Vader, Vader is decked. Undertaker wants Mankind, the two men who have been a thorn in his side for months, Chokeslam to Austin. Chokeslam to Vader, Taker decks Flash Funk and Diesel. Flash Funk is thrown to the floor by Vader after Flash Funk attempted a crossbody.


Flash Funk has been Eliminated by Vader!


Bret and Austin are still brawling, Henry Godwinn is with Taker and Funk and Mankind brawl once more. Rocky almost dumps out Bret but Bret is saved by Austin. Godwinn is tossed to the floor by Undetaker after Godwinn tried one too many times to battle The Deadman.


Henry O. Godwinn has been Eliminated by The Undertaker


Rocky Maivia has been Eliminated by Mankind!


Rocky tries a crossbody but Mankind blocks with The Mandible Claw and throws out Rocky, Mankind nails his Cactus Jack Clothesline on Funk but neither man goes over before Mankind boots Funk to the floor. Undertaker boots Mankind out who was still on the apron after the suplex.


Terry Funk has been Eliminated by Mankind


Mankind has been Eliminated by The Undertaker


Bret Hart dumps out Austin but because Terry Funk and Mankind were brawling, the referees were pre-occupied. Austin sneaks back into the ring and dumps out Undertaker and Vader, Bret Hart dumps out Diesel only for Austin to come back in and toss out The Hitman, Austin is going to Wrestlemania.


This Rumble match was hit and miss for a few reasons, I do like the way Austin was booked throughout this match. Dominant as it should be considering Austin is in the rise and nobody is more interesting than Austin in the WWF during this time. The AAA talent added nothing to the match, nobody was excited to see them and it’s like the additions of Tenryu or Dick Murdoch in prior Rumbles. I think the trio of rumbles ranging from 95 to 97 might be my least favourite. Also, I think the rumble should always be last there is nothing better simple as that and it builds so much intrigue I mean, what could be a better hook for Monday Night Raw than Austin stealing the rumble from Bret Hart? Nothing that’s what but this did not happen so no point in complaining about that further. I think my real problem is the lack of urgency for this match, not even when Taker comes in at number thirty do the bodies start to fly, it never happens. An intriguing ending that would be gripping for sure if it closed the show but as it’s not the end note for the night, it’s not as impactful.


Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin


(WWF Championship Match) Sycho Sid © vs Shawn Michaels W/ Jose Lothario

Sycho Sid had great momentum as a babyface and returned to the WWF as a friend of HBK but Sid always wanted the championship. They clashed at Survivor Series and Sid committed the despicable act of attacking Shawn’s mentor Jose Lothario with a camera. Sid was now the most hated man in the WWF unapologetic as he stood atop the mountain but Shawn Michaels would come for his revenge, Michaels is here in his home-state of Texas to attempt to recapture the WWF Championship.


They stare into one another’s eyes, talking trash with Sid shoving down Michaels with ease. Twice HBK is dumped on his ass, Sid goes right after HBK. Gut punches from Sid, Michaels lands a crossbody ramming Sid’s head into the mat, boot from Michaels with Sid landing on the floor. Michaels lands big rights on the floor, Sid sends Michaels into the ring-apron. Michaels rakes the eyes to survive a gorilla press slam, Michaels tries a diving crossbody but Sid lands a powerslam for two. Sid goes right after the back with a camel clutch, Sid misses a splash but sends HBK to the buckle. HBK counters with a boot to the face, Sid sends Michaels to the buckle which leads to Michaels flipping to the floor. Sid smashes Michaels into the ring-post back-first before applying a reverse chin-lock. Michaels breaks free before Sid lands a massive clothesline, bearhug from the champion.


Inverted atomic drop from HBK, middle rope first works the first time but the second time Sid counters for the bearhug. Sid gets a two and lands a massive leg drop for two. Michaels slides out of a scoop slam, HBK slams Sid. Flying forearm from Michaels, diving elbow drop and Michaels wants the finish. Sid blocks the superkick, Sid tries a clothesline but Michaels ducks. This leads to Michaels being back-dropped to the floor, Sid Powerbombs Michaels on the floor. Sid has got both Lotharios but stops himself to go after Michaels, Michaels sends Sid to the buckle. The referee is wiped out, Chokeslam from Sid. 1…2… new referee counts two which Sid is not happy about at all. Sid clubs down Michaels in the corner and knocks down the second referee. Lothario is on the apron, Michaels waffles Sid with the camera twice. Can you say déjà vu? 1….2………Sid kicks out of the camera, Sid is a monster and this monster still lives so Michaels throws everything into an almighty Sweet Chin Music and we have a new WWF Champion!


Not as dramatic as I would have imagined for a babyface looking to win the WWF Championship in his home-state but listen to that crowd, they were pro-HBK on this night, no doubt about that and when Michaels was on offense, they were loud and when that camera was wrapped around the head of Sid, it was beautifully poetic and one thunderous superkick later Sid was thwarted and the hometown here had slain the dragon. Fun main event, not the most satisfying in terms of story-telling and psychology but more than serviceable and a happy end to the night.


Winner: Shawn Michaels over Sycho Sid via Sweet Chin Music!


That was WWF’s Royal Rumble 1997, a solid way to kick off 1997. Let’s be fair: it would be hard to kick off the year badly with a Royal Rumble, it would be even harder to have worse Rumbles than the two previous years which saw a severely reduced roster and rumbles lacking star-power. Not on this night, everyone was in that rumble in terms of big names bar the two competing for the WWF Championship. That is the way it should always be, I don’t care if you have competed earlier in the night, the only reason you should not be in a rumble is if you challenged for the championship on that night. Anyways, we kick off with Goldust vs Helmsley, decent opening match I would have went with Ahmed vs Faarooq because while both matches had interesting angles, Ahmed captured the intensity and energy needed for his feud while Goldust as a babyface isn’t hitting the right spot for me as of now and the match was nothing special.


Faarooq vs Ahmed Johnson brings the pain, it’s brief and the finish is disappointing but you know they are going to clash again and the feud continues into the Rumble which is nice considering there was not a whole lot going on in terms of little personal battles in the rumble this year. Vader vs Undertaker was genuinely shocking, I thought Vader was dead in the water based on the booking and based on what you hear from the likes of Cornette or WWF fans who talk about this era. Vader vs Shawn was the peak and it was all downhill from there yet here is Vader beating Undertaker relatively clean in the middle of the ring, a continuation of Paul Bearer vs Undertaker with Vader as Bearer’s prodigy. I can dig it, Vader will be smashing people before he’s fed to The Deadman.


The Rumble itself has some fun moments in there but it’s lacking the urgency I want from the rumble, it never picks up even the finish comes at you so fast you barely have time to take it all in. The addition of AAA talent drags it down as well as nobody wrecking house except for Austin for the middle portion of the match. I don’t think many superstars got to shine or have little moments to reflect on or advanced their push/careers on this night. The match seemed to do two things: elevate Stone Cold Steve Austin to that main event level by adding more credibility to his career while maintaining his dastardly heel persona and continue the downward spiral of Bret Hart who is continuing to be screwed by unfair officiating and things out of his control going wrong. The Hitman is going to snap and it’s coming and I am all for it. The main event is not the dramatic triumph you would imagine but it’s a fun match with Sid destroying Michaels and Michaels selling appropriately leading up to Michaels using the camera like Sid had used previously and ending with the hometown hero being victorious and capturing the WWF Championship. Good and bad coming out of this rumble but I would call this a successful night for the WWF and if it’s a sign of things to come, 1997 will be a good year! Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!

Wednesday 10 February 2021

WWF In Your House 12: It's Time! Review


Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that goes viral for all the wrong reasons! It’s WWF In Your House 12: It’s Time! Sounds more like Vader’s catchphrase than anything else but we have a main event that is Bret Hart vs Sycho Sid for the WWF Championship! Bret’s triumphant return at Survivor Series and his victory over Steve Austin has led The Hitman to this battle with Sycho Sid. We also have The Undertaker vs The Executioner to continue that feud and an Intercontinental Championship match! Should be an interesting show, you know the deal by now. Quicker PPV, hopefully more hard-hitting!


Leif Cassidy vs Flash Funk

2 Cold Scorpio joined the WWF as Flash Funk in late 1996 with a fun-loving gimmick. Scorpio tore it up in WCW and ECW before this with some of the best jaw-dropping, high-flying manoeuvres you have ever seen. This is a bit weird for me considering at Survivor Series there was no such big entrance for Funk but my god do they but over Funk as the coolest shit ever here before this match against Cassidy. Funk dances around Cassidy who ain’t happy about that just one bit, Cassidy takes the back with Funk reversing before Cassidy counters again. Elbow to the face from Cassidy, Funk flips his way out of the hold and drops a leg on the arm. Cassidy counters once more, Funk uses his agility to creatively counter Cassidy. Funk is on full-display here with both men wrestling a fast-pace looking good in the process but the crowd seems indifferent.


Funk whips Cassidy to the buckle, Funk flips to the apron. Middle rope crossbody goes wrong with timing issues, Funk wanted a headscissors from the corner but Cassidy powerbombs Funk to the mat. Cassidy winds up but Funk blocks the right hand, Cassidy lands two headbutts and belly to belly suplexes Funk to the floor. Cassidy lands a springboard somersault plancha to the floor, Cassidy runs the length of the aisleway and lands a clothesline. Funk is tossed into the ring, Cassidy lands a nasty dropkick to the back of the head. Reverse chin-lock from Cassidy, Funk escapes but Cassidy almost nails the powerbomb. Funk escapes with a big right, dropkick from Funk. Spinebuster ends that flurry, two for Cassidy.


Cassidy is going high and the springboard moonsault misses, Funk takes control with kicks and an uppercut. Eye rake from Cassidy, Cassidy misses a superkick and Funk lands a handspring enzuigiri. Funk lands a dive to the floor, the camera misses the whole thing. Scoop slam from Funk, beautiful moonsault for two. Funk rallies the crowd, spin-kick misses as Cassidy lands a clothesline. They trade pin-falls over and over, Funk lands an enzuigiri flattening Cassidy. Whip to the buckle, corner splash. Back suplex from Funk, Funk calls for his finish. 450 Splash from Funk for the win!


Good opening match with the crowd going from indifferent to caring by the time Funk went for the 450 Splash. Good competitive match too, it was Funk’s showcase but Cassidy got plenty in there too with both men making it appear like a contest as it should. Some of Funk’s antics looked a little suspect, no problem with dance inspired gimmicks or having fun but why did would Cassidy stand there as Funk danced in front of him? Doesn’t make sense to me but regardless, a positive way to kick off the show.


Winner: Flash Funk over Leif Cassidy via 450 Splash!


(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) British Bulldog & Owen Hart © W/ Clarence Mason vs Fake Razor Ramon & Fake Diesel

Heel vs Heel again? Can we not just have some babyface tag teams? Owen to take on Diesel, Diesel corners Owen. Elbows in the corner, Irish whip with Owen leap-frogging Diesel before Diesel shoves off Owen who was landing big rights. Owen looks on confused, Diesel shoves down Owen. Diesel lands a military press slam, two AAA wrestlers join us at ringside and want a piece of Bulldog. Owen is pissed at Bulldog for not focusing, Bulldog and Razor are in the ring now. Bulldog goes after Razor, headbutt after headbutt with Razor being rocked repeatedly.


Austin is here at ringside, Bulldog lands a flying crossbody but Bulldog cannot focus anymore. Bulldog is brawling with Austin, the referees are getting involved with officials coming in here. Austin wants a piece of Bulldog, the referee allows the match to continue. Razor lands his discuss punch on Bulldog, Bulldog basically no-sells it and brings it Owen who wrenches the arm over and over. Clothesline by Razor, Owen is roughed up on the outside by Diesel. Razor smashes Owen off the buckle before working the arm, you think Razor would work the ribs. Knee to the spine, big stomp from Razor. Diesel comes in with huge kicks, sidewalk slam from Diesel. Tag to Razor, pump-handle toss from Razor.


Two for Razor, reverse chin-lock from Razor. Owen escapes but Razor swats down Owen, tag to Diesel who misses an elbow drop before booting Bulldog and tagging Razor. Razor is rocked by Owen’s right hands before Diesel drags Owen to the corner. Irish whip with Owen blocking with an elbow and then a boot, enzuigiri from Owen. Bulldog comes in, right hands to Razor. Massive clotheslines to both, noggin-knocker. Scoop slam and leg drop on Razor, two for Bulldog. Suplex for two, Diesel breaks it up with Owen in there too.  Owen and Diesel spill to the floor, Razor and Bulldog are in the ring. Razor misses a corner splash, Running Powerslam is countered. Razor was going for The Razor’s Edge but Owen lands a spinning heel kick and Bulldog jacknife-covers for the pin.


Well there is a lot of confusion about this one for me personally, I am not sure where Clarence Mason goes or does with this group as Camp Cornette imploded long ago, I am also confused by this heel vs heel match dynamic because yeah, it happened a lot in The Attitude Era but this is the second time this has happened with Owen & Bulldog battling The Smoking Gunns last time. So what do you get? You get a match where the fans cheer Bulldog & Owen in a half-hearted manner before the match ends, thank God Bulldog & Owen are so good.


Winners: Owen Hart & British Bulldog over Fake Diesel & Fake Razor Ramon via Spinning Heel Kick!


(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Hunter Hearst Helmsley © vs Wildman Marc Mero W/ Sable

Helmsley is champion, Mero is the challenger. Helmsley has been in the doghouse for a number of months, maybe things are changing. Mero and Helmsley trade holds with Mero gaining control. Cheers at ringside for Sable, both men trading control still. Shoulder block from Mero, Helmsley backs up. They blow a number of spots before we get back on track with a hip-toss, dropkick and clothesline from Mero. Apron axe handle from Mero, whip to the buckle and back body-drop from Mero. Helmsley shows resiliency by flap-jacking Mero into the buckle. Helmsley looks for the pedigree but Mero back-drops Helmsley to the floor. The champion hides behind Sable before blind-siding Mero with a massive right. Mero is whipped hard into the steel steps, Sable cheers on the challenger.


The official stops Helmsley from using a chair, tilt-a-whirl back-breaker from Helmsley for two. Abdominal stretch from the champion, Helmsley cheats and pushes Earl Hebnar. Hebnar pushes back Helmsley, Mero sends Helmsley to the buckle but Helmsley counters with his boot. Helmsley takes too long though and eats a boot to the face, inverted atomic drop from Mero. Mero ducks a clothesline and lands a flying clothesline. Right hands from Mero, Helmsley flips out of the buckle into a knee-lift. Head-scissors from Mero for two, Mero lands a top rope hurricanrana. Dramatic camera-shift what happened, Mero was going to go for The Wild Thing but Helmsley shoves Hebnar into the ropes causing Mero to tumble to the mat.


Call-back to a finish from one of their earlier matches results in Mero landing his Merosault for two, Mero clotheslines the referee by mistake. Neck-breaker from Helmsley, Helmsley grabs his championship. Mero blocks with a boot, right hands floor Helmsley. Helmsley is rolled up but there is no referee, the referee comes back to life for a close two. Helmsley takes a tumble to the floor, tope con hilo from Mero. Goldust is here, Goldust clocks Mero and Helmsley, is this the night of interference? Mero beats the ten-count and wins by count-out but Mero is not done and Mero wants to hit The Wild Thing.


I am not a huge Mero fan, it just hasn’t clicked with me despite the number of matches I have seen at this point. Mero can be exciting, Mero can be interesting and Helmsley is a good enough opponent to carry Mero but this match was nothing special and another match tainted with interference. That would be two back to back and it’s such a flat finish to the match. However, what really terrifies me is the possibility of a triple threat between these three!


Winner: Marc Mero over Hunter Hearst Helmsley via Count-Out!


(Armageddon Rules Match) The Undertaker vs The Executioner W/ Paul Bearer

Undertaker looks for revenge against the man who attacked him with a shovel and saved Paul Bearer from the hands of Taker. The Executioner’s outfit is utterly ridiculous and I love it, Taker pummels Executioner. Back body-drop, Irish whip and boot by Taker. Executioner is whipped to the buckle, Executioner is tied in the tree of woe with Taker stomping away on Executioner. Taker takes his eyes off the balls and Executioner comes into the match before Taker lands a scoop slam. Executioner dodges the elbow drop, clothesline to the floor but Taker lands on his feet. Bearer cracks Taker with the urn, no effect but Executioner’s clubbing blows work. Mankind chop-blocks Taker, it-s two on one here now.


Taker eats a clothesline but sits-up, Taker pummels both Executioner and Mankind. Mankind is thrown through the set, the camera man catches Mankind falling through the door. Mankind and Executioner continue to batter Taker though, Taker fights and fights and we have security in the ring who have pepper-sprayed Mankind. Taker and Executioner are brawling backstage, Mankind is tied up in a straight-jacket at ringside and Taker makes his way back to pummel Mankind. Clothesline from Taker, Tombstone Piledriver. It’s over.


Yeah Taker dominated this one, not even with Mankind by his side did Executioner look like he had a chance, odd to view a Taker match as mindless filler but that’s what it comes off as here, that feud must be over then? I feel it should not, Taker never got his hands on Paul Bearer but ok.


Winner: The Undertaker over The Executioner via Tombstone Piledriver!


(WWF Championship Match) Sycho Sid © vs Bret Hart

Go time! Big point before the bell even rings, Bret Hart is cutting a promo and Shawn Michaels’ music interrupts The Hitman, The Hitman who is calm and collected usually, flies off the handle and says he’s “sick to death” of Shawn Michaels.


Bret jumps Sid, right hands from The Hitman. Stomps to the ribs, headbutt and gut punches, Sid is rocked early on in this match before Sid sends Bret to the buckle and lands a clothesline. Scoop slam by the champion, running boot to the back. Bret rakes the eyes and begins brawling back into this one, Sid’s face is raked off the ropes. Gut punch and snap-mare by Bret, elbow to the nose from The Hitman. Headbutt to the groin, Sid begins brawling back into this one with Sid grabbing Bret as Bret tried to out-run the monster. Bret hammers away on Sid in the ring before Sid dumps Bret to the floor. Sid rips the protective mats, Bret blocks a potential powerbomb and rams Sid into the ring-post three times.


Bret drops a middle rope axe handle, knees to the spine from the challenger. Back-breaker from The Hitman, elbows to the spine from Sid. Modified camel clutch from Bret, whip to the buckle and elbows from Bret. Snap-mare and a leg drop from Bret, Bret headbutts Sid down and stomps him in the corner, Bret exposes a steel turnbuckle behind the referee’s back. Sid blocks being rammed into the buckle but eats a beautiful belly to back suplex, two for the challenger. Suplex by Bret, Bret’s Rope Elbow Drop for two. Bret is running through all his attacks, working on the back of Sid. Sid keeps coming back though, Sid yanks Bret off the top rope. Big right hands from Sid and a big boot, powerslam for two. Short-arm clothesline by Sid, Sid misses his next attack though allowing Bret to try a sharpshooter but Sid shoves off Bret.


Austin is here, chop-block by Austin. The same attack that took out Bulldog, Bulldog comes out here to attack Austin. It’s a clusterfuck, Bret cannot stand on his leg, The Hitman is hobbling around the ring with Sid not sure of what happened. Sid clubs down Bret, Bret is sent into the exposed buckle (they repeat the spot after blowing it the first time). Chokeslam from Sid for two, Bret dodges a clothesline from Sid and clotheslines Sid to the floor, both tumble to the floor. Bret takes the chair from HBK at ringside, Sid smashes Bret in the back. Sid and HBK lock eyes, nothing happens at first. Sid pie-faces HBK, this will lead to only one thing, Sid whips Bret into Michaels and this allows Sid to nail his Powerbomb for the win!


Interference seems to be the theme of the night but this was a lot of fun, Bret’s psychology is perfect as per usual, Bret goads Sid into making a mistake, attacking the big man from behind, trying to frustrate him into making that big mistake. It pays off as Bret dominates, cracking the back of Sid on multiple occasions. Austin comes out turning the tide of the match with a massive chop-block and once HBK is involved, it all falls apart for The Hitman. Bret attacks HBK after the bell, we are so close to Bret turning full-heel and I am all for it, The Hitman is being screwed constantly so makes all the sense in the world for Bret Hart to snap. Solid end to the pay per view with plenty of intrigue built for what happens next!


Winner: Sycho Sid over Bret Hart via Powerbomb!


That was WWF’s In Your House 12: It’s Time! A PPV that borders on average or slightly below, you have three championship matches with nothing of significant par the main event. Cassidy and Funk have a very competitive match which should have set the tone for the night but most of what followed was disappointing or going through the motions. Not a fan of heel vs heel unless someone is turning and believe me, it won’t be Owen Hart or British Bulldog so it’s awkward and the challengers have an awful gimmick to try and overcome which simply won’t be happening. Mero vs Helmsley was fine, nothing special and the finish reflects that, Undertaker vs Execution felt like an extended squash. Happy for the two to get a payday but nothing of note there while the main event is a solid match with great story-telling after the final bell. Bret Hart and HBK are destined to collide, they despise one another while Sid continues to collect victims as a dominant WWF Champion. Something has to happen, what will it be? That’s the end of 1996 and it’s brighter than 1995 for sure but will 1997 bring more success? Join me next time to see, thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!