Hello and welcome to another Seanomaniac Wrestling review, the only wrestling review series on the internet that knows how many times Big Show has turned heel! It’s time for WWF Bad Blood 1997, so close to the end of 1997 and yet so far, the main event of the night is the first ever Hell in A Cell match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. HBK cost The Undertaker the WWF Championship at Summerslam, the two brawled at Ground Zero which leads us to this historic match with the shadow of Paul Bearer looming over The Deadman. We also have Owen Hart defending his Intercontinental Championship against Faarooq and Bret Hart & The British Bulldog taking on Vader & The Patriot along with a mini match and more Gang Warfare (God Help me!) So let’s crack on with WWF In Your House: Bad Blood 1997!
The Nation of Domination vs The Legion of Doom
LOD are not challenging for the tag team championships which is understandable due to the newly crowned babyface champions in The Headbangers but for how much longer can we ignore that LOD are the most popular tag team in the division? LOD are huge over and they will be taking on it looks like The Rock and Kama Mustafa but D’Lo is also here so it’s more than a bit confusing but we shall see where we go from here. Oh it’s a handicap match because Shamrock was injured at the hands of Faarooq.
I am good with that I suppose, D’Lo to start with Hawk. Side headlock from D’Lo, shoulder block does not move Hawk who lands a hip-toss and a dropkick which sends D’Lo to the floor. D’Lo runs before Hawk boots and clotheslines D’Lo, tag to The Rock. Big Rocky sucks chants, Hawk tags in Animal. Rock tee’s off on Animal once we restart, Irish whip with Animal ducking and landing a shoulder block and a dropkick. Rocky powders and talks strategy with the other Nation members, Rocky regroups and slowly re-enters the ring. Animal ducks the clothesline and wrenches the arm before tagging Hawk. Middle rope first to the face, chop from Hawk. Side headlock from Hawk, Rocky pushes Hawk to The Nation’s corner but nothing comes of it. Kama comes in, big hoss time.
Kama goes to work with big rights to Hawk, Hawk dodges the corner splash. Clothesline from Hawk, both men knock one another down before Hawk pops up with an enzuigiri. Snap-mare into a reverse chinlock, Animal plants Kama with a powerslam but Rocky drills Animal with a DDT. Shuffle side-kick from Kama, Kama tosses Animal to the floor and Rocky and D’Lo batter Animal. Kama tags in D’Lo, Animal almost escapes before being cut off as D’Lo lands multiple leg drops. To the buckle, tag to Rocky. Rocky stomps away at Animal, Rocky threatens the referee before choking Animal over and over. Measured right hand and Hawk is with the referee as Rocky punches Animal right in the lower area. Two for Rocky, Kama comes in to punish Animal. Kama misses a corner splash as Animal dodges, Animal crawls and crawls.
Rocky distracts the referee so the referee misses the tag, D’Lo drops Animal with the Lo Down for a close two. Animal is dumped to the floor again as The Nation send Animal into the steel steps. Tag to Rocky, Rocky whips Animal but Animal ducks and both men nail one another with a clothesline. Hawk is legal now, right hands to Rocky. Powerslam, D’Lo elbows Rocky by mistake. Neck-breaker on D’Lo, clothesline to Kama. Corner clotheslines to Rocky, they call for Doomsday. Faarooq distracts Animal, Kama kicks Hawk in the back of the head, Rocky nails The Rock Bottom for the win.
Solid opening match, would have loved to have seen Shamrock in there who is just so explosive and so much fun during this time, Shamrock will have his moment though as there are some really good matches coming with Rocky and Shamrock. Crowd is hot for those last 2 minutes, I still believe like Mcmahon says, they are the premier tag team in the WWF and the championships are soon going to be around the waist of LOD. Good stuff to kick us off!
Winners: Nation of Domination over LOD via Rock Bottom!
Mosaic & Tarantula vs Max-Mini & Mini-Nova
Mini-matches are here to stay, Tarantula boots down Max with Nova kicking Mosaic in the face. Tarantula swats down Nova, we have a lot of fast action going on here as Tarantula misses a splash. Tarantula and Mosaic are accidently hitting one another as Nova is too fast for them before Mosaic drags Nova to the floor. Double beatdown before we reset, Max misses a dropkick as Mosaic elbows Max. Mosaic misses a corner splash, arm-drag from Max. Back body drop from Max, Nova nails a splash. Max nails a hurricanrana before Mosaic makes the save, double boot from the heels. Big boot from Tarantula, Nova comes in against the big man before Mosaic chop-blocks Nova. Suplex by Tarantula, top rope splash for two.
Clothesline from Mosaic, Nova is down on the floor for another headsets. Tarantula and Mosaic boot down Max, Tarantula presses Max onto the announce table. Nova and Mosaic are back in the ring, shoulder block by Mosaic. Tarantula nails a clothesline on Max, Max is elevated to the apron before nailing a crossbody into a crucifix pin for the win.
Awkward, clunky and the crowd didn’t care but there is a possibility that this match was thrown together after the unfortunate passing of Brian Pillman, it’s certainly possible and I will have to check that for sure but this was just bad.
Winners: Nova & Max-Mini over Tarantula & Mosaic via Crucifix Pin!
(WWF Tag Team Championship Match) The Godwinns vs The Headbangers ©
Sunny should be managing a top heel or the voice of a heel faction, she was fantastic in SMW and such a shame that she was her own worse enemy. However, we are here to talk about the tag team division in WWF, The Headbangers are your WWF tag team champions thanks to Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Godwinns have been part of some of the worst matches I have had to stomach during The New Generation. The champions clear the rings of the challengers, Uncle Cletus is here at ringside for The Godwinns, his first pay per view appearance. Mosh and Phineas are disgusting one another before locking up, Phineas clubs Mosh. Whip to the buckle, headscissors from Mosh which leaves Phineas on the floor. Apron hurricanrana from Thrasher, springboard clothesline from Mosh. Mosh clubs Phineas over and over, two in the ring. Tag to Thrasher, double flapjack onto Phineas. Phineas survives and tags Henry, Henry shoulder blocks Thrasher. Big kick from Henry, Thrasher has a schoolboy for two.
Thrasher lands a dropkick, Henry powders who is irate. Phineas and Thrasher lock-up, Thrasher wrenches the arm. Tag to Mosh, leap-frog splash from the champions. Scoop slam, assisted suplex from the middle rope as Mosh comes down on Phineas for a close two. Arm-bar from Mosh, Thrasher comes back in and lands a manoeuvre before Henry says FUCK IT and clotheslines the life out of Thrasher. Time for a little heat segment, Henry crotches Thrasher on the top rope before Phineas lands a massive clothesline. Phineas throws Thrasher to the floor where Cletus and Henry lands a kick to the ribs and a clothesline. In the ring we have repeated knee-drops from Phineas, sunset-flip from Thrasher but the referee was with Henry, the referee missed the close two. Wheelbarrow slam from Henry for a close two, Mosh makes the save.
Both men bang heads, Thrasher almost makes the tag before Phineas cuts off Thrasher. Phineas misses a corner clothesline though, belly to back suplex from Thrasher. Thrasher tags Mosh, Mosh throws big rights and a hip splash in the corner, Cletus is knocked down with Henry. Scoop slam, powerbomb onto Phineas. Henry makes the save, Thrasher and Henry brawl briefly. Mosh Pit is countered for a powerbomb, Cletus holds onto Thrasher and we have new tag team champions!
Shocking result to be honest, poor Headbangers just won the championships and now they have lost them, they get laid out by the new champions too. Looks like plan get the championships on LOD is finally coming to fruition but at the expense of The Headbangers. Match was nothing special, never been impressed with either Godwinns and Headbangers seem just a little too strange and a little too new for the WWF fans to fully embrace just yet. I thought it would have been nice to establish The Headbangers but I guess they were just transitional champions.
Winners: The Godwinns over The Headbangers via Powerbomb!
(WWF Intercontinental Championship Match) Owen Hart vs Faarooq
Stone Cold Steve Austin has to vacate his WWF Intercontinental Championship that was won at Summerslam 1997. Austin had broken his neck and was unable to compete, forfeiting the WWF Tag Team Championship and now, the WWF Intercontinental Championship. So who will be the new champion? Will it be The King of Harts Owen Hart or The Leader of The Nation Faarooq?
Two heels facing off is never a good thing in my book unless someone is in the process of turning and they have the match laid out to tell that story, considering both men’s current booking, I don’t think there will be anyone coming out of this as a babyface despite Owen’s popularity in Europe.
Austin is here, scheduled to present the winner of the match his championship. The crowd is only going to be interested in Austin of course, this is not going to be good for the two wrestlers in the ring. Sgt. Slaughter sits neck to Austin to police The Rattlesnake, Owen tells Austin that he broke his neck which provokes a reaction from Austin. Faarooq shoves back Hart twice, Hart shoulder blocks Owen down. Faarooq looks uninterested as Owen pops himself back-up, side headlock from The Rocket. Faarooq shoves off Owen, Faarooq is like “Come on now, what is this?”. Owen goes after the leg of Faarooq, kicks and Owen drops his weight on the leg using stretches as well, double knees on the leg. Austin continues to distract everyone including the fans and the wrestlers in the ring, Owen continues to kick and stretch Faarooq’s leg.
Faarooq fights back, whipping Owen back and forth around the ring before a massive backbreaker. Owen survives before being hit with a clothesline, slam from Faarooq. Faarooq is on the middle rope, Owen dodges the middle rope leg drop. Owen goes after the leg, Faarooq kicks off the sharpshooter. Powerslam from Faarooq for two, Jim Neidhart is here as Faarooq nails a spinebuster. Neidhart is on the apron, Austin nails Faarooq with the Intercontinental Championship which allows Owen Hart to become champion. Austin wants revenge on the man who broke his neck, it’s as simple as that!
Could have been a good match but all the focus was on Austin and his antics, everything in that ring was secondary to what was going on with Austin. However, the end goal is great for sure because you can understand Austin’s motivations for allowing Owen Hart to capture the championship.
Winner: Owen Hart over Faarooq via Championship to The Head!
Los Boricuas vs DOA
So this card was already boring me, things are not going to get better in the slightest with this match. Eight-man tag team action featuring two parts of the worst triple threat I ever saw, I really don’t want to watch this match.
Skull and Jose brawl, Skull elbows and clotheslines Jose. Chainz boots Jose before Miguel comes in, corner clothesline from Chainz. Powerslam from Chainz for two, tag to Crush. Headbutt before Miguel rakes the eyes, tag to Savio. Choke from Savio, boot from Crush. Belly to belly suplex from Crush, 8-Ball boots Savio. Eye rake from Savio, Jesus eats a military press slam. Jose and Miguel kick Chainz in the spine, we have a brawl on the floor. Chainz receives corner clotheslines and a corner spinning kick from Savio for a close two. Referee is distracted as we have more boots, reverse chinlock from Savio on Chainz. Scoop slam and Jesus comes in, missile dropkick from Jesus for two. More double-team attacks, reverse chin-lock from Miguel. Chainz fights out and eats a knee from Miguel, Savio comes in and tries rocking Chainz but misses the corner splash. Crush comes in and the match breaks down, boot on Jesus. DDT by Jesus, close two for Jesus. Irish whip with a clothesline from Chainz, tilt-a-whirl back-breaker for the win.
Dreadful, a lukewarm hot-tag and a heatless affair, all these guys need to be let go because there is nothing going on here at all, I am sick of this faction warfare garbage.
Winners: DOA over Los Boricuas via Tilt-A-Whirl Back-breaker!
The Patriot & Vader vs The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & The British Bulldog)
This one starts hot on the floor, we have brawling ladies and gents. Bulldog meets the steel steps, the flags hang high from two opposite buckles in the ring. Vader batters Bret with the Canadian flag, Bret answers back with the flag as we have more brawling on the floor. Patriot chokes Bulldog with the American flag as Vader pummels The Hitman up and down the ramp. We restart with Bret and Bulldog complaining at great length, stalling like magnificent heels. Patriot and Bulldog are in, shoulder block by Patriot. Snap-mare into a knee into the spine, snap suplex from Patriot. Patriot goes for the flag but Bret distracts Patriot with a massive low blow, Bulldog whips Patriot but Patriot lands a hip-toss and a back body drop.
Vader comes in, massive right to the chest. Irish whip, Vader Hammer from the big man. Vader spits on Bret, another clothesline from Vader. Bret tees off with Vader, bad idea as Vader pummels Bret. The Hitman is getting rocked, short-arm clothesline. Vader misses a corner splash, Bulldog lands a clothesline from the apron. Russian leg-sweep from Bret, Bret climbs for the flag before Vader ends that attempt. Sunset flip from Bret ends in Vader splashing Bret, Bulldog makes the save. Vader tags in Patriot, Bret tags in Bulldog. Dropkick from Patriot for two, corner punches from Patriot. Bulldog meets the buckle hard, scoop slam from Patriot who eyes up The American Flag. Bret stops Patriot again, Bret chokes Patriot behind the referee’s back.
Vader crotches Bulldog who was attempting to grab The Canadian Flag, headbutt from Patriot. Patriot misses a corner spear, Bret has the apron figure-four on Patriot. Vader hammers Bulldog from behind but the damage is done, can the big man Vader climb the top rope if Patriot cannot? Elbow from Bret, Patriot nearly lands the sharpshooter on Bret before Bulldog makes the save. Every man is in the corner piled up, Patriot is close to grabbing The American flag before Bulldog tosses Patriot down. Bret lands a headbutt to Vader’s groin, Bret flips off Vader. Back-breaker and knee-drop combination from The Hart Foundation for two. Patriot crawls towards Vader, Vader is in the match. Vader Hammer on Bulldog with Bulldog grabbing the ropes to survive, belly to back suplex from Vader.
Vader goes for the flag, Patriot knocks away Bulldog. Bret hammers Vader down, Bulldog goes to work with big stomps on Vader. Snap-mare into a reverse chin-lock, VINTAGE BULLDOG SON! Bulldog tags out to Bret, belly to back suplex from The Hitman. Bret wants the Sharpshooter, Vader grabs the ropes quickly. Patriot pummels Bret but no release of the hold until Vader struggles out, elbow to the groin from Vader. Bulldog saves Bret from the sharpshooter, Patriot attacks Bret with a massive shoulder block. Bulldog is bumped to the floor, figure four from The Patriot. Bulldog is tagged in, Bulldog takes out Vader on the apron before focusing on Patriot. Stalling vertical suplex delivered beautifully, cover for two. Patriot delivers a powerslam and looks to grab the flag, Bulldog stops Patriot who is stomped into the apron.
Tag to Bret, Bret lands a massive stomp to the spine. Suplex from Bret with an elbow to the jaw. Leg drop from The Hitman, Bret climbs for the flag. Vader bearhugs Bret down, Bulldog clotheslines Patriot down. Patriot tags in Vader, Vader smacks around Bulldog before calling for The Vader Bomb. No it’s the moonsault, Vader lands on his feet are you kidding me? Vader decides to club the shit out of Bulldog and Vader climbs for the flag. Bret grabs the leg of Vader but Vader starts headbutting The Hitman. Vader clotheslines Bulldog to the floor, Bret low blows Patriot on the floor before cracking Vader with the ring-bell. Bulldog rams Vader into the ring-post, tag to The Hitman. Scoop slam by Bret, elbow to the face. Bret continues to dish out the punishment with a DDT on Vader. Vader double clotheslines down The Hart Foundation and a hot-tag to Patriot. Big kicks all around, elbows too!
Uncle Slam and Bret is down, Bulldog saves with a big leg drop. Vader Bomb on The Hitman, Bulldog is in though to attack Patriot. Bulldog goes after Vader on the floor, Patriot tries an O’Connor roll but The Hitman rolls through and grabs the tights to win the match. Patriot attacks Bret after the match and Vader does the same with Bulldog.
This seemed to go on quite a while and while I may be a fan of many of the wrestlers in that ring, the structure of this match was awful. Continued thwarted attempts at capturing the flag only for the flag to have nothing to do with the finish, there could have been some interesting ideas here. Definitely with Bret going after Patriot’s leg so Vader would have to attempt to grab the flag but it never came into play so it was more like wasted motion inside of the ring which is always a strange thing to say when it comes to The Hitman. Finish came out of nothing, I wish it came a good few minutes earlier as this PPV has been quite the disappointment.
Winners: The Hart Foundation over Patriot & Vader via Roll-Up!
(Hell In A Cell Match) Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker
Shawn Michaels pissed off the wrong man, the seeds were planted for this match at Summerslam 97 as Shawn Michaels cost The Undertaker his WWF Championship. Shawn Michaels continued to cause chaos as HBK bloodied The Undertaker with a brutal steel chairshot, they brawled at Ground Zero but the referees could not contain these two so the only way to resolve this issue was to place these two men inside Hell in A Cell. A demonic structure that is 15 feet high, no escape for The Heartbreak Kid. Michaels had no idea what was coming his way when it came to Ground Zero but this is truly the end of Shawn Michaels. It’s time to pay for your sins HBK, it’s time for Hell in A Cell. I have loved the build-up to this with HBK continuing to poke the bear and get braver and braver, almost oblivious to what awaits him. Also happy to see Taker with someone who can work considering what I have to sit through for the majority of his run to this point.
Undertaker scares Michaels before the bell even rings, referee Earl Hebnar padlocks the cage with Michaels growing more concerned with each passing second. Michaels is running from The Deadman, Taker stalks HBK. Michaels eats a boot to the face, Michaels’ face bounces off the turnbuckle. Taker does it once more, HBK avoids the chokeslam with kicks to the stomp. Right hands from Michaels, ten punches in the corner. Jabs from HBK, Taker sends HBK to the buckle and nails a big clothesline. Old School from The Deadman, Taker chokes the life out of HBK. Scoop slam and leg drop from Taker for two, back body drop from Taker. Taker sends Michaels to the floor, Taker chokes Michaels before Michaels eye rakes Taker. Taker yanks Michaels off the cage, Taker whips HBK into the cell wall and lands a clothesline.
Taker wants a powerbomb but HBK uses the cage for leverage to punch Taker before Taker powerbombs Michaels into the cell wall. Taker punishes Michaels with shots to the ribs, Michaels is sent into the ring-post and the cell wall over and over. Michaels is being battered, Michaels sends Taker into the cell wall but it doesn’t even phase The Deadman. Clothesline from Taker, Michaels meets the cell wall but dodges Taker’s attacks. Right hands from HBK, Taker hot-shots HBK. Michaels pops up and shoulder blocks Taker into the cell wall, suicide dive from Michaels. Michaels delivers an elbow drop using the cell wall, apron clothesline from Michaels. Steel steps from Michaels, they are dropped repeatedly on The Deadman. Piledriver on the steel steps from HBK who curses the cameraman to get out of his face.
Michaels grabs a chair, HBK wants to take things up a notch. Chair-shot to the spine of The Deadman, another shot to the spine from The Heartbreak Kid. Michaels crawls into a cover for two, Michaels is irate. Taker begins fighting back with big rights, Michaels nails a big boot though and lands rights of his own. Taker is locked up in the ropes, nowhere to go for The Deadman. Taker boots away an incoming Michaels, Taker back-drops Michaels into the cameraman. Michaels nails the cameraman, HBK sends Taker to the floor. Michaels lands his flying forearm on Taker, diving elbow drop from HBK. Slaughter is here to help the downed cameraman, Michaels is watching the scenes unfold, the cage door is open. Sweet Chin Music from HBK but Taker sits up, Michaels decides it’s time to run.
Michaels tries a dropkick on the floor but Taker catapults Michaels into the cage. Taker lawn-darts Michaels into the cage, Taker does it again. HBK low-blows Taker, Michaels decides to climb to the top of the cell. Michaels tries a piledriver but Taker back drops for a counter, Michaels’ face is raked across the cage. Scoop slam on the cage, Taker hits a massive right hand. Michaels is dangling from the side of the hell, Taker stomps on the fingers of Michaels who lands through the announce table at ringside! They brawl back to the ring, Michaels is busted open badly now, bleeding everywhere. Taker lands a massive clothesline, top rope Chokeslam from The Deadman. Taker has a chair, payback is a bitch! Taker waffles HBK with a sickening chair-shot! Taker calls for the end, the lights in the arena go out and a strange theme begins to play in the arena.
Who is that? It’s Paul Bearer with a monster, it has to be Kane! The Undertaker’s brother lives, Kane is alive and Kane rips off the steel cage door. Kane stands eye to eye with The Deadman, shock covers the face of The Deadman. Undertaker cannot believe what stands before him, Kane commands the pyro and the fire just like Undertaker. Tombstone from Kane, Undertaker has been Tombstoned by his own flesh and blood, Kane leaves with his job done with Paul Bearer having a massive smile on his face. A bloodied Michaels crawls over toward the fallen Taker, an arm drapes across The Phenom. 1….2….3! Michaels will be challenging The Hitman for the WWF Championship at Survivor Series!
Wrestling perfection, I love this match! Michaels is beaten like he should be throughout the match, Michaels pays for everything he has done to Taker. It’s brutal at times, Undertaker takes his time gleefully destroying Michaels. The symbolic chair-shot is perfect revenge for what HBK did, HBK sells magnificently as per usual and the gusher, the blade-job for the match is perfect. Michaels looked as if it was a war and what an awesome debut for Kane, perfect setup for the feud between Taker and Kane. The finish protects Taker, establishes that Kane is the real deal and we know these two will do battle! The first match of its kind and it still stands the test of time all these years later, the brutality, the psychology and the angle all still hold up all these years later, perfect professional wrestling in my eyes.
Winner: Shawn Michaels over The Undertaker via Kane’s Tombstone!
That was WWF’s In Your House 18: Bad Blood, the very epitome of a one match show! This was a tough one to sit through, it had a lot of components of what I hate about the WWF at the time. Firstly, the mini matches seem so awkward without much flow and go far too long, they should be used as a piss-break match but the second match of the card really? They get a few laughs here and there and this match was a trainwreck compared to what I saw the first time, I don’t want to see it nor do I need to see anymore of this thanks very much. Second thing: God awful gang warfare garbage, not one of The Boricuas or members of DOA warrant a match on this card, they have no chemistry and the matches drag because nobody cares, I really want this to end but I know I have at least one more PPV to go with this kind of garbage, it simply wasn’t working at all. Heel vs Heel with Owen Hart vs Faarooq is no fun especially when the crowd and cameras are all on Austin, I can’t tell you one thing that happened in that ring because everything was about Austin, why have the match?
The flag match that ended without the flags being involved = why bother then? Honestly, why book the stipulation and not involve it? The match had a terrible flow, was repetitive with repeated low-blows to stop flag-grabbing attempts and ultimately, was a whole load of nothing. Best part was Vader’s a bunch of bullshit promo line. The main event kicks all sorts of ass it delivers ten-fold in terms of story-telling and violence, Michaels gets destroyed and survives by the skin of the teeth, the hatred for HBK is real from the fans, they love Taker picking him apart. The blood adds so much to it with Michaels already being the king of selling as far as I am concerned. Kane’s debut is fantastic, protects The Deadman and sets up that feud. It is a horrific show to watch knowing Pillman had just passed and maybe the action inside of that ring reflects the awful mood/atmosphere in the locker room but this show is only worth watching for The Hell in A Cell, nothing else to look forward to on this card. Thanks for reading and remember: there’s always another night!