WWE In Your House 12: It’s Time Reaction
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
While its progression to realism from a cartoonish image was evident towards the latter half of 1996, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) still struggled to shake control from its rival organization – World Championship Wrestling (WCW). WCW was in a stretch where it’d dominate television ratings for 84 consecutive weeks.
This show was peppered with potential from a standout opener between Leif Cassidy (now known as Al Snow) and Flash Funk (better referred to as 2 Cold Scorpio), a passable “Armageddon Rules” match from The Undertaker and The Executioner that went all over the arena/set and a good effort from its WWF Intercontinental Championship bout between Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Marc Mero.
The rest was showered in shrouds of ridicule as enthusiastic as the sights of Fake Diesel and Razor Ramon on our screens. Even good ‘ol Jim Ross on commentary couldn’t do much for us. We’ll also investigate the ideological mess that was the WWF World Tag Team Championship match.
In the battle of “Powerbomb Vs. Sharpshooter,” powerbomb emerged victorious, but it was our collective brains that got powerbombed in the end.
You could tell how much the WWF needed a shakeup headed into 1997.
To top it off , the namesake of the show – Vader – wasn’t even on the card. Good riddance to WWF 1996.
– Let’s get into it. Better now than later, right? Here we are with a glossy video package that focuses on Bret Hart’s desire to once again be WWF World Heavyweight Champion. It has been eight long months since he has held the gold and trust us, we feel it. They build the main event Title match against Champion Sycho Sid with a mix of slow motion and fast motion with dramatic music mixed in. There were some pink splashes in there too, because “Hitman.” Get it? Yeah, we’re looking forward to this match as match as you are. Sigh.
– Milton Bradley’s “Karate Fighters” sponsored the show, as it emanated from West Palm Beach in Florida. Surely you remember the awful weekly “Tournament Vignettes” that ultimately went nowhere in 1997 on Raw? Yeah. Fun. Anyways, we’re not so sure what that sound was during the opening pyro. Sounded like a vacuum cleaner. Oh look, it’s a three-man announce team. Vince McMahon himself, Jerry “The King” Lawler and JR. Unfortunately, all the talk is on Sid-Hart thus far. It’s going to be a long two hours.
– Nothing quite gets a show going like the sight of Cassidy, whose redeeming qualities include looking angry and pointing at random people while he raises his hand. His opponent – Funk, with the Funkadactyls, er, Funkettes. Sorry for getting ahead of ourselves here. He’s got a furry white coat and a shiny white hat. He’s almost the equivalent of a friendly pimp. “OH YEAHHHHHH,” exclaims Vince on commentary to Funk’s entrance. Oh god. He’s actually dancing with him. Sigh. You see, we like 2 Cold Scorpio. Why can’t we get him, JR? At least his gimmick’s over with this crowd. People like a dancing guy we guess. On the other side of the ring, Cassidy rocked some awful braids, as we can see where Sheamus drew his inspiration for his 2015 makeover. Funk backfired scaling from the top rope, but went for the move again immediately. Cassidy hit a belly-to-back suplex that took Funk over the top rope and then followed with a springboard somersault plancha. Those are move names we’re used to typing for current-day shows, not 90’s WWF. At least they’re ahead of their time here. Cassidy missed a moonsault. A handspring enziguiri by Funk and a huge cross body to the floor. Got some airtime on that one. Funk hits a moonsault for two. Cassidy was actually made to look good here in his singles run, but things are sort of sloppy between the two. Funk hits a 450 splash to get the win. Way better than we figured it’d be. Turned out to be one of the show’s highlights. If you must seek this show out, at least reward yourself by watching this match first.
– Backstage, WWF Tag Team Champions, The British Bulldog/Owen Hart (accompanied by the mostly silent manager, Clarence Mason) spoke about the importance of the belts to them. Bulldog sent a message to Stone Cold Steve Austin that he wasn’t to be messed with. They did a lot of direct yelling here. What confused us here was that Austin was still months away from his “face turn” so he was a heel that had a problem with other heels. Or so we think.
– The WWF Tag Team Championship match between “Diesel”/”Razor Ramon” and Champions Bulldog/Hart was a whopper of confusion. JR dropped an “insider” line about how he was responsible for bringing a lot of people into the company. The focus was on the Champs not being on the same page, while we also had to endure commentary treating Diesel/Razor as if they were still Scott Hall/Kevin Nash, who were well-known to be in WCW by this time. The fact they insulted our intelligence with this, it was easy to see why WWF was in the hole it was at the time. We’ll say Glen Jacobs made a convincing Diesel, but Razor was oh-so-bad. Who are the people to root for here, since the Champs are out for Austin, who’s supposedly a heel? To take our minds off of things, we get a random appearance on the ramp by AAA’s El Cibernetico and Pierroth. This was to push that they’d be at the Royal Rumble event next month from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. They probably sent them out here to get some buzz because this match was dead as a door nail so far. Austin came out to somewhat of a pop, but was attacked from behind by Bulldog. Wouldn’t the two of them brawling had been grounds for a disqualification? We’re so over this. The finish was a nice sequence as Hart executed a spinning heel kick that led to a bridged pin by Bulldog. JR claimed the man who got pinned was illegal, but that was ignored. We’re not even so sure ourselves, nor do we care. Just get Diesel/Razor out of here. The crowd rallied for that finish so they’re hot for the Champs posing with the belts, until Austin crashes the scene and lays out Bulldog. This time, that received a more heel reaction. Well, actually more in the way of silence. Whatever works for them.
– Yay, in March 1997, we’ll get an “in-depth look” at “The Heartbreak Express” on home video. It’s related to Shawn Michaels. Legendary.
– McMahon introduced Ahmed Johnson, which drew a tame reaction. It didn’t exactly shake the rafters, like JR claimed. In probably his most memorable feud with The Nation Of Domination, Johnson directed his anger towards their leader, Farooq. It was announced that Johnson would meet him at the Rumble. They also had Johnson claim his allegiance to the fans, since he lost his car, girlfriend and house from this injury. We’re supposed to like this guy? He was intimidating, that was for sure. Dude was wearing a blue track suit and a fanny pack. Geez. Here comes NOD and their catchy rap slogans. Farooq spoke from the crowd alongside other members above the stage. Johnson did start a “You’re going down” chant successfully. That did a little to make us want to see them square off, but they never specified whether Johnson was facing Farooq in singles action or the actual Rumble match.
– The WWF Intercontinental Championship match between Mero and Helmsley actually had the best build of any feud on the show. If you look at this, it actually makes Mero look like quite the successful underdog babyface. Sadly, we don’t think he’ll ever shake the Johnny B. Badd vibes, but you can tell they really tried here. The premise of their feud to this point was Mero looking to get back the belt that got away from him, as Helmsley suckered him into a plan that made him lose it and better yet, Helmsley turned on Curt Hennig after he used him to win. Shades of the future much? We got some grapples and tie-ups to start before Mero got more aggressive and turned to the outside. We got a taste of heel Helmsley as he actually used Sable as a shield briefly. The crowd got behind Earl Hebner when he shoved Helmsley back after being pushed. This was before he became known as a legendary official, so this probably helped his public image. Mero did a Frankensteiner before he was grounded by the ropes when Hebner was pushed into them by Helmsley. Merosault for a two. Ref bump. Helmsley got the belt, but Mero reversed it and scooped him up for a long while, but not enough for the Ref’s three. Mero did a somersault plancha. Goldust came down and wiped out both men with the belt, though it looked like he didn’t mean to hit Mero. Guess that’s the finish as Mero beat the count, but it was for naught because Helmsley kept the Title. We guess a three-way would happen at the Rumble based off this. Mero did a shooting star press anyways. Goldust came out for some more fists on Helmsley.
– Backstage, Sid was asked about being “the hunted,” which led to us seeing footage from earlier in the day of an altercation with him, Bret and Michaels. Sid emphasized in his Sid way not to get involved in his business. He did a lot of whispers that turned into screaming. Couldn’t even hear the last words of his promo. That was certainly something.
– The Armageddon Rules match between The Undertaker and The Executioner had a backstory of Paul Bearer’s betrayal of Taker along with his own “rebirth.” Actually a really cool video package. However, all we remember are images of Executioner botching his way into the ring by slipping on the ropes. We saw it on two separate occasions. Apparently, the rules involved a 10 count after a pinfall or submission. This match could just go on forever then. Oh dear. Taker was actually more agile than we usually see, but it was clear he had to do a lot to make the sloppy Executioner appear even halfway a menace. Bearer hit Taker on the back of the head with the urn. Mankind appeared and botched an attempt to trip Taker as he attempted to land a Tombstone Piledriver on the exposed concrete. They walked their way towards the set and we saw Taker toss Mankind through the whole damn thing. Of course, Mankind would make his name off being thrown at or off various WWF property by Taker, so it all works for us. Taker brought Mankind through the door on the set too. Taker speared Executioner onto the house wall and made the whole thing shake. Maybe it was supposed to fall? Or not. “Security” came down to spray Mankind with mace. That’s a bit excessive. Okay then. Taker and Executioner went backstage again up towards the main stairs of the arena. A lot of kids began to follow towards that area. Sounds about right. Back to the ring and Mankind had a strait jacket on him. President Gorilla Monsoon was ringside too, an indication that it was “out of hand.” Taker disposed of Executioner down a flight of stairs into water. He came back to the ramp to deal with Mankind, but Executioner followed not far behind. What the jimmy’s going on here? Executioner got a Tombstone for the three and that followed with a 10 count to make it official. Let the record show that Executioner was beaten by a 13-count.
– Backstage, Hart was asked about the main event and the altercation from earlier. Hart accused HBK of always raining on his parade. Sure enough, he was interrupted by Michaels’ music and that led to a tirade, little hints of the great heel work we’d see the following year to come.
– The WWF World Heavyweight Championship match between Champion Sid and Hart with Michaels on commentary began with dramatic entrances of course. Michaels openly referred to Sid as “the most expensive piece of luggage” as he was “carried from here to there.” Hart began aggressively out of the gate before Sid got the advantage. Eventually. Hart began a “physical dissection” that even saw him expose the turnbuckle, sort of uncharacteristic. Sid sold his lower back, but managed to pull off a big boot. Austin came out to lay out Bret before Bulldog/Owen came out to even the score. Hart beat a ring count early, but sold his leg. Sid shoved Michaels to the barricade. Michaels came onto the apron, but was knocked to the floor on a chair when Sid threw Hart into him. A powerbomb later and Sid actually won clean. Yes, you read that right. Well, that only strengthened a Hart-Michaels feud more, but instead of a match at the Rumble, guess it was for later in the year. Cough, Survivor Series. Post-match, Michaels attacked Hart from behind. At Rumble, we’ll get HBK-Sid for the Title. If that doesn’t sell seats, what will?
- Flash Funk (w/The Funkettes) def. Leif Cassidy via pinfall
- WWF Tag Team Championship – The British Bulldog/Owen Hart (Champions) (w/Clarence Mason) def. Diesel/Razor Ramon via pinfall to retain
- WWF Intercontinental Championship – “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/Sable) def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley via countout; Helmsley retains
- Armageddon Rules Match – The Undertaker def. The Executioner (w/Paul Bearer) via pinfall and 10-count
- WWF World Heavyweight Championship – Sycho Sid (Champion) def. Bret “The Hitman” Hart via pinfall to retain
Posted on January 8, 2018, in Throwback PPVs, WWE and tagged Ahmed Johnson, Bret Hart, Clarence Mason, El Cibernetico, Fake Diesel, Fake Razor Ramon, Farooq, Flash Funk, Goldust, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, In Your House, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Karate Fighters, Leif Cassidy, Mankind, Marc Mero, Milton Bradley, Owen Hart, Paul Bearer, Pierroth, Royal Rumble, Sable, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Sycho Sid, The British Bulldog, The Executioner, The Funkettes, The Nation Of Domination, The Undertaker, Vince McMahon. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.